Chomps the perfect on the go snack!

Moms on the go…. do i have the snack for you!!!! Chomps is the perfect snack for every diet. It is the best tasting jerky I have found. It is not filled with junk just real meat and yummy flavors. It is perfect for Keto, Whole 30, and Gluten free diets. I am always trying to follow a low carb lifestyle, so that means my quick snacks are limited. Chomps fits perfectly in my bag and can be eaten anywhere. My toddler girls even ask for this healthy snack. It is the perfect family snack choice!

CAUSEBOX

Every now and then I come across a product I fall in love with. This CAUSEBOX is full of these products. I love subscription boxes because it gives me a chance to try new products with out committing to anything long term. Every month I look forward to something new and exciting just for me. This box not only has amazing products but it gives back. I absolutely love the idea of giving back. This box is all about empowering women and creating jobs. What could be more wonderful than that. This box is filled with goodies that are worth over $200 for just $50. That is just incredible. This is a purchase you can feel really good about.

Get your box today and use my code normalmommy20 for 20% off your first one !

Once you Pop… The fun won’t Stop!

My girls love imaginary play. They have so much fun pretending to explore new places and be someone else for just a few moments. When they found Privacy Pop they were beyond excited. This tent not only creates an amazing oasis on your bed for sleeping, it also creates a world of fun anywhere your imagination wants to take it. We love to pop open this tent in our home, yard, or right on the girls bed when we want to play. The girls are so excited when I pull out their purple Privacy Pop!

This compact tent pops open within seconds and is assembled in just minutes. This is perfect for eager toddlers with short attention spans. We have used our Privacy Pop for quiet afternoons to snuggle and read, and also for fun adventures to make a hideaway. This tent can be a really great addition to your outdoor adventures. We love to bring our Privacy Pop outside or to the beach. I love how easy it is to carry and assemble and the girls love how they can hide inside and how much room they have to play. We have the twin size tent, but they come in many different sizes. Whether the tent is positioned on the girls bed or somewhere in our home it has become their very own perfect hideaway!

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Homemade Banana Bread

We buy a lot of fruit in our house, but sometimes we don’t get to eat it. When the bananas seem to have been on the counter a little too long we know it’s time to start baking. Banana bread is one of our favorite things to make. It is super simple and always makes the house smell amazing. This recipe took five minutes to throw together and was gluten free. Our family tries to eat gluten free when ever possible for my migraines. I love this AP baking flour from Bobs Red Mills. For me it’s the simplest substitute I have found. I literally just used this instead of normal flour and added nothing else special to my recipe. My family loved the banana bread and ate it within the first 24 hours. I baked this one in an 8×8 pan because we had Taekwondo and I didn’t have the hour plus baking time. I have to say I loved it in this pan! I’ll never use a traditional loaf pan again!

Recipe:

3 bananas mashed

2 eggs

1 stick of butter melted

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cup AP gluten free flour

Sprinkle of salt

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mash bananas in bowl. Add melted butter. Mix well. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add sugar and mix till blended. Add eggs and mix till beaten well. Add flour and stir till completely combined. Put in greased baking pan. I used 8×8 and baked for 30-35 min till golden brown and knife comes out clean!

Enjoy

Sophia Makes Artichokes

Sophia loves to cook… especially when Nana is here! Ever since she was old enough to chew, she has loved artichokes. She will eat an entire one on her own. She could not wait to learn how to make them just like her Nana. She has perfected the recipe and can make them on her own. Today she wanted to make them for lunch and share the recipe with our followers. This is a super simple and fun way to eat your veggies!

When you encourage your children to help you cook or create their own recipes, it gets them to try new foods and eat things they wouldn’t normally want to. I am a huge advocate for kids in the kitchen. I know some parents are hesitant because it can be dangerous or messy, but as long as they are aware of the rules, it is a lot of fun. Sophia has been cooking with me since she was a little older than one and Priscilla loves to cook now too! My girls will always try new foods and both absolutely love to cook and bake! I encourage you to bring your kids into the kitchen too!

Artichoke Recipe :

Artichokes

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Oregano

Parsley

Olive oil

We cut the stems off the artichokes and smash them on the counter. We rinse them and let them dry on the counter. We then sprinkle the spices on the inside of the leaves. We do this on all of the artichokes. There is no measurements… just what seems like a yummy amount. We then fill the pot with water till the artichokes are covered half way. You then place about 1/8 cup of oil around the pot and place on stove to boil. After the artichokes boil you let them simmer on low for 45 minutes or until they are tender. Enjoy our family favorite !

My Migraine… through a different lens.

Finding reasons to smile… even on my hardest days.

Have you ever been in the middle of a bad dream and wished you could wake up… but couldn’t? That was how I felt during my last migraine episode. My migraine came on one late afternoon, without any warning, while I was making cornbread to go with dinner. I felt normal throughout that day, but tired. Tired is a normal feeling for a mom of two active toddlers. While I was looking down at my bowl of batter, I suddenly could no longer see what I was mixing, I knew at that moment I needed to grab my abort meds and call for help. I am so fortunate my husband works from home. He was still in his office a few rooms away from the kitchen, but he could tell from the tone of my voice what was happening and came running. The migraine incited aura I was experiencing in my vision was coming on more rapidly and stronger than normal. It was consuming my entire vision very quickly with colorful, cascading, zig zag lines almost as if it were creating a light show. I took my two abort meds and my husband helped me get to our bedroom. About 5 minutes later I started to lose my ability to walk. My legs were buckling out from under me and I could not support my own weight. One of my two daughters is almost five and the other just turned two. They were witnessing the entire event. They know mommy gets migraines and have seen me have them before but have never experienced an episode to this extreme. I do not think any of us were prepared for that day.

Hemiplegic Migraines tend to mimic strokes and seizures. They are a class of migraines with complicated aura. Once they begin for me, the aura phase travels through my body and affects different parts of my brain. It starts with the aura phase, where it affects my vision and I see the light show. Then it travels to my extremities and I cannot walk or use my arms. The next part is the scariest and the worst, I feel. It travels to the part of my brain that affects my speech. I am not able to talk for several minutes. During this time, I am sometimes still paralyzed, too. This makes it even worse for the people around me to watch, including my children.

Sophia, my oldest daughter, ran into my bedroom to take care of me and wanted to be with her mommy. She and I have a very special bond. She kept saying that she loved me, but when I didn’t respond became very upset. She continued to ask her daddy if mommy was dying. I was witnessing the entire event laying there as if I was in a terrible nightmare that I could not wake up from. My family was watching me have this horrific migraine and I could do nothing. I could not speak or move. The tears were streaming down my face, but I could not tell her I was okay. I could not say I love you. She ran and called my mom, “Nana,” to come over, and it made everything better. My husband explained to Nana what was happening. Nana and my husband have seen my migraine episodes before and, even though they worry every time they happen to me, they knew I would be okay. About 10 minutes later, I was able to speak again and hold Sophia and Priscilla. Within 60 minutes, from start to finish, the migraine episode ended.

I was left with a horrible headache, but the rest of my symptoms subsided. I was exhausted and weak but able to function. I put my glasses on and got out of bed. I have no choice as a mom but to get up and keep moving. Normalcy is very important for my girls.  We went on with our night. We had dinner as a family and had fun with Nana. Before bedtime, Sophia reenacted the entire episode showing what I looked like. It was heartbreaking to see it from her perspective. She kept saying, “I thought you died.” It is funny that she understands so much at such a young age. She knows mommy cannot bare to see flashing lights at a carnival. She makes sure I am drinking water and is always asking if I am okay. I think even though my girls are exposed to my condition they are kinder and more compassionate because of it.

I think it is so important to be more aware of Migraines and what they really are. I think migraine disease is still widely misunderstood. I am now a stay at home mom, but I remember when I was in the corporate world how hard it was to call out with a migraine. The response of having a “headache” when I could barely speak to make the call was heart breaking. Healthcare costs associated with migraines is up to $36 billion dollars annually and people miss up to 157 million workdays a year as a result of migraines!!! I cannot tell you how many days of work I missed, special occasions, or holidays. There was an Easter where I had to stay home and send the girls to church with my husband because of my migraine. My aura even prevented me from seeing them when they were hunting for their eggs.

Migraines are unpredictable and come in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone has the same kind and mine are very rare. There are so many things you can do to help prevent migraines, but there is no cure. I work daily at my anti-inflammatory diet, I take preventative medications, and I wear my Avulux migraine glasses. My migraine glasses I found have helped so much. Light sensitivity is a huge issue affecting over 80% of migraine sufferers, and it is especially severe in people experiencing migraines with aura. I have gone through so many pairs of normal sunglasses, wasting hundreds of dollars in the search for light sensitivity and migraine relief, before finding these migraine glasses. Avulux has given me that relief I have been searching for, whether I am indoors or outdoors. Since Avulux uses a unique patented lens that absorbs only the harmful light that has been shown to cause and strengthen migraine, the sun no longer bothers me when I am driving as long as I am wearing my glasses. My other big triggers have always been the grocery store or other large department stores. The fluorescent lighting in these stores is a huge trigger for me, but since wearing these migraine glasses I have not had an issue. These glasses are awesome because you do not need a prescription to purchase them and the price is comparable to some sunglasses and even cheaper than some migraine medications on the market today. So, like I said, I wish I knew about them while I was going through all my migraine related purchases, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.

After wearing my migraine glasses consistently in the last 6 weeks, I have noticed a decrease in my daily migraines. My friends have started to ask about my new glasses often. The glasses have sparked a lot of conversations which have led to conversations about my migraine condition, which is important. I think I have always been shy to talk about what truly happens to me during an episode, but it’s good to have these conversations. Not only can my friends now help me through an episode, but they can educate and spread migraine awareness to others.

https://avulux.com/

To purchase your own Migraine Glasses use link above and coupon code NORMALMOM15 for $15 off

Natural Bug Spray!!!!

Summer time means unpredictable rain storms. The rain can be a welcome cool down in the weather, but it can also bring out some pesky bugs. Our family is all about being outside and keeping busy during the warm summer months. You can usually find us in the backyard or on the softball field. I find myself constantly worried about the bugs and keeping my children safe. We have a lot of ticks and mosquitoes in our neck of the woods. I do not like to put harsh chemicals on myself or my family, so I like to look for natural and homemade alternatives. I love to use essential oils for many different things. Our favorite scent is Lavender. Did you know that Lavender is an antiseptic and actually repels mosquitoes? It is a win for me because I just love the way it smells! I also love to use peppermint oil on my temples and neck when I have a migraine. It is also a great oil for rashes, sunburns, and as an insect repellent. I think using essential oils instead of a commercial bug repellent with deet is a better choice for yourself and the environment. I love to read the BLOG on PersonalCreations website. They always have awesome crafts for my girls, recipes for the family, and this month these great natural bug repellent recipes. Check out the link to their website and make these Natural Bug Repellents for your family. My favorites are the Lavender Breeze and Fresh Mint!

Quick homemade play dough

Thinking outside of the box is a must as a mom. This is day 4 of rain so I needed to come up with something fun to do. We made a fort, builded with blocks, painted, and we were still bored waiting for lunch time. I needed to think of something fun to pass the time… and I needed to think fast. I decided to we would make homemade play dough. The girls love to cook and and they love to create things, so this was the perfect activity. We set all of the ingredients out on the table and the girls took turns adding them in the bowl. We decided to make our dough light purple, but you can leave it plain too. This is a simple and quick activity you can do with ingredients found in your pantry. We used cookie cutters and played for a while. This was a lot of fun!

Play dough

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup hot water

1 tablespoon oil

Food color of choice

Mix ingredients together and be sure to knead dough. * If dough feels wet simply add more flour 🙂

A smoothie detox for your hair?! Sign me up!

My hair has not been getting much love since having my girls. In fact it has been falling out and lifeless for over 4 years. When I came across Briogeo I was so excited to give their products a try! I love the smell of banana and coconut so I knew this one was for me! Who would want to put healthy antioxidants and vitamins in their hair… I know I do!!!!! I am obsessed with how amazing my hair not only looks but feels! The best part is there are no harsh sulfates, silicones, or parables. This product is also cruelty free. ❤️