Friday, December 3, 2010

You! Lingerie - Review and Giveaway!!!

***This giveaway is closed.***
Winners: Amanda & Luvin My Lil Monkeys!

You! Lingerie is pretty much brand spankin' new on the nursing lingerie scene. They launched their beautiful line just a few weeks ago and are already seeing an amazing response, with retailers lining up to sell and customers lining up to buy!

Here's why - these are quality products at a reasonable price. What's that?! A reasonable price for nursing bras? It's practically unheard of. And they're really nice, too - not your boring beige, black or white, but vivid colours and prints, with lace and bows - not overly frilly, but with some real pizazz. I love seeing products that make being a mama sexy and these definitely fall into that category.

I got to try out the Isis Blue nursing bra. The bra came packaged in an air-filled bag, which protected it from crushing but is still quite minimal packaging. You may recall that I take issue with a lot of maternity & nursing bras. Part of the problem is the sizing, part is the underwires, part is the uglies and part is the insane pricing of nice-looking bras. You! Lingerie addresses all of these issues. Their sizing chart and measuring instructions are quite easy to follow. The bras are supportive, but underwire free - which makes sense, as underwires can lead to clogged milk ducts and infection! They're pretty and affordable.

Not only that, they are functional. The signature hot pink clips (love) are easy to open one-handed. The lightly lined cups provide modesty without bulk. The straps are wide for comfort, and there is a triple hook at the back with four size settings, meaning a comfortable band (no digging in at the sides) and adjustability for fluctuating sizes during pregnancy and nursing. I found mine to be very supportive - now, I'm not super-sized in the boob department, but I am used to wearing underwires and I totally didn't miss the wire at all.

Here's the bra itself - gorgeous colour, love the hot pink lining, clips and bows! I also appreciate that while there is lace on there for style (at the sides it is backed by hot pink, it looks so pretty), it is situated so that it does not create a lumpy profile. The seamless cups are great, too. I really hate that lumpy look that some bras have under a t-shirt! You can see in the picture that the left side is a little crumpled from being packed with one cup inside out (this is fresh out of the bag). Not to worry - the cup reverted to a perfectly smooth shape very quickly!When you see the pretty lingerie models on the website, you might wonder how the bra looks on a real person. I know I always do - they're so perfectly proportioned and I always wonder about Photoshop hiding the flaws of a product. (Skeptical much?!) So here are a couple of photos of the bra in 'action' on a real person. Bear in mind I'm seven months pregnant, and definitely no professional lingerie model! Be easy on me :) I wanted to show the great fit, how supportive the cups are (there's lift going on here!) and how the bra is smooth under a knit top.
Each of the bras has a matching panty as well. There are currently seven designs available, and you can buy them online at You! Lingerie as well as at select retailers. If you are in the market for a new maternity or nursing bra, or if you want to jazz up your lingerie selection, without breaking the bank, I can happily recommend You! Lingerie. You can also pick up a gift certificate on their site if you are looking to impress a mama or mama-to-be for Christmas!

Here's the best part for you:

You! Lingerie has very generously offered TWO of my readers the chance to try a nursing bra and panty set for free! Who's ready to get lucky!?

The giveaway:
Two winners will each receive a You! Lingerie bra and panty set of their choice (subject to availability).

How to enter: This is a two step entry, so make sure you follow the steps to qualify! Put both of these in ONE COMMENT. This is the mandatory entry - do this first to qualify for bonus entries! Head over to You! Lingerie and
(1) select your favourite product (paste the link in your comment) and tell me why you chose it
(2) suggest a new product or fabric that you would love to see added to the You! Lingerie line (examples - new colour/pattern, other types of lingerie).
Make sure I've got a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Bonus entries (please leave an extra comment for each. If you already do any of these things, leave the comment - you do get the entry for it!):
  • Sign up for the You! Lingerie newsletter
  • "Like" the You! Lingerie Facebook page (leave your first name and initial for verification)
  • Make a purchase from the You! Lingerie online shop, and tell me what you bought! (2 entries)
  • Follow @YouLingerie on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Write a unique tweet about this giveaway for ONE entry, this is not a daily! Include @emilyisland, @YouLingerie and #bfcafe. Leave me the link to your tweet!
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog– 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please leave a link to your blog)
I will be verifying comments so please actually do the things you say you do ☺

Please be sure to include your email address if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends December 16th at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed!

Prize will be shipped by sponsor. Note for Canadian entrants: You! Lingerie is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this You! Lingerie sponsored blog giveaway. (FYI - it's unlikely to have a charge, being under the $60 that incurs duty charges. There was no extra charge on my shipment, which came to Canada quickly and packaged well.)

Disclosure: You! Lingerie provided me with a bra to review, but I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this review.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Promises, promises...

I know, I said the You! Lingerie review and giveaway would start today. It's written and ready to go, I'm just waiting on a link! So stick around, it's coming. I promise.
And, just to tease you a little more: it's REALLY good!

This weekend my best friend is hosting a baby shower for me! Isn't that sweet? I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone - most of whom haven't seen my bump in months (and it is certainly bumpy by now. I'm 31 weeks pregnant and there's no doubt about it). We actually have loads of stuff for the baby already (blame my little giveaway habit), so I'm sure buying a shower gift gave people some trouble. I hope that nobody went overboard - the only thing I really want is to share a celebration of our baby with them!

So I'm baking a lemon loaf (a favourite at our house, my husband will be so disappointed it's not for him), and a batch of Vanilla Chai Cupcakes - I found the recipe for those over at Bakingdom and I can't wait to try it. Lots of yummy goodness!

Other than that, not much is new. I have plans to make a dust ruffle for the crib to (sort of) match the glider. I'd bought one on eBay, and decided it doesn't work for me. So time to whip up one that I'll actually like. "Whip up" as in, it'll probably take me 3 hours. 'Cause I am slow like that and I'm just winging it. Hope it turns out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

La Senza and Peatoes - online shopping reviews

Just a couple of quick reviews (100% unsponsored. Hey, La Senza and Peatoes, feel free to sponsor retroactively ;) ). If you are thinking of doing some online Christmas shopping, you might want to know how quickly things are shipped.

La Senza (Canadian women will be familiar with this mall lingerie store - it was recently bought out by US-based Victoria's Secret, but it still retains a unique product line and stores) - ordered Monday, November 29th at around noon, arrived via Canada Post expedited on Tuesday, November 30th! I think that is the fastest turnaround ever! They offer free shipping on orders over $89 CDN. Right now they have panties 7 for $25 and PJ sets starting at $19.50. Great for gifts or a little treat for yourself!

I got this PJ set:
Scoop Neck Henley PJ set, on sale now for $19.50. Love, love, love the comfy flannel pants. They have a thread of metallic silver woven in with the plaid, very pretty. The Henley is disappointingly thin, though. I was hoping for a thicker ribbed cotton but it is a super thin (and translucent) cotton. It does have cute ruching on the sleeves but definitely is not good for lounging unless you wear a tank underneath. So if you're ordering a PJ set for yourself or as a gift and want a little modesty, at least go for a darker colour.

I also ordered some of their 5-for-$25 cotton panties, which are the quality I have come to expect from La Senza. Pretty and comfortable. I find their sizes run a little small, so if you're wavering between sizes, go up one.

Peatoes (an organic baby goods store based in Quebec) - ordered Saturday, November 25th, arrived via Purolator Tuesday, November 30th. Again very fast! They are running holiday promotions right now - check each day for the daily deal!

I got the grey one of these:Certified organic Imps and Elfs dress, $45.98 (I had a gift certificate to use!). It's more gorgeous than in the picture - it has cute little ties at the back. Super soft. Love! I also should mention that along with my order, they included a gift certificate of $10 towards my next order. I don't know if that's standard, but it's very nice and definitely good business - it's a decent incentive to shop there some more!

Stay tuned because I have a fabulous review and giveaway coming TOMORROW. You! Won't want to miss it. Yeah, that's a not-so-subtle hint!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Beyond the Rack Another Chance

Here we go again.

You may recall that last January, I'd ordered some lovely Dereon lingerie from Beyond the Rack. Super cute, great deal. I waited and waited for delivery. It didn't come. Finally, I emailed them and was told that they didn't have it in stock, and they ended up crediting my account. Disappointing.

Then in April, I tried again. I ordered some really awesome Doc Martens for my husband. Really. Awesome. Again, a great deal. Docs are super quality - I wore a pair of burgundy eight-holes from 1992-1999, through the Canadian winter even (though they're slippy on ice!) until they finally died. And the shoes did come. But... they were in UK sizing (remember this is a Montreal-based company). I'd even tried to contact them ahead of time to confirm the sizing and got no response. After getting the gorgeous shoes in the wrong size, I emailed about the problem and their customer service rep told me that ALL of the orders were being returned because of sizing issues. Anyway... We returned them and then they didn't have my husband's size, so they refunded the money. Again.

So this is it, BTR. I've just ordered these two sweaters. Again, great deals... if they come, and are sized right. I've got my fingers crossed.

If any of you want to give BTR a shot - I have heard really mixed reviews of it on the forums out there - you can sign up through the button on my right sidebar, or here's your invitation. It is an invitation-only flash sale site.

Joining is free, and you can see all the current and upcoming events. They have stuff like shoes and clothing (men and women), handbags, cosmetics, lingerie, housewares, swimsuits, toys... It's a range from high-end designer stuff (think Prada, Coach etc), to more 'regular' brands (recently they had Melissa & Doug toys, for instance). For me it's fun to visit and see what the deals are because each day there is something new.

Have any of you tried BTR? Have you had success with your orders? I'd love to hear about it.

Update December 20th: Ruh Roh. Here's the email I got today:
Dear Emily,

A few days ago, we let you know that your order no. 420115 had yet to arrive at our Order Processing Center. We’ve been in constant contact with our supplier and have been assured that the merchandise will be sent to us soon.

We’ll make it a priority to pack your order as quickly as possible, and notify you once it’s been shipped.

Warmest Regards,

BTR Customer Support
Update December 23: My items have arrived (I never did get the shipping notification they were talking about above, though...)! Right items, right size. I have a little buyer's remorse over the grey sweater, but still like them both. Of course, the black one doesn't fit over my enormous 34-weeks-pregnant belly, but it will fit someday soon, right? I love that they're part cashmere and part angora; the sweaters are super soft.

So, there's my review: 1/3 orders worked out for me. Given the deals, I am going to say BTR *may* be worthwhile if you are (a) not in a hurry to receive your order, and (b) prepared to be disappointed if your order is wrong or simply never comes.


Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 65. He passed away suddenly in 2001.

I miss him every day. The hardest parts are the big events - good and bad. He didn't live to come to my first wedding. During my divorce, I really could have used his wisdom and support. For my second wedding, I'm sure he would have made the trip to Mexico to be there (my mother and stepfather didn't). When I had two miscarriages, his shoulder would have been perfect to cry on. Now that I am expecting, I miss him all the more - he would have been the best grandfather ever. It breaks my heart that he will never know, never get to hold his granddaughter.

I know loss, in so many ways. Even when you have accepted it, it doesn't stop hurting.

I miss my dad.