My Go-To Lactation Smoothie

If you recall the Green Monster of something like 2011, this is it's cousin.

I've been drinking this smoothie for 6 weeks and I swear to you it's a great way to get in all my galactagogues without having to think about it too much.

I also use this as my chance to up my water intake. I shoot for 100 oz a day but sometimes it's a bit struggle... so every cube counts. Ideally I like to add in about a cup of water worth of ice cubes so that puts the smoothie at 16 oz of liquid towards my total for the day.



Now as far as protein powders go, I've been using two. One fits more in line with Paleo and the other just has more in it I like. But I'll break down both.

Julian Bakery Paleo Thin Double Chocolate - This one has a super strong chocolate flavor but it's also really sweet from the stevia. I've been using this one for about 3 years. Outside of breastfeeding I like to do this powder with cashew milk, almond butter, 1/2 banana, and tons of ice. It's pricey though and runs about $49 online. I've tried the Paleo Beef Protein as well as the Primal Whey one and I definitely prefer the Beef. It doesn't taste like meat at all by the way. It's just high protein and low carb. I'd rather control my carbs with what goes into the smoothie.

Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant Based Protein Chocolate - Really this is going to be my go-to for every now! I tried it a few times at Whole Foods and fell in love. It contains BCAAs for post workout recovery, is high in antioxidants, and has a 2 billion CFU probiotic blend. Plus it's only $30 for a 30 day supply. I only use one scoop by the way, the serving size is either one or two. That puts this at 85 calories and 4 carbs per scoop. The one scoop per shake allows for 38 scoops per container.

I won't bother breaking down how spinach, oatmeal, flax, and almond butter are great for your supply. If you've been looking things up you already know that. Now this doesn't contain fenugreek or brewer's yeast. I personally would prefer to take fenugreek in pill form when needed and only use brewer's yeast to cook. It's extremely bitter.

That's as far as my postpartum nursing brain can think at the moment about this shake, but if you have questions drop them in the comments and I'll answer them! If a milk supply post sound like something y'all would like to read let me know and I'll get one together. I've spent many a night searching articles and then tweaking what I do to get the supply I need.

Meal Planning Monday

I'm starting to think sugar cane harvest this year is going to kill us. Everyone is snotty and Harrison is coughing. He's currently home from the sitter today and soaking in a hot bath with the humidifier running in there. Next is kids Xyzal. Too bad it doesn't come in shot form, I HATE giving kids medicine. At least I hate giving my child clone medicine. 

If you have any tried and true survival techniques for South Louisiana at this time of year send them my way, we are dying. 


Monday - Shrimp & Sausage Skillet

Tuesday - leftovers... mama has the blog team dinner!

Wednesday - Mississippi Roast with Rice & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - I didn't plan lol! It'll sort itself out.

Saturday - planned to eat out

Sunday - Working on a Risotto recipe for the blog.

Breakfast - THE lactation smoothie that has my supply way way up! I need to post this recipe.

Lunch - Grilled Chicken Tenders with Avocado, Cilantro Lime Rice, Peach Pineapple Salsa (Walmart brand), and Steamed Snow Peas

Elliot - Month One


Elliot's Current Stats:
❊ Age – 1 month old
❊ Weight & Height – 10 lbs 4 ounces, 21 inches long. He hasn't grown in length since birth but the kiddo has width down. 
Up from 8 lbs 4 oz at birth, and then 7 lbs 4 oz at the doctor. That first week was a mess with weight. I honestly think the scale was off because the next day he was 8 lbs 1 oz when we had him circumcised. Either way mama is happy about a 2 lb gain from birth! The doctor commented about him being short since he hasn't lengthened, I had a good laugh with her about how short my people are. I bet Jeremy adds maybe an inch to our short genes. I say this because both of my grandmothers were super short and my grandfather is 6 feet... no one else is 6 feet! 

❊ Eat – Nursing his his hobby. Right now he wants to eat about every 3 hours, and sometimes he wants to cluster feed in the evenings. 
He came out of the gate nursing better than Harrison. With H we had to fuss with getting him to latch and then to latch well. Elliot actually did the booby crawl 30 minutes after being born and nursed his little heart out. I was actually shocked he did it since he brother did skin to skin for an hour and never attempted to do the crawl. The nurses even commented on how quick Elliot started nursing, usually it's an hour to 90 minutes before a baby will do the crawl and want to eat. Proof that every baby is different. 

❊ Sleep – Great for a 4 week old. I tend to get one or two good crib naps out of him and he sleeps well at night, wanting to nurse 2 or 3 times. I think the main difference is that this is my second round and I know to just set the baby down awake from day 1 so they learn to go to sleep on their own. Unless he's hungry or dirty he really doesn't fuss and will go to sleep on his own. Hopefully when the 3-4 month regression comes he doesn't stop this. 

❊ Recent Milestones – Elliot has started smiling at us. Mama more, but mama is currently home. 
❊ Special Moments – His first squinty eyed open mouth smile was pretty sweet. I told him he was wearing bears and growled at him... he apparently like it lol. 

❊ Mama’s Experience – I'm much more relaxed this time. With one week left of maternity leave, I have to say that having minimal visitors has been nice. With Harrison people were constantly at the house visiting or bringing food and it was too much for me. I've really enjoyed just nursing and holding the baby in the recliner most of the day without having to pass him off. I seriously feel like I missed Harrison's first week of life because other people were holding him. It was nice to reclaim that and next baby... doing the same.

❊ Comparison – I didn't think the differences were that big until I saw these pics side by side. For one Harry is much darker and had much more hair. There also isn't a single photo of him from the one month photo folder where he isn't screaming. Elliot is proving to actually be much more calm it seems, I'm not making it up. E is also much lighter in his skin tone. 


Top 7 Reasons Why Destination Weddings are so Popular


Today's guest post is all about the popularity of destination weddings. Let me know in the comments if you had one or are planning one. What did you love about it? 



When it comes to tying the knot, there are several alternatives to choose from to create your perfect day. You can opt for a civil or church ceremony in your local town, or you say your “I do”’s in an exclusive wedding venue. Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is the destination wedding. This is when the bride, groom, and wedding guests jet off to some distant location.
If you’re not sure whether a destination wedding is for you, here are seven good reasons to include it in your wedding plans.

1. Price

Weddings can be a significant expense for couples. The average US wedding, for example, costs upward of $30,000. A typical destination wedding, on the other hand, is far less expensive. The reason for this is that guests usually have to pay their own way to the location and for the cost of the accommodation. You would pay for your resort stay and chosen wedding package. The average number of guests at a traditional wedding is 140. For a destination wedding, the average number is less than half, which, of course, means there’s going to be a considerable saving. There may also be discounts and deals you can take advantage of if you want to extend your stay or make arrangements for your honeymoon at the same venue.
  

2. Simplicity

Most destination weddings are relatively simple to plan. For example, wedding arrangements to Mexico region are straightforward to arrange because many of the locations have packages created by professional wedding planners. Everything required to make a wedding memorable is included in the price. You only need to make a few decisions, and the rest is taken care of. What’s more, if you want to make your own arrangements, it’s likely there will be a wedding planner who can help.

3. Relaxing

Anyone who has ever helped to organize a wedding will testify to how stressful it can be. It’s not just the arrangements that are stressful. Trying to take into account the wants and needs of family and friends only make it more confusing. A destination wedding removes all the stress because the wedding takes place far away and only a limited number of guests will be able to attend.

4. Honeymoon Starts Immediately

As soon as you’ve said “I do,” you’re free to start enjoying your honeymoon together. If you get married a little closer to home, you tend to spend your first night together not far from the wedding reception. With a destination wedding, you’re already at the location and able to start making honeymoon memories immediately.  

5. Complete Wedding Package

The trend for destination weddings has led to many resorts and tourist organizations offering package deals to make weddings more straightforward and stress-free. There is often an on-site wedding planner or consultant who can help to coordinate things such as the wedding cake, licenses, sightseeing tours, and other activities for guests.

6. Neutral Territory

People move around so much nowadays that it’s rare to find a couple that is still living in the town where they were born and raised. Family and friends may also be spread across the country or around the world. To avoid any conflicts about the location of your wedding, a destination wedding allows you to choose a completely neutral location. It provides you with an opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate your big day.

7. Fully Customizable

For many years, it was the prepackaged wedding bundles that were the most popular. However, today's brides and grooms strive to do something different for their weddings. A destination wedding can be customized according to your desires. There are still packages available, but more and more couples are choosing to tailor their wedding celebrations. It means you can have fireworks, traditional dancers, exotic wedding meals, brass bands, or anything else your heart desires. You might also find the resort where you’re planning to hold the ceremony offers a test-drive pre-wedding visit. You’ll get to look around the resort, see what’s available, discuss options with the wedding planner and photographer, and pick out the reception menu.  

You may have been wondering whether a destination wedding was right for you. Now you know the benefits you can enjoy; you’ll be able to weigh up your options. Don’t limit yourself to getting married in your local town. Take advantage of what the world has to offer. You get the opportunity to have the world as your backdrop for your ceremony, and you’ll be able to make each other’s dream wedding come true.   

Meal Planning Monday

Another Monday. Another weekly meal plan. 


Monday - Cube Steak with Sautéed Cabbage

Tuesday - Sheet Pan Dinner - Sausage, Peppers, Onions, & Potatoes (Sam's Club has some great natural sausages right now)

Wednesday - Rotisserie Chicken with leftover Thanksgiving Sides my mom froze for us. 

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Grilled Chicken, Suddenly Pasta Salad (I've got a box in the cabinet), and Roasted Cauliflower

Saturday - Eat Out

Sunday - Chili with Jiffy Corn Muffins

6 Top Tips For The Ultimate Bachelorette Party


Today's guest post is super helpful for anyone helping to plan a bachelorette party these days. Things have definitely changed in the past decade since I got married. All the tips here definitely fall in line with what I've seen girlfriends planning recently, and let me add... get a life size cutout of the groom. It's hysterical every time I've seen it. 



If your best friend is about to tie the knot, then you will certainly want to plan the ultimate bachelorette party for her. Bringing all of her closest friends together to celebrate this important moment in her life is a lovely gesture, but it is also an enormous responsibility, which means you will want to take the time to plan the perfect party.

Understandably, this is a daunting task, but below are six top tips which should help you to organize a bash that will stand out from other bachelorette parties and make for an unforgettable night that everyone will enjoy and remember fondly.

1.            Activities & Games

Having a range of activities and games planned is vital because this will create fun and it can break the ice (these are particularly good if not everyone knows each other). There are many bachelorette party activities and games to consider, but a few good examples include cocktail making, spa treatments, pole dancing, and escape rooms.

2.            Uniform

Having some kind of uniform in the way of personalized t-shirts or themed outfits is great fun and a good way to unite the party. Plus, it can also make it easy to find everyone if you are out in public! The bride-to-be should have a distinctive outfit so that everyone knows whose bachelorette party it is; a sash is an effective way to do this.

3.            Relaxing

Although you will want to have plenty of fun and excitement, you could also schedule some time for relaxing as it can all be a bit much otherwise. Vaping is a great way to do this, and it can be a fun activity to do together. You can get kits and various flavors from places like Ultimate Juice.

4.            Social Media

Social media has become an important part of weddings in recent times, and this includes the bachelorette party. Be sure to take photos and encourage others to take pictures throughout the party and use a personalized hashtag so that you can quickly view all of the photos in one place as a nice reminder (just be sure to check permission for photographs with the other guests first!).

5.            Party Bags

Making party bags for everyone is a nice gesture which will allow the memory of the party to live on. You can fill the bags with all kinds of items, but be sure to make some of these unique and personalized to make them more memorable and meaningful.

6.            Handle Practical Aspects

Once you know what you want to do on the bachelorette party, you need to handle the practical aspects so that it is seamless. It will involve collecting money, bookings, arranging transportation and having a schedule. This is not a fun or glamorous side, but it is of utmost importance.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to organize a brilliant bachelorette bash which the bride-to-be loves. It is an enormous responsibility which can make it a daunting task, but with careful planning, you should be able to organize the ultimate party which is fun, memorable and seamless.