DIY Curtain Rods for less than 10$

You can learn about my 9 secrets to saving money during a home build or renovation here. However, it was necessary for me to expand on how I was able to create super amazing curtain rods for our new home for just a few dollars in a separate post from that one!

I sought out several ideas on Pinterest but finally settled on Ashley’s tutorial on 3 Little Greenwoods. Please show her some love and check it out!

Here is how I did it:

My first step was to head to Lowes and purchase the electrical conduits that Ashley mentions in her post. I was able to get I believe 6 conduits for less than $10 and some I would be cutting in half. I ended up having two left over we won’t be using so they were a waste for me. Due to our home having such large windows it was necessary for me to go back and purchase the metal conduits over the plastic because the plastic sagged on the big windows. Seriously though, even the metal ones were super cheap. If you have large windows definitely use three hangers. Even if you are unsure, just use a third hanger in the middle to maintain support.

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Next I got home and had my husband cut them with his hand saw (we don’t do large power tools at our home) to fit the measurements we’d taken for the windows. Then they were ready for me to spray paint. I just placed them on boxes with a larger box underneath to catch the over spray that way they were lifted in the middle. It took some twisting and turning but I was able to get them sprayed in a couple days. They are not perfect but no one is getting that close.

My next trip was to Hobby Lobby during the week they had their metal hangers on sale, 50% off. This is a huge savings. I bought those for my son’s room and the entryway in one style, 2 for our room with these cute little birds on them and then 10 for the larger windows in a style that allows them to stick out from the wall a little more. I didn’t realize it at the time but those would have been the best choice on ALL the windows. The hangers I used in the bedrooms and entryway create a really tight fit against the wall, once the conduit and the curtains are on they don’t slide very easily at all. The others hangers are PERFECT!

oil rubbed bronzeI brought all of these hangers home, laid them out and then got to work spraying them to match the conduits. I used a flat black in my son’s room, a metallic silver in our bedroom and an oil rubbed bronze on the rest. This is the same spray paint I used on almost EVERY single light fixture in the house. It was perfect, it goes on nicely and has a little shimmer to it that I just love. If you are out there RUST-OLEUM you should send me a gift certificate because I spent hundreds on spray paint to DIY the lights and these curtain rods! It still saved me money but I should own stock in spray paint now. No, but seriously, I probably didn’t even spend a hundred on the spray paint.

IMG_1163[Entryway]

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IMG_1138[Roman’s Room]

What I really want to show you is the “how to” for the bay window which is my favorite, it turned out better than I could have ever possibly imagined.

1) We had to measure how long we wanted it. I had to measure each a
ngle of the wall and calculate it out a couple times.

2) I then crbay window templateeated a template of sorts with card stock to get the angle just right when it came time to bend the metal conduit.

3) My husband brought in the conduit and we used our island to bend it. We put down a couple thick towels so as not to damage the top of island and steadily bent the conduit until it was pretty damn close to the angle.

conduits

4) Then we went over to the wall to see if it would fit before we bent the other side. The first time we thought we had gotten it just right but it wasn’t until we did the second one we realized we were going to have to adjust. Just go slowly and keep checking. They bend pretty easily and so what if it breaks! They’re so cheap go get another and use the bent one was practice to get the next one right!

After a screaming match (my husband did NOT believe this was going to work), I was able to hang my amazing curtains and the window looked absolutely perfect!!! Bay window rods are hundreds of dollars and I made mine for less than $10.

Ashley added finials and her own DIY curtains too. I haven’t gotten around to adding finials but I am pretty happy with how they look now. If I feel inspired and bored (HAHA) some day I may attempt at adding some at least to the windows in our large, open living space.
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Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

Staying Active During Pregnancy- 1st and 2nd Trimester

Sleep Training Your Baby


I have been promising this post to some of my Facebook friends for awhile now. This is how I sleep trained my son.

Roman has been sleeping through the night since he was 8 weeks old. In that time he has woken up 6 times in the middle of the night (yes, we know the count). Even then all I had to do was go in and give him his binkie and he was back to sleep. He sleeps, on average, 12-13 hours every night, usually from 7:30-8p.m. until about 8:30-9a.m. I have not lost any sleep as a mom because of my child. He napped regularly twice a day up until he was about 14-15 months old. Then we slowly started transitioning into one nap a day which lasts on average approximately 2-2 ½ hours daily.

halo sleep sackSounds glorious right? Well what if I told you that YOU can do the same thing we did?! Seriously, if I can do it anyone can. I am not incredibly organized and it was frustrating at times but the key is consistency. We stayed with it and Roman became conditioned to the routine and welcomed sleep. Our little boy does love his sleep. We say “night night” and he just lays down by the crib, SO cute.

However, I want you to keep in mind that this may not be the right plan for you, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself. I wanted to sleep!!! Therefore I was willing to give it a shot in order to ensure that neither my husband nor myself lost any sleep with our precious little boy.

Below I will give you the steps on how we did it.

1) Research sleep training online, I read several blogs on Pinterest which helped me make the decision to purchase a book to help me.
2) I went to Barnes and Noble and purchased “The Baby Whisperer” for only $20.00. Because I had time before my son was born I actually read through the book before he arrived highlighting the main points and bookmarking sections for easier reference. You can click here to get it much cheaper than I did. It’s really not hard to follow so don’t worry about reading it ahead of time. I will give you the general idea of the routine the book lays out.
3) Have the discussion with your spouse, significant other, partner, babysitter or anyone who may be helping you sleep train. You all have to be on board with and keeping to the routine. My husband supported me 100%.
4) You will want to keep track of your schedule on a piece of paper throughout the day. We tracked what time he got up, what time we fed, when he went back down for naps, etc. This will also help you find patterns in their own natural routine, track their habits when you veer off track with the EASY routine and just keep everyone organized and informed.
The sleep routine is based off the acronym EASY
Eat
Activity
Sleep
You Time (that means you)

baby whisperer

The first 8 weeks (prior to him sleeping through the night) was a learning nightmare for my husband and I. Obviously we were new parents stressed to the max with no idea how to care for a baby. You can read more about my new mommy escapades in these posts. By the second week we were able to work out a plan. We kept Roman in the living room in the evening because we did not want him to ever be in our room with us. One of us would go to sleep at 9-10p.m. (which was me at first) and the other would put Roman down for the night because typically this was bedtime. During these first few weeks he was generally waking anytime from about 3:30-5a.m. wanting a bottle, the one on duty would wake up with him, give him his bottle, then lay him back down to sleep. We would then switch at that point and I would wake up and go out with him in the living room while my husband went into our room to sleep. Generally we both got 8+  hours a night into late morning. Grant was getting up usually by 9:30-10a.m.

BUT, here is the kicker. Roman was sleeping from the time he went down at night 9-10p.m. until his early feeding. So that allowed both of us to sleep. He woke up when Roman did to do the feeding and since Roman went right back to sleep after feeding I was able to go out into the living room and crash on the couch until he woke up in the morning which was generally 7:30-8:30a.m.

We were careful to create a peaceful, darker environment for him to sleep at bedtime (like the book recommends) and brighter during the day for naps to make sure his own circadian rhythm wasn’t interrupted and he knew bedtime vs nap time. At or around 8 weeks old he started sleeping through the night entirely so we transitioned him from his swing (this is the swing we used, it’s less expensive here) into the crib during daily naps and then after a couple weeks he started sleeping in the crib all the time and that’s where he’s been ever since.

Now for the EASY routine

In the mornings when he would wake up for the day I would begin EASY. I started with his first bottle of the day, I always wrote down what time he got up and then when I got him started with his bottle. The routine schedule in the book gives you an idea of what kind of activities to do with your new baby and about how long they should last until they are ready to go back down for their first nap. Please pay special attention when they mention over-stimulation. A couple times someone watched him and let him watch TV the whole time and it completely OVERLOADED my son. It was amazing at how bad it messed the routine up. All of a sudden he wouldn’t sleep and SCREAMED. Roman never cried when he was a teeny tiny baby unless someone thought we were crazy (which MANY did) and let him get over stimulated. Seriously people this is a real thing.

Once you get baby down for a nap, it’s your time to get things done. They mention having a routine for nap time also. The key to getting them to stay in the crib is putting them down riiiiight before they fall asleep but not when they are totally asleep. This lets them get used to falling asleep without you. It took me weeks to time this right but that’s ok because he was learning also. I would sing him and shush him and then lay him down when I learned he was about to fall asleep. The book teaches you to look for queues and you will learn them. The book also makes you wake them up from naps which everyone says not to do, but hey guess who’s kid is a sleeping dream? Mine, and I followed what the whisperer told me to do!!

This is the routine we stuck with for months. Obviously you start to realize when they can start eliminating naps. Fun because they’re growing but also means less you time. I don’t remember exactly when we started two naps a day but I do know that he was taking two naps for several months longer than what the book projected he would. AMEN! Somewhere around 15 months he started to “tell” me he was done with his morning nap so we finally switched to one nap a day. Ever since then he has been taking a two hour (sometimes 2 ½ to 3) nap. He still goes to bed about 7:30-8 and gets up at about 8:30 every morning. This is the most ideal schedule for me as I am NOT a morning person; I’m a night owl through and through. I would much rather have him up a little later so he sleeps a little later. I get up with him every day, he’s the best alarm ever. My little guy is a clock. I almost know exactly what time he will wake up from a nap and then sure enough there’s his little voice, “moooooommmy”. I love it and I owe this book everything. However, the ultimate test will be when my next one gets here, will this work again? I sure as hell hope so! I told a friend about it and her baby was on the same schedule and miraculously sleeping through the night after just a couple days on the routine. She hadn’t slept through the night in almost 3 months!

 

Swaddling
halo sleep sack2Another huge part of sleep training for us was swaddling. This was something the book really stressed we should do. Your baby comes out of your womb into a world they know nothing about. They are used to being warm, cuddled, and confined, don’t try and deny them that (and if you must, wait a few weeks before you let them out of their swaddle). We swaddled our son until he started getting out of them and waking himself up. I am not entirely sure when that was but my husband and I really thought we were geniuses when we came up with the solution on how we would keep him kind of swaddled but kind of free to move on his own also. We simply decided to use a Halo Sleep Sack which you can purchase here. We (HAH, I) sewed the armholes shut and a little bit of the neckline so it was comfortable for him. My son is two and still in his sack, he loves his sack lol!! Everyone thought we were nuts because he slept in a sack but guess who was sleeping through the night and getting a ton of sleep? Yah, US,halo sleep sack1 so suck it.

—-I want to mention that I am NOT urging you to do this as this is NOT the way the Halo Sleep Sack is intended to be used. The design is to allow their arms free but not their legs, a tiny sleeping bag. As he has gotten older we cut the arm holes open and zip him up in it. By the morning his arms are out of the holes.

I really thought we needed to go into business until, much to my dismay, we sat watching Shark Tank one evening and saw Brett and Stephanie Parker and their Zipadee-Zip. Essentially they had created what I did with the Halo but this was designed to be used in the way that I was using it. Damn geniuses beat us to it 😉 Kidding, I am so happy they are giving the gift of sleep to so many parents, just wish we had beat them to the tank!!! Haha. They offer lots of specials and you can purchase their sacks here.

You can always send me any questions and I will do my best to answer them but GO BUY the book! Here is the link again where you can get it here for pretty cheap. I got mine at my local Barnes and Noble for $20 so save some money and buy on Amazon.

That’s all I’ve got, you can DO this, your body and mind will thank you.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem

Laci Jane

A Nursery to Grow Up In

12 Weeks Pregnant with Baby #2

12weeks
So here we go again, had to go and get myself knocked up a little sooner than expected! Kidding, but no seriously, we weren’t planning on another one so soon but when God asks you to be a parent you do not ask any questions. I’m honored to be called as a parent again.

I am twelve weeks pregnant and will be using the same routine as I did with my first child with this one. Some things are bound to be different but so far much has been the same. The most major difference now is that I am fully aware of the condition I will develop as a result of this pregnancy, diastasis recti.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile or are subscribed to my youtube channel then you know what I am talking about, a separation of the abdominal muscles as the result of my expanding uterus.

I have worked SO  hard over the last couple of years to bring my abdominals back together from a 4 finger gap to almost a one (which is normal). On top of all of this I also have an umbilical hernia. I had not only asked my gyno if I had one but also my primary care both of which told me I didn’t! It was so obvious and apparent that I had one?! I had all the signs and symptoms. I will do a an entire follow up post on my hernia as it seems as if it is official now that I have one and will be having corrective surgery to have it fixed.

My stomach will never look like it did either flexed or unflexed. Of course I’m not 100% comfortable with the notion but I love what i have accomplished and the rehab that I have been able to give to my body after it gave me SO much with my son. I will have even more work to do after chickadee gets here because statistically diastasis always gets worse after the first one. I am definitely sensitive about both the hernia and diastasis bc only my husband and I know how hard I’ve worked to bring my stomach back together and the countless hours I’ve spent researching the condition.

I hope you will join me as I journey through this pregnancy and into rehab for the second time. If you think you may also have diastasis here is a video to self test. I would love to offer you any advice and provide you with some resources on how to get started rehabbing your diastasis. It’s NEVER too late to repair the damage.

Here we go!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

Bathroom Rennovation

My Tiny Terrorist

terror

Don’t let the smile fool you!

Of course I’m not actually talking about terrorism silly. If you are a highly classified member of the NSA please move along, no secret stuff or wrong doings here. I’m just a mother raising a tiny two-year old terrorist and today he wore me out. Today i was tired and I took a nap when he did and it was fuckin glorious!

Raising a tiny two year old terrorist is hard work. Again, no I am not actually raising a terrorist, we love God and the good ol US of A. But in my home there is a tiny two year old that destroys or tries to destroy just about everything, climbs on to furniture, shoves mega blocks down my vents, puts monster trucks in the dishwasher, throws cars across the room into my brand new walls, beats the dogs with foam swords or pieces of my vacuum, climbs up the side of my cabinets pulling ink pens off the top and decorating himself in tiny toddler henna art. He screams at me for wiping off his hands, giving him a chip when he asks me for one, or looking at him when he does not want to be looked at (DUH mom). He attempts to unplug and plug things in, in an effort to earn a quick ride to the emergency room, throws a variety of objects down my stairs, plays in the toilets, scales the dining room table in a single bound to dance on for passing cars to see. This is not negligent parenting. I watch him do all of this you see, because I am almost always one step behind him as he runs screaming, crying or giggling through my home.

Therefore, yes in my home I have a terrorist, an adorable exploring terrorist with no political agenda or religious affiliations. He wreaks terror in my home and while it is 100% exhausting, I love every single minute of it. Of course I try redirecting him into more constructive things like learning the alphabet (HAHAHA yeah right) or disciplining him by sitting him in his chair. That’s always a real trip because my tiny terrorist tries to kiss me or say pease or sorry while sitting in his chair. How do I interrogate a terrorist with that kind of charm? It’s virtually impossible. There is no training for that, I operate daily like a Marine Special Forces Raider ready for battle and looking for danger behind every corner.

It’s hard work raising a tiny terrorist and some day I am going to miss every single exhausting minute of it but for now I’m just going to go ahead and rest up while he plots his next move in his tiny terrorist dreams.

PS
I’m not actually comparing myself to a Marine Raider, obviously it was a joke meant to make people laugh (there’s always someone who gets their panties in a wad). We love and support our military and veterans to our last breath, thank you for all that you do 🙂

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane
A Nursery to Grow Up In

 

Behind the Scenes

I posted a video the other night to my Facebook page (watch it here), it was hysterical. My son totally photo bombed the video I was making, in fact it was going on for about a minute before I actually caught it and I didn’t realize it until after I was done, I was laughing so hard.

Anyways I posted the video and everyone loved it and some would potentially assume that somehow my workout session was all fun and games. However, I want to explain to you just how eventful that workout session was.

My intention was to begin with a warm up. Because our basement is so long my husband and I can really get up some speed and put in some nice warm ups by moving back and forth. as I began to warm up, Roman ran next to me. Great I said, he’s laughing, doing as I do, and most importantly he’s having fun. Five minutes in, I look over to see that dog number 1 just SHIT on my basement floor for the second time this week. The dog who’s been potty trained for YEARS got her little ass spanked then I had to grab my son by the hand as he screamed (bc he wanted to be downstairs and now we were going back up), drug my dog upstairs and put her in her carrier. I pick him up and run back downstairs with paper towel and clorox wipes to clean up her poop. Ten minutes later I begin to lift only to look over after my second set and see that dog number 2 has ALSO shit on the floor. This time I had no energy to stop my workout again so I found a box and covered it up. Swatted his big ol butt and then went back to work.

For the remainder of the workout I had to ensure that my son was not trying to sticking anything into the back of the TV, that he wasn’t trying to play in the dog poop under the box, that he didn’t completely piss off dog number 2 because he was chasing him around with his tiny shopping cart (thanks grandma ;), and to keep it fun for him. The last thing I want is for my son to think that workout time is ONLY about me. We encourage his participation and make sure to take timeouts so he knows we are still paying attention to him.

Are my workouts perfect anymore? Nope. Do they come with a ton of distraction? Absolutely. How do I still get in a good workout? Lots of practice and modifications. My husband and I also have started working out together so it’s two on one. Your child is not an excuse not to workout. We have one of the BUSIEST kids you can have and we make it work.

If you ever have questions or would like advice on how to make your workouts work around and with your children, message me! I would be happy to assess how you do things and offer some suggestions.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane

Bathroom Rennovation

Here’s to 2016

NYLets just be frank, I am thoroughly embarrassed at how long it’s been since I’ve posted to my blog. It began with me just wanting to take the time to get settled in the temporary house while ours was being built, then I found myself just wanting to keep working through homework when I had the time so I could put my MBA behind me, then I found things with the new house picking up and I was running back and forth making decisions and wrapping up the build, then we had to pack, then we had to move, then…. Then the real fun began.

We moved in and have had a whole slew of issues with our new home. So much so that the positive bobble head that I am has become so incredibly stressed and frustrated it’s been very hard to see the positives lately. I always know my place, I know things can always be worse but damn we’ve had some bad luck as of late. Let’s say all of our furniture arrived from PODS covered in mice shit and piss and we had one make it into the house, the furnace stopped working within 4 days of moving in, and the master bath toilet leaked not once but twice through our floor and into our basement. Yes, all of this in our brand new house and all within the first 2 ½ weeks of moving in.

I had decided that I would take some time off from working out in October. I always take about a month off during December but felt that I needed to just take a break sooner this year and once we got moved in, in December, I would just start back up. Well, here it is almost January and I haven’t worked out in almost 2 months?!!! Who is this person? Well I understand where some of my negativity is coming from. When you aren’t in your normal habits you become a different person. I also haven’t had a workout AREA in almost a year. That was really beginning to get to me. I always loved the space designated JUST for workouts and nothing ever felt right after we left our first home. Don’t think for a second that I won’t get back at it, it’s part of who I am. It’s just that things have not gone as planned and I have honestly put myself on the back burner. That aint me, momma knows better than this.

Additionally, a couple weeks ago they found that my thyroid was enlarged and since then I have had an ultrasound done, seen an ENT, and an endocrinologist. I have to have a biopsy done to make sure it’s not more serious. Yeah, just a teensy bit stressed.

Oh but don’t cry for me ol faithful blog readers, I am fine. I am a strong person and I have this. Just feeling the need to whine a little bit because it’s my blog and I can cry if I want to.

I will be getting better and I will be posting more. This has been something I’ve always wanted to do, keyword is I and ME. I have to get back to the handful of things that make me feel strong, smart and beautiful. I don’t necessarily believe in NY resolutions but this is my goal for 2016, get back to being me. So here’s to the new year, whatever it may bring.

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane
A Nursery to Grow Up In

Call Us crazy…

Call us crazy, but guess what? We are selling our brand new home. We moved in 7 1/2 weeks ago and we have made the decision to sell our new house! We came to this conclusion after many conversations in our kitchen while I sat on the counter and he leaned against the fridge, while we walked with our son and dogs through the beautiful neighborhood, while my husband laid with his head on my stomach and I massaged his temples. We’ve felt a ton of emotions in the last few weeks and at first were entirely too worried about, really, what all of you would think. It hit me one day in the middle of the night while I was doing homework. I decided a long time ago to quit worrying about what others would think so this time was no different. This was our decision to make and ours alone. Who cares if we move out again, at least we aren’t entirely unpacked!

So let’s get one thing straight, there isn’t anything wrong with the house, it’s absolutely beautiful, it is located in an amazing spot with so much privacy. It just isn’t our house. You know when you get that feeling that something just isn’t right and you begin to doubt yourself? That was us and neither of us wanted to admit it. It’s simply not our forever home. Therefore, we have decided to build our forever home instead!

We are very excited and confident about our decision to do this. We no longer feel doubt or uncertainty like we did when we moved into this house. We hope that someone else will love this home and find their forever home in it. If you know someone who is looking be sure to share it with them!

Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

The Moment of Impact

Do you know what movie my post title is from? It’s from The Vow and I think about it often. Sometimes when I am out about about I experience them myself, other times I’ve witnessed them because I take the time to look for them.

In the last year I’ve experienced so many moments of impact that I am even having a hard time writing about them. The last year has changed me, I see it written all over my body like invisible scars. Others cannot see them but I can. Don’t get me wrong, this last year gave me the single most amazing blessing of my life, my son, but other than that I’d have to say this year probably aged me 5 years.

I’m not a stressed out person, I handle my life well and I can juggle multiple balls in the air at one time. I guess this last year caused me to give up in some ways. I’ve quit caring about a lot of things because I’m so exhausted from investing so much emotion into them.

In the last year I became a mother, dealt with a “body issue” which I’ve documented here, diastasis recti, I learned how to be a part time stay at home mom while also juggling a career at a very unstable organization, started back with classes in my MBA program where for 2 months I was taking two courses at once while also being the only person in my department at work for those same 2 months during one of the busiest times of our year. This was followed by my organization announcing its closure which would lead to my ultimate termination. However I was terminated almost 4 months sooner than I had expected and the next week we bought a house and listed ours. To our great surprise our house sold quickly so we bought and sold in 4 days. During all of this and during the holidays my husband, son and I were all sick for 3 months. I’m not kidding we were sick for a solid 3 months and couldn’t get it out of our bodies and home! I also became a stay at home mother who rarely leaves the house. My entire life has been flipped upside down and I’m trying to cope with a completely different lifestyle. There are other incredibly complicated issues that I was dealing with on  my own along with a family member that I will not disclose. One that I have really been dealing with for the last month and this one has taken a lot out of me emotionally and I think it’s what has caused me to be so fatigued and sick for the last week.

These were my moments of impact that have forever changed me and I feel like they’ve hardened me. I am not posting this as a woe-is-me, feel bad for me post and I am DEFINITELY not posting this because I think my life is terrible. I am blessed beyond measure and I thank God every day for the good days and even these moments of struggle.

I am posting this because often people see my Facebook posts and assume all is well. Well, it hasn’t been. I’ve been a ticking time bomb for months. I’ve tried to start clean again several times and put things behind me, I’ve tried to stay positive then I get overwhelmed again and it all starts to rain down again.

If you’ve taken the time to read this I hope you understand my forgetfulness and my inability to really connect, ultimately to many of you. I also hope you respect me for putting this out there and my ability to really hide most of what I’ve been dealing with because I literally HATE to talk about shit. I hate it. I am proud of myself because I have been pretty strong through these BIG life changes, these moments of impact but the opportunity costs (oh you bitch, Economics), the things I’ve given up or let fall by the way side along the way are nothing I am proud of. I did my best but I am hard on myself. If I could go back I would change a number of things and the way I may have handled situations.

I’m signing off, because it’s almost 11 and the sleep I haven’t been getting for months (almost 4-5 hours every night) is part of the reason I have also been struggling. No one is perfect, no one’s life is perfect. I always keep it real and in an effort to continue to do that for those of you who read my blog I am putting this out there. I’m working hard and trying to get out of this funk because I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. I am a positive person so I KNOW this year will be better I just have to keep moving forward. Thanks for listening.

Carpe the Hell out of Your Diem —
Laci – Jane

Healthy Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

Let me introduce to you a friend of mine and a trusted resource!

Amy Melton MS, RD, LDN
Returning to pre-pregnancy weight is a common interest among post partum women. Some women shed baby weight soon after delivery, motivating others to do the same. In reality, the goal for postpartum weight loss should be gradual and incorporate healthy food choices as well as physical activity as directed by a physician. Lactating moms in particular should follow specific guidelines to ensure mom and baby both meet their nutritional needs.
So how many calories do lactating moms need? The US Department of Agriculture recommends about 500 additional calories per day for most women who exclusively breastfeed. This would amount to 2,300 calories per day compared to 1,800 for a moderately active, non-lactating woman. These numbers are not intended to be an exact caloric recommendation. Factors such as height, weight and intensity of physical activity will also impact calorie needs.  Even higher intake may be necessary for moms who are underweight, exercise vigorously, or breastfeed more than one infant. In the latter cases, seeking professional health advice from a physician, registered dietitian nutritionist or lactation counselor is recommended. 
In addition to calorie estimation, there are also individual factors that help determine how much more or less nutrition intake is needed.  Instead of trying to make precise calculations, consider following intuition and tune into hunger cues. For instance, how one feels after eating too little calories or inadequate balance from carbohydrates, protein and fat coupled with breastfeeding and exercise will be noticeably different compared to feelings after adequate nutrition intake with breastfeeding and exercising. 
Eating a balance of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats will supply nutrients the body needs to feel satisfied, positively impact exercise performance and help function well with activities of daily living. A variety of free online tools are available to assist with making healthy food choices. ChooseMyPlate.gov , for example, is available to provide a daily food plan based on individual goals, weight, height, activity level, and breastfeeding methods (exclusive vs. supplemental). The plan also identifies food groups with a variety of suggestions on how to achieve a balanced diet. This is also a good tool to help plan ahead for meals while taking on a varied schedule with a new baby (or babies).
Last but certainly not least, drink plenty of fluids. With increased calorie needs, there should be an increase in water consumption. A common suggestion for a breastfeeding mother is to drink a glass of water each time she breastfeeds.
Montgomery, Kristen S. Nutrition column an update on water needs during pregnancy and beyond. J Perinat Educ. 2002; 11(3): 40–42.
US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines. Available from: http://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines/(Accessed March 9, 2015).
US Department of Agriculture: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. Available from:

I Used my Kitchen! Holy Shit

So I woke up  last week and thought hmmmm I want to be domesticated. I shall go on Pinterest and see what I want to do today. I decided on yogurt bites for my little man. I’m trying to keep my son’s foods simple. That means the list of ingredients has to be short and simple and things I understand. NO I’m not going to be the fit mom who doesn’t let their child have any sugar but he’s little, he doesn’t need sugar, he doesn’t need to get it on a regular basis so THERE.

I thought instead of using yogurt that has sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc. I would just use plain greek yogurt and add raw honey natural honey to it. Below are my steps to success and my cute, adorable, little man gobbling them up!!
Step 1) I used a small baking dish, covered in wax paper (not pictured), Plain Greek Yogurt, and Natural Honey. I used a small baking dish just because we didn’t have much room in our fridge and in the process of moving we do not have a lot of things for me to use that aren’t already packed. 


Step 2) I used a plastic baggie to form the bites. You can also do this with one of those things you squeeze out icing with. I have no idea what they’re called but my mom used to use one and I knew from past experience which she didn’t have one she would make due with a plastic bag.
Cut a tiny triangle out of the bottom corner. Mine was even just a bit too big. 

Step 3) Mix your yogurt and your honey together. This much made like 2 pan fulls
Step 4) Squeeze your little bites into the pan!
Step 5) FREEZE
Step 6) Mine froze in about an hour and were ready for eating
ENJOY!


 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem
Laci Jane