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.

Toddler Travel Buddy

My husband’s company is in a different state which means we are a traveling family. Every few months we pack up the kids and drive down south. We call the Annapolis area our second home. We have learned through our travels some tips and tricks along the way. I seem to be prepared… well over prepared most of the time. I have a large bag filled with snacks, both for the kids and adults. I make sure to pack baby food that is easily accessible in the pouches for quick rest stop breaks. I find if we are waiting in line for food I can easily feed Priscilla a pouch and know she is getting a good meal. I keep Sophia, my toddler, distracted with her iPad for the hours in the car along with yummy treats and drinks like juice boxes and water. I have at least two hand sanitizers on me at all times. One in my diaper bag and one in the car… it’s an absolute must. I can tell you horror stories about our rest area stops…. but I won’t. The best mommy hack / road trip tip I have is to carry a potty in the car with you. It has been an absolute life saver for us. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to stop and let Sophia use her little potty when we couldn’t make it to a rest stop. Today we were headed towards the GW bridge… and let’s just say it’s a holiday weekend it was awful. She started crying she had to pee. We pulled off on the side of the road at a tiny gas station, let her pee on her own little clean potty, and kept on moving. It was the best and easiest option we had before embarking on hours of traffic. If you have to go on a road trip and have a potty training or just trained toddler I highly recommend bringing a potty in the car just in case! It’s a lifesaver!!!! We call ours our travel buddy!

Mommy with Migraines…. Botox ?!?!

I’ve heard so many times… oh you get headaches too? Have you tried Advil or Excedrin Migraine? Yoga or a diet change can do the trick you know!?! There have been so many people that have tried to give me advice about my migraines since I was a little girl. You see my migraines started when I was just 9 years old and have only gotten worse with age. When I was in my 20’s I was diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines which are a rare form of migraine with aura. They tend to come out of nowhere and mimic a stroke or seizure. When I decided to become a mom I never knew how my body would react to pregnancy. I always hoped that I would be one of those cases where the migraines calmed down during pregnancy. I was not. It was actually the opposite. My condition was so intense I became high risk for myself and my baby. I am beyond blessed to be a mom to two beautiful girls and I know my body cannot take another pregnancy … my brain just cannot handle it. I need to be on daily medications to prevent serious migraine episodes and I have even been running out of options for those too. My doctor during my last visit told me it was time for me to consider botox. I have been against it before. It wasn’t for me. I was scared of the unknown. Scared of the pain… just plain scared. He explained I have gone through all other treatment options and at this point, this is my best hope to live a some what normal life with less daily migraines. I so desperately want to be a good mom to my girls. I hate to be medicated. I hate to be in pain. I hate to have my toddler know to bring me water and a pillow and close the shades to make the room dark. It’s heart breaking. Today she sang a song to me and it started out ” Mom is always sick” that is hard to hear. My Botox went well this morning. I don’t really have much to compare it to. The entire process of the needles was quick and lasted 5 minutes. I will not say it is painless, but I will say it is tolerable. They do offer a numbing cream to use before, but I did not have it. They injected 20 needles into my forehead, scalp, and shoulders. I have been fine all day. There are no side effects and for the rest of the day I was told not to do any heavy cleaning or cooking. Not too shabby. Hubby and I are going to go out to an impromptu date night … so I guess it wasn’t all too bad. I plan to keep you all posted on the progress of my migraines and the Botox on my website under my migraine link. I will be posting my tips and other diet changes I have tried and continue to try for my migraines too. It’s all trial and error. I know how awful migraines are but as a mom… it’s down right heartbreaking. If you are a mom with migraines you are not alone … I’m here for you.

Summer time mommy hack…. ice pop & pot holders ?!?!

Sophia loves popsicles and freeze pops especially in the warm summer months, but there is one thing my toddler drama queen hates and that’s to be cold!!!! Just moments after the begging for an ice pop took place… to the excitement of picking a flavor… to that first yummy bite… the panic over cold hands started to take over. I had run out of paper towels and needed to do a large grocery shop today so I didn’t have my go to wrap your popsicle in a paper towel magic. I know how quickly a “toddler tantrum” begins so I needed to think quick. As I ran to the drawer to grab a towel I looked and saw my pot holders designed for the handles… the perfect fit! I slipped it right on the freeze pop and not only did it cure the frozen fingers, but Sophia was so excited she had this cool popsicle holder! It was a win for this Mom!!! I had to share my “mommy hack” with you all! It’s a quick fix and you can find these at pretty much any store. The perfect cure for cold fingers and freezer pops!

Proud… that’s my mom! ❤️

Proud… that’s the best word I can find to describe how I felt today watching my mom compete in our state Ms Senior America Pageant. My mom is a pretty incredible woman. She will be 70 this coming year and doesn’t act or feel it in any way. She lives each day of her life to the fullest. When she told me about this pageant a few months ago I thought it was a fabulous idea. I think it is truly amazing that a woman’s life can continue to blossom and grow in her senior years, or in the words of this pageant, their years of elegance. It’s the golden years. My mom is a phenomenal singer and performs all over the state. It is so amazing that she makes a living doing something she truly loves. She has always been there to support me no matter what I was doing. It felt so amazing on this Mother’s Day weekend to sit in the audience and support her. She was truly living her dream. I watched her sing on stage… speak about her philosophy on life… and walk with such confidence. It is an honor to be among those women who have been through so much of life’s journey and see the joy they have in their soul. The true love they have for life. I was so proud of my mom today… though she didn’t walk away with the crown… she will always be my queen. I’m so thankful to have a role model like this in my life and I hope to be that same role model for my girls too. Happy Mother’s Day.

Finding joy in the little moments

Today my hubby told me to take an hour to myself and go get my nails done. You see we are going on vacation Sunday and I can’t even remember the last time I got my nails done. It honestly might be when Priscilla was born… yes that long ago. I had it all figured out. I would put Priscilla down for a nap and give Sophia a snack and her iPad to “work” with daddy for an hour while I slipped away for some much needed mommy alone time. The only thing that stood in my way from the radio blaring to anything but radio Disney or kids bop… and my single order at Starbucks not containing a cake pop…..was Sophia overheard the conversation. She was dressed and ready to go get “our” nails done. Uh oh! My mommy me time turned into… mommy and me time very quickly. There’s really no easy way to get your nails done while having your unsure three year old on your lap getting her nails done. From the moment we walked in the door of the salon she told me she would be brave… and she was so proud of herself because she was going to get her fingers and her toes done today. I was so proud of Sophia. She was so excited to have these few moments of just her and I time. Priscilla was in dream land at home with daddy and Sophia and I were doing big girl things. The smile on Sophia’s face the entire time her nails were being painted were priceless. The lady asked if I was getting my nails done too. I said no not today. She said but it’s Mother’s Day. The truth is… this right here … this moment with my first born was all the gift I needed. It would have been nice to get pampered a little, sure… but spending time with my daughter and seeing her so happy means so much more. Being a mother is so much about finding joy in these unplanned moments…