Bump Naturally

Childbirth Education, Doula, Photographer – Omaha, NE

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Spread a Little Love this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner… so I am here to help with some thoughtful and clean ideas for everyone you want to spread a little love to!

Vday Men

Let’s start with the toughest to shop for: MEN
💕Allbirds: This company is a fellow BCorp whose shoes are super comfy, washable and have a low carbon footprint.
💕Marriage Journal: This journal is an amazing way to reconnect and communicate effectively
💕Counterman: Of course our men’s line is the perfect gift for any man in your life! From safer shaving cream to body wash, our men deserve safer products too!Patagonia: This wool hat from fellow BCorp is the perfect way to say I love you ❤
💕PHLUR: This clean fragrance company will make your man smell amazing without the toxins. Hepcat is a great scent for men!

Vday Her

💕Valentine’s Day could be the perfect time to show yourself some LOVE and grab something new for YOU! Or send a little *hint, hint* to your significant other…

💕 Swig: a women owned/operated company that has specialized in uber-insulated and ultra-cute drink ware-also using stainless helps avoid plastic.

💕 Summersalt: these swimsuits are both comfortable and stylish with their data-backed fit to be flattering for all! They use recycled materials to create both fabrics and packaging!

💕 PHLUR: This clean fragrance company will make you smell amazing without the toxins. Ameline is my favorite!

💕 Alter Eco: fair trade chocolates/candy that are sustainably grown and are also super yummy!

💕 Overnight Resurfacing Peel: Goodnight, dullness; Good morning radiance. This leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and boosts clarity without irritation or over-drying.

💕 Melting Body Balm: More than a moisturizer—this is a vacation for your senses! Infused with Monoi scent, our luxurious balm transforms into an oil as it melts into the skin.

💕 Rothys: They create beautiful, comfortable, washable shoes—sustainably. To date, they’ve transformed over 30 million plastic water bottles into stylish flats!

Vday Friend

Valentine’s Day could be the perfect time to show your Gal-entine, Bestie, Co-workers, Teachers some LOVE 💕

💕Wholesome Culture Sweatshirt: this company cares about animals and protecting the environment. They also give part of their profits to animal rescue and environmental orgs.

💕F**k Plastic Book: 101 Ways to Free Yourself from Plastic and Save the World—enough said! https://tinyurl.com/rnkop6h

💕Cote: Nail Polish and Treatments are 100% FREE from formaldehyde, toluene, DBT, formaldehyde, resin, camphor, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide/epoxy resin, parabens, and gluten. 🙌🏻

💕Rx Bar: yummy nutritious protein bars with no BS! (Available at Whole Foods Market)

💕Lip Gloss: moisturizing in sheer color and high-impact shine. Infused with a natural vanilla flavor with no stickiness. My favorites are Opal & Rosewood! https://www.beautycounter.com/vanessastepan…

💕Highlighter: Sheer, luminous radiance made simple—create a natural lit-from-within look with three easy-to-wear shades. https://www.beautycounter.com/vanessastepan…

💕Macrame Heart Earrings: Adorable handmade macrame goods from earrings to keychains and more in Omaha, NE. Follow her on Insta: @macra_lana

💕Hydro Flask: yet another way to ditch plastic and help give back to the parks with your purchase.

Vday Baby

For the little ones this Valentine’s Day💕

💕Sweet Edie Bow Co: check out the amazing clips, bows, headbands and hair accessories from my friend Janae. Local to Omaha or check her out on Etsy!
💕Baby Set: These essentials for babies includes a Gentle All-Over Wash, Soothing Oil and Daily Protective Balm. All are still great for use for my older kids dry winter skin!

💕Slumberkins: The collections support a full range of early emotional well being with such soft snuggly toys and books.
💕Rainbow: wooden stacked puzzle great for gifting your littlest valentine!

Vday Boy

For the little BOYS this Valentine’s Day💕

Patagonia: This jacket from fellow B Corp is the perfect way to say I love you
💕Body wash: This gentle wash gets little ones clean while ensuring their skin stays soft and hydrated. Gluten- and nut-free, the formula contains a combination of nourishing fruit extracts that provide a light fresh-berry scent.
💕Parkland Lunch Bag: The exterior fabric of all Parkland products is made from 100% recycled water bottles. Their mission is to inspire others to make sustainable choices by offering products that combine purpose, style, and quality at an accessible price.
💕Engineering Activities for kids: A great read for BOTH boys AND girls!
💕Slick Kids: natural plant-based formulas keep harsh chemicals, hormone disruptors and other common offenders off your kids and out of the environment.

Vday GirlsFor the little GIRLS this Valentine’s Day💕

💕Rainbow Keychain: handmade macrame goods in Omaha, NE. Follow on Insta: @macra_lana
💕Parkland lunch bag: The exterior fabric of all Parkland products is made from 100% recycled water bottles. Their mission is to inspire others to make sustainable choices by offering products that combine purpose, style, and quality at an accessible price.
💕Prim and Pure: Home of the fruit and veggie nail polish and safe kids makeup without the toxins. Both my kids love these!!
💕Yum Earth: organic dye-free candy with few (or any) allergens. (Available at Whole Foods)
💕Project 7: speciality candies that also help fund seven areas of need across the globe! Check out their mission!
💕Shampoo/Conditioner: Clean formulas for clean kids. Our Nice Do Shampoo and Not a Knot Conditioner, both of which feature an orange-vanilla swirl scent kids love.
Have other fun ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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Summersalt: Stylish + Sustainable Swimwear

To be completely honest, it was the one shoulder design and teal color that initially caught my eye (in an instagram ad… I know shocking)… I didn’t even realize how awesome this company was until after placing my first order.

Before heading to Los Angeles for our family vacation, I wanted to find the perfect mama-friendly (let’s be honest, my bikini days are over) swimsuits that were stylish and functional. I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing quality of the suit and how well it fit and held everything nicely in place.


As you probably know, I have been increasingly aware of my environmental footprint. While I’m far from perfect, I love to support companies that are doing their part on a larger scale to reduce waste and show respect for our planet.

Check out Summersalt’s stance on Sustainability:

What is your commitment to sustainability?
There are two things at the root of everything we do: Our customers, and our planet. We believe that the companies of the future must have sustainability at the core of their business model to make a lasting impact and do right by the environment.

Swimwear: Our swimwear is made of a super compressive, luxurious fabric crafted from 78% Recycled Polyamide. These fabrics are crafted from recycled plastics, post-consumer materials and nylon waste—like old fishing nets—that are literally pulled from our oceans.

We are constantly striving to refine processes and push ourselves to keep operations and products as eco-friendly as possible. We’ll always be this way, and we’ll always be transparent with you about our processes. Continue reading

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Clear Skin is a Science. Why Your Skincare (+ Bed Sheets) Matter…

As most of you probably know, I am a Director with Beautycounter and a firm believer that using skincare and makeup made with cleaner, safer ingredients makes an incredible difference for your skin. As a teenager (up until the birth of my daughter) I struggled with acne and tried all the popular acne lines out there (completely naive and clueless about ingredient safety) with little to no real long term solution.

When I was introduced to Beautycounter, I honestly didn’t have high expectations as far as it clearing my skin but since I was looking for something safer to use while breastfeeding, I decided to give it a whirl! Boy, was my skin happy to meet the Charcoal Cleansing Bar (activated charcoal helps pull out impurities from skin) and Balancing Facial Oil. I know what you’re thinking, “Oil for oily skin?” but our skin actually overproduces oils when our skin is overdried from harsh acne products that strip all our natural oils away. This amazing facial oil restores balance with softening meadowfoam seed , while wild chamomile calms and soothes skin. These two products gave me hope and eventually Beautycounter released the Countercontrol Collection (a powerful regimen for oily and blemish-prone skin that mattifies and clears without dryness and irritation) which is what I currently use.


I have also recently added our breakthrough new anti-aging Countertime Collection in the evening since I’m in the lucky group with acne prone and aging skin. What I LOVE is that the superstar plant-derived ingredient, Bakuchiol (performs like Retinol without the skin irritation and other side effects) also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which makes it a great fit for all skin types! Check out what Fast Company is saying about this new line here.Countertime

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Holiday Guide: Stocking Stuffers

When it comes to holiday shopping , I pride myself in finding thoughtful and intentional gifts. If you’ve finished up most of your shopping but still need some goodies to fill up the stocking with stuff that isn’t candy or junk… I’m here to help!




Glow & Go Mini Oils ($30)

The Glow & Go Mini Oils set contains our best-selling facial oil formulas in special take-anywhere sizes—the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone craving a gorgeous natural glow that helps brighten, plump and balance skin. 

Shop One, Share One: A little glow goes a long way. For every Glow & Go Mini Oils set you purchase this holiday, Beautycounter will donate one set to a patient undergoing cancer treatment at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.*

Cote Nail Polish ($18)

Nail Polish and Treatments 100% free from formaldehyde, toluene, DBT, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide/epoxy resin, parabens, and gluten.

Native Deodorant ($12)

My favorite clean deodorant (free of aluminum, parabans and all the other yuck) that actually works at preventing odor. I love that it is hand poured in the USA and all orders ship free.

Color Intense Lipstick ($29)

An industry-leading standard of safety. Introducing the first long-wearing, one-swipe lipstick by Beautycounter. Eight all-new shades ranging from naturally nude to intense red deliver the rich color payoff and luxe satin finish you want, with the safety you deserve. Creamy formula moisturizes so lips feel soft and smooth, never dry and uncomfortable. Natural peppermint oil delivers a subtly refreshing flavor. Continue reading

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Holiday Guide: Gifts for Her

When it comes to holiday shopping , I pride myself in finding thoughtful and intentional gifts. If you haven’t started shopping yet or maybe just completely stuck on what to get your wife, mom, sister or best friend… I’m here to help!



Hearne Dry Goods ($40+)

I love these unique peices from designer Leigh Hillenmeyer who proudly named her jewelry line “Hearne Dry Goods Company” after her great-great-grandfather’s family business. In a nod to the rugged textiles of yesteryear, Leigh crafts necklaces inspired by her father’s nylon sailing straps and a variety of other preppy yet boho chic accouterments. And, as tribute to her forefather’s commitment to fostering community both near and far, a portion of all proceeds support a community health clinic in Lwala, Kenya (www.lwalacommunityalliance.org).

Intense Moisture Body Duo ($59)

This holiday season, give the gift of a luxe sensorial experience and pampered skin with our Intense Moisture Body Duo. Gentle cleansing and moisturizing ingredients with a decadent Monoi fragrance leave skin hydrated, refreshed and silky-soft.

Phlur ($88)

Amazing perfumes made with your health and wellness in mind. My favorite scent is Améline: Our statement of feminine intelligence, grace and glamour. A clever new concept of a rose, Améline owes its unique and complex presence to notes of rose (of course), sparkling top notes of Italian bergamot, plus pink pepper and hints of patchouli and sandalwood.

Necessary Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette ($89)

This  limited-edition palette features 18 long-wearing shades designed to flatter all skin tones—the perfect gift for the beauty obsessed. This versatile collection of wearable warm and cool shades offers a variety of matte, satin and shimmer finishes, each with a luxuriously smooth texture from cocoa seed butter. Comes in an exclusive, gold-patterned compact with a removable mirror and double-ended brush.

Comes in a festive red box for effortless holiday gifting.

Swig ($20)

This stylish and functional 12oz vacuum sealed stainless steal wine cup is perfect for any wino connoisseur.

Salt Lamp ($22)

I have a salt lamp in almost every room of my house and I love the subtle and relaxing light it gives off as well as its air purifying qualities. Made from 100% Himalayan Mountain salt crystals, this salt therapy neutralizes ions, fights electromagnetic radiation with negative ions.

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Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

When it comes to holiday shopping , I pride myself in finding thoughtful and intentional gifts. If you haven’t started shopping yet or maybe just completely stuck on what to get your husband, dad or brother because, let’s be honest, men are difficult to shop for… I’m here to help!



Counterman ($45)

This holiday season, give him an exclusive preview of our all-new Counterman collection. Perfectly packed for holiday gifting and any kind of escape, this kit includes trial-size versions of four men’s skin care and shave essentials—all tucked into a sleek limited-edition Dopp kit

Counterman Preview Gift Set includes:

Daily Exfoliating Cleanser: Ideal for all skin types, this cleanser with soothing aloe contains jojoba beads to slough away dead skin cells.

Smoothing Shave Cream: Our conditioning formula contains a blend of shea butter and aloe to help soften facial hair to promote a close shave and help defend against razor burn.

Cooling Aftershave Tonic: Made without harsh ingredients, this refreshing tonic contains menthol to cool razor burn and witch hazel to help tighten pores.

Oil-Free Face Lotion: Lightweight and non-greasy, this essential daily moisturizer absorbs quickly for daily hydration.

Harry’s Men’s Razor ($10)

Combining great craftsmanship and a simple design, Harry’s Men’s Razor with 2 Razor Blades delivers a close, comfortable shave thanks to its precision trimmer for hard-to-reach spots, flex hinge that contours to your face and a rubber grip handle.

Charcoal Essentials ($49)

Holiday skin detox, delivered. Formulated with gently purifying Japanese binchotan charcoal, this clarifying skin care duo gently washes away impurities without harsh surfactants—helping absorb excess oil to keep skin smooth, balanced and clear.

Hydro Flask Tumbler ($30)

This is perfect for a man on the go! This 22oz double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel travel tumbler cup comes with a BPA free press-in lid and available in almost every color.

Slippers ($22)

These cozy but manly slippers are perfect for keeping outside shoes at the door (where they belong) and feet warm inside.

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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Kiddos

When it comes to holiday shopping , I pride myself in finding thoughtful and intentional gifts. If you haven’t started shopping yet or maybe just completely stuck on what to get your kid that already has everything… I’m here to help!



Slumberkins ($36+)

My kiddos love their “slumbies”. These super soft cuddly creatures are more than just another lovey toy. Their mission is to provide parents and caregivers with resources that promote positive skills for young children, while strengthening the parent-child bond.

Baby Daily Protective Balm ($22)

I don’t go anywhere without my baby balm. Designed for even the gentlest newborn skin, this all-purpose nourishing balm is the ultimate hydrating and comforting multitasker. Its soothing blend of organic shea butter and jojoba oil provides a layer of protection from head to toe.

Ingredient-conscious moms will love this formula that is free of irritants and hidden, harmful ingredients.

Custom Wood Sign ($30+)

I have several custom wood signs from Project Woodsy and love them all. It’s perfect to give your kid’s room or play space a unique touch.

Jumbo Shampoo/Body Wash ($59)

Safer shampoo and soothing suds make bathtime a breeze—and our Splashtime Kids Set makes the perfect holiday gift for friends and family members with little ones. Set includes a jumbo shampoo, jumbo body wash and a generously sized hooded towel for good clean fun in the tub.

Wooden Name Puzzle ($30+)

While this custom puzzle may not arrive in time for Christmas… it’s the perfect gift for kids of all ages. These beautiful heirloom quality name puzzles are made entirely from hardwoods–chocolatey brown walnut, creamy white maple, and reddish cherry. The pieces are all sanded smooth for little hands to enjoy and conditioned with all natural finishes. Your puzzle will be a wonderful addition to your home as it is both enjoyable for play and display.

Cuddle & Kind Doll ($50+)

I just LOVE the mission of this company and their ethically produced hand-knit dolls. With each doll purchased, 10 meals are donated to kids in need.


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Say “No Thanks” to Retinoids

The skinny on retinoids and why making the switch to AHA/BHA and glycolic Acid is just as effective (and most of all SAFER!). If you are a die hard retinoid fan, consider using our Overnight Peel in place.Beautycounter-19

Some big takeaways on Retinoids:

1) It increases ALL cell turnover, including cancerous cells. So the potential to develop skin cancer increases significantly with prolonged use.

2) It interferes with your body’s natural ability to convert Vitamin A. When we ingest vitamin A, it has to be converted by our enzymes into its active form, retinoic acid. But Retin-A, or tretinoin, is already retinoic acid, and it binds to our retinoid receptors to elicit various responses in the skin. Our bodies need vitamin A for so many functions, including progesterone synthesis, protein synthesis and cell differentiation. Think about when you take a dietary supplement. The more you take it, the less you body produces vitamins or absorbs them via food ingested. Your body becomes DEPENDENT!

3) It causes redness, inflammation and irritation, which lend themselves to other problems (acne, scaring, exposed tissues, etc). LISTEN: it’s NOT normal to have these issues!

4) Leading dermatologists are starting to limit retinoid prescriptions, and others have stopped prescribing due to effective safer ingredients. Glycolic is the gold standard. Glycolic, when properly formulated, is gentle. It does virtually everything for anti-aging that tretinoin does.

How is our Overnight Resurfacing Peel different and effective?

Formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids clear away dull surface skin cells, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion.

Why is it safer?

Our Overnight Resurfacing Peel is formulated without synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and formaldehyde-based preservatives commonly found in peels.

Our peel uses a unique combination of both resurfacing acids and soothing acids that hydrate, replenish, and protect skin. This precise combination of acids optimizes performance while maintaining a pH level that doesn’t cause irritation.

Try our limited edition travel sized Overnight Resurfacing Peel here.


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You Are What You Eat (& What You Slather on your Skin)

As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my son, I immediately cleaned up my eating habits (started buying organic, added lots of protein, made sure to drink half my body weight in ounces of water) but it never even crossed my mind to look at what I was slathering ON my body and belly on a daily basis. I eventually heard through the grapevine that the acne regimen I was using was not recommended during pregnancy or nursing (which was confirmed by my doctor). I figured this was only the case because it was a harsh acne product… I never thought that my “natural” and “organic” shampoo/conditioner and makeup products from Target and Sephora could be “toxic”. Clearly, they wouldn’t be for sale if they weren’t safe, right?

#SwitchtoSafer w/ Beautycounter

To my horror, I learned (soon after the birth of my daughter) that I was blissfully unaware that companies could and were green-washing products with marketing buzz words like “gluten free,” “organic,” “botanical,” and “natural” that hold absolutely no meaning in the self regulated market of personal care products. Did you know that the U.S. hasn’t passed any major protective legislation banning harmful ingredients in personal care products since 1938 (despite the introduction of over 80K new ingredients since then)?! I quickly discovered that the majority of the products I had been using my entire life were full of yuck. And when I say yuck, I mean carcinogens, hormone disruptors, allergens and God knows what else.

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Postpartum Anxiety

Arlyn Elizabeth Stepan arrived fashionably late (on November 11, 2016) and our little family instantly fell in love with our precious little girl. Compared to Bradley (our “velcro baby”), Arlyn was (and still is) the “perfect” baby… only fussy when she is hungry, tired or needs to burp. She is always smiley and happy and it’s hard to not smile when looking at her sweet face.

Since she arrived over a week past her EDD, my mom had to travel back to MA the morning after Arlyn was born. I was left alone at hospital waiting to be discharged while my husband stayed with our son. The first few days were a bit of an adjustment without any extra hands… we played a lot of man-to-man defense 😉 Thankfully we were blessed by having home cooked meals delivered to us from sweet friends and after a few days, having two kids just felt like the new normal! We even went to church that first Sunday. I’m the type of gal that can’t be cooped up… So while I should have been resting, I was GOING.  Continue reading