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Innobaby Packin' SMART Review and Giveaway

>> Monday, December 20, 2010

Between my 3 year old, my almost one year old, and um...my husband, I'm always packing snacks for running errands, a trip to the park, or wherever we're going. And since variety is the spice of life, we usually have like 3 or 4 ziplock baggies packed in the diaper bag with different snacks in each. That method worked great until the cheerios, goldfish, and crackers got crushed into tiny bits by everything else in the diaper bag. So then we went with little tupperware bowls, which is great until your child wants a certain snack. Then you're spending 5 minutes digging around for the "right" bowl. She wants the animal crackers, NOT the raisins. Enter Innobaby Packin' Smart. We were sent the Stack N Seal 2 tier set in the fruit series to review.

Knowing that we had a flight coming up to go home for the holidays, it was the perfect chance to try it out. We stuck a variety of snacks in each compartment and put them in my daughter's little backpack, along with coloring books, crayons, her favorite animal friends, and a bunch of small toys to keep her and her little brother entertained during the flight. During the flight when my daughter asked for the specific snack she wanted, it was so nice to be able to just grab ONE container, and it contained ALL of the snacks we packed. My daughter loved that she could see exactly what was in each container and that it was such a cool little "stack of snacks". Each container has a dispensing lid, which makes getting out snacks easy, and dispensing formula into a bottle a breeze. The containers twist and seal to interlock together, or you can just pack one container if you don't need all of them. I love that the containers are freezer and microwave safe, which is great for homemade baby foods, little dinners, or frozen fruit snacks. They are also BPA, Phthalates, PVC, and Lead free. And also very important...dishwasher safe. Innobaby Packin' Smart sets are PERFECT for moms on the go! LOVE them! Packin' Smart sets are available in 3 different styles. Check them out here. One thing to note is that the Stack N Seal sets not only can store dry foods, but liquids as well!

Innobaby is giving away a Packin' Smart 3 Tier Zoo Animal set in Lime Green to one lucky reader!

Here's how to enter: (Leave a comment with your e-mail for each entry completed)

Mandatory Entry- Visit Innobaby and tell us what other Innobaby product you'd love to try.

Additional Entries:

  • Blog this giveaway and leave the link (2 entires)
Giveaway open until Tuesday, January 4th 11:59pm to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

*Disclosure Policy- I was provided the featured item(s) at no cost by the manufacturer to review and share my opinions. My opinions were not influenced in any way by monetary means.


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Annalisa Top Review + Giveaway!!!

>> Friday, December 17, 2010

Milan Maternity's Annalisa Top

If you've been looking for the ultimate in comfort for maternity wear as well as nursing...search no longer! Milan Maternity's Annalisa top is the best of both worlds without forsaking your fashion sense. It's always wonderful when you can get a lot of use out of anything that was bought while you were pregnant. Being pregnant with baby three has taught me that for sure. The three quarter sleeves the Annalisa sports are long enough to keep you warm without completely overheating you at the same time. The v-neck design discretely hides the nursing access built into the top. The rayon and spandex material allow the Annalisa to stretch while pregnant but regain it's original shape when you need it to transition or nursing! What's the most fabulous thing about the Annalisa? It's so fashionable, it's great to wear post pregnancy even if you're not nursing!
Buy It:
Can't wait to win?!? Need it for a special event?
[purchase not required to enter or win!]

Win It: (Submit a comment with your e-mail address for each entry)
Required Entry:
*Follow this Milan Maternity Blog! [in the right column under "followers"]

Additional Optional Entries:
*Enter Charmed Life Giveaway! (2 entries)
*Enter Taylor Joelle Designs Giveaway! (2 entries)
*Enter Innobaby Giveaway [2 entries]
*Follow Milan Maternity on Twitter

Winner will be chosen by random.org


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Hot Holiday Deals at Milan Maternity

>> Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't forget to stock up on your Maternity, Nursing or Transitional clothing this week! Milan Maternity is running a special until Thursday December 17th, 2010: Get $10 off any item over $30 by entering the Promo Code: "HOLIDAY10" at checkout. Also valid on E-Gift Card purchases!!! Here are some awesome deals that you could snatch up:

The Elisa in Olive
Normally: $34
Promo Code Price: $24

The Carissa in Grape
Normally $33
Promo Code Price: $23

The Julianna in Dark Cerulean
Normally $52
Promo Code Price: $42

The Niccola in Seafoam Green
Normally $32
Promo Code Price: $22



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Dealing With Naysayers & Unwanted Advice

>> Monday, December 13, 2010

If you're pregnant or have children, most likely you have been here. From the unsolicited advice to the criticisms on anything you decide to do with your child. There are so many opinions on things from breastfeeding, diapering, recycling, child care, type of crib, co-sleeping, etc, that often people loose sight of what's important.
For me this very topic came up at Thanksgiving. My husband and I decided to unveil our baby's name. Our first boy! We are so excited! I hadn't really wanted to share his name due to what happened last time [a whole different story]. I was worried, but figured it didn't matter because we had officially chosen his name. Well....long story short, some people were less than thrilled with our choice. And were quite VOCAL about it. It must be pregnancy hormones because I wanted to flip out, pull my hair out and set something on fire. Not really. But I was irritated to say the least.
You may come across this, "Well, when I was pregnant," [back in 1952], "____ was considered totally safe. If your uncle survived then it's got to be ok." REALLY? It seems most people just can't help themselves. It like people feel the need to unload all of their wisdom on you whether or not you care to hear it. Some of it might be good, so it's always good to hear someone out. But remember that it's OK to have your own opinion, and to voice that opinion too.

Responses to Unwanted Advice:
* This may not be the way you would do it, but it's working for us.
* Quote a Doctor. For example: My doctor said to wait until he/she is six months old before starting solids.
* Smile and Nod. I know. Not the best but it can work to end the discussion if the person thinks you're going to try said advice.
* Deflect. Change the subject.
* Actually listen. Put it in your back pocket, who knows there could be some truth to it.

Responses to Criticism:
Criticism is different in that it tends to be more than unwanted advice. Criticism would be the response I got for our baby name choice: a RUDE remark that undermines you as a person, making you feel less, stupid or horrible. Obviously something that wouldn't fall into the constructive criticism column. I found this list of responses from ACTUAL parents who have had this issue:
* That's interesting. What makes you think that?
* I respect your opinion and value your advice, but I have thought this out carefully and done a lot of research, and my mind is made up. I will be happy to respect your opinion and listen to what you have to say, but you have to respect my decision--and it is MY decision.
* This is what works for our family. Unless it becomes a problem, we're not going to change things.

The hardest part is going to be trying to not respond in an overly defensive manner. Try responding with a smile [even if you're gritting your teeth]. Also, try to remember how you feel and avoid being the person annoying someone else. The best idea is to wait until someone asks and then respond with a, "This is what works for us. It might not work for you but ____."

Feel free to share a time when you were given some less than helpful advice or some tough criticism about your choices.


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Fun Pregnancy Tools

>> Friday, December 10, 2010

There's a Site for That:

Pregnology: The tool I use most is the "Far Along" it tells me to the day how far along in my pregnancy I am and then you can click on the photo next to that week, read about it and connect with other moms on the same week as you!

Baby Name Genie: This site is fun! If you have a middle name but no first name in mind or vice versa,  there's a generator that spits out random names. There's also a Poll section. That's my favorite. You can list your name combinations and other people vote on it and leave opinions/suggestions. I got lots of fun help there.

Baby Name Wizard: Very fascinating site. I love the Name Mapper. You can enter a name and then see where it ranks by state. Some names are VERY popular in some states and then not at all in others! 

China Gold Gender Predictor: This one is for pure amusement. For me it was actually correct at gender predicting all three babies! 

Project Nursery: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site. I used it to come up with my nursery idea board! It's addictive. There are some great money saving ideas and most people list where they got stuff and how much. Major inspiration here! 

There's an App for That: 

*Pregnancy 411 & Baby 411 by TheBump.com:  I used to use thebump.com forum to connect with other moms, but I find that I much prefer to use the app from iTunes! You can ask questions and interact with other pregnant moms. On the baby 411 app, you can interact after you give birth. I spend lots of time on these apps. LOVE it!


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Taylor Joelle Designs Giveaway-Chic Accessories For Little Ones

>> Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I don't know what it is, but I LOVE dressing up my little guy. I like dressing up my daughter too, but a handsome little man just melts my heart. I had been searching for a tie for my little buddy for family pictures coming up, and I found EXACTLY what I needed when I discovered Taylor Joelle Designs. They not only have adorable ties for little buddies from age 6 months-4T, but have some of the {cutest} beanies , in as little as newborn sizes up to 4T.

I love that they have newborn sizes in the beanies especially. Cute newborn hats are hard to find, at least they were for me...and I think they would be perfect for that newborn photoshoot. My daughter got to try out this Autumn Beanie hat in brown and pink. So adorable! My daughter LOVES wearing it too, which is huge, since she's so picky with her wardrobe. The beanies have a really good amount of stretch to them, so I'm sure it will fit well into next season as well. Super stylish and warm too! Perfect for those winter excursions. Now we just need to convince Taylor Joelle to make them in "mommy sizes", because I'm really loving them too!

One of my other favorite things I have to mention...Taylor Joelle also has some DARLING pettiskirts for those little ladies. If my daughter saw theseshe would be in princess heaven! You'll also find a bunch of other super cute accessories and clothing for both boys and girls at Taylor Joelle.

Taylor Joelle Designs was super sweet and sent us this Mason's Plaid Tie in Blue, and I LOVE it! It's the perfect length and made "E" look like such a little man! Perfect for family pictures coming up in a couple weeks! The ties come in two sizes: 6M-2T, and 2T-4T. They fasten in the back with velcro, which is a good safety measure. I loved also that the ties are made from "tie" material, just like daddy's, not just regular cotton fabric.

Taylor Joelle has an AWESOME way to get some serious discounts on their adorable designs. They have a "weekly hot buy", which saves you some serious money. This week they have their Sassy Set of Two-Tights on sale for only $10- down from $22.50! That's more than half off! The weekly hot buy is updated on Taylor Joelle's facebook page, so you'll definitely want to "like" their page and keep an eye out for their weekly hot buys!

Taylor Joelle is also offering Milan Maternity readers a sweet 20% discount with coupon code "Milan20"!

GIVEAWAY- Taylor Joelle Designs is giving one of our readers either a beanie or a tie of your choice!

Here's how to enter: (Leave a comment with your e-mail address for each entry completed)

Mandatory Entries
  1. Visit Taylor Joelle Designs and let us know which tie or beanie you would choose if you won.

  2. Follow this blog

Additional Entries

  1. Follow Taylor Joelle Designs on Facebook (and stay up-to-date on their current Hot Buy!)

  2. Follow Milan Maternity on Twitter and tweet this giveaway

  3. Blog this giveaway and leave the link (2 entries)

  4. Stick either of our two buttons on your blog and leave the link

  5. Share this giveaway on your Facebook status with a link to this page (2 entries)

  6. Follow Milan Maternity on Facebook

Giveaway open until Thursday, December 23rd 11:59pm PST to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

*Disclosure Policy-I was provided the featured item(s) at no cost by the manufacturer to review and share my opinions. My opinions were not influenced in any way by monetary means.


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Braxton-Hicks or The Real Thing?!?

  Time to Wait or Time to Go?

  For several weeks now I have been feeling the super-fun effects of Braxton-Hicks contractions. Braxton-Hicks are those practice contractions in the weeks or months leading up to labor/delivery. As I write this they are coming every 3-5 minutes. My first baby was a preemie. She came about 6 weeks early. Since she was my first I called several times in the several weeks before wondering if she could come early. I had read about Braxton-Hicks, but having never experienced them [or labor for that matter] I was never sure if I should call or wait it out. When I did go, I was sent home and was told it was just my body practicing for labor. With my second, I just assumed they would send me home and didn't call. Until one night a month before my due date, I had been having contractions all day and they were closer together and stronger. I called. I was sent to the hospital and to my shock [and horror] they admitted me to the hospital and called all of the surgical team [since I was supposed to have a repeat c-section. I didn't even have a car seat yet. They did get the contractions to stop and I was sent home a day and a half later. But it's good to know if you should call, go in, or sit with your feet up drinking some water.
  So for those of you having your first or second or are just unsure, here are some general guidelines. **ALWAYS refer to your Physician and follow their advice for your personal situation, and always if you feel there is something wrong, call the doctor or go to the hospital.

Contraction Characteristics
False Labor
True Labor
How often do the contractions occur?
Contractions are often irregular and do not get closer together
Contractions come at regular intervals and last about 30-70 seconds. As time goes on, they get closer together.
Do they change with movement?
Contractions may stop when you walk or rest, or may even stop if you change positions
Contractions continue despite movement or changing positions
How strong are they?
Contractions are usually weak and do not get much stronger. Or they may be strong at first and then get weaker.
Contractions steadily increase in strength
Where do you feel the pain?
Contractions are usually only felt in the front of the abdomen or pelvic region
Contractions usually start in the lower back and move to the front of the abdomen

Some Items You May Need:
* A watch, clock, timer or app for your phone. I am using an app from iTunes called "Contraction" There are several apps for different phone platforms. Lots are free some are in the 99 cent range. Works great when you're alone and don't have a timing buddy. 
*Comfy place to relax and put your feet up. If it's braxton-hicks contractions, this will make a difference. 
*Water bottle. Drinking water can help ease braxton-hicks, and if you're in labor and you're walking around, it's a good thing to have with you!

You Might Experience These if You are in Labor:
*Pressure in pelvis or vagina
*Menstrual-like cramps
*Fluid Leak
*Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea 


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Charmed Life Clothing Giveaway-Dress Shirt Onesies For Your Little Man

>> Thursday, December 2, 2010

For all you baby boy mammas, here's something you'll want to know about. Charmed Life Clothing came up with a GENIUS idea...dress shirt onesies! A white dress shirt is a must-have for any little guys' wardrobe, but we all know how active and wiggly our little buddies can be! It's usually only a matter of minutes before those traditional shirts come un-tucked.
Charmed Life onesies allow for all those wiggles and keep baby looking handsome and put-together. We were sent the news anchor blue onesie to try out and I LOVE it! I can't get over how handsome my little redhead is in it. AND... he can crawl around without his shirt coming untucked.

The onesies are made of a high quality blend of 65% cotton, and 35% polyester, which makes it super easy to care for and very wrinkle resistant. No need to iron or steam, it looks great right out of the dryer! Love that!
Charmed Life Onesies make the perfect baby shower gift for those friends expecting little buddies, and are great for Sunday, photoshoots, weddings, and the upcoming holiday parties.
Speaking of holiday parties, Charmed Life is giving our readers a 25% discount through December with coupon code "MilanMama". Yay! They have long and short sleeved onesies in a variety of cute fabrics.
Charmed Life Clothing is also giving one of our readers a onesie of their choice!
Here's how to enter: (Leave a comment with your e-mail address for each entry)
  1. Mandatory- Visit Charmed Life Clothing and let us know which onesie you love
  2. Follow this blog
  3. Follow Milan Maternity on Twitter and tweet this giveaway
  4. Share this giveaway on your Facebook status
  5. Blog this giveaway and leave the link (2 entries)
Giveaway open until Friday, December 17th 11:59pm PST to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by random.org.
*Disclosure policy-I was provided the featured item(s) at no cost by the manufacturer to review and share my opinions. My opinions were not influenced in any way by monetary means.


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Truth Behind Pregnancy Cravings

>> Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Many expectant women experience food cravings! I remember with every pregnancy having my husband run out at 1am [or later] to grab something I had to have RIGHT then. This pregnancy has given some mixed signals: I had my hubby go get a pecan pie because I really wanted it. Then I wanted it warmed up...halfway through warming it, I could smell it in the bedroom and it made me sick. He walked in so excited to give it to me and I had the pitiful, I am SO SORRY face. He just smiled and said, "Well. I tried." 
  In one of my magazines I saw a survey of expectant mother cravings: 40% craved something sweet [like ice cream], 33% craved something salty, 17% were craving something spicy and 10% were those craving something sour, tart, or citrus. 
But what's the driving force behind those cravings? It's an open debate. Many believe that it's your body telling you that you are in need of something in your diet. For example, Dr. Phil talked about myths & facts of pregnancy. He claims that, "Women who crave pickles are really craving salt and may be mineral deficient, and specifically sodium deficient. Additional minerals are particularly important in pregnancy when women's bodies increase blood volume by up to 20 percent, so the existing minerals are diluted. 
Many women crave junk foods such as ice cream during pregnancy because junk food is associated with comfort. Sugars found in sweet foods, as well as in breads, pasta and rice cause the body to produce serotonin, which makes women feel good." That seems to make sense. But I have also heard many spout that pregnancy cravings are just pregnancy cravings. That there is no reason for it, but as more research is done, those experts are moving towards the other side! So there must be some truth in it.

Check these out: 
*A craving for Cheese: could mean your diet needs more calcium. Try adding broccoli or other green veggies to your diet to help.
*A craving for Peanut Butter: this could be a vitamin B deficiency. Taking a supplement can help.
*A craving for Eggs: could be a possible protein deficiency. Also eggs contain important amino acids so adding beans to your diet is a good idea.
*A craving for Fried Bacon: indicates the need for more fat and protein in your diet. Often it's accompanied by a craving for eggs and cheese. I was shocked to find that out since it's been what I've been craving lately. Taking a look at my diet and I realized I wasn't eating enough protein or fat!
*When craving chocolate, try to reach for the dark chocolate! It's better for you and baby and will help to satisfy the craving. Milk chocolate is not as likely to quench that craving. 

One thing that seems to be universally inaccurate is the salty craving = boy and sweet craving = girl. Just a wives tale! For the most part, it's ok to give in to those cravings. Make sure you listen to your body: when you're full, actually hungry and what it is that you're craving that might signal something else. But indulging during pregnancy a little is not harmful and the comfort can be one of the few "fun" parts! 


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Black Friday - Cyber Monday Deals

>> Friday, November 26, 2010

If you haven't heard about our amazing Black Friday through Cyber Monday deals, you're missing out! Right now through midnight on Cyber Monday [11.29.2010], you can get 20% off of EVERYTHING at the Milan Maternity Store! INCLUDING sale items using the code "BLKFRI20" Also during this promotion, you will receive a FREE Milk Bands nursing bracelet included with your order. But wait there's MORE: FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150. I know. It's pretty fantastic! Here are some examples of the awesome savings waiting for you at Milan Maternity:

Regularly: $52
With 20% off: $41.60
savings of $10.40!

Regularly: $33
With 20% off: $26.40
savings of $6.60!

Regularly: $33
Sale Price: $28
With 20% off: $22.40
total savings of 10.60

Regularly: $44
Sale Price: $37
With 20% off: $29.60
total savings of $14.40!


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Wordless Wednesday [almost] : Thanksgiving

>> Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[CLICK on the image to make it bigger if you need] 

Have an Awesome Thanksgiving!


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Pregnancy Skin Care : Get Your Glow On!

>> Monday, November 22, 2010

Pregnancy is a great time to take charge of your skin care regimen. And if you don't have one, it's a great time to start one. If you're like me, you are a self diagnosed "product junkie". I just can't help myself. I prefer things that are natural and organic but I noticed there are a few things in my stash that I cannot use while pregnant. Before I get into what you can use, here are a list of common skin care chemicals that are not safe during pregnancy; make sure you always read the ingredient label before you use a new facial product.

Avoid these ingredients in any products while pregnant or breastfeeding:
*BHA (beta hydroxy acid)
*Retinoic acid
*Retinyl linoleate
*Retinyl palmitate
*Salicylic acid
*Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene)

Considered safe in pregnancy:
*Glycolic acid
*AHA (alpha hydroxy acids)
*Lactic Acid

Setting Up Your Skin Care Routine:
1. First in your lineup should be a good cleanser. I checked the ingredients on Boots Original Beauty Formula Cleansing Milk. It runs about $8 at target and boots.com and comes in a gorgeous vintage-esque bottle. It made my skin feel super soft! If you're looking for a paraben free option, I would go with anything in the Yes To Carrots line. There's the Yes to Carrots for dry skin, Yes to Cucumbers for skin that needs soothing, Yes to Tomatoes for oily/acne prone skin, and Yes to Blueberries for anti-aging needs. This is a great line and can be purchased through their site, at target or your local drugstore. They are also reasonably priced!

2. Toner should be used afterwards to remove any residue left on your face after cleansing. Boots Original Beauty Formula line has one that works quite well and smells good, too. It's the Skin Tonic in Damask Rose; it also comes in that glam vintage bottle! One that I alternate with that's been a long known beauty secret is Witch Hazel. It's safe for topical use during pregnancy!

3. The Moisturizer is an important step. After you skin is completely cleansed, it needs the some of the oils/moisture put back in. If you're looking for something for aging skin [I am 26 and use it as a preventative] this can be tricky, because Retinol and it's derivatives are commonly found in those products. The Yes To Blueberries is a safe alternative. Even if you have oily skin, it is important to moisturize. If you try to combat oily skin by using products that make your skin too dry, it will actually end up making your skin MORE oily than before. Go with a lightweight moisturizer like one of these from Kiss My Face. I love the Honey & Calendula organic scented one.

4. Anything else you use, be sure to check the label. In my stash is also a facial scrub and mask. Those are also tricky ones, so here are some safe alternatives: Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub [the other ones have ingredients like Salicylic Acid]. Another way to exfoliate is to use your daily facial cleanser with a facial brush [they have these cheaply at Bath & Body Works.] You could also make your own scrub with honey & sugar. As far as facial masks go, I'm sticking with Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Mask. Also the Kiss My Face Pore Shrink Cleansing Mask.

There are many different products out there that could fit the bill. These are just the ones that I know from personal use that are safe and ones that I did "background checks" on the ingredients. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, or if you have a great product that is safe and works, leave it below!


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Me In Milan-Holiday Giveaway

>> Tuesday, November 16, 2010

UPDATE: We've had a few ask if you can submit more than one photo. You can submit up to THREE photos, (each of a different piece). Earn yourself a couple extra entries!

Want a little help with your holiday shopping this season? Alright ladies, here it is... we're giving away a $100 gift card to Target and a $50 gift card to Milan Maternity to one lucky winner, all in time for your holiday shopping. Plus, EVERYONE that participates will get a little something...(a little code that would make shopping at Milan Maternity in December only $10 instead of $20...)

Here's what you need to do:

  • How to enter- Submit a photo of yourself workin' your favorite Milan Maternity piece to service@milanmaternity.com along with your name, and which piece you are modeling by November 30th.

  • We'll post it on the MM facebook page in our "Me in Milan-Holiday Giveaway" photo album.

  • Entries will be numbered and a winner will be chosen by random.org and announced December 1st.

  • Extra Entries- For EVERY 15 people that "like" your photo in our album, you'll receive an extra entry, with no limit!

I know what you're thinking...if you're like me, you never take photos of yourself, pregnant or not. It's time to change all that! So whether you're pregnant, nursing, in that transitional stage, or completely done with pregnancy and still loving your MM looks, send us a picture with you in your favorite piece. It doesn't have to be a full body shot. Heck, you don't even have to show your face if you don't want to. It can be whatever you want, as long as we can tell what your favorite piece is.

So for those of you that already own some Milan Maternity pieces, it's time to dust off the old camera. For those of you that don't, now you have a great reason to treat yourself! Here's another one... Through November 23rd, get 15% off your entire purchase with code "MIM15".

Remember, there's no limit on how many extra entries you can get! Submit your photo, then we'll e-mail you as soon as it goes into the album. Then SHOUT IT OUT to family and friends and get them to "like" your Milan Maternity modeling debut and earn yourself some extra entries! We're so excited, this will be so much fun!


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Teething Bling Winner!

>> Thursday, November 11, 2010

Congrats to the winner of the Bronze Teething Bling Set!

You have until Saturday, November 13, 11:59pm EST to e-mail service@milanmaternity.com to claim your prize, or another winner will be chosen.


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Pregnancy Laughs

>> Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!


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Moms! Stop Feeling Guilty!

>> Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As if there weren't enough things to worry about, there are some common guilt inducers that we as moms should stop feeling guilty about. We live in a very guilt inducing society. When it comes down to it, as long as you and baby are happy and healthy, guilt should be tossed aside! The energy used feeling guilty could be put to much better use!

Things to Stop Feeling Guilty About:

1. Formula Feeding. I suspect there will always be a hot debate between Breast and Formula. We all know that "Breast is Best", but sometimes, for whatever personal reasons, some women aren't able to or choose not too. Let's instead embrace the idea that every woman will make the best decision for their family and support one another. Agree to disagree and move on. It will be a happier place I promise.

2. Taking a "Time Out" for Yourself. You're a mom. You created, carried and delivered an ENTIRE human. It's stressful, you're sleep deprived, you need at least 2-4 more hands to get stuff done, and you haven't brushed your hair/teeth or showered. Take at least ten minutes. Lock yourself in the bathroom/bedroom, wash your face, rub on a lotion that smells yummy, light a candle, do some deep breathing exercises, read an article, take a cat nap, pray. In other words escape. I'm going to include in this date nights. Whether that's with your spouse/partner or girlfriends!

3. Asking for Help. This might be what you have to do to get more of the above [point number two]. It does not make you weak or less of a wonder mom. Here's a secret: WonderMoms ask for help. They realize when they are in over their heads and call for the calvary. The much needed break can clear your mind and help you feel better, making you happier and well adjusted. If someone offers help: TAKE IT. If someone offers to make dinner, wash dishes or watch the baby/babies/kids/walk the dog: Take them up on the offer!

4. Buying Something for Yourself. This could be a candy bar or a new shirt you found on sale. I used to feel guilty about buying a snack just for myself. Even though the kids had tons of other options, they always wanted mine. I finally said, NO. This snack is mommy's. You have your snack and this one is mine. Then I put it up high. Though there are no longer many places that are high enough for my 3 and 5 year olds! For the most part it's left alone. And I don't feel guilty about it. My husband and I have been known to buy something for ourselves and then take it back because we didn't get something for the kids. Another secret: the kids will LIVE.

5. Working or Going Back to School. Going back to work after having a baby can be rough. I did it after our first. I think I sobbed for a few weeks straight in the bathroom at work. I felt like I was missing out or having someone else raise my kid. I went back to work again when the kids were 3 and 1 years old. Sometimes there just isn't the option of staying home. My husband says he feels guilty when he works those long days where he doesn't get to see the kids at all. Kids know when they're loved. Plan Mommy/Kid or Daddy/Kid days. Also, going back to school shouldn't make you feel guilty. In fact it's a positive influence for your children!

There are many things we as parents can feel guilty about. Everyday is a learning experience. We grow as our children do and figure out what works best for our children and for us! Feel free to share things that you have learned to let go of.


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