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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Holiday Feeding Guide

The holidays truly are a magical time when babies are around - but they can also mean that feeding littles can be thrown off their schedules. You may be eating more meals on-the go or at a relatives house, which requires more planning ahead for success - but it's worth it!

I've partnered with Nuby to share some of their baby feeding essentials that are huge helpers during the holiday time (and ever day too!)

Garden Fresh Fruitsickle Tray - These freeze and feed popsicle molds are my favorite! You can freeze fresh fruit and veggie purees in these 1 oz molds for easy and mess-free healthy eating. If I need to get something done, like prep dinner or send a few work emails, I will give my little girl one of these in her highchair and it will keep her occupied and full while I get to work. They are sized for little hands, BPA free, and have wide curved bases to reduce drips.

Long Handle Feeding Spoons - These have been my go-to spoons with all of my babies. Their long handles make it easy to reach into long jars and cartons and the BPA plastic feels great in my little ones mouth. In my diaper bag we always keep an on-the-go feeding bag which has a reusable bib, table wipes, and one of these spoons in it. I know that even if we have to eat out spontaneously, at least we have our favorite spoon with us, which makes the whole process so much smoother.

No-Spill Twin Handle 360 Wonder Cup - These are the best trainer cups! They have a no-spill soft silicone rim all the way around the cup that allows your baby to drink from anywhere on the rim, and is soft and gentle on tender mouths too. IT's made of durable tritan material and the handles are perfectly sized for even the tiniest of hands to grip. Little ones tend to gravitate towards a favorite cup and always making sure you never leave home without it will make your holiday on-the go feedings go much more smoothly, in fact, we tend to stash an empty wonder cup in our car, and always carry fresh water, so that we know we always will always be able to offer our little girl fresh water in her favorite cup, no matter where we are headed.

While I cant make your holidays less hectic, I hope this post helps alleviate some of the stresses that can accompany feeding your little one on-the-go during the holidays!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Teething Guide

It's the most wonderful time of the year - except if you have a tiny tot that is teething! My poor girl seems to be cutting teeth like crazy during the holidays. Not only can teething effect some babies sleep, eating, and temperament, but it can cause added stress to the whole family - and who needs more stress during this time of year, right?!

I partnered with Nuby to share a few of their innovative teething essentials that my baby girl loves. I hope they help you and your teething tot too!

NanaNubs - This is the cutest little teething toothbrush that looks like a banana, but honestly we use this all around the house - it's our little girls favorite on-the-go teether too! It's designed to instill good and positive dental habits from early on and the super soft silicone bristles can easily be used to massage your infants gums, offering temporary relief from teething pain. The little handles make it easy for little hands to grip and hold onto this themselves.

Happy Hands Teething Mitten - Raise your hand if you have a hand chewer?! My sweet baby loves to gnaw on her hand when she's teething. The smart folks at Nuby designed this teething mitten that has a velcro strap to fasten securely on a babies hand. The mitten itself has a crinkle sound and multiple silicone textures, all designed to soothe and satisfy any baby who is cutting teeth.

Fruity Vibes Teether - This is the best thing ever! Fruit shaped and made of extra soft silicone, this teether works like a pacifier to fit in your babies mouth. It provides a dose of extra relief though, because when they bite down on it, it produces gentle vibrations that instantly comfort their tender gums by increasing circulation and blood flow to the their tiny little mouths.

I hope tis post gives you some great ideas and products to look for yo help your teething baby (and you) have the happiest holiday season!




Monday, November 20, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide For Fitness Lovers

Whether it's something to help soothe their sore muscles, pretty new gear to get their sweat on in, or a cool new gadget that will give them miles of enjoyment, this list roundup will surely have something on it for every fitness loving female on your list (yourself included!)


1. Lumintrail Light - One thing I dislike about Winters is how dark it is in the mornings and evenings. We LOVE to go on family walks after dinner, but I just don't feel safe taking the stroller out in the dark. I found this bike light from Lumintrail that easily attaches to my stroller handlebar and lights up our pathway perfectly! It's amazing how much light it sheds onto the sidewalk in front of us. The light slides right off of the bases when it's not in use, and even comes with a rechargeable USB so there's no need for a bulky battery pack. A must have for any active family - I can't wait to use it on early morning stroller runs too!

2. MyoBuddy Massager Pro - This machine is incredible. It allows you to give (and receive!) professional grade deep tissue, warming, trigger point, and vibrational massages anywhere. It allows you to treat trigger points and can relieve pain from everyday aches and athletic soreness. You guys, it makes you feel sooooo good, almost immediately. The convenience is key too, you can plug it in and have a professional grade massage in a couple of minutes! No more achy back or sore calves. My hubby and I treat ourselves to a few massages a year, because of our active lifestyles, we feel like they are worth it and an important part of recovery. A few times a year though never seems like enough, so I can't wait to see the long term cumulative effects of being able to have regular massages and quicker workout recovery from using this massager almost daily! This is the perfect gift for any active couple!! Save $100 off your very own MyoBuddy Massager 11/22 - 12/4 with discount code SPAMY. 

3. Believe Training Journal - This journal is the best and I ask for one every year for Christmas. Designed by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas it's a guide that allows you to record and plan your training for the year Sprinkled throughout are training lessons, teachings, inspiration and quotes. It tends to sell out early so order yours before the end of the year!
4. Lululemon Align Pants - aka the best leggings ever!!! If you're a leggings -lover (and seriously, who isn't?!) these are a MUST HAVE. They are buttery soft, seamless, and make your backside look amazing. I wear them for workouts and casually as soon as the temps dip. They release new colors all the time and they tend to sell out immediately so make sure to stalk lulu on Tuesday evenings when they upload fresh products. 
5. Sports Research Organic MCT Oil - I am obsessed with this stuff!! I have always been a HUGE fan of Sports Research Collagen Peptides and am as equally pleased with their new Organic MCT Oil too. This oil is derived from coconut oil, and is easily absorbed, providing a quick and reliable energy source. I add a small dose to my morning coffee and it not only gives me a great burst of energy yo fuel my morning run, but it also helps power my day by increasing my energy levels all day long 0 its amazing. 
6.Headsweats Beachy Trucker Hat - Every fitness lover needs a good hat (or like five...) in their life and this is one of my all-time favorites. The beach is my happy place so I absolutely love the graphic on this hat, but the fit and wear-ability is why I keep coming back to this particular style. I've worn this hat for training days and tough races and it always fits well and washes up like a charm. I always get compliments when I wear this hat!
7. Altra Escalantes - If a pair of shoes could change a girls life, Altras would be my life-savers! These shoes are the best fitting shoes around due to their foot shaped platform. Once you try Altras, you'll never go back to "other" running shoes again. I chose the Escalante models for my guide because I love to wear these for running as well as casual wear. They are equipped with Altra Ego foam which provides the perfect balance between energy-returning push-off power and plush, springy cushion. That, combined with the engineered knit upper and sock-like fit makes them an excellent daily choice while training or on rest-days too!
8. No Sweat Tank by RBTL - tanks that can go double-duty are a no-brainer. This No Sweat tank from Read Between The Lines is a smart choice while training and for rest-day lounging too! It is crazy soft, drapes perfectly, is completely breathable, and I'm in love with the tone on tone colors. A portion of every purchase of this tank (and everything else on the RBTL site) goes to benefit MANA Nutrition and Rolling Dog Farm non-profits - I love purchases like these that you can feel SO GOOD about making.
9. Very Veggie Gift Set from Urban Accents - Us fitness lovers know we need to eat our veggies, so this is the perfect gift set!! This set is packed full with five different HUGE sized seasoning blends specifically made to compliment all of the veggies you love (or wish you loved :)) They are incredible - and such a favorite in our home already. Last night I seasoned some cauliflower with the Manchego and Roasted Garlic blend and my hubby proclaimed it was the best tasting cauliflower he has ever tasted! There are easy-to-use directions and suggestions on each package and really you can't go wrong gifting this to any foodie on your gift list this holiday season, but trust me, make sure you puck one up for yourself too, and you'll totally eat more veggies in the New Year!
10. Lush Bath Bombs - What fitness lover doesn't love a good bath?! Bath Bombs take bathing to a whole new level and are such a perfect stocking stuffer. Some of my favorites are from LUSH - I just love their scents and how colorful and fun they look!
11. Athleta Criss Cross Sweatshirt - Nothing beats a cute and comfy sweatshirt that you can live in all Winter long. I just love the front criss cross styling of this sweatshirt from Athleta and know it will be perfect to toss on after a early morning workout to take the chill off. It will be the one piece that I will reach for again and again and is dressy enough to wear out to dinner too - sold!
12. Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones  - I have these and LOVE them to pieces and think they would be the most perfect gift for any fitness lover! Yes they are lightweight and comfortable but what I love the most about these wireless headphones is how safe they are! They use a bone conduction technology that allows you to hear your music perfectly but your ears remain uncovered - its crazy but they work so well. They come in some fun colors and these really are the absolute best headphones around.
I hope this round up helped give you some ideas (for others and to add to your wish lists too!) It's my favorite season of the whole year and I can't wait to celebrate - happy holidays!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Is Your Vehicle Car Seat Friendly?

This is a sponsored post.

In the US, car accidents are the #1 cause of death among children aged 4-12 and the #2 cause of death for children 1-4 years old. the BEST way to decrease risk of death or serious injury and keep your children safe while in the car is to have a car seat that is properly used and installed.

If this is the case, then why are 46% of car seats incorrectly installed or misused? It seems that people are overly cautious with car seat safety when their babies are first born, but over time, they may become lax with proper car seat procedures.

The bottom line is, you highly increase your chances of your child walking away unharmed from a serious car accident if you make sure your car seat is properly installed and correctly used every singe time they are in the car with you.

It shocked me to know that not every car is car seat friendly. Cars.com has a really neat feature on their website, where they review new cars for car seat safety. They install several types of car seats in each car, sharing how to make each ride the safest you can for your child.

 You can search for your car at cars.com/news, navigate to the car seat check landing page, and then search by year, make, ad model to see the results. You can also watch this quick and informative video here. I believe that knowledge is power, so I'm hoping this post makes most of us take an extra minute next time we buckle our babes into the backseat.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Stroller Running Tips from a Mother Runner

One question I get asked over and over again is "What are your best tips for stroller runs?" Since it's stroller running season, I thought I'd address this topic today. I wrote a similar blog post 3 years ago when I was stroller running with my almost 5 year old and in the middle of training for our first stroller half marathon together. You can read that post here. I am once again gearing up to start training for another stroller half marathon. It will be my third, but my fist time doing it with my now one year old daughter. Stroller running with an infant is much different than stroller running with a five year old but some of the main concepts stay the same.
When his baby sister was born, I kicked him out of the stroller and made him run with me! He loves it!!

My tips for a successful stroller run (or walk - whatever is your jam is good with me!):

1. Invest in a quality stroller. This is key and a quality stroller can withstand daily use, keep you and your babe comfortable, and is easy to push. I LOVE my BOB Revolution Pro - It was one of the only things that I invested in brand new when I had my second child. They can be a bit pricey but they are a million times worth the investment! In fact, they are so popular that they have a great resale value, and you can often find one second hand on a local Facebook Swap Site, Ebay or on Craigslist!

What do I love about my BOB? It's decently lightweight for a jogger and has precision handling. One huge reason why I prefer the Revolution model over other BOB models is the front swivel wheel, which allows me to turn around corners very easily. I live and run in a neighborhood full of twists and turns, which I love, but a stroller that was not east to round corners would be a nightmare for me! The seat is super comfy and can easily fit a small baby up to a growing school-aged child! It has real air filled tires that allows it to ride over a variety of surfaces with ease. One tip I always give new stroller owners is to take your tires to a local bike shop and have them put tire liners inside for you. Mine were less than $20 and then add a great layer of protection in between your tire and the tire tube to help prevent flats. It will save you so much money, time, and frustration in the long run - I promise!

One optional feature that I always recommend is the parent console - which is a fancy name for the cup holder that attaches to the stroller handle. It has three slots and can fit your drink, keys, phone, and allll the stroller running swag you'll end up bringing!

2. Bring Plenty of Water and Snacks - For Everyone! One thing I always joke about with people is that I love running with my stroller because of the cup holder area- It's like a rolling buffet for me! But in all seriousness, stroller running is HARD, much more taxing than regular running (umm, hello - you're pushing a 30 pound stroller with a 25+ pound kid strapped in it, so yes, it's a tough workout!). I always pack a snack for myself during stroller runs (usually a bar, some energy balls, or some dried fruit does the trick) and bring plenty of water. 

For my baby, I always pack her sippy cup because if I'm getting thirsty, I'm sure she is too. She's in this big phase of dropping things on the ground on purpose and then saying "uh oh" which I'll admit, really is the cutest thing ever, but not when I'm on a run and have to stop and pick it up every time. I recently found this product called the Sister Chic Dropper Stopper which is awesome. It attaches to the stroller and then has this grippy material inside the strap that helps securely hold and sippy cup or toy tight to prevent it from falling on the ground. I've put it to the test on several stroller runs and walks already and it totally works!

When my baby gets a little older I'll be able to back her little bags of easy to eat on the go snacks for runs but I don't feel comfortable having her eat anything unsupervised yet. I do sometimes pack our favorite teething biscuits from Happy Baby. These dissolve in her mouth easily and I dole them out if I notice her getting a little restless.

3. Bring Reinforcements - In the form of Special "Stroller Only" Toys. There will be plenty of runs when my kids are just content to stare at the view of the world around them while strolling along. I'll usually try to point out the scenery even if they can't talk or respond yet - they are still listening. I'll point out the bunnies we see or a bright purple bush. If I want to listen to music on my stroller runs I'll always play it out loud on my phone and make it kid appropriate. Which sometimes means listening to Little Baby Bum of repeat, we do what we have to, right?

But one thing I always try to have on hand, is a stash of "stroller only" toys in the stroller basket. These remain out of sight for the duration of the run, and are something I can give to my baby if I notice er starting to get a little restless or bored. These toys always stay in the stroller so there are always new and exciting and will surely charm them for another mile or two!

Some of our favorites are the Activity Doofy Dog from playgro. This toy has an awesome little clip that I can attach to the stroller so it can't be throw off and has seven different fun "activities" for her to play with. There are little beads to spin, textured paws to bite and grip, a collar to crinkle, a rattle shake, and much more. It's one of her favorites!

Another toy that we have been loving lately is the Giddy Up Gall Play Set by YooKidoo. This fun little set come with two toys that my baby really loves! The pony pal plays a little melody when turned on or moved, which comes in really handy to stop a cry. Music or sounds usually seem to stop a cry right in their tracks for my little one! The second toy in this set is a giddy up girl which is adorable and full of fun textures. She wears a bandanna that crinkles, and has beds that slide and rattle. She comes with a plastic ring clip that makes attaching her to the stroller super easy and quick!

4. Timing is Everything. Timing is so important with stroller runs and this comes down to knowing your baby. Do they like or need movement to fall asleep? If so, plan your run for when their nap time will be and it's a win/win situation for all! My baby usually won't fall asleep until the last part of a longer run, so I usually just make sure she's well fed and has a dry diaper before we hit the streets together. 

My favorite part of stroller running is the extra bonding time we get together, which I think is especially true as she gets older. I love the feeling of cruising around the neighborhood together, warm sunshine on our faces hair blowing in the wind, taking in nature and enjoy each others company one mile at a time. I try to make the runs fun for her and will often run to a nearby park and stop to push her in the swing or let her crawl around for a bit before loading her up and heading home. Sometimes we will pack a snack or lunch and enjoy a little picnic too. It's all about balance and making fitness and stroller running part of our daily routine and enjoyable for all!

What are some of your stroller running tips? Do you prepare different for casual strollers runs versus stroller running race days?



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

First Birthday Gift Ideas

It can sometimes be hard to figure out what to get a one year old for their birthday. Some will joke, "just give them a cardboard box and a wooden spoon from the kitchen and they'll love that!" Wile that may be true, there are many safer and more fun!) toys that can give you and your sweet baby hours of creative playtime together.

Here's my list of toys that can be played with in lots of different ways and will engage all of their tactile senses that my almost one year old plays with and loves (And YES, I totally let her open these presents early for the purposes of this post - her older brother would be so jealous that his baby sister got to open her birthday presents early - shhhh, don't tell!)


1. HABA Shakin Eggs - These shakin eggs are our FAVORITE things!! Made of brightly painted wood, they each make a different noise (rattles, jingles, etc) when you give them a gentle shake. My baby loves to shake them, clap them together, spin them, roll them, stick them in her mouth, and chase after them.

We shake them independently or along to the beat of a song. Small enough to toss a couple in my purse or diaper bag, I seem to never leave the house without them because I know they will entertain her wherever we go. 

2. PlayGro Pop and Drop Activity Ball Gym - This is a super fun pop-up style design, that contains 30 rainbow colored balls and keeps baby safe too!

There's lots of mesh pockets for baby to stuff the balls in (and grab them out - seems to be our little ones favorite thing to do lately - putting things away! I'm not complaining!!) There are 4 main "activity" stations. There's a pace for your baby to place a ball and then watch it POP up - producing a fun surprise and giggles galore!

 Other fun stations allow your baby to drop balls in and out and even watch them roll down a slide. Such a fun toy and can easily and quickly fold away to store it when play time is over!

3. Little Tikes Outdoor Swing - We actually got this for our little one a couple of month ago and use it daily. With hooks, we were able to easily attach it to our back patio area and our little girl absolutely loves being pushed in it! Any toy that gets us playing outside is a winner in this mamas play book!

4. Infantino Textured Ball Set - We love these balls! Each brightly colored ball has a fun and unique texture that produces a fun effect while the grip allows your baby to hold only it easier. We take these everywhere - the park, the bathtub,and they have given us hours of creative playtime!

5.
5. Diono rXT Convertible Car Seat + Booster - Haha okay, so not the most exciting present for a one year old - but a super important one, right?! We figured since our little one is growing at a rapid weight, she is ready to graduate from her baby bucket seat into a big girl car seat and of we're going to make the investment we might as well wrap it up and stick a bow on it for her!

After some extensive research, we decided on the Diono rXT Convertible for her big girl car seat. We loved all of the premium innovative features like the steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sidewalls to make it an extra safe ride. Thoughtful details like adjustable head support, nicely cushioned seats and sides, and easy care fabric helped seal the deal.

Its been well documented that the safest position for a child is in the middle seat, rear facing. I really liked that this seat can be safely and comfortably rear face until my child is 45 pounds. Now I'm not sure that will happen because literally my 8 year old just surpassed the 45 pound mark, but still. it's nice to know that that is an option.


Diono has one several highly prestigious industry awards and - look at how well it folds up to travel! It even has a shoulder strap. Needless to say, this mama is very excited about this baby gift!




And a few things we're not getting her, but am totally saving for Christmas wish lists (Santa, listen up!)

Learning Resourses New Sprouts Soups On Play Set - This set looks super fun! I think a set of durable play dishes and food makes for great creative play for little minds You can play pretend with these in your playroom, or use them outside or at bath time to incorporate in a little fun water activity. Learning Resources has been a long time favorite toy company of min too so I know they make a quality product!


Little Tikes Water Table - I know it may not be outdoor water play time season in some parts of the country, but in Arizona it is - and water play is such a fun activity for babies of this age! 

Radio Flyer 4 in 1 Stroll n Trike - this was one of our favorite toys with my first born and I can't wait to get our little girl one of her very own! It's a new viewpoint for the littles and a great alternative to a stroller for neighborhood strolls to the park!


What is your little one year old loving lately? What is n the top of your wish list for their upcoming celebrations? I would love to hear!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Our Skin Needs Moisture Too!

Living in a hot and dry desert climate, and being a runner and being outside often, my skin takes a beating. It's such a delicate balance to maintaining an optimal skin moisture balance, and feeling like a sticky oily mess from over-hydration. That's why I was so happy to be introduced to this Dynamic Renewal Cream by NatureWell.

This skin cream comes packaged in the prettiest mint green glass jar and can be used morning and night. What I initially loved was the texture of this cream - its neither too light nor too heavy and it's almost "whipped"! It glides effortlessly onto my skin and sunk right in without a hint of greasiness, yet helped it stay nice and softly moisturized all day.

Each jar of  Dynamic Renewal Cream is infused with 33 natural ingredients including 26 botanicals, 4 waters, and 3 oils, all working together to hydrate and plump your skin to make it appear more youthful and radiant. It also smells amazing - like cucumber water at a spa.

I have been using this scream for a couple of days now and, while I can't comment on any long term youthful traits, my skin feels great and I'm hooked - it's an excellent value for the quality and available in a 2 pack for UNDER $20 at Samsclub.com.

Saving money and looking good?! Sign this tired mama up!