Beating the winter colds

Last winter was my best winter yet, and… I was pregnant!
This healthy dose of Vitamin D at 6 months definitely was beneficial :)

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The winter before that I had sinus infection after sinus infection, I got a stomach bug and had strep throat! This year I’ve had a few sinus infections and sore throats! We try to stay healthy by doing a few things throughout the winter to boost immunity. Here’s what I have found to work well for us:

Probiotic  –
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.” – Web MD

Look at the CULTURE COUNT to determine the strength of a probiotic. This refers to the total amount of live, friendly bacterial cultures in one serving.  You need at least 15 billion to make an impact on your health, but research is showing the more the better.

I recommend these brands:

Garden of Life

Renew Life

Garden of Life Dr Formulated
Vitamin D – 

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to increased risks of type 1 diabetes and cancers. Vitamin D promotes healthy bones by promoting calcium absorption.  (Web MD).  It helps to maintain bone and teeth health, supports a healthy immune system and helps regulate insulin (Medical News Today).  I take this consistently but not daily in the winter from October – March – 10,000 IU.

Metagenics Vitamin D 10,000 IU

Biotics Vitamin D (kids) 2000 IU


Juice Plus 

I take this to “bridge the gap” and make sure myself and the kids are getting enough fruits and veggies daily.  I like the ideas that this company has, and last year I became a representative for Juice Plus –  I sell it so I can get it at a discount. We take this daily and amp it up when we feel we’re getting a cold. It worked better for me last year than this year.

Amazing Grass

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Amazing Grass powder is similar to juice plus in that it has lots of fruits and veggies (31) and probiotics. It is vegan, gluten free and raw. We use this in yogurt and smoothies.


Vega One Powder

This is a vegan protein powder made from real, whole food ingredients, with 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals, 25% daily fiber, and includes omega 3s and probiotics. I like using this for my smoothies and to mix with nut butter for a snack!


Other things we do at home: 

Lots of fruits and veggies – smoothies, juices, fresh fruit and veggies always available!

Lots of hand washing – before eating, after school, etc.

A new product on the market is the Sneeve – for kids to wear on their sleeves to snot and sneeze into. It protects clothing and kills germs on contact. What do you think? My 3-year old thought it was cool but wouldn’t keep it on. And my 6-year old thought he looked like a super hero but no way he was wearing it to school!  5-year old had no interest in putting it on. I love the idea of it if I could make them wear it! What do you think?

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What things do you do to boost immunity and protect yourself from getting sick in the winter?


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8 months mom/baby updates

Little K is 8 months old today!

Over the past month I have been having name regret… I love the name Juliette so much -but my husband and I couldn’t agree and he wasn’t on board with it. Baby names are so hard!  When I used to draw my kids as a child, I always had a Summer and Ashley – kind of funny to remember. I do still love the name summer, but there was no agreement there either:) I loved naming my kids as a child! I had 4 girls. Not too far off :)

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At 8 months,

baby K had a huge month – she started crawling just over a month ago and now is crawling so fast all around! I really have to watch her, and we have a playpen to keep her away from little pieces (especially legos). We haven’t had to put up gates yet but that is going to be in the near future.  She also got her first 2 teeth (bottom 2) this month, and said her first words (dadda, mama, lots of babbling too).  Everything goes into her mouth! She is showing interesting in pulling up, and doesn’t like to sit still. Glad we traveled a few months ago and have no other travel planned :)

She loves her big brother and sisters. She is very happy and sweet and you can get laughs out of her from Peek-a-boo, quick movements, dancing and singing.  I love rocking her & holding her when she’s really tired, and she’s been really attached to me this month. Only I can get her to calm often – which can be challenging but she’s also my last one, so it is okay!

Her bedtime moved up to between 6:30-7 and that is what time she usually wakes up also. She is nursing 4 times throughout the day, and has 3 meals! We switched from 3 naps to 2 naps this month and had a few sleep challenges thrown in as well. Naps are 1.5-2 hours normally!

Each month brings new foods – this month she can try almond butter – so far, she liked it and had no issues! There are also some new fruits and veggies that she can try, which is always exciting. She is a good eater!

Mom updates

Everyday life…K is my first baby with kids in real school and places to go. When all were in pre-school it was definitely a bit easier. It’s hard getting her fed and her meals in along with getting the older kids out the door and off to where they need to go.  Each month as we get closer to one and her eating meals that we are eating, it will get easier! It’s also on the other hand nice to have some one on one time with her. Sometimes I feel like I’m running around with no head. I burn toast often, and other things that I’m making – and I’m pulled in every direction. I have to close my eyes when I look around my house and realize that things won’t always be in disarray (if you saw my post this week, you’ll get that :) ) Right now I feel like nothing is organized, the house hasn’t had a deep clean in months, the floor is a mess, toys and books and kids clothes are everywhere, and I just have piles of things everywhere to go through. I’ll get there. There’s something about the last baby that gives you a sense of calm because you know you need to cherish the moments before they go away. The wash can wait. The dishes can wait…

Workouts/body… I have a sense of calm about this too which is a change for me. I’m fitting in 25 minute workouts some days but not all, and it’s OK. I do barre workouts and HIIT workouts. I ran 2 miles one day last week. Nothing is consistent, but I’m consistent in being active most days. I feel very close body wise to where I was before I got pregnant and I feel strong!  My eating has good days and bad days but overall, I feel healthy.

Emotional… I am extremely emotional! My oldest turns 7 this week. My 2nd one will be in school full day next year. I am holding onto every moment and there are tears. I look back at old videos and pictures and want to turn back time. You can bet I am letting the little things go and breaking some of my rules while I enjoy our last baby!

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Someday, I’ll have my house clean and organized.

Someday, everything will be where it’s supposed to be…

Someday, I’ll have a meal plan for every day and actually follow it.

Someday, I will have my fridge stocked with everything I need.

Someday, I’ll try all the recipes that I printed out.

Someday, I’ll sweep and mop the floor and it will stay clean for more than 24 hours.

Someday, I’ll do the laundry and put it away and the next load won’t be waiting for me.

Someday, I’ll take a nap in the middle of the day and no one will be looking for me.

Someday, I’ll read more than 2 pages in my book per day. Maybe I’ll even finish my book in a timely manner.

Someday, I’ll have all the pictures that I want printed out and organized and put away.

Someday, I’ll be walking around and I won’t step on a lego, a toy car, or a doll that was left behind.

I’m pretty glad that someday isn’t today…


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Snow day favorites

Last weekend we had a blizzard here on the east coast. I still remember the Blizzard of 96 as a kid, so blizzards with kids are memory makers! Lots of hot cocoa, sitting by the fire, playing in the snow, tears, getting snow suits on and off, using the dryer 100 times, loading up on vaseline on the lips and dry spots, baking, hanging out, reading, and eating!

I made Minimalist Baker’s oatmeal – I thought it was great – of course the kids wanted nothing to do with that.  We also made Martha’s skillet cookie, delicious.  I saw the picture of the skillet cookie a year ago when I was pregnant and needed to make and eat it immediately. We’ve never turned back! It’s a very easy recipe and it’s delicious. Skip the egg, use vegan butter and you can make it vegan. Why can’t they eat dinner like they eat sweets?

As far as hot cocoa, I use a can of full fat coconut milk mixed with regular almond milk, add cocoa and maple syrup to taste. What’s your favorite hot cocoa recipe?

I was having a blast on the tire swing in the blizzard :)

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We spent Sunday digging out and the kids loved playing in the snow. It wasn’t freezing outside so it was great playing weather. They had Monday off, and delays Tuesday and Wednesday. I really enjoyed all of the extra time with them.

We colored printable snow globes, played in the basement, and of course there was lots of bickering too!

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But in the end, the best part about snow days is making memories!

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In the past few weeks, I’ve used free meals from Plated and discounted meals from Green Chef to try out the services. I liked both of them but I’m more of a throw something together type at this point.  I was impressed by Green Chef which is all organic ingredients. I’ll share my thoughts on those services in a post soon!

I have not even thought about meals for this upcoming week, and last week was throwing things together! So tell me what you are making this week!



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Valentines Round Up

I love Valentines Day!
Love hearts and the reds and pinks. Here is a roundup of some cute items!


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Chooze – these shoes are so fun, and they have a bunch of varieties for Valentines! Love the MaryJane ones!


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Gymboree Heart Top

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Heart Bracelet (gymboree)

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Hair clips!

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Gifts for mom

Teething necklace

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I thought this was cute and would be a safe teething item for 7-month old K!

Mom’s Necklace
Got one of these for Christmas and I love it!
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graham cracker hearts from Weelicious

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A couple of years ago I made these delicious treats:

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Check out my pinterest board for lots of fun Valentines and treats!

bookmarks might be my go-to this year?!

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What are your favorite things about valentine’s Day?


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How I do baby food…


About a month ago, when it was time to move on from bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes, I couldn’t wrap my head around making the time to make baby food.  Getting out my Super Baby Food book which is broken down by the month of what you should feed your baby and portion sizes. I just couldn’t get to it! I started giving her toast with hummus, peas, crackers, broccoli (that she devoured)…whatever I could grab and safely give to her!   A few nights she woke up in the night with a rumbling stomach.  I wasn’t sure if I was giving her enough, or giving her too much. Too much too soon? Too little and not the right foods?  This is my fourth child, what am I doing here?  I woke up and I realized that I had to sit down and have a system. Everything in my life follows some kind of routine or system – that’s just how I’m wired (which is sometimes unfortunate for my husband) :)

so…I dusted off my well loved Super Baby Food book! 

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Honestly, I do not remember who told me about this book, but it is my bible of feeding.
I remember giving my son “super porridge” made of different grains with almond butter and broccoli for breakfast almost daily from 8 months into his toddler stage. He is our best eater. I slacked a bit with the girls and they wanted no part of that breakfast, but we’re back! I’m making the time to cook the purees that she suggests by month and following the serving sizes.  Her book also includes loads of recipes and great ideas for homemade items – I remember making my own wipes when I just had one baby (haha!) among other things that  I tried that were awesome in this book. A must buy for any new mom :)

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For freezing the purees and using cubes of them as needed, I use these silicon ice cube trays. They are awesome! In the past, I have used plastic and it was near impossible to pop them out. These ones rock!

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At 7 months, baby K is eating some combos along with homemade oatmeal and brown rice purees and silken tofu. Fruits and veggies:


So far she’s a great eater!

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What is your go-to book or schedule for baby foods? Or did you just give them whatever you were eating?





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At home workouts & this week’s meals

Last week, we did Plated and I liked it, but even those meals where everything is pre-measured for you were too much work for me. I just throw veggies together, sometimes make veggie burgers, some rice or brown rice pasta and call it a meal. It was nice to switch it up though and have some variety!

Here are some recipes that I gathered to share with you for this week:

Chef Chloe’s Pasta Carbonara (image from Chef Chloe)

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Mushroom Soup (Vegan)

Mini Veggie Burgers (image via Food Network)

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So as I’m recovering from ankle and back issues, and since we froze our gym membership until the summer, I have been doing home workouts and discovered some fun videos to share with you!

Check out Fitness Blender – they have a 5 day challenge that is great! Each day is a little different and at the end they change it up a little. I don’t know how I came across them and didn’t know about this website before, but I wish I did! Free workouts!
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I have been doing a ton of barre workouts. All that I knew about them going in was that it was little leg movements. It is! Little leg movements over and over again so that your leg muscles and glute muscles and many muscles you never use get fatigued. They are no joke!!  I went to videos and looked up Barre workouts.
This one will kill your legs and glutes!

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image from

What are your favorite at home workouts?
What’s cooking this week?


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