My First Go As a Mommy Blogger Has Me Hooked

A few months ago, I decided that I would take on the new world of mommy blogging.  I experimented with writing daily, weekly, biweekly and even a newsletter.  I’ve had such a great time that I have decided to continue with this new venture into my life as a mother of 3 as I’m due September 22nd.  Taking this new step into the world of mommy blogging has allowed me to reflect on the importance of my experience as a mother, which includes my daily life raising my children and additionally, my work.  I never realized that my daily schedule included required me to be resourceful with my time, my energy, as well as my income.  I came to realize through writing that these strategies that I use on a daily basis are not only applicable to me as a working/stay-at-home mother, but also to other mothers who stay at home, work part time, or are expecting first, second and third babies.  Heck, these strategies are even applicable to the stay-at-home or working dad!

346_517162125999_6504_n

So, please feel free to follow me on this journey as I explore the world of blogging outside of fitness and juggle three small children.  In the meantime, feel free to explore my website: www.opalmom.com.  If you like it, please sign up for my newsletter which I have decided to release on a monthly basis due to the demands of my current work schedule and my schedule with my family.  The newsletter includes stories from OPAL Mom™ Members, Followers of my FB Page, and my Twitter followers (@OpalMomBlog) in addition to special offers from companies that I support and love:

And MORE!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you as well so please feel free to email me at any time at opalmomcom@gmail.com!

Finding Balance When Pregnant and Caring for Multiple Children

This past week, I’ve been caring for my two children with the help of my in-laws while my kitchen is renovated in the city.  Being in my third trimester, I’ve had to strategize the day accordingly in order to reserve my energy and still be able to parent effectively while my husband remains in the city to oversee the project and continue to work.  So, how do I do it and continue to work as well?  I always refer back to OPAL. Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go.

There are always going to be days where I seem to have way to much on my plate despite my best intentions to plan ahead.  These are the days that include endless demands from my children, seemingly endless work emails and deadlines, and of course, making sure to take time to address my own needs as a mother and this time around, a pregnant woman.

So, this week, this is how I’ve utilized O.P.A.L. to set myself up for success:

ORGANIZE:

WORK

  • I reserve time in my schedule for my work obligations and other appointments.

KIDS

  • FOOD: Snacks and quick breakfast foods are placed in a bin where they know to go if they happen to wake up early or get hungry before meal times.  At the beginning of each week, we talk about what these foods will include. Usually, it comes down to 3 choices of Lara Bars, dried berries, and roasted plantain chips.
  • ACTIVITIES: In the morning, the kids have the choice of either drawing or reading while I blog, email and make work phone calls.
  • NAP TIME: Scheduled for the same time each day
  • QUALITY TIME: Every afternoon, I’ve set aside time to bond with my son with a quiet activity, and the morning, with my daughter.

adelie park logan park

PRIORITIZE:

This varies between WORK and KIDS.

logan painting

However, the kids always come first so what I do to prepare them for my workday is I fill them in on how the day is planned.  My son and daughter both are familiar with how my workday unfolds with regard to blogging and training clientele, so what we do, is we plan activities for them during that time.  Perhaps one day it will be reading quietly, another working on an art project or spending time with their grandparents.  This planning together helps them understand that their well-being is my first priority.  Of course, if things come up, work takes a back seat, but at the same time, my children know that in order to live, I need to work.  So, we work together always.

 

ACT:

In order to make some of my most well thought-out plans work at least 50% of the time, I need to act upon them.  This not only includes following through with work, but following through with my children.  This means honoring promises made and also holding them accountable for their activities so that I can honor my work appointments.  I find it important for my children to know that while they are my first priority, they need to learn patience as well.  As a mother, it is always on my mind to jump to their every request, but taking these moments to pause are important for me as well to be able to follow through in teaching them to wait when the time calls for it.

 

LET GO:

*Sigh* This is my biggest challenge.  I’m one of those people who sets out to conquer the world on a daily basis and expects just that.  Letting go for me doesn’t mean letting go of my goals and aspirations for the day.  It means trying my best and letting go of the result.  Sometimes this means letting go of the fact that all of the items on my list my not be finished, but that the ones I do finish are done to the best of my ability.  It may mean that I need to let go of my best intention to stay patient with my children and not carry the guilt of borderline losing it during a very packed day.  Sometimes, it means that I just say, “My best today may be my worst tomorrow and that is ok.”

 

 

Are you a Crunchy Mom?

I never really considered myself a “Crunchy Mom” until I read this article and realized that most of the things listed were normal occurrences in my daily life.  Sure, I work with pregnant women on a weekly basis, have a 5.5 year old, 15 month old and am 7.5 months pregnant, but all the same.

Crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

My crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

After I read this article, I remembered a conversation that I had with my OBGYN last week where we were talking about summer foods that children eat.  I distinctly remember her saying, “Well most kids eat hotdogs and all that in the summer, so why should I be worried about it?  I mean, do you really check for nitrates in your hotdogs?”  It was all I could do to not gasp in horror and say, “Ummm, yes.  IF my children even approach a hotdog that I MAY consider preparing, it’s usually made with an alternative meat product that is nitrate free and all the other crunchy granola rules regarding processed foods.”  But, I didn’t.  I just smiled and shrugged.

Stirring up organic protein cookie dough for his mama

Anyway, that being said, coconut oil is a household name in my home, baby wearing the norm, and of course the practice of “using our words” and “gentle hands” is routine.  Take a look at the article and see if you happen to be with a Crunchy Mom or are one yourself!

10 Things Guys Married to Crunchy Moms Understand via Still Mommy

This Week’s Grocery Coupons from Saving Star Courtesy of OPAL Mom™ Expires: 6/30


Save 75¢ when you buy TWO (2) any flavor Yoplait® kids products. See site for complete list

Save 60¢ when you buy THREE (3) CUPS any flavor Liberté® Greek OR Liberté® Méditerranée® yogurt.

Save 50¢ when you buy TWO (2) BAGS any 3.7 OZ. OR LARGER Chex Mix and Snacks. See site for complete list.

Save 60¢ when you buy THREE (3) Old El Paso™ products

Save 50¢ when you buy ONE (1) BOX any Nature Valley® Granola Bars

Save 25¢ when you buy any ONE (1) flavor/variety LARABAR, UBER, ALT OR JOCALAT bars.

Save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 on any Snyder’s of Hanover® Products. See site for complete list

Save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 on Heinz® products. See site for all products included.

Save 50¢ when you buy ONE (1) BOX Lucky Charms® cereal.

Save $5.00 when you spend $30.00 on any L’Oreal® Hair Color including: Highlights & Special Effects, Non-Permanent, Permanent and Root Touch-Ups.




5 Ways to Clean Up Your Family’s Diet

When it comes to clean eating, it seems far simpler to do alone than for the entire family. However, eating clean as a family is a lot easier than you think.

IMG_6423

Here are 5 ways to kickstart your family on its way to clean eating:

1.) Begin every meal with either a fruit or vegetable.  This will not only aid in the digestive process, it’s a great way to satisfy the need to snack while dinner is being prepared without overeating.

2.) Don’t Cook a Separate Meal for Your Children.  If you are having salad for dinner, offer the same to your children.  I started this early on with both of my children and it has worked wonders as they openly ask for fresh cut fruit and vegetables first thing in the morning along with their breakfast items and during dinner preparation.

3.) Plan Ahead.  One of our most difficult jobs as mothers is to make sure that every pick-up, drop-off, and activity is planned so that the day goes as smoothly as possible.  Why not plan ahead with meal times as well?  For me, this means planning out times to head to the supermarket (for some of us this is multiple times a week) and making the time to prioritize meal time.  Find a few healthy recipes online and head to the supermarket to start!

4.) Start the Day off GREEN.  In my home, the rule is that every breakfast must include something that is organically green.  For my children, this usually means eating sliced cucumber with their breakfast and for myself, making a green juice by Natalia Rose.  This gives us all the kickstart we need to boost our energy in the morning and sets us up for success in making healthier choices throughout the day.

5.) Make Treats Healthy AND Fun.  Everyone loves a treat during the mid afternoon, especially in the hot summer months where an ice cream sundae seems like the ultimate choice.  Does this mean that you can’t indulge?  Not at all!  It’s a great opportunity to get CREATIVE.  I myself love to make my kids Homemade Popsicles from 100% fruit juice.  The neighborhood kids flock to my door to grab one whenever I give my son one after running around outside.  Do you prefer a sundae?  Opt for frozen yogurt instead topped with fruit and melted dark chocolate.  (No Nesquik!  Keep your foods WHOLE!)

 

For more nutrition tips: follow me on Twitter @OpalMomBlog

10 Ways to Stay Active with Your Kids This Summer

Staying Active with Your Kids This Summer

Summer Fun

The summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, relaxing, and reaping the benefits of all our hardwork through the colder months.  But, it also means SCHOOL IS OUT!
So, how will you keep your kids entertained and stay active at the same time?
1. Run through the sprinklers – TOGETHER
2. Create a scavenger hunt that requires you to walk to find the items.  A metro park is a great place to do this.
3.  Have a family relay race in the yard or at the park.  Make it fun so that the winner receives a fun summer treat or combine with #1.
4.  On rainy days, play make-believe.  Create scenarios where the living room may be a jungle, where you have to crawl down and around different rocks (chairs), trees (lamps), and sneak by animals (stuffed animals) to get to your tent (bed sheets draped over furniture).  
5. Climb on the jungle gym at the park – TOGETHER.  Repeat until you as the adult start to feel sweaty.
6. Plan a bike ride together.  If your children are old enough to ride their own bikes, choose a bike path, metro park or section of your neighborhood where you can all ride safely together.  If you’ve a little one or multiple little ones, invest in a bike buggy and turn your workout into an adventure for your child(ren)!
  
7.  Create workout plans together.  Before doing the workout, have your child(ren) help create the workout.  You will be amazed to see the creativity that they can bring and how much more challenging your workout can be with a little help from your kid(s)!8.  Follow a tv or dvd workout together.  Whether I’m doing kickboxing or a core workout, when my son sees me doing a workout on the tv, all he wants to do is join in.
9.  Have a dance party!  Make a playlist with your little one(s) of your favorite dance songs and and let your bodies wiggle!  Don’t stop dancing until the entire playlist is finished!
10. Play a family sport outside.  Maybe this is as simple as a game of freeze tag, or it’s a larger family affair of holding a softball tournament.  Make it even more fun by grilling out afterward, and picking up the game again when meal time is finished!