The thing about becoming a stay-at-home mom is that, for many of us, you commit to it full force and get swept away in turning your attention to your childs needs every minute of the day with very little emphasis on your own. Of course, this is how parenthood should be, but to say it isn’t wearing at times is a lie. This summer has been unnaturally busy for me with all the weddings I am in on top of regular every day activities, but each time I have had to go out-of-town that Mom Guilt in the back of my mind has crept in. I have had to take these trips for some of the wedding activties and WANT to, so why should I feel guilty? My son is almost 4 and had a blast staying with my Father-in-law and getting his own vacation of sorts, so the feeling of thinking I shouldn’t take this time for myself and to be there for these activities with my friends is ridiculous, but goes to show the stigma of being a stay-at-home parent can get to you whether you realize it or not. Just because being a parent is our job, it doesn’t mean we completely put our lives on hold for 18 years. I realized that feeling like I need to be with him all the time and feeling like a burden for having family watch him a few days (even though they were literally elated to have him,) is putting guilt on myself for absolutely no reason. We may not have a 9-5 jobs but our job is literally to care for our kids 24 hours of the day, and that’s the most difficult job anyone could have. I do realize though that the older he gets and the more vocal, the mom guilt when I’m away from his has lessened because I know he can tell people if he needs something. The anxiety assumingly also stems from me not being used to being away from him and that has become my comfort zone for the past 3.5 years, even if it isn’t always comfortable, it is my norm. It’s funny to look forward to the minute you get a trip away then immediately think wow, I miss him so much. The grass is certainly always greener but I’m trying to find balance between being involved in his every move and also making my own needs a priortiy because he will only rely on me for so long, but on the other hand I need to continue to build on my own goals as well. Just writing that sounded so dramatic but it really is a balancing act trying to be a parent and be your own person as well. If you are experiencing the mom or dad guilt for taking time for yourself, even if it’s just making sure you get to some workouts every week or get to have happy hour etc., don’t ever feel bad for this. We can’t be the parents we want to be if we constantly burn out on taking care of everything and everyone else except ourselves. It doesn’t matter if other people think you should be doing more or what their opinions are because anyone who thinks we don’t need breaks..isn’t a parent. 🙂 Until next time, xo Chrissy
It may be August but I don’t think we should expect cold nights anytime soon, therefore let’s bring on the cool treats! I myself am not the biggest dessert person but my son and husband are so I put together some ideas for healthier desserts during these warm months. As always they are super simple and perfect for the whole fam. I hope you give some of these a try, and if you put a yummy spin on one please share with us below! Until next time, XO Chrissy
Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandys
If you come from an Italian family like I do, I’m sure you grew up with at least one aunt who made the best homemade Pizzelle cookies! Now I hope to learn how to make them myself but for now, I buy them from Whole Foods and they are actually extremely delicious and as close to the real deal as I have found.
Ice cream (we used a coconut based one for anyone who can’t have dairy)
Chocolate chips and/or sprinkles
Ok now bear with me here this is about to get complicated. Scoop your ice cream and place in-between two cookies. Sprinkle some chocolate chips or sprinkles onto the ice cream and eat immediately as you will not want to wait a second longer to try this delicious combination!
I bought meringues from Trader Joes for the first time the other week and loved them! For store-bought they were so light and airy and have the perfect amount of flavor. My son loves chocolate of any kind so I decided to take some dark chocolate chips and melt them (I suggest using a pot and melting them on Low, stirring continuously until it reaches a nice melted consistency but not runny.) Dip the meringues in the chocolate and place on parchment paper until the chocolate solidifies on the meringue. It was so easy and made for a delicious, low in fat treat.
The Taco Berry
Ok this one was really fun for the family to make together and is something you could totally customize to your own liking.
Organic toaster waffles
Whip cream or a non-dairy whip cream
Chopped strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
Toast waffles according to packaging directions. Once toasted, immediately fold into a taco shape. Spray whip cream to fill the taco and top with the fresh berries. Another ridiculously easy treat that is fun and delicious.
I don’t know about you but in this heat, a refreshing mocktail always sounds good and is fun to make for the whole fam. Now per all my recipes, these are ridiculously easy and I haven’t lied about that yet! Growing up my parents would take me to Maui during the summer and aside from the obvious, one of my favorite things about going was getting a virgin lava flow almost every day. I just had to try and re-create one myself. but this time with a dairy-free twist. Give these a try and if you have some you think I need to try or a cocktail you want a mocktail version of, just let me know in the comments below. I hope you make some of these on your own or with your kids and stay cool out there! Until next time, XO Chrissy
Strawberry-Lime Spritz (back right in picture)
Sparkling or carbonated water of your choice
Fresh lime juice
Strawberries (or pre-made strawberry puree)
Take a couple of small-to-medium strawberries and puree them, set aside. Pour sparkling water into glass and juice half of a fresh lime or more (to taste.) Add a dash of grenadine syrup then pout in the pureed strawberry juice. Cut up remaining lime and place in Spritz, garnish with a strawberry. Seriously SO refreshing and simple.
Watermelon Refresher (front left)
Cut watermelon into chunks, I used about half of my mini watermelon. Add chunks and a handful of ice cubes in blender or processor. Cut up 1/2 of a lime and squeeze juice into mixture until it becomes slushy. Pour into glass and garnish with mint leaves, makes for a really fresh taste.
Cool as a Cucumber (front right)
1 tbsp Agave syrup
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh lime juice
1/4 C of sparkling water
In a glass combine water with agave. Cut 1/2 of a small lemon and 1/2 of small lime, squeeze juice into water and agave mixture. Cut several thin slices of cucumber and place into water as well as a couple of lemon slices. Let sit for a few minutes for cucumber and lemon to seep into the mixture creating a light and satisfying drink
Dairy-free Lava Floooow (back left)
2 C Pineapple juice
1 can cream of coconut
1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
Blend frozen strawberries with about 1/2 cup of water to create a syrup. Once syrup is thick, set in a glass or bowl and set aside for now. Whisk cream of coconut, pineapple juice and the coconut milk. Fill blender 1/3 of the way with ice and pour in juice mixture. Blend until it becomes slushy. In glass of your choice add a bit of the strawberry syrup you made in the beginning then start pouring in the blended mixture. Alternate between the syrup and mixture until glass is full. I had never made one before so this was my first experiment but it immediately brought me back to my childhood and tasted amazing. Aloha!
This afternoon I got back from a weekend in Wine Country for my friends bachelorette party. I am the matron of honor and we put together a pretty relaxing weekend of wine tasting, food and relaxation; exactly what she (and the rest of us old ladies) wanted. I can pretty confidently say that this was one of the few times I’ve had this year to truly chill a bit and not have a million things to do for other people; the thing is, I still felt the physical stress that I carry around with me every day, even when I’m not fully aware of it. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before but I’m in three wedding this summer which means multiple events, several of which I’m hosting/hosted, increased expenses etc. And while I’m so happy to be involved in all of it, having everything back-to-back on top of everyday priorities (and my dad having surgery the day before I left) has been pretty stressful and today when I got home I found myself just crying. When I got home the boys went to the park so I could unpack a bit but Sean didn’t want to come back and was having a tantrum upon entering the house, which he hasn’t done like in a while and was screaming bloody murder. So you know those moments when you don’t even realize you’re overwhelmed then everything hits you out of nowhere and you burst in to tears..? Well, good, now we know we aren’t the only ones! I always find myself saying “What are you complaining about? Things could be so much worse” and that is an understatement. We have a wonderful family, a roof over our head etc. and even so, parenting has this way of testing you and pushing you to limits you didn’t even know you had. So, fellow mamas (and papas,) stay-at-home or working or single parent or grandparent, adopted or blood, whoever you may be..if you’re raising a human there are going to be times you feel in over your head and wonder how you’ll get through everything in one piece, but you will and you are strong. These moments pass, and I know one day when Sean is off to college I’ll think how silly I was and what I would do to have these days back. It’ll all be ok, and we do the best we can. I’m not sure that there was a clear point to this post and maybe it was a form of relief for me to write this, but it it resonates with you somehow, I hope you remember that you are a rock star and juggle this thing called life the best you can. New recipes coming this week but thank you for listening to this random post. Until next time xo Chrissy
These are almost too cute to eat…almost. Let me say that I am taking inspiration from a friend of mine who has made similar treats in years past I just added my own flare, and am sure there are many other versions online so I do not take credit for the idea, just wanted to put my spin on it. These honestly were really easy to put together and since Shark Week is this month I really wanted a shark themed meal to kick off the fun. I hope you guys give these a try or if you make your own summer lunch project please share and let us know! Until next time, XO Chrissy
Underwater Shark Sandy
Bread (we used wheat)
Sandwich fillings (we did a veggie sandwich)
Sandwich condiments of your choice
Chocolate chunk for the eye
Two strips of fresh chive for the mouth
Cut some banana into triangles for the sharp teeth
Cut off the crust edges of bread and try to make the shape of a shark’s body. Save crust/bread not used to the side. Make sandwich as you would normally and place on whatever plate you will be using. Use the crusts and remaining bread to cut into the fins and tail. Take two small pieces of chive to form a mouth and put the bananas slices inside to make the teeth. Place chocolate chunk as an eye and cereal to make bubbles form the sharks mouth, then finish off with blueberries to make the ocean. Took only a few minutes and Sean went crazy for it.
Cream cheese or dairy-free version (we used Kite Hill)
3 Cherry tomatoes
Smear cream cheese onto cracker. Cut a cherry tomato in half to make wings (or in fourths depending on size of the tomato.) Place tomato halves to resemble wings then place one olive in the center to make the head. Inside olive place two strands of chives to make the antenna. Cut an olive into small pieces to make the spots on the “wings” and voila! Adorable ladybug crackers for these warm summer days.
I don’t know if it’s this never-ending allergy season or the fact that I’m officially thirty now but wow, I am really freakin tired lately, and that’s saying something since us parents are always severely over exhausted am I right?? This past week of birthday festivities has been so fun, however I ate like a 21-year-old on a drinking bender and haven’t slept a wink so my body is slightly dazed and confused in the aftermath. I got back into the gym yesterday for some time on the elliptical and today was my core day. I really took a lazy approach to it due to my current state (ha) and still managed to get a great session out of it with enough sweat to float a boat; albeit that could be my body trying to detox but moving on! SO if you’re having a lazy day or are just getting back into working out, here’s a good core workout that you can literally do from your own living room while your child doesn’t leave you alone..I mean..plays.
Modified Core Workout
(Start with a 8-10 minute warmup on the bike or rowing machine if you’re at a gym or some running in place, high knees etc. if at home.) Now obviously if you have been working out or feel energized etc you can add more reps to this workout, and each week that you do this tack on another rep. Also, if I don’t explain something well enough just message me or the good ole’ internet should help as well. Heres what I did:
Leg raises: lay down flat and engage your core while lifting your legs up off the ground and back down. Repeat movement 10 times (reps), do the 10 reps 3 times ( aka a set of 3) so 30 reps total
Standard crunches: 10 reps, set of 3
Shoulder tap planks: Get in plank position, lift one arm up and tap your opposite shoulder, repeat with opposite arm. Each tap counts as a rep. 5 reps, set of 3
Bicycle crunches: Lay down flat, twist torso with hands at you head, bring right elbow to meet left leg then repeat with opposite arm and leg. 10 reps, set of 3
Hand walkout (harder than it sounds just a warning): Stand up tall then engage core as you lower your hands down to touch your feet, then use your hands to literally walk on the ground as far as you can while continuing to engage your core, then walk your hands back to meet your feet and slowly stand upright again. 5 reps, set of 3
Dead Bug: lay down with arms spread out wide above your head and legs spread out as well. With arms and legs staying straight, lift right arms up to touch left foot, repeat with other side. 10 reps, set of 3
Do this once a week and continually add to your reps as you get stronger. Now onto the fun part. What does a workout have to do with guacamole? Welp, we do the workout..now stay with me here…then..we EAT the guacamole! Your mind is blown, I know. If we don’t know each other in person let me just state that guacamole is one of my favorite things on this planet and I love to experiment with funky recipes but there’s just something about a creamy, classic guac that I just really can’t resist. If you try this or have another killer guac recipe you know I simply can not live without, please let me know in the comments below.
Killer Creamy Guac Ingredients:
2 Hass avocados
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tomato finely chopped
1/4 onion finely chopped
1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
pinch or two of Himalayan salt
Scoop out avocados and place in a bowl, use potato masher to start mashing them, add in the mayonnaise and continue to mash until it reaches a nice smooth consistency. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Use within a day or two as with most guac or and dips. Enjoy!! Until next time, XO Chrissy
Wow I feel like Ive been gone for ages!! Sorry for my lack of posts this past week, my family from the East coast came to town for my birthday and my parents threw me the greatest party I could have ever imagined. I’m not going to lie, I woke up the morning of my birthday feeling pretty underwhelmed. It’s been a while since I’ve felt excited for a birthday but I thought this one might feel different because 30 seems to be such an important milestone. I remember being a teenager and thinking my cousins who turned 30 were absolutely ANCIENT and that when that was me I’d be miserable, but now that I’m here I really just feel the same to be honest. As the day of my birthday went on and the party started I realized the best thing about turning 30 was having a reason for so many people I love to get together and just have a freakin amazing time. My parents really outdid themselves with the party and people young and old had activities to do, but for the most part my friends and I just stayed on the dance floor rocking out to our favorite Boy Bands and 90s classics we grew up on, which is exactly what I wanted. What I’ve heard from many women is that their Thirties was the best time of their lives and while some of them may just be saying that, I’m going to head into this next chapter with that mindset and just let go of my twenties and embrace being Thirty and Thriving (as they say.) I’m hoping this is when I am able to focus on my health to the best of my ability and really keep trying to balance mom life with everything else that life entails. I hope you enjoy some pictures form my party and will be back to posting regularly this week. If you’re in your thirties or experienced them long ago, let me know how you felt about it and any advice for this age! Until next time xo Chrissy