Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plant Based Eating for the entire Family!

My husband and I recently became members of a Plant Based Meal Kit Delivery service so when I found out that Sprout Food Organics made Plant Powered Purees I was SOLD.

My family had the opportunity to try out a few of the Sprout Organic food products and Leo Loved them! The Sprout Organic Baby food pouches come in different levels; Level 1 introducing foods for the first time to a baby so the ingredients are 1 simple ingredient. Even though Leo is almost 2.5 he still loves pouches for on the go snacks! So I put the Organic Prunes and Organic Mango pouches to the test and they are even TODDLER approved! 

I also love the hearty options like (Level 3) Butternut Chickpea Quinoa & Dates Pouch! Leo loved snacking on this and the organic chickpeas are a great alternative to meat and dairy based products. 

The Crispy Chews are a great alternative to those fruit snacks that you give your little one and Leo calls his Quinoa Puffs "cereal" the apple kale flavor are his favorite!

Other Toddler snacks and foods include Organic Smash Pouches and  Organic Curlz

 Little ones snack at the #BabyBrunch

Disclosure: Sprout Organics sent me samples and foods to try, and I think it’s great so I wanted to share what works for our family with all of you!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Postpartum Recovery Guide: It's a gradual thing

For 38.5 weeks my body made room for a growing baby, it stretched, it ached, and even through workouts some areas became weak. Prenatal core support was an absolute must for me during my pregnancy. I wore the Pregnant to The Core Support band every day and for workouts I wore Bao Bei's SpeedBUMP Sport Band .


After baby Miles arrived (via emergency c-section) at 38.5 weeks, I started wearing core support the day after surgery. The hospital provided me with a binder that wraps and velcros across the torso. This support was perfect for the two days I was in the hospital. I continued to wear it for two additional more days with may Bao Bei support bands underneath until my surgical staples were removed.

Here is a photo of my belly 1 week postpartum:

First Layer of core support:

Second Layer of core support: 

Week 2 I was ready for a bit more core  and lumbar support. I started off with a size Medium Dual Closure Girdle. It was 2 rows of hook & eye closures in the front and I started off with outer row and then closed it tighter halfway through the week (working my way at knitting my core tighter, to transition to a size small). During this time I was not only recovering from a major abdominal surgery but I also had an upper respiratory/sinus infection and the coughing was horrible. The level of core support this girdle provided while coughing was amazing and provided much relief. 

Here is a photo of my belly 2 weeks postpartum:

First layer of core support: 

By week 3 I moved down to a size small Bellefit Corset. This corset also has two rows of hook & eye closures and I gradually made my way towards the tightest fit. Both of the girdles provided medical grade compression, lumbar support, and acted as a constant reminder to keep my core engaged. 

Here is a photo of my belly 3 weeks postpartum:

First layer of core support:

Second layer of core support:

Now on to week 4,  I was down to one layer of postpartum support, the first layer was bunching and too baggy by this point. I was also down to the tightest hook & eye closure. Feeling tighter and sexy with my not so drab nursing bra, yes that is a NURSING BRA mamas!

Core support photo: 

I will still wear my core support for a few more weeks but I was excited to share my results. Bellefit has amazing customer service and online tools to help you identify which Postpartum Girdle is best fit for you! Stay true to the sizing questionnaire and guides and you will be sure to select the right core support. 


Hospital Bag Essentials

Packing a Hospital Bag and Preparing a Checklist can seem overwhelming but here are a few tips on packing what you need for a few nights stay

Breaking it up into items you need during labor, after birth, and for baby make it easier for tackling the list!

Mom during Labor:

- Chapstick (Babyganics) : With all of those breathing techniques you learned in your birthing class (plus the chance you may need to be hooked up to oxygen like I did, this will come in handy)

- Essential Oils Necklace (Pink Stork) I was able to wear all of the oils I needed during labor with this amazing necklace!

- Extra Pillow (Naturepedic): Be sure to pack an extra pillow and a BRIGHT pillow case! We made the mistake of a light colored pillow case and when i was rushed of to the OR for an Emergency C section my pillow went along for the ride. We were able to track it down by some miracle but the pillowcase went to the soiled linens basket and I never saw it again!

- Playlist with Meditation -or- music (Expectful)My meditation app Expectful was amazing for laboring at home and also for putting me at ease after baby was born, keeping me relaxed and able to focus on nursing 

- Focal Point (Photos, something meaningful, Mama Malas ): I wore my Mama Malas and used the Guru Bead to focus on and help me create the power within

- Hot Pack - My Amazing Doulas took care of this one for me, always making sure I had heat on my lower back 

- Birth Plan- Of course you will discuss this plan with your Doula, Midwife and/or Doctor but always have a copy handy as well, and most importantly know that the "plan" is really that of the universe so be flexible to any changes or emergencies that may come up.

Mom After Birth:
- Delivery Robe (PinkBlush Maternity): I felt like a goddess having my own clothing options and as soon as I got out of surgery I slipped into my own robe, it motivated me to get up and walk around the labor and delivery floor which started the recovery process much sooner!

- Nursing Bra (Oh La Lari): Not all of birth is SEXY but these bras surly made me feel that way! take a peak at the link!

- Nursing Tea (Pink Stork): I brought this tea with and generally your milk may not come in fully until after 3 days. I wasn't able to nurse Miles for 9 HOURS post birth!!!  It was too nice to have my tea and I just requested hot water with all of my meal deliveries. My milk was flowing in by day 2!

- Socks (StickyBe Socks): Both baby and I had warm feet (with sticky bottoms which are perfect for walking around your room in post delivery)

- Soothing Ointment (Butter Me Up Organics): I didn't end up needing this balm for myself post birth since I had an emergency c-section however, I have been using this for baby Miles bum and Leos too! keeps them smooth and rash free

- Book (The Fab Mom): I was stuck in the bed several hours after my c-section so having a good book was perfect, my adrenal levels were up so I couldn't sleep like I really should have, but having a good book to read was perfect!

- Toiletries
- Nursing Pads
- Charger
- Slippers/Flip-Flops


- Bag (Baby K'tan): This baby bag is the perfect size to pack all of the baby essentials for the hospital

- Diapers (Babyganics): The hospital may provide diapers but we prefer this brand so if you know you have a preference be sure to pack them

- Baby Wipes (Babyganics): We used the wipes for more than just baby, if you have a preferred brand be sure to pack them

- Receiving Blanket (Lulik Baby): Soft muslin swaddle blankets for the win. Our hospital let us use all the blankets we wanted to while we were there but they ask that you not take them home

- Clothes (Babysoy):  We packed clothing that would be easy to put on a newborn and     not have to pull up over their head. This kimono inspired nighty was so perfect for our l little one 

   - Hat (Babysoy)
   - Socks (StickyBe Socks)
   - Gift for Sibling (Sophie La Girafe)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rest and Restore: A Guide For Creating a Morning and Evening Yoga Ritual

I have partnered up with Naturepedic to bring you some amazing content on Rest and Restore! Below is a portion of my Guest Blogger article but you can find the entire thing at the link above!

Yoga is becoming a popular activity to help people improve their fitness, practice mindfulness, and reduce stress. It turns out that a yoga practice can also help you be more rested! I partnered up with Naturepedic, for this guest post that will help you create a simple morning and evening routine to feel rested and refreshed.
Most of us lead lives working busy days and then collapse in exhaustion –or- stay up late overstimulating ourselves with television, internet, or using our mobile devices. Yoga encourages balance between pure exhaustion and overstimulated days. Taking time out to rest and restore is imperative to living well, and can lead to improved attitudes and increased productivity. The more often you practice, the more you will feel the effects and notice any change. Below are some yoga poses you can do to create a ritual and stick with it.
Restore: Poses for waking up in the morning
Child’s Yoga Pose
Child’s Pose
This pose stretches the hips and legs as you take time to wake up slow.
Cat and Cow Yoga Flow
Cat/Cow Flow
This flow of movements warms up the spine as well as massages and stimulates organs.

Seated Side Yoga Stretch
Seated Side Stretch
This pose opens the hips and the upper body.

Rest: Poses for relaxation and going to bed
Being deprived of a good night’s sleep can cause us to become unbalanced and more stressed. Try a few restorative yoga poses each night to relax the mind and body.
Supported Bound- Angle Yoga Pose
Supported Bound- Angle Pose
This pose brings circulation to hips and lower back.
Elevated Legs-Up-the-Wall Yoga Pose
Elevated Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose This pose quiets the mind and refreshes the heart and lungs.
Happy Baby Yoga Pose
Happy Baby Pose
This pose gently stretches inner legs and spine as well as calms the the brain and relieve stress and fatigue.
Everyone in the family needs #SafeHealthySleep routines, not just children. There is no better way to create a habit than starting Rest & Restore Yoga.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adventures with BOB

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. -John Muir

My Revolution Flex stroller by @bobgearus has taken us on so many amazing adventures. 
It's seen trails in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and beyond. It's climbed hills and gotten us through rough terrain, helping us through the rough times. 

Our BOB  Revolution Stroller has been with us to experience far more than what we were seeking. 
On days like today where the world feels heavy, taking a walk in nature can open ones mind up to more than one can imagine !

@guidanceguide #guidanceguide #aplaceforparents #mystuffmystory @thebabyguynyc #realreviewsbyrealparents

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mindful Moments: Mindful Parenting

I am currently reading a book called Mindful Parenting and wanted to share some tips with you before I can even finish it!

The book has simple and powerful solutions for raising creative, engaged, happy kids in todays HECTIC WORD.

As Leo begins to enter his "terrible two" stage I started to reflect on my current parenting style and ways to make things more simple for him as he is learning to communicate. 

After having the opportunity to watch a friends infant for 3 days, I learned quickly that Leo is used to having me all to himself  and sharing my time with another child was not ideal for him. In addition to his poor behavior during this time, I also noticed that his mood swings were becoming more of an everyday thing.

My husband mentioned it could be his sure intake, DING DING! Even though I was only giving him a completely watered down juice, he still developed a pattern of asking for it EVERY morning when he would wake up! "Juice, Juice" he would cry standing at the fridge. I gave him watered down juice and that was that. Then in the afternoon, he would stand by the pantry "Nacks, Nack" (Snack) he wanted fruit snacks. I didn't see any harm in giving him one pack a day after all they are "Annies Organic" But this behavior became a daily expectation. 

We started to noticed this combined with his tantrums only continued to get worse, so I stopped buying that stuff (for now) and cut him from it cold turkey. 

Dr. Sears mentions that excess sugar promotes unhealthy cravings, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and kids labeled ADHD are reacting to some sort of sugar sensitivity!

After reading the first section of the book Mindful Parenting, I realized that even though Leo pretty much only watches one show, (Daniel Tiger) he has started to develop an expectation of watching it EVERY Day. and I didn't know until i read this book of course that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends ZERO hours of Screen time including TV for Children under the age of two! ZERO, not 30 min or more like we have slowly started to allow in our household. 

MINDFUL PARENTING LEARNING LESSON #2: OVER STIMULATED CHILDREN STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN FOCUS AND ATTENTION Children are still building neural pathways, yet with all the stimulation the brainwaves that help stay focus essentially flatline. 

We have intervened with this habit already and to change this pattern, we have been bundling up and going outside more often. Reconnecting and exploring with nature has been fun and sparks creativity and imagination. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our family lessons. no one is perfect, but we can strive to do what is best and what works for our family. Leo is an adventurous should with so much love and energy to give. It is beautiful to see him at his fullest potential when media and poor eating choices do not get in the way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Prenatal Fitness Inspiration with For Two Fitness®

Now that my first trimester is over, I have been able to get back into a normal fitness routine. I wanted to share a few mini workouts that have been great for my pregnancy! Staying Fit For Two has been fun, functional and fashionable in my For Two Fitness®  apparel! I have two tank tops, (Sweating for Two & Yoga for Two)  that I have been rocking for my workouts! The tank tops are soft and moisture wicking and the colors are rich and bright!

Even if I can't make it to a class, Yoga is still a simple yet effective way of staying on track with my routine. I just roll out a mat and practice a few poses for opening and strengthening my hips.


Kettle Bell Swings: Great for getting heart rate up!

Turkish Get Ups: Great for shoulder stability and mobility, thoracic extension and rotation, and taking it back to the basic developmental movement patterns! 

Dead Lift: GLUTES and CORE! Need I say more?!


Leg stretches and footwork on the reformer to lengthen the muscles after a kettle bell workout!