Gift Guide for the Breastfeeding Mom

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Hello hello!  So, you all know that I am an extended breastfeeder and a huge proponent of breastfeeding (if possible) in general, so I thought I would put together a list of some of my favorite gifts for your favorite breastfeeding mom!  Here ya go!  Oh, and ALL of the gifts can be bought on Amazon (most are even Prime!) because if you are a milky mom like me, you are on Amazon quite often🙂

  1.  Milk Snob Infant Car Seat and Nursing Cover ($36)– Guys, I saw this on Shark Tank and could NOT believe how awesome it looked.  THIS is the best and would be an amazing gift for any breast feeding mom (including yourself lol!)

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  2. Barefoot Dreams Luxe Milk Long Jersey Robe ($143)- I feel like EVERYONE needs a good robe.  And this one, appropriately named, by Barefoot Dreams (my favorite robe company go-to) would be the PERFECT gift for any mom or breastfeeding mom!screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-36-35-pm
  3. Neck and Back Massager-  Guys, I don’t know about you, but My back and neck get super sore from nursing, especially when G was little and was doing it around the clock.  This massager allows you to still sit and nurse (no hands) and would make any nursing mama super happy!  Best part- it is heated (!) and does Shiatsu!Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 9.06.18 PM.png
  4. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump  ($18.37)– This is a SUPER poplar one on the forums I visit often and it seems like EVERYONE loves it!screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-3-17-25-pm
  5. Happy Mama Women’s Nursing Hoodie ($26.23)- OMG, you guys.  This is a steal! I found this on my search for the perfect gifts and SOOOO wish I had had it when the babies were younger!  Maybe next time?😉  And you cannot beat the price!  screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-34-58-pm
  6. Aiden and Anais blanket set (from $34.95 for 4)- I use these ALL. THE. TIME. and for SO many purposes! Breast feeding cover, car seat cover, blanket, snuggler, etc!  I cannot recommend these blankets enough. They are entirely different from the Milk Snob in both weight and size (these blankets roll out to a large square)   The weight is perfect and they wash well!screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-54-39-pm
  7.  This Hysterical shirt ($19.99)- I LOVE it.  It speaks for itself😉screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-52-36-pm
  8. Milkies Milk Saver ($25.67)- I hear amazing things about these and they are also self-explanatory :) screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-8-58-32-pm
  9. Breastfeeding breacelet and teething necklace combo- ($16.97) Another total bargain, this set is great for any mama, especially a breastfeeding one, who can use the bracelet to which side they are to nurse on.  The necklace is wonderful for teething.  My G loved
  10. Boobie Beanie Breastfeeding Hat ($14.95)- OK, I could NOT leave this out.  It.  Is.  Hysterical.  Gag gift anyone?! Or not?  No judgment😉

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my list!  Here is my final word of advice:  Grab something for YOURSELF, milky mama!  My inspiration:

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Quesadilla casserole 

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Guys. I don’t often post recipes here but this one I had to share. And, I can in fact take credit for this one!  So. A few years ago used to buy these McCormick spice packets that would make certain dishes like chicken and dumplings and this yummy quesadilla casserole. McCormick no longer makes the spice packets so I had to come up with my own recipe. Here it is!  Simple, easy, healthy and a great winter comfort food. You will need: 

1 pound of ground meat (I used turkey this time and it was fabulous)

16 ounces of tomato sauce from a can (I used 2- 8oz small. For added tomato chunks, you could use one can of sauce and one can of diced tomatoes evenly)

One can of corn, leave a bit of juice in 

One small can diced mild chiles

One small onion, diced

One can of black beans, drained.

6-10 inch flour tortillas

One bag shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Half a package of taco seasoning

1.  Chop onion and fry in large pan until soft and aromatic. Season with salt and pepper.  Add ground meat until cooked. 

2.  Add corn, sauce, black beans, and chiles. Stir until combined. 

3. Add half packet of taco seasoning. Stir and let simmer for 3-5 minutes. 

4. Grease the bottom of the casserole dish. Scoop one third of the mixture into the bottom of the dish and spread evenly. Please two flour tortillas overlapping onto the first layer of mixture and press down. 

5. Add second third of mixture. Top with half of cheese and two more tortillas. 

6. Add last third of mixture and rest of cheese. 

7. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Let sit for ten minutes before serving. 

8. Enjoy!!

My Holiday Gift Guide for the 18m-2yo

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Hello Hello!  Tis the season, eh?  OK, I will be the first to admit that I am OBSESSED with “curating” these gift guides.  Not only am I a sucker for online shopping and wish lists, but it helps me organize my gift giving too!  As you know, I have a 23 month old so this list is dedicated to the wonderful age of 18months- 2 years!  I tried to include a variety of items for different genders and price ranges.  Oh, and as always, these gifts can be “Primed” for your convenience.  Enjoy!

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  1. Oball Go Grippers Bounce ‘N Zoom Speedway ($53.50)- I already bought this for G and it will be featured under our tree this year!  Get the 3-pack set of cars ($18.44) to go with this and you are good to go!  Can’t WAIT to see his face when he discovers it!screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-10-12-pm
  2. Melissa and Doug Fruit OR Food Cutting Set ($15.99 and $14.99 respectively)- Guys, my kids LOVE these sets and it is a go-to gift that I give and have received wonderful compliments on.  These super cute sets help your little work on both fine and gross motor skills and are guaranteed to be a blast!
  3. BINGO Daubers (from $10.95)- I know, I’ve waxed poetic about these babies on the blog before and I cannot recommend them enough.  My kids LOVE to play with these and they are good for ALL ages.  I kinda love crafting with them too… img_4685
  4. Melissa and Doug Dress-Up Costume- This link will give you MANY options, including chef, doctor, veterinarian, etc. And prices are as low as $15.94!  Giving your child the gift of dress-up imagination and play is one of the best gifts you can give them.  These costumes inspire creativity and will be SUPER cute to watch your little parade around in!
  5. Play Kitchen set- I feel like this is the PERFECT age to gift your child a play kitchen, and imagine that baby sitting under the tree!  I like the following two choices (although the link will give you more options) of the Little Tykes one (a steal at only $46.39!!!) or the one we have- Step 2 Lifestyle Custom Kitchen ($76.79).screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-24-21-pm
  6. A Micro Scooter!  We got Gabriel a Thomas the Tank Engine one ($42.49) and again, I cannot wait to see his face light up when he sees it under the tree!  Of course you need a helmet with it that is equally cute (we got the Mickey Mouse Club House one).screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-28-28-pm
  7. A Playdough Set!  Non toxic and always fun, these Playdough sets are fun for the whole family!  I particularly LOVE this cookie shop one ($11.99) and the generic “Fun Tub.” ($11.99)
  8. Crayola Super Art and Craft Kit ($28.86)- I feel like every kid at this age needs a good all-purpose craft set to start their “creative” lives with.  I LOVE this one because it has everything you could think of and is still less than 30 bucks!screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-35-42-pm
  9. Melissa and Doug Puppet Sets- ($14) Guys, I cannot with these. I LOVE these puppet sets and so do my kiddos!  Another go-to gift item, these are always received happily!  My three favorites are the FARM SET, PALACE PALS SET, and STORYBOOK FRIENDS SET.
  10. Sesame Street Manners Book Set ($8.95 for 8 books)- You guys didn’t think this former teacher would create a gift guide with no books, eh!?  I like this set because it focuses on teaching manners starring the sweet Sesame Street characters and we ALL know that the learning of manners can NEVER start too early!screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-3-44-21-pm

Oooookie Dokie! I think that is it for now!  Please feel free to add your own!  Coming up next will be my gift guide for 4 year olds!  YAY!  I LOOOOVE the holiday season!  Greetings! xo

Top ten gifts for Runners!

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‘Tis the season, right!?  It is ALMOST December, and let’s be honest, taking a bit of time away after all of the turkey day festivities to shop isn’t TOOOO bad, so, I come to you with the best running gifts for runners!  As always, thanks for the blog love!screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-11-21-10-am

  1. TIGER TAIL! ($29.95)-  Guys, I don’t always stretch, but when I do I use the Tiger Tail.  Truly.  This is the best (that I have found) muscle roller/stretcher and would be suitable for ANY runner or work-outer.  AND it is less than $30! Fits well in the stocking too…Just saying’!         screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-11-14-52-am
  2. Personalized Medal Holder-
  3. A pair of Newtons– DUH!  Getting a running buddy hooked on this brand is THE best thing you can do for him or her!                                            IMG_0135
  4. Super Socks ($9.99)- I LOVE these socks.  They have awesome inspirational sayings on them like “She believed she could so she did.”  I also like the “bad ass” ones😉  There are SO many different colors and sayings that any runner (or non-runner) would LOVE!                               screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-3-51-56-pm
  5. “C is for Chafing” ($11.99)- I do NOT have this book but NEED it. I found it in my research and it looks AWESOME!  From AmazonWhether you’re a child, a child at heart, or just childish, you’ll enjoy “C is for Chafing”–a kid-friendly running book that covers the good (E is for Endorphins) the bad (B is for Blister), and the ugly (O is for “Oh, No…”).  HYSTERICAL!                                                                          screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-3-53-42-pm
  6. Yurbuds Earphones (prices vary)- These are by far THE best earbuds I have EVER worn.  I have used them for over five years now, finding them first (before their popularity) at a race Expo.  They have different sized buds that come with the pair that are guaranteed to fit any runner.  And they DO NOT come out.  I swear.
  7. This shirt-   You can get in tank, Mens or Woman’s and I LOVE mine. “I run because punching people is frowned upon. SOOO true🙂  Any runner is sure to agree or at least get a kick out of this one!                                         fullsizerender
  8. My favorite Cross-Trainer:  I know, I’ve shilled this baby before but I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this In-Motion strider.  And now it is less thank $85!  I have been using it almost daily for a bit during the boys’ naps to loosen my legs.  I can turn up the resistance to get a little muscular action in.  It stores super easily and is tiny but packs a big punch!                                  Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 5.14.19 PM
  9. Road ID- I just came across mine in my running bin the other day and realized I have NOT been wearing it as I should.  Hell, the other day when I took a major spill, things could’ve been worse, and without my Road ID, I never would have been identified.  This is an essential gift and I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone who trains or does any sort of outdoor activity.
  10. The Flip Belt- I only wear belts when doing races, but I think it is super important for any runner to invest in one that works for THEM. I have found that the best running belt for any runner can be individual to the runner, but the Flip Belt is by far the most versatile one Ive tried and had success with. I HATE the flopping around that other belts can produce, so when I tried the flip belt and it DID NOT flap around or weigh me down, I knew it was the belt for me!  It hold my phone comfortably and allows the headphones to hang out so I can still use them.  It also hold my fuel (I am usually a shot Blok girl), a piece of gum, and my ROAD ID.                         Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 9.39.14 AM

 

The (Dirty) Truth about my Hair

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Post bi-weekly blow out

Hellooooo!  Believe it or not, I receive a TON of questions about my hair both IRL and via social media, so this post is devoted to the good, bad and ugly of my hair.  I say “believe it or not” because I have never really been a huge fan of my own hair.  I have good natural color and don’t need to have it colored but it is SUUUPER curly naturally and I like it straight with a beach wave to it rather than a “holy crap you look like a poodle” curl.  This post could also be titled “the ridiculously priced hair tool that I bought and unabashedly LOVE.”  Now, let me lay some facts out for you as well as some lovely affiliate links for some blog love if you wanna jump on my hair train:

  1.  I have the best “hair guy” ever. His name is Rich from Tundella Salon at 2nd and Chestnut. If you wanna try him out, I can hook you up.  I see him for a blow out about twice a month (So, that is where the dirty part comes in lol), and the other two times I wash my hair myself.  The blow outs cost only $35, by the way.img_1966
  2. I know, I do run between 35 and 40 miles a week. That is a LOT of sweat.  BUT I only wash my hair once a week as I stated before (sometimes even once every 8, or 9 days!).  Now here is the thing- I don’t color my hair, so I have to be SUPER careful when my hair starts looking dirty (usually about 4-5 days after I’ve washed it because I luckily have super dry hair, another reason I only wash once a week at most) or else it turns my naturally blonde head dark!  So, what I use is THE BEST dry shampoo on the market.  And trust me, I KNOW!  I did YEARS of research!  This Rene Furterer dry shampoo is THE BEST.  Get it now. You will NOT be disappointed.  It is a bit pricey but BEYOND worth it.  I promise.
  3. LONG LONG LONG- I keep my hair as long as possible as I truly think it is way easier to care for when it is long.  I also know somebody who really loves long hair😉

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    I swear, I don’t need to poop- this is my attempt at getting my new bodysuit and hair in the same picture…

  4. My magic tool.  Referred to above as a ridiculously priced tool, this Beach Waver Pro has LITERALLY changed my hair life.  It basically curls the hair itself with a mechanized curling aspect that creates perfect curls every time.  I am NOT joking about it. I LOOOOOVE this tool solo much that I use it for fun.  Seriously.  And I can curl my hair in 5 minutes flat, but the best part about the BWP is that it stays.  LIKE forever.  Through workouts, sleep and more!  Really!  Try it! You will thank me later! Try to ignore the $189 price tag though…                         img_5450
  5. How do I go from workout to momming?  So, the most important part about working out and trying to maintain my hair is putting it in a tight low ponytail pre-workout.  I also pin my bangs back.  Then, when I am done my run, I unpin my bangs and keep the rest in a ponytail while I dry the bangs.  Around day 6 or 7, if I am not going to wash ALL of my hair for a day or two, I will sometimes shampoo just my bangs for a freshen-up!  Then I take the rest of the hair out of the ponytail and usually just the part of the ponytail that was wrapped in the band is on the wet side.  So, I aim the blowdryer at that area (ummm I think it is actually called the “kitchen”)  and pull down on the rest of my dry (still curled if I used my BWP) hair while drying those wet roots.  One thing: I NEVER use a brush when drying or re-blowdrying.  I always use my fingers/hands to make the hair do what I want it to do.  Typically the roots of my hair get sweaty so I pull the hair down to make it straight then aim the dryer onto the roots until they are dry.  Make sense? It takes about 5 min.
  6. So, the answer to “what do you do with your hair?” Is…I let it get really dirty. Oh, and then I use an almost 200 dollar styling tool.  Ahhhh priorities🙂 Tell me- what are you hair hacks and tricks?!

Could Not Be More Thankful

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Guys.  It is so good, and it keeps getting better.  I feel like I could NOT be more thankful for everything I/we have, the utmost importance being HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND LOVE.  I feel rich in all three areas and whatever I did to deserve this, I vow to continue to do.  I will share my love and happiness in an effort of gratitude.  I am thankful for so many things, including my AMAZING (modern) family that is not limited to my Love, my 3 babies, my partner in co-parenting (and best friend), and my immediate and not-so-immediate family and friends.

God is Good.  Thank YOU!