Finding the Perfect Bra

Today we're going to talk about taking care of the girls. I recently read something like 90% of women don't wear the correct size bra. I already know I'm one of them, just always believed because 32 was the smallest band size they make and adolescent bras didn't have big enough cups that that was clearly my correct size. Right?

Wrong. That's just the smallest size must chain stores carry.

I also believed that cup sized were straight forward. A's were tiny and D's were huge. It was cookie cutter boobs to fill them.

Wrong again. I blame Barbie. Crazy bitch feeling my head with all kinds of unrealistic beliefs.

I started snooping around the internet. Searching the internet can be described as a cross between getting sucked into a black hole and lost forever or falling down the rabbit hole. You have no idea where you are or how you got there but it's a very fascinating while there.

The best thing is to go to a lingerie store and get measured. It can be hard to find a good one. It needs to be one with a range of sizes and not a chain store like Victoria Secret. As lovely as those girls are, they are not actually trained beyond corporate expectations to push and sell their merchandise. This is why I believed 32-40 A-DD was all that existed. I also believed 32 was a new invention. Seriously, I was that misled.

I also wasn't aware that boobs can be either full on top or full on bottom. This can lead to the gap on top of the bra between your bra and your boob. So, even though it may seem like the wrong size cup it may just be the wrong style cut of the bra. I'm very heavy on bottom so I need some padding to hike them up. A style like balconette does not work for me at all.

O the things we learn.

Most women are wearing bras that are too big in the band and several cup sizes too small. Again, this goes back to the programming of cookie cutter cup sized boobs. Truth is, a 34D is only a fraction the size of a 40D. Your cup size is simply determined by the number of inches between your ribcage and breast measurement.

So here's how to measure... you may need your honey or best friend to help you with this. You will need a measuring tape.

First, figure out your band size. You need to be topless for an accurate reading. Wrap the measuring tape around you. Next, bend over. Make sure the tape is flush against your skin and sits under your breasts where your ribs and breast begin. It should be pretty snug. You want to know your rib cage measurement. If the measurement is an odd number you will need to round up to the next even number. 33 goes to 34. That's say you measured at 34 1/4 or 1/2 then you would round down to 34. You wouldn't round up because that would put you at 36 and the band would end up too loose. Write that number down.

Now, the next part can be a bit controversial. Some will claim to use the +0, +2, or +4 method. All this means is how many inches to add. The +0 might be too tight and uncomfortable for some woman. The +2 is best. Since I've been wearing a +8 I can only go to a +4 right now and will transition into a +2. Use the 34 we took earlier... +0 would be a 34 band, +2 a 36 band, and +4 a 38 band. You can see how much bigger the bands get, This is why going no higher than +2 is best. The weight of your breasts need to be supported by your band not your straps.

Now measure your boobs. Now bend over again and measure around your breast. The measuring tape shouldn't be loose where it could slip off and on without changing shape but not tight to where it squishes them out of shape either. Subtract that number from the band size number. The remaining number is your cup size. Every inch equals a cup. A =1, B =2, and so on (These are US measurements, European will be different). If you feel unsure this is the best calculator out there right now. Yes, cups go far beyond DD. Most stores just do not accommodate these women. Most likely these companies are run by men. I'm sure if we set them down and explained most woman go beyond DD up to size O they would be ecstatic and we would have unlimited resources available to us easily. For now, we must go to specialty shops online to find them. I have always been wearing a 34B my whole life and it turns out my +0 correct size is 26G. Since I'm used to something looser I'm going for 28F, or even 30DDD/E. These ranges are called sister sizes. You can interchange if you need. If you go up a band size then you need to go down a cup size. Try to wear as snug as possible because, as we have all learned, our bras do stretch out over time. When you buy a bra you should be hooking it on the last hook. I've always heard tightest or middle. This is wrong. You want the third or loosest hook that way when it loosens over time, as it will, you can tighten it up. Seems obvious to me now.

If you would like to see pictures how the proper fit will change your shape check out this link here.

Finding these sizes can be hard to find. So far I've only been able to do so online. Here are a few sites:

Ewa Michalak

So there you have it ladies... the proper way to support your girls. Why not turn it into a girls night so the girls can help support the girls. Drink some wine measure each other and order your new bras together online. Make a girls night of it :)

Scotch Eggs

Something new we have just discovered in our house are scotch eggs. Have you ever tried these? They were very interesting. Definitely will be making more appearances in our house. Not the healthiest thing around so we can't have it every day....but what is life without a few indulgences???

Hard boiled eggs
Breakfast sausage
eggs for coating
oil for frying
Optional: shredded cheddar cheese
                hollandaise sauce for dipping

Basic instructions:
Start by hard boiling your eggs. Once cooked, peel and wrap in uncooked breakfast sausage. In a small bowl crunch up cornflakes. In another small bowl whisk up a few eggs to use for coating. Heat oil for frying. After wrapping sausage, dip in egg and roll in cornflakes. Fry in oil until cooked through. About 5-6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Crumble up your sausage in a bowl as before and mix in shredded cheddar cheese. Wrap bacon around hard boil egg before wrapping it in sausage. Fry as above. I like to use a toothpick to poke a few holes through the sausage so the bacon cooks up crispy as well.

You can make hollandaise sauce for dipping. I prefer to have it on the side. If I am making the sauce and the variation, I leave the cheese out of it.

Hollandaise Sauce:

4 egg yolks
1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of salt

Act crazy and whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

Start a Herb Garden

I love to cook with fresh herbs. They have both amazing taste and health benefits. I grew tired of traveling to the store and purchasing overpriced and small portions of wilted herbs. I'm not rich and there are never coupons for fresh herbs. The stuff in the jar is not the same! Doesn't taste the same. No health benefits. Not as pretty in my dish.

So I decided enough was enough and I decided to make one finally trip to the store and never find myself without fresh herbs again. Plus having extra to mess around with. Endless supply of pesto, and extra rosemary to simply boil on the stove to scent the house.

First, you need to find something to plant your herbs in. You can use a pot, or you can choose a basket to add a different look and feel. When winter rolls around a basket looks better when I move it inside. Choose a fairly large one, the herbs will need room to spread.

Next, you want to add plastic wrap at the bottom. Layer it a few times. This prevents leakage. Now for the fun part. Take a screw driver and stab the crap out of the bottom. This adds drainage holes and relieves a bit of stress. If you want extra drainage, you can add a low level of river rocks or pebbles on top of the plastic wrap.

Add your soil. Find an organic nursery and find soil that is pure. I do not trust Miracle Grow for anything I eat. You hear about all the stuff they add to food and it's scary. Most people don't realize they are adding it to the soil as well. That's why things grow so fast and so much bigger. I like to add natural fertilizers. Try adding a bit of Epsom salt. This puts magnesium into the soil. I add crushed eggs shells once a week. It has always worked out very well for me.

If you buy any herbs from the store, they will come in these brown paper cup looking things. I've damaged many plants trying to get them out without reading the directions first. I'm not a directions kind of person. I dive in and hope for the best. Probably from spending too many years working around men. I've picked up their bad habits. First, you have to soak it in water for a few minutes. Then you start tearing it off to expose the roots. Try not to tear or damage the roots.

You have to remove all or as much paper as humanly possible. Once the roots are exposed, give the soil a good squeeze. This breaks things up and allows air in. You are now ready to plant in your basket.

The herbs you choose will be based or your prefernces and how you eat. If you are new to gardening and are afraid of reaching too far out on the limb start with basil. Basil is extremely forgiving. When I first started I killed everything including the basil. Somehow, it came back to life. It grows and spreads fast and there are fewer rules to keeping it.

Below is how I planted my basket. I will do individual posts on each herb to give as many tips for that particular herb as I can, to keep this post from getting too long.

My basket will include:
      - Basil
      - Rosemary
      - Flat leaf parsley
      - Italian parsley

Basil is very forgiving and a fast grower. Make sure when you plant the others you give basil plenty of room. He likes to stretch out.

When choosing a rosemary plant, spend the extra money and get as big of a plant as you can. Rosemary is a slow grower and will need time to figure out what it is supposed to do.

Plant them a few inches from the edges. It may not look like it here, but there are about 3 inches from the edge. 

On the left, I added my flat leaf parsley. On the right, the Italian parsley.

Growing a garden of any kind can have amazing anti-stress qualities. It forces you to slow down and stop thinking about whatever is going on around you. Have your children help you. I've found when children are involved in the growing and caring process they are more eager and willing to try new things. They seem to be more opened minded about what they are eating. Living out here in the country and speaking to the other moms, all kids you love vegetables have usually helped mom or a grandpa in a garden. Small herb gardening like this is a good way to ease yourself into it without the level of maintenance and commitment of a vegetable garden.

Check back later for instructions on how to actually grew these herbs. The best watering procedures, how to store them, what to do with them, and their health benefits. Plus posts on a few others.