Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dressed to Deliver Review

About Dressed to Deliver:

“A company committed to enhancing the way women experience birth."

Tracy is the WAHM behind Dressed to Deliver. She is the outgoing Mother to two children and three Australian Shepard's.  She is also the supporting wife to her amazing husband who is a Physiotherapist, marathon runner, philanthropist for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and since 2011, the founder of Dressed to Deliver.

Tracy loves being her own boss and having the time and flexibly to be with her children.  Her family is her greatest joy.  No day is a typical day for Tracy though. She owns her own business, has a home-based physiotherapy practice, and works her schedule around her very busy family.  She makes it all happen with the help of her entrepreneurial husband with a somewhat flexible schedule and a live-out nanny three days a week. People may think her life is crazy busy, but she says it is just her life.She has found balance and it works really well for her.
She is passionate about helping women feel and look their best on one of the most important days of their life…the day they deliver.  She believes that when you look good, you feel good, and she hopes that translates to women feeling confident and empowered during their birthing experience.

The idea behind Dressed to Deliver was born ten years before  Tracy took the plunge and started the company.  Her passion is physiotherapy, and it was at her first physiotherapy job at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto that she came up with her birthing gown design.  At the time she was dating her now husband, and was horrified at the thought of possibly wearing a hospital gown for the birth of any potential children they may have.  Ten years later (at her husband’s encouragement) she put her design into action.

Their birthing gown is the most unique on the market.  That’s because it’s elegant enough to be worn as a dress in the weeks leading up to delivery, on the day you deliver, and as a nursing gown in the weeks following the birth of your baby.  Their gown is available in six sizes to ensure the right fit for every pregnant woman.  They are also proud that our products are made in Canada.

Some other fun things about Tracy:

Her favorite outfit consist of True Religion jeans (she says she did splurge for herself... once! haha!) and a warm but stylish fleece.

One product that she can’t live without for her little ones is a Cloud B Twilight plush toy, it transforms into a starry night…easing a child’s fear of the dark, both her children have one.  When they wake at night and are scared, they turn the toy on and fall back asleep.  The starry night goes off within a half hour.

Advice she would give a Mom thinking of opening her own business:
"Keep your head up when the going gets tough.  There will be a lot of highs and lows in the first year. ..It’s a year full of learning.  Time and patience pays off!"
Her most valuable mom lesson:
"Live in the moment.  When you are with your children, be present, I mean really present.  This time is precious and you want to experience it to the fullest, without distraction."
Dressed to Deliver Products:

Birthing Gowns:
"Our soft jersey knit gown has front and back snaps, a reinforced bust, and empire waist.  This allows for easy access for epidurals, baby monitors, and breastfeeding while keep you supported and dignified."

“Our shrug is a great compliment to our beautiful birthing gowns. Whether you want more arm coverage or are concerned about being cold during the many stages of labor (it can take a while!) our shrug provides just enough coverage where you want and need it. The soft jersey knit fabric and stylish design adds a touch of elegance to our gowns…and like our Babe Wrap, our shrug can be worn anytime, anywhere, by any woman! We like that!”

Babe Wrap:
“Whether you wear it to cover your little babe while nursing, or to bring out the babe in you, you are sure to look fabulous in our Babe Wrap. We believe it’s the only nursing cover-up that lets you nurse discreetly yet stylishly, and that’s because our cover-up is an actual piece of clothing that you wear! Different than nursing tops or often flowery cover-ups that are draped over the shoulder(s), the Babe Wrap is a stylish wrap that closes. That’s our favorite thing about the Babe Wrap…it can be worn open for an elegant look, or closed for a sexy yet cozy feel. It’s the perfect addition to any woman’s wardrobe…young, gracefully aging, pregnant, laboring, nursing…you name it…we’ve got you covered!”

What I thought:

When I had my first daughter I wore a regular Hospital gown.  It was uncomfortable, unforgiving, and not so cute for all of my first pictures with Zoey.  I knew then that I wanted something different for my next experience!! 

I wore this gown the month before going into labor as a dress, and loved it.  It is super comfortable and breathable, and gave my tummy plenty of room.  The snaps were hardly noticeable, and they were super convenient during OB visits as my doctors could just unsnap a few tummy snaps for monitoring and tummy checks.  I wore it at least once a week in the weeks before my delivery. 

I am unfortunately unable to go into great detail about how amazing this gown would be for the laboring part.   I was only in labor for 3 or 4 hours this time as I had to have  a repeat C-section (a lot of damage was done during my first labor and C-section, and because of this and my small frame my OB was uncomfortable trying VBAC).  That being said I can say that I think it would be great for laboring because of its features.  It has snaps from the bottom up to the bust line in the front to make monitoring easy, and all the way up the back.  Your doctors and nurses will have just as good of access to you as they would in a hospital gown, but you will look 100 times better! 

After my C-section I wore the gown for the following day in the hospital.  It made the tummy checks and nursing so much easier.  And the best part is that I looked so much better for all of the pictures in the hospital.  I was able to eliminate some of the Hospital gown pictures.  The Hospital was going to put me into this after the C-section, however we had complications that resulted in my getting put to sleep, and closely monitored when I woke up.  Needless to say my nurses and doctors put my attire on the back burner while monitoring me the first few hours.  Most hospital will however change you into this instead of a hospital gown after any surgery, and of course most will let you labor in it as well.

I also still wear the gown regularly as a nursing gown. It has buttons for easy nursing, and is still just as comfortable as the first time I wore it.  It also covers all of my lumps and bumps as I am working on eventually getting my body back. 

I have probably worn the gown at least 20-30 times so far, and will be wearing it as a nightgown for my nursing duration, which hopefully will be a long while!
(Please excuse the bad pictures.  I had better ones, but had a camera mishap)

You can find there FB page HERE.
You can visit their webpage HERE.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Button Scraps-Review and Giveaway!

About Button Scraps:

Desiree is the WAHM behind Button scraps. She is married to husband Mathew for 4.5 years.  They always knew they wanted 4 kids close together.  They found out that they were expecting their first son Christmas Eve of 2007 (I cant think of a much better Christmas gift than that!) and welcomed Lucas Matthew to their little family in August of 2008.They welcomed their second son, Jackson Bradley, in March of 2010, then a few months later they found out they were expecting their third bundle and third son, Micah Lloyd, who was born March of 2011. They are now expecting their fourth bundle September 20,2012 (or so).  Its a GIRL!!  They plan to name her Brooklyn Katie. They also have one furry baby,  a cat named Cohen. He is an orange ginger cat who normally has a lion cut.

Desiree got started shortly after having her first little boy.  She noticed that there aren't much cute boy things out there.  A friend had made her boys baby leggings and a onesie and she fell in love with them both.  She asked her friend to show her how she made them, and her friend taught her a lot of tips and tricks to get her started on her journey to develop Button Scraps. 

Her mom picked up a few very large receiving blankets, which she soon realized was a MUST have for her family. Her boys all loved to be swaddled well past 6 months and cuddle with their blankets.  After making tons of these for her boys and getting requests from her friends, her husband said "Why don't you start selling these?  You can call yourself Button Scraps"  (One of his nicknames for her is Button as well as scrapbooks and finds tons of uses for all of her fabric scraps). So she started advertising her items on Kijiji (a local internet sale site) and making a bit of a profit.  She started her facebook page in September of 2010 and the rest of her story is still being written.

She tries to incorporate Monkeys into many of her products... Her favorite product being the Gorilla wrap  (or the XXXL swaddle receiving blanket). It measures 1 meter by 1 meter (about 3 feet 3 inches, by 3 feet 3 inches) and is made out of flannel.  It is the everything blanket with tons of uses. They always have them on the go.  Her second favorite product is also her second sons favorite, Monkey Legs (baby leggings/ leg warmers).  Jackson used to pick a pair out to wear every day, and at 2.5 he still asks to wear them. They are great for crawlers, and perfect for showing off a cute diaper.  Its also great under pants but Desirees favorite use for them is doctors visits.  There is no need to have your little on waiting in a cold office room. These keep her boys nice and warm, and if it is a dreaded shot day she can just slip the monkey legs down and back up after. 
She also loves her Monkey clips (especially her bib clips which I reviewed!) the snack bags, monkey rounds, bows, monkey tails, chalk mats, ties, wipes, unpaper towels, soap hugs, sippy catchers, and more. She takes special requests for other products as well.

She loves being a WAHM and being able to make her own hours and play with her littles. She also loves getting her little ones involved in her business.  They often help pick out fabrics, request new items, and help any other way they can.  They are just as excited for new fabrics and products as Desiree is!  She will never forget when her oldest son who was still learning to talk at the time saw some train fabric she had ordered he looked at it and said "Mommy me sheets!" Of course he got some awesome train sheets!!  Now that he is coming up on his fourth birthday he requested a new tie blanket. (Star Wars on one side and Batman on the other)  They love helping.... and requesting new items. They are her biggest fans!

She hopes to teach her children to be creative and to enjoy what they do. She wants them to learn a good work ethic, and lean to work hard and do their best  Her boys already love doing crafts and being creative.  It brings her so much joy to see their imaginations at work, and to watch them problem solve. She also hopes that her working from home will teach them to ALWAYS have time for your family. She knows how fortunate she is to be able to work from home with, while still spending time playing with her little ones.

Desiree plans to keep doing what she loves to do and sharing her creative passion with other families.  She never wants to be a chain store, but wants to continue being a mom that shares her crafts.  She loves the "Mom n Pop" small business feel.

Price List:
Remember she makes tons of other items so you can message her for more pricing!
Gorilla Wrap- $10
Monkey Blankey- $10
Monkey Clips- $6 each or set for $15
Unpaper Towel Mix and Match- 1- $3.3- $8.50, 10- $27.50
Wipe Mix and Match- 1-$2, 3- $5.50, 10- $17.50
Kleenex Mix and Match- 1-$1.25, 3- $3.00, 10- $8.50
Travel Wipe Mix and Match- 1- $1.50, 3- $4.25, 10-$12.75
Cherry Put Heating Pad (5x18)- $20
Fleece Cover for Heating pad- $4.50

What I thought:

I reviewed some really awesome goodies!  I loved all of them! Every single thing she sent me was very well stitched, and clean looking.  

First I reviewed the Monkey Blanket.  It is a double sided fleece toy blanket.  I has different color and texture ribbons for chewing and grabbing.  Its like a much better looking Taggy.  I love the usability of this toy!  I can use it with Elliana (almost 2 months) and Zoey (almost 15 months). Elliana LOVES the colors on it.  I can also add the toy looks that she can grip.  Zoey loves to attach the loops to the ribbons and try to attach toys to it. Its fabulous sensory play for both my girls!  

I also reviewed a Gorilla wrap (aka- XXXL swaddle receiving blanket). It is a super huge blanket that we have used for just about everything.  I have used it as a swaddling blanket, a car seat blanket, a car seat cover to avoid the sun, and in a pinch, a nursing cover. I love that it is big enough to fit our every need. I also really liked that it did not change shape after washing.  All of our store bought receiving blankets changed shape after it was washed, but not this one.  This would make a great baby shower gift!

We also used a Monkey Clip Set (included a soother clip, a bib clip, and pant clips).  The soother clip (or Binky/ Pacifier, whatever it may be called in your home) has a snap on it instead of velcro which I really loved.  It would work great with an Avent style pacifier or similar.  We used the bib clip and loved it. It has a snap in the back to shorten the length so that it can be used for a very long time. I used the 8x8 wipe attached to the clip as a bib.  I will carry this with me in our diaper bag for outings to attach to a wipe as a quick bib.  Lastly I am in LOVE with the pant clip.  Zoey is moving up to the next size in pants but they are still big in the waist, this totally solved that problem.  It attaches to the belt loops (or to the fabric if you are using it on pant without belt loops) and tightens the pants like a belt would (just without the struggle of trying to get a belt on a toddler).

We also used 10x10 Unpaper towels which are great for kitchen spills, and as napkins, 8x8 wipes which we used for diaper changes, 5x5 kleenex which is the perfect size for little noses and is nice and thick, and a 4x8 travel wipe which fits great into a travel wipe case.  All of them where double sided flannel and where double stitched (or turned and top-stitched).  They are also in adorable patterns. I love how absorbent and useful these are!

Lastly I reviewed a Cherry Heating Pad and Cover in Neck Size.  I loved this!! It can be used as a hot pad (pop it in the microwave) or as a cold pad (stick it in the freezer). It has a removable cover and is completely washable.  The inside is made of cherry pits, and smells natural (unlike most heating pads).  It held the heat for a long time, and will be a must have for me! Love it!!

I highly recommend all of these products!  

Up For Giveaway:

Desiree will be giving away a wipe set! It includes an Unpaper Towel (10x10), Wipe(8x8) Kleenex (5x5) and Travel wipe (4x8).  You can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway