Mommy snacks

I’m kind of a creature of habit. And the hardest habit to break is the one where I sit down after I get the kids in bed and enjoy a little snack. When I was breastfeeding that snack could easily be coconut ice cream or rice chips or some other “junk food”. But now that I’m not burning all those extra calories I have to choose my snacks more judiciously.

So my latest Paleo-friendly, low-cal snack is this:
Turned into this:

I take a beautiful, crisp fuji apple and slice it really thinly then squeeze 1/2 a lemon all over it. Then I liberally sprinkle cinnamon on the top and add a dash of coarse sea salt.

Try it! It’s addicting….

Confession #102

I’ve undertaken a very scientific experiment over the last 2 weeks. Very technical. Very detailed.

It’s a clinical trial and the subject matter is food.

Since I though it would be fun, I was the “patient”.

Normally I only eat organic and non-GMO foods, but also no dairy, no grains, and no refined sugars.

That means when we go out I generally abstain from eating a lot of the foods that are available to me. Of course I’ll eat non-organic foods when I’m out – I’m not that much of a douche bag.  But I do stay away from grains, dairy and refined sugar.

I certainly don’t make it the host’s problem and I never say, “oh, no – I don’t eat that.” I hate it when people tell me that at my parties!

But it does mean that at a typical kids birthday party I indulge in a bottle of water and maybe some fruit  or veggies if they’re available.

Recently I decided to fore-go my typical style of eating and eat all food offered to me at parties and social gatherings and such. Kind of letting loose because it summer and all.

Why deprive myself of such wonderful things as pizza, cake and ice-cream?! It can’t be that bad. I used to eat this stuff all the time. I bet I won’t even notice a difference.

OMG, I feel like crap.

I need a nap every day.

I’ve gained 6 lbs.

This experiment is OVER!




Can good hair be as effective as Prozac?

It kind of amazing how much my hair affects my mood. I mean, really.

If I’m having a good hair-day I feel pretty. Even with no makeup and sweatpants. I feel like people can see the potential behind the sweats if the hair is good.

If I look pretty, I feel pretty.
And if I feel pretty, I’m nicer!
It’s true, ask my kids….

But if I wake up and have to run out the door with bad hair – it’s all over. I mean there’s no amount of make-up applied in the car that can correct bad hair.

And now that I have short hair I can’t just pull it up into a pony tail and feel cute. I actually have to “do” it to make it look good.

Which has forced me to come up with a few solutions that only take 15 min – As opposed to the hour it previously took.

I have a lot of hair, and it’s thick. I know, shut up, stop bragging. But it’s not like that. It’s kind of a pain in the ass on a daily basis because it takes so long to blow dry.

And that’s why I stopped doing it so often.

That’s right, I only wash my hair about once a week now!

Don’t get me wrong, if it gets funky or I’ve used a lot of product, or my face starts to look “pre-breakout-ish” then I wash it right away. But for the most part I can get away with it for about 5 days.

That’s a huge savings on time!

I also have a shampoo that I LOVE. It’s by Ojon and it their Full Detox shampoo. I follow it with Aussie 3 Minute Miracle conditioner.

Expensive shampoo, inexpensive conditioner, but hey – I’m into what works!

There’s another hair product I’m in love with and it’s made by Bumble and Bumble. It’s called Styling Lotion, but it comes in a spray bottle, which makes it really easy to get a light amount evenly distributed.

My newest hair look is loose sexy waves that tend to fall throughout the day. I like that they look good but not “done”.

I do it with a curling iron and honestly I only curl the top few layers of my hair. I have so much it would take forever to do it all!

And it would look like I had an appointment to meet the girls for lunch, at the Junior League – in 1987!

Take a pice of hair with the curling iron and start curling from about an inch or two away from the bottom of your hair. Keep it in a spiral motion and curl AWAY from your face all the way up to the root. Hold for 3-5 sec and move on to the next piece.

This will give you an idea of how it looks.

Happy hair days!





Who knew parenthood would involve so much cleaning?! I mean, I don’t think anyone ever truly understands how much work is involved in having children. Especially if you have any desire to “do it right”. But what does that even mean?

I think it means different things to different people and I don’t think there’s any one right way to raise your kids. Spoil them with love and attention, make sure they get an education and learn to read and write, have them be amazing athletes and end up on a sports scholarship. Well maybe not the last one.

As a parent, you’re in a position the create an awesome impact on someone else’s life. You have an opportunity every day to let someone a little smaller, a little less able, perhaps a little less confident than those around them know how much they’re loved. How important they are. How smart they are. How exceptional they really are.

There’s always something to do when you’re a parent. You never quite grasp how time consuming this amazing job will be until you try it yourself. It’s not a transient thing that may or may not be something you do next year. It’s all the time. And it’s amazing! – and exhausting….It sneaks up on you and one day you realize, I’m in a whole other demographic now.

Ten random ways to identify if you’ve crossed the bridge to Parenthood:

10. After leaving a party you realize you didn’t finish a single sentence when talking with anyone, or learn what any of your friends are up to currently.

9. The grocery store has become a dreaded weekly chore that involves taking choice things out of the cart as fast as the munchkins put them in, while still planning meals, looking at package ingredients, and procuring the week’s needed items. And at least once in your life, leaving the store with a cart 1/2 full left behind in an aisle because of an “incident”.

8. Play date is a word you’ve become very familiar with. It means either A) an excuse for you to see another adult and atempt to have an uninterrupted conversation or B) another kid coming to your house in an effort to entertain your own child so you can get something done.

7. Having a great babysitter is like being in an unhealthy relationship; you’re jealous of others who talk to them as ask for their number and you’ll call and text until they respond.

6. At least once, you’ve finally discovered “what the smell is coming from that room.” And most likely it was a rotting piece of half eaten fruit.

5. Pee, poop, vomit, dirty socks, old food in lunch boxes. These are all things belonging to others that you deal with on a regular basis, and you don’t even have a gag reflex… most of time.

4. Your car can’t stay clean for a solid week, no matter how short that ride is.

3. Sleep is that elusive thing you knew way back when, but you’ve had a nasty break-up and don’t think it will ever be the same again.

2. You constantly hear the word “mom” or “dad” and are expected to become a referee choosing in favor of the one who called you.

1. You clean constantly! You clean messes you didn’t make, you clean the kitchen at least 2x a day, you clean rooms and 10 minutes later they’re dirty. You have become the maid who is allowed to share the family meals.

Natural cold and flu remedy

20130203-075723.jpgWith flu season here again, I thought I’d share one of my favorite home remedies to help knock out those pesky viruses.

I’m a pretty natural gal, and given the time I’ll always try a more natural approach if I can. That way my body gets even stronger by building up its own defenses.

My favorite, favorite, favorite way to knock out an oncoming cold it to take a lemon bath.

A friend of mine who grew up on an avocado farm near San Diego gave me this great tip about 15 years ago and it’s never failed to represent!

You take a whole lemon, preferably organic, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a nice hot bath. Then you AND the leftover lemon rind hop in the nice hot lemon water for a long soak. If you have a sore throat, rub the warm, water soaked rind along your lymph glands starting at the base of your ears down to your chest. You only need to do this a few times to get things moving. And enjoy your bath.

Note: if you stay in super long, it might start to sting as all of your pores have opened up. It won’t hurt you, but it can be super duper uncomfortable. Trust me, get out. Don’t test your super hero powers by seeing how long you can stand it.

After you get out of the bath and collect all the rind and seed pieces for the trash, climb in bed for a long nap. You’ll be amazed when you wake up! You’ll either wake up drenched in sweat, or feeling markedly better. And if you wake up soaking wet, put a towel down on your sheets, climb back in bed to go back to sleep and THEN you’ll wake up feeling even better. Almost everyone wakes up drenched in sweat after the lemon bath….it’s so weird!

It’s an amazing thing this lemon bath. It’s been know to turn colds around overnight and reduce the course of the flu by a few days. Personally I think it’s even prevented the full onset of the flu a few times by catching it early enough! And you can try it with the kids too.

Hope it helps.
Let me know if you try it and what your results are.



Tips for flying with the kids

I’ve come to view my role in traveling with the kids like a general preparing for war. A well planned, well prepared, well executed mission makes all the soldiers happy. And they all return home in one piece.

I like to think my kids are pretty well traveled. By the time my first born was a year old, he’d flown to Europe, Hawaii, Florida, Oregon, Texas and host of other US states. And with traveling so often I’ve learned some valuable lessons. So here are my top ten tips for a successful family flight.

1. When you’re booking your flights try to get a non-stop. It may cost a bit more, but you’ll be happy you paid it. There’s nothing worse than having the first leg of your flight delayed because of weather and then running at a dead sprint, with your kids and all your luggage through the airport, only to discover you’ve missed your connection! It’s so much easier to get on one plane and be done.

2. Consider travel time to and from the airport, and flight departure times when choosing a flight. I have some friends who’s kids do great on red eye flights. Mine don’t! They love the excitement of travel and being on the plane. They almost never sleep on the plane. So I just time the travel so that they’ve had a good night’s sleep and then the travel is the activity for that day. When I’ve tried to time it for nap times on the plane it’s backfired on me. Inevitably I end up with a tired, cranky kid that gets overstimulated by all the excitement and doesn’t fall asleep until the last 30 min of the flight! But ultimately you know your kid the best, and if they’ll sleep anywhere, then plan to have nap-time on the plane.

3. Traveling on Saturdays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually less crowded. Which means flights are a bit less full, which could be good if you want to get a little extra room to spread out. Also flights mid-day are generally less crowded than morning or evening flights.

4. Make sure you book your seats when you book your flight. You can always look at the available seats before you book that particular flight. If you have a connection, try to sit toward the front of the plane so that you can get off faster. If you’re going non-stop, consider sitting in the rear of the plane as you might luck out and get some empty seats near you. My trick for booking seats when traveling with 4 people is to book the window and aisle seats on a whole row. (a, c, d, f in a typical B737- or a “3 and 3” configuration.) Then leave the middle seats open. Chances are, if it’s not a full flight those two middle seats will stay open and you get a little extra room. And if it is a full flight, someone will gladly trade their middle seat to have a window seat, and you can still have all of one row and the adjacent aisle seat.

5. Pack a change of clothes for the kids AND for yourself in your carry-on. There’s nothing worse than sitting through a 5 hour plane flight with wet pants. Or worse, showing up at your destination covered in spit-up, vomit or pee.

6. Bring extra everything. A few extra diapers, a few extra wipes, extra snacks, extra gum, an extra bottle etc. Planes get delayed. And sometimes you can have an unexpected minor delay that turns into a major delay.

7. Sign up to get an email from the airline to notify you if your flight is delayed. And if you find out that it is, get on the phone to the airline immediately. Most times they can rebook you on another flight and you’ll have more certainty about your departure time. If you have the option, get on an earlier flight, not a later one. Everyone from your originally delayed flight is going to get to the airport, discover the flight is delayed and try to get on the next available flight. You have a much better chance of getting on a flight that leaves earlier than your scheduled flight than a later one. If the first person you speak to on the phone at the airline can’t help you, then ask to speak to a supervisor. Plead you case about traveling with kids, they understand. And if you can only get on the standby list, then take it. You will automatically get rolled over (on stand-by) to the next soonest flight if you don’t get that one.

8. Bring gum for take off and landing. The pressure change is hard on little ears (especially if they’ve recently had a cold or runny nose). But the prospect of a piece of bubble gum is exciting! And it encourages them to swallow, which will “un-pop” their ears. If your kids are too young for gum, bring a sippy cup
or bottle (buy a bottle of water after you’ve gone through security to fill it up) and give it to them right before take off. The swallowing action will keep the pressure equalized.

CONDITIONAL: if you’re breastfeeding, try to abstain from it until you’re on the runway and you hear the captain say you’ve been cleared for take off. That way the wee one doesn’t get too full or become disinterested before you want them to have it. But if the wee one falls asleep in your arms before take off, no worries – don’t wake them. For some reason the pressure change on the accent is much easier on the ears than the decent. For landing, I would always try to get my babes to nurse, even if that meant waking them to nurse. Otherwise they’d wake up screaming!

9. Bring entertainment for the plane. Don’t rely on the in-flight entertainment for the kids. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes the movie sucks, sometimes you’re kids are too young to care about it. My rule of thumb when mine were under 3 was to bring one toy for every 5 min of the flight. Because that’s about the attention span of the wee ones. Bring paperback picture books, crayons and paper, small things of play dough, cars, trains, stickers, little dolls, anything they’re interested in really, and some things they’ve never seen before. I always hit up Target before a flight and find a few new things to surprise them with on the plane. The dollar spot is a great place to find small, inexpensive things. And one of my favorites is those painting books that use only water. Just remember, the main source of entertainment is YOU. Gone are the lazy days of catching up on your celebrity gossip on the plane…prepare yourself for a full flight of Peek-a-boo, “look at that”, and singing songs. Be prepared for that and it wont suck. And if you get a break, whoo hoo!

10. Charge your electronics. If you’re bringing a DVD player or an iPad, charge it the day before and make sure it’s at 100% before you get on the plane. Nothing worse than resorting to electronics only to discover they’re not available. If you have more than one kid, stop by an electronics store and get a headphone splitter. That way if they want to watch the same thing, they can. And DO bring your own headphones for the kids. They generally like the bigger ones that cover their whole ear as opposed to little ear buds. If they’re too big on the top of their head, take a sock or clean, unused diaper from your carry-on and roll it up, put it on top of their head so the ear pieces fit right on their ears and not their cheeks.

BONUS TIP- If you’re going somewhere just for a weekend, and you’re renting a car, consider renting the car-seat as well. It’s usually only $10 a day and sometimes it’s worth it to not drag that heavy thing through the airport!