Friday, 10 January 2014

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipe

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is a herbal tea that is also used as a uterine tonic.  It basically makes your uterus work out.  This is a great relief (I hear) for menstrual cramping.  It is also said to tone the uterus and help soften the cervix when preparing for labour.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea does not induce labour. 

 It only helps tone the large uterine muscle to make contractions work more efficiently and is said to cut down on pushing time.  I used this for my first child and only pushed for 45 minutes in total.  Not sure if that was my body naturally or a result of drinking the tea.  Either way, I am not taking chances this time!

It is suggested not to start drinking this tea until you are well into your third trimester.  Please consult your physician/midwife if you decide to try Red Raspberry Leaf Tea.

Now that that is all out of the way - the recipe!!

I hate tea, but I love iced tea (especially herbal tea).  I got this idea from the Passion Tea Lemonade at Starbucks.  I thought, hm, I love that, maybe I should turn this into Iced Tea Lemonade.

Red Raspberry Iced Tea Lemonade

4x Red Raspberry Tea Leaf Bags (Get them here online.  They also have them at some grocery stores)
1x Pack of Lemonade Sugar Crystals
6x Ice Cubes


  1. Brew four cups of tea as specified.  If you have tea bags, place 1 tea bag per 4 mugs. Place boiling water into mugs. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.  
  2. Make 1 pack of Lemonade Sugar Crystals in large pitcher.  This should come out to 3 cups of lemonade.  If you choose another form of lemonade, measure out to 3 cups.
  3. After tea has steeped for appropriate amount of time, pour into pitcher with lemonade
  4. Add approx. 6 ice cubes and stir.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

I could drink this mixture all day everyday (I do right now basically!).  You can add sugar/sweetener to taste if need be.

If you find you still can't drink the herbal tea, they also sell Red Raspberry Leaf Tea pills I have heard.  I have yet to come across them though.

Have any of you tried Red Raspberry Leaf Tea or capsules?  Did you think they worked for you?  Have you even heard of them before?  Let me know!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Birth Plan

Know what a birth plan is?  Neither did I until I took prenatal classes with Baby A.

A birth plan is basically just a sheet of paper you give to your nurses, midwife, OB and people in the room who will be assisting you with birth.  It gives them details on what you would like to happen during the labour and delivery process.  For example, what pain relief/drugs (if any) you would like.  What to do in the event an unexpected cesarean section is needed.  Believe me, you won't be in the mood to talk it through in the middle of labour.

For Baby A I didn't really put much stock in a birth plan.  I figured I would just go to the hospital and let things play out.

Boy, did I ever regret not having a birth plan afterwards.

I was induced with Baby A after going a week overdue.  Even still, I wish I had finished the one I started and given it to my nurse and kept a copy for my husband to hang onto.  This time I am determined to arrive at the hospital with birth plan in hand and enough copies for all the staff if I have to!

So... how do you start making a birth plan?

Get informed first.  Take prenatal classes that inform you about birth procedures and the types of pain relief that are available to you along with their effects.  Take a hospital tour.  Speak with your OB.

Then, I did what I normally do.  I Googled it.  Of course, that comes up with a gajillion replies to sift through.  How do you decide which one?

Well, read through them and make sure they cover all the things that you would like to touch on.  Here are a few examples:

You could also just type up your own birth plan in a word processor of your choice and print it off.  I go for the click and fill in approach as not to forget anything.  But, if you are one of those Mama's who knows exactly what she wants and wants to be straight-forward, a simple letter would suffice to your healthcare professionals.  Birth plans are meant to clear the way for conversations and discussions.

And remember, no matter what your birth plan may be always be prepared for it to change.  Every labour and delivery is different and no one can predict what will happen.

Did any of you guys have a birth plan?  Did you find it made a difference?  Did you not have a birth plan and wish that you did?  Sound off!!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Mommy Brain - Keeping on Top of Things (Sort of)

Mommy Brain: when you are pregnant/have children and you start to lose your mind.  Milk goes into the pantry, you have no idea why you went into the kitchen, you forget anything that is not written on a list and then forget the list at home.  The term is used to describe how forgetful and dazed women can be, mostly during pregnancy.

There are plenty of articles on the internet detailing how/why they believe, scientifically, "mommy brain" happens.  I am not going to get into all of that here.  Quite frankly, they all have different ideas and I just don't have the time or want to research it all.  Short story short, being pregnant makes my brain turn to goo.

Normally, I have remarkable memory recall.  However, when I am pregnant that all goes down the drain.  The first time I got pregnant I had sticky notes stuck pretty much everywhere in my house for everything and anything.  Luckily, I was more prepared for this pregnancy.

Here are a few tips of how I keep on top of things:

  1. Google Calendar -
    My Calendar for January 2014 so far...
    Google Calendar is my saviour.  

Since my very first doctors appointment everything has been going into that neat little thing.  Every appointment card, every central scheduling letter and every activity for Baby A go into Google Calendar as soon as I make them.  I can set my own alarms/reminders, colour code everything and put in additional notes and addresses.  Best thing - I can access it on any computer and even on my iPhone.  I would seriously be lost without this.
     2. iPhone - Or any smartphone for that matter.  
I access my all-important Google Calendar on my phone.  I also have all the phone numbers for my doctors and the hospital stored in the phone.  I get my email reminders for appointments sent there as pop-ups in the morning.  The "notes" app is also handy so as long as I remember my phone, I remember my "to-get" list.
      3. Post-It Notes -

Even in this age of technology some things will never beat a piece of paper and a pen.  I have a couple of "to-do" lists taped/stuck to my computer desk reminding me of things that need to be done around the house.



4. Google Drive - Okay, I am a pretty big advocate of Google but I love the Drive so much.
Example of my Package Tracker on Google Drive using Spreadsheet
 I use the Google Drive a lot.  We have 3 computers in my house (which I use regularly) and I like to have access to my documents on all of them.  I use Google Drive to keep my list of things we still need for Baby J (which is a shared doc between my husband and I).  I also use it to keep track of orders I have made online and to make sure everything is arriving on time.

Everyone has different ways to keep on top of things, but these are the staples in my life right now (and probably after with two small children).

How do you keep on top of things?  Sound off below!  I love to hear new ideas to help me stay organized!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Canadian Freebies (samples) for Pregnant Women

Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most joyous times in a mother's life.  Then, eventually, you need to think about all of the things that you need to get for baby.  Some people get loads of stuff at baby showers, others are not so lucky.

Regardless of which you are, all babies are unique and require different products for their own skin type, digestive track and even personality.  

Thus, it is always good to get as many sample products as possible (in my opinion) so that when baby arrives he or she will have the best products on the market for their own needs.

I had to scour the web for hours in order to grab all of the deals offered to expectant mothers.  Sadly, a lot of them were for our American neighbours only - but I did manage to get a good list of companies that also send packages out to Canadians:

Seventh Generation Coupons

There is no sign-up or request for this one, but I knew others had got things from them.  I simply emailed the customer service department asking them if they could send some samples so that I could try their product since I am expecting a child.  I provided them with my mailing address and expected due date.

Their reply:

Hi Kristal,

Thanks for writing to us.

I just dropped some coupons in the mail for you. Hopefully these can help you find the best products for your home.

We appreciate your support, please let me know if I can do anything else to help.

Customer Service
Seventh Generation

So, I am looking forward to some coupons :).

You can get in contact with them by clicking their logo above.  It will take you directly to the contact us form I used. Baby Club Baby Club.  I buy a lot of stuff from, I love their site and they always ship to me super fast.  I already had an account, so I just added the Baby Club to it.  In order to sign up, simply sign up for a account and make sure that the Baby Club radio box is clicked in your subscriptions on your account.

The Baby Club offers money off of everyday baby items such as diapers, bum cream, baby food, etc.  This cycles every week or so.  They are also supposed to send a kit.  When I receive mine I will post pics of what I got.

Enfamil Family Beginnings

Sign up for Enfamil Family Beginnings and receive a goody bag with over $130 worth of savings and samples.  I believe most of the savings are simply for Enfamil, but I will definitely post more information when I receive my bag!

Nestlé Baby Program

These guys send out quite the goody bag, which includes an actual diaper bag and awesome stuff.  I used Goodstart Formula with Baby A and got this pack.  This was the first program I signed up for when I found out I was pregnant again.

Their website says that there is over $130 in savings (which I believe) as well as this:
  • An infant formula sample and other infant nutrition samples
  • Stylish diaper bag with change pad
  • The Nestlé Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Baby Feeding Guide
  • Customized emails with tips, online tools, and videos
  • Exclusive savings and more!

Be aware that they do not send these out immediately due to some of the products having expiration dates.  They will send it closer to your due date.  If you don't receive it within a month of your due date, just fire them off a quick email - they usually reply withing a day or so and are super good about it.

Pics when I receive mine will follow :)

Similac Club

Even if you don't intend to use Similac or even formula, it is definitely worth it to sign up for these.  Keep the coupons and the goodies and give the (expensive) formula to a mother in need!

Canadian Mother's Resource (CMR)

Not only is this a GREAT resource site for Canadian mothers, when you sign up they will send you off a goody pack it seems.

"As a CMR Member you get:
Free Promotional offers and samples from some or all of our Partners
  • Samples from Huggies as well as other information and coupons.
  • Samples from Similac as well as other information and coupons.
  • New Member features added continually, including our upcoming bulletin board for Members."
They ask for your address, so hopefully I get a pack and not just emailed coupons.  We shall see.  Regardless, the site is awesome and you should definitely sign up either way!

MAM Club

The MAM Club.  Something I would have never found if I hadn't done some (extensive) looking around.  Luckily, it accepts Canadian addresses as well,  which I was also super excited about.  Hopefully they will ship the goodies to Canada (since they accepted the Canadian address...)

Become a MAM member now & enjoy benefits

Your benefits in the MAM Club: Vouchers & promotions, competitions, product tests and your very own personal pregnancy & development calendar...exclusively for MAM Club members.
Will post pictures when/if I receive the package :)


Hydrasense is a saline solution for nasal congestion.  They have a whole line for babies.  Join the Dolphins Club in order to get free samples and coupons.

Sears Gift Registry/The Waiting Game Club

Okay, so despite my love of everything free I will admit that I almost didn't do the Sears registry thing again.  Last time, I completed my registry online and then was hounded by the women at Sears Fredericton (Regent Mall) for what seemed like weeks for me to go in do some more.  I was working at the time and super swollen and irritated.  I did eventually go in, just so they would stop calling.  This time I will be preemptive and go in immediately.

Their goody bag last time I did this was pretty awesome.  A bib, some soothers, coupons and a couple of sample diapers.  The best thing was that they provided me with a coupon for a free photo session and package ($125+ value) which allowed me to get the first pictures of Baby A and our first family pic free of charge.  That alone was almost worth the hassle.  I hope they still do that.

The Waiting Game Club is pretty cool.  Basically, you guess the date your little one will be born (sorry girls, no planned c-sections are permitted).  If you guess correctly:
"If the last valid predicted date registered is the exact date of your baby's arrival, you will be issued Sears KidVantage Waiting Game Club Apparel Merchandise Coupons in the net amount of the total purchases"
UPDATE: Got my bag from Sears.  It was actually just a file folder.  They took out the portrait studio in the Fredericton Sears so no portrait coupon.  Also, absolutely no samples or coupons.  Just basically an information packet.

Babies 'R Us

Go INTO the store (not online) and create your registry.  It is pretty fun, you get to play with one of those lazer-gun-things.  They will give you a big bag of stuff.  I have to admit, I was more impressed with Baby A's bag from them, but I guess it depends on what time of year you go in.

I don't have any pics but I got the following in my bag:  reusable disney bag (what everything was in), 2 newborn diaper samples, soother sample, bottle sample (forget the brand), nursing pads, 4 issues of Today's Parents and various coupons/pamphlets.  I may be forgetting something, but it was a pretty good haul.

Johnson and Johnson

Unfortunately, no simple form to sign up for Johnson and Johnson.  Click on their logo to the left and it will take you to a contact us form.  Simply fill out all of your information.  Let them know you are expecting and request a "Free Baby Sample Pack" or "Free New Parent Pack".  They will ship you a small pack of travel size Johnson and Johnson baby things like shampoo and bum cream.

Shopper's Optimum v.i.b.

I don't exactly have a link for this one.  You needed to have or sign up for a Shopper's Optimum card - which you can do online if you have a printer or in-store.

Once you have your optimum card, you can (again) sign up for the v.i.b. (very-important-baby) program in-store or online.  After which, you will get a pretty neat box in the mail.

I got the following:  a large coupon book for extra points on baby items, $10 off Huggies Newborn or Size 1 diapers (I ended up paying $2 for my newborn diapers!), Huggies Newborn Diaper Samples, Playtex Drop-In bottle, Skinfix diaper cream, nursing pads, Aveeno daily lotion travel-size, Aveeno baby lotion travel-size, Johnson and Johnson travel-size body wash & Mustela body wash travel-size. 

 I must admit, I was impressed.

Sobeys' Pharmacy: Baby Be Healthy Program

You can go into the store (if there is a pharmacy) or sign-up online for this program.  I signed up at the Oromocto Sobeys.

I have heard of some people getting goody bags, I never received one.  It may be based on limited quantities or per store.  

I signed up because you get FREE prenatal vitamins for up to 2 years.  

Yup, you heard right - FREE.  Just go in and pick them up once a month.  Better than paying the $25 a bottle I was doing before.  Definitely worth it.

Jean Coutu

I have yet to try this one since my printer is out of ink.  Apparently, if you print the voucher off (click on the pic for the link) and take it into Jean Coutu they will give you a free starter kit for New Moms.   I am not sure if the Jean Coutu in Fredericton is participating, but it can't hurt to try :)   

Let me know if you successfully get one!

Huggies Snug-Ride Program

I don't know much about this program.  I mainly cloth diaper after 2 months (they wear disposables overnight).  I don't think Huggies sends you any samples, but I believe there is the Rewards program that you can save up points.  You earn points inside every box/bag of Huggies that you buy.


I know even less about the Pamper's points program than I do about the Huggies one, since when we have to use disposables we use Huggies.  I believe that it runs much in the same way as the Huggies one and that you get your points in the boxes/bags of diapers you buy.

Have any of you received any of these goody bags?  What did you get?  Do you know any other Canadian Freebies that I can add?  Sound off below!