Kidzshake!!! Mom approved .. kid requested !

My daughter Sophia loves chocolate milk. She requests it everywhere we go and asks for it as soon as she wakes up in the morning. To say she is chocolate obsessed is an understatement. I try to find the healthiest chocolate milk in the world that will still keep her happy, but also make my healthy mommy self feel ok with her drinking it so frequently. When I came across Kidzshake I was so excited to learn all it had to offer on the nutritional side … but I was so nervous to see how Sophia would react to the taste. I have tried several other kid’s shakes in the past and she would take one sip and say… “nope”. I knew Kidzshake was gluten free, no sugar added, a daily multivitamin, a probiotic, non gmo… the list goes on about how amazing this shake truly is… so now it was time for the taste test. I made it fun for Sophia. We made the shake together. She mixed in the milk and added the scoop of shake. She was so excited to turn on mommy’s blender. When she took a sip she was so excited to see it tasted just like chocolate milk. I tried the shake too! I was so impressed to see there was no after taste at all. I loved the shake. We can’t wait to try the vanilla next!!!! We love Kidzshake!!!!

Her Own Space

We bought a sprawling farmhouse ranch that we fell in love with. It wasn’t the brand new house that we thought we would end up in, but it was the house we knew was meant to be HOME. This 1969 ranch came with it all. Many bedrooms, acres, and bathrooms. Actually it came with very colorful bathrooms. One of the bathrooms is pink, very pink. We had originally thought we would have this bathroom renovated, but our toddler had other plans. She wanted this to be her bathroom. We loved this idea. It not only gave her a creative outlet, it also saved us thousands of dollars! It’s a win… win! We went shopping together and picked out everything to decorate her bathroom. Sophia of course chose frozen. I don’t think we will ever “Let it Go”. She was so proud to set up her bathroom today. She put her hand towels out and set up her soap. She placed each wall decal in the exact place she wanted it to be and was so excited to see her vision coming together. She ran through the house picking out her Barbie dolls to sit on her vanity and every single frozen toy she owned to decorate her bathroom. She completed her design with a handwritten sign she taped to the wall outside the door. I watched her tonight washing her sink with a sponge. I asked her what she was doing and she told me it was her responsibility to keep her bathroom clean. It was in that moment I realized how much this moment in time meant to Sophia. She had her own space. She had her own bathroom. She is only three, but so wise. I gave her a little independence and it changed her entire attitude. Yesterday our entire day was filled with tantrums and time out. I knew I needed to do something to change that momentum. I can’t believe how different today was. She is so incredibly proud of what she has created all by herself. I just love seeing this side of her. As a parent it has opened my eyes. I need to see that maybe she is wise beyond her years. Maybe she needs a little more to keep her attention. I need to let go of my OCD neat freak ways and let her enjoy making her own messes, well creations that she loves. Today was an amazing day… and it was all thanks to a vintage bathroom and a little imagination.

Smart Snacking with Sugar Smart Box 🙌🏼😋👍🏻

Snack time isn’t just for the kiddos!!!! It’s for the moms too! I am always conscious of my diet because of my migraine condition. I try my hardest to stay away from carbs, sugar, and gluten. I do really well when it comes to meal prep but snacking is a whole other story. I look forward to a quick treat … a pick up if you will… during the day. It keeps me going. As a busy mom of two little girl, I at times need a jolt of protein to fill me up up and give me a boost to push me through the afternoon. I am a salty / sweet kind of girl. I love both so very much. There are some days I am craving a salty crunchy treat… and others I just want a cake. I came across the Sugar Smart Box and I was hooked! It’s an awesome monthly subscription box that sends you the most perfect variety of healthy snacks to get you through those snack time moments!! My most recent box had an amazing selection including turkey jerky, chips, crackers, keto brownies… yes I said brownies, coconut cakes, and nuts. It’s awesome!!!!! I love that the treats are low in carbs, sugar and gluten. All things that help me to keep my migraines in check and also keep my post baby weight off. I am loving my Sugar Smart Boxes!!!! Head over to their website and check them out! Don’t forget to use my coupon code at check out for 15% off your first box!!!! SMARTFRIENDS15

https://www.sugarsmartbox.com

Making snack time healthy… and yummy too! Matt n Mikes Super-Kid Snack Bars

As a mom you want to find the best foods to feed your children. I am always trying to give them a balanced diet consisting of fruit and vegetables mixed in with all of the other food groups. I work hard each day to plan our families meals to be healthy and tasty. Like every normal kid my Sophia loves sweets! She is always asking me for a sweet treat especially at snack time. I try to limit her treats but I also look for healthy alternatives to the not so healthy treats on the market. When I came across Matt n Mikes Super-kid snack bars I knew I had to give them a try! These bars are packed with amazing vitamins and minerals and made with all natural ingredients. They have a soft and chewy texture which is perfect for a young toddler and are made with natural and healthy ingredients like honey, spinach, chia seeds, cocoa, and fruit, to name a few. As soon as the box arrived at the door, my three year old could not wait to give these a try. She and I tasted the raspberry, blueberry, and chocolate bars. She absolutely loved the chocolate bar! She ate the entire thing! These are so delicious and nutritious being they are packed with protein. I recommend them to any parent looking to replace snack time with a healthier alternative. I have found myself snacking on these amazing super-kid bars myself… they are just that yummy! We give Matt n Mikes two thumbs up!!!! 👍🏻

A weekend away… without the kids❤️

Family vacations are amazing! We are always finding fun family destinations to sneak away for a weekend! We love to make memories for our girls and there is no better way to do that then packing up the car and exploring a new destination. There are moments in life… and marriage when you just need to sneak away for a little getaway just you and your hubby. This past weekend we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! We have not been on a vacation just the two of us since before we had children. We were in desperate need of a little getaway. We spent weeks researching the perfect location that wouldn’t be too far away from our girls or too long of a drive since our time was limited. We absolutely love Newport, RI! It is close to home and absolutely gorgeous! It is a coastal town that has so much to offer. There is a beach, shops, amazing restaurants, boating, incredible mansions, and the most amazing sunsets. Newport is a great destination for families and for romantic getaways! There is truly so much to do there!

When choosing a hotel we were selective. There are so many great ones to choose from. This time we wanted to find somewhere that had a great location and was romantic for our anniversary. We decided to stay at the Newport Beach Hotel and Suites in the suites building. It was incredible. Our room was a 1 bedroom king that was facing the large pond. At first I was a little sad we weren’t facing the ocean but the view when the sun set and early in the morning was breathtaking. This hotel offers a beautiful roof top seating area with a fire pit. There is a great indoor pool and it is directly across from the beach. We were 5 minutes from the downtown area which was the perfect location for us. We loved how accommodating and kind the staff was.

Since we only had two days we made the most of our time. We explored our favorite shops on Thames street and made our way to the harbor where we had lunch and drinks. For dinner we had the most incredible lobsters with a view at The Lobster Bar. We were blown away by the view of the bridge and watching all the gorgeous sail boats and yachts while enjoying the best tasting lobster on the harbor. We finished dinner and took our dessert to ocean drive. The drive to the ocean is breathtaking as you pass the mansions and admire the cliffs. We parked in the lot and walked to the grass area on the cliff to watch the sunset.

This was the perfect ending to our day. The next morning we woke up and took our coffee across the street to the beach for a walk. It was the perfect weather and just gorgeous outside. We had brunch at our favorite restaurant Diego’s! That was A-MAZING!!! Best Bloody Mary EVER!!!! We shopped a little more and headed back to our girls! It was the most amazing relaxing two days we could have asked for! I highly recommend trying this destination if you live in the New England area and are looking for a romantic getaway!

Soul Slings… comfort and class.

I was given the awesome opportunity to try some products from this amazing company called Soul Slings. They make handmade pure and natural baby carriers in India that are safe and free from any harmful products or dyes. The baby carrier is made out of the softest cotton and linen and is the most comfortable for my daughter to be held in. She is so happy when being held in her carrier and almost always snuggles against my chest and falls asleep. I have the standard buckle carrier that has a hood attached which is perfect to shield her from the sun and rain. I have used this feature many times when I have been caught in the rain and I absolutely love it. The styles of fabric are in a league of their own. They have so many gorgeous options to chose from and I had the hardest time picking my carrier. I find they take the time to make each and every carrier special for the mother and child. I think every mom out there can agree that the best part of baby wearing is being hands free. I feel so safe wearing Priscilla in this carrier. There are some brands on the market that are not made with the same quality. As my daughter gets older I am feeling less comfortable using those with her. Soul is made so secure and you can tell saftety was taken into consideration in the design.  I was fortunate enough to be able to try a few other products from Soul as well. My daughter Sophia will be 4 very soon and loves to do everything like Mommy. Soul was awesome and sent us a doll carrier that was exactly like my standard baby carrier. Sophia loves to put her baby dolls in her carrier and walk around just like mommy taking care of her baby. Soul also has an awesome accessory line too! They carry bags, bibs, hats, slings, blankets, and the most adorable shoes. We love the soft soul shoes. Priscilla looks adorable in them and the breathable fabric and elastic that keeps them on are priceless. This company is awesome and their products are truly in a league of their own.

Mom Shaming… its a thing

Are you giving advice … or are you Mom shaming?!?!

I think back to when I was young and my mother would tell me to think about what someone said to me and why before I would react. She would often tell me to consider why they might have acted a certain way… did they have a bad day? Did something happen to them? Maybe there was a reason for their actions. I try to carry this advice with me through life. Most of the time it works wonders for me… others my emotions get the best of me and I react to situations. Hey… I’m human right. Which brings me to today’s topic … mommy shaming. I have two small children, an almost four year old and a one year old. I have been the victim of mommy shaming many times and I have to say it hurts just as bad every time. I often wonder at times is this person just giving me advice in the worst way possible or do they really think I’m an awful mom?! There isn’t really a face or name to this topic either. Moms are judged daily by others from all different walks of life… their peers, older moms who feel they know more, people who haven’t had children yet, good friends, and complete strangers … the list goes on and on. Now I’m not going to sit here and say my children are perfect… nope, right now I’m currently riding the hot mess express train. I have a toddler people! Have you forgotten what that’s like?!? Or have you yet to experience the terrible threes?!?! I think every single mom out there has those days… where you can’t seem to get it together yet you still need to go out in public. That usually happens to be the day you get that unsolicited advice… or is it shaming ?!?! My goodness those are also the days when it hits you like a mac truck! Tonight I sat in Panera bread and cried over my soup. I felt like I’m failing as a mother. I didn’t make it outside to play today, we missed a few play dates this week.., my sweet little girl, in the middle of a tantrum, said she didn’t love me. Oh yes.. today was that kind of day. I know I work hard every day to make my girls happy and to fill their days with fun, but there are also things I need to get done for me. I need to run errands, cook, clean, and take care of the house. There are some days when the best I can do is crafts and play dough. A mom shouldn’t feel guilty for juggling it all. Trying to find balance in the family and home. Instead of crying tonight I decided to head to my blog and connect with my mommy followers. I know we have all been in this situation where we have felt less of a mom… and it hurts. All the moms out there working hard to keep it together even on days like I had today… I salute you! I think all the shamers out there, or maybe just those giving crappy advice, should take a little advice from my mama… 😘

Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili

Amazing is the best way to describe this chili! I am really trying to eat healthy again after 3 back to back road trips. Eating on the road and most certainly on vacation is challenging. Now that we are home I am back on my healthy eating game… and this chili is perfect for that! My husband had a softball game so I knew I needed to make something that didn’t take long to prepare and would be ready for when we got home. I researched a few recipes and decided to make this one my own. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!!!

Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili

1 lb ground turkey

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 15 ounce can black beans

1 packet organic mc Cormick chili seasoning

1 green bell pepper diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño sliced ( I kept seeds in )

1 cup chicken stock

1 large sweet potato peeled and diced

1 small onion diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

Heat olive oil in sauce pot add onion and turkey and cook till brown. Add peppers and sweet potatoes. Cook for a few minutes till they start to soften slightly. Add tomatoes and beans. Add chicken stock and seasonings. If it looks like it needs more liquid you can add more stock or water * I let mine cook for about an hour and a half before we left for the game. I turned off the heat and left it on the stove while we were gone. When we came home it was amazing! I can’t wait to eat it today for lunch!!!!!!! I added scallions, cheese, and sour cream for toppings! So good so healthy!!!!

Enjoy!

What a difference a year makes

I think back to the first day of preschool I was so nervous to be away from Sophia. We had never been apart because I’m a stay at home Mom and she’s always been home with me. We picked out her backpack and lunch box and first day of school outfit together. She couldn’t be more excited. She seemed so grown up at the time. We took photos and walked into school as a family… Sophia , mommy , daddy and little sister Priscilla. We said goodbye to her at the door and I could barely hold it together. I made it to the car and cried. I wasn’t ready to let her go… I wasn’t ready to let her be in someone else’s care…. I wasn’t ready for her to grow up! Days and months went by and it became easier. I enjoyed my time in the mornings she was at school and I was able to run errands and have one on one time with Priscilla. Above and beyond those things I noticed a huge change in Sophia. She was no longer the shy baby girl who would sometimes cry for us at the door, she was becoming a big girl. She was singing songs she learned, she made so many new friends, she learned so many news things, and most importantly she was now confident in herself. It has been so amazing to see how much she has changed in just one year of preschool. I love to watch Sophia write her name and count in Spanish. She amazes me each and every day! I cannot wait to see what her last year of preschool will be like next year! As I got her ready for school today, her last day of preschool 3, I took her picture. I looked back at her photo from her first day and couldn’t believe how much she had grown. It is incredible to see the side by side comparison. She is my first child and seeing life through her eyes is truly inspiring. This is motherhood at its finest. ❤️

Life in the palm of her hand …

Today was a normal Sunday which for our traveling family was super exciting. We started our day at church and after went to a local nursery to pick up some flowers for our home. I was so excited to finally be able to buy some flowers for our home since our family road trips have come to an end for a while. We had a lot of fun exploring other states and vacationing as a family but there’s something to be said about being home…. especially in your new home. Sophia was extra excited about our trip to buy flowers today. I let her help me pick out every single one and she couldn’t wait to get home and start planting. Once we got home we changed into gardening clothes and began our outside journey. I taught Sophia how to pot the plants and carefully pull them out of the containers. It amazed me how much she has grown since last year and how much she actually helped this year. We added the soil and watered every single plant. As we were pulling weeds from a flower bed we came across an earth worm. Her immediate reaction was to be afraid but I showed her how gentle these creatures were and explained how they were good for the earth. She asked to hold him for one quick picture to remember him and then we put him back into the flowers. It was such a perfect day spent outside. She can’t wait to go outside and water our flowers again. I love teaching my girls about nature and how to care for our flowers. It’s something special we can share together.