Big Announcement!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, BABY, Best for Baby, Birthdays, BUMP UPDATES, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, Daily, Disney, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, Florida, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Green Products, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Letters to Lexi, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, Parenting, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Photography for Mommies Tutorials, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, Real Life Photos, TODDLER, TRAVEL, Tried and True, VIDEO

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Some of you, who follow me on social media, might have noticed that for the last 6 months I have been working on a few projects. I am ready to officially announce the first one.

Together with a friend of mine, I started a new business, Melody Lane, a clothing store that is focused on making sure that women in all stages of their lives have access to comfortable, affordable and most importantly versatile clothing. (see below on details of a $500 giveaway!)

Pregnancy, motherhood, nursing, party, fitness, vacation, career, school – it’s amazing how many stages we go through as women that require a completely different wardrobe. So our goal is to offer clothing with versatility and affordability in mind. Items you could wear for several occasions and during several stages of your life. Clothing that is comfortable, yet still looks good, because I have to admit that since becoming a mother, comfort trumps looks, however I still want to look good.

What it’s like to go on a #MomsEscape…

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, Photo Stories, TODDLER, TRAVEL

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This is a story… A story of how every person needs to escape sometimes. And how a group of bloggers, including myself, got a chance to do exactly that.

I will start the story with introductions. Some of you might be familiar with The MOMS network, and two power women behind it, Denise and Melissa. So these two ladies got a brilliant idea of putting together a group of blogger and together with AM Resorts going on a girls only ( except for our videographer Rafi) escape. A true Mom’s Escape.

Pre-Pregnancy Check List

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY

pre-TTC pre Conception Checklist

It is kind of surprising that considering how big I am on pregnancy preparation and the fact that my blog was born out of trying to prepare to conceive, I don’t have a comprehensive PRE-PREGNANCY CHECK LIST.

There is a page with the links to posts where I detailed my personal experience, but I would like to do more of a straight forward preparation check list for people who are just getting into it.

Lexi’s Favorite Snacks

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, PRODUCTS, Tried and True

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I haven’t written about what we eat in a long time. Tastes and routines evolve and so do our eating habits, so I want to update what our favorite on-the-go snacks of the moment are.

We still prefer fresh organic whole foods like fruit and vegetables to anything else. However there are times where packing a lunchbox full of perishables isn’t a good idea. Living in Florida doesn’t really help it. So during those days, we resort to nuts  and packaged snacks. I personally love going through the snack isle at Whole Foods trying to discover different types of snacks that would be better than what we are already eating.  This list below applies to both me and Lexi. In fact, our eating habits aren’t that different with the exception that I eat less healthy than she is (I am adult. I can. That’s my excuse)

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So these are the things we enjoy together.

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Seaweed snacks

This one blew my mind. One day we were sitting at the beach with our friends and my girlfriend Carla showed me roasted seaweed sheets that her 3 year old was obsessed with. She swore that Lexi would go crazy over them. I smelled the snack and ew! I am not a person who is normally grossed out by food. But I couldn’t believe Lexi would want to eat that. Two minutes later, she had devoured the whole package and moved onto the second one.

We have been buying these snacks since then and it is absolutely the most favorite thing of hers to eat on the go. A year later and I am now starting to dig them from time to time myself. Open mind, I’ll tell ya, keep an open mind. We can’t order them fast enough from Amazon. Just FYI, do not buy wasabi and teriyaki flavor is the best.

BUY HERE: Seaweed Roasted Snacks

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goodnessknows snack squares

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I consider this a treat which is one of the reasons why it is so awesome. Packed with nutty goodness, fruit/berries and DARK chocolate with specifically retained phytonutrients, it acts like a treat, but is natural and wholesome.

While technically these are a snack I use the word “treat” with Lexi, so she eats these instead of bad treats. It has chocolate, so she is happy. And it is loaded with wholesome nuts, oats and berries, so I am happy. Win win. Natural and tasty treat. 

Wholesome toddler snacks

Each goodnessknows package contains 150 calories, no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. My favorite part is  that it’s divided  into 4 pieces so you’re not tempted to eat the whole bar and give it out as little squares

My favorite is Peach & Cherry with almond and dark chocolate flavor. Lexi loves the apple, almond&peanut, dark chocolate ones. goodness

BUY HERE: Amazon

FIND RETAILERS: goodnessknows

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Edamame peas

Lexi lovingly calls them “mommy peas” ( aw which breaks my heart as I am writing this on the plane to Vegas away from my girl)

When we make them at home, we always buy organic, since they are soy beans and soy is ALL pretty much GMO, unless it’s organic or Non-GMO certified. Unfortunately at the restaurants we can’t really chose organic and non-GMO, so we eat whatever they serve.

You can buy bags of frozen organic edamame peas that are quickly prepared in boiling water and make for a great snack at home or for a lunch box.

BUY HERE: Organic Edamame Peas

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Prunes and Dried  apricots

This is a total throwback to my childhood. My mom used to give them to us and only when I became an adult, did I appreciate their taste of prunes. I love them now and so does Lexi. If dehydrated properly, they are a nutritional powerhouse.

BUY HERE: Dried Apricots | Prunes

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GoRaw bar

I found this bar browsing in Whole Foods for snacks that we could take on a plane with us. My favorite is the banana bread. It has FOUR (4!!!!!) ingredients, all organic. It tastes great, and is very filling. The banana bread has flaxseeds, banana, dates and coconuts in them.

BUY HERE: GoRaw bar

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessknows. The opinions and text are all mine.

Panorama and Things You Did Not Know About Prenatal Testing

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUMP UPDATES, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, Pregnancy Q of the week

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I would like to officially announce that I have been selected to be one of the Panorama Moms this year. What that means is that I will be learning and writing about prenatal, genetic carrier, preimplantation and other types of pregnancy related testing available by Natera. It’s an interesting learning experience and I hope that it will also help some of my readers make testing decisions that are safer and more accurate than the traditional testing.

When you are having a baby there is so much on your mind.  You are always thinking about the health and safety of your baby first in almost every daily task that you take on.  Then the doctors present prenatal testing to you as an option. Maybe you had higher than normal numbers, maybe your age is considered “advanced maternal age”. Whatever the case is there is a huge amount of stress and anxiety associated with the safety of your baby.   There is so much to know about prenatal testing and it’s important to be well informed before you go in for testing, so in this point I am going to try to lay out some of the information available to me.

My Little Kitchen Helper

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, Other Recommendations, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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I know that I’ve slacked in the department of product reviews since getting busier, but I am hoping to fix that in the near future and trickle out reviews of some of my favorite things or at least compile them into the TRIED and TRUE posts.

This is going to be more of a story of how our life evolved with the product than an actual review, but in so writing about it, you will get a good idea whether you might enjoy this product as much as we did or not.

This particular item has sneakily made its way into our life in more ways than I anticipated. We had featured a Kitchen Helper on Daily Mom, right at the time when I was struggling to keep Lexi occupied while I cooked. I had also heard good things about it from MULTIPLE people. So I thought it was a worth product to try and see if it solves our little problem. Our first test was Easter Cooking out of all things. I took an egg nest recipe from Daily Mom (of course), Lexi and I put on our favorite Mommy and Me aprons and we started cooking.

Perfect Exercise Routine for Busy Moms

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, PREGNANCY, TODDLER

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UGH!

Can I start this post with UGH?

I really didn’t think I’d be here at this point, but whatever.

Let me start from the beginning. Or actually let me start with this phrase:

I was in better shape right after birth than I am now ( at the time of writing).

Bam! That blows! It took 3 years (pregnancy and 2 toddler years) to UNDO all the work I had done prior to pregnancy.

People often ask me how I stayed so fit and “skinny” after birth. Before, I could have told them something worthwhile. Now I just chuckle. I looked good after birth because I was REALLY fit going INTO pregnancy.

What went wrong?

Morning and Evening Bike Rides

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, Fun as a Toddler Mom, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TODDLER

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A while ago when Lexi was 1.5 years old, we decided that it was time to start biking as a family. Prior to that time, we weren’t so sure that Lexi would even sit in a bike seat, since getting her to sit in a stroller was pretty challenging as it is.

So after looking around for bike seats, I narrowed it down to one seat that I felt was absolutely perfect for Lexi, Yepp Mini. It was a front facing bike seat made of a softer material and had the potential of actually helping her enjoy the bike ride versus sitting in the back and not seeing much but our backs. It was sort of like using a carrier when she was little- she would absolutely refuse to be back carried or be rear-facing. It had to be front facing at all times. So pretty excited about the prospect of actually being able to go on bike rides with Lexi, we got the seat, installed it and took off for a first ride.

It was PERFECT! I cannot recommend the seat enough! Even though she hated any other mode of transportation, riding a bike was fun for her. She was facing the world and the wind and seeing the sights and it was fast and exciting. I really feel it was the seat that made a huge difference in how she perceives biking.

Baby’s got glasses and what we, as parents, should know about sight!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER

Baby got Glasses

About a few weeks ago, we made a decision to get Lexi glasses. After a yearly trip to an ophthalmologist, we found out that Lexi was nearsighted (she can see well close up but not far away) and could possibly need glasses. The doctor didn’t seem so sure that she HAD to have them, if we didn’t want to get them, but after figuring out how she must be seeing and reading up on some studies, we decided that it was necessary.  So that same day, we took her to a local lens store and got her two pairs of glasses.

We had an idea that it would happen sooner or later, as Andrew’s side of the family have all  been in glasses since a very early age, especially the females. Given that childhood onset myopia (nearsightedness) is primarily genetic, we figured she would need glasses at some point, but, of course, hoped that she wouldn’t, since no one in my side of family was myopic before 17 years of age (which is the age where the line between a genetically inherited childhood onset myopia and adult myopia gets drawn).