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Social Media Detox

On November 5th, I decided to take a break from Facebook and Instagram. You might be wondering, “why in the EF would you want to do that?!

I know, I know…. we are so INGRAINED into social media it’s practically the only way we communicate these days. I have no idea when your birthday is if I am not notified by Facebook to send you a virtual gift. My phone book is relatively empty considering how many friends and followers I have. Verbal communication has become a gift that isn’t exercised regularly these days. And holy cow, forgive me if I forget to post a picture of what I am eating right now or film a killer workout I did this morning.

In most cases, no one cares about the quality of material I post…. as long as it’s a correctly angled selfie, photo of Rian or perfectly plated food, the masses are happy.

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So, in order to be more present in real life, I decided to get off of my “money maker” and get on to what’s really important.

I was a little apprehensive at first. Social media has become a part of my business and a huge part of my life – who am I without it?

I am a better mom, wife, daughter, and granddaughter. I am a better caregiver. I have more time to sit and really take life in. I can connect in conversation with people who don’t know everything I am doing on a daily basis. I am able to sit down and write a blog post or conduct research without tabs open to my social pages. I can focus and learn. And some days, I can just be. Do you know how long it has been since I have just lived without documentation? Too long.

Yesterday, I took a trip to Roger’s Gardens with Rian, my mom, sisters, brother in law and friend.  It was amazing. I was present, my phone stayed put away, and I really enjoyed being in the moment with friends and family. I’ve missed this.

Rian and I sat and enjoyed watching the trains go by for a long time. I never once thought about taking his picture or whipping out my phone to tell someone about it.

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Don’t get me wrong, social media has been amazing in helping me achieve my goals of weight loss, running a half marathon, becoming a personal trainer, being able to connect with thousands of people, and even working with some amazing companies… BUT, it is so NICE TO BE AWAY right now.

We should all take a moment to smell the roses some days….

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….and enjoy our friends and family without distraction.

 

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Homemade Baby Food – Golden Beets

beets

I know my last post was all about foods that aren’t orange…. but, if your kid is having potty problems, beets are always the answer!

Rian loves red beets, so I thought, why not try golden beets?

Here is how I made them:

While your oven in preheating to 350 degrees, wash and dry your beets. No need to peel them just yet! 

Cut the ends off the beet and pile onto a piece of foil. Once all of the beets ends are cut off, seal your foil tightly and throw it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the beets are tender.

Let your beets cool enough to handle and then, using a sharp knife, begin peeling off the skin. It should fall right off without much effort!

Add to a blender with a little bit of water and blend until you reach a nice consistency.

Freeze and store for up to a month!

 

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Homemade Baby Food – Cauliflower

cauliflower

If your kid is like mine, then you’re practically searching for ANY food to feed him that isn’t orange. Carrots, sweet potato, any form of squash…. the list on orange foods is endless!

We have found out (through trial and error) that Rian is allergic to bananas, pumpkin, peas, possibly green beans and all sorts of rice and grains. His non orange foods currently include apples, pears, beets, broccoli and now cauliflower. I have some eggplant in the freezer too that I am waiting to trial after this one 🙂

Cauliflower couldn’t be easier…. in fact, you make it just like broccoli!

Directions:

Chop one head (or more) of cauliflower and add it to a pot with a 1/2 inch of water. On medium heat, steam the cauliflower until fork tender. You will know it’s ready based off of the smell of it!

Blend in your favorite blender until smooth. If you need to, add water from the pot until you reach the right consistency.

If you want to, the cauliflower will be nice and tender and you can give your child a piece to try once it is cooled! Rian didn’t care for his piece but loved the rough blend!

Freeze for best storage up to a month.

 

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Dollar Store Sensory Bags

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Sensory Bags are a great way to build a child’s imagination, sense of touch and creativity! The bonus? They are extremely cheap and easy to make!

Head on over to your local dollar store for all of the supplies needed. It’s time to get creative yourself and really find some good stuff!

All I did was add everything into the bag and let Rian go to town. Here are the bags I made below:

Dino

Parts: 1 ziploc bag, 1 pack of mini dinosaurs, 2 small packs of glitter, 1 bottle of hair gel.

In hind sight, the purple and black glitter are a tad too dark for Rian to see the dinos. Also, the purple has begun to tint the hair gel in the bag over the past few weeks. The thin dinos are also easy to miss and I think they could be bigger and easier to grab for a 6 month old. I will definitely try to find bigger ones for future bags!

HalloweenBag

Parts: 1 ziploc bag, 1 bag of halloween eyes, 1 small pack of orange glitter, 1 bottle of hair gel.

The Dollar Tree had just put out Halloween (mid August I might add) and I figured, why not start the party early?! The big eyes are fun for Rian to grab and squish around. I would recommend grabbing another bottle of hair gel if you use bigger items in your bags. Bigger items require more squish I’ve learned 🙂

Paint

Parts: 1 ziploc bag, 1 set of finger paints (or any tubes of paint), 1 piece of cardstock.

I feel like this is maybe a more mature sensory play. My 6 month old didn’t quite know what to do with the paints so he definitely wasn’t entertained for too long.

Thicker cardstock works better than computer paper, which just gets soaked immediately. You could also cut up some of those old amazon boxes (because who doesn’t have a gazillion of those?!) and put them in your bags!

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Rian enjoys the eyeballs the best!

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Yay for learning at a young age! Ah to be a child again…. 🙂

 

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Homemade Baby Food – Carrots

carrots

When I was a baby, I would only eat carrots. You can only imagine what happened, right?! YOU GUESSED IT – I turned orange. Not Jersey Shore Snooki orange, but you get the idea…

It’s no surprise that Rian loves carrots too!

Here is how I made them:

Grab a nice big bag of carrots from the store. I mean, if you’re going to do the work, you might as well prep for at least a month!

Wash and peel your carrots. Cut into cubes (Tip: the smaller the cubes, the faster they cook) and add to a large pot. Add a 1/2 inch of water to the pot and place on the stove with medium/high heat. Let the water come to a low boil. Drop the heat to low and cover. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

Add the carrots and about a 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to your blender and puree.

Freeze your puree in a food tray for storage up to a month!

 

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Homemade Baby Food – Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli is one of my FAVORITE vegetables! I love it baked and sautéed with eggs in the morning…. YUM!

It’s full of fiber, vitamins and even contains a fair amount of protein! #Winning 🙂

To prepare your baby’s broccoli:

Cut the florets off of your fresh broccoli and put them in a strainer to wash thoroughly. Once washed, add the broccoli florets to a medium pot with a 1/2 inch of water in it. (If you are using frozen broccoli, just skip this step and move on to the cooking part!)

On medium to high heat, bring the water to a low simmer. Once simmering, drop the heat to low, cover and let steam for 10-15 minutes (or until the broccoli is tender). You will be able to smell your broccoli when it is done! (YIPPEE).

When your broccoli is done cooking, add to your blender and puree. The florets will hold onto some of the cooking liquid, but you might need to add a bit more. Add small amounts at a time because, remember, you can always add more!

Freeze for easy storage for up to a month!

TIP: for some reason, the broccoli seems to take longer to defrost than other vegetables. I like to take mine out and defrost them separately in the morning or nuke it in the microwave before his other blocks of food.

 

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