Thursday, February 28, 2019

HOW TO PINPOINT FOOD ALLERGIES IN BABIES


My baby has a case of eczema which sometimes flares up pretty badly. The pediatrician recommended I stop consuming all dairy and soy for at least two weeks, as well as get on a special formula, Similac Alimentum to try and get it to clear up. I did not realize how many of the foods I loved and ate on a regular basis have either dairy, soy, or both. I had to find creative ways to still be able to eat the things I enjoy, like yellow cake for example.

Once the two weeks was up, I was cleared to add soy back into my diet for a few days to see how he does. Then I can slowly add dairy products back to see how he reacts. The best way I've found to keep track of my food intake is by filling out a food journal. This way, if the baby has an adverse reaction, I can look back at what I ate that day to narrow down the cause. I've only been introducing one new food every few days so I can accurately track the problem food item, and will continue to do so until I know what I can vs. can't eat.

So, how exactly am I tracking my foods? I created a simple spreadsheet, where I enter in foods I ate for each meal. A food journal is also a great way for mom to keep track of what she's eating to make sure she's actually eating. It gets hard out there sometimes and we sometimes forgo our needs because we are so consumed with taking care of little that weIl, we forget to eat!

So in short, to narrow down baby's food allergies:
  • Keep a food journal to track what foods you are consuming.
  • Only introduce one new food item every few days.
  • When baby has an adverse reaction, refer back to the journal to see what foods you consumed.
  • Begin eliminating one by one, the foods you ate on that particular day to find the culprit.
If you are looking for a simple to fill and track food journal, you've come to the right place! I've created a FREE weekly food journal to share. Subscribe to the blog and you will receive your own customizable copy.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

HOW TO GET THINGS DONE WITH A NEWBORN




Being a mom of a newborn is a very demanding job. That being said the only way to attempt to get things done is to make a to-do list. Now, there will be days that nothing gets checked off the list, and that is okay. After all, you are performing the most important task of them all, take care of the baby. By the way, be sure to put that on the list because no matter what, that is the one thing that you can be sure to accomplish every day and it will give you some sense of achievement.

Now you may be wondering, "How do I go about even making time to write a to-do list?" The answer is simple. I promise you, this is the easiest, most stress-free way to get things done with a newborn. Matter of fact, this is the method I used to write this post (and every other post on this site).

First, you need to brainstorm a list of all the things you set out to accomplish for the day/week/month or however far in advance you plan (I take things day by day). Think of these things while you are busy taking care of the baby, say perhaps while you are nursing. Ok. Got your list of tasks? Great! If not, that is okay. Just attempt to finish it during the next round of baby raising.

Once baby goes to sleep, start to add items to your list, once done, relax or take a nap with the baby. Do not plan on starting the list at this time. Let's face it, mama needs a break. When baby wakes again, don't think about the list, just focus on taking care of baby. Once baby goes back to sleep, start on your list and work until the baby wakes up. Only do one task at a time as to not overwhelm yourself. If the baby wakes up before your task is complete, just try to finish it again when baby goes back down for another nap, If you finish your task before the baby wakes up, relax or take a nap.

So how does all this work again? Let's take my list for example:
  • Take care of the baby
  • Laundry
  • Shower
  • Brush Teeth (*sigh* yes, I've had to pencil in brushing my teeth. It's hard out here.)
  • Walk dog
  • Wash bottles
  • Dishes
  • Style Hair
  • Nap
So early in the day, while I'm nursing baby, I'm thinking of all the things that need to get accomplished. Once baby goes down for a nap, I physically make my list of tasks, then relax or nap until the baby wakes again. Once awake, I take care of the baby, not thinking about the list at all. Then once back down for a nap, I start on my list. In my case, the first task it laundry. So I'll throw a load in, then go take a nap until the baby wakes up. I continue this pattern for the rest of the day. I make sure to only work on one task at a time. Taking care of a newborn is an incredibly hard enough task on its own. I don't need to further complicate things and challenge my sanity by trying to do everything at once. 

So in sum, here is how to get things done with a newborn.
  1. Brainstorm a list.
  2. Add tasks to the list.
  3. Attempt to execute the list, one task at a time. 
To help you out, I've created a downloadable to do list. All you need to do to receive it is subscribe to my blog (which is completely free) by entering your name and email in the form below. The best part of this list is it's digital so you can access it from anywhere. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

HAAKAA ALTERNATIVE?! LANSINOH BREASTMILK COLLECTOR

One of my favorite mom brands, Lansinoh has just come out with their own version of a manual pump, or as they like to call it, a "breastmilk collector". I saw this and just had to have it. I am a huge fan of Lansinoh so I had faith that this product would not disappoint, and it did not.

lansinoh breastmilk collector
This is during just one feeding

Here are some of the key features of this device:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

DAIRY & SOY FREE: YELLOW CAKE RECIPE

My baby has a pretty significant eczema problem so the pediatrician recommended I stop consuming dairy and soy to try and clear it up. I did not realize how many foods actually have both dairy and soy but boy is it a lot! I was determined to still be able to enjoy some of the delicious foods I love, and that is where this recipe comes into play.  I will show you how to make a mouthwatering yellow cake, all while on a dairy free and soy free diet.

dairy & soy free yellow cake
View the printer friendly recipe card here.

You will need:

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Lightly grease (with coconut oil or use cooking spray) one 8-inch round cake pan. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream the coconut oil and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the vanilla, beating until well combined.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the coconut oil mixture, followed by 1/4 cup of the almond milk, and continue adding the remaining ingredients, beating well before adding the next. Mix until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Tips:
There are many variations that can be made to transform this recipe. This cake can easily be made as a lemon cake, just substitute lemon extract for the vanilla extract.  Also, if you are not on a soy free diet, feel free to use soy margarine or soy milk.

So I couldn't help myself and I had to sneak a piece once it came out of the oven. But oh my goodness, this cake is even better once it completely cools! You cannot even tell there are substitutes.

Share your favorite dairy and soy free recipes in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation for sales generated through these links.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

DIY DIAPER GENIE REFILL BAGS HACK

The Playtex Diaper Genie is one of the staples for any mom with a baby in diapers. I mean it's great, isn't it? It locks away those smelly, poopy pampers while being discrete and compact. The only thing not so great about this device are the price of the refill bags! A pack of 3 refill bags will run you about $17 and of course the larger the size of the diaper, the less that will fit in the genie. As you can probably imagine, this gets so expensive over time.

This is why I have decided to come up with a hack that I will share with you. Go out and get some trash bags from the dollar store, yes, I said the dollar store (Dollar Tree is my fav). The 13 gallon size kitchen bags will do the trick.

First and most importantly, make sure you do not discard the diaper genie refill ring, otherwise, this hack will not work.

Steps:

1. Open your trash bag

2. Open the diaper genie lid and remove the refill ring.

3. Feed the trash bag through the ring from bottom to top.

4.Wrap the open end of the trash bag around the refill ring and secure


5. Place the ring back in the top of the diaper genie.

6. Open the front compartment of the diaper genie, while stepping on the foot lever and feed the bag through all the way to the bottom.

7. Close the front compartment and your diaper genie is ready for use.


If you've tried this hack or are planning to try, please leave a comment below.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation for sales generated through these links.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

PUMPING BAG ESSENTIALS

Whether you are a working mom or just a mom that is always on the go, a pumping back stocked with the most essential items is a must! Here I will share with you some of my favorite items in my pumping bag.



For me, I am a working mom so it was important for me to have a breast pump that is lightweight, portable, easily powered, and with minimal parts to assemble. The Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump fits that bill perfectly. This pump has two main parts that screw together then the tubing which plugs into the back of each side. You can even charge your phone by plugging it into the pump. One other great thing about this pump is that it comes with two adapters which allow you to pump directly into breast milk storage bags.

My insulated tote from Thirty One is perfect at keeping the milk cold while transporting it back home. One tip is to use wipes to wipe down the pump parts and place them into a gallon sized storage bag before putting it back in the fridge. This saves time (and your sanity) when you are needing to pump multiple times a day so you are not constantly washing parts. This will keep everything clean and sterilized. Just wash at the end of your pumping day.

A hands-free pumping bra is a must. There is nothing worse than having to hold the flanges the.entire.time pumping. Then you can be hands-free and multi-task either by doing work on your laptop, checking messages on your phone, or making yourself notes (grocery list, to do list, etc). If you can get one that doubles as a nursing bra, that's even better.

Now you will also need a few more items to help keep things clean. Burp cloths are especially good because they are super soft and absorbent and they are re-usable. Napkins have a tendency to disintegrate. Also, breast pads are a must to avoid embarrassing leaks through your shirt.

Download the pumping bag essentials checklist here

This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated for sales generated through these links.

I'M PREGNANT + HOW I FOUND OUT

Hello everyone and welcome! I am kicking off this blog by documenting my pregnancy. I will share with you how I found out and share updates along the way.

A few days before I was expecting my period to begin, I began experiencing the following symptoms. Now, I usually get most of these symptoms, but this particular month (March 2018) they had come on later than usual.
  • Breast Pain - Now breast pain is a normal PMS symptom for me, however, this month, I was only experiencing the pain in one breast.
  • Bloating - Also a normal PMS symptom so I didn't think anything of it.
  • Nipple Sensitivity - This was an abnormal symptom for me as I usually do not get this.
  • Nausea - I had a little bit of nausea that was a bit stronger than my usual PMS nausea.
  • Shortness of Breath - I was so winded after coming up my stairs everyday, but I thought I was just out of shape. 
Curious about what causes these symptoms? Check out my infographic below.
Click here to download
early pregnancy symptoms

The day I was expecting my period, I had a little bit of spotting so I assumed this was my period coming. The following morning, I put my Diva Cup in.  When I went to empty it later that day, I realized, there was no blood in the cup. I put in a pantyliner as I waited for the flow to pickup. I did not realize it at the time but I had not bled for two whole days at that point. The spotting came back about 4 days into what I thought was supposed to be my period, which remained for about the next week.

About a week and a half after I was expecting my period, it still did not come. To rule out the possibility of pregnancy, I bought a First Response Early Result one day after work and to my surprise, it was positive. Still not 100% convinced, I waited until the next day and purchased a Clear Blue Digital pregnancy test. Clear as day, I was pregnant.

pregnancy test




Products mentioned in this post:

Watch my video below:


This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated for sales generated through these links.

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