Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Miracles Do Happen

Allow God to work and pull off miracles in your life.  Check out this story!

The Bookshelf

I've decided to post at least one book each day for the remainder of the year.  I want to empower mothers to be, and live, the best life possible.  By reading the experiences of others and being filled with encouragement and inspiration, I believe that we all can do just that.

I encourage you to find and cultivate your passions.  Understand that each book will not interest or speak to you, but there are tons of opportunities to enhance who you are and where you are and be fueled on toward your destiny.

I'll start filling The Bookshelf tomorrow.  So be sure to checkout the Books category each time you return to This Holistic Life.

Image taken from homewithpurpose.blogspot.com 

The Art of Healing

The definition of healing is to restore to health and soundness; to set right; restoration of that which is damaged to its normal function; regeneration (spiritual, revival, rebirth); and renewal of any lost part. 
“The renewal of any lost part” caught my attention. During challenging times people are often seeking parts of themselves that they think have been lost, stolen or damaged. I believe that we are, inherently, whole, and that at the core of our being, beauty and peace exist. When my clients speak about wanting to heal, we explore the deep desire to remember that they are not broken or damaged goods. We talk about the fact that in every situation there is good and it is leading us back to a state of wholeness. When the Japanese mend broken objects, they fill the cracks with gold. They believe that when something is damaged and has a history, it is more beautiful. What if that were true of us? What if each and every aspect of our life stories was an essential ingredient that made us stronger and more beautiful?
We think healing should be peaceful, blissful and easy. However, healing often requires purging and clearing out old ways of being in order to create space for expansion. Think about your home and how the accumulation of old stuff can create a feeling of constriction. Until you clean out the closets and drawers there is not space for something new. You cannot even see how much space you have until there is a clean area. The same holds true for your life. Challenge can create constriction and lack of clarity. Underneath all of the old behaviors and events there is a space that is waiting to be filled with light, joy, harmony and abundance.

Here are some thoughts to support you in becoming an artist of healing:
  • Doubts and fears are nothing but energy. See them, acknowledge them and then put your attention on something that supports your health and well-being.
  • When you feel alone, reach out to people who see your beauty and power. Do not connect with those who will agree that you are a victim.
  • Remember that change is an evolutionary process and may be slow. Do not judge the speed that you are traveling through the changes.
  • Clean out your emotional closet by witnessing your non-supportive thought patterns and choosing differently.

The original blog post was written by Cynthia James for blog.gaiam.com.  I've taken snippets from her post to create this one.  To read her post in its entirety, click here.

Healing Environment

A Healing Environment is any space, location, or environment that positively impacts your mind, body & spirit by reducing stress and increasing relaxation. Create a space at home, work, or where you feel most comfortable, that constantly promotes your health & well-being. Return to this space as often as you can to rejuvenate your mind, body, & spirit.

Image from Backyardxscapes.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

I've been blessed to get some much needed rest this holiday weekend.  I've also spent time with family and friends.

Take some time to relax today, enjoy those you love, and remember those who have fought for our country!

Peace in the Present Moment

By Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Stephan Mitchell, Michele Penn

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whispers of Encouragement for Moms

By Barbour Publishing Inc.

Glow Inside and Out Ultimate Green Smoothie

Enjoy this Green Smoothie Recipe taken from a website that I enjoy, epicself.com.

Glow Inside and Out Ultimate Green Smoothie

It takes only a few minutes to prepare this amazing green smoothie:
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 head of organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of organic celery
  • 2 organic apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1/3 bunch of organic cilantro
  • 1/3 bunch of organic parsley
  • Juice of ½ fresh organic lemon
Add the water and chopped head of romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth. Gradually moving to higher speeds add the herbs celery and apples. Add the banana and lemon juice last.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Travel Light: 5 Tips on Planning an Eco-Friendlier Trip

This blog post was written by Wendy Worrall Redal for blog.gaiam.com and I think it's worth sharing!  

Five easy tips to help you reduce the impact you make and stay guilt-free when you take your next vacation.

Anxious to make summer travel plans without turning your back on the Earth? Travel-related activities contribute an estimated third of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions — so we asked travel experts at eco-tour outfitter Natural Habitat Adventures in Boulder, Colo., for their advice on how to help fight global warming and be a cool traveler. They offered five easy ways to avoid making your next vacation a guilt trip:

1) Stay Neutral: Going the group tour route? Check for green credentials. Increasingly, travel outfitters like Natural Habitat Adventures are bolstering an ongoing commitment to sustainable travel by going carbon neutral. Natural Habitat Adventures reduces its carbon emissions with programs that include recycling and renewable energy use, then buys offsets to make up the difference – guaranteeing carbon neutral trips for its guests. Other carbon-neutral outfitters include O.A.R.S., REI Adventure and Escape Adventure. Traveling on your own? Organizations like Sustainable Travel International will help you calculate and offset trip emissions; major online travel companies Travelocity and Expedia also offer travelers offsetting options when they make reservations.

2) Chart a green course: New eco-maps chart the natural and cultural environment to suggest low-impact activities and resources wherever you travel.Green Map System  provides “green” maps of some 302 spots around the globe, with most recent offerings ranging from Missoula, Montana, to 17 new Taiwanese maps.

3) Train yourself: Europe isn’t the only place worth traveling by train. Check into train or bus options wherever you travel; railroad shuttles up and down the U.S. Eastern Seaboard are particularly quick and convenient. And if you do end up driving, keep your car well-tuned and tires properly inflated to pollute less – and cut gas costs up to 15 percent.

4) Fuel for Thought: Committed to a road trip? Try to buy gas from a more environmentally responsible oil company: The Sierra Club recently updated its "Pick Your Poison" guide to gasoline; two companies, BP and Sunoco, continue to receive its "top of the barrel" rating. Better yet, buy or rent a hybrid or bio-fuel car. While mainstream rental companies continue to increase eco-friendly offerings — Hertz recently began offering its "Green Collection" — the few truly green rental companies are prospering and expanding. EV Rental Cars and Fox Rent A Car regularly offer hybrid rentals, and Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars offers bio-fueled vehicles. Or consider hybrid car-sharing through a service like Flexcar. Whatever your vehicle choice, consider joining eco-friendly auto club Better World Club, which offers discounts on hybrid cars and eco-travel — and even roadside assistance for bicycles.

5) In transit: If you do fly, eschew individual cabs in favor of public transit or a hotel shuttle to and from the airport. Or try hailing a hybrid cab: San Francisco, New York and Chicago all have added hybrid taxis to their fleets, mainly Ford Escape Hybrids, while the Brits recently introduced the new lower-emission diesel TX4 taxi in London. And the first hybrid taxi service, PlanetTran, continues to serve airports in greater Boston and the Bay area by prior reservation. While you’re visiting another city, remember to plan your day around walking destinations or the city’s public transit options.

Drawn to Beautiful Things

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? Or gaze at the clouds or the stars in the sky?  What about taking in a sunrise or sunset?  Or simply admiring your favorite portrait or person?

I am drawn to beautiful things.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fresh Flavors

If you’re in need of some inspiration and have a few minutes to spare, check out your local stores and markets for cooking demonstrations.

Tomorrow, The Fresh Market in my town will have a demonstration with a professional chef that only takes about 10 minutes.  After the demo,
you get to taste a sample.   

Don’t worry, if you can’t make it or missed this month’s demo in your town, you can always go to their website and print off the recipe and watch a video of the cooking demonstration.

Here’s tomorrow’s Fresh Flavors Recipe: Chicken Fajitas with Zesty Lime & Avocado Slaw

Williams-Sonoma & Whole Foods Market regularly offer cooking demos and recipes as well as local Farmer's Markets.  Check them out!

Mommy Needs a Spa Day!

It is time for another spa day!

So let's take a virtual voyage here...

The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Spa in Marana, AZ

This spa offers comfort, solitude and eco-holistic therapies that promote balance and healing.

After exploring their spa services, I've decided that the Just For Her package would be a great way for me to prepare for the summer.  It includes The Ritz-Carlton Signature Massage and a Dove Mountain Manicure & Pedicure.

However, the Desert Morning Dew sounds great also.  This Body Treatment blends crystals with fruits, herbs and moisturizers to hydrate the skin and invigorate the body. 

The Art of Well packages, Balance, Energy, 
& Vitality, seem awesome as well.

I can also take advantage of a Health & Wellness package such as 110 minutes of Mountain Yoga.

Or simply lounge around here.

Or enjoy a delicious meal here.

Finally retreating to this luxurious room! 

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Spa seems like a winner to me!  Their holistic approach to wellness is refreshing because Mommy Needs a Spa Day!

Click here to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Spa.

All images taken from www.ritzcarlton.com.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hot Mom Club

My son and I visited the library today.  While I was there, I had a strong urge to get a book that had nothing to do with doing more research.  (Having a blog requires homework!)  So I searched a few aisles before stumbling upon a little book called The Hot Mom's Handbook: Moms Have More Fun!

By Jessica Denay

Not really sure what I would be getting into, I picked it up feeling like I had accomplished my goal of finding a fun book that wouldn't cloud my mind and that could make me laugh at the same time.  That was just a few hours ago.   I've made it to page 20 (serious reading for this SAHM) and I had to share this excerpt:

"A Hot Mom can be eighteen or ninety-eight, a size two or a size twenty-two, have one child or fifteen!  A Hot Mom can wear a business suit, or ride motorcycles.  A Hot Mom can have a nose ring and tattoos, or wear aprons and bake cookies with love (or both!)  A Hot Mom knows no shape, size, or situation.  A Hot Mom is defined by her soul, her core.  A Hot Mom is about being the best YOU, about being a woman who radiates confidence from the inside out.  A Hot Mom is a woman who loves her family and herself but doesn't get lost in the madness of motherhood. A Hot Mom is empowered.  A Hot Mom is a woman who knows how to balance her needs as well as the needs of her family.  A Hot Mom is a BETTER mom! A Hot Mom is a BETTER lover! A Hot Mom is a BETTER friend!  Every mom can be Hot Mom!"

You see, this is who I am!  And this is who You are!  We've all got it in us. We just need to embrace our hotness!  This Holistic Life is here to empower, encourage & enhance the level of balance in the lives of all expecting and experienced moms.

Living a holistic life is about knowing who you are and having the confidence to express your uniqueness to the world.  It's also about continuous improvement and nourishment of your mind, body, & spirit.

Love yourself and enjoy being a member of The Hot Mom Club!

I hope the rest of the book is as inspiring as the Preface!


Yoga means union in Sanskrit.  Many yoga traditions believe that the practice of yoga leads to a union of a person with their true self or with God. Yoga has many benefits including increased strength and flexibility, better balance, coordination, and concentration, and overall stress reduction. 

There are several types of yoga, including Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, and Kundalini.  Some yoga poses are used throughout the various types of yoga, however; there are others that are unique to a particular style.  The various styles and practices all serve to calm the mind.

This Holistic Life will generally focus on asana, stretching and strengthening yoga poses, however; yoga practice is multidimensional and includes meditation, breathwork, visualization exercises, and its own philosophy.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Angela L.

1.  How many children do you have?

I have one child, Sophie, she is one year old.

2.  Would you like to have more children?  How many or why not?

I would love to have another child, just one more would do.  I don't want Sophie to be an only child. I want her to have a constant playmate, as she gets older, I am sure my reasoning for wanting her to have a sibling will change, like her having someone other than "mom" to talk to.

3.  What do you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?

I wish I would have known a couple things first before becoming a mother, one being, everything is NOT an emergency. I heard so many "do this" & "don't do that," that when I did do those things or didn't do something, I thought it was an emergency. For example, my family member told me to make sure that I wake up during the night to change the baby, well one night I was just too tired to get out of bed to change her and she indeed peed in her pajamas, not only did i feel awful, but I felt I neglected her and somehow something bad was going to happen because she peed in her pajamas, it was really an emergency to me! Now, of course I do not believe in just letting babies wet themselves, but if they do, it's not an emergency, just clean baby up change her clothes and everything is ok!

4.  What are the tasks that you wish someone else would regularly do for you?

O' I wish most of all someone would cook dinner every day for us!

5.  How did you take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy?

I drank plenty of water during my pregnancy and ate a lot of organic food. I worked out in the beginning, but somewhere along the line that ceased! :-)

6.    Did you have the labor and delivery experience that you desired?  If not, what would have improved your experience?

I am so grateful that my delivery went perfectly as far as the medical side is concerned. There were no emergencies, or errors. However, I did push for two hours!! I didn't know how to correctly push, I was pushing from my head, then my stomach, finally when the epidural was beginning to wear off, the doctor and nurse both agreed, that is when I started pushing better and soon thereafter, Sophie was born.

7.  How have you taken care of your health and wellness since becoming a mother?

I have been drinking lots of water, making sure I have adequate amounts of veggies per week, (although, that is not always the case) and I just began a workout regime again on the treadmill.

8.  Are you involved in any mommy groups (in-person or online)?

Sophie and I are actively pursuing playgroups and play dates! We both really need them!

9.  What do you do to relax?

To relax, I love to read! I do deep breathing exercises as well when laying on the couch to relax more internally.

10.  What advice do you have for new and expecting moms?

Ah, for new and expecting moms, stop listening to everyone! Everyone will offer their expert opinion, and it is wise to seek information and help in areas you are uneducated and unsure about, but if you try to take advice from every "expert" your head will spin! O' and don't Google every little red area and bump on your baby’s body! That for sure will have you calling your doctor every 15 minutes, and that will stress you out for real!! ( I know because I did it! )

11.    What is the best thing about being a mom?

The best thing about being a mother is giving my child all the love, gentleness and tender-care that I did not receive growing up.

12.  What is the most challenging part about being a mom?

The most challenging part about being a mother is, for me, time and scheduling. I sometimes just want to sit and read a book or surf the Internet, but I feel I need to entertain and be teaching my child something.

13.  Please share any additional story or detail related to your pregnancy or motherhood.

Always be conscious of love mothers, even when your most irritated, and praise your child ridiculously, it will give them an abundance of self-esteem as adults!


Journaling involves maintaining a detailed record of the thoughts and feelings surrounding the events in your life.  This process enables you to release, and later explore, why and how you feel about your life’s events.  This practice is a stress reducer that promotes self-exploration and discovery.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Little Humor Goes a Long Way

Whether you're completing your seemingly endless baby registry, changing tons diapers or cleaning up lots of spills, a little humor goes a long way.  Using humor when you're faced with a difficult or troubling situation will keep you relaxed and able to enjoy even the toughest tasks.  We can get worked up, or blow things out of proportion, so try smiling and laughing instead of frowning and spewing angry words.  You'll witness your sense of humor becoming contagious and those around you will feel better about challenging situations as well.  So the next time something unexpected or not so pleasant happens, try a little humor. 

Shine your light for all the world to see!

Ronata Bryant

1.  How many children do you have?

4 total...well, come July there will be 4 total.

2.  Would you like to have more children?  How many or why not?

No more babies. We don't even have room for anymore.

3.  What do you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?

Sleep in every Saturday that I can because that may never happen again. Lol.

4.  What are the tasks that you wish someone else would regularly do for you?

 Mopping and laundry. Not a fan.

5.  How did you take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy?

Well during the first pregnancy I was pretty restricted. During this pregnancy I am much more active and much more conscious of what I put into my body.

6.  Did you have the labor and delivery experience that you desired?  If not, what would have improved your experience?

Yes! 4 hours of labor and 15 minutes of pushing. Perfecto.

7.  How have you taken care of y our health and wellness since becoming a mother?

After gaining 42 pounds I worked hard to get back to my pre-preggo body...and I did. I wanted to have the energy to keep up with the kids.

8.  Are you involved in any mommy groups (in-person or online)?

I lurk on BabyCenter boards....

9.  What do you do to relax?

Sit on the couch and zone out. Play with the kids.

10.  What advice do you have for new and expecting moms?

Enjoy every second of it. Relax. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to get ir "right." You know your baby best. Trust your instincts. Also, don't compare your kids to other kids. It'll drive you crazy. Every child is beautifully different. Don't be afraid to lean on your support system. That's what they're there for. :)

11.  What is the best thing about being a mom?

It's hard to say. I absolutely love it! So much laughter and joy comes from looking at my kid’s faces.

12.  What is the most challenging part about being a mom?

No rest for the weary! Lol. I've also become a worrier....

13.  Please share any additional story or detail related to your pregnancy or motherhood.

Sometimes you're going to have bad days and breakdowns. It happens...especially as your hormones work to get back to normal. Don't be so hard on yourself. One night I woke up and my son was blue. After a hospital stay and treatment for severe acid reflux he was able to come home but I didn't sleep and blamed myself. Shortly after he needed tubes for his ears. Again, I blamed myself. In reality there is nothing I could have done to prevent these events from happening. If I could, I would go back 2 years ago and tell myself to just love him and take it one step at a time.

Humor Therapy

Humor therapy is the use of humor to reduce stress, relieve pain, & promote healing.  Smiling and laughing offer therapeutic benefits and enhance overall well-being. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Use Your Imagination

Take a break from it all!

Imagine that you're resting here.

Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate!

Image taken from wayfaring.info

Ronata Bryant

1.  How far along are you in your pregnancy?  

7 1/2 months. :)
2.  Do you have any other children?  How many?  

If yes, how does this pregnancy differ from the others?  If no, do you plan to have more children? Gosh. Yes. I have two stepchildren. Ari is 11. Kam is 6. I gave birth to Caiden and he is 2. This pregnancy will most definitely be my last. Our house might explode otherwise.

3.  How did you prepare for this pregnancy?  

Ha! This pregnancy was a total surprise. The good thing is that I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight and had really great eating/workout habits.

4.  What do you wish you would have known before becoming pregnant?  

To pass on those few glasses of wine....

5.  Are you cared for by a physician or midwife?  Why?  

I have a physician. I had spinal surgery in 06 so I have to be monitored pretty closely. Besides, my physician made labor and delivery such an awesome experience the first time, I couldn't imagine doing it again without her.

6.  Do you plan to have a hospital or homebirth?  Why?  

Hospital. It was just the best fit for me. The idea of homebirth freaks me out a little.

7.  Do you desire to have a natural labor and delivery or do you plan to receive medication? 

Medication all the way. I have BIG babies.

8.  Do you have a birth plan? No. Is that bad? 

I never want to overprepare.I just go with whatever's best for my baby at the time. I just try to relax and take it one minute at a time.

9.  How have you taken care of your health and wellness since becoming pregnant? 

Yes. I'm much more healthy this time around. I'm also much more active.

10.  Have you had any complications with this pregnancy?

Yeah. A few issues with my iron and hip, but nothing major.

11.  What do you do to relax and relieve stress or discomfort? 

Sit on the couch and zone out. Play with the kids.

12.  What do you enjoy most about being pregnant?  

Definitely not a fan of pregnancy. LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids. Pregnancy not so much.

13.  What is your least favorable thing about being pregnant?  

Pelvic pain. Again, I have big kids. However, insomnia is a close second.

14.  Are you involved in any pregnancy groups (in-person or online)? 

I lurk on BabyCenter boards....

15.  What advice would you share with other women who are pregnant or desire to be? 

Make it your own. Find what works for you.


Imagery is a relaxation practice that requires you to form a mental picture, or imagine a scenario, that is pleasant and promotes relaxation and healing.  Guided imagery uses a facilitator and images, to help guide your imagination.  Over time and with practice, you will be able to create these images for yourself, reducing stress, anxiety and improving your sense of well-being.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Parental Support

When I was pregnant, I came across this great website called Grandparents.com.  This site gives soon-to-be grandparents the chance to see how things have changed since they were parents.  It also helps families find creative ways to tackle challenging subjects while helping the entire family transition to their new role.

I love the New Grandparent Guide. This guide empowers new grandparents to get involved and provide support to their children in a way that uplifts them and minimizes family tension.  It also encourages new grandparents to remain true to themselves while embracing their new role.

We all want and need the support of our parents and family as we become parents, but we each have a unique style and desire varying levels of support.  Grandparents.com is a great way to connect with your family and find the tools you need to build stronger, healthier relationships.

Blessed: Living a Grateful Life

By Ellen Michaud

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vegetarian Penne Pasta

In anticipation of a great meal at the reception, I thought I'd share with you this recipe for Vegetarian Penne Pasta.  Enjoy!

Healthful Gift Giving

I'm attending a wedding today and my holistic living wheels are spinning. There so many gift ideas that are appropriate for both the bride & groom or as wedding favors.  Here are just a few that I've come up with. 

Healthful gifts promote the health and wellness of the recipient.  Get creative and always complement the well-being of others with any gift you give.

Friday, May 20, 2011

DaShe' F.

DaShe' F.

1.  How many children do you have?

One Baby Girl

2.  Would you like to have more children?  How many or why not?

I would consider having one more child once Kylee is a little older.  If I could have a boy the second time then that would be great!

3.  What do you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?

I wish I would have known that even if I sat and listened to everyone else's pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post pregnancy stories, my experience would ultimately be MY EXPERIENCE.  My pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post pregnancy stories were by far different than many other people's stories that I had heard.  So now when people ask me for advice or ask me about my labor and delivery experience, I tell them about it but I also tell them that theirs will be a totally different ball game.  We are all different!

I also wish someone would have told me that it was alright to not know something.  In the beginning, I would just cry, because I felt clueless about certain things, even after reading three books while pregnant.  My biggest challenge in the beginning was breastfeeding.  It was hard because I didn’t have all the answers, no one in my family breastfed and I just felt flat out clueless.  On top of all that I felt like if I didn’t breastfeed my baby, then I would have let her down.  That pressure alone (on top of the baby blues) was enough for me.  Now I know that it is okay to not know everything.

Lastly, I wish that someone would have told me that every day brings a new challenge when you are a new mother.  You just have to roll with the punches!

4.  What are the tasks that you wish someone else would regularly do for you?

I wish somebody would finish filling out my graduate school application and write my letter of intent for grad school for me.  I also wish someone would apply for jobs for me and fix my resume to appropriately go with each job.  I try to complete all this stuff at work on top of doing my actually work because I know once I pick up my daughter, my agenda is thrown out the window.

5.  How did you take care of your health and wellness during pregnancy?

I walked a whole lot when I was pregnant.  I would walk a lot at work just because of the type of job I had at the time, but I would also walk when I got home.  I was definitely a walker.  I also watched what I ate.  I was afraid to eat ANYTHING that I thought would potentially harm my baby.  I was a worry wart at times.  Always thinking about what would help or harm my baby.  I would also read pregnancy books, one of my favorites being Dr. Oz's book and I would pray a lot.  I can honestly say that prayer carried me through my entire pregnancy.  It was not easy in the beginning...

6.  Did you have the labor and delivery experience that you desired?  If not, what would have improved your experience?

I would have to say that my labor and delivery story turned out to be awesome.  Nothing went as planned but I think that is what made it so great.  My baby girl was two weeks early.  I went to the hospital only expecting them to send me back home and say I was having Braxton Hicks contractions.  Well, when I got there, to my surprise I was already 7.5-8 centimeters dilated.  The pain wasn't at all what I expected.  I always said that I would get an epidural, but I didn’t even end up getting one.  I was still able to get an epidural at the time even being so far dilated but I felt like if I had went so far without one that I could make it the rest of the way. I went all natural!  No meds whatsoever. 
My nurses were amazing too!!  They really helped my overall experience.

7.  How have you taken care of your health and wellness since becoming a mother?

Since becoming a mother, I try to eat right for many reasons, but the main reason being because I breastfeed my baby and I want her to get all the proper nutrition that she needs.  I will admit that I don’t workout and walk as much as I should because honestly I am still juggling all the changes within my life.  I’m a single mom, so I do many things on my own and finding time to actually go and workout is tedious.  Once the weather breaks, I do plan on going to the park often and walking with my baby.  That will get me back in the swing of things.

8.  Are you involved in any mommy groups (in-person or online)?

No, I am not officially a member of any mommy groups.  I would really like to be, I just haven't ran into any.

9.  What do you do to relax?

I love to cuddle, so my relaxation is cuddling up with my baby girl and just laying there with her or even watching a little tv with her.  Some other forms of relaxation for me are cooking and shopping.  They are stress relievers and they calm me...  I can be really stressed out and go to the mall and just look around and that will relax me.  Now it may hurt my pockets a little bit but at least I feel better!

10.  What advice do you have for new and expecting moms?

For expecting moms: Enjoy every bit of your pregnancy as much as possible.  The 9 months go by so fast, even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes.  Also, know that just because you are getting bigger and bigger by the day, you are indeed beautiful.  Someone told me that being pregnant was the most beautiful a women can be and I carried that throughout my pregnancy.

For new moms: Make sure you have a strong support system.  Being a new mom can be overwhelming as well as stressful at times.  Having a strong support system can be such a humongous reliever.  Knowing that you have someone that will be there is the best feeling ever.  Also, I would say enjoy every second, every minute, and every hour that you get with your baby.  The time goes by so fast and they grow up so quick.

11.  What is the best thing about being a mommy?

Honestly for me it is having that unconditional love.  I know my daughter loves me just as much as I love her.  She has learned how to kiss, so randomly she will give me a big juicy/slobbery kiss and it just makes my heart smile.  Motherhood can be hard sometimes, but it is one of the greatest blessings God can give a woman.  I feel privileged.

12.  What is the most challenging part about being a mom?

The most challenging part for me is when my baby is crying and I either don't know what's wrong or make the situation better.  It hurts me.  I never want her to be sad, cry, or anything of that such in my perfect world, but I know that is not realistic.  I also find it hard to have a little bit of time for just myself.  I feel like my baby is with me 24/7 and people tell me that is solely my fault.  I never really ask anyone to watch her, for one because I am very over protective of her and I feel like no one will do for her or treat her like I do.  Another reason is because I just feel like she is my responsibility and she is my world and even when I am at my last straw, she is still there.  I know this can be a terrible way to be sometimes and I work daily on opening up my mouth and asking, "Hey can you watch her...?" but it all takes time and someday I will be there.

13.  Please share any additional story or detail related to your pregnancy or motherhood. 

There have been so many lessons I have learned on this journey of a first time mom.  One of my biggest hurdles was postpartum depression a.k.a "baby blues".  For the first two to three months of my daughter’s life, I suffered terribly.  I would cry and cry and cry and cry and I couldn't form into words the full reason of why I was crying.  I knew some of it but the rest was a blur.  I just CRIED.  It was horrible.  I began to think my baby was feeling what I was feeling because she in turn would cry too.  I had to do something.  I had to get things under control and get myself together.  My mother offered me, many of times, the opportunity to go and see someone about it.  I turned the idea down because I felt like I could handle it on my own and no one could tell me what was wrong with me if I couldn't tell myself.  One particular day though, I decided that that just may be the best idea for me.  Things had got out of hand, I needed someone (outside of my family and friends) to listen to me.  I went and seen a nurse for a few weeks, along with talking to my spiritual mentor and I tell you I made a total 360 turn around.  I would have to tell women to not be afraid to talk to someone if they are suffering with postpartum depression.  Sometimes issues can't be solved alone.  It is a very common illness and it can be hard to tackle.  Talk to someone, pick up your face, and keep it moving.  It's such a RELEASE.

Financial Fitness

As a new Stay at Home Mom and Small Business Owner, my relationship with money has changed drastically over the past year.  I have to be more calculating and creative with the way I allocate my dollars and recognize how this new correlation is affecting me.

Yes, even our finances can affect our health and wellness.  Let’s face it, money does not equal happiness, but it does give us options.  We need to make wise financial decisions and clear up previous monetary mistakes.  Undesirable financial situations can weigh heavily upon us and take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being.  This ultimately affects our sense of balance and may also affect our physical and spiritual wellness.

We want to give our children the best, teach them to use money wisely, & have enough left over to treat ourselves to something nice.  Check out this great resource that I use to keep me financially fit:

A Community of Women who talk Money.

“In early 2009, Amanda Steinberg founded DailyWorth to build a trusted platform for women to learn about money management. DailyWorth was born out of a shocking realization that we women need solid advice – dished up in their own language – to get on top of our personal finances and work toward what we like to call “money harmony”.

But beyond the tactical steps to move the needle in your bank account, DailyWorth seeks to empower women around the topic of finance—to replace the negative, defeated thoughts with positive, empowering ones—by providing an open and honest community of women who talk money. DailyWorth has become the leading website connecting thousands of women nationwide—from all walks of life—around their money.”taken directly from the About page of DailyWorth

Know Your Worth!

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