Favorite (motherhood) books + podcasts right now

Hi friends!

It is 7:22 am on a Tuesday morning, and Gio is taking his first nap; he was up at 4:30 am.

So, since I’m already one pumpkin muffin + 1 cup of pumpkin spice coffee in, I figured I’d do some writing ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been wanting to share some of my favorite books and podcasts lately, because they have been so encouraging to me, especially in this season of motherhood. What I particularly love about reading books by other moms or listening to podcasts hosted by moms, is that often times I find myself saying, “ME TOO!”. ย That is what I love about this new community I am in, we just GET each other. All other societal divides are put aside when you meet another mom. You have a connection and bond that no other person can understand. No matter what stage of motherhood you’re in, all moms have been through whatever it is you are going through, and that to me is SO comforting.

Since becoming a mother, I have noticed that I don’t judge people as much as before. I heard someone say, (I believe it was Ashlee Gadd on the Coffee + Crumbs podcast) that “we do way less judging as a mom, because we don’t want to be judged for being a bad mom.”ย 

SO true.

That mom who lets her child eat food off the floor? …FINE.

 

That mom with the crying baby in the checkout line at Target…I’VE BEEN THERE.

PSA: THIS IS A JUDGMENT FREE ZONE MAMAS.

We all have to make decisions that are best for our family, for our child, for ourselves…so, how we choose to parent may look a little different. But, no matter what, we should extend the same love and grace that we would want to be given;ย because at the end of the day…we fed, clothed, changed, played, bathed, and kept another human being alive; and that deserves some praise!

Podcastsย 

Coffee + Crumbs– I learned about this podcast from another mom who posted a link to the show on Facebook. After listening to the first episode, I realized that all 3 moms who host the show all live in California! I felt even more of a kindred to these mamas who were living and raising kids on the west coast.

The Goal Digger Podcast– This is not particularly motherhood related, but I’ve been following Jenna for a while now, (since before I was pregnant), and she is such an inspiration. From starting her own photography business, to educating others on how to start a business, to launching her own podcast for creative girl bosses; she is such an authentic, hardworking gal. She has also been very open about her personal life and struggles, including two miscarriages in the past year. Right before I found out I was pregnant with Gio, she shared that she had a miscarriage. Although I’ve never met her, I grieved alongside her as she shared her walk down this road. I’ve been continuing to follow her journey and no matter what you are going through in your life, she is an encouragement for all of us.

My favorite episode recently is: #74 “How to Stay Creative and Tackle Your Next Project” with author Emily Freeman. I resonated with so much of what Emily said and it was actually from listening to this episode that I felt encouraged to start blogging again. (I had been on a little hiatus since April).

Books

Of Mess and Moxieย – by the hilariously funny Jen Hatmaker. I literally laugh out loud when I read her books. Now that I am a mom, I can relate to her so much more. She is just honest and real y’all (she lives in Texas, which is rather fitting for her big personality). I also recommend reading, “For the Love“.

*Check out Jen’s interview on the C+C podcast !

The Magic of Motherhood

A collection of short stories complied by the women of the Coffee + Crumbs podcast. An easy, encouraging read. I started crying 2 pages in. Lots of good reminders — I did a lot of highlighting!

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Above all else, your body will become a home for your children- your lap will become a place of security, your chest ย a place of warmth, your arms a place of assurance. Every inch of you will be used to care for these children, and though its completely and utterly exhausting on most days, the super hero stamina is still a miracle worth noticing.”

“You are always a mother. You are not only a mother.”

“It turns out, one of the most wonderful joys of motherhood is the other mothers.”

“Other moms have messy feelings too, and it doesn’t make us monsters. It makes us human. It makes us weak. And acknowledging that makes us strong.”

 

 

AMEN TO THAT.

 

 

 

 

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Giovanni: 10 Months

Hi friends,

Wow my little baby is 10 months! My last monthly update was when he was 4 months…and I don’t nearly have the time to catch you up on everything since then; but, I would like to share what’s been happening recently.

Gio learned to crawl! It started out as a scoot/belly crawl at the beginning of September, and moved in to a full on crawl on all fours. Now it seems like he can get across our little apartment in under a minute (CUE: SHOCK FACE). Heaven help me when the boy starts walking…thank goodness we live in California where the weather is pretty much perfect everyday; I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time outside!

Gio also learned to pull up this month. It just happened in the past week actually, and all he wants to do is grab things at a height and pull them down, especially the remote control. If he eyes that thing, he is SO determined to get it that he’ll risk being thrown off balance; resulting in some bumps to the head.

We had to put up a baby gate/superyard, and the same day I was going to order one from Amazon, a mom in one of my Facebook groups posted one for FREE. ((I had no idea that baby gates can cost over $100!!)) Not really a fun purchase to make, so I was stoked I could get it second hand.

Some of the highlights this month also included a trip to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles mid-september. The last time we were in Southern California was in April (right after Gio turned 4 months), so I was excited to go back and make new memories in our favorite placeย … more on that in another post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Although some things have gotten easier when traveling, like not having to stop as much to breastfeed or change his diaper, it has also gotten harder because he’s now growing and moving and doesn’t like to sit STILL! He really doesn’t like his car seat and 50% of the time will make a fuss when I put him in it. We lucked out on the drive down and I was able to sit up front with Kendrick while Gio napped a bit and entertained himself for the most part. We also broke out “The Wiggles” Nursery Rhymes video on YouTube when we needed to…on vacation anything goes!

Another fun part of Gio growing up is having him join us at the table when we go out to eat. He looks so cute and grown up sitting there in the high chair. Let me tell you, the kid LOVES to eat. Like father, like son. He pretty much will eat anything I give him; correction, he WILL eat anything I give him. We ordered him a side of broccoli when we went to lunch in Santa Barbara, and he gobbled it up. He also had his first taste of pao de queijo (gluten free Brazilian cheese bread). If you’ve been a loyal follower, one of my very first posts I shared with you that I made Kendrick a homemade Brazilian dinner – complete with pao de queijo! Read more here) .

I want to write a separate post on our trip to Santa Barbara, but in case I forget, I HAVE to share with you our most favorite restaurant we discovered. It’s called the Brasil Arts Cafe, and of course, the menu offers a variety of authentic, Brazilian food AND smoothies, acai bowls, salads, and some typical American fare. We loved it so much we ended up going THREE times while we were there.

Anyway, this past month has been so much fun and each week with Gio is a blessing that I never take for granted.

Some other highlights:

  • He transitioned from 3 naps, to 2 naps. On a good day, he’ll take an hour and 15 minute nap in the morning, and an hour and a half nap in the afternoon. (HALLELUJAH!)
  • He loves to play peek-a-boo with me and always laughs when I hide and ask him, “where’s Mommy??” and then pop out and exclaim, “There she IS!” …haha gets him every time ๐Ÿ™‚
  • He started saying, “dada” and it’s his only recognizable word…although he doesn’t say it exclusively to Kendrick, so he has no concept of the meaning yet
  • He signed “milk” for the first time while we were on vacation. Every evening I give him a bath before bed, put on his pajamas and sleep sack, and then breastfeed him before bed. As I was putting on his sleep sack he signed “milk” because that’s always what he gets before bed. (YAY GIO!)
  • He laughs at the words “BOO” and “MOO”. A sure way to get him to laugh is when I demonstrate the “cat/cow” move like you do in yoga. He ALWAYS laughs when I add the sound effects while doing this.
  • He has always loved swinging at the park and is now able to play on the rest of the play structures…like crawling through the tunnel! We try to walk to the park/playground down the street every evening if we can. I like to get him tired out before bed ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Oh Gio, I love you so much!!

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That smile can brighten any day!

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This is a picture of my husband Kendrick around Gio’s age…what a resemblance!!

Out to eat in Santa Barbara…eating pao de queijo and broccoli

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We stopped in a toy stop while in SB…and let Gio test drive this car ๐Ÿ˜‰ maybe he’ll get it for his 1st birthday…

Gio’s first trip to the zoo!

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Daddy’s mini me โค

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Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

Hello friends!

It’s been 5+ months since my last blog post, so you probably thought that I disappeared on you…forever to be lost in the the thick of mom life; changing diapers, cleaning up messes, folding laundry, and chasing around my (now) crawling baby! That list is actually rather short, and doesn’t nearly encompass all that I do during the day. I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace lately, and pat myself on the back because I’m doing THIS…I’m doing this mom thing by myself. I don’t have my mom or mother-in-law remotely close by to help, which is a huge game changer. So, when I make it anywhere on time (“on time” to me now means within 1 hour of the start…) I feel accomplished that I was able to get myself dressed, fed, and hair brushed while simultaneously caring for a (almost) 10 month old.

Did I lose you yet??

Don’t worry I’ll save my mom rants for another day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now onto this delicious Fall bread, which is totally baby friendly…minus the streusel topping. ย Now that Gio is eating real food, I’m always looking at the ingredients in recipes to make sure they’re OK for him. I’ve been doing a combination of purees and baby led weaning since Gio was 7 months, but he doesn’t like when I feed him anymore so he mostly eats finger foods now.

If you’re a mom or not, you may know that babies are not allowed to have honey under 1 year old. I also have been substituting egg in baked recipes because

  1. Gio has some friends who have an egg allergy
  2. Kendrick and I have been trying to consume less animal products

I’ve made the bread both with, and without the eggs and I actually prefer it without the eggs (surprising!). The eggs make it more spongy.

You can make this recipe as a bread, or make muffins for your little one with or without the topping. The topping is perfectly safe for them, I just don’t like to give Gio added sugar.

The bread alone is vegan, dairy free, oil free, soy free, and is naturally sweetened.

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((Baby-Friendly)) Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BREAD:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed + 6 tablespoons of water (**1 egg= 1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STREUSEL:

  • 1/4 cup oatsย 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flourย 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5 bread pan with cooking spray (I like to use coconut oil spray).
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients saving the flour for last.
  4. Pour into bread pan.
  5. Make the streusel topping in the same bowl.
  6. Sprinkle evenly over top of bread.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes at 350, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out cleanly.
  8. **If making muffins, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork comes out cleanly.

ENJOY!