Monthly Archives: April 2016

Pregnancy Music Belt : Ritmo

One of the first purchases I made shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my daughter was the Ritmo Pregnancy Audio Belt. Honestly, my husband and I truly feel it was one of the best investments we ever made. While there is no scientific research to prove it, we credit her ability to sleeping soundly from the moment she was born, to my wearing the audio belt. For us, this was a huge blessing because the walls of apartment living can seem very thin at times. So, it goes without saying that I pulled this little beauty right out of storage the second I found out we were expecting baby #2!

I always knew I would purchase some type of musical belt once I became pregnant. I remember thinking about it during my first few years of college. At the end of each semester, I would turn my books into the bookstore only to receive less than half of what I originally paid. One of these semester I had taken a history of classical music course as one of my general education classes. One of the items I was required to purchase was a set of classical music cd’s. While this is not my style of music, I remember thinking I am going to keep these cd’s for my future children someday. As it turns out, that was another great decision! Once the Ritmo arrived, we downloaded all those classical tunes to my husbands iPod.

I had looked at several belts online before finally selecting the Ritmo. Unlike the Ritmo, many of the belts I came across were just that – one belt that went around your belly and seemed very ill fitted. The Ritmo Pregnancy Audio Belt is very well constructed, hugging gentle around your belly with a set of four speakers strategically placed, making for a well created design. The belt also comes with one extender to ensure a good fit as your belly grows. It’s very easy to use and its soft structure makes for a very comfortable wear. I wear it for hours at home and often forget I have it on. It does not interfere with my daily house hold tasks such as; chasing my toddler, cleaning, cooking, etc.

Whether you are pregnant with your first or fourth child or want to get a unique baby shower gift for your best friend, I highly recommend the Ritmo Pregnancy Audio Belt! What are some of your favorite must haves for pregnancy and baby?

Copyrighted by: Boldly Bravely You

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Sunscreen : Sensitive Skin : Beach Babies

Now that the Summer Sun is fast approaching its time to pull out the beach towels, swim suits, and of course we can’t forget sunscreen. Protecting my daughters pale, sensitive skin is of the utmost importance. I knew from previous experience that I couldn’t just walk into Wal-Mart and purchase whatever was on the shelf. Doing that could cause her smooth skin to go haywire and I didn’t need a repeat of that!

Honestly, I didn’t know where to start!? That’s when a friend told me about the EWG Guide to Sunscreens website. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group.  This group rates sunscreens based on their level of each chemical ingredient. I found the website to be very helpful when searching for the safest sunscreen for my toddlers skin. Click on any of the listed sunscreens and there will be a break down of each ingredient used, amount used, and the level of hazard. The EWG uses the information they have regarding each ingredient  to give an overall score for safety.

After combing through the list carefully, I decided on California Baby Super Sensitive Skin. While it is a bit on the pricey side, I feel its total worth it in the end! Putting lotions and other products on my daughters skin in the past that were full of chemicals, caused her to break out something terrible. So, when it came to sunscreen safety, I didn’t want to repeat past mistakes!

California Baby is a great sunscreen, which I highly recommend! It protects my daughters skin from the harmful rays of the sun without all the harsh side affects of hazardous chemicals.

What beach bag essentials do you use to keep you and your family safe in the summer sun?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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3 Tips To Combat The Picky Eater

I feel like the “picky eater”, as the phrase is coined, has become a hot button topic in the mommy world of social media. Often times I will see posts through different forums, asking for advice on how to combat their picky eater. The question seems innocent enough. As a mother myself, I will be the first to admit I don’t know it all. So, its always nice to talk with other moms and hear what works for them. Yet, when its comes to the picky eater, posts often become a heated debate. People bickering with one another over their advice.

In truth, we are all strong, loving mothers just trying to do the best we can. I feel we should love and celebrate each others journey through motherhood. With that being said, its through my own experiences that I have figured out how to combat my picky toddler. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to children and food, but I have come up with a few tips that I would like to share.

3 Tips To Combat The Picky Eater

  1. Don’t make eating the food a big deal.

This was VERY difficult for me at first. When my daughter began the picky eater stage, meals became a point of contention. The more pressure I put on her to eat, the less likely she was touch anything on her plate.  So, one day I decided to bit my tongue. I sat her plate in front of her and walked away. Of course I stayed in the kitchen to keep an eye on her, but I pretended to appear busy. I shuffled papers, wiped down the countertops, and ignored the “all done” she would scream in the first few minutes. Leaving the plate in front of her for a reasonable 30 minutes pre meal. It didn’t happen over night, but by the end of the week she began eating a little of everything on her plate with no complaints.

2.  Cook Together

I have mentioned this tip before in a previous blog post called, Little Hands in the Kitchen. Having my daughter cook with me has truly been one of the best tips in combating the picky eater stage. Giving her the opportunity to work with and help to make the food gives her a sense of pride. It makes her want to try something because she had a hand in its creation. For example, I have had her put spinach in the blender whenever we make fruit smoothies and other meals. After almost a year of putting this ingredient in her food, she will now pick it up and eat it raw! No joke! I can set spinach leaves on her plate and she will eat them by the handful! Honestly, I never expected that! But she loves to try each ingredient now, before combining them together.

3.   Negotiate

Now that our toddler is approaching 3, negotiating during meal time has become helpful. She is now at the age where we do require she try one bite of each item on her plate. So, telling her she can be all done if she tries one bite of “XYZ” is helpful. Or if she wants to eat a sweet snack after dinner, she needs to eat so much of each item. Sometimes she wants second or third helpings of vegetables. Honestly, I consider this a mommy win! So I just keep refilling. On the other hand if she wants another helping of pasta for example, then I say sure once you have two “big girl” bites of this vegetable or fruit. Then, I refill with a tiny portion of pasta and repeat the two bites rule before another pasta helping.

Do you have a picky eater? What has worked for your family in expanding their palette?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Macaroni & Peas : Toddler Approved

If you have been following my Facebook page then you know one of my toddlers favorite meals is Macaroni and Peas. Actually it’s probably her favorite meal to date. She has resorted to asking for this meal every. single. day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner! As you know, toddlers are notorious for fixating on one thing for long periods of time. This can make it very challenging when my daughter is having a tear satined emotional fit over the fact that I made waffles for breakfast instead of Macaroni and Peas…

While having a a toddler lying on the floor, crying at 8am is not the most desirable option – I do consider this a mommy win! I mean, what mom doesn’t want their child to enjoy a healthier version of the traditional boxed Macaroni & Cheese!? We are even at the point where she is refusing to eat almost all restaurant versions because their are no peas.

Macaroni & Peas

Ingredients:

1 box Whole Wheat Macaroni

1 block Cheddar Cheese (cubed)

1 Bag of Frozen Peas (I prefer the bag I can throw in the microwave to save time)

Options: 

1/2 to 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt – (For an even healthier version)

1/2 to 1 Cup Milk and/or 2 to 3 TBS butter/margarine – (For a more traditional version)

(Honestly – I use whatever we have on hand, whether its yogurt or milk. Either way, the butter itself is not necessary – its purely based on personal taste. I do try to omit it when my toddler isn’t watching.)

Directions:

  1. Cook about half the box of pasta according to directions on the box.
  2. While the pasta is cooking put the bag of frozen peas in the microwave and cook according to directions on the bag.
  3. Drain pasta and place back in the pot.
  4. Add cubed cheese and either the yogurt or milk. (optional: 2 to 3 TBS butter)
  5. Cook on low heat. Stirring regularly until cheese and butter are melted.
  6. Add more milk/yogurt depending on your desired consistency.

Eat and Enjoy!

Batch cooking:

As you can see from my photos, half a box of pasta makes a large batch. I place this dish in a large tubber ware bowl and store in the refrigerator for the next four or five days worth of lunches.

What are your toddlers favorite meals? How do you work to make them healthier?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Birthdays, Birthdays, & More Birthdays!

I love birthdays! I have always loved birthdays! Growing up, my parents made sure our birthdays were very special. So, it goes without saying that when I became a mother I was beyond excited to plan our daughters birthdays!

Before my daughter even had her first birthday I had a general idea for themes 1 through 5. Yes, you read that right – 1 through 5. Of course, the ideas are just the beginning stages. In the months leading up to each birthday, I narrow it down and set a clear picture for the direction I want to go. As you can tell, I love to plan ahead – birthdays at least…

In the months leading up to our daughters first birthday we discussed not only how we want to celebrate hers, but future children as well. We decided that each child would have an extended family party for their first birthday. Donned with their own special birthday outfit as their keepsake. Each individual child would even have there own first birthday theme, based on the theme of their nursery. Every birthday after that would be a more intimate family affair.

Our reasoning came from a few simple thoughts. First and for most, we did not want our entire family to feel they must attend several birthdays a year as we add to our family. As we all know, with work and young children life can get pretty busy at times. So we felt receiving an invitation for only their first birthdays would be best. In my opinion, its also nice because I won’t have to explain why so and so was able to attend one child’s birthday but not the other. This way no child feels left out or as though their birthday is less important because it did not work with everyones schedule.

Some would say the first birthday isn’t that important, because the child won’t even remember it. While its true they won’t remember, my husband and I see it a little differently. If it wasn’t for those large first birthday parties we had as babies, we would not even have photographs or video with some family members. Even those we will never personally know some of those beautiful people, its nice to see photographs of us together. I love that I can watch the video of my first birthday to see and hear their voices, as they interact with me. It gives me a sense of connection to those beautiful and loving souls.

Birthdays are a great way to let out my creative side! Once I have selected a theme, I head straight to pinterest! Last year, I decided Minnie Mouse was the perfect theme for age two! Of course, pink Minnie Mouse simply wouldn’t do! It had to be the traditional red/black! Why? It isn’t just because I like the traditional Minnie and Mickey the best, which I do. My thought was I could reuse the decorations I created for a boy, if the colors are red and black. Which brings me to the birthday banner. With this in mind, I created the banner using both Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

I also love having a special birthday outfit to match the theme! With budget in mind, only each child’s first birthday outfit will have their name. Of course, my daughters birthday outfits won’t work for a boy, but they will definitely work for a girl. It just so happens we are expecting another little princess. So she will be able reuse decorations and birthday outfits for themes 2 through 5. So if you love to have a special outfit created for your little ones birthday, consider leaving off the name. Especially if you love the theme you selected so much, that you would love to reuse it!

As you can see, I love birthdays! The prep and planning is always exciting, but it doesn’t beat the bright smile on my daughters face during her special day! As her third birthday is fast approaching, I wanted to reflect on the last 3 years and how we have celebrated.

What do birthdays mean to you? How do you celebrate your little ones?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

first birthday (5)Photo Credit – Captured Moments by Sarah Fritch

first birthday (3)Photo Credit – Captured Moments by Sarah Fritch

first birthday (63)Photo Credit – Captured Moments by Sarah Fritch

first birthday (106)Photo Credit – Captured Moments by Sarah Fritch

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