Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lactation Cookie Recipe

lactation cookies recipe

When my milk first came in I was pumping anywhere from 8-10 ounces each time I pumped. Do the math on that. If you're pumping eight times a day, that's a lot of milk. 

When everyone returned to work (and left me all alone with these children), I wasn't able to pump eight times a day any more. Can I just tell you how hard it was for me to keep up with that schedule without help?

Between school drop-off, pick-up, soccer practice, soccer games and doctor appointments I was never home. I was given a hospital pump when I was discharged from the hospital. That thing is huge and it's not made for pumping on the go.

Needless to say my milk production began to suffer. My supply dropped to half of what I was pumping before during a good pump session. In an attempt to increase my supply I tried making lactation cookies.

lactation cookies recipe

My first batch was disgusting. (even though the pinner assured me they were the "best tasting" cookies EVER) I played around with the ingredients and the recipe below resulted in tasty oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies.

I am now regularly pumping five or more ounces when I pump. Not quite where I was before but not as bad as some of my worst pumps. The recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies.

lactation cookies recipe


* 1 cup butter (2 sticks, I know - I know)
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats
* LOTS of chocolate chips (Just empty the bag in there)
* 2 tablespoons brewer's yeast 

* 1 tablespoon fenugreek

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the water and flaxseed in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add the eggs. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla. Sift together the flour, brewer's yeast, baking soda, salt and fenugreek. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Bake on parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 12 minutes.

Note- I also made a batch using 1 stick of butter and half a cup of butter Crisco. Those cookies were amazing.

lactation cookies recipe

My cookies never come out in perfect little circles. I use a cookie scoop so I'm not sure why that happens. Maybe they're too close on the cookie sheet? Anyway - odd shaped cookies aside - these are really good and they have increased my supply.

Try them and let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Operation Snap Back: April Update

I have seen such a huge difference in my body since I started cutting out bad sugars. Drinking more water has helped too.

I have been sharing on Facebook some of the meals we've had. I'm still eating a lot of what I want but I'm switching out some of the bad carbs with healthier alternatives.

These bathrooms have the worst light. I can see the beginnings of what might be abs starting to push through. Honestly, if I never get my before Moses abs back I'd be okay with that. 

I have the Hollywood Trainer abs workout. I plan to start it again May 1. It's a good workout that I see results from almost instantly when I do it regularly. A friend of mine put me on to Lindsay Brin, google her. Her tips for postpartum tummy exercises have been extremely helpful too.

My friend uses a lot of her workouts. She's a Mom of four and she looks ah-may-zing. 

I'll be running (and possibly walking some) a 5k on May 14. I plan to continue training for that by doing my walk/runs with the boys in the afternoons. I also would love to get back into the gym for weights next month. I think I could benefit from some upper body training. I'd love to see my arms and back get right.

Now head over to Fatima's blog to see her April update for Operation Snap Back. Join the support group on Facebook and use the hashtag #OperationSnapBack to share your fitness journey. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Braised Short Ribs...

calphalon dutch oven

Sundays are for supper. Sunday dinner was always such a big part of my life growing up. I remember my Mom or Grandma making the most delicious meals on Sundays. We'd come home from church and come right in to a hot dinner.

How did they do it?

My guess is that someone was up super early cooking while I slept. I can manage to do that sometimes but not as often as I'd like.

I love a good comforting Sunday dinner and I look forward to that time in the kitchen. I might dread cooking every other day of the week but not Sunday.

Sundays are when I try new things. I give myself time to cook without the pressure of getting food on the table by a certain time. This Sunday I tried braised short ribs in my dutch oven pot. I normally make them in the crock pot but not this Sunday. This Sunday I tried something new and it was delicious.

I started patting the short ribs dry before sprinkling them with kosher salt and black pepper. In the dutch oven I cooked some pancetta until is was nice and crispy. It didn't render enough fat (for me) so I cooked a piece a bacon and all was right with the world (and in my kitchen).

I dredged the ribs in flour before searing them. I was not patient and rushed through the searing. As a result my ribs were not as brown as I'd liked. Won't make that mistake again... Patience is a virtue.

I added all of the ribs back to the dutch oven. Sprinkled them with some dried rosemary. Poured two cups of chicken broth (cause I didn't have beef) into the pot. A dash of red wine vinegar. Added the bacon and pancetta. Cooked them in the oven for two hours on 325.

braised short ribs

They were fall off the bone good. Everything about them was good. They smelled good and they tasted like somebody's Grandma made them. 

braised short ribs

I served them with brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. Is it Fall yet?

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Thing I LOVE Most About Texas...

In a previous post I mentioned how grateful I would always be to Texas because this is where we became a family. I would also have to say that another thing that I am very thankful for is the beautiful weather here. There are times during the year when the weather is just right and you can spend the entire day outside.

Those are the days that I will remember Texas for. As a kid my brothers, cousins and I played outside for what seemed like hours. The fun was endless. It is one of my goals as a Mom to give my kids that same love of playing outside.

We love going to the playground and going for walks. The new additions at the San Antonio Zoo have been fun to check out too. The kids love seeing all the animals. It has become their favorite activity. We went during Easter weekend and the weather was perfect for a day of walking and gazing.

No matter where we go when we're outside enjoying the Texas sunshine I always make sure that I pack plenty of water, snacks and food for the kids. Remember when I talked about packing a cooler? I do it when we plan to be outside for the day too. I like doing this because it keeps us from running in and out of the house. We also get to spend the majority of our day outside (the way kids would have it) when we don't have to leave the park or splash pad for a snack.

Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water is one of our cooler staples. All of the brand’s spring sites can be found within 100 miles of each other in East Texas. A big part of what Ozarka® does is help preserve the natural beauty of Texas by sustainably managing their spring sites in the Lone Star State.

It's a good feeling when you know you're giving your kids a local good for you product. Our hot Spring and Summer days are made a lot easier when I've frozen some bottled water to take with us. Visit the Ozarka® Facebook Instagram  and Twitter pages to learn more about #Ozarka Country. Use that hashtag to share what you love most about Texas!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ozarka® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baby's Journey Smart Sync Baby Monitor Review

This post was sponsored by Baby’s Journey as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary merchandise to facilitate my review.

A Mommy confession of mine is that I have never used a monitoring system. Like never. I was given one as a gift when Savannah was born but I never really saw a need for it. She was always so good so I never worried about her climbing out of her crib or doing anything else you hear about babies doing.

Then came Mikey. Mikey does everything that he shouldn't. I've been able to keep up with him but my days are filled with running up and down the stairs for one thing or another. 

Add Moses to the mix and I'm busy. I can't be in two places at once so when I was offered the opportunity to review the Baby's Journey Smart Sync baby monitor I happily accepted. 

Baby's Journey and AT&T are working together to launch a new baby monitor line that provides information about baby's health and wellness. This new baby monitor easily connects to wi-fi. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery.

I use the monitor in the boy's room. When I put the kids to sleep they are still wide awake. This never really was a concern of mine until Mikey and Moses started sharing a room. I like being able to see what they're doing before they fall asleep. The easy night viewing infrared LED gives a crystal clear picture at night.

I also love checking in on them in the morning. When I see that they're okay playing in their cribs it gives me the peace of mind I need before I take a few minutes for myself in the morning.

This system does so much more than baby sneak peeks. You can also log and track feedings, medications, diaper changes, weight, height and sleep. We use the AT&T Smart Sync mobile app to monitor the kids and log info too. It makes it so easy and convenient. My husband can use the app to see the kids while he's at work and I love that feature.

You can share photos to social media directly from the monitor by connecting to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

The monitors are now available online and in-store at Babies “R” Us locations. Get more information about them, the Baby's Journey Smart Sync baby monitor would make a great gift!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring & Summer Daily Beauty Routine

Hot weather season is here. I'm not sure that it was ever cold weather season here in Texas but it is officially time for tank tops, shorts and sleeveless dresses. I'm excited!

For a lot of Moms this time of year makes them cringe. With all the outdoor and water related play that's sure to fill up our schedules we know that those type of dates involve lots of skin exposure. Bathing suit season is upon us, ladies. I’ve partnered with Dove to tell you all about their New Dove Dry Oil Collection featuring their Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar and Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash.

I use both of these products in my daily beauty routine to keep my skin looking and feeling great during Spring and Summer. My daily beauty routine is quick, easy and it keeps me ready for days at the pool with my kids.

A shower in the morning does wonders for me. It gives me time to think and prepare for the day. That quiet time in the morning is very important to me. I shower using the new Dove Dry Oil Collection. The new Dove Dry Oil collection helps nourish and protect skin from dryness in the shower by effectively cleansing without leaving skin feeling dry and features a nourishing formula infused with Moroccan Argan oil beads to gently cleanse while helping to replenish nutrients to the skin.

I also use the Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash when I shave. You know that itchy feeling you sometimes get after shaving? Using this body wash has set me free from that itchy feeling. When I'm done shaving my skin is soft and smooth. I also like that I'm not fumbling around with tons of different products in the morning. It makes getting ready for the day so much easier.

Once I'm nice and clean I spend time at the sink. I go ahead and brush my teeth, do my hair and put on makeup if I'm wearing any that day.

Having a daily beauty routine helps keep me confident when I'm out Mom'ing it up with my friends. Softer, smoother skin is something every woman desires, however 1 in 3 women suffer from dry skin and 98% of women feel more confident when their skin is moisturized vs. dry. I know I do.

So another Mom hack that comes in extremely helpful for me is keeping a travel size bottle of the Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash in my pool bag. When our time at the pool is done we head straight to the showers to clean up. I quickly wash us all down, dry us off and do diaper changes before I load up the car. This way, if all the Summer stars align and the kids fall asleep on the way home I know we're all clean. They'll wake up ready for the next part of the day with super soft skin.

Finally at then end of the night after everyone is in bed, before I cuddle up next to my husband I take a shower to wash away the day. It helps me to relax. The Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar cleanses my skin leaving it with a radiant glow. I feel so refreshed after a long day of hard work. Consider adding this new collection from Dove to your daily beauty routine this Spring.

What's your daily beauty routine for Spring and Summer?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dove, but all my opinions are my own.  #DoveDifference #ShowerAwayDrySkin #DovePartner

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 16-30 Grocery Haul VIDEO

This grocery haul turned out pretty good. I was able to stay on budget leaving some money leftover for some of my room Mom responsibilities that are coming up. I spent $147 at the Commissary ($152 with the bagger's tip) and about $44 at Costco.

If you have any meal planning or grocery shopping questions for me feel free to leave them here or email me.

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 16-30 Family Meal Plan

April is half way done. Can you believe it? That means that we are that much closer to a moving truck showing up at our house. I am not ready. At least our dinners for the rest of the month are planned.

family meal plan

I think I'm going to attempt grocery shopping today because it's suppose to rain all weekend. I have a hair appointment Saturday morning and I really don't want to get caught out in the rain grocery shopping with freshly straightened hair. So I may shop today. I need to make a grocery list first.

I am anticipating a larger grocery bill because there are other things we need for the house. I was able to carry a meal or two over from the last dinner menu so maybe that will balance some things out. We shall see. I'll share my grocery haul and answer some of the questions I received via email in the video. Thanks for watching those! 

If I look a little sleepy in the video (or on snapchat) it's because my husband is in training for his upcoming promotion and that has left me pretty busy with the kids solo. Moses has been sleeping well but he's still not sleeping all night. Pumping is literally draining the life out of me but I will push through like all the other Mamas out there. There is a blessing in being tired and that is how I push through the tough times. I'll share my philosophy on that in another post.

Happy Friday, Mamas! Do something special for yourself this weekend (after you go grocery shopping)! 😉

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thought Bubbles 04132016

I have been cheating on Instagram with SnapChat (TheChicSAHM)...

It's my new favorite social media platform. More intimate and unfiltered...

You can see me in all my makeup free and fitted cap wearing glory on there...

If you want pretty pics - don't worry - I'm still posting to Instagram too... (chicsahm)

All of those shameless plugs....

I got my car back from the mechanic yesterday...

I'm going to be whipping around town today running all the errands...

My curls have been popping lately...

I'm still getting that blowout on Saturday though...

Is it a blowout when your hair is short?...

Maxwell's new song is soon good....

I'm making all kinds of playlists for our upcoming voyage to the Pacific Northwest...

Still can't believe we're considering driving...

I need to start prepping for the movers...

That shea moisture african black soap has done wonders for my skin...

Pretty sure drinking lots of water has helped too...

I straight up thought today was Thursday....

It's Wednesday....

But it's Thursday now....

Why does it take me two days to do a post now?...

I blame all these kids...

I just watched a testimony from Joanna Gaines and I am beyond inspired...

We will walk to school today...

I actually have a meal to carry over from the first half of our meal plan...

Stuff like that excites me...

What does that say about my life, LOL....

I hated on snapchat at first but I am such a fan now...

I promise to get back to consistent posts...

This week has been a doozy for free time...

Mikey is doing better and better on the potty...

He should be fully trained before we move...


My next round of thought bubbles will have pics...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Total Wellness in 2016 with Nature Made®

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

This past month I really tried my best to focus on centering myself. Our upcoming move has had me a little stressed. When I get stressed like that I find that the best thing to do is calm my days down and realign my outlook from the inside out.

If you follow the blog's Facebook page then you know I have been doing a no sugar, veggies, fruits and meat only eating challenge. I was a little skeptical about the results I'd see from it but I have to say that they have been amazing. At my doctor appointment last week I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight!

Another thing that I've been doing is taking a Nature Made® Fish Oil supplement that promotes a healthy heart. We really enjoy a nice fish dinner because of the health benefits you get from fish. With all the crazy talk that's going on right now about fish I decided that we should just start taking a supplement to be on the safe side.  Fish Oil provides EPA and DHA fatty acids, which help support a healthy heart. I also like that the Nature Made® Fish Oil supply comes from deep ocean waters and not farm-raised fish.

I found the vitamins at Walmart. Nature Made® is the #1 best-selling brand for quality vitamins, mineral and supplements* to help support nutritional gaps like our weekly fish dinners. Walmart is a great place to buy Nature Made® vitamins. There were so many to choose from and the price point was nice too!

I have also started taking daily walks with the boys while Savannah is at school. Our walks give me time to listen to myself think and enjoy a little peace and quiet. These walks have truly been a lifesaver. 

Changing my diet, taking vitamins and getting out for walks has really made me feel so much better. I am not as tired or irritable. The afternoons were normally my most dreaded time of day but after walking with the kids I have more energy and patience. I have been sleeping better at night too. I'd like to think that our walks have a lot to do with that. 

What are you doing to achieve total wellness in 2016? Nature Made® is the #1 Pharmacist recommended supplement brand in 9 categories.** Sign up for the Nature Made Daily Boost program to get a sneak peek at what other Nature Made fans are doing to stay healthy. 

You can also enter to win one of 20 $50 Walmart gift cards here!

Nature Made Wellness 5

I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

*Based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Scantrack Service for the Vitamins Category for 52-week period ending 1/02/2016, for the xAOC Market. Copyright © 2016 Nielsen.
**Based on US News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey, Nature Made is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand in Nine Categories – Letter Vitamins, Omega-3/Fish Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Flax Seed Oil, Herbal Supplements, Cholesterol Management-Natural, Garlic, Diabetic Multivitamins and Mood Health Supplements

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 1-15 Grocery Haul VIDEO

Thanks so much for all the good feedback on our family dinner menu for the first half of April. It has been such a relief being able to scratch grocery shopping off my to-do list.  Here is the video for my shopping haul. In it you'll hear me say that I spent $105 at the commissary but I actually spent $109.

You'll also hear me make reference to our pantry. I keep it stocked with chicken broth, sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, bread and whatever snacks I plan to get for the kids. Let me know if you have any questions. It is my goal to not spend more than roughly $150 a week on groceries and that includes cleaning supplies, paper goods and healthcare items.

If you have any grocery tips please give them to me! I'm in the process of looking for a coupon class on Youtube. If I add coupons to what I'm already doing we could be saving so much money. How do you grocery shop and save money?

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 1-15 2016 Family Meal Plan

Where is 2016 going? Why is she in such a rush to be over with already? April got here super quick. As promised I am going to share our family dinner menus throughout the month.

I'll also share my haul after I have gone shopping. The video will share deals I found, where I shopped and how much I spent. You'll be able to view the videos and all that info here on the blog but you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when a new video is posted.

To make things easy I decided to break things up by two weeks. So here is the menu for the first two weeks.

I'll share the next half of the month on the 14th. Please let me know if these are helpful. I appreciate any pins, shares, comments as this let's me know that you want me to continue sharing our meal plan.

What do you think about our menu for this month? Stay tuned for the haul video and follow me on snapchat (TheChicSAHM) to see behind the scenes shopping footage! Happy April!