Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's All New to Me

So this morning I did something that I've never done before.

I used a *real* pump to extract my milk so my sweet baby can eat when I'm not here.

Wow. I didn't realize the emotions that would go along with doing such a thing. I mean, there are thousands of moms that do it every day from the beginning. I am 5 months into baby number 3 and have done it just now.

I've helped moms get through pumping. I've given them tips and advice on how to do it effectively. I've researched ways to increase supply so that when they do pump they are getting enough to feed their sweet babe. But I had never actually done it myself.

I mean....I've never needed to.

Since our first arrived more than seven years ago now, I've always worked from home. I've been able to feed on demand and have just gotten really good at juggling baby, boob, and work....multi-tasking at its finest.

For the first time in my breastfeeding career, I'm needing to pump for the times that I'm not around, which is more often than it ever was with our first two babes.

So, why so emotional? I'm honestly not sure. It's such a mixture of emotions. I mean, I'm going to get to go somewhere and stay longer than two whole hours!? Oh, the FREEDOM that thought brings! I'm going to feel like I'm missing an arm or something if she's not with me, I think, though - ha!

And then there's the thought of actually *leaving* her. I mean....I have to leave her. For real. I'm going to walk out the door and not have to have my Rebekah Scott Designs "Phoebe" packed to the brim with clean diapers, a change of clothes if needed, toys to keep her entertained, and my Sakura Bloom. I'm not going to always be the one feeding/soothing/comforting her anymore.

I've always been the one to soothe/comfort/feed all of the kids. She'll be the first one that's not true for.


Oh, it'll be ok. And honestly the thought of not having to worry about her and her hunger needs when I'm not home is really super comforting. Like thousands of other moms, I will just have to be diligent about pumping so I have enough for her when I'm not here, and I just need to remember what I have told countless other moms: I'm pumping to feed her - I'm not feeding the freezer ;). As long as I have enough for her each day I'm not here, that's all I need.

Today I did pretty good for my first time. I got a whole ounce out of the breast that she had just eaten from, and a lot more from my "over-producing" side.

I feel good about it and I'm looking forward to our new venture as a breastfeeding/pumping/bottle-feeding mama-baby team.

Now......to get her to take a bottle. Hmmm. This could be interesting! ;)


Friday, March 27, 2015


Who doesn't love shoes?! Especially super-cute adorable ones made with love for your baby's sweet feet! Meet Becky of Lexiebugs....and enter to win a pair in our "Girls Package" giveaway (Tomorrow is the last day to enter, so get your purchases made in-store or online soon!)!


I am Becky Preheim from a farm near Marion, SD where my husband Bob and I raise our beautiful 4 kids Colten, Lexie, Brody, and Brinley.  I am a full time mom, wife, nurse and shoe maker.  Lexiebugs is my little shoe business that I created all by chance. Five years ago my husband and I moved our family out to his family farm.  To occupy my free time I started sewing and made my daughter Lexie a pair of shoes.    Well that first winter on the farm was one of the worst and one of my friends had just had a baby girl.  Due to the road conditions I couldn't make it in to Sioux Falls to get a gift.  So I thought I would make her a pair of the shoes too.  From that one pair that I made for her I then got an additional 7 orders from other people that saw the shoes.  That was how my business was born.  I call them Lexiebugs because that is exactly what I call Lexie all the time.  She is my Lexiebug.  
I love making these shoes.  Each and every pair I make is made with love and to perfection.  I use them and love them and I want others to have them too because they truly are the cutest and easiest shoes to slip on tiny feet.  I also love hearing from people how much they love them too.  I started this business only making one size and through opinions of others I now make 4 different sizes.  My goal is to just keep making these shoes and bringing cuteness to baby's feet.  I enjoy making them and can't imagine stopping anytime soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Debbie Hubbard Photography

And for today's featured sponsor, check out Debbie Hubbard Photography!

Debbie Hubbard Photography opened it's doors for business just over three years ago.  It has been wonderful to get to know my clients and provide them with portraits they can cherish for generations.  I specialize in baby and child photography.  I just love their spark and authenticity that is so fun to capture.  I also enjoy photographing Seniors, Engagements/couples, and families.  

You can follow my work on Facebook here:   https://www.facebook.com/DebbieHubbardPhotography

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rebekah Scott Designs

And now on to one of our most favorite bag-maker of ever, Rebekah Scott Designs! They have donated a Jill to our giveaway, so you probably definitely want to get some entries dropped into that one! ;)

Rebekah Scott Designs

Style, Panache, and Deeply Rooted Inspiration compose Rebekah Scott Designs.

Rebekah’s spark for textile style began at the age of four, with her mom’s scraps and her very own little sewing machine. During college and the early meager married days, she developed her own purses for gifts. Soon presents became purchases and a new business was born. A full decade later, Rebekah Scott Designs has grown into a federally trademarked and direct sales brand. In addition to the original popular purses, the brand now includes a children’s accessory line called Olive Branch.

Located on a farm in Valley Springs, South Dakota, Rebekah’s studio keeps her rooted to her loves – both her purses and her three growing tots. She is inspired by the chaos of daily life of motherhood and womanhood. By keeping her heart close to home, she’s been able to keep her home close to her heart.

Rebekah Scott Designs are both practical and posh. Each of her uniquely designed bags and purses are made of lush, vibrant fabrics. Each design stems from a particular obstacle in Rebekah’s every day life. After designing a bag to solve the problem, she names the bag after someone special in her life. Each bag contains ample pockets including a place for keys and a shallow pocket for easy storage. Created on an industrial sewing machine and serger, the bags stand up against washing machine cleaning and every day living. Women find that Rebekah Scott Designs hold up, as they juggle life, families, children, and careers. With splashy hues and modern textiles, the various designs let women express their personalities even while they pour themselves into the lives of others. 

Rebekah’s Olive Branch line was inspired by the addition of her daughter Iversyn to the family. With the philosophy that every girl needs a cute pair of shoes, Rebekah designed her own. Believing every day an outfit should be fabulous, Rebekah Scott Designs’ line also includes unique accessories for every stylish gal.

Rebekah’s team is a woven fabric of creative moms and women who desire to stay at home. She values that decision that women choose to make and love to make. She desires to help women express themselves through the bags they wear and the ones they sell. Rebekah remains at the helm – designing fabrics, creating new accessories, and sewing bags, with little ones discovering near by.

Rebekah’s entrepreneurial spirit flows naturally and contagiously from her heart. She loves to help women find their passionate path, with work and at home. Rebekah organizes accountability groups for female entrepreneurs and shares inspirational videos to encourage women in their own desires. 

Rebekah has always been aware of the true root of her talents. She knows that every gift she has comes from above and she credits God for every blessing she enjoys. Toting a tot on one hip and a rocking purse on the other, Rebekah Scott is ready for life’s next project!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Essentially Blessed Boutique

Another awesome sponsor of our great Anniversary Giveaway!

Essentially Blessed Boutique started with a few friends asking, "Hey, can you make me some of that?!?" (Un-petroleum jelly and face scrubs) From this simple start and a love of all things natural, much experimenting with recipes began. I feel blessed by so many people in our community who have supported me along the way! I truly know a lot of great people, who endeavor to support small businesses and are committed to seeking more natural products for their families. Thanks to them, my business now includes about 12 different products, in varying sizes and scents, and I have three new ones to debut this summer.
I can be contacted via Facebook at https://facebook.com/essentiallyblessedboutique?fref=photo or can get messages at 605-361-9584. I ship anywhere within the US, and will have an Etsy page added by mid-April for out-of-state shipping convenience. I am also excited to announce that this month Essentially Blessed will be in its first retail location at Down to Earth Boutique. We look forward to adding locations to this, to make it convenient to get the products that you need at any time!
Essentially Blessed was pleased to get to donate a facial oil, facial scrub, and a bath bomb to help Elegant Mommy celebrate! The facial oil uses a powerful combination of organic borage, hemp, hazelnut, and grapeseed oils, as well as essential oils to target all skin types. Oils are critical for our faces to break up the deep impurities in our pores before they become something unsightly. The frankincense essential oil is fabulous at softening the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles, naturally! The lavender is instrumental in keeping acne at bay, in acne prone skin. I have even heard lightening of red patches, as well as some tightening of overly large pores on skin with this blend. The BEST part, this oil blend is very light, and leaves no greasy feel like so many oils do. The Honey Bunny face scrub is a customer favorite. Everyone wants beautiful skin, but sometimes life provides challenges for keeping it that way! Pamper your face or body with our completely natural sugar scrub. Enriched with moisturizing oils, vitamin e oil, and antibacterial honey, this blend soothes, while exfoliating and providing deep moisture. And our newest product, Magnesium Bath Bombs, kind of *are* the bomb. They offer detoxification through your pores while they fizz, soothe, moisturize, and smell delightful. Your skin feels amazing when you get out of the tub, and provide the perfect water for shaving.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Whole Beginnings

And now for our next Anniversary Giveaway Sponsor: Whole Beginnings

Whole Beginnings (http://Wholebeginnings.com)
Sandra Maurer, CD, RYT

I’ve been working with mothers in one form or another for 10 years. I was a social worker out of college, became a nanny while training in and then teaching yoga in the evenings. Through my contact with mothers (and my training as a holistic health coach) I kept hearing this word doula. I decided to sign up for a training and see how it went. I was in love. Immediately. And dove head first into full time doula work. But as my birth attendance increased and I was privileged to witness more births and spend more time with mamas as their prenatal yoga instructor, I began to see another need.

So many women are hoping for a different kind of experience the whole childbearing year- from conception through postpartum. They’re hoping for feelings of bliss, of joy, of incredible femininity. They want solutions for pregnancy ailments that are holistic; they want to avoid postpartum depression, and they want someone to help them emotionally work through all the decisions that start to pile up towards the end of pregnancy. They’re seeking out help from all kinds of sources- various websites, care providers that aren’t very trained in these areas and they’re coming up frustrated and overwhelmed. Information isn’t the same as education after all.

This is how Whole Beginnings evolved from a doula business to a Pregnancy and New Mama coaching program. I am able to draw on all my education (Yoga Instructor, Art Therapy, Doula, Holistic Health Coach) and all my experience (in those roles, as a mother, a sister, a daughter and a friend) to help mamas truly find their “mama bliss” no matter what circumstances arise. My program, called Blissful Mama, is designed to help mamas with all of these needs. From the most “mainstream” mama wanting to try a few yoga poses to the “crunchiest” of mamas wanting guidance, accountability and support through the whole process.

One of my favorite pieces of feedback I’ve received from a client is: "The fear I had been experiencing for my first two trimesters has all but evaporated, leaving room for me to experience the joy pregnancy ought to bestow on expectant mothers…Having her as my coach was the best thing I did for myself during this pregnancy. I feel more prepared and confident about my birth and abilities as a woman and mother as a result!”

Join me for Yoga for Fertility & Women’s Health and Prenatal Yoga classes at East Bank Yoga (8th & Railroad). New Mama Yoga B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Baby) classes start in May! You can also work with me privately through my Blissful Mama Coaching program.

I’ve shared a coupon for 3 Free Prenatal (or Yoga for Fertility) Classes for a lucky mama I look forward to meeting!

You can download my {complementary} Empowered Mama Guided Meditation on my website http://wholebeginnings.com/free-prenatal-meditation . Learn more about yoga classes and Blissful Mama Program at: http://wholebeginnings.com or follow me on Facebook: http:// facebook.com/wholebeginningsdoula

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Baby Pancake

As you know we are celebrating our 7th anniversary this month. If you haven't already, you really for real need to join our chat group on Facebook for some fun ways to earn extra entries into our giveaways!

We have many many sponsors that have contributed to our awesome giveaways, and we are going to feature some of them here on the blog :).

First up: Baby Pancake

My name is Breteni Morgan. Becoming a mother to my daughter Kamiyah has been one of the most exciting, challenging, wonderful, and amazing things that has ever happened in my life. I fell head over heels in love with her the moment she was in my arms but the joy was soon exchanged with concern because she was not developing like other babies. I started making her various items to offset her struggles because I could not find things on the market that would work for Kamiyah. 

I expected her to like them; what I didn't expect were other mothers asking me to make items for their babies, too! Designing and making these items has been a wonderful experience. 

Whatever you choose to order, I hope that you and your baby both love it and get many years of pleasure out of it! One of my favorite things to do is get involved in the lives of less fortunate children and make a difference in their life and meet needs that would not be met otherwise. Come on over and join my daily rants and projects and watch the awesome unfold. “Operation Flip it Forward” is always on the go and looking for different children to impact!
My main goal with Baby Pancake is to offer customizable options for little ones and to meet needs that would otherwise get passed by. Quality is one of my biggest priorities as well as creating a bit of happiness and love in the products I produce.
Baby Pancake: Where happiness IS what it seams. :^)


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Newborn's Schedule...

So....you know that I recently had a baby. While we've kinda-sorta figured things out as far as schedules and how to keep up with everything (after 4 1/2 months), it has definitely been more of a challenge this time around. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it had to do with having a couple older kiddos whose schedules were interrupted - not just mine and my husband's.

One thing that I'm SUPER blessed to have, is a husband who does a ton of the housework. He is always helping with dishes, laundry, picking up, making beds, etc, etc. He has also been doing school with the bigs when I just can't get to it. I don't know what I would do without him.

Even if you don't have a husband who does that for you, though, there are ways to fit housework in when you have a newborn. It doesn't all have to fall apart! :)

Check out what La Leche League suggests in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

Housework and a New Baby

Top household efficiency and a new baby mix about as well as oil and water. Meeting baby's unscheduled needs makes a strict household schedule pretty much a thing of the past. This is not to say that a well-ordered life automatically becomes chaos at the moment of birth, but it is fair warning that you may want to reorganize your approach to household chores.

The key to survival is to simplify. Pick an afternoon to take a walking tour of your home, critically examining each room for items that should be removed, rearranged, or discarded. Do you hate to see the knickknacks on the bookshelf covered with dust? Then put them away and replace them with a fresh new plant that will brighten both the room and your spirits. How about that overstuffed closet where everything from ski gear to broken lamp shades seems to end up? If you take the time to clean it out while you are pregnant, it won't get on your nerves later. Discard the things that are beyond repair or that you no longer need - don't just move them somewhere else or they will soon be in your way again. Box up the things you want to keep and store in the attic or basement.

Whatever the season, do as much "spring cleaning" as you can before the baby is born. Light household chores are good exercise, and having them done will be a godsend later when you'll want to devote your time and energy to the baby. This sudden zeal for cleaning and readying the house so often felt by mothers during the last months of pregnancy is referred to as the "nesting instinct."

Give some thought to rearranging your cleaning supplies so that they are readily accessible (but stored in a high, child-proof cupboard). You'll want your supplies to be handy so you can quickly clean a bathroom mirror or scour a sink if you have a moment before stepping into your shower or while keeping an eye on a three-year-old in the tub. Your bathroom will be clean in minutes following bathtime if you quickly wipe a mirror (already fogged), take a swipe over the sink and counter, and wipe up the water on the floor with a large towel, one that was already consigned to the laundry hamper.

In households where there is a baby, housework is nearly always done in quick snatches - a series of mini-cleaning sprints. Five to ten minutes at full speed in the kitchen, devoted to whatever is most bothersome to you - perhaps the breakfast dishes on the table or the grubby floor in front of the sink or refrigerator - will improve the looks of the house and give you a sense of accomplishment. Throughout the day, center your attention on what you have accomplished, beginning with the all-important work of nurturing your baby, rather than dwelling on the tasks that still need doing.

Make your bed or not, as it pleases you. Plumping up the pillows and tossing the covers back to air is a time-honored custom. Without a spread in place, you'll probably lie down to nurse the baby more often during the day. Keeping up with the dishes is about as easy as keeping up with the Joneses. If baby is not agreeable to having you do the whole job when the meal is over, fill the sink with hot soapy water and let everything soak until you can get back to it later on or the next morning. If you have a dishwasher, reload it during those times when baby is wakeful and wants to be held in your arms or snuggled in his baby carrier. Babies usually love the constant up-and-down and back-and-forth motions that accompany the loading and unloading process. Don't rush it. Some babies are soothed by the sound of running water. And many a fussy baby has fallen asleep in a baby carrier while his mother vacuums.

Little people and clutter seem to be inseparable. But clutter can be picked up and put out of sight quickly if you are equipped with a clutter-catcher - a cardboard box or other suitable container to carry with you as you whiz through each room depositing all the odds and ends that have been scattered about. This system enables you to de-clutter an entire house in fifteen minutes or so. The contents of the box can be sorted later when you have more time, but for now the house looks fairly straightened, and a visitor will be able to walk in the door without fear of skidding on a stray truck. Concentrate on immediately putting away the especially important items such as car keys, which will drive you frantic when misplaced. Always putting your keys on a handy hook just inside the door could be one of the best habits you could get into. For safeguarding other small, valuable items picked up around the house during the day, the pockets in your jeans or an apron are indispensable.

Early in the morning, perhaps while you're relaxing with your baby for an after-breakfast nursing, make a list of the "must do" tasks for that day. Further refine your choices by selecting one, or possibly two, of the most important. Box off these top-priority items and plan on getting to them at the first opportunity, before you get caught up in another project or just the everyday chores. If it's something you can't do until later in the day, set your alarm clock or oven timer to ring at the appropriate time. Getting just one "top-priority" item crossed off your list every day will give you a feeling of accomplishment no matter how many things are left undone. Beware of going all out for cleaning, cooking, and scrubbing whenever the baby is taking a nap. Give some of that time to the other children, take a nap yourself, or relax with a project you enjoy.

Most of all, I would encourage you to do your best to not worry about the house - especially in those first weeks after baby arrives. The most important thing at that point is to focus on your sweet little one. These suggestions are for after that initial month or so of bonding time, when you start to add back in some of the household duties.

And lastly - if you need help, ASK FOR IT! You have a village of friends here if you don't have family near or close friends. We are all here to help you - all you have to do is ask...

If you need help trying to figure out how to fit in housework with your baby around, or if you need any other type of support to help with your little nursling, join us tomorrow evening at 6:30 pm for Sioux Falls' Breastfeeding Support Group at Educated Mommy. We also have a weekly support group every Wednesday at 1:00 pm called Milk Monologues. 

See? I told you we are here to help ;)


Friday, March 6, 2015

Wear All The Babies!

I love info-graphics.
I love baby wearing.
I love breastfeeding.
I love attachment parenting.

Check this out - it encompasses it all! Thank you Onya <3

In conclusion: Wear your baby. It does a mama and baby good! :)


Monday, March 2, 2015

And Now We're SEVEN!

It’s hard to believe that we have had a retail location for 7 years now…7 years! 

This past weekend I had a chance to reminisce with a friend who is expecting (Yay!) about how Elegant Mommy started. Back in the day, there used to be a message board locally called Sioux Falls Moms. We had an incredible group of Moms who built a network to support each other and meet other Moms. One day someone asked a question about where to buy maternity clothing and it got me thinking about what was available in the Sioux Falls area for maternity clothing and the answer at the time was: very little! However, I had a great job that I had worked really hard to get and I was thinking I’d start a website, just for fun. 

So when Elegant Mommy first started, it was a website that sold pre-owned maternity clothing. My friend and I would “model” the clothing with a fake belly and edit our faces out of the pictures, and that is how Elegant Mommy was born! We had a fantastic response and we did a few “home” shows where we would bring the clothes to people’s homes, however, shortly after starting the website I found I was pregnant! So hauling clothing in and out of peoples homes in a South Dakota winter while I was pregnant was not the best way to approach this business. We kept getting phone calls asking where we were located and where people could try on the clothes. On January 31, 2008 we took a leap of faith and signed a lease for 750 square feet at 2109 W 49th St. 

We opened the doors for the first time on Saturday, March 1st, 2008 and I remember bawling my eyes out on the way home that day. I was so overwhelmed with what God had blessed us with and I knew that this is what God was calling me to do in my life. 

But here was the predicament…I loved what I was doing at the time. I was working for a major bank’s Mortgage division as an Assistant Vice President. I had a dream job that I had worked very hard for. Even though my position offered me a lot of flexibility, I still didn't like how much I was away from my children. By the time our son was born that year and my maternity leave was up that fall, I knew something had to change. The store had grown to the point that I knew I couldn't keep doing both things. I had to choose: Either I followed the path that God was laying out for me and my family (which would bring me much more flexibility to spend more time with my children and make a difference in my community, however, it also meant that we would cut our family’s income more than in half) OR I could close the store and continue climbing the corporate ladder and being away from my family more than I liked, but we’d have a six figure income as a family. 

After much prayer and buckets of tears, it was decided that I would leave the corporate world on December 31, 2008 and pursue Elegant Mommy full time! It was such an incredible leap of faith and many people (including a lot of my family) thought I was absolutely insane to walk away from the corporate world that I had worked so hard for. But 7 years later, I still believe that God always has your back J