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Belly Beautiful: The Art of Belly Casts

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. So much so that it draws strangers in grocery stores and sidewalks to hover right to your round belly as if rubbing it will grant a wish. I believe it should be worshipped in this manor and cherished, celebrated—perhaps even preserved into art.

Belly casts (or belly masks/belly sculptures) are a unique and expressive way to preserve this special moment in your life and celebrate your body, as well as create a treasured keepsake for your little one as he/she grows older.

Since I chose to memorialize my pregnancy by having a professional photographer take artistic photos of me and my belly, I had to do some research for this particular art form. It looks like belly casting has been around since the mid 1980’s and conceptualized by a former art student, Francine Krause, who eventually created easy at-home kits. No art background is required, though, for creating your own belly mask. It can be as simple as keeping it just the natural plaster color, or painting it and/or embellishing it your heart’s content.

Moon cast
My favorite part about my research for this was the wonderful online art galleries I perused! Since I am a huge moon and star fan, I liked this piece I found on Proudbody.com. They have such an extensive gallery that they divided the masks by “theme.” There are some stunning pieces! I also particularly loved this flowery one: Flower mask

Some masks can be quite ornate, too, like those I found on RockABelly. I can see these hanging in high end galleries! My favorites were a hand-painted one to resemble an elaborate English pottery design, one with glass mosaic tiles, and one with an aged copper finish. Check it out! I also loved Belly Of Love where I found this fairy one. Fairy mask The possibilities are only limited by your own wishes and imagination!

So now that you’re hopefully inspired, there are many at-home kits you can purchase online that streamline the process and make it especially easy and safe. Prices range from $20-$75 for these kits, and the process only takes about an hour.

Budding artist or not, I think it’s a creative, wonderful way to treasure this glowing, unique-to-you time and celebrate your own belly of love!

SF Birth and Baby Fair

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Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm and kinds words on Saturday! We were inundated with hundreds of mommies, bumps and babies - all of whom tasted, gulped and delighted in Glow Mama. We are glad you too think its a good idea and we’re pleased the taste test lived up to your high expectations. We’ll keep you posted on our next events, free samples and giveaways.

Congratulations to Julie who won the Glow Mama Mom-mocktail Kit - she’ll be mixing up a yummy Mom-osa storm at her baby shower next week.
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Cheers!

Pregnancy Book Giveaway

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We are excited to announce that we have a copy of this new and fabulous book, The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy to give away in June to one of our lucky members. Simply sign up for our newsletter here and be in to win!

The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy: A New Book for Modern Moms-to-Be

Book CoverHere is a new book to add to your collection of pregnancy books, right alongside The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy (Vicki Iovine, Pocket Books). The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy by Ericka Lenkert gives down-to-earth and practical advice with a twist of whimsy.

The author speaks from her own 9 month journey as well as takes snippets from a pool of 100 women whom she refers to as the “Mommy Menagerie.” The result is a complete guide that covers everything from the best places to buy maternity clothes, a section on nutrition and even “craving recipes” (I love this!), to particulars like what to bring in your hospital bag and what to skip, essential baby products, and even the author’s own birthing story (which I was touched by because it was very similar to mine).

If you’re like me, I soaked up every book on pregnancy I could get my hands on, and often re-read chapters as I was going through or about to go through that particular phase. This book is definitely one that you will constantly be referring to throughout your pregnancy, whether you need a pick-me-up when your pre-pregnancy jeans no longer fit even with them unbuttoned, or whether you want resources on breastfeeding or best baby gear to buy (often with brand names, which I appreciated).

The sprinkling of Mommy Menagerie top lists and topics, such as “The Mommy Menagerie Top 10 List of Creepiest Elements of Pregnancy,” and “The Mommy Menagerie on…Fashion Tips” are interesting tidbits of support when you need info from a pool of pregnant lovelies like yourself, or just knowledge that what you’re feeling is normal. But one of my favorite features are the various “Cheat Sheets” on topics like exercise, weight gain, sex and what to pack for the hospital.

From the perspective of a new mom who went through my own special 9 month pregnancy adventure, I have to commend the author for managing to incorporate *most of the pertinent information that us “real” gals want to know, without any fluff. (*There was no information or Mommy Menagerie weigh-ins on the actual giving birth part.) And it’s a fun read to boot (despite the book’s ridiculously small font size!) The resource guide in the back of the book is an added bonus.

Check out Erika Lenkert’s website at www.therealdealguide.com for more information about the book. Better yet, treat yourself to a copy!

Cal-Safe School for Young Moms

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When we recently learned about the Cal-SAFE (School Age Family Education) School we of course jumped at the opportunity to supply them with some Glow Mama. What an amazing organization - developed and run by volunteers - they provide nutritious food, support and lessons to 35 pregnant and parenting teens aged 15-18 in Oakland. They have dedicated teachers, on-site childcare, school supplies and baby gear all accessible. And, as if the founder and teachers weren’t inspiration enough, check out what the gorgeous girls themselves said when I asked them what made them glow…

“When I was pregnant the thing that made me glow was the life inside me. Having a growing baby made my face brighter and more beautiful.” Jordana Smith

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“I feel that people make me glow more when they acknowledge that I am pregnant. Seeing other babies makes me glow because I think about mine.” Alexis Farrell

Cal-SAFE is always looking for donations (good food, yoga equipment, baby gear, doulas and birthing educators, etc) so they can continue their good work… So go on, donate… we do!

Oops..I forgot how long Itzbeen again!

 

The Itzbeen Baby Care Timer is a product you will continue to use long after your baby has become a former baby. I have been using the Itzbeen all weekend to keep track of how long it has been since I gave Connor his medicine. This timer is really full of uses!

The Itzbeen is cleverly designed to clip to your diaper bag or your lampshade (the one place I won’t lose it at), basically where ever you want to put it. It has a night light feature which comes in handy for night time feedings or medicating a sick kid. The Itzbeen has timers for tracking feedings, diaper change, naps and an extra timer for whatever you need. You can set each timer separately to alert you (like an alarm clock) if it has been more than ___ hours or mins since you last changed the baby or fed the baby, etc..

I was really impressed by how easy it was to use the Itzbeen. You really just push the button after you have completed a timer task and it was keep up with the time until you push it again. It has a clock on there so you can tell the actual time as well. My favorite feature is that at the bottom there is a switch that you can slide from left to right to keep up with which side you nursed on last. Then you can hit the feeding timer and you will also know how long it’s been since baby had a meal. With Connor I carried around a notebook and a stopwatch. I’m sure I looked a little strange when nursing in public. I am so relieved to have found a product that will keep me from toting those items with me anymore, plus it was a pain during night time feedings. Bottom Line - for the price, the Itzbeen is a must have product for new moms and the perfect baby shower gift!

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