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Taking Comfort in Bravado Designs

My third postpartum experience was very different than I expected.  When Will was born he didn't cry.  I knew as soon as I saw him that something was wrong.  I frantically asked over and over "Why isn't he crying? What's wrong?" but everyone around me stayed calm and didn't really answer my question. After what seemed like an eternity, he made some sounds.  More grunts, than cries, and then the neonatologist explained that Will had swallowed fluid on his way out and would need to go to the NICU.  Just hearing NICU is scary and we didn't know what to expect.  When we were able to visit him, he had a breathing tube, IV and all kinds of monitors attached to his small body.  At that moment it clicked, I was not going to be holding or breast feeding my new baby for quite some time.

As I had mentioned a few weeks ago when we were preparing for the little guy's arrival, I had packed my new Bravado Designs nursing bras and tanks in my hospital bag.  Although nursing Will wasn't in the near future, a hospital grade pump and countless visits from lactation consultants and social workers were.  I was so happy to have the Bravado bras because it kept me comfortable and made pumping and visiting with hospital staff a little more discrete.

In the past I've had the original Bravado Designs nursing bras and they were great - comfortable, easy to use and easy to wash.  The only downside was the cotton was a little thin and it sometimes made hiding nursing pads difficult in form fitting tops.  The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra was perfect for me because it has light, removable pads that easily conceal nursing pads and just smooth everything out.  The fabric is soft and the closure in the back is comfortable as well.  It also comes in a variety of colors - more than just nude, black and white.

favorite nursing bras

The Essential Nursing Tank is long enough for my tall torso and very comfortable as well.  It's forgiving with it's stretch and is a great staple to wear under any top.  I always like a nursing tank so my lovely postpartum stomach stays nice and covered!

favorite nursing bras

After three days in the NICU I was finally able to nurse Will.  By then my milk was in thanks to the hospital pump and we are going to do our best to try to make breast feeding work even though we were not off to an ideal start.

This hospital experience was much different than my first two - my baby never made it to the recovery room, we have no mama - just born pictures and the girls met their brother while he was in the NICU hooked up to machines.  What was the same? Hospital food, visits from family and wearing Bravado Designs nursing bras.

I'm not sure how breast feeding will work out this time around but Will and I are home from the hospital, recovering nicely and doing great.  We are happily in love with our little guy and that's all we could ask for.


Thank you to Bravado Designs for providing products for review.  All opinions are honest and my own.



Finding the Perfect Art for Your Child's Space

When planning the nursery for our baby boy, I had the hardest time finding artwork that went with our theme and color scheme.  I searched the kids' stores, art websites, Etsy, eBay - everywhere I could think of and nothing would work.  We searched for vintage concert posters, album covers but everything was full of rainbows and didn't really have the look we wanted. Then I discovered Chicagoland artist Amy Belonio and the custom canvas paintings for the School of Rock.  Her work is amazing and can be completely customized.  The perfect solution!

band posters on canvas

Amy has created tons of custom nursery art for clients, she has amazing talent!

custom nursery art

custom art for your child's space

custom art for your child's space

custom nursery paintings


After providing Amy with our bedding, paint color and a few other nursery pieces we had already selected she got to work.

custom paintings


custom rock art

A couple of weeks later the finished product of four amazing 12'' x 12" canvases arrived.  I cannot wait to hang them in our little guy's new nursery!

rock star nursery

rock n roll nursery

the who custom paintings

beatles nursery art

Amy Belonio can ship her pieces anywhere so be sure to contact her ( if you are searching for the perfect piece of art for your child's room or anywhere in your home!


Please note, no samples or compensation were provided for this post.



Ready for Baby: What's in your hospital bag?

What to pack in your hospital bag is always a big discussion towards the end of pregnancy.  The first time I was pregnant I packed the entire condo in my hospital bag.  I brought it all - nursing pillows, the works.  For baby #2 things were simplified but without a smart phone, I lugged the laptop, digital camera and all that went with it.  I left out the nursing pads and ruined my adorable pj's because I did remember the cracked nipple ointment and left grease stains in very unfortunate places. Now I've got it down.  So when people ask what's in my hospital bag, here is my answer.

what to pack in your hospital bag

Nursing bras are a must for the hospital if you plan on breastfeeding.  My all time favorite nursing bras are from Bravado Designs.  The Original Nursing Bras have been a staple for me in the past but I'm also excited to add in the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra and the Essential Nursing Tank.

Nursing pads and nipple cream.  Get a head start on this.  If you wait until  you get home it's too late.  Breastfeeding is really hard and then gets really easy.  Be prepared.

Smartphone and chargers for you and your husband.  Have your labor playlist loaded and ready to go then take pics and video of the new baby and instantly share the good news.  But don't forget the chargers!

Comfortable slippers are so important, especially when roaming the halls in the middle of the night to try to get labor progressing like a zombie.  I may have some past experience with this.

Comfortable loungewear for you and baby.  I love this Olian set that has 3 piece pajamas for mom and that a matching newborn gown and hat for baby.  My mom gave me the set as a gift at my sprinkle a few weeks ago.  Hospital gowns are great for delivery but once you're in the recovery room you'll want to look and feel good for pictures and visitors.  This set is functional and comfortable.

Bring your toiletries, including makeup, hair dryer, straightener, etc.  Taking a shower, fixing my hair and putting on a little makeup is about the only thing that made me feel human after giving birth.

Lastly, coming home outfits for baby and mom.  My sister always gets the coming home outfits and for our soon to be born little guy, she found the cutest ensemble from Purebaby.  For me, I'm packing maternity jeans and a cute top but also yoga pants in case I'm swollen/bloated from delivery.  After my first delivery I could barely put back on my maternity jeans when I left the hospital.  It was awful.  Also, feet can swell like crazy from the fluid so be sure to bring loose and comfy shoes!

So I think that's it.  Other than my iPhone and charger, my bag is packed and ready to go.  I'll be 39 weeks on Wednesday and can't wait to meet this little guy!

What's in your hospital bag?