Goals for 2016 – mid-year check-up

Goals for 2016 – mid-year check-up

Just when you thought you were getting used to writing 2016 on things, you blink and half of the year has gone by. I suppose it is time to check in with our 2016 goals, though I admit I’m nervous to look at my original goals I set at the beginning of 2016. So much has changed, and my plans have gotten derailed by life, so I know I’m not where I wanted to be in my goals. But let’s do a check-in anyway and see where changes need to be made. My Goals for 2016 Life Maintain Balance and live in the moment. Here is what I wanted to get done: I will play with my child and find ways to include him in my hobbies now that he is mobile and interacting with the world around him. I will keep positive and not allow myself to get too overwhelmed with my responsibilities and endless to-do lists. Most importantly, I will maintain sanity while my husband is away for his training. I survived a full deployment on my own; I should be able to handle a few months with a toddler. June Update: Well, I do play with my son, and I’ve taken him to parks and play dates when they happened on weekends or days that I had off. I do my best to keep positive, but it sure is hard! I have so many responsibilities while solo parenting and working full time and blogging and everything else. I don’t know how I function sometimes, and there are times when I just don’t want to adult anymore. I find it interesting how I mentioned the full deployment since this training turned into a full mobilization for an additional year once the training was up. I’m handling it, not always very gracefully, […]

Posted June 30, 2016 by Julie in Family, Health, Parenting / 2 Comments
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15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms

15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding your baby is very rewarding, but can be difficult. Despite our struggles, I look back fondly at my breastfeeding relationship with Baby H. Since we plan on having another child eventually, I know I will try to breastfeed again. While I breastfed, I made sure to add breastfeeding-friendly foods to my diet (such as steel cut oats, , drink mother’s milk tea, add or cook with , and take a fenugreek supplement) to help my supply.  Since my post about my overnight oatmeal for lactation continues to be such a hit, I thought I would find other wonderful recipe ideas for foods that help boost breastmilk supply. This roundup will help me in the future, and can help some of my readers now. Enjoy! Recipes that boost lactation to help increase breastmilk supply Desserts and snacks that boost lactation Make these yummy looking fenugreek lactation bites to help increase your milk supply. From Handmade in the Heartland. I love the idea of a baby shower gift of lactation cookie mix in a jar.  Bake when ready. From One Part Sunshine. You can even make lactation brownies. Yum! From Rio Grande Valley Moms Blog. But you really can’t go wrong with homemade chocolate chip lactation cookies, can you? From Third Stop on the Right. Drink to a boost in milk supply Try the ultimate lactation smoothie, because smoothies are always awesome. From Feed Me Mama. There’s also another boosting breastmilk smoothie recipe. From Cassadiva. Have you heard of leaky lactation lemonade? When life hands you lemons, right? From The Leaky Boob. Check out this banana and cinnamon lactation smoothie. From Sarah Lampley. How about a lactation boosting milkshake? From We’re Parents. Alright, one more smoothie feature. Smoothies sure are popular. From Purely Diligent. While you’re at it, make sure you’re consuming your green veggies in this green smoothie. From Much Most Darling. […]

Posted June 27, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, TopPosts / 10 Comments
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A Children’s Activity Book about Healthy Eating + Giveaway

A Children’s Activity Book about Healthy Eating + Giveaway

Getting children to eat healthy is certainly a challenge. I struggle with feeding my toddler on a daily basis and I know many Moms are in the same situation. Sometimes kids just need an extra fun push in the right directions to eat fun and colorful foods. I remember how much I loved activity books as a younger version of myself, and combining the idea of activity books with the concept of healthy, mindful eating results in a fun book and teachable experience. I received a copy of this lovely book called If It Does Not Grow, Say No to check it out and share it with you. This book is full of flow charts, activities, and checklists to engage kids in thinking and talking about food as they experience it and try something new. There are so many fun pages in this book with talking points and questions to get kids thinking about food in a positive way. While my 19 month old is a bit young to really have a conversation about food, other than pointing, I’m going to enjoy introducing some of the activities in this book to him when he’s ready. Fruits and veggies are a beautiful and delicious part of eating, and I want him to enjoy them as well. You can even visit the website and download some activity challenges for fruits testing, veggie testing, and there’s even a dessert challenge. If It Does Not Grow –  Say No Eatable Activities for Kids was created for children of all ages to discover how much fun they can have with fruits and vegetables. They will be entertained for hours as they: draw and write about their favorite foods, learn why fruits and vegetables are so awesome, try easy recipes for fun foods, see how brave they are about trying new […]

Posted June 25, 2016 by Julie in Giveaways, Reviews / 5 Comments
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Gratitude and Goals June 24, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Gratitude and Goals June 24, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Weekly Gratitude and Goals My Gratitude for this week: This past weekend we went on our first beach adventure, Baby H and I! Well, we went with the other family that my nanny works for (and they brought their extended family, but let us tag along). It was quite the adventure but we had fun and only had a few fits, so I guess that’s a win with a toddler. I did great bringing him the right snacks to keep him sitting in one spot for a while. I got my new washing machine so I can finally do laundry again! Well, Lowes only delivered it, basically dropped it off in my garage and that was that. They were not “allowed” to unhook the old one or replace the new one. So I had to get a handyman to come do the rest of the job. But then I did a load of toddler clothes and the world was right again. Not doing laundry for 2+ weeks isn’t awful, but I certainly didn’t want to go much longer. Hope everyone had a good Father’s day!  I sent cards to my dad and my husband and got to talk to them on the phone, so that was my holiday weekend heh. Really looking forward to our 4th of July trip ,though! A bit (ok, a lot) nervous bout flying with the Toddler, but I’m sure there will be a blog post about that soon after. My blog has been growing wonderfully, though! I keep logging into Google Analytics and finding magic numbers. Well, magic for me. I tripled my views in the past 2 months – they’re still not huge like the big shot bloggers, but they’re showing great growth and potential for more, right? I also had a few influencer campaigns go up this […]

Posted June 24, 2016 by Julie in Gratitude Goals Linky / 9 Comments
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How to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

How to Pack for a Beach Trip with a Toddler

This post is sponsored by Gerber but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Last weekend I took my toddler to the beach for the very first time. I joined a friend and her family on a visit to Galveston for an enjoyable afternoon mini beach vacation full of sand and ocean (two of my favorite things). I admit I was a bit nervous for my first beach trip with a toddler, and I wanted to have all my bases covered with taking care of his needs (and my sanity). Since the beach is about and hour and a half ride from my house, I had to have everything we may need ready in the car. I didn’t want to overdo it, but I also needed to be thorough. The story of mom life, right? Today I’m sharing my essential tips for packing for a beach vacation with a toddler. Packing List for a Beach Trip with a Toddler Below is an ultimate packing list for your first beach trip with your toddler. Swimsuit and also a shirt that covers his shoulders. Didn’t want to risk any sunburns. Baby sunblock. Swim diapers to wear under the suit. Regular diapers. Wipes. Regular diaper bag essentials. A change of clothes. Ok, I packed several changes of clothes. A hat. Very important of course, and I love his “Texas makes me happy” hat. Sunglasses, though he didn’t use them. One day I’ll get him to wear them. Umbrella for shade. It is HOT now in Texas, so shade was necessary. Drinks. I melted down some Pedialyte pops and mixed them with water in his sippy cups, so I knew he would have extra hydration. And then I brought extra water. Snacks. I did well on this one. I packed some Gerber Lil’ Beanies since […]

Posted June 23, 2016 by Julie in Influencer, Parenting, TopPosts / 24 Comments
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5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Jogging Stroller – Guest Post

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Jogging Stroller – Guest Post

Parents tend to look for single strollers – lightweight or umbrella – the first time they purchase a stroller. There are many reasons for this; the two most common ones pertain to the fact that they have a single child (at the time of shopping for a stroller) as well as cost. Lightweight strollers and umbrella strollers are generally much cheaper than other “specialized” strollers such as jogging and all-terrain strollers. In general, lightweight and umbrella strollers can run anywhere between $70 and $200, with the higher priced product typically offering many different convenient features.  On the other hand, “specialized” strollers such as jogging strollers run anywhere between $250 and $650. Definitely a big difference in pricing! For me, I purchased a double jogging stroller not too long ago, and I must say that the benefits far outweigh the cons. In other words, what we, as a family has gained has made it well worth the price we paid for it. In this post, I will go over five reasons as to why I believe investing in a jogging stroller is worth it. But first off, what is a jogging stroller? A jogging stroller is basically a stroller which you can jog with. Jogging strollers come in single, double, or triple strollers, which refer to the number of kids you can carry on the stroller. While most jogging strollers nowadays are car seat compatible (meaning they can be used to carry newborns), it is only recommended to jog with your kid(s) in a stroller once they’re approximately six months old. The reason for this is that before six months old, children do not yet have the muscles required to keep their neck and head up. It is also worthy to mention that jogging strollers are NOT the same as all-terrain […]

Posted June 22, 2016 by Julie in Guest Posts, Parenting / 3 Comments
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Lunch and Learn with Comcast #XfinityParents

Lunch and Learn with Comcast #XfinityParents

This #XfinityParents campaign was sponsored by Comcast via Houston Bloggers. Opinions are my own. Last Thursday, I attended a special Houston Bloggers event at Xfinity’s Houston Galleria location. We really got to experience a lot of Xfinity’s products and services and enjoy a guided tour and chat with their representatives. It was a great lunch and learn! That particular location is very well placed to serve a great number of customers in the busy Galleria Area. I was very happy about the location, myself, since it is just a few blocks from where I work and I could easily take a longer lunch and join in on the fun with my fellow local bloggers. They even had some lovely swag for all of us, and one lucky blogger walked away with the TV! A fun fact I learned was the very first store they opened was the Katy one – the store I used when we first became Comcast customers, and still lived in Katy. An enjoyable aspect of visiting Xfinity’s store is the customer experience. You don’t just get in line and wait like at the DPS, but instead you are greeted at the door and your reason for the visit is logged. Then, your name is added to the TV screen and when it is your turn, your name appears on the big screen. While you wait to be seen by a rep, you can hang out at the iPad bar and be entertained (there’s even a short bar for kids!). Our “tour guide” told us this customer in-store experience directly influences customer retention. Another cool addition to their stores is the Express Pay booth. Personally, I have my bill set up on auto pay – but if you prefer to pay in person, you can be in and out in […]

Posted June 21, 2016 by Julie in Entertainment, Influencer / 4 Comments
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How to make the best No-Guilt Breakfast: Strawberry Blondie Bars mix

How to make the best No-Guilt Breakfast: Strawberry Blondie Bars mix

Thank you to Silver Fern Brands for facilitating this conversation.  Affiliate links are used in this post, earning me a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are my own. Does your toddler have a sweet tooth? You know where the little one got it from, right? Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth, too! One of the biggest struggles I have is feeding my little guy. He used to be a fantastic eater. He used to sit with his mouth open in a “food goes in here” gesture. Now, he just takes and throws everything that isn’t bready and sweet. Good news, though, I’ve discovered these amazing baking mixes by Silver Fern Brands that are high in protein and fiber, while being low in sugar and carbs. Now I can make delicious treats for my little guy that are healthy and guilt-free, including a no-guilt breakfast feast. I usually try to make something healthy for my toddler’s breakfast that also will be something he will eat. Sometimes this looks like mini-muffins with hidden veggies, and sometimes it is scrambled eggs with hidden blended spinach. You see my habit of hiding a nutritious food item, huh? But what about something high in protein without having to blend in and hide foods to make the item nutritious? I recently got to try out this Paka Strawberry Blondie Bar baking mix. The mix is loaded with natural ingredients such as algal flour, whey protein, and soluble fiber. These bars high in fiber and high in protein, and use a low-cal-sweetener! But not only that, they are absolutely delicious (says this mama who enjoyed licking the spatula a little too much). As you can see, the ingredients were quite simple: The Paka Strawberry Blondie Bar baking mix 1/3 cup Butter 2 […]

Posted June 20, 2016 by Julie in Food, Influencer / 33 Comments
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Gratitude and Goals June 17, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Gratitude and Goals June 17, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Weekly Gratitude and Goals My Gratitude for this week: I think I’m finally better. I was sick for a while there and might have even gotten some stomach bug, but I did lose some more weight because of it. So, now my pants are too big again. I had my annual physical this week and my labs came back great. Yay for being where I need to be health-wise. I’m trying to catch up on all my appointments and remember to take care of myself, too. I still have a few more to schedule, like vision. I got to attend an influencer luncheon this week with a local company and I’ll be blogging about that next week. It was right by my job so I got to take a fun lunch break. Hubby and I have been married for 9 years! I’ve lost count how many times we were apart on our anniversary though haha. I’ve been continually improving on this blog. Last week I had a malware scare – actually, an advertiser alerted me to some popup redirects they were seeing. They recommended Sucuri, and I quickly signed up with them. My host’s security program was just out of my budget but Sucuri is a lot more affordable and took care of my problem the next day. Phew. Now that I’ve been actively branded under “Fab Working Mom Life” for a few months, I’ve essentially stopped using my previous domain name. I went through and made private all my previous posts that were just rambly journaly posts and not a good reflection of my professional blog brand. No one needs to read my crazy ramblings, seriously. My Goals for the upcoming week: Continue my progress with the Nutrisystem diet. 26 pounds down!!! I admit, being sick helped with a huge […]

Posted June 17, 2016 by Julie in Gratitude Goals Linky / 6 Comments
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300+ Amazing Ideas for Frugal Family Fun

300+ Amazing Ideas for Frugal Family Fun

Join me on a nostalgic journey for a minute and let’s think back to our childhood. Do you remember spending time with your parents (and siblings if you have any) just doing something together as a family? Do you remember going to the park, or the zoo? Family vacations? Trips to the beach, or the lake? I recall so many moments; vague as these memories have become over the years, I still remember the general feeling of family joy and bonding. I would love to create these types of memories with my family now as we grow together and enjoy this life. The world we live in can get overwhelming – with busy job schedules, family responsibilities, budget constraints, and the surprises that life throws our way. Sometimes we just don’t have the time or the energy to plan a family activity or do something meaningful with our loved ones. But we know how important family time is, and so we keep adding it to our to-do list. Well, let’s stop just wanting to do something with our families, and actually do this something. I know I struggle to come up with great ideas on my own, so I love when other talented bloggers, authors, and moms share their ideas and experiences with us! I just finished reading this wonderful book called Frugal Family Fun: The Ultimate Family Resource with Over 300 Budget Friendly Activities. 300 activities! Come on now; surely we can each find something to take away and be able to use with our families, right? Frugal Family Fun contains ideas for any activity you can think of – indoor or outdoor, active or relaxing, educational, seasonal and holiday, and the list goes on. I especially liked how the book guides you through making the decisions for family […]

Posted June 14, 2016 by Julie in Family, Reviews, TopPosts / 20 Comments
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