Friday, August 30, 2013

Super Easy Baked Ziti Recipe!

With school back in session, my oldest playing football, and my etsy shop, dinners are really needing to be as easy as possible on some nights! I don't have a lot of time for complicated recipes and things that take hours to create (unless I can throw it in my crock pot!). I have a super easy baked ziti recipe for you guys that you can even freeze some for later as well. This makes a decent amount of baked ziti.

1 lbs ground beef (or you can even use Italian Sausage) 
1 pound ground ziti pasta
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
45 oz jar of spaghetti sauce 
provolone cheese ( I used the slices. I used 5 slice rounds)
1 1/2 cups of sour cream 
8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese 

1. Using a large skillet you want to brown your beef (or sausage) add the Italian seasoning and spahgetti sauce. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

2. While you have that going, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Then add the ziti pasta and cook until al dente for about 7-9 mintues; drain. 
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Now you are going to layer as following: 
1/2 ziti
1/2 sauce mixture
provolone cheese
sour cream 
remaining ziti
remaining sauce
mozzarella  cheese 

4. Bake ziti for 20 minutes in preheated oven with foil over top. Take off the foil and let it bake for another 10 minutes. 

Serve with salad and garlic bread!

This makes a lot, so what I usually do is half it and freeze one half of it. You can even take the other half to a friend, family who just had a baby, neighbor, etc! 

If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it in the comments below or if you have any questions. 

This post is written by Malanda a mother of two boys, wife, and lover of all things crafty. In addition to being a contributor of The Not So Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom, you can also find her at Outnumbered  By Little Boys!  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workout Wednesday!

Welcome to Workout Wednesday! Here we share how our workout week has been and talk about our struggles and accomplishments and our goals! 

So guess what?! I finished Insanity! I am so excited to be finished and have accomplished it! I have lost a total of 3 pounds and 11.5 inches! Here are my results photos! 

Doing Insanity has really shown me that if you set a goal and stick with it, anything is possible! I really think setting goals is a HUGE part of weight loss and fitness success! So today I want to talk about goals! I need to make a new goal now that I am finished with Insanity and I want to hear what your goals are as well!

I'm going to be running another 5k in a few weeks so one of my goals is to make a better time than my first 5k! I also want to start and finish Shaun T's new program, Focus T25! It's only 25 minutes a day which is really exciting for this busy mama! 

What is one goal you have about your health/weight/life? What would be your ideal weight loss? Or an activity you would love to accomplish? Share with me one of those goals and let's help each other achieve our goals! 

Graco Smart Seat Convertible Car Seat Giveaway!

Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy have reached 10,000 Facebook fans and 25,000 Facebook fans! 
To celebrate they're hosting a huge giveaway event!
Today's amazing giveaway is coming to you courtesy of Graco! 

Viva Veltoro had the opportunity to review the Graco Smart Seat with Safety Surround Protection, 
valued at $339.99.  Check out her review of this fantastic all-in-one car seat HERE.

Here is a little information about the Smart Seat with Safety Surround Protection from Graco:
The Graco® Smart Seat™ All-in-One car seat is the ultimate in car seat longevity and has the only side impact protection properly positioned to protect your child at each stage. This convertible car seat fits your child from 4-100 lbs, features Safety Surround™ Side Impact Technology, and Smart Base™ a convenient stay-in-car base so you only have to install the base one time! Additional features you'll love include, seat-to-base locking indicators, 5-position recline, flip up arm rests, integrated cup holder and a 6-position adjustable headrest with no re-thread harness. 

  • Fits infant 4-40 lbs rear-facing in a harness, fits toddler 20-65 lbs forward-facing in a harness and fits youth 30-100 lbs in a belt-positioning booster
  • SafeSeat Engineering - Engineered & Crash Tested to Meet or Exceed US Standard FMVS213: 
    Side Impact Tested* (*In addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable US safety standards, the SmartSeat™ car seat has been side impact tested for occupant retention with the built-in 5 point harness system and with a standard vehicle harness system when in high back booster mode. Please consult your vehicle's owner's manual for more specific information on the performance of your vehicle's safety belt system.)
  • New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) – peak crash force approximately 2X Car Seat Standard
    Extreme Car Interior Temperatures
  • Meets BOTH Graco's Side Impact Testing and Europe's Side Impact standard* (*draft standard)
  • Smart Base™ stay-in-car base for one time install (LATCH-equipped and belt lock-off equipped for easier seat belt installation)
  • Steel-reinforced car seat frame & stay-in car base provides strength and durability
  • Seat to base locking indicators help to ensure that the car seat is secured into the base
  • Integrated harness storage compartment holds the harness straps that are not in use while in the belt positioning mode
  • Easy-to-read level indicator on the seat helps to eliminate installation guesswork
  • One-hand, adjustable headrest with no re-thread harness automatically adjusts the height of the harness & headrest
  • One-hand, 6-position adjustable head rest for your growing child
  • On-the go, 5-position recline so you can recline child while in use
  • EPS, energy absorbing foam
  • Flip-up armrests makes it easy to get your child in & out of the car seat

One lucky person is going to win a Graco Smart Seat with Safety Surround Protection
in the #10K25KEpic Giveaway Event! 

Open to the US only, Ages 18 and above.  Ends 9/15/13 at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below.  Good Luck!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway.  The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  If your company would like to be featured in a giveaway event like this please contact Viva Veltoro.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Five Problems You May Face When Cloth Diapering and How To Fix Them!

Cloth diapers are great! They save money! They are safer on baby's skin! They are super cute! But they do come with their share of problems occasionally! Sometimes it's an issue with a simple fix, and sometimes it takes a little work! Today I'm going to share with you five problems I have faced in my nearly 4  years of cloth diapering, and how I fixed them! 

1. Leaks- This is one I hear a lot and has happened to me before as well. Leaks could happen for a few reasons. One could be that you have a heavy wetter and you need more absorbency. This is usally a pretty simple fix. Just add a booster insert to your diaper for extra absorbency or use a diaper made from a very absorbent material, like bamboo. Another main reason you might have leaks is an improper fit! Which is our next problem so I'm going to explain more there.

2. Fit- If you don't get the right fit on your baby then you can face all sorts of problems like leaks, blowouts, and an uncomfortable baby! If you are using a one-size diaper with rise snaps make sure the diaper is on the correct rise. Also if you have a baby with skinny legs, it may be good to have some diapers with hip snaps so you can get a good snug fit around the legs. If you have sized diapers that are too big, you may just have to wait a while until your baby grows into them. 

Diapers that are too small can also cause leaks and other problems. Make sure the diaper isn't too small on your baby and if it is go to a larger setting on a one-size diaper, or go up a size on a sized diaper. 

3. Stink- If your diapers stink even after you wash them or as soon as your little one pees, then you have a problem. The most likely problem is detergent buildup. It could also be a repelling issue from something like diaper cream getting on the diapers.  If you have stink from either of these problems you will need to strip your diapers. Stripping your diapers can be done a number of ways, including just washing in hot water a number of times. There's a great list of ways to strip your diapers over at Padded Tush Stats! Once you strip the buildup from your diapers they shouldn't stink anymore! To prevent stink, make sure you are using a cloth diaper safe detergent and only using the recommended amount. Also be sure to give your diapers an extra rinse when you wash them to get out any extra soap. 

4. Stains- I think stains happen to everyone at one time or another. I mean the material is cloth and our kids poop in it. It's kind of hard to avoid stains. You can however make them less likely but rinsing out any soiled diapers as best you can with cold water before you put it in the diaper pail. This helps the stain not set in so much. If you do get stains and you want to get rid of them, my best recommendation is the sun! After you wash them, hang them to dry out the in the sun! The sun acts as a natural stain remover and it really works! Some people like to use bleach on their inserts and SOME of their diaper covers, but bleach is not good for all diapers and I find the sun works even better on both my inserts and covers. 

5. Rash- If your baby is getting a rash from wearing cloth diapers it could be from a few things. The first thing is baby could simply be in the diaper too long. With cloth diapers it is a little harder to tell if baby is wet or has soiled the diaper, so make sure you check your baby often and change them pretty regularly. I never let my son go more than two hours in a cloth diaper if possible while he's awake. Otherwise he starts to get a red bum. 

Another reason your baby could be getting a rash is from detergent buildup. If this is the case then you need to strip your diapers, like I explained in problem #3. This will get rid of the buildup and your baby shouldn't get a rash anymore. 

If your baby is still getting a rash from the cloth diapers you are using, then you may want to look at the type of material you are using. Your baby may have a sensitivity to it and you might want to try cloth diapers with a different material to see if that helps. 

These are a few of the challenges I have faced when it comes to cloth diapers. As you can see, most are a pretty easy fix. To me the benefits totally outweigh the issues of cloth diapers and make it worth doing! I hope these tips help you fix any issues you may be having! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Firmoo Global Online Optical Store Eyeglasses Giveaway! {Two Winners!}

Firmoo is the largest online optical store in the world! They provide quality, affordable glasses and sunglasses all over the world! Their products are stylish, durable, and can be made to fit your exact prescription! Firmoo even has a First Pair Free program where any new customer that signs up will get their first pair of eyeglasses free! 

I have two pairs of Firmoo eyeglasses that I love! I am currently wearing one pair right now! Check out my review of the Firmoo eyeglasses HERE!

Two lucky winners will each win one pair of their choice of Eyeglasses or Sunglasses from the Firmoo Classic Series
Winner is responsible for shipping. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one entrant per household allowed. The winners will be chosen at random and emailed. The winners will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Disclaimer: The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their giveaways. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Workout Wednesday!

Another week has come and gone and now we are already halfway through this week! It's Workout Wednesday and it's time to share how your week has gone!

My workout week has been a good one! I just finished week 3 of month 2 of Insanity on Monday! Today begins my last week of Insanity! I'm super excited to be finished! It's a great workout program, but this second month a lot of the workouts are an hour long, which is not good for my busy schedule, so I'll be glad to be done with those long workouts! But I really have loved the program and loved the results even more! I totaled up my inches lost so far since I started Insanity...I've lost 10.5 inches! I am so happy with that and hope I lose an inch or two more this last week! 

Today I want to talk about struggles! What kind of struggles do you have when it comes to working out and eating healthy? For me it is definitely food. I love healthy foods, but I also love unhealthy foods. I was addicted to mountain dew for 5 years before I made my lifestyle change! I don't drink it anymore but I still struggle a lot with food and drinks! I love sugary things which is so terrible for me! I love chocolate! And I always get the munchies around 8 or 9 at night! I do eat healthy most of the time, but I will admit, I slip up regularly! Last night I ate 2 chocolate pop tarts at about 9:30pm! It's hard! The easiest way to overcome these struggles is to not buy the junk! Because if it's in my house I will eat it! So I definitely need to work on that. 

What are your struggles? Do you struggle with certain types of workouts? Do you struggle with food like me? Share below in the comments and also let me know how your workout week has gone! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Using Bamboo For Extra Absorbency: A Funky Fluff Bamboo Fusion 3-in-1 Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for a written review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their giveaway prizes. 

If your baby is a heavy wetter, finding the right cloth diapers can sometimes be a challenge. Sometimes it is just a matter of adding absorbency to a diaper you already have, but sometimes it requires a little more work, like finding another type of material that is more absorbent. Bamboo is known to be a more absorbent and natural material used in a lot of products including some cloth diapers. The Funky Fluff Fusion Bamboo 3-in-one cloth diaper system is made with a bamboo blend to hold up to even the heaviest of wetters! 

Bamboo has many benefits when it comes to cloth diapering. It is:

- a natural fiber and gentle on baby's skin.
- very absorbent and wicks the moisture away from baby's skin. 
- very soft and has even been compared to cashmere 
- breathable! It allows air to circulate throughout the diaper keeping baby cool! 

The Funky Fluffy Fusion Bamboo 3-in-1 cloth diaper system is made with a PUL outter layer, and the inner layer and soakers are a bamboo blend of 80% bamboo viscose and 20% polyester. It fits approximately 7-35 pounds. It can be used as a pocket diaper, all-in-one, or all-in-two. Stuff any insert or more than one insert into the pocket openings, one on each end for a pocket diaper. Snap the bamboo insert into the diaper on both ends for an all-in-one diaper. Or place the soaker on the outside of the pocket for an all-in-two diaper! 

I was sent the grey and blue bamboo 3-in-1 cloth diaper to review. I just love the color combo of this diaper! The blue snaps are so bright and look great next to the grey! It has three rise settings to fit infant to toddler and a double row of snaps in the waist which is great for getting a good fit around the waist and hips. We get a great fit with this diaper every single time!  It also has the option to crossover the snaps to get a good snug fit on little or skinny babies. 

When Isaac was a baby he was never a heavy wetter, so just regular microfiber inserts worked fine for him, even overnight. But now that he is a toddler, he has been soaking through a lot of his diapers. So I was very excited to try this diaper with a bamboo inner and inserts. I've heard bamboo is great for absorbency so I wanted to see if it worked for my new super soaker. This diaper is REALLY absorbent! When I dry it in the dryer, even with the inserts separated from it, it takes way longer than any of my other pocket covers to dry! Which can be a disadvantage but at the same time, it really shows how absorbent this bamboo material is! Isaac never has any leaks in this diaper with just one insert. I have to add extra inserts to all his other diapers now to keep him from leaking! 

Overall, I think the Funky Fluff Bamboo Fusion 3-in-1 cloth diaper is a great option for both heavy wetters and not-so heavy wetters! The bamboo is super absorbent and super soft, but it is also very breathable and great against baby's sensitive skin. So it's great for any baby! Plus with all the bright and funky color combos there is to choose from you're baby will look great in a Funky Fluff cloth diaper! 

Buy It!
Win It!
One lucky reader will win a Funky Fluff Bamboo Fusion 3-in-1 cloth diaper of their own! 
Must be 18+ to enter. Only one entrant allowed per household. Giveaway is open to US and Canada only. The winner will be chosen at random and emailed after entries have been verified. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Svan Signet Complete High Chair Giveaway!

Congrats to Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy!  
 Viva Veltoro has reached 10,000 Facebook followers and Thrifty Nifty Mommy 
has reached 25,000 Facebook followers,and to celebrate they're doing what they do best - hosting a great giveaway event! 
They're going to be featuring 10 days of giveaways so make sure to check them out.

First in the lineup of 10 days of giveaways is a Svan Signet Complete High Chair! 

The Signet Complete High Chair makes mealtime easy and enjoyable for baby and parent alike. Signet seats little ones as young as six months up to the table for enjoyable interaction with the rest of the family, turning mealtime into family time!

This award-winning, beautiful Scandinavian-designed bentwood high chair grows with your child from infant to young adult.  Starting as a traditional high chair, the Signet Complete High Chair can function safely with or without the tray to seat infants at the table. The safety guard can later be removed to allow preschoolers and toddlers to step up into the chair on their own. Once a child outgrows both high chair configurations, the Signet converts into a full-size chair for teens and adults.

With maximum adjustability and a five-point safety harness, the Signet Chair allows for supportive, safe and comfortable seating at any age. The chair’s seat height and depth fully adjust to provide optimum torso and leg support while its fully adjustable footrest allows for ergonomic seating. For added safety, the chair comes with a five-point harness, helping to keep active children safely seated even during those restless moments at meal time.

The Signet Complete High Chair comes with a removable tray that conveniently stores on the back of the chair and a dishwasher-safe, BPA and phthalate-free plastic tray cover. It boasts a small footprint and portability, in addition to a user-friendly design that allows for easy assembly and adjustment.
photos adapted from
Made of sustainable wood, the Signet is available in a wide variety of lead-free finishes. The epitome of true Scandinavian style, the sleek lines of this high chair complement any d├ęcor making it a perfect fit for any home.  Recommended retail value is $249.95

One lucky person is going to WIN a Svan Signet Complete High Chair!

Connect: You can connect with Svan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest.

Buy it: You can purchase the Svan Signet Complete High Chair on the Svan website.

Open to the US only.  Ends 9/9/13 at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below.  Good Luck!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway.  The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Update On Life!

A lot has happened in the past few weeks and I feel the need to update ya'll on what's going on in my life! 

My sweet Noah bear started preschool last week! Today is the last day of his first full week and he has been doing wonderful! He is really enjoying school which is such a relief! 

Isaac has been adjusting well to Noah being gone. At first he was a little lost without him, but now I kind of think he enjoys having all the toys to himself! We've been having a lot of doctor's appointments with Isaac lately. After his pediatrician had us see a specialist for what he thought was a hernia, we saw a urologist and he said it was just a hydrocele and nothing to worry about. But instead of staying the same or getting smaller, it actually started getting bigger. So his pediatrician urged us to get a second opinion. Long story short, we've seen another urologist, had an ultrasound done, and he does in fact have a hernia. This will need to be repaired through surgery and we meet with a surgeon next Friday. Not going to lie, I am one worried mama. But I'd much rather take care of it now when he won't remember it later. Hopefully we will get answers all about the surgery next week. Here's a picture of him too just because he's so cute! 

Other than that, things are going really well! I'm just busy keeping up with my crochet business, spending time with family, and I'm still doing the workout program Insanity! The weather has cooled down just a tad so I hope to do some running too! 

I hope you are doing well! What is something new or exciting going on in your life? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pretty Mommies Skin Care Products Giveaway!

Pretty Mommies is the #1 physician recommended maternity skin care line on the market.
Pretty Mommies Mom and Baby
Although it's aimed at those who are pregnant or nursing, it's a natural skin care line that anyone can use, including men! 
It's a simple three step system - Cleanser, Skin Brightener, and Sunscreen - it'll cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, brighten, soothe, provide high levels of antioxidants and anti-aging properties, as well as, physical broad spectrum sun protection. If you're curious about how these products work, be sure to check out the review on According to Jenny.
Pretty Mommies Products
There are lots of new things happening at Pretty Mommies. If you're a Zulily fan then you might have noticed them pop up there this past week! Not only are they now reaching their target audience online, you might also see Pretty Mommies in your OBGYN's or Midwifes office. And if you're in China - you can now get Pretty Mommies there, too!
Pretty Mommies Girl
Pretty Mommies feels so deeply about educating women on the importance of safe maternity skin care that they've created a campaign on to raise awareness of this important issue.I had no idea how important skin care was during pregnancy as I'm sure a lot of mom's to be don't realize!  You'll also soon find them offering up educational resources on and they support an open forum for Q&A for anyone who has questions about skin care during pregnancy, nursing - or just in general.
To celebrate all these new and exciting events (and their newly redesigned website) Pretty Mommies has partnered with the Blogging Mamas Network to answer your questions about safe skin care and giveaway LOTS of Pretty Mommies products!
Pretty Mommies Giveaway August2013
Giveaway is open to US/CAN, 18+, and ends on 8/25/13

**Ready to purchase Pretty Mommies for yourself?? Use code pretty20 at checkout for 20% off through 8/31/13!**

The Blogging Mamas Network and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Participating bloggers did not receive compensation for this post, although they may be eligible for a reward upon completion.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Toddler Cloth Diaper Stash!

Isaac will be 21 months old this Thursday! I cannot believe how fast he's growing up! Since he's now a walking, running toddler we have had to change up our cloth diaper stash just a bit. He now wets through a diaper a lot quicker than he used to and we've had some leak issues! So we've made some adjustments and I'm going to share with you what my toddler cloth diaper stash is like! 

My stash is almost all pocket diapers. BumGenius 4.0s are my absolute favorite pocket diaper right now. They fit Isaac great and hold up so well! So I have about 8 of those and then a number of other brands of pocket diapers. I use the BumGenius 4.0s for nap time and bed time mostly. For a while I was just double stuffing the BG 4.0 with the extra newborn insert it comes with, but then he started to leak through it. So now I use the full size microfiber insert and a flat to stuff it at night and we don't get leaks anymore! 

I also have about 20 flat cloth diapers and a few diaper covers that I use on occasion. I originally purchased the flats for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge back in May but I still use them for double stuffing my pockets and occasionally when I'm washing my other diapers.  

I also have a few AI2 cloth diapers that I like, mostly because they look so cute, but all the ones I have are really absorbent as well! I will, hopefully, soon be in the market for some cloth trainers because Isaac is starting to show some interest in learning to use the potty! 

Does your cloth diaper stash consist of a lot of one kind of diaper or a bunch of everything? Do you have any cloth trainer suggestions for me for when we beginning potty training? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Great Cloth Diapers for the Diaper Bag! A Charlie Banana One-Size Pocket Cloth Diaper Review!

Disclosure: I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for my written review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

When I first started cloth diapering I always just used disposables while we were out because I wasn't sure what diapers would work the best on the go. I was worried about leaks and mess and how often I would need to change my little guy when we were out. When I finally got brave enough to try cloth diapers when we were out, it took some experimentation but I think we've finally found the right cloth diapers for out and about! 

When deciding on a good cloth diaper to put in the diaper bag, I look for the following:

  • Absorbency- one that will hold up without leaking during a long car ride or for a few hours while out. 
  • Trim fitting- When out, trim is usually better not only because I put clothes on over baby, but it's also helpful when strapping baby into the carseat or stroller.
  • Easy to use- when it's time for diaper changes when out you definitely want something that is easy to use and quick to get on and off. 
  • Keeps the mess in- If you have a messy diaper while out and about you definitely want one that traps it all inside the diaper! You don't want a big mess when your transferring the messy diaper from baby to the wetbag! 
After trying a few different kinds of diapers while out and about, and dealing with a few leaks and messes I think I've come to the conclusion that I like to use pockets the best. One pocket diaper I really like to bring out and about with me is the Charlie Banana One-Size Pocket Diaper! 

The Charlie Banana One-Size pocket diaper will fit babies approximately 6-35 pounds. The elastic is adjustable underneath the inner layer so no changing the rise or buttons touching baby's skin. The inside is super soft and the insert is super absorbent! 

I really like the Charlie Banana One-Size pocket diaper for at home and on the go! It's the perfect diaper to stick in the diaper bag when you're out! It's super absorbent and has held up through a 3 hour nap for us, as well as while we are out. It's trim in the diaper bag and on Isaac's bum. It's super easy to use! Just put the insert in the pocket, adjust the size to fit your baby and put it on your baby! It also contains the messes very well and is easy to dispose of the mess without having to touch anything or worry about inserts falling out! 

I love everything about the Charlie Banana One-Size pocket diaper! It fits Isaac great! He's 24 pounds and I get the best fit on the medium setting! I've had the diaper for about a month now and the inner material is still super soft! It holds up great just playing around the house or when we are in and out of the car! We love to use the Charlie Banana One-Size pocket diaper everywhere we go! 

You can purchase the Charlie Banana One-Size pocket diaper in an awesome variety of colors and prints at
Also follow them on Facebook for all the latest updates! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Diet and Exercise While Breastfeeding: What's Safe and What's Not?

After giving birth, one thing that might be on your mind is losing the baby weight! You have your own body back but it's just a little heavier than before and you are so ready to be able to wear jeans that actually zip and button! But you might be wondering if it is ok to start a diet and exercise routine now that your nursing. Is it ok to diet while breastfeeding? What kind of exercise is safe for breastfeeding? Well you're in luck! I'm going to share with you some information about both dieting and exercise while breastfeeding and let you know what is safe and what is not!

Dieting while Breastfeeding

First, don't start any sort of dieting at all until your baby is at least two months old. Second, studies show that nursing mothers maintain an abundant supply taking in between 1800-2200 or more per day. If you've counted calories before that may seem like a lot but you have to remember your feeding another human being now. If you really want to decrease your calories, says you can SLOWLY start to decrease your calories to between 1500 and 1800 per day. 

My personal suggestion is to eat as much as you need to to keep up your energy and milk supply. The first few months of nursing I was hungry all the time! I can't imagine trying to diet then. Instead of counting calories I suggest maybe just changing some of your eating habits. Incorporate lots of healthy fruits and vegetables in your diet, and stay away from the cake and cookies as much as you can. These simple diet changes will prove to be very effective without having to count every little calorie. 

Also remember  to drink plenty of water! Drink to your thirst.  A lot of women find themselves more thirsty when they are nursing and it is definitely ok to drink water all day long to keep yourself hydrated and quench your thirst! 

Exercise while Breastfeeding

Exercise is a great thing! It keeps your heart and muscles healthy, it decreases stress, and it gives self-confidence! Exercise is definitely recommended for everyone, including nursing mothers! According to, moderate exercise should not affect your milk supply or the quality of your milk. 

My personal tips for exercising while breastfeeding are to do what you feel comfortable with and not to overdo it. Don't start an exercise routine right after giving birth until your doctor approves you to begin. Then start off slow, if you need to, and work your way up. I started with just pushing my boys in the stroller on walks and then worked my way up to doing the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. You may want to nurse your baby before you work out and wear a supportive sports bra so you are comfortable while exercising. Also, remember to stay hydrated throughout your exercise routine as well as before and after. 

Losing the baby weight is a big factor for mothers after having a baby. We all want to look and feel good. If you follow these tips for dieting and exercise while breastfeeding you'll be on your way to feeling great! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Free Blogger Event Opportunities from The Parenting Patch!

I am excited to be participating in two awesome events from The Parenting Patch and wanted to tell you about them! Both include one FREE link for bloggers, with announcement, so you can participate too! 

The first is coming up on September 1st and it is the Fall Fluff Giveaway event! The prize is going to be a $75 gift certificate to Nicki's Diapers! You can sign up for this event HERE
The second event starts on October 1st and is the Autumn AMP Giveaway Event! The prize is  a prize pack valued at over $83 of AMP diapers and accessories! You can sign up for this event HERE

I'm very excited to be participating in these events and I hope you'll consider joining in on the fun too! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Workout Wednesday!

Welcome to Workout Wednesday! Here you can post about how your workout week has been, whether it's been a great one or a hard one! You can share your goals with us and your struggles!

This week has been a good one for me! I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things with Insanity and even though month 2 is a lot harder than month 1, I am getting better and stronger each and every day! I also lost 2 more inches in my belly! 

Today I wanted to mention motivation. What motivates you to work out? Or why do you feel like you are not motivated enough to work out? For me my motivation is my kids, my husband and my future. I've never been extremely overweight or anything, but after I had my kids, I lost a lot of my self confidence. Now that I'm working out I have that confidence back and feel beautiful again, and love that I look great to my husband too! I also work out for my kids! I want to set a good example for them and show that them that hard work pays off. I also want to be around in the future to see them get married, have kids, and to just live a long and happy life! 

What motivates you to work out? If you're not working out, I urge you to make a list of reasons why you should work out ...I bet that'll get you motivated! Share with me your motivations below or link up and also let me know how your workout week has been! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Overcoming Breastfeeding Struggles

When I was pregnant with my first child I knew I was going to breast feed him. I went out and purchased breast feeding books and searched the Internet for any and all information that I could find. I remember day dreaming about having him and how he would instantly latch on and everything would be perfect. Little did I know...

Shortly after giving birth, I began to have problems with breast feeding. Thankfully, there were lactation consultants at the hospital who helped me. They helped me to figure out getting him to latch. But as soon as we got home, I remember that first night being awful. I couldn't get the hang of it and I was starting to stress out if he was getting enough milk. I ended up supplementing a little those first few days.  I decided to google and thankfully found a local lactation consultant, because I was so determined to breast feed. 

The above picture shows a generalization of how big an infants stomach is in comparison to how much milk a baby needs. 

I found a lovely office and I remember going there probably  5 times (not even kidding) within a two week period. Those ladies helped me so much. They worked with me on finding the right latch, position, what my husband could do to help me, handouts, and were just there for that encouragement I needed to continue. If it wasn't for finding those ladies I can say for a fact that I would have called it quits. I don't know how it is for others, but in my family  most people didn't/don't breast feed and have no idea what to do regarding it. It was a totally new experience for me. I strongly urge you if you are pregnant or currently nursing and you need breast feeding help to google your local lactation consultants or your local La Leche League

I really feel like the hardest part with breast feeding is the beginning. Once you get past the first few weeks, I promise you it gets so much easier. I went on to breast feed my oldest until he was 23 months old.  I am so proud that we made it that far after such a rocky-ready-to-throw-in-the-towel beginning.  The World Health Organization actually recommends breast feeding until 2 years old. Many people aren't aware of that or feel like once a child is one breast feeding somehow loses it's benefits which is not true at all. As long as mom and child are comfortable breast feeding then I personally don't think it matters. 

Breast feeding is such a beautiful bonding experience for mother and child.  There are a countless list of benefits for mother and child as well. I am very thankful for the opportunity to breast feed both of my babies and to help other mothers to have a successful breast feeding relationship. Just remember there are resources available to help you! Also, look into your local mom groups on as well for support if your family is like mine was and clueless about breastfeeding. 

If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding, please feel free to comment below! Remember the first few weeks is always the hardest, you can do this! 

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! 

This post is written by Malanda a mother of two boys, wife, and lover of all things crafty. In addition to being a contributor of The Not So Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom, you can also find me at Outnumbered  By Little Boys

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ten Tips for Moms-to-be Who Plan To Breastfeed!

I only breastfed my oldest son for about 4 months. Most of that time I pumped and fed it to him in a bottle. I contribute only making it that far on pure ignorance. I didn't educate myself on breastfeeding, how it worked, and what it would be like. So if you are reading this and you plan to breastfeed here are ten tips that I want to share with you that I wish someone had told me about breastfeeding!

  1. Do your research before baby is born. Before I had my first I didn't really do any sort of research on breastfeeding. I just assumed it would come naturally. Boy was I wrong! When I got pregnant again, I really wanted to succeed with breastfeeding this baby so I read a lot of information and even took a breastfeeding class. I learned so much and it was all very helpful after the baby was born! Even if this isn't your first baby, it's always good to refresh your memory on the ins and outs of breastfeeding. 
  2. Remember, it may take a few days for your milk to come in. Sometimes it takes up to 5 or 6 days! And the good thing is, your baby only needs the colostrum those first few days anyway so it will be ok! Put the baby to breast often to stimulate your hormones to make milk and then try not to worry. 
  3. Remember to eat and drink! When baby comes things get busy and hectic and tiring and I remember some evenings I would think "did I eat today?". It is very important to remember to eat and drink plenty after baby is born, especially if you are nursing, because it will nourish you and also help with your milk supply. 
  4. Babies have a big growth spurt between 2-3 weeks old! So if baby is fussy around that time, won't sleep, and wants to eat all the time, please don't automatically think you aren't making enough milk! Nurse your baby on demand as much as he/she wants to and just hang in there! The growth spurt won't last that long and your milk supply will adjust to how much your baby needs as he/she grows! These growth spurts happen every so often as baby gets older so just know that they are coming and everything will be fine as long as you continue to nurse when your baby is hungry! 
  5. Those first few weeks your nipples WILL hurt! I've heard a lot of people say your nipples won't hurt unless something is wrong, like the wrong latch technique or lip tie. But that's not necessarily true! This is what I tell people to remember. If it hurts for more than 30-45 seconds after baby latches, then yes, there is likely a problem. But if it only hurts for those first 30-45 seconds, there likely isn't anything wrong! Your nipples are just adjusting to having a baby sucking on them every few hours around the clock! They have to toughen up and adjust! Just give it time! The best thing I could do for my nipples those first few weeks was lots of nipple butter and lots of air! I would walk around topless in my bedroom after I showered just so my nipples could get some air! It helped so much! 
  6. Let other people help. They may not be able to help with feeding the baby, but it is completely ok to let your spouse or other family members help out with housework or other children or even with baby in other ways. Let daddy get some snuggles in between feedings while you go take a nap or shower. Let other family members cook dinner and do the laundry. You need that time to rest, recover, and create a good nursing relationship with your new baby.
  7.  Have some nursing bras on hand. They have sleep nursing bras now that are kinda like sports bras. They don't have all the underwire and fancy lace and those were my favorite during the first few months, because they were so much more comfortable than a regular nursing bra! I suggest getting a few nursing bras before you have the baby and then going back for a few more after baby is born and your milk has come in so you get a good, comfortable fit with your "new" breasts.  
  8. Have other supplies ready for breastfeeding. I remember the first full day home with my second baby we couldn't find my pump! It was nowhere to be found! So I had to send hubby out to buy me a new one! Supplies like the pump are great to have ahead of time because you just never know when you'll need it. Also, a nursing pillow is great to have and great to bring to the hospital. Don't forget other supplies like nursing pads, nipple butter, nursing tanks, and even a nursing cover if you want to use one.
  9. Rest and Sleep. I know everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps, and sometimes it is so hard to convince yourself to do, but you really should! Newborns nurse around the clock for the first month or more! If you are the only one who is feeding baby then that means you will be up around the clock too! So even if it's the middle of the day and you the dishes need to be done or laundry needs to be folded, let someone else do it and go take a nap with your baby. Believe me, you'll be happy you did! 
  10. Find support! I can't stress this one enough! Find other mothers who are breastfeeding and who know what it is like. Whether it be a local group in your community or an online group, it is great to have support. Your spouse can be supportive, but let's face it, he's never breastfed. It's great to have a group of mothers you can ask questions to or vent to about the ups and downs of breastfeeding. It's great to talk to other mothers who have been through or are going through the same experience you are going through and to encourage and lift you up. 

As you plan and prepare for your new little one, just try to remember things won't always be easy and tears may be shed, but it will always be worth it. The love you will feel for that child will make everything completely worth it. I hope these tips help you to establish a wonderful nursing relationship with your new bundle of joy!