Mom blog

The Eternal Winter and Bored Out of my Mind

Ok, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt like this has been an eternal Winter. I live in the Northeast and we have been hammered with snow and freezing temperatures. I think the rest of the country has had a tough time, also?

Spring is taking its sweet time to get here (though it looks like this weekend will be nice) and I feel like my toddler and I have been stir crazy! We can only play with the same toys so many times..

We got creative and went to play gyms, played in the snow, and did a lot of arts and crafts, but it was difficult to do things all the time, especially during the snowstorms and because money is tight. I can’t help but feel bad. I feel bad because her mind should be challenged more. I’m a huge advocate of being outside as much as possible, but even I had to resort to cartoons here and there. I’m not saying down time isn’t good sometimes- it’s nice to relax and do nothing when the mood strikes, but there has been a bit too much vegging out.

I’ve always wished and entertained the idea of living near a beach because the nature and imagination there is endless and beautiful. I follow @yoga_girl on Instagram and her little baby is living the life down there in Aruba. Constantly hanging out on the beach and enjoying all aspects of being outside. My poor lady has been begging to play outside, but the temperatures have been painful.

I wonder if I’m living in the right area of the world. If it weren’t for my family and friends, I wouldn’t be able to really think of a reason to stay here in this NYC suburb. Should I think about moving? But then we’d have to start over with jobs, friends, daycares, etc. It seems more work than it’s worth… I think.

I’m probably just lacking Vitamin D and sunshine and going a little stir crazy. I’m sure once Spring and Summer roll around, I’ll be fine. Plus, if we moved, I’d really miss seeing the Fall… I think it’s just mom guilt kicking in and feeling like I can’t provide enough resources for my toddler to really explore. But I’m trying my best. Has anyone been struggling this winter too??

❤️ ☀️

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Mom blog, Mom life, Toddler Life

Ok…for real…How?!

Ok, I must ask an extremely important question that has been weighing on my mind for several months and driving me crazy…

how on earth do you pay your credit card debt off if you have no money to pay said credit card debt off????

I recently just started part-time work in order to be home with my daughter more and so far, I’m loving it. I’m much less stressed and I feel refreshed each work week after a long, relaxing (kinda) weekend. But I’m trying to educate myself and do research on how to make ends meet on a much lower salary and every article I read is like…

duh… just pay your credit cards off. 

Ok, cute idea. Totally get it: start debt free to have less monthly bills and a better grasp on your finances. But how exactly are you all doing it??

Should I be using most of my savings to pay said debt off? Seems like an easy fix, except when I have no emergency funds, that seems like a scary solution.

I’ve cut down on so many things- Cut a day of daycare out, reduced cable bill, switched phone companies, cook more in bulk, clipped coupons, etc…

… but still thousands away from being debt free…

I hate the idea that all of this interest is being paid from my pocket.

So PLEASE. 

Tell me your ways…!!!

 

Mom blog, Mom life, Toddler Life

Spread the Word!

It’s that time of year…

…the time to give to others who are less fortunate. Well, that should be every time of year, but you catch my drift.

The doctors at my new job decided to help People to People and “adopt a family” this year. I wasn’t too sure what that meant or what to except when I went to People to People on my lunch break last week.

I walked in and there were huge binders full of letters from almost 800 families explaining why they need help, their financial woes, and most of all, how they wish they could afford holiday gifts for their children. Each letter had a wish list attached from all the children whose parents could not provide them their wants (dolls, legos, etc.) and their needs (beds, underwear, coats).

As I sat there sobbing, I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to choose only one family and I kept wishing I was rich enough to “adopt” them all.

Because that is obviously not a reality, I figure the best thing I can do is spread the word to have others hopefully go check out their local People to People (or another similar organization).

My daughter and I gathered some clothes for our “adopted family” on Thanksgiving morning and I knew right then and there that this would be our yearly tradition…

I hope you can do the same…

😊

Fit Mom, Mom life, Toddler Life

Way Too Early For This…

Yes, ok…I know it’s super early for this, but I had to share my daughter’s Holiday pictures that I took… in love ❤️

Between ordering then, having them shipped, writing them all out, etc, I figured it’s not too early for anything! Haha…

hope you enjoy and would love to see everyone else’s!

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Mom blog

Glow Like a Surfer Girl ☀️

Am I the only one who has a strange wish to be a healthy, glowing, Hawaiian surfer girl? Their skin always looks so… quenched. Lol.

Anyway, with winter coming and our forced air system getting ready to dry up our skin, I was hoping to see what everyone’s home remedies are for dry, flakey alligator skin. 🐊

I’ve tried a humidifier, lathering myself in coconut oil, and going through an entire stick of lip balm a week and still get pretty crocodiley … So I would love to hear other ideas 😄

In the meantime, I highly suggest the brand Kopari. They make natural products with coconut oil that smell amazing and keep you sun kissed throughout the winter. ☀️ (Not endorsing the brand, just generally love it and suggesting it highly!). They are a bit on the expensive side in my opinion, but I love how the smell brings me right back to summer 🌊

Anyway, wishing everyone a moist winter (sounds strange, but you know what I mean)!

 

 

Mom blog

Can’t Believe It’s Happening!

Sorry for the writing hiatus. Between my brother moving to Colorado, going to Florida to celebrate my 30th birthday, and all the fall activities in full swing, it has been hard to find time to sit down and write.

If you aren’t familiar with my blog or the last few posts, I’ll do a quick recap. Basically, I am a full-time working mom who lives in New York who just wants to spend more time with my daughter (mom guilt to the max). Of course other things are thrown in like travel, wine, and the beach haha.

With that being said, I have good news… I just got asked to start a new job in two weeks that is part-time!!!  I’ll only be working 3 days a week so I will get to be home more with my 17 month old!! Soooo excited.

But…. also nervous.

I have the normal butterfly jitters about telling my current position tomorrow that I’m giving them 2 weeks notice. It’s never fun, even when I’m so excited about the new journey to come. But such is life and it must be done…

I’m mostly nervous about the money situation. I will obviously be making less because of the cut in hours. Life and bills will still be doable, but it will be tight. So many great bloggers have offered advice on how to cut down on spending and I’m fully ready to try all those amazing things, but it is still nerve wracking. I just keep thinking, “What if it doesn’t work?”, “What if my decision sends us to the poorhouse?”.

I’m fully aware this is probably a bit dramatic and an over exaggeration, but I’m still shaking in my boots. I’m hoping I’m doing the right thing…

How do others handle such huge transitions in life? Were you nervous beforehand and felt like you were making the wrong decision? Any advice for a little side hustle?

Looking forward to hearing 🙂

Mom blog, Mom life, Nature lover, Toddler Life

My Brother is Moving Tomorrow…

Sad day. Very sad day.

We had a goodbye dinner tonight to wish my brother well as he and his girlfriend prepare to move to Colorado tomorrow (we live in New York). They are super outdoorsy and love hiking and want to get some amazing experiences in before they settle down. I get it. I would do the same if I were in his shoes. It doesn’t make it easier though.

He’s 5 years younger than me. My only sibling. We had a great childhood together. We spent most of our time on the beach. If not at the beach, we were playing catch outside with a baseball.

We would fight like cats and dogs sometimes, but at other times, we would gang up against my parents when they were being “annoying”.

We used to have a “night club” where we would sing songs and play with toys in our bedroom after out parents told us it was time to go to sleep. We had to share a bedroom until I was 9. I hated it then. Not so much now.

He will probably move back home eventually (at least I hope). His girlfriend says if they get married and have kids, they will definitely come back to be close to family. But what if they love it there? 

The hardest part is that my daughter’s favorite uncle is moving away. One of her role models. She might grow up not even remembering who he is (she’s only 15 months right now).

Leaving dinner tonight, my grandma sobbed as she said goodbye to her grandson. The 5th grandkid out of eleven. I couldn’t watch her cry. I had to walk away.

I’ve always been the tough one in the family. The rock. The stable one. The one people lean on in hard times. The unshaken one. I don’t know if that will be me tomorrow. 

I’m sorry for the Debbie downer post. I’m usually optimistic and happy, but it’s really hard to be that right now. I know it’s good for him. I know he’ll be happy and have the time of his life. I certainly know I’m jealous of all the mountains he will climb. I know all of these things.

I just don’t want my daughter to have to say goodbye tomorrow. That’s what’s killing me.

… but as always, I will trek on. And I will hope and wish every day for his return.

 

Cooking, Fit Mom, Mom blog, Mom life, Nature lover, Toddler Life, Uncategorized

Don’t Roll your Eyes at me! (The story of how I was just Mom-shamed)!

So just a quick background for those of you who haven’t read my previous threads…

I lost about 70 pounds a few years ago (yay)! I went from drinking and eating way too much to running a full marathon. I watched Doctor Oz religiously every day and learned about how to literally treat my body like a temple. I’ve grown to absolutely love nutrition and health (I may even want to go back to school for it… but that’s for a later post). It’s a true passion of mine.

So in the midst of this adventure, I naturally started to steer myself toward organic foods, natural cleaning products, and natural makeups/cosmetics. In my opinion, I think cutting out these chemicals as much as possible in the things that we consume/apply every day will hopefully add up and make us feel better and avoid disease in the long run.

Side note: Please purchase this book if you are also interested in healthy living and how the small things add up in the end. It features my favorite guy and is truly a life saver 😎

Anyway, now like I said, I love healthy living, but I’m also a proud consumer of potatoes and beer 🍻 🥔. I love my wine and eating out with my friends. It’s not like I have to eat healthy all the time.

However

When I go to the supermarket, I definitely try to get as many things all natural and organic as I can.

Yes, I could save money on less expensive items- I know that and I will switch if I financially need to. Yes, I know that the whole organic thing could be a scam and over exaggeration. I also am aware that you can eat healthy, avoid chemicals, the whole 9 yards and die anyway…

But It’s what I like and enjoy.

Anyway, to my point.

I had just put all my items on the conveyor belt at the supermarket the other day (yes, the majority were healthy) and a mom of four adorable girls behind me starts rolling her eyes and sighing while staring right at my 15 month old daughter in the front of the cart.

She looks directly at my daughter and in a “mocking voice” speaks right to her as if I wasn’t there and says, “Oh, you have one of those healthy, good moms who actually cares about her kids. One of those moms who thinks buying organic foods will buy your love”.

Like, I don’t even know what that means.

She giggled at the end of the sentence and winked as if that was to excuse her rude behavior.

I’m not sitting there rolling my eyes about the coke and doughnuts she bought her kids. (Just kinda jealous about the Coke).

My whole point is: STOP THE SHAMING.

In every way.

We are all going to make different decisions. Enjoy different things. Do things in completely opposite ways.

But can we please start appreciating these differences?

Accept and appreciate the differences OR mind your own beeswax 😘😃

Fit Mom, Mom blog, Mom life, Nature lover, Toddler Life, Uncategorized

How Did you All do it???

Within the next month or two, I hope to…no…I WILL transition from a full-time working mom to a part-time or full-time stay at home mom.

I’ve never really been a “career woman”, but have always had to work because of bills. You know how it goes.

I’ve had an especially hard time because I used to be a nanny and I feel like I’ve raised those 3 children more than my own daughter. I hate that I have to drag her out of the house every morning, both of us exhausted, just to drop her off to strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the daycare, but.. it’s not… ME.

So anyway, I’m currently emotionally and financially trying to plan for the change and I need advice!! What are ways to save on bills, save money, etc.? Keep in mind, our finances will be TIGHT on one income so I don’t care how minute/silly the advice may seem.

I’m excited about this journey and change, but I need all the help I can get 🙂

Also, this book has helped a lot for anyone else in the same boat!

Cooking, Mom blog, Mom life, Uncategorized

My “Almost Tuscan” homemade Arrabiata Sauce

My vegetable garden is certainly bountiful this year! I’m picking about 15 tomatoes a day! So obviously I need to do something with all the said tomatoes… 🍅

After visiting Tuscany two years ago and getting private cooking lessons with Italian chefs, I figured I would try their Arrabiata recipe at home. What a win! 🌶

So I’m here to share the wealth with everyone.

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The Tomatoes 

Of course, if you have homegrown tomatoes, that would be best, but no worries if not. Go to the store and purchase fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes or you can even buy them in a can!

The Spice

The heat is what gives the arrabiata sauce it’s personality. After all, arrabita literally means “angry”. If you want to be as authentic as possible, purchase Italian Calabrian peppers. These may be hard to find so if worst comes to worse, you can just use crushed red pepper (I also love adding cherry peppers-they are my favorite)!

Keep in mind, if spicy food is not your thing, you can leave the peppers out and just make a regular marinara sauce that will be equally as amazing!

The Rest

Make sure you also have garlic (fresh is best), sea salt, sugar, red wine, basil, and rosemary. Again, fresh is best when it comes to the herbs, but you can use dried basil and rosemary if you don’t have any fresh available!

Get ready to cook

Step 1- Cut/ purée the tomatoes 

First, you are going to want to crush or purée the tomatoes. If you want a chunkier sauce, you can keep the skin on and cut/crush them into little chunks. If you want a smoother sauce, you can skin them and/or purée them using a food processor.

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Step 2- Sauté the peppers and garlic

Next, put a thin layer of olive oil at the bottom of your pot and sauté the peppers, garlic and some sea salt for about 5 minutes. (Keep in mind, I use low heat the entire time because cooking sauce is an art and takes time haha. Feel free to cook on medium if you are in a rush)!

Step 3- Add the tomatoes, spices, and cook!

Pour the tomatoes into the pot and add a cup of red wine, a tablespoon of sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes), more salt, basil, and some rosemary. You can also add in black pepper, onion, and oregano to taste if that’s what you like, but keep in mind, the chefs didn’t use those ingredients. I like to let the sauce cook for hours in order to allow all the herbs and flavors to mix together. Again, if you don’t have that much time, turn up the heat a bit- it will still come out amazing!

And there you have it.. the “Almost Tuscan” Arrabiata sauce by Amanda… 🍝

Mangia!

Also, for more awesome Italian recipes, this cookbook is amazing!