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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SEE KAI RUN STYLES SPRING SUMMER 2016

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fashion and Outfits, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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Given how much we love See Kai Run shoes, Lexi and I went out with some of our favorite styles and did a little look book for the blog featuring spring/summer sneakers, sandals and water shoes.

Now that Lexi is older, I can actually ask her for a detailed opinion on things she wears and plays with, so I think from now on, I will include two sections: mom’s opinion and Lexi’s opinion.

Mom’s opinion:

See Kai Run have always been one of the two brands that I got for Lexi because of the good fit and comfort. However, I am also incredibly impressed with original designs they come out with every season. My biggest soft spot is for their sneakers. The combination of patterns and colors is nothing that you normally see in footwear. I would personally wear them if they came in a larger size ( See Kai Run, please?) I have always disliked the look of tennis shoes for any situation other than the gym and these sneakers cut that perfect line between being sporty, comfy and yet stylish.

It also helps that See Kai Run has sales regularly and you can get their shoes for a really good price.

Lexi’s Opinion:

From her behavior I have noticed that she really prefers sandals. First, they are very easy to put on ( velcro!), so she can do it herself. She is a girly girl when it comes to fashion (skirts and sandals are her staples), so of course she prefers more girly options. This year See Kai Run has really nice water shoes ( machine washable and safe for water) and it has thrilled her to such a degree to be able to attack any puddle she comes across in these shoes. “Mom, are these water shoes? Can I jump?”

Out of Lexi’s mouth: ” I really like sandals better because they are like flip flops, easy to put on. ”

( all outfits are by Lourdes)


 

So enjoy the visuals below and enter the giveaway. Check out the upcoming sales –

  • For Memorial Day, See Kai Run has 30% off Spring Summer Sneakers.
  • Starting June 1st, they will be adding Spring Summer Sandals to the 30% off sale.
  • On June 8th, the savings get even bigger with 30% off all other Spring Summer styles. The 30% off ends on June 14th.
  • Be on the lookout in June for their Clearance Page Sale, where we will be offering big discounts on past season styles. You will be able to “Find your size and save BIG!”

Be sure to sign up for the See Kai Run newsletter at their website so you can be the first to know about special products, promotions and sales. You get 10% off your next purchase of $40.00 or more when you sign up as well.

GIVEAWAY

You can enter a giveaway for 1 pair of See Kai Run shoes below ( 2 winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Noel

Peyton

  

Mykah

Kira

Poppy Avalon

Magnuson

Arcadia

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.

Our favorite winter styles by See Kai Run and a Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fashion and Outfits, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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If you ever want some eye candy, all you have to do is check out See Kai Run shoes. I am amazed every season at how they manage to come out with the cutest designs.

There is one particular type of shoe that I am most in love with. It’s a high top sneaker, and every season See Kai Run manages to do something amazing with the patterns. It’s the single most complimented shoe since day 1 (different seasons and styles). Every season it’s a different pattern, but same compliments. The most unique shoe in the history of kids footwear.

The reason I am writing this post, however, is to let you guys know three things:

The scooter family is back.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

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I remember when Lexi was first born, her development focus was on the visual aspect of her surroundings. She wanted to stay on my shoulder for hours just looking around, and as soon as I would try to put her down, she would fuss until she was up high and looking again. For months she seemed to not be interested in moving as much as she was in seeing. Rolling to a toy was just not of interest until much much later.

Then things changed, and suddenly she just wanted to be everywhere and it didn’t end till she started walking. She didn’t start walking, I am sorry. Let me correct myself: she started runfalling, a process of falling and catching yourself so fast on repeat that you end up running. That’s what she did. Suddenly everything that had to do with physical activity was the shit. Scooters, bikes, climbers- she wanted to move. We got her a scooter. She loved it. Earlier than expected, but she did.

These are the pictures of Lexi lending Alexa her Micro Mini and riding together around the parking lot.

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Then came an era that confused me completely. She refused to use anything on wheels: scooters, bikes, motorcycles, even motorized riding toys. Just NO! She wanted to stay home and play pretend, play role playing games, play with her characters. That lasted a long time. At least it seems like it did for me. While her friends would ride bikes and scooters around the neighborhood, she would demand to play at home, with those same friends.

Now recently I am seeing the shift again. Bicycles are cool again, scooters are no problem, throwing a ball is fun. It’s confusing, but it’s certainly how it’s been happening all along. So tonight as I was going through my photo library I saw these photos. Lexi and me having fun on our scooters at the outdoor shopping mall. And it made me think of the amazing role that we have as parents to expose them and to encourage them to do varied activities. I have a scooter too, and so does Andrew. Mine is a white  Micro Kickboard scooter (seen below), and Andrew’s is a black one. They are pretty hot looking, sleek, solid. I’ve seen Brad Pitt and Angelina ride those with their kids.

And they are fun! Much more fun to ride than I ever thought it would be. And look cool. I feel kind of bad-ass riding a scooter…. skater girl-ish without the skateboard. haha

Sometimes, I take my white scooter out, put Lexi on the front and we go racing around the golf course.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a little piece of our life and activities we do here. Maybe someone will think it sounds like a fun idea. That would make me happy. No one likes to be that left out parent who is bored while their kid is having fun riding a scooter, right? We certainly love being a Micro Scooter family (this should be a hashtag).

Question 1: Would you consider riding an adult scooter with your kid next to your riding theirs?

Question 2: Have you noticed similar eb and flow of the preferred activities (physical vs mental) in your children, like I described above?

Think these scooters are cool? You can check them out and buy them here:

Learn about Micro Kickboard | Buy: Adult Scooter | Mini Micro

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Is it strange?

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, PRODUCTS

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I suck at picking out shoes for myself. I basically re-wear the same 4 pairs of my trusty and comfy Brain James shoes. However, for Lexi, it’s a different story. Is it strange that I am weirdly obsessed with toddler shoes. They have such amazing styles and fun patterns.

In case you’re wondering I am still a huge fan of Pediped shoes and See Kai Run shoes.

Aren’t these beautiful? And does anyone have a strange obsession with toddler shoes?

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Our travel comfort items and a baby monitor giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, TRAVEL

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Hola, amigos!

Posting here from sporadically sunny Mexico to offer you an insight on our travel must-haves in conjunction with a Levana monitor giveaway.

As I was sitting on the balcony of my room in Generations Resort in Riviera Maya, working away on my computer and periodically glancing at the monitor where Lexi was quietly sleeping, I realized that I  had never traveled without taking my monitor with me. It was an interesting realization because something like packing a monitor has been on an autopilot for so long, I didn’t truly understand I was doing that. Yet here I was with my daughter who is almost four in a one room suite still using a baby monitor.

I looked around the room trying to figure out what other items I still bring with us whenever we travel and it turns out there are a few staples that have been traveling with us for years.

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

On traveling solo, sleep and being away from Lexi

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Daily, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER

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As I am sitting here at 11:40 pm on a Wednesday night, two days late on my promised (to myself) weekly post, trying to decide what I can write about that I have the inspiration for and doesn’t take literally 4-5 hours to complete (writing to formatting to photos). I have a few drafts started but it’s all informative posts that really need some time put into them.

So the easiest, I thought, would be what I personally consider (harshly put) “useless babble”, but people seem to like. I have trouble writing posts that I don’t feel in some way benefit the reader, aside from photo posts or travel posts-I am sucker for those.

So that being said, how about we talk about a huge change that has happened in my and Lexi’s life: having to and being able to leave her with her dad and travel (for work or pleasure) solo.