Go Local for your BabyMoon

Have you heard of a babymoon? Maybe more importantly, has your partner? When I looked it up on Wikipedia is said that:

A babymoon is a relaxing vacation taken by couples who are expecting a child. Babymoons are often taken in luxurious locations, as the babymoon is seen as the last vacation that the couple will have alone until their child leaves home when they reach legal age.

Yikes, this definition totally mixes dreams and romance with, well .... panic!!  Don't worry, it really doesn't have to be 'the last vacation' for 18 years. I've met dozens and dozens of parents who travel with infants, toddlers and older children.

While I was pregnant with Hazel, we didn't even consider a babymoon. I'm not even sure we needed it. But really, if we are being honest, a babymoon isn't about NEED. So, should we have planned one? Enjoyed ourselves? Even pampered ourselves? Hell YES! Once baby comes, you need all the energy you can bank; a few good memories to get you through and make you laugh and; a strong relationship. Each of these things can be accomplished with a luxurious, local, special babymoon.

What do I have in mind? Well, if I were to dream of a great babymooon, this is kind of what it would look like:

A Great Location. You can't get a better view than this!

Dreamy views, whether you are on the porch or inside snuggled up in blankets!

Dreamy views, whether you are on the porch or inside snuggled up in blankets!

Someone to pack for me!

Ready for anything with this selection!

Ready for anything with this selection!

A reason to dress up... say, a nice dinner out?

And, of coarse... lots of fresh air and relaxation.

Just chillin :)

Just chillin :)

So, have you guessed yet? If I had a time machine, I would rewind the clocks and book some time away at...

Oceanstone Seaside Resort!

Even if I only had 24hrs... I know it would feel like a long weekend!

 

Each pregnancy really is its own.

My first 2 pregnancies were a dream. I LOVED everything. Sprinkled with a bit of fatigue and rare moments of nausea (that all ended once I hit 12 weeks) it was enjoyable. During my second trimester I felt like I could run a marathon, though don’t get me wrong I definitely didn’t! However, I was able to remain active. I spent my days walking and attending prenatal yoga classes. I had never felt better.

Three pregnancies... each one unique!

Three pregnancies... each one unique!

Fast forward to the present moment and things couldn’t be more different. I am 21 weeks pregnant with our 3rd, and while I am very excited to meet this baby—I do not love being pregnant. Yes I said it. I am a birth doula and a prenatal yoga instructor and I feel like I can finally relate to the women who walk into my classes. Trying to do everything we can to embrace the moment. You know... "Enjoy the joy of pregnancy" that everyone talks about. Secretly I'm wondering why it is so difficult this time around.

Why are the baby kicks and the beautiful round belly the fleeting moments of joy this time around? Why is the nausea constant? Why is the roller coaster of emotions and extreme fatigue not going away? The only wisdom that I come to, is that each pregnancy is its own. Not very profound, I know.

But, while I plug along for the next 20 weeks, all do know that I will find support from the strength of the women around me. I will seek out opportunities to be around them more. I will wonder who this little baby is going to be and hopefully, kind of.... enjoy the ride.

-- Jennifer

The Clothing Debacle... or Not

When I was pregnant it was so difficult to find clothing ... I diligently visited the "other" store and I found it daunting.

I remember siting in the changing room struggling to try to put on a pair of maternity pants and feeling hopeless and frankly, mad.

Feeling great for my pregnancy photos!

Feeling great for my pregnancy photos!

My better half was trying to help me the best he could but he had no idea what would fit, what I needed, or what to say. My body was changing and I felt so off. Don't get me wrong I was over the moon excited, but I was also still nervous and unsure what the future had to bring for me and this growing belly of mine.

Honestly, I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on clothing because I felt fat and ugly. I know we aren't supposed to feel that way but it was a complete surprise to me and thank goodness it did change. Finding Hazelnut & Rose and getting a few nice pieces of clothing really helped my self-esteem and made me feel more comfortable in my own skin.

One of my favourite brands is boobDesign... or better know as boob. So far I have a few dresses and a bra that I love. Everything washes really well and it grew with my body (and then back again)! They were all great transition pieces - from pregnant body to nursing body. Maybe my favourite part was that it was easy to nurse in. You don't have to showing the world everything you've got while trying to figure out latching, positioning, and finally burping. Enjoy 😊

-- Allison

Earn Hazelnut & Rose CASH!

Aside from all the "this is what you SHOULD do" and the "just do it this way"... there is a lot to be gained from listening to what has worked for other mothers. Let's face it, the journey into motherhood is not always easy.

Hazelnut & Rose wants to hear YOUR real stories and real struggles. We want to share your tips and tricks for feeling better; on how you got through that "rough patch" and definitely how you found the support that you needed. The goal here is to share a little piece of your journey.

The CUSTOMER BLOG PROGRAM wants to reward you for opening up and sharing. We are requesting a BLOG, but don't be intimidated by the word... we are really asking for a short story (AKA a long-winded comment)! I see these all the time in personal feeds, so if you feel brave enough to share, send it along with a photo and be REWARDED!
 

The Hunt for Perfect Leggings

by Amanda Johnston

Leggings are a wardrobe staple, whether you are pregnant, nursing or, well… neither. Who doesn’t love the comfort, ease and style leggings provide?!  But here’s the thing - finding leggings that hug you in all the right places, survives the washing machine without pilling (AND passes the bend test) sometimes feels impossible.

So here is my list of MUST HAVES for a perfect pair of leggings:

  1. Slim fitting / Skinny leg
  2. Thickness (i.e. NOT see through)
  3. High(er) wasted
  4. Long (I am tall, length has to be there!)
  5. Quality & Durability (colour that doesn't fade / material that doesn't pill after washing)

Given my preamble about what I look for in the perfect legging, imagine my surprise when I tried on Ripe’s Ponte Legging and it offered me everything I was looking for. These leggings hugged my hips perfectly AND it passed the bend over test. They are way thicker than any legging I’ve tried on for years and this feels great. So far, so good. Next up - price check. So how much do these ‘perfect’ leggings cost?  At Hazelnut & Rose they are $105.00.  Not crazy considering I don’t want to take them off and that I can totally see myself wearing them casually (i.e. Saturdays), to work, and for date night. The thing I loved most was comfort and the thickness of Ponte leggings. I can also tell that the quality of these leggings is what is going to make them last, washing machine included.

As I was contemplating these leggings in the change room, here are the three ways I thought I’d most likely wear them:

Casually –

The obvious, but ‘never fail’ look. I love pairing my leggings with a workout top, or one of my casual shirts. Remember longer tops are key! Easy and comfortable look to run errands, go to park, and lay around the house. These leggings get a double check for this look! { FYI: I LOVE Queen Mum’s t-shirts. Comfort level is out of this world! }

 

Night Out / Date Night –

The leggings transition easily to a classy clean line pant for those date nights and girls night outs. I love the slimness. It makes me look curvy in all the right places! They aren’t too tight or loose, the perfect fit. Leggings also go with most shoe choices, whether it’s a flat, boot or a heel. So you can easily add a pair of boots to complete the date night look.

 

 

IMG_7041.JPG

Work –

The slim, tight fit allows for the perfect pairing with blouses, cardigans and your classic tunic tops. This is your time to wear bright, fun patterns and colours! The best thing about this look is that you can go to work looking clean, professional and be super comfortable.


All in all, these leggings are a great investment for any wardrobe… pregnant or not ;) Happy Shopping.


Next up….

Why the BOOB Once On Never Off (OONO) Yoga Pant is the definition of comfort. The perfect ‘go-to’ legging for shopping, movie watching and running around the house.

 

The Importance of Nursing Wear

Pregnancy is a time where our bodies are changing... quickly. It is exciting and difficult all at the same time. No other period in our lives (that we remember) do we grow out of our clothes so rapidly - often making it difficult for our minds to keep up with our bodies. But our culture has, for the most part helped us through this transition and we know that maternity clothes are there for us.

But this isn't about maternity clothes. This post is inspired by a customer who visited the store and was seeking something, anything to make nursing her baby a little easier. We had a number of fun, funny and great conversations and she left the store saying this:

"I completely underestimated the importance of proper nursing clothes".

Feeling comfortable at last!

Feeling comfortable at last!

During her first visit she didn't buy the store out, but she did decide on a comfortable, supportive nursing bra, two tank tops and an Undercover Mama tank that she could use to layer. Later she came back in search of a dress. YES, a dress! that she could wear to a few upcoming weddings and nurse in.

Nursing clothes are still just making themselves known. From my perspective, there is nothing better than to literally see the confidence and ease that it gives back to mothers who are trying to juggle so much. Comfort to breastfeed your baby runs on a large continuum.... it isn't about being told what you need to do, but rather finding out what works best for you. It may be investing in carefully designed clothing that allows you to cover your back and middle, it may be knowing a few tricks for how to cover up while nursing, or you may just fall into it easily with no discomfort or limitations.

Nursing can be easy, trial-by-error and sometimes just down right hard. There are lots of understanding supportive individuals right here in our community to help you through this. Don't feel alone - you are not. And if you are feeling like Amanda, just know that there are options and solutions out there if you are willing to seek them out.

Happy Nursing!

 

 

Planet Conscious Maternity Wear at Hazelnut & Rose

By Lisa Spinney-Hutton

When it comes to “dressing for the bump”, I had no idea that I would find the entire experience so stressful. Which I should have, since I don’t generally have an easy time choosing and purchasing clothes.

My clothes shopping hangups:

  • I really like well made, high quality materials (re: expensive)
  • I really hate buying cheap clothes that don’t fit super well.
  • I have a hard time buying clothes made from non sustainable materials and that are made in countries where they were likely made in sweat shops or very poor working conditions.
  • I’m really really picky about colours and styles (ie I hate shirts with buttons. Weird, I know).
  • I really hate single function, or single situation function clothing.
  • I am not a fan of online clothes shopping.

This means that even though there is a sale, or a sweater that is “ok” and cheap, I likely won’t buy it. I usually end up spending a bit more money for something that will last a long time and that I feel good about my purchase. For example, right now I’m wearing a Karma top that I must have bought four years ago at Bhavana. It was expensive, but it’s made with sustainable materials in North America and has lasted beautifully.

So you can imagine that shopping for clothes that I may only wear for 6-9 months in a market that is mostly filled with crappily made, unsustainable clothing that is still ridiculously expensive, would be stressful.

Hazelnut & Rose

Then I discovered Hazelnut & Rose. It’s a local (Dartmouth) maternity wear boutique that carries gorgeous maternity and nursing wear that often has an environmental aspect or responsibly made ethics bent to the companies on display.

Compared to other local (big chain) maternity wear boutiques, Hazelnut & Rose offers clothing that is supremely above in quality, sustainability and multifunctionality (that is now a word!) far surpassing in what you get for the 10-15% extra you’re actually paying.

For example: I currently have two pairs of maternity jeans. One I got from a big chain boutique (the nicer one at that) and that I paid 80$ for and the other I got from Hazelnut & Rose and paid 100$. Big chain jeans are MUCH less comfortable, made from the crappiest denim-like material that stains my hands and legs every single time I wear them, has the worse baggy bum (since they constantly are sliding down, even they’re stretch and tight fit AND I have to say I have a pretty decent, non flat bum!), and the belly cover is made from the crappiest nylon material that itches. Plus they’re made in China.

The Hazelnut & Rose jeans (discontinued Boob Design jeans) are made with a pretty, comfortable denim material, fit beautifully and are dressy enough that they easily dress up or down depending on what I’m wear. They have little belt hoops to help protect and prolong the life of the jeans for pulling up (as opposed to pulling at the material). The company itself uses sustainable materials and Boob has some pretty excellent policies around European made or ethical factory work conditions. Finally, the belly panel is made with a higher percentage of natural fibres which means it’s super comfy on my belly. I love them and they were worth the extra 20$ and some.

What I also love about the products Genny, owner of Hazelnut & Rose, chooses for her store, is that they often have several functions beyond maternity wear and can often transition into nursing wear and look great with or without a bump. For example, Boob Design tops (which I own three shirts AND a dress) looked great when I had a teeny tiny bump, and also now that I’ve grown. They have a panel that allows for easy boob access for nursing as well which I will definitely appreciate in the year post-delivery. Plus - they’re made from sustainable high quality materials and the fit are super flattering.

(Coincidentally, I wore this Boob top exactly one month apart for my “Bumpie” pics. You can see the flap a bit more in the first photo, but honestly the shirt looked great with a little and bigger bump! Four weeks later and it looks even better! Also- that giant box in the background is our eco-friendly crib mattress! Now all set up in the Bean’s room!)

One of my favourite purchases, though, has been an amazingly cute and versatile rain coat. Living in Halifax, a port sea-side city, means LOTS of rain and drizzly weather. I have gone two years without a raincoat since I’m just so fussy about what I wanted. It was an awful two years.

Modern Eternity Rain Jacket from Hazelnut & Rose

Modern Eternity Rain Jacket from Hazelnut & Rose

All ready for a quick trip out for an IceCapp - weirdly the one thing that helps with my nausea. The girl at Tim’s totally complimented me on the coat too!
Hazelnut & Rose recently starting carrying a raincoat made by a Montreal company, Modern Eternity. What I love about this coat is:

  1. The fit. I love that it looks amazing even without an insert, so that in the years to come I’ll be able to wear it like a regular raincoat, no prob.
  2. The versatility for baby wearing. The insert for when my belly gets even bigger can also flip to accommodate baby wearing! It has a little head cover option meant to keep baby dry and covered while I have her in a wrap or weave!
  3. The price: the cost for this raincoat is essentially the same as any other, brand name raincoat.
  4. Of course, it being spring in Halifax, I’ve had the opportunity to wear my new raincoat several times. It’s roomy and warm enough for those colder spring days and works beautifully. Every single time I wear this raincoat I’ve gotten compliments - and nothing to do with my pregnancy!

On top of all this, every time I go in Genny has been super helpful, down to earth, empathetic and supportive (another blog post to come about a recent bra shopping experience there!).

So. What I’ve learned so far (at week 24!) of a very stressful and high risk pregnancy is that spending a bit more money for a few key items that can go with my existing wardrobe and will last beyond pregnancy is worth it. Sometimes sustainability isn’t just about fabric, but also about versatility and how long the garment will last (i.e. “reduce” in the 3Rs).

If you’re in the HRM area, checking out Hazelnut & Rose is a must, and if not I suggest finding a local, sustainable maternity-nursing wear boutique nearest you (or if you’re an online diva, check out some of the brands that are out there!).

Feeling fabulous when your body is changing so drastically, and often you feel terrible, is important! The Planet will thank you too. :)

- Lisa Spinney-Hutton (aka EcoYogini)

Prepared Childbirth - The Family Way

Prepared Childbirth

Ryan is so much better at articulating what we love about the book: Prepared Childbirth - The Family Way, by Debby Amis and Jeanne Green, so I'll let him have the floor...

"Quick...check the book!" Genny said in an excited and breathless voice. I grabbed it, flipped to page 34, scanned, looked at my watch, scanned again, and then it dawned on me: we better get to the IWK. "Let's move!" I replied as I slammed the book shut. A few hours later, our second daughter Rosalie was born.

The book that taught me to time contractions - among a million other valuable things - is Prepared Childbirth: The Family Way by Debby Amis and Jeanne Green. To be honest, when I first flipped through it in our birth class, I was a bit overwhelmed. It seemed to be almost too detailed, too descriptive, too honest. There were graphs, charts, and plenty of vivid diagrams. As our first pregnancy progressed, I realized I needed a resource to help me get my head wrapped around the crazy, beautiful event that is birth.

Now I can safely say that Prepared Childbirth changed the game for me.

It is more narrative than textbook. In an accessible and unbiased way, it walks you through the early stages of pregnancy, through birth and into postpartum. No stone is left unturned. It is broken into 6 distinct sections: pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum and family, birth stories, and workbook. Within each section you'll find bite sized chunks of knowledge laid out in a chronological fashion. The 'What's Going On During Pregnancy?' page got me started and I went from there. I navigated through 'Some Helpful Terms', 'Anatomy of Pregnancy', 'Nutrition', 'Comfort Positions for Pregnancy and Labour', and 'Precautions.' After that I waded into the mysterious world of labour and read 'Labour Support - Then and Now', 'How Painful Will Labour Be?', 'Signs of Labour', details on all the stages, and - my personal favourite - 'What To Do If the Labouring Woman Panics.' The varied birth stories at the end gave me the human voices I needed to visualize how it actually goes down.

I found it heavy and enlightening at the same time. Though I couldn't believe what was ahead of us, I started to understand my role better. I could talk about it in a more knowledgeable way. I felt involved, important even. Genny, of course, got the most out of it. But I still maintain that this book is a must-read for dads too.

Genny and I decided to bring this book into Hazelnut & Rose because it was transformative for us. It's the only book we have on the shelf. There are plenty of other options out there, but we believe this is the best one for feeling prepared and empowered through the whole birth process. Of course, the book is only a piece of the puzzle. Nothing beats instruction and wisdom from a real live birth educator. But simply giving Prepared Childbirth a chance can open up so many opportunities to seek face-to-face guidance.

Our birth stories are mainly Genny's. I can tell them from my perspective, but I prefer to let her pass them along. Prepared Childbirth brought me in and showed me what kind of role I could play. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Here's to knowledge!

Ryan Shaw

The Book is available In-Store only for now. Please contact me at hazelnutandrose@gmail.com if you'd like a copy sent to you.