• Lifestyle,  Recipes

    Gluten free, Dairy Free Coconut Carrot Muffins

    I love muffins but being gluten and dairy free limits my options. While there are some brands out there that make decent gluten and dairy free muffins, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked goods in your house. With it being winter and the sun setting early, I decided we needed something tropical and bright to eat. I developed these Sunshine Muffins because they have a bright, fruity taste and are perfect for breakfast. Or a snack. Or dessert! They’re filled with fruity goodness: carrot, coconut, pineapple, apricot, golden raisins, and orange zest and fill your house with a wonderful aroma while they cook. Not to mention, they’re easy to make! Prep time: 20 minutes Bake time: 20-25 minutes Yeild: 12 large muffins Ingredients: 2 cups almond meal 1/2 cup tapioca flour 1/4 cup coconut flour 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp baking powder…

  • Lifestyle,  Recipes

    Dairy Free, Gluten Free Pesto Pizza

    Having IBS, in my case, means no gluten and dairy. This is a huge sacrifice for me because my favorite foods are bread and cheese. It also means no pizza. Long Island has great pizza and I can’t have any of it. Unless it’s a gluten free, dairy free version. Doesn’t sound appetizing, does it? Yet, every Friday night, like so many Americans, we have pizza. Gluten free, dairy free pizza. In making my pizza, I take some short cuts. I am not a Pinterest mom. I don’t have time to make everything from scratch and make it all look perfect. I do, however, still want things to taste good. I have tried probably every gluten free pizza crust out there and have a couple favorites. My favorite is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix ($3.89 at Target, follow the link to find ingredients and nutrition information). I…

  • Lifestyle,  Parenting,  Work/Life Balance

    Support Networks for Working Moms

    After becoming a mom, I noticed there are a million sites dedicated to working moms. The common theme across all of them is that working moms have it tough and we need to lean on each other for help and encouragement. I have read countless articles about the money I would potentially lose by staying home with my kids for even a few years, the challenges of pumping at work, the exhaustion of going to work after being up all night, the psychological benefits to children of working moms, the list goes on and on. All of them encouraging me in some way shape or form to be a working mom because some how it will either benefit me or my children. While the network for working moms seems endless, there seems to be far less out there for stay at home moms. Why is that? I think the difference…

  • Chores and Errands,  Lifestyle,  Work/Life Balance

    Motherlodes and Motherboards

    In a computer, the board all the circuits that make the computer run are mounted is called the motherboard. Go figure. It makes sense such a thing would be called the motherboard. After all, isn’t the mother the person to whom all the details of the entire household’s lives get attached to? Mom keeps track of the baby’s diaper changes, feedings, bath schedules, and bed times, Daddy’s meetings, work hours, mealtimes and downtimes, the laundry, cooking, cleaning and general chaos. If you’re a working mom there’s a whole other world that’s added to that list. No wonder a large haul of something is called a motherlode. Who else could handle it? This is why, just yesterday, when I was out running errands returning baby gates (again) and broken breastpumps (ugh) I found myself staring at an array of food in the grocery section of Target and felt my motherboard fizzle…

  • Baby Proofing,  Lifestyle

    How to Choose a Baby Gate (and Return Some)

    There are a million options for baby gates out there and I was overwhelmed by the choices available. I first started looking at BuyBuyBaby and I researched the various styles. There are pressure mounted, hardware mounted, anywhere gates, top of the stair gates, retractable gates, wide opening gates, free standing gates, and extra tall gates. Heck, if I looked hard enough and had the money, there are probably self installing, levitating gates with fingerprint sensors but I didn’t look that hard. My journey to find a baby gate has been plagued by returns and problems. We live in a typical Long Island Cape Cod style house with stairs straight up to the second floor from the front door so gates are a necessity. The question was whether to put one right at the top of the stairs or in Benji’s doorway. Ultimately, we settled on putting it in his doorway…

  • Breastfeeding,  Lifestyle

    Options for Nursing Shirts from What You Already Own

    When I first had my son, I wore a few nursing shirts that were split in the middle of the shirt and you lifted up the flap to nurse. They were great in the beginning when I was nursing ALL the time but after a while I got tired of always looking like a nursing mom. I wanted to wear normal clothes and look like myself again. To do so, I found a few tricks that work for me. 1- Camisoles in several colors. I purchased a eight of these from Free to Live on Amazon about two years ago for around $22 and wore them through most of my pregnancy. They’re super comfortable and most importantly, stretchy. They’ve held up pretty well considering they’re two years old and I wear one almost every day. Now that I’m nursing, I layer these under my regular shirts. When Benji is hungry,…

  • Chores and Errands,  Lifestyle,  Money Savers

    How to Get Baby Clothes Cheap

    We haven’t spent very much on Benji’s clothes. I have spent less than $300 on all his clothes so far and he has an entire wardrobe to get them through 24 month clothing. We have found a few tricks to saving money on clothes. Babies grow out of their clothes faster than you can wrestle their little squirming bodies into them. Benji is no exception. He has consistently been in clothes double or triple his age. He’s a big boy and shows no signs of slowing down his growing. All of this growing can also cause growing pains on your wallet if you’re not careful. 1- Thrift stores. I had forgotten about the treasure trove a good thrift store can be until we had Benji. My sister often finds really unique and beautiful pieces at her local thrift store and has picked up some of Benji’s clothes there too. Thrift…

  • Chores and Errands,  Lifestyle,  Work/Life Balance

    How to Find Time for Yourself as a New Mom

    Finding time for myself has been one of the most challenging things for me after Benji was born. I feel like every second of my day is consumed with taking care of him, my husband, my house, my work and not myself. By the time Ben is sleeping and I finally get a chance to sit down in the evening, I realize another thing I had forgotten to do. In fact, as I write this I am photocopying a worksheet for my classes tomorrow that I forgot to drop off with the copy lady. My work is never ending. Whenever I have errands to run after work, I feel like the clock starts ticking the moment I walk out the door. I have a limited amount of time to get back to the house before Benji needs to be fed and put to bed. That window of time has thankfully…

  • Breastfeeding,  Chores and Errands

    Surviving the DMV as a Breastfeeding Mom

    As my license is up for renewal this month, I had to make a stop in at the DMV to get it upgraded to a “Real ID” because apparently my old one was fake or something. After searching all the DMVs on Long Island with available appointments for after work, I found one DMV not too far from my work. I snagged a reservation at 3:15. I figured with the appointment it might take me an hour or so to get through the process as it usually takes a lot less time to do what you need to do when you’re not a walk-in. Wrong. I got to the DMV at 3:00. I had brought every single piece of identity they could possibly ask for. Social security card, birth certificate, marriage certificate, pay stub, sample of my DNA in a tube, family tree dating back to 1056… You name it,…

  • Lifestyle,  Postpartum Experiences

    Recognizing Postpartum Rage Helped Me Validate My Anger Post-Baby

    At my son’s six month wellness check up, I was asked to fill out a form indicating how often I’d felt various depressive emotions and to what degree. Not one of these questions asked me how often I’d been angry. I wasn’t depressed. I was rageful but you would never know by looking at me. The first few days I came home after going back to work my husband would take the baby upstairs while I raged in the kitchen. I was angry I had to work again three weeks after giving birth. I was angry my husband was going to leave the next week for a business trip he couldn’t get out of and I would be alone with the baby. I was angry I didn’t get to be the one to take care of Benji during the day. I was angry I had returned to find my leave…