Packing the Hospital Bag

image1

Alright mamas-to-be and mamas who are having another baby, lets go over the essentials of what to put in the hospital bag!

I recommend packing the hospital bag before 36 weeks, but anytime before going into labor still works  ❤

  1. Tolietries (think toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/glasses/contact solution&cases/facewash/lotion/chapstick/shampoo/conditioner)
    • Have toothbrushes/travel sized items packed so you don’t have to scramble when you’re in labor grabbing those last minute things that could have been already packed well away.
  2. Nursing bra(s)
    • At least one nursing bra if you plan on breastfeeding to wear
  3. Cell phone charger
    • For all those adorable pictures you’re going to take of your little babe, along with letting family and friends know about the arrival of baby.
  4. One or two comfortable outfits for lounging in the hospital room and for going home
    • Yoga pants and a loose fitting t-shirt are my pick for going home, around the room I like to wear a nursing gown and cotton robe 🙂
  5. One or two outfits for newborn (at least one newborn size and one 0-3 size)
    • Most infants will fit into newborn clothes but it can’t hurt to have a 0-3 month size packed too just in case you have a nice healthy baby! Of course, feel free to bring a few favorites if you’re indecisive like myself.
  6. Fuzzy socks or comfy socks to wear in the room
    • When you are in labor, it’s nice to wear your own comfy socks or after that first shower at the hospital.
  7. Hairties and comb/brush
    • For brushing those gorgeous locks!
  8. Optional but NICE to have:
    • Nursing nightgown
    • Robe (in case the room/hallways are breezy)
    • Personal items for baby like muslin swaddles, headbands/hats, favorite infant outfits and an infant going home outfit, letter board to take a cute picture of baby’s arrival, personalized blankets/etc
    • Makeup – I always pack it but don’t always use it, but it is nice to have the option ❤
    • Headbands for mama when laboring or afterwards
    • SNACKS – most cafeterias are open 24/7, but having trail mix, granola bars, crackers or other favorite snacks can’t hurt if you are hungry
    • Gum/mints.
  • Note: You’ll need to have a carseat installed so you have a way to get baby home.

Happy delivery mamas!

❤ Hope, nonstopmomlife.com

Easy Chicken Gyros

Looking to try something new? Try these savory chicken gyros, you won’t regret it.

Combine fresh ingredients and you’ll be on your way to a satisfying, tasty lunch or dinner.

DSCF3684

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need: flatbread or pita, cucumber, onion, tomato, chicken, lemon pepper seasonings, feta, cilantro, lime, greek yogurt, and spices.

DSCF3460

First, cook the chicken and then chop into bite sized pieces. I prefer using the crockpot or oven baking.

DSCF3624

DSCF3654 (1)

Then, chop your vegetables and mix

DSCF3558

DSCF3572

DSCF3584

Mix the tzatziki sauce together with fresh lemon juice, greek yogurt, dill, and garlic powder.

DSCF3508

Now, build that gyro! Layer some tzatziki sauce, cooked chicken, chopped veggies, feta and cilantro and then enjoy!

DSCF3665

Easy Chicken Gyros

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts (1-1/2 lbs chicken)
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 cucumber seeded and chooped
  • 3 roma tomatos, seeded and chopped
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 6-8 naan flatbread or pitas ( I prefer the mini naan flatbreads)
  • cilantro (optional)
Tzatziki sauce
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp dill
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken breast with the lemon pepper seasoning sprinkled on top. My preferred way is in the crockpot on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. In a time crunch, I have also cooked it in oven 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (until temp is 165 or higher) or cut into strips and panfried in 1 tbsp oil.
  2. While chicken is cooking, assemble the vegetables. Cut the cucumbers into strips around the seeds and then small chopped pieces, getting rid of the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and onion as well and combine with cucumber, set aside.
  3. Make the tzatziki sauce by combining the yogurt, dill, garlic powder and lemon juice in a small bowl to serve on the side.
  4. Warm up naan in toaster or in the oven according to package directions, layer with tzatziki sauce, cooked chicken, vegetables, feta and cilantro. Enjoy!

****NOTE: I have made these before and substitued chickpeas for chicken and it was delicious as well!

❤ nonstopmomlife

Mexican Spice Blend

Here is a quick and easy Mexican seasoning spice blend that will be your new go to instead of using a packet.

Move over Chipotle ❤

DSCF3043

I use with blend with cooking chicken, ground turkey or beef on the stove for tacos or fajitas.

DSCF3822

DSCF3842

It also works great with black beans or pinto beans if you are looking for a quick vegetarian or vegan Mexican dish.

DSCF2332

F2D7D218-5713-40C8-997D-DB8E22973B93-573-0000002AA750A425

For another suggestion, I have used this blend when baking chicken and vegetables and always turns out great.

0CB7DCB7-5DDC-4F64-A27A-C360B1D30BE2-368-0000001A4339D214

DSCF3136

For some variety I also like to put chicken and vegetables over rice for a quick lunch or dinner or for leftovers.

DSCF3055

Enjoy!

DSCF3845

Mexican Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Mix all spices together and toss with your favorite protein (beans or meat) or vegetables and cook on the stovetop until done or in the oven.

Hope ❤

nonstopmomlife.com

 

 

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Looking for a quick and delicious weeknight or weekend meal? I got you covered with this creamy spinach tomato tortellini. It cooks in about 20 minutes and is filling by itself or can pair with a vegetable or with garlic toast.

First gather your ingredients: tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, milk, flour, parmesan, and spices

DSCF1854

Heat water for the pasta then add pasta when boiling

DSCF1874

While the pasta is cooking, start to make the sauce.
DSCF1862
DSCF1871With the veggies are cooking, combine milk/flour with a whisk and then add to the veggies

DSCF1885

DSCF1886

Allow sauce to boil, then move to simmer (low) to thicken

DSCF1898

Drain pasta

DSCF1879

Then add pasta to sauce and stir

DSCF1912

Enjoy this vegetable packed dish by itself or with a side

DSCF1916

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling add the tortellini and cook until tender according to package directions.
  2. While the water is preheating, start the sauce. Combine the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble (usually 3-5 minutes).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and milk Stir this mixture into the saucepan along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through then reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the tortellini then pour the tortellini into the saucepan with the sauce. Stir to combine and enjoy! Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

❤ Hope

Hope’s Homemade Veggie Burgers

DSCF2957

You can buy veggie burgers in the frozen section of most grocery stores, but HAVE YOU ever had a homemade one? They are a GAME CHANGER.

I feel like I can openly say I am a veggie burger snob. I have tried SO many more veggie burger recipes that I like to admit. Most have minimal flavor and are so mushy mushy. I have finally created one that I like the best after trial and error and is my now GO TO. I present to you my sweet potato, onion, black bean seasoned veggie burger.

Let’s get started:

1. You’ll want to cook rice for the recipe (or use leftover cooked rice) and roast one sweet potato and 1/4 of an onion (see directions below)

healthy

(I recently got a rice cooker and typically make 1 cup of dried rice (which makes about 3 cups of cooked rice. I like to have more than I need so I have extra leftover rice for bowls later in the week)

DSCF2930

I roast the chopped sweet potato and onion on a parchment lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.

2. Measure and gather all ingredients together for easy assembly 

DSCF2928

3. Next layer ingredients in food processor, cover, pulse together to combine, then refrigerate for 30 minutes if you have time (if you do not have time, proceed to next step).

foodprocessor

4. Form veggie burgers on a plate then cook in preheated pan with oil.

homemade

5. If desired after the veggie burgers are done, top with a slice of your favorite cheese.

veggie burger

6. Pair with a veggie side like asparagus, The Best Roasted Red Potatoes and Onions, Vegetable Feta Quinoa Salad, or Easy Seasoned Quinoa and enjoy!

DSCF2958

Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz) – rinsed and drained
  • 1 sweet potato – peeled, chopped, roasted
  • 1/2 cup onion -chopped and roasted (about 1/4 of a large onion)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko or plain)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Olive oil (for cooking)

Instrutions:

  1. Make rice according to package directions. Typically 1/2 cup of dried rice will make more than 1-1.5 cups of rice.
  2. To roast the sweet potato and onion, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper if you have it, makes cleanup a breeze. Peel and chop the sweet potato and onion and place on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly (about 1 tbsp) with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stir and then cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
  3. Combine ingredients in food processor. First add cooked rice to the bottom of the food processor, then layer the other ingredients and sprinkle the spices on top. Cover with  lid and pulse for 10-12 times in 2 second bursts, until well combined but still choppy.
  4. Remove blade and set aside and cover top of bowl, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to making burgers.
  5. Remove mixture from fridge and form burgers. (Better to keep them thick versus thin, as they won’t get too crumby if you keep them thick). It should make 5-6 burgers.
  6. Preheat pan to medium with 1 tbsp olive oil. After 2-3 minutes, add burgers. Cook for 4 minutes on each side without covering. Turn off heat, leave pan on burner and if desired, add a slice of cheese.
  7. Top with your favorite burger toppings and add a side of choice. Enjoy! If you haven’t tried The Best Roasted Red Potatoes and OnionsEasy Seasoned Quinoa, or Vegetable Feta Quinoa Salad these would all be great options for sides!

Happy Cooking!

Hope ❤

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Whats better than a bowl of tasty chili when it’s cold out? *crickets*

So check it out, I’ll show you a step by step of the quick process to get you on your way to trying my chili. It is a slow cooker recipe that makes life EASIER. Who doesn’t like taking the extra work out of cooking!? It does not disappoint. : )

Turkey Chili

So first gather the beans, tomatoes, tomato soup, spices and chopped onion

chili ingredients

Brown the ground turkey in a pan

Turkey Chili Crockpot

Layer the ground turkey, onions, tomatoes, tomato soup, beans, and spices. Then mix ingredients, cover with lid, and set crockpot for 8 hrs on low or 4 hrs on high.

turkey chli

Top with cheese, crackers, and enjoy by itself or with warm cornbread

Cornbread

Hope’s Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium tomato soup
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili power
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Brown turkey in the skillet and then drain.
  2. Layer ingredients in then crockpot starting with turkey, onion, beans, tomatoes, tomato soup kidney beans, black beans and onion. Season with chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and cumin.
  3. Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High.

*Note* – You can substitute ground beef or ground chicken for ground turkey or make it vegan by usually additional beans. You can also decrease the red pepper flakes and chili powder if you prefer more mild chili. This makes a medium spicy chili.

Happy cooking!

❤ Hope

 

A Letter To My Husband

I love this life with you.

IMG_8116

I love celebrating small and big victories with you. I enjoy our time together as a family at home, exploring, traveling, and making memories with you.

Thanks for making me comforted and supported when I am emotional and feeling overwhelmed.

Thanks for making me laugh even when I want to cry.

Thank you for being kind to me even when I am having a rough day and I often forget to tell you how much it helps to have your support.

You work hard at your job and then still have energy to take on house projects.

DSCF2874

Thank you for being so sweet with our child. I never knew how someone that I respect so much and has always been strong and stoic can also be so gentle and touching.

You are an amazing man. You are a great friend to your friends and an incredible husband.

Thanks for giving me space when I need it.

Thanks for being you.

THERE ARE DAYS I want to yell and cry. Or cry then yell. Life can have patches that can get you down. Thank you for helping me through those days and I’ll always be there for you when you have those same days.

AND when we have the INEVITABLE AND HARD discussions of our approach and opinions on finances, family goals, jobs, house and other decisions, thank YOU for being open to discuss what we desire. We argue sometimes. It can be difficult.

BUT HERE’S THE THING,

I love you.

We got this. I’d rather not have these discussions with anyone else but you. You are my person and I’m in it to win it with you, husband.

❤ Wifey

 

 

I CANT WAIT ….

Challenging myself to not say the phrase “I can’t wait until….”

….baby sleeps at night, baby walks, baby feeds himself, baby does this or that, or for me to work less or exercise more, have a clean house, bigger or better house, more money, more more more more more more

DSCF2448

TODAY is today. We are all works in progress and WAITING for this or that to happen takes away from the joy of today. So trying my best and making priorities for today, but also enjoying the little things and big things.

So I CAN wait.

Today is a beautiful day and is just how it is supposed to be. Who knows what tomorrow or next month or year will bring. Today is today. ❤

❤ Hope

IMG_8560

 

Why Journaling Is My Medicine

JOURNALING? AS an ADULT?

I know, I know. Some people do not think journaling is a legitimate way to spend time. I am not sure why people think it is a silly pastime. It honestly has changed by life. You might have never have written in a journal before or maybe you share the same thoughts as me and enjoy writing things down. All I ask is to not knock it before you try it 🙂 ❤

EC9390AB-40C9-4834-AE8D-132B62AFA6B8-234-000000019DB186CE

Reasons why you should try journaling:

  1. It helps you reflect on how far you have come and how proud you should be about overcoming obstacles.

  2. From reading previous entries, you are reminded of things you have learned.

  3. It puts ALL things in perspective.

  4. It is relaxing to GET emotions out.

  5. Journalling helps you identify things you would like to WORK on and brainstorm solutions.

  6. It also allows you to DREAM big, no boundaries.

  7. It reminds you of what matters in life and what your priorities are. Is it family? Friends? Work? Traveling? Cooking? Hobbies? A combination? Are you happy with how you spend your time or do you want to change how the weeks and month are spent?

  8. It helps you GROW to become the person you want to be.

What do you think? What to pick up a journal and try to make it a weekly or daily habit? Or do you already practice journalling and enjoy it? Let me know, would love to hear from you!

Peace and love

❤ Hope

nonstopmomlife.com

Look me up on instagram  here

How To Get Rid Of the Pacifier: 4 Steps To Success

SOME babies will use a pacifier for months regularly and then not ever miss it.

MOST babies are NOT like that and it takes some time and going in with a strategy to make the pacifier disappear and stay gone. ❤

pacifer

Pediatricians vary on the best time to phase out the pacifier and every baby and family is different with how long they choose to use it. Talk to your doctor about their recommendations of when to stop using a pacifier.

I’m here to offer an easy step by step guide how to kiss the pacifier goodbye when ready.

  1. Start cutting use out during the day while baby is awake.
  2. Start cutting use out at nap time.
  3. Start cutting use out at night. 
  4. Be consistent (if possible) with bedtime routine – bath/pajamas, book, sip of water or snack, brushing teeth etc. Once a good routine is established, it makes it easy to have a new “last thing” before sleeping 🙂 

Also, determine how flexible/strict you are going to be and how attached the babe is. As you can see from the picture above, our baby LOVED his pacifiers. We phased out the pacifier before our son was 13 month old over about a 2 week course going step by step every few days with the 4 steps listed above and it went smooth. He had pretty much just been using it for naps and at bedtime most days by the time he was 1 year old. For you, it could be a slow process over a few days, weeks, or months or possibly there is a desired deadline(before age 18 months or 2 yrs or 3 yrs or a designated cut off that you’ve been aiming for). It may instead be a simple and quick change to use the four steps above and within a few days or weeks the pacifier has left the building.

Pacifier use has research that supports use to decrease risk of SIDS, help baby self soothe, ease discomfort, and satisfy the innate suck reflex. (article here)  There is also research that recommends to start to wean baby from pacifier use after 6 months to reduce the evidence of otitis media (ear infections) and dental issues. (article here) Some pediatricians recommend weaning use by the child’s first or second birthday. Again talk to your doctor for their recommendation.

What worked for you when you phased the pacifier out or is this a current struggle for any of you guys?

Would love to hear from you!

<3, Hope

Look me up on instagram as nonstopmomlife  —>  instagram link

Been searching for a good sippy cup for the baby? –> Best Sippy Cups: Organized Review