I’m gonna keep this intro short n’ sweet because HOLY MOLY, do we have a humdinger of an #AskE post for you today! We’re getting right into with the #real stuff, which I lovelovelove – we’re talking breastmilk vs. formula, my REAL thoughts on Tula skincare, letting Olivia “cry it out”…brace yo’selves. Hopefully you learn a helpful tidbit, and pleasepleaseplease always feel free to send me any/all Q’s to answer anonymously in a future #AskE post, too! I think it’s pretty obvious from this one especially that I don’t hold back and I’m down to answer whatever, because I really want this to be as helpful as possible to YOU. So if it’s something on your heart – ask away!
P.S. The chenille sweater I’m wearing here is on sale for $35.97 + oh so fabulous. Such a fun, uplifting color scheme for fall/winter!
Can you please put up another tutorial on how to do that hair bun???
YES GIRL! So, the hair bun in question is my messy dirty hair bun. HA. Sounds so attractive, but really that’s exactly what it is! It’s the high, voluminous topknot thing that I’m rocking typically right before shampoo day (unless I’m wearing a sock bun, which is the same concept in essence!).
THE KEY is having really dirty, gross hair. I kid you not. You need it to be textured and a bit knotty, really, to have enough “sticking” power to hold upright up top. I flip my head upside down and gather everything on the top of my head, as if pulling into a ponytail.
Start to pull your hair into a ponytail, but catch the ends and twist, so that you’re forming a bun.
Twist your wrist to loop-de-loop the hair tie around.
Pull from the center both upwards AND outwards to “fluff” your bun.
And lastly, deal with all of the loose ends/pieces that are likely sticking out everywhere now! I just take them and wrap them around the base of the bun, tucking into the hair tie wherever possible. It helps hide the hair tie anyways, so it works! Alternatively, you can just use bobby pins and secure in place that way.
I have a question. A mom question. Personal, so do not feel like you need to answer at all. I know you were nursing Olivia and was wondering how long you did it for/are you still nursing/did you hit any bumps in the road? I had a really tough start with my milk not coming in. Recently it has gotten so much easier and so much better but out of no where this week I feel like my supply is super low. I am very pro formula (we supplement with it everyday) but I didn’t know if you ever got bumps in the road too and how you combatted that. Again, I know it’s super personal. I won’t take ANY offense if you don’t want to talk about it!
YOU GUYS, I hope you always know that I’m an open book for you! ALL ABOUT #RealTalk over here and absolutely nothing is too personal if it means helping you out. I’m here for you, always – never forget it, yo!
I actually only got to “nurse” Liv once or twice in the hospital with everything that went down in the NICU. Otherwise, she was on the feeding tube and got to have certain bottles with certain nipples every so often.
Once the hospital thought she had a dairy allergy, that’s when I had to go dairy-free in my own diet for a bit so that the milk that I was exclusively pumping was also dairy-free, and then once I couldn’t produce enough anymore, she went on dairy-free formula (which she still takes to this day: Nutramigen).
When my milk first came in, I had oversupply. I was pumping like crazy, and the head neonatologist at the NICU called me a cow. (She was very Russian and her sense of humor was a bit…different. Ha!). I was freezing so much that we bought a second freezer for our garage to hold it all, and I thought I’d be GOLDEN for breast milk forever.
Once Olivia came home from the hospital, it was a lot harder for me to manage pumping as often as I needed to to keep supply up (so, every 3-4 hours always). I went from doing that, to maybe pumping twice a day. So naturally, my supply decreased. It was HARD. But at the same time, I gave myself grace (which you should, too!) because pumping – especially exclusively pumping – is no joke. With exclusive-pumping especially, you aren’t having that skin-to-skin contact where enzymes communicate with the mom to know how much to produce, so your body is just kinda winging it with a machine.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make whatever decision is best for you, your family, and your baby. Of course, folks say “breast is best.” Of course, there are scientific reasons for that. But reality is just that breastfeeding is hard. And also, pumping is hard. Really, feeding another human being through substance coming out of our boobs IS HARD! And the biggest thing is that A FED BABY IS WHAT IS BEST. Whether that’s breast milk, formula, breast milk supplemented with formula – whatever it is, it’s not the milk that’ll make or break your baby. It’s the love and care and nurturing you show him or her every single day.
Where is your Olivia name necklace from?
It’s from The Sis Kiss! I do have a discount code for it/their shop, too: ERICA15. The sisters who run the shop together are the SWEETEST and were so kind and caring to me when Olivia was in the hospital, so I will support them forever – ha!
Do you actually use + love Tula products? I see so many bloggers talk about them but IDK if they ACTUALLY use them that much??? Ha!
So of course, I can’t speak for all bloggers, so I won’t.
For me, I hope if there’s one thing you know about me by now, it’s that I am always 100% HONEST + TRANSPARENT with you, always. Like…always.
I wish you could see behind-the-scenes at the hundreds of emails + requests I get (daily, literally) to share products or brands with you, sometimes with accompanying paychecks, that I turn down because it’s just not something I authentically believe in or genuinely support. I ONLY share brands and products with you that I ACTUALLY recommend. I buy things thinking it might be good, and if it’s not – I don’t share it. Or, I share it and say IT’S NOT GOOD, save your money! (like I did here with a pair of booties!). At the end of the day, the entire reason I have the job that I do is because of you. If you didn’t trust me enough to take my recommendations seriously with everything from what to wear to what to eat or what to read or what to whatever, I wouldn’t be able to keep CUR going. And I am SO FREAKING GRATEFUL for that + for you – why on God’s green earth would I ever in a million years jeopardize that with dishonesty?!? If I wouldn’t recommend it to my mom or my best friend, I’m not recommending it to you, pointblankperiod.
I use a few different skincare brands/products regularly + have favorites for specific things, and I’m testing skincare constantly for the blog.
But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again) – I always go back to Tula. Tula is truly my #1 favorite if I HAD to pick just one, because there is no other brand that I’ve tried so far where I can use the ENTIRE LINE and it makes me feel like my BEST self in my BEST skin. The word “tula” means “balance” in sanskirt, and I really think that’s the best way to describe what it does for me personally; it’s always what I resort back to if I need to “RE-balance” my face for whatever reason, be that from the chaos of traveling, or a reaction to a different product I was testing, or just changes from that time of the month.
It’s also one of the only lines I’ve seen EVER with products truly for any skin type. Like, ANY skin type.
I know girls with skin as dry as desert who have Tula favorites.
I know middle-aged women with “mature” skin who have Tula favorites.
I know acne-prone girls who have Tula favorites.
I’ve got combination to oilier skin myself and I have Tula favorites.
It’s really a brand with something for everyone, they’re cruelty-free, they truly care about ingredients and have no sulfates or bad crap inside, and they’re just THAT GOOD.
Do I use other skincare products? Yes. Do I lovelovelove other skincare products? Absolutely. But in terms of the question of whether or not I truly use/like Tula as much a to warrant the attention – YUP. 🙂
Hello! We are considering sleep training our baby now that he is almost 4.5 months old. I know you mentioned that you did it…did you do the cry it out method or something else? We are trying to weigh all our options and would love some insight.
Yes, we did do sleep training with Liv! We did Taking Cara Babies. BUT, we didn’t get to finish the whole course before our access expired (access expires after two months I think – ha). We hit a point where Olivia was waking up at around the exact same times every single night, and we THOUGHT it was because she was hungry since she had been getting fed every three hours on the dot when she had the NG feeding tube. Buuuut, the course insisted that no, hunger could be “learned” and she might not actually be hungry. So our main focus was weaning her from middle-of-the-night feeds once she no longer technically NEEDED them, so that the whole Gwynn house could get some shut eye. 😉
The course insisted that while two weeks is the grace period to sleep training, it would likely take much less than that. And sure enough, it took about three nights for Olivia to get with the program. We weaned her from night feeds and she started sleeping through the night (from about 7 pm to 5 am, when she’d wake up for a bottle, and then sleep again until 6-7 am).
It’s hard because it DOES involve some degree of “crying it out,” but the course also walks through what that actually looks like and what degree of crying is “ok” versus when you should intervene. And it teaches what we thought was a pretty effective method of checking in on specific time intervals, so that you don’t feel like a “bad parent” for letting them just cry alone – you’re teaching them that it’s okay to fall asleep, that mommy + daddy are still there, etc.
Do you have any Q’s at all for the next #AskE post?
LET ME KNOW, COMMENT BELOW.