May 26, 2017

Good-bye Tight Waist Bands!

At 16 weeks pregnant my husband, some friends and I went on a trip to Mother Cuba. It was my 5th time going, and my first time where I couldn't drink. I wouldn't recommend it.

On the way home, we were making a pit stop in Toronto for a dear friend's wedding and we were going straight from the airport to the rehearsal dinner. I had packed an easy dress that I knew would still fit and a pair of dance tights that I had just bought from Amazon. Here's the thing. I was so tired at that point in my pregnancy that I could not make it to the store to buy my favourite Mondor tights. I went against all of my best instincts and bought another brand of dance tights in XXL. That's right, two XX's. They were terrible! My belly was just starting to get a little bigger and the waist band was digging into my stomach so badly at dinner that it was hard to think about anything else! 

The next day I knew I had to wear them again for the wedding and I didn't know what I was going to do! Fortunately, my friend Lindsay was also 16 weeks pregnant and had purchased a pair of black Feel Free Maternity Tights from Thyme Maternity. GAME CHANGER!! There was no waist band at all and they had an extra panel in front to fit a growing belly. They were soft, thick and oh so comfortable. I am still so grateful that she lent them to me that day! I got through the wedding fairing pretty well until about 11pm, when my belly decided to pop and my dress no longer zipped up all of the way. You win some and you lose some!

As soon as I got home, I went shopping and bought myself the maternity tights. Not only were the tights on sale, but it was buy one get one 50% off so I treated myself to two pairs. Now that the baby is out and my belly is back to normal, I am still wearing the tights. They stay up really well and I do not need to worry about anything pinching or rolling over.

Besides my daughter, they might be the best thing to come out of my pregnancy!

The Girlfriend Tips

Some of Amelia's girlfriends tips:

1. Buy your shampoos, lotions and soaps at Winners. You can buy salon products at half the price.

2. Wear a shower cap when you’re showering and you don’t want to wash your hair. You can really get in there and enjoy yourself!

3. Invest in a good dry shampoo like Oscar Blandi that works for your hair so you can wash your hair as little as possible. Better yet, buy it at Winners!

4. Every manicure should be a shellac polish.

5.  Use a small makeup bag to keep your purse organized.  Things like a Tide-To-Go stick, bandaids, purell, needle and thread, tampons etc. can go in this pouch.  You will always be prepared for any situation.  You only have to fill it once, and it’s easy to change purses.

6. Only show one part of your body at a time. If you show cleavage cover your knees. If you're showing a lot of leg, cover your shoulders. Be classy!

7. Buy a short, nude coloured slip with a thick waist band. On a hot day, it will absorb the sweat and you won’t get any marks on your dress. Plus its pretty sexy.

8. A hair foundation (chignon mesh) under your bun will make it look much bigger.

9. Use open ended bobby pins for buns, or corkscrew bins. You don’t need hair elastics that will leave a line in your hair!

10. It's better to be single, than to be in a miserable relationship.

You Need Amazon Prime

I love online shopping. Love it. Nothing satisfies me more than a good deal that I can purchase from the comfort of my couch. My husband once created a live broadcast of me sitting on the couch in my housecoat while I shopped after Christmas. He posted the link on his Facebook account and when anyone clicked on the link they were able to watch me "do nothing on [my] Christmas Vacation".  A little bell would toll each time someone checked in but I had no idea what was going on. Several hours later, once strangers started logging in from China it was time to pull the plug!

It tuns out my husband loves to online shop even more than me. He avoids any store so we were in search of some online shopping that we could do together. Last summer while we were preparing for our new baby to arrive, we decided to purchase an Amazon Prime membership. We are in Canada so a basic membership costs $79 a year, so we really debating for a few weeks about whether or not it was a good investment. After almost a year of free two-day shipping and having everything from our diapers to toilet paper delivered directly to our front porch we have to admit IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!!

We signed up for Amazon Prime on Prime Day which takes place in the second week of July each year. It is basically the Black Friday of Amazon and the deals were insane! In the first day alone, we were able to save over $350 on items that we had been eyeing online. The Prime Day savings paid for our membership immediately so it was really a no brainer in the end.

When we started looking into the world of diapers, no one can beat Amazon's Subscribe and Save. We are able to purchase a 200+ box of diapers for around $30/box. The Amazon price for a pair of Pampers Baby Dry Size 3 is $37.28 and when we subscribe it comes to $31.31. Each month we have the option to change the diaper size, or to delay a month on the shipment. The best part is they arrive right to our front door so no need to lug them home from the grocery store. We also get our  premium wipes, kleenex, toilet paper and paper towels this way. There is nothing more satisfying then coming home to find a box the size of a dishwasher waiting out for you on the porch!

Amazon Prime is also great for:

1. Purchasing last minute gifts, especially toys. No need to make a trip to a specialty store in the dead of winter. The gift will be at your house in two days and often one.
2. Any baby product known to man. We got our Britax car seat for $50 cheaper than any local store and we did not need to leave the house to get it!
3. They have a deal of the day for Prime members. Get special deals and early access to other sales.
4. Over-analyzing every purchase by reading hundreds of reviews
5. Making impromptu purchases that you'll definitely regret

Amazon Prime tips:

1. Use a password generator when creating your password. You want to keep your credit card info safe and make it more difficult for yourself to make drunk purchases.
2. Use Subscribe and Save for anything you order monthly or bi-monthly. Most orders will be another 20% off. It will pick a date for you, so be sure to order in advance.
3. Stick to Prime purchases to guaranteed in two-day shipping. There are many free shipping options but they could take weeks to arrive.

Some of the items that we purchased this year:

1. Amazon rechargeable batteries
2. Camping stove
3. Baby food containers
4. Nursing bras in UK sizes
5. Two TV wall mounts
6. Wild Rose Cleanse kit
7. An embarrassing number of things actually - 73 orders in the past year alone!

So clearly we love it. We have been trying to convince everyone we know to get it, and have only successfully gotten two other families to sign up. I think its pretty obvious that we are terrible sales people. The worst.

Maybe this article will help convince the rest....if you have kids in diapers I don't think there is any other way to go!


PS No one has paid me to say any of this...but Amazon I am here for you if you need me.

I'm back!

Guess who's back? Back again!

You have read correctly. It has been a four year hiatus, but I am back! I have learned so many new things over these past few years and a lot has changed. I got married, had a baby girl, bought new couches and went north of the Wall. Going through the stages of planning a wedding, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and finally being a mother have exposed me to a whole new world of products, clothing and gear. There are so many great things out there that I need to share!

A couple of months ago I started to write up a big email to a friend about all of the baby gear that I had bought. A few months later, I revised it and sent to another pregnant friend....then a few months later I sent it to another. This got me thinking. Maybe it was time to share my new knowledge with a bigger community. Amelia's Girlfriends has pivoted and will now be venturing into the world of baby gear, beauty products, fashion and anything else that has helped me on my journey.

Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy this new adventure,

Amelia (Caitlin) Villeneuve