Saturday, May 19, 2018

I Swore I was Right

Mamas...

Have you ever felt you knew you were 100% right in your thinking?  Like you were so confident that you just didn't even consider, "What if I'm wrong?"

Well... I'm here to admit...

I was wrong and I feel pretty ding, dang, dong terrible. #icancry

Let me explain.

But first let me say, I know this is NOT the end of the world and everything will be fine (me, dramatic, no wayyy). As I always do, I share my thoughts with you mamas with the hopes you can relate or say, "Shoot... it's not just me!"  #loveyourtribe

Sooo, going back to that whole being wrong thing...

If you follow me on FB, you saw last month I took Brayden to get evaluated for speech services.

We got his results a few nights ago and just by seeing the expression on The Hubs face, I knew exactly what he was reading and I knew I was wrong...

UGH...

UGH...

UGH...

Brayden's articulation isn't where it should be... According to the testing, his articulation skills are at about a 2.6-year-old.

He just turned 4.



The special education teacher in me is saying, "Don't look at the numbers...we'll just contact Sophia's speech teacher and she'll work with him, just as she did with Sophia."

But the Mommy in me still can't BELIEVE I thought he was OK.

Sophia's articulation was much more severe than Brayden's.  Sophia's "Okay" was "Otay".  Brayden can say "Okay" but "computer is "computa" and Leaf is "Weaf".

I was wrong.  I swore I was right...

UGH...

His preschool special education meeting is in a few weeks and we'll discuss whether or not he qualifies for speech intervention, which clearly he does.

Of course, we will advocate for him so his speech will clearly be intelligible...

                    

In the meantime, I will swallow my pride and just think about what I've learned from being wrong,  again.

A. It still hurts to hear and admit your child is not "where he should be" when compared to others his age.
B. As cliche as it sounds, it is absolutely true that every child is different.  Just because Brayden doesn't struggle with the same sounds Sophia did, doesn't mean he is clearly understood.
C. Brayden is following in his mama and sister's footsteps #speechhelpforall 

Have any of your children receive the same early intervention service(s)? 














Saturday, May 12, 2018

We are Pretty Great Mommies! 

Happy Mother’s Day to my Diamond mamas!!

Just wanted to share this quote that really resonated with me from a mama whom I recently discovered and quite honestly, can’t get enough of- Rachel Hollis!! 



Nice reminder, right?!?

This is something I have to keep in the back of my mind. I do not consider myself "perfect" by any means, but accepting the fact I can lose my iiiish here and there and not feel defeated is OK.

I’m a pretty great mom and so are you!! 

Being a mama doesn’t come with a manual and this journey isn’t a walk in the park...

Shoot...

At times, it may feel more like Jurassic Park.. but given the title of "Mommy" is something...

something special... that fills my heart...

"Mommy, I spilled my drink a little bit.."  I mean, how can you love someone so much after cleaning up their spilled orange juice all over the kitchen table, chairs, and walls hours after it was JUST cleaned?!   #thankyouB

It’s a mamas love!

Now go ahead and enjoy your brunch, mimosa, or possibly some peace and quiet and remember, we are pretty great mommies! Go sparkle!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month! #sparkleswithceliac



Besides Justin Timberlake reminding us it’s May #sorrynotsorry


May is also an important month in our household; it’s celiac disease awareness month!!

Throughout the month, I will share a series of posts about our family's journey living with celiac disease, providing resources, and explaining how our household is gluten free for our six-year-old daughter, Sophia, who was diagnosed with it at the age of two-and-a-half.


"Celiac diseases a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine." -Celiac Disease Foundation

In Sophia’s case, once she eats gluten or has food that has "cross-contamination" (gf food cooked on the same surface as foods with gluten) she vomits uncontrollably for 2-3 hours (you can read about our last experience here)

Luckily, she hasn’t had an episode in almost two years!
Sophia's eying-up a gluten free cupcake made into a donut! 

Since Sophia was diagnosed almost four years ago, there have been a plethora of resources that are now available to educate and assist those with this disease. Because The Hubs and I are verbal in the celiac disease community, we are often sought out and asked for advice on how we live with this life-altering disease.

One of the first things we recommend to others who are first diagnosed is this app. which is available for iPhones and Android devices. 
The Gluten-Free Scanner scans barcodes of foods and will tell you whether or not it's gluten free! #lifesaver

It's super simple to use.
1.Scan the barcode of the food you're checking
2. It will tell you:
A. "It's Gluten Free"
B. "No gluten containing ingredients" (Then I google the company to see if I can find anything in the nutrition section of the website)
 C. "Contains gluten"
D. "Buy the upgrade for $3.99" ::::the upgrade is worth the money:::: #buyit
We use this in grocery stores or even at birthday parties to scan food items that don't already have the GF label.
This App is user-friendly, even to the point where my father uses it when he buys snacks for Sophia. #ifhecandoitanyonecan

Secondly, we recommend attending the Mid-Hudson Walk for Celiac Disease for our friends here in the Hudson Valley area. 
This walk and vendor fair takes place on 
Sunday, May 20th, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
at the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie
and is organized by the Digestive Disease Center Community Fund and the ongoing research programs of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. 

After the walk, participants are able to obtain information about the disease, sample/purchase gluten free foods/beverages, watch cooking demonstrations from a Culinary Chef, and not have to ask, 
"is this gluten free?"

You can register the walk Here.

Here is our team for last year #teamsophiaandlily

I will continue to share our story and encourage you to share yours if you or a loved one have this disease. 

 Yes, it's life-changing but living with celiac disease and following a gluten free diet is manageable more than ever.  In fact, I would even say Sophia #sparkleswithceliac

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Friday Favorites!



Happy Friday!

What better way to kick off a Friday than to share some of my recent favorite items, mama and kiddie related! 

First up, the tulle skirt I wore for Easter.

I can't begin to express how obsessed I am with this skirt and will soon own the many color variations of it. ;) I was worried it would be too "poofy" but it falls very nicely. Plus you can't go wrong with an elastic waist. You can find it at Charlotte Russe, here




Impress Press-On Manicure

ImPress Press-on One-Step Gel manicures are a complete game changer!  I can't believe I was able to get 12 days out of this one package; I was so impressed! I actually gave a set away over on my IG and FB page. You can purchase them at your local Target, Walmart and of course,  Amazon here.


Jameson's ThinkBaby Sippy Cup



Jameson recently transitioned to a straw sippy cup and ThinkBaby is our favorite!  We actually had a few for Brayden and knew when Jameson was ready, ThinkBaby was going to be it!  It's easy for him to grasp and drink from, plus it doesn't leak!


Sophia's Baby Alive Super Snack Snackin' Lily


Sophia received this doll set as a gift for her birthday and she is obsessed!  Unfortunately, the two jars of playdough contain wheat so she couldn't use it.  We just replaced it with Model Magic so she could create food for her baby and change its diaper (it poos the food out.. It's gross concept, but she loves it!  lol).



The Greatest Showman




The entire Nikola Clan can't get enough of this movie or its soundtrack.  The story of P.T. Barnum's (yes, Barnum as in circus) vision is truly inspiring and as a musical is very entertaining.  You will not regret having a movie night with the family to watch this, promise!  You may even download the soundtrack and play it on your Alexa, just like us ;)

What are a few of your favorite things right now?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

When you can’t do it all...

“I can’t do it all” has been a phrase I’ve caught myself saying a lot recently.  No mama wants to admit she can’t balance everything, but I am here to tell you it’s OK to say that and I think it’s pretty normal to feel it.. at least that’s what I tell myself #lol

With all that said, I have to address the elephant in the room.  Within the past week, I’ve had several people reach out, asking if I’m still assisting others meet their health and fitness goals.

At this time, I am not offering my services simply because I have zero time to commit to helping others achieve their health goals. I am still affiliated with Beachbody because I love my shakes and swear by the fitness programs.  

If I had the time to fit it in, I 100% would #ilovedit

Since we added another Nikola to our Clan, I haven’t yet found a way to fit that back into my schedule.  It just wouldn’t be fair to do it now because I can’t dedicate the time it needs to actively coach and work my business...I can’t do it all #imok

I apologize to those who looked at me for motivation and inspiration.. I do believe 100% in living a healthy and fit lifestyle and although it can have its challenging moments, it can be done... I hope to continue to motivate and inspire you in different ways- not just when it comes to health and fitness 😉

I will continue to document my journey in the health and fitness world, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Currently, I am incorporating 3-4 days of yoga (mainly to keep myself sane) and following a whole new nutrition plan that’s help me get past my prepreggo weight. #whoopwhoop, but that’s a whole new post coming soon!

For those who trusted and allowed me to help you meet your health and fitness goals, THANK YOU!  You taught me so much that I simply can’t put into words.. I applaud you in taking those steps to a healthier you and encourage you to sweat, sparkle, and shine! 

And mamas, don’t be ashamed of not being able “to do it all.”  Chances are, we aren’t realizing we are ALREADY doing so much! #truthbomb 


Friday, March 2, 2018

Gluten free donuts for my girl!




By popular demand, I am sharing my recipe for the homemade gluten free donuts I made yesterday with Sophia and Brayden. 

On Thursday afternoon, I needed a little pick-me-up so I decided to stop by Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee.  Of course, Brayden needed a donut and Sophia asked if I could make her gluten free donuts one day. 

My response?

"Of course, baby doll!"

As a mama with a child with food limitations, I don't ever want her to miss out on foods I know I can make gluten free.

So I did some searching on Pinterest and was able to find this recipe and put my little spin on it! 

You can catch out our two videos via our Facebook Page as we were making them (here) and then decorating them (here).


Makes: 24-32 donuts (depending if you make donuts or donut holes)
Nutrition Facts for Donut- NOT including icing and toppings
Servings 31.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 121
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g3 %
Saturated Fat 1 g7 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 18 mg6 %
Sodium 45 mg2 %
Potassium 44 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 23 g8 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g2 %
Sugars 7 g
Protein 2 g4 %
Vitamin A3 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium3 %
Iron1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

You need:
  • 4 cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (I used Bob's 1-1 Baking Flour)
  • 6 teaspoons gluten-free aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Agave Nectar or any unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter melted 
*To spice up some of the donuts, I made some with blueberries and chocolate chips.

Icing:
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 T of milk (almond milk/coconut milk would also work)
Toppings:
  • Anything!!
  • Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Chex
  • Marshmallows

Do this:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease a donut pan, (I didn't have one.  Watch my video to see how I improvised) muffin tin, or cookie sheet (to make donut holes). 
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt,  cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together vanilla, eggs, milk, and agave nectar until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add coconut oil or butter and beat again until mixed well.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture and mix on low until everything is combined.
  6. Fill the prepared donut pan, muffin tin or cookie sheet and bake for 12–15 minutes- they should turn slightly brown on top.
  7. Let cool on a drying rack.
  8. Once cooled, mix together milk and sugar to make the icing.  Then dip each donut into the icing and add whatever toppings you wish. 
  9. ENJOY

Helpful hints:

Sophia and Brayden decorated the donuts so I lined their working area with parchment paper- called for easy cleanup. 

Be creative with what you put in and on them!  I even thought about adding some bacon!! #addedprotein

I'm storing half them in ziplock bags and then freezing the other half for a nice treat another day. 



Please let me know if you use this recipe- I'd love to hear how yours came out!



Saturday, January 13, 2018

A little slap in the face.. #goodslaptho

Although I’m two weeks late, Happy New Year!!

I have to admit.. I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently.

The whole working-mama / balancing life / not being able to blog (as you can see with my previous posts #itried), workout, or do things that I had more time to do

has been quite exhausting and I KNOW it should be because it comes with the territory... But sometimes, it does get to me because I do like to feel I have a good grasp on everything...

Recently tho, I feel my grasp isn’t all there... #thestruggleisreal

One of the biggest reasons why it’s hitting me especially hard is because Jameson and I are battling yet another thrush experience #iwanttocry

I started feeling “it” (you’ll never forget it if you experienced this) on New Year's Eve and I thank my lucky stars, both Jameson and I were able to start our medication the following day.  I immediately started upping my probiotics, Kombucha, Apple cider vinegar shots and cutting out processed foods and refined sugars.

Ringing in 2018 with Jameson and his god mommy!

Not that I’m at all a doctor or an expert in this, but I have a feeling what caused it...

Two things- my diet plus latch issues.

Diet- It was the holidays and of course, there’s way too many sweets around... So what’s a mama to do?  Indulge a bit too much...A little fun fact- yeast thrives on sugar...NYE is when I put 2-2 together since I was devouring a few brownies and way too much cannoli chip dip. #REDFLAG

So there’s THAT and then add Jameson’s poor latch.

Jameson has a shallow latch and because of this, he has caused blanching (nipple damage) which can turn into thrush. (for more info on this whole craziness, check this out).  It healed nicely after my first experience because I was pumping at work, rather than nursing.  However; while on our holiday break, I nursed him on-demand since he was sick plus cutting two teeth #hewantedhismama
my teething boy
Sweets + blanching from excessive nursing = Thrush (in my opinion)

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to boil/steam clean all pump parts, bottle pieces, and teething toys on a daily basis.  Plus changing nursing pads after every pump/feed, wash everything after one use in hot water, this list goes on... #illstopcomplainingnow

However...

I learned there is good to all this......

Let me explain.

Over on my Facebook page, I shared my first experience with thrush and blanching...
the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Within the past few weeks, I’ve had two mamas contact me, asking questions as they were currently battling thrush or similar symptoms.

We chatted and although it totally stinks to be going through this, we realized we weren’t alone and it was actually “comforting”(in a way), to know others struggle with breastfeeding- no matter if it’s the first or third baby...

After sharing our stories, I couldn’t help but think back as to why I started this blog.

Five years ago, I decided to share my interests in fashion, beauty, DIY, fitness & nutrition, and Mamahood.  I want to offer other mamas encouragement, inspiration, and certainly a few giggles or two, as we embark on this journey of raising mini-versions of ourselves.

So although this experience had me feeling as if I wasn’t winning at this whole, mamahood game, it was a nice slap in the face- reminding me that DUHHH... you’re not alone and it’s OK to have moments where it’s not going perfectly as planned!  The mommyhood tribe is strong and we lift one another in more ways than one!

Thank you, mamas, for the sweet reminder.  Mamahood is one crazy ride but it has its sparkling moments.
They’re worth it!