Health, Uncategorized

New Year’s Resolutions (2018)

Even though it’s so predictable, I try to set resolutions at the start of every new year. For the sake of not sounding so clich√©, let’s call them goals.

I know a lot of people hate these things. The way I see it, there is a brand new year unfolding in front of you. This year, that also happened to be a new week, as well. There’s something so refreshing and invigorating about the new start that excites me to change my life. These changes, while often small, have led to some great habits that are now simply a new way of life for me. I never flossed until a few years ago (eww, I know, not my proudest confession), but thanks to a new years resolution (and one too many cavities at a dentist appointment ūüôä), I can proudly say I haven’t skipped a day of flossing in over 2 years!

I am determined to make 2018 my best year yet. That says a lot, since 2017 was pretty darn amazing! Here are some of my goals for the new year.

  • Drink more water. I’m still nursing Ben, but I’m also now chasing him around the house! Both require more water consumption, but I also feel much better when I’m hydrated.
  • Read more books. Ben’s little brain has been like a sponge lately, and he’s learning something remarkable every day. I want to make time to read out loud to him everyday.
  • Be more mindful.¬†¬†I want to spend less time in front of a screen and more time with my family, making memories, and spending time in more meaningful ways.¬† I think this is my biggest goal for the year.
  • Juice and/or salad every day.¬† I am trying to also make this year my healthiest one yet.¬† Brandon and I bought a juicer and have been juicing organic produce in it nearly every day.¬† We are trying to eat more of a plant-based diet, and this is definitely a delicious way to fill our bodies with healthy micronutrients!
  • Daily devotions/prayer/meditation.¬†¬†It’s so easy to wake up and become quickly engulfed in everything going on around us.¬† All too often, the first things we hear in our day after checking social media or turning on the news is that something terrible has happened in the crazy world we live in.¬† I find I get so caught up in it all and often find myself stressed and anxious.¬† There’s no need for that when just a few quiet moments with deep breathing and God are all I need to set my mind straight and have an amazingly brighter day.

I’m working toward becoming a better ME in 2018.¬† Have you set some goals for yourself for the new year?¬† I’d love to hear about them!

Family

Self Love for Mamas

Today’s post is about self love. They say you can’t pour from an empty glass. As a new mom, I’m realizing more everyday just how important this is. So many new moms I hear talk about how they don’t have time to take a shower or even brush their teeth, but I think it’s more important to take care of yourself now as a fulltime caregiver than it ever has been.

I’ve been working on eating healthier, working out, and pampering myself more routinely. As a result, I feel more beautiful and powerful than ever, which is helping me to be able to take care of my family like they deserve. It’s so important to make yourself a top priority. On a strict budget and being more sleep-deprived, some days may feel like taking care of yourself is the last thing on your mind and the least important part of your day. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve included a few simple ways that you can take show yourself some love today without breaking the bank.

  • Face mask– Pinterest has so many great ideas for natural, homemade masks!
  • Mani/pedi at a salon or in your bathroom
  • Read a magazine or book
  • Deep breathing– even 5 minutes of slow, peaceful breaths can slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm your mind.
  • Prayer always helps me feel better and brings me back to remember what matters.
  • Working out after your doctor gives you the okay. Start slow!
  • Stretching– try it with your little one!
  • Writing in a journal, a blog, or a book of the day’s events. I use THIS book and recommend it to all of my mom friends. I make it a point to take 5 minutes every night before I fall asleep and jot down the adorable things Ben did or said that day. I know I will love looking back on it in 5 years from now, because I already do (and I’m super sentimental like that). It also makes a great gift!
  • Go for a walk solo or with the stroller. I like to bring a bottle of water, put some good music on my phone, and explore my neighborhood! Apps like My Runkeeper can help you set goals and see how far you’ve gone in one day, week, and even the whole year!
  • A warm bath treating yourself to a new bath bomb or a good smelling soap will make you feel like a new woman!
  • A cup of coffee or glass of wine, which, contrary to what you’ve heard, are both totally fine for breastfeeding moms! No need to dump that liquid gold after all!
  • Call a friend, your sister, mom, even an old college roommate. Catching up with someone that makes you smile is sure to lift your spirits.
  • Go on a date with you husband. Don’t have a babysitter? Most of my dates with Brandon involve Ben (we’ve only been away from him once, for about 2 hours, in his whole first year of life!), but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Making memories as a family is what I love for, and going somewhere to eat means I don’t have to cook, clean, or do the dishes after, especially with my favorite people, which ALWAYS rejuvenates my spirits!

These are some of my favorite ways to fill my glass back up. What do you do to make sure your mama heart is cared for?

Happy Sunday, Friends!

Family

Twelve Days of Christmas

 

*I just found this post from almost 4 years ago that I never hit “publish” on!¬† With it being December 8th, I thought it would be a perfect time to post this festive post to help you show some love to your favorite person!¬† Funny how life changes, and how sweet it is to look back on how things have changed over the years.¬† I’m excited to do this again with my little man when he is a little older.¬† Merry Christmas, everyone!*

Happy New Year!

The chaos and enchantment of the Christmas season has left us so soon.  It seems like we have all spent months planning, weeks worth of paychecks, days wrapping, and hours in the kitchen preparing for Christmas, and it leaves so suddenly.  Now we are all conflicted with wondering when to take down our lights and trees that have been warmly glowing our homes since Thanksgiving.

This year, I didn’t want it to seem so short, so I gave my husband a series of twelve gifts, one for each day before Christmas Eve.¬† I started on December 12th with the “first day”, and ended on the “twelfth day”, which fell on Christmas Eve.¬† Each day, he was surprised with a small gift hidden and wrapped around the house for when he woke up.¬† Some of those days, our dog, Jack, would deliver them to him bright and early.¬† Other days, he found the gifts in the refrigerator, on his night stand, or even in plain sight.¬† It was not only exciting for him, wondering what the next gift would be or where he could find it, but it was thrilling for me to watch him open the gifts, even though I knew what they were.

Each day of Christmas had a gift theme¬†that coordinated with that day’s number, and were labeled with a tag that read: “On the ____ day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”.¬†¬†I¬†quickly realized how expensive that could become on the later days, like 11 or 12, but I was creative enough to keep it inexpensive, while still giving¬†him something he would¬†enjoy.¬†¬†Some days were¬†more expensive than others, and some gifts were larger than¬†others.¬† Nevertheless, I think he liked them all, and¬†I still left him a few larger gifts to¬†open on Christmas¬†Day.

Here is a breakdown of the twelve days of Christmas in the Pospisil House:

1- Carton of eggnog (He had been craving some, and I thought it was the perfect start to our Christmas-y festivities.)  This day happened to fall on the day after his last final exam of the toughest semester he has ever had, which I believe made it better.  He found it in the fridge when he was making breakfast (hense the bedhead and sleepy eyes!).

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2- Two Twix bars. This was a smaller gift, but it’s one of Brandon’s favorite chocolate bars.

3- Pair of boxers.  His favorite kind.  You can never have too many.

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4- Tubes of ChapStick.  Also his favorite kind, since he is kinda picky, but they always seem to go missing.  I figured having four of them would last awhile.

5- $5 Gift card.  He loves Taco Bell, and $5 there goes a long way.

6- 6 Chocolate chip cookies.  These lasted one sitting, but were delicious with a big glass of milk!

7- “It’s your lucky day!” 7 scratch-off lottery tickets– he won $11!¬†Wooh!

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8- Season 8 DVD of ‘How I Met Your Mother’.¬† Our favorite show!¬† We haven’t missed an episode, and can now say we have every season to watch whenever we want!

9- Breakfast in bed. I will admit that as the numbers got higher, it required a little more creativity.¬† I was challenged by number 9 and couldn’t think of anything (but I’d love to hear your ideas!), so I surprised Brandon by making him breakfast and delivering it to him as he woke up.¬† He loved the sweet surprise!

10- A trip to our local ice rink. Our town park transforms into a beautiful ice rink every winter.  The tickets are super cheap at only $5 each, making for an inexpensive ($10!) and fun date night; much needed after a stressful semester.

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11- A new CD. One of our favorite bands has a new CD out that I’ve convinced Brandon we don’t need (of course, we DO need it, but I didn’t want him buying himself anything this close to Christmas!).¬† It happens to have ELEVEN songs on it.¬† Perfect for day 11!

12- A dozen reasons I love you.  Okay, this may seem a little cheesy, but I wrote a Christmas card for him and in it was a list of 12 reasons I love him.  Christmas season or not, I believe an important part of a healthy marriage is always reminding your person that they are perfect for you and making them feel loved every day.

Christmas and the end of the year is the perfect time to start new traditions and reflect on the past.¬† I hope this post has inspired you and has shown that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make someone feel like they matter.¬† Brandon let me know that he certainly felt loved with this thoughtful gesture, and I think I will be making this a fun new tradition, now that we are married.

Will you be starting new traditions this year?¬† I’d love to hear about them!

Family

9 Things They Don’t Tell You

(‘Birth and Being a New Mother’ Edition)

As a new mama, I’m learning all the time. You can read all the books & blogs you want, but until you actually experience it for yourself, you will be caught by surprise and will have many unexpected adventures.

Here are a few things I wish someone would’ve mentioned to me before having a baby.
1.¬†The doctor isn’t there for most of labor.

In movies and shows, as soon as you start to push, the Dr comes in and is there for it all. Not real. Your nurses will be by your side through it all. You push with them. They are the ones you lean on. I pushed for about an hour and a half, and even saw Ben’s head for at least 20 minutes, before the doctor arrived, swooping in to “save the day”. He was gone again as quickly as he arrived. Lean on your nurses. Tell them what you need, how you are feeling, and ask them any questions you may have.

2. You don’t need the classes.

When you’re pregnant, you’ll find that everyone talks about breastfeeding classes, birthing classes, Lamaze classes, etc.¬†Save your¬†time¬†money. I recommend taking a tour of the birthing center or hospitals you are interested in giving birth at, but for the same reasons as number 1, your nurses will teach you all you need to know about breastfeeding, breathing and pushing during labor, how to swaddle your baby, and everything in between. When asked by my OB what classes I would be taking, I nervously told him I wasn’t going to take any, expecting a lecture.¬† It was very comforting when he told me he was happy to see a first-time mom that made this decision (for the very reason I mentioned!). Save your hard-earned cash for diapers, and skip the classes.

3. Breastfeeding HURTS.

Breastfeeding is so beautiful. But for many women, it’s also so painful that it literally makes your toes curl. You will tear up, if not completely cry your eyes out. But it’s not just your nipples– you have contractions for the first few days every time you nurse, which causes you to bleed more. It’s like you’re in labor again, while your uterus contracts to shrink back to normal size. Yes, breastfeeding is beautiful, but for the first few days, you’ll want to give up and crawl in a hole and cry.¬† There are a few lucky women out there that don’t have this issue.¬† But if you aren’t one of them (like me), my biggest advice is to stick with it. It’ll get much easier and less painful before you know it, and it’s totally worth it.

4. The nurses get very… personal.

Every few hours for the first couple days, your nurses will come in and check you. They will check your bleeding while pushing on your swollen, sore belly. It’s uncomfortable, yes, but after what you just went through, you aren’t shy about letting anyone see you do anything. Housekeeping even saw my boobs on at least one occasion (true story). If your nurses are as wonderful as mine were, they will give you privacy while still making sure to do their normal checks.¬† So if they aren’t there when something important or out-of-the-ordinary happens, make sure to let them know right away.

5. Night sweats.

I had never read about these being completely normal post-partum, so when it happened to me, I thought our house was too warm and turned down our thermostat… in December (my poor¬†COLD husband!). You’ll wake up pouring sweat for the first couple weeks and will just feel SO gross, like you’ve never needed a shower more… every. single. morning. It’s due to the extra water your body retained during pregnancy, which means that, unfortunately, you’ll just have to sweat it out.¬† Try to avoid deodorants with antiperspirant, which prevent your body from releasing the sweat that it need to. Thankfully, it’s only temporary, but it makes every shower feel like a spa day, so enjoy the sweet (and rare) few moments of quiet!

6. The first poop.

*TMI ALERT* The first time you have to poop after having a baby, you’ll feel like you’re giving birth to a bag of glass shards wrapped in barbed wire. A warning about this would’ve been nice, although you can drink gallons of water and take all the stool softeners you want; it won’t matter. It’s inevitable. I was sitting on the toilet crying and feeling bad that my husband was going to find me dead on the toilet and would have to raise our brand new son alone (my postpartum hormones made me overreact a tad). Sorry, no advice here. Just know this is how it will be for a little while. Thankfully, this too gets better with time. STAY HYDRATED!

7. “Just sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Looking back, I wish I would’ve done this more, since this is probably the number 2 advice every mother gave me when they saw my growing bump.¬† However, my hormones were still crazy and I was irrationally nesting and cleaning EVERYTHING.¬† I seriously couldn’t sit still, which caused my post-partum healing to take a lot longer than it should have. But your opportunity to get anything done means doing it when the baby sleeps. If you’re one of those people that has lots of help, bless your heart. Otherwise, use the baby sleeping as your opportunity to get things done, while still sleeping when you can. Forget this old saying and try to aim for as much sleep as you can while still maintaining your sanity.¬† But be a little extra forgiving with yourself, Mama. Everyone will understand if you’re a few loads behind on laundry or have some dishes in the sink.¬† Sleep is important, too.

8. You will be judged.

Being a new mom is hard and confusing and scary, but that doesn’t mean everyone and their brother won’t have something to say about every thing you do. I experienced this during pregnancy. I was always “too big” while being “too small” and “I didn’t start showing as early as you” or “wow, I’m glad I never had morning sickness”. Everyone will make you feel like there must be something wrong with you or your baby, so by the time your baby is born, you’re probably used to people giving their unsolicited advice. I was told everything from, “your baby shouldn’t be cross-eyed and will need surgery to fix it” (newborns go cross-eyed because they are trying to focus their undeveloped eyes on something. Totally normal.) to “well, my baby was already *insert verb* by that age” (milestones vary and are not exact for all babies.), or “I lost all my baby weight by the time I left the hospital”. Everyone will also add that their niece/ nephew/ sister/ son/ uncle was a bigger/ stronger/ better baby that only ate from the breast of their glistening, organic, grass-fed, unicorn-of-a-mother, and that that’s clearly the only option for your child because, well, why not? Listen, motherhood is hard enough without the extra judgement. Let’s all realize that each parent knows what’s best for their own baby, and that advice shouldn’t be given to a pregnant woman or new mother without her asking. Be nice. Tell her she looks wonderful and that she’s doing a great job.

9. This is the best adventure you will ever go on.

Okay, you’ve probably heard this one. But in all honesty, being a parent is the most amazing experience one could ever have, and you can’t even begin to comprehend the love you will have for such a small person until you are holding them in your arms. There’s nothing like it. It is rare that your days will be easy or perfect, but try to take it all in. Soak up that newborn smell, take lots of pictures, and try to remember that while the days may seem long, the years will go quickly.

Do you have any advice for expecting mothers? Feel free to post below!

Uncategorized

It’s Been Awhile

It has been years since my last post, but after much thought and a few large life changes, I’ve decided to get back into blogging.

2016 was a fantastic year for my husband and I.

February – we went on the trip of a lifetime to Italy

March- we paid off all of our student loans, and I was officially down 20 lbs!

April- we found out we were pregnant!

May- I turned 24, and we celebrated 8 years together

June- we remodeled our kitchen

July- we found out our baby is a healthy little boy!

August – Brandon turned 25, and we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary

September- we became godparents and built a new fireplace

October- we bought me a new car, went on a baby moon to Maine, and had my beautiful baby shower

November – we built a crossfit gym in our garage, and I FINALLY finished my mammography requirements

December- we welcomed a perfect little baby boy!

We also welcomed 4 new neices & nephews, went to countless celebrations (my parents celebrated 30 years of marriage!), and made so many wonderful memories along the way.

I’m not the same girl I was in 2013 when I began this blog. I’m excited to talk about my adventures in marriage, motherhood, homeownership, money saving, travel, and fitness with you.  I’ve got SO much to say, and I hope you’ll let me know what you want to hear from me!

Happy spring!

 

Cooking

Awesome, Easy French Onion Soup

I have some fantastic co-workers with some fantastic ideas.

This is definitely one of them.

At a soup potluck, someone brought in French Onion Soup in a Crock Pot.  I like French Onion Soup, but it is usually not my first choice.  Restaurants usually make it too salty, with not very much flavor.  No, thank you!

One bite of this and I was hooked.  I had to have the recipe.  I never would have guessed it would be so EASY.  Seriously!  I love making it on Sundays before the football game.  It is cozy and makes as much or as little as you want it to, and by keeping it warm in the Crock Pot, you can keep going back for more and more.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 Onions
  • 1-2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 container of Beef Broth (you could use the beef cubes, but this is much faster and simpler)
  • Ground Pepper (optional)
  • Croutons
  • Mozzerella or Provolone Cheese
  1. Cut onions into large slices. 
  2. Sautee in heated butter on medium heat until soft and golden.  This is where you could add the pepper, if you would like.French Onion Soup
  3. Add sauteed onions to Crock Pot and pour beef broth over.  Heat on low for 2-4 hours or high for 1-2 hours.
  4. To serve, scoop soup into oven-safe bowl.  Add croutons to top and cover with slice of cheese.  Heat in broiler until hot and bubbly.
  5. Enjoy!

This is a great recipe for holidays, get-togethers, pot lucks, and game days.  What is your favorite large group recipe?

Happy December!

 

‚ô°e.pospisil

Cooking

Brilliant New Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe

It’s ALMOST Halloween!

Brandon, Jackson & I are going to a costume party tonight and we can’t wait.¬† We are going to dress up as zombies!¬† (I will be posting about super cheap, easy, and really fun DIY costumes later.¬† Wait until you see them!)

Like most of you, I have been really feeling pumpkin-y since the start of September.  This craze has inspired me to try some new creative recipes, such as the pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin spiced cream cheese frosting that I made last night! 

I found the recipe on Pinterest (of course), posted by Skinny Taste¬†(gina’s recipes) and the pretty picture caught my eye.¬†¬†Once I read the recipe and instructions, I couldn’t believe you didn’t need ANY eggs or oil!¬† It sounded not only delicious, but slightly more healthy than the cupcakes I usually make.

To make the cake, I used a box of yellow cake mix, slightly less than 1 cup of pumpkin puree, water, and pumpkin pie spice.¬† Yes, that’s it.¬† Once mixed for about 2 minutes, the¬†batter was full of¬†moisture and fluff.¬† I filled some adorable pumpkin¬†cupcake liners 2/3 full and popped them in the oven for about 25 minutes at 350* F.

While the cupcakes were baking, I started making my frosting.  For some reason, cream cheese frosting is always so much better to me.  We even used it on our wedding cake, and it was delicious.  To make it, I whipped an 8oz block of cream cheese with pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  After whipping it up, I got the brilliant idea to add a teensy bit of powdered sugar.  It was a good choice.

I took the beautiful cupcakes out of the oven and let them cool.¬† I couldn’t wait to frost them (I am reallllly impatient when sweets are involved), so I set them outside (where it was the coldest night we have had in Ohio yet this year) and brought them in after about 3 minutes.¬† I generously added the cream cheese mix to the top of each one, added the clear sprinkles for some shimmer, and a dash more of pumpkin pie spice.¬† Here is how they turned out:

 

 

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I can’t wait to take them to the party tonight!¬† I think they will be a hit, along with the pumpkin roll I made with the leftover pumpkin puree I¬†had!¬† I was able to make 18 cupcakes.¬† (It would have made more, had we not eaten so much batter.¬† Mmmmm!¬† It was egg-less! ¬†Not sorry! (:¬† )Try it out for your next get-together, family dinner, or just-because baking day, and let me know how they turned out!