A closer look at Sprout baby food

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Health and Fitness, Parenting, PRODUCTS

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This post brought to you by Sprout Organic Foods . The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

My friend, Kristen, wrote a guest post here a couple weeks ago about how she uses Sprout baby food to simplify her morning.  I love discovering new products that make it easier to raise healthy kids so I decided to check out Sprout Organic Foods myself. Lexi still eats fruit pouches especially when we travel, so I wondered if Sprout really is as healthy and as different as it says it is and I am super excited to share what I found out so those of you expecting or with babies (or older) can try Sprout out with your little ones.

Simplified Mornings from another mom

Written by Kristen. Posted in Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Health and Fitness, PRODUCTS

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This post brought to you by Sprout Organic Foods. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

Hey, guys! Sprout asked me and one of my friends to discuss how their food pouches (and we both use it for different reasons) make our lives easier. Kristen and I have traveled together (our last trip was Gulf County you can read about here), we are both messy moms ( those moms who don’t seem to like to take the time to clean up and instead go have fun, guilty!!!! So our kitchens are always a mess), we both love writing and photographing, and we both work at Daily Mom. So Kristen is joining us today to talk about her breakfast and morning routine.

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My name is Kristen and I am one of Elena’s friends. We work on Daily Mom together and I am excited to be writing a guest post on The Art of Making a Baby. I love following along on all Elena and Lexi’s adventures here! I am always trying to be the best mom possible and offer my son whatever I can to enrich his life.  We’ve never been homebodies. As soon as he was old enough to sit up we were attending story times and other programs at public libraries. We got to Mommy and Me type classes that encourage his healthy development. I have taken him to a Bible study with me and to church on Sundays. However, we have never had to be consistently up and out of the house early for multiple days in a row. He’s never been on a real schedule.  Well now my son is enrolled in daycare and he has to be there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday! Our mornings have changed significantly.

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When we are not on a schedule our mornings are pretty laid back. Elliott wakes up between 6 and 7 and we snuggle in bed for awhile. Once he is ready to get up, he starts his day with milk. After that we play or read for almost an hour before we make breakfast. Breakfast is always scrambled eggs and fruit. Now with the daycare schedule, our leisurely mornings are not cutting it. I am finding that we need a breakfast that can be prepared and eaten quickly. Unfortunately, after a trip to the grocery store, I realized that breakfast on the go options are not healthy! There is so much sugar in many breakfast options that I might as well feed my son cookies for breakfast. After one full week of daycare and barely making it out the door on time, I discovered a breakfast that is quick but very healthy. Sprout Pouches! Sprout Organic Foods are perfect when you are on the go and we are most definitely on the go now.

My son bounces from one thing to the next in the morning, making a lovely family breakfast in a timely manner impossible. He needs to eat and move on to get some play time in before we have to leave. I can open a Sprout Pouch and make him some whole grain toast to nibble on for an easy, delicious, but extremely healthy breakfast.   With a quick and healthy breakfast, I actually get to spend more time with my son and I treasure that as he is now beginning to spend more and more time apart from me.   I don’t even think twice about giving my son a Sprout pouch for breakfast or a snack because Sprout stands behind everything they make with their Honesty Pledge. They pledge to not use GMOs, concentrates, or preservatives. They pledge that all their products are whole, organic foods. What you see is what you get. Sprout honestly labels their products. Flavor names match the primary order of ingredients inside.

Go ahead and grab a Sprout pouch. Compare the ingredients on the back to the label on the front. Guess what? They will be the same. For example, the Spinach Banana Apple pouch contains spinach, banana, and apple. With Sprout Moms know EXACTLY what they are feeing their babies. There is nothing in a Sprout pouch that you won’t find in your own kitchen. Research shows that developing a love of healthy foods early on helps foster healthy eating habits for life. That’s why Sprout is committed to providing the best nutrition and uses only certified-organic, non-GMO ingredients like whole fruits, vegetables and grains.

Download their Sprout Coupons and try the new Sprout pouch flavors: Mango, Spinach Banana Apple, Blueberry Banana Oatmeal, and Pear Spinach Prune. They use whole fruits, vegetables and grains. If you have questions about Sprout, and let’s face it, we all have questions when it comes to what we are feeding our children, Sprout answers everything right here.

Here is the mission of Sprout: Keep it honest. Make it real. I need that in my busy life. I need a company I can trust without giving it another thought.

It isn’t often you can simplify something without sacrificing quality. You can simplify your morning routine with Sprout pouches and you will have better mornings. My son gets a healthy breakfast, we spend more time together and we get out the door with less stress. I love it!

Where to Buy | Their Mission & Values | Sprout Coupons

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Hell Week Challenge: Moving Forward, Lessons and Recap

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you’ve been with me for the last week as I took the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week Challenge: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen.

If you want to get caught up with how the week has been, I wrote 7 posts, with this post being the 7th. If you haven’t already, take a little time to read the other posts as well: Hell Week Challenge: What It Is and Why You Should Do It,
Hell Week Challenge Prep,
Hell Week Day 1: Habits,
Hell Week Day 2: Get In the Mode,
Hell Week Day 3: Planning,
Hell Week Days 4 & 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest.

I hope you will strongly considered doing your own Hell Week Challenge. Just order a copy of the book from Amazon and you can get started!

Hell Week Day 4 and 5: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Rest

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am entering into the second half of my Hell Week challenge based on the book, Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon. I think everyone needs to take this challenge and I have been writing about it all week. I introduced the book and the challenge, I wrote about how I prepped for Hell Week and I have given a play by play for each day here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. Each day has presented a new focus and a new way to stretch myself and Day 4 was no different.

Day 4 started exactly like its name. I woke up to no Internet. No internet means no productivity and working. It seems like every little thing that could go wrong to sabotage my Hell Week Challenge this week went wrong, from food poisoning to a rained out volleyball and consequent late night of playing and having to go to sleep late. Now with the internet out, I can’t get everything I planned on doing done. It’s making me laugh right now as I write about it. You wanted me to step out of my comfort zone? I think the universe kind of took care of that by throwing everything it could at me this week to PREVENT me to getting things done. If there was any doubt in my mind on whether I would repeat the Hell Week, it’s no longer there.

I am repeating the damn challenge as soon as I am back from my Minnesota trip for 4th of July.

On Thursday I was supposed to pull an all-nighter. As I wrote earlier that wasn’t feasible at the moment because I have to take care of Lexi, drive her an hour to camp and an hour back and play volleyball Friday evening (when I would have been up for over 24 hours). However I really want to do it (I love all-nighters). So I am going to do it Saturday night and I am pretty excited.

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I dropped Lexi off at school on Thursday morning and went straight to the gym, pushing as hard as I could, working out. Then I spend the day at a local organic restaurant working (doing specifically something I had planned for hell week).

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Then we spent a nice calm evening playing and went to bed at the right time. Very simple good day.

Day 5, Friday, was meant to be a rest day after the all nighter, but since I didn’t do the all nighter, I treated it like any other day. Once again I had Lexi on Friday so my work time was limited. I had to work out of a cafe so that I had access to the Internet, got a decent amount of work done.

I find it extremely challenging to be hyperfocused when I know I only have a few hours of work, before having to return to mommy mode. And it’s even more challenging to be hyper focused IN MOMMY mode. Being a mommy and being a super productive worker are on completely opposite spectrums of mental function.  Not doing intellectual or intensely physical activities (like playing kid games) is energy draining for me (I am sure many mommies can relate that a day of playing Legos and talking about characters can be mind numbing), so I sort of turn off and that makes me tired. I need to find a way to get into hyperfocused mode when I am a mom, not just during work. I can tell that it is going to take more than a week to find that strength and get into the zone, but this is a good start and a good motivator for me.

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So when I picked Lexi up, I forced myself to come up with a new activity rather than just go with what we know.

On the way home, we made a detour to a local PetSmart to go see pets. Lexi is at the stage where he is in love with little animals and has been asking for a little kitty as well as obsessively petting our cats at home, so this was a great trip. She squealed and awwwww’ed and was just absolutely enthralled by the little kittens and fish and mice and hamsters she saw at the store. This was a good spur of the moment trip. On the way home, instead of listening to music or playing the old and tired iSpy game, we played the game of calling out letters and coming up with words that start with that letter, as well as describing of things and trying to guess what we are trying to describe. She did surprisingly well at both of those games and got exponentially better the more we played ( we have a 40 min to an hour drive home from her camp). I felt better about actually engaging into things actively rather than passively, but I still think there is room for improvement, that I can push myself further to be better in mommy mode.

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Friday is my volleyball day, and I was set at being focused and pushing myself further than usual. As a result, I won every single game of the evening except for the last one ( we usually play about 8 games back to back in the course of the evening). Another proof that I don’t give it my all consistently and when I do, I can see the results.

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At 9:15pm I rushed home, took a quick shower to wash off all the sticky wet sand and was in bed by 10:30pm.
Overall, I think I had a successful day in terms of the #hellweekchallenge, but I can’t help it but feel that I could push even more, do even better. I feel like this could become my every day mode, a better improved. But I want to really feel the pain doing the challenge. I guess the simple fact that I did not need to change my eating or exercising habits automatically makes it much easier, but I want to really feel challenged and persevere.

Today is Saturday, the all-nighter, I am very excited to see how it will go. I will need lots of coffee.

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Hell Week Challenge Day 3: Planning

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This post brought to you by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

This week, I am taking the Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days To Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be bought on Amazon . If you haven’t already, go back and catch up with my other posts. I explained what the challenge is about and why you should do it. I walked through my preparation for the Hell Week Challenge and I showed you how Day 1 and Day 2 went for me. I’ve completed Day 3 and here is what happened.

Ok, maybe this isn’t exactly hellish but life makes it hard to stay on top of things.

Hell Week Day 2: Get in the Mode

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you have been following along with me for my Hell Week Challenge based on the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I introduced you to what Hell Week is all about, I talked about how I prepared for this challenge and I share how Day 1 went for me. If you want to get ready for your own Hell Week Challenge, order a copy of the book from Amazon. Use the hashtags #hellweekchallenge and #hellweektaomab to share your experience. I would love to follow along with you.

Hell Week Day 2

Wow this was rough! Not because it’s Hell Week, but because I was feeling sick. It started last night after I played 2 hours of volleyball. I just felt nauseous, so I left early (normally we play for 3 hours), I barely made it home and went straight to bed with Lexi, by 10 pm as I am supposed to. I couldn’t have stayed up if I wanted to.

Hell Week Day 1: Habits

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you have been reading my latest posts, you know I am participating in the Hell Week Challenge based off the book “Hell Week: 7 Days to Be Your Best Self” by Erik Bertrand Larssen. I explained what Hell Week is all about and shared about my experience preparing to take the Hell Week Challenge. If you want to join me or start your own Hell Week Challenge next week, grab a copy of this super helpful book from Amazon.

 

If you are completing the challenge with me, be sure to use #HellWeekChallenge and #HellWeekTAOMAB so I can follow along with you!

Hell Week Challenge Prep

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUSY MOM TIPS, EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Erik Bertrand Larssen for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

This week I am taking the HELL WEEK challenge from the book Hell Week: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self Now by Erik Bertrand Larssen that can be purchased on Amazon if you’d like to participate with me. I introduced the book, why I am taking the challenge and what I hope to achieve through the challenge in THIS POST. I hope some of you are going to join me in the challenge and have ordered your own copy of the book. You can grab it on Amazon if you have not already.

Before HELL WEEK can start, there are some preparations you have to do. This is laid out in the book and I want to share how I prepared for my HELL WEEK challenge that starts on Monday. I am so excited!

Hell Week Challenge: What it is and why you should do it

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUSY MOM TIPS, Daily, FOR MOMS, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE

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This post brought to you by Erik Bertrand Larssen. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Art of Making a Baby.

I have been SO GIDDY about participating in the Hell Week challenge since I found out about. I don’t think I have ever been so excited to write a late night post about anything ever before.

If you follow me on Instagram (and you should), you have seen me sitting around with a book. Not just any book. This one: HELL WEEK: Seven Days to Be Your Best Self by Erik Bertrand Larssen

I would like to talk a bit about what this book is about, why I am reading it and participating in the challenge and why I think you should join me (if not for anything but for the fun of doing a challenge together)

My new business, Melody Lane, and how it started.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, Tried and True

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THE WHOLE STORY

Some of you who follow me on IG might have noticed me mentioning Melody Lane  a few times and I am sure you saw the announcement  and I have finally found the time to talk about it and give you some background information on how it came to life and what it is. ( and a coupon just for my readers at the end)