Happy Easter lovelies! I can’t believe how fast this year is already flying and there’s something about holidays that just reminds me of that. I meant to share this earlier in the week, but I was going non-stop! Better late than never.
I love Easter, and now that I have a little one to celebrate with, it makes it even more bright and fun. This is his third Easter, but as he is just barely two, this is the first one that he is really getting into the magic of the Easter bunny, the egg hunting, and all that.
We did a super fun Easter egg dive yesterday where we came home with a huge bag of candy, which honestly I think might go in the trash… Well after I pick out the chocolate maybe. But either way, the last thing we need is a ton more sweets or toys around here, so I tried to keep it fun, but practical for his Easter basket this year.
Here’s what I put in his basket. Pretty reasonably priced too!
1. Keychain kite: these are so cool! I snagged this one off of KidSteals.com and I can’t wait to see what he thinks. I know he will love the doggy and it’s perfect that it’s just his size!
2. Sandra Boynton Bunny Rabbit Show: I love Boynton Books and so does Zach, so obviously this one is perfect for Easter. So cute!
3. A bathtime book: this is too cute to go in the bath and even squirts!
4. Finger paints: thank you Dollar Tree! This is obvious fun for a two year old.
5. Lindt chocolate bunny: okay so here’s where I splurged. I could have gone for the $2 Hershey’s bunny, but frankly, mommy will need to have some of this one so I went for my fave.
6. Custom iron on vinyl “Word to your mother” tee: I just started selling these in my Etsy shop! I’m making lots more designs coming soon, and can even take custom orders.
7. Thomas the Train and Cars socks: this is one of the most practical, and yet I know he will totally love them. And score from the dollar section at Target!
8. M&M egg: my monkey really isn’t into most sweets (I know, weird). He is more of a fine dark chocolate kind of guy…yes he is two. Anyway, but he does love M&Ms and I wanted an egg in there since I honestly think he will like that even more than the chocolate.
Hope you all have a wonderful day with your families!
Ahhh the terrible twos. What a wonderful time…uh not! What the hell happened to my sweet little baby boy? I mean okay, he still is sweet, but MAN can he throw a tantrum. And these days he is very very deliberately, and mischievously disobedient. Yes, I have become that mom with the kid the runs away and makes a mess in stores too fast to catch him. Oh yes, and the same one that screams at the top of the restaurant, not because he is sad or mad, but just because he wants to scream. Did I mention flailing, biting, and pulling hair? This is all in one lovely evening people!!! Tonight to be exact. So when I got home I had a survival routine and I am going to share it with you.
1. Lock yourself in the bathroom.
2. Take a deep breath.
3. Unlock the door, don’t look at your child. Pour glass of wine.
4. Grab chocolate bar.
5. Return to bathroom.
6. Take a sip. Take a bite.
7. Close your eyes. Pretend you are in the Caribbean in a bikini and you have a body like Gisele.
8. Take a moment to listen for destruction, or perhaps worse, silence…
9. Finish glass of wine and chocolate.
10. Return to motherhood, as usual.
Here I am drinking a glass of wine whilst sitting on the beach in St. Lucia…errrr…my bathroom floor. Good luck, mommies! Cheers! ????????
First of all, I can’t believe my baby is two!! I swear the second year went faster than his first. Ahhh! Now that I’m done sobbing, I just planned the easiest and one of the most fun parties ever for his second birthday. We spent his actual birthday in Disneyworld, so between coming back from a week away and spending plenty of money along the way, I needed something simple. Now you know I LOVE to host parties with lots of custom, DIY details, but honestly with everything going on and a more limited budget than I was planning initially, I decided I needed to simplify. I learned some good tips along the way, so I thought I would share!!
Go Off Site
This may seem counter intuitive since many think it would be easier to have a party at home. Picking an off site location can often simplify your party because you don’t have to clean, come up with tons of activities, do as much (if anything) to decorate, and then clean again. Sometimes the price tag of various activity places can be prohibitive if that’s a factor, but from as cheap as local parks to expensive as amusement parks, going for off site entertainment can make coordinating a fun kids party simpler. For me, I was able to get fun and inexpensive. I picked Discovery Gateway which is a children’s museum we have a membership to so we were free. We chose a Sunday since admission was cheaper and since it was my son’s second birthday, most of his little friends are under 2, and therefore were free so we just covered the adults. Look for discounted admission and free admission for kids and it may not be as expensive as you’d think!
Choose Snack Time
When setting your time, you may consider naptime as a factor, but otherwise select a time that generally doesn’t align with a full meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner for a whole group is a lot more to manage off site, where if you pick a time like 11am or 3pm, you can serve snacks and cake and call it good. We picked 3pm since it steered clear of most naptimes and was a perfect time to just eat cupcakes and drinks before we played! Easy Birthday
Depending on the cost of your location and scope of activities, you could skip favors all together. To be honest, most parties I go to, people forget to take favors altogether, so if you’re going to do something, pick something good and hand it out at the beginning. For me I wanted to have favors just since they are fun for the kids, and of course I could count on Target’s dollar section for these adorable pop up books! I grabbed some cello bags and a few other goodies the kids would have fun with (glow bracelets 15/$1, noise makers 12/$1, and a pack of fruit snacks).
Order A Special Treat
Now I do love to bake, but ordering out you cake or cupcakes is a great way to simplify your to do list. My dear friend Haley of White Barn Bakery makes scrumptious cupcakes, and since I wasn’t doing any other food really so I was definitely in budget, it was absolutely worth paying to have them made.
It’s so crazy to me that this was just over a year ago. I’ve had a lot of people asking me recently how I magically lost my baby weight. It hasn’t been any one thing and it certainly wasn’t magic. Like most healthy lifestyles a combination of several factors together. When I got pregnant I was nervous my body would never be the same. And well, it’s not, but I never would have guessed it would help lead me to the lowest weight I’ve been since junior high and the strongest I’ve felt in my life. I certainly didn’t think I’d be modeling sports bras 13 months later! I was in shape before, but becoming a mother has pushed me even harder now that I know what I’m capable of. Motherhood is a transformation and all of it has been a lot of hard work, but I am amazed at how it’s helped me become a healthier version of myself. It’s something I truly never expected. Here’s how I did it and 10 tips I followed for other soon-to-be moms.
1. Have a healthy pregnancy. This may sound obvious, but many moms think pregnancy and “eating for two” means they literally get to eat whatever they want with no consequences. While you should follow your body’s natural hunger cues and cravings, you really only need about 300 more calories per day in the second and third trimester for a normal pregnancy. Eat healthy and stay as active as your body is willing. I always kept it in the back of my mind that my baby only ate what I ate and exercised when I did. If not for yourself, do it because your baby can’t if you don’t.
2. Take it easy and enjoy your baby. Once your babe arrives so many people get obsessed with getting their body back. Just chill! Enjoy these precious new moments without guilt. For most women that eat healthy while caring for a new little one (especially if you’re breastfeeding) a lot of the weight will begin to come off naturally.
3. NURSING! This is different for every woman, but nursing helped me lose fast. It helped shrink my uterus back down and start to tone my stomach muscles back up at the beginning. Then as he had growth spurts, I had shrinking spurts. This happened around 8 weeks, again around 5-7 months, and yet again around 11-13 months. I jokingly called my baby my human lipo because I could almost feel the fat being sucked out and almost every nursing session I still get so hungry!
4. Walking. All through my maternity leave I walked almost every day with my dog and baby. It was a great way for us to get out of the house and enjoy a little fresh air and exercise. I started around 2 weeks and timed it around his nap time so he would sleep and my dog and I got a walk in the sunshine. Bliss!
5. Pilates and core strength. Around 5-6 weeks I ordered this Pilates DVD from Amazon. LOVE IT! I am pretty picky when it comes to my workout DVDs, but this one is awesome. It’s broken up into two sections so you can do one or both from your living room, which is totally practical for a new mom. It was hard to start up and feel that my core strength was so much less than it used to be, but this really helped me get my core back.
6. Healthy eating. Okay this is obvious too, but really important. I say healthy — not dieting. Since I am nursing, I couldn’t really diet even if I wanted to. I just remember that same thing that my baby would eat what I eat. So that meant even if I let myself give into Arby’s curly fries (my weakness!) I had some veggies too. And I didn’t go overboard with fast or fatty food. I mostly attempt to follow the food pyramid with a good, well-rounded diet and eat plenty of calories
7. Squeeze exercise into your routine. Okay this one really is hard, especially at the beginning. Don’t force yourself to do anything drastic or super time consuming or you will never do it. I think this is true even if you’re NOT a mom. Ease in. Maybe that’s 2-3 days a week for 20-30 minutes or maybe it’s 4-5. You can get someone to watch the baby, bring him along in a jogging stroller, or workout in your living room. Just set a schedule and do it!
8. Challenge yourself! Last fall my friends peer pressured me into running a half marathon 8 months postpartum. I have always detested running…like I’d rather do any other exercise! More on that later. I had already lost my baby weight, just not all the inches so I was only half motivated and nervous about committing to something I wouldn’t enjoy. Half way through my 8 weeks of training I sort of fell in love with running and after that the inches really started coming off. I leaned out more than I ever have been able to at this point.
9. Green smoothies. I know I mentioned eating healthy, but green smoothies need their own section because I can totally tell a difference on days I have them versus when I don’t. For new moms (or anyone) they are such an easy way to make sure you’re getting healthy greens, veggies, fruits and protein. When I started having one everyday I noticed a significant difference in my energy and metabolism. I fit them in for breakfast, part of lunch, post-workout snack, or sometimes even my late night sweet craving fix.
10. Yoga. I really got into yoga a lot toward the end of my pregnancy because it was the only thing that helped the pain in my pelvis and back. It took me a while to get back into doing it regularly after I had my baby, but it helps my metabolism and stress level so much! As much as I’d love to have time to go to a real studio for class, it’s just not practical for me, so I fit in a 22 minute session of “Yoga with a View” available on Hulu. I’ve really noticed a difference in my metabolism when I do it regularly, but I instantly feel more refreshed and more patient with my now 14-month-old (very busy) toddler.
To sum it up, I just want to say to nervous moms out there, you CAN do it! I used to look at others and wonder how pregnancy would affect my body. As much as I’ve always been into fitness, my genes have a tendency to gain weight if I don’t always stay on top of it so I was scared I would blow up and never be able to get back. When I was first pregnant I was so incredibly happy, and I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I cried on multiple occasions to my husband because I was worried I wouldn’t be sexy after having a baby. He was sweet and said he would think I was gorgeous no matter what, but what it really came down to was I wanted to feel secure that I’d feel good about my body.
I was never obsessive, I just stayed on top of it like usual and focused on my health and enjoying pregnancy and being a new mom. I gained 25 pounds, which was healthy for me, and lost that within 8 weeks from walking, breastfeeding and starting Pilates. The rest all came gradually, but I just tried to work hard and let it happen naturally at my body’s pace. I still am amazed that I could be smaller and in better shape now than I think I ever have been, no matter how hard I worked before. Hopefully this can help give other moms hope and motivation that you absolutely can do it too!Read More
Having just been through becoming a new mom myself last year, I wanted to bring her a little something to make the transition easier. I just had one, so I can only imagine two! I remember lots of people brought us delicious, homemade meals (for which I was so grateful), but I found myself in the middle of the day and even the middle of the night ravenously hungry and holding a newborn. The problem with this is many of those yummy meals in the fridge can’t be made and/or eaten one handed between what feels like the 800th nursing sesh of the day, diaper changes, naps, and cuddles. And if it can’t be eaten easily, it doesn’t get eaten! I remember my mom brought me a bag full of clementines (which I love!) and they sat on my counter uneaten because I needed another hand to peel them. Sad!
So for this new mama, I decided to put together a box of healthy, easy to eat foods that she can snack on when her hands are full. I picked stuff with plenty of protein and nutrients since those are so important for nursing, especially in those early days while establishing supply and healing from delivery.
Here are a few ideas:
Frozen burritos (I ate a lot of those myself!)
It’s a nice way to change it up since so many people bring meals, and something that’s definitely appreciated! It was a hit.Read More
Remember a few months ago when I told the story of me and my best friend and how we made our childhood dreams playing M.A.S.H. come true? Okay, minus the mansions next door. Still working on that.
You can read the whole story here, but to sum it up, we got engaged to our long time boyfriends a week an a half apart, about 10 months later got married 4 weeks apart, and 3 1/2 years later were due with baby boys 8 weeks apart. Oh and our hubbies are good friends and we work together. To say we live parallel lives is an understatement.
Well since then I welcomed my little Zachary into the world and exactly 9 weeks later she welcomed her William, or Liam, into the world. Now get this — not only were they born in the same hospital, but as fate would have it they were born in the same room of the hospital. You can’t make that stuff up! Pretty trippy. Obviously they are destined to be best friends just like their mommies and daddies.