Monthly Archives

August 2018

In Mom Life, Work Life on
August 19, 2018

My Baby Buddha Pump Review & Experience

Note: This post contains an affiliate link, but my review is 100% mine. 

A good pump makes all the difference in maintaining your milk supply…so let’s chat about the Baby Buddha pump.

I’m exclusively breastfeeding my daughter! Since her birth, she’s had nothing but breastmilk. She hasn’t had any water, formula, juice…nada! So knowing I would return to work several weeks after her birth, pumping was a must for me. My doula recommended the Spectra S2 pump, so I purchased it. I loved my Spectra (I still do) and I got really good results using it. I have a fast letdown, so pumping was never really an issue for me, and I loved pumping!

Knowing I was doing what I needed to do to give my daughter the very best motivated me. However, I would sit at the table for 15-30 minutes with my pump plugged into the wall. It didn’t bother me that much when I was on maternity leave, but I knew that I would need to find another option once I returned to work. I saw portable pumps on the market, but they were out of my budget. Then, one of my followers (another mom) shared this pump with me on instagram. What?! A portable pump? Just what I needed! I’ve been using it for the past week and I love it! A total game changer. Here are my top 4 reasons why!

  1. Portable and Rechargeable: If you want to be able to get things done while pumping, this is your pump! The portability of this pump is amazing. You can literally wear the pump around your neck to be hands-free! It’s definitely my favorite feature. How does cooking dinner or doing laundry while pumping sound to you? How about catching up on emails? I have to do these things and I love the fact that I can get them done, while still taking care of my daughter by pumping. I don’t want to supplement (nothing against you if you do), so having a good pump that’s also portable is a must for me!
  2. Affordable: I don’t know about you, but I am NOT trying to break the bank with a good pump. I need affordability. Thankfully, the Baby Buddha pump is very affordable. You can order it on sale right now for $189.99 (original is $249.99).
  3. Easy to Use: The pump comes with a manual that explains how to use the pump, how to clean etc. It’s pretty straight forward and easy to follow. When you turn the pump on at first, you’ll be in simulation mode. The levels automatically increase, so if you want it to remain at a particular level you’ll have to roll the trackball thingy (I think that’s what it’s called LOL). To switch the pump to suction mode only, you have to press the trackball. It’s super easy!
  4. Appearance: How shallow of me right?LOL But, it really is the best looking pump I’ve seen. I was even impressed with the packaging and all the items that come with it e.g. the detachable lanyard and carrying tote. The pump unit itself is small and fits in the palm of my hand. I love nursing in style and I wrote about how I do that, and now I can pump in style too :). 

Goal: Build my freezer stash AND free up my time. Thank you Baby Buddha!

Keepin’ it real

So in a nutshell, would you recommend this pump, Lenore?

Yes, I would! I personally didn’t have a problem pumping enough milk, but I know it’s helped a lot of women get more milk because of it’s strength. It has a SUPER strong suction. In fact, I can’t pass level 1 (maybe 2 if I’m feeling brave) because it’s THAT strong. Depending on the person, the strength in the suction is going to be a pro or a con. However, I needed a pump that was more convenient, but would still measure up to my spectra s2 in regards to power and affordability.

So are you going to throw out your spectra and only use baby buddha pump? 

Nope! I plan to use both because they both provide things I need. I’m a pretty busy lady (especially now that I’ve returned to work). If I need to get things done while pumping or if I’m traveling–hello baby buddha! Baby buddha saves me time!

Anything I should know before purchasing?

The flange sizes are standard (24mm), so if it’s not your size you may need to get another. I think you’re able to use other pump parts with it, but I’m not 100% sure. Using the right flange size is key to comfortable pumping and seeing results from pumping. That’s the case with any pump. It can also be used as a double pump. I know there are times when I use my spectra, and I attach my haaka to my other breast to catch the letdown. With this pump, I won’t need to do that!

Like I mentioned earlier, the pump has a super strong suction, so my advice is to wait and see how you handle level 1, before going any higher. Even if you were able to go higher on your current pump, just try things out on level 1 first. Also, try switching off the simulation mode at first (which is what the pump operates in as soon as it is turned on), especially if you have sensitive nipples. I’ve had to do that a few times. Every woman is different, so find what works for you. Lastly, to truly be handsfree you’ll need a pumping bra. Put that bra on and wear that pump around your neck!!

Something for you…

Overall, I’m impressed and pleased with baby buddha! It was exactly what I needed as a busy working breastfeeding mama. So if you need a pump that will help you maintain your supply without losing precious time, you should get one.

Visit their website to learn more about it and to purchase www.babybuddhaproducts.com  

The pump is currently sold out BUT you can pre-order for their early September shipment. When purchasing, use: BECOMINGLENORE15 (must be in all caps) for 15% off!! Let me know if you have any questions,  subscribe for future posts, and follow me on instagram: @becominglenore

xoxo

 

 

In Grub Life on
August 11, 2018

Louise’s Oxtails Will Change Your Life

Heyyy!!

So my mom spent 10 weeks with us to help me around the house. She basically was my postpartum doula :). She helped me with Amara, she cooked, cleaned, did laundry every weekend. She helped me out tremendously! Hubby and I truly appreciate her heart to serve. Honestly, my parents are just amazing! I couldn’t ask for a better mom and dad.  Before she left, my mom threw it down in the kitchen for us and some of our friends. We had oxtails, baked chicken, Mahi-mahi, rice & peas, macaroni pie, parmesan crusted zucchini, veggies, blueberry casserole etc. It was A LOT of food, and everything was delicious.

Everyone LOVES my mommy’s oxtails. I asked her how she cooked it, and like a real Antiguan cook she said, “Ya gyal, me ah warn yu na. Mi na know. I just season it and put it in the oven with some foil!” 

So, while she was cooking it one day, I asked her to tell me step by step what she was doing. She also never uses measuring cups or spoons (real cooks rarely measure ingredients LOL), so use your judgment. Or as she would say, “Season to taste”. So, without further ado, here’s my mommy’s oxtail recipe. Trust me, this will change your life (so will her macaroni pie, but that’s another post 🙂 ).

What you’ll need:

5lbs cut up oxtails ( the smaller they are the better)
Yellow Onions
Garlic cloves
Seasoning Peppers (or red and green bell peppers)
Complete Seasoning
Black Pepper
Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning 
A dash of salt 
Brown Gravy packet
Tomato Paste
Water 
Vinegar 

1. Cut off any excess fat and wash meat with vinegar, and/or lemons. 
   (Team Marci over here. You need to wash that meat! LOL). 

2. Dice the yellow onions, garlic cloves, seasoning peppers 

3. Season the meat with the complete seasoning, black pepper, roasted garlic 
   and herb seasoning, and dash of salt. 

4. Add the diced yellow onions, garlic, and peppers. 

5. Mix it all together to completely cover the oxtails. 

6. Add the meat mixture to a covered bowl (or ziplock bags) and let it stand 
   overnight or for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. 

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

8. Place oxtails in a pan/baking dish. 

9. In a separate bowl, mix brown gravy, tomato paste, and water together. 

10. Pour gravy mixture over oxtails. Make sure the oxtails are completely covered. 

11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender (depending on your oven, the time
    may vary, but usually 3-4 hours--You want the meat to be tender). 

14. Once tender, you can remove the foil and bake for 30 more minutes or so. 

15. Oxtails are best served with some rice and peas and fried plantains! Bon appetit! 

I helped with the fried plantains. Mommy did everything else. God bless her!

xoxo

In Mom Life on
August 9, 2018

The Best Nursing Cover

Hey Breastfeeding Moms and Breastfeeding Moms-to-be!!

I’ve been using a nursing cover from Udder Covers for awhile now, and let’s just say I’m in love! It’s the only nursing cover I pack in my diaper bags when I’m heading out. Even if you don’t use a cover when breastfeeding, I still think you should check out their nursing covers. I personally don’t use a cover every single time I nurse my little one (LO), but there are times when I want some additional privacy and choose to be more discreet. In those moments, my udder cover is my go-to! Here are my top 3 reasons why I love using their nursing cover:

  1. The neckline: Their nursing covers have an adjustable neckline that allows you to have direct eye contact with your little one while nursing. I can easily see when she’s close to popping off my nipple (tongue/lip tie problems) and adjust her easily. Yet, I remain completely covered while breastfeeding and during any adjustments. My baby may squirm around a little bit at first, but once we get an optimal latch, she feeds like a champ and drifts off to sleep under the cover. It’s super cozy for her.

    the best nursing cover

    Udder Cover

  2. The colors and designs: So many pretty colors and designs to choose from! These covers are NOT boring and you can select one that fits your personality or style. I get compliments all the time when I nurse in public! You can also pay a small fee and get it monogrammed. How sweet is that?!
  3. Care and Cleaning: Lastly, these covers are easy to care for and clean! It’s machine washable and it doesn’t lose it’s texture or color after washing. Neither does it shrink!

I love my udder cover and actually plan to purchase another one soon. It’s completely worth it! So check out Udder Covers by visiting www.uddercovers.com. And here’s the kicker, by using this code: BECOMINGLENORE1, you get $35.00 off your nursing cover. Say what?! Yes, $35.00 off. Use this code and you get a free nursing cover! You just have to pay shipping fees. Like I said, it’s totally worth it!

Be on the lookout for more mommy-must-have items in future posts. I just had to devote an entire post to this because I love my nursing cover that much. It makes me love nursing so much more. Nurse in style ladies 🙂

the best nursing cover

xoxo

In Love Life on
August 6, 2018

Becoming One

My husband and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary today. It’s also his birthday, so it’s a pretty special day. We have absolutely nothing planned, and I’m not even disappointed. Honestly, I just want to spend time in his presence once he gets home from work. I enjoy his company. We could be watching Netflix on the couch (married people really watch Netflix LOL), or traveling to somewhere new. It doesn’t matter! I enjoy him! My hubby, my best friend, Zaddy (lol)!

People often ask us whose idea was it to get married on his birthday. The truth is, my aunt’s venue was booked on the day we originally had in mind. There were two dates available and Micah’s birthday was one of them. We decided we’ll just choose his birthdate, since it was one of the options. Micah also jokes around with people by saying it was planned so he could never get in trouble for forgetting our anniversary. But, it definitely was not planned. Honestly, I was slightly disappointed, but I had to adjust and change my perspective.

Our marriage has seen a whole lot of adjusting and needing to change perspectives. Three years in, and we’re still adjusting because becoming one in marriage isn’t easy work. It takes effort, persistence, and patience.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31

God joined Micah and I together to become “one flesh”. When we said our I do’s, we were immediately unified in a mysterious way (Ephesians 5:32) that is unlike any other relationship here on earth (yes, even the relationship between a parent and child). Being one flesh is more than a sexual bonding, although it does involve a sexual union. Micah and I established our own family when we got married. Our loyalty is and should be to each other, before anyone else. Our status has changed from two single individuals to being one. Every decision I make needs my husband’s involvement and vice versa. We’re a unit. We immediately became one on August 6, 2015, but we’re still becoming one.

God’s word says “to leave” and “hold fast” (or cleave), but there are days when cleaving to Micah is downright hard. Maybe I’m having a rough day, or maybe he said or did something that hurt me, or we’re disagreeing on a matter. Whatever it is, clinging to him tightly is the LAST thing I want to do. I know he’s felt the same way too. Yet, that’s what God calls us to do as husband and wife. This is why marriage and love is a choice, rather than a feeling. Even when we don’t feel like it, we still choose each other. In the good times and bad times –we choose to hold fast to each other. We choose to hold fast to our marriage. We choose to hold fast to our family unit.

So how does one continue the journey of “becoming one” with their spouse?

  1. Prayer: Prayer is a must. Praying individually and praying together as a couple. Ask the Lord to search your heart daily. Ask him to remove anything in your heart that’s not from him. Ask him to pour more of His Spirit inside of you. Ask him for direction/purpose for your marriage. Pray over struggles that you and/or your spouse may be facing. Also, be open to counsel and prayers from trusted friends. We were never meant to do life alone. Micah and I are blessed to be surrounded by married friends who love the Lord, love their spouses, and love us.
  2. Communicate: Becoming one is more than a sexual union. You and your spouse have to talk to each other DAILY! It’s so easy to get caught up in life: bills, work, the kids, church responsibilities, family issues etc. You look up and realize that it’s been a week or two since you sat down and checked in to see how your spouse is doing, or what’s been on their heart recently. This is something I’m still working on. I’ve always been a go-getter. I like to get stuff done. So, whenever I got home from work I would immediately go into grind mode. Did we get mail? Have you paid the power bill yet? Have you looked at the budget I created? What are we eating etc. None of those things are bad, but my husband should be first. Instead, greeting him with a big juicy kiss, and asking him what’s new in his world since we last checked in, is a priority!
  3. Date: Make time to spend with each other. This may look differently when kids enter the picture, but having kids is still no excuse.
  4. Leave and Cleave: Lastly, remember to leave and cleave. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your marriage. Not a family member, not a friend, not an ex..NO ONE. Cling to each other. Hold fast. Speak well of each other. Don’t let anyone disrespect your spouse (you don’t either). You two are on the same team. Don’t ever forget it.

Micah (you do read my blogs right?), what a ride huh? This last year has seen its highs and lows. But, we’re still here. Still loving each other. Still choosing each other. God also blessed us with the most precious baby girl. We are truly blessed. Thank you for asking me to be your wife. Thank you for loving me even when I’m acting unlovable. Thank you for working as hard as you do. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for carrying all the bags. Thank you for breaking my prenatal vitamins in two so I can swallow them easily. Thank you for opening my water bottles. Thank you for not fussing at me too much when I leave several opened water bottles around the house. Thank you for cooking when I don’t feel like it. Thank you for running my bath water after you clean out the tub. Thank you for always having my back. Thank you for the good times. Thank you for the bad times.

No matter our season, you make me reflect on the gospel and Christ’s love for his people. There’s no one else I’d rather do life with. You just get me babe. I chose you on August 6, 2015, and I’ll choose you for the rest of my life. Happy Birthday and Happy anniversary my love. You’re the finest Zaddy I know too! Alligator food.