The Joys of Postpartum Skin | Review + Giveaway

Can we talk for a minute about postpartum skin problems? Although I have been relatively acne-free my entire life, I wasn't one of those women who had fantastic glowing skin during pregnancy. In fact, it was the opposite, and it didn't go away when Jack was born, either. I have terrible blackheads around my nose and have also developed some weird red bumps all over my arms that make me look like I have leprosy. A few weeks ago, I was emailing a fellow blogger, Carmina, about the frustrations I have been having, and she generously offered to send me some beauty samples from her new business, Perfectly Posh. I had heard about the line before and was intrigued by their naturally based beauty products filled with essential oils and other ingredients I can actually pronounce, so I was definitely excited to get my hands on a few different things. Plus, there is nothing I love more than trying new products! I know I'm not alone with my skin problems, so I thought I would post a quick rundown of the samples I tried so you can see if they might be right for you!
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Classic Snarky Bar // I was hoping that this soap would be the miracle worker that gets rid of my arm bumps, but I have used it a couple weeks now and so far, no luck. However, I still have been using it every time I shower because it keeps my skin so soft! This is definitely the most aggressive exfoliator I have ever used, but that's why I love it. That, plus its delicious smell & fun pink color make this is a product that is going on my must-buy list

BFF Best Face Forever Exfoliating Face Wash // I've never been in love with a face wash and am constantly looking for the next best thing for my skin. The ones that smell good don't do a good job, and the strong ones always tear apart my sensitive skin. Because the BFF is an exfoliating wash, I was worried it would do the same, but I was surprised at how gentle it was while still getting the job done! I looked in the mirror after washing my face with it, and I seriously gasped because my face looked so much brighter. I am 100% a believer in this face wash and will most likely never buy anything else ever again. If you have sensitive skin (or really any kind of skin!) and are looking for a good face wash that exfoliates without drying you out, give this a try. Plus, who doesn't want to smell like grapefruit and peppermint essential oils?

The Stripper D Tox Body Mud // Although this is a body mud, Carmina recommended I use it on my face to try and get rid of some pesky blackheads. GENIUS. I have a couple blackheads under my nose that I had finally come to accept as permanent fixtures because nothing I did seemed to make any difference. After leaving this body mud on and around my nose for about fifteen minutes, I could tell that a lot of the dirt in my pores had raised to the surface. I rinsed it off with a warm wash cloth and was so impressed with the difference I could see from just one application! It definitely felt like a "detox" for my pores. Those nasty blackheads are now visibly smaller and I have high hopes that they will disappear completely with a few more treatments. Seeing how well the body mud worked on my face, I am excited to try it on the rest of my body and see what else it can do!

After trying these products and falling in love, Carmina and I have decided to collaborate a little bit and pamper YOU with a giveaway! That's right.. One lucky winner will get my new favorite product, the BFF Exfoliating Face Wash, for free! All you have to do is browse Carmina's Perfectly Posh website and let me know what products you are dying to try in the comments below! We are also throwing a Facebook party to go along with this review, so if you want to know more about Perfectly Posh, hear more about our favorite products, request some samples of your own and even get a few more chances to win some fun goodies, join us there!

What Perfectly Posh product are YOU dying to try? Comment below and be entered to win!

Breastfeeding Must-Haves

As promised in my last post, I have put together a list of breastfeeding must-haves for all you out there who are wanting to breastfeed but just don't know where to start. My husband asked me what I was blogging about tonight, and when I told him, he said, "Isn't that going to be a pretty short post? I mean, all you need to breastfeed are boobs, right?" DYING. ...So yes, the number one breastfeeding must-have would be a good set of ta-ta's, but this other stuff will make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable. :)
Breastfeeding Must-Haves
I am not being paid to write this post. These are honestly products that I love and use every day!

Boppy Pillow // They are a bit expensive for a pillow, but let me tell you... worth every penny! This made it so much easier for me to breastfeed because I could lay him on the pillow and focus on getting him to latch correctly instead of worrying about how I was supposed to be holding him, how tired my arms were getting, etc. It is a bit bulky, so we have a cheaper nursing pillow that we used for traveling but it was nowhere near as amazing as the Boppy. Once we stopped using it for breastfeeding, it also worked as an awesome tummy time pillow and to prop him up when he was just learning to sit. I don't know how moms survive without one!

Peanut Shell Nursing Cover // I'm sorry, but I'm not the kind of person who is okay with just whipping out the boob & nursing in public with no cover, and we learned pretty quick that a blanket wasn't going to cut it. I purchased another nursing cover, but the strap kept coming undone and I ended up flashing the entire world a couple times, which kind of defeats the purpose of a cover. Luckily, my sister-in-law gave me her Peanut Shell nursing cover and it was perfect. It fastens around your kneck like overalls so no amount of baby tugging is going to undo the strap, and the stiff neck is the perfect size for you to be able to check on your baby while they are eating without being so huge that everyone can see down it. We don't leave home without this!

Lanolin // The cold hard truth is that breastfeeding wrecks your nipples. They get dry. They crack. Sometimes, they bleed. Lanolin is completely safe for your baby and is like magic wonder juice for sore nipples. Even though I don't need it for myself anymore, I still use it when Jack gets chapped lips or dry skin. It is a bit expensive, but they should give you a sample at the hospital and it lasts a long time. We bought one tube when he was born and still haven't run out 8 months later.

Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump // I wasn't planning on getting a breast pump because I was going to be at home with the baby all the time, but we got a good deal on this one and I am SO glad we have it! It was so convenient to be able to pump a bottle if I knew we were going to be out and about so I didn't have to worry about nursing in public. Even though I hardly use it, it is built well enough to be used daily for a mom who works away from home. Plus, it is just as good as the Medela for half the price.

Lansinoh 3-in-1 Breast Therapy // I heard that this was amazing for relief when your milk comes in or if you ever get mastitis, so I went and bought it as soon as I was released from the hospital. You can either heat it or freeze it and it made of gel and the perfect size and shape for boobies! I got pretty luck and didn't have a lot of pain when my milk came in and haven't had mastitis (knock on wood!), so I haven't used it. However, if I do ever need it, I know I am going to be glad I have it and I think y'all will be too.

Breastflow Bottles // When we are out and about or in the rare case that we take a date night without the baby, Jack either takes pumped breastmilk or formula in a bottle. When he was a newborn, I was a paranoid new mom and was super concerned about nipple confusion so it was important to me to get bottles that would feel as close to breastfeeding as possible for him. These bottles are a winner! They are a little confusing to figure out because they have both an outer and inner nipple, but they require the exact same sucking motion as breastfeeding, so I was never worried that he was going to get confused. Now that our feeding routine is more established and he is older, we have introduced different, less complicated bottles but these were a definite must for the first three months!

Maternity Tank Top // When I was only about three months pregnant, we went to Motherhood Maternity looking for some cute tops for me to grow into and the sales lady showed me these Side Ruched Seamless Maternity Tank Tops and said I just HAD to have them. They looked comfy, so I got two: one black and one white. Best decision ever. They are one size fits all, which means they are extra stretchy and 100% comfortable. Not only did I wear them every day throughout my pregnancy, but they are now the perfect nursing tank! All I have to do is pull up my shirt and pull down the tank top... then I don't have to flash everyone every time I have to feed my baby or invest in crazy expensive nursing tops. In my opinion, these tanks and a good nursing bra are the only nursing clothes you'll need!

Medela Pump & Save Bags // It never hurts to have backup breastmilk, and these bags make it so easy to store in the freezer! They come with a pump adapter so you can pump right into the bag, and they lay flat in the freezer so you can store a lot of milk in a small space and you can write the date you pumped right on the bag. They seal really well and I have never had one leak. Plus, if you rinse them out right after emptying them, they are definitely reusable. If you plan on doing any pumping at all, I would recommend using these bags over bottles!

Teething Necklace // This has become a more recent must-have of mine. Now that Jack is older and more easily distracted, feeding him can turn into quite the fight. He constantly wants to be tugging or playing with something, and if he doesn't have anything to distract him, he doesn't eat well. Not only are these necklaces cute enough to wear every day, but they are something I can feel good about letting my baby play with and gnaw on because they are made of food-grade silicone and are BPA free. I'm a big fan of things that make me look good and make my kid happy.

(I know I didn't mention a particular nursing bra on here, but that is because I honestly haven't found one that I love that also fits me well, so if you have any suggestions shoot them my way!)

What are some of your breastfeeding must-haves?