The Non-Housewives
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tips for Pumping while Traveling


Breastfeeding while traveling can be tricky, but it's totally do-able. Millions of women do it, and you can too.  I went back to work when my son was 5 months old and breast fed/pumped until he was about a year old. So when I was on the road or plane traveling, I had to prepare for pumping and bringing my milk home for Max safely. Here are my tips:

1) If flying, always carry your breast pump on the plane. I'd recommend getting a bag that can double as a work/laptop bag + breast pump and cooler bag. 

I splurged on a Lo and Sons 'OG' bag so I could carry my laptop and breast pump on the plane with me, along with my carry on suitcase. Especially since most of my trips are only one night trips,  it's important to me to be able to have only 2 bags to carry on the plane, so I don't have to check a bag.

2) If you have a long flight, you'll have to be prepared to pump in the airplane bathroom. It's not luxurious, but it can be done! 

Few tips for pumping on a plane:
 - Let a flight attendant know what you are doing, so if someone complains that someone's been in the bathroom for a long time, they know why. I've always had a positive experience once I give the flight attendant a heads up, and usually they offered me extra water and snacks :)
 - Buy a mini cooler to keep in your carry on bag. This Munchkin cooler fits perfectly in the Lo and Sons 'OG' bag, alongside my pump, laptop and a notebook. It's very slim but can fit several full milk bags in it. You can also pack a separate one to pack in your luggage for transporting milk home. It comes with an ice pack you can freeze and bring along for your trips.
 - Buy milk bags so you can store the milk efficiently in the mini cooler. You can also fill a bag or two with ice and use them to keep milk cold on the go. I liked the Medela milk bags and Lasinoh bags. I never had trouble with either of them leaking.

3) Ask your hotel if there will be a refrigerator in your room. If there won't be, request one immediately. 
Sometimes hotels only have a few refrigerators on hand. If you explain why you need one, they should prioritize your request.

4) Pack items to make cleaning on the go easy.
 - Medela breast pump wipes - I love these for cleaning breast pump parts, bathroom counter tops, etc.
 - Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags - These handy bags disinfect your breast pump parts in 3 minutes. All you need is a microwave (which most hotels should have in rooms, cafe or lounge).
 - Travel size dish soap to do a deep clean once you get to the hotel.

5) Bring extra power cords, batteries and pump parts.

Pumping while traveling is hard work, but again, you can totally do it and bring all of your milk home safely. You can read up on TSA's policy on traveling with breast milk here. If you have tips to share, please post them in comments!

*This post contains affiliate links
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Fashion is in Full Bloom!

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter last weekend! Ours was filled with family and friends, beautiful midwest weather and Easter egg hunts galore. Max was super happy to ride his new scooter first thing in the AM, and I was equally excited to get him dressed to wear his new Easter outfit.

I scored big at Old Navy and purchased Max's entire outfit for 40% off (except for shoes, those are Toms, and hat is from Gap). I forgot how slim Old Navy clothes run, so I'm really glad I got a 4T in everything.

I also stocked up on these maternity summer dresses for work and play:

These dresses can be dressed up or down with wedges and flats and go well with a jean jacket and scarf for cooler spring days. I'm currently wearing the cream and navy striped dress with grey Converse shoes for travel! Not only does Old Navy have great prices and on-going sales, but you can also use Ebates to get extra cash back for shopping.

What's your staple for your Spring wardrobe?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Unique Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is around the corner and I'm having a blast planning out my son's Easter basket. Last year I prided myself on not including any candy in his basket, and I think this is going to be my new tradition. He will get so much candy from our family, he doesn't need any more from the Easter bunny!

Here are some fun candy-alternatives for your Easter basket this year....

Creative play & crafts
I think it's fun to try and incorporate Bible stories into Easter gifts. I purchased this Bible sticker & activity book for both my son and my niece and they are loving them.

Few other ideas include:

Easter themed Play-Doh sets

Paint set

Outdoor toys
Side walk chalk, Easter Peeps bubbles and soccer balls and more...I can't wait for it to warm up in the midwest!

My son spotted a little boy on a scooter in NYC and has been talking about it ever since. So, the Easter bunny is bringing a Red Flyer scooter this year (which is on sale!). It won't fit in the basket, but I think he will be over the moon about it.

Few other ideas include:

Healthy snacks
I like to include a few healthier 'candy' options in my son's basket as well. Annie's Organic snacks are fun because they are bunny shaped snacks, including fruit snacks, cheese crackers and more. Other ideas include:

Fun snack containers filled with snacks, like Cheerios or pretzels

Do you have fun and different ideas for Easter basket fillings, besides candy? If so, please share them in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hip Lumberjack Look

I struggle to find cute boys clothes. Girls clothes are so much easier to shop for. Bright colors and prints on dresses - easy! Boys, not so much. However, I've been having a ton of luck recently at Target and Marshall's.

Target's new Cat & Jack line is so darn cute. I love their tables full of mix and match items. Max is pretty hard on his clothing and all of my items from this winter's line have held up really well.

We stumbled across the TOMS shoe and coffee shop in Soho while in NYC last week, and I had to check it out.  Max picked these TOMS shoes out himself. I wanted the panda slip ons, he wanted the hipster corduroy. The kid loves shoes!

Get this Lumberjack Hipster look...
pd&c Red & Black flannel from Marshall's
Cat & Jack black pants from Target
Gray corduroy shoes from TOMS

If you have boys, where do you like to shop for their clothes?
Friday, March 24, 2017

DIY All Natural Hair Detangler Spray

My son, Max, has really long hair that I can't bring myself to cutting short. He has so many years ahead of him to have a little boy cut. I just can't cut his golden locks!

The downside to this long hair is that it tangles easily, so brushing after showers or bath is sometimes a struggle. I found a few DIY hair detangler spray recipes on Pinterest and decided to put together my own.

1/8 cup of water
2 Vitamin E drops (I purchased mine off of Amazon)
1 tsp. vegetable glycerin (also purchased off Amazon)
8 drops of lavender essential oil (I wanted to make sure this was included since I use it on Max's hair right before bed time)

2 or 4 oz glass spray bottle

Combine all ingredients into the bottle and shake before every use. I use about 4-6 sprays on Max's hair and then brush.

The result:
This works really well to help detangle Max's hair. Added bonus: it smells amazing. Nothing like a little lavender pre-bed to help get the kiddo in rest mode. I started with a smaller amount of ingredients just in case I didn't like how it turned out. If you double this recipe you will over a months worth of spray.

If you have your own hair detangler recipe, I'd love for you to share in the comments below.
*Post contains affiliate links
Monday, March 13, 2017

Overnight Trip to Cleveland

My parents and I were looking for a quick over night trip that would be driving distance from Detroit, and fun for my 2 year old son. We decided to do a night in Cleveland and on the way there, stop by Port Clinton to do the drive through African Safari Wildlife Park.

Cleveland in the Spring, Summer and Fall, is a very walkable city. They have great restaurants and fun spots for kids, including the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Here's a review of our trip from Detroit to Cleveland in a day...

If you haven't been to the African Safari drive through, you're missing out. It's about an hour and a half drive from Detroit, and totally do-able in a day (or an afternoon!). You pay person in the car, and for a cup full of food, and drive through the zoo. The animals are so use to this routine, they come right up to your window for food, and it's about the funniest thing you will ever experience.

I would post a video but most of them have me gasping for breath since I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. The drive through safari contained llamas, different types of deer, elk, buffalo, camels, zebras and more. Usually there is a giraffe but he was put indoor for the season.

There's a walk through zoo as well, with small animals, and a cute playground so your little one can stretch out. The gift shop has a stuffed animal in every size and species.

After the safari we headed to Cleveland, which was only a 1.5 hours away. We went directly to our hotel to check in before dinner. We stayed at the Westin Cleveland Hotel and they took great care of us there. They were able to accommodate our 2 adjoining rooms request, which makes a fun space for Max to run and explore between the two rooms.

The hotel was walking distance to East 4th Street, which is a fun part of Cleveland, lined with cobblestone roads and bars and restaurants. We ended up eating dinner at the Butcher & the Brewer and it was delicious. They had a huge beer selection, and they keep the wine on tap so it doesn't go bad - makes total sense! It was mostly shareable small plates. I recommend the bacon wrapped dates and fried chicken. It's a little bit of a louder spot, which didn't bother us since we had a 2 year old with us.

"This way momma...sharks!"
In the AM we had the most amazing breakfast at the Urban Farmer, located in the Westin (highly recommend the French Toast!), then walked it off on the way to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The aquarium was a little over a mile from our hotel. It was 60 degrees and sunny that morning, so it was great strolling weather. If it would have been really cold or super hot, it would have seemed like a much longer walk.

The aquarium was small, but really nice. It has a really cool ambiance. It's on a lower level of the building and it feels like you are walking underground as you walk through. The highlights for us was the stingray tank where we got to pet them (Max was too afraid, so Papa and I showed him there was nothing to be scared of) and the shark tank. Similar to Toronto, they have a tank with a walkway through it, so as you walk through the sharks are swimming overhead and around you. Great picture opportunities!

This post is a little delayed, but figured I get it out there to help plan Spring weekend trips! It's going to get warm soon in the Midwest, right? (As I look out my window and see snow falling...).

Have you been to Cleveland lately? If so, any spots you'd recommend?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Parent + Toddler Yoga at the Yoga Center for Healthy Living

My toddler has been loving yoga lately, and he was over the moon excited when he got his own yoga mat for Valentine's Day. Him and my husband do yoga in the morning together and it's about the cutest thing you've ever seen.

For awhile now I've been wanting to try the Parent + Toddler class at the Yoga Center for Healthy Living in Brighton. I took their prenatal yoga class when I was pregnant with Max and loved every minute of it. It was a great workout and stretch, and just generally great to chat with other expecting mothers. I always said that I'd try the kids classes once Max was here, but didn't realized how hard it would be since the classes are during the day, and I work.

So this past Monday I had the day off and decided to take Max to the Toddler class. I told him that morning we were going to yoga and he kept asking "where's the yoga class mommy?' He was so excited! We bought him the pictured yoga mag for Valentine's Day and he was super excited to bring it along (you can buy it on Amazon here).

The class is from 11:40 to 12:40pm, which is perfect for us (on days off) since nap time is around 1:30 these days. You have to pre-book online, but from talking to others in the class, it usually doesn't fill up. The class drop in rate is $15 for both a parent and a toddler, and you pay before the class starts.

Description on their site: 
*Toddler and Parent Yoga  | As children grow and develop, the need to be active in a fun and safe environment is important. There is no better time than now to introduce toddlers to yoga and enjoy it together. Yoga supports the development of balance and coordination and sets children on a path of healthy living. This fun class is also often the basis for lasting friendships.

The instructor started the class off by setting expectations that this is a toddler class, and basically anything goes. This immediately relaxed me knowing that a little toddler fun (or tantrum) frequently happens!

The class started off with all the toddlers picking out a little 'buddy,' which was a small stuffed animal. The instructor then had the kids doing fun little moves with the buddies, including balancing them on their heads and shoulders. Max was still warming up during this part of class and didn't participate, but I was surprised by how attentive he still was and just sat there taking it all in.

The rest of the class was more active. We played a yoga version of 'Ring Around the Rosie' and set up an obstacle course with yoga blocks and foam rollers. At the end of class we used essential oils for foot and back rubs and had a bit of 'quiet' time (as quiet as toddlers can be).

I will definitely go to this class again with Max. I hope next time he's not as hesitant to participate in the first part of class since he'll know what to expect. Have you done yoga with your child before? If so, where at? And how did your little one do?