How To Survive Yucky Weather With A Toddler!

It is rainy and cold here today, so it is only fitting that I write about how we stay busy and sane when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with outdoor time.  Being a stay at home mom has been a big adjustment for me and it has taken me a while (still does on most days) to get into a routine that keeps Avery stimulated and me from going bonkers!  Then throw in a rainy day and Bam! We start to feel a little looney.   We start the day at 7:00am and end at 7:00pm and she only naps oh I’d say 45 minutes in-between and the rest of the time we rage.

I don’t know about everyone else but staying at home gives me cabin fever and with my anxiety can make some days seem like ground hog’s day with no end in sight.  So, having some fun activities outside of the house is the only way to keep this ship afloat.  We try to get out and about in the morning to held aid a long nap (sometimes for both of us!) Then in afternoon we keep ourselves busy with indoor activities.

Below are some of our favorite activities and places that we love and keep Avery and mommy happy!

Out Of The House Activities


This place is hands down our favorite place to party.  You can find us here three to four days out of the week!  Gymboree offers music classes, free gym, age appropriate play and learn classes and our new favorite, art class!  We belong to the Gymboree in Lafayette, Ca and we opted for the unlimited membership and it has been the best investment we have made as far as activities go.  The staff is super friendly, and the gym is clean and such a fun and safe place for Avery to explore.  They are all over so check your area for a local Gymboree.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!   Click Here to check out their nationwide site.

artclass.jpgThis is Avery at her first art class (don’t be fooled by the face, she had a great time!)

Library Story Time

We are lucky enough to live in an area that has a few fantastic libraries and boy do we take advantage of them.  The library is one of Avery’s favorite places to go and we really make use of that library card.  We try to make it to Story Time at least twice a week and after it is done Avery proceeds to run around the entire library checking it out and then we head home with a stack of new books (free!) to read.  We can easily kill 2 ½ hours there.  We have a fantastic story time that includes a very talented man who sings, plays the guitar and really engages the kiddos.  It’s a perfect combo to get a very active toddler worn out!


One Heart Music Class

Now this is local to Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek but check in your area and I am sure there are music classes offered which are truly worth it, especially if your little loves to be silly and dance.  This is such a fantastic class because Avery LOVES music.  It is a 40-minute class where the teacher plays his guitar, engages the kiddos and ends with a floor full of instruments for the kids to play with and dance to music.  He does a fantastic job of introducing different genres of music and his own written songs are so fun, interactive and really get the kids to think!  Avery runs around the entire time and by the end she is smoked (perfect for right before nap time!)   If you live in Norther California head Here to check out registration for these amazing classes.

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Lindsay Wildlife Museum

This is another local spot in our area but check in your area because you may have something like it! Lindsay Wildlife museum a wonderful wildlife sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates animals and for a yearly membership kiddo can go any day and run around and check out all the animals.  They have quite a few hawks, owls and other beautiful birds as well as a few adorable guinea pigs, a rabbit and a few more fun critters for Avery to see.   They also offer educational classes, live animal showings and so much more!  If you live in the Bay Area this place is great to check out.  Go to their site Here to see all that they offer!


Indoor Activities:

Painting and Baking

We just purchased this learning tower on Amazon, and it is one of our best buys yet!  It allows Avery to be at the same level as me so she can feel like a big girl and participate in either painting or baking.  (we have been doing this a lot lately.)  It is a bit bulky, but we leave it in the corner of the kitchen and bring it out when we need it.  For me, letting Avery be up at my level and learn about what we do in the kitchen has been fun and entertaining, a messy!  For painting we just tape a large piece of paper down on the counter and let her have at it!  See below Shop This Post to find this learning tower!


Playing with Murphy (The dog)

Now we are lucky enough that our golden retriever is a built-in playmate of sorts.  And it helps that he is gentle and basically lets her crawl all over him (see photo below).  They literally play keep away from each other, tug of war and they cuddle.  This buys me at least 20 minutes of freedom!


Peppa Pig

Yep, I am going to say it, we watch TV.  I allow her 1-2 episodes of Peppa pig depending on the day and she loves it!  Usually one in the morning when I am doing the dishes and one at night when I am cooking dinner.  I know everyone feels differently about this but for us it works, and I know she is learning and loving it! As you can tell from the pic below she doesn’t sit still for very long so she really only sees a portion of an episode!  Moderation people!


And if you are feeling adventurous get outside in the rain! Jumping in muddy puddles is one of our favorites (and Peppa Pigs too).


I would love to hear what you do with your littles on a cold and dreadful day so comment below and share!

Enjoy Lovelies!



Food For a Healthy and Happy Mind!

Anybody that knows me knows that I struggle with anxiety and have since a very young age.  In my younger years I covered it up with drinking and denial but when I entered my 30’s, got married and had Avery I realized that I could no longer hide this disease and that it needed to be treated the right way.  Through years of research and trial and error I have found a pretty fool proof way to handle it for the long term.  I see an amazing therapist consistently, take anxiety medication and I make sure that what I put in my body is helpful and not harmful.

One of the sure-fire ways I keep it in check is through my diet so I wanted to round up an easy and delicious list of nutrient dense foods that have been proven to help keep anxiety at bay and to calm it down when it flares up.  These foods and recipes are great for someone with constant anxiety like me or just for a stressful day that needs to be remedied.  Check out the list below!

DARK CHOCOLATE!!! Yep, you read that right!  One of my favorite foods of all time is chocolate.  Doesn’t matter what kind and let’s just say I ate all the chocolate I could get my hands on when I was pregnant with Avery (hence the 55 pounds of pregnancy weight I gained, all sugar weight!) But once I started researching foods, I found out that dark chocolate is scientifically proven to boost your mood.  So, enjoy it!  I like to get some dark chocolate and sea salt squares and have a few after dinner.  Now, make sure it is dark chocolate as milk chocolate has too much sugar which will cause a crash which can cause your anxiety to spike.


Chamomile Tea – I LOVE to drink this before bed.  I used to take some very strong anxiety medication before I went to bed but once I became pregnant those were no longer an option, so I found Chamomile tea and I never looked back! It has a compound it (Matricaria Recutita that binds to the same brain receptors that strong drug such as Valium would.  Get yourself a yummy cup and curl up in bed with a book before you fall asleep.  I promise it will ease your nerves.


Turmeric – Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that boosts both serotonin and dopamine in your brain, plus it tastes delicious!  I will put it in a smoothie!  My favorite smoothie is this one from the girls over at Tone It Up.  I try to drink this smoothie at least a few mornings a week.  Bonus, it is SOOO yummy!

Spinach – it is high in magnesium, so it helps regulate your cortisol levels.

Oranges – good ol oranges lower your cortisol levels and lucky for me my daughter loves them, so we munch on these for snack time often!

Avocados – Did anyone say Avocado toast?  This new health craze has merit and is delicious!  Avocados are high in B vitamins which relieves stress.  I personally like to make my avocado toast with whole grain bread and two eggs on it!  Which leads to the next anti-anxiety food!


Whole eggs – Eggs are not only so tasty but also are packed with tryptophan and omega threes which can boost your mood and calm you down. Win win!

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Steel cut oats – we eat these all the time in our household because they are easy to make and because they boost your serotonin, they are a perfect food for anxiety.  We like to sprinkle some walnuts, blueberries and Stevia on top!


Hope you enjoy Lovelies!

Inspiring Reads for Little Girls!

We just wrapped up Avery’s second Christmas and although it was a world wind of traveling, visiting family and friends and jumping from crib to crib we had the most amazing time! We got to watch as Avery opened presents and really enjoyed the process as opposed to last year when she was too young to really understand.  And even though she was gifted every kind of toy, doll and clothing item you can imagine, she naturally gravitated to her favorite, books.  I still have a vision in my head of her surrounded by a baby Minnie Mouse quad (yep she loves it!), blocks, trinkets and all sorts of kiddo goodies and she was just sitting there engrossed in one of her books.  One of my favorite things about our daughter is her love of reading as this was a favorite past time of my father’s and mine.

I have been reading to her since she was an infant and she has fallen in love with it which makes me so incredibly proud.  One thing I have tried to do recently since she is into more big kid books is to find books that relay strong messages to her about who she is and what she is capable of.    

My wishes for her are to be strong, confident, love herself and to know that she can do whatever she puts her mind to and below are some of our favorite books that do just that!  These books each have such special stories about how to love yourself, dream big and never give up.  Enjoy!

Dream Big Little Pig! Written by Kristi Yamaguchi

This adorable book is written by Kristi Yamaguchi the Olympic figure skater.  Kristi started her Always Dream Foundation in 2012 to promote childhood literacy because of her love of reading.  This book sends such loving and encouraging messages to keep trying activities and you will find what is right for you.  The words and the illustrations are beautiful, and Avery loves this book (especially because she loves pigs) This book is one of many in this series with different characters and inspiring messages.

Rosie Revere, Engineer Written by Andrea Beaty

Now this one is a favorite in our house because my husband is a civil engineer and I will be honest Adam and Avery are two peas in a pod, so I can see her wheels turning when it comes to putting things together and building.  Rosie is a young girl who loves to create and invent.  Although she is discouraged by teasing and taunting, she perseveres and does what she loves!  It is such a fun and vibrant book that encourages imagination and gets little ones to start thinking about creating and sends a message to be who you are with no apologies!

Dear Girl, Written By Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal

Now this one is my all time favorite and I am so happy that Avery likes to read it repeatedly (I am talking like 10 times in a row!)  As a young girl I had such insecurities and I wish there had been a book like this to remind me what is important and how to love myself.  The message this book sends is to love all of yourself, freckles and red hair and birthmarks and all! It inspires the reader to believe in themselves, be silly and to always enjoy every moment of life.  It is such a care free book that sends a strong message that girls should trust their own inner voices and that their emotions and feelings are not weaknesses but strengths.

Julia, Child Written by Kyo Maclear

This book is such a good read and not just for kiddos!  When I read this to Avery it makes me feel like a kid again and reminds me to relax and not be so serious about life.  It is a book about two friends who are in no rush to grow up and through cooking they stay young and carefree.  Such a sweet read!

Little People, Big Dreams Amelia Earhart Written by Ma Isabel Sanchez Vegara

One of many in this series, Amelia Earhart is one of our go to books during story time. Avery is obsessed with the sky and anything in it.  She loves books about rockets and space and flying so this is a perfect fit because it also teaches her history and that no dream is too big.  Plus, the pictures are so pretty!  This series also has books about Coco Chanel, Rosa Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, and so many more amazing women in history.

Hope you and your little ones enjoy these books as much as we do!

Chat soon Lovelies!  

My Love For The Barre! My New At Home Workout Obsession!

Ever since I was very young, I have always been an avid fitness enthusiast. Growing up with a curvy figure and a mean case of anxiety, exercise was one of the best ways to make sure my body stayed in shape both mentally and physically. Now before I had Avery, I was able to bounce around like a free spirit from studio to studio working out as I pleased. But once I become a mother that all changed!

Now I am lucky to see the inside of a gym on a quick Saturday morning trip while my husband hangs with our little one. Unfortunately, right now Avery thinks that daycare in any sort of fashion is pure torture and she refuses to act civil for even a moment. Our trips to the gym usually end up with me dropping her off, getting settled on my yoga mat, then about 10 minutes in the young daycare gal comes to get me because Avery is hysterical. She is strong headed I will give her that!
So, gone are the days where I have the freedom to visit the gym, but you know what is still there? My anxiety and the baby weight so I had no choice but to try the dreaded (at least for me) workout from home. The thought of working out alone in the living room without the energy of a class and human interaction sounded down right miserable but I knew that I had to give it a shot, so my search began.

When I was pregnant with Avery, I LOVED Pure Barre. I went as often as I could and to be honest, I really credit those workouts for why I had a pretty decent labor and delivery. So, I knew I wanted to get back into Barre, but I wanted to switch it up and try something different. I tried core power yoga online, but I suffer from sciatica and some lower back issues and all the forward folding was not helping my back pain, so I decided to do some research on other barre classes.

I came across Physique 57 and after joining their on-demand streaming website I was hooked! Now for those of you who have not tried a barre class before they are basically a complete body workout with minimal impact on your joints using small repetitive motion and bursts of low impact cardio. Now don’t be fooled you may see the words “low impact” and think these workouts will not challenge you, but you would be so mistaken. I don’t think I have ever walked away from any other class as sore and exhausted as I have from a barre class.

Now, Physique 57 is very similar to Pure Barre or other Barre classes out there but for me it was a change of scenery and routine that did the trick. I finally found an at home workout that I enjoyed, and I have started to see results (slower than an anticipated but that is most likely due to my large consumption of chocolate). These workouts make me feel stronger mentally and the physical benefits are so evident. Working out with Physique 57 has helped my arms get stronger so I can pick up my little 24-pound turkey and my legs to chase her around all day (she never stops moving!) Not to mention the constant squatting to pick up random toys, sippy cups and other miscellaneous items she decides to throw around!

If you are a mama who can’t make it to the gym or you travel a lot for work and need a workout on the go you should give Physique 57 a try. Below are some recommendations for gear you will need, the membership information and a few tips!

Visit and click the stream live option to sign up. They offer a 14-day free trial, so you can see if it is something you would enjoy or not! After that it is $19.95 a month.  You can customize what type of workout you are looking for depending on your preferences and fitness level.

You will need:

a set of two-pound weights – Amazon has a variety

a mini exercise ball – I purchased mine on amazon

exercise band – yep you guessed it, Amazon!

Yoga Mat – I absolutely love my Lululemon yoga mat

The back of a chair or couch (yay, free)

A workout space in your house ( We only have one TV in the house so I have to set up shop in the living room)

A smart TV or an HDMI adapter for your phone to broadcast the stream on your TV (either option is super easy)

Be prepared to be so sore that you can’t walk the next day! But keep showing up, aim for three days a week at first, because it gets better, I promise! After a few weeks you will feel stronger, leaner and healthier.
Keep showing up for yourself. No one ever regrets completing a workout but how many times have you regretted not working out?

Whether it’s this fitness routine or something else just get up and move! We deserve to treat ourselves to the gift of movement. Don’t take it for granted and let it work for you! Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!

Chat Soon Lovelies!

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