Breastfeeding Starter Kit

Yippee! It’s World Breast Feeding Week! This year,my daughter will be sharing her amazing Breastfeeding Starter Kit  with local mom at the BIG Latch On!

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Here’s how I celebrated it last week  (click here!) This year should be amazing!Here in Charlotte, it’s such a little community of like minded mamas here and it’s getting more and more connected with every event. I love it!!!-  shared byShelly Bloser Boyce

“CLC and runs the local normalize breastfeeding group here in Charlotte. Less impressive, but I’ve nursed my one child. It was really freaking hard and worth every tear”. Shelly

In spite of my husband saying “all you have to do is pop the tit out and give it to the baby. No complicated procedure there.” Thank God all men do not think like him.

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For those that really need help with increasing you milk supply keep reading.

Nursing Pads-When you begin nursing a baby you quickly figure out that you need nursing pads to protect your clothing (and pride!) from leaks. There are some good disposable ones, but most are scratchy and uncomfortable, and if you use them as much as I did with my first baby – you end up spending a fortune. The reusable fabric ones are therefore a Godsend

Here, try to make it your self. I found an excellent tutorial by DIY Materintiy

Lactation CookiesIt’s a sweet snack full of goodies thought to help breastfeeding mamas keep up their milk supply and produce more nutritious milk. Do they really work? Well I think so. I have used them  while nursing six of my nine babies and my daughter uses them for her clients. This recipe is a tried, true:

Lactation Cookie

Prep Time:15 Min Cook Time:35 Min Total Time:50 Min
Serves 20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter or coconut oil at room temp (coconut oil will make the cookies dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3 cups oat flour
  • 2 cups rolled gluten free oats
  • 1 bag dark chocolate chips (look for aa high cocoa percentage to keep the chips dairy & soy free)
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes (or Brewers Yeast – type will dictate if it is gluten free or not)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 9 x 13 pan
Instructions
  • Preheat oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix flax seed meal in the water and set aside for 3-5 minutes.
  • Cream coconut oil (or butter) and sugar.
  • Add flax seed mixture and nutritional yeast flakes. Mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add coconut and oat flour and mix well.
  • Add baking soda, salt & rolled oats. Mix well.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix well.
  • If your mixture seems dry add in a little more water a tablespoon or two at a time.
  • Spread evenly in a 9×13 pan and bake at 325 for 30-40m minutes.
  • The edges should be golden brown and the middle should be set.
  • Let cool (if you can resist the urge to cut into them right away) and cut into bars.
  • Enjoy!

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Lactation Tea-It’s is a mild galactagogue (a substance that can be used to increase milk supply). Its main milk-boosting ingredient is fenugreek, an slightly bitter-tasting. Some moms find that sipping a few cups of this tea a day is an easy way to help their bodies make more milk. Some drink it hot, some drink it iced, and some mix it with milk or  apple juice. Another bonus is that the tea bad (if used is good for sore nipples- just insert your nursing pad to avoid staining your shirt.)  tea 2

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Guess What?  your milk will probably be just right for your baby regardless of what you eat. Your body knows exactly what nutrition your baby needs at every stage of development.But eating healthy  while nursing builds a stronger body and has incredible results long term.

Order your Lactation treats and tea from Cassie’s Sweetz.

Win a  vegan Smash Cake*here!

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If you are in Charlotte this weekend, visit Cassie’s Sweetz at the Big Latch On at Baby & Co. this Saturday from 10am- 1pm. She will have Breastfeeding Starter Kits available for sale.

Details? Click the image below. See You There!

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Friday Four: Graduation and Absent Parents

High School Graduation  brings all types of newness. step parents affirm

I have a classmate that gave her daughter to a community friend. This year she graduated from high school and I was so pleasantly surprised to see here there supporting her child. It signified a a new chapter for them both. No matter what happened in the past,she was there and her child needed that. Another classmate of mine told me her nieces mom didn’t even showed up and the graduate actually cried on her BIG day.  What I want to share with any absent parent, let go of the ego and get your child!  Unless you are a creep, molester, etc,. the current guardian can no longer keep you from your child.  Yes, honey, it’s YOUR TIME TO bond!

Need help making it happen? I got you. Here’s FOUR ways To To Take Advantage Of This bonding Opportunity:

  1. Apologize for everything. Some things could have happened and you may not be aware of it.It may not even be your fault. Something could have happened completely out of your control. Own up to it.Gone on, claim your ‘ish.  Sort through all of it.But don’t put blame completely on the child and other guardian*
  2. Answer Offer to Answer any and all questions she/her may have. You’ll be embarrassed,but keep the end goals in mind. Sometimes you have to “UNTIE KNOTS “to get on a smoother road. Now is that time.
  3. Ask for a relationship. Don’t be crazy and ask her/him to call you mamma/daddy, but ask can we build some type of relationship from here.
  4. Find ways to be significant. You already know your child will need a mini fridge. Go buy it. Create a pintrest page to share with her/him. Keep it updated with college tips and advice. Send monthly care packages, Send gift cards to local venues/attractions in her /his college town. Whatever you do, keep sincere. While you will never make up for lost time, you most certainly can create a special relationship with your child that will never be broken. When she celebrate- you celebrate. When she upset, you find ways to put a smile on her face that no one else can.

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These are my personal tips. They are working so far for me. Met my number 3.(yes, I altered her face)  She and I are building a real bond now.I know in my heart, she’s another reason why my professional services create more opportunities for me to be in her life. I’m not wasting the opportunities.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

 

Smash Cakes: Because your Baby is the King/Queen Of All Babies!

Nine babies and I only had 2 smash cakes! What was I thinking of? They are so cute, fun, and just plain smart!

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I know a great vegan baker in Charlotte NC. See Cassie Sweetz

Who wants a cake a lil hand all over their cake? REALLY??? Lil Mikey can be the cutest thing since Kermit the Frog, but uuugh, I’ll pass on the booger laced slime delight.

A smash cake is typically given to the birthday child at the first birthday celebration and is to be smashed, smeared, enjoyed and eaten by the birthday boy or birthday girl (remember to take lots of photos for the album!). Increasingly, people are making two cakes for the 1st birthday party: a smash cake and the main decorated birthday cake. The birthday guest of honor gets to have fun with the smash cake while the main birthday cake can be enjoyed by the guests, untouched by little hands.

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racheldomesticated-monster-cakeCassie sweetzcake-14

There are several ways to create a first birthday smash cake. A smash cake is usually a mini cake that matches the party theme, however any cake will do. The smash cake can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake (a giant cupcake is perfect) or as complex as a smaller version of the main cake. The possibilities are endless!

Remember to remove any cookie sticks, decorative pix or candles before you serve the smash cake and be sure to spread newspapers under your child’s chair to catch the mess!

Order it from Cassie’s Sweetz or make it your self! Or you can click on the links of each picture for more details.

PRETTY IN PINK CAKE

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white velvet cake is my go-to cake for birthdays. You can pair it with almost any frosting or filling. Although Beranbaum prefers a non-chocolate frosting on this cake like this one, I think a silky chocolate buttercream frosting works just fine here if it’s not overly chocolate-y.

If you have only two 9-inch pans like I do, follow this recipe to make the first two layers. After they have cooled and you have another pan available, halve the recipe to make a third layer. This will give you three 1 1/8-inch cake layers.

INGREDIENTS:

For The Cake:4 1/2 large egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

STEP 1: MAKE THE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease tops of parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

Combine ¼ cup milk, the egg whites and the vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining ¾ cup milk, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (or high if you’re using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the sides, and add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Scrape the batter into the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. The pans should be about ½ full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. You will want the cake to spring back when pressed lightly.

Cool the cakes for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Remove from pans.

STEP 2: MAKE THE FROSTING

Make your favorite frosting. I am partial to an Italian meringue buttercream.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE

Using a cake leveler, evenly cut the tops off the cake so the layers are equal height.

Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer and stick the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is set. Add the second cake layer and repeat with frosting and freezer time. Add the third layer and spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides of the cake – this is your crumb coat. Put cake in the freezer for 5 minutes or until frosting is set. Add a final thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, making sure it has a smooth finish. Place the cake in the freezer, covered, until you’re ready to decorate.

STEP 4: DECORATE THE CAKE

For the final fondant decoration, please see Not Without Salt’s instructions. I used 2 lbs of red buttercream fondant (with some leftover) and 4 lbs of white buttercream fondant (with some leftover). I used “antique white” to cover the cake and “wedding white” to make the strips.

If you’re making a 9-inch cake, you will need another set of hands to help you wrap the fondant around the cake, that is, unless you come up with a better system or technique than I did. If so, please share!

It’s your baby’s first birthday! Let him dig into his first birthday cake toddler-style with an adorable smash cake that’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.

101 More ideas-

Everything Else to Know about Smash Cakes

Just a lot of pretty ideas-

(Be sure to click all of the links in this post for more details)