I can picture the outraged looks on your faces as you read the title of the post, but just hear me out!
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New month. New beginning. Here’s 10 things I’ve committed to doing doing at the beginning of every month!
I don’t know about you, but when things get busy and the “to do” list gets full, our healthy eating habits tend to go out the window.
Last year in particular, I was basically flying by the seat of my pants and it didn’t feel good at all. We hit up the drive-thru and local pub more than we should have, and I had major Mom Guilt over what we were feeding the kids.
This year I’m determined not to get to that place again. So far so good!
I finally feel like we have a system in place! With three kids in hockey, two with extra curricular jobs and one in gymnastics, it’s a good thing! This year is going to be our busiest yet!
Today, in partnership with Catelli Pasta, I’m sharing my four strategies for keeping it healthy, while still keeping it real (because hey, sometimes the gongshow is inevitable right?)
Hope this helps! And hey, if you happen to have any tips and strategies that help keep you on track with healthy eating, be sure to share them with me!
As things get REALLY busy, I’m going to need all the help I can get!
Ladies, we're one week into the school year... how the heck are you making out?
I have to say, the first week was a bit of a blur for me. My daughter had her first day of JK on Friday, and honestly, the only thing I could think about was not letting her know how anxious I was about the whole thing.
The good news is, the day went great! Even though there were a few tears in the morning, she had an amazing day and was so excited to go back this week! Her big brother helped with that! (Did you see my first day of school post on Instagram? It still melts my heart!)
Now that we're back into the groove, I am REALLY starting to think about getting back into routine - including how I am going to handle healthy school lunches this year!
A few years ago I threw in the towel when it came to making my stepsons lunches, and passed the torch onto them. I was sick and tired of the healthy food I packed coming home untouched. Quite honestly, I don't blame them. I had a different idea about what a healthy lunch should include than what they were used to, so the backlash should have been expected #stepmomproblems
If you haven't read it yet, you should definitely check out one of my most popular posts: My Biggest Stepmom Lesson Came From A Lunch Box Brownie
With Reese starting school I've found new energy and am really looking forward to instilling those healthy eating habits early on. I'm even hoping they are going to rub off on the rest of the crew.
A few week ago, I sat down with my good friend and Holistic Nutritionist, Natasha Bell of The Healthy Ginger to talk about all things healthy school lunches.
Guys! This chat gave me just the motivation that I needed, and truly changed the way I think about the importance of healthy lunches for kids.
If you don't have time to watch the entire video, Natasha summarized a few take-aways for us!
Have fun with it! Seriously, mindset and the way you think about it is everything!
Use social media, Pinterest + old cook books for inspiration (doesn't need to look "pinterest worthy" just use this as a way to get those creative juices flowing).
Focus on including more quality whole foods that come from your own kitchen.
Get your kids involved whenever you can! Consider taking some input on their favourite foods, take them grocery shopping once in awhile, get them to chop up some food or if they are smaller just talking about food while they pack what you have prepared is a great start.
Challenge their pallets with different colours, textures, shapes and sizes.
Know where to grab some quick, easy, healthy and school safe snacks. I love Costco.
Invest in some quality lunchware - it lasts forever and makes packing the lunch much more fun!
If you're not already be sure to go follow Natasha on Instagram and Facebook - if you're looking to amp up your families health this school year, she's your mama!
Packing for our blended family questions - I’m answering all of your questions about how we navigate our stepfamily dynamics while going on vacation!
I hate to be the one to break this to you, I really really do…
This post was sponsored by First Response™ as part of their video and content series, This is My Journey, in partnership with Today’s Parent. It’s aimed at sharing real women’s unique stories to help families understand that when it comes to trying to conceive and pregnancy, no two
journeys are alike.
If you’ve been following along for a while you know that my husband and I are struggling with secondary infertility. I’ve talked about in several posts now.
I got pregnant with our daughter almost immediately after our wedding. It just happened, so I figured when we wanted to get pregnant again, it would be the same. But it hasn’t been. Not even close. After over two years (probably more if I really kept track) we still aren’t pregnant. At the beginning of this journey, I really wanted to open up about what we were going through. I wanted to share it because I knew that:
A. There are so many women silently struggling with infertility, and I know that by sharing my story it helps them feel less alone
B. There is this unfair stigma and embarrassment around infertility that just needs to go
C. Even though 1 in 6 couples in Canada struggle to conceive, there is still this over-riding belief that women get to choose when to have kids, and if they are going to have another baby. Some are lucky, but many are not.
In fact, the question “When are you guys going to have another?” makes me cringe, and sometimes even irate.
My husband had his reservations about opening up about our experience, so at first, I kept the sharing to a minimum. But when First Response and Today’s Parent asked me to share my pregnancy journey, I knew it was an opportunity to open up the conversation about infertility that I couldn’t turn down.
If I’m being honest, I also thought it would make it easier. I thought that by sharing, I’d find strength and confidence in our story. But something entirely different happened.
Opening up, and really digging into how I was ACTUALLY feeling rocked me, and not in a good way. In fact, it rocked in a way that I am not entirely sure I can put into words.
It was like opening up and talking about our experience confirmed that it was ACTUALLY HAPPENING. If I’m being honest with myself, until recently, I’ve always thought “this has to be some mistake. This is another women’s story. Not mine”
Well, as it turns out. THIS IS my story. I always say that despite how perfect things look on the outside, in life, everyone is dealing with some sort of crap. This is ours.
After this interview, I went from doctor’s appointments, to naturopaths, to acupuncturists, to blood testing labs with a pit in my stomach. All day long I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest.
I wasn’t sleeping well. I was on edge. I often felt like I could throw up. The stress and heart break took over my entire body, all while I trying to be a mom to our daughter, and a step-mom to my three stepchildren. I’m sure they knew something was up!
One day I looked at my husband and said “there is no way I’m going to get pregnant being so stressed out – but I just can’t shake this”
For a moment I considered not talking about our journey anymore. After all, the aftermath was really affecting my every day.
But after several date nights, teary cry sessions in my husband’s arms, some long walks, some alone time and seriously mulling it over, I decided against shutting the conversation down.
Why? Because this is what I do. I started this blog to talk about things that most people won’t talk about.
To debunk stigmas and open up conversations. To let other women know that they are normal for feeling the way they do. To let them know that they aren’t alone!
Just because this intention started with step-parenting doesn’t mean that the intention doesn’t spill over into other areas of life.
So today with the release of our video with Today’s Parent and First Response, I’ve decided to keep talking, and share some of the things that have helped me along this crazy roller-coaster of a ride.
Because even though everyone has their own unique experiences, we can all be here to support each other.
So, here are four things that have helped me through…
1. FINDING AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
I had no idea that there is a whole online community of women who are only talking about their journeys with infertility.
I have made so many real life connections by simply searching hashtags like #secondaryinfertility and #ourfertilityjourney on Instagram. It’s amazing how connecting with women through little squares on Instagram has normalized my experience, given me hope and reminded ME that I’m not alone!
2. REGULAR DATE NIGHTS
Infertility can really take a toll on your marriage, so now more than ever we’re making date night a priority. As difficult as it can be, it’s important to have time to communicate with each other and keep the spark alive during this stressful time.
It’s easy to let the stress come in between you, but it’s important to remember that you’re a team and you’re in this together! No matter what happens this is an opportunity to strengthen your partnership.
3. OVULATION TESTS
I spent a year letting an app on my phone be the expert on my cycle. Look ladies, if you too are relying on an app to tell you when your body is ovulating, I strongly recommend that you get a second opinion through First Response™ Advanced Digital Ovulation Test. It detects your LH
(luteinizing hormone) surge based on your own individual hormone levels to take the
guesswork out of the best time to conceive
Apps can be great for tracking, but let’s be real here. Your iphone knows a lot of things, but it doesn’t know exactly what’s going on inside your body and when your fertility window is! Every woman is different!
Personally, my cycle is always different so it can be a bit of a roller-coaster at the end of the month. With the signs of pregnancy being very similar to those that come with that time of the month, I need to know what’s going on so I don’t drive myself crazy. When I’m late, I also use
First Response™ Early Results Pregnancy Test to see what’s up, because it gives results 6 days sooner than a missed period. First Response gave me the positive pregnancy test with Reese, so I know that it’s test that I can trust. I cross my fingers I see a positive result really soon!
4. HEALTHY EATING + FUELLING MY BODY
Sure I love treating myself every now and again, but I’m also trying to keep my body in, what did they call it? “Optimal condition for implantation?” (For the record there is something about that sentence that feels very strange)
My daily routine includes lots of organic greens, fruits and vegetables, organic/antibiotic free meats, and of course prenatal vitamins.
(If you have a hard time swallowing huge prenatal vitamins, First Response™ Prenatal Multivitamin Gummies easy on the stomach, delicious and most importantly maintain immune function, bone health and prevent neural tube defects)
Optimal condition for implantation status aside – I don’t know about you, but when I am eating well and fueling my body, I feel better both on the inside and the outside. Especially during stressful times, it’s important to treat your body with the love that it deserves!
Before I sign off I just want to say thank-you to all of you – through your messages and encouraging words and tags to friends who are also struggling, you’ve helped me through this stressful time more than you’ll ever know!
You’re all amazing!
If you have a unique pregnancy journey that you’d like to share tag #ThisisMyJourney to
participate in the conversation. You can also head to Today’s Parent to hear more stories about
other women’s journey trying to get pregnant!
I refuse to allow my daughter to live her life according to a week-on-week-off access schedule. It's just not going to happen.
I want to let women know that they aren't alone in their struggles and their insecurities - so that they're not ashamed for feeling the way they feel. This is real, this is common, we need to stop feeling ashamed.
It's important to get the conversation going - because if people don't start openly talking about it, women will continue to feel the way that I've been feeling - and it's a really sh*tty way to feel!
You're always asking where I get Reese's clothes... so here you go!
I try not to dwell, or beat myself up but from time to time, this step-parenting fail leaves me with a pit in my stomach.