Friday, June 28, 2013

Uses for Coconut Oil for a Mommy

Since becoming a Mom and wanting to be as natural as possible, coconut oil has been something I have learned about. It is definitely something I have enjoyed using. I have learned its benefits, and I have been able to include it in our lifestyle for many different things. I thought I would share some of our favorite uses for it outside of cooking with it. I am not going to discuss its benefits and such, but if it is recommended I definitely will. But there are so many different articles about it and which kind is best for which use. All located through a google search.

Here are the uses we have used and gotten lots of benefits from:
1. Baby Acne - apply a thin layer onto areas affected with baby acne twice a day until it is gone.
2. Cradle Cap - just rub a teaspoon into scalp daily. Helps moisturize on dry, itchy skin.
3. Diaper Rash Cream - very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Can also be used as a preventive. Also safe for cloth diapers.
4. Ear Infection - place a few drops inside the ear twice daily for relief of pain. Also fights the infection itself.
5. Teething Pain Reliver - rub directly onto gums of teething babies to ease the pain.6. Bug Bites and Stings - apply directly to a bug bite or sting. It will stop the itching and burning and help the healing process.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Where is everyone?

Where is everyone? I mean that.

I have spent the last few weeks going through my reading list, and I can't believe who has announced the end of their time blogging and who hasn't blogged in months or even years.

I have met so many amazing people through blogging, and it is just so hard to believe that some of my favorite blogs are gone. Well, not gone... but not up to date.

So this post is to see where everyone is.

If you read my blog and you also blog regularly, please leave your URL so I can check your blog out, too!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What's in my diaper bag: A day out in Venice and the beach

I thought I would share what I pack on a day out with the girls. This isn't just an "every day run errands" bag. This is a "going out on the town and have no idea when we will be back" bag.

On this day, we spent seven hours in Venice and at the beach.

This is stuff that always stays in my bag.
1. Extra diapers. I always bring 5-6 per child for emergencies. Most of the time we only use 3 per child.
2. Extra nursing pads for Mommy.
3. Extra outfits for each girl. Again, for accidents.
4. Burp cloth bib, and small receiving blanket for E. The receiving blanket is used when we hold her to protect our clothes/shoulders from getting drenched in drool.

This stuff is for the beach.
1. A bathing suit per child.
2. A swim diaper per child.
3. A sun hat per child.
Not pictured: sunglasses.

This is another one where most of this is with me.
In the bag pictured up top, we keep:
1. Aquaphor
2. Diaper rash cream
3. Neosporin
4. Band-aids
5. Hydroskin
6. Saline for their noses
7. Benadryl for bug bites
8. Nail Clippers
9. Epi-pen for A
10. Boogie sucker

Next, in other small handy compartments, we keep:
1. Tissues
2. Sunscreen
3. Hand sanitizer
4. Nipple cream
5. Chapstick
6. Pen and paper
7. Gum - I like to have a couple options.
8. Bug repellent stickers

9. Muslin blanket

Next, also for the beach:
1. Two beach towels
2. Mommy and Daddy's bathing suit
3. Lotion for Mommy

And here it is stuffed!

After zipped up and ready to go.

What do you pack in your bag for a day out on the town and/or beach?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Must-Do: Summer List

Of course I have been thinking about what I would like to do with A for the summer. Since she is only two, it is really basic. I know we are already in summer and I am a bit behind on this, but it has just started warming up here... so I have an excuse, right? Right.

Waterparks, beaches, swim lessons, slip n slide, outside fun....

While searching on Pinterest, I found this.

It is such a fun post for young children. She uses the alphabet to incorporate their summer projects. I definitely want to try it next year. I will probably make it a matching game where I use index cards to put the activity on it, then have A match it with its letter. The best part about it is later on using the papers for a memory book! Definitely on my must-do list for next year.

But for our bucket list for this year, it's simple.
Water of all sorts.
Have fun.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Piggy Paint

I mentioned before that I was going to write a short review about my opinions on Piggy Paint. It is a popular accessory for the parent who tries to be as green as possible. I am one of those parents. When I came across Piggy Paint, I had to have some for my girls. When I purchased my set, I actually only had A and she was only 9 months old. I immediately gave it try on myself.

Here is my first impression...
It's simple. I wasn't impressed. In fact, I wondered what all the hype was about. It chips, it fades. Two things I do not like in a nail polish. But then I had to take a step back and think about why I actually purchased it. I didn't purchase it necessarily for me (even though I was hoping to replace my nail polish collection with Piggy Paint). I simply purchased it as a safe polish for A.

Over time, I tried different times to put the polish on A. She never cooperated. Now that she is older, she understands a bit more. The most recent rainy day, she requested that we paint our toes. I gladly accepted and off we went to paint our toes. We each picked our colors and sat on a towel and off we went in our little princess land of painting toes. A picked a soft pink color, and I thought it was perfect. I don't care for her to have bold and too bright of colors on her at this age. She asked that I paint her toes first, so I did. I did the first coat. For her's I did no base coat or even a top coat. I simply painted her toes with the Piggy Paint. I let the first coat dry. While it was drying, I painted mine. I picked a light purple color. I; however, did do a base coat and a top coat. I also applied two coats on mine. Once I did my base coat and first coat, I did A's second coat. I made sure she sat and let them dry. I touched to make sure they were dry and everything. Off she went to play and be a kid.

That night, her toes had faded and chipped. It actually stayed more on her skin, then it did her nails. Which is opposite for most other nail polishes. Was it just because she is in fact a kid? And that will happen since it is the type of polish it is? What am I doing wrong?

For mine, it was the same thing that happened the first time with added issues. This time a white film built over my nails. I used the piggy paint base coat and top coat, so I don't fill like I could blame it on the type of base coat and/or top coat I used. There has to be something I am missing because I seriously think this product can be great. It has to be since everyone raves over it. I have seen it on so many lists of top summer must-have's and I see so many people wanting to purchase it for their children. Others recommend it and it is an ongoing hyped up product.

I would love to know where I am going wrong. What am I doing? Why isn't it working out so well for myself?

I will continue to use it and try different approaches because 1 - I want to love it and 2 - it is a great alternative for the girls.

Have you ever tried Piggy Paint? If so, am I doing something wrong/different? What is your opinion on it?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What I Love About Italy: 1 - Fresh Produce Markets

I get a lot of questions about the culture and lifestyle of Europeans, so I thought I would share with you my favorite things about Italy. As we travel, I will share my favorite things of wherever we travel too as well. I wish I would have done this in England because I have so many people ask me for recommendations on things to do and places to eat. Back to Italy, I will start out with the fresh produce markets.

Most towns have them twice a week, once during the week and once on the weekend. On Friday, it was a family day for the base since school just let out. Mr. Man and I took the girls down to Venice for the day. The nice thing about the larger towns is that they will have their markets open 6 days a week. Venice is one. It was extremely hot. We decided our first stop would be to the market for some fresh fruit to last us through the day. They had everything imaginable, and it is seriously so delicious.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Menu Plan

I am bringing Monday Menu Plan back. I always plan our weekly meals, but lately I've been losing our list and calendar. I thought why not just bring it back here so I can always reference it! Here it is!

1. Honey Mustard Baked Chicken
2. Sauteed Meatballs, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms over salad
3. Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Baked Tilapia
4. Crockpot Roast
5. Red Beans with Sausage
6. Orange Chicken with Asparagus
7. Spinach and Pepperjack Stuffed Chicken Breast

1. Fruit Cookies (similar to fig newtons)
2. Teddy Grahams copycat
3. Fruit Salad with vanilla sauce

1. Noodles with fresh veggies and Italian Dressing
2. Wraps with Hummus, Turkey, and Cheese
3. Baked Chicken Nuggets

As in the past if there are any requests for recipes, I will post them.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Soon I will be posting about our recent day travels!

Don't forget to go ask me questions here : Q&A

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Anyone interested in doing a question and answer? I have never done one before, but I figured since so much time has passed and some many new things have come about this would be a great time to do one.

It is easy to do. If you have any questions that you would like to ask me, just leave them in the comments. After about a week, I will come back and answer the questions.

There are no limits to what you can ask me. I just ask that you respect myself and my family, as well as my husband's career.

I love reading other people's question and answer videos, too. So you have recently done one or you have one opened for questions, please let me know! :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013


So I've been thinking. I started blogging here, but then as things in my life grew I moved on. My boutique blog is on Wordpress, my photographer blog is on Wordpress, and my Barefoot Book blog is also on Wordpress. I get a lot more exposure and interaction there than I do here. But I have more personal friends here that I feel like I would be leaving behind. I could always read and comment (most of the time I don't even get replies anyway), so I was thinking why not just move over. I technically would not be losing the "friends" because I come back here to read anytime. But would I?

Anyone else thought about this and made the decision? Would I lose all my stuff here and literally start over? Is there a way to move all this stuff over to there?

I am so website/blog silly so I have  no idea where to start to even really consider doing something like this. I'm sure it would be a lot of work, or I could hire someone. But really... is it worth it?

I would love some insight! :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

We went sledding.

Back in December, we went sledding. This was part of A's Christmas present. We didn't do much from her because we had barely moved into the house and still sorting things out here. Anyway, this is a small trip we took with some friends and it was such a great time!

Again, pictures...

Her all dressed in her snow gear.

She rode on her Daddy's shoulders since she had a hard time walking in all the gear.

She knew to hold on tight!

This is what she did while Mr. Man pulled it back up the hill.

Getting ready to go again.

Break time... and she kept eating the snow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Terrible Two's?

Lately, I feel like we have really entered the stage of the terrible two's. I say this in a very positive and accepting manner. A has always been very independent and has always done her own thing, but lately she has been such a mess. I am just not use to it at all, so it is something I am learning to adjust to. I really hope it is just a phase.

She has always gone through nap time phases. Generally when we would go through nap time phases, she was just trying to adjust to a new schedule. I have always allowed her to have her own schedule and create her own schedule because I felt it was best for her. It was easy for me to do because I stay at home with her. Over the last few months, she really has been fighting her naps. She refuses to nap for me. I try to lay down with her with or without E. I have allowed her to lay on the couch and watch TV, which is something I rarely allow. And I have even just let her decide when she is tired. She did good for a while. She would tell me when she was tired, but she never actually would go to sleep. I figured it was just a learning stage, but once she understood she would not fight it and would happily lay down. That never happened. We have many napless days, which makes for long evenings when Mr. Man gets home.

We are also going through the stage of her wanting her Dad all the time. That is fine by me. But it becomes hard when she will not allow me to assist her with things. She demands Mr. Man do it, and if he is not immediately available, she will whine and get upset. If I try to help her, she will just get more upset. I know she doesn't get much time with him and she is with me all the time, but it is so frustrating for me when I try to do everything she wants to make her happy and content only for her to decline and demand her Dad. Mr. Man thinks I am nuts. Not really, but sort of. He wonders why on the weekends she will take naps for him without a problem. She will just lay down with him and within seconds she is snoring and sleeping like a baby. He keeps telling me I'm not doing it right or I'm not approaching her in the right way. How aggravating when I am indeed the one who is with both girls all day every day.

Lately, she has really been voicing her opinions and thoughts. Her vocabulary is expanding big time. I absolutely love this stage, except that when she wants something she screams and demands. She isn't one to throw tempter tantrums in the sense of sprawling on the floor, but she definitely hollers. I thought maybe she picked it up from Mr. Man and I always calling for one another or talking to each other loudly if one is upstairs and the other is downstairs, but after thinking about everything else I kind of think it's just part of this stage.

Majority of our days are amazing. When it is just me at the house, she listens, she lets me help her, and she is fun. She's very helpful with Baby E and she definitely has no jealousy or resentment towards E. I was really afraid of all that, but thankfully she shows no hatred or resentment towards her.

So.... I always thought of terrible two's in a completely different way. I always said that if this is terrible two's, then it is nothing. And I definitely do still feel that way. But my question is... is this her version of terrible two's? I know all kids are different and express themselves in different ways.We are so blessed to not have full on tempter tantrums, yet. But these moments of begging for her Dad and screaming her demands is so frustrating.

Here's to Terrible Two's.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

10 Essentials for Summer w/ Two under 2

Summer is one of the best times of year. For kids, it is their favorite. Since Mr. Man and I have been living in England for the last four years, we have completely forgot what is needed for summertime. I have been doing some research to make sure I have everything we need for our little ones. This post is specifically what I find to be necessities for our family. Hopefully this list will spark any considerations of what you may need for your family and/or introduce you to some new products!

Summer is hot, especially in Italy. Mr. Man and I traveled to Italy about 2.5 years ago before we had kids. It was hot, very hot. We got lots of sun and gained a tan immediately. Here we are all these months later living in Italy. Who would have thought?! And this time with kids. Here is our list of must-haves. This is mostly focused around the kids, but I do plan to do another list for myself (or adults).

Top ten must have items for our summer:

1. My item is bug repellent stickers. We have tried sprays, but most of them have too many chemicals and tend to wash off in water play. A has very sensitive skin and always had, so I tend to stay as close as I can to all natural products. These stickers have been great! We started using them this Spring, and they work amazingly. You can find them on Amazon and many other all natural websites.

2. The next must have item on my list is sunscreen. We have been using the Badger brand, and particularly the one pictured.

3. This item is an item that I have been using a lot! This is the JJ Cole picnic blanket. This was a gift was given to us as a welcome to the world gift for Baby E. I bring it outside in the yard, place the bug stickers around on it, and lay Baby E to roll around and play. I will put a sun shade over her if the sun is very bright. She seems to love it, and it gives me somewhere to set her so I can play with A. And the best thing about this is the easy fold up and carry! 

4. All kids need swim diapers, and all girls need bathing suits. I put these together because the suits I buy have the diapers built in for the infants (Baby E). For toddlers, I have to buy the diapers separately from the suits. I really enjoy the Imse Visme side snap swim diapers. They are cute, yet functional. When we are around the house, I don't always make A wear a swim suit over it. In public, of course she does. For Baby E, I use the iPlay suits with the built in diapers.  

5. To go with the swim suits, you will need towels when getting out of the water! A is 2 years old, and E is 4 months. Both use hooded towels. I absolutely love them because it keeps them super warm and helps drive their hair as well. 

6. Protection for their eyes is definitely a must have. A sometimes fights wearing sunglasses, but if they have a strap on the back and Mr. Man and I are also wearing, then she will also. I make sure they have protection on the lenses and are suitable to get wet. 

7. My next must have is appropriate shoes. I  have two listed because I think both are very crucial to have during this time. Swim shoes are a given for beaches and public pools - at this age anyway. I prefer ones that have grips on the bottoms. The other type of shoes is something similar to crocs - jelly shoes that are breathable but can get dirty and worn down without  hesitation. I bought A these caterpillar shoes this year. I actually bought two pairs because last year she went through her one pair fairly quickly. She wears these outside to play. They stay on her fit and I make sure they are a good fit so they aren't too big. I make her wear the strap around the back so she doesn't lose her shoe while running and playing. She wears these fishing and so forth. They can get dirty and smelly because they are so easy to wash off and clean. Absolutely love having them on hand at all times. 

8. We love to go to the beach. We also love to picnic, even in the yard. This leads me to my next necessity for summer - reusable sandwich and snack bags. I love that I can pack things in these and easily clean them out. I like to buy ones that have loops on the ends, so I can attach them to the stroller without having to worry about the kids dropping them if we are on the go. I use these for our picnic lunches as well as our daily "on-the-go" snacks. 

9. The next one is in relation to both swimming and fishing. We love the outdoors, we love the water, and we definitely love to be on a boat. With that said, A needs a life jacket. Last summer we bought her a life jacket that went around her neck and she absolutely hated it. This year we are going to give the Puddle Jumpers a try. 

10. Lastly, always stay hydrated. A nice water bottle is always nice to have. These are the two types we use.

What are some of your summer must haves?

I hope this post has helped you prepare for summer.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Planning for Spain - Barcelona

Mr. Man and I have decided we would like to go to Spain towards the end of the Summer once we have Baby E's passport is ready. I have been doing some research and planning what we would like to do and see. I want to do some things just for the kids and other things that are more of what us parents would like to see. I kind of wanted a place to store my thoughts and also ask opinions.

My two favorite places to check for things to do and places to stay is TripAdvisor and European Destinations. I have been reading up on forums and blogs to see other people's experiences, and I even found a pretty neat website for seeing Barcelona with young children. Right now, I am working on Barcelona. Then I will move to Madrid once I have the details planned for Barcelona.

Here is a basic itinerary for now. Again, this is just what I have found so far and it may be altered as time goes on. After all, we won't be going until about the middle to end of August.

Day 1 - Arrive first thing in the morning. Check into hotel. Walk around the city to get a feel for our location. Find small things close by to do. If early enough, we could walk to Gothic Quarter -

Day 2 -
Parc Guell - (as of right now, free of charge, approximately 2 hours)
La Sagrada Familia - (13.50 euro, offers a guided tour - 1 hour long) - purchase tickets in advance.
Pablo Espanyol - (11euro, offers kids activities and educational adventures)

Day 3 -
Start towards Montjuic (Mountain of Jews) -
See either the castle or any museums in the area.
Head to Plaza Espana - or'Espanya,_Barcelona
Walk down to Barconelleta for some beach time.

**Hop on, hop off bus is always an option - (24.50 euro)

**Barcelona Card -

**Maybe Tapas Tours?

I haven't done much searching for a hotel yet. I can't decide if I want to stay in a hotel that has a restaurant and offers room service or if I would rather find us an apartment and cook ourselves. For all lunches, we will be eating out and it seems we could experience the food. However, the convenience with the babies of room service has always been nice, but also expensive.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Introducing Baby E!

Why not introduce Baby E properly?

Baby E was born on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:11pm at Aviano AB, Italy.

I went into labor first thing that morning. Within 1.5 hours I had dilated to a 7 and almost couldn't get an epidural. They had a hard time sticking my veins for the IV because I hadn't eaten or drank anything since the night before. My waters never broke on their own, so the doctors waited until the end of the work day to go ahead and break my waters because they had a busy line up. Talk about a long day. The epidural didn't work..... it wore off super fast. A went with some friends of ours and had a great time.

E weighed in at 8lbs exactly and was 19.5 inches long.

A was so excited to finally meet her baby sister! She wanted to cuddle her the whole time and give her lots of kisses. She is amazing with her baby sister. No resentment at all and such a big helper. 

And no... we still do not have a family picture of us all together. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Link Parties

I really miss all the link parties I use to do when I blogged just about every day. They always gave me inspiration on not only what to blog, but also on things to do in general life. Now that I am a Mommy, it seems I can't find those blog linky parties anymore. Are they not out there? Did others move on as well?

It seems I have been so out of the loop lately that I need to just start over and start meeting new people, new blogs, and finding new link parties.

Any suggestions?