TOTW: Tribe Singapore Sling (& Giveaway)

updated with winner, below!
A few weeks ago I transferred all of my daily diaper items from my (beloved and humongous) MJ bag to a smaller, more transportable TRIBE Singapore Sling c/o Tribe who sent me a sample several months ago. My large bag is still my go-to for non-school days but on the weekdays, I was having a hard time transporting that bad boy while juggling many babies. So? A downsize was in order. A super chic (water resistant!) downsize with plenty of room for essentials c/o many zippered compartments. BAM:
I'm also using it as a purse when I'm solo because it totally looks like one:
P.S. Hal took these pictures of me on a ChildStyle shoot day. (I do NOT wear anything with a heel when I'm home with my kids because I would fall on my face and it would be terrible.)

Anyway. I love this bag. It's the perfect non-diaperbag looking diaperbag. And thanks to the ladies at Tribe, you can snag yourself the same one ($500 value).
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To win? Leave a comment below. I'll pick one winner via next Friday, September 7th. (Don't forget to leave your contact info!) Good luck and happy Labor Day Weekend!



p.s. jeans are ernest sewn, top is from anthro and shoes are dolce vita.

UPDATED: Apologies for the lag in updating this contest's winner! Because I'm now using disqus and comments aren't numbered (nor do they show up chronologically) I had to use a different kind of randomizer (which disqus has assisted me with these past few days. Thanks, disqus!) 

I've included screen grabs (below) of the NEW randomizer to show how I'll be picking contest winners from now on. That being said, and without further ado...

Congratulations to Amber who is expecting a baby girl in October! HOORAY and congratulations, Amber! 


And thank you all FOR participating! Much love and thanks for your patience on getting this new comments system up, running and figured out! xo, Bec. 

Thank You.

Your comments on yesterday's post were AMAZING. Helpful, empathetic, supportive and full of love. Thank you, thank you, thank you. In the words of Stephanie, "You know that look of pure unadulterated love you exchange with your baby when you are nourishing her? That's the most important thing, not how you are doing it." 

Infinity amens, Stephanie.

Thank you for being amazing mothers and incredible sisters. Contrary to what we're told, our differences don't have to divide us.
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Formula to-go: A Survival Guide (Sponsored)

The following post is brought to you by the Brita Bottle For Kids: Help teach your kids to learn to love water. Learn more
With babies @ 6 months and my caravan of craziness. 
Something happened recently, a sort of rebellion voiced by all of the mothers who DIDN'T breastfeed, who were (and are) sick and tired of being (or having been) ostracized for feeding and/or supplementing with formula. And on behalf of my formerly ashamed formula-feeding self, I'm grateful. (If you haven't read this post by the brilliant and beautiful Casey of Moosh in Indy, you really must.)

I used to mix my bottles behind park benches, in bathroom stalls, my car... all to avoid the stares and whispers of the other moms (and dads) in the park. Being a formula mom, especially in an urban environment is the social equivalent of being... the worst. At least, that was the case seven years ago and then three years ago when I supplemented with Fable.

I don't know if things have changed or if it's me who's done the changing but I haven't once mixed a bottle in public and felt the wrath of anyone this time around. Perhaps it's because I have twins so people are like, "we'll cut her ye olde slack" or maybe I was so insecure in the past that all that "shame" I was feeling was really just me. Or maybe a little bit of both? Regardless, I wanted to write something today for my sisters in formula-supplementation. Because let's be honest, formula feeding support groups aren't exactly a thing.

Which is too bad because "breast is best" although true, is also a very (nice?) way of saying "formula is worst" AKA, "you lose, formula feeding moms! You lose." And that's not exactly easy to navigate. Especially when you're a first time mama. I felt incredibly guilty feeding Archer what was "un-best". And even though I was prepared to fail at nursing (more on that, here and here) it was still difficult. 

So. Because there isn't a FaFormula Foundation and sometimes it's nice to share tips about feeding on the go (for those of us who are not attached to our child(ren)'s food source) here are five of mine:

 Five Tips for Formula Feeding on the go

1. Leave the guilt at home - There were times when I was so ashamed of feeding Archer formula in public that I would run-push his stroller home (as he screamed! starving!) so that nobody would be able to see me mix him a bottle of "f word".  My shame was detrimental to my child's well being. Inexcusable. Ridiculous. No. (By the time Fable was born, I was much more comfortable mixing bottles in public, thank god, and with the twins, I am the most confident bottle-mixing mother in the 323.)

2. Purchase reusable bottles for to-go storage - I feed my girls Enfamil (All of my kids, actually, although I mixed Enfamil with Baby's Only Organic for Fable) which comes in these super handy to-go tubes except they're super overpriced and only fill four ounces. (Four ounces of water + one packet = not enough for a baby over three months old.) So instead of wasting my money, starving my children and creating unnecesseary garbage, I use (ironically) the breast milk storage bottles I got in the NICU when I was pumping those first six weeks. Having bottles reserved for the sole purpose of transporting powdered formula was really helpful for me with the twins. I'd pour six ounces worth of powder into four bottles, six ounces of water into the other four and bring my eight bottles with me everywhere in my huge honking bag. Another helpful item: Purchase a little plastic funnel to transfer formula from dry bottle to water bottle. Otherwise it can (and will) spill and blow everywhere when you're trying to pour it in. 

3. Bring extra everything - Now that the babies are eating mostly solids, I'm lugging around a lot less stuff but in those early months I was like a gypsy caravan of insanity. I had one terrible experience running out of milk in public with two screaming infants and NEVER AGAIN. After my little "fail" I started bringing extra milk with me everywhere. No matter where or what or how. (Two extra bottles of water and two extra bottles of formula per baby. Rain or shine.)

4. Filtered H20 is your BFF: When you're feeding formula the water is just as important as the stuff you're mixing with it so invest in a filtration sustem (or reverse osmosis) that you trust. This happens to be a post sponsored by Brita but I've also been a customer for ten years and have only ever used Brita filtered water to mix bottles. (We change the filters regularly and clean out our pitcher once a week.)

5.  Treat yourself to a waterproof diaper bag: Crying over spilled milk is most likely in your future if you store bottles in a purse that isn't waterproof. (I have also made this mistake.) Bottle feeding can be a messy endeavor and even with secure caps, leaks happen. Best be prepared for some spill action in that bag of yours.
Bo,  Revi and the pillow prop, 9 months

Did I miss anything, fellow bottle'rs? Tips and tricks you've picked up along the way?


Thanks in advance for being respectful of your fellow mamas. This is a delicate subject for everyone, I realize, but I feel very strongly that formula feeding moms are just as deserving of support and solidarity as those who breastfeed. Love to all. 


Treat Well: StraWWWberry pie

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks mom!
For years, my favorite summer dessert to serve at home or bring to a potluck bar-b-q has been fresh strawberry pie. This is an easy, showy dessert brimming with summer love. There is minimal cooking involved, so that means less time grueling over a hot stove. And even though it is glazed with a sugar syrup, the ripe, red strawberries are the leading ladies, so it feels, at least, less decadent and healthier than most desserts. When the kids were young, I cooked this pie once a week at the height of strawberry season. I always made my own piecrust in those days (recipes make enough for two crusts so you can use one and freeze the other) but now that so many great ready-made (and organic) crusts are available, I often save time and energy by buying those. You can even purchase ready-made gluten free crusts, although I haven’t found one I like. Here’s a great gluten-free crust recipe for those of you who are GF.

Buy the nicest strawberries you can find since the fruit is the star of this pie. Don’t be tempted to use the glaze that comes in a jar…not only does it taste starchy, it is filled with food coloring, and it’s simple to make—well worth the extra ten minutes. I always make the pie in the morning giving it plenty of time to set before serving.

Joy of Cooking Strawberry Pie 

1 9 inch pie crust 
1 quart strawberries (small to medium sized berries work best) 
¾ cup sugar 
2 ½ tablespoons corn starch 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1 cup water 

Line 9-inch pie pan with crust, fluting edges. Prick all over with a fork and cook according to directions for pre-bake, single crust pie. Cool completely.
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Clean and hull strawberries. Reserve and blend one cup of the strawberries (either in a sieve or in a blender).
Set aside. Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt and carefully bring to a boil on medium heat.
Turn to low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring until thickened. Add blended strawberries to give color.
Fill piecrust with the rest of the whole strawberries, arranging them evenly and neatly.
Pour glaze over strawberries, coating them thoroughly by turning but not displacing them.
Chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours.
 Serve garnished with whipped cream.



...Don't stress, that's dumb. I'm here and it's nice to be alive. - today's mantra, thanks to this:

132. It's Nice to be Alive by: Ballpark Music

(Yes. Yes it is.)


Liner Notes 8/27

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This past week Bo started walking and Revi cut four new teeth to add to her collection of two. (Bo is still our toothless wonder and has no desire to have teeth at the current time because she doesn't need them and they're overrated.)
Things that are not overrated, however, tutus 24/7: IMG_9092
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New kitchens c/o old friends and their generous hand-me-downs:
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Revi, in the window:
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And under my skin:
...but my favorite moment of the week came when Bo, after spending the last six months watching Revi wave bye-bye and say hi-hi, finally figured out how to do it herself. And it happened to be at the exact moment I was filming a little video, which I seldom do. I take a hundred thousand million photos (as you know) but video, at least with Bo and Rev has been something I've stayed mostly away from. 
Mainly because I've found that video is far too upsetting to watch. I feel sick when I watch videos of Archer as a baby. I feel sad and sick and not in a sweet, nostalgic way like I do with photos. It's almost macabre. Like I'm eavesdropping on something that has died. 

Which sounds incredibly dramatic but there you go. There you go! 

Anyway. Here I am posting video when I hate video but OH MY GOD, she discovered her wave. Ms. Bo Sha-lo discovered her wave. And I had to share because the look on her face... the shock and awe of "holy shit, this is my HAND and it is moving back and forth in a wave like fashion and I am doing it. I am DOING THIS THING!" moved me pretty much to tears and sobs and wails. Discovery is an intense thing, you guys. Especially when it's happening to someone you love. 

ED: Remind me to delete this post in a year because it will break me in 472 pieces to watch this again. It's already breaking me to watch it right now. Because last week Bo didn't wave and this week she does and on Friday she walked across two small rooms to land in my lap and Revi has a thousand new teeth and can say "mama" and "dada" and Bo kisses her dolls now and and and. 
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TOTW: Domestic Vacations by Julie Blackmon

Blackmon's photographs are inspired by her experience of growing up in a large family, her current role as both mother and photographer, and the timelessness of family dynamics. As the oldest of nine children and mother to three, Blackmon uses her own family members and household to "move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives." - via Wikipedia 
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Thanks to Traci Fleming for the introduction to Julie Blackmon and her incredible work. See more of it, here