The bounce back conundrum. 

So if you've had a kid chances are you've found pages like 4th Trimester Body Project or Birth Without Fear, etc. these amazing groups celebrate moms in all of their forms, shapes, and sizes. I love it. Every woman, especially those who have made, housed, and birthed a baby, should never hate their body. It's beyond miraculous what the female body can do, the power we are capable of... It blows my mind. Staring at my 7 month old and 2.5 year old it's like "HOLY HOT DAMN!! I CREATED THEM!!!" Like shit!!!! So yes, I'm amazed and in love with what my body has done... Butttt I still desire to get my body to a place where I'm wholly confident, healthy, and strong. Don't hate me, but I have kids and still want to look good in a bathing suit. *gasp* So like anything in this day and age you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. On one side you get the, "stop shaming moms who don't bounce back after baby" and then there's the "stop shaming moms who desire to spend time on themselves and exercise" Why is it always like this?! All it takes is 10 seconds on a comment thread of any mommy related story for the claws to come out. We are always offended. Everything is offensive. Dear sweet baby Jesus!! I'm offended, you're offended, I'm offended... Geez!! Why?! Did agree-to-disagree just fly out the window?  Since when did your opinion mean so much more than your neighbor's?! And why in the hell do we have to tell everyone?! Hell, I'm a blogger, I love giving my 2 cents about all things and I have plenty of thoughts about child raising ideals and practices... Sure, I might quietly judge or disagree with another mom for a certain behavior, but guess what?! I keep my freakin mouth closed because that mom is just doing her best! The poor mom who lost her child to an alligator attack hopefully never looked at the comment thread on a story about their situation because the terrible awful things that were said would leave even the toughest skin bruised. She was doing her best. Don't get me started on the Gorilla kid...

I've gotten off topic...

IMG_7084When I stare in the mirror, I'm gonna be honest, I'm like Meh. I don't hate my body, but I am genuinely excited about getting back into my old clothes and feeling happy with my nekkid body. I hesitate to say "get my body back" I don't want that body, I want my -amazing, birthed 2 babies naturally with no drugs, fed two babies from my boobs- body, I just want strength and stamina to chase my kiddos endlessly. I want to be able to pick up my kids until they're teenagers. Slight exaggeration? Possibly.

It doesn't have to be one or the other. We can love our bodies and all they've done and desire to spend time on ourselves excercising and getting in shape. If you're anything like me, the time spent exercising is just as much a mental cleansing as it is a physical challenge. It gets my brain right. Even if it's just a walk or a 10 minute arm series. You'd be amazed what that can do for your soul.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOn top of exercise and good old fashioned clean eating, after F bomb I decided to wear my Belly Bandit compression gear for REALS this go around. I had it for after Roc, but was not consistent. Let me tell you consistency is key!!! I wore my Original Belly Bandit, all-day everyday for the first month. After that I tried to wear it for at least 4 hours for the following few months until it [hooray] became too big! I switched to the Mother Tucker corset after that and again wore that for a few hours a day . On top of these tummy products, I decided to try the Hip Bandit because with Rocco it was a solid year before my hips were back down to size. Guys!!!! At 5 months my hip measurement was a half an inch away from pre-baby... NUMBER ONE!!! So yea, if you're wondering if this stuff works. I'd have to say a resounding yessss ma'am. I also rock their Mother Tucker leggings, like, all the time. Just look at my past two fashion posts. I feel so good when I wear them and at the end of the day it doesn't matter what a comment thread says or Instagram or People magazine says, feelin good is all that matters!!

Get pregnancy shapewear at BellyBandit.com

The Art of the Baggy Tee

DSC_0761-(ZF-6193-92140-1-024) DSC_0765-(ZF-6193-92140-1-023) DSC_0764-(ZF-6193-92140-1-022)DSC_0759 - Version 2-(ZF-6193-92140-1-019) DSC_0759-(ZF-6193-92140-1-020)Yes, my protege is epic!!DSC_0754 - Version 2-(ZF-6193-92140-1-021)Photos by Kelsey Erin | [jacket] Lululemon [Tee] Banana Republic [denim] Paige Premium [booties] Cole Haan

So I know when I see baggy tee you think sloppy and unkempt, but no no, there is a fine art to wearing a t-shirt and not looking like a slob. It's an art that I have mastered and now that I am super uncomfortable with my mid-section I have learned to use this look to my advantage. Like always, I rock my favorite Felicity slimming nursing tank because I will take all the "slimming" action I can get and bonus, because these tees are so loose they can easily lift up for you to nurse! MAGIC!!! Okay, the secret to wearing baggy t-shirts is not rocket science... Are you ready!? The secret is always pairing it with a slim bottom. Skinny jeans, leggings, a fitted pair of boot cut like these, or slim yoga pants. Boom. That's it. Microphone dropped. I also lean towards shirts that are on the longer side, nothing too boxy. When you are feeling frumpy "short" and "stubby" aren't words that we want to evoke with our wardrobe. We want to take ever opportunity to elongate ourselves, especially when we aren't feeling so hot about our tummies. Think long and loose, it should hit right bellow the widest part of your hips. Also, this length can help cover up another post-baby phenomenon, 'dem hips yo!! I've always had a big booty, but LAWD have mercyyyy. If you are wearing leggings it is of the utmost importance that you cover 98% of your ass with your tee. We can see the underside of the cheeks, but anymore than that and you risk giving away the whole shebang and let's keep something to the imagination. Oh, and for the love of God don't wear nude, taupe, or any flesh tone leggings... ya look like ya ain't wearin' pants. Okay, so stayed tuned for more dressing your post baby body, next week talk about the dreaded muffin top and getting back into your skinny jeans... or not...

Wanna shop some tees, here are a few of my current favorites!!

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Hat Hair

DSC_0749-(ZF-6193-92140-1-017) DSC_0750-(ZF-6193-92140-1-018) DSC_0743-(ZF-6193-92140-1-013) DSC_0742-(ZF-6193-92140-1-012) DSC_0748-(ZF-6193-92140-1-016) DSC_0744-(ZF-6193-92140-1-014)Photos via Kelsey Erin | [dress] GAP on sale! [booties] Sam Edelman [hat] Forever21

I love this dress because it's super loose and the button top makes for easy access to the girls, gotta love easy access. I wear my favorite Felicity nursing tank underneath!!! I think shirt-dresses are the perfect post-baby one stop shop, they are comfortable and loose, but not unflattering. And bonus: You instantly look like you tried. This would also be great paired with opaque black tights with simple black booties. Booties are chic and fabulous while also being super easy to wear. So throw on a pair with just about any outfit and you'll look instantly pulled together. Then there's the hat. I am lucky if I can fix my hair one time in the span of a week, so I play by blowout rules. I wash/fix my hair, wear it down for 2-3 days, then rock a top knot for 2-3 days, then by the last day it's a hat or bust. This beaut was 10 bucks from Forever21. It's MASSIVE, but as I've said before... a really bad hair day calls for a really giant hat!!

Like this look!? Here are some more shirt-dresses that I think would work well for nursing and camouflaging post-baby bump!

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Dressing Your Post Baby Body

mommy and boysphoto via Kelsey Erin | [jacket] ancient Zara [sweater] H&M only 20 bucks! [jeans] Paige Premium [booties] Cole Haan on MAJOR sale! [on Rocco] Gap

Congratulations. You've made, housed, and birthed a child. You are amazing. Take a second to mentally pat yourself on the pack, or hell, actually pat yourself on the back… Better yet, have someone give you a pat on the back followed by a serious back massage because your back aches all. the. time. amIright!?!?! Let's be honest. Having a kid totally wrecks your body. Like come on… Apart from all the crazy stuff that happens whilst exiting a person from your lady palace, you are left with this completely foreign body. I mean for me, my hips were/ still are extra wide, my tummy was/still is just pudgy and loose, and the nursing boobs… oh the massive boobs…  It's hard to not compare yourself to your pre-baby bod or friends and celebrities who seem to shrink back down to a tiny miniature version of themselves, walking out of the hospital in their skinniest skinny jeans. Betches!! Remember, you are a magical goddess who CREATED a life inside your body, try to cut yourself some slack. Plus, I guarantee those skinny-minnies have post baby insecurities just like the rest of us. So while I figure out this new body of mine I'm going to report back my findings to you! Today we start with absolute must have for dressing your pbb!!!

[Basics Felicity Slimming Nursing Cami]  Slimming nursing tanks have become my best friend, my favorite is from good ol' Target. It's 25 bucks and makes my mid-section happy. We all know that I am anti-nursing bra [still not a fan] and thus far, I have yet to purchase one but I looooove these slimming tanks.  They are perfect for layering under baggy shirts, sweaters, and dresses. I wear them under errything and they make the tatas super accessible and make me feel much less muffin-toppy. The easy access is clutch because let's be awesome your boobs are really the star of the show if you choose to nurse. [Side note: Breastfeeding Musts] I had some trouble nursing in the first 3 weeks and even had a scare with mastitis. I ended up pumping a lot so I had to run out to get milk storage bags. Yeah, didn't know that was a thing.  And because the ladies hurt so badly I used these awesome boob pads to help with clogged ducts and engorgement. UGH, what a gross word… And for the nips, The Honest Company nipple balm was a lifesaver early on! I would lather that stuff up and because it's food safe there's no need to wipe it off before feeding the munchkin.

We have much fun to discuss, so stay tuned for more of my tricks to dressing that post baby body!!! Here are a few of the tips you can look forward to in the upcoming months. [loose dresses that don't look like a sack] [rocking high waisted yoga pants] [a new pair of skinny jeans] [the art of the baggy tee] [mom shoes] [leather leggings for the cool mom] [the "i only got 4 hours of sleep, but want to look alive" 5 minute face]