Choosing your Pump


I’m back to share some tips for how to choose your breast pump! Consider me your breastfriend! Choosing a pump can sometimes be overwhelming and intimidating for most- as if you’re not stressed enough welcoming a new bundle of joy! I, myself, went through 4 different pumps until I found what worked for me. I hope today’s blog can help some new mommas to be in choosing a pump that works for you! 

Pumping itself, whether you are doing it exclusively, while you are away from baby, or as a way to include your partner with night time feedings, is extremely time consuming. It requires dedication and patience. It also requires support— this is something most times gets over looked. Did you know that breastfeeding for a year is the equivalent of working an average of 1800 hours? Having a supportive partner is crucial especially during the first few weeks when time is precious.

Every mom pumps for different reasons. Depending on the reasons and your personal breastfeeding journey, your choice of pump might differ. I began pumping the second day Baby V was born. He was born a little bit jaundice- a condition that causes the yellowing of the skin due to red blood cells not being broken down properly. It’s actually one of the most common conditions babies are sometimes born with that most times can be remedied with constant feeding or with photo therapy light. This condition also makes the already sleepy newborns even sleepier! Baby V would constantly fall asleep at the boob and would not properly eat. As a result, he lost 10% of his body weight in 2 days. Cue in the dreaded constant pressure to formula feed instead of trying to supplement with your own breastmilk- or at least being given the option and support to do so.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had a nurse who encouraged me to begin pumping to see if any colostrum or milk would come out. I actually had harvested my colostrum prior to birth which helped me have some peace of mind while we helped him gain weight with my own breast milk. If you’re interested in harvesting colostrum, hopefully you stick around long enough and we can discuss the benefits in the next post!

So how do you choose your pump? Most importantly how do you size yourself for a flange that is just right for you. For one, WAIT….wait until you have given birth and have had a couple pumping sessions to measure yourself for correct sizing. I always knew every woman’s nipples were different but it never occurred to me that the diameter would have to be taken into consideration when getting measured for a flange. Did you also know that incorrect flange sizes (whether too big or too small can affect the effectiveness of proper milk removal? Amazon sells cheap rulers you can buy, and most LC (lactation consultants) will be able to measure you as well. A well fitting flange will make a world of difference. Remember breastfeeding and or pumping should never be painful. Let’s talk about the four different styles of pumps I tried and how I arrived to the one I currently use and cannot live without.

My Favorite

I first began pumping with the Spectra S2 breast pump and easily found myself filling my bottles and being left with sore nipples. Since the Spectra S2 is not wireless, it meant I was constantly at a wall outlet every 2-3 hours for 15-20 mins. In other words I felt stuck! This was the first time I had ever considered the option of wired vs wireless pumps. I found a portable battery that allowed me to move from room to room but it was still way to bulky to take in the go. Although I did lug around a some trips in the car because you know… a momma HAD to pump. If you are looking for a hands free option you can look into the S1 version, although I will say, if you keep reading, I will discuss my absolute all-time favorite hands-free pump!

I hadn’t done much research prior to breastfeeding so I wasn’t sure what I wanted in a pump, but I knew I needed some freedom. The power suction on the Spectra is great, it is a hospital grade pump after all, so as far as suction and power I would say it’s a 8/10. It has a closed system which means milk will not flow back and the flanges are somewhat comfortable, even though they are not cushioned. However, the box only came with 24mm flanges and 28 mm flanges. I had no idea these both were way too big for me and for weeks pumped and dealt with soreness before I learned about sizing. Regardless of the incorrect sized flanges I was producing milk …. and a lot! I am an over producer which means my body makes 2-3 times what my baby needs. As the weeks progressed I began noticing my needs as a pumping mama were changing and I had to start taking these preferences specific to my breastfeeding/pumping journey into consideration!

I researched and knew I wanted to be hands free so I ordered the Elvie. Now the Elvie is a hands free pump that’s runs for about $500 . Yikes. Before I describe my experience with the Elvie, I will say if you are an over producer like myself, or produce more than 4 oz per boob, this may not be the pump for you. I also will say that I pump everywhere I go! One my way to work. At the zoo. In laws house. Sitting in traffic. So choosing a pump that would correctly empty me out was essential.

Now the pros were amazing: hands free, NO CORDS, easy to pop on and off, and semi-discreet and pretty stylish. I also did enjoy having the little collection bottles come with caps for easy storage and having an app that tracked the ounces collected was nice. The cons, however, made me only use this luxury and highly priced pump a total of about 10-15 times (if that). Some of the cons I found were the following: the app and ounce sensor was never accurate. The pump would stop automatically signaling it was full when it was not. Another downfall for me, was the positioning of the nipple. Although, the device itself was easy to put in and off, positioning the flange correctly was extremely important. If the nipple was not correctly inserted- proper milk removal was affected. The suction was at most a 4/10 for me and I found myself constantly having to use my spectra after sessions to empty out. I did however find a hack with the Elvie using Legendairy Milk flanges which were soo comfortable! I will say if you do buy these cushioned flanges DO not block the two tiny openings that control the suction on the top center of the pump. It found this pump helped in situations where I was on the go and needed a quick relief, but never fully did the job for me. And lastly, as I mentioned before, I had to constantly stop pumping, pour some out and continue to pump because of my over production. Cute concept, ineffective in my opinion due to my over production. However, if you produce overall between 3-5 ounces per session combined, which by the way, is considered normal— with a little cushioned hack you might find this pump is the one for you!

I was still on the hunt for a pump that emptied me out and was friendly on the go! A friend who had previously given birth a couple months before me recommended the Baby Buddha (cue in singing angels). This pump is AMAZING, let me tell you why. The pump itself is smaller than my iPhone but the power is stronger than my Spectra, even on level 12. I’ve actually never really ventured past level 6 on my Baby Buddha because it is that strong.

This pump also comes with cushioned flanges! Such a huge plus! It also has two collection bottle sizes- 5 ounces and 8 ounce bottles. Guess what this girl got? The 8 ounce bottles of course. Finally a bottle that I didn’t have to pump and stop! What sold me the most, as side from being hands free and powerful, was that it cut my pumping time by 20-30% I was removing MORE milk in LESS time! It’s priced at around $180 which makes it even more attractive. If I had to mention a con, it would have to be the lanyard it comes with to hang on your neck. Pay close attention mamas, DO NOT hang it around your necks! We’re already dealing with back pains from breastfeeding/pumping and carrying our little bundles of joy. Luckily, like most situations now a days, nothing Amazon didn’t have! Get yourself a belt clip and voila neck pain gone!

The last pump I experimented with was the Medela manual pump. The name says it all. You manually have to pump out the milk with your hands. The flange is not the most comfortable but in emergency situations like loss of power, forgetting your pump at home (mom brain) or a quick night out , it gets the job done!

The pros to manual pumping is that you control the suction, the rhythm and overall output. It also is easily stored if you already have the Medea storage bottles by just pumping and popping in a screw-on lid. The con couldn’t be more obvious… there’s a lot of labor involved and after some time your hands cramp up if you try to use a manual pump to replace an entire session. However, was pleasantly surprised.

Regardless of the pump you choose, here are some tips that helped my pumping journey. Lubricate. Yes you heard correct, lubricate, the tiniest bit of coconut oil works wonders. Legendairy Milk also has a great pumping spray. Let those nipples glide instead of rub! Buy more than one set. I’ll repeat it again, buy more than one set. As if washing, sterilizing and drying bottles all day was not enough. Don’t drive yourself crazy washing the same set 4-5 times a day. Get multiple sets of flanges and collection bottles if you can. This way you always have a set ready to go. Replace your duck valves! If your valves are starting to become lose, it’s time to change them. Every 2-3 months usually is a good time frame. Loose duck valves equals infective suction.

Lastly, remember that what may work for one momma may not work for another. Do your research, make a list of your preference and when in doubt, order the Baby Buddha! I have yet to recommend this pump to a mom who has not loved it.

‘Til next time! … Grace.

Un embarazo difícil pero muy special.

Este embarazo me encontro con 40 años, diagnosticada con trombofilia, medicada, con una hija de 4 años, en medio de una pandemia, desempleada, sin tener la menor idea de como se daria todo con tantas condiciones que creia que me limitaban.

Miedos, ansiedad me superaban día a día, pero encontré muchas herramientas gracias a talleres que venían a mi como señales y no dudaba en hacerlos, por ellos pude manejar esas emociones que me desbordaban.

Cuando como mujer te diagnostican algo que sabes que atenta contra tu bebe, como la trombofilia, el pánico a que sucedan cosas que no puedes manejar son infinitos.

Tuve la fortuna de sentirme en las mejores manos de doctores. Y cuando comprendí eso, en ese momento, sentí seguridad, lo entregue todo al universo, y confíe. Era eso o pasármela mal siendo amiga de mis inseguridades.

Este embarazo esta llegando a su final en dos semanas, y es todo gracias a la medicación. Desde el día uno, me tuve que inyectar cada noche con Levonox, un derivado de bajo grado molecular de la Heparina, el anticoagulante mas usado en el mercado. 4 semanas antes se cambia a Heparina, dos veces al día. La noche antes del parto se deja y se continua la noche siguiente por 3 meses mas.

La primera noche del comienzo de mi tratamiento, fue durísima, pero comprendí que las mujeres somos extremadamente fuertes y podemos con cualquier obstáculo que se nos ponga en el camino. Estoy muy orgullosa de haberlo logrado y de ser mujer.

El objetivo de contar mi historia de este embarazo tan especial, es decirles que por mas de que existan obstáculos para que seas mama, confíes y entregues todo al universo, todo será perfecto para ti. Por mas de que tengamos que atravesar por situaciones difíciles, y con finales trágicos, jamas bajes los brazos porque todo llega en el momento perfecto.

Me encantaría que me pregunten cualquier duda con respecto a la trombofilia, desde ya les brindare todo lo que este a mi alcance.

Los mantendré update, muchos saludos, cariñosos para todos.


Furniture Flipping

Furniture flipping is the new trend. Buying second hand furniture, stripping the old grime and shine and paint the piece with a fun bold color topping it off with new or treated hardware. Voila, you have a fun new piece of furniture. This my friends is not as easy as it looks, because you know me, I gave it my first try to get you the DL. You need time and patience then multiply your time and patience by 10.

Hubby and I found a cool 2nd hand furniture place in Waycross, Georgia on one of our road trips last month. I think I would have bought half the store had we been in a truck instead of my Prius. If you’re in that neck of the woods go see them ‘The What Not Shelf’. Not only do they carry furniture, they can customize the piece/pieces for you or they can make a new custom piece altogether.

I saw a pair of wood framed mirrors. Dusty and dirty but I saw the potential. They were meant to be free standing mirrors and had a pole in the back to hold itself up, like a tripod. I knew that this would be my first flipping project.


First I took off the finials and its 3rd leg stand thing. The finials were black and a little corroded, though in some spots I saw a beautiful greenish patina. I was tempted to leave them this way. I figured if I’m gonna flip, I’m gonna flip all the way, right? Eddie had suggested I soak them in Bar Keeper’s Friend (he took over this part for me). The four finials soaked for a few days (see photos below) while I worked on the mirrors. I had fine 150 grit sand paper (which I think was too fine) and started sanding away. Music, nice morning weather and mosquitos. I sprayed myself with repellent but those mozzies were not forgiving. Kept sanding, then at this point I was getting hot. Hot and bothered I took a break. I came back and thought that I should have taped the mirror to protect it incase that I scratched the mirror with the sandpaper. So I taped it with blue painter’s tape and called it a day. Repeat second day. Sanding, mosquitos and sweat. I had seen in one of the Youtube furniture flippers use liquid sand paper. Music to my ears. Home Depot was the next stop. I lathered that liquid sand paper all over the wooden frame. I brushed the whole frame with an old toothbrush and wiped it clean with a clean cloth. And wiped again and again. I felt I had done enough prep to get to the next stage.

The Stuff

I had heard of this miracle additive called BB Frosch where you add their powder to any paint and you don’t need to sand or prime. However after watching a 100 different Youtube videos I was not sure about its miracle-ness, hence all my sanding and liquid sanding prep. I poured some of my pint of Behr Ultra Scuff Defense in Aspen Valley paint into a container, separately I followed the instructions for the powder – a couple of heaped tablespoons and a little water then mix that solution to the paint. Stir, stir, stir. Now we paint. Hmmm after finishing coat one on the first frame I see a ton of flaws. Tiny nail holes and hairline crack in the wood. FML back to Home Depot. I bought a wood filler, it’s pink while wet but dries just like wood, I filled in the flaws with my finger. Once dried I had to go back with the sand paper and sand down any wood filler that wasn’t flush to the wood, you don’t want any ugly bumps under the next coat of paint. What concerned me at this point was that the paint with the “miracle” additive kind of sanded off a little too easy. It made me think twice – did I sand it enough in my prep? Is this really a miracle powder? Did I do something wrong? Anyway, I was already into my second coat so I kept going. Three coats and for good measure I added a matte clear top coat spray. One mirror was complete.

For the second one I did it a little differently, I added a light grey primer. I wanted to see if this would help paint the hold on more. I could see the nail holes and more hairline cracks that I could not see without the first layer of paint. Here I added the wood filler and sanded again. Two more coats of paint and a spray of top coat. Not sure if the additional primer was necessary, but oh well. I painted two layers of my colored paint with the added BB Frosch. I had poured enough in my first batch to last me both mirrors.

Eddie reported back with the finials. Holy cow what a difference! A little soak and a little scrub with a toothbrush. Adding the finials back on as the cherry on top, we’re done! A little wipe to the mirrors with Windex and I think I’m happy with my first attempt…….what do you think?

Any questions or anything I should have done differently, please let me know because more flipping is coming!!

I’ll report back to see if either of them scuffed easily and if it really is the miracle powder.

I have very exciting news for my next post. Really exciting…..promise.

Alessa x

Reference Youtube Video and Instagram:

Perfectly Imperfect Furniture

Furniture Flipping Teacher

Just Paint it! by Dani

Young Entrepreneur Aurora : Zoo Bandanas

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aurora Baldovini and I am a 15-year-old small business owner of Zoo Bandanas in South Florida. I live with my mom, Corbie, and my sister Stella. I love traveling to visit my family who live all over the country, but also my family that lives in Italy. I like to sew, paint, and watch any new show on Netflix. I currently attend Miami Arts Charter School where I can participate in my passion for technical theatre. I also have a passion for animals and I want to start volunteering and donating bandanas for my local animal shelter next year. 

Do you have pets? What are their personalities?

Yes, I do, I have 4 pets. I have 2 dogs named Dexter and Draper and I have 2 cats named Jinx and Jules. Dexter is my first pet and he is the oldest at 10 years old. Even though I try not to choose, I think Dexter is my favorite pet because I practically grew up with him. He likes to sleep for the majority of the day and I love snuggling with him on the couch. Then comes Jinx who is six years old. Jinx is the alpha of the house and honestly, he acts more like a dog than a cat. He is also my superhero when it comes to catching bugs. Then it’s Draper who just turned a year old and is our quarantine puppy. He is a very high-energy dog and it’s very exciting to take him to the dog park and see whom he will make friends with this time. Lastly is Jules who is our rescue cat. A month after we got Draper, somehow, I convinced my mom to rescue Jules from this shelter. He is very skittish and he loves cuddles and treats. My mom likes to say we live in a zoo which is what inspired the name for Zoo Bandanas. 

Describe your product?

I make bandanas for dogs, cats, or just any pet owner who wants to add a little flair to their pet. All of my bandanas are made with fabric that I have purchased from my local fabric store and I sew all of them myself. I add a little tag on the side of each bandana so you will always know where you got them. All of my bandanas are snap-on which means that they have little pieces on the end of them that connect and are easy to snap on and off. I also make scrunchies, which is a type of hair tie, with any available bandana fabric so any pet owners can match their pet’s bandana. All of my products are machine washable and the bandanas are easy to iron, excluding the snaps of course!

For the next young entrepreneur; what were the steps you took to get where you are?

It all starts with an idea, but before you start anything it takes a lot of planning and organizing how you want to make your idea come alive. Once I told my mom about my idea she completed supported me and she helped me research ways to learn how to sew. Because of coronavirus all of the sewing classes offered nearby were shut down, so my mom found an online course on the basics of sewing. At the time I borrowed a tiny sewing machine from a family friend and I got to work. I started learning how to thread and just how to use a sewing machine in general. I practiced sewing straight lines and from there I practiced making bandanas. After months of practicing, I finally had my idea of the perfect product. Around the middle of my sewing practice, my mom surprised me with my heavy-duty sewing machine. I made an inventory of all of my bandanas and I tried opening my website, but in the end, I found Etsy easier to use. I purchased my shipping materials and started an Instagram account for my business. After that my business has been progressing accordingly.

What has been your proudest moment with your product?

The proudest moment of my product has been my first order from someone that I didn’t know. When I first launched my business the people in my family who have pets were the first people to order, but when someone that I didn’t personally know purchased my product I felt a moment of pure excitement. I was so overjoyed that when I got the notification I ran out of my room and started screaming. My mom thought I was insane, but when I finally explained even she was as excited as I was. It was one if not the greatest moment of quarantine. 

What makes you happy?

A lot of things make me happy, but if I had to list a few they would be riding roller coasters, traveling, and thunderstorms. My first roller coaster was when I was six years old. I went to Disney World for my birthday and I rode Space Mountain first row and this moment will always be a core memory for me. I love traveling and my mom has taken me on planes since I was 3 months old. I like experiencing new things and traveling is also very important to me because it’s the only way I would be able to spend time with my family. My favorite places I’ve been to are probably Italy, New York, and Illinois. I love thunderstorms probably because of living in Florida my whole life, it’s a very comforting sound and it just instantly helps me fall asleep. 

What is your future vision for your product?

My future vision for my product is probably to be able to donate my bandanas to my local animal shelter. I love making my bandanas and I think that donating them to the dogs and cats who don’t have a home would help them get adopted. One of the jobs for volunteers at the animal shelter is to assist them by taking adorable pictures of the pets so they have a higher chance of adoption. With an extra pop of color to their fur, I think my bandanas could help with the pictures.

How did you decide that this will be your product?

I first saw this idea when I had made an Instagram account for my dog Draper. I saw how people had started their bandana businesses for dogs and I was inspired. I was bored for most of the quarantine, but sewing was my outlet. I was able to focus on something else other than what would happen next to the world. After watching a few Youtube videos I knew that I could do it and I spoke to some family friends who knew how to sew to help me. After that, I was hooked on researching everything I could about sewing.

Is this a stepping stone to what you want to do in the future?

The best way I can answer this is sort of. I don’t want to make this small business my career, but I would like to continue using it as a side business. I love sewing and making bandanas so I want to continue doing it and donating as much as I can to animal shelters. 

Find Zoo Bandanas:

IG: @Zoobandanas

Etsy: Zoo Bandanas


Si algo esta claro es que en la vida pasamos por diferentes procesos que son indispensables para evolucionar, sanar, y avanzar. Pero si tenemos al alcance las esencias florales, es una ayuda indispensable que no deberiamos de dudar en tomar.

Hoy me voy a enfocar en dar opciones para aquellos procesos que se dan en la edad adulta, comencemos.


COREOPSIS: Miedos arraigados en vivencias colectivas inconscientes, miedo a salir al mundo, exposición publica, catastrofres, epidemias, guerras, pandemia, ansiedad, cansancio físico, calma, seguridad, paciencia, equilibrio, alegría, armonía, vitalidad, autoestima, confianza, aplomo, conciencia, conexión espiritual. Conexión con el ángel guardián.


AROMO: Las cosas son como son, dejar el control, fluir, relajación, alegría, tranquilidad, optimismo, fuego interior, asumir la propia vida y el poder personal.


CIRUELO: Miedo al descontrol, compulsiones, tensión mental, calma en situaciones de stress, permite fluir en calma.

DIENTE DE LEON: Afloja tensión muscular por esfuerzos físicos, dolores corporales, stress, contractura, tensión corporal, relax, bienestar, para escuchar el cuerpo.

TREBOL AMARILLO: Confianza en uno mismo, autoestima, valoración, aceptación, stress, agotamiento por exceso de responsabilidad, estar a la altura, merecer, pies sobre la tierra.

JACARANDA: Conexión cielo tierra, recordar elecciones del alma, decidir, organizar, salir de la duda, temor, apuro, dispersión, desorientación, stress, frustración, equilibrio, orden, foco, rapidez mental, orientación vocacional, tomar un camino, terminar un proyecto, escuchar los mensajes del cielo.


FLORIPONDIO AMARILLO: Calidez en el espacio personal, distancia justa entre unos y otros, dejar ir prejuicios, barreras, omnipotencia, creencias erróneas, quitar etiquetas, conflictos familiares, temor social, aceptar lo diferente, perdonarse y perdonar.

ROSA AMARILLA: Perdón, liberación, alegría, comprender sin juzgar, ni condenar, ver las faltas de amor, reír, soltar, la luz del sol en el corazón.

ROSITA VIOLETA: Soltar, suavizar, sanar, perdonar, disolver recuerdos dolorosos, enojos rencores, permite que nuestras almas encuentren el amor, la paz y el reconocimiento del ser.


CATALPA: tranquilidad, estado de relajación, fortaleza, mente en calma, disuelve el temor a lo desconocido, alivia, armoniza, y libera emociones que subyace detrás de las migrañas.

FLOR DE LIZ: La fuerza de lo femenino, orden en el amor, calma, sosiego, y tranquilidad, silencio, equilibrio y certeza, observación, descanso, intuición, aceptación, voluntad y sabiduría a travez del amor, equilibra el chakra cardiaco.

GARDENIA: Centra, calma, serena las emociones, da objetividad, armoniza, y alinea los chakras y los cuerpos inferiores, serena la mente, quita los miedos, despierta la fe y la confianza, representa el abrazo y la protección de Jesus.


HEMEROCALLIS: Cerrar ciclos, trae luz a la conciencia, dejar ir, volver a empezar, soltar lo que nos ata, nuevos proyectos, creatividad, descubrir talentos, avanzar, adaptación escolar, mudanzas, momentos de cambio.


CUARZO CRISTAL: Eleva la energía, limpia y potencia los órganos, refuerza el campo energético, ayuda a salir de la depresión, la indolencia la preocupación.


PALO DE AGUA: La unidad en el amor, el padre, la ley dentro de acda uno, escucha, firmeza ,autoridad, determinación, fortaleza, temple, confianza, unidad familiar y grupal, pertenencia, arraigo, centramiento, alegría, sostén, temas de la columna.


CEIBO: Dirigir correctamente la energía, bajar la impaciencia, equilibrar los elementos aire y fuego, reconocer y equilibrar las emociones que generan dolor de cabeza, confianza seguridad, equilibrio y armonía, autoafrimacion, temas de pareja, menstruacion, temas relacionados con la sangre.


ROSITA CARMESI: Transformar la hostilidad, el estar a la defensiva, la ira y la agresividad en dulzura y suavidad, armoniza los vínculos, trabajar la paranoia, la irritabilidad, el sentirse invadido y la tendencia de invadir.

GRANATE RUBI: Paz, serenidad, equilibrio, trabaja la agresividad, egoísmo, celos, conecta con la tierra, y la provisión, limpia y re energiza los chakras.


CUARZO ROSADO: Amor incondicional, simpatía, tolerancia y gratitud, autoestima, aceptarnos a nosotros mismos y a los demás. Chakra cardiaco, corazón.


ZEPHYRANTES: Consuelo, sanadora de los dolores profundos, limpieza emocional, situaciones de shock, traumas, duelos, golpes y perdidas, equilibra, restaura, armoniza la energía, calma, paz.

Aquí entonces le dejo una guia de las flores y elixires, para esos procesos y poder atravesarlos de la mejor manera a acompañados de las flores que siempre es mejor y ayuda al alma a saber procesarlos sanamente.

Cualquier duda o preguntas pueden consultarme por DM @milagritos_floweressences por Instagram.

Saludos y muchas flores para todos.


Super Woman

How it began.

On October 25th, I began one of the hardest yet most rewarding journeys I have ever embarked on. Breastfeeding and becoming a mother has allowed me to understand just how amazing the human body is.

Women are the most powerful human beings on this earth. Imagine this, you grow a human from scratch, birth them with all the strength you have and continue to nourish them with nutrients your body carefully crafted for your little one to thrive.

Baby V was born at 38 weeks, and barely allowed me to get to the hospital on time- now my birth story is a story for another time. When he was born I requested for delay of cord clamping because of the wide range of benefits that come with it. After all, at least 30% of the blood supply they lived with still is attached to the placenta 1-2 minutes after birth! I had asked the nurses that once they checked him if his Apgar score was above 8 I wanted to delay all traditional interventions for the first hours known as the ‘Golden Hour’. Immediately he was placed on my chest to begin skin to skin. We shared our first breastfeeding moment in a dark dim light room just as everyone was cleaning things up and we were about to be left alone for the next couple of hours. Due to covid, personnel was limited and no lactation consultant came by.
I was filled with overwhelming joy but despite all the research I had done on the Thompson Method for breastfeeding, putting things to practice seemed a lot harder than explained.
The Thompson Method, is a method that was created by Dr. Robyn Thompson which encourages immediate uninterrupted skin to skin after birth while allowing baby to naturally crawl up to the nipple and breastfeed on his or her own.
Since baby V had been born what they considered early term he developed a bit of jaundice which is common in a lot of newborns. It is the yellowing of the skin due to the break down of red blood cells not being able to effectively be filtered by the liver, and is most commonly treated by photo therapy light or simply feeding. The more the baby ate, the more he was able to pee and poop the excesses bilirubin in his body that was causing the change of color in his skin.
When it was time for the pediatrician to do her rounds she came by and was concerned he had already lost 10% of his weight within the first 36 hours. As a first time mom this terrified me and the first word that spat out of her mouth was FORMULA. There was little regard to how I felt about it and quite frankly no encouragement to try to get him to gain weight with my own breast milk. I cried for hours, the excess bilirubin aside from changing the color of their skin also causes them to be sleepy. He would latch and fall asleep. How was I going to feed a sleepy baby? Manual expression.

I began manually expressing my colostrum in a cup and spoon feeding him. Sounds insane right? Spoon feeding a newborn? But believe me it worked! Their tummy’s are so tiny they only need a little bit of colostrum at a time to get full. I began tracking his wet and soiled diapers and soon met the pediatrician’s expectations however they still wanted me to supplement with formula.

My nurse saw how distraught I was and came in with a breast pump and told me to try pumping to see if I would produce anything, and I did! Almost 1 ounce of liquid gold… this was just the beginning of the next beautiful months to come! I now happily pump 12-14 oz per session. I cannot wait to share the rest of my journey with tips and recommendations for you all.


The Honey and The Bee

I love honey! I have one teaspoon every day (mostly I like to drizzle a little bit of honey on my plain yogurt, or apple slices, and also into my afternoon tea). Honey is made by the honey bee after they collect nectar from flowers and take it back to their hive. It’s important to know it should be consumed in moderation since even though it’s healthy, it’s high in calories and sugar. According to and article from the Cleveland Clinic, women should not have more than 100 calories of added sugar and men no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day. Also make sure high-quality raw honey is consumed, as pasteurized honey may be mixed with corn syrup or other sweeteners to improve shelf life. Since ancient times honey has been used as food, but also as medicine. Even though there’s little evidence of honey’s medicinal uses, it does have health benefits.

A few benefits of honey include:-

  • contains nutrients (vitamins and minerals)
  • rich in antioxidants (high quality honey)
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • improves cholesterol and lowers triglycerides
  • beneficial for heart and brain health
  • promotes burn and wound healing
  • soothes a sore throat

The color and flavor of honey depends on nectar source it comes from. There are more than 300 types of honey in the USA. Color ranges from nearly clear to dark brown. Acacia and clover will produce a lighter honey, and buckwheat and manuka a darker honey. As a general rule light-color honey milder and dark-color is stronger in taste. If you can buy honey from a local source go for it! Get to know where it came from, who’s the producer, what’s the story behind it. And remember even if it says organic is doesn’t mean it’s healthier or better quality.

One of my favorite local honey is from Keez Beez – certified non-GMO and kosher raw honey fresh from the Florida Keys. Their raw honey is produced from the nectar of natural wild flora, including mangroves, wildflowers, sea grape, palms, avocado tree, mamey tree. Get their honey variety set here. 🙂 Raw honey may contain extra elements such as bee pollen and propolis, which can offer additional antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

The honey bee is found in every continent in the world (except Antartica). Bees live on nectar and pollen. Without bees the process of pollination would not be possible. About 30% of our food supply depends on pollination. Honeybees transfer pollen allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit. Honeybees are social insects. Their colony consists of one queen bee, a few hundred drones, and thousands of working bees. The queen bee is the only female in the colony who can reproduce. She will start laying eggs from early spring to the fall, as long as pollen is available. The male bee, drone, only function is to fertilize the queen bee; then they will die. Worker bees are all female and make about 99% of the colony. They have tasks for every stage of their 45-day lifespan. As the worker bee carries the nectar to the hive its body brakes down the sucrose of the nectar into fructose and glucose. After tucking it into a honeycomb cell, it will beat its wings vigorously to thicken the substance by fanning out moisture. They it will cover the cell with beeswax, sealing the honey for consumption during winter. Since they produce way more honey than they need, we get to enjoy it too. They are very gentle, so be nice to them and they’ll be nice to you!

xoxo Elisa

The Lollipop Studio – the sweetest home in Miami.

Meet our guest of the month, Begum Jariyawiriya from The Lollipop Studio.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. After getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts in Istanbul, I continued my career in America, and got my second bachelor’s degree from Johnson and Wales University. Shortly after I  focused on my professional training in prestigious restaurants and 5-star hotels from Miami to Istanbul and specialized in Japanese cuisine. In 2013 I took a leap into the academic field as a chef instructor. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Communications, and happily married to my better half and raising a miracle with him while making lollipops 🙂
  2. When did you have the ‘aha’ moment that lollipops were going to be your thing? As I was waiting for my green card to arrive, I was at home all day everyday. First couple of months it was so much fun but then it started to get really boring, because right before we moved back to Miami I was working 7 days, 5 days at the college and on the weekends I had my own cooking show on the Food Network/Turkey. So I started to look for opportunities that I can work from home and I discovered Etsy. At first I was making cute meringues and macaroons. But they were to delicate to ship. I was working hours upon hours just for one batch and then clients were sending me the crushed images 😦  A this point, I started to look for new ideas and I came up with the lollipops. It was so much fun to make and they were durable 🥳🥳  Luckily, there weren’t many people on Etsy that concentrate on my style of lollipops and it caught people’s attention right away.
  3. What has been your biggest hurdle thus far? My biggest hurdle was to learn to work from home with a toddler. Before I pour the sugar into the molds until it reaches 175F. One tiny mistake, may leave a life time of regrets. But luckily I worked long enough in kitchens and one of the biggest experience that I gained was multitasking. I set up that system in our kitchen, it’s only been a year now since we established the lollipop studio and we are producing approximately 1,000 lollipops in a week from our kitchen and for that reason I call our home as the sweetest home in Miami!
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Through Etsy our lollipops almost reached each and every state in America. Now my dream is to do the same thing with the lollipop stores. We are planning to open the first one in Miami this holiday season and hopefully in 5 years we will be franchising our brand.
  5. What has been your proudest achievement with your business? Besides the cute lollipops we also work with companies and taking bulk orders for their custom-made logo lollipops. Working with really big companies and seeing my lollipops on their websites for their campaigns just makes my heart beat faster and makes me feel closer to my dreams.
  6. What excites you? Seeing the people’s reaction when they first look at the lollipops. One of the most frequent thing that I hear is “they are too cute to eat” and “are they edible?” 🙂 These two comments still makes me so excited.
  7. What do you do in your down time? As a toddler mom, of course I don’t have much spare time. But when I do I read! Nothing related to cooking or baking or candies; mostly books about consciousness and well being. It really helps me to get rid of the stress and concentrate on my family and work at the same time. And for the past couple of years I have been enjoying the virtual meetings with my close friends back home in Istanbul.
  8. Where do you find your inspiration for your lollipops? I think the biggest inspiration are the cartoons that my son watches. I can closely observe all the characters. I also have to admit that just for the work sometimes I might force him to watch girly cartoons, lol, like the little mermaid. Then I make a collage from the elements that I like the most. 
  9. Which is your favorite design? See the link of my favorite lollipop. But then last year, after loosing my brother to cancer, the most special lollipop became the Disney’s Coco inspired lollipops.

Visit us at our Etsy store!

Melt and Pour

I didn’t realize until I YouTubed soap making that there was this whole science behind it. It was waaaaay more than what I wanted to commit to for this particular project, although maybe one day I can learn the art of it. This project is perfect for a quick gift if you wish to have the ingredients on hand. During my search I discovered Bramble Berry. They had everything you need for soap making – soap bases, molds, coloring, tutorials – I wanted everything and wanted to learn everything. This is where I discovered Melt and Pour base soaps, as it’s named you literally melt and pour into your mold. From their website I chose the Aloe Vera Base, the Oatmeal Base and whilst I was at it I bought some coloring (there’s instructions on how to use these and of course I didn’t read it and my colors looked a little insane, lol). I have dozens of essential oils already in my arsenal, to add a little scent to my soap, I’m not much into sweet smelling scents like Cookie Dough or Cotton Candy so I stick with my neutral scents.

I happened to be gifted a couple of loofahs from El Salvador. Of course I new what a loofah was and what it was used for but I’m not sure I knew where they come from. Luffa sponges don’t come from the ocean. And they’re not from manmade materials. Rough-textured exfoliators originate from luffa: dried fiber from the vegetable of the same name. Luffa or loofah (botanically Luffa aegyptiaca) is a vine-grown member of the pumpkin, squash and gourd family. Once the extracted fiber dries, use it for bathing and scrubbing.

I sliced the loofah into 1 inch slices. Added a thick cotton string through the natural holes (from my macrame supplies but yarn will do the trick). Placed them into a cupcake tray (I didn’t have silicone molds and I wasn’t about to buy one). I melted my soap at 30 second intervals carefully not to over heat them but enough to melt. I stirred until the soap base was fully dissolved. Added my color and essential oils. Stir again until the color was consistent and I was happy with the scent combination. I sprinkled some dried organic flowers before and after I poured the melted soap on a couple of them …. violá, soap on a rope with a little loofah!

I made: Rosemary and Lemongrass (yes the crazy green looking one) I have used these in the kitchen; perfect for after gardening when I have dirt on my hands and my cuticles. The loofah helps! This is with the aloe base. The others were with the oatmeal base; one lavender and the other rose.

The experts say to use a rubbery silicon mold for easy release, as mentioned I used a cupcake tray which is not so flexible. I’m not gonna lie, I fought to get out my soaps by tugging on the rope to pull them out of the mold. I fought and got rope burn on my fingers until … alas! My brain switched on and put the butt of the cup cake pan in a tray of .5 inch warm water for about 15 seconds. I pulled on the ropes and it easily released from the mold. A little happy dance later, I had some nice soaps that I would be happy to give away as gifts! Super cute!

Las Flores en los Niños.

El año pasado mi hija comenzó un nuevo año escolar en una nueva escuela, y tuve la gran bendición de tener las flores en casa y trabajar en ella la adaptación gracias a la magia de la terapia floral.

Por experiencia personal se que son maravillosas en los niños y tienen resultados extraordinarios y rápidos.

A continuación les mostraré algunas de las opciones para trabajar diferentes temas en niños.


Equilibra la energía. Permite a la persona estar centrada, de buen ánimo y tranquila, mientras va liberando tensiones y viviendo los procesos de cambio con calma y serenidad. Relaja, ayuda a dormir. Calma la hiperactividad. Para los niños con ADD. Resulta una buena base energética para algunos preparados florales.


Flor del Hemerocallis.

Cerrar ciclos, relaciones o experiencias que nos atan y no nos dejan avanzar. Ver con claridad lo que nos esta deteniendo. Dejar ir, soltar lo viejo, lo pasado, lo caduco, lo permitido, las relaciones perjudiciales, el trabajo que ya no nos sirve, y lo que ha dejado de ser útil para nuestro camino, sin culpa ni critica. Dirigir nuestra energía hacia nuestros proyectos, abrirnos a lo nuevo, comprender que la vida es un movimiento constante. Aprender lo que el cierre nos esta mostrando y despertar en una dimensión de conciencia mas alta, sabiendo que todo se transforma. Liberar nuestra creatividad y desplegar nuestros talentos. Volver a empezar integrando lo aprendido e ir para adelante. Empezar con ganas lo que en en algún lugar esta disponible para nosotros. Atravesar las diferentes etapas de la vida.


Flor del Hyperico.

Miedos nocturnos. Pesadillas, sueños perturbadores. Transpiración nocturna. Vulnerabilidad ante influencias psíquicas. Miedo a la oscuridad, a las figuras oscuras que aparecen en los sueños, a las influencias astrales y a las figuras oscuras. Luz dorada, protección interna, la luz del sol, protección espiritual. Foco de luz, farol encendido que ilumina en la oscuridad. Confiar en que la luz y la fuerza de Dios en nuestro corazón nos protege. Estar centrados en la luz de la conciencia, confianza, fortaleza, vitalidad.


Flore del Avocado.

Organizarnos, prestar atención, estudiar, recordar sin esfuerzo. Mejorar la memoria, cuando falla por falta de atención. Estar alerta, despiertos durante el día, y dormir bien durante la noche. Despertar descansados. Dirigir la mente hacia el objetivo deseado. Concentrarnos con atención. Seguir el propósito de lo que queremos hacer, sin distraernos por los ruidos externos o internos. Enfocarnos en el estudio y en el trabajo. Estar atento a los detalles, del presente, del pasado, y de los sueños, y recordarlos. No perder las cosas. Recordar donde dejamos lo que perdimos. Estar atentos a varias cosas a la vez sin perder efectividad. Decidir cada una de las cosas, cuando tenemos demasiadas, sin perder de vista el resto y sin perder el rumbo de lo que queremos hacer. Conducir con atención. Ser conscientes de las distracciones. Recordar los nombres. Esta esencia cabe destacar que forma parte de la fórmula combinada estudio y de los perfumes áuricos estudio y atención que sirven mucho también para los niños y adultos.

Flor del Eucalipto.


Descubre y trabaja las emociones que hay detrás de los síntomas físicos relacionados con la respiración, anginas catarros, resfríos, asmas, alergias, y aliviarlos. Respirar hondo y profundo en forma espontánea, y ser conscientes de ellos. Abrir el pecho liderándolo de las penas lo oprimen, respirar la vida. Avanzar, encarar con dirección sin dudas ni oscilaciones. Tener propósitos y voluntad, concretar, salir al mundo. Ser coherente con lo que uno es. Descubrir nuestro propio valor. Tomar la vida como es y a nosotros como somos. Mantener la dirección, sin flaquear por altibajos emocionales. No postergar, salir, definir, volver a empezar, acabar con el desgano. Dejar de alternar entre emociones opuestas, reconociendo lo que nos pasa en el interior. Ver lo contradictorio en nosotros mismos.

Esta es una esencia muy usada especialmente para armonizar y equilibrar las emociones relacionadas con temas respiratorios en los niños como resfrios, tos, bronquitos muy comun en los mas pequenos.

Aquí les dejo entonces algunas de las flores mas usadas en los niños, claro que cada caso, recuerden requiere de una entrevista personal para detectar las flores necesarias para cada niño. Los perfumes áuricos funcionan muy bien también.

Espero próximamente darles a conocer las diferentes esencias florales para otro tipo de caso.

Cualquier información no duden en escribirme un DM por mi IG milagritos_floweressences.

Muchas Flores para todos!

Gisella Gaudini.