How To Be A Guilt-free Mom During Mealtime

I was never the healthiest person on Earth, but I’m also not the kind of person who will eat fried food and burgers everyday.

I love eating and I don’t like to restrict myself from certain types of food. I think if we find a balance, we can be healthy without totally banishing some much desired foods from our lives.

Also, I believe nowadays food/beverage brands are becoming more and more aware of the need we have for healthier foods and drinks.

For example, Sam is IN LO-VE with juices, but they are so high in sugar and don’t provide as much nutrients as fruits. That’s why I only started giving them to him once in a while, when he turned 1 year old. Even now that he’s almost 3 years old, I wouldn’t let him have juice every time he asked.

Recently, though I found out about SaladPower, a juice that is low in sugar, full of vitamins and easy to bring on-the-go. I was soooooo excited to see that there is the possibility of making my son happy without compromising on health. Not only that, but I too can have a much wanted drink without feeling guilty about it.

We went for a picnic at the park and I brought the juice along with instead of a water bottle or a juice that was high on sugar. We could enjoy it and have fun all while being guit-free!

I also love to drink it at lunch time. I’m one of those people who have to have a drink with their meal and SaladPower is perfect for that.

 

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I loved SaladPower so much that I asked them to provide us with a discount code and they not only did that, but they shared a 50% OFF discount code: “ISABEL“. It’s only good for the first 10 people who use it, so c’mon over to SaladPower to get this amazing offer on their 12 or 4 packs.

This post is sponsored by Salad Power, but all opinions shared here are 100% my own.

I’d love to hear what you do to be guit-free during meal time!

 

Love,

 

signature white bckgr

Baby Mealtime Made Easier

Daniel is turning 9 months old today and I couldn’t be happier with his development and all the milestones this little guy has been achieving. He’s been loving to stand up since he was 7 months old (at first, held by us and now all by himself). It’s so amazing to watch those little humans grow up and learn all sorts of new things.

I remember when I started feeding him solids… He made the weirdest face and would NOT open his mouth anymore at all. I would think: “How on earth am I going to feed this baby solids if he doesn’t cooperate with me and at least open his mouth?”.

I knew from experience feeding him solids would take time, but didn’t think it would take SO long. It was not until we came back from our 25 day vacation to Brazil, that he started eating more and more kinds of veggies each day (with no need to add bananas, something I had been doing in order for him to at least have a few spoons of his veggies).

Now, 3 months later from his very first spoon, he absolutely loves food even more so than he loves his bottle! Can you believe that? He eats all kinds of veggies, fruits and meats and he already got started feeding himself. The downside of self-feeding though, we all know, is the huge mess left on the table, floor and their clothes for us to clean up.

I’m so glad I got to try out the new and improved Gerber® pouches, the Gerber® Smart Flow™. They have a molded spout with customizable flow control like no other, that helps get more food in baby’s tummy than everywhere to be cleaned up later! Whoop whoop!



I was so excited to hear about this and even more to try it out and see how little of a mess was left behind after mealtime. We chose the Apple, Mango & Strawberry flavor and it was a total success!

Look how Gerber® has managed to turn a mealtime #PouchFail into a #PouchWin:






 

Grab yourself a COUPON so you too can start having a stress free and mess free mealtime with baby/toddler. The Gerber® Smart Flow™ can be purchased at your local Krogers or Ahold. I hope you love discovering this as much as we did!

 

Love,

 

Isabel

How To Save Money on Groceries

How To Save Money On Groceries, Save Money on Food, Grocery Shopping on a Budget

 

I have gathered some of my best tips on how to save money on groceries. It can become very expensive if we don’t make an effort or take some necessary actions to make our trip a little cheaper.

If you have a big family, you, more than anybody else, know what I’m talking about here… After spending excessive money on food for several years, we decided to set aside a budget for grocery shopping.

We also found some great resources to help us save and I will list them bellow as we go through all the tips.

 

1. Always bring your grocery list with you:



I always make our grocery list and I always bring it with me! I know, I know… What if you forget it at home? Then, you won’t go grocery shopping even if you drive by the store? Well, let me share a common mistake and a great tip for the solution with you: For years and years I would write our grocery list on a piece of paper. That just doesn’t work. First, the piece of paper is not always with you so you can’t add items to it as you remember them. You plan on adding them to the list when you get home, only to forget what it was as you grab the paper. It sucks. For years and years I made that mistake. Then, I found the AnyList app (it’s free), which keeps everything organized by category. Plus, you can favorite the items you buy most so it’s easier to find them later. One more thing… It’s on your phone and I bet your phone never leaves your pocket or purse. Am I right? This is an easy and convenient way to have all the items in hand so when it’s time to go grocery shopping you’ll stick to your needs and won’t spent extra money on what you already had, by mistake. For fruits and meats I usually buy what’s on sale or what is priced cheap (and fits my taste and lifestyle, of course)!

2. Set aside a monthly budget for groceries:

We used to buy everything we needed and wanted with no clue of how much it was gonna cost and how it would affect our total household monthly budget. Can you imagine how much we spent when we went grocery shopping hungry? Haha. I don’t even wanna remember. We bought all the items with the most buttery, juicy and delicious packaging. Do you do that too? Finally, we realized this wasn’t working in our favor. We decided to set aside a monthly budget and it has been working perfectly ever since. The first month was the hardest for us to adapt with us going over a few dollars. Then, it became easier and easier. This way, we know exactly how much we will spend in food every month and it doesn’t blow our bills in the end.

3. Shop once a week:

I remember going multiple times a week to the grocery store and buying everything that was in my list and a few extra “I had just happened to see”. My husband had the awesome idea of going only once a week no matter what. Even if something was out we would wait until it hit one week to be able to go again (unless of course, it was something we couldn’t live without). The first weeks we might have ran out of milk and cheese, which are things we eat a lot, until we learned how much we needed for that period. Now we’re completely comfortable with this time line and everything runs out mostly in the last 1 or 2 days. By doing this, we save on gas by not taking multiple trips and we avoid feeling tempted by all the delicious foods we see (haha) more than one time per week.

4. Go on sale days:

We recently discovered that the Yoke’s Fresh Market in our neighborhood has a huge sale on fresh items such as produce and meats on random Fridays. Every time they announce the sale that’s where I go for these items and I’m sure we were able to save around $15 or even more in a week by purchasing our items there. Keep an eye out for the sale in your neighborhood markets. Each of them offer different sales.

5. Get cash back every time you shop:

A friend told me about the Ibotta app, which offers cash back on almost any type of purchase you make. From supermarkets to restaurants and clothing stores. They have excellent deals on snacks, frozen items, personal care… basically anything in your grocery list. In less than a month using the app I was able to redeem almost $30.00. That’s huge savings right there. Also, you get $10.00 just for trying it out when you redeem your first item. All you need to do is unlock the deals first, buy the items, scan them and take a picture of your receipt. Cash back will be on its way to you and you can transfer it using PayPal. Does it get any easier than that? Go here to get your first $10.00! Oh… I almost forgot to mention. You can also make money on Ibotta by referring it to your friends!

6. Get coupons:

Most grocery stores have their own coupon booklets at the door or they offer some on their website. If not, you can find retailer coupons in the RetailMeNot app or in the Coupons app. These apps have coupons for all kinds of products in your grocery list and will help you save tons of money!
These are my tips for saving BIG time on your groceries! I hope you like these tips and put them to good use! Please share in the comments what you do to save on your purchases! I would love to know! You can never save too much. It might allow you to go on an awesome family trip at the end of the year. Don’t ever underestimate the power of saving!
Don’t forget to win your $10.00 and get unlimited cash back.
Love,
Isabel

 

Daniel 4 Month Update + Shoes That Actually Stay On





On December 9th this little guy turned 4 months old! I don’t need to say that the time flies. We all know that. 

It’s been such an incredible journey. Totally different than it was with Samuel. It’s amazing how different two brothers can be. Each with their own personalities, different things they like and different actions and reactions! Both lovely!
He rolls to the sides reaching for toys, he gets distracted when there’s any noise at feeding times. 
He looks at me with so much love. He can’t say it yet, but I can feel it. 

He giggles when I change his clothes, when I talk to him in a silly voice and when any of us tickle him. 

He doesn’t like the pacifier at all. He spits it out really far. 

He falls asleep in my arms super fast. I’d say it takes 5 minutes to put him down when he’s tired!

He kicks his shoes until they fall from his feet! It’s hard so keep anything on, but I finally found the best choice: his Bird Rock Baby mocassins.

The elastic makes sure it doesn’t fall off his feet and the leather is so comfy that it doesn’t bother him at all so he doesn’t kick them! Plus, it looks so cute with any outfit I put on him!

We love the Panther color and the Espresso. They go with basically anything and they’re so easy to style.

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Espresso color
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Panther color

I’m glad I’m doing this update and I can get back here and read all of this, because I don’t ever want to forget any of the little things! 
They are what makes my happiness greater each day. My boys… my three boys are my everything!
Love,
Isabel.

Breastfeeding shouldn’t be taken for granted + thank you for all the support


This week I had the honor of writing a post to a friend’s blog as a guest. She told me I could write about anything related to motherhood, so I decided to share my experience with breastfeeding. 
I wasn’t able to breastfeed my first son, but I’m breastfeeding my second. I shared the many things I did differently this time around that I think contributed to my success. Yes, that’s how I see it, a success!
Yesterday, though, I learned something else. I learned that breastfeeding is a journey! 
Everything that happened in the beginning sure helped us get where we are, but everything that happens daily, all of my choices, attitude and emotions, keep us going. 

I learned that I cannot take if for granted and that it requires a daily effort to continue being a success!
Yesterday was a tough day and my milk supply seamed very low. Daniel was hungry every 1 and 1/2 hour and my breasts felt completely empty. I freaked out! I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding him at all! Sure having reached this far is already a victory to me, who couldn’t breastfeed Samuel, but I’d like to keep going!
Yesterday showed me that I need to keep working on it daily. Drinking lots of liquids, resting, having long feeding sessions… and I might have to add some supplements to make sure it never drops again! I will share which ones I’m using as soon as I make a decision and have them in hand! 
I shared on my IG what had happened and I was surprised at how many people took their time to share one or two ways I could try to increase my milk supply! If not that, just to comfort me. 

I felt very loved and special. I felt like we truly have an amazing community of mothers who support each other and want to see each other’s well being! I would like to thank each and everyone of you for so much LOVE! May God bless each one of you and your families!

Love,

Isabel

The Story Of My Second Childbirth

Oh boy… How things are easier said than done, right? If you’ve been following along with my story and posts, you probably know how badly I wanted to have a completely natural birth this time. I didn’t know how big the pain would be, but I was determined. With my first son, it had to be a c-section due to low fluid and the fact that he was breech. I had no choice, but to go this route.

This time, again, I did everything I could to try to have a natural birth. We were getting closer to our due date, August 3rd and I made sure to ask my OB what the recommendations were if we got there and nothing happened. She said that we couldn’t induce labor since I’d had a previous c-section and inducing it could cause the existing scar to rupture.

The answer was: to wait until week 41 and if nothing happened naturally we’d have to go for a c-section again!!! I so did NOT want that!!!

I prayed and prayed and prayed and had my friends pray with me so it could be natural, but above all that our Heavenly Father’s will would be done, even if that meant I wouldn’t get what I wanted. Although I really wanted that, the most important thing was always Daniel’s health and mine.

Anyways… As a precaution, we scheduled the c-section for August 10th, which was the most I could wait. I think I prayed so much for things to get started that God was like: “OK, my daughter! Let’s get you going with this labor!” HAHA. Sure enough, on the 9th at 2am I went to the bathroom to pee and as I was cleaning myself, I saw a pinkish mucus on the toilet paper.

I freaked out! Although I knew it wasn’t anything dangerous, it could be labor starting! And it really was, since I’d had stronger contractions all day long and at night too.

Unsure of what to do, I called the hospital and asked if I should go get checked and they always say they rather have me go 100 times and it be nothing than me not going when I should have.

I definitely agree! Better safe than sorry, right? So we went! On the way to the hospital, I felt a gush of fluid down my legs. Yay! It was finally the water breaking! We got there, waited for a couple minutes and a nurse pushed me on a wheel chair and took me to the triage location.

I got checked down there and I was 1cm dilated, which is like nothing! However, they kept me there anyways(I think they were cautious given the fact my first childbirth was a c-section). I didn’t care it was just 1cm!

My face was glowing with happiness! I’d rather have 1cm than have nothing! I was so excited to finally stay at the hospital and have labor progress just right before our waiting limit had expired! God is good! Isn’t He?

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We were transferred to our labor suite and I couldn’t be happier! They had to keep vaginal check ups to a minimum since the water had broken and there was a risk of infection so I was only checked again at 10am I think and although the contractions were getting a lot stronger (and I mean, A LOT) and more frequent, I had only increased 1cm since they checked me at 2:45am, so it was progressing SUPER slow! My OB explained to me I should get prepared to make a decision if things didn’t change soon.

I had 3 options:

1. Keep waiting, but having in mind that  18h to 24h of labor was the maximum I should go because of the risk of infection due to the early rupture of the bag of waters.

2. Take the epidural followed by little pitocin to augment labor, as also considering the risk of having my scar in the uterus rupture.

3. Go for a c-section, again.

At that point I was tired of the contractions. They were hurting so bad I couldn’t help, but think about how much worse they would hurt once he was about to come out! I got a little sad for having to make such a huge decision under all that pressure and pain.

I didn’t think the waiting would lead me where we wanted to go so I discarded that option! I was too afraid of rupturing the scar if I went with the pitocin! The best option of the 3 in my mind, was to go with the c-section which I already knew and had gone through! I felt a huge peace inside with that decision! I talked to my husband, who’s always so supportive of me and he agreed!

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At around 1pm they started getting me ready for it! I was soooooo afraid of that spinal anesthesia! Not because I feared it would go wrong or anything, but because I remembered it being the worst moment of the entire surgery when I had Samuel! It gave me goose bumps when that needle went in there! Whoo… Can’t even think about it!

I was shaking nervous not for the surgery, but for the anesthesia!!! I made the nurse promise she would hold my shoulders, almost like hugging me when it was time. But she was so worried about talking to the whole team about her weekend that she forgot about it and I was freaking out!

Luckily, another nurse came and helped me through it! They got it started and I, of course, cried my eyes out so scared, nervous and stressed. But soon, my amazing husband arrived and I calmed down.

Minutes later, I could hear the cry of our so loved little bundle of joy!

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That’s when I cried even more! This time of pure happiness and relief! All we had longed and waited for was right there in front of us!

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Handsome and healthy and that was all that mattered at that moment! I felt so thankful and grateful that I could experience a little of what labor was like and I was also thankful that no matter how he got here, he got here healthy and strong! Thank you, Jesus!

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At that moment our journey as parents of two was just getting started! So far, it’s been amazing! Full of highs and lows, but amazing. Definitely more highs than lows and definitely easier than first time parents! Ha. Agree?

Hope you enjoyed reading this just as much as I enjoyed writing it and reliving it!

Love,

Isabel

Diaper Bag Review

Hello friends!

I hope you’ve been doing just great! Today I won’t take much of your time and it will be a short post. I just thought this was too good not to be shared among other mamas! By this time, you probably know I’m a mom of two amazing boys: a two year old, Sam, and a 4-week-old baby, Dan.

As the end of my pregnancy was approaching and I was getting more and more ready to welcome this baby boy into our lives, I kept asking myself and my husband how in the world we were gonna carry stuff for 2 sons and all my own lady stuff.

When I found out about this non-diaper-bag-looking awesome diaper bag by Tiger-Daisy I almost freaked out! It not only is beautiful, but it’s the most practical thing I’ve ever seen.

 

 

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It has 2 separate bags that become one or that can be detached for when you’re out on your own. I thought this was completely genius, because I’ve seen hundreds of great-looking diaper bags that look like a stylish purse, but also I don’t wanna keep my baby’s stuff side by side with my dirty wallet, cellphone and car keys!! It doesn’t feel right to me!

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So… What we’re doing is, I carry my stuff on one side of the bag, Daniel’s stuff on the other and Sam’s stuff on his own backpack! This way I can easily have only what I need with me. I can be out and about on my own and have my own beautiful purse or I can put them together to go out with Daniel and Sam can carry his own. Whoop whoop! Feel me, mamas?

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To check out all the available colors and get your own Tiger Daisy diaper bag, go here! I hope you loved finding out about this beauty! Let me know in the comments what you think!

 

XOXO,

 

Isabel