Monday, April 29, 2013

Relieve Stress With a Sweet Mango Body Scrub - A Guest Post



I'm happy to welcome Kendra Thornton, Travel Industry Publicist and Spokeswoman, to my blog today:
 

During PregnancyAwareness Month I am continually reminded of the importance of staying healthy and stress free not only during pregnancy, but in all of the years throughout motherhood. Becoming a mother has been one of the biggest blessings and hardest jobs of my life. I want to be the best mom I can be to my amazing kids and that means taking time out to keep myself vibrant and full of life. With flowers budding and kids' sports in high gear, I find my family's days are a lot more full and active than they were a month ago. For me, that means making sure that I am as energized as possible ... and what better than a spa treatment to keep you refreshed and energized!


Honolulu has become a favorite vacation spot for my family.  We stayed at one of the more popular hotels in Honolulu, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort.  After years of working in the travel industry, I had heard many positive reviews about the hotel’s spa: Na Ho'ola.  I decided to try the Lomi Lomi Facial, which uses all natural ingredients, right from the island, that compliment my family's holistic lifestyle. Utilizing some of the natural fruits and ingredients used at Na Ho’ola, I have recreated this at home beauty treatment in the form of a body scrub. 



Below is the recipe for the Mango Body Scrub:





1 Mango chopped


1/4 cup instant oats


1 cup of castor sugar


1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil


4 drops of orange essential oil


1 Tablespoon pineapple juice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl using a heavy spoon or fork, making sure to fully smash and incorporate the mango. You can use this scrub in the shower for an all over body experience or at the sink for a face and neck treatment. Make sure to refrigerate any leftover scrub in a tightly sealed container and to use the next time you want to exfoliate.

I love to use this scrub after a long day or in the morning to get me energized.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

:: :: ::

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to try this scrub!

loyally,
katie

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yellow Balloons of Hope

I was watching the aftermath coverage of the Boston Marathon tragedy when my eyes were instantly adverted to a cluster of yellow balloons near the top left corner of my television screen. These balloons immediately flew up from the horrendous cloud of fire and smoke. While watching the footage, and learning new information, my mind kept going back to these yellow balloons: Where did they come from? Who was holding them?

I pray it wasn't a small child, waiting for his or her mom or dad to cross the finish line. My heart breaks just thinking about such a thing.

I imagine it was a person, whether adult or child, holding them, then accidentally releasing them upon such a startling and frightening situation.

What I take from seeing those yellow balloons is HOPE. Yellow is traditionally known as the color of hope. And while I do not understand how someone could create such terror, nor do I understand how the people in Boston feel, I do understand the power of hope.

I believe those yellow balloons were a complete symbol of hope. Hope for those people near the finishing line today. I imagine those yellow balloons to still be floating high above Boston, soaring through the air like a dove. And I imagine the strings of the balloons eventually settling to the ground like an olive branch, bringing peace and a fresh start to those in Boston tonight.


loyally,
katie



Monday, April 15, 2013

Our First Flight--We Survived!

Welp, we made it back in one piece. Flying with a two year-old was quite interesting, to say the least.

Here's a break-down of our trip and what I learned...

Flight to Texas:
Who's terrible idea was it to make a child get out of their stroller to go through security?! Obviously they don't have any children, otherwise they'd know that it's absolute hell trying to get a toddler back into the stroller. My husband is usually the one to do such manual labor, when said toddler is kicking and screaming and squirming all over the place. Finally, between my mom, dad, and me, we manage to get Emmy into her stroller.

*Lesson Learned: I would suggest putting the stroller through the conveyer FIRST, that way I could work on getting Emmalyn in while the rest of our stuff was being scanned. Plus, Emmalyn would have already been in the stroller, freeing up my hands to unload everything off the conveyer.

While waiting at the gate, Emmy had a grand time running back and forth alongside the windows, pointing at the airplanes. She even spotted the University of Central Florida triathlon team and shouted, "U-C-F! Go Knights!" (The guys got a kick out of it)

www.katievanbrunt.com
 {i apologize for the crappy iPhone pics}

I made the decision not to bring Emmy's car seat on the flight, but rather check it at the gate. (I also didn't want to check it at the curb because I was afraid it would get beaten around too much.) The downside of all that was that we had to carry it from the car to the gate. In the end, not a huge nuisance.

So like I was saying, we let Emmy sit in the "Big Girl Seat" and she thought she was hot stuff. I thought for sure having her sit like a big girl was going to be the ticket to a smooth flight. But alas, I was wrong. When it was time to buckle up, Emmalyn didn't want any help doing so. Normally she can buckle her regular car seat, but with this seat belt she had it backwards and refused to let anyone help her. Typical two year-old. She was thoroughly convinced she had it right and nothing was going to change that.

The flight attendant came over and told us we needed to get her in her seat. So... the screaming began... My daughter was quite frustrated and mad at me for forcing her in her seat.

Once she was buckled in, she seemed to settle down and was onto her next discovery.
www.katievanbrunt.com

One of the biggest suggestions I received from friends was to give her a lollipop at take-off. This was a huge deal for me because I've NEVER given Emmalyn a lollipop before. It's a personal choice, but I strongly believe in not feeding my child(ren) candy. However, I made an exception because I was more concerned about her ears hurting with the change in pressure.

I laughed because Emmalyn looked at me and said, "What's this? How does it work?" when I gave her the lollipop.

Side Story: Jelly Beans were the center piece of my cousin's Bat Mitzvah (the reasons for going to Texas) and Emmalyn picked up every.single.one off the floor and threw them in the trash! That's my girl! ;)

But I digress.

Overall, Emmalyn did OK during the nearly three-hour flight. Curious George on the iPad entertained her for a while, then a new game on the iPad. Then Girlfriend wanted to climb all over me, which drove me insane. But not as insane as when she wanted to go potty. Have you every tried to bring a two year-old into an airplane bathroom with you?! It should be an Olympic sport, people! Enough said.

Emmy threw another fit when we had to put her back in the seat belt to land. & again when we had to put her in the stroller after exiting the plane. Exhausting.

// // //

Our time in Texas was filled with family, new friends, and plenty of laughter and memories. But that's all for another post.

// // //

Flight Back Home:
Again we had to take Emmy out of the stroller, and again, I wanted to beat up the person who implemented this rule. People were staring at us: Emmalyn screaming, and me with a determined-to-survive-this-flight look on my face, dodging innocent passerby's.

*Lesson Learned: Never judge people dragging little people at the airport.

At the gate, Emmalyn didn't want to sit still--she kept running off amongst a sea of travelers. Thankfully I could take turns chasing her with my parents. Not sure what I would have done if I were by myself... who would have watched my bags while I ran after her before she boarded a flight to Mexico?

Because Emmalyn wanted to play *musical air chairs* on the first flight, I thought maybe it might be a better idea to bring her car seat with us this time. It was worth a shot, right?

*Lesson Learned: BRING CAR SEAT ONTO FLIGHT!!!

Best! Decision! Ever!
www.katievanbrunt.com
{with Silly Putty, a.k.a. "peanut"}

Although she fought me getting into her seat, it was smooth sailing, er--flying, from there. I believe she did so well on this flight because her car seat brought her a sense of comfort and order. She didn't ask to get out once during the entire flight. {Except for when we were descending and she said she needed to go potty... thank goodness for Pull-Ups!}

On our way to land, Emmalyn looked at my mom and said, "I can't hear." Poor thing, but it was cute. Thus, her second lollipop in history was distributed ;) A little while later my mom asked her if she wanted a drink of water to help with her ears and she said, "No, I can hear now!" When we got in the car to go home she told my husband, "My ears are all better now."

// // //

Overall, I'd say my first time flying with a toddler was a success. I know it could have been a whole heck of a lot worse... like the poor parents several seats behind us.... stuck with two very young, screaming children.

I was proud of my girl for going with the flow on this new adventure.

& proud of ME for surviving, too!

Now I just need a vacation from my vacation!

loyally,
katie


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Cowgirl Boots Are Packed, Y'all

Tomorrow, I will be taking my girl on her first airplane! To Texas.

To say I'm a little nervous is an understatement.

If you know me, you know I'm a total planner; complete with a check-list of my check-list, and a chock-full of realistic possibilities stacked up in this little head of mine.

I imagine the worst-case scenario not because I'm a pessimist (I'm not!), but because I want to be ready. I expect the best, but prepare for the worst. I can't help it. It's in my DNA ;)

Overall, Emmalyn is a great kid. Strangers often comment on her laid-back demeanor.

But she's two. & with that comes the "Terrible Twos."

It's funny because my husband and I have to remind ourselves that she is just two. We often *forget* because she's so verbal. She talks better than some four-and-five-year-olds. So when she throws a ginormous tantrum we look at each other and say, "WTH? Why is she acting like this?"

"Oh yea.. she's TWO."

So anywho.... I'm nervous that she's going to show her true colors on the airplane. & my husband isn't going to be there to "lock her down" when she's kicking and flailing her arms all over the place. Girlfriend is strong, yo!

I've reached out to people about their Tools of the Trade, to keep a curious toddler occupied, and here's what I've collected:

Lollipops for her ears (which I've never given Emmy before)

A new toy... I bought a mini "I Spy" book with a mini magnifying glass, plus a friend is lending us a sticker book

Band-Aids (for her to open and stick all over herself)

Snacks!!! (granola, raisins, veggie straws)

iPad with headphones

empty H2O bottle

Books/Flashcards (I bound them together so they don't scatter all over the place. Thank you, Pinterest)

Change of clothes

Emmy's "nigh-nights" (her blankets) A MUST!!

Magna-Doodle

Plus, we are checking her stroller and car seat at the gate

// // //

Any seasoned mommas have advice for a newbie like me?

So our trip doesn't look like this...

Please & Thank You!

& don't forget to wish us luck!! =)

loyally,
katie

Monday, April 8, 2013

Forgive me.

Forgive me, Followers, for I have sinned.

It's been almost a month since my last blog post.

I don't know why I wait so long in between posts.

Oh, wait! Yes I do. I have a two year-old. That's right.



We've been busy bees lately....

We have been working on potty training, which went swimmingly for a good two-ish months (I'm talking like no diapers during the day), until just a few days ago when Little Miss decided she will run to her room, shut the door, and have an accident. Defiant little thing, she is.




Speaking of swimmingly, Emmalyn is back in swim lessons this season. The first day she cried and cried and clawed onto me, but by the second day she was saying, "I'm a good swimmer, Mommy. Let's do it again!" Thank goodness, because she doesn't have a choice but to be a fish. Both my parents and in-laws have pools. Plus, we are moving and will be ten minutes away from the beach.



Yep. We're moving. Again.

Emmalyn isn't even 2 1/2 years-old yet and this move will be her third house.

We are moving to Florida's Panhandle so the hubs can pursue his residency in Family Medicine. He graduates THIS JUNE!!! Finally... four years of med school are a thing of the past. Now onto the tedious hours of residency. Sheesh!

I will post a picture of our new house once we are the official renters (May 11)--I don't want to jinx myself! We found the most perfect home for our family of three (& poodle pup). Plus, there's an extra bedroom for the hopes of an extra little... ;)



Speaking of extra littles... I soooo have baby fever! If it weren't for the fact that I'm in my best friend's wedding in June, AND we are moving in two months, I would be making a prego announcement. But because of my horrendous Postpartum experience with Emmalyn, there's a lot more planning/preparation that needs to go into this (future) pregnancy. For one, I'm still on my medication. Even though it's the lowest dose, I would still feel a lot more comfortable if I wasn't on it at all. Secondly, I will need to find a new psychiatrist and OB-GYN in our new city. Once we are settled all around, you can bet I'll be in full baby-making mode ;)


So what's new with you? Do tell!
loyally,
katie


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