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
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.
My son has been sick this week and i had a lot of realizations that i might not be winning mom of the year anytime soon. Disclaimer: I admit I’m not great at many things in life but I do give my all to being a mom and have a pretty happy little dude because of it..that being said..there are many..MANY times I gain some “bad mom” points. These are all harmless and I know I’m not alone so lets all just agree that a huge part of motherhood is simply winging it..and sometimes we succeed a tad less than others am I right?!
- Like I said, my son has been sick, and I feel horrible for him because I was sick with the same bug the week before, but….everytime he coughs and sneezes my first reaction in my mind is “omg shut the hell up already!!” Of course I don’t say it out loud which is why maybe this only counts as half a bad mom point but still…as I was thinking it the other day for about the 15th time I also wondered what other bad mom things I do or think. But seriously, I didn’t know coughing and gagging was such a strong irritant for me but I sure realized that pretty damn quickly this week #badmom
- Some days I’m too tried to do anything, like literally making meals is about as much as I have in me, so i make up lies like the parks are closed for cleaning or a storm is on its way so we NEED to stay inside and try to take a nap to ride it out #badmom
- When his dad is home and I can do some errands on my own for once, my son usually asks to come with me because he really wants to and I cringe inside even though I should be thrilled that he wants to spend more time with me. But c’mon…shopping alone has become a damn luxury that I only get like once a month so I don’t feel TOO bad leaving them in my dust as I sprint to the car alone #badmom
- When my son tells stories they literally go on for what feels like 15 hours so I have no other choice but to space out, even if we’re with friends or family. I mentally check in every now and then to see that he’s still going but if I have to hear him explain every detail of a show we watch 15 times a week any longer, I might have to rip my ears off #badmom (no we don’t actually do that much screen time, I know someone out there is hyperventalating at the mere though of it)*
- I told my son that he couldn’t have those brownies I made for breakfast and then the next morning, huddled over the sink, I definitely ate some of those brownies for breakfast #badmom
- My son told me I was being rude the other day when I definitely wasn’t and my first thought was “oh okay..ill SHOW YOU RUDE!! GAME ON” #badmom
Obviously none of these things make anyone an actual bad mom so lets spend less time judging other moms and more time cry-laughing at the fact that these 30 lb humans are basically running our entire lives. cheers to all the other “bad moms” out there, keep being amazing and support one another xo chrissy
Now let me start by saying that just because my dad is a doctor, I am definitely NOT one. I am not telling you that these remedies work for everyone and yes I do take over the counter medicine as well when needed, but these help with a lot of my symptoms and can be used for kids as well so I figured why not share some especially since as parents we’re exposed to sickness a lot more. I have a horrible immune system which has led to my fair share of colds, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections and so on. After a while of pounding medications with very little improvement, I stated experimenting with some natural ways to improve immunity as well and these are ones that have really helped. A lot of kids and parents at my sons school (along with myself) have been sick this Spring so if you are having symptoms right now as well and want to try something new I hope some of these work for you and don’t forget to rest! XO Chrissy
Lemon Water: This is a pretty common remedy so Im not surprised if you’re like Duh Chrissy, thanks for nothing, BUT if you’re new to the whole adding lemon to hot water thing, then please try it out. I have a cup of this in the morning and also at night before bed. It soothes my throat, especially when I get respiratory viruses that lead to me coughing up a damn lung. Lemon is also good for a little immunity boost since it is rich in Vitamin C and prevents the growth of certain bacterias, which also is helpful when trying to prevent or ward off sickness. I also use this trick because I get really bad heartburn, especially during peak allergy season, and hot lemon water helps balance the oxygen form your liver which offers relief for the burn. Also if you don’t mind the taste of ginger, add this to your hot water or juices or tea etc., as ginger is a great soother as well.
Steam Bath: You don’t have to look up your local spa, simply make your own by running a super hot bath and allow the steam to fill your bathroom. Sit in the steam and then once the water cools more, get in and continue to soak up that steam. This helps drain and clear all the area that are clogged in your head and also relax your chest and mucus.
Eat Well: Dairy and highly processed foods are not your friend when sick so avoid these, as well as alcohol and stick to whole foods (no not the grocery store.) Fruits, veggies, and seeds high in vitamins and nutrients get your body as healthy as can be while fighting this cold/virus.
Nasal Rinse: If you’re suffering from sinuses I HIGHLY suggest getting a nasal rinse, and while you can make your own to make this more natural, I would get one from your local pharmacy to be safe. They really help when my sinuses are over congested and literally help flush out all the crap thats going on up in there.
Salt Water Gargle: Growing up my dad would always have me do this and still to his day reminds me to do it when I get sick. Mix 1/2 tsp of salt into warm water and gargle it in your throat but do not swallow, simply spit out after gargling. Salt loosens mucus and helps to flush out bacteria faster.
Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry is a natural immune system booster, especially when concentrated into a syrup. The one I use at the moment is by the brand Sambucus and I get it at Whole Foods. This helps with sinus pressure, allergy symptoms, the common cold and has many other health benefits like aiding in lowering blood sugar.
I hope some of these help, especially for my fellow seasonal allergy/sinus sufferers and those who get frequent colds. Please let me know if you guys use any of these or have remedies you want to share! And of course, stay healthy.
Real life convo the other day
Person “So what do you do?”
Me: “Well the last few years I’ve been a stay at home mom, I’ve done some blogging here and there and some brand repping…”
Person (cuts me off): Oh so just the stereotypical stay-at-Home Mom activities..(laughs)”
Me: “Ha…yeah…” *slaps him across the face in my mind
Another thing someone has said to me when hearing what I do
Person: “Geese I wish I could just stay at home and play all day for MY job.”
Me: “Uhh yup…ME TOO.”
For the love of all that is holy!! If others only realized how much we do and have to juggle on a minute to minute basis! And listen I get it, as an adopted child I know how lucky we are to even be able to have kids and how amazing it is but let’s be real, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. When I worked 9-5 jobs I had a relaxing lunch break, could spend my days off (remember what days off are?) doing whatever I wanted and could take time for my mental and physical health. That all greatly lessens and let’s not forget how emotionally draining dealing with a toddler can be, especially when they start believing they know everything and are always right..give us strength. I wouldn’t trade staying home these years for anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or that us stay at home parents (shout out to you too dads!) are just on an extended vacation everyday. There’s no such thing as a weekend or a rest day or time off..well that is until they’re grown ass adults so hey, just another 20 or so more years guys! I guess the point of this post is to remind myself and others that even though stay-at-home parent life can sometimes feel like we’re on an island by ourselves, we’re not, and should be able to vent as often as needed to maintain sanity. The other week I finally signed up for some physical training lessons and have started to make (at least a few of) my needs a priority again because it’s definitely harder to be on top of things as a parent when we feel like the only things we do are for other people. So big virtual high five to all of you reading this who can even slightly relate because we’re in this thing together and hopefully continue to raise some pretty awesome humans. xo chrissy