Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flat Belly After Pregnancy

In many of the Caribbean countries, women routinely wrap their stomachs shortly after childbirth with linen cloth to ensure a flat stomach after the baby making factory is over. I hope to have my mom wrap my stomach each day, nice and tight with the cloth after I give birth. However, if you don't have that option try Brook Burke's Taut. It can be yours for $56-$65 from her online store Baboosh Baby. She recommends wearing them for forty days. If you're on a strict budget try Squeam Waist Cincher (shown above) for $28.95. However, this is a technique that no one should ever do while pregnant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Decaf, Please

I haven't drank coffee in so long, I think I forgot the taste. Just kidding. The next time you're pregnant and you may be tempted to drink that cup of java, remember this study that was recently published by The American Journal of Obsetrics. The study shows that pregnant who drinks more than 200mg of caffeine (10 ounces of coffee or 25 ounces of tea) may double their chances of miscarriage. Do we need any more of a reason than that?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chandeliers Are All The Craze

Chandeliers add that nice touch of elegance to any room. I'm all about having chandeliers in the nursery, bedrooms, or even bathrooms. It's the unexpected glamour in an unlikely place that counts. No matter what your budget is, these can be yours. Try flea markets or estate sales to find a true bargain. The two bottom ones are from Pottery Barn and range from $119 to $129. The top one is from Target for $69.99.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Who Says...

the pregger has to look dowdy? Not with these designers you don't. Check out A Pea in the Pod or Isabella Oliver for these stylish looks that will be sure to make you wish you always had a bump.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Happiest Baby On the Block

For all of those looking forward to the fourth trimester, this book by Dr. Karp has been helpful to many parents. He encourages the "Five S's" system.

Swaddling - Tight swaddling imitates the mother's womb.

Side/stomach position - I knows this goes against what we're now being taught, but Dr. Karp suggests placing the baby on her left side to assist in digestion. I'm a little too nervous to put her on my stomach, which he also recommends for a short period of time to provide support. Use your own judgment.

Shushing Sounds - These sounds remind the baby of the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This sound can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, or you make it close to your baby's ear.

Swinging - I noticed that my baby is particularly relaxed when I'm walking. Babies are used to the swinging motion from the womb. The author belives they miss the motion once outside of the womb. He suggests rocking or car rides.

Sucking - Many parents are amazed when they see their baby sucking their finger in the womb, from ultrasounds. The calming reflex can be accomplished with a bottle, finger, breast, or pacifier.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Recommended Books

Great affirmation for the little girls you may know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Your Birth Plan

"I do not wish to be given an epidural."
"I would like to have a mirror in front of me so that I can see the crowning of the baby's head."
"I would like my husband/boyfriend/mother to cut the umbilical cord of the baby."
"I want the baby to come directly to me after the birth."
"I would like my husband to pray for the baby before she leaves the room."

These are some of the many requests you can add to your birthing plan. Other examples include but are not limited to monitoring preferences, episiotomy preferences, and who will be included in your support team. If you haven't started working on one, the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester is a good time to start thinking about what kind of labor/post labor you would like to experience. Besides, how clearly can you really think while you're in labor?

For a sample birth plan to get you started, check out

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Business of Being Born

The words "home birth," "water birth," "birthing center," "hospital" used to whirl around my head. I've never been one for hospitals and am cautious of using medication (blame it on the Regan administration); so I was on a quest to find the perfect birthing center. I had numerous images of playing my CD collection and giving birth to "Oh Lord, How Excellent" in a dimly lit birthing center room surrounded with candles. Although, I couldn't find a full-fledged center, I found something somewhat close to it.

That brings me to Ricki Lake's documentary, "The Business of Being Born" where she speaks of the green side of having a baby...and I don't mean the environment, but the dollars and cents. The movie has been released in select cities and will be available for rent at Netflix in February 2008 and for sale in March 2008. I'm looking forward to seeing it, not necessarily because I think everyone should be ant-hospitals, but just so you'll know your options and make well-researched decisions.

Boy Nursery Ideas..and a Girl Bonus

For all of you with boy babies check out for some ideas. Of course, I had to throw in the pink crib bedding set. I love it's modern edge.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Starting Your Child's Library

It's great to start your baby's library with personal favorites. A good idea for a baby shower is to have guests bring their favorite childhood book to contribute to your child's growing collection. I always like to buy Ezra Jack Keats books for children. He maintained the spirit of diversity in his illustrations.

I read Frederick by Leo Lionni a couple years ago and fell in love with the mouse poet trying to savor the fleeting moments of summer and fall, while his family tried earnestly to prepare for the coming winter. Frederick and His Friends contains four stories that will resonate in the hearts of your future poets.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Onesie Wonderland

Afterall, your child will spend most of his/her time in these; they might as well be stylish. Check out for "all because two people fell in love." Also, check out for the adorable yellow and cable knit onesies.

Monday, January 14, 2008

...And What About That Odor?

Perhaps, you're behind the eight ball like myself in painting the nursery and you're concerned about the chemicals polluting the air of your home. Milk-based paint is one of the better alternatives to use when painting your home. It does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOC's), hazardous air pollutants, lead, mercury, radioactive material, petrochemicals, plastics, synthetic preservatives and any strong odor, but uses a milk protein as a binder. Imagine painting your room and being able to sleep in it the very same day? Check out for a dealer near you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Found the Perfect Nursery Color Combinaton

This is perfect for my little girl. Found at Don't you just love the robin egg blue with the baby pink?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Paintings for Your Loved One

Cute paintings for the nursery found at

Nesting 101

Sometime during pregnancy, a pregger embarks on a period of time known as nesting. Much like a bird gathering items to secure a safe and comfortable place for her eggs, pregnant women go through great strain to research the safest and most aesthetically appealing items for her baby. I relish this time because the environment I welcome my child in should almost be magical. Being the >ahem< wanna-be designer, I look forward to jazzing up my baby's room. Here are some tips I've learned along the way.

1) Stick to Items That You Like
I know this may sound selfish, but you're going to have see these items everyday, you might as well like them yourself. That's why I refuse to do cartoon characters. I loved Mickey and Minnie as a child, but do I really need to see them everytime I go into the nursery?

2) Be Creative
Who says you have to leave your creative gene to the department stores that already has the nusery designed for you? Scour magazines and seek out key items that you can add your own twist. For instance, you may really like that designer satin bed skirt, but the price may break your budget. Go ye to a fabric store and make your own. Also, many designers have knock offs or similar ideas at lower end stores such as Target. Furthermore, you can decorate your child's walls with framed calendar pictures or various techniques from pictures of your children (i.e. Andy Warhol filters, framed pictures of ultrasounds, or newborn baby pictures).

3) Think Long-Term
Do you really need to spend a lot of money on items that the baby can only use for the first three months of their life? Why not buy furniture that can be theirs for at least five years? Rather than purchase a changing table, get a dresser with a changing pad. Try investing in a crib that converts into a single/twin bed. Buy furniture that you can use for future children. Sometimes it's worth the extra money for the quality.

4) Function, Function, Function
Plan the room around it's purpose. Ask yourself key questions like: Where would I feed the baby? What do I need at arm's reach? Do I want a table by the glider with my favorite CD's in rotation with a book and bottles of water? What items do I want my child to get to very easily? What items I don't want him/her to reach easily? Would the long curtains be a future problem with a busy toddler? Are the baby's items easily organized for other caregivers?

5) Safety
Check out Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for a list of safe products such as cribs for your beautiful baby.

6) Have a Ball
This is the time where you can paint the room red if you want to. It's an excitig time to await the arrival of your baby, so make his room as special and unique as you can. Have close friends and relatives help you during this exciting time. Have a nursery decorating party. Just don't forget to have FUN!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Playing Dress Up

I love these classic dresses by Smitherman & Barnwell ( They have a vintage charm that never goes out of style. Furthermore, some of these dresses can be used for weddings.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I Had to Get This

Babes and I were walking past a bookstore and I stopped in midstep. The illustrations captivated me and reminded me of sketches I have collected from local artists in Jamaica. I Saw Your Face is a look at the African diaspora through the illustrations of the late Tom Feelings sided with the poetry of Kwame Dawes. A great addition to any child's personal library.

Throwing an Unforgettable Shower

I am a girl's girl, partly because I'm from a family with three sisters and plenty of girl cousins. From a young age, I experienced the excitement of throwing a wedding/baby shower for some sister, sister-in-law, sister, aunt, or friend. Now that my shower is coming up, it's kind of hard for me to sit still. My sister-in-law must be slightly annoyed with my many phone calls filled with my countless questions.

So, I'll offer you all some ideas; while, hinting to my Babes and my sister-in-law :).

When choosing favors, I always prefered things that people can use so they won't be tempted to trash it once they go home. I particularly like the honey filled jar, "Mother to Bee" baby shower favor. Also, the baby bottle votive candles are also a grand idea. Which household does not use candles in their house? When making these, all you need are votive candles and the tops of baby bottles. How cute!

I'm also a fan of shower games. Pin the pacifier on the baby is a fun, ice-breaker and is played the same way as pin the tail on the donkey. You can't keep a straight face with this game. Also, the pacifier game is pretty popular. The guests receive a pacifier upon arriving and when they say the word baby, they can lose their pacifier. On the other hand, when they hear the word baby they can take that person's pacifier. The object of the game is to garner as many pacifiers as possible.

For my bridal shower, my family knew they couldn't go wrong with getting me a strawberry shortcake. In fact most of my birthday parties have had strawberry shortcakes. Cake Love, a D.C. bakery, has a strawberry shortcake that looks too good for visitors to skip dessert. You can cut the cake and toast with the nonalcoholic wine, Fre.

In all, when planning a shower keep it simple and fun. With those combinations you can never go wrong.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Look Out For Lemlem

Ethiopian supermodel, Liya Kedebe was featured in Cookie Magazine's February issue with her daughter, Raee. She promoted her upcoming children's clothing line, Lemlem, which means "to bloom" in Amharic. Her daughter wore some of the Ethiopian inspired clothing, that was made in the African country. I especially liked the embroidered tunics and frilly culottes. I look forward to purchasing an outfit or two this spring.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Yours Truly in Clutch Magazine

Pictures, Ice-Cream, and E-P-T is now included in Clutch Magazine's Blog Index under the Culture category. Check it out at Thank you for your ongoing support!