SuperWomen Do IT Less…Or a Helluva Lot Better!

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SuperWomen are working women with children. This is the norm, not the exception. They feel the pressure of having to do everything even if they have a significant other to help with the home and children. From the minute she awakens until she goes to sleep, her life centers around the children and her second job outside the home-- five days a week, her job is never done.

Many women with total home responsibilities do not have personal time to even take a long, hot bath or quick shower until the children are put to bed or before they awaken. It is essential to be able to break away from the daily routine of work and homemaking to take care of Mom—the health of the family starts with you. Even if you get overwhelmed and just throw up your hands, you will still have to continue the next day to take on your Mom duties—with all the things you did not do the day before.

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“Mothering” is complicated but easy to define: It is what a Mom does without being asked. Mom is the one most likely on-call from the kids, school, company and the significant other. How do Moms get time for themselves to take that bath or exercise? What do they have to sacrifice to get personal time in minutes of her day that probably starts at 5:30AM and goes to 9:00-10:00PM? What gives them the energy to continue when they feel they cannot? There is usually no choice.

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for your family. Did you ever notice that when everyone in the house gets a cold, Mom does not? She cannot. It is that simple. The most important thing you can do as a Mom is to get organized and run your day as if it were the only job you have.

Plan your Monday -Friday on the weekend: Prepare menus for meals and shop for what you need with a list and a budget—skip taking the kids if you can. Prepare meals such as stews, soups and casseroles in the crockpot or pressure cooker and freeze them in plastic bags. It is cheaper than getting fast food takeout and more nutritious—and you can use inexpensive cuts of meat that provides a lot of protein. Using the crockpot for cooking up dried beans, meats and veggies for dinner makes fast, easy, nutritious and delicious meals. Veggie omelets are fast, easy and inexpensive meals. Set the table after dinner for the morning; put out clothes for work and school; set alarms for the kids so they can get themselves up. Get the dishes out of the sink every evening! With a clean kitchen in the morning, you and the children will have a stress less start for the day.

Last thing at night or first thing in the morning—or at lunch break at your work—do something physical or relaxing such as walking or yoga in your chair.  Stretch, bend, lift your legs, close your eyes and concentrate on you. Extraordinary SuperMom!

In, “SuperWomen Do IT Less...Or a Helluva Lot Better!, A Millenium Guide to Having It All: Children, a Career and a Loving Relationship,” Ray offers a guidebook for empowering all women striving to succeed in their personal and business lives, while navigating through daily trials. 

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#MomLife: Kids Health-Should You Buy Organic and How

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Price doesn’t present that big of a problem for parents when they decide about their children’s diet. They place emphasis on healthy and nutritional foods and organic is at the top of their list. Organic food used to be limited to certain grocery stores, but now it’s available in most of the regular ones - which is great. However, food labels, claims and benefits are often confusing. You need to do serious research before shopping organic, so let’s cover some crucial standing points.

Less toxic pesticides

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Based on research, people who eat organic have less pesticides in their blood. Many of the chemicals used for fertilising also contain harmful substances which can affect their metabolism. Pesticides and fertilisers are linked to numerous health conditions like various cancers, for example.Children are especially sensitive because of their young bodies. That makes them susceptible to the toxicity of certain chemicals used in agriculture.

Focus on Dietary Habits

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Organic food doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to the nutritional value of your food. You can still gain weight, high cholesterol levels and other conditions caused by bad eating habits. It only gives you healthier ingredients, while preparation and diet are all up to you.However, most people who switch to organic food become more aware of their lifestyle.

They start paying attention to calories, cook nourishing meals and start some kind of physical activity. Additionally, they include their children in this new mission, too, and we all know how they can be picky when it comes to food. But, if appropriately thought through, you can still make pizza, pasta and French fries by using healthy cooking methods and more beneficial ingredients.

Educational for children

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When they hear the word healthy, children mostly think it’s not tasty. So they either don’t eat it or cheat by buying some carb- and fat-loaded lunch at school. In order to prevent them from doing that and help them understand what organic food is, you should teach them about the healthy growing of vegetables and fruits. If you want to radically change your family’s dietary habits, don’t do it overnight. Cook the same meals as before only with different, healthier ingredients.

For example, you can make oven-baked sweet potato chips with olive oil and sea salt. Or, use whole grain bagels for burgers made from organic cow meat and cooked on the grill. Soon, your children will start being curious about other healthy options they can try. Organic food is a good start to educate your children on the proper dietary habits and lifestyle.

Accepting the Healthy Way

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As a parent, you can influence what your child eats either by appealing to the school board, or by preparing them lunch to take with them. Obesity among young children is a real and worrisome issue today and many schools are already aware of this, as are the children. In order to eat properly, the children have to start accepting the healthy lifestyle. And that is something which starts at home.

There is a saying, “You are what you eat”. This means that in order to be healthy you have to eat good foods. Switching to organic may not solve your problems, like obesity in children, but it’s a good starting point to change your dietary habits. The sooner your children start with organic food, the better their bodies will develop.

 

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#MomLife: After The Baby with ApexM Pelvic Floor Muscle Stimulator

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My little one is three years old but it seem like just yesterday that I was taking her home from the hospital and diving head first into this thing called motherhood. I took so many classes to learn how to handle her (which was a waste of money and time) but not too many people prepared me for how to take care of me. I mean, I always heard the “sleep when the baby sleeps” stuff which I feel is unrealistic advice because, when exactly does the laundry get done, the food get cooked, or the house get cleaned if you adopt that mindset?

The thing that I was most unprepared for were the changes in my body. I knew my stomach area would take some time to get readjusted and I knew that my vaginal area would not be ready for any extracurricular activities - those were a given. But, why didn’t any of you guys tell me that for the next couple of months whenever I sneezed, laughed too hard, or got super stressed out, I could experience bladder leakage!?! Nobody talks about that part do they? LOL! Now, there are certain exercises that you can do that will strengthen your pelvic floor muscle and will help you recover from childbirth faster but, did you know there is a device that does the same thing at a faster rate?! I didn’t either, until now.

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Not too long ago I was introduced to the ApexM Pelvic Floor Muscle Stimulator which can pretty much alleviate all of those issues in one simple move. It is like kegels on steroids ladies! Although we are all hella tired as moms, you definitely do not want to let the romance die in your relationship either, right? This device uses a muscle stimulation algorithm to strengthen and tone pelvic floor muscles which will ENHANCE INTIMACY. The biggest win is that it will only take 10 minutes a day!

You know we love talking about the things that most people tend to ignore so, I had to share this with you guys! Not only would this be awesome for new moms but for older ladies dealing with some of the same bladder issues as well. We have got to protect our yoni ladies! And, in that same spirit, we have to start being more open an honest about the way we are going about doing that! There are so many things I have experienced post-Peyton that were not all warm and fuzzy that I wish someone would have hipped me to before they happened!

What are some of the things you wish you would have known before becoming a mom? Was I the only one out here having “accidents” like I was a potty training two year old?!

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Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were sponsored. I was paid to give an honest review of the Apex Pelvic Floor Muscle Stimulator.  All comments about these products are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household. 

#MomLife: Did I Birth The Next Serena Williams?!

 All Images Juan Carlos Puebla for FitXBrit

All Images Juan Carlos Puebla for FitXBrit

If you are anything like me, once you had your child you immediately began planning their future. The sports they would play, the schools they would attend, ballet, gymnastics, violin. The list goes on and on!

One of my main goals as a mom is to make sure that Peyton stays active and that she is exposed to new and different activities at an early age. My thought process is that if she tries different things early on, it will help her to come to a decision on what she ultimately wants to pursue. Would I love to be able to say 18-20 years from now that I birthed the next Serena Williams? Yes! But, what are some signs that parents can observe early on to determine if their child has natural athletic ability? Well, we sat down with Meg Furstoss, MS, NSCA-CSCS, and Andrew Borsellino, MS, NSCA-CSCS, NASM-PES, founders of Precision Sports Performance to get their take on the topic.


Three signs that demonstrate if your child has a natural sport ability: 

Natural speed is an easy and straight forward indicator of a child’s athletic potential. Is your child faster than most other kids their age? How your child moves and runs can be a good indicator of their natural athletic ability. Speed can be developed but natural speed can propel your child to the next level of training and athletics. It’s a pretty good indicator of a child’s athletic potential if they not only appear to be faster than most of their peers but their running mechanics seem to be sound. Are they light on their feet without running on their tippy-toes? Can they run in a straight line with good mechanics? As silly as this may sound, running in a straight line and while keeping good form (good arm mechanics, proper foot placement) is something strength coaches look for during an evaluation.

Landing and jumping mechanics play a large role in athletics. These two components, along with proper body control, are a large part of the foundation in which training programs are created. Can your child jump high and far and land with good body control? For a young child, far can be defined as at least their height in distance. How high your child can jump is all relative to their age. But the results of the vertical and broad jump directly correlate with power output and speed. The higher and farther your child can jump, the faster they are or can be. Proper landing mechanics is an essential part of all strength and conditioning programs. How to land is one of the first things a strength coach teaches. If a child has good landing mechanics it is an indicator of good body control - and good body control helps to decrease risk of injury!

Hand-eye coordination and tracking ability relates to every sport. If we can’t interpret outside factors visually, quickly, and correctly, our brain cannot quickly and correctly send messages to our body to initiate the appropriate response. Does your child have better than decent hand-eye coordination? Having the natural ability to quickly and accurately track movement increases the potential for accurate motor responses. These quicker responses can lead to better performance on the field. Whether you are a swimmer, a soccer player or baseball player depth perception and tracking ability plays a key role in how and when you respond. Having the ability to be able to judge your distance from the pool wall which will initiate your flip turn. Being able to immediately track the ball once it leaves the pitcher’s hand gives you an advantage over your opponent both in competition and when training. When a strength coach initiates vision training into their program it can start off slow as you begin to develop and train the neural patterns for the appropriate response. When an athlete comes in with a natural ability to track and with a greater depth of vision, it allows for less time to be spent developing the baseline foundation.

At two, my mini isn’t ready to even be evaluated on all of these tasks but I did find them to be super helpful and would love to hear what you guys think!

Connect With Precision Sports Performance:

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#MomLife: Toddler Mealtime Essentials

We definitely had a fun time celebrating National Nutrition Month in a major way over here at FitXBrit last month , mostly with some pretty amazing recipes that are jam-packed with healthy benefits as well as big taste and the responses that you guys have been sharing has been great!

Sticking with the theme of nutrition and finding ways to make things more convenient, we are highlighting some of our favorite meal time accessories that are sure to keep your toddler interested in their meals and, because they are so cool, will allow you to sneak in all of the healthy and nutritious treats that they would otherwise probably fight you on. Believe me, I am speaking from experience!

Nuby Canteen

The Nuby Canteen is super cute because it looks just like mommy’s workout bottle which is allowing me to sneak in so much more water in Peyton’s diet. She is such a little sponge and is really eager to do the things that Mommy does. So, when I am getting my little infused water combinations ready for the day I can create the same thing for my mini and she loves the added bonus of clicking a button and a spout just popping up which makes it really easy for her to use. Definitely an A+ in my books!

Planet Box

I am a huge fan of the “Bento Box” themed lunch boxes because of the convenience it brings me in terms of portion control and the ease of use when trying to pack up meals for the day for Peyton (and myself, if I am being honest). It also challenges me to be more creative because I want her to have a new experience each day and not get bored with all of the health restrictions that tend to dominate our day. I love that with a switch of a couple of magnets your lunch box can have a whole different look and vibe. I am a huge fan of the different options they offer that make this lunch box attractive for grown ups too!


Nuby Booster Seat

I am a germaphobe so the fact that Nuby created a super mobile and cute booster seat that takes up minimal space, comes in an array of designs, and is super comfy (according to Peyton) makes me so happy. It attaches to any seat so that it can easily transition from the family dinner table to the car for a family outing. Super affordable and perfect for making mealtime manageable.

What are some of the things you look for when getting mealtime accessories for your kids? Functionality? Cost? Design?

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#MomLife: Why Meditation is Important for Moms

When I became a mom, after the first few weeks of sleep deprivation and trying to navigate the daily “be-witching hour” it became clear that a daily thirty-minute meditation practice was no longer in my near future. At the new mom stage, I needed my meditation practice more than ever, but I didn’t have the same time to devote to it as before. So I had to get creative.

When you think of meditation, you may be thinking of monks sitting on a quiet landscape, eyes closed, radiant, blissful, transcendent, and quiet. Yes, the goal is a place of peace. However, you most likely can’t get to those picturesque places of peace as a busy mom. Yogi Bhajan Ph.D brought Kundalini yoga and meditation to the west in 1968. Kundalini yoga, also known as householder’s yoga, isn’t designed for monks quietly sitting on mountains but for use in and throughout our modern-day lives.

As a certified Kundalini meditation teacher, I teach moms to infuse short meditations into their daily lives. You may have tried meditation and found that it doesn’t come easily. Or you might be scared to try it altogether. Don’t be discouraged. Most beginners find meditation daunting because they’ve never taken a quiet moment in their life. One may assume that it’s easy to just shut off the mind, unlike any new activity, it takes practice.

The goal is not only to find inner peace on our meditation mat; we want to be able to bring that peace into every aspect of what we do during the day. Kundalini meditation is a scientific technology and spiritual practice that activates our innate vitality, health and energy through rhythmic movement, breath work, mudras (hand positions) and sound. What sets this apart from the other styles of meditation is its precision to create a result and its practicality and sustainability to fit into our busy lifestyle.

Here are three important results meditation can produce for busy moms:

Become More Alert

When we meditate, we cultivate a healthy balance of alertness and relaxation. Mediation brings alertness, non-judgment, and non-reactivity to difficult moments of life. We learn how to breathe through it and let the emotion pass. We start to pay attention to what’s happening around us as well as what’s happening within our body. We can even be in tune with what’s happening to others. The more relaxed and alert we are, the more we’re able to live with calmness and clarity.

Start Being More In Control Over Your Life

We think over-planning, making sure everyone does what we say assures we have control over our lives. However, with mediation we realize there is very little we can control except our reaction to the unexpected things that comes up in life. Meditation helps us be more relaxed—and relaxed is not resigning or giving up. Relaxed means being more prepared because when some unexpected thing happens you don’t panic. You can take the right steps from a calm state of mind.

Worry Less

Many of our problems are created from over-thinking. With a meditation practice you learn how to notice when your mind is getting carried away and can quickly take a few deep breathes, re-direct it and calmly address the situations at hand. You are less likely to get carried away with what-if scenarios and patterns while using meditation.

A distracted, busy and overworked mom is the norm these days. Many of us experience extreme fatigue due to overexertion. The results quickly point to burnout and dissatisfaction of the frantic and hectic pace of life. Meditation won’t stop your busy life or slow down the pace of those around you, but it can help you navigate toward a life of peace.

There are thousands of different meditations. I select meditations to teach moms how to feel better in as little as 3-7 minutes. I only expect my beginner students to start at a 3-minute meditation practice. That’s totally doable right?

If you’re ready to learn practical meditation and mindfulness tools that effortlessly weave into your daily routine, I’d love to teach you! Join me for 5 Days of infusing mindful moments into your life with the free RESET 5-Day Mindfulness Experience starting March 27, 2017. Sign up here!

 Want more Tejal V Patel? Click  here.

Want more Tejal V Patel? Click here.

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#MomLife: Reading Is Fundamental - March Mommy and Mini Picks

One of the things that I included in my goals this year is to make sure that no matter the time constraints,  I read Peyton one book a day. I make it a point to fill a sticky-note full of goals to attain for the day and right after my devotionals, prayer, and meditation, is "read to Peyton". Then, whatever else I can fit on it. Thus far, it’s been so far so good.  Minus my weekend job hunting trip I recently took, each and every day in 2017 Peyton and I have shared a good read together.

The one thing that I did not anticipate was that we may end up reading the same book over and over again because Peyton, like her mother, has an addictive personality and will keep on with one thing until she crashes and burns. Lol!  This is both a good and bad thing in this scenario. Good because she is learning what words look like with all of the repetition and bad because, let's face it, mommy gets tired of reading the same thing over and over again. These three books are different in that not only does Peyton look forward to reading them but, mommy is pretty impressed with the storylines and illustrations too! Reading good children’s books makes reading time fun!


Dream Big by Kat Kronenberg

Let me start off by saying that the illustrations in this book are breathtaking! So rich and full of color!  Sometimes, I just want to take the time to flip through it and take in the images. Saying that by no means takes away from the positive message that this book offers as well. Each animal represented has a flaw and allows others around them to make them feel like they can not accomplish their dreams. It isn’t until they wish upon a star and take some time to self-reflect that they realize that as long as you believe in yourself sky is the limit. I would definitely have to say this is my top pick in terms of children’s books and I wouldn’t be lying if I said that when Peyton says, “It’s mommy’s turn to pick the book” (which is rare), this isn’t my go to option!  Not only that but my mini can’t stop chanting, “I believe,” whenever I tell her she can’t do something. She is definitely using the phrase in the wrong context because jumping off of the couch is not OK whether “she believes” or not but, it’s still cute to see her grasping the message. I can’t wait to see more from this Texas author!


Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley

I bought Peyton this book when I noticed a shift in her behavior that I attribute to some life changes going on in our world and I think it was the perfect purchase because this book quickly became one of her comfort tools along with her thumb, *insert eye roll*, but I am totally OK with that. The book was written by Bob Marley's daughter, Cedella,  and was adapted from his song, “Three Little Birds.” Anyone that listens to a Bob Marley song knows that his messages were full of peace, love, and happiness and that is exactly what we needed! This book reminds your little one that no matter what the storm may bring, the sun will always come out! I love a good book that highlights characters that look like Peyton so that she can see the beauty of herself in the characters that she obsesses over.

Tree by Britta Teckentrup

We won this book in a giveaway hosted by HEREWECANREAD on Instagram.   She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things children’s books and a must-follow for any parent looking to grow their collection. This peek-a-boo book is a great way to teach your child about the seasons and is strategically designed so that with each page turn you will be introduced a different set of animals that come and go with each new page depending on the season being depicted. I loved this book but, I definitely recommend it for children under adult supervision until they are a bit older to understand that the peek a boo holes are not meant for rough handling. Lol!

What’s on your bookshelf? What are some books that you and the kids just can’t seem to put down?

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#MomLife: Start Adding "Me Time" Back Into Your Daily Routine

 Image  Unsplash

Image Unsplash

Do you find yourself on the verge of burnout? Busy moms go to work, prepare meals, entertain their kids, and still have paperwork piling up at the kitchen table after everyone has gone to bed. Moms, if this is you, it’s time to schedule some “Me Time” into your routine.

Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to fall into a trap of taking care of everyone else but yourself. If we want to be the best for those around us, we cannot allow ourselves to feel guilty about taking time to recharge. Infusing peaceful moments through mindfulness and meditation is one of the greatest ways we can take care of ourselves.

Even before I had kids, I started these exercises to pamper myself into a state of peace. I knew the day would come when I would be a mother and have to master calm in the midst of chaos. Finding ways to make “Me Time” a part of the daily routine is a powerful way to infuse more peace when it seems peace cannot be found. Whether you’re a young woman or busy mom, start making “Me Time” a priority now with these three tips!

Tip 1: Mindful Morning

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The alarm goes off, and it’s time to start the day. Avoid the urge to connect with the world on Facebook or emails. Instead, connect with you. When you get up, start your morning in front of the mirror. While you brush your teeth, look at yourself in the eyes for 1 full minute. Yes, that’s 1 minute. Take deep breaths as you mentally repeat the words, “I love you.” In this mindful morning exercise, you’re allowing yourself to be centered, completely connected with you and caring for yourself before you connect with the world. It’s okay to start with you. Let this exercise of self-care empower you to better connect with those around you.


Tip 2: Take a Breathing Break

A kindergarten teacher will tell her class to stop and count to 10 while taking deep breaths if they’re feeling overwhelmed. Moms, we know all about these breaks for our kids, but some of us need to permit ourselves to go ahead and breathe. Make an anchor to remind yourself to create a peaceful pause by incorporating the breathing break with another activity you plan to do during the day. Let’s say you do a lot of driving. Put a Post-it note on your dashboard that says, “Breathe deep!” Every time you sit in your car, take a breathing break for 1 minute to help you relax and shift your mood. It’s okay. One minute of this breathing break won’t make you late and will save you from feeling overwhelmed. Your peace is worth it.


Tip 3: Mindful Evening

When it’s finally time for the day to end, allow the peace to continue. Just as you began your day connecting to yourself, you can end your day connecting to yourself. Beyond the mirror exercise, while you are laying in bed, consciously make sure your last thought is not about tomorrow or a to-do list. Don’t allow yourself to regret any mistakes you made during the day. Instead, close your eyes, put your hands on your heart and take deep breathes for 1 minute. Slowly breathe in and repeat in your mind, “I AM _.” As you exhale, fill in the blank with how you feel. For me, my favorite mindful evening phrases are: “I am safe.” “I am peaceful.” “I am loved.” “I am calm.” “I am grateful.”

Me time is all about reconnecting with yourself and finding your center. It’s not always about going to the spa or long vacations, (even though those are great rituals as well). Life is happening now, and I want to help you with tools to calmly handle stress in the moment. The greatest way to prioritize more me time is to infuse mindful breathing and calm breaks during tasks you are already doing like brushing your teeth, cooking, driving, nursing or bottle-feeding your child or even opening doors.

If you’re ready to practice 5 Days of infusing 5 minutes of peaceful pauses everyday, join me for a RESET! The FREE 5-Day Mindfulness Experience starting on March 27, 2017. Sign up here!

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#MomLife: 3 Ways To Teach Your Toddler To Be Grateful

My two-year-old is all about self and it concerns me. Yes, I understand that she is two, but I am witnessing so many grown ups that function with a focus on “self” to the point that it mirrors on narcissism. Not my baby….nope...no way.


I have been racking my brain with different techniques and things to try to instill a grateful heart in Peyton early on and even though I can definitely say we are a work in progress, we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Role-Playing Using Toys And/Or Our Morkie Diesel

Peyton is a very strong (read: bossy) girl. Dare I say she gets it from her mother? So using her Cabbage Patch as a tool to get her to demonstrate good manners was like hitting the jackpot! It wasn't easy at first, I mean, she would purposely throw something at the dog just to show me how she could go give him a hug and say sorry. But, once I broke her of that “please” and “thank you” have been a regular part of her vocabulary.

Veggie Tales

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Image VeggieTales

We went to see Veggie Tales Live and can I say I am now a believer. This children’s series is jam packed full of lessons that are relatable at her level and I absolutely love it. I try to limit Peyton’s technology time to thirty minutes a day but when she cashes in it’s nice to hear her pick Veggie Tales over her other favorites like Peppa the Pig and Bubble Guppies. I mean they literally have a “Thankfulness” song and the book of prayers I purchased at the show is a nightly request before bed.

Spend Meaningful Time Together

To be totally honest, once I stepped back from my phone and other distractions and gave Peyton more authentic mommy time it really made the difference. My little sour patch kid became more sweet, and less sour authentically, right before my eyes. It’s funny how what we model for our kids can really affect who they become and what they transform into. I literally have a front row seat to P’s interactions with different people and what they get from her is solely determined on what they give. She adapts like a chameleon sometimes it is pretty, sometimes not so much! Energy and vibes are serious ya’ll!

So, what are some ways you are instilling a grateful heart in your kiddos? Leave their age and your piece of advice in the comments! Until next time mommy tribe!

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#MomLife: It's The Little Things

With the hustle and bustle of life taking it’s toll, I absolutely live for meal time. This is one of my favorite parts of the day because Peyton and I bond on a whole other level.

We have matching kitchens and enjoy “cooking” together (me for her, and her for our Morkie Diesel), and she is at the age where she is even excited about cleaning up afterwards. BUT, it’s the dinner time conversation that is everything.

Peyton runs down every single thing that happened in her day in her best two-year- old way. Telling me everyone who cried at school today, who’s lunch she attempted to eat, and every new song or concept they went over at her school. There are absolutely no secrets with the two of us and if there is something you don’t want repeated it would be best to make sure Peyton is not around.

My opinionated mini is very specific about the things she wants and will repeat it 50 million times until you acknowledge her requests. In an effort to avoid that we have now invested in 5 Sure Grip Miracle Mats, specifically the bear shaped option. Peyton is not trying to eat off of any other plate these days and will tell anyone that will listen about her “bear plate.” Anyone who is a frequent visitor on my Instastories has been privy to these conversations. I love it because it keeps her plate secure and avoids any extra accidents. Plus, it is the perfect size to control portion amounts.

Another new request is to do absolutely everything like Mommy! So, in an effort to transition her from her straw cups to a regular cup we are trying the Nuby 360 Wonder Cup. What I love is that it can be sipped from all sides and is absolutely spill proof! Yes, I said spill proof! So, that equals one less thing for mom to have to clean and gives me more time to make memories with my mini!


Share one of your favorite memories (and toddler tales) with me! What is your favorite way to create family time with a toddler?

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Please Note: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sponsored. All comments about these product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household. 

Yucky Nose Season: 3 Things You Need To Conquer A Runny or Stuffy Nose

My pet peeve is seeing a kid with a dirty nose. I mean, I am well aware that they tend to run like Niagra Falls or they get so stuffed up, all you can hear is your mini breathing like an 18 Wheeler going down the highway. Both can be super annoying because there is absolutely nothing they can do about it and it is up to us parents to rectify the situation. What’s a parent to do?!  I suggest trying these 3 tips and in a week tops, I promise you that you will be equipped to conquer those nose monsters and your little one will be dishing out extra hugs because they are going to feel that much better!

Invest In A Diffuser

I am such an oily mama and it has proven to be beneficial. Not only does the smell of essential oils put me in a better mood in general, but the health benefits are on a whole other level. I mean, there is an oil for everything. Since Peyton was born, I always keep a diffuser running in her room right before bed and throughout the night.

- For congestion: spiked lavender and cypress

-For runny nose: lavender, lemon, melaleuca, and lemongrass

Nuby Breathe-eez Nasal Aspirator

Me: “Peyton, get your fingers out of your nose!”

P: “Mommy, I have booger monsters!”

What do I do? Pull out my Breathe-eez which just happens to be the perfect size for traveling and fits in my purse! The thought of sucking up snot with my mouth was terrifying at first but I can promise you it doesn’t make it to your mouth and this is so much easier than the “old school” bulbs! SO MUCH EASIER! I am in love!

 Image Crane USA

Image Crane USA

Humidifiers are LIFE

I remember growing up and my mom making me sit in a steamy shower, or sit with a towel over my head over a steaming pot. Times have changed and convenience reigns supreme. I love my Crane Cool Mist Humidifier and make sure to keep it flowing especially in the fall and winter seasons. These are perfect to create moisture, which definitely eases congestion and coughing.

Do you have any cool tips for runny/stuffy noses? I can’t be the only one that cringes when I see a yucky nose running my way, am I?

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Please Note: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sponsored. All comments about these product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household. 

Snacking Made Easy: Nuby Snack N' Sip Container

I don’t know about the rest of my Mommy friends but, as Peyton gets older and the list of things that she just HAS to bring with us grows longer, I am all about convenience whenever it is physically possible. Insert the Nuby Snack N’ Sip Container!  The word “convenient” would be an understatement.  This cup is pretty much a gift from above to this toddler and her Mommy.

At just two, I am noticing a new streak of independence in Peyton that, while cute at times, can also be a bit overwhelming. This “big girl” cup, complete with her “big girl” straw, is a perfect replica of something Mommy would drink out of.  All of you Moms that understand copy-cat syndrome will be delighted.  The real beauty of the Nuby Snack N’ Sip comes in the clickable top compartment that is perfect for holding a toddler-size snack portion for an afternoon of fun. Check out our Mommy and Mini adventure below.

You can shop the Nuby Snack N’ Sip Container at your local Babies R Us!

What are some of your favorite toddler friendly Nuby goodies?

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The Potty Training Blues

 Image Abdul Alifuddi          

Image Abdul Alifuddi

 

 

 

Peyton just turned two a little over a month and neither of us are interested in starting the potty training process. I bought two cool potties - that was step one.  When they were brand new she actually sat on them voluntarily and did her business twice. I made a big deal about her new big girl bathroom accomplishment  and she seemed to be all about all the praise she was receiving.   So, I tried to keep it up over the next couple of days but, I was all out of Mommy luck: she screamed bloody murder every time I even suggested she sit on the potty.

I am a big believer in energy and vibes so, I took a second to think about the situation and I came to a conclusion: I may be the problem. I am completely scared of potty training! I feel like I have been a natural in most of the other areas of motherhood thus far (despite my own personal dealings) but, with this I have NOTHING. I am worried about getting everyone else that she spends time with on board and on the same “schedule”, I am nervous of all the pee and poop that may end up on my floor (remember guys: I do have a small - and by small I mean large - case of OCD), I am nervous about us being out in public and having to use public restrooms.   I am nervous about how frustrated I am going to get when her Dad decides that it is too much work and that when he is in charge he’s just going to keep her in the diapers (I promise you this will happen).  What am I supposed to do?!

I’ve read several books and blogs about different methods parents should use but I really want to hear from some of my readers. What are the do’s and don'ts of potty training a little girl? When will I know that she is ready?

My biggest fear is that I’ll put too much pressure on her or make her feel overwhelmed with the process.  However,  I would be lying if I didn’t emphasize just how excited I am about the results of potty training and the amount of money I’ll save on diapers.


S.O.S PLEASE!  Someone help me!

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#MommyAndMiniPicks: Trader Joe's

Peyton is getting to a certain age that pretty much means she’s looking AND acting like a mini version of her mommy. That would be me, guys. :).  We could consider this to be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on how well you know me.

That, mixed with a horrible case of the “terrible 2’s” and a surge in expressing her independence, equates to what I like to call my little “sour patch kid.”  Have you seen the commercials? Yup! That is Peyton! Even in the sour, one sweet thing that we both love is going on adventures! So, last week I took little Miss Peyton to Trader Joe’s and for the very first time, I didn’t make her sit in the cart! I know what you are thinking - you let a 2 year old have open reign in a grocery store? Yes, I did, and it was so much fun!

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

One of the things I like about shopping at Trader Joe’s is that they have mini carts for your mini and not the plastic ones that you would buy at the toy store - they have the real deal. This was really cool to me because it allowed me to turn this adventure into a learning lesson at the same time.

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

If you have never been to Trader Joe’s they are amazing for several different reasons!  For me, they offer a great selection of health conscious pre-packaged foods for those days when time constraints just won’t allow you to cook a meal.  My favorite is the multi-grain roasted vegetable lasagna and because it’s not gluten free, I get to enjoy it all by myself because of Miss P’s allergies.  Next, a special thing everyone should try: cookie butter.  Even though it is amazing, you must practice self control! This is definitely a treat that you ration out one tablespoon a week! Believe me, that is enough. I could go on-and-on but I just think you should check them out for yourself.  For all of our mommy friends, please know that Trader Joe’s is #PeytonApproved and the perfect experience for you and your mini.

TuTu: Tin And Ella

"Run Mom" Tank: Toorahloo

Shoes: Puma

Have you ever shopped at Trader Joe’s? What was your favorite thing about the experience?

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Getting Down & Dirty with Nuby Flex Straw Designer Series Cup

My love for the Nuby brand goes way beyond their products. In all honesty, I have yet to find a product I didn’t like from them. I mean, at first I did have a problem with some of the straw cups, but that was because I realized I was cleaning them all wrong! With all of the cups on the market, one of the main complaints I hear from my parent friends is that they want to use cups with the least amount of parts and that they want them to be super easy to clean. So, since I am two years in the game and consider myself a vet of sorts, here are a couple of do’s and dont’s of cleaning your Nuby cups!

 image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Do clean your cups in the dishwasher.

Don’t clean the tops and straws in the dishwasher on a regular basis.

  • An occasional run in the dishwasher is cool but, at least once a week I give all of my tops and straws a deep clean using my handy dandy small brush cleaner. It takes all of 3 minutes max and will help lessen the chance of any build up in the straws and tube areas.

Do invest in the Nuby Toss Cups for easy disposal and “big kid” cup assimilation.

Don’t use other brands of cups. Why? Because they aren’t Nuby! Lol


That was simple enough, right?! Check out our favorite cup of the month the Nuby Designer Series and enter to win your own below! May the force be with you! Enter for your chance to win your own below by commenting on this post about some of your favorite Nuby experiences and please leave your email address in the comment so the winner can be notified! 

Swim Lesson Chronicles and Summer Fun with Nuby

Making sure that Peyton is comfortable in water is something that is extremely important to me. I am going on my eleventh year as a high school teacher and early on in my career I lost one of my favorite students to a drowning incident at a local lake. After that experience, and not knowing how to really swim myself, I decided that it was important to stop the cycle and make sure that my mini was comfortable and able to hold her own when it comes to water fun.

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

I started Peyton in swim lessons at 10 months at our local YMCA and although I wasn’t expecting her to be ready for the olympic trials, I did want them to push her a little more.

So, this year we’re trying out Kirby Creek Natatorium located in Grand Prairie, Texas and to say it was a total different experience would be an understatement.  By day three, Peyton was underwater making moves and I knew that this was going to be our new aquatic home. The indoor pool allows us to continue this year round and I am super excited about it!

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

The only down side?  Hair maintenance. Taking swim lessons four days a week means I have to wash Peyton’s hair FOUR DAYS A WEEK.  Her hair type definitely doesn’t agree with that.  In between swim lessons, music lessons, blogging, teaching, and LIFE your girl is tired so, I decided we would limit swim lessons to 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off.

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Not wanting her to get used to not being in the water, we pulled out our backyard pool that PaPa  bought her for her birthday (I love my parents!) and the rest is history! We got out all of our fun Nuby bath toys and decided to give them a spin for some pool time fun!

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52ndWitness

The Stacking Bath Boats are lots of fun because they help her practice her stacking skills and the different shaped holes allow for a variety of water flows. They make Peyton giggle every time! And while Mommy loves the Fun Fish Squirters because they make rinsing Peyton’s hair after a wash less of a chore and more of an adventure, Peyton has a blast squirting our morkie Diesel with them during our summer fun pool sessions! Who doesn’t love a dual purpose item?!

Want a chance to try these out for yourself? Enter below!

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Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were provided by Nuby. This post is sponsored. All comments about this product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household. 

Finding Your Mommy Tribe

So you have (or are going to have) a baby.  Now what?  When you are pregnant everyone gets it. I mean, you have a big bump on your belly so the proof is quite literally under your shirt. But, after the newness of the baby wears off people without kids kind of expect you to be who you once were. Many don’t consider the added expenses, responsibilities, and change of mindset that has shifted who you were, to who you are destined to be. Your new role as mommy is such a blessing but more than anything it is also a life-altering adjustment and if your “squad” isn’t in the same place, you can find yourself searching for a group of people that just “get it.” That is what I like to refer to as your “Mommy Tribe.” But how in the hell do you find this eclectic group of moms that you can schedule playdates with, get advice, share parenting woes, and just be the awesome bad ass super mom that you are destined to be? The reality is that you may or may not and instead of stressing, just learn to be ok with that.

Most of my friends that have kids are married and love to be around other married couples so, me and my single mom story isn’t always a good fit. I have other single mom friends but, hell, we are all too tired trying to figure it out and sometimes you just don’t have enough energy to totally support someone else in the magnitude they need.  Like, I CANNOT sit and talk on the phone for hours on end because I have stuff to do. Plus, I real life got “Single White Female(d)” by a new mom I attempted to befriend.  God bless her heart, but still - WTF!?!  That was enough to let me know to follow my gut, let things happen organically, and if I wasn’t really feeling you pre-baby, I am probably not going to be feeling you just because we both carried a baby for a long period of time. But, that is a story for another day.

So, after spending the first year of my child’s life attempting to nurture faux friendships with people whose kids were around the same age as mine, I came to this conclusion: EVERYONE isn’t going to find a mom tribe and it is perfectly ok to be completely transparent with your friends (with or without kids) and let them be your support system.

Also, accept support outside of your comfort zone. The best advice I get hands down is from moms that I have met via Instagram and Facebook. I have genuine momships with people that I have never met in real life that started with a couple of likes and “ohhh….your kid is cute” comments via a photograph. But, those moms send me parenting books in the mail, send Peyton birthday gifts, and are just freakin awesome examples of motherhood in general.  All different ethnicities, all different walks of life, and all equally awesome.  

Once again God has shown me that when you “plan” HE laughs. Everything isn’t going to be picture perfect, I may not get to walk on the trail with a group of moms with strollers in tow BUT I do get to schedule brunch dates with my kidless friends and let Peyton steal the show, and guess what?  As I embark on year two of motherhood I am also learning that my mommy tribe may come at year 4 or 5 but I am enjoying being a mom and all of those who voluntarily signed up to take this journey with me.

What are some of the issues you may be facing as a new mommy? If you have found your mommy tribe, how did you go about it?

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Peyton Approved Quinoa Summer Salad

My picky eater surprised the heck out of me when she tried to place her grubby little hands in mommy’s quinoa salad seconds after devouring her Dr. Praegers broccoli cake and pineapple kale smoothie.You see, Peyton is not a fan of quinoa unless it is hidden in some sort of mixture but, mommy loves it because it is jam packed full of protein! But, now that she seems remotely interested, I made sure I came up with a “Peyton Approved” version (gluten free, dairy free, and organic) to serve for dinner the following evening. Guess what?! It was a hit!

Quinoa Summer Salad

1 cup quinoa

3 scallions (slices super thin)

½ cup of fresh mint (chopped finely)

½ teaspoon of sea salt

½ cup of olive oil

1 pint of cherry tomatoes (cut in quarters)

1 large cucumber (chopped, I used the pulse on my blender)

1 garlic clove minced

Black pepper to taste

4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice

⅓ cup of parsley

Optional: Plain Greek Yogurt or Plain Almond Milk Yogurt (I only added this because Peyton wanted her food to be white that week and we had it available)

Cook quinoa according to directions on the package. In a small bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, while adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix ⅓ of dressing mixture and quinoa and allow to chill. *Note: I put in the refrigerator for 15-25 minutes.* Then, add cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, and herbs and coat with remaining dressing. Add additional salt and pepper to taste but do not exceed ½ teaspoon of salt. Optional: Mix in ½ cup of plain almond yogurt or greek yogurt.

Paired this with some fig energy balls and cucumber water and we had a winner! And, because we do not like our food to touch this week, luckily we had our Nuby Free Flow Stacking Straw Cups and our Nuby Fun Feeding Square Section Plates to make this meal complete! We love these because they are durable, easy to wash, and can also easily be tossed if need be. Definitely the dinnerware I take with us when going out to eat or sending her to NaNa’s for a weekend of fun!


Win your own by entering below!

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Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were provided by Nuby. This post is sponsored. All comments about this product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household. 

There's No Excuse When Someone Calls You Mommy

For the longest time after becoming Peyton’s mom my workout regiment has been somewhat inconsistent in comparison to pre-Peyton.  With so many things on the to-do list, it is easy to make working out a ‘we’ll see’ item. I mean, you have to find a sitter, get motivated, get dressed, and sometimes that can be a workout in itself.

 Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

Image Juan Carlos Puebla of 52nd Witness

I started singing a different tune once we entered the “toddler phase.”  Kids are sponges and they will copy everything you do whether it be good or bad.  I know you guys see all of those disgusting videos on Vine and Facebook with kids cursing, dancing all kinds of inappropriately and so on, so a decision has to be made at some point on what things we want to pour into our kiddos and the earlier we start the better! Whether it’s showing our daughters how to be loved or our sons how to treat women, we can talk about it until we're blue in the face but what examples are we setting? What do your kids SEE you do? What do you put value in and, ultimately, what are you showing them holds the most value to you?


These are the questions that I was asking myself not too long ago when I had to make some serious life changes. Things like putting my phone away from school pick up time until bedtime, because Peyton was becoming obsessed with mommy and daddy’s phone.  We were glued to them, so why wouldn’t she want to see what all the hype is about too?!  Most importantly though, I wanted to make sure that I was promoting a positive body image and the importance of staying active. Now, if I am being transparent I do not get nearly as good of a workout in when I have Peyton in tow. My form is off, my focus isn’t all there, but all of that is null and void when I see her trying to imitate my movements and the smile on her face when she finally gets it! So, I have dedicated 15-minutes at least 3 days a week to “working out” with her and I can totally see the benefits!

Contrary to popular belief I do not care much about Peyton’s size or outer physical appearance.  Granted, I don’t want my child looking crazy or unkept, but my goal is to make sure that she values herself, her temple, and sees the importance of the choices that she will make in her future. You see, the concept behind “Live Your Fit” is to be the best version of YOU. Trying to grow in all areas each and every day. It isn’t about being a certain size it’s about being healthy, it’s about loving yourself and promoting positivity and inspiration for others to want to do the same. I am definitely not running a toddler boot camp over here but I sure do hope that I am encouraging Peyton to Live Her Fit, not be afraid to get up, get out,  get active, and most importantly - give it her all.

What are some ways that you model an active and positive lifestyle for your mini? Has technology taken over in your household? What are some ways we can reverse the growing plague of childhood obesity that is taking over our youth?

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Doing A Full 360º: Nuby 360º Straw Flip N' Sip

When I started transitioning Peyton from spouted sippy cups to straws, it was an absolute nightmare. I had to get it down to a science: hear a click and position the top in the perfect position. Even then, they would still leak sometimes! I had to think fast and figure out something that would work because Peyton was starting to have a strong desire to only drink from a straw. Mostly because she was always seeing mama and nana drink from them so, something had to give!

The Nuby 360 Straw Flip N' Sip was perfect! The weighted straw helps Peyton drink from any angle without any spills and the handles are perfect for younger kids that are at the beginning of their transition into big kid territory. Not to mention, the cover  allows you to keep the straw clean when you are out and about. I would definitely consider myself a bit of an OCD mom so this is probably my favorite feature.

My only complaint or wish is that it was also offered in a bigger size. Ten ounces is great but, Peyton is ALWAYS saying “moowe mommy peease!”

The Nuby 360 Straw Flip N' Sip is available for purchase at Amazon, Babies R Us and TJ Maxx!


Would you like to try out one for yourself? Enter our giveaway below!

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