2017 | Dearest Lou

Breast Feeding Thoughts + Prolacta Bioscience

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Prolacta Bioscience. All opinions are mine alone. This post shares my experience with breastfeeding along with information for mamas who may deliver a preemie. It is not intended to shame mothers who cannot, or have chosen not to breastfeed.
Shop my look: Top || Jeans || Sandals || Watch
Shop A's look: Romper
I’m very passionate about breastfeeding. I think it’s so cool that a woman's body can create liquid gold for their little one. With both of my boys, my goal has been to breastfeed through the one year mark and then wean whenever they are ready.

Now that Adrien has passed the one year mark I’m noticing more people saying that I can “finally stop breastfeeding him.” This comment started about the time I began incorporating solids into his diet and has become more frequent in the last couple months.

I love the bond Adrien and I share when nursing and I personally don’t understand why it’s such a common practice here in the US to wean babies off of breast milk before THEY are ready. There are so many benefits to human milk in the earliest days of life and even beyond year one. I gently started weaning Zaden when he showed signs of being ready around 18 months and am planning on doing the same for Adrien when HE shows signs of being ready. Breastfeeding helps me to slow down and live in the present and enjoy my baby while I still can.

Breast milk isn’t just beneficial for full-term babies. For the tiniest premature babies born too soon, breast milk is even more important. Which brings me to why I’m teaming with Prolacta Bioscience on this sponsored post today.

Prolacta reached out to me to help spread awareness to expectant parents on the importance of breast milk-based nutrition in the NICU and beyond. This article explains more about why human milk matters.

While breast milk alone is sufficient for a full-term baby, preemies need their breast milk “fortified” with additional protein, calories and minerals to help them grow. To provide this added nutrition, NICUs use  something called human milk fortifier (HMF). But don’t let the name fool you!

Did you know that nearly all HMFs are made with cow milk?! Often, because cow milk contains foreign proteins, some babies and especially preemies, struggle to adjust to and digest cow milk in their diets.
This can cause serious complications, like NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis), a leading cause of death for preemies (see study here and here).

But there is an alternative. Prolacta Bioscience makes fortifiers using 100% human milk from moms who donate their excess breast milk. How amazing is that?

This video shares one family’s story and a special message detailing the difference 100% human milk-based fortifiers make for preemies in the NICU. This video brought me to tears. If you find yourself or someone you love with a preemie in the NICU, ask your doctor about Prolacta.

Staycation at Stein Eriksen Lodge

We were compensated with a free one night stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Earlier this month we had the opportunity to do a staycation over at Stein Eriksen Lodge! This was our first time staying there and it was absolutely incredible. 

When we arrived we were greeted by a valet service and staff eager to unload our bags. Our car was quickly valeted to their underground parking garage and our bags brought to our room. The staff was amazing, I have never felt more welcomed at a hotel in my life. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating to our needs. A lovely member of the staff escorted us to our room and briefly showed us around.
The grounds were beautiful. There were great views of the surrounding mountains and the lodge captured a homey feel.

We learned Stein Eriksen Lodge has an awesome shuttle service. They shuttled us down to main street and dropped us off in front of our destination. We didn't have to worry about parking or navigating the unfamiliar city. We were surprised to hear the shuttle service will also come pick you up where ever you may be on main street.
We arrived a little later than expected and had plans to hang out with Fati and Ben for the evening. Take a look at the fun we had around Main Street:
Dress-Brickyard Buffalo || Hat- Brooklyn Hat Co. || Boots- Famous Footwear

Later that night my in-laws dropped off Adrien and we had a little one on one time with our youngest babe. It was so fun watching movies on the big screen TV while Adrien excitedly explored our room. The room was cozy and perfect for our overnight stay. I really loved the black out curtains that allowed us to sleep in and take our time in the morning.

We didn't have a chance to check out their restaurant or spa but it's definitely on our bucket list for next time (;
We had an amazing staycation at Stein Eriksen Lodge and hope to return again soon.

#StepForward with Famous Footwear

Thank you to Famous Footwear for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success." 

Famous Footwear has challenged me to #stepforward and set a goal for myself. Something I have been lacking to do as of late is get ready in the morning (or at all😂). Days when I actually get up before my boys and take a little me time to pray, read my scriptures, and get ready are my most successful days! Now I know that getting ready isn't everyone's secret for success but it's something small I can do to help me be more productive during the day.

Ever since becoming a mama, my style has transitioned to only wear pieces that are comfortable. I will not choose fashion over comfort... ever. There's nothing more annoying than trying to take care of my boys in uncomfortable clothes. When it comes to shoes I know I can count on Famous Footwear for cute and comfortable shoes. They carry a huge selection of big names that I know and love.

My go-to booties that help me feel like a "cool mom" are these Westin Booties. The side-cut out trend is something I'm really digging right now and I hope sticks around for a while. I also love that these are slip on shoes. I rarely do ties, buckles, or any of that nonsense. The cushioned comfort footbed makes these perfect every day shoes. I have worn these while shopping around for hours without any problems whatsoever! I also love the chunky two inch heel that gives me a little bit of height without sacrificing any comfort.

These booties are perfect for a busy mom who doesn't want to sacrifice comfort for style.

Outfit details:
Dress
Hat
Booties

My Go-to Nursing Bras: Bravado Designs

Buttercup Nursing Bra (sweater/capri outfit)  || Ballet Nursing Bra (black cardigan/floral skirt) || Clip and Pump (not pictured)

I have had a handful of friends and some readers ask me about nursing bras. I completely spaced that we took these photos back in April. Look how cute and little Adrien is with that gummy smile? So much has changed since then but one thing hasn't and that is we are still nursing!

The most important purchase a mama-to-be can purchase for herself is a couple amazing nursing bras. Underwire is a no go for the first few months since it can clog your milk ducts (ouch). Finding a supportive, flattering, and comfortable nursing bra was quite a challenge for me the first time around. I never found a perfect bra but found a couple that worked alright.

While I was pregnant with Adrien my bestie Fati introduced me to Bravado Designs and I'm hooked!

Guys, these nursing bras are a game changer and I have yet to find another nursing bra company similar or like them. I love that they offer a variety of styles and colors too. Also if you aren't sure about breastfeeding I would still recommend Bravado Designs since the bras are so comfortable especially towards the end of pregnancy when nothing seems to fit.

There are three particular styles I want to talk about today and why I think every pregnant mama needs them.

Buttercup Nursing Bra- If there is only one bra you can splurge on I would suggest the Buttercup Nursing Bra! The wire-free frame is perfect for all stages of pregnancy-postpartum. Not only is it wire-free but it's also VERY supportive. For the first 6 months postpartum my chest was much larger since I was Adrien's sole source of nutrition. The convertible criss-cross straps were perfect during that time and a feature I definitely took advantage of for additional support while out and about!

In the past I would always have to change from my day bra to a comfortable sleeping bra but with the Buttercup style I don't find myself needing to do this. I live in this style of bra and own 3 of them that I cycle throughout the week.

Ballet Nursing Bra- This is the perfect at-home nursing bra. he pull-away full breast access is so convenient and nice for skin-to-skin. I also love that I just need to slip it on and there's no clips in the back. It's as comfortable as wearing no bra at all. It doesn't offer any foam cups or much coverage but it's amazing for fellow co-sleeping mamas and makes those night time nursing sessions so much easier.

Clip and Pump- If you are planning on pumping at all YOU NEED THIS! For the first couple months when I was away at work shooting weddings I would have to switch bras in my car to pump and it was kind of a hassle. I wish I would have had this sooner. This handy little garment makes pumping so much easier. I love that I don't need to change bras in my car and having both hands available to work and multitask while pumping makes it 100x more enjoyable.

The Perfect Denim Jumpsuit

I've been on the hunt for modest jumpsuits as of late, not only modest but ones I can actually nurse in. This jumpsuit from Goldies has been one of my favorites to wear this summer. I love the length and the wide legs! The wide legs provide a nice little breeze which is much needed in the summer. In order to style it to my modesty standards I styled it over a half tee. The half tee provides easy lifting access when Adrien needs to nurse so it's a win-win.

Outfit details:
Jumsuit
Half tee
Hat (old)
Booties

Back to School Made Easy with Signup.com

This post is sponsored by Signup.com. All opinions are my own.

I can hardly believe summer is nearly over and the new school year is just around the corner. Zaden will be attending another year of preschool and he is beyond excited.

I recently discovered Signup.com and it's been such a helpful tool for me when it comes to organizing events. I love that it's free, saves me a ton of time, and it's simple to use. I can access Signup.com from any device and sync my calendar and set reminders on my phone. I'm such a scatterbrain and being organized and getting simple reminders really makes all the difference. It has been my go-to application when organizing stylized photo shoots, potlucks, and play group activities with my friends this summer.

When organizing events that involve a group of people, it's so important to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what they need to bring and when said event is taking place. In the past, I usually organized events in mass group texts which made it difficult to scroll up and remember everything that was being said among the group.

I love that Signup.com offers ideas for parents involved in the PTA. Class party ideas, fundraising ideas, and sign up sheets are just a few of the many great resources available! I know I will be using Sign Up even more now that Z is going back to school.