50 Healthy Snacks- Perfect For School Lunches or After School Hunger

Here is a list of healthier snack options for whatever the need be. Whether it’s for you or your children you’ll be sure to find some good snack choices!

1. Sliced Apples With Peanut Butter Or Almond Butter

Apples are rich in fiber which means they are filling! Also a great snack for a child who may have a little constipation. When it comes to peanut butter stick with natural (check the ingrediants) some peanut butters have added sugars which is what you want to avoid. The apple has enough good sugar in it. If you’re not much of a peanut butter person almond butter is another great option that taste great on apple slices.

2. Multigrain Toast With Nutella, sliced strawberries and chia seeds

This is one of our favorites in our home. This makes for a great snack or hearty breakfast. The chia seeds is an added dose of fiber for your little to keep them full longer.

4. Sliced cucumbers; lightly salted

A little salt brings out the flavor. You can also take the cucumbers and serve it with a dip. Or on some avocado toast like the picture above! My kiddos love ranch. Some like to peel the skin I prefer to give them a good scrub and just slice them with the skin on. Most of the nutrients are found in, you guessed it, the skin.

5. Raisins

Some kids like them, some kids don’t. Try it out and see how they react! I forgot all about raisins until my kids came home with them from school. Obviously they weren’t too interested since they came home with them.

6. Pistachios

Yum. A snack I often forget about, but what a great snack! And if you ask me, highly addicting! Refrain from eating strait out of the bag and just put a handful in a bowl or small jar.

7. Beef Jerky

A great school snack for lunch time. Full of protein and something that keep you full until your next meal. There are so many different kinds and types. Beef jerky can be expensive, but if you ask me you get what you pay for when it comes to jerky. If you can afford to pay a little extra for the good stuff it’s worth it.

8. Dates or Prunes

Believe it or not one of my daughters LOVES prunes and dates. I tell her though she can’t too much though, otherwise she’ll have diarrhea. Am I lying?

9. Crackers (look for wheat or multigrain)

There are so many crackers to choose from. Specifically look for multigrain or wheat. Eat them plain or load them up with meat and cheese, peanut butter, hummus, tuna, whatever your little heart desires!

10. String cheese

String cheese is a child favorite. It’s delicious and it’s just fun! Who doesn’t enjoy pulling it apart and dangling it in your mouth like it’s spaghetti. I’m not the only one, right?

11. Almonds

This is great snack for on the go or lunches. Protein and fiber in a little nut. Eat them plain or flavor it up! Have you tried the wasabi and soy sauce ones!? So good!

12. Popcorn (lightly salted or buttered)

People forget about popcorn. As long as it is not saturated in butter and salt then it’s not that bad of a snack. We enjoy the smart food popcorn or just the lightly salted pop secret.

13. Trail mix

This was one of my favorite snacks back in the day. I actually don’t buy this too often because my kids right now will just pick out the m&m’s and leave the rest. Those little stinkers.

14. Yogurt/yogurt parfaits

Eat it plain, make a smoothie, make a parfait, mix it with fruit, granola, we love yogurt!

15. Applesauce

Perfect snack for school lunches. Opt for sugar free if you can. Add a little cinnamon, that’s our favorite.

15. Carrot sticks

Love me some carrot sticks! My kids enjoy dipping them in ranch! I’m always telling them it’s good for your eyes! Which they are! Carrots sticks are a great school lunch snack.

16. Celery sticks

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never really enjoyed celery sticks. But my husband likes them and so does one of my daughters. I know eating them with peanut butter is popular among the cool kids.

17. Chopped up fruit like strawberries, canalope, watermelon

Spice it up a little and add some tajin! If you’ve never tried tajin seasoning you need to try it. Or put a little whip cream on the fruit. Another thing to try is a yogurt dip. Of course eating them plain is good too.

18. Blueberries

“They help you poop.” I’m constantly saying this to convince them to eat their blueberries. My girls usually eat them as it but they are also yummy mixed with chopped strawberries. What a fun idea too to put them in an ice cream cone!

19. Sweet potato chips

When you’re craving something salty and crunch these make a great snack to curve that craving. And I believe this is something your child can get away with taking to school for sure! Store bought or try making them yourself!

20. Veggies straws

Another salt and crunchy snack to satisfy the craving. Light and airy. My kids love these. Preferably the ranch flavor. Usually found in the chip aisle at the grocery store.

21. Pretzels

Such a yummy salty snack. I like to put Nutella on the side for my girls or peanut butter. We also love DOTS highly addicting pretzels or the cheddar flavored ones. So good.

22. Granola

I like to make homemade granola. And my kids typically eat granola like they do cereal. They love when I make granola. I like that I get to control the content. Incredibly filling and great for constipation.

23. Chex Mix

Try making a Chex mix yourself! Get the kids involved! Homemade muddie buddies are so good!

24. Wasabi peas (if you can handle them)

These are so good! Might be more of a snack for you than your kids though. They have kick!

25. Ritz crackers with peanut butter

Another fan favorite. Perfect for on the go and I can count on it to fill my kids stomach. Make them yourself or let your child do it. Make it into a fun activity.

26. Grapes

Red or green. Which do you prefer? I know some parents like to put the grapes in the freezer. They say it taste like candy. You be the judge!

27. Avocados slices with everything bagel seasoning or soy sauce

So simple. So delicious. You don’t even need bread. Soy sauce also taste great. My two year old loves avocado slices with a little bit of soy sauce. Try it out !

28. Dried fruit such as mangos

Yum! Can’t get enough of dried mango! Perfect for snack time, lunches, or even car rides!

29. Smoothies

My go-to when I want to get some veggies in my kids. I also tend to sneak spinach in their somewhere and they don’t even notice. Or what I also love to throw in is avocado. It’s creates such a creamy texture. It’s delicious.

30. Banana chips

Buy them or make them yourself! I’ve never made them, but they can’t be that hard right? Right????

31. Peanut butter on a spoon

Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple. My kids love peanut butter on a spoon and I did as well when I was a kid.

32. Frozen banana pops

Break a banana in half, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze! If you really want to get creative you can dip in peanut butter or chocolate.

33. Oatmeal

I never considered oatmeal a snack but I guess it could be! My girls love strawberry and banana flavored oatmeal.

34. Hard boiled eggs

Have you ever had a hard boiled egg with everything bagel seasoning! This snack is full of protein and fun for the kids. What I mean by fun is kids enjoy picking the hard shell off. Snack time meet sensory activity. Win win lol!

3 Steps To A Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

35. Lunch meat

Lunch meat once was one of my favorite snacks. I use to love bologna. Although being older I don’t eat it now I do enjoy turkey or ham and my kids do too. I’ll cut it in strips and let them eat it as is. They seem to enjoy it.

36. Pickles

What’s funny about pickles is I couldn’t stand them before but once I became pregnant I grew a love for them. I love pickles now. Strange right? Pickles don’t have to be just a snack you get at Disneyland!

37. Energy balls

Energy balls consist of oats, peanut butter, honey, flax seed, coconut, chocolate chips, all rolled up into a ball! NO BAKE Coconut Almond Oatmeal Bites

38. Hummus dip with crackers or veggies

There are so many different types of hummus dips you’ll be sure to find one your kiddo likes. Serve it them with some grainy crackers and fresh veggies.

39. Peanut butter and banana quesadillas

You know, I’ve never tried this. But I keep hearing good things. I need to make this!

40. Half of a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Make your child a full sandwich. Cut in half. Pack one for school and the other half can be eaten after school. No food wasted.

41. Olives

My husband loves to snack on olives. I personally can’t eat them plain. On pizza, sure! A pasta? Yum!

42.Frozen fruit pops (check the sugar content)

So many different types of fruit pops. I think this would be a great after school treat. Save it for Friday’s!

43. Edamane

Typically we only eat these when we go out for sushi. But this is a great healthy snack to eat after school or whenever!

44. Baby Bell peppers with dip

45. Multi grain bread toasted with some unsalted butter (a little sugar and cinnamon – optional) and some sliced bananas

46. Cottage cheese

Honestly, I don’t eat cottage cheese. It’s the smell or texture….I just can’t. However my husband enjoys this and I know many others do as well which is why it’s on the list. I think many people eat it with fruit preserves.

47. Tuna Melts

This was my ultimate favorite childhood snack. Tuna, cheddar cheese, and tomato! So good!

48. Fig bars

Filling, delicious, full of fiber, a great snack that doesn’t make much of a mess either. Score!

49. Kiwi

When I was in grade school there was a girl who alway brought kiwi to school. I thought it was so pretty, the vibrant green. But my mom never got kiwi I have no idea why. Kiwi is so delicious! My girl love them! Eat them with a spoon, squeeze the fruit out, or slice it up.

50. Pretzel nuggets filled with peanut butter

I forgot about these! The little pretzel nuggets are a fan favorite! These are great for the lunch boxes or a snack after school.

If you have another healthy snack in mind please comment and let us know!

60 Small Pieces Of Advice From A Mother To Her Daughters

To my daughters; Demi, Ella, Wrenn. I love you girls so much. I scribbled these pieces in a notebook awhile back and I decided to share these and make it accessible to others who may need a little piece of advice.

May each of you continue to notice the lights in your life, always.

  1. Pay attention to children. Study them and watch them with great intent. They will remind you how to live.
  2. Always appreciate your surroundings. Compared to another, you may be living a dream.
  3. Create friendships that will last a lifetime. Cherish that best friend you have, those kinds of friendships are like finding treasure.
  4. It’s more than okay to cry in front of others, don’t ever be embarrassed.
  5. Keep this in mind, “this to shall pass.” The bad things, and the good things. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
  6. Cut the distractions and enjoy the moment.
  7. Always respect yourself. You are so worth it, never doubt that.
  8. You are not merely words, you are poetry.
  9. Life will disappoint you sometimes, and you are never alone in that disappointment. What are you going to do about it?
  10. Falling in love is worth it.
  11. Think before you speak. Words stain like lipstick.
  12. Don’t judge others. Just don’t. Everyone has a story and everyone has value.
  13. Stick with the people who make you belly-ache laugh.
  14. Love is a choice, choose love, always.
  15. Scary moments will arise, but you can do it. Have faith in yourself, have faith in others.
  16. Help whenever you notice the opportunity, but be cautious. Please don’t pick up hitchhikers.
  17. Read. Read. Read. Gain knowledge and understanding. The world needs that.
  18. Your body is perfect. Absolutely perfect and full of magic. Believe it.
  19. Never lose sight of who you are, stay true to yourself.
  20. Love God with all of your heart. Nobody loves you the way God does.
  21. Get outside every chance you get and BREATHE. Close your eyes and just breathe.
  22. Write whenever you can. Write your ideas, your dreams, things you have learned. Share it and pass it on.
  23. Give gifts for no reason. One simple way to show another how much you value and treasure them. But the best gift is your time and attention.
  24. Mama says use your manners but also eat with your hands and burp. It’s good for you.
  25. Forgive yourself. Mistakes are going to happen. And when you begin reflecting, forgive yourself.
  26. Dream big. Not everyone gets to the dream (or maybe they do) but you know what, most of the fun is the actual dreaming.
  27. Have fun and get muddy.
  28. Listen to others. You can hear and not be listening. Listen to what someone is saying.
  29. Count your blessings, and count them often.
  30. Tell the ones you love them, ALL THE TIME.
  31. Learn about space. It’s a little terrifying, but absolutely miraculous.
  32. Grudges are not good for the soul. Let it go baby, let it go. Practice forgiveness.
  33. Cake for breakfast, why not? Sometimes you eat dessert first.
  34. Be highly conscious what you are feeding your body and your soul. But make exceptions. Some day are for movies and pure comfort food.
  35. No one is a mind reader. Steer from making assumptions and learn to talk it out.
  36. Practice independence. It will benefit you.
  37. You could be a billionaire or millionaire and still be unhappy. “The best things in life cannot be seen or touched but only felt with the heart.” Helen Keller.
  38. Swallow your pride and say sorry when you need to.
  39. You make an impact every single day. Even the days you don’t get out of bed.
  40. Explore. Travel. NOTICE the world. There is so much beauty even in your front yard.
  41. Cherish time, because you don’t get it back. But then again, you kind of do, just in a different way. A smell can make you time travel.
  42. Be yourself, always. Because there is nobody who will ever be you. So embrace who you are, you beautiful creature!
  43. Embrace your path. Comparing will only make you lose focus. You have your own purposes in this life.
  44. Practice calmness verse becoming angry. Breathe in, breathe out. I know its hard, I know. But you are stronger than you believe.
  45. Be a hostess, and host often. And it’s okay to go to bed and clean up the next day. Pay attention to who helps though and offers to clean up.
  46. “I hope you dance.” by Faith Hill. Listen to that song and when you become a mom one day you’ll really understand it. I love you.
  47. Don’t go looking for trouble, but get in a little trouble. It’s fun. Some trouble is worth it.
  48. Pray everyday.
  49. Let your voice be heard. You have so much to say and so much to share. You will inspire and change the world. You’ve completely changed mine.
  50. Don’t surrender to peer pressure. If you are ever in a situation where you are feeling pressured, get out. That’s a red flag.
  51. Fight back what you are passionate about. You’ve always had the fire. Don’t let anyone dim your light.
  52. Don’t believe everything you hear. Ask questions or just smile. Take it with a grain of salt. And don’t things too personally. How a person treats you is a reflection on how they treat themselves. Show compassion.
  53. Don’t ignore your intuition. But if you do, learn from it.
  54. If you don’t want anyone to find out, there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be doing it.
  55. Don’t be afraid to come across as foolish. Ask the questions, be the first, remain curious, try new things, and laugh at yourself.
  56. Walk in light, be a light for others, and help others shine.
  57. Be patient with yourself. A tree doesn’t grow that tall and give that much shade over night.
  58. Go through your things often, and donate whatever you can. You can survive with less than you may believe.
  59. Love life. Love it all. The bad and good. I mentioned this in number 14. Choose love over fear.
  60. Never forget how much your parents really do love you. You are what gave them life.

I love you.

Women, You Need To Be Checking Your Breasts For Lumps At Least Once A Month. Best Time Is After Your Period.

In the United States for every 8 women, 1 will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

This statistic is very alarming. Being a woman and having daughters pushes me to bring more awareness to this and to encourage the females in my life to ensure they are checking themselves regularly for anything abnormal.

I discovered a lump in my underarm almost a year ago. I was referred to woman’s imaging twice and I even requested to see a specialist because I still felt unsure.

Long story short, they have come to a recent conclusion that it’s a benign lymph node. I will continue to monitor it and am doing what I believe I need to do. I am still very hopeful that it will resolve on it’s on.

But in the meantime I feel a very strong obligation to share this and to encourage women to be checking themselves. Having this lump has led me to lots of googling, believe me. But when I go through something I try to ask myself, “what is this teaching me and how can I apply this to my life?” It’s all been a life lesson.

Hence, why I am writing this blog.

Maybe some female (friend or stranger) will read this and just her reading this saved her life! I mean, who knows! But if anything I just want encourage you, my friends, to take care of yourselves as best you can.

I know cancer is not something we want to believe that can happen to us but the truth is, it can. If not you, possibly someone you love dearly. And with a 1 in 8 statistic we should be even more proactive with this, as well as, providing more awareness to the women in our lives to check themselves.

I am not a health expert. But here are the answers that I can provide to you with my experience.

When to check your breasts?

At least once a month. Best time to check for any abnormalities is right after your period, this is what a breast specialist told me. What may help is setting a monthly reminder in your phone to prevent you from forgetting.

How to self exam your breasts?

Lay down on your back and lift one arm reaching far above your head. Use your opposite hand and begin pressing 4 fingers all around your breast, armpit, and collarbone. Repeat on the other side.

You’re feeling for any lumps (some women have natural lumpy breast tissue which is why it is good to become familiar with the way your breasts feel) you’re also checking for any discharge from your nipples.

Note: if anything AT ALL seems unfamiliar it’s best to just let your doctor know.

I feel a lump, now what?

First of all, don’t panic. Lumps do not always indicate cancer. They can be cysts or even a benign lymph node if located in the underarm. And given time they may go away on their own.

Either way I encourage you to call your doctor right away and to schedule an appointment to have it further check out.

My doctor referred me to have an ultra sound, what does that mean?

Most of the time it means they really aren’t sure what the lump is. And lumps in the breast is also not something they mess around with. So they refer you to have it checked out on a different level. I personably feel it’s better to be referred somewhere then to just be dismissed and told “it feels normal”.

Don’t panic once again if your doctor is referring you. I know this can be scary, trust me. But if it is something that is concerning you want it caught as soon as possible.

If you still aren’t satisfied, ask to be referred to a breast specialist.

All I’m going to say is, your peace of mind is worth it. Just trust your intuition and I encourage you have a health advocate if you’re uncomfortable being your own.

A breast specialist will check your breasts, will feel the lump, will ask if you’re experiencing any pain, ask if the lump has grown, and she may or may not have you come back in a few more months.

And if the breast specialist doesn’t suggest you come back and the lump is still present over time, I would definitely have it checked out again. Don’t just dismiss it because the doctor says it doesn’t appear abnormal. If it’s abnormal for YOU, stay on top of it.

When it comes to your health become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Don’t be embarrassed or uncomfortable with your questions, or requesting a second opinion or additional follow ups, or bringing it up to family or friends, etc. Having peace of mind is always worth it even when it feels like a lot.

I know this kind of stuff isn’t fun to discuss believe me. It’s scary and terrifying but we are all in this together.

With all this being said, check yourself and ask the women in your life, “how often are you checking yourself.”

You might save their life.

To The Wildest Dreamers – Keep This In Mind

Whatever you want in this life, I hope what I have to say can motivate or encourage you in some way.

Don’t ever stop being a dreamer.

“Set impossible goals”. I actually heard that quote on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was one of her greatest holiday giveaway ones.

A man had been swimming in the ocean, he did a flip, and broke his neck. Just like that, his life changed in an instant.

Life as we know is full of those kind of moments.

He was told that he may never walk again. A nurse told him something that gave him strength and determination. “Set impossible goals.”

Over time, he did learn how to walk again, he is one of the lucky few. He didn’t allow being told that he wouldn’t be able to walk again stop him or hold him back. He dreamed that impossible dream. The beautiful part of this story is he walked his wife down the aisle. And I’m willing to bet they danced too. All because he didn’t give up. All the frustration, the tears, the try after try were absolutely worth it.

(This isn’t them btw, I’m just providing a visual so you can truly try to empathize with this couple and to gain perspective. Hope it works.)

Now……

Everyone has something that they desire. What is your dream? I know you have one.

I’m willing to bet some of you reading this have never really been asked that question. Or you haven’t shared it with anyone.

I want this post to get you thinking about what you want in your life. To take a moment to identify what you seek.

When I was younger the only dream I truly desired so much was to become a mom. I’m not even kidding, that was my dream. It was a dream and it felt like a calling, I can’t really explain it. I wanted to be a mom so bad and my greatest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to have children.

When I became a mother my dream literally came true. Words cannot describe how much joy motherhood gives me. However, what’s crazy though, when I became a mom I also lost myself a bit.

Losing a bit of myself was very bizarre to me. I became something that I wanted so badly, yet, here was I not feeling completely fulfilled.

I went on a serious soul searching journey. And 3 kids later I feel the most confident, courageous, that I have ever been. And I have grown so much.

Motherhood has been the best thing to ever happen to me, because I found a different part of myself. New dreams are being born and new goals are being formed because of my first dream. My daughters inspire me. I have started dreaming ‘impossible dreams’ because of them.

I share this because I don’t ever want you to feel discouraged. The feeling of reaching something but not quite feeling the way you thought you would will happen sometimes.

I saw an interview with Tom Hanks on The Today Show and he said something along the lines of, “The good things you feel from an accomplishment don’t last, and the same goes for the things that bring you down.”

I’m grateful for my dream of motherhood coming true. Greatest, hardest thing ever! This blog exist because of my girls! I have no idea where this blog will take me, but so far it’s probably helped me more then it’s helped any of you.

Trust the Timing of things. And trust your path. Each path provides some type of lesson to get you where you need to go next.

It can take time trying to figure out what you really want.

The point is, don’t give up. Keep trying, keep experiencing, keep doing! And stop being so concerned with what others think. Otherwise you’ll just become stuck and you will settle. If you only knew that just a few feet more you’d see that something greater was waiting for you.

If you’re afraid to fail in front of others, you’re going to have to suck it up. I say that in the nicest way possible.

I personally would rather keep trying new things and experiencing failure to find what really lights my spirit up, then to just settle because I’m in a content position.

You can’t be afraid of dead ends, u-turns, or any paths that lead you into a roundabout.

The pitfalls, the mistakes, the redos are going to happen and they have to happen in order for you to learn and grow and to get where you want to be.

4 THINGS TO CLOSE THIS UP

(Thanks if you read this whole thing!)

Be patient.

Dont forget the reason why you’re doing what you are doing.

Write your goals down and work towards it everyday.

Stop limiting yourself, set yourself to be free and to express who you really are and who you want to become.

Enjoy the crazy maze of life!

7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

 

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and we went to Puerto Peñasco Mexico with our two toddlers and our 5 week old baby. Are we a little crazy, maybe some would say…. but we made some amazing memories!

We had an absolute blast, and I am so happy we went!

To be completely honest I was very hesitant about taking our newborn on a trip so soon. If my husband would have changed his mind I would have been completely okay with it.

However we had been planning this trip and we had people that were coming and meeting us there. So we really did want to go!

Me being the worry wart that I am, I actually called her pediatrician asking for precautions to take when traveling with a baby and safety measures at the beach. Well, they told me they don’t recommend doing anything like that until they are two months and have had their shots. Not really what I wanted to hear, but I kind of expected it.

When I told my husband what their pediatrician said his reply was, “babies are born in Mexico all the time.” Uhh ok.

This just goes to show who’s the more cautious parent in this relationship.

Well we ended up going, obviously.

We traveled to Mexico in our RV and from where we live it’s only about a 3 to 4 hour drive. So it’s really not too bad.

(What’s great about a newborn is they sleep so much! Our daughter pretty much slept this whole trip! Saturday to Sunday. She is a dream, and did better then expected. )

I am going to share some tips that worked for me and hopefully they work for you too IF you do decide to take a mini trip somewhere with a beach and your precious newborn.



7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

1. Take Help With You

My mom went along on this trip and I can’t imagine how the trip would have been had she not come! She was so helpful! I was able to spend uninterrupted quality time with my other two daughters and enjoy the ocean with them. When my newborn was nursing or keeping me busy she would be with my other two daughters catering to their needs. My husband and I weren’t stressed at all because of the help! His dad and friend were there too and when they say it takes a village, they aren’t lying! Whoever they are!

You will enjoy your trip so much more if you have helping hands.

2. A Hand Held Misting Fan Is A NECESSITY

The times we were sitting on the beach under the umbrella I always had a misting fan at reach. It was a fantastic, and a very convenient way to stay cool for my baby and myself since we didn’t really get in the water. It was super humid so this is so helpful.

Do not forget a misting fan!

3. Co-sleep With A Pack N’ Play Mat

With being in an RV, I really didn’t want to pack the whole pack n’ play because you know how big they are and there wouldn’t really be any space in the RV for it. If you’re staying in a resort I would just bring the whole thing probably, but for us the mat was good enough.

I slept in the back with our baby with just the pack n’ play mat on the bed. I felt safe because she wasn’t sleeping on the soft mattress (it’s not advised to let your newborn sleep on a soft mattress due to SIDS) and I felt it was secure enough where I knew I wouldn’t roll on her. The bed was a queen bed and between two closets. It was the perfect way to co sleep and nurse her at night.

4. Keep Your Baby Covered When In The Sun

Newborns can’t wear sunblock so you really what to limit as much sun exposure as possible. A little sun isn’t going to hurt, but you really don’t want them exposed to direct sunlight for more then a few minutes.

When I would walk from the RV to the beach I always had a blanket over her, like a small receiving blanket. And when we were outside we were always in the shade.

5. Know Where The Local Hospitals Are

This is safety precaution to take for your peace of mind. IF, something did happen you want to know where the local hospitals are. You are taking your newborn so it’s best to be as safe as possible when traveling with a newborn.

6. Trust your Instincts And Know Your Limits

If you feel baby is getting too hot go inside. If you feel that would be too much for the baby then don’t do it. If you don’t want to take your baby there, then don’t go. (When I say there, I mean like a restaurant, shops, wherever) Don’t feel pressured. Trust that you know what is best for your baby.

7. Take Pictures And Just Have Fun!

Do your best to just enjoy yourself! Don’t let your worries consume you! You’re an amazing mama and you know your baby! So, again, trust YOURSELF and make memories!

(I only took her out to beach in the mornings and in the late afternoons. It wasn’t too hot during those times and the rays aren’t as strong.)

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5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

What is a kinship adoption?

A kinship adoption is an adoption of a child by an extended family member. An example would be a child’s Grandma, Grandpa or maybe an Aunt, or Uncle.

If a kinship adoption is occurring the circumstances are not typically ideal and can be very heartbreaking for many people involved.

Substance abuse is a prime example of why a kinship adoption may occur.

The great thing about a kinship adoption is the child or children remain within their family who they are usually already familiar with. Which can help with a smoother transition for the child or even other family members.

In many cases it is preferred that a child that needs to be adopted remains within family but sometimes it just cannot be done. And that’s ok. Each adoption case has a story and is different.

Having had guardianship over my niece now for over two years and legally adopting her with my husband I would like to share the struggles of a kinship adoption and maintaining an open relationship with the birth mother.

(It is entirely up to you if decide to keep an open relationship with the birth parent or parents. It’s difficult because the birth parent or parents are related to you in some way and your relationship is now impacted and will no longer be the same going forward.)

I am sharing these struggles for other people that may be in the process of adopting a family member or having to make the decision of taking a child in and gaining an idea of what to expect if you accept this responsibility.

What matters is doing the absolute best for the child.

I am sharing these struggles so YOU reading this have an idea on what to expect when adopting a child and maintaining an open relationship. I hope this will allow you prepare in some way and to go into this process aware and confident.



5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

1. The Whole Family is Affected

When you take in a child within the family the whole family is affected. If the child has other siblings it can be even more of a challenge because they may not know the whole situation. Family members are hurt, upset, concerned and it takes a toll on everyone. The family members that are very affected are the ones taking the child in. It can create hardships within your own family and significant other. It can be even more difficult adapting when you have children of your own for many different reasons.

2. It’s Drama And A Whole Lot Of Emotion

The relationship with the birth parent or parents becomes very unstable. The relationship will be different and emotions will constantly be high. The birth parent or parents are more comfortable saying how they are feeling or saying very inappropriate things because they can “get away with it” because you are indeed kin. Hurtful actions and words will take place and you can’t take what is being said or done personal. Easier said then done.

3. Developing Boundaries And Ensuring EVERYONE Is On the Same Page

A birth parent or parents may have lost custody but they will expect to still be able to see their child whenever they want. They also may expect to still have a say in the raising of the child.

The child is no longer in their care. This is where you need to establish boundaries. The child was taken away for a reason and when the boundaries are set it is very important that the rest of the family respect your wishes. This is the struggle. Not everyone will be on the same page with your boundaries. You may be blind sided at times and will have to constantly remind other family members what is and what is not okay when it comes to the birth parent or parents.

4. Doing What Is Best For The Child

Other family members will share their input and it’s hard to separate those feelings and what’s really best for your child. You will want to accomadate to what they want or you will try to make everyone else happy. It’s easy to lose track of what’s best for the child because now relationships with other family members are interfering and you don’t want to upset or hurt anyone. It’s very difficult and it becomes very upsetting when other family members are upset with you when you are just trying to do what’s best for your child. They will have a difficult time seeing things from your side and perspective.

5. Not Receiving Empathy/Lack Of Support

Some family members will not take the time to really notice the struggles that you are facing or even take the time to understand how hard this has all been. Especially when it happens out of the complete blue. This is why it feels like you are going through this alone at times.

People have a hard time understanding that you made THE CHOICE to take the child and other family members will take advantage of the situation not truly realizing what your position truly entails. Especially as you move forward and as the child gets older. If you decide this or that, a family member may lash out at you because they don’t agree with a decision that you made. When really, you should be supported whether they like it or not.

The birth parent is asked about, the child is asked about, but often you won’t be asked how this is all affecting you.



With writing this my goal is to share common struggles you may face when handling an open kinship adoption and to ensure you that you are not alone.

It’s hard. I know it is.

But I also know the many amazing things that come out of a kinship adoption. Before we took in my now daughter I remember googling the pros and cons of taking in a family member because I wanted to know what to expect. I knew taking her in would be hard and would open plenty of cans of worms but I also knew it was the right thing to do.

You are doing the right thing and that child you may have now is very fortunate to be with you. YOU, are their parent. Despite the struggles you are facing and will face there is no better place they could be.

To the person or persons taking in a Child within the family:

What you are doing is brave and takes courage. I want you to know you are doing the right thing even if you feel confused and stressed right now. Taking a child without any time to prepare is extremely challenging and many others don’t know the hardship of it all.

You are not alone in how you feel, you are not alone in this process, and you are not alone with your decisions.

There will be challenges and there will be tears, however, there are many rainbows within these storms I can assure you.

When To Have Your Second Baby – The Best Age Gap

 

children sitting near a cactus plant
Photo by Natasha Babenko on Pexels.com

If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready for another baby. How exciting!

Well, actually is anyone really “ready”?

I should say, you’re ready to just take the leap! OR maybe you’re wondering when to have another baby. This blog will provide some insight on what I think is the perfect age gap for having another baby.


When I had my first baby my husband was already ready for another baby when she was 6 months old. Are you kidding me!? I definitely wasn’t. I felt like I was still adjusting and wasn’t ready to take on another baby when I currently had one. Plus, I was a little traumatized by my first birthing experience. Again, I just wasn’t ready.


Well, life throws you curve balls as we all know. We technically got a second baby when my first was 10 months old. Since they are the same age I categorize them together. They are like my little twins!

(If you’re interested in the story of how we got our second daughter you can search ‘blessing in disguise) or click below.

Noticing A Blessing In Disguise


When it comes to wanting a second baby you can’t always plan it out. Nature just takes it course and you go with it. However if you are able to somewhat plan it then plan for this age gap that I’m about to share!

The best time to start trying is when your child is a toddler, around 2 and a half. Which means when your new baby enters the world they will be about 3 years old maybe close to 4 years old.

Now of course this is my own opinion. I’m speaking through my experience and so far with having two three year olds and a newborn it’s been nothing but an amazing thing!!

Here’s why!

Why is 2-3 years the perfect age gap for a second baby?

  • Your toddler will more then likely be potty trained
  • Your toddler will love helping and enjoy the responsibility of being a big brother or big sister
  • Your child is mature enough to help you out
  • They know how to be gentle and are more resilient to obeying what you say
  • The jealousy is minimal, if anything they will be more possessive over the new baby
  • Your toddler is at an age when you can enroll him/her in preschool, which means more one on one time with your newborn
  • You’re less likely to go insane with a 2-3 year gap (#truth)

black and white childhood children cute
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now as I mentioned preciously this perfect age gap is my own opinion and I’m speaking through my experience.

So far this age gap has been perfect! My girls help me, they all nap together, they are potty trained, they know how to play by themselves and our quiet during “quiet time”, and they are the best big sisters!!

I love watching this bond so much. It’s the perfect age gap.

20 Habits To Teach My Daughters



woman carrying child in carrier while standing beside girl

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

As a mother and a parent you can only hope and pray that when the day comes for your kids to venture on their own and do their own thing that they will be more then okay.

More then anything you want them to always be happy, to chase their dreams and to overall be a good person.

As much as you always want them to need you, you also want them to be independent and to be able to solve their own problems and to provide solutions to others.

In order for them to be independent and successful it’s important to develop good habits at an early age. Of course that’s my own personal opinion.

Being a mother to 3 girls, it’s very important to me for them to develop good habits in more then one category.

I want them to live an amazing life, with more joy then regrets and fears. I hope they feel accomplished while staying humble. And I pray that my 3 daughters will always stay close with one another through their lives. (I have faith they will hold each other accountable when they don’t feel like confiding in my husband or myself)

Teaching my daughters good habits while they are young I feel will only benefit them.

To me it’s much easier to develop a good habit then to break a bad habit.

With that being said here’s a list of habits I will teach my daughters in hopes that they will continue these habits as they grow older with age.

I do believe in these good habits and I know they can provide fulfillment in their lives.



20 Habits To Teach My Daughters

1. To Always Make Your Bed

Making your bed is such an easy way to start your day in a positive way. It encourages you to keep the rest of your room clean and tidy and did you know that making your bed every morning lowers stress levels. Also a nice made bed just makes you feel good and is nice to get into when it’s time for bed, am I right ?

2. To Have A Vision

Having a vision on what you want in your life and what you want to accomplish leads to motivation and productivity. Having a vision helps you to stay focus on your dreams and goals. It’s about knowing where you are going and what you want to do along the way.

3. To Stay Active

There are numerous benefits to staying active in your life. Higher self esteem, more confidence, lower stress, more energy, and that’s just a few of them! I want my daughters to choose activities, to explore, and to challenge their amazing bodies. We are more capable then we think.

4. To Be Mindful Of Their Diet

Im not saying I don’t ever want my girls to eat junk food, that’s just not living. I want them to be mindful though. To eat foods that will provide for them and not just be full of empty calories. Your health is so important and no, you can’t control everything. However you can control what you are putting into your body.

5. To Pay Themselves First

I don’t want My Daughters ever living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been there and I’ve seen it with working in banking. I don’t want my daughters constantly being or feeling stressed by money. Paying yourself first means to put money into a savings every time you get money . Debt is a heavy burden. I want my daughters to be smart with handling money.

6. To Read

Reading is so power and I truly believe that. There is so much to be said and to learn through books. Words can influence and inspire. To have a habit of reading is having a habit of eagerness to constantly learn and grow.

7. To Be A Giver

I want my daughters to always know, that they will always have enough to give. I want them to give freely. I know how good giving feels and it’s also something we are instructed to do. The more we give, the more that will be given to us. To help another person or persons is being a light in their life. And I will always encourage my daughters to shine bright.

8. To Be Optimistic

Life is life. It’s not always fair and many things will happen in life that we just won’t understand. However, we choose our attitudes and our behaviors. Remaining optimistic and trusting in all situations will provide more peace in our lives. Who doesn’t want more peace and rest and in their life. I know if my daughters can remain optimistic through even the tough times that they will live a happier life and uplift others along the way.

9. To ALWAYS be Grateful

You’ve heard it before, omebody always has it worse. When you think your situation is a horrible one you will only be shown how grateful you really should be. I want my daughters to give thanks in all things, even the bad things. Everything that happens is shaping and guiding us in some way. Our trials are what strengthen us. No matter what, I want them to always be grateful.

10. To Clean Up After Themselves

People don’t like messy people. Sorry not sorry. It’s polite, it’s good manners, and cleanliness is just overall a great habit to have. I don’t think I need to say anymore.

11. To Always Take Time To Learn Someone’s Story

Everyone has a story. Not all are comfortable sharing theirs but some need to share theirs. Listen to them, learn from them. It is a privilege when someone decides to share something very personal with you. I want my daughters to take the time to listen to what someone can offer them through their own experiences. And to always thank them after they share something. It can take some courage sharing a story, we all know that much.

12. To Treat Yourself, Often

Often times we do so much for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Treating ourselves lifts our spirit, boosts our mood, and is overall refreshing. It’s important to take care of yourself. Your happiness matters. As my daughters grow up and their lives become busy I will constantly be asking, “What have you done for yourself?”

13. To Sleep When Tired

Sleep is rejuvenating and we need sleep to properly function. It’s so important to listen to your body when it is tired and needs rest. Don’t just drink another coffee or energy drink. If the body is tired then rest. I also believe sleep has healing powers. I wish for my daughters to develop good sleeping habits.

14. To Be Courteous Of Others

I want my daughters to be courteous and respectful of others. Everyone has a story and everyone is going through something or has gone through something. There is no room to judge others or to ever think you are superior of another person.

15. To Pray/Meditate Daily

Prayer. Enough said. ( Joshua 1:9) I know with prayer my daughters will never feel alone.

16. To Live More Minimal Vs. Material

Less is more. The greatest things in life are not material things. Those types of things can only provide a temporary happiness. Then we become bored, and want something else. Training ourselves to live minimally and developing a habit of separating needs and wants will take you much farther and provide more clarity and freedom. I don’t want my daughters feeling they have to have specific items to feel joy.

17. To Practice Affirmations Often

Affirmations provide a type of awareness and self identity. We are capable of so much however many times we convince ourselves that we are not deserving or worthy. With practicing positive affirmations often we are reminding ourselves of our potential and what we are capable of. With encouraging my daughters to do affirmations I know they will begin to recognize how strong, courageous, and beautiful they truly are.

18. To Laugh At Yourself

We aren’t perfect, we are human. We are going to make mistakes in our life. Instead of dwelling over something that is out of our control or becoming fixated on something in the past we need to develop a habit of laughing at ourselves and brushing it off. We can’t change what’s been done but we can control our reactions. I want my daughters to learn to laugh at themselves vs beating themselves up.

19. To Serve Others

We all need one another. Giving your time is the best gift you can give. There are so many opportunities to serve others and in doing so I know others will help them when they are in need.

20. To Always Pause, And Enjoy The Moment

You know that country song that goes, “I’m in a hurry to get things done oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun, all I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”

We are always in a rush. Our mind is always on the next thing. We become so distracted that we don’t stop and enjoy where we are. Life is too short and too fragile to not just embrace moments. I want my daughters to stop and enjoy the sunset, to lay outside and look at the stars, to put their phones down. I want them to stop and to smell the flowers.



“Here’s To Strong Women. May We Know Them. May We Be Them. May We Raise Them.”

 

What kind of habits are you teaching your daughters?

A Guide To Mentally Preparing Yourself For A C-Section – You Got This Mama

Whether you have been scheduled a c-section or you’re anticipating one, it can be a little overwhelming.

Especially if you’ve had already one and it wasn’t a good experience. Could have been an emergency one or something different. Whatever the case, it may have left you on edge a bit.

Thinking of labor and delivery may be the last thing you want to do because you’re probably scared to relive it or you’re afraid of the unknown of going through it.

Which btw is completely normal to experience these feelings and anxiety before a c-section.

I know the feeling of fear leading up to a c-section. I had an emergency one with my first. My second was scheduled. I was absolutely terrified. To the point of crying pretty much anytime anyone brought it up to me.

When I found out I was pregnant I already anticipated that I would be having another c-section. The fear I had of having to go through that again stole joy from my pregnancy. It was difficult for me to enjoy because I was so fixated on what I was going to have to go through again. I was stuck on THAT experience. Assuming it would be the exact same way. (note: emergency and scheduled really are completely different.)

I want you to know that I know how you’re feeling and I really hope this blog post can help you ease your mind and go into this procedure with a strong and courageous attitude!

Below is exactly what I did and I’m so happy I took the time to mentally prepare myself. I didn’t want my baby entering the world with a stressed mama and I wanted to embrace and be brave through this experience. 

(If you have questions or concerns or just want to talk about how you’ve been feeling please don’t hesitate to contact me.)



A Guide To Mentally Preparing Yourself For A C-Section

(This was a repeat c-section for me. My first was an emergency and my second one was scheduled and what a completely different experience it was. I also healed way faster then with my first. I was still scared naturally ,however taking the time to mentally prepare myself helped me beyond measures. I truly hope what I did may help you in someway as well.)

  • Listen To Soothing Music

Music is proven to calm down anxiety. What I did was I bought “soothing music” on iTunes. (The type of music you would hear while getting a massage.) I would go to sleep with it on a night because that was often the time my fears would really set it. I listened to this type of music a week prior of my scheduled c-section. I know it helped calming my nerves.

  • Say Daily Affirmations

Affirmations are more powerful then you may believe. Saying affirmations truly helped me to overcome my fears and negative thoughts. Whenever I caught myself thinking the worst I would say or think to myself,

“I am strong and courageous. I am not afraid. I know God is with me.”

This is in reference to the scripture Joshua 1:9. I can’t even express how much power I would feel saying this often and how much peace it brought me.

  • Read Positive Uplifting C-Sections Stories (They do exist)

When people hear “c-section” they often associate it with a negative experience. People will often give you a cringe type of look when you tell them you have a scheduled C-section or that you’ve had a C-section.

I want you to know there are some great, uplifting, positive stories out there. You just have to search them. These stories can provide some type of relief that your experience can be just as wonderful and positive as theirs.

  • Express Your Concerns And Fears To Your Doctor

This is very important. My hope is that you trust and are very comfortable with your Doctor. Let her or him know how you have been feeling. They will do their absolute best to calm you and make this a very pleasant experience for you.

When I had my c-section I requested to have oxygen to keep me calm. I didn’t even end up using it because I was able to calm myself down mentally. I was so proud myself. My doctors and nurses were also extremely amazing and made me feel so safe and comfortable. I cannot thank them enough for going above and beyond for me.

  • Talk About It

When I was able to talk about my delivery without crying I knew I was making progress. The more you actually talk about the procedure and recovery the more comfortable and confident you will be going in.

  • Make A Mental Check List

I read a blog titled ‘What To Expect When Having A C-Section By An L&D Nurse’. Her blog literally walked me through exactly what I went through.

It helps knowing what to expect so you aren’t caught off guard by anything. So when we left in the morning I started checking off things in my head, I was somewhat a step ahead or already knew what the next step would be. I felt more in control of the situation.

(This is a glimpse of what I was checking off in my head. I made a checklist on my notes app.)

  • Try To Have Your Procedure Scheduled In The Morning

The sooner the better. Statistically less complications happen in surgeries scheduled in the morning. This will provide a little peace of mind for you if you can be scheduled in the morning.

Also the Doctors and Nurses are just starting their day. They are alert and hopefully well rested to care for you as their first patient.

  • Pray (Ask For Prayers)/Meditate

Pray, pray, pray. I am a believer in prayers and I know God hears them. This is where your faith and trust is truly strengthened.

And it is OKAY to ask for prayers. It’s more then okay.

  • Distract Yourself

When you feel your mind being directed back to your fears DISTRACT YOURSELF. Worrying truly isn’t going to do anything but steal joy from enjoying your days and nights.

What I did was play and entertain my other two daughters, read, and wrote blogs. It kept me busy and mind off other stuff.

  • Trust And Think About Meeting Your Baby

Put all your focus on meeting your little miracle. Express your gratitude and try your best to just enjoy the moment and all the little details. You will be so happy you did.

It will all be worth it Mama. Before you know you will be holding your sweet baby. You got this.


I know you can do this. I am praying for you and I wish you a happy and healthy delivery. As well as a super fast recovery.

The Only 10 Things You Need To Pack For Your Scheduled C-Section

This may be your first baby or it might be your second pregnancy like mine. Whatever your situation may be, you have been scheduled a C-section.

I had my first baby 3 years ago and that little munchkin did not want to come out. I don’t blame her though. My belly had been her home for months and now we were trying to force her out. Long story short my first labor and delivery resulted in an emergency C-section.

If you aren’t prepared to have a C-section, it can be a very overwhelming experience. Some of you can relate I’m sure. However, I have made a list of things not to forget to bring with you to the hospital so your experience can be more of a positive one and to make it as comfortable as possible.

Often times when we feel overwhelmed or stressed it’s because we feel out of control in our situation. With having a scheduled C-section you already have more control then other Mothers going into delivery. For the most part you have an idea of the process and what the recovery will be like.

(My advice if this is your first C-section; read positive uplifting C-section stories, express your concerns to your doctor, and trust.)

This list will help you be more prepared and will be a great outline to customizing your own hospital bag.


  1. BOOKS/MAGAZINES/MOVIES/IPOD

Bringing books or movies will help you to stay entertained while you are waiting. Before the surgery and for after. If books or movies aren’t your thing, I would suggest packing whatever it is that soothes you and will help the time pass.

I bought some soothing music on iTunes nights prior to my surgery to calm my nerves. It helped tremendously.

2. A ROBE/NIGHTGOWN/COMFORTABLE PAJAMAS

I am all about being comfortable. While you can stay in your hospital gown the whole time (exactly what I wore the whole time for my first) this time around you may want to feel a little bit more like yourself and in something that is yours.

You will be in the hospital for about 2-4 days, depending on your situation. In that period of time you will want to wear clothing that is not to body hugging or tight. The looser, the better.

This time around I ordered a loose, breastfeeding nightgown from amazon. A robe is great as well because it allows you to be completely covered when necessary but also extremely easy to uncover when needed.

3. BOPPY PILLOW

With my first C-section the pain totally caught me off guard and I was having the most difficult time figuring out breastfeeding. I couldn’t get into any comfortable positions and I became so frustrated. Arriving home from the hospital I began to use my boppy pillow that I received as a gift from my baby shower, which became my breastfeeding lifesaver.

Using it at home, I wished I had brought it with me to the hospital. Bringing the pillow this time will make nursing my baby so much easier and more accommodating for the both of us while we are in the hospital.

(When getting comfortable with breastfeeding I don’t know but newborns love the ‘football position’. The boppy pillow makes it very easy to be comfortable for you and baby.)

4. COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR

Don’t forget your slippers/crocs/or whatever your favorite comfortable shoes are. It’s encouraged to walk for a faster recovery after having a C-Section.

If this is your first C-Section, it will be difficult at first. I am positive my recovery could have been better if I had got moving but I just laid in bed. And when I did start moving my calves became very sore which scared me, and then that lead me to the emergency room because of googling.

Don’t just lay in bed. Take your pain meds, wear your belly band (the hospital should provide one) put on your slippers and walk as much as you can Mama. Your nurses will be encouraging you!

5. SNACKS

After your baby’s arrival you’re going to be tired and hungry. Especially because you were just required to fast before your surgery.

Although you’ll be hungry you may not be able to eat due the aftermath of the anesthesia. It made me extremely nauseous so I actually didn’t eat till the following day after my surgery.

However once you do regain your strength you will be very hungry and having some assessable snacks will provide convenience to you and whoever else is with you.

6. YOUR OWN PILLOW/BLANKET

With my first labor and delivery I didn’t anticipate staying in the hospital as long as I did. Looking back it would have been nice to have my own pillow and blanket. A little piece of home to make the nights and stay that much better and soothing.

7. UNDERWEAR

Just because you’re having a C-section doesn’t mean you are not going to bleed. Often times we forget about the fun stuff that comes with recovery after birth.

Pack underwear that you don’t mind if it gets ruined, because more then likely it will. in a nutshell, you’re going to want underwear that can support giant maxi-pads.

(The hospital will more then likely supply all your pads and underwear needs so have peace of mind that even if you forget or don’t include this in your hospital bag your hospital has got you covered girl!)

8. CAMERA/CHARGER

Double check you brought both. You are going to want to capture so many moments! These are the pictures you’ll be looking back on and wanting to cry about every time. Especially as they get older and older.

The hospital stay goes by so fast and before you know it you are at home. Take it all in and capture all the details!

9. TOILETRIES

Keep it simple. More then likely you’ll have at least one shower in the hospital, so I would recommend bringing your own towel as well.

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, brush, lip balm. Keep it to a minimal. You just had a surgery!

( Your hospital will more then likely provide all of this! So don’t stress if you forgot something!)

10. GOING HOME OUTFITS FOR YOU AND BABY

What a relief it is when they tell you that you can all go home.

I would suggest a loose dress for yourself. Again, you don’t want to wear anything that’s going to be rubbing against your incision.

That’s it!! Keep your hospital bag simple and don’t overpack.


Oh my goodness who else can’t wait to hold their newborn!

person covering infant with swaddling blanket

Photo by Isaac Taylor on Pexels.com

What are the things you are packing in your hospital bag that you don’t want to forget? I’d love to hear your thoughts or experience’s with your scheduled C-section.

Wishing you all a healthy, smooth, amazing, labor and delivery. A moment to cherish forever, that also goes by way too fast.