Coconut Oil- My New Favorite Conditioner

Coconut Oil- Courtesy of Trader Joes

Coconut Oil- Courtesy of Trader Joes

These days it seems like I am having a bad hair day, EVERYDAY! Since I started nursing my little peanut, my hair has been falling out in clumps, yes clumps! At first it really freaked me out, but after some research and a panic call to my Dr., I learned that this is completely normal for nursing mothers…Annoying but normal! Well, now all these little hairs are starting to regrow and they are small, they stick straight up and are annoying.

As I was discussing these frustrations with my Stroller Strides running partners, they started naming off suggestions to help! One suggestion that came up and stuck was Coconut Oil. I thought it was interesting, simple and I had it in my cupboard so that I could start right away. When I got home, I grabbed the coconut oil and went to town. At the end of the process and after a much-needed shower, my hair felt AweMazing, salon AweMazing! I have been doing this treatment once a week for a few weeks now and each week I get better results. My hair is softer, shinier and I even think my hair is growing faster, it’s like miracle grow for hair. At this rate, these new little baby hairs will soon be long lush layers that blow in the ocean breeze! I can dream right?

Here are the steps for my new favorite deep conditioning treatment:

INGREDIENTS:

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Towel

Shower Cap (or Plastic Bag)

DIRECTIONS

  • Take approximately 2 TBS of Coconut Oil (note: amount will vary depending on hair length) and rub in your hands to make smooth oil. Apply to dry hair avoiding the roots and concentrating on the ends.
  • Clip your hair on top of your head.
  • Run your towel under hot water and place in microwave for 30 seconds. The heat from the towel will help the oil penetrate the hair
  • Wrap the warm towel on your head and cover with shower cap (or plastic bag) to seal in the heat. Let sit for at least 45 minutes, I like to go a little longer like an hour and if I have time 2 hours! Hey you have some DVR to catch up on right?
  • Rinse hair with shampoo (I wash my hair twice to make sure all the oil is out) and conditioner.
  • Style and feel the silkiness of your gorgeous hair…AWEMAZING! 

Easy Weeknight Meals: Fiesta Lime Rice

Living so close to the Mexico border, we are blessed with some of the most AweMazing Mexican food, and let me tell you I am a SUCKER for Mexican food! We are so spoiled that whenever I make Mexican food for dinner I have to go to the popular local restaurant to buy our tortillas. It’s the kind of restaurant where they have the ladies in the front window making fresh tortilla by hand and served to you hot off the grill-Oh, my mouth is watering already. We have become so spoiled with our fresh tortillas that my husband refuses, yes REFUSES to eat store-bought tortillas.  He claims the tortillas make the meal, which means we need to drive 45 each way to pick up these tortillas. I’ve created a monster, although I do agree with him, these handmade tortillas are beyond AweMazing!

Anyways, whenever I make Mexican food I am always trying to find a side dish besides the standard mexican rice and refried beans..Boring! Well, I have found it! Thanks to SkinnyTaste.com, I have found a side dish that provides extra nutrients and fills the family up. I even like adding this to one of the  fabulous tortillas and eating it plain with a slice of Avocado! Yum! So next time you make Mexican food or need an easy side dish for that neighborhood BBQ, try this easy Fiesta Lime Rice Dish! Everyone will be AweMazed!

Fiesta Lime Rice- Photo Courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Fiesta Lime Rice- Photo Courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Fiesta Lime Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and heated
  • 3/4 cup cooked corn (I use fresh corn when in season or Trader Joes Frozen Corn), heated
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large scallion, diced fine
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped cilantro (to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine hot rice, heated corn, heated beans, tomato, scallion, cilantro, lime juice and salt if needed. Toss and serve.

Yep it’s that easy and even more delicious!

Hope you have an AweMazing Weekend!

XOXO

FREE Resources in a Community Near You!!!! Yes FREE!

Today, I made the discovery of all discoveries! When I took my little peanut to the library for a free infant massage class, I thought why not learn to relax my baby before bed, who doesn’t love a great massage. The class was not only informative and free but we also walked away with massage oil, well it’s Grapeseed Oil (we were told you should us an oil you wouldn’t be afraid to eat and that was odorless), and stacking cups for baby to play with… Win! But that’s not all, I learned that there is more to this program then just an hour trial class, it’s actually a 4-week series and the series is FREE! I know; I couldn’t believe it either! The program is part of a program called First 5 San Diego and it is directed towards parents with newborns to 5 year olds. They provide parenting classes, classes on sleeping, massages, nutrition, behavior, and the list goes on. They even provide testing to make sure your child is where they should be developmentally so that you can make sure they are on the right track as they prepare for grade school! AWEMAZING right? The program is all FREE; it’s paid for from money earned from a tobacco sales tax (thank you San Diego smokers)!

Photo Courtesy of First 5 San Diego

Photo Courtesy of First 5 San Diego

As we were sitting and learning about everything First 5 San Diego has to offer we discussed how many free programs there are out there for parents from helping them to stimulate their peanuts, to classes’ on behavioral issues to family activities. Here are some ways in which you can find some of these programs in your area.

  • Check you Library Events Calendar
  • Find Local Parent Magazines (they often have event calendars in the back)
  • Check your local newspaper
  • Call your local community center
  • Google your city names and free activities
  • Check with your pediatrician or local hospital
  • Check local museums, gardens, etc. (they often offer a free day for residence)

These are just a few of the ways to search for programs in your area. I encourage you to look around. There are so many programs out there for families that are absolutely free so why not take advantage of these to enhance your child’s life as well as your time with them!

Enjoy what is out there; it’s nothing short of AweMazing if you take the time to look for it!

XOXO

P.S. I did sign up for the FREE 4 week Baby Massage class, I will let you know how it is- Thank You again San Diego Smokers!

Test of Motherhood: My Attempt as a “Single” Parent

Oh man…. These last few weeks I have experience what it is like to be a single parent (or have a spouse deployed) and it is NOT fun! My husband has been working over 70 hours a week trying to meet an upcoming deadline, I didn’t even know there were 70 hours in a week! Needless to say it has been just me and peanut all day every day, luckily we do get to see daddy in the morning, at lunch and for dinner so we aren’t completely on our own. Through these trying weeks, I have learned a few things that have helped me keep my sanity. These few things have helped me get through each day and will continue to help me until this project is done and once it is done, we plan on some quality family time that will be AWEMAZING!

Create a schedule and stick to it: I have created a schedule for feedings, naps, library time, grocery store shopping etc. and have stuck to it (for the most part). This has helped me keep my focus and keep me active each day.

Schedule play dates: Scheduling play dates has been crucial, it not only give peanut time with her little friends but it also allows for me to have some adult conversations, which you would be surprised how important it is! It’s nice to be able to catch up with friends, get support and just talk about things besides the ABCs and farm animals.

Pick-up the house before going to bed: This one sounds like such a drag, but for some reason waking up to a clean house that has the dishes done, toys put away and laundry folded just helps get the day off to a better start. Throughout the day you will spend making the mess, creating laundry to fold and scattering toys around at least you didn’t have to deal with it right when you open your eyes.

Me, Me,  Me time: This has been probably the most important thing I have done that has kept me sane. Now I obviously couldn’t take a spa day or a marathon of yoga classes since I don’t have my husband to stay with peanut. Instead, I improvised, I made sure that I would go for a run (with baby and the jogger of course) with headphones in and just let my mind focus on my run. Even though peanut is with me, I was still doing something for myself that made me feel good and cleared my mind. I also make sure I take time during nap and at night to relax whether I watch a show on TV, read a book or magazine or catch up on Facebook posts, it was quiet time for myself and was much needed

These have been lifesavers for me during my husbands project; I just hope I can keep it going for the next month and half! Please send any other ideas that work for you!

XOXO

Coconut Water: A Win All Around

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

Hot summer days (and by hot I mean 85 degrees here in San Diego), brings the need to stay hydrated in order to keep the body functioning all cylinders. While water is good and probably the best choice, coconut water is a good substitute as it contains electrolytes like potassium that are essential to the body in order to maintain hydration. Electrolytes found in coconut water help detox (i.e. aftter a night of drinking) and repair (after a long workout) the body.

While I was pregnant my swollen feet and leg cramps were unbearable. As I was drinking as much water as I could I still was in pain. My Dr. then suggested I try coconut water to get the extra electrolytes that my body needed. I started drinking coconut water once in the morning and again at night and I was able to feel the difference, I wasn’t waking up at night with excruciating leg cramps and the swelling in my feet went down (slightly). Since having little peanut I have continued to drink coconut water to help stay hydrated so that I can continue to breastfeed.

Just recently, I have looked into the true benefits of coconut water and was truly shocked at how AweMazing it really is.  It provides so much more for your body than any sugary sports drink out there plus it’s all natural without any of the sugars added. Many professional athletes are ditching the standard sports drink and going to coconut water for a faster recovery. These benefits are a win all the way around.

Benefits of Coconut Water

Benefits of Coconut Water

The $10 Lemonade

Photo courtesy of stacyloliver.com

Photo courtesy of stacyloliver.com

In the middle of summer, kids start getting antsy, while parents run out of ideas to keep them entertained. Well, today I think everyone had the same idea…”Lets have a lemonade stand”! While walking with the baby or driving through the neighborhood I counted 6 lemonade stands, yes 6!!!!! Some had professional looking stands with cash registers, while others were on a card table with a bright balloon, some even had sign twirlers!  Either way, all the stands had the same objective, there was some reason to start a lemonade business. Whether it be to save for a new bike or a trip to Sea World, lemonade stands teach kids about working for their money, it helps them understand how to run and market a business (or lemonade stand) and it teaches them how to succeed and yes even fail. Whenever I am walking or even driving, I always make it a point to stop and support their business. Today was no exception, although I didn’t stop at all 6 stands, I did manage two stops. When I stopped at the last stand all I had was a $10, I could tell the kids were working hard holding their signs up for all the cars to see. When I gave them the $10 and they handed me my half of glass of  watered down lemonade, I told them to keep the change. Their eyes lit up so bright and as I walked away I could see them all jumping and and talking about how they just made $10. It made me smile knowing that I had played a part in helping them learn that money doesn’t grow on tree and you have to work if you want something. That right there is what summer is about and it was totally worth the extra $9.50 for the lemonade!

XOXO

30 Minute Meal: Lamb Chops and Mashed Peas Recipe

For some reason Mondays and me just don’t get along! We have a hate- hate relationship. I hate the fact the weekend is over and it was so short, I hate that my husband goes back to work and I hate that the state of relaxation we worked all weekend to achieve is gone with a single hit of the snooze button! Ewe, I even hate how Monday is making me so negative and such a hater. Let’s change that…. I love quick, easy and delish weeknight meals. This one does not disappoint and having lamb on a Monday definitely puts a smile on my face. Check out this quick lamb and pea mash recipe from Eating Well. Pair it with some carrots or a nice salad and some rice and you have an AweMazing meal that will be a hit!

Photo courtesy of eatingwell.com

Photo courtesy of eatingwell.com

INGREDIENTS

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups frozen peas (12 ounces), thawed

3/4 cup water, plus more as needed

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 lamb loin chops (1 1/2-2 pounds total), trimmed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute. Stir in peas, 3/4-cup water and 1/4-teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2-teaspoon salt and pepper on both sides of lamb chops. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned on one side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn them over and transfer the pan to the oven.
  4. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into a chop registers 135°F for medium-rare, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
  5. Meanwhile, transfer the pea mixture to a blender or food processor. Add mint; pulse until coarsely pureed, adding additional water a tablespoon at a time for desired consistency and scraping down the sides as needed.
  6. Serve the lamb with the pea puree, feel free to add rice and another steamed veggie or salad for a complete meal.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 267 calories; 12 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 4 g fiber; 590 mg sodium; 419 mg potassium.

Yep it’s that easy, enjoy!

XOXO