When life hands you lemons

When I first stared my blog, I specifically called is a lifestyle blog as opposed to a food blog.  It seems like it’s turning more and more into a food blog, as that’s where my passion lies, however I wanted to have the option to write about whatever is in my heart and on my mind.  So, here I go.  Some of you that are reading this know me well, and some probably not.  So I’ll start by explaining myself a bit.  I’m pretty closed off.  I wouldn’t say I’m unfriendly, but I’m definitely not an open book.  I don’t easily share my feelings with people, even close family and friends, nor do I always tell everyone what’s going on behind closed doors.  I do feel like it’s a bit of a flaw; I often wish I could be more of an open book but it’s not in my nature.  When my mom was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2012, I followed this to a T.  I eventually told my friends what was going on, but I wasn’t good about keeping them up to date, or telling them how I was really feeling about everything.  I didn’t go shouting from the roof top that my mom had cancer.  I have so many regrets about that.  I see my mistakes now.  I truly believe that if I had used the powers of social media earlier in her illness, we could have found better doctors and a better treatment plan.  I can’t change that now, all I can do is look forward.

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How to lose the baby weight without really trying

How to lose baby weight without sweating it out the gym every day.  Here’s my story.

I am now one year postpartum.  It’s about time I get back into shape.  Full disclosure:  I have lost all (and then some) of my baby weight without  much effort.  I know, I know.  Some of you might hate me.  But somehow it happened.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it all came off.  So here’s my story.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was about 10 pounds above my normal weight the summer before I got pregnant.  I wasn’t working out and somehow it just happened.  I started my P90X journey, which had worked for me before, in September.  I found out I was pregnant in October.  I continued it for another month or so, but my OB was not fond of that kind of workout at all.  So I switched to running (until about 28 weeks or so) and barre.  I did barre three times a week up until 38 weeks and I loved it.  I really feel like it helped me throughout labor and most importantly my recovery.  I felt great afterwards, and planned to start working out at at 6 weeks postpartum, but, yeah…life happened.  Luckily, I was dropping pounds easily (Yeah breastfeeding!!).  It definitely didn’t “melt off”, and I hit some plateaus but by around the 5 months mark I was back at my ideal weight again.

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A letter to my daughter on her first birthday

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To my daughter on her first birthday,

Layla – it’s hard to put into words how I feel today.  A year ago, you were born.  A year ago, on this day, for 23 hours and 51 minutes I didn’t know you – I didn’t know you were a girl – I didn’t know your name [Full disclosure – I didn’t know your name for another 24 hours after that].  You came into this world and I was forever changed.  You have made me smile more than I thought was possible – you filled a void in my heart that I didn’t know was empty. When you were born, the nurses in the hospital all consistently said a few things.  She is beautiful.  She is strong.  She will tell you what she wants.  At the time, I didn’t really get it.  How could a newborn exhibit such a personality already?  But they were right – boy were they right.  I am, of course, biased.  But I’ll say it.  You are the most beautiful baby I have ever laid my eyes on.  You have this sparkle in your eyes that melts hearts.  When you smile your whole face lights up.  I don’t have to be biased to know that you’re strong.  At a year, you are walking (practically running) and climbing everything in sight.  You are the opposite of a laid back baby – you are pretty vocal about getting when you want.  So, a year later, I’d like to say those nurses were right.

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Zucchini Tots

Last summer, I had a lot of zucchini in my garden.  Like, A LOT!  I made zucchini bread, zucchini noodles, grilled zucchini, etc.  I still had more and absolutely hated the thought of it going to waste.  So I shredded what was left, and put it in ziploc baggies in the freezer.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but at least I didn’t have to throw it out!  Fast forward to my little babe, who loves to eat anything she can feed herself.  So when my sister suggested zucchini tots I was sold!  I got to use up all of the frozen shredded zucchini and make a healthy lunch for my little girl.

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Black Bean Superfood “fingers”

So far (knock on wood), my 9 month old will eat anything I give her.  So, I try and give her healthy choices as much as possible.  If everything tasted good, wouldn’t you eat the healthiest stuff all the time too!?  I read an article on superfoods for babies and decided to try and pack as many of those as possible into one french fry shaped “finger” that she could easily feed herself.  I found a winning recipe!  I made them over the weekend and they will probably last all week – plus they are easy to pack for daycare.

You start with the five superfoods:

  • 1 can of Black beans
  • 1/4 cup Frozen spinach
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Sweet potato

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Mix all of your ingredients and form into french fry shaped “logs” or “fingers”.

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Layla is 9 months old!

It’s hard to believe that this sweet girl is 9  months old already.  So cliche, right?  I know, I know.  But I’m a mom – what can I say?  16 pounds 9 ounces of pure sweetness coming your way.

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No More Mush Mama!!

So after 6 months of being exclusively breastfed, I was beyond excited to start purees with Layla. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she experienced new flavors and textures, figure out what she liked and disliked and made a huge mess of herself. As soon as she turned 6 months, out came the butternut squash from my garden that I baked, pureed and froze months earlier (only the best for my little girl!!). I thawed it out, got her settled in her high chair, opened one of the (many) packages of spoons I have and gave her a bite. Her first bite of food! I was sure her eyes would light up, realizing just how tasty food was…but BOY was I wrong. Layla screamed bloody murder when I tried to feed her. So the next night I tried rice cereal. Then avocado puree. Then I tried carrots and green peas. Nothing worked. For a month, we battled at dinner time while she screamed the entire time, closed her mouth as tight as possible, spit out whatever I managed to get in, etc. You get the picture. So one day, I had had enough. I dumped the puree on her high chair and let her play around with it and she actually smiled. She attempted to put it in her mouth, and may have even swallowed some. Dinnertime was fun again! So I realized something. My daughter wasn’t opposed to food…she just didn’t like purees! Whether it’s a texture thing, or she’s just Miss. Independent and wanted to do it all herself, I”ll never know. But the point is, she wanted to eat! Check out her face on the left (oh helllll no Mama get that spoon away from me) and on the right (this whole food thing is fun Mom – why didn’t we start this awhile ago?!).

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