Category: Uncategorized

Packing the Hospital Bag

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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

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 ❤

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

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

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

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

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Enjoy!

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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

 

 

Hope’s Homemade Veggie Burgers

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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)

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(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)

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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 

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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).

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

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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

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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

 

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