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Kisses All Around, Especially You. Hi, we’re back!

Nothin' but LOVE, no matter what you say.

Nothin’ but LOVE LOVE LOVE no matter what you say.

That’s the answer to survival in our World that’s constantly changing, being challenged, pushing-pulling, kissing, laughing, crying, screaming and evolving right before our eyes.  Who has all the answers on a daily? Not me, but most days are better than some, and many people come to me for help.  I am a Mommy and I have become a Mentor, it’s a fantastic feeling being wanted, needed and loved. That is progress, and if you can remember these simple facts, you are indeed working towards getting out of your own way!

Life has evolved quite a bit since I last wrote on my blog, we have moved past the days & nights, working 8-6, not including actual traffic drivetime and the mere exhaustion from being on my feet 13hrs a day in heels.  I couldn’t hang settling with that lifestyle, and having my kids being raised during my custody time by their Nanny, whom I love , adore & is Grandma to my baby girls. She’s been watching Skye since age 3months or so when I went back to work, pumping breastmilk in the closet at my fancy fashion job. I’m so grateful for her and that job, they both holistically changed our lives forever. Lupe cared for and loved my children like her own, fed me hot soup after a long day, and my job kept my wallet full and my closet full of haute couture.

During these fun times though I yearned for my kids, I love them so much and didn’t get to see them as much as any Mommy should. I was sharing the common fight of having to SHARE my kids, it’s so hard to do and it really sucks. Feeling depressed and sad was like an off & on, while other moments I really enjoyed my freedom, until of course day 4 hit, where at that point I would be physically suffereing withdrawal symptoms from missing my kids. I knew I wouldn’t be working 60hrs a week forever, and I knew that God had a greater plan for me. In the meantime, I found a way to enjoy the free champagne, wardrobe allowance, a loving and kind nanny, and started making a plan… my exit strategy if you will.

I begin to transition my own needs and wants to balance them with those of my girls in search for my purpose, and in search to find passion in whatever I decided to do next for us. Interestingly at this time, I was introduced to a plantbased- health and wellness skincare & nutrition line, by this vibrant little adorable woman named Shea. She was a game changer and I wanted to follow her everywhere and be just like her. She introduced me to a new way of thinking and living, she mentioned the words vegan diaper cream to me and I was all bright-eyed an bushy tailed like I was about to win the people and product lottery. That was my Arbonne girl Shea, I love her dearly and am forever grateful for her never giving up on me. About a year into this new health and wellness discovery, I was able to resign from my Corporate job, and focus on my health with my family, from my home, in my slippers or heels.. depending on the day.

I began to teach and join my community in an effort to better ourselves and eachother through healing our bodies, straight from the source. I became my own testimony and changed my diet and lifestyle, cold turkey.  People begin to notice when you make drastic changes in your life, for me I just seemed healthier, I was happier & nicer to people, I was hosting gatherings at my home, traveling around & meeting people always with such a seemingly effortless smile on my face. I lost my baby weight and started dating again. People asked me, “what’s your secret, what are you on?”

“Ha, I’m on a cleanse,” I would say. For a year I pretty much was on a cleanse like once a month and I don’t mean a diet cleanse, I mean I was constantly cleaning up my body from the inside out mentally, physically, spiritually and of course watching what I eat. This is about the time I went gluten and dairy free, cut most of the sugar out of my diet and late nights with Titos.

I am still on a cleanse, this time for a designated period of time because I want to take notes and report back.  I need this information for my personal growth, studies and for my career. My family and my community look up to me, my friends are supportive and also want to be supported! I share my experiences and stories with my clients, as they need me for their healing and I’m teaching people how to do it for themselves. This is the most rewarding gift I’ve been given since my children.  If you constantly remember to Love,  if all else fails but you still remember that love is the only thing that is real, you will survive no matter what.

It’s not a big deal that it took me two years to write a blog post again. In fact, I have been blogging this whole time on my Instagram and in particular on my professional public Instagram @healinginheels, where I share plant-based recipes, my story, relationship fluctuations and hormone psychosis, sprinkled with quotes of self-love and lots of encouragement for others also on their wellness journeys. See, I have been telling you my story this whole time, but now you have a place to go at Maman Jolie, which means “Pretty Mommy” in French, when you look at the tag less merchandise tag, when buying your fashion yoga products at Yogalution Movement, here in Long Beach, CA.

This is Maman Jolies first store front retail location, how excited are we!! The Ohm signs are selling out the door. There will be more Yogalution products coming soon, you will hear from us ASAP when this happens.

Thank you to the crew over at Yogalution and my dear friend & mentor Dharma, whom I will be studying under starting in 2 weeks, to deepen my practice in a 200hr training program, also earning my yoga teacher certification. I am still studying for my Holistic Nutrition Certification which I will complete right before my yoga graduation.  Drumroll and a new pair of Birkenstocks please!  I’m super excited about this and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and that my custody time aligns with most of the training.  Thank you to the Father of my children, we are so blessed to have you & without him some of my alternative lifestyle movements and career advancements would not be possible. Much Love!! I’m kind of loving this whole stay at home, working mom, doing exactly what I want to do vibe that’s going on in our home, and I’m humbled to share my experiences during the process.

~The Journey is the Destination~

Remember When: Fear of Losing Control

babies and ME

As I run around my tiny, newly renovated Belmont Shore apartment like a little chicken trying to find a seed, all these thoughts creep into my mind as if I don’t have enough to worry about already.

I think, “What am I doing? How did I get here?  I’m so freaking tired. How am I possibly going to nail this interview? Seriously though. Why would they hire me?”

As I continue trying to talk myself out of leaving the house and keeping the kids today instead of dropping them at the sitter’s so that I can run to this interview (one that I felt lucky to land!), I feel all sorts of emotion rush over me and I want to cry.  So I do.

More thoughts come and go, “Where are my shoes? Where is that clutch? Hello? A little help here? Oh my god, the diaper bag. I didn’t put on any mascara. Wait, no to textured tights? Yes, textured tights are fine—it’s the beginning of November. Wait a second, where are my keys?!”

I finally gather myself and, “MOM, POOP!” interrupts my thoughts bringing me back to reality. It’s Linda, my 4-year-old.

Great. Really? It’s all over the tile floor and her hands, but that’s fine because this is all a part of potty training, right? We’re learning.

I think, “Don’t let her know I am freaking out. I am not mad that your poop is on the floor and all over you, it’s totally fine. Honey you made a mistake. Lets clean it up!” We can turn this into a song and a teaching moment right? Moms, you may be laughing because you have, many-a-times, TURNED IT INTO A SONG.  Thank you YoGabba Gabba.

In my mind, I revert back to a particular Mommy & Me class where we were guided through how to voice our feelings without talking like insensitive, condescending adults.  “Lets make Mommy and Toddler feel more comfortable with the learning process about proper toilet training,” they said. Do anything but get mad. Change focus and energy into something fun! How about a quick bath? I’m not even dressed yet and I still need to straighten my hair anyway. Phew!

Right…no problem. I’m sure all the women at Mommy & Me are also getting ready for important interviews—especially their first one since the baby’s been born. Sure! Single moms too, right? They all have newborns and toddlers at the same time, just like me, I’m sure!  They have no idea what they’re whipping up for dinner that night or what they’re doing tomorrow at 9 a.m. because they forgot to write it down, right? A planner? Who even carries around a planner?

My clean laundry is still sitting in the basket from three days ago because I was too busy and much too tired to fold any of it.  But that’s fine because I wont be having company at my place this week anyway! Phew! Nobody visits Long Beach shore cities because who likes to find street parking, but seriously, they just plain DON’T VISIT.

The truth is, those other mommies and me—we’re the same, but so different.  These women who have perfect lives, perfect shoes usually accompanied by a perfect mani-pedi too, and their kids are fully segregated at the playground.  I’m not one to look sloppy or slummish, but I’m definitely more of a, “Quick! What looks good and is comfortable?” kind of Mom. Clearly I’m not pregnant anymore, but more obviously, I can’t fit my skinny jeans I was wearing last year pre-pregnancy.

At least I’m smiling though. At least today, something made me laugh and smile. But these mommies from Mommy and Me, I did grow to love them. Mostly just their kids because Linda made a connection with them, but actually some are still my very best friends. If anything, Mommy and Me taught me how to be ME. I suppose we all have similar tastes and opinions, but we are truly not all the same.

Right, back to the potty scenery. I’m sitting here at the tub cleaning off Linda and her little potty-training butt and somehow Skye is still sleeping! How is that possible? That is pure luck and blessings right there.  Birthing an old soul is definitely a gift from above. You feel like your child was born and for some reason takes better care of you than sometimes you do of her.  To this day, she still gives me that look. You know, the one that says, “Mom, seriously?”

So, making it through this day was a great accomplishment! That exact day was the day I was the frantic chicken trying to find my seed. Tearing (literally meaning ripping through the house with tears in my eyes) through the house looking for the perfect shoe because I was headed to my first real interview in two-and-a-half years. This was a BIG DEAL for me.

Thoughts rush through my mind. “Who’s going to hire the just-30-something girl with no professional work experience in the last two years? I mean, besides hobbies and caring for two babies, of course. Yes, I am damn good at taking care of my kids, but that doesn’t necessarily get you a J-O-B in the industry. And god, I was already going to be late and there I was, cleaning up poop.

As I grabbed everyone, ran out the door with snacks and practically carry-on luggage in tow…I thought, “I’ve got this!” That was a first-world problem. I am lucky to be where I am, I have a chance, I want it and damn right, I’m coming to get it!

I wished I hadn’t looked so postpartum at the interview, wearing those tight Spanx under my slacks and feeling a little rounder than the barely 20-somethings who were staring at me from the other side of the sales floor. I pondered possible thoughts going through their minds. “Oh, there’s the new girl? Who’s this chick? She looks pregnant still but not really and there’s no baby in sight. And um..she’s late.” Or maybe they thought, “Dang, there’s our competition.”

That afternoon marked my first experience as a mommy going back to work, approaching an environment where I felt I didn’t belong. I wasn’t 18 and I hadn’t just interned at an unpaid internship for the past year and I didn’t know the current couture trends. I’ve been reading Parenting Magazine for two years because, well, I couldn’t really afford or even find Vogue on the newsstand. So did I get the job because my friend made a phone call to get me the interview in the first place? Did they just need a body to fill the floor?  Did my reference tell them how amazing I am? Or was it the HUGE compliment I got of my outfit? Maybe it was all of the above. This was a fresh starting point for me. I got out of my pregnancy yoga pants and went on back to work eight full hours a day, five days a week.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, leaving the babies for longer periods of time. But I was thankful, yet guilty because I finished nursing Skye just shy of a year. But time has a funny way of moving at its own pace. I guess it was just up to me to roll with it or fight it. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of choices. I just had to DO, whatever that meant. Some say a lot of it is genetics, environment and family life. I say yes to all the above. My journey began as a momma taking charge of my life for my girls and myself. Fingers crossed, I’VE GOT THIS.

Thank you to my loving Editor for  making sense of my thoughts.

Andrea Dinh
Online Editor
DIG Magazine



“Its not about where you’ve been, what happened and why it took so long.  Its about where you are going, the journey getting there and who you are today.”

lindaluubabies IMG_1167New blog post coming soon! 

Cast that Belly Mama!  A 3rd Trimester MUST-DO

With so many To-Dos, and the endless unfinished projects planned in our busy little minds, who wants to add another task? Well, don’t worry if your mind is fluttering a bit, this is normal, especially when we are expecting a baby.  I am here to help you through the chaos and tell you what is one “MUST-DO” that Mommies can not DO without?  Casting that baby belly, and cast it fast before that baby comes!!  Third trimester belly casting is so fun, so adorable, and so something that you need to do before you birth your baby/s.

I wanted to give my dear friend Nicole a keepsake that she could have forever, something that she could look back on and share with her daughter for many years to come. Although I did not cast her belly(her awesome sister did), I made sure that it was done and ready for me when I arrived to go visit her and little Miss Isabelle Peggy. She had her belly casted around 8.5 months, which is ideal time as the belly is full, round and voluptuous.
Next, I started my decorating process, sanding, buffing, topcoats, embellishments, paper decals, paint details, stencils, stickers, shimmer coat and gloss coat(x3).  I had to make sure I planned for a few hrs each day for about 3-4 days because time between layers/drying is needed for maximum results.

I found that paper, is the best decorating device!  You can buy packets of paper in just about any full service store now…and you can choose your theme/colors of these paper packets as well.  Nicole and I went with a Floral/Animal print theme with color splashes of coral, peaches, turquoise, browns, magenta and shimmer gloss.

I came to visit after baby Issy was born, so I was able to get a little 2 week footprint detail in there, so awesome!!  This is something that you Mamas can add later, don’t worry.  We added the footprint and sticker decals to personalize the baby’s name and date of birth. 

Final steps include checking for imperfections, setting a couple layers of gloss over the inside and outside of the cast, and of course taking pictures.

And we saved the best picture for last!
Mommy and baby girl….

*Always use caution when doing activities while pregnant.  Make sure you have read up on all of the Dos and Don’ts of belly casting.  Have Fun!

Win A FREE Top From Our TShirt Shop!

Lets play the Baby-Guessing-Game!  We hope you join in on the fun, and act fast!  There are only so many dates & gender guesses available for you to claim your FREE Maman Jolie Maternity top from our very own Tshirt Shop!

We wanted to reach out to our fans, and give you all an opportunity to play a fun little game with us.  All you have to do is guess what day my baby is going to be born, and whether it is going to be a GIRL or a BOY.

Yes, I have been given a due date and yes we all know that they are not always accurate.  We chose to not find out what we are having, so that is also a surprise!  All you have to do is, post a comment below stating your guess of what day my baby is going to be born, and what we will have.  So simple, so fun!

Then, you just need to sign up for our mailing list for special offers and coupons, which is just to the right of this announcement in the side bar.  *signing up for our mailing list validates your submission to our AWESOME game.  Once we receive your new signup and baby guess, we will post your claim in the comment section below and you now OWN that day and gender guess.  ONE guess per person/email address.

A few hints:

1. This is my second baby, my first is 2 yrs and she’s a girl!  Meet Linda Elle :

2. My OBGYN stated that my due date is Dec.8, then a month later changed that date to Dec.6.

3. I was 4 days early with Linda Elle

4.  We conceived on or around March 15, 2012

5.  I have not planned or scheduled a C-section date/time.


Good luck and happy guessing!!


Melissa (Mom & CEO of Maman Jolie Maternity)

NEW BOOK Press Release!  Posh Push


Must-read Guide That Reveals How Labor Can Be Faster, Easier and Even Luxurious 

Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth

LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 11, 2012 – Women everywhere have questions about childbirth.  “Am I prepared to have an enjoyable, comfortable childbirth?   Could I have a natural birth experience without drugs?” Now these women can find all the answers, secrets and more in the new book, Posh Push: Modern Women Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth, now available on Amazon:

This fabulous new book offers support and helps build confidence in modern women who strive to have a more natural childbirth. The book is packed full of insider tips, gems of wisdom, and stories from modern mothers and birth experts to help women achieve a more natural labor, with ease and comfort.  Posh Push celebrates a more natural childbirth as beautiful, attainable and for every woman that wants it.  This essential guide will prepare women in mind and body to optimize their pregnancy and birth environment.

Natural childbirth is an increasingly popular trend.  We see many celebrities choosing to have natural childbirths and sharing their stories in the media.  Now, chic, modern moms everywhere like Alison, Johanna and Tiffany, featured in Posh Push, are sharing their revealing birth stories in rich detail and answering “Why would anyone want a natural childbirth?”

Written in a fun, informative format, the authors ask, “Where are all the worldly stiletto wearing women who want to birth their babies naturally?” Co-authors, Patricia Grube and Sara Smildzins found them and the stories these women share exclusively in Posh Push will have pregnant women everywhere saying, “I want that too!”  For women that are intrigued, Posh Push arms you with all the information and tips on how to do it.

“Posh Push added glitter and spunk to my natural childbirth.  It gave me everything I needed to have my baby girl without drugs!” said Cassidy Jones, new mom in Los Angeles.

Posh Push: Modern Girls Reveal Secrets for a More Natural Birth is available now at

About the Authors

Sara Smildzins and her doula and pre-natal yoga teacher, Patricia Grube, bonded over the idea that women needed a modern, fun source of information for a more natural childbirth. Posh Push was born after an intense labor of love, researching, writing and publishing. Patricia Grube is a Certified Childbirth Educator and Birth Doula. For over a decade and from Los Angeles to London, Patricia has coached and empowered many birthing couples seeking positive and satisfying birth experiences. Patricia is the creator of Serenity Birth and has a thriving birth doula practice in Los Angeles (


For more information about Posh Push and to read excerpts from numerous moms, visit:


Yummy DIY Fall Recipes for Kids

By Stephanie Merino

Pumpkin Granola Parfait Recipe

Pumpkin Parfait~
1. Mix pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice) into pumpkin puree
2. Layer pumpkin mixture, plain or vanilla yogurt, and granola in parfait glass or mix in bowl
3. EAT! Delicious




PB & Banana French Toast Fall Recipe~

1. Whisk egg w/ a few drops of vanilla

2. Prepare a PB & banana sandwich (PB on both slices of bread w/ banana in middle)

3. Dip in egg mixture

4. Toast on a griddle until both sides are slightly brown
You can also use another kind of nut butter but my kids like PB best


DIY Fall Recipes Baked EggsBaked Eggs (individual portions)~

1. Lightly spray bottom of ramekin w/ cooking spray
2. Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on bottom
3. Add layer of crumbled bacon
4. Crack an egg on top – I like to puncture my yolk
5. Add a splash of milk
6. Add a few cherry tomatoes & basil leaves (if you have) OR any other veggie you want to add (spinach?)
7. Top w/ another sprinkle of grated cheese
8. Bake in 375 deg oven until cooked to your liking (10-15 mins?)

All of these recipes are tried and tested to be true by my kids and husband!
P.S.  You can serve any of these delicious recipes with a side of fruit, veggies or whatever you desire!  EAT UP!

Hail to my 2nd Trimester!  I’m Pregnant and Raising a Toddler

In a nutshell, lets just say that I much prefer my second trimester to my first… and from what I’ve learned, this is a commonly shared feeling by most expecting Moms.  The first 3 months were not-so-great, sick, tired, sick, exhausted, sick, which I don’t recall that time being so difficult when I was pregnant with Linda Elle.  My 2nd pregnancy so far, has been harder on me than my first, probably due to a few variables including the timing of my pregnancy which is the total opposite of my last one, the massive heat wave that has hit SoCal this Summer and is still lingering, and my Toddler who is progressively attached more frequently at my waist. (I wish that I could say hip, but we are both growing very fast!)

Right now I feel fantastic!! I want to conquer the world, one stitch at a time!   It may just be the simple lift of morning sickness and constant tiredness off my shoulders that has been Oh-so-Lovely.  But there is a lot to say for yourself when you can finally get up in the morning with a smile on your face, actually take a shower before 5pm (we’ve all been there) and look in the mirror and like what you see(even if you have to squint a little and cock your head to one side).  I am so happy I finally get to rock my sexy Maman Jolie Maternity clothes, at 19 weeks I wore my Linda Renee in black. However, to accustom to the CRAZY heat this year, I modified my dress to a “late Summer in SoCal” version using stretch Jersey, bleach tie dying, and cut off sleeves to create a cuff instead of long sleeve.  This version will be available next Spring, but you can get a sneak peak on my pregnancy journal for week 19’s picture.

So I say bask in this time Moms, get as much out of your day as you possibly can, spend as much active time playing and laughing with your little ones as your energy is still on an ultra high.  Get your sexy back on while the Gettins’ Good.

Sadly, for most of us this too will come to an end in a few short months when you hit the Big 3rd Trimester, but maybe not.  If I’m blessed like I was the first time, its smooth sailing until the Winter when I give birth, which speaking of, I am eager to start dressing Fall.  Hello!  Cooler weather, please feel free to join us at any time SOON, we have some real sassy Mommy & Me coordinating Fall looks that Linda and I need to sport before the baby comes!

This is the second post of my journey through life being pregnant and raising a toddler. I’ve also been keeping a pregnancy journal. For a fun read click here.

Some of my favorite memories with my 2 yr old have been in the last 5 months, she has gone from a baby to a little person in such a short period of time.  How did this happen so quickly?  Its pure happiness, bliss yet tearful sadness and emotional struggle all at the same time.  I thought they stayed babies forever….Well, technically they do stay that way according to their Mothers, but wow, they grow fast, and once they start they sure don’t stop.  Diapers to a Pink Potty in 2 months..what?!!  Ring a bell anyone?

Thankfully for us, potty training has been a very successful endeavor with all its splendor!  Ok maybe not so much all the time, but for the most part we have been doing great with our “communication” about the urge to go, the rewards that come after, which Linda almost NEVER forgets.  We have gotten used to bringing the little pink potty in the car everywhere we go, along with wipes, extra sets of Hello Kitty or Disney Princess undies and just an overall positive attitude about the process and her progression.  I will say that I am pleasantly surprised how quickly Tots can catch on to this “Big Girl” stuff at such a young age, just as soon as their Moms decide to let go of the control and put a bit of trust into their children… Ut Um…

So no, you do not have to “let go” completely and thats not even possible, I mean really they are toddlers and you have so much time left to learn and grow with your little ones. Although its not crazy to give em’ a little freedom so they can learn from mistakes and start to distinguish their right from wrong actions.  Try baby steps for example let him/her tell you when they have to pee, instead of asking them every 5 minutes, sooner or later they will tell you and from what I observed with my Tot, she was bugged by all the nagging and felt pressured into this new experience.  Also, try communicating with them, instead of instantly making a decision for them. Sometimes I like to give Linda choices for what she wants to eat for breakfast/lunch by asking her and telling her what options she has. ie:  “This is what we are having for lunch_________. Would you like to have___________with _______or ___________?”  They may say something completely different that is not one of the choices, or cry and throw a temper tantrum, but, eventually you’ll find success.  I know I did.  You can use this same question/option exercise for many scenarios such as which book to read, what show to watch together, which clothes to wear in the morning, and whether we should we attend Mommy & Me yoga or go to the park, all the while rocking our awesome Maman Jolie yoga gear. Try it, its fun and a good bonding experience that you can do together.  I’ve been wearing my Zen auumommm…. tank top since the very beginning of my pregnancy, it’s been nice to have my tank grow with me in all the right places.  Here is Linda and I at Huntington Beach pier on her birthday.  We rode bikes all day, and stopped at Rubys for her big Bday lunch!

Speaking of bonding time and things you can do with your toddler while your pregnant, Linda has come to be very interested in a few things that I really enjoy, hmmm maybe because I bring her with me everywhere?  We have a great time shopping, even if we don’t buy anything, imagine that, we just don’t have as much expendable income as we used to.  We also love to do our Butt Bible exercise on DVD, she actually mimics the instructor and squeezes her butt cheeks together, haha!  Cooking and preparing food is a fun way to bond, as Linda Elle feels like she’s helping me and is affirmed when I smile, nod at her and say, “great job stirring!”  We can’t always eat perfectly healthy and organic, but sometimes we just need to eat what’s fun.  Here’s a few ideas from our special guest blogger about involving your kids and raising healthy eaters.


Bluff yoga is one of our favorites, it’s an outdoor, kid friendly yoga experience that I have been involved in for about 5 yrs, perfect for prenatal, postnatal and everything in between.  The 3 of us (Me, Linda and our growing baby in the belly) get to bask in the beauty of yoga outside, under the giant tree that drops nectar on your cheeks when you are taking deep breaths and peering out into the ocean shore.  This is a 5-star experience, and one of my most favorite people in the world leads the weekend classes.

These experiences and special memories are so important for your pregnancy and raising your toddler, it has helped me feel less “guilty” about getting pregnant again while I still had a baby.  Even though it’s pretty much in my head, its still good to know that I am doing my best and being the greatest Mommy I can be, to all my kids, young and to the one on the way.  Above all, make sure you enjoy every second of your 2nd trimester, for all that it offers of love, smiles, happiness, sadness and an occasional tear or two.  This stage of pregnancy is Golden for most of us and an exceptional time for you to catch-up on those unfinished projects and that bonding time that may have been missed the last couple months when you were suffering.  Chasing around a toddler all day is probably more fun now, so go Mommas, Go with your Glow!

Do-it-Yourself Maternity Jeans

Lets face it, unless you have $150+ to spend on an amazing pair of designer Maternity jeans, the thought of getting your growing, curvy midsection into a pair of jeans may seem like a huge bother.  In that case, some expecting Momma’s opt for leggings during their entire pregnancy.  Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that as comfort is key in these stages of your life, however, I’m here to offer you a thrifty, creative, and limitless alternative.  The Maman Jolie DIY Maternity Jean!

The following is a step-by-step DIY on how to create your own maternity jean.  Follow the instructions and demo pictures for a truly amazing experience with your denim and make sure and share this demo with all of your friends!


1. Start with your supplies.  You will need a sewing machine, thread to match your denim, denim sewing needles for your machine(get a few in case they snap on you), a pair of jeans(probably not your tightest pair or favorite one, someday you fit back into those), Two 1ft x 1ft squares of stretch knit(2 or 4 way stretch) that closest matches your denim color, scissors, a seam ripper, thread trimmers, a tape measure, long pins, a chalk marker, and 2 hours of work time.

2. Prep your jeans. Find the side seam on your jeans. Using your tape measure, make a line from the seam and up to the waistband with the chalk. Cut into your jeans starting at the waistband, and continue down the side seam with your seam ripper/scissors(seam ripper is for cleaner edges, if you use a scissor you will have to clean up your edges to make straight lines. Either way, make sure and remove the hanging threads from your side seam separation) approximately 6 inches down from the top of your waistband.Cut

Check measurement of cut

Cut both side seams

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What’s a Doula? Do I Need One?

By Erin Fisher Pizzorno

Remember the saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” there once was a time that our societies as a whole created a community, a village, to not only support the birthing woman but the whole family throughout gestation, birth and the postpartum period.  At some point our culture made a turn to leaving the woman to fend for herself and figure it out on her own and that village of support soon dissipated.  A doula may be what re-creates your village.

What is a doula?  The word doula essentially means, “a woman who serves.”  A doula is an educator, that gives emotional, physical and informational support encourages the parents to care for themselves so they can in return best care for their children.  A birth doula may educate you through your pregnancy, be present with you through your labor and birth and provide valuable care and resources during the postpartum period, assisting you in having the best birth for your body and baby and supporting your transition into a family.  A postpartum doula may teach you about feeding your baby, nourishing yourself, make a light meal, and teach you techniques for baby care and more.  A doula is NOT a midwife, nurse or doctor.  Doula’s do not perform medical procedures or make a diagnosis and they do not make any decisions for you.

Do you need a doula?  Although I believe that women and their bodies are very capable of birthing their babies and do not NEED a doula, I also believe that a doula should be available for every family and for every birth.

What are the benefits of a doula?  Some benefits may be; reduced anxiety and postpartum depression, less likely to have medical inductions and pain medication, lower surgical birth rates, increased success of breastfeeding and more.

I DON’T NEED A DOULA BECAUSE (common statements):

I am having a hospital birth:  Hospital births are very common and a first choice for many.  A doula will support you no matter where you have chosen to give birth, be it at home, in a birth center or at your local hospital.

I can’t afford it:  Although most often doulas are privately hired, the fees vary.  Doulas remind me of teachers (maybe because I have been both), most are in it with their whole heart and not because they plan to get rich.  I believe there are doulas for everyone, some work on a sliding scale, offer military discounts, barter and trade services and on occasion some volunteer their services for the greater good of a healthy family.

I love my Dr./Midwife:  This is great news, you should definitely trust and feel comfortable with the people supporting you in your birth and giving you medical advice.  Did you know that your Dr. or Midwife may only be present when the birth is imminent, or they may not be present at all as you may be with whoever was actually on call or available during your birth.

There are great nurses: Thank goodness for great nurses!  Did you know that nurses change shifts and you never know who you are going to get and just when you feel like you bonded with one and she knew all your answers the shift changes and a new nurse comes in.  Nurses often are assigned to multiple patients.  A doula is a consistent support person with you from the time you need support until after your birth.

I trust whoever delivers my baby:  The only person delivering anything is you.  You are birthing your baby and the rest of us are supporting you in this, if anything the Dr. or Midwife is catching or receiving your baby but nobody is delivering for you.

I have a great partner:  Partners are fabulous and doulas love supporting your relationship by assisting your partner in ways to best support you as well as educating your partner on what is going on around you and through the process.  There is nothing like getting a loving partner to support a birthing mama through a slow dance or a cuddle to get all the oxytocin flowing!  We also look out for the partner, making sure they are hydrated, as rested as possible, educating them of procedures (because they tend to worry) and even letting them know that if mama gets mean it is normal and only shows progress.

My mother or sister will be with me too: It is amazing to have a large support team, again creating the village we should have had all along.  They are great for comforting.  Doulas can support the birthing woman and her whole team.  The difference is that a doula is educated on the birth process, updated on the medical terminology and the options available as well as techniques and comfort measures to help you achieve the birth you are striving for.

I am having an epidural or medicated birth:  Labor is often a long process and there may be time where you are seeking relief from your discomfort either at home or at the hospital.  From the time you ask for your relief it could be another 45 minutes or more until there is a change. As doulas, we support you in your birth choices and decisions and we offer education to be sure you are kept informed.  There is still so much we can do for you even after you get medication, especially once you become bed bound.

I have a scheduled c-section:  Did you know there are many options around your surgical birth even though you have it planned, however they may not be told to you as standard procedures occur unless you have requested otherwise verbally or with a birth plan.  Do you have a support person staying in the nursery with the baby and someone with you in recovery advocating for both of you until you can be reunited?  If planning to breastfeed, a surgical birth can bring forth challenged in establishing a breastfeeding relationship.  A doula will inform you of all of your choices so that you can get off on a great start.

About becoming and being a doula
I guess you can say I was a doula long before knowing what a doula was.  I attended my first birth fresh out of high school, supporting my best friend.  Although I do not remember much more than crying, the fact that she asked me to be with her and I got to witness that miracle was more than I had ever imagined.   A few years passed and another friend asked me again, this birth was in a different setting, completely natural with a doula present and a midwife catching the baby.  I saw a whole other world to birth, of what was possible and how women had options.  Fast forward to 2010, I got accepted into a Community Based Doula program, an intensive training that lasted over a year where I offered voluntary doula services weekly to teen and at risk mothers.  I loved this experience so much I decided to change my path and make it my career.

As a birth doula and a postpartum doula, supporting families through the miracle of birth and the transition of becoming a family has by far been the most amazing work I have ever done.  I know I am very fortunate to be a part of a great certifying organization as well as the Doula Association of Southern California.  Having doula sisters as a support network is a huge part of the success of a doula.  Each experience has been an absolute blessing but the time it truly hit me and it plays in my head often, is when a mama after her completely natural hospital birth introduced me to her visiting relatives by saying “this is Erin my doula, she saved my life.”  I will never ever forget that moment because until that point I had never truly recognized my own worth or that my families were actually getting as much from my support as I was getting from the experience.  The appreciation and gratitude was always there from other families it just took me time to realize it.  I have so much to be thankful for, I think I said it best the other day that being a doula is like a great dream I never have to wake up from.

Beth Moser Photography.

Erin Fisher holds a degree in Child and Adolescent Development and is a CAPPA trained birth and postpartum doula serving the Los Angeles area.  She is a member of DASC (the Doula Association of Southern California), a member of  Doulas of the South Bay, a member of Doulas for Surrogacy and she is currently developing a program to teach pregnancy and childbirth education to pregnant teens in the Los Angeles Juvenile Detention Center.  You can follow Erin on her Doula Facebook page or if you have any questions about finding a doula or becoming a doula she welcomes you to contact her at Erin also enjoys snapping Maternity photographs, contact her for more information.