Your Playlist

I went and heard Henry Rollins speak last week in his spoken word tour. It was exactly what I needed to experience to bring me back to my spiritual center. I have been so anxious about the election and our country that it is physically and mentally draining me. A lot of past anger has resurfaced listening to peoples ignorance. It has been so easy to get caught up in the fear with this part of our culture that it is easy to forget- this is not who I am.
During the event, he asked the audience to go home and upgrade in life. That no matter who wins this election, it isn’t going to change who you are and what you can do. To basically take charge of your life and what is going on around you and to upgrade your life to be better. Better for the world and better for yourself.

He went on to tell stories about his life and how music got him through some rough teenage years. He spoke about traveling all over the world with an external hard drive full of music to share with young people. One story stuck out with how he snuck music into the middle east where it is banned and how excited the kids were. It is comforting knowing that music connects us. That no matter where you come from, what you believe, how you live- we can all connect to that one song or band.

So this got me to thinking about playlists. What my playlist was. What playlist I should create for my kids to turn them on to great music. What playlist I would create for someone who has never heard American music. I spent a couple of days putting music together for my kids- mainly my oldest E. When I finally got it together, I turned it on and they all started dancing and moving around.

If you are feeling disconnected from others, your kids, or even yourself- find your playlist. Turn it on and start dancing like no one is watching.

What would be on your playlist?


Natural Baby Food

A lot of things have happened over the past 10 years when it comes to what you can give a baby. Now you can feed them yogurt, cheese, nuts, fish and eggs at 6 months instead of waiting until they are 1. Raw honey is still a no-go until 1, but everything else is up to you- though you still should avoid sugar, salt, and choke hazard foods.


When it comes to feeding my 9 month old, I kind of do a bit of everything. She is still breastfed and I do believe food is for fun until age 1. But my munchkin LOVES food. I don’t like to give solids until 6 months, but at 4 months she snatched a banana out of my hand and started gobbling it down- so I’m following her lead. I do believe in baby-led weaning but I also will mash up some sweet potatoes and mix with yogurt and feed with a spoon. And I do love organic baby food pouches when we are on the go. (But aren’t those baby-led weaning since they feed themselves??)


The littlest is my more adventurous eater, so I have wanted to step it up rather than just offer bland foods. I have plenty of old baby food books, but none with the current feeding standards. I was sent Natural Baby Food by Dr. Sonali Ruder and I LOVE this book. It was nice to get a refresher on baby nutrition and why certain foods are beneficial. It also covers allergies, how to introduce food, portion sizes, what to feed (and not feed) your baby, how to make baby food, then it is filled with age appropriate recipes!

The first part seems like common sense foods, but I love the sample feeding schedule and details about the fruits and vegetables. Then the book goes into flavorful combinations- which I’m not so good at! Especially when it comes to adding herbs and spices. Then it has recipes for finger foods- which I’m hoping my pre-schooler will get on board with. And toddler foods.

Natural Baby Food would make a great babyshower or welcome home gift!


Trumped With Anxiety

I’ve had anxiety most of my life. I’ve jumped on and off meds since I was 12- but over the past 10 years it has been mostly manageable. Since baby girl was born in January, my anxiety levels have been pretty intense. I got back on medication to try and correct the imbalance, but it is still something I deal with daily. You couldn’t tell if you hung out with me that I was struggling. I keep it pretty cool (unless one of my kids needs a reality check) and most people would have no idea what is going on internally. That is the scary part about anxiety- most people have no clue what you are feeling until you are completely broken.

After dealing with it for so many years, it has gotten easier to differentiate the crazy vs reality. But lately I seem to question if I’m overreacting or if something is literally insane. A great example is this year’s election. I’m not going to make this political- but internally this election has me losing it. I’m terrified and I’m not sure if it is the anxiety talking or if there is something to really be scared about??

Before Facebook, news apps and social media, it was easy to shut off the world when in a deep state of anxiety. Now I can’t help but to get consumed with what is going on. There is so much unrest, hate, fear, bigotry, and anger lingering in the air. My hometown has had an abundant amount of violence, murders, riots, protesting, rallies from all sides. I see news stories that talk about global unrest, bombs, nuclear weapons. Half of our state is under water from Hurricane Matthew. All of these things are out of our control and it is scary.

As a sexual abuse and rape survivor, I am deeply bothered by the words that have been floating around the media this week. I’m deeply troubled by the wide acceptance of someone who brags about sexual abuse. As a mom of 2 girls, I fear this rape culture and the fact so many aren’t standing up to it. Excuses like locker room talk, his groupies were asking for it, he was just joking around have all been accepted. People who are upset are being told there are more important things to focus on, that this is just a distraction. But as a survivor and parent this issue is very important. This type of behavior is not ok. It’s not ok for millionaires, celebrities, musicians, popular kids, jocks, and so forth to do whatever they please to a woman. No one has the right to touch anyone’s body without their consent. Period. The fact this is being taken so lightly is a huge problem for America- and I know this isn’t the anxiety talking!




It is funny how every nursing relationship is different. My first child preferred a bottle to the breast. My second child was ok taking either and had no issues when I had to pump for 3 weeks while we worked out a tongue tie and mastitis. My third only wants the breast and likes chewing on bottles. I keep trying because I do want to resume dating my husband and while the little is an adorable companion- mama needs a little bit of space!

My husband and I like to travel and also like going to concerts. The little is almost 9 months and still nurses quite frequently. So if we are on a road trip and it has been 3 hours, I need to pump or I get uncomfortable. The same with concerts. When we get to the car I’m ready to explode. So I love Earth Mama Angel Baby’s new kit- Milk-To-Go Pumping Companion Essentials!


The Milk-To-Go Pumping Companion Essentials comes with:

  • Reusable Insulated Bag
  • Organic Milkmaid Tea- 16 tea bags
  • Natural Nipple Butter- 1 oz. of lanolin-free nipple balm
  • Happy Mama Body Wash- 1.67 fl oz. no toxin castile soap
  • Booby Tubes- gel-free breast packs with an organic cotton shell and flax seed filling

All of which are great for traveling! This is also an amazing kit for moms who are back at work and have to pump daily.

I find that it is easier to pump when I apply Natural Nipple Butter first. I also like using my Booby Tubes because the heat helps me relax and actually letdown without my little. Happy Mama Body Wash is great for washing your hands before and after! And who doesn’t love Earth Mama Angel Baby’s teas?

With my son I had to pump every meal for 3 weeks. He had a tongue tie which caused a horrible latch, which led to mastitis and seriously hurt nipples. After the mastitis I decided to give them a break and just pump until we could get the tie corrected. Of course the pain affected my supply, so I drank Organic Milkmaid Tea several times a day. It did wonders! Luckily my supply has been great this go round, but I still love the taste- so it is great for when traveling or when I know I need to pump.

The Milk-To-Go Pumping Companion Essentials kit is now available at Earth Mama Angel Baby for $39.99 and it is currently on sale for $34.99! This would make the perfect baby shower or new mom gift!


Apple Oatmeal

My kids love going to their grandmom’s because she makes the best oatmeal. She uses Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats, steel cut oats and fresh fruit or raisins to make her magical breakfast that the kids devour.

Every time I’ve tried to make it in the past, the kids hate it. But we got a new Instant Pot when Amazon had a deal and now I can make oatmeal like a pro!
And it is ready to serve in 10 minutes! All you need is 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Oats, 2 cups of water, a sprinkle of Coconut Sugar, an organic apple, and sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Cook for 3 minutes on the Instant Pot and then wait for it to steam. You can also add Stonyfield Vanilla Grassfed yogurt or breastmilk to thin out and add flavor!


The littlest has not liked any baby oatmeal’s that we have tried. I’ve given her the mixes, the pre-made kind, the kind you add breastmilk and serve, and the pouches… she has just never cared for it. But she sure does love her Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal!

There are many health benefits of eating oatmeal. Studies have shown that oats lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. They help with weight control and also may help lower blood pressure. Oats are also high in beta-glucans, a kind of starch that stimulates the immune system- which is why it is great for children and babies to eat!

Bob’s Red Mill has a variety of gluten free oats, organic oats and lots more!

What are some of your favorite oatmeal recipes?

*I am part of the Stonyfield YoGetters group of bloggers and receive compensation and products as part of the program. My opinion is not influenced in any way


My superpowers are slowly fading with every whine and cry that pierce my ears. We are on day 12 of my babies not being at 100%. It started with a cold with the littles after a fun night at Joan Jett.


The following day they were battling 104 and 101 temps and they both only wanted mama. That meant carrying them both up the stairs, sleeping sitting up while holding them both, long nights of wiping noses and tears.

3 days later, baby girl had an ear infection in both ears and little man was on the mend. She is also cutting a front tooth, so she was (still is) miserable. 3 days after that, he had a scheduled tonsillectomy.

img_5337 Needless to say, it has been a very long 12 days of mama caring for her babies. And now I’m touched out. I’m depleted. I’ve given everything in me and little is left. My patience is low. Every high pitch sound they make is like nails to a chalkboard. They sense my angst and are reacting by being super needy and acting out.


They do not understand mama has to get back to work. They do not understand mama desperately needs some alone time- just an uninterrupted shower or potty break. They do not understand my legs hurt from sharing the bed with 3 other bodies and having 2 kids on my lap is uncomfortable. They don’t understand depression or anxiety and how tired I am. Or how I just need some peace and quiet!! This super-mama needs to recharge, but I can’t until they don’t need all of me.

Happiness With a Side of PPD

It has been 6 months since I was diagnosed with PPD. I thought I would be off of meds by now and way into my new groove with 3 kiddos. I much prefer the natural approach to the mind, spirit, and body- but I also know when I need to seek help so I can be the best for my family.

I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 12. I’ve been on and off meds majority of my life. I only stayed on them for a short while in the past because I believed my depression was completely situational. I would find my peace and move on. I know depression is a chemical imbalance, but I figured the things I had faced caused the imbalance. But for the first time in my life, I am truly happy. I am completely satisfied. I could not be more thankful for my life and family. And yet here I am, on the highest amount of Lexapro that I can take while nursing and taking anxiety meds as needed- and it is super frustrating!

The other night I was walking our pup and I turned around and admired our little house.

I was looking into the nightlight lit rooms, with pinkish and blue tints seeping through the windows. I remember thinking about how blessed I was to have 3 healthy sleeping children inside. I thought about my husband and the five years we have been through. The ups and downs in the beginning that have led us to this peace. I can’t explain how amazing it is to have a partner that is your missing piece. That things just connect so easily without being forced. We can be us with no judgement. He holds me together when I feel like I’m slipping like it is nothing at all. I’m one lucky girl to have his understanding.

I looked at our house in awe and with gratitude that this is my life, then saw a shooting star fall from the distance behind the house. It was one of those magical, surreal moments. After it fell, I realized I had nothing to wish for- it was all inside waiting for me.

Back to School Lunch Inspiration

I can’t believe the Summer is over and it is back to school time! My kids are very independent and like packing their own lunches. Which is great with the 9 year old since she can choose healthy foods, but my 3.75 year old is a bit more challenging. He wants to be grown up like his sister so I have to give him the opportunity to when I can.

I love Justin’s nut butter pouches and snacks. My son loves to dip things- so their nut butters and pretzels are his favorite. He especially loves the Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

Before I could even take a photo, he had eaten all 6 packs, so I had to make another order! He is my sneak and snacks don’t last long around him. I did see that Justin’s now has a banana and nut butter dip that we will have to look for. These are great snacks for on the go- packed with protein and yummy flavors.

Every year since I’ve been a YoGetter we have partnered with amazing companies for back to school ideas. This year we were sent Justin’s peanut butter pouches, pretzel dips, a Packit lunchbox as well as Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers.

I don’t know why someone hadn’t thought of a freezable lunchbox until now! This is an amazing idea and I don’t know how we got this far without one. We used to freeze our YoKids Squeezers so they were cold by lunchtime, but now there is no need! Unless you are wanting a frozen treat. The lunchbox goes right into the freezer and keeps your items cool for at least 10 hours. So not only is this great for school, but for picnics, hikes, or long road trips. And it is only $19.99! We may need to get a few more of these!

Here is some other lunchbox inspiration using Justin’s Peanut Butter and Stonyfield Yogurt:





What are some of your favorite go to school lunches? 

*I am part of the Stonyfield YoGetters group of bloggers and receive compensation and products as part of the program. My opinion is not influenced in any way

Blessings We Didn’t Know We Needed

Life has a funny way of stepping in and giving you what you didn’t know you needed. We took a family beach vacation at the beginning of the Summer and my husband could barely get out of bed the whole trip. He was having extreme hip pain from a previous car wreck and after not being able to enjoy the trip with the kids, he decided to push his hip replacement up a few months.
A couple of weeks after this decision I was home with 3 kids, a new puppy, and taking care of my husband who could barely move. So that left little time for taking care of me, my needs or blog! It was a great experience for everyone to have my husband home for a little over 6 weeks. And yes- we were pretty crazy adding a puppy to our mix- but we figured why not get it out of the way now and let the puppy and baby grow up together so we have peace in a few years…
The kids spent many days making forts, art projects, pretend schools, dress up and whatever else they could do to amuse themselves. My husband was able to truly bond with the baby and he got a taste of what it is like at home daily while I try to work and tend to everyone.
I was able to have support. And even though he was just sitting there most of the time, it was nice to have my partner with me. Especially when dealing with postpartum depression. It was nice to spend the Summer taking it easy rather than fitting in work with playdates and crazy schedules that it would have been if he was working. It made me see how lucky my kids are to have one another and have him for a father.
Today is the first day I am home alone with our very mobile 7 month old who is days away from walking, our very energetic 3.75 year old and 12 week old puppy. In this madness, I’m reflecting on our Summer and the blessings we didn’t know we needed. I’m accepting more what life has given us and embracing the toys thrown all over the floor, the noise of my trying son, chaos of a wild puppy, the innocence and wonder of an exploring infant who is growing too fast, my sweet daughter who is such a big help- yet so mind boggling, and the 50 million allergies that have plagued all of us- including the poor puppy. (I’m not sure I’m embracing the allergy part just yet- but I’m trying)
In all of this madness- we are truly blessed. Thanks for sticking around for the journey.