Category: Uncategorized

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

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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

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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. ❤

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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

 

 

Meal Planning Made Simple

Hey there.

I’m Hope. I love to cook DELICIOUS food and spend time crafting, exploring the outdoors, taking pictures, and enjoying time with friends and family. Check out the rest of the blog to navigate through easy and healthy recipes, along with motherhood  and parenting content.

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So, topic today is MEAL PLANNING. Ugh. I know, sounds boring.

BUT, it doesn’t have to BE and it does not have to be hard. It is a game changer with helping organize meals for the week so you don’t get in the rut of staring at the pantry or in the refrigerator, hoping something pops out.

I use a few easy tricks to plan meals and I wanted to share them with you.

Let’s get to it.

  1. Designate one day a week to consistently plan meals/grocery lists. When you get in the habit of planning meals once weekly, it becomes second nature. I usually spend 10-20 minutes planning the meals and making a grocery list on Saturday and then grocery shop on Sunday. Easy peasy.
  2. Plan 5-6 meals to make for dinners for the week and options for lunches
    • I personally prefer to have 5 weekday dinners set but not necessarily the day, depending on what we are craving that day.
    • I’ve learned to plan for what we typically eat, just so we don’t waste produce. For us, I plan on having enough for lunches and 5-6 dinners and extra frozen food in case we stay in, but we like to have flexibility if we eat with friends or family or go out to eat.
    • I usually cook a big meal on Sunday afternoon or evening, which always has left overs to start the week with. I also typically also try to make extra roasted vegetables or have vegetables ready for salads and a big pot of lentils, quinoa or pasta that can be thrown together for a quick meal or eaten as lunch.

I keep the meals varied – every week I try to include one of these types of dishes:

  1. One night I’ll make a Mexican dish – tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, or quesadillas
  2. One night I’ll make an Italian dish – vegetarian lasagna, linguine with vegetables, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, baked pasta, fetticini alfredo
  3. One night I’ll make an easy chicken dish – oven baked chicken, breaded chicken, barbeque chicken, chicken wings etc
  4. One night I’ll make a not otherwise categorized dish that are just our favorite random dishes– loaded baked potato bar, grilled salmon, salad bar, some type of sandwich (turkey burgers/ veggies burgers/ grilled cheese etc) a tasty ethnic dish (pad thai, ramen, sushi etc) or a second Mexican or Italian dish if we are craving that and I have the supplies.
  5. Homemade pizza or frozen pizza (yes, frozen pizza is a GREAT go to after a long day at work and I have NO shame admitting that! I like California pizza kitchen, Newman’s own, and also the simple truth brand of pizzas). It is also so quick to use fast rising yeast or pizza yeast and make from scratch, layer with sauce, mozzarella and your favorite toppings.
  6. During the fall and winter, I do soup usually once a week as well but not as often in the summer

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If you haven’t already, I suggest investing in a good amount of glass or microwave safe containers and locate their lids for easy food prep. It makes all the difference!

Pyrex Simply Store Glass Rectangular and Round Food Container Set (18-Piece, BPA-free)

I hope these tips come in handy. What helps you guys meal plan? Any tricks you guys use?  Note: The link above is an affiliate link to Amazon.

 

 

As always, happy cooking! ❤ Hope Look me up on instagram and facebook —-> nonstopmomlife

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10 Things To Say To Friends That are Working Moms (Or 10 Things Working Moms Might Need To Hear)

 

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1. You are amazing

You have not only had this baby or multiple children, you are striking the balance of going into work and succeeding each workday and coming home to take care of your family. Give yourself some cred, mama.

2. You are selfless

When is the last time that over the course of a workday or commute that you didn’t think about your family at all? Probably doesn’t happen much. We are thinking about the baby or the children all the time, always trying to make their day special and memories fun. They appreciate your effort.

3. You are setting a great example

Your child is looking up to you and seeing all the hard work you put in. They know you are helping make their future bright.

4. You are helping to provide for the family

No matter if you work part time or full time, you are helping to provide food on the table, clothes on their back, necessities, toys, diapers, and anything else that is needed for the child.

5. You are strong

You know that there are easy days and hard days, but you understand that you can take them on and persevere. This is not the first hard thing you have encountered in life and you take it on like a champ

6. You are irreplaceable

You are unique and irreplaceable. Try not to forget that.

7. You are a great multi-tasker

When you are a working mom, there are still all of the other things that need done. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, bills, appointments, sports, playdates, birthday parties, family get togethers. Spouses and significant others do help but seriously, helping the household keep going by constantly tackling the day-to-day tasks AND working is an amazing feat.

8. You are supported

You are supported by your spouse or significant other, your best friends, your friends at work that feel like family, your actual family, mom groups, and random sweet old ladies that always lend a helping hand. If you are having a rough day, reach out to these people, this network of people WANTS to help you and cheer you you on.

9. You can (and should) ask for help

Whether it is taking a break to do some selfcare, going on a walk or exercising, just having quiet time at a coffee shop or running to a store or the grocery without the baby or children, reach out to that support system to take a break. That’s what friends are for. They want to help, let ’em. ❤

10. You are thriving one day at a time

You are killin’ it. Through the tears. And the days you would do anything else but go into work. Through the holidays. Through the days when work is hard.

This life is not easy but one day you will reflect on the long days and how much you accomplished at home AND at work and smile. How much you jammed into 24 hrs.

For today, drink that coffee or tea, stay connected with those friends and family that  build you up, and keep on going mama. Hug those babies or those growing-out-of-every-item-of-clothing-children.

You got this, we got this. All together.

❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram and Facebook @ nonstopmomlife

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Easy Seasoned Quinoa

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Fluffy, tasty and versatile quinoa at your service. It can be part of a main dish, served as a delicious side, on salad, in wraps, in stuffed peppers or lots of other ways! It not only tastes great, it is so nutritious. Quinoa is a healthy carbohydrate AND complete protein which provides all your amino acids and keeps you full! Read on, get your quinoa ON.

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Full recipe below  > > > > > >

Easy Seasoned Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer.
  2. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan
  3. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed, stirring every 4-5 minutes to prevent quinoa from sticking to bottom of pan.
  4. After water is absorbed, remove from heat and keep covered for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add olive oil, oregano, basil, and salt.
  6. Fluff, serve and enjoy!

Note: If you would like to make plain quinoa for a specific recipe, follow steps 1-4 only 🙂

Happy Cooking! Let me know what you think. Plan to make it soon?

❤ Hope

Look me up on Facebook and instagram @ nonstopmomlife

 

 

 

Tasty Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

You know that brisket type pulled pork that makes your mouth instantly water. That’s what we have here. A delicious pulled pork that you can have on sandwiches, on salad, with nachos, in a wrap or whatever your heart and appetite desires.

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First get those ingredients ready

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One onion chopped, spices, minced garlic, and orange (or apple) juice

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Of course the pork, the shoulder is the best piece for pulled pork. I usually use two 2-2.5 lb cuts.

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Layer ingredients in crock pot with onions, garlic, and orange juice on the bottom.

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Cover, let it cook about 8 hrs and then shred and enjoy!

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Serve with your favorite sauce for an extra kick of tang, sweet, or smokey flavor!

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Tasty Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ½ tsp minced garlic or 5 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup apple or orange juice

Instructions:

  1. Trim large pieces of fat off of pork pieces
  2. Add minced garlic, orange (or apple) juice, and chopped onion to a crock pot.
  3. Mix all spices together besides garlic.
  4. Pat the spices on the pork, top and bottom, and then place pieces on top of the onion mixture in crock pot
  5. Cook on low for at least 8 hrs. Remove from crock pot to a cutting board or plate and shred with a fork. If desired, feel free add your favorite barbequece sauce!

Note: You can discard the remaining liquid after cooking or strain remaining liquid discarding the onions and fat, then add back to pork! I typically use about 1 cup of strained liquid for extra flavor and moisture 🙂

Happy Cooking!

❤ Hope

Look me up on Facebook and instagram @ nonstopmomlife

 

Transitions: How to Grow and How to Challenge Oneself

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Just wanted to share my thoughts on this sunny, beautiful Tuesday. We’re in a transition time. Baby is already over a year old and is off of bottles, which has made life easier. #DrBrownBottleswith1000pieces.  It’s just been a whirlwind of a year. We’ve been married for over two years, baby is mobile, talking, changing, and exploring more each day and our life is chaotic but so rewarding and fulfilling. 

Have kids they said, it’ll be fun. 

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Haha, well it is fun. They were right.  It is also exhausting and tests your limits. And your limits with your spouse. BUT.

That look in your child’s eye when they are happy or the sound of their laugh.

Seeing a grandparent or spouse playing with your child and seeing them smiling ear to ear, how that makes you happy and smile the same way.

That’s the fuel that keeps me going everyday, even on those days that every liquid around is somehow spilling and the house is a mess.

That smile is what dreams are made of.

So for now how do we adjust with transitions in the meantime?

  1. Keep making your family a priority
    • Take a step back and look at the big picture. These changes as a family helps up persevere together. Whether it is returning to work after maternity leave or adjusting to a new job, new house, new city. A new developmental stage for a child. A new sibling. How do we take this head-on? Game plan for hard days?
  2. Make more quality time a priority.
    • Trying to limit distractions when with friends or with children or with family. Eye contact, hugs, high fives, family games, floor time with toys, swimming, museums, zoo, cards, walks. I’m challenging myself with this all the time, it is so difficult to NOT be distracted. What I have been doing is finding the balance- I try to check social media a few times a day briefly, then putting the phone away to focus on spending more time in the NOW with those around me.
  3. Reflect
    • Take time to journal or just doodle while reflecting on how far you have come. Write down all you HAVE accomplished and be proud of that! Nothing amazing was built in one day, let yourself be vulnerable.
  4. Consider relationships a priority
    • Do you brush your teeth at least everyday? Hopefully right? 🙂
    • I sometimes have  a hard time remembering that relationships need upkeep like daily checking in about the weeks events, short term goals, and so on, but it is just as important as the other things we do daily like brushing those pearls.
  5. Nurture friendships
    • Near and far, remind those friends you think of that you are still thankful for the friendship. Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Set a date, even if someone might have to cancel because of an unforeseen circumstance.
  6. Try to give yourself some dang grace as your grow and are challenged
    • It’s okay to feel like this is a hard time. Call a friend, call a sibling or relative, call your closet work pal. There is always someone that has likely gone through something similar. Exercise. Find some out that lets you find freeing.
  7. Let all that drama and negativity out the BACK door. No one has time for that
    • Seriously.  YOU can do this. Transitions are temporary. ❤

I’m definitely going through a transition right now just STILL adjusting to this very busy life of a working mom. I’ve been using all these things to remind myself to enjoy these moments and the chaos. It is made me adjust so much easier. Change makes us stronger and keeps us on our toes. It can be hard but thankfully we never have to do anything alone.

Keep on being awesome, all you lovely people out there

We are all in this crazy, beautiful life together

❤ Hope

Let me know what you think. What helps you when you’re going through a transition either personally or with a family?

nonstopmomlife

look me up on instagram @ nonstopmomlife.com