For all the Mamas…

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to write about the newfound respect I have for all moms. I always appreciated them, don’t get me wrong, because in my opinion I have the best mom in the world. She raised my sister and I by herself after our father passed away, and now that I have my own family, I have no idea how she did it. Being a mom is harder than anything I’ve ever done. Including graduating from college. Because up until now, that was the hardest thing I’ve done in my adult life. It’s also the best and most fun thing I’ve ever done. My son brings so much joy and happiness into my life, it’s hard to express. 


I think most people take for granted the role a mother has in someone’s life. Taking care of someone other than yourself for the rest of their existence (because let’s face it, it’s not just 18 years. I still depend on my mom) is hard, hard work. But I understand why people say it’s the most rewarding. It just took me finding out firsthand to understand completely.  I just hope I can be there for my children like my mom is there for my sister and I. To tell it like it is whether we want to hear it or not. To be our biggest fan whether we believe it or not. And to love us no matter what. 


So this Mother’s Day I encourage everyone to not only tell the mother figure in their lives how much they mean to them but try and show them everyday. Because a good mom is a terrible thing to waste. 

Happy Mother’s Day!! ❤️💛💜

Pinterest Win: Lactation Cookies

Not everything on Pinterest is easy. In fact, 90% of the things I’ve tried end up being much more difficult than just buying it or hiring someone else to do it. But what’s the fun in that, right?

As my baby is eating more and more regular foods, my milk production has dropped a little. My plan was to nurse for at least a year, so I was looking for some ways to increase my milk production. This led me to lactation cookies. I found some that I planned on buying online already made but  a friend of mine suggested I check out her Pinterest board for breastfeeding. She had recipes for all kinds of things, so I picked one and gave it a go. Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought. 

 Here’s what you do 👇🏽

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
4 tbsp. water

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla {I like to use a little more for that extra flavor.}

2 cups all purpose flour 

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. *Brewer’s Yeast {This was hard for me to find. I ended up going to a vitamin store like The Vitamin Shoppe to get it.}

3 cups quick oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. 
Mix together the flaxseed and water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars.

Add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Add flaxseed mix and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, salt, Brewer’s Yeast, and oats.

Add to the butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time.

Once the dough is mixed together well, add chocolate chips.

Bake for 9-11 minutes. (I did it for 10 minutes.)

– recipe from Lifestyle Hunting


This recipe made so many cookies. Well worth it to make instead of buy. Pinterest=win!!

Not only did the cookies taste good, but it worked. 


Check it out! ☝🏽The milk was a-flowing! 

So for all you breastfeeding moms who are looking for things to try to increase milk supply, I highly recommend this recipe. I also used Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk tea (tea and cookies, what could be better!)

I’m always open to hear what you did to help with milk production. 

But first, coffee

I’ve found a new summer drink…and it’s perfect for anyone who loves iced coffee and somewhat healthy drinks! 

A couple of days ago, my husband brought home Cool Brew decaf coffee for me and Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea for himself. I’m nursing still so I try to limit how much caffeine I’m taking in to either just decaf or one 8 ounce cup of regular a day. Well, that day I decided to mix the two and see how it tasted. It’s heaven! And it’s got 9 grams of protein. It’s not perfect though. There is a bit of sugar but it’s still a better option than that Starbucks you would have normally picked up. 

Yum!

Try it iced or hot, you won’t be disappointed! 

Garden Therapy

Whether you’re a new mom or not, everyone needs an outlet for stress and relaxation. While I was pregnant and not working as many hours as I was used to, I decided to start a garden. It was rocky at first considering the fact I didn’t have much experience and I started it while it was still cold, but I have to say it’s getting better with practice. And with the help of my mom, Mrs. Green Thumb. 

Bell peppers 🌶Tomatoes 🍅 and Cucumbers 🥒


I never gave much thought to why people enjoyed gardening and planting flowers. I’ve always loved getting flowers for any occasion but planting things was never on my radar. Growing up and starting a family has made me want to be a healthier person and in turn provide a healthier lifestyle for my new family. Growing my own vegetables and having to tend to plants and flowers is fun and exciting but it’s also good exercise. Not to mention it’s something to do with your children and other family. 

I’ve found gardening can make any space more homey and welcoming. It’s aesthetically pleasing and good for the soul as well. It’s a bit time consuming and you need to be diligent just like anything you care for on a long term basis but the outcome is so rewarding. 

My flower box 🌺

Going out and starting a garden isn’t going to solve all your problems or instantly make things better but it’s helped keep me active and it’s become enjoyable. I tried something new and it led me to a new hobby and also to finding out new things about myself. 

My flower box #2 🌸


Be well!

XOXO 

Best Baby Products You MUST Have On Hand

I have a few friends who are pregnant and have been asking what kinds of things I use and don’t use. That got me thinking…so I decided to put together a few of my favorite  must haves

  • Mommys Bliss products: Before I even had my baby someone gave me a bottle of Mommys Bliss gripe water and said she swore by it when her baby was fussy. I have to say I love it but I used it mostly for my very hiccup-y baby. I’ve also discovered their constipation ease because yea I have one of those babies now. Their products are all natural, safe and effective. Can’t beat it. 
  • Dreft: This has been around forever and is probably one of the more well known baby detergents but the stain remover spray by Dreft is amazing! It gets out anything from food to poop!
  • Boppy: Another baby essential. I rarely used it for its purpose which is to put the baby on while nursing or feeding. I do use it more now as a kind of pillow for myself to prop up on while I lay down so that I can nurse baby to sleep. Believe me, it’s got many purposes and worth it to have. Boppy is the brand name but there are millions of them out there with the same shape. Get whichever one you want. 
  • Bouncer seat: The uses for this are endless but I used it mostly from 3month and up. Some say their newborns loved it and used it to sleep in but my baby would only sleep in my arms <sigh>. Now I use it to feed him and put him in when I need my arms free. He’s getting too big for it now that he’s 7months which leads me to what he likes now….
  • Jumper: The jumperoo. We have 2 and he didn’t like either one until recently. Now that he’s more aware of his body and trying to crawl and walk he loves it. It’s perfect for when I need to do things around the house because I don’t have to worry about him falling out and it keeps him pretty entertained. His favorite is the Baby Einstein Neighborhood Friends Activity Jumper (shown below).
  • Burp cloths: I used these mostly when he was a newborn but now I use them when I feed him baby food and when I nurse. All purpose! The ones I have are from Target (shown below). Target has great baby items and brands. 
  • Swaddle blankets/baby blankets: These Aden and Anais swaddle blankets are perfect for the summer babies in the south. They’re lightweight and get softer the more you wash. Baby blankets are essentials. Throw one in your diaper bag because you never know where you and your baby might end up. 
  • Pacifier: Not every baby will take a pacifier but to those lucky mamas that do, it’s a necessity for naps and bedtime. Of course they tend to like only certain ones and that can be a pain but all I can say is trial and error. Your baby will let you know what he/she likes. Mine likes Mam (shown below) which you can find anywhere. I got these at Walmart. 
  • Teething ring: My baby started teething at 3 months so we had to get something to relieve the itch and drool. Not all babies like them so again try different ones and see what he/she likes. I got this one at Walmart
  • Diaper bag/backpack: Of course this is an essential because who knew such small creatures need so much stuff. My fave is from Timi and Leslie (shown below). I knew I wanted something that was functional but stylish as well. I also like the backpack version of diaper bags for when you’re walking more with the stroller or if you’re carrying/wearing the baby. This is next on my list to buy. 
  • Stroller: We received a Britax car seat as a gift so I looked for the compatible stroller to go with it. I love it. It’s perfect because my baby falls asleep 99.9% every time we get in the car so it’s easy to take the car seat and connect it right to the stroller with minimal disturbance. Believe me, if you’re not getting enough sleep making sure the baby stays asleep is key. 
  • Sling/carrier: Unfortunately I have yet to find the perfect carrier. I received 2 as a gift: The Baby K’Tan which is so complicated in my opinion and the baby was in it a handful of times. Exhibit A 👇🏽And the Infantino baby carrier 👇🏽Which I use more often now that he’s bigger. Neither one I could swear by but having one is definitely an essential and definitely on my list to find the perfect one. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear from you! And if I forgot something that is a must have for you, let me hear them! I’m always open to learning new things from other moms out there. 

Stay healthy and be well!!

XOXO 

Health and Beauty Post-Pregnancy Update

In an earlier post I talked about some all-natural things I was trying to do for my skin. Well let me tell you: my fenugreek mask was an EPIC.FAIL. This is how you make it 

Fenugreek mask video 

And my attempt: it wouldn’t stick to my face at all. I was really upset but you win some, you lose some. 

So I tried another one, a much simpler one. And for all you moms out there who are having hormonal breakouts, you don’t even need to do additional shopping for this product because you probably already have it on hand: diaper rash cream. That’s right. I’ve been breaking out recently and stumbled upon diaper rash cream for pimples because of its zinc oxide properties. You can use it as a spot treatment or a mask. Rub it on at night, go to sleep and wash off in the morning. I have to say, I was impressed with the results. I used good ole Desitin because that’s what I had but going forward I think I might try one with calendula, which is a natural anti-inflammatory used to treat acne. Go figure. Weleda has a good one. 

Another all natural DIY was a rice flour milk mask. I know, sounds like a gluten free diet but it’s for lightening dark marks on the face and help with uneven skin. Mix a tablespoon of the rice flour with a tablespoon of milk and apply to face and let dry completely. Then wash off. Try this once a week for results. 

These are things that have worked for me but as always when trying new skin care regimens do a patch test first. 

Let me know what you’ve tried and what works for you!

Be well!

Out With the Old, In With the New Year’s Resolutions…

It’s a new year and you know what that means. Giving up something, making resolutions that you don’t keep and busy gyms across the country. This year, instead of making empty promises, I’ve decided to work on making myself happy and improving my health no matter how long it takes. It will be an ongoing resolution that I won’t feel bad about making because I’m going to work on it everyday, every year.

The first thing I’m working on is taking out all those preconceived notions from my head about how my body should look and what I should be doing to get there. Having a baby is no joke and everybody’s situations are different. Some people bounce back to their old bodies after 3 months (although I’m not sure I believe it) and others take years to get there. I need to stop comparing myself to others and do what makes me happy and what works for me.

The second thing is to take things slow and not to feel bad when I have setbacks. And by setbacks I mean taking a nap in the middle of the day instead of working out for an hour in my workout room which is now a baby storage room of bouncers and swings. It’s ok to take time out to be with your little one, right? Yes. The answer is yes and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You had a baby come out of you, you’re going to need a minute.

So what am I doing to jump start my path back to myself? Well, as mentioned in previous posts, My Fitness Pal and my FitBit are my best friends right now. I try to get my steps in whenever I can and since my baby’s sleep schedule is still a little off, wearing my FitBit while I walk him to sleep is one of the best ways to get it in. Walking and carrying a 15lb baby around is a good start. Also, it helps keep track of my water intake. It’s important as a nursing mother to drink plenty of water but sometimes I’m multitasking too much I forget to eat and drink. These apps and devices are a lifesaver. And since my workout schedule is pretty inconsistent, meal planning and making healthy dinners and snacks are key. I wasn’t happy with how slow the baby weight was coming off in the beginning but now that I’m more careful about what I’m eating, the weight is falling off little by little. I didn’t gain 75lbs overnight and unfortunately it doesn’t go away overnight either. Believe me, no matter how much you wish, it doesn’t.

Working on making yourself happier and healthier should always be an ever changing work in progress. Despite the challenges that I’ve been faced with lately being a new mom and a stay at home at that, I realized that I’m on no one’s time table but my own. In fact, I have all year. Bring it on, 2017!

 

Stay healthy,

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO