Six Things Every Mom Should Have in Her Purse
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The mission of a mom-centric lifestyle website should be to offer its readers the best advice possible on life management and home organization. Readers should be encouraged to run their lives and families in a smooth, organized fashion. Um so like, that's not really where we're at right now, but it's a process we're currently working on with our therapist(s). In the mean time, here are the top six things we think every mom should have in her purse.

Wallet

This is a tough one, but try to remember to put your wallet back in your purse after seeing your kids slide it under the couch. It's a well-known fact that 97% of mothers do not have any room for error in their schedules. For instance, you probably already know that it takes 12.62 minutes to get to the grocery store after work and that you have to leave the store with exactly 4.42349 minutes to pick up your kids on time. Forgetting your wallet is an utter disaster. You’ll have to go back to the store with your kids, even though “I was literally just there”. This incident can equal up to seven additional sessions in therapy.

A mysteriously opened diaper

This is very helpful to have because it doesn’t look dirty but for some reason it’s open. You never really know – has this diaper been used? Is it clean? Eventually you’ll have to resort to using it and you’ll get to question whether or not you're qualified to be a parent.

Severe cold medicine

Finding someone to watch your kids when you're sick is so difficult it’s close to impossible. You’ll have to like bribe babysitters or ask your spouse to change career paths. When you can’t make it happen – it’s so so rough. Make sure you have your favorite cold medicine on hand at the very least.

Cash

An obvious necessity because nothing gets recorded when you buy something with cash. No need for anyone to know of any daily donut or starbucks purchases. 

Receipts

Receipts are great because you can never find the one you need but get to be reminded of when you bought a food processor a year ago that you never actually use. This is also probably how your spouse will eventually find out about your donut and Starbucks purchases.  

Dark lipstick (skip the concealer)

People should know how tired you are and dark lipstick really brings out those dark circles under your eyes. Applied well enough, it could potentially lead to people offering to do a favor for you or two out of sympathy and concern.  

 

What do you have in your purse? Anything we should add to our life-changing list?

P.S. Fawn does actually know what she's talking about
P.S.S. More proof that we need
professional help

 

Nurit SiegalComment
whole wheat honey muffins
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We're so excited to finally have a baking recipe up for you guys so that we can appear more legitimate. We do ask, however, that you refrain from asking us any basic questions about baking. Instead, all inquiries regarding the science of baking should be submitted here. Also, yes, this recipe does use only whole wheat flour, and we are aware that baking with whole wheat can make any mouth-watering treat taste like a sweater. We wouldn't do that to you though so we made sure to balance it out with a nice amount of honey, cinnamon, and two ripe bananas. With the help of those ingredients, this recipe is actually really good. Bonus: the recipe is simple, it's super easy to stick in your kid's lunch box or to grab for your on-the-go breakfast. You also get to tell people that it's homemade. 

If you're celebrating Purim this week, this is a great recipe if you don't have much time to leave the house to give out gifts to people. You can make a batch in the morning, let people come to you, give them a muffin (feel free to substitute with white flour for extra deliciousness...) and offer them a cup of coffee. Awesome. Done. 


whole wheat honey muffins

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
1 cup vanilla almond milk
 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a separate smaller bowl, mash the bananas really well (small lumps is fine). Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the honey, oil, vanilla almond milk and mix completely. Pour into the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Spray a muffin tray with oil and fill each one with batter, leaving a little room at the top. Optional: top the muffins off with a dusting of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Makes about 12-15 medium sized muffins. 

 
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p.s. you won't believe this uses whole wheat pasta
p.p.s you won't believe you lived your life without this for so long

LiveNurit SiegalComment
Lightning round with Fawn
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We've had two posts so far with the amazing Fawn Julsaint. She is our go-to guide, teaching us how to get better and better at taking care of our homes. But now it's time to get to know her a little bit better. We asked Fawn a few questions about herself and about her business, My Deer Cleaner. We loved her answers and we know you will too!
 

first things first... dogs or cats?

Short haired, friendly cats. I dislike pet hair and dogs are like having a permanent toddler.
 

What is your favorite thing about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job are the people - the families I get to meet and get to know. I love connecting with moms over a cup of coffee as I work, I love knowing I'm supporting people live their lives well, and I love the clients who in return take care of me and my family by letting me bring my daughter occasionally and give me gifts for her or myself on special occasions. I really value connecting with others and i like that my job allows me to do that multiple times in a day. 
 

What's one thing you wish you could change about your job?

If I could change something about my job I would clone myself so I could take on more clients! My time is often maxed out and I feel overwhelmed keeping up with running a business well and balancing my own family time, in addition to having a moment to rest physically as cleaning can be quite a workout. I am always looking to learn better systems for time management and relaxation. 
 

How do you take your coffee?

I drink coffee many differnt ways as it is the fuel of life. I love Starbucks soy lattes and prefer drinking them iced in the summer time. If it's regular coffee I like two cream/two Splenda. Or a splash of flavored creamer. But one of my favorite things to do is to make coffee. I like trying out different beans from specialty coffee shops and grinding them at home. My favorite methods are pour-over coffee and French press coffee. They really bring out the smooth flavor of the coffee beans and it smells SO good. 
 

Use five words to describe yourself

Resourceful, loyal, committed, (slightly) dramatic ;), and perseverant
 

Where would you like to be your business in a few years?

I would love to see my business grow to a point where I have several employees doing the cleanings and I can focus on training and drinking coffee with the clients :D. I have a vision for hiring other moms like myself who need flexible, reliable employment that pays a living wage. I want to help these women learn and grow personally and professionally.



Thank you so much for your inspiring answers, Fawn! We look forward to our next installation and to watching your business grow!

Want more of Fawn? Of course you do. Check her out on insta @mydeercleaner

P.S. The winner for our book giveaway is Taya Grilli!!! 

Nurit SiegalComment
upcoming event in chicago on prenatal loss and trauma
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March 4, 2018 in Chicago

 

How to Survive the Emotional Impact of Prenatal Loss and Trauma

Good morning to all you beautiful mamas out there,

I'm so excited to be a part of an amazing event coming up next month. On Sunday, March 4th, there will be a presentation and panel discussion at the Jewish Child & Family Services in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The awesome Mara Tesler Stein - a psychologist and author in Chicago - will be discussing how to cope with emotional hardships that come with prenatal loss and trauma. I'll be speaking on the panel and sharing my experience with miscarriage as well.

As an observant Jewish woman myself, I've learned that our experiences with prenatal loss and trauma are nuanced and can differ depending on the communities we live in. While the discussion will focus on the experiences of Jewish women, there are many underlying themes we can all relate to. No matter where we live, we all need non-judgmental support, empathy, and understanding. 

I'm so happy that our last article on miscarriage could offer some comfort and support to the women who read it, and I know this event will do the same. If you have any additional thoughts, ideas, and insights you'd love to see included in the discussion, please feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page or Insta. Check out more information in the flier below. 

 

<3

Nurit

 
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Thank you to Ohel Sarah, Daughters of Israel, and JCFS for putting on this special event!

 

GrowNurit SiegalComment
cheese and black bean quesadillas
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There's only one thing more terrifying than not being able to find your baby's pacifier at 3:00 AM and that's not getting to have a nice, warm cup of coffee in the morning when you're super sleep deprived. Just kidding, there's probably a cold cup of forgotten coffee in my microwave as we speak. No, the one thing worse than the paci situation (maybe not, but it's up there) is coming back home from a long family trip and having to go to the store cause there's no food in the house. So what do we do to solve this problem? On your last grocery store trip before your travels begin, buy three things: Tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese (keep it closed till you come home), and a can of black beans. When you come home you can make quesadillas. Or you could just get some milk and cereal and call it a day.  

If you want a bit more than the bare minimum, we also have suggestions below to make it more interesting. What do you guys eat when you get back home from a trip? 

 
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cheddar cheese and black bean quesadillas

olive oil or an oil spray
tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
black beans

extras:
corn
sliced avocado
guacamole
pico de gallo (or just chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro)
lime
sour cream

Spray or lightly coat a large pan with oil. Add a tortilla to the pan and let it warm up for a moment, then flip it. Do the same with the other tortilla and then set aside (this will help the cheese melt faster). Place the first tortilla back in the pan and add a layer of shredded cheese to the tortilla, leaving about a half to one inch of space around the rim. Drain and rinse the black beans from the can. Sprinkle the beans on top of the cheese (doesn't need to a be a full layer at all). Place the other tortilla on top and cook on medium heat. You can cover the pan to make it warmer faster. Once the cheese has melted, carefully flip the quesadilla to brown the other side without the cover. Remove the quesadilla onto a safe surface to cut into six slices. Serve nice and warm with any extras you'd enjoy. 
 

*Disclaimer: For throw-together recipes like this we don't usually add measurements because honestly we've hardly measured anything since 11th grade chemistry, but we are more than happy to add specifics to all recipes if that makes it easier. Let us know what you prefer in the comments below! 
 

P.S. we promise we still measure sometimes! 
p.p.s. great tips for grocery shopping on a strict budget

 

LiveNurit SiegalComment
the third shift - how we ask mothers to do too much and help them too little
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A few weeks ago, I came across an article by a pscyhologist discussing the dangers of screen time. She wrote about her experience at a grocery store when she heard a child begin to scream because his mom wouldn’t buy him candy. To calm him down, the mom gave him her phone to watch a video, and the psychologist was horrified.

Okay first of all… I was having a really hard day, okay? Second of all, I think it’s unfortunate how strongly we react to the glimpses we catch of women raising their kids (also why does this always happen at the grocery store). And I wonder if we place too much of the onus of raising extremely well-rounded children on mothers alone. Yes, we critique American cultural norms for not being helpful or for creating the problem in the first place, but we still expect moms to create this new, uncontaminated world for our families that’s idyllic and perfect like it’s NBD.

As a Women’s Studies major in college I learned about a concept called the Second Shift. The Second Shift represents the second workload a mother has outside her day (and/or night) job. Working mothers come home from their job(s) to do a majority of the cooking, housework, errands, appointment scheduling, carpooling, child-rearing and overseeing of general household logistics. If a woman is a stay-at-home mom, she still reserves the evening for another round of mothering, cooking, housework etc. Not to mention the night shift, which includes anything from nursing babies back to sleep to convincing toddlers that a monster didn’t eat their missing sock.

But I wonder if the Second Shift is enough to explain the whole mother load. My theory is that there’s also a Third Shift. The Third Shift is the constant job of making life perfect for our kids, regardless of how much support we have in our lives. And to execute this without asking for help and without having a panic attack. You can have an occasional bathroom break (jk you can’t really) but you cannot have a break down.

Maybe this is why moms feel so guilty all the time. Author and comedian Jessi Klein wrote an article in the New York Times about women, guilt and sacrifice. She explains, “Shortly before my son was born, I spoke to a friend on the phone about how guilty I felt that we were planning to hire a night nurse for a few weeks. Shouldn’t I be the one to take care of him all the time? He was my peanut that I had created. Wouldn’t I be shirking my maternal responsibilities if I didn’t stay up around the clock? I was worried that I was already a failure.” 

Have mothers been trained to believe that if they don't do everything perfectly on their own, their kids won't grow up to be good, successful people? Well, I mean, I guess it is pretty hard to get into an Ivy League school if you were bottle-fed as a baby. But the deeper issue lies in how much we expect from moms, despite how difficult our society has made it for them to constantly pursue incredibly high standards. We're basically asking mothers to fight an uphill battle every minute of every day. Unhealthy foods and fast-food chains are way cheaper and more accessible than healthy foods. Our culture aggressively markets new technology and easy entertainment to kids. If you want your family to be active, it has to be something scheduled and paid for, since modernity has led us to be the most sedentary population in history. On top of that, the median household family income in the United States is about  $59,000. In other words, half of American families earn less than that. And yet, moms are somehow supposed to have the time, energy, and resources to reverse every ill effect of modern culture on our kids. 

From the day a woman becomes pregnant, she is bombarded by information and advice on how to have the most productive and healthy pregnancy, labor, and child-rearing experience. We suggest and expect her to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen during pregnancy, to develop a birth plan ideally without medication, to invest in a doula, to enroll in lamaze classes and practice meditation and/or hypno-birthing exercises. Once postpartum, moms should feel grateful for “baby friendly” hospitals and should happily forgo nursery care regardless of exhaustion, stress, or pain. When she returns home, we desire that she breastfeed each of her babies for at least a year regardless of work obligations, levels of exhaustion, mental health concerns, or other kids to care for. We also warn her not to allow her babies to cry it out at night, and to critically monitor her growing child’s diet, developmental stages, physical activity levels, reading habits, sugar intake, and screen time. Also no yelling.  

I’m not suggesting whatsoever that living a healthy, active and wholesome life is not important to kids, or that women should just give up. I’m also not saying that we should install iPads on grocery carts so that moms can shop in peace. I'm instead saying this: We cannot keep expecting perfection from mothers, especially in an environment that works against them. We can’t keep implying through harsh criticism, lack of empathy and lack of real support that moms should be solely responsible for the next generation's health and happiness.

More often than not, most of us moms feel like we’re not doing enough for our kids. We beat ourselves up for making a quick mac & cheese so we don't lose our minds before the bedtime battle begins. We even have a little underground network where we secretly confess and whisper questions to each other like, "What's the longest your kids have gone without a bath...?" Or we send memes to our friends about how much we want to marry coffee. In fact, memes have actually become thee societal infrastructure on which moms can depend most for support and understanding. We don’t have paid maternity leave but we are super grateful for blinking guy.

For better or worse, the current system is not sustainable. We need hospitals, government, workplaces, and even parenting websites and experts to get more real about how difficult we've made it to mother. We need society to be a true partner in helping moms with all of their "shifts". Mothers are frequently left to pursue lofty family ideals on their own. Yes, we may kick off health campaigns and show moms how to hide broccoli in their kids' cereal. We may obliterate hospital nurseries to “encourage” mothers to breastfeed and bond with their babies. But these tactics are simply about reminding moms of all their responsibilities, not helping them with the job itself. Instead of policing mothers, we should remember that it takes a village to raise a healthy, happy child. But until that day really comes... I'll just be over here wearing my “I Did My Best” T-shirt.

 

P.S. working mothers and the struggle to make ends meet
P.P.S. prenatal and postpartum anxiety and depression
P.P.P.S what women want people to know about having a miscarriage

the tomato-basil-garlic pasta of your dreams
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We have this really great formula for recipes we're willing to experiment with at home for dinner and for our food posts. Basically, there's a limit of 8 ingredients max, and for every ingredient past that you have to factor in either a half hour delay of bedtime, an extra anxiety attack or some sort of existential crisis. So you have to save the complicated recipes for the days you're feeling up for it. 

Thankfully we have Italian connections over here so we took this superbly delicious, six-ingredient pasta recipe and tweaked it a little so it can serve a nice-sized family (probably leaving leftovers, which reheat really well). There is a little bit of waiting involved but after you make it once the recipe feels really simple to make and memorize. It's very forgiving (hard to mess up and easy to experiment with) and perfect for whenever you need to impress someone. Buon appetito!
 

dreamy tomato-basil-garlic pasta

8 garlic cloves
8-10 frozen basil "cubes" (1 tsp each)*
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
6 or 7 medium tomatoes (roma or bush)
1 1/2 boxes of whole wheat pasta (About 1.5 lbs total)
salt and pepper to taste

*or a couple handfuls of fresh basil, finely chopped

Start by putting the garlic, basil, and olive oil into a food processor (or mince the garlic by hand, add the ingredients to the pan and stir/allow the basil to defrost). Add the garlic mixture to a large pan with the Parmesan and a little salt + pepper. Simmer for a few minutes but don't let it burn. Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan. Allow to simmer for about a half hour, or a little more if you have time. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water for about 10 minutes, until it's al dente. When the pasta's done, pour out the water but leave a little left at the bottom. Add the sauce to the pasta. If you have time, let the sauce simmer with the pasta for five minutes. If not, mix together really well and serve with more Parmesan. It'll probably take like a million years to cool down but we still haven't figured out what to do about that with dinner in general. Maybe serve the pasta in bowls for everyone and then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes... What do you guys do?

 
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What recipes do you guys love to make that feel fancy but don't involve too many ingredients? 

P.S. a beautiful dessert board that everyone contributes to
P.P.S. look fancy and put together on a dime 

LiveNurit Siegal Comment
what have you guys been reading/listening to lately?
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What have you guys been reading and/or listening to lately? Anything from books, magazines, podcasts, books on tape, audibles, etc. etc. We have been doing "research" for some upcoming posts with Martha per usual (her Living Magazine is on the left up there), and also picked up two books that we've heard great things about from some wonderful experts we like to tap for advice (via google).

Okay so we're really not into "diet" books over here... And although we know you're not totally a real person until you can say you've done Whole 30, we gave this food/lifestyle book a shot and started reading The Blue Zone Solutions. We love it!! Instead of making you feel guilty for not getting your kids to love broccoli, it instead discusses how hard it is for families to stay healthy when their environments constantly encourage a fast-paced, fast-food lifestyle - and what we can do about it. It also explains what "Blue Zones" are. Blue Zones are pockets of the world that have remained largely untouched by the modern food industry where the most centennials live. They not only live long lives, but live healthier, more purpose-driven ones in tight-knit communities.We'll give a better review when we finish and we'd love to know if you've read it. Thoughts?

The Mask of Motherhood has yet to be cracked open, but we're coming for ya. What books and podcasts have you been into lately???

 
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p.s. how to get out of your New Years resolution rut
p.p.s. a healthy recipe you'll want to make again and again

 

 

Nurit Siegal Comments
"what i wish people understood about my miscarriage"
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"what i wish people understood"

on coping with pregnancy loss

Dear everyone,

I started L & B a few years ago as a personal blog to talk about the ups and downs of life as a mom. Over the past year or so, it has slowly (did I say slowly?) transformed into a life and lifestyle website for young moms looking for more relatable content. At the center of L & B is the awareness that motherhood is super challenging (did I say challenging???) and that mothers frequently lack the support necessary to get through it all. This is the place I wanted to create for us to talk - not just about the crazy, hilarious, and sunny moments - but also the darker aspects of life and motherhood. Our mission is to encourage an understanding of and appreciation for mothers everywhere, as well as to build an infrastructure of support we all so desperately need and crave as we try to raise our babies into grown, responsible adults… while also doing lots of other things. Indeed, as I write this I can hear one of my kids waking up (it's nighttime). I'll probably be writing the rest of this intro in 15 second intervals over a six hour period of time.

So without further ado, the topic for today’s post is something that hits home for me as well as many other moms. In the past few years I’ve had two miscarriages. In the thick of those experiences, I was confronted with incredibly painful emotions I didn’t know how to handle. I felt anything from excruciating loss and grief, to loneliness, to (perhaps the most horrifying of all) relief. Relief from the anxiety and crippling nausea of my pregnancy, which in turn lead to terrible guilt. 

These complicated, conflicting, and powerful emotions of pregnancy loss are what we hope to shine a light on today. We surveyed mothers on social media and received hundreds of responses. In an effort to do all of their stories justice, we’re using some of their quotes (anonymously) to highlight six “themes” that mothers spoke to the most.

Thank you again to all the women who wrote to us. We are so grateful to them. We'd also love to hear your thoughts on the post in the comment section below. Is there something that resonated with you? Do you feel the insights they shared relate to other areas of life as well? We'd love to know what you think.

Thank you again.

<3

Nurit


on gestures that are appreciated, and comments that are not...

Oftentimes people want to help you grieve but are afraid to say anything or say the wrong thing. Just be there for that mom who miscarried. Check up on her once in a while. Call or text "thinking of you, is there anything I can do for you". Most likely they will decline the offer but don't forget about them. Reach out and just be there for them!

A nice note, card, email or phone call is appreciated just like any other death. Don’t ask when the person might try again, don’t chalk it up to bad genetics, don’t say the person is lucky it happened now opposed to later in the pregnancy, don’t say “oh maybe you should have waited longer to tell people you were expecting”. Try to bring something like food to the couple, keep in touch and see when she might want to go out for coffee.

 

It helped me so much when people called and listened to my story and shared their stories – I felt less alone.
 

...No amount of "at least you can get pregnant, so it's actually good news" will be of any comfort until you're holding a baby in your arms and looking back.
 

People need to understand that women deal with this differently. Respect their decision on how they want to handle their own mourning. Let them know you are there and then step away, if thats what they want.
 

Being told you should be grateful you already have a healthy child(ren) doesn’t lessen the sense of loss and just makes you feel guilty for feeling bad


on feeling left out from future pregnancy announcements

...I was also saddened that after one of my miscarriages (it happened a bit later than the others), my friends and family were afraid to share their pregnancy announcements and positive experiences with us. It was as if I was being 'left out'. While I understood WHY they were doing it, it DID hurt and even after I mentioned it to some, it continued. Still....I understood why, and for some people that would be 'kind, understanding and empathetic' but for me? It made me feel left out and lonely."


on dealing with it alone

I really needed to talk to someone about it... but there was no one at the time. Because I miscarried fairly early in my pregnancy I felt that I didn't have a right to be too upset about it. This was echoed by the people who knew about it. They tended to say things like "you'll try again". But I was affected terribly.
 

How hard it was to keep pretending like nothing bad was happening--- I was miscarrying my first week back at school for a new school year (as a teacher). I was just waiting for it to happen and had to teach and go on like everything was okay. I then had to have a D&C because it wasn't progressing. I wish others could understand how agonizing those two weeks were, and how hard it was for me that I couldn't just take time off of work and be in bed or alone. A miscarriage coupled with infertility issues (this was after IVF) seemed like a double hardship.
 

This is true not only of miscarriages, but due to the private nature of a miscarriage – sometimes your hardest day, or the day of someone you love, goes totally under the radar. The time when you need the most love and care might be a time that you’re not openly sharing with people. It’s a good reminder to judge kindly and always make yourself emotionally available to your loved ones when possible.
 

Some people will not disclose it and it’s not about shame.


on guilt
 

…What I want people to know is that women may experience more guilt than grief. I was guilt stricken that I willed my pregnancy away. I was guilt stricken at my conflicting sense of relief. I was guilt stricken that my husband was genuinely destroyed by our loss. I was guilt stricken that I didn’t tell him my fears of having new baby so soon, or willing it away, of feeling relief. It was an endless cycle that took me three years to recover from. Therapy and accepting that I didn’t do anything to lose my pregnancy. Guilt is a terrible feeling. It doesn’t even allow you to accept kindness or condolence…
 

It's dosen't matter how early it was. You still connected to that baby and the loss hurts.  I wish there was some way for the mom to not feel guilty, like she caused this.


on the physical reality and emotional pain

The physical part of it alone can drag out for days, weeks, even months (like mine) depending on the circumstances around it. Then the emotional part of it takes a toll even longer. Stay present with your loved ones who are going through it. Know it will be a while. Crawl down in that trench with them and just hold their hand. You don’t have to fix it, solve it, make it better. Just be there with them. Check in. Let them know you’re thinking about them and that you’re there if they need you. And this goes for Dad’s too. It “happens” to them also. Don’t forget about them and the pain they’re also feeling.
 

After losing my child, I still looked pregnant for weeks. I felt my body was mocking me.
 

...[At the D&C] The nurses kept asking me why I was going for a procedure. Over and over again, I had to respond in the affirmative that I was having a D&C. Didn’t they all know already? Why did I have to keep saying it over and over. I became so anxious airing for the procedure. I was literally shaking so that they had to give m some meds to come me down. I was screaming in my head... Even though it’s been quite a number of years I still mourn every year the date I had the D&C...
 

I felt that some women dismissed it as “something that happens”. It wasn’t casual, it wasn’t early and it certainly wasn’t something that I waived away as a regular occurrence. The loss was devastating and I think about her often.


I had no idea that if you are far enough, your milk will come in... Such a hell.

 

I don’t think people truly understand how devastating it is. I waited my whole life to become pregnant and the first time I did I miscarried. Next to losing my mom, it was the most horrible loss I’ve experienced. I didn't care how “common” it was. The moment that test said positive I became a mom and when I was told there was no heartbeat, I felt like I failed my child. I literally felt empty inside. Within a matter of moments I went from having life in me to having the biggest void I’ve ever felt


on being nervous for the future

I was not overwhelmed and in grief with my miscarriages. I didn’t need days to recuperate at that moment. I really had a “Oh, that sucks” feeling, and figured it was meant to be… I felt the anxiety and worry during the next pregnancy. In fact, I didn’t want to get excited until the baby passed 32 weeks. My last child arrived at 31 weeks and no one really knew because of the “don’t want to get excited” planning.
 

It's the loss of hopes and dreams for your family. It’s the fear that you may never have a child. It’s the isolation you feel when it seems everyone around you has kids or is pregnant and your body is failing you… The only appropriate response to telling someone you had a miscarriage, is “I’m so sorry.” Not “everything happens for a reason.” The loss of your future child is devastating, plain and simple, and it can’t be rationalized nor is there any silver lining. It hurts.


We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below...

 

P.S. here is on our article on postpartum depression in six words or less and what helps women cope
P.P.S. prenatal and postpartum anxiety and depression
P.P.P.S. seven articles on motherhood that will make you feel normal

GrowNurit SiegalComment
greek salad with chick peas
 
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Someone I know who's desperate not to get sick again this winter recently told me about her new habit of taking a shot of fresh juice from one whole lemon every day (!!!!!!!!!!), but then unfortunately she still got sick. But like on a slightly positive note... I don't feel as bad anymore about not drinking four ounces of pain every day. However, I'm sure there's something to say about eating nutritiously and drinking lots of water to try to armor up. I'm still at the 1.2 glasses of water per day level so we'll get someone else for that post. In the mean time, how about a lovely Greek salad instead?

This salad is really easy to make because you barely need to measure (if at all really) and there are only two (or three if you use the onion) veggies to cut. The olives, feta, chick peas and oil can be thrown in quickly. Another option: add a squeeze of lemon too (no need to use the whole thing...)
 

greek salad with chickepeas 

1 large cucumber
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/8 of a small red onion (optional)
1/2 - 1 cup of chick peas
olive oil
for drizzle
sat + pepper to taste
black or kalamata olives for garnish
feta for garnish

Dice cucumber, cut the cherry tomatoes into half, thinly slice the red onion. Add chick peas, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Top with olives and feta (or mix them in before with oil if desired).

Have you guys been trying anything new out for this harsh winter season? Any great soups you're making when someone does get sick? We'd love to know what you're doing and we wish you a healthy and happy rest of the winter!
 

p.s. another chick pea kinda salad
p.p.s a winter favorite: breakfast-for-dinner  
p.p.s. great tips from other moms on how to save money on meals

Nurit Siegal Comments
life hacks for living on a strict budget
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Trying to budget and save money can be a super high stress process. And yes - there can be a hefty amount of guilt, frustration, and even shame surrounding how we earn and spend our money. Additionally, saving money means an investment of time and effort (including time to strategize and constantly re-evaluate expenses) and when you're on a strict budget, you may also be on a strict time budget. To help out, we surveyed you guys on social media to get your tips for cutting costs. We tried to include a variety of ideas, because what works great for one person may be unrealistic for another. Not to mention... some of us have the personality for budgeting, and some of us feel like we're lacking that "chip". If you're in the latter camp, you're definitely not alone and we're here to figure it out together!


F O O D   &   M E A L   p L A N N I N G


Whenever you walk into a grocery store grab the circular at the front and check what’s on sale. You’ll find that week to week the items change and you can start to see trends as to what will be on sale and when. One week it may be rice so stock up, the next seltzer etc…
 

I keep all my vegetable ends and trimmings/peels in a bag in the freezer. Then when the bag is full I turn it into vegetable stock.
 

Plan your meals and recipes around low cost items: potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggs, rice, beans/legumes, tortillas, pasta, oatmeal, bread, chicken, seasonal produce
 

Have easy, healthy inexpensive things around so that you always have a fast and healthy meal. For me, this looks like minute rice, canned beans of various, canned tomatoes, and frozen vegetables. All of these things last and can make quick simple meals as needed.
 

Every sunday I make a list of my meals for the week, and plan them based on what we have available at home. Only if I run out of things i can make with the ingredients I already have do i go to the supermarket to supplement. I also make all my own baked goods... which i find are sold at crazy high prices compared to the cost of ingredients.... and i freeze! I leave out only as much as I know we can realistically eat before things will go bad, and then then rest goes straight into the freezer (cheese, milk, soups, baked goods). All leftovers get turned into meals, frozen, or if there's only enough left for one person, gets packed for lunch. Helps save a ton of money on food and prevents waste.
 

Might sound crazy but dollar tree has some basic baking items (always a dollar!) like pie crusts, cake mixes, frosting, candy, etc. but not major grocery shopping
 

I cook according to what’s on sale. If cauliflower is on sale, I’ll make cauliflower soup, breaded cauliflower, roasted cauliflower and cauliflower salad that week
 

I use Ibotta, SavingStar, and Checkout 51. In about 18 months of my regular grocery shopping, I've probably earned $500 back
 

Leftovers are your friend. Sometimes your friends' leftovers are also your friend.
 

Write grocery list for the month . Buy in bulk ( non perishable) and do no enter grocery store more than 4 x a month.
 

Shop your pantry first, make meals with items you already have.
 

A good tip I heard is only bring cash to the grocery store. That way you know how much you can spend to the max


e n t e r t a i n m e n t


For gifts I don't buy gift cards from the store. I buy them online at gift card exchanges for at least 25% less.

 

We generally take a couple 2-3 day trips within driving range each year as opposed to long week vacations. We look for Groupons to decide where to go (indoor waterparks for example often have deals during the week that are much cheaper per night) so instead of spending 3k on a trip to Florida with flights etc, we may spend 500 twice per year on a mini vacation. It's fun for us and way more affordable. We try to go different places to keep it interesting. Then every 3 or so years we take a longer vacation.

 

Get a library card. Check out books instead of purchasing. Check out free museum passes. Free storytimes. Free play spaces for the kiddos, and sometimes they even show movies - All free.

 

If you shop on amazon, place items in cart and wait a few days to see if you still need it. Oftentimes they're no longer necessary. 
 

Go camping for vacation. You can pay about $15 - $20 per night and then go around all day to sight see.


c l o t h e s


My kids only wear hand me downs, gifts, and salvation army. They grow out of things too fast.
 

I buy a lot of my daughter's clothes in the sales a year ahead. She's in size 2-3 now and I've already bought most of her 3-4 wardrobe at half the price.
 

Thrift stores are your friend.
 

Consider every item you want to purchase as an investment. Ask yourself, is it a good investment or a waste of money? How much can you see it lasting for? I do this all the time with clothes and everything else.
 

Shop at thrift stores, consignment shops, and Walmart for cheap kid clothes.
 

Never go shopping for clothing unless you’ve weeded out your wardrobe within the past 6 months & you’ve shopped your closet. You’d be surprised at how many “new” outfits you can get.


g e n e r a l   b u d g e t i n g


I'm on a cash system. I take out a certain amount of cash each paycheck and that's all I allow myself to spend. Years ago, I used to just swipe my debit card and wasn't aware of what I was spending. I personally have found that when you are handing over the physical cash, you think about it. Especially when breaking a twenty... And avoid Target... you go in for shampoo and come out $50 later! So avoid it at all costs! (confession, I still shop there and sometimes feel like my whole paycheck just went there! Lol)
 

Know your prices - dont fall for "sale!" signs. Plan in advance, you can shop around (and Craigslist) when you have time. When you are in a desperate rush, you will spend much more!
 

I buy everything that’s on great sales and with coupons. If it’s not on sale and I do not have a coupon I do not buy it. That’s especially for household stuff. 
 

My main tip is Dollar Tree.
 

Use vinegar etc instead of the more expensive cleaning products, fabric softener etc. Save a heap load of money and it is chemical free
 

I follow ( or at least try to ) the envelope budget, every 3 months I break down every expense. Items that can be cash ( food, gas, allowance, dr copay, dry cleaning etc. )goes into an envelope other stays in my account ( utilities, car payment, insurance) this way I could move money when I need it and it’s already there in the envelopes
 

Never leave Home without a snack and water cup.  Use the library as much as you can! Crafts, story times, books. Save buying big items for Black Friday/cyber Monday. Check for free/cheap activities in Chicago parent. Cloth diapers! They’re cute and last for from birth to potty training. Use ibotta, receipt hog, Walmart savings catcher. Shop Aldi.
 

Meals at home, shopping at Aldi, using cash back and savings apps (ibotta, cartwheel, etc), cutting cable, making household cleaning supplies (laundry detergent as well), using cloth diapers/wipes, using as little paper/plastic products as possible, shopping secondhand, taking public transit/biking. A general rule of thumb for me is if it’s saving the earth, it’s probably saving me money.
 

Groupon. Discount programs. Kohls cash. Gymbucks. 

Taking care of what you have. 

Organization. Lots and lots of that......because if you can't find it because you aren't organized, you will buy it before you find it.


p.s. would you buy or check this book out at the library? 
P.P.S HOW TO DO SOME SELF CARE 
P.P.P.S. HOW TO COPE WITH POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION 

Nurit Siegal Comments
'chips' & schnitzel
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Do you have a handful of meals you rely on the most for dinner? Like, you basically pull from the same three to five things each week? For ex: PB & J, taco night, chicken soup. Done. End of list. The funny thing is that one mom's go-to easy recipe could be another mom's nightmare. Who knows why that is. But we are here to assure you that we will never post a recipe that requires you to "julienne" anything. It's possible that's not actually a hard thing to do but we don't really have time to Youtube it right now. 

We're curious though... is schnitzel on your list of "definitely not", "willing to try it", or "sometimes I make it"? It does require the potentially messy process of breading the chicken... but maybe some of you don't mind that. If you'd rather not... what would you rather make instead? What's on your rotation? 
 

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chips & schnitzel

schnitzel
1.5 to 2 pounds skinless/boneless chicken breast
4-5 eggs
few cups of bread crumbs
sesame seeds (optional)
cooking oil

whisk eggs well in a medium bowl. place a cup or two of bread crumbs (and sesame seeds if desired) in a separate medium bowl. slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise (or you can pound to make them thinner). place a few pieces of chicken at a time in the egg mixture and coat completely. switch them one at a time to the bowl of bread crumbs and coat well. set aside each finished piece on a plate as you work. coat a large pan generously with oil (about a quarter to a half an inch thick) and leave it for a minute or two on medium high heat. place the breaded chicken in the pan until the surface is mostly covered. the chicken should sizzle. after a few minutes, once the first side is browned nicely, flip to brown the other side. transfer all finished pieces to a clean plate - check the inside to make sure it cooked through. add more ingredients to the bowls/more oil to the pan if needed for the next batch.


chips
5 yukon gold potatoes (or more...)
few tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder
parsley flakes

preheat oven to 400 degrees. slice potatoes into wedges (about six wedges per potato). place potatoes in a bowl, or directly on a sheet pan, and drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the wedges. Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and toss till well coated. Roast until they start to brown - about 15 to 20 minutes. Feel free to turn them half way through to get both sides browned. Put on broil for one minute for extra crispiness...

What are your go-to recipes? What recipes won't you approach with a ten foot pole?

P.S. An easy, delicious twist on eggs on toast
P.P.S Would you put chicken tortilla soup on your rotation?

LiveNurit SiegalComment
six great lipsticks + balms for under $6
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If any of you have been wanting to try out a new lipstick for a more reasonable price, this post is for you. Drugstore lipsticks are a bit tricky because you can't try them out so we're giving you a heads up on six lipsticks that cost six bucks or less. The prices listed are mostly Target (except for the wet n wild balm stain) but if you want to buy them online or at least check out more reviews we have links at the bottom of the page. Look through the options, have fun and whatever you do, store those lipsticks on top of your fridge or something so they don't end up on your kid's forehead. 
 

Revlon super lustrous 

$4.99 - This almost always makes it on lists for best drugstore lipsticks. It goes on super smooth, won’t dry out your lips and feels like a high quality product. It’s also probably the most long lasting of the six and wears great for nights out on the town/special occasions i.e. going to Target alone without the kids
 

maybelline matte lipsticks

$5.59 - A bit tricky to always know what the color will translate into IRL but it feels velvety, smooth, and isn't drying. It won't look "creasy" and doesn't have that sticky feeling that other mattes sometimes do. They’re well pigmented and one swipe goes a long way.
 

Revlon kiss balm 

$4.49 - This balm is great on the go. It’s easy to apply without a mirror because it gives a nice color without being intense. It won’t last as long but it’s easy to reapply because as a balm it’s more hydrating. Great for every day use when you want a little color but don’t want people to think you have time for perfect make up every morning because then are you even a real mom??


Elf beautifully bare

$5.00 - Tied for favorite with revlon super lustrous. Some colors are more subtle while others give lots of pigment per swipe but the colors are so pretty and it’s super wearable and light. It stays on for a long time, especially if you go for a darker color.


wet n wild megaslicks balm stain

$2.99 - These are fantastic. Such great bang for your buck. They don’t feel heavy and they don’t feel tacky or sticky like other cheap lipsticks. They go on smoothly and have a balm-like feel but with a stain quality. They’re at such a good price that if you're looking for a few different lipstick colors, these are a great steal.
 

Burts Bees tinted lip balm 

$4.79 - Not a super heavy color so it’s great for every day quick use. It feels great and is perfect for keeping in your purse. It’s like getting to reapply chapstick/balm but you’re also retouching up your makeup as a byproduct. Go Burt’s Bees and it’s hard to go back.

 


 

P.S. an inexpensive, quick dinner idea for when you're tired of fish sticks
feel free to add a side of veggies

Nurit Siegal Comments
how to get out of your new years resolution rut
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How are you guys doing on your New Years resolutions? It’s not even two weeks into the year and the way I feel towards my 2018 goals is a lot like how I feel about my 7th grade diary. I was young back then and didn’t know what I was talking about. What was I thinking when I promised to "spark joy" in a different room in my house every week? I should know better. I literally just finished a load of laundry today that I started a week ago.

If you’re in a similar boat, have no fear. We are going to give our New Years resolutions a quick makeover. To set us up for success, we tapped psychologist Dr. Danielle Dragon in Chicago for some fast and easy ideas on how to give our goals a chance at seeing the light of day.


get into a positive state of mind
It’s hard to make reasonable goals when you’re feeling down and extra hard on yourself. Dr. Dragon recommends not making your resolutions in a way that’s going to make it feel like a punishment. “New Years resolutions should be made when you are in a good mood and not swimming in shame” she says. Put a positive spin on it too – “You should reward yourself with small rewards when you meet and surpass your goals.”
 

take it easy on the life overhauls
I was a little surprised when Dr. Dragon gave us an example of a resolution. It wasn’t something to do daily, but weekly. I didn't even know that was allowed. Apparently it can actually lead to better results and definitely less guilt.  She explains, “goals should be small, measurable, specific, and realistic. For example, working out one time a week for 20 minutes.” Okay, that is way less anxiety-inducing.  
 

make it friendly
we often make resolutions for ourselves that are strict, results-based, and something not super fun you have to do alone. Try something for pure fun that involves friends (or making new friends) - doctors orders. “Give yourself the self-care of friends – negotiate with your partner or family member to have an evening getaway, or even weekend getaway, with your girlfriends." Until you're able to pull that off, family time is a great goal as well: "A healthy resolution can be about making alone time with a spouse or child (i.e. one time a week, etc.) 


make it about self-care
we know the last time you self-cared and did something like put on a face mask was probably when your baby threw oatmeal at your forehead (super helpful when that happens because it’s where I get the most blemishes). Dr. Dragon suggests taking the initiative to do something for yourself in between the times your child takes aim. “Get yourself a small gift: a book, make-up piece, a shirt – something beyond simply practical. Allow yourself to take time - view that as a gift: an hour coffee date with yourself. Sign yourself up for some sort of health class with a structure: one-on-one dance training or fitness training, a chiropractic session, deep tissue massage, 3 yoga classes... Scheduling a certain amount of time off work to do self-care is a resolution unto itself. Think soothing, attainable, and practical.”


Are you feeling re-inspired? Do you think you might try again? We'd love to hear what your resolutions were and what you might do to make them simpler, and more manageable. Tell us in the comments below!

 

P.S. try self-care in the form of food a try or buy yourself that charming little gift

Nurit SiegalComment
whole wheat pancakes with maple syrup
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When it comes to motherhood and parenting, our society tends to be pretty paranoid. If it's 40 degree weather, you're required to send your child outside with gloves and a soviet fur hat even if it's for twenty seconds. Or if you God forbid allow a hydrogenated oil into your child's lunch, you can actually get arrested for that now.  It just seems like things are getting out of control. If a mom needs to send her toddler on a short drive literally down the street to the 7-Eleven for some milk, what's the problem? Are kids not allowed to be independent any more? 

Until things calm down, our lives will consist of titanium gloves, cashew oil, and never forgetting an item at the grocery store. And because we know how hard it is to remember everything, we're keeping it simple for our Monday post with a minimalist pancake recipe with a mere 6 ingredients. Okay, 8. Just remember, if you do use any white flour instead of pure whole wheat please do remember to burn them slightly so no one can tell.  

 

whole wheat pancakes with maple syrup

2 cups whole wheat flour* 
1 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups skim milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

cooking spray or butter for the pan
maple syrup for topping

makes about 10-12 medium pancakes

Mix the ingredients together a medium/large bowl (for added stress, mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in another and then combine). Heat up a buttered skillet or pan - or use cooking spray - and add about 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. Once the pancake starts to bubble and brown on one side, flip the pancake and give it another minute. Repeat and enjoy with syrup!

*if you're nervous about using a gallon of maple syrup to offset the whole wheat taste, than use half or all white flour for the recipe. 

 
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Follow us on instagram @lipstickandbrisket to learn more about our "process" 

 
 
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P.S. sunny side-up eggs on sweet potato toast 
P.P.S lox and cream cheese on "tartines"

LiveNurit SiegalComment
Our second installment of "Fawn, how do I do things?"
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Fawn Julsaint is back you guys! And she's here to answer common questions she gets about cleaning and organizing. Soon we hope to hijack Fawn for our Instagram stories so be on the look out! And if you want to go straight to the good stuff right away just head on over to @mydeercleaner. Enjoy! 



How can I keep my house more consistently clean?

For my own home, I try to do a bit of cleaning every day of the week that I can. I give myself a pass on Wednesday and Thursday because I know I have way too much going on. Be realistic about your schedule. Give yourself flexibility, just do a quick clean up if you can. It also helps to focus on a different part of the house each day of the week, even if it’s quick. 

Also, keep in mind that you only need to clean your house to the level you’re personally comfortable with. The level that makes you feel more at peace and makes life easier. No need to go beyond that.

 

How do I become more efficient at cleaning?

I always start with the kitchen or bathroom first. Those are often the toughest areas and I have the most energy in the beginning of cleaning. Certain things are less difficult like dusting, folding, and vacuuming. Save those for the end or for whenever you're more tired. You’ll be more efficient if you clean the tougher stuff when you know you'll have more energy. Keep a system that works for you so you don't have to think. 
 

I get so bored while I clean… any advice?

I like to listen to a lot of music and podcasts and audible books while I clean. It definitely helps keep me “zoned in” and focused. It’s easier when you’re mind is busy and interested while cleaning/organizing.

 

So then… what podcasts do you like?

I like crime and mystery podcasts the best. My favorites are Wrongful Conviction, Criminal, and Someone Knows Something. I also loved Missing Richard Simmons.
 

I hate cleaning and am not sure if I should hire someone. What should I do?  

Hire someone. If you’re hesitant for budget reasons, keep in mind that not regularly cleaning your home will result in bigger bills to pay later on. You may end up having to buy or replace things because of mold or grease build up. Bathroom tiles, for example, get moldy without cleaning and you may have to hire someone to re-grout it. Cabinets next to the stove can also become damaged from excess grease. All these things can make it harder to resell your house too. Sometimes things get desperate and people hire me to clean for hours before hosting guests or a house showing. But it’s definitely easier to keep things under control consistently over time.

If in the end you're not sure you can do it, another alternative is to ask a friend to come over and either help you or sit with you while you clean. And then you could offer to do the same in return for them. Sometimes working with somebody makes the job less daunting and more fun.
 

How should I organize all of my kids’ stuff?

Labeling things is a great way to start. You don't have to make them fancy. I have little bins with labels for my daughter so we can put stuff back easily. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even print out pictures so your kid knows where to put things if you want to teach them how to clean. Put any toys or craft supplies that drive you crazy up really high so they don’t see it so often. Keeps it from being all over your floor all the time. Another good idea is to use Ziplock bags and put them away, so they have to ask and take it out one at a time.

 


 Let us know if you have questions you'd like Fawn to talk about in in her next post!

 

Fawn Julsaint 

Owner-operator at My Deer Cleaner
@mydeercleaner
 


P.S. Here's our first post with Fawn
P.P.S. Seven self care trends we'll allow into 2018
P.P.P.S. The winner of our giveaway is @blockmommy!

 

Nurit SiegalComment
seven self-care trends we'll allow into 2018
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Whenever someone says “prioritize self-care” I start feeling the same kind of anxiety I do when someone tells me to meal prep. I totally see what they’re saying. I get it. But at the same time, the amount of scheduling magic and babysitting fairy dust I would need to make chopping up celery on a Sunday for five hours a reality is not super reasonable. Same for cleaning out our bath and then having enough time in it to get to a place of zen. But who doesn't at least like to daydream about cozying up with some tea and reading a book by candlelight after the kids are asleep? Just make sure to dim the lights on the three day old dishes in the kitchen. So in case we're ever able to figure it out, here’s a list of self-care trends we are willing to contemplate/dabble in come 2018.
 

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah)
Denmark has been on trend for a while now, especially for their culture of hygge. Basically, hygge is the idea that you don’t need much to transform yourself into a Yankee candle incarnate. Make your favorite drink, light a few candles, and snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a good book on the couch and voila! You’re Danish. Replace the book with Netflix for the American version.
 

Golden lattes
Golden lattes are “health” lattes in that they are have turmeric in them instead of coffee. I don’t know how but turmeric is supposed to be very good for you, and you “activate” it’s power in by putting a tiny bit of pepper in the drink. I know it sounds bizarre but they’re actually really delicious. But for the love of all things holy, please start with dividing the suggested amount of turmeric by at least two unless you have been doing bikram yoga and drinking wheat-grass shots for the past five years.

 

Watch videos of Oprah and Brene Brown schmoozing
Oh my goodness if you haven’t heard of Brene Brown yet, it’s time! Put her together with Oprah and your soul may burst. Brene Brown talks about vulnerability, shame, and creativity. She explains why these things matter, as well as the hard stuff you need to go through in order to truly experience joy. Her famous TedTalk will make you hardcore laugh/cry. Do it to it. 


Become a Parisian Woman
Take everybody’s advice and become French as an investment in your health and happiness.

 

Arianna Huffingtonify your sleep
Last year I read Huffington’s book on sleep and I loved it (…theoretically). She basically calls for a Sleep Revolution (also the name of the book) in our society. She wants workplaces, educational institutions, and families to finally value and highly prioritize good sleep. According to Huffington, “The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity, but in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived.” She also talks about sleep hygiene and things like turning your phone off at least a half hour before going to bed. Beware, however, that if you have small children waking up at night you may wish to defenestrate this book.

 

Public library and free reading
There is a really cute public library about 20 minutes from my house and when my oldest was a baby I loved going there while she napped in her stroller. I think they may also have books on tape at public libraries which I really should try. I once left there with Martha Stewart’s huge Entertaining book without paying for it of course and I felt like Martha had given it to me herself. I did not use a single recipe but for a few weeks I felt like we had dined and laughed and made marshmallows in her Bedford home together.  

 

Headspace app
If you want a great introduction into meditation this app is amazing. You only need to invest a few minutes a day (or night) to feel like you’re actually looking forward to meditation. The man who guides you on the app has a British accent and sounds very “normal”, and it makes it all feel a bit more down to earth. This is definitely a good one for meditation skeptics who are secretly curious.  

 

What would you add to the list? Is there anything you've been doing that you love? We want to know!

P.S. tips for pretending to seem more awake
P.P.S  ideas for self-care during postpartum depression

TalkNurit SiegalComment
lox and cream cheese tartines
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Let's talk real for a second. Sometimes, as much as we all need to be ourselves and be authentic and you know what I mean... once in a while someone comes along and you find yourself in a pickle. You feel the need to try and impress them. There is not a bone in your body that can stop you from wanting to prove that you are better than they're giving you credit for. Like, for example, if a snooty acquaintance says, "So what do you do all day as a stay at home mom?" - you just have to hit them back with "Oh, I volunteer at an animal hospital for six hours a day with my four children. What do you do?" Irregardless of whether or not that's true is beside the point. Sometimes you just have to say what people need to hear.

The only problem is that it's not always possible to fake the time and energy it will take to impress, especially when it comes to entertaining. You can't just pretend you want to bake crème brûlée for a party after a full day with the kids and then find it magically brûléed on your counter. So this is when you need to start serving "tartines". Serving them as well as talking about them. "Oh, I'm serving tartines tonight for the guests - I'll see you at eight o'clock." But really, you're serving toast. Literally, tartines are just toast. But serve that toast on a white platter with lox and schmear and suddenly you are the queen of tartines. Your party will be a hit and people will feel the need to start impressing you. 

 

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lox and cream cheese tartines

pumpernickel bread loaf, or your bread of choice (sliced makes it faster!)
cream cheese
roma tomatoes
cucumbers
red onion
lox
capers 

toast the slices of bread. spread cream cheese and add lox, thin slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. garnish with capers and begin referring to them as tartines. 
 

LiveNurit SiegalComment
get-ready-for-2018 giveaway! with three gifts to choose from...
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L&B New YEars Giveaway! 

Happy Tuesday everyone! We're excited to start the day with a get-ready-for 2018 giveaway! The end of the year with all the holidays gets super crazy (last night of Hannukah tonight!), and so we thought, why not give our hard working readers a chance at a great New Years gift? We picked three items to help kick off your New Years resolutions, and the winner* gets to choose from one of the three gifts below. We'll announce the winner on Monday morning. Here's how to enter the giveaway:

1. Like us on Facebook 
2. Pick a post you like on our page and tag two friends 

And... done! 


 

To help you stay organized. Or at least look more organized.

To help you eat more veggies:

To help you start the day feeling fresh: 

 

We can't wait to give one you guys a gift! Here's a look at some of the articles you'll find posted to our Facebook page:
 

seven self care trends we'll allow into 2018

meet Erin Zaikis, founder of the non profit empowering women, Sundara 

potluck fruit-and-nut dessert board

pregnancy discrimination and paid sick day laws in Chicago

postpartum depression in six words or less

prenatal/postpartum anxiety and depression

our beloved house and home contributor

meet Rachel Siegal, prosthetist resident and mom in downtown Chicago

sunny side up eggs with sweet potato toast 

the delicate situation of having guests postpartum

thirty dollars or less holiday gift guide

 

*contest winner must have a U.S. mailing address the item can be sent to

 

Nurit SiegalComment
seven articles on motherhood that will make you feel normal
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Am I crazy?

If anyone ever says to you motherhood is a walk on the beach, ummmm that is false. It’s incredible how often we’re made to feel that motherhood shouldn’t be all that hard if only we “do it right”. Unfortunately, that means that we all spend tons of energy trying to hide our struggles from others as much as possible, even when all we need is support and empathy. So today, we’re giving a shout-out to all the moms out there going through things alone. But not totally alone. Below are seven articles and stories that help validate our feelings as mothers  – whatever it may be we’re going through.

 

The Birth of a Mother

Discusses the identity shift a woman goes through in becoming a mother and the emotional/pscyhological challenges that come with it.  

“When women find themselves feeling lost somewhere between who they were before motherhood and who they think they should be now, many worry that something is terribly wrong, when in fact this discomfort is absolutely common.”

 

Living with My Miscarriage Long After It’s Over

How the birth of new life can remind us of the loss of life

“Motherhood is stitched into our very soul and woven throughout that intricate masterpiece are moments of joy and weakness. Hope, grief and loneliness. These children, earthly or not, are forever our story.”

 

Get the Epidural

A hilarious article from comedian/TV writer Jessi Klein that will help women who secretly want to get an epidural do away with the guilt. Warning: potentially controversial

“There is so much pressure on women around birth and labor and mothering to do it this way or that way. It’s so easy to believe the notion that having a baby demands complete and total self-abnegation, and anything short of that is not enough.”

 

These are the Six Hardest Moments of Being a Single Parent

A look at one mom's experience with single parenthood

"...because of that, I desperately try to manage everything, and balance everything, because if I can pull it all off, I am able to convince myself that I really can do this."
 


When ADHD (Literally) Runs the Family

When a parent with ADHD raises a child with ADHD

“Mothering a child with ADHD is not for the faint of heart — and it becomes more daunting when you, too, are struggling to stay on track every day. Still, millions of mothers with ADHD now face this challenge, given the extremely high heritability rates for this vexing disorder”
 


The Night Before Mother's Day     & 
Mom Squad Meeting: Bring Your Own Vest   



Two videos from What's Up Moms: Real talk about what Mothers Day is actually like & a meeting that all moms want to attend. In general, it's time to follow What's Up Moms

 


Are there are any articles or videos that got you through a tough time as a mom? We'd love to hear (and read) what's helped you out

 

 


 

 

GrowNurit SiegalComment