#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

pexels-photo-318379.jpeg

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

Image VeggieTales

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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