Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lactation Cookies (That Actually Work!)

            Hey ladies! For breastfeeding mamas, most of us can use a little boost in production now and then, I'm guessing. Or, if you're like me, you could use a MAJOR boost if you're not making enough to begin with. Whatever your feeding circumstances, I wanted to share this recipe I came across in my pregnancy group. I've tried several things to help boost my milk supply with both this baby and my last. These cookies actually help and they will fulfill your sweet tooth without beging too sweet. Try them out yourself and let me know how they work out for you!

What You'll Need:

-1/2 cup butter
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1 egg
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
-3 tablespoons of water
-1 cup self-rising flour
-1 teaspoon cinnamon (I say use as much as you want. I usually do more like a Tablespoon.)
-1-2 tablespoons of brewer's yeast
-pinch of salt
-1 ½ cup oats (old fashioned syle work better)
-1/2 cup of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, berries, etc. (I usually just eyeball it.)


*Preheat oven to 350 F

*In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.

*In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water. Let it set for a few minutes before adding it to the rest of the mix.

*Add the dry ingredients EXCEPT for your oats and chocolate chips, etc. Mix well.

*Stir in your oats and extra goodies last.

*Drop batter in about tablespoon sized dollops onto a greased baking sheet. (My post image is a bit misleading as I was trying them out in a bigger size in the muffin tin this time.) Bake for 10-12 minutes. (Closer to 15 for the big ones in my picture.)

Note: Eat two cookies with each feeding to start and modify based on your results and needs!

*If you happen to be the original owner of this recipe, please let me know and I would be happy to give you credit!
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Monday, May 28, 2018

Fuel Your Day with Tenzo Tea! (Review)

            Hey folks! Please tell me I'm not the only one who goes through spells where I drink way too much pop, energy drinks, etc. It's sad to admit this, but there have only been one or two times in my life where I was completely off of pop. I was even allowed to have it as a kid!
             I think we can all agree that it's just not the same waking up in the morning as it was when we were kids. For the most part, mine can hop out of bed in the morning and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to face the day. I, on the other hand, wish I could still get away with everyone just leaving me alone for at least an hour so my brain has time to wake up. I think some caffeine intake as an adult is darn near a necessity to properly function!
             That doesn't mean it has to be from a less than healthy house, such as pop or energy drinks, though! I was recently introduced to Tenzo Tea. The fellas behind Tenzo Tea are all about clean, natural caffeine to give you the energy you need throughout the day, which comes from their matcha green tea. Here is some more on their tea and how Tenzo Tea came about!

“Tenzo Tea is mixed directly with water, allowing you to consume the entire leaf, and unlock the full potential of green tea. No more tea bags, no more tea strainer. Whisk, shake, or blend your Tenzo Tea with water and feel the healthy energy.”

Why green tea? In a nutshell, the co-founders were sick of the rushes and crashes that come with drinking other caffeintated beverages, such as coffee and energy drinks. So, how did this change their lives?

“After a couple weeks of drinking matcha, we felt less irritable and realized that the sick feeling in our stomach was gone. We didn't have to worry about coffee breath or yellow stained teeth. We started sleeping better at night."

And, in case you're not familiar with matcha green tea and for the heck of it because I found it interesting, here's a fun fact: “Matcha has the highest antioxidant rating of all major superfoods. 13X more than pomegranates, 15x more than blueberries, and a whopping 125x that of spinach!” That's pretty amazing! So, what did I think of Tenzo Tea?

*I found that it doesn't really make me feel more awake/give me a “buzz” like pop or coffee, but it does give me more long-lasting energy. With three kids and a farm to look afer, I need all of the energy I can get!

*Bonus: No crashing out after a few hours like with other caffeinated beverages! Because I'm sure we've all been there and it's just the worst, isn't it?

*I thought the matcha green tea had a nice smooth flavor. It wasn't “in your face” and slightly bitter like other green teas I have tried in the past.

*I was very generously given the starter box to try out. It has the whole shebang: matcha tea, bamboo whisk and stand, and bamboo scooper. I highly recommend going for this option if you're really into tea. I cannot say enough about how well that whisk works in getting all of the powder mixed up! Seriously. Don't skip the whisk! Plus, with all of the accoutrements, you feel like you're having your own mini Japanese tea time. :)

*I haven't done so yet, but I can't wait to try out a green tea smoothie or latte. I haven't had either in YEARS and it sounds so good right now with the weather heating up!

To learn more about Tenzo Tea, be sure to visit their website. Stay up-to-date with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stupid Easy Banana Bread Muffins

            Hey folks! I don't know about you, but I think banana bread and zucchini bread are a great treat any time of year. I've had a good recipe for banana bread for awhile. Trouble is, it seems like we always have trouble with the outside damn near burning, but the inside still being gooey. My 5 year old had the genius idea the other day to make them into muffins instead of the traditional bread. How obvious! So here it is, for your eating pleasure. :)

What You'll Need:

-3 or 4 bananas, smashed
-1/3 Cup butter, melted
-1 Cup sugar
-1 egg, beaten
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-pinch of salt
-1 ½ Cup flour


*Preheat oven to 350 F.

*With a wooden spoon (potato mashers work even better, if you have one!), mash bananas.

*Mix in butter.

*Add sugar, egg, and vanilla.

*Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

*Mix in flour last.

*Pour into sprayed or greased muffin pan. (I filled my cups more than I had planned to make all of the batter fit into one tray. Ha ha But they still turned out fine even filling them almost to the top!)

*Bake for at least 20 minutes. (Important note: PLEASE keep an eye on these the first time you make them. Ours only took 20 minutes, but our oven cooks things insanely quickly. I baked cinnamon apple cakes in it a few months ago for the first time since we moved to this house. My recipe said to bake them for an hour. It took them less than 30 minutes! Moral of the story: Your muffins will probably take longer than 20 minutes unless you also have a super charged oven. I apologize for not having an exact time!)

*Let cool and enjoy!

What is your favorite easy treat to make?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend 2018 in Pictures!

            Hey folks! Things have been crazy busy and stressful around here the past couple of weeks. I seem to be perpetually behind on blogging as well, so I thought I would share some pictures and tidbits from Mother's Day weekend!

            I think it was Wednesday when I realized I had absolutely no idea what I was going to get or make my mom for Mother's Day. :/ Since we visited my parents that weekend I couldn't get away with just doing a card, plus I would have felt like a heel. I remembered seeing some ideas similar to these on Pinterest and combined them to, well, come up with these plant pots! I figured she would rather have something from the kids anyways and I thought this was a super cute idea! I cheated and asked my dad what kind of annuals mom liked, so John picked up some snapdragons for us to plant in them. :)

            My mom's stomach had been bothering her again when we arrived Friday. (I think it's nerves, but that's a whole other story.) Even though she was feeling better Saturday, she still decided to be a party pooper and skipped the cupcakes and canvases party SHE invited me to. Luckily, two of my aunts also went and I'm used to my mom's crazy friend who was hosting it. ;)
            I have to say, I had SUCH a good time! It was nice to have some adult interaction/conversation, especially without the kids! Well, I still had the baby, but she doesn't count. ha ha I actually wore her in my ring sling half the time I was painting! Now THAT'S talent! After it was all said and done, I hadn't realized how much I had missed painting. I used to love painting in school and was actually in the National Art Honor Society in high school. I'm dying to start painting again now!

            So, what did everyone else do while Gillian and I were gone painting? They went to the park, of course! (That was mostly my fault. I opened my big mouth about possibly meeting my friend there. ha ha) This picture cracked me up when I first saw it, with the sassy look on Ripley's face. 😂 Also, of course I am biased, but I'm pretty sure all of my girls should be in modeling. :)

            Sunday morning, Mother's Day, someone was being a turd. We woke up around our usual time, she nursed and got a diaper change, and I tried to put her back down...But, naturally, it was one of the few days I actually WANTED to go back to sleep, so she decided she wasn't going to. So I took her downstairs and let her nurse again...and she fell asleep after, like, 2 minutes! 😒 But, how can I stay mad at a face like that! She has really started "talking" lately and I can get her to kind of laugh every now and then. I love it! I wish she would stay this little forever. 😭

            This was right before we left Sunday afternoon and it's as good as we could get! lol I'm not sure what Ripley was pouting about. I think she was just being a grump because she needed a nap and just didn't want to take a picture.

            So, what did I get for Mother's Day? A new living room floor! Even though it was just something that needed done, I'll consider it my present, especially considering it was supposed to get done last year! *ahem* At least it's one less thing to worry about. I only wish we would have been able to paint too. :/ This wood paneling is for the birds. We don't even live in a trailer! But our house is very 70's in a lot of ways.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day as well!

Letters to my Daughter

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Get Ready for Summer Babywearing with Comfy Joey! (Review)

            Hey folks! Spring is finally here and it's time to get outdoors with the babes! Looking for a lightweight carrier to use during warmer weather this year? Read on!
             Comfy Joey specializes in linen ring slings and water slings. Founded in 2005 by a mother of 4, Comfy Joey's products are made right here in the U.S. In Boise, Idaho. Even cooler, they are completely owned and operated by moms!
             Before I dive into my review, let's talk a little more about their slings.

*Per the Comfy Joey website

*Can be used from 8 to 35 pounds
*Can help soothe a fussy or colicky baby
*Can fold compactly to fit in a diaper bag
*Can be used while nursing on the go
*Our 100% linen fabric, airy and supportive, though a bit stiff at first, will soften with wash and use. Linen slings are good for newborns or toddlers, and excellent for summer heat.

I decided to go with a Medium, in case you are curious. ;)

             Comfy Joey was kind enough to send us one of their linen ring slings to try out. I have to admit, even though I had been tossing around the idea of trying a ring sling for reasons I'll talk about below, I was still leery. After all, how the heck do you keep the baby from falling out?! As it turns out, using a sling is not nearly as scary as I thought. Here are some more thoughts and notes I took on our Comfy Joey ring sling experience.

*Comes with informational DVD on how to do different carries and other important noes on how to use a ring sling. Very handy for noobs like me who have absolutely NO idea what they are doing! (Although I still recommend watching videos online as well.)
*Great choice for all sizes of wearers. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am on the bigger side. I am not skinny by any means! With a lot of other carriers, us fluffy girls have to worry about whether they will even fit us or not! That is not the case with Comfy Joey slings. They offer a wide variety of sizes (and have a really nifty size chart on their site to find the perfect size of carrier for you!) and are easy to adjust so you get the perfect fit, regardless of what size you are! (Which is also handy if you have multiple people using the sling.)

For those of you out there that are hardcore babywearers, you probably noticed in the post image at the top that I didn't quite have baby froggy legged enough. I just wanted to show you that we did get it corrected! :)

*Very comfortable! Seriously, I have had such a hard time with carriers being uncomfortable in one way or another in the past. The Comfy Joey ring sling alleviates even shoulder pain with the way they are designed. The shoulder spreads out quite a bit, which avoids getting any pressure points while wearing. It is now tied with my other favorite carrier! Plus, it also seems comfy for baby because...
*It definitely helps calm fussy babies! Gillian cannot be in this sling longer than 5, 10 minutes tops, without falling asleep. In fact, sometimes it's the only way I can get her to go to sleep during the day when I know she needs to stop fighting it! It came in very handy at a canvas and cupcakes party I recently attended when she was ready for a nap, but wouldn't sleep in her car seat. But, I'll get to more on all the places/situations I've worn her in the Comfy Joey so far in a minute. ;)

She's a happy bunny, even if the lighting does make her look like she's balding on top. 😂

*As far as comfort for baby, she also seems to like this carrier better than the stretchy wrap that I usually just use when they're tiny like she is because she can move her head around more. All of our children have had freakishly strong head and neck muscles from early on (probably have to so their necks don't break from their giant heads!) and Gillian has been a cross between our two older daughters so far: She likes snuggles, but she also likes to look around. (aka try to fight sleep even more) The stretchy wrap just seems to tick her off compared to this one. BUT, if you do have a tiny babe who still needs the head and neck support, you still get it. Just pull up the top rail (edge) higher and/or roll it to support baby's head! Oh. And speaking of that stretchy wrap...
*The Comfy Joey ring sling doesn't slip like the stretchy wraps that a lot of people wear their newborns in! Seriously. I can't tell you how annoying that is. It's nice to not have to worry about readjusting now!
*I will admit: This carrier has the biggest learning curve out of any styles I have tried...But it's worth it once you get it figured out! I didn't find the stretchy wraps too hard to get the hang of. Mei tais are basically the same, so it was a breeze. But, personally, I found ring slings a bit tricky getting “just right”.

*I like that there are tons of different ways to carry babies in this, depending on what age they are, but I'll also admit I have only tried one so far. I've also been meaning to try it out with my toddler, but just haven't gotten around to it...And I'm not sure she would go for it. But, the options are there and I absolutely love that this is a “one size fits all” for babies through toddlers. Not many carriers can boast that, and especially not for the reasonable price! (Hooray for being economical too!)
*As I said, I was leery of trying a ring sling for a long time, mostly because A) It looked complicated and B) I was worried baby would fall out somehow. Now that I've finally tried one, I wish I had tried one sooner since it's such a great option for being economical and its ability to use from birth to toddlerhood, as I just mentioned. PLUS, so long as you're getting baby positioned correctly, of course, it really is more secure than it looks once you get the hang of it.

*I highly recommend practicing a lot at home with the Comfy Joey until you get comfortable with it before attempting to use it in public. Otherwise, you will have lots of adjusting to do! I thought I was ready to take it elsewhere, but got confused when I tried to use it the first time we all went to the park because I wasn't as familiar with it as I thought I was. lol
*I have worn the Comfy Joey sling doing quite a few things so far, such as walks in the woods, playing hide and seek with the older two kids, going to the park, doing farm chores (though that was a bit tricky and hasn't happened since! Haha), while painting, and shopping.
*Another thing I really love about this carrier is that you can just roll it up and throw it in the diaper bag. It takes up hardly any room, especially compared to our soft-structured and hiking carriers! When you're cramming three kids and all of their stuff into your car, this is more important than you may think!
*Last, but not least, this sling is easy to take off or use for nursing. I haven't attempted to use it while breastfeeding yet because I'm un-coordinated enough as it is, BUT, I like that I can easily take this on and off. This aspect of it is a real game changer when I have to nurse in public, plus I can use it as a nursing cover! What's not to love?!

             Comfy Joey also makes toy slings for your budding babywearers to practice with their dolls! Also, if you are reading this from Canada, Comfy Joey now offers shipping to our friends up north as well as offers a manual in French!
             Be sure to stay up-to-date with Comfy Joey on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Mixed Bag Mama received free product in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
Letters to my Daughter

Monday, May 14, 2018

Plan Your Kids to Parks Day 2018 Adventure!

             Hey folks! Kids to Parks Day, hosted by the National Park Trust, is happening THIS Saturday, May 19, 2018! If you're unfamiliar with this initiative, it is basically a fun way to encourage youth (and their families!) to get outdoors and explore all of the great parks and rec areas our country has to offer. Read on for more resources from Buddy Bison and the National Park Trust on how to make your outing more fun!

*Check for a special local event on their map. (More events will be added the closer it gets to the date.) Don't have anything going on near you? Download this free resource sheet to plan your own adventure!

*Pledge to participate. You could win some awesome prizes!

*Share any photos you take on your adventure on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with #KidstoParks and #BuddyBison

*Use the nifty park finder to plan your day out...Or future trips!

What local, state, or national park will you be visiting this weekend?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Life With 3 Kids

            Hey folks! Since I'm obviously no longer doing pregnancy updates (Gillian is already 2 months old as of last Friday! What the heck?!), I thought doing a post partum update might be fun. (Don't worry. I'm not talking about gross, body post partum stuff. Lol)
             So far, knock on wood, it's actually been easier to transition from two to three kids than it was one to two! From what I have read and heard from others, I am in the minority on feeling this way. Shocker.
Even though the kids outnumber the adults in our household now, I think I am just used to how things seem to flow for us with multiple kids. I'm already used to taking forever to get everything ready to go somewhere. I'm used to it taking forever to actually get in the car. I'm used to being fashionably late. (Ok, a lot of times it's not-so-fashionably.) I'm used to my older two being demanding. I'm used to them bickering all the time. (Not to say it doesn't annoy me to no end!) Really, taking care of the baby is a nice reprieve. It gives me an excuse to chill out for awhile.
             We have been super fortunate and all of our babies have been easy. Even Gillian never really fusses for no reason. The only time she really gets like that is if she's bored. She likes having someone talk to her. :)
             She seems kind of advanced for her age when it comes to some things (What parent doesn't think that, right?), but I attribute it to the fact that she was so big to begin with! She already has her own version of a laugh, though admittedly, is not a full on laugh. We've been lucky in the sleep department too with all of our kids and she has been sleeping through the night since she was 5 weeks old. It's just too bad my boobs wake me up after 6 hours! She ends up sleeping more than I do!
             The older two kids have adapted to her presence well. Ripley was extra snuggly for awhile, but she's done a LOT better than I expected for being such a mama's girl. They both like to hold her and I've been letting Myka help give her bottles lately.
             Speaking of which, I've unfortunately had to supplement with formula again. She was fine until 2 weeks, then it's like her chunkiness finally caught up to her. Lol But, a fed baby is most important...with my sanity a close second. :D
             The biggest difficulty I've had so far is going places. It stressed me out before, so now it REALLY stressed me out! I've only ventured out a few times by myself with all of them. It's hard enough when John goes with us too! I've truly come to appreciate the phrase “it's like herding cats”.
I hope things keep going as well as they have been. For now, I'm just going to enjoy only two of them being mobile!

What was the hardest transition for you when you added kids on?
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Monday, May 7, 2018

Tips for Camping with Young Children

            Hey folks! I'm so excited it's camping season again! While I keep my excitement in check until baby gets better at regulating her body temperature, I thought I would share some suggestions for keeping kids (and, in turn, parents!) happy during your next camping trip.

*Take lots of snacks and drinks. Kids are bottomless pits. Make sure you pack enough for the car too!
*Take entertainment for the car ride: DVD player, Kindle, coloring books, car games, etc.
*Entertainment for down time too. Definitely limit how many books and toys your kids bring, but make sure they have something that will keep them entertained in times of need.
*Bring bikes or scooters, if able. This is a good boredom buster when you're cooking or otherwise hanging out at the campsite not doing anything.
*Bring extra clothes. Kids are bound to get dirty!
*Bring extra blankets and jackets. Weather can be unpredictable. It's better to have something and not need it in this case than not have it!
*Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray! Nothing makes for a miserable trip like sunburns and bug bites!
*Wet wipes, wet wipes, wet wipes! Again, kids are filthy creatures, only exacerbated by food, being outdoors, etc.
*Get help with shower time, if able! We were pretty much the only ones using the shower house on one trip, so we all just went in the women's shower house one evening and showered. Ripley was only 1 ½ at the time, so we didn't really want her to slip and fall. Plus, I don't think I could have handled myself and both of them at the same time!
*Camp at non-peak times. It's not much fun when you're constantly worried about young kids running out in the road, not paying attention while riding bikes, etc. Plus, it's just a lot more pleasant if you're going for a little peace and quiet!
*Make sure to wear them out during the day so they will go to sleep faster/easier at night!
*Don't forget their “comfort item”: Special blankie, toy, stuffed animal, etc.
*Bring extra shoes or a pair of boots as well as tennis shoes. Easy off shoes are especially handy when tent camping!

Have you ever went camping with young kids? What advice would you give to others to make the experience go as smoothly as possible?
Letters to my Daughter
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
Lucy At Home

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The 3 Types of Park Moms

             Have you ever noticed that there seems to be distinct groups of different types of moms at the park? Maybe I just people watch too much for my own good (I majored in psychology my first year of college. I can't help myself!), but I especially noticed this on our most recent trip to the park and found it a bit humorous. Let's explore the three different types of “park moms”...

*The Anti-Social, Cranky Mom

These are the easiest moms to spot as they try to distance themselves as much as possible from the rest of the people at the playground. They make no move to try to talk to anyone and seem to avoid even having to interact with their kids. Some look pissed off to even be there and some even sit in their vehicles! Maybe it's because they usually have at least two kids with them, oftentimes more, and the only reason they are at the park is in hopes that said kids will burn some energy off after school so anti-social cranky mom doesn't totally lose her shit when they get home. If you are one of the next two types, it's best to just not even bother. Heed the body language!

*Friendly, Young Mom

Now when I say young, I don't necessarily mean the mom's age, although a lot of times she will be on the younger side too. I'm referring more to the mom who shows up with a young kid, usually only one, that is usually under the age of 1 ½, roughly, 2 at most. These moms can almost be described as perky, because, you know, they only have one kid to deal with and they are loving life. Baby is still in the cute stage and I don't care what bullshit you've heard, one kid is WAY easier than 2, 3, 4+! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! They haven't sucked perky mom's will to live yet and it's still actually enjoyable to do things with him/her. But, I'm rambling...

Young, perky mom is usually friendly enough, but she doesn't seem to be actively looking for new mom friends. In fact, half the time you can find her with a friend who is roughly the same age who also has one child who is roughly the same age as her child. Again, these types are nice enough and usually willing to engage in conversations about your youngsters, but don't expect any phone number/Facebook friend invite exchanges.

*Desperate to Connect to Others Mom

These types of moms can sometimes be tricky to spot. Why? Several factors go into this. Sometimes disconnected mom is so desperate for adult interaction that she can come off a little too eager. Other times, though, these moms can be timid for the same reason: They're so used to talking and interacting with children all day that they tend to become socially awkward and shy, though they very much want to connect with other moms. Don't fault them for this.

A good indicator of this type of mom is if she has two or more (usually more like three or more) children with her. The younger the kids, the better. These poor souls, as you can imagine, don't really get out of the house much to do fun things any more, unlike perky young mom. Again, this can go either way, but over eager mom will likely seek any adult interaction, whether they have that much in common with the other moms she meets or not. The shy ones, on the other hand, will tend to seek out meaningful relationships. After the initial “how do you do?” phase, they may ask more personal questions, like what you or your kids are into.

             The next time you are at the park, take a look around. It's fun to people watch. :) And who knows: You may just find your next best new mom friend! After all, making friends when you're a mom is kind of like dating. ;)

(P.s. This post is written in (mostly) good humor, so please don't take offense to anything written here!)
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Lucy At Home