Time to lose weight Mama

When I became a mother, my entire world changed. You hear this cliche all the time; the world had never been brighter until there was you- but what is not so often shared about are the shadows of motherhood. Shadows so vast and dark you get lost, and find yourself forgetting who you were before motherhood and lost as a mother now. What does a lost mom do? They research. And what do you find? A hundred ways to be better. A hundred ways to be someone else. A hundred ways you compare yourself and find yourself in competition with women and children you’ve never met and know nothing about. A hundred pounds of guilt you carry while on this journey. And it’s time to lose the weight. It’s time to unpack the unnecessary baggage weighing you down, so that your arms can be free to hold this little baby that is so unaware of the world that surrounds us.

So how does a mom find herself again? Evolving naturally from the woman she was before to the one she is now in a way that feels like growth & maturity and not abandonment?

Step One. Evaluate and support your current mental health. Are you experiencing postpartum baby blues? Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, or Psychosis? Or are you just exhausted, unsure, and lacking self care? Give an honest assessment of yourself.

Step Two. Evaluate your physical health. Are you drinking lots of water? Going outside? Eating balanced nutrient rich meals? THIS was my biggest postpartum failure. I struggled to eat anything but fast food & quick sugary carbs like muffins, cereal, and PB&J’s. My husband was working around the clock, I had no family around, and I was in survival mode. It was destroying my mental health because my nursing body desperately needed more protein, fruits and vegetables. The solution to my problems ended up being vegan protein shakes and smoothies, and my mental health improved drastically within 3 days. It literally felt like I was resurrected from the dead and it makes all the difference.

Step Three. TALK about it with someone who loves you and whose values you respect. If you feel safe you can be vulnerable, because it will take vulnerability to heal.

Step Four. Internally process through fine art. That doesn’t necessarily mean painting- by playing music, dancing, reading, writing, crafting, singing- it doesn’t even have to be good, but expressing yourself through a creative outlet can create awareness to the internal pain you didn’t even know was there. That insight will help you figure out what you need.

Step Five. Seperate yourself. Motherhood felt ALL consuming; who am I now but a mom? When I began a project that had nothing to do with the baby- something completely separate from all things related to motherhood, I felt like I was reviving the parts of myself from the past that I was worried were lost. It is healthy to carry over important quirky aspects of yourself from your past to your present. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to investing in the parts of you that make you “you”- weather that’s a hobby, going back to work, traveling- whatever you loved before you were a mom still has a place in your life, it just may look different.

Step Six. Surround yourself in Community. Maybe Church, a Mom’s Club, a tight knit group of friends, a Hobby, a Team– any group that you feel energized, valued, challenged, excited, and cared for. Online communities are great, but nothing can compare to in person.

Step Seven. If you have past trauma either before motherhood or because of the birth, it’s time to unpack with a professional. This is a very sensitive time. Bringing a child into the world triggers various past fears and insecurities. These are not things you’ll want to intentionally teach to your child and they are not enjoyable to live with. Speaking as someone who’s been previously diagnosed with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety- it’s a very kind thing to do for yourself to set up appointments with someone who specializes specifically with postpartum care. Even just a few sessions can eliminate or better prepare you for some of these trials.

Step Eight. Celebrate. Celebrate what you have done. Celebrate your growing family. Celebrate with your husband that you’re now parents. Celebrate your baby. Celebrate in a way that is meaningful to you, and is not about appearances. If you’re taking photos or organizing parties to get approval from someone else- you’re robbing yourself. What do YOU find meaningful, fun, rejuvenating, life giving, sweet & natural? Do those things and don’t worry about trends- you’re creating moments for you and your kids, not for followers.

Step Nine. It’s not the most fun, but set boundaries. You do not have the same capacity you did before. Boundaries are there to protect you mentally, physically, emotionally, socially. If there is a toxic person, unhealthy habit, something that is making you sick or stealing all your time and energy; time to create a healthier safer space for you and your baby to thrive.

Step Ten. Breath. Our most basic, essential need is oxygen- more than water, food, exercise or love. Just because it is simple and automatic, does not mean it’s not of the utmost importance. Be conscience of taking deep breaths- holding them- and then sighing out. It will help your vital organs, your brain, and your mood. It’s no secret you are under a lot of stress- and there’s no shame in that! Breathing exercises will help you manage your stress- so just take a minute now and take in 3 deep breaths. You’ve got this mama. You really do.

I hope these 10 ways to lose some of the weight dragging you down in motherhood are helpful. Motherhood is hard, but do what you can to make it easier, lighter, healthier and more fun! The only thing I want you to feel the weight of, is how full of love your heart is and how heavy your chunky little baby your baby is getting because every day they are growing stronger, and so are you mama. So are you.

Meet Brianna of Lake Nona Car Seat Cleaning Company

Hair ties. Cheerios. Stickers. Sticky candies. These are just some of the items lurking underneath the cushions & covers that your littles sit on. Stained, dirty, disgusting- but not for long! Time for you to know about the cleaning company that all parents need!

Brianna is the owner of Lake Nona Car Seat Cleaning. She provides overnight cleaning services for all child car seats, strollers, wagons, diaper bags and kids chairs around Orlando Florida. The best part? Pick up and drop off are FREE! All items are cleaned according to their specific manufacturer guidelines.

Brianna started her business in June of 2021 during the pandemic and while raising her 2yr old daughter and finishing her masters- What a BOSS! “I just received my Masters in Business Administration and have always wanted to start my own business, so I decided to finally dream big!” Brianna says.

Brianna and her daughter Sophia

However being a business owner and a mother is not easy! According to Brianna the hardest part is dealing with moments of exhaustion, but the gratitude and satisfaction of doing what she loves keeps her motivated.

Brianna’s advice for new moms is, “Don’t forget to focus on your mental, emotional, and physical well begin”. And for moms who want to start their own business she says, “Just go for it. Be patient, work hard, and believe in yourself”.

Brianna has two babies; One in heaven and her toddler Sophia. Her favorite thing to do is just enjoying the simplicity of an ordinary day at the park.

You can support Brianna by following her social media @lakenonacarseatcleaning on Instagram and Facebook. To view services, pricing and to book an appointment go directly to http://www.lakenonacarseatcleaning.com. Don’t forget to share this post on your mom’s groups and personal page to spread the word about this hard working mom’s business!

I have personally used Lake Nona Car Seat Cleaning company a couple times- especially while potty training… I was so impressed with how easy it was! To leave filthy car seats on my porch, drag my tired body to bed and then wake up to brand new looking seats is about as close to a magic as I could ever hope for.

Great work Brianna! May your story continue to inspire other moms, like myself to work hard and dream big as you have done.

Central Florida Easter Egg Hunt List 2022

Need help knowing where the Easter Bunny is hiding all the eggs this year?

Check out this list of Easter Egg hunts happening around Central Florida!

1Up Fitness Winter Park Egg Hunt April 2nd

Sponsored by 1Up Fitness (awesome kickboxing gym) this egg hunt is FREE, but you have to sign up NOW because there are only a few spots open in the afternoon (3pm & 4pm)! Over 500 eggs will be hunted, and some will earn you cash prizes! The Easter Bunny will also be ready for free pictures! Find more information through this LINK: Winter Park Egg Hunt

EGGceptional Family Festival April 9th

Of COURSE Oviedo on the Park (Center Lake Park) is having an EGGceptional egg hunt from 9am-noon. There will be food trucks, classic games such as three legged races & potato sack contests, face painting, coloring stations, activity tables, and musical entertainment by Mr. Harley. I even heard the Easter Bunny will be there to take pictures with all the kids! Wristbands are only $10 and will include all activities. For more information click on this LINK: Oviedo on the Park Easter Family Festival

Hoppy Hunting in Atwood Farms April 9th

As if an egg hunt isn’t entertainment enough, Atwood Farms in Eustis has pulled out all the stops! Relay races, jump pads, Bubble barn, ball zone, hayride, cow train- the list goes on! Did I mention you can also pick blueberries & sunflowers? This is your sign to get that cute IG sunflower field picture you’ve always wanted. Gemstone mining is also available for a small fee! How cool is that? Admission is $5 online or $7 at the gate for you spontaneous folk. Two & under are free! Admission covers most activities including the egg hunts of all ages 2-18yrs old (in separate categories) & Easter Bunny pictures. At 10am a local Pastor will even share the story of Easter about somebunny who loves you very much. All around, seems like a lot of fun for everyone! The event is from 10am-5pm and you can check out more here. LINK: Atwood Farms Egg Hunts

Porte Park Egg Hunt in Sanford April 9th

The Easter Bunny will be in Porte Park from 12-2pm to take pictures and have lots of Easter egg hunt fun! This FREE event includes cupcakes, prizes, and beverages for the kiddos. Register using this LINK: Sanford Egg Hunt

GREEN ACRES FARM Spring Festival April 10th

There will be farm animals, activites, and of course EGG HUNTS galore at the Green Acres Spring Festival! General admission is $5 for those not participating in the egg hunt, and $10 for those that are. *You MUST purchase tickets in advanced!* There is even an egg hunt for ADULTS! NOW you’re talking!! You can find out more details through this link on pricing & more! LINK: Green Acre Egg Hunt

Central Winds Park April 16th

This egg hunt is FREE but only for Winter Spring Residents. Here is the link to more information on times. LINK: Winter Springs Egg Hunt

Magic 107.7 Egg Hunt & Bunny Breakfast April 16th

Downtown in Longwood’s Historic District you can enjoy a fun egg hunt where kids locate different numbered eggs and turn in a sheet for a goodybag! Not only will you get pictures with the Easter Bunny, but you can also dine with him too! From 9-10:30am enjoy an all you can eat pancake breakfast, $9 for adults, $7 for kids & free for kids 2 and under! Best part? It’s got AC. This is a FREE event for the whole family (unless you take advantage of that amazing breakfast deal!). Find more information through this LINK: Longwood Bunny Breakfast

INDOOR Egg Hunt in Orlando April 16th

Rain or Shine it’s Egg Hunting time! The Orlando Mom Collective is partnering with the XL Soccer World Lake Nona to give you the ultimate egg hunt experience. Tickets are $15/child and include the egg hunt, photo booth, soccer experience, goodbag and more! Sign up for an egg hunt between 1:45-3:30 pm, and it won’t matter that it’s in the afternoon because you’ll be in the AC! Genius! You can tell mom’s put this together. Secure your spot through this Link: Indoor Orlando Egg Hunt

Bunny HOP 5K & Egg Hunt in Lake Baldwin April 16th

Want to balance eating all those chocolate eggs with something a bit more active? Hop on down to Harbor Park and join the 5K! All proceeds will be donated to the college funds of kids who lost their parents working on construction sites. It’s a great cause and should be a lot of fun with the added egg hunts & other festivities. Runners are also encouraged to make it more festive with costumes and Easter outfits! LINK: Information on Bunny Hop 5K

Easter Elegance Brunch Alfond Inn April 17th

Feeling fancy? Enjoy a delicious Easter Buffet style Brunch at the Alfond Inn for $69 for adults, $29 for kids 5-12, and 4yrs old & under complimentary. Kids will be released for an egg hunt while you can indulge in the true meaning of “all you can eat”. Fun fact, after an Easter Brunch in Vegas 2015 my husband nicknamed me Shrek- and that was BEFORE kids. I’m nursing now, so I know I will get my $69 worth. Stand back folks, you’re about to see something special. If you see a mom with a messy bun & stretchy pants at the Alfond Inn on Easter, it’s me. Click here to see the mouth watering menu & get tickets. Hurry! They sell out fast! LINK: Alfond Inn Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt Tickets

Hospital Bag Checklist

Time is flying and soon enough you’ll be bringing your bundle of joy home!

Here is a checklist of everything you’ll want to have in your hospital GO bag!

  • For Mama
    • MOST IMPORTANT: Earth Mama Perineal Balm & Spray. If you can only get one, get the balm- postpartum savior!! LINK: Amazon Perineal Balm
    • Chapstick & Lotion (hospitals can be dry)
    • Comfortable Nursing shirt or any old Tank Top
    • stretchy pants/ sweatpants
    • pajamas
    • Nursing Bra (Motherhood Maternity Wrap Bralettes are my favorite)
    • Nursing pads (cause sometimes your boobs leak, especially after a hot shower)
    • Eye Mask (So you can sleep anytime)
    • Lollipops (before baby is born)
    • Favorite snacks (after baby is born)
    • Depends (adult diaper) or large pads for postpartum bleeding
    • Slippers/ Aloe socks
    • Phone Charger
    • Toiletries (Shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant- try to get unscented versions if possible- newborns can be very sensitive to smell)
    • Hospital Pictures
      • Make up
      • Hair Brush/ Hair ties
      • Cute Outfit (Flowy Dress)
      • Special Jewelry (*cough, husbands this would be a great gift *cough)
  • For Baby:
    • Baby hat (very important to keep baby warm!)
    • *Mom Hack*–> NO Baby Mittens YES Baby SOCKS! (socks stay much better on little newborn hands than mittens do)
    • Baby ELECTRIC nail filer! (Cause some babies, like mine, are born with claws, and you don’t want them to scratch themselves) Electric is better so you don’t accidently clip their skin because their fingers are SO tiny. LINK: Electric Nail Filer
    • Nasal Aspirator, SO much easier than the suction bulb. LINK: Nasal Asipirator
    • 3 Zip Up Pajamas Newborn Size & Premie Size
    • 2 Different kind of Swaddles (Good options: Swaddle Me, Merlin’s Magic Sleep Sack, The Nestled Bean, Muslin Blanket)
    • Pacifiers (WubbaNub, Maam, classic)
    • 2 Cute Outfits (for pictures)
    • Boppy Pillow (for nursing)
    • Lovey or Special item (no blankets though!)
    • Check ahead if hospital provides diapers & wipes (many do)
  • For Daddy:
    • SNACKS & beverages.
    • Pillow & blanket (hospital may provide)
    • Folder (for important documents)
    • Clothes
    • Toiletries
    • Phone Charger
  • Other Ideas/Items:
    • Special photo props (like a Welcome baby banner)
    • Sign for special message “Thank You”, “I made that”, “Forever my Always”-etc.
    • Stationary to write a special letter to your baby to read on their 18th birthday
    • A Journal to process all the feels
    • Prenatal Vitamins
    • A book (but honestly I would spend as much time sleeping as possible)
    • Don’t forget your medication
    • Baby Book (put footprint & record special moments)
    • Nursing Cover (Only if you want but NOBODY will care, so don’t feel like you need to cover up)
    • Champagne (although if nursing you may only get a couple sips in).

Focus on the practical items you’ll need for postpartum healing, keeping your baby comfortable & your husband fed with snacks. The special props are cute, but you will have plenty of more glamorous photoshoot opportunities when you leave the hospital.

LEFT is after the birth of my first baby.
The RIGHT is right after my second.
You can see the difference of how exhausting, overwhelming & difficult the first experience was compared to the second.

Your body is about to do something INCREDIBLE, and it’s completely normal to feel so in love but ALSO like you got hit by a train & then handed a screaming baby. It’s a wonderful time but it’s also very physically painful & exhausting, so don’t have the unrealistic expectations of the hospital being a photo booth opportunity. The most important part is the safety of you and your baby.

Again, please- from one mama to another, if you plan to give birth vaginally do yourself the big favor and get the Earth Mama Perineal Balm and Spray. It will help ease the pain and bring much needed relief to your lady parts.

Let’s hear from other mamas! What was the most essential item that YOU packed in your hospital bag? What would you add to this list?

ULTIMATE Kid Friendly St. Patty’s To Do List

If you’re lucky enough to spend St. Patrick’s Day with young kiddos, here are some fun ideas for you!

  1. Start the Morning off with Shamrock Pancakes! Simply by adding green food coloring to the pancake mix you can turn an ordinary breakfast into a fun holiday treat! Make a shamrock either by making 3 small pancakes & a line for the stem and arranging them into a clover- or if you want to get real fancy you can form it right in the pan using a squeeze bottle.
  2. Hide Plastic Gold Coins in the house or the backyard for a fun & simple game. You can find these coins at the dollar store, target, walmart or online easily. Here’s a link: Fake Gold Coins
  3. Make a sweet keepsake by painting your kiddo’s feet green & making a 4 leaf clover! You can add the message “So Lucky to Have You” underneath along with the date. This would make a cute surprise for grandma & grandpa or spring decor for your living room.
  4. “Riverdance” in the safety nonjudgmental zone of your living room! It’ll be a fun way to get a workout for you & burn some energy for your kids! Here’s a 2 hour playlist of pleasant celtic music to jump around to: 2 Hours St. Patty Music
  5. Make RAINBOW fruit popsicles OR fruit kabobs! Cocomelon even has an entire song about it that you can play to get them excited. Link: Cocomelon Rainbow Popsicles
    • To make the popsicles you will need
      • Fruit of various colors of the rainbow (and maybe some food dye if you want the colors to be more vibrant). I suggest strawberries, orange juice, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries (with blue food coloring) and purple grape juice
      • You will also want a popsicle ice tray like this: Popsicle Freezer Mold
      • You need to add the fruit one at a time, freezing each layer for at least 30 minutes (in order to see the rainbow layers), so this is a fun activity to do throughout the day, but not in one sitting.
    • To make a fruit kabob you just need skewers and the cut up fruit. It’s less time consuming, however I would advise the popsicles for YOUNGER kids, and the skewers for OLDER calmer kids because the sticks very sharp points.
    • If you don’t have popsicle trays, spend too much time or want to risk it with sharp objects, just making a rainbow fruit salad is also a great option!
  6. Here’s a fun video for kids to stomp and clap in rhythm while learning a little bit about St. Patrick. St. Patrick Percussion Video
  7. Make a Shepherd’s Pie together! Here’s a link to my favorite youtube chef Laura Vitale (also a new mama) : Shepherd’s Pie
  8. Make LEPRECHAUN juice! This is a sneaky way to get some fruits & veggies in. Add 1 green apple, 1 handful of spinach, juice of 1 lime, kiwi, some ice and 1/4 cup of water to a blender. It’ll be sweet from the kiwi & apple- but if you need to sweeten it a little more you can add a pinch of apple juice or more apple. Make some for yourself too!
  9. Visit Irish 31 for Dinner & get some Irish Stew or fish n chips! Happy Hour is from 3-7pm, the patio is Pet Friendly so you can bring Sparky too, AND you can enter your kiddo into a coloring contest to win a $50 gift card! The server will provide your little with paper to color while you dine in, the contest ends 3/20/2022. Visit their website for more information of the Oviedo location: https://irish31.com/paddyfest/
  10. Tell the story of St. Patrick, there’s a reason he’s a saint! Here’s a short two minute informative video made for kids that talks about who Saint Patrick was and explains the significance of clovers & the color green. It mentions prayer & faith since he was a priest. Kids 2min Video Intro to Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick was captured at 16, enslaved for 6 years, escaped, and then came back to Ireland as a free man to spread faith, hope & love with such an impact that the entire country memorialized him with a holiday that we still acknowledge today.

A lot of us don’t feel so lucky with all the recent events- but come to think about it, Saint Patrick didn’t have such a “lucky” life either did he.

With so much going on in the world today, I think it is the hope of many parents that our children would be strong enough to overcome great obstacles and still show kindness to everyone. Today is not about fictional leprechauns & finding pots of gold- it’s about a real man who made a big difference with little clovers and a compassionate heart. We don’t need a lot to make a big difference, we just need to care a lot. Take time to share your values today with your kids while having a good time today. By raising a strong and caring child you will honor Saint Patrick’s memory best. Cheers.

10 Tips for Lonely Mamas

There is a lot of joy in motherhood, but it can also be quite lonely for a multitude of reasons.

Perhaps you’re a very “out & about” social person and now you struggle to leave the house?

Maybe all your friends are in a different stage of life, and you find yourself feeling disconnected as the only one with a baby?

Maybe you’ve just moved cities and feel awkward making new friends during such a vulnerable season of life?

Here are some tips to help.

  1. Take 30 minutes a day to express your loneliness in a creative way.
    • Before you just jump into “fixing” your loneliness, take the time to process the root of these feelings. Imagine a tree. Loneliness may be the rotten fruit you want to get rid of, but in order to really deal with it you need to get to the root. Art is an amazing way to gain insight processing your roots. You can either take the time to do this while the baby is napping- OR even better, do it WITH your baby.
      • Play your musical instrument for them, paint next to them (or with them if they’re old enough!), dance with them, sing to them- this is a wonderful stage where you get to focus not only on your baby, but on yourself as well.
  2. Take a walk in a public place.
    • Sometimes I just felt lonely because I was often in the house alone. Don’t stay cooped up, go take a walk in a public park or trail! Walking stimulates the brain to process thoughts and emotions better as well, and getting a daily dose of Vitamin D will benefit you and your baby. It’s such a simple but highly effective way to socialize yourself AND your baby! The public park is also a natural habitat for other mama’s, so if you’re looking to make new friends, this is a good place to start.
  3. Download the Peanut App.
    • Peanut is a free app that is basically online dating for moms in your area. It sounds a bit awkward, but it’s a really great way to meet other moms. You download a picture of yourself, write a short blurb about your interests, and if you click on a mom that also clicks on you- it’s a match and you enter into an online chat where you can talk about motherhood and set up playdates at your own discretion. As with any online meet n greet, disclose as little personal information as possible and always meet in a public place. I’ve met several great moms this way!
  4. Join a mom’s group.
    • If you’d rather jump right in and meet a bunch of moms in person, check out what local mom groups are in your area! Not going to lie, it can be a little tricky trying to have a conversation while your little monkey is swinging on something they shouldn’t, but that is also the beauty of mom groups- you’re all in the chaos together. When you put a group of tired moms and crazy kids together, there’s a sense of comradery–We’re all in this together! Even if this is really difficult for you, it’s a really great way to help your baby socialize so give it a shot! Typically mom groups also include “mom’s night out” opportunities to build friendships without being interrupted for snacks.
  5. Invite them INTO the mess.
    • I love going OUT with my friends, but after having a baby there were plenty of days going out felt like an impossible task- and of course, those were also the days I needed a friend the most. In hindsight I wished I invited more friends into my messy home, but I didn’t dare because I felt insecure by the state of my house, the state of my hair, the state of my LIFE. I am a hot mess mama for sure, and in the beginning there was a bit of shame realizing motherhood wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined. Let your pride take a hike, and invite your friends over, because if they’re truly your friends they will understand that this is a vulnerable season and want to be in it with you. In motherhood don’t waste your time on “Fair Weather Friends” because there are storms headed your way, and you’ll want friends you can depend on.
  6. Video Chat!
    • Maybe inviting people into your mess is still a big step for you- so a smaller step could be to facetime! It’s silly how easy our phones make it to connect with people all over the globe. Use it! Also a great way for people to see the baby & if you need a quick exit, what’s quicker than hitting a red button to hang up!
  7. Conserve your energy & invest in a few relationships
    • Sometimes the loneliness is simply just feeling overwhelmed that there is not enough of you to go around. Rather than trying to maintain all your relationships at the same level as before, it’s ok to just invest in 1, 2, or 3 people to be your support system right now. Give yourself grace, you’ve got a lot to handle, but it is not making your load lighter to isolate yourself from everyone. So pick a few people who love you, are low drama, and you feel empowered by. Maybe it’s someone who’s always been there for you (like your mom or high school bestie), or someone you would like to get to know better (like a sister-in-law who had a baby or new mom friend).
  8. Communicate your needs clearer
    • Figure out what you need for support in this season- a safe place to vent, a knowledgeable mama role model, a nonjudgmental hot mess friend, someone who doesn’t know what it’s like but always makes you laugh, someone who prays over you, someone who brings wine over– make a list of what you need and if there’s someone already in your life that fits, and reach out & communicate how they can be there for you. That last part is very important, TELL THEM why and how you need them, because there’s a good chance they don’t know unless you do.
      • Be specific like, “I just need a safe place to vent, but I’m a bit burnt out on all the mom advice- could you come over & just lend me your ear? You’re such a great listener and that’s what I need right now”.
      • OR “Ever since I had the baby, I feel like I’ve lost myself. Can we just talk about stuff unrelated to motherhood? I just need a mental break, maybe come over & let’s watch that new movie?”
      • Or “Dude, this baby has not slept more than 20 minutes for the past 3 days and I need your mama wisdom- can you help me research reasons why and come over to help for an hour or so? I haven’t had a hot meal since Thursday!”
    • The more specific you are about what you need, the better. They may not be reaching out because they don’t know how to help.
  9. Find a Friend in your Partner
    • Having a baby can easily put a strain on your relationship because you’re both settling into your new roles as parents. Like a boat on the sea you can easily drift away without even realizing it. The best way to stay together is making sure your partnership is anchored by friendship. Make date night a priority- even if you can’t leave the house. My friends love to do a puzzle & take out on their date nights. I’m more into watching scary movies, beating my husband at strategic board games, & eating all the sugary things I don’t want our kids to see. It’s important to continue to do things that you did before you had kids and invest in what makes you laugh and feel energized.
  10. Get to know your new baby bestie
    • It’s so important to build that bond & friendship with your babies. Don’t feel guilty that it doesn’t happen naturally. I loved my baby right away, but I was terrified & uncomfortable at the beginning, and that’s totally normal! (A LOT of moms feel guilty about that, but it’s no indication of how close you and your baby will be).
      • Talk to your baby about everything. Even though your baby may not be able to understand, it is vital for their development to hear & watch you talk. Just be mindful of what you say and how you say it- scientific studies show that positive and negative words do have a physical effect on their subjects such as plants & rice. Here’s a short 2min snippet of the original rice experiment. Link: Power of Words
      • Continue to invest in your hobbies and try to include your baby. If you love music, give your baby a rattle to play along with you. Read YOUR favorite books to your baby, the story can be for your enjoyment, your baby will be enjoying the quality time and interesting tonations of your voice.
      • Take your baby to your favorite spots! Get yourself your favorite ice-cream, cruise around your favorite store, go to the beach, sing your favorite songs- and as your baby grows up you can continue to share those moments- although the books, the songs, the places & the activities may not be your favorites anymore but their favorites, the bond of doing them together will become your new favorite.

I hope these tips encourage you to make new friends & bring you closer to the loved ones already in your life. All moms need a support system. Best wishes on growing yours. Which tip or tips will you try?

March Family Friendly Events in Greater Orlando 2022

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and Spring is in the air! Time to get the family out and have some fun! Here are some events to check out in the Greater Orlando area this month.

Dinosaur & Dragon Stroll March 5th & 6th.

Have a little one obsessed with large carnivorous lizards? Head over to Daytona for the Dinosaur & Dragon stroll happening March 5th & 6th only! This is a unique event that is both educational and fun! Purchase your ticket ahead of time here for various showtimes. LINK: Dino & Dragon Stroll Ticket Booth Veterans and children under 2 get in for free, all other ages are $26.99.

Storytime at Central Florida Zoo March 9th

This free event is hosted in Sanford at the Central Florida Zoo! Short and sweet from 10:00-10:30am before the sun is TOO hot, pre-school aged kids will enjoy storytime in the presence of animal friends at the zoo! Zoo admission is not included or required for this event, and kids 2 & under get in for free all year long! If the sun is strong, there is an awesome splash pad in the zoo (so back some extra clothes!) or if it’s raining, the event will be indoors! Find out more here: Storytime at the Zoo

Mall Scavenger Hunt March 14th

Did you know that the Kid’s Crew at the Oviedo Mall hosts scavenger hunts for kids once a month? They are sponsored by different partners who also provide a PRIZE to kids 12yrs & under who complete it! This month the hunt is on March 14th from anytime between 12-6pm and is for all kids under 12yrs! It is very toddler & stroller friendly; our daughter has participated since 18m old! This activity is FREE and you go at your own pace, which I appreciate. They make it easy to sign up & get the scavenger hunt print out right at the mall customer service. The entire hunt is indoors so rain or shine it’ll be a good time! Click here for more information: Mall Scavenger Hunt

St.Patty’s at the Park March 19th

This Free St.Patrick’s Day event is one you won’t want to miss! Hosted by Bangers and Mash at Oviedo on the Park you will enjoy dancing, live music, good food & entertainment for all ages! Bangers and Mash are partnering with the Byrne Brothers and Irish Step Dancers! The party is March 19th from 4-10pm. Time to get your green dancing shoes on! Find out more at OOTP St.Patty

4th St.Patty’s TRUCK pull March 19th

The Famous L Collective is hosting an event that gives you the opportunity to show off how big your muscles AND your heart are! Be the hero of your kid’s dreams and play Tug of War with a Fire Truck! You must form a team of 10 and enter the competition together for a total of $100 ($10 each) and ALL fees will be donated to the Special Needs Ability Program (SNAP). There will also be live music on stage, food trucks & craft vendors. The event is located in Sandford’s beautiful downtown with a variety of shops & restaurants to check out! Very stroller friendly. Email [email protected] to enter into the truck pull competition & learn more about this event here: Sanford Truck Pull

Kite Day March 19th

Let’s go fly a kite up to the highest height! March 19th from 10-2pm you and your littles can make & fly kites together at The Flagpole Lot in Avalon Park. There is a picnic area where you can enjoy homemade sandwiches or Chik-fil-a on a checkered blanket watching professional kite flyers work their magic. A quieter and more intimate way to spend the Saturday. Link: Kite Day

Honey Bee Spring Festival March 19th

What’s all that buzz? It’s the Black Hammock Spring Festival! Tons of kid friendly activities like decorating & planting spring flowers and decorating honey bee magnets! There will be food, drinks, plants & honey available for purchase from 11-3pm! There are so many wonderful benefits to honey; from honey tea, to honey facials- now’s your chance to stock up just in time for allergy season! It’ll be a fun event you won’t want to miss at the Bee Farm! (Unless you’re allergic- then maybe try the kite flying event 😅 ) Find out more here: Black Hammock Spring Festival

Mount Dora Spring Festival March 19th-20th

Crafts, flowers, baked goods, rustic decor, homemade jewelry- forget Spring cleaning, it’s time for a Spring Shopping Spree! Mount Dora is an adorable picturesque town but don’t ever underestimate their vendor markets! Over 250 handcrafters will set up shop for this weekend only, so don’t miss out! All ages will have a good time! www.MountDoraSpringFest.com or Mount Dora Spring Fest

28th Annual Taste of Oviedo March 26th

Hosted at the Oviedo Mall Parking Lot, this FREE event is all about food, and who doesn’t love to eat?! There are so many great family friendly restaurants in Oviedo, and here’s your chance to check them all out in one afternoon from 10am-6pm. There will also be a free kids play area sponsored by Oviedo City Church. Come on out & taste Oviedo! Find more info here: Taste of Oviedo

Meet Lorraynne of RLA Cleaning

Lorraynne is a Brazilian mother of two and started RLA Cleaning in 2017. Their company mainly focuses on cleaning residential homes. Lorraynne says that she would have never imagined starting her own company, but that God put it in her heart to do so.

“It is not easy to be a mom and own a business, but God helps me every day with that mission”.

Her passion is to help all moms with keeping their homes clean. (Because of course as a mom herself, she knows the struggle is real!) Not only did she start her own business in 2017, this was also when she welcomed her first baby into the world! She now has two children.

Her advice to new moms is this, “It is difficult but a blessing from God. If you want to start your own business as a mother, make sure to make a schedule that is possible for you to manage”.

During her free time with her kids, Lorraynne loves to read books to her kids.

Please check out this website for more information. www.rla-cleaning.com

Lorraynne is generouslly offering a 10% discount to everyone in Orange County, Oceola County, Seminole County, & Lake County who mentions this post! Now is your time to have a CLEAN home and support a fellow local mama’s business!

Don’t need your house cleaned at this time? Don’t forget the power of referrals! Like & share this post in support!

12 Things Partners CAN DO For New Moms

The arrival of your long awaited bundle of joy is an incredible experience unlike anything else. However, the transition can be difficult on new parents as they try to find balance in their new roles and responsibilities.

It’s a normal struggle to feel the frustration of unfairness on both sides. Moms may feel that there is too much pressure on them, whereas their partner feel out of place and helpless. A harsh combination of resentment and guilt can build up and create a toxic atmosphere threatening to poison this precious season with your new baby.

Here are 12 Practical Things PARTNERS can do to Help

  1. Keep mom hydrated
    • Either by keeping bottled water stocked & set up, or continually filling her water bottles you can help mama stay hydrated. This is especially important if she is breastfeeding. The #1 way to help keep milk supply up is drinking lots of water! Regardless, if she’s nursing or not (fed is best!)- her mind is so occupied taking care of the baby’s needs that she will often forget about her own most basic ones. It’s a simple but incredibly important way to serve her.
  2. Meal Prep/ Cook
    • One of the biggest struggles for a new mom is eating. The baby nurses so often that there is not much time to cook or eat meals. Helping mama by having ready made meals in the fridge or freezer is so helpful! My husband would make me smoothies for breakfast, and it was one of the kindest most helpful things. Tip: Try to avoid dairy as much as possible if nursing! Many newborns are very sensitive to dairy & caffeine.
  3. Take care of Appointments
    • Nobody talks about how many appointments need to be made right after a baby is born! Appointments for the birth certificate, postpartum check ups, pediatrician visits- dealing with dates & times while being incredibly sleep deprived is not fun! Sitting next to mama and setting up the appointments for her, while also inputting reminders in her phone/ calendar is a HUGE blessing.
  4. Do Baby Research
    • Ask mama if there is anything that you can research for her about the baby or herself. I had NO IDEA what to do as a parent, and the anxiety to research everything and sift through incredible amounts of information was so draining. When I began to delegate some research to my husband it took so much weight off mentally AND it also helped HIM feel much more involved in parenting our child. Through research we learned things together like when to add Vitamin D supplements for our baby, different sleep training options, what activities to do to help baby’s development-etc. It turned a very anxious task into a really fun way to discover more about our wonderful baby as a team.
    • A mother’s body goes through so much change, and women are notorious for not noticing the beautiful queens that they are. Postpartum is an especially difficult time for her because she’s too small for maternity clothes but too big for her regular wardrobe. Swollen, bloated, stretched, deflated, aching, healing, recovering, tired, in pain- there is a big physical toll, it’s not just vanity. Leave notes on her mirror that say “She’s Beautiful”. Look into her eyes and let her know how much you appreciate all her sacrifice. Tell her out loud that you are amazed by what she has done, and that she is strong and powerful. Tell her everyday how much you love her.
  6. Leave Little Gifts
    • What are her favorite snacks? Her favorite flowers? Favorite Take Out? If you set aside $20 every month while she is pregnant, this can be a little “Spoil Mama” budget for you to leave little surprises that can make all the difference on those extra hard days. It doesn’t have to be every day- even just once a week leaving her favorite candy next to the changing table with a note that says “You are amazing, thank you for taking care of our baby” will mean the world and remind her that you are thinking of her. If you REALLY want to get fancy, bring her family & friends in and gather little gifts with notes to leave for her throughout those first 3 months.
  7. Physical Tasks
    • Have dogs? Try to either walk them yourself when you can or hire a dog walker for the 6 weeks. Moms after birth or surgery have to take it easy, so the more physical tasks you can take care of, the better! Taking out the trash, bringing in groceries, carrying the laundry– this is your time to shine Hercules!
  8. Give her a MASSAGE
    • The baby may only weigh 7lbs, but trust me- after a couple hours it feels more like 70lbs. A shoulder, back & foot massage is ALWAYS welcome. Tip: Use all natural coconut oil instead of scented massage oil- the smell could upset the baby.
  9. Don’t ADD to her plate
    • Try to schedule as little as possible during those first 3 months, double check with her on any plans and be flexible in case you need to miss or reschedule. Her well being and the baby’s needs come first. Seeing family, attending events, trips, conferences, volunteering– if she’s not up for it, don’t push it. Go at HER speed and be patient. This is a special season that doesn’t need any additional seasoning.
  10. Take her picture
    • There are so many pictures of the baby, but not many of mama. Be sure to document this incredibly beautiful and selfless woman. If you see a moment that makes you smile, just take a second to capture it so it can keep you both smiling for years to come.
  11. Help Keep the House Clean
    • Why are the dishes piling up? Why is the toilet dirty? What is this spill on the counter and why hasn’t it been cleaned? Who left these candy wrappers on the couch? Your home may look like a raccoon moved in. Have grace- this is a season where mama is figuring the baby out, and it is the most important thing she can do. It’s understandable to not want to live with a racoon, but expect to help pick up around the house during this time, and try not to make comments. Maybe consider hiring help the first month or two if the mess is overwhelming- it’s understandable to budget paying for help if it means maintaining peace during a priceless time.
  12. Just ASK
    • Simply by asking her “How can I help you” shows that you are involved and supportive. If you struggle with forgetting, keep a note at your desk or by your bed with “Just Ask” written to help you remember.

I hope these tips are helpful for you and your partner to give grace and support one another during this unique and vulnerable time. Just remember this is just a temporary season! Baby’s needs change so quickly with time, they will get more and more independent and so will you. You will both find your new rhythm as a team to the beat of your baby’s heart, and so begins a new dance.

Which task would mean the most to you as a new mom? What does your partner do for you that is helpful? Share below!