Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe Roundup



Wow, who knew a simple recipe for Kale Chips would set off a firestorm of blog traffic. Thanks, Pinterest!
In case you'd like to see my other food posts, I've conveniently included the links below:

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Blackened Grouper Melt

Walter's Bean Dip

Green Eggs & Ham

The Lady's Mac & Cheese

Fried Fish Sandwiches

The Sandwich King's Focaccia 


Hip-Baby Mama's Meatballs

Buffalo Shrimp

Shrimp Scampi

DIY Baby Food

Deviled Eggs

Cake Balls

The Perfect Grilled Cheese


Monday, February 25, 2013

Things I Have Learned Since Thursday

I haven't been good about posting because I'm on "vacation." L.E. and I are visiting my parents. I've learned a lot since we left Austin last Thursday...some of it not very interesting but hey, it's my blog and I have a little bit of writers' block.
  • L.E. does no wrong in her grandparents' eyes. I know that's the way grandparents are supposed to be, but maybe they should say something as she's jumping up and down on the couch while stabbing me with a fishing rod.
  • L.E. can adapt to ANY situation beautifully. We had a travel-day from Hell and she was such a trooper, even as we spent the night in a hotel 3 hours away from our house, woke up at 4:30 am to get to the airport, had a 2-hour layover that was unexpected and still had a smile on her face when we finally made it here...a full 24 hours after we left. Also, she somehow managed to potty-train herself.
  • I can still do lots of shots when coerced. I feel like my extended family in Hilton Head could convince anyone to do anything. They should all go into some kind of sales motivation business.
  • Life can exist without Netflix streaming. In the year 2013, there is a cartoon on some channel anytime of day.
  • One cannot diet while vacationing.
  • My mom really, really, really loved Argo.
  • My dad can do a #2 field change at the beach.
  • Alligators can live in the suburbs.

Good thing we're separated by that shallow pond...
I'm taking advantage of free babysitting provided by the grandparents so I'm crashing my sister's anniversary trip to go to Harry Potter World. So you may not see a post until later in the week.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Away We Go!

Not our final destination.
Short post today because L.E. and I are flying to my parents' for my sister's 40th birthday party. I'm curious to know which L.E. is going to show up on the plane today.

The super sweet little girl who gets all the nice comments upon landing (Oh she was sooooo good! How old is she? THAT young? We barely knew she was on the plane!)

Or this one.

Fortunately I am armed with enough diapers.

And drink coupons.

L.E. is so excited to see her grandparents. Somehow she got confused during one of our imagination times so she thinks she's going to see Mee Maw and Pap Pap at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Paris would be marvelous but Hilton Head is nice, too.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feel Like You're Raising Ted Bundy or Aileen Wuornos?

Today on Austin Moms Blog, I discuss the fine line between normal toddler behavior and stark-raving madness. Do you ever have those moments where you're not sure if your child is behaving like a typical toddler or if he/she are one pulled-butterfly-wing away from being a serial killer? I can't be alone on this one.
Read all about it and please tell me that I'm not the crazy one.

We protect this tiny robot because if we lose him, we will feel the wrath.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

Not my real hair color 
  1. My hair has been going grey since I was 15.
  2. My all-time favorite movie is Trainspotting. Ewan McGregor has been number one on my freebie list since 1996. (The other four are Clive Owen, Christian Bale, Joel McHale and Adam Scott. But if I ever run into Ryan Gosling or Matthew McConaughey while living in Austin, all bets are off. The same goes for Dr. T should he ever see Shannon Elizabeth somewhere.)
  3. I have been with Dr. T for over half of my life now. We were NOT high school sweethearts.
  4. I've gone to five different colleges: University of Pittsburgh, University of New Mexico, Southwest University of Visual Arts, University of Nevada and Truckee Meadows Community Colleges. I'll root for Pitt first and foremost in sports. I will cheer for the Longhorns because of proximity.
  5. I didn't want to have kids for a very long time. I wrote about that here.
  6. I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.
  7. Thanks to my Pap, I have a stamp collection that spans over 40 years of Post Office yearbooks.
  8. I want to try stand-up comedy sometime. I love performing and I used to be in plays.
  9. My dream vacation would be to Florence, Italy.
  10. I have never been so unsure of my future career-wise and it's crippling me in many ways. I crave validation and want to know that I'm heading in the right direction.
  11. Bonus: I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.
Your turn: What are two things people may not know about you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

ICYMI: Week in Review – 2-16-13

I love February 16th and 17th because it kicks off birthday season. One of my best friends from high school's birthday is today and my sister's 40th(!) is tomorrow. Then it segues into my sister-wife's, L.E.'s godfather's, St. Patty's Day, a slew of old co-workers' bdays, my BFF's on March 23rd, culminating in L.E.'s 3rd birthday on March 24th. It's a fun time of the year. Oh! I  almost of my few Austin friends is having a birthday party tonight. Yay us!

I wouldn't call this a Squee of the Week but it's my favorite video I saw this week and it has cats in it.

Here is what happened this week in Hip-Baby Mama Land:

I got in touch with my inner asshole and put up a sign.

I made delicious kale chips, which are still sitting in a bowl on the counter.

I wrote a love letter to 12-year-old me and I forgot to tell her to save her overalls for me.

I confessed to the lies I tell L.E. and I hope she forgives me after she reads this some day. I got this topic of discussion going over at Scary Mommy, so check it out if you get a chance. You can see what other lies people tell their kids.

Also this week, I was featured on BlogHer which is a huge deal to me. When I decided to make this blog my full-time job -- my full-time, unpaid, no benefits job -- I was hoping it would take off right away. But it takes a lot more work than I ever anticipated. Being featured by a huge network like BlogHer makes it all worthwhile.

As always, thank you for reading and for your support!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lies I Tell My Daughter

Inspired by a recent post on Austin Moms Blog, here are all of the ways I lie to my daughter:

  • We're out of lollipops
  • We're out of cookies
  • We're out of popsicles
  • We're out of ice cream
  • Your bumblebee socks are dirty
  • It's my turn to drive, not yours
  • The binky fairy took your binkies and gave them to a baby who needs them
  • The zoo is closed
  • The grocery store is closed
  • The toy store is closed
  • They only made one episode of Blue's Clues
  • If you don't stop screaming, I will leave you here at the park
  • If you don't stop crying, I will leave you in the car
  • If you only have cookies for dinner, your teeth will fall out
  • Your tummy hurts because you didn't eat any carrots at lunch
  • The TV is broken
  • Netflix is broken
  • The cowboys are sleeping so we can't watch Toy Story
  • Mommy talks to Santa every day
  • The peacocks at the park are sleeping
  • We'll go the beach next week
  • Your friend can't come over because it's his naptime
  • Your potty will be sad if you don't use it
  • Mommy's too tired to read you a story at 3 am (wait, that's actually the truth!)
I know you lie to your kids, too. What lies do you tell them?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

To 12-Year-Old Me, With Love

Awkward image to go with the awkward age.
So I cynically wrote about my loathing of Valentine's Day and I realized that maybe I'm being a bit too harsh. There are a lot of writing prompts making the rounds this week about writing a love letter. I was inspired by Jen at People I Want to Punch in the Throat, who wrote a letter to her teenage self. Since the apex of my awkwardness came a bit before then, I think 12-year-old me deserves a little more love.

Dear Can-A-Soup (or Fruit Head or Watermelon or Can-A-Poop, depending on whatever horrific nickname you were graced with that day),

Hi! How are you? How was Fraulein Miller's German class today? Are you planning a party in Deutsch class? Will you bring your usual Bretzeln?
I'm writing to tell you that things will get better. I know you're super-bummed right now because your mom won't buy you another pair of Guess jeans. And your sister spilled a Pepsi on your favorite Esprit sweatshirt. But fear not, mein Freund. You're super-close to finally discovering what it is that makes you tick. Also, your asymmetrical permed haircut is just about ready to be cut into a short bob which will look a gazillion times better and people will finally ask you who you're trying to look like because you look like nobody famous or even remotely cool.
I know you've had a rough couple of months since your former babysitter/current hairstylist experimenter gave you that poodle perm. Believe me, you'll find yourself at the mercy of many more hairstylists who will tell you what they think your hair should look like. Just go with the flow and one day you'll find the style that is best for you: choppy layers and lots of curl enhancing products.
Your clothes are pretty rockin, though. Those black stirrup pants with your black v-neck sweater and blue turtleneck are awesome and you'll never regret this outfit choice. But don't get too attached to your knee-length lime green Swatch sweater. Soon, your mom will toss it the trash when you're not looking. And you won't be able to dig it out, either, because she timed it to happen on garbage day. But don't day you'll have a puppy that chews up her favorite pair of Clarks so it will all work out.
You're twelve and this is pretty much your worst age. You don't get contact lenses for another year. It's unfortunate that you're still years off from the hipster-spectacle revolution. But your new glasses will arrive just in time for your class trip to Washington know, the trip where someone will call up JB Jackson's room and tell him about your HUGE crush on him. (Don't worry, he knows who you are and he won't freak out and call you a weirdo. There are plenty of those dudes still coming up.)
I know you have some girl friends who are "going with someone" and you feel like you're all alone. Well, sweetie, you're twelve. Where are you gonna go with a boy? The ice skating rink and then the pizza parlor. You're already there with your friends every Friday night and they are WAY more fun than that stupid red-headed boy you've liked since third grade.
So as much as you want to hole up in your bedroom and listen to "Boys Don't Cry" over and over again until the tape breaks, know that you are about to find some really amazing things that you are good at and actually like doing. Also, CDs are about to be more common so no more broken tapes!
This spring, you'll audition for the school play and get a really cool part in it, written just for you. This will spark something in you that won't go away. You'll act in plays all through high school and even major in it during your first semester of college.
Also, you'll discover that all those times your dad made you run laps during soccer practice will pay off when you join the girls' track team and set the middle school record for the 800 meter. You'll run track for the rest of middle school and your freshman year of high school. But then your coach will piss you off and you quit. I wish I could tell you not to, but I know you just won't listen.
I want to tell you that you will not be defined by who you are now and who you will be in high school. Sure, you'll have some amazing times and some super-embarrassing when your car breaks down at Slippery Rock the day you skip school and you have to call your mom for the AAA number. (And it won't be because the car wasn't in park, contrary to what your parents tell your friends over Christmas dinner. You will drive a piece of shit Mustang and it will just shut off all the time. But that car is very instrumental in meeting your future doctor-husband.)
Yes that's right, honey, you will marry a doctor! Granted, he's a PhD doctor but you still get to sign your Christmas cards "Dr. & Mrs." Little do you know right now, but he is lurking just across town and his last name is only one page away from yours in the Greater Pittsburgh Area White Pages. Actually, he's a bit older than you so he's probably at college right now. You'll meet him sooner than you think you'll meet the man you marry. Strange how life works sometimes.
Well, I'm going to wrap this up now because I think I hear your daughter crying for more milk. Yep, nurturing all those Cabbage Patch Kids paid off and you have a real live kid. But just so you know, you can't clean her off like your CPK by holding her by her pigtails and dangling her in the washing machine. That's actually quite frowned upon.
So keep your chin up and know that no matter how sad and low you feel now, things get better. Your hair will come into its own; you'll have friends who appreciate your quirks and awkwardness and you'll like your parents again. Pinky swear.

Hip-Baby Mama
(It's what I call myself now. Sure beats Can-A-Poop, doesn't it?)

P.S. You're soon to go through a phase where you wear overalls a lot. Enjoy it while you can because 20 years later, I'm still waiting for them to make a comeback...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yum Yum: Kale Chips

You all know how much I love food but how much I hate eating healthy. I found a good compromise with kale chips: take something healthy and trick it into becoming a snack food!
Some claim they taste just like a potato chip. Those people are wrong. Sure, kale chips are crunchy but let's call a spade a spade -- or a veggie a veggie. Despite the olive oil and seasonings, they still taste vaguely broccoli-like. But they're very light and thin and you can force yourself to eat them without thinking too much about it.
They're super easy to make.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Start with a clean and dry bunch of kale.

Tear leaves off the stems and into chip-size pieces. Toss in a little bit of olive until leaves are coated. Sprinkle with salt and seasonings. Some ideas:

  • Cayenne pepper, onion powder
  • Italian seasoning, garlic powder, grated parmesan
  • Cajun seasoning 
  • Curry powder, garlic powder and a pinch of sugar
  • Fresh rosemary, garlic salt, red pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon and sugar

Spread out on foil-lined baking pan. Or if you actually own REAL kitchen supplies, lay on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes.

Dump into bowl and leave it on your counter to snack on all day.

"Pro" Tips: 
  1. Don't be shocked by how little chips you end up with after baking. You've never seen such shriveling! (That's what she said.)
  2. Use the cayenne pepper sparingly. I over-seasoned and they are pretty spicy. Now I can't trick L.E. into eating them.
  3. Check them at 10 minutes. If they burn, they taste really horrible. You can pull them out of the oven when they're still slightly wiggly. They should crisp up shortly.
  4. If you have an olive oil mister, that will work in getting the leaves lightly coated.
Congratulations. You're eating a vegetable that's delicious!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Please Don't Bother Me Because I'm Writing. Really.

Since we moved to Austin, a new phenomenon has entered our lives: the door-to-door solicitor. It's crazy here; missionaries, pest control experts, carpet cleaners, magazine sellers, kids with discount cards, petitions, community action networks, people selling meat out of the back of their trucks...the list goes on. Last week, my first full week at home, people knocked our door 15 times. 15 TIMES! Generally I ignored them but then I got paranoid. What if it's not someone who wants me to have more Jesus in my life? What if they're casing the joint to see if anyone's home so they can rob us blind?
Then I realized that probably wasn't the case because our back door was unlocked for three days last week and all of our electronics are still here.
I'm easily, distracted, though and I'm also quite gullible. If a person seems impoverished and wants to clean my car tires, I'll give them a few dollars. I'll sign a petition for clean water. I'll buy a magazine subscription and I'll even take the little Jesus comic book thingies. But I shouldn't be answering the door because I have a job to do.
If I'm going to take this writing thing seriously,  I need to take this writing thing seriously!
So I put up a sign, printed from here.

I don't know if it will work. It makes me feel kind of lame, like I'm a crazy lady. But if crazy means I just want to left alone, then please make sure I have this sign on my room at the asylum.
I saw a bunch of clever signs online, like this one, but I didn't want to be too cutesy.
Plus, I'm a Samoa girl.
I wish I'd put one of these up when I was on maternity leave. I remember a dude coming by and I screamed at him because his incessant doorbell ringing woke up L.E. I answered the door with her howling in my arms and he still insisted on making his pitch. I unleashed on him; I'm not one to normally lose it on people but this was during my PPD heyday. It actually felt pretty good to go off on a stranger and really not feel the repercussions, like if I'd lost it on Dr. T.

What do you think? Is this a smart idea or stupid? Sound off below.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

ICYMI: Week in Review – 2-9-13

Happy Saturday, friends! I hope if you live in the Northeast that you're not getting dumped on too badly.

I won't bore you with the details on the fantastic Austin weather. Let's just say I can't complain.

First things' is your SQUEE! of the Week:

I'm a little obsessed with tiny pigs.

Here is the weekly roundup, in case you missed it.

On Austin Moms Blog, I talked about the crippling depression I faced after L.E.'s birth.

Then on Wednesday, I lamented our tech-free power hour and how it was costing me knowing who voiced young Simba in the The Lion King and what happened to him, which I NEEDED to know RIGHT NOW. (Answer: Jonathan Taylor Thomas)

Thursday, I gained weight and bitched about it.

I also linked up to a lot of places this week.
Scary Mommy (Link goes to my fave article on there this week)

As always, thank you for reading and commenting. I'll try to comment back every time, I swear.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Day is for Suckers
(But you better get me a present anyway)

I hate Valentine's Day and I always have.
Maybe it's because I grew up in an era where you didn't have to give a valentine to every kid in your class, so I always came up short – though I always gave one to everybody. Or it could be that I was grounded the first Valentine's Day I actually had a boyfriend. Most likely, though, it's because of the restaurant industry. I waited tables for a long time and Valentine's Day was the worst. You'd think it would bring out the best in people but usually couples are so obsessed with making sure everything is perfect that they treat the server like shit because she brought out their appetizers three minutes before their meal. It's not like I worked in upscale dining establishments; this was at an Applebee's.
Dr. T knows about my aversion to Valentine's Day but he also knows how much I like presents. And our first Valentine dinner together was amazing. We celebrated the night after February 14th, because I had to work the worst shift of my life. We went to a fabulous restaurant in Pittsburgh that wasn't crowded at all. Flowers were half the price the were the day before. And he got me a super-cute dress from JCrew. In short, it was perfect.
One year later, we were living in a crappy apartment in Albuquerque. We had pizza and my gift was a mattress cover. They can't all be gems.
But over the years, we've had nice evenings usually at home. Since we had L.E., we'll do an early evening dinner somewhere family-friendly. I usually print Todd an I Choo Choo Choose You card from The Simpsons. And he'll get me a Costco bouquet the weekend before.
It's simple. I like simple.
But then the internet gave us Pinterest.
I started to feel inadequate because of my loathing of crafts. If L.E. didn't have adorable DIY pirate valentines, she would be the laughingstock of her preschool.
But then I snapped out of it.
I decided to leave the Valentine's Day crafting to my cohorts who really do make cute things.
I'm a realist. Yes, I may have some spare time right now but I really don't want to spend it elbow-deep in popsicle sticks and glitter glue.
So I'm going to share with you....

Hip-Baby Mama's Surefire Valentine's Day Super Happy Fun Time

You need valentines; you're not so good with the scissors and glue.
That's why we have retail.
I got these beauties at Whole Foods. They were conveniently located by the checkout stands.
They're super-cute and two-sided.

And, you guys...STICKERS!

Yep, they really do smell like bananas

I know what you're thinking: "But Hip-Baby Mama, those are great and all but WHAT will Aiden-Caden-Fayden-Grayden use to HOLD all of his/her/gender-discovering valentines?"

I got you covered, Kemosabe. Behold, I present to you the joys of the Target dollar bin:

Is that felt? Does it want to be?

Yep, it's a felt bag that you did NOT have to make yourself! I know, I'm a genius.
Of course, you could always do what my mom did and that is cover a shoebox in wrapping paper with a slit cut out for the envelopes. But that would require wrapping skills and a shoebox. The last pair of shoes I got were boots and L.E. would look just a little bit egotistical if she showed up with a boot box to fill with her valentines from 20 other kids.
You could also use a bucket, a coffee can or an old purse. With a red Sharpie, anything is possible.
Which brings me to the last quandary to solve for the Hip-Baby Mama's Surefire Valentine's Day Super Happy Fun Time: Finding out the kids' names without asking the teacher so you look like you know what's going on. I snapped a photo of the sign-in sheet with my iPhone. Again, GENIUS.
Lest you think I deserve a spot in the Mensa Hall of Fame, let me remind you that I always like to take the easy way and I'm happy to share that with you for Valentine's Day.
Lastly, if you're just not into it as I usually am, this card will do in a pinch.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Weight-y Frustrations

I know I said that the F word was banned in our house and that I wouldn't lament my poor self-image in front of my daughter. But she's not home right now and I'm feeling fat.
I gained 1-1/2 lbs this week. I really didn't think I gained or lost anything because I've been so vigilant about tracking. I even logged every chip and chicken wing I consumed during the Super Bowl. 
I've eaten plenty of salad. 
If I may be slightly dramatic, I'm extremely frustrated and I kind of hate myself.
OK, I got the negative out. Now I need to be more positive. And explore the "why."
Why is this plan not working right now? Well, truthfully Weight Watchers isn't the only thing not working. I'm not bringing in income and that is stressful. Stress triggers elevated coritsol levels which lead to weight gain through magical science pixie-dust. Stress also leads to sleep deprivation which also can cause weight gain. 
I decided to try to get a part-time job just so I feel a little bit more like I'm contributing to the household. 
Also, I eat my feelings. When I'm sad, I'll starve myself to where I'm dizzy and then eat a bunch to make up for it. If you've ever even glanced at a Shape Magazine with whatever-20-something-starlet-wearing-a-half-shirt, then you know that to be an effective dieter you should space out five small meals a day. I know this. I have diabetic tendencies and that is how I should be eating.
Why don't I?
Why do we go out to eat so much? Why do I not have any willpower? Why do I think it's OK to cheat a little on weekends? 
In my head, it's OK because I'm counting the Points and it will all even out.
You can use your Points on anything. Obviously, I'm doing this wrong. Just because Sonic's Tater Tots with cheese are only five Points doesn't mean they should be eaten.
Restaurants are killing me. 
Someone once told me nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. That person has obviously never lived in Austin.
What are my REAL goals for losing weight? Is it about appearance? Surprisingly, no. I want to be healthy so I can live longer. I want to be able to keep up with L.E. I feel sluggish when I'm carrying the extra pounds. I want to FEEL better and if looking better is part of the package, then I'll take it.
I had a ridiculous goal of losing 20 lbs in six weeks. I wanted to be thinner for my sister's birthday party next month. I know I won't make that goal.
That's why I have Spanx.
The Bloggess often says, "Depression Lies." I think food lies, too. Well, food lies when I just randomly give it a Points value that's not based on any sort of Weight Watchers literature.
So yes, it's me.
I better run now. Literally, I'm going to run. It's not like I have a job. OK, OK I'm done self-loathing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tech-Free Power Hour

So we decided to start a tech-free hour every night. No phones, iPads, laptops, computer, iPods etc. Even an Etch-a-Sketch is pushing it. You'd think this would be easy; you'd think wrong.
Here is a list of all of the things I desperately needed to look up during last night's Tech-Free Power Hour:

  • How much is an Austin Zoo membership?
  • I need a good meatloaf recipe
  • When did Paul Harvey die?
  • I need to make sure Smash is recording
  • L.E. wants a green train for her birthday. I must find this now.
  • What can we make with Swiss Chard, mushrooms and tatsoi?
  • What is tatsoi?
  • I need to find giant googly eyes
  • When is my next Birchbox coming?
  • Am I still friends with so-and-so on Facebook?
  • Hamlet the Mini Pig Goes Down the Stairs
  • L.E. and I are imagining a trip to Paris. What is the name of a good restaurant there?
  • What are my Blogger stats?
  • Did anyone comment on my last post?
  • How do I get Play-Doh out of a rug?
  • How do I get Play-Doh out of my hair?
  • Is there a Post Office nearby?
  • I saw this thing on Pinterest and I need to find it right now
  • Are those jeans at the Gap on sale yet?
  • What's up on Twitter?
  • Who do I want to see at SXSW?
  • Has my health insurance kicked in yet?
  • I heard an email ping. Who was it from? What did it say? Is it a book agent?
  • I need to find that one photo of L.E. where she's naked and playing the ukelele
So there you have it...the pathetic things I really needed to know when I couldn't reach for my phone or lappy.
Do you try a tech-free hour at home at all? If yes, what crazy things did you need to know but couldn't find out till later?

Monday, February 4, 2013

On Austin Moms Blog Today: Depression Hurts

Over at Austin Moms Blog, I write about my struggles with Postpartum Depression. I've written about it plenty here, but I feel like the further away I get from that painful time, the clearer the memories become.
Mildred still rears her ugly head all-too-often. But I'm always finding new ways to cope.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

ICYMI: Week in Review – 2-2-13

Happy Groundhog Day!
Punxutawney Phil* did not see his shadow today at Gobbler's Knob so that means six weeks of spring weather. Yay!
*I did not have to google Punxutawney because it was a spelling word for me in the second grade. PA resident fo life, yo.

Since I'm writing almost every day, and in case you're not reading every day, I'll be posting these weekly wrap-ups so you can catch up. You are welcome, friend.

On Monday, I explored becoming a Life Coach and think maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea since my brutal honesty is bordering on shaming.

Next, I listed the worst possible things that cause L.E. to completely lose it. I'm sure other toddler parents can relate.

Some of my favorite bloggers wrote about how you should be happy they weren't blogging in their 20's.

I beg you to read my book should I get around to writing it.

And I introduced you to my Mom-spiration series and the lovely Dairy Fairy.

Have a fabulous weekend. Go 49-ers!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mom-spiration: The Dairy Fairy

Emily and Arden created their own fairy tale.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many awesome women lately, between MomCom and just through networking Hip-Baby Mama. So I decided to veer away from the snark and profile some of these women as part of a new series. I'm playing against-type by calling this series something cutesy:

First up is Emily Ironi, the DairyFairy. Emily is inspiring to me because she saw something missing for nursing moms and decided to fill the void. After the birth of her daughter Arden (the Arden Bra’s namesake), Emily experienced a lot of the same frustrations many pumping women do. Amidst the stress of being a new mom and closing down a business she co-owned, she realized her next goal in life was to create something that would make moms’ lives easier. By creating the Arden bra, moms who pump now have a fully-functional nursing bra that’s also super-cute.

From the Dairy Fairy website:
  • Both sides are independent, to allow for simultaneous nursing on one side and hands free pumping on the other
  • Convenient and efficient – Wear this bra all day, with no need to disrobe and change into an alternate hands free pumping bra
  • Innovative top cross over design to adjust the fit to your changing fullness level, create cleavage and remind you which breast was last used
Form = Function = Fashionable

The Arden bra will be produced via “crowd-funding” on which is a revolutionary way to raise money for a project. Her goal was to raise $20,000 by Feb. 5th in order to begin production and marketing. As of this posting, The Dairy Fairy has reached its $20,000 goal. But you can still pledge $100 for two bras that will ship to you when they’re ready.

Also, Kickstarter is a great way to gauge interest in a new product. Since an abundance of Kickstarter projects are male-oriented, Emily sets herself apart by being one of the few mom-preneurs on the site. 

Emily's goal for Dairy Fairy is pretty sweet: Improve on products that everybody hates.

Reasons why I admire Emily:
  • She saw a niche and filled it. Have you ever had a problem, particularly since becoming a mom, and wanted to solve it your own way? Well Emily did it instead of just thinking, “I wish I’d thought of that!”
  • She is raising her daughter as a single-mom while simultaneously growing the Dairy Fairy empire
  • She faces some tough competition from giant nursing bra manufacturers. But the Arden Bra sets itself apart by being truly beautiful and functional
  • She treats her dog like part of the family
  • Her answer to my standard question for working moms, “How do you find balance?” wasn’t cookie-cutter. “I am a 50% person. I know I may miss one of Arden’s important milestones but it’s because I’m providing a better life for her.” Hip-Baby Mama point: My counter to that is if you happen to miss your child’s first steps, your caregiver should make it a point to NOT tell you so when you do see it, it’s like the first time.
  • She admits her biggest asset is a strong support system. “It makes it easier to have people in your life to say ‘go for it!’” 
  • She used a mommy group to test out prototypes. Genius! 
I'm inspired by Emily in many ways. I have struggled with what I've wanted to do with my life over and over again. To meet a woman who ditched the rat race and create something that improves mom's lives is pretty kick-ass. I plan to take some of The Dairy Fairy's ideals to heart while figuring out my next move.

Click here to learn more about the Arden Bra
Click here to purchase from Kickstarter

Hip-Baby Mama is NOT being paid for this post, either monetarily or with product. This is just one mom helping another mom achieve her dream. Isn't that rainbows and unicorns?