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People say that when you’re pregnant you have WIERD cravings…and they’d be right. Some of mine? Pickles and peanut butter, butter and jam (didn’t indulge this one), pears and pesto. Yeah. WEIRD.

While I’m not pregnant (and don’t plan to be again, thankyouverymuch), I still get insatiable cravings every now and again.

 

carrots and peasNo Time

 

Lately, I don’t have much time or patience for the kitchen. I’ve got WAY better things to do. Like working out, playing with my kids, or working. Lots of working.

Which means that I need to make sure dinner is DONE before the day gets going. Which means I’m relying heavily on my crockpot.

 

Because, Soup.

 

Yesterday I had a major craving for split pea soup! So I decided that instead of enchiladas, I’d go with it.

Thankfully, I have a tried-and-true recipe that will knock your socks off. You could add a hambone, I suppose, but I grew up with instant split pea soup-so I crave just the peas with some carrots thrown in for good measure.

 

Split Pea Soup

Adapted from This Recipe
  • crockpot split pea soup1 16 ounce bag split peas
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt (you may need to add more before serving)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • OPTIONAL: dash white pepper*
  • 6 cups chicken or veggie stock

Directions

Add the ingredients, in the order listed above into a 6-quart oval crockpot.

DO NOT STIR!

Turn your crockpot on low and let cook for 5-6 hours. That’s it!

Before serving, be sure to remove your bay leaves, and give it a quick taste. You may need to add more salt and/or pepper.

*I have found that a dash of white pepper really kicks it up a notch!

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ultimate list of chores for kidsHi. So. Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite things…a clean house. The one HUGE thing that all moms wish for (what? you don’t have daydreams about sparkling walls and countertops?).

Okay, okay…

Yes. I know I have issues.

No, I don’t want help, but thank you.

I like keeping a clean house. No, really!

It makes me happy, keeps me sane, and you know what they say…happy mom, happy kids? Yup. That. So. I work daily (well, Monday through Friday, at least) on my overarching weekly chore list. This helps makes sure that my bathrooms are clean, the beds are made, and there aren’t too many any dishes in the sink.

 

Let’s Face It…Doing ALL.THE.CHORES Is Exhausting

 

…even for me.

There. I said it. The clean freak in me is tired. BUT, this is why I had kids.

So I use my weekly chore list in a bit of a different way…chores are what we do after schooling is done, but before we eat lunch. Smalls helps with with the items he can, and we knock it out. Every. Single. Day.

Free labor…right? You still with me? Chores are a great way to help teach your kids, even the little ones, responsibility. Chores help your children take ownership of their home and surroundings. This is a very, very good thing.

So, like I said, I’m a big proponent of kids learning while actually doing something. And chores teach responsibility, timeliness, cleanliness…I’m sure I could go on, but we’ll leave it at that, shall we?

Let’s not forget that your children doing the vacuuming will save you time, which (if you’re like me) you can devote to work, or other tasks that you have on deck.

 

Start Early

 

cleaning list for kidsSmalls has been helping with chores since he turned 2. Yup, you read that right. 2. Years. Old. 2. He was capable, and if you have littles, you know that no one is happier than a kid doing a “grown up” job. It’s like giving them a buttload of sugar without the nasty hyperactivity.

The first chores I ask my kids to do are very simple:

  • Make their bed
  • Put laundry in the laundry basket
  • Clean up toys (with help)
  • Dust
  • Pick out clothes

The point here is to help your kids get used to helping. Are they going to forget? Sure. But you can gently remind them. I’ve found that if make my bed, my kids will also make theirs…without nagging reminders.

 

What About Rewards?

 

I work hard for my money…so hard for my money…

And guess what? So do you. And your kids should help with chores, but sometimes it helps to have a little motivation. I’m not talking about paying kids to do the things that they should do every day, but if you have to work to get paid…they should earn something for the work they’re doing, don’t you think?

Smalls gets to earn rewards by tracking his tasks using Chore Monster. But he doesn’t get money. Instead, he gets an afternoon at the park with dad, or a trip to the zoo, or 10 extra minutes before bed…things that to him are extra special.

Now, I’ll adjust this as he grows, but I do NOT believe in paying your kids to help with things that they should be doing anyway (no one pays me to brush my teeth or answer emails for work!).

 

Let The Chores Grow WITH Your Kids

 

As your kids get older…say preschool age, you can start adding complexity to the chores, and your child should be able to understand (and use) a chore chart.

This may seem silly, but for Smalls’, the chart was paramount. My kid loves rewards…and with his chart, he had a real-time tracker for his accomplishments each week, and I have a visual to see what has been done, and what still needs doing.

In addition to the previously mentioned chores, Smalls can:

  • Dress himself
  • Clean up messes (spilled drinks, play dough mess, etc.)
  • Set the table
  • Clear the table
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Load his own dishes
  • Help with meals
  • Hang his towels
  • Fold Laundry
  • Use the Cordless Sweeper
  • Feed and water our pet
  • Vacuum
  • cleaning with kidsClean baseboards
  • Dust the windowsills

 

Keep Adding Responsibility

 

As Smalls masters his current chores and asks for more responsibility (either verbally or through actions), we’ll slowly add things from the following list:

  • Brush teeth
  • Tie shoes
  • Empty the trash
  • Wash windows
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Mop tile
  • Bathe/shower by himself
  • Load the washer
  • Unload the dryer
  • Rake leaves
  • Weed
  • Change the sheets
  • Clean mirrors
  • Mow the lawn
  • Clean the concrete
  • Take the trash to the curb
  • Cook on the stove
  • Prepare meals
  • Make the grocery list
  • Plan the week’s menu

 

Resist The Urge to “Fix” It

 

Now, my littles don’t always do their chores “up to snuff”…but since we’re talking about a 4.5 year old, I will let it slide. So we rotate his responsibilities so that I can help teach him the proper way to do things (such as dusting), making sure that he has time to “shadow” me and learn how to effectively dust, mop, sweep, vacuum, etc.

By following behind him, all I’m teaching him is that his effort isn’t good enough. Not something I want him to learn.

Now, I realize that a lot of the tasks I mention are NOT on my weekly list…that’s because they’re in my planner. We don’t always get it all done, but we do well the majority of the time. He’s still learning…right?

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Some of you may know that I am not just a “stay at home mom”…I also work from home. It’s a blessing and a curse. No, really! Unlike my 9-5 counterparts, I don’t ever really get to “leave” the “office.” Between my mommy job and my “other” job, it’s critically important that I manage my time well. Thischoose a planner that helps keep you organized! goes beyond just making lists (which I love), to organizing my day and making sure that I have time for all of the important things.

 

Get a GOOD Planner…and Use It

 

I am in love with the Erin Condren Life Planner (you can use this link to get $10 off!). It offers a lot of options, and her planners are very customizable for whatever your needs are. I actually use 2 planners AND her weekly calendar-I use one planner for work where I write down my projects and deadlines, and the other for scheduling my life. I promise that I’ll do a post specifically dedicated to exactly how I manage this!

I use the weekly calendar to help me meal plan (which we’ll talk about in a minute…see what I did there? Foreshadowing. Now you know another tip before I’ve even gotten there!)

Be prepared, a GOOD planner will take up space. It will allow you lots of room for notes, thoughts, reminders, and changes. A good PLANNER will only write in their planner in pencil (I still need to remember this one most of the time!)…or have lots of white out handy.

 

Schedule Your Day

 

For me, it’s important that I schedule my day down to the approximate hour. Yes, that may sound nuts (it is), but with my current workload, it’s the only way I don’t feel guilty not working and playing with my kids. Yes, I said that. I feel guilty when I’m not working on my business. I don’t like feeling like that. So I plan my day.

Pencil in time for job searches, client projects, NEW YEAR'S weekly chore list , time with your kids, schooling, drop offs, pick ups, extracurriculars, even your weekends. The more you use it, the more natural it will become. If you’re crazy like me, get yourself a good set of highlighters or even pens and color code your days so you know at a glance what happens when.

 

Learn to Set, and Love, Deadlines

 

Have a major project you’re working on that is going to take you a few days or weeks? Or even something that needs to be done by this evening? Give yourself a time limit for each of your tasks. So if you schedule “chores” in the morning, make sure that you schedule a time for those chores to be DONE.
This may seem like bad advice, but I’ve found that it seriously limits my procrastination. I only have 30 minutes to tackle my chore list? I’m laser focused in accomplishing the necessary tasks before time runs out.

This rings true for playdates, school, and even chores.

HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE.

I actually use (and LOVE) washi tape, stickers, and stamps to help give myself a visual of what lies ahead. Seriously. It’s a sanity saver.

 

Practice the Art of NO

 

It’s okay to say no to things. Jobs, activities, play dates, appointments. Learn to use that little word when you need it. It’s okay to limit your children’s play dates if you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of driving time you have in a week.

This goes for your office hours, too! It took me a long time to learn that I needed to write down when I was working…and when I wasn’t. It has helped me tremendously to enjoy the time I have with my family, knowing that I have office hours pre-planned, and there is nothing that I need to get done right now.

 

Be Flexible

 

Things happen. You get sick. Your kids get sick. Your dog eats your computer (I hope not!). You have an earthquake, a hurricane, or a flood. That’s life. You need to roll with it. Plan that your day may not always go as planned. I try to schedule a few “free” hours each week that I can use to catch up with, well, life. So I didn’t get the chores finished? Do them during my “free” time. I’m still not done with a project? I take that time to tackle it and finish it.

Sure, there are weeks where I don’t need to use my “free” time, but there are weeks when I do. Because I plan ahead, I know that I won’t be stuck with too little time and too much to do (been there, done that. NOT FUN.).

 

Turn Off Notifications

 

Use a good meal planner and save yourself time!BACK AWAY FROM FACEBOOK. Yup. I said it. This year, I made a resolution to stop checking my phone every 5 minutes (okay, it was every 3 minutes. Ridiculous.), and it’s been incredibly freeing. My phone used to ding every time someone posted, messaged, emailed, texted, or I forgot to sync my FitBit activity for more than 2 hours. I was a slave to my phone.

Sure, there are some great time management apps, but it’s just so darned tempting to “just.” So I just say no. I schedule times to check email, voicemail, even Facebook. You should, too.

 

Plan Your Meals Each Week

 

Even if you’re not as busy as me, this is a HUGE lifesaver. Plan your meals AHEAD of time. There are lots of great programs out there (like 6 O’Clock Scramble) that will help you do this, or you can just go through your favorite cookbook!

Write down your meals, AND your shopping list so that you know what to buy and when to use it. Post it where the whole family can see.

I use another Erin Condren product for my meal planning: her weekly schedule pad. It ROCKS. I love that I can write in anything that is going to take us out of the house, and everyone knows what lies ahead in the meals department.

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So far this year, I’ve been focused on just getting through the day. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. Last night alone, the baby was up no less than 7 times…which meant that I was also awake. He’s cutting teeth, which means sleep is overrated because, well, I doubt that his little teeth are the most comfortable thing in the world. I mean, who wants sharp little razors cutting through their gums? NOTHANKYOU.

Obviously, I’m short on sleep, and I’ve been working my tail off for a new project (YAY!). But, that means that my time is scarce. I’m lucky to get in bed before 11 most nights, and the other day I realized that I didn’t even schedule in a workout. How does that happen? 24 hours in a  day and I managed to work 5 of them, clean for 2 of them, play for the rest of them (with my boys)…but I couldn’t find even 15 minutes to get my workout on.

No Bueno, friends. This site was founded because I needed to find my groove, so to speak. I needed to figure this out.

 

Saying Yes

 

I wrote an article at the beginning of the year about saying YES whenever I could. So far? I’m managing okay with this…except where my workouts are concerned. That’s a problem. So I’ve been trying really hard to focus more on myself…which is hard between homeschooling, doctors appointments, and having 2 small children…one of whom has decided that he prefers to stand and cruise around.

*sigh*

Back to exercise. So. I decided that I needed to say “yes” more this year. Right. So when WorkoutBands.com contacted me to test their products, of course I said…’yes’…then I realized I would actually have to workout. Oops.

 

How I Became A Human Jungle Gym

 

Apparently, workout bands look like a LOT of fun to both of my boys. Of course they do. They’re brightly colored “rubber bands”. I quickly figured out that I needed to put the baby down for a nap so I would just have to deal with Smalls during my quick workouts.

workout bands

The company included a printout of a full body workout right inside the bag, so I just went with that. I have to say, these bands are pretty great. They didn’t have that gross smell that I’m used to (apparently, I’ve been using some pretty cheap bands). I also love that each band has a clip at the end, and you can attach as many bands to the handles as you need.

I was able to test the bands, as well as the door stay and the ankle attachments. I really, really love the adjustability, and I love, love, love that I can give Smalls the lightweight band to play with and he only climbs on me 3/4 of the time…instead of all the time.

So how did I become a human jungle gym? Well…I was doing donkey kicks with the bands (KILLER for your butt, ladies!) and I guess that Smalls picked that moment to use me like a bench…then a swing…then he wanted to fly. Voila! Human jungle gym.

It’s a mom thing. If you want some workout bands of your own, check out the great sale going on right now!

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vaccines are importantFair warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox. People are putting my children at risk because they are choosing to follow un-supported, poorly dispensed “advice” from people who are far from experts. These people choose to ignore the years of scientific research, studies, and fact-based evidence that shows vaccines are safe. There. You have been warned:

You’ve heard about the measles outbreak at Disney, I’m sure. Maybe you heard about it, but you wrote it off for one of the following reasons:

Only 50 some cases isn’t an outbreak.

It’s only affecting unvaccinated people. 

This doesn’t affect me, I don’t live there.

My kid is protected because he is vaccinated.

But you shouldn’t. You should definitely not write this off. Measles was irradicated, done, gone, something that we in the United States shouldn’t have to worry about. But it’s back. For pregnant women, babies (like MY BABY) and immuno-compromised, like Smalls, this is a major deal.

 

Educate Yourself

 

And the fact is that this outbreak is being caused by people who know better. If you know better, do better, right? I cannot for the life of me understand WHY you would want to risk your child getting sick with a disease that is known to be deadly, especially in younger children.

Facts are facts. This shodisney crowduld not be happening. My kid, MY KID is one of the ones who cannot finish his vaccines because of his Severe Aplastic Anemia. SMALLS is at risk.

Do some real research. This does not mean reading “facts” something spewed by celebrities who claim to have “cured” an incurable condition…and then have to retract said statements. Because, you know. They went to medical school.

Look at LEGITIMATE sources, like WHO.

And another thing! Vaccines do not cause autism. They help protect us from dangerous, potentially fatal diseases. They are tested, improved upon, and tested some more.

 

Protect Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves

 

Not vaccinating is selfish, and to assume that you are “above” this is stupid. Vaccines are not 100% effective. Just like everything in life. Just like Smalls’ SAA (which, by the way, affects 1 in a MILLION people every year. And it’s completely random. Lucky him.).

Choosing not to vaccinate puts your kids (and others like MY SON) in danger. Vaccines fail. This is just the law of averages. What works is herd immunity.

 

Understand the Consequences

 

Herd immunity only works if a majority of the population is vaccinated. THIS is what protects both of MY KIDS. Not the vaccines, not yet. Smalls cannot get booster shots due to his compromised immune system, and the baby is too little to get his MMR. So I am depending on all of you to protect him. And the thought literally terrifies me.

I’m not the only one out there with kids who cannot be vaccinated.

 

Understand Who You Are Hurting

 

Because it’s not all about you. It’s just not. There are kids out there, like Smalls who cannot receive vaccines to protect them.

THAT, my friends, is why this outbreak is not okay. I am terrified to take Smalls out in public. A COLD could land him inpatient at the hospital (and by default, means that myself and the baby would also be there), so imagine what would happen if he was on his Make-A-Wish trip (yes he’s THAT SICK) and caught measles. ANY fever over 100.4 means an ER visit and massive doses of medication, blood draws, and worse.

 

It’s Not Too Late

 

Want to know what my kid wished for? DISNEY. That’s right. Did you know that the most frequent wish made by children with life-threatening illnesses is a visit to a Disney Park or a Disney Cruise? My child is no different. I should not be scared to take my child to the most magical place on earth, because dammit, he has been through literal Hell with his disease. He’s earned this trip.

In fact, I shouldn’t have to worry about measles or any other potentially fatal disease that should have been wiped out when I worry enough about the common cold.

And neither should any of the other kids who are dependent on YOU to make the right choice.

Educate yourself. Then get your kids vaccinated. These are preventable diseases, and preventable deaths. Enough is enough.

*end rant*

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It’s Monday. It’s January. And it’s that time of year again. You KNOW what I’m talking about, don’t you? You sat down and made a list of everything you were join to accomplish this year. I used to do this. In fact, last year I did.

Want to know how many “New Years” resolutions I kept? NONE. Not a single solitary one. Run a half marathon? Nope. Lose 20 pounds? Not even close. Write a blog post a week. Epic fail. The sound of frustration was DEAFENING. Life happens. If I learned nothing else from the past year, it’s that. And so, this year, I made two resolutions.

Saying Yes is a habIt

 

Saying YES

 

Yes to opportunities. Yes to my kids. Yes to my friends. Yes to taking chances. Yes to possible mistakes. Just say yes more often. Don’t get upset. Don’t second guess. If I have it in my power, I’m saying “yes”. Of course, as a mom, this should be highly entertaining, and I’m the first to admit that I’m probably crazy, but I’m going to give this a real shot.

My other resolution?

 

YESMake Daily Resolutions

 

A year is a long time. Life can get flipped on its head, as my family found out last April. There is no way that I could comfortably have exercised daily at 8 months pregnant during our 6 week in and out of the hospital. So I gave up on my workouts last year. This year? I’m going to say yes to offers of walks around the block, or the mall, or going to run outside (as long as it isn’t freezing).

But “yes” extends further. I’m trying hard to choose one goal each day. Once I accomplish that goal, I’m setting another one. Today’s goals so far?

  1.  Update my Free Barre Workouts for the New Year.
  2. Write this post. That’s 2!!

After that, I need to get my workout in.

 

How am I doing so far?

 

I said yes to taking Smalls to Target (this is HUGE, by the way) this week. We’ll go first thing in the morning to make sure that we avoid as many people as possible. He wants to pick out some healthy snacks for his new “snack shelf.”

I said yes to letting him leave his Lego creations out…overnight (OUCH!). Luckily they haven’t attacked my feet…yet. I’m still waiting for that.

I said yes and took on an amazing new project to help other moms like me who want to work from home.

This also means that I’m going to be saying yes to my daily chore chart, because I’m ashamed to admit that I’m quite out of practice. I know that I feel better with a semi-spotless house. I’m sure you do, too. So I’m setting aside a bit of time every morning to make sure that I can stay on track.

 

I’m Not Perfect

 

Yesterday, I set a goal to do one workout, and I totally face-planted. But I didn’t beat myself up. It’s just one day. Instead, I looked at my other accomplishments:

  • We took down the Christmas decorations.
  • I packed up the baby clothes that are too small for my little one *sob*.
  • I filled not one but two (!!) boxes with toys to take to the local consignment shop.
  • I scrubbed the kitchen cabinets.
  • I put away Smalls laundry with his help.

Looking back on my day, That’s a lot! I also got to spend time with my boys. And that’s got to be enough. Today, I’m focusing on one resolution at a time, and as I check them off, I do a little dance. I don’t miss the “year” hanging over my head. Not at all. One day at a time. I can say yes and accomplish a lot. It’s all about baby steps.

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So. This is me starting over. WAAAAAAY over. You’ve probably notice that I haven’t been around much…like AT.ALL. I have good reason for that. On top of being pregnant, moving cross-country (AGAIN), and having to completely pack/unpack my entire house while 8 months pregnant, Smalls was diagnosed with a very rare disease: Severe Aplastic Anemia. You can read more about what that means for my family HERE.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted, AND I now have a 6 week old, which means that I can start exercising again. Oh, joy. This wouldn’t be such a huge deal…but I gained a LOT of weight. Y’all, I’m over 200 pounds. I wasn’t even that when I DELIVERED Smalls. So I have a long ways to go. 75 pounds, in fact. Do you want to take this journey with me?

I’ve Got My New Shoes On

running shoesOne of the fun things about pregnancy is that my feet GROW…I’ve grown a full shoe size between having both boys! Which means that I now have a closet FULL of shoes that don’t fit. So I did what any rational person would do. I sent the good ones off to ThredUp so I could get paid for them. A girl’s gotta fund her new running shoes, right??

I LOVE ThredUp. I was able to send in all of my maternity clothes (because who wants to grow another shoe size?!), and with all of Smalls’ medical bills, I can’t really afford to spend a ton on a new pair of shoes. Color me excited when I got over $300 for the clothes I was never going to wear again and shoes that no longer fit!! WOOHOO! So I was able to buy a pair of Pearl Izumi’s AND have some funds left over!

Working It Out

I’m also using The Dia Method: 10 Minutes Flat Post-pregnancy Fitness System to help easy my body back into exercise. I used the pregnancy workout and LOOOOVED it, but still managed to gain a bit too much. Now that I’m past my 6 week window (I had a repeat cesarian), I can start using some of the extra workouts that come with their system, as well as a few others in my arsenal.

Now, I’m working everything around twice-weekly visits to the Children’s Hospital for Smalls’ platelet and hemoglobin infusions…it’s a bit crazy around my house most of the time. I’ve been struggling to find a balance-it’s exhausting, between the long days (if he needs both hemoglobin and platelets our days are 8-10 hours long), and the lack of sleep from the newbie (help me think of a cute bloggy name for him!!), I struggle to get everything done. And a solidly healthy diet?

FORGET IT. I do strive to take my vitamins every day, but there are a LOT of fresh foods that Smalls cannot eat, so that limits what I feel comfortable having in the house with a 4-year-old who helps himself. So, my goal this month is to get that back on track as well…that’s not too much, right?

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Wow has this pregnancy been different. Like, WAY different. I never got sick with Smalls, unless you count that time I walked past the guy smoking and dry heaved…but I’m not sure that actually counts.

This time around? I’ve been nauseaus for the past 25 weeks. Awesome, right?

That being said, I’ve tried just about everything to “cure” my nausea. And I mean EVERYTHING. I am so sick of being sick. I have found that there are a few tried and true solutions that have helped me deal with the nausea…at least enough to function.

Natural ways to relieve nausea

Essential Oils

 

The first thing I reach for when I’m starting to feel a bout of nausea coming on, I reach for my oils. I always put peppermint in my diffuser along with a little bit of lemon to help curb that nauseas feeling. DiGize in a capsule and on my stomach also helps, although as baby has grown, I’ve had to rely on just a capsule more and more. I also apply Ginger EO to the bottoms of my feet and slip a pair of socks on.

Peppermint has long been known to help settle tummy issues, and DiGize contains a blend of oils that help support healthy digestive function-it works for just about any type of tummy trouble. Ginger is known to reduce nausea, as well.

 

Ningxia Red

 

Young Living makes a wonderful supplement called Ningxia Red. At first I thought it was an energy drink (don’t freak out)-so I was hesitant to try it while I’m pregnant. But I spoke to a number of oily friends who swore this was the ONLY thing that helped to cure their morning sickness.

The first day I tried it I was kicking myself for waiting so long. Nausea GONE. And it does give me a bit of energy-without the caffeine and additives, but it’s not going to keep me awake.

I do notice that if I forget my Ningxia Red now I feel foggy and not quite right. I love the stuff.

 

Ginger Ale

 

As I said before, ginger helps nausea, and it makes sense that ginger ale would help as well. I found that this worked for me for about 15 weeks, but now it has the opposite effect. Oh, well.

This was a nice solution while it lasted. Look for a ginger ale with real sugar, not an artificial sweetener.

 

Papaya Enzymes

 

Recently, I had a girlfriend tell me about papaya enzyme, and as long as I catch my nausea BEFORE it’s full blown, this helps tremendously.

What do you do to help your nausea?

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long and lean prenatal workout reviewWhew! It’s been awhile, huh? I’ve been struggling with nausea (even at nearly 25 weeks pregnant!), and trying to balance a busy career, with a whole host of changes within our family (all good). That being said, I promised more pregnancy workout reviews, and I’ve got one for you today! I’ve been trying to change up my workouts so that I:

  1. Don’t get bored
  2. Am challenged
  3. Don’t get bored

This past week I’ve been doing Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout.

While I appreciate the workout, I MUCH prefer her Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout.

…maybe it’s because it’s newer, or maybe it’s because it’s more barre-focused. But they’re both solid.

 

 

SO let’s talk about Long and Lean, shall we?

 

The workout is broken into three segments:

  • abs,
  • standing, &
  • floor.

You can do all three for a full workout, or pick and choose (I’m a bit out of shape…GASP! So I’ve been picking and choosing). I also like that there’s a postnatal bonus workout, although I haven’t tried it. long and lean prenatal workout reviewHonestly, I’ve been focusing on the floor and standing workouts.

 

Repetitive much?

 

Now, this DVD is a great option if you’re trying to tone or maintain your muscle mass-that being said, I found it tiresome and repetitive, especially without the use of a barre or support.

As someone who is squarely in my 2nd trimester, this was a deal-breaker, and I had to grab my barre a few times. I guess I just prefer a workout that moves and changes-this definitely does not.

 

Only have a few minutes?

 

That being said, Long and Lean is a great option if you’re short on time, tired, or just don’t have the energy for a more challenging workout. I can definitely say that this DVD will be challenging as I get even bigger, as it requires a LOT of core strength and balance to make sure that you don’t fall over. HA!

 

My biggest issue, though?

 

The abs section. This section is done almost entirely laying on your back-which, if you’re like me, is HORRIBLY uncomfortable. ICK. I did it once, and then went back to The Dia Method.

For my abs, it’s effective and NOT laying on my back, which, quite frankly, hurts like the dickens.

My overall impression?

Long & Lean is not a workout I’ll reach for regularly, but it’s not going to the donation bin, either…at least not until this little bean arrives.

What are your go-to preggo workouts? Leave me a comment below!

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Yesterday, I got tired of having alligator skin. For those of you not up in the North, this is what happens when you deal with sub-zero temperatures for weeks at a time. It literally sucks the life moisture out of you. I haven’t been a huge fan of store-bought beauty products for some time. Yes, There are things that I use (hmmmm…that sounds like a good blog post, come to think of it!), but the list is short, and mostly involves makeup that I refuse to give up. So sue me.

 

When Your Toddler Begs For “Lip Stick”

 

Smalls has been begging me for his own “lip stick” for months now. Did you hear that, y’all? MONTHS. I finally got everything together to make some, and it turned out great! We put it all together, and applied all day yesterday and last night.

Then this morning, this happened:

Smalls (peering over the bed and waiting for me to open my eyes): “Good morning mommy. Did you sleep well?”

B: “Good morning, sweetie. Yes, I did! Did you?”

Smalls: “I got new lips! Seeeeeeeeeee (pushing lips out as far from face as humanly possible)??” (we put some homemade lip balm with EOs on last night because his little lips have been so chapped from the cold. To say he was beyond excited for his own “lip stick” is a HUGE understatement!)

B: “Awesome! Can I have a kiss from your new lips?”

Smalls: “NO! If you touch them, they’ll fall off! DO NOT KISS MY NEW LIPS! THEY ARE JUST FOR LOOKING, MOOOOM!”

Make your own easy lavender lip balm to heal dry, cracked lips!

Lavender Lip Balm

  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil

Lip balm tubes, pots, or small altoid tins (I happened to have quite a few of these on hand because it helps with my morning sickness)… be sure to wash and dry them THOROUGHLY before you start.

In a double boiler, melt your beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil, stirring slowly (I made a very small amount because I wanted to be sure that this WORKED, first. You could easily double, triple, or quadruple the amounts). Once everything is well combined, remove from the head and drop in your essential oils, stirring to combine (remember, I use Young Living essential oils, and cannot guarantee that you’ll have the same amazing results with anything else).

When you’re measuring EO drops, hold the bottle on its side and let the oils drip slowly. Don’t shake the bottle, tempting as it may be. Essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to over-pour.

Using a funnel, fill your chosen containers (I filled about 3 tins), and close the lid. Allow your new lip balm to harden, either on the counter for a few hours, or in the fridge for about 45 minutes (Smalls has the patience of a small child, so you can guess which method we used!). Apply liberally to lips!

*Someone asked me why I used lavender, as it’s not yummy like peppermint (I beg to differ, as you OBVIOUSLY have not tried lavender lemonade!). Lavender is very healing, and knowing that we were dealing with dry, cracked skin (yes, it was BAD!), it seemed like a much better idea than peppermint or lemon. You can use whatever “flavor” of essential oils floats your boat, though.  

What flavor lip balm do YOU want to make? Share below!

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