The days are long but the years are short

If you are a mom or dad like me you probably can’t remember the last time you had a hot cup of coffee that was still hot at the last drop or a night you actually slept 8 hours without an interruption.  I get why some people don’t have any kids and I get why some of my friends have five. Raising kids is hard but totally fulfilling.

Friends told me I would be so tired with a newborn but nobody told me years later I would still be lacking sleep with a 4 year old who has occasional nightmares or a 2 year old who prefers your hair as a lovey.  Trying to scheduling a pedicure or a date with your spouse is more complicated than doing your taxes!

I could have run circles around myself as a mom of one.  Having two kids (especially when they are babies or toddlers) requires more than two hands maybe even more than four. A simple trip to the grocery story takes about an hour and a half with just one child and you end up leaving with a bunch of random purchases when you get distracted a billion times or your child gets hungry.

Children will teach you how to eat a sandwich faster then a champion food competitor. They will show you that going to the bathroom requires an audience.  They will challenge you to a better debate then you could have had in any college class.  But they will also teach you to laugh so hard you will pee your pants and teach you to love so hard your heart will feel like it could just burst out of your chest.

Although I am exhausted half the time and don’t have much time for myself, I am scared for that day to come when they are all grown up and don’t need me anymore. My daughter asked me the other day when she would turn 5.  I told her to just enjoy being 4 that she will turn 5 soon enough.

There are still lots of poopy diapers, lots of screaming, crying and lots of snuggles on my chest still ahead for me. I am going to enjoy every moment because one day I will blink and my children will be asking me for the car keys and the house will be silent and I will miss the noise.  I will miss the sound of a diaper rustling, I will miss the sound of that little voice asking for a snack, and I will miss the way their hiney sticks up in the air when they are deep in sleep.  The days ahead will be long but I know the years are short.

 

What do you miss the most from your children being babies, toddlers?

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A perfect gift for Mothers day *giveaway*

Its the month of May, one of my favorite months!  Spring is here.   I am starting to see flowers in bloom everywhere and one of my favorite holidays is coming up.  Mothers Day.  Mothers day is very special to me because I didn’t know if I would be able to become a mother.  Before my daughter was born I experienced a miscarriage and again before my son was born I miscarried.  I can happily say today I am blessed with two healthy children.

Since Mothers Day is so dear to me I wanted to share with you an extra special gift you can give to your mother this holiday. I love having my babies close to my heart and a locket is the perfect way to keep their faces near whenever they aren’t in your arms!  Recently I came across a company called Pictures on Gold.com  where you can design your own locket with a personalized inscription and photos for an affordable price. The best part is its easy to do and they ship your locket in one day for you last minute shoppers!

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The color laser they use is 100% waterproof and scratch proof and their work is guaranteed for a lifetime. The design process is easy with step by step instructions from start to finish and can be done on a mobile phone or desktop. In fact from start to finish it took me just 10 minutes to design mine.  It took me longer to decide which photos to use! If your photos have people that are spaced apart in them they can fix it. Their technicians can also fill white space or remove a background if needed.  No need to be proficient in photo shop!

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Plus your personalized gift comes in a beautiful gift box.

IMG_0770 Check out their website at  https://www.picturesongold.com/products/locket-designer-heart-2page-locket-p71544.html to design your own beautiful, sentimental and personalized gift for your mother or for yourself this Mothers Day and enter to win one  here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d69e0ad715/?

I hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day!

 

Lunchbox Love

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I love when my preschooler comes home with an empty lunchbox.  It means I made not only a nutritious lunch but a delicious one too!  My daughter eats what I call a bento style lunch.  I pack a few different things in small amounts so in case I have a miss I know that she din’t go hungry and that she consumed a variety of nutrients.

My favorite lunchbox goody of late is my protein truffles.  The recipe is super easy and soooo delicious but its also loaded with healthy protein and no added sugar.  Plus my daughter thinks she is getting a special chocolate treat.  Score!

Here are the ingredients:

Organic Almond Butter (8 oz)

Organic Almond milk (1/8 cup) add more as needed

Organic Mejool dates (a handful)

Chia Seeds (1 tablespoon)

Cacao nibs (2 tablespoons)

Organic Chocolate protein powder (2 tablespoons)

Cocoa powder

Coconut flakes

Mix the first six ingredients together in a food processor until its a sticky consistency that holds together.  Next start rolling about a teaspoon size amount into a ball and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. One one side of the sheet pour out some cocoa powder on the other side pour out coconut flakes and start rolling the balls to coat them.  I like to split them in half so you have a variety.  You can also roll the protein truffles in crushed nuts, dried fruits, sesame seed or granola.  Get creative and pick your favorites. Also the ingredients are interchangeable and you can add more or take away or swap out based upon your dietary preferences. Peanut butter for almond butter or coconut milk for almond milk.  Yum! Store in a tight glass container.  They will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week but I guarantee they wont last that long at your house.  The kids will be begging for more and when you are running around and realized you haven’t eaten lunch these will hold you over.  Enjoy!

Easy Acai smoothie bowl

I have been searching high and low for the perfect breakfast.  Something hardy but not too heavy. Something tasty but not too sweet.  Above all healthy  and particularly low in sugar!  Finally I found the perfect breakfast.  Acai smoothie bowl. Besides the taste I love that I can make this breakfast in 5 minutes! Perfect for busy mornings.

The recipe is simple.  Purchase a bag of frozen acai berry packets (make sure you buy unsweetened). You can find them at Publix and Whole Foods.  Grab a packet and run it under warm water for about 15 seconds.  Throw it in the blender with a healthy splash of coconut water and a small handful of your favorite frozen for fresh fruit.  I usually add blackberries.  I try to keep my sugar grams low so I don’t add too much fruit and sometimes I throw in some spinach.  I promise you wont taste it!

Blend until smooth and yogurt like consistency.  Pour in a bowl.  Top with your favorite nuts, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, a scoop of almond butter, granola (but check the sugar content) and drizzle with a little honey. You have a healthy protein packed breakfast that is loaded with antioxidants and will fuel for the day. Of course feel free to change the toppings to your liking.  Breakfast should be fun!

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What do you put in your smoothie bowls?

Mommy summer fashion and giveaway!

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Style changes once you become a mom.  High heels that pinched a little but made your legs look amazing are replaced with flip flops because they are simply comfortable and your feet are just not the same after growing a human.  Form fitting dresses are replaced by flowy tops and longer shorts because you just can’t get on the floor with a baby while wearing a dress.  Chain necklaces are easily broken by baby hands so accessorizing tends to be a nursing scarf.

But fortunately being a mom doesn’t mean fashion is non-existant. You don’t need to wear sweatpants and a t-shirt  to function.  You can easily pull together a functional and fashionable outfit in a few minutes with some basic pieces.  Start with some neutral color shorts in navy, khaki and a dark jean pair.  Then find a few form fitting v-neck tees in white and grey. Pair with some neutral leather low heel sandals and finish it with a statement piece.  My favorite accessory right now is the Nuby teething necklace in Aqua.  It brightens up any outfit, its sturdy and is the perfect toy for your teething baby.

I have fallen in love with the Nuby necklace and so has my 5 month old son. It is a wearable teether so you will always have it with you.  Genius!  It is made of 100% silicone and has a soft textured surface that is perfect to ease sore gums. The safe snap clasp will withstand a toddlers curious hands. And it is only $14.99 at Babies R Us!  Nuby hit this one out of the ballpark for a fashion meets function necklace at an affordable price!  Plus they come in 4 colors, deep purple, teal (pictured) white and gray. One lucky mom will be sporting this gorgeous necklace soon in their choice of color!  I am giving one away!!!!  Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d69e0ad714/?

In the meantime grab some basic clothing pieces spruce up your wardrobe and head to Walmart or Babies R Us to check out Nubys full line of teething necklaces.

I hope your staying cool, comfortable and fashionable in the summer heat!

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For additional information about these Nuby products, follow Nuby on their social media sites http://www.facebook.com/nubyusa or http://www.twitter.com/nubyusa.

Disclosure: I am part of the Nuby parents blogger team. All reviewed products are given to me in part or in whole for my time to produce a review. All opinions are my own.

 

Dear Motherless Moms

imageWith Mothers day just around the corner my husband keeps asking me what I want for mothers day. Diamond earrings flash through my head but in my heart my answer is always the same.  My mom.

My mom lost her battle to breast cancer 8 years ago.  She never saw me married, she never met my now husband, she never saw me pregnant and she never got to hold her grandchildren.  It’s thinking of those milestone moments that make me miss her more than anything. Even though I am a grown adult with children, there are times when I still desperately want her to hold me just so I can smell her special scent. I still want to hear her voice tell me she is proud of me and I would love to shop till I drop with her by my side (because that was our thing).  That is what I want for mothers day.

Instead on this Mothers Day, I will look at my beautiful daughters face as she tells me she wont share her dark chocolate. I cant blame her my mom wouldn’t either.  I will give my daughter a thick slice of bread with butter and watch how she gobbles it up, because its her favorite snack just like my mother.  I will watch when strangers approach and all of a sudden my bubbly girl gets shy just like my mother. And I will beam with pride as my daughter sings her heart out to her favorite song because she is confident just like my mother.

There is no replacement for your mother.  There is no way for that empty space in your heart to be filled. On Mothers Day when I miss her terribly  I try to think of what my mom would say to me.  She would say “Don’t be sad, your smile is too pretty. It’s time to celebrate you now because your a mom”. This Mothers Day when the sadness comes creeping in, I will smile, embrace my sweet memories of my mother and I will hug my children so tight because I am incredibly fortunate to have them.

Dear Motherless Moms you are not alone. Your mother will be with you every day in your children’s faces, actions and in your memories.  Happy Mothers Day to all moms.  You are very special!

 

 

The back to nature diet

After taking a pole of my peer group in their 30s they all agreed they would love to lose a few pounds.  Five to ten pounds and keep it off most agreed.  I don’t believe I know anyone who is completely satisfied with their weight, especially my female friends after having a baby.  But we all can agree that losing weight can be challenging.  I don’t think exercise is the answer either.  I am an advocate for exercise but I feel that diet is the foundation to losing weight and overall health.  Health is like a house, if you build a strong foundation the house will stand. Exercise is the compliment to the diet.

I gained 40 pounds recently when I was pregnant with my son and after 3 months I am proud to say I have lost 36 of those pounds.  I lost the weight by simple changes to my diet and walking a mile 5 days a week.  The changes to my diet are pretty simple to implement.  I call it the back to nature diet because that’s what it is.  Its eating foods in their raw form whenever possible, eliminating processed foods and buying semi-processed foods like cheese and butter the way they should be from grass fed animals. Here are a few tips to getting back to nature in your diet:

  1. Increased your vegetable servings to 7-8 a day
  2. Cut out or limit your white flour and substitute wheat, almond or other types of flour
  3. Drink water with lemon or infused water with every meal
  4. For sugar cravings eat dark chocolate with a high cacao content
  5. Have a vegetarian night at least once a week
  6. Only eat grass fed beef, organic chicken and wild caught fish
  7. Snack on nuts, beans and apples to keep you full in between meals
  8. Eat healthy fats like avocados, grass fed cheese, and grass fed butter
  9. Cook with high heat nut oils like sunflower
  10. Use coconut sugar in your coffee or green tea if you need a sweetener

Keep in mind there is no such thing as a diet that works permanently.  Changing what and how you eat is the only way you can have successful permanent weight loss and health.  Best of luck in your quest!

Has a particular diet change worked for you?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Making learning fun!

I never enjoyed school growing up, although I was a good student.  I found school very boring with the exception of field trips!  That is why I use every opportunity to teach my toddler new things in a creative and hands on way.  If we are picking up groceries we sample the fruits and vegetables there to learn the names.  When we stop by the pet store to pick up our dog food we visit the adoptable animals and learn what to call them.

When it comes to purchasing toys for my daughter I try to find ones that spur her imagination and creativity or teach her a skill.  I usually steer away from toys with all the bells and whistles and gravitate toward simple toys, like the Nuby bath time foam letters and numbers. These not only make bath time fun but make learning enjoyable too.  I love that!

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You can spell words by sticking the foam letters to the tub wall or start your own mini game of tub scrabble as they float in the water. Just in case they end up in your little ones mouth you can rest assured that they are both Phthalate and BPA free.  All 26 letters and 10 numbers are included in the set.  It is the perfect enjoyable way to start learning numbers and putting together words at 18 months plus.

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You can find the Nuby bath set at your local Meijer or online at http://www.buybabydirect.com. Plus I am giving a set away to one lucky person!

Dont delay and enter to win the Nuby Bath Letters and Numbers set today! Enter here:     

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d69e0ad713/?

For additional information about these Nuby products, follow Nuby on their social media sites http://www.facebook.com/nubyusa or http://www.twitter.com/nubyusa.

Disclosure: I am part of the Nuby parents blogger team. All reviewed products are given to me in part or in whole for my time to produce a review. All opinions are my own.

Mocktail Monday

I drink a ton of water but lets face it, water can be boring. So when I am thirsty for something refreshing on a hot summer day after I have had my fill of water, I reach for a mocktail. Today I am making one of my summer favorites!

Basil lemonade.

The recipe is simple and you can make a whole jug or a glass in minutes. Here are the ingredients:

1 organic lemon

3 sprigs of organic basil

A handful of ice

Simple syrup to taste or two teaspoons of organic sugar (Note: Simple syrup is sugar melted in hot water.)

About about 8oz of water
Basil lemonade ingredients
Start by washing your lemon and cutting it in half. Next grab a 16oz glass and use a hand juicer to squeeze your lemon juice in the glass. Throw in 2 sprigs of basil and use a spoon to muddle it in the bottom of the glass. Add your simple syrup. I recommend using simple syrup in cold drinks because sugar doesn’t mix well in ice cold drinks. You may like more sugar than me. I like my lemonade drinks on the sour side! Finallly fill your glass with ice and add water. Stir well and add a paper straw for fun. Top with a half of a lemon and a sprig of basil. These are so refreshing and they make a fun treat for kids too instead of soda!

Basil lemonade

Do you make mocktails at home? What is your favorite?

What is in your diaper bag?

My diaper bag is overflowing.  I don’t think I have ever been able to zip it.  It holds the typical essential items (diapers, wipes, snacks, toys and a sippy cup) but its filled with lots of extras so we are prepared to be out of the house for a few hours or the whole day. Since my daughter has grown from a baby to a toddler we slowly swap out items with a version that’s more age appropriate.

Diaper bag

One of the latest additions to her diaper bag was the Nuby Wash or Toss feeding utensils.  These are a must for a toddlers diaper bag.  If I want to enjoy my own lunch or dinner with my husband my toddler must be kept busy.  What better way to keep her busy then by her learning to feed herself.  This is an essential skill that promotes independence and it seems to be fun for her as well. My daughter loves trying to pick up her food with her spork or spoon and I love that meal time is enjoyable for everyone.

Nuby wash n toss

The box of Nuby Wash or Toss contains 8 spoons and sporks but we only keep one set in the diaper bag.  I love that I don’t have to worry about these being left behind at a restaurant.  Or if they are to messy to clean we can just toss them. The design is sturdy.  Much sturdier than using plastic cutlery and safer too than typical fork prongs. They are durable enough to reuse.  I like having that option too!

Test for wash n toss

Nuby Wash or Toss Feeding Utensils are perfect for travel this summer!  If you are heading for a day trip to the zoo or a week long vacation make sure you pick a pack up at your local Meijers store. If you love these utensils check out the Nuby Wash or Toss cups.  They would make another great addition to your diaper bag.

For additional information about these Nuby products, follow Nuby on their social media sites http://www.facebook.com/nubyusa or http://www.twitter.com/nubyusa.

Plus you can enter to win the Nuby Wash or Toss here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d69e0ad712/?

Disclosure: I am part of the Nuby parents blogger team. All reviewed products are given to me in part or in whole for my time to produce a review. All opinions are my own.