Sunday, January 24, 2016

Midnight Mom Confessions

I was awake in the early hours the other morning just thinking about birth, motherhood and all the changes to come. There's so much that can feel out of control when you're about to give birth to another child that it can feel overwhelming at times:

How quick will it happen? Can I deliver natural again? What if I need a c-section? Can we handle two kiddos? How will our son respond to a new sibling? Will breastfeeding be as difficult to establish this time? Among many other thoughts. 


I almost feel as though I'm more nervous and anxious this time around than the first time. Maybe it's because I'm not so naive about how tough, yet amazing those first few weeks (months) can be or how completely primal childbirth can be. During these moments, I trust that my body can handle and knows what to do and just put my heart and trust into the birth process. It's hard not having complete control, but will be so worth it no matter what way it happens. It's funny because I really feel as though the mind forgets a lot about childbirth and now I'm suddenly flooded with all the memories of Aiden's. His birth was quick and intense and a completely empowering experience. I'm hoping to relive something similar with his baby sisters. I think that my biggest fear during this birth is that it may happen very quickly. I'll definitely be heading to the hospital earlier (I went from 4cm to 10 cm in less than an hour last time), especially as we have to be sure that my Pop's is able to get to our home with plenty of time to watch Aiden and for us to get to the hospital. I'm hoping for quick, but not too cute. I definitely don't want to worry about having this baby at home or in the car. Eek! 

At my appointment Friday (38 & 1/2 weeks), I was showing signs of my body preparing for labor (dilating and effaced) and I've had contractions on and off all weekend. Excited to meet and love on our little girl (still unnamed) someday soon.

Send me your labor vibes and calming thoughts mama tribe. I could use them! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nutrexin Product Reviews! I'm loving their deodorant & bath salts!

I was lucky enough to be sent some products to try through Moms Meet in exchange for my honest review. I was sent their Aluminum Free Roll-on deodorant, pH Body Restore Bath Salts, and pH Restore Tablets.

I was very skeptical about the deodorant because I typically do not like roll-ons because they leave a sticky residue and also because I was worried about the effectiveness of it. TMI, being currently being 5 months pregnant and hormonal makes my sweat glands go crazy.  I waited until a weekday when I didn't plan on having to leave the house to give the deodorant a try because I was so skeptical about it working, but I have been extremely surprised. Not only, did it go only easily and dry fast, it worked really well. No smell or wetness, at all! I've been using it consistently since I received it and have to say that it works just as well, if not better than my former deodorants. The only downside of this product is the cost, about $10 per roll, but it does seem to go really far. I love that it's aluminum free, especially with concerns of breast cancer being associated with aluminum in deodorant. A few other important facts about the deodorant:

  • Aluminum-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Artificial Color-free

Unfortunately I haven't been able to use the pH Restore Tablets because in pregnant and not sure of the safety of its use while pregnant. I'm looking forward to trying them in the spring post-pregnancy. Here is some information about the product from their website:

"The body naturally produces acids through our major organs, unfortunately with today’s busy lifestyles and diet, these acids levels can get out of balance, resulting in chronic hyperacidity and a variety of illness and disease. pH Restore Tablets provides optimal support for the body’s acid base in a convenient tablet form.  

Why pH restore?
  • Eliminates acids from the body
  • Optimizes Intestinal Flora
  • Better Digestion
  • Improved Immune System" 
The pH restore Bath Salts is an essential blend of mineral salts (baking soda, sea salt and Himalayan salt) that help support healthy blood circulation and metabolism. The alkaline bath salt blend helps smooth the effects of stress and muscle tension of today's demanding lifestyle. It's great for muscle recovery after training or competitions. Their bath salts leave your skin feeling healthy, smooth and silky as well. I really enjoy using this product for a quick soak after a long day when my back is beginning to ache a bit. I'm really looking forward to trying out this product at a later time when I'm back to my running training, but for now, I'm really loving it for the aches and pains that sometimes accompany pregnancy.

I've really enjoyed being able to try these products. If you're interested in trying these products, please check them out at For a limited time, enter discount code MOMS2015 for 20% off and free shipping on all orders from their website.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Sugar-Free Sweet Summertime Refresher - Sweetleaf Water Drops Review

As a Moms Meet ambassador, I am lucky enough to get to try lots of fun and new products. Recently I was sent a sample pack of SweetLeaf Water Drops to try and review.

What are SweetLeaf Water Drops? SweetLeaf Water Drops are a natural, convenient, sugar-free, and gluten-free water enhancer. SweetLeaf® Water Drops™ contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and nonglycemic response, making it ideal for people managing their blood sugar or calorie intake.

SweetLeaf Water Drops uses natural stevia, a plant typically grown in South America that contains an extract 200 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is a natural sweetener that doesn't raise blood sugar, unlike typical cane sugar. I was curious as to the safety of stevia since I typically avoid other sweeteners (such as Sweet n' Low and Equal) and from what I have read it appears to be mostly safe. It's a newer approved substance from the FDA so long term impacts have yet to be studied which is a bit concerning, but studies so far show no detrimental impacts.

A bit more information on the flavors and price of the Water Drops:
• SweetLeaf Water Drops come in a convenient bottle that is great for home or
on-the-go use and are available in four award-winning flavors: Peach Mango,
Strawberry Kiwi, Raspberry Lemonade, and Lemon Lime.
• One 2.1 fl. oz. bottle of SweetLeaf Water Drops contains 32 servings and
retails for $4.99. (

I was sent all 4 flavors to try and also a cookbook with a ton of different recipes that Stevia sweetener can be used with. The cookbook had a wide variety of recipes to choose from and great photos.

My opinion:  I really, really wanted to love this product, but I just didn't. It wasn't that it was bad, just the sweetener left an odd taste in my mouth. I blame some of this on the fact that I'm pregnant and have super-sensitive senses right now and the fact that I often struggle with sweeteners and their taste. All of the flavors were good, but I just couldn't get past the overly sweet taste (even when I added a very small amount to my water). On the other spectrum, my husband and son LOVED them. My husband has been using them daily to add some pizazz to his water.

I'm really hoping that maybe this is just a pregnancy over sensitive issue because I would love to have these in my water repertoire to add some variety. I especially love that they didn't contain any artificial dyes/colors.

My thoughts on each flavor:

Peach Mango - I couldn't try due to mango allergy, but hubby really enjoyed it.
Strawberry Kiwi - My favorite flavor of the bunch!
Lemon Lime - Reminded me of the gatorade of a similar flavor.
Raspberry Lemonade - Was a bit overly raspberry for me...I wishes for a stronger lemonade flavor.

For those of you looking for a quick and refreshing summertime refresher, mix and freeze water into ice cubes. Once frozen, blend and you have sugar-free, sweet slushies for those hot and humid days that you can feel guilt-free about.

Be sure to check out SweetLeaf at their media outlets listed below:


Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bump Ahead!

If you haven't guessed yet from the title....we expecting Baby B #2 in early February 2016!

Here's a special announcement from his or her's big brother:


The last 2 months have been a bit rough and I've felt pretty craptastic many days. I'm finally feeling a bit more normal and functional as I creep into the second trimester....thank goodness! My energy levels were terrible, felt nauseous all the time and dealt with some pregnancy insomnia. I'm definitely glad to be feeling back to normal and hoping that with my increased energy I can get back to blogging more regularly.

The last few months I pretty much stopped yoga and running. :( I just didn't have any extra energy to give and when I did workout, I was left feeling completely drained for the day and sometimes even the next. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm slowly working into getting more active again because I really missed it.

My appointments have been great so far with Baby B2's heart rate in the high 150-160's and growing right on track (slightly larger actually). The very beginnings of a baby bump is starting to form. Life is about to get crazy with two little ones running around. Aiden will be just over 2 years old when his sibling gets here and I'm really interested to see how he is going to react. It's probably going to be tough for him to go from having all of our attention all the time to having to share it with a newborn.

Excited to share the special news with you and to share the rest of this journey!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Healthy & Gluten-free snacking and fueling! NoGii Gluten-Free Protein Bars, Powder and Paleo Bar them!

I was lucky enough to have Moms Meet send me a huge package of NoGii entire line of products, including the book, The G Free Diet and a fabulous shirt as well. I felt so spoiled opening up this package and seeing how generous and how many awesome products that were included.

Awesome sample swag pack!
NoGii is a line of certified gluten-free protein bars, protein powders, and paleo bars created by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Made from high quality and sustainably sourced premium ingredients, all products have an ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and do not contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or hydrogenated oils. They're a perfect way to get a punch of protein and quick, clean fuel for an on-the-go and active lifestyle. 

The package contained a TON of protein bars, which was the first thing that I wanted to try. I love having protein bars on hand because it's a perfect way to fuel pre or post-workout, especially when short on time or leading a busy lifestyle. There were many different flavors to choose from and also a choice of high protein and super protein bars. The high protein bars range from 17 to 20 grams of protein per bar and are under 250 calories so perfect for a snack or energy boost. The super protein bars had 26 to 30 grams of protein in each single bar! Talk about a protein punch!  The super protein bars are about 400 calories a piece so on the higher end for calories. I actually usually just eat half a bar at a time to keep it around my 200-250 calorie snack goal. I definitely keep one of these bars in all my different bags (purse, diaper bag, yoga bag) and car for quick and healthier snack.

I reached for the chocolate coconut flavor (a high protein bar) first and it was AMAZING! This flavor was by far my favorite one and they didn't last too long in our house (my husband was pretty excited to give these a try too).  To be honest, all the flavors that I have tried were all great tasting and none tasted chalky or dry like some other competitors. I liked that they were chewy and weren't overly sweet to me. Having all natural ingredients (that you can actually pronounce) was a huge bonus and made me feel better about what I was eating. 

Definitely my favorite flavor! 
Also included was paleo bars. I've never seen paleo bars made by a manufacturer before (always see recipes to make your own on Pinterest). These bars are made with all natural ingredients (main ingredients are nuts, dates, honey, and fruits). They have a lower protein content compared to their other products, but they taste great and offer a lot of healthy fats and vitamins from the nuts and fruit in the bars. My favorite was the Nuts About Berries flavor. The tartness from the cherries was nicely balanced by the nuttiness. 

I also received a 2 pound jug of the vanilla Whey and Quinoa Protein Powder. I've had several different brands of protein powder in the past, but none that contained quinoa as well. Quinoa is an amino-acid rich seed that contains more protein than any other grain, and is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates. I'm very reluctant when it comes to protein powders because I feel like most taste pretty terrible. I reluctantly added this to my strawberry banana smoothie and was pleasantly surprised as I loved the addition. It tasted great and added a smooth vanilla flavor to my smoothie. Two scoops of powder (a serving) contains 20 grams of protein, 160 calories, 5 grams of sugar and a ton of fiber (7 grams or 28% of your daily value).

Awesome in smoothies!
Even my toddler loved it!
Overall, I was really pleased with all of these products and would recommend them to anyone trying to lead a clean eating or gluten-free diet. They tasted great, the nutritional facts were on point and they provided a quick and easy source of protein. The only downside to the products that I could find was that they were a bit above my preferred price range (for example, NoGii’s High Protein Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bar retails for $2.50 to $2.99 for one 1.93oz bar). 

If you're interested in learning more about NoGii's product line be sure to visit their website at and check out their Facebook page as well. 

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. If interested in participating in review panels and other opportunities, join the Moms Meet community at 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Xlear Care Kit Review - Dental & Nasal Care Products with All-Natural Xylitol #momsmeet

I was selected as one of the Moms Meet Bloggers to be able to recieve a Xlear Care Kit to try and review. The Xlear Care Kit contained several different dental and nasal care products that contain xylitol, a naturally occurring sweetener. According to Xlear, Xylitol has been shown to help the body's naturally cleaning process to clear away allergens, asthmatic triggers and other harmful bacteria. It is also one of the newest, easiest and tastiest ways for people to improve oral health. Research has been found that xylitol use may reduce tooth decay.

Lots of great products to try!
The dental health products that came in my Xlear Care kit were:

  • Spry Toothpaste Non-Fluoride - The toothpaste has a fresh taste that left your mouth feeling clean and breath feeling fresh. The toothpaste was a bit different than other toothpaste because it didn't foam as much as others, but still provided a good clean. The toothpaste contains 1/3 xylitol which provides 20-25% of the daily dose recommended for health benefits. The xylitol also increase absorption of minerals into the enamel of teeth providing increased protection.
  • Spry Oral Rinse (with awesome wood toothbrush) - I really liked this rinse because it didn't burn like other brands of mouthwash. It left my mouth feeling clean and minty. Interestingly, it uses a mix of natural flavorings and herbal extracts such as aloe vera, chamomile, and echinacea to help soothe irritated mouth tissues. The wooden toothbrush is really nifty too and my toddler definitely claimed it as his own. 

  • Spry Gum - I received the peppermint flavor gum to try and it has a great. lasting flavor. I feel like the gum retained flavor better than most competitors gum varieties and was great for a midday breath freshener. 
  • Spry Gems - These breath freshening "candies" are sugar free and use xylitol for sweetening, along with natural flavors. The xylitol is combined with calcium to provide an enhanced, balanced formula for increased dental health. I was able to try the peppermint and cinnamon varieties (my favorite was peppermint, but the cinnamon was great as well).

The nasal care product included in this kit was the Xlear Nasal Spray. According to Xlear, this nasal spray combines the use of saline and xylitol to alleviate congestion due to allergies, cold, flu and sinusitis. The addition of xylitol to a saline nasal spray has been shown to decrease bacterial adherence in the nose, therefore decreasing chances of irritation and infection. This spray is to be used twice a day to hydrate the sinuses and passages and to also help rinse the nasal passages of allergens and contaminants that can occasionally lead to respiratory ailments & problems. Unlike some other nasal sprays, long term use of this product doesn't lead to tissue damage.

I was only able to give this product a try a few times. I have a really hard time with nasal sprays and personally hate the sensation of them. The few times I used it were after I had been out in the garden and thought it may help clear away some allergens. I'm not entirely sure that it made a difference for me, but I didn't notice anything being worse than normal after similar conditions. My husband will likely use this, as he tends to have more nasal issues than myself.

If you're interested in these products, Xlear is offering a specials for my readers. You can now purchase the kit (valued at $65) for only $25 by using the code SAVE50. Visit Xlear to order.

Overall, I thought the products were good, but nothing really stood out. My favorites were the rinse, gum and gems for the reasons stated above. The other products didn't stand out enough for me to really pick them over lower priced competitors. I am curious to read more about xylitol and it's therapeutic use as a health care product and the health claims to see if there are any scientific studies on it.

Do you use many products containing xylitol? 

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

12 Tips for a Safe & Stress-Free Stroller Run! #StrollerRun15

Being a stay at home mom, there are many days that it can be really difficult to get a workout in. I often take advantage of nap time for a quick yoga session or HIIT, but some days there are other chores/errands/etcetera that need to be done during that time. I'm thankful enough that I was generously gifted a wonderful jogging stroller and I LOVE IT!

It's so convenient being able to pop our toddler in and go. We both love being able to get some fresh air, it can lull him to sleep if need be, stimulates his senses, allows me to get a good sweat session in and allows each of us to zen out for a bit. I'm thankful that he really digs being in his stroller (the faster we run, the better), but there are definitely steps that I take that can make it much smoother of a run.

Below are a few tips for making your stroller runs smooth and tear-free!
  1. SNACKS! - I always make sure to have snacks on hand for our son. If he starts to get a little antsy, giving him some yummy fish crackers, fruit or raisins to nosh on can completely allow me to get another mile or two in. 
  2. DRINKS! - Make sure to pack drinks for both of you! A lot of the time I'm so busy getting his stuff together, that I forget my own drink. DOh! There's been a time or two where his sippy cup definitely came in handy for me as well. Lol. 
  3. DRESS APPROPRIATE - I get super hot quickly, so I always wear lots of layers. Make sure to do the same for your kiddo. Remember, while you might be hot, your child could be cooler since he's not expending very much energy while sitting there are you run (plus the wind from movement can add a chill). I always keep a light blanket in his stroller for additional warmth or sun coverage. A hat to shield your child's face is a must too for sunny days. Don't forget bright colors and reflectors on clothing as well. 
  4. SUNSCREEN - Use it and use it liberally. I always lather both of us up a half hour before heading out the door to make sure to have full protection. 
  5. ID - Always carry ID. You never know when you might need it or in case of emergency. I usually keep $10 in my stroller too, just in case.
  6. ATTACHED TOYS - We have toys that are always in the stroller and attached via links. No one wants to have to backtrack when a favorite toy is thrown out and also it prevents potential trips and falls. 
  7. WRIST STRAP! - I cannot stress this enough, use the wrist strap that comes with your jogging stroller. If you don't have one, get one ASAP. Using the straps ensures that if you were to fall or lose grip of the stroller that you child and stroller don't go flying down a hill, ravine, into water and so on. I've read tragic stories of parents losing control of strollers with dire consequences. It's not worth it and gives you additional peace of mind. This story solidified it for me. PLEASE, use one. Accidents happen.  
  8. BRAKES/LEVERS - If you need to stop, use the back brakes or levers so that the stroller doesn't roll off with your precious cargo.
  9. RUNNING FORM - Be aware of your running form. It can take some time and practice to get used to running with a stroller. Your gait changes and arms are actively being used. Run tall, don't slouch and alternate what arm you use to hold the handle.
  10. SCHEDULE WISELY - Don't go during your child's fussy times (before meals, while tired unless you want them to nap while you run). 
  11. 5 POINT HARNESS - I highly recommend a stroller with a 5 point harness. They protect your child better in case of a quick stop.
  12. AGE - Be aware of what age is safe for your child to ride in a jogging stroller. Most professionals warn against jogging with a stroller before 6 months of age (some even 12 months). While young, their neck muscles are not strong enough to support their heads and for the potential jarring motions during a run.
May 31st, is National Stroller Running Day! If you don't have a jogging stroller and are looking to purchase one, now is a great time to do so since many companies (BOB gear definitely is and their strollers rock!) are offering amazing promotions in celebration. 

For more information on National Stroller Running Day check out Moms Little Running Buddy! Also, be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #StrollerRun15

Do you plan on getting out and running this National Stroller Running Day? 
Do you have tips for a great stroller run?