Why my kids watch the Olympics

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, it’s been hard to miss the Olympics are going on. Surprise!

The 31st Olympiad kicked off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Friday, August 5.

I have to admit, I’ve always been a sucker for the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching sports year round, but there’s something about cheering on the United States of America and these amazing athletes.

This is my daughters first Olympics, and let’s be real, she’s only sixteen months old (almost a year and a half for those who hate the month age thing), so she doesn’t cheer the athletes on or really sit still at all while we watch the competitions for an hour before she goes to bed.

She’s not be biting her nails when USA is only one spike away from winning it’s beach volleyball match, and she doesn’t cringe when the gymnasts don’t stick their landings, but for the first time in a long time I am showing her a program on a national news channel that is bringing the country together instead of dividing it.

The Olympic Games are competitions, obviously. But it’s also so much more. It teaches it’s athletes, spectators and the world so many valuable lessons. And for me, passing those along to my kids are the true gold medal.

The Games unite the world, while embracing all of the different cultures, religions and views.

Via FirstPost.com
2016 Rio Olympics – Beach Volleyball – Women’s Preliminary – Beach Volleyball Arena – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 07/08/2016. Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete. Via FirstPost.com

They also prove that you can make your dreams come true with dedication, hard work, sacrifice and lots of muscle.

It’s not just about being the best. Except it kind of is, but it’s also teaching how to be humble and a fantastic teammate.

The ‘Final Five’ is a perfect example. The USA’s women’s gymnastic team earned the gold medal Tuesday night. Two of the athletes faced the battle of coming back from the London games, and are now overshadowed by a fantastic, Olympic-rookie athlete named Simone Biles.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: (L to R) Gold medalists Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian, Lauren Hernandez, Gabrielle Douglas and Simone Biles of the United States pose for photographs with their medals after the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 09: (L to R) Gold medalists Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian, Lauren Hernandez, Gabrielle Douglas and Simone Biles of the United States pose for photographs with their medals after the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Gabby Douglas, 2012’s All-Around Gold Medal winner, was knocked out of the running for this year’s all-around by Biles. But instead of pouting and cowering down, Douglas came back strong to compete in and help USA win the team competition and to cheer on Biles and the rest of her teammates. Proving sportsmanship is not lost.

I get sucked in to each of the athlete’s stories that play before, during or after their events. They give an in depth look into their lives, and it shows their accomplishments and struggles.  We can succumb to our problems, or beat them. How we react to our obstacles shape who we become in the future.

For these three weeks, it’s not about dividing our country by race, sex, sexual orientation, or political views. These three weeks we all wear red, white and blue.

So do yourself and your family a favor and turn on the tube together. Watch some of the amazing things our fellow Americans are doin’ and doin’ and doin’ it well.

Go for the gold, cheers.

 

Veggie Packed Zucchini Bread

My parents have an absolutely amazing garden. It’s one of those gardens that make people drool just by looking at it. My step-dad and mom are pretty much super gardeners.

The star of their super garden right now? Squash and zucchini.

And me, the amazing daughter that I am (let’s be real they love my daughter more) was blessed with bags full of zucchini and squash.

I stared at them on my counter for a few days wondering how I am going to get my daughter and husband to eat all of this mega green machine veggie.

And then it hit me, hide it!

There’s no better way to hide a vegetable or fruit than in a bread!

For this recipe I shredded the zucchini with a cheese grater, and threw in the smallest squash for a little extra veggie punch.

Shredded joy

One of the keys to this recipe is to make sure all the ingredients are mixed very well together each step. I didn’t mix in my zucchini and squash as well as I should have and there are some chunks in my bread (but it’s still a hit in my house!)

Impatiently waiting for the bread to be done!

This bread is perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee, on the go, or just a snack! The cinnamon is the perfect touch for the end of the summer, and will be a great recipe for this fall!

Delicious Zucchini Bread

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Occasion Casual Party
Website A Family Feast
Need your kids to eat their vegetables? Check out this Delicious Zucchini Bread recipe that even fooled my husband!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Zucchini (Shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Directions

Pre-heat
Step 1
Pre-heat oven to 350. Covered loaf pan liberally with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Combine
Step 2
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt. Stir to combine.
Shred
Step 3
Shred zucchini, lightly packing down to get out extra water.
Mix
Step 4
In mixing bowl, beat eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla extract and sugar.
Combine
Step 5
Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet, about 1/4 at a time. Beat well.
Fold In
Step 6
With rubber spatula, slowly fold in shredded zucchini (optional : add in nuts here).
Step 7
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Step 8
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Walking off the baby weight

Everyone says it takes one step at a time, right?

One step to a healthier lifestyle, one step to a new you, how about one step  to get back into your jeans?

Everything requires you to take just that one step, including losing the baby weight.

And taking that one step is exactly how I got back into my pre-baby clothes, with a little help from my good friend Spanx. Of course.

I started with a slow, mile walk with a friend or my mom a few days a week and then increased it to every day, each day pushing the stroller a little faster, taking the uphill route, or going and extra mile or two.

To help make each exercise count, I really had to push myself.

It helped that the walks helped soothe Charlie, and would usually put her right to sleep!

That’s when Bike2Power’s new Stroller Smartphone Mounting Kit became a necessity on my walks! The mount easily clips to anywhere on the stroller handles with a one-size-fits-all rubber band. The band is securely strapped and locked before the phone is even attached.

The kit also comes with a phone cover/screen protector, this keeps your phone safe if anything should happen or fall.

DSC_0591

Once the phone is in the case, the black back of the case securely locks into the rubber band on the handle. While the stroller was empty, I tried to shake off the mount, bounced the stroller up and down and shook it from side to side, though the phone did wobble, it never detached and stayed on the stroller.

DSC_0592

The first time I went for a walk with Bike2Power’s Mounting Kit, I was underwhelmed because I couldn’t access the screen on my iPhone 6. So, I used my phone to play music off of my phone, which was nice.

I really enjoyed not holding my phone or having it flop around in my pocket while I was trying to power walk to some 90’s jams.

After using the mount a few times, I found that while I did have to push hard on my phone to access my apps or type a text message, it became easier and easier.

If you have/are having a baby, stroller and an iPhone, I would highly recommend this product. My phone was safe and secure, and I was able to enjoy a walk with music or even on the phone without having to steer the stroller with one hand and hold my phone in the other.

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The kit is waterproof and not only works on strollers, but really anything you can wrap the rubber band on like: bicycle handles, wagons, four wheelers, golf bags, etc.

These kits are available for iPhone 5/5s, 6/6s, 6/6s Plus, Galaxy S5, S6 and S6 Edge, and there is an universal stroller mount which is compatible with any smartphone or case.

Bike2Power also has great customer service. When I initially signed up to test this product, I was shipped the wrong phone case size. Within a matter of days I had the correct kit in my mailbox with postage paid for the returned kit.

Want to try it out? These kits are available on Amazon or click  —–> here.

Cheers to getting back into those jeans!

Momma, make that milk!

It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week!! Shout out to all of those milk-makin’ mommas out there!!

Breastfeeding my daughter for over a year is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Not only is it the best thing to feed my daughter, but it also created a magical bond between us. I wouldn’t trade the sore, cracked nipples, late night feedings or bites for anything!

I quickly became obsessed with making more and more milk, because ‘what if Charlie didn’t hit the quota of wet diapers for the day?’

And then I obsessed over making too much milk, ‘oh no Charlie spits up after I nurse her, I’m now overfeeding her.’

Which are both crazy thoughts I had during the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.

Check that six month chub!
Check that six month chub!

I felt like once I got the hang of nursing her, I was only a few weeks away from going back to work and had to build up a stash in the freezer for her while I was away… ‘There’s no way I can make enough milk when I’m only pumping one ounce.’

Then I really became obsessed with making more milk.

And more milk.

And more milk.

For over a year I pumped twice a day at work and nursed at home. And scowered the inter-webs for ways to make more and more and more milk. Some things worked, some things didn’t.

Here’s a list of all the thing that worked for me –

10 Tried and True Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply:

  1. DRINK! – Drink lots of water, drink your weight in water. Up your water intake and you will see a boost in your supply!
  2. Nurse on Demand – I tried schedules, I tried saying no, but when I cut back or made Charlie wait longer to nurse, my supply dropped. Nursing is a supply-demand kind of thing. The more your nurse + the more your body thinks it needs to make milk = more milk.
  3. Lactation Cookies – the best midnight snack during those middle of the night feedings. I tried a few difference recipes, but the best one I found was from BellyBelly . It comes down to the amazing, milk-making ingredients, like coconut oil, flax seed, BREWERS YEAST (emphasis on this milk boosting ingredient), and oatmeal. I added some chocolate covered raisins to mine for some extra oomph.
  4. Mother’s Milk Tea – This goes back to the water intake, but this tea seemed to have magic in it! Though I do have to warn you, you have to develop a taste for it. I drank one cup a day at work in between pumping sessions!
  5. Blue Gatorade – Back to drinking your weight, blue Gatorade is amazing. I don’t know why the blue, but that seems to be the key. I recommend the blueberry pomegranate or glacier freeze.
  6. Pump – Pumping can be tough, but the stash you build and how it affects your milk supply make it worth it! Make sure you get a good pump, I have a Medela Freestyle, and pump after you nurse. It will help trick your body into making more milk, and you will create a supply for when you are not near your babe.
  7. Power Pumping – Once you get the hang of pumping, try power pumping a few times and see if it helps. Pump for 20 minutes, stop for 10, pump for 10 more and continue for about an hour, or how long you have till the babe needs you. This will help trick your body into thinking you need to make more milk.
  8. Look at your baby – While nursing, take in that bald head, long eye lashes and baby-soft skin. Soak in all of the love and bond you two are creating together. If you’re pumping, look at pictures or watch videos of the babe.
  9. Switch sides – Charlie was a one-side feeder, so I was constantly lopsided, but it did help my supply on the days I could get her to nurse off both instead of one.
  10. RELAX – This is my biggest tip – if you are stressed, anxious or sad, it will drastically affect your milk supply. As a postpartum woman your hormones are already going haywire and your haven’t had decent sleep since before you found out you were pregnant, so relaxing isn’t something you do often, but try. The minute you let the muscles in your back loosen up and exhale that deep breath you will really see a difference in your supply!

Need help relaxing? Cheers with a dark beer. The darker the beer the more active yeast. Brewers yeast is key in breast milk production!

All of the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it momma.

Milk coma!

Not only did you create a magical being inside your body, but now you are giving this baby all of the vitamins, nutrients and liquid that it needs to survive for the first six months.

You are a miracle too!

Cheers to normalizing breastfeeding.