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Motherhood Narratives: Weekly Tips July 20, 2020

You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup

I read this quote from someone’s page on Instagram a few years back about pouring from an empty cup, and it just hit my subconscious mom-mind, like “wow…wake-up call!…”

It’s not possible to take care of the things you need to, if you’ve depleted your own reservoir. We need to give ourselves nourishing loving thoughts, and positive daily practices so that we can keep giving those incredible little beings our mom-love. Whatever type of self-care feels right to you, go refill your cup and give yourself a mental/physical break from carrying that silent load momma!

Dinners for the Week

This week we’ve planned a method of two nights dinner, and then using up those leftovers to create a third meal. I’m exhausted so dinners need to be quick and cooked with the least amount of pots/pans as possible. We’re also trying to do a meatless dinner at least once a week (we’re trying!) Here’s how dinners are looking this week:

  • Monday:
    • Chicken legs, breast, or a variation of pieces marinated in Italian dressing & cooked in air fryer (High @ 400 for 10-15 mins depending on air fryer (165 degrees internal temp= done). Legs are cheaper and can feed an army.
    • Jasmine rice in a 9X13 baking dish (about 2 cups rice- makes 4 (reserve 1.5 cups after cooked for another dinner)
      • 4 cups water
      • 4 tsp chicken flavor bouillon
      • 4 packets of Sazon w/ anchiote
      • Cover rice with foil or lid and bake @ 350 for 30-40 mins. Delicious!
    • Frozen peas & carrots cooked on the stove with 1 Tbsp of butter and a dash of garlic powder.
  • Tuesday:
    • Meatballs & mashed potatoes with gravy (make your own meatballs or use frozen). Try making them with a pack of onion dip to add a kick more flavor! Like little Salisbury steaks!
    • Green beans (put in a pot, add 1 c. chicken broth & 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
  • Wednesday:
    • Use that leftover chicken & rice from Monday, for a creamy chicken & rice soup.
      • One pot method: cut up chunks or shred chicken from Monday’s meal.
      • Heat up a 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in a dutch oven or big spaghetti pot, add:
        • 1/2 onion chopped & one clove of garlic smashed/diced
        • 2 stalks chopped celery (about 1/2 c.)
        • 2 carrots (about 3/4 c.)- cook until onions are translucent
        • 1 can (4 oz) of mushrooms chopped (optional)
        • Add in chicken, 1 can (10.5 oz.) of cream of chicken soup, use that same can and fill once with milk, and three times with chicken broth (or use two small chicken bullion cubes and 3 cups of water). Cook until hot & then add leftover rice. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Creamy chicken and rice soup – delish!
  • Thursday Left-Over Night!
    • Whenever doing leftover night, get a house salad in there to freshen it up. Cut up some Romaine w/ a handful of fresh baby spinach. Add cucumber, tomato, onion, and viola! A fresh little salad to go with this Italian style family dinner of leftovers 🙂
  • Friday (Meat-Less Night):
    • Roast garlic in oven (here’s the link with incredible directions: Scratch to Basics)
    • Cook 1lb. linguine to Al dente
      • Broccoli can be fresh (steamed) OR try a bag of frozen broccoli which works just as well (throw in microwave to heat through, DO NOT cook until mushy!).
    • In blender add 1/2 c. chicken stock, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, and 3-4 roasted garlic cloves, with a couple cracks of fresh pepper. Blend until smooth.
    • In a large serving bowl add pasta, broccoli, & pour sauce over linguine.
    • Sprinkle a little Parmesan or Romano cheese over the top, mix sauce incorporating every piece of pasta, and enjoy!
  • Saturday (Fast Food at Home):
    • Chick-fil-A Sandwiches & Waffle Fries
      • This is an incredible recipe capturing that classic dill, yet sweet and savory crunchy chicken…drool… (DamnDelicious.net-), but instead of frying in peanut oil, pop those chicken breasts in the air fryer @ 400 degrees for (15-20 minutes internal temp 165 is cooked). If you want a spicy version, do this recipe but before cooking sprinkle a little “Slap Ya Mama” seasoning. TIP: don’t forget to spritz top of chicken in air fryer with a little oil so it will get golden brown.
      • Here’s the copy cat recipe for the famous Chick-Sauce…you can’t have a Chick-fil-A sandwich without the sauce 🙂 Thank you Cori from Family Fresh Meals! My husband was skeptical and then blown away by how this version is spot on!
Chick-fil-A for dinner? Make this delicious morsel at home!

TIP: You can make nuggets out of tenderloins with this recipe. For quick kid lunches throughout the week, pop those nuggets in the freezer and then use the air-fryer for a quick reheat & crunchy exterior. Pair with carrots & dip or apple sauce.

Essential Oil Magic!

Did you know that plant magic is a real thing? Seriously, the healing benefits of plants have been used throughout history, and in fact, people all over the world in every culture were prone to keeping a little herb garden close to the house to help calm, alleviate, cure, or just add to a tasty cup of tea! This week here are some wonderful ideas and ways to use the components of liquid plants (essential oils) around your house!

  • Carpet odor remover
    • 1 c. baking soda & add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil in a mason jar and shake! Lemon and Peppermint are a wonderful combination when trying to absorb a stinky odor (like pets). Sprinkle the concoction on carpet and let sit 10-mins before vacuuming.
  • Pillow linen spray
    • This is a must-do during this exhausting pandemic! There’s nothing like falling into a bed and rubbing your face against a pillow that smells absolutely intoxicating!
    • Use a 4 oz bottle (if bigger just increase recipe accordingly)
      • 2 Tbsp Witch Hazel
      • 8-10 drops Essential Oil
      • Fill with distilled water
        • Best Bed Time Combos:
        • Eucalyptus & Rosemary (6 drops Eucalyptus & 4 drops Peppermint)
        • Lavender & Sage (8 drops Lavender & 2 drops Sage)
        • Sandalwood & Rose (4 drops Sandalwood & 4 drops Rose)
Did you know your sense of smell can alleviate stress & anxiety?
  • Concentration when working at home:
    • A diffuser is a must for any house! Their purpose is to permeate essential oils into the air for instant relief, and as a bonus, they make your house smell divine! Here’s my hack to get my brain on track when working at home.
    • Rosemary is the queen of herbal scents when it comes to focus. The aromatic influence of the oil permeates the nervous system, enabling stimulation of the mind and opening of consciousness. Working recipe:
      • 5 drops Rosemary, 3 drops Peppermint (for mental accuracy), and 3 drops Lemon (Energy and Purification).
  • No time for sickies
    • Thieves is one of the most beneficial essential oils when it comes to purifying and cleansing. The fighting microbes are a must-have when facing respiratory illnesses. (here is a news article about the cleansing properties of bleach, Lysol, and Thieves essential oil- read for yourself how Lysol doesn’t compare when eliminating bacteria).
    • Lemon essential oil is a great fever reducer when rubbed on the spine or bottoms of feet, a respiratory cleanser, and helps with sore throats (diffuse this one!)
    • Frankincense is the godfather of oils. The properties of this tree and medicinal uses goes back to biblical times. Roll this oil on your chest, or directly to the area of concern for immune boosting comfort.
  • Detox baths are a one-two punch when you really need to relax, soothe sore muscles, promote healthy circulation, or lower blood pressure. Here’s my favorite recipe when winding down and chilling out:
    • 1 c. Epsom Salts & 8 drops of Roman Chamomile
      • Chamomile is useful when dealing with depression, anxiety, and can promote a great night of sleep. Sleep is essential for a healthy mind/body.

Anxiety Overload? Tips to Finding a Calmer You:

Anxiety is like a little hyper-vigilant thought that is stuck on repeat, and just keeps playing over and over in your mind. These little thoughts get stuck, we fixate, and then the anxiety (core issue) leads to stressing out. Here’s the problem…within your central nervous system is the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. Parasympathetic controls relaxation, calming, digestion, and ease. Sympathetic system is the “fight or flight” mode. When it’s on full speed and anxiety-ridden, we hold tension and are constantly on edge. There has to be a balance between these systems, yin and yang.

Where do you feel the most calm?

Prolonged periods of anxiety or stress come into our life when we are living in a state of Sympathetic overload, and cortisol, (a primary stress hormone), is released. Cortisol increases sugar in our blood stream, we become tired, exhausted, and never able to release pent up energy. Essentially, everything in our body is linked. The food we eat, how much sleep we get, and alcohol consumption do affect the way our mind processes stress overload. Here are natural ways we can find balance when dealing with anxiety:

  • Diet: Healthy gut = Healthy mind (lower dairy and gluten intake for 30 days and see how you feel. You should see less bloating and less inflammation). I love cheese so this is my hardest challenge. Baby steps though!
  • Talk it out: A counselor is a trained professional that helps you find the root cause of what’s bothering you. The self-empowerment you feel when leaving a counseling session is invaluable.
  • 5-Minute Meditation: Check out Emily Fletcher’s Ziva Meditation, devine! The guided calmness of her voice really lets you do the work and find your present zen moment!
  • Sleep my Dear! The body needs sleep to heal & rest. Turn off the TV at least 30-mins before bed.
    • Can’t sleep? Try Melatonin (short term use only) or Valerian Tea (stinky but really works!)
  • Recognize your triggers: Once you learn what they are, you can make educated decisions to step away from environments that wreak havoc on your mind. And guess what?! That’s 100% self-care!

Great Reads

I’m constantly reading more than five books at once. Something for personal growth, a new path in life, excitement, disconnecting from it all, and spiritual books (all types). Here’s what’s looking good this month, and what I’m leaning towards next month:

  • Personal Growth:
    • The Gifts of Imperfections by Brene Brown “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” This book contains a lot of information and really resonates for those always push forward. Learning how to embrace courage, compassion, and wholehearted living.
  • Entertainment:
    • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. The writing in this book is superb! A perfect amount of descriptive details but absolutely taking the reader along for a ride, this book moves from present day to the past. Navigating the history of a family’s secret in a race against time to find the missing link. The story is full of richness and hard to put down.
    • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This book tugs at heart strings as “The Marsh Girl” grows up in North Carolina abandoned and alone. As she becomes a suspect of a murder in a small town, the story loops through a woman’s determination and ability to survive when the world is pitted against her. Excellent read!
  • Disconnect to Reconnect:
    • One Minute to Zen by Ali Katz. This book speaks to the reader as if it was written for them. The humor, kindness, and thoughtful words help ground moms through meditation. With quick tips and a wonderful arsenal to use at work or even whenever the moment feels right. Easy read, and full of great info!
  • What’s Next??
    • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
    • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
      • Let us know if you’ve read either and what your thoughts are!

What have you been reading lately? Drop your favorite book in the comments!

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