The One Thing That Saved Us During Our Summer Adventures

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Earache Drops.  The uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. When you take a look at our New York City life, it’s pretty easy to tell that we live in this busy, concrete jungle. But often, people overlook the fact that we’re near huge bodies of water and just a quick 45-minute drive from quite a few beaches. This past weekend, we set out to visit one of our favorites, but two things were different this summer: it would be Blake’s first trip to the beach and because of private swim lessons that Branden took during the year, he was much more independent in the water. Both kids loved the water and Branden swam constantly the whole trip there. We even had one “incident” where he swam out a little bit too far and a lifeguard pulled him in. He wasn’t drowning, but just swimming too far. Whenever the lifeguard pulled him in, he was so confused because to him, he was just having fun. He casually replied to me, “Mom, I don’t know what was going on - I was just having the time of my life.” All was good in the land of Branden Cooper - until we got home, that is. I think that he didn't want to say anything right away, because he didn't want me to keep him out of the water, but our little guy got a bad case of swimmer's ear. Thankfully, I had Hyland's Earache Drops waiting at home. I gave him his first set of … [Read more...]

I Finally Ran For The First Time Since Giving Birth

I finally did it. I hit the pavement for the first time in an entire year since giving birth and it was one emotional journey, let me tell you. If you know me in real life or have followed along on social media, you know that I've been a pretty avid runner since high school. I struggled running all the way through finally having a breast reduction at age seventeen, have never quite worked up the courage to run a marathon, but have always made it a part of my life. Before Blake was born or I was even pregnant, I would drop Branden off at the bus stop and start my runs from there, three days a week. I would log anywhere from 9-12 miles per week and really improved my pace using the Runkeeper app (it's addicting!). I ran and continued to do yoga throughout my entire pregnancy up until I was 30 weeks pregnant and then stopped. A lot of it was due to the hot summer heat but mostly I just didn't have the energy to do it anymore. While I have shared how I started at 6 weeks postpartum working out, I just hadn't been able to get back to running - something was always stopping me. It's no secret that I'm still struggling with accepting my postpartum body and I think that to some extent we always kind of are. Our bodies change so much after giving birth and it can take a long time for our organs to shift back to where they are supposed to be, let alone to drop that extra weight. I've been really hard on myself and am still determined to drop this last pant size. In all … [Read more...]

Cultivating Adventure

This is a sponsored post. Thanks for supporting Project Motherhood.  You guys, this past year has honestly been a whirl-wind. I feel like I've blinked my eyes and I have an almost 9-year-old on my hands and I'm starting to plan little Blake's first birthday party. This school year has been a challenging one with Branden in third grade and some of the ups and downs we've dealt with in terms of the school, bus and bus driver issues, so when summer rolled around, I really wanted us all to just chill out. But at the same time, I didn't want to sit behind the t.v. al summer with the AC blasting, I wanted us to get out there and create adventures and memories together. So mid-May, when an opportunity came my way to go to Orlando for a conference, without much planning I said "yes" and turned it into a big family vacation. This is the summer of fun in my eyes and I want to cultivate as much adventure as possible with my crew. But, with that being said, we do have young children and need to keep them safe and healthy - so I have SingleCare in my back pocket to ease my mind. So we started our adventure by going to the place where adventures are made: Universal Studios Island of Adventure. I'm not typically one for theme parks (I know, I know) and doing it with a 10 month old didn't make it that much more appealing, but I said "let's do it" and we totally did. In the spirit of the day, I even went on some rides and decided not to stand on the sidelines, trying to show my kids … [Read more...]

Sunscreen For Children: How To Develop a Healthy Routine

This post is sponsored by Neutrogena. Thanks for supporting Project Motherhood! I will admit it, I really wasn't good to my skin growing up. I was always focused on whatever might in the moment make me tan or get rid of pesky acne. I never really thought of the longer term health of my skin until I got older. Becoming a parent is really humbling in that way because we start teaching these lessons that were passed onto us by our parents, but we thought we were too cool to hear. So here I am, focusing on sunscreen for children and developing healthy routines for making it a priority to them. Spoiler alert: I found a really great, easy way that will make your moments beach or poolside this summer way less stressful. Despite everything that we know about sun safety and care, skin cancer is still a very real and scary thing - but can be avoided if we take proper precautions. In the United States, 350 people are diagnosed with this terrible disease every hour, so even more reason to choose the right sunscreen for children and your entire family in the sun, all year long. Because we turn to Neutrogena in our home for all our skin care needs, of course we turn to them when it comes to their fantastic sunscreen. And to add a little bit extra amazingness to what they do, Neutrogena is launching the MimicMommy MOVEment, to rally moms to help change skin cancer statistics and raise the first generation of sun-safe children. Neutrogena teamed up YouTube stars the Holderness … [Read more...]

5 Reasons To Do The Color Run

This is not a sponsored post. My family and I received free tickets to attend The Color Run.  If you recall, last July when I was 8 months pregnant, me, Chris and Branden completed The Glow Run together. We try to do one of these races together each year and while I barely finished last year's I was so excited to do The Color Run together this year as a family - this time, pushing a stroller instead of ready to pop made the whole thing much better. I can't recommend The Color Run enough and if it's about to hit your city (here's the full upcoming list), here's why you should attend with your entire family. Spoiler alert: we had a blast! 1. It's family- friendly. The word "family-friendly" means so much to us because we really don't have any babysitters close by and spending $20 an hour on one to go out is something we rarely do. Which means that we're always seeking family-friendly things that are actually enjoyable for all of us (like really enjoyable not just the "I'll watch my kids have fun" kind) and this was a great experience that appealed to just that. 2. It's not timed. After having Blake, I've been having a little runner's phobia and haven't gotten back out there quite yet, so this non-timed, 5k is a great way to get a little workout without feeling pressured to beat a certain. It's really relaxed and just fun right from start to finish. 3. It's a great way to do something outdoors. My boys are BIG movie-buffs. Me? Not so much. I try to plan activities … [Read more...]

Healthy Meals to Lose Weight

**This is a sponsored post for heSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. Thanks for supporting Project Motherhood!** Not gonna lie - I'm still struggling to lose the pesky baby weight over here. There's a few pounds that just don't want to come off and I've been seeking healthy meals to lose weight every single time I grocery shop, because I get bored with what I eat quickly and need to mix things up. After trying a few different things out, I feel like I finally found the secret to making sure that I always make healthy choices: through meal planning. So whether you're trying to lose weight like me, or searching for healthy meals during pregnancy and breastfeeding, I'm sharing my best tips with Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE (and a giveaway!) - plus a new recipe that's perfect for summer! Healthy Meals to Lose Weight The Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE 10 piece set has allowed me to meal prep and make some of my absolute favorite make-ahead meals, which has been the key to always reaching for healthy foods instead of something that I'll regret later. They allow me to portion foods out, eat on the go, and keep things organized in both my refrigerator and kitchen cabinets.  Breakfast For a good two years now, I've been all about those overnight oats, which are also great when you're breastfeeding to help with milk production. I make these in huge batches, and store them in my largest Rubbermaid container and scoop out breakfast portions for a good week. My favorites are chia see and … [Read more...]

Quick And Healthy Meals For Busy Lives From Healthy Choice

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Healthy Choice. As of lately, I find myself in this place where I start my day with great healthy eating intentions and as the day progresses, things go downhill. It's not like I really want to eat the leftovers from dinner the night before or throw a quick sandwich together (as I try to stay away from the carbs because I love them so!), but they are easily accessible in a crunch. For the longest time, I tried to stay away from anything in the frozen aisle, but Healthy Choice has just released their new Power Bowls that are seriously frozen meals for the healthy mom. When you are looking for quick and healthy, these are  what to stock your freezer with. For me, things change a lot in my day to day. Yes, most of the time I am home behind the computer and chasing after a very quick baby all day, but sometimes I'm out at events, speaking engagements or sneaking in a quick park trip and the day gets thrown off course. This is when things get a little shaky and leads me to reach for foods that aren't so healthy. But even more than that, when I'm not thinking ahead and have meals planned, what I'm reaching for isn't exactly giving me the energy that I need to be a mom and present with my work. This is why I need to make sure that I always have access to quick and healthy meals. Quick and Healthy Meals Healthy Choice has just released their brand new Power Bowls that have become that solution for me. Seriously … [Read more...]

Falling In Love with Little Spoon Organic Baby Food {Giveaway}

  My, oh my have things changed in the baby food aisle since Branden was born! I will wholeheartedly admit that I wasn't nearly as educated or informed as I am now, I was just a mama walking the aisles at the commissary (since Chris was active duty at the time), filling my cart with the one and only brand they had in stock. Fast-forward eight years later and I'm in complete awe of the options and variety of foods that my little girl gets to taste right from the start. But more variety has meant a bit more education on my part to find what works for us. And TBH, I'm bursting at the seams to share Little Spoon with you all today! Full disclosure: I'm friends with Michelle Muller, one of the founders behind Little Spoon. In fact, about two years ago, before we even knew we would have a new little one in our life to feed purees to, Chris and I attended a round table discussion to give our input on packaging as the brand was just getting started. I'm so proud to see where it is today and overjoyed that their launch coincides with the same time our little Blake is starting solids. What is Little Spoon? Little Spoon is both a pediatrician and nutritionist recommended baby food thats made using HPP (high pressure processing, like your favorite cold pressed juices!), that is a safe, nutritious, organic alternative to everything currently on the market. Because (ahem) your baby food shouldn't be older than your little one, right? Yes! The current state of baby food … [Read more...]

Keeping My Family Healthy With Vicks®

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I recently spent the morning at Recess Dumbo (Brooklyn), taking part in the Vicks® VapoRub™ 8-hour Playdate. We all had a blast, especially all the kiddos. It was so much fun to see so many of the bloggers that I hang with on a regular basis, but also to see our littles jumping around together - seriously too sweet for words. But we were all playing for one important reason: to learn about easy ways to keep our families healthy using a very important product, Vicks® VapoRub™ In all honestly, thinking about Vicks® VapoRub™, really makes me think a lot about my childhood. Both my parents and my grandparents pulled this out anytime any of us kids got sick and the smell just leads to those memories washing over me. A few years ago, I bought it for the first time when Branden came down with a bad cough and it's been a part of our family ever since. (Just an added reminder that this should not be used on kids under the age of 2, but you can use Vicks BabyRub for your babes and toddlers.) Image: Andrea Klerides So, what else is important to keep in mind about Vicks® VapoRub™ The cool thing about Vicks is that the vapors last up to 8 hours. It's topical application aids in quieting your cough - which we know makes all the difference when you're sick. Simply apply to the chest and throat (I have fond memories of my grandmother doing this!) and you're good to go. And lastly, my #1 takeaway for keeping your family healthy: wash … [Read more...]

The Importance of Sleep For Families

**This post is sponsored by Reverie. Thanks for supporting Project Motherhood!** Our family is just like every family out there: our bed is pretty much the hub of the household. It's the glue that holds our family together. We hang out here, we watch movies together here and we even sometimes eat dinner here (oops). Our littles sometime crawl into bed with us, though are mostly pretty good about being in their own beds. Sometimes though, it seems like we're doing everything else here besides sleep (ya moms, I know you're feelin' me). So today, I'm sharing the importance of sleep for families everywhere, in an effort to remind myself and you all, just how important it really is. The Importance of Sleep Whether you are ready to admit it or not - sleep impacts every single part of your life and even your bodily functions. Want to lose weight? Have energy to hit Barre class three times a week? Run around at the park with your kids? Be able to stay awake for date night with your husband? The answer is sleep. It all comes down to sleep helping you always be the best version of yourselves. Take our life for instance - bringing a new baby home back in August totally rattled both my husband's and my sleep routines completely. We have since gotten back on track and found a routine with Blake that works best for us so that we can get the most out the hours when we do get to catch some Zzzzs, but without that we would be lost. Neither of us would be able to perform during … [Read more...]