Friday, September 12, 2014

TGI-Featured Friday: Grilled Nectarines

by Carie @ Sweet And Savory Spence

Hi! I'm Carie and I blog over at Sweet And Savory Spence about healthy recipes.
 
I have to thank Jessica for having me on Breaking The Momma Mold. I love what she does and she inspires me each and every week with how she reminds us that moms are human too. We all struggle as moms and for me, my biggest struggle is getting my picky eater Diva to eat more foods, healthy food at that. I know Jessica struggles with this too.
 
This week I tackled dessert. All kids like dessert. All kids like sugary bad for you desserts. It was a long shot with this recipe but I went for it.
 

Grilled Nectarines with Honey, Toasted Walnuts & Coconut

It was a winner! Touchdown! Goal! Off the back board into the basket 3 point shot! I could keep going (I blame my husband) but I'll stop.

Lil Diva loved them. The topping gave the element of sweet and crunchy, like the toppings on a bowl of ice cream, but instead it was on a delicious piece of fruit.

All you need is:
  • Nectarines, halved (1 per person)
  • Walnuts
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • Raw Honey
  • Coconut Oil
 
Preheat a grill or grill pan. Brush each half of the nectarine with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Place the nectarine halves, flesh side down on the hot grill/griddle. Let them sit for about 3 minutes until they get nice sear lines across them. Turn over and let them sit for another minute or two.

While your nectarines are grilling, in a small skillet, toast your coconut and walnuts over medium-low heat. They will only take about 5 minutes. You will need about a tablespoon of each per nectarine. 
Plate your nectarine halves. Drizzle them lightly with honey allowing a little to pool in the middle of the nectarine center. Sprinkle on the toasted walnuts and coconut.
 
Serve warm.  

Thanks again to Jessica for having me. I look forward to reading her posts every week and hope you all will come see me for some more delicious recipes! ;)
 
Picture 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The TGIF Blog & Instagram Hop! (link-up)

Welcome To The TGIF Hop!
Lets celebrate making it through another week by
 linking your blog and/ or your instagram below. 
You may link up any post.
 Remember, visiting other blogs and/ or Instagram links is what makes a successful blog hop.
This hop runs from every week. Starting Friday morning to Wednesday morning.
Be kind and grab a TGIF BLOG HOP button below.

( Please note we now have a refreshed button now correctly working. Thank you! )

TGIF Blog & Instagram Hop
RULES
1. PLEASE Follow your host and cohost blog's via GFC or BLOGLOVIN
2. Please Follow the hosts and cohosts on Instagram if you link up your account below.
3. Please leave a comment stating that you are following and where so we can follow you back and get to know you! Sometimes it can be hard to know which is a new follower and we don't want you to think we're rude.
4. Tweet the hop below to help us grow. It's greatly appreciated. 
5. Be social.  Meet new friends. 
*You do not need an Instagram account to link up.
Every first Friday of the month we will be hosting a lovely GIVEAWAY!



Meet TGIF's Weekly Cohost!
Breaking The Momma Mold
There is a myth that being a SAHM comes naturally to all moms. I break that myth and prove it can be a learned talent. I am a  momma to a crazy independent, 3-year old and two very hungry, awake sweet 2-month old twins. This blog is to educate no-one, nothing I say or do is recommended and I have absolutely no doctor recommendations. I share trials and tribulations of grabbing the reigns of a new adventure and seeing where it takes us!

Want to be our next cohost and be featured? Click here!!

                                                                                                                                                       

This Weeks Feature
From the blog of: PEACE and CHAOSE 
Be sure to check her blog out here.
 tweet about this HOP by clicking "tweet" below!!

Tweet: I just linked up at the TGIF Blog and Instagram Hop! Come join me! http://ctt.ec/6jKTU+ with Hosts @desireephillips and @kaitlynmarie003



This Months hop giveaway!
Every first Friday of the month we host a fun giveaway!
This month's giveaway consist of:
1.Davines seas salt spray from: My Silly Little Gang
2. Gecko Monitoring from:
3. Free ad space on Three Sisters and Us Blog.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blueberry, Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait

During the week, it's so easy to get caught up with the motions of the day. Make coffee, kiss hubby goodbye, feed all the kids (am I missing someone? Nope. Ok, good), change diapers, beg Big Sister to use the potty, dress everyone... to only realize no one has had a bath in a day or so. So undress everyone, bathe everyone, dress them again. At this point, it's safe to say the crew is going to be hungry again. You see what I mean? You're present but in a sort of robotic manner.

Every now and then it's good to break the machine. I love Saturday mornings for this reason. It gives you a moment to really appreciate everything. Everyone is taking it easy and the whole fam is hanging out together. I especially love sharing a breakfast in bed with Big Sister. I make sure she dines on hubby's side of the bed though. Life is good. I love these lazy mornings.


This morning, Big Sis and I shared a Blueberry, Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait. I have been addicted to these for the last couple of months. So filling. It takes you straight through to lunch and is completely toddler approved.


Serves: 1 / Points+: 7pts

Ingredients:
  • 1c blueberries
  • greek nonfat vanilla yogurt (I use dannon oikos greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2c old fashioned oats
  • 1c water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 packets sweetener of your choice (I use truvia)
Directions:

To prepare the blueberry sauce place blueberries, a dash of water and a packet of sugar sweetener over med/high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer on low until your oatmeal is prepared.

For the oatmeal, mix water, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and your sweetener of choice. (sugar, honey, no calorie sweetener...) in a pot. Bring to boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low until the oats are soft or cooked to your liking.

To assemble, layer oats, yogurt, blueberry sauce and repeat. I use a cute little mason jar because it just looks pretty!

Feel free to add additional toppings such as nuts or sliced banana... and enjoy! Preferably with the most perfect cup of coffee.

What's your favorite breakfast parfait recipes?


Friday, August 29, 2014

TGI-Featured Friday: 4 Gifts Every New Mom Doesn’t Know She Needs

By Jenn Lonzer @ First Derm Dermatologist / Skin Care

Breaking The Momma Mold

Sure, expectant parents get a bit of a thrill when registering for baby gifts. They’re excited and it’s super fun to walk around your favorite store scanning and planning for your little bun. There will be showers of gifts – clothes that may fit your baby for a week, a stroller if you’re lucky, the latest diaper disposal technology, colorful play mats, etc. It’s not until after the baby is born, maybe a few weeks into parenting, that parents realize their registry was all wrong.

It’s not that gifts aren’t appreciated, but as first-time parents, it’s impossible to predict what you’ll really need. It’s not until you’re a walking zombie who hasn’t showered in days and look down to see that the swaddle in your arms is actually your cat that you realize what every new parent needs.

Got an expectant friend? Here are four things you won’t find on her registry, but for which she’d be eternally grateful over the next few months (OK, years):

1. A shower. Many first-time moms don’t realize that once that baby pops out, they’ll spend the next 18 years longing for an uninterrupted shower. In fact, for the first several years, just finding the time to hop in the shower (and remain awake to actually wash) will feel impossible. Offer to take the baby for a walk so she can shower without distraction.

2. Diapers. They’re not as cute as infant Doc Martens, but it’s a gift that parents will use, a lot. Also, talking to mom-to-be about what kind of diapers she intends to use (cloth or disposable) is an opportunity for you to help her sort out the down and dirty, mustard-yellow details that many people don’t talk about.

3. Meals delivered to her house, in weeks 2-6. Everyone wants to visit in the first week. The truth is, it’s not until after the visiting family have all gone home that new parents start to wonder how they’ve gotten to be on a first-name basis with the pizza delivery guy. Prepare healthy meals that are easy to reheat, send the family a text message (don’t call and wake the sleeping family!), and drop the food at the door. If you’re lucky, someone will be awake to get your text and feel up to visitors. Please don’t feel hurt or cheated if you drop the food and leave unnoticed. You’ve just done something incredibly helpful for your friend. She’ll call you as soon as she’s up for a visit!

4. A non-judging, supportive confidant. Before the big arrival, many expectant moms can’t wait to hold their bundle of joy. A few weeks later, when her nipples are cracked, she’s worried the baby isn’t gaining enough weight, and that bundle of joy won’t stop screaming, every mom needs a friend in whom she can confide. Be the friend she knows she can turn to when she starts to wonder why on earth she thought she wanted a baby in the first place.

Jenn Lonzer
https://www.firstderm.com/blog

About Jenn Lonzer
With a passion for storytelling, Jenn Lonzer’s obsession with words began while she was still a small child hearing Mother Goose poems. Now, with more than twelve years of professional communications experience, and nine (and-a-half) years of parenting, Jenn brings her expertise and passion to her work in health communications. She's currently blogging at https://www.firstderm.com/blog/.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spin Class vs. Babies - Yeah, I Compared Them


Since having the twins 6-weeks ago, I have had major writers block. It’s disappointing because I love sitting down and just writing. It’s like waking up and running to the coffee pot full speed to find it empty, just a few little drips around the edges of the pot. So. Sad.

I’m pretty sure the lack of inspiration is due to the all nighters, leading to a constant state of sleepiness. Sleepiness that has disabled my brain of the ability to create any one sensical thought.

With what brain cells I have left and with the minimum activities I have going on in my life right now. Taking care of three kids and sneaking in daily workouts, I started to compare babies to a spin class. Random. Yes.

Why, you ask? I have no idea.

But let me share with you my findings. And maybe I can get you on board with this weird comparison. If in the end it still makes no sense to you, then blame the baby brain, ok?

Phase 1 – The Commitment

SPINNING
Spinning is damn hard. So why do we torture ourselves? We torture ourselves because we know it’s awesome and it creates results.

When I find myself comforted by my heinous, baggy, running tank that covers all of my un-coveted new post partum baby curves I know it’s time to register for class.

The moment I sit on the bike and the warm up begins I begin strategizing how I can slink out of this torture chamber with no notice. By the time I come up with the perfect plan the class is over. I feel awesome and its time to register for the next class.

BABIES
Babies are damn hard. It’s around the clock care. Feedings, diaper changes, constant spit up, crying…

But you and your hubby sit around enjoying bottomless glasses of wine, conspiring the new great idea to have more babies. Why? Because you forgot what it’s like to have a baby. So many of us go back for more. Or you simply haven’t had one yet.

Obviously, in the oblivion of childcare, this is the best idea in the world.

Then you look at the pregnancy stick and all signs point to ‘knocked up’ and your stomach drops. What did we just sign up for…?

Phase 2 – The Race

SPINNING
The sprint begins. Legs are pedaling like you are racing the Daytona 500. The beat of the music is fast and loud and you’re almost dancing in your seat. It’s tough but by the time you want to scream mercy and ferociously attack the energizer bunny spin instructor, the song has ended.

BABIES
You fall into a rhythm of feedings, diaper changes, tummy time, laundry, cleaning, cooking (ok, cooking is a stretch) and everything else in between. You are constantly testing yourself on just how much you can accomplish when, dare I say, all the children are sleeping. Racing mindlessly to the tune of your own beat, trying to stay ahead.

7am turns 7pm and there is no recollection of what just occurred or was even accomplished in those last 12 hours.

Phase 3 – The Uphill

SPINNING
The climb begins. The beat slows, you settle back into your seat, head down, eyes closed, legs grinding. You dig deep to find the strength inside to make it to the top of the damn hill. Your heart opens and at any moment you feel a tear could surge from your eyes. You got this.  

It’s mental strength at this point.

BABIES
You hear the all to familiar cry. Already? You slowly open your lids and look at the clock. 3am. Didn’t we just do this a short, very short, three hours ago?

With every ounce of strength in your body, you pull yourself up and out of bed, pick up the baby that suddenly feels like she weight 50lbs and start the process all over again. You sort of want to cry out of pure tiredness, but there is no time for that.

So you nurse, change diapers and attempt to rock the babie(s) back to sleep… I would probably throw another diaper change in there because, well, you know once you are ready to put them down they will inevitably go. Body in motion, brain is sleeping.

It’s mental strength at this point.

Phase 4 – The Reward

SPINNING
At the time you find yourself wanting to dismount the bike and fling your chap stick at the spin instructor, the most precious words you will ever hear in your life are said… “We are done.” Oh, sweet lord.

Victory. You feel amazing. Cloud 9. You can conquer anything that is headed your way. You pyscho-ishly run to register for the next class, in fear it will fill up without you.

BABIES
Babie(s) are finally asleep. You sit at the edge of your bed with the dim light of the moon glowing in your window and you stare in admiration. Gazing at their absolute beauty, their perfect little faces, the little droop of their lips and their angelic closed eyes. Sleeping so peacefully. Your heart wants to explode out of your chest. Could you love any harder?

So 2 years later (or whatever it may be for you) you psycho-ishly sign up for more. Babies that is.

There you have it. Spin class vs. babies. Where heaven and hell collide.

Like I said, don’t ask. It’s the only thing that has flowed from these fingertips in weeks and you are taking the brunt of it. I know some of you brain dead moms out their have imagined up weirder so if you are brave enough, share your baby brain theories! The weirder, the better.





Friday, August 22, 2014

TGI-Featured Friday: Caroline @ Do It All Working Mom



Hi there! I'm Caroline from Do It All Working Mom, where I blog about recipes, gardening, kids and so much more.

I am so happy to guest post on Jessica's blog today. I'm a big fan of her blog and find her to be very inspiring.

Today I will be sharing with you how I'm able to do it all as a working mom. I was interviewed last week by Dr. Portia Jackson of Working Motherhood for a podcast on successful working moms and that's what inspired me to write this post.

The most important thing for me when trying to fit family, work and blogging in the same day is PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING. Planning is key, you can never plan to much, anyway that's what I think. I use a very simple weekly planner that I quickly put together. You can find it HERE. It's very basic but it works really good for me.  With this planner, I plan my meals, my appointments, the kids activities, chores, everything relating to the family and home. This way I never forget anything. I know exactly what needs to be done every day. I use a separate calendar for work, and for blogging, I use a Blog Binder that you can find HERE. Now with all this planning, the only thing left to do is take ACTION, because of course nothing gets done with no ACTION!

Another thing that is really helping me as a working mom is that I have the privilege of working from home 4 days a week. So I only have to go in the office 1 day per week. That is awesome! I save 1:30 hour each day by not having to get ready in the morning and drive in to work and back from work.

I also chose a shift that fits my busy life! I start work at 5:00 AM and I finish at 13:30 PM. So when I finish work. I have 1:30 hour to myself before the kids get home from school. Do you have any idea what I can get done in 1:30 hour when I'm alone in the house??? It's crazy!!! I get more things done during that 1:30 hour then I do during the weekend!!! I'm serious!!! During that time I either do housework, blog, cook, garden or run errands. Depending on what I have planned on my weekly planner. I really like the convenience of my job, it helps me and my family so much. Just being home in the morning to kiss my kids when they leave for school and being home when the bus drops them off in the afternoon is priceless!

No matter how busy you are and all the things you have on that To Do List, it's very important to spend time with your kids. Even if it's just 10 minutes. I'm not talking about doing homework or eating dinner, I'm talking about bonding time with them. Every night before bed, I read my kids a bedtime story. After the story, I spend 5-10 minutes with each of them and we talk about their day and how they feel. After that I put them to bed and kiss them goodnight. Life with kids can sometimes be crazy, it's not always easy and it's far from being perfect, but I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world. My kids are my priority!

In all that craziness, don't forget to take time for yourself and time with your husband.  My husband and I have our little Friday night routine where we put the kids to bed early and we have a nice supper together. We catch up on our week and talk about our plans for the weekend. 

So now you know how I Do It All.

Hope you enjoyed reading my post. Thank you so much Jessica for letting me share this with your readers.



Follow me: FACEBOOK     TWITTER     PINTEREST     INSTAGRAM     BLOGLOVIN     G +

-------

Caroline, thank you so much for sharing. I love reading your blog and you seriously talk to and are knowledgeable on so many topics, one would think, well, you must not have any kids! But you do and I am probably not alone in saying, I'm impressed. Thanks for giving us the in on how you do, Do It All. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Author on Bluntmoms.com

You know those stories you want to share but kind of actually don't want to share because it's a little too personal but it was kind of a big deal to you... Well, I had one of those and shared my story with bluntmoms.com because, well, that's what they are all about. I literally wrote the post, submitted it into the form, sat looking at the form scared for a second because someone may actually read it, blacked out, hit submit and ran away. Today, bluntmoms.com posted the story. I feel thankful and honored to be a guest author (a Wannabee BLUNT as they call it) on their site. Personal and all, I am pretty excited about it. Not because I think the post is overwhelmingly awesome, but, because I was nervous about it and did it anyway. We should all do something that is a little scary and challenging everyday. Because it's awesome. Even if it doesn't work.

Go check it out if you should feel so inclined. I love the site and the many authors that submit to it. They are honest, funny, ironic, you name it... always a great read in there.

BLUNTMOMS.COM
MASTITIS AND TWINS - FABULOUS

My twin baby girls just turned a month old today. My hubby, two-year-old daughter and myself, welcomed them home from the hospital after spending six days in the Special Care Nursery. I was bright eyed and ready to go. Bring on the double feedings, changings, changings and feedings. I got this. I was going to be the first mom of twins and a two-year-old to make this look easy.

I just began to scratch the surface of a routine when I was sidelined and woke up in a pool of my own sweat, a pounding headache and an aching boob. Who knew a boob could actually ache?

“What the hell is wrong with my body!?” I embarrassingly scrambled for dry clothes then dialed my best friend for advice.

“Soooo, I hurt and I’m sweating my ass off. Did this happen to you?”

She responded, “Maybe you have the boob disease.”  What the hell is the boob disease? And I must have it because my breast fucking hurts.

So, I did what any mom would do and opened the laptop to stalk Google. After reading a plethora of articles, I realized, yup, I am pretty sure I have the boob disease.

I went in to see the doctor and she confirmed that I did in fact have mastitis. She provided an antibiotic and told me I’ll feel better in two days, easy enough.

My body ached, I felt like I had the flu. I had the chills and was just straight up sweating and my breast… oh, don’t even get me started on my breast. Death was obviously around the corner. My sister, a doula, sent me a home remedy and I was prepared to try anything at this point. It was frozen cabbage leaves filled with food-processed potato. I sat in bed, sweating and aching with a vegetable platter sitting in my bra.

Waking up to feed the babies was a task my body did not want to take on. I could envision every step I needed to take to lift, change and feed these babies but actually performing this task was my Everest. Every limb and muscle on my body ached and it was nearly impossible to get it together to move. But, I told you, I got this twin thing. So, 1, 2, 3, here we go.

I patiently waited for the miraculous day two. It came and went and my boob looked worse. It was inflamed, engorged, bright red, warm to the touch and felt like a pile of rocks.

I began to think, “Maybe these people were right, and I am ridiculous for even thinking I could handle this.” And I wiped my brow of sweat drips and changed out my bra stew.

Thoughts began to take over my mind. Dark thoughts I immediately regretted having. Thoughts like, life was so much easier when these babies were in my belly. My two-year-old had just hit a point of independence where I took her everywhere with me and we were having so much fun together. Life was peaceful. I had felt good. I was asking myself, “What did I get myself into?” and had lost the excitement of the twin’s birth. Obviously, a selfish, disgusting mother would only think these things.
I would try to push these thoughts from my mind as they drifted in. They were dark and depressing. I would take a nap and wake up crying in a pool of my own sweat. I’m stronger than this. But I was getting to a point where I no longer believed this.

On that second day that I was supposed to feel better, I went back to the doctor’s office. They confirmed no improvement and prescribed another antibiotic, bed rest and the task to constantly pump, nurse and to keep my breasts empty. It was all about the boobs.

The doctor told me that this was my only job. As tears accidentally slipped from my eyes and my breasts wreaked havoc and helplessly leaked through the blue doctors robe, (they were no longer my breasts, they had a mind of their own) the doctor informed me, again, that I will feel better in, yet another, two days and gave me a hug.

Back home and in bed, my hubby and my mom did the best they could to help take the pressure of caring for the twins and my two-year-old. Thank goodness, because I couldn’t do it. I gave up pretending I could do this on my own.

I would helplessly cry in the privacy of my room or bathroom. I was not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt alone, chained down and dare I say, depressed.

I began to judge myself. This new, depressed person was unrecognizable to me. I am an awful human being. I could barely admit to anyone the thoughts that were crossing my mind. I tried to talk to my hubby here and there, but I was too ashamed to admit what was really going through my mind. He was as supportive as he could be, but I don’t think I was letting on how I was really feeling. He saw the pain though, through the constant crying. I couldn’t even help the crying. Just as I had lost control of my boobs, my eyes developed a mind of their own as well.

At night I would tell my hubby, “This is going to be my death. I will never feel good again.” And he told me that I would feel good and I will be happy again, I just had to get through this setback. I nodded in agreement but totally didn’t believe him and settled with my conclusion of death.
Another three days after the last doctor’s visit, I was far from better. My fever was up to 104 degrees, my breast was in an unexplainable condition and I was ready to quit. Shut down. Quit nursing–nursing for which I thrived to do for these babies before they were even born. Remove my breasts for all I care. But I was done. I was advised to head into the city and get an ultrasound on my breast and then see a surgical specialist.

The good news was that there was no abscess in my breast that would need surgery. I clearly had a bad infection that none of the antibiotics were successfully battling. The doctor admitted me into the Urgent Care unit and they pumped me with an IV of fluids and antibiotics.

I guess the third time is a charm. The antibiotics worked. I began to feel better immediately and the next day was a whole new world. I was finally on my way to recovery.

As the dark cloud began to break up, I saw the babies in a new light. “Oh my gosh, I can pick them up.” and “I didn’t notice how cute they were when they did that…” I missed them when I left the room and the photo shoots began again. I started to get daring again and attempted to nurse them at the same time and began to enjoy taking on the challenge of caring for twins. I knew I had this.

As the final specks of dark cloud floated away, all of the tears and upsetting thoughts went along with it. I was able to see the two little angels that blessed our lives again without the jaded thoughts from the sickness. I was able to forgive myself for the feelings of failure. For the thoughts and emotions I wanted to lock up in a closet and never admit to.

As much as I would like to lock this very brief chapter of my life up and never look back, I thought I would do the complete opposite and share it. I want to remind those moms out there that are working so hard to be sane, that are tired, overwhelmed and are slowly spiraling out of control, that you will be able to come up and breathe again. Whether you believe me or not, life does get better and the sun does shine again. You just need to speak up, push the feelings of shame aside and get the help you need in order to come out of it.

It was a bad seven days. But I look back now and realize that you can’t control everything and things that suck happen. And today, I’m back at kicking this twins-challenge-butt and loving it.