Party! Party! Party!

scaled_photoWelcome! I am very excited to be joining the Ultimate Blog Party 2014 again this year! I think this is a great opportunity to get out there and connect with other bloggers while sharing the things that you love, including your own blog! Thank you to Janice and Susan of 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting this fabulous event.

If you are new to Momma on the Move I’d like to thank you for stopping by and for those of you who are returning welcome back. It is a pleasure to have you all here.

8095971047_2a93f46d0a_bMy name is Carmen and I have 3 beautiful children, 4 year old boy/ girl twins and an older son. I grew up on the East Coast and have a deep love for the ocean. I love the outdoors, travelling, exploring new places and to getting out there to enjoy and embrace life!

The kids keep me busy with the twins now in preschool and our decision to eat sugar and dairy free at our house. When not playing with or helping the kids, I am in the kitchen trying out or modifying recipes to meet our needs. I have even been dabbling in some gluten free recipes over the past year as well.

IMG_2646We made the decision to remove sugar, back when my Matthew, my oldest was in grade 2, due to behavorial and sleep challenges with him. It was amazing the difference it made! Shortly after we went dairy free as I discovered both myself and my daughter had an intolerance and the gluten well, when I discovered I was still feeling tired after eating a dairy free/ sugar free muffin, gluten was the only thing left!

I have always loved to write but started blogging because I felt that I could share more faster and reach a larger audience. I find that there are so many things to share and explore, as life is a story. Everywhere we go I am taking pictures and thinking about how I make this into an informative, yet interesting blog post for my readers. Everything from crafts and activities for kids, our adventures camping and in the outdoors, to the many sugar and dairy free recipes, I like to blog about it!

I also like to include tidbits about the importance of taking time for ourselves, gratitude and being ambassadors for our planet.

I like creating a community where we can share, interact and learn from each other. Plus it’s stretched me in the world of technology as well!

IMG_2106Now that you’re here, sit down grab a cup of coffee and take a look around. Let me know what your favorite posts are, what you’d like to see more of. Leave a comment sharing with me who you are and where I can find you so we can connect and get to know each other. I’m looking forward to visiting everyone’s sites and making new friends.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

Firewalking

Rainy Day Activities

All Things Pumpkin

Natural Sugar Substitutes

RAK your Brain

Firewalking

Firewalking

 

Grasshopper Popsicles

Enjoy! See you at the party!

Let’s stay connected! Here’s where you can find me

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Google+

The Importance of Taking Time for Yourself

8 Ways to Take Time for YourselfTaking time for ourselves is one of the most vital things we can do to thrive in this life, apart from food and water of course. Yet so many of us don’t do it for one reason or another.

I have written about this before but have been talking to so many people lately, especially women and mothers, who are dying for some time for themselves. They say they don’t have time in between caring for their children, taking care of the house and many of us are working too. But is we don’t do it we end up feeling lost, invisible, our sense of self worth can go down and we are just plain unhappy. Now I am not saying that men and fathers don’t need time for them as well, I am just noticing that women are seriously lacking it! And it is not just women with families that are depleted. We are naturally givers so women with boyfriends, friends, co-workers, etc. are also lacking this.

taking time for yourselfI know, many of us feel guilty when we take a little time for ourselves or feel like the house will come falling down. Well here’s a newsflash for you ladies, your household and your children will go on without you, whether you are there or not. And if you are a few minutes late, or get held up, nothing bad will happen. Everyone will survive. So don’t feel guilty, enjoy your time because you and your family are going to be so much better for it when you do return.

I know it is challenging to do this at times. I get every second weekend to myself when the kids go to their Dad’s, but sometimes I feel like I am just dying by the time Friday night comes. I love my children, but I have felt pulled in so many different directions and attended to so many needs I am just depleted.

The key is to take time every day for you. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy but time just for you. And be strict about it. If you’re taking it at a time when other family members are up and may be looking for your attention, tell them you are going to do X and to not disturb you. And just do it.

“But I am so busy! I don’t have time to add one more thing.”Just take 5 minutes for you each day. Start by making a list of things you love to do – go for coffee, take a walk, chat with a friend, write, take a bubble bath, etc. Write down everything you can think of and then start doing these things one a day. If reading is a love, take 5 minutes before you shut off the light at night and read. Or write down 3 things that you are grateful for before you go to sleep – this is time for you, time that you reflect.

Sometimes I put on a webinar to listen to while I am doing something else. I consider this time for me. Even I may be making dinner or cleaning I am still doing something that I enjoy and will benefit from. And I have added no extra time or thing to do in my day.

As you do more and more each day and it becomes a habit, you will start to find another 5 minutes somewhere else in your day to do something for you. And then another 5 and another, and eventually you will find that taking time for you is doable and you love it! You’ll feel happier, more confident, sexier and more alive!

Taking 5 minutes here and there throughout the day will sustain you and keep you balanced. It will get you through until a time when you can take a longer period of time for yourself, like a retreat weekend or a spa getaway. It will keep you from feeling completely depleted and dying for some me time. For me, if I get a chance to write during my day, this feeds my soul and I am exhilarated. I then find I can tackle anything that comes along. It doesn’t matter if I finished what I was writing or not, it is just a matter of doing something that I love!

It is not hard to do. You just have to start. Cause like I said I just see so many of us women dying, disappearing and yearning for something for them. And we need to take it! Not only is it good for us and our self confidence but it improves our relationships. We are happier so so is everyone else. You know the saying when “Mamma Bear is unhappy no one is happy”. It’s true.

So go start by making your list of all the things that you love and take 5 minutes for yourself today! and everyday after this.

Looking for some ideas or inspiration? Here are some things that I love to do and can do in a short time

  1. read a good book
  2. go for a walk
  3. go for a run
  4. write
  5. enjoy a cup of coffee
  6. listen to a webinar
  7. garden
  8. meditate

For more ideas check out my other posts on taking time for you

5 Minutes for Mom

How to take time for yourself

 

The Ultimate Blog Party

Welcome! I am very excited to be joining the Ultimate Blog Party 2013 for the first time this year! I think this is a great opportunity to get out there and connect with other bloggers while sharing the things that you love, including your own blog! Thank you to Janice and Susan of 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting this fabulous event.

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

If you are new to Momma on the Move I’d like to thank you for stopping by and for those of you who are returning welcome back. It is a pleasure to have you all here.

My name is Carmen and I have 3 beautiful children, 3 year old boy/ girl twins and an older son. I grew up on the East Coast and have a deep love for the ocean. I love the outdoors, to travel, explore new places and to get out there and enjoy and embrace life!

Luke and Chloe

Things are very busy at our house with the kids daily activities and the dietary choices we have made. We have gone sugar and dairy free at our house due to allergies and intolerances and though I have found the no dairy to be easy, going sugar free was honestly, a nightmare! Sugar is in everything! But it can be done and now I am very comfortable with making the right natural substitutions and believe that our overall health is better for it.

Matthew

I started blogging because I love to write, share stories and help people. I find that there are so many things to share and explore, as life is a story. My oldest son said to me one day when we were out “Mom you like to take a lot of pictures.” I looked at him and smiled and said, “Matthew, everything is a blog post.” Which it is! Everywhere we go and everything we do can translate into a helpful blog piece for my audience. Whether it be our adventures at Heritage Parktraveling through BC or new sugar/ dairy free recipes that I have found, it is all a possible post to share.

I tend to write about parenting topics, how to take time for yourself, kids activities and crafts as well as recipes. It’s fun! I love it and I love to share with everyone what I know.

I like creating a community where we can share, interact and learn from each other. Plus it’s stretched me in the world of technology as well!

Now that you’re here, sit down grab a cup of coffee and take a look around. Let me know what your favorite posts are, what you’d like to see more of. Leave a comment sharing with me who you are and where I can find you so we can connect and get to know each other. I’m looking forward to visiting everyone’s sites and making new friends.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

Firewalking

Firewalking

Christmas Carol Challenge

Luke and Chloe’s First Trip to the Dentist

Natural Sugar Substitutes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Squares

Enjoy! See you at the party!

 

Let’s stay connected! Here’s where you can find me

Facebook

Twitter

5 Minutes for Mom

Chloe, Luke and Matthew

Being a Mom has many duties, demands and challenges, but it also brings us many benefits, rewards and love. My heart just melts when the kids are playing and all of a sudden I turn around and Luke is standing there, he looks at me and says “Mommy I want to give you a hug”, he does and then he resumes playing.

Becoming a parent is job that we sign up for for life, once we are in we can’t decide to quit and look for another, take a vacation or check out. We are there forever, no matter what. But no matter what, we as Moms (parents) need to take care of ourselves so that we can be the best we can for our families. If we are not happy then the family isn’t happy.

I agree sometimes it can be challenging to even find 5 minutes for ourselves, but I have found that with a little creativity, it is easy to do and those little 5 minute breaks, help make the day easy, happy and flowing.

It’s easy to incorporate these into your day (and many of them you can do with the kids so not only do you take care of you, you can do it easily while also engaging the kids)

 

  1. Breathe – yes we breathe all the time but how often do we stop and take a really deep breath, one that fills the lungs. Deep breathing does wonders for our body and brings us back to a relaxed state. Stop, breathe in for the count of 4 and then release for the count of 4, do this 3 times and you’ll find yourself in a very peaceful state. Even better add a drop of energizing essential oil like peppermint or wild orange in your hands and cup them over your nose breathing in deeply. Doing this will instantly provide you with a natural pick me up.
  2. Dance – moving our body is key to keeping things flowing. Dancing uses your entire body, put on your favorite music and dance away! You can easily do this with the kids but be warned they’ll probably want another song when the first one is done 🙂
  3. Go outside – fresh air does wonders for us. Whether you go for a quick walk, are gardening (getting your hands in the dirt), or you stand out in the backyard for 5 minutes, the fresh air is a great way to regenerate and de-stress. Take a deep breath while you’re out there or do a grounding activity imagining you’re a tree with large roots going deep into the ground (this one especially is fun to do with the kids as they love to imagine and be creative)5 minutes for mom
  4. Chat with a friend -just expressing ourselves or touching base with another person can brighten our day. A listening ear always helps or just makes us feel better.
  5. Smile -this is so simple but makes such a difference in how you feel. You use more energy when you frown, and if you smile the people around you will smile too. It’s contagious!

Of course it is important to also schedule some longer periods of time for ourselves, without the kids, such as going for a massage, bubble bath, coffee, hike or date with a friend; as we need these too to keep our spirits happy, to regenerate and de-stress and be the best we can be for everyone.

Date Night

On Friday night I stepped out of my comfort zone and expanded my horizons. I had no kids, no date and it being Friday night I decided to take myself out. I went up to the local coffee shop here in Bridlewood, Cafe Crema. They have live open mic music on Fridays and I wanted to check it out.

So I dressed myself up, put on make up, did my hair and out the door I went. Why not dress up for me, why not take myself out? Why should I hole up and stay in when there is a whole world out there? I cannot meet new people and make new friends and maybe even dates, if I stay in all the time. Yes I could have put on my pyjamas, picked up a nice movie and curled up on the couch waiting for maybe something exciting to happen but why? Life doesn’t happen to you while waiting on the couch, it passes you by, you miss it.

The crowd at Cafe Crema was ecclectic, a mix of young and old, well more actually like a lot of young and a few older couples. There were some very cute men there, sadly all with someone else 🙁 but I enjoyed looking at them. There was one fellow in particular, dark hair, gorgeous, way too young… There was even a couple there sitting on the side reading their books, while the musicians on stage sang their songs and played their tunes. I wondered how they could read while all this was going on but to each his own.

I grabbed my latte, sat down on the comfy couch and enjoyed the music. The first fellow was from Nova Scotia, where I grew up and it made me feel nostalgic for the east coast. The next fellow was young and missed a few verses in his songs but was entertaining to say the least (also nice to look at). The last couple, before I left, was a male and female pair who did mostly original songs, which were quite unique, melodic and even a bit out of tune, yet we were all still tapping our toes to the music.

There were more musicians after that but by that time I decided to take myself home. That short time out inspired me to come home and write to share my experience and tell everyone how empowering it is! Yes I have gone out on my own before to a movie or stopped for coffee, but not like this. Not on a Friday night where everyone is on dates or out with friends. It felt really good not to be sitting at home waiting for someone to call, to just go out and enjoy myself and be with others in the world, even if it was just simply sharing a coffee and listening to some music.

Now I don’t think that I would go out to the bar by myself as for some reason that does not seem like a good idea to me, but the coffee house was ok and it felt great! Besides like I said if I don’t get out how will I meet people? And you never know, maybe one night some nice single man will come in and notice me and we’ll strike up a conversation – you never know.

Being newly separated, it’s good for me to get out. It is also very important for me to take care of myself and know what that means for me. It’s ok to do things on my own, and we all need to, whether we are married or single. When we feed our spirits and expand our comfort zones, we grow, we learn and we become more attractive to others in general; because our eyes sparkle with excitement and fun, we’re happy and content with ourselves. And then we come home and are inspired to do other things, whatever that may be. It left me with a great buzz! and it was not from the coffee 🙂

 

Time to Clear My Head – Go for a Run

I really enjoy running. I never used to, I used to think it was chore, hard, pushing through and keeping it in my routine only to add variety to my exercise.

I have run all my life, though not always enjoyed it. I ran when I was little, likely because my Dad and Mum did. We would go out running together or to the indoor track, it was more of a family time for me than exercise, but I was 10.

It wasn’t until I got older, around university that I started to feel running was a chore. I would do it, as it was an easy way to exercise, but I did it begrudgingly. Until recently, for some reason all of a sudden I really enjoy running and do so now 2 or 3 times a week.

Chariot stroller

I think it is the convenience of just getting up and going out the door that started me running again and there are many benefits. Other than the health benefits, such as stress relief and disease prevention; I find running is a great way to get out and have some time for myself. I can do it at any time of day, anywhere and all I need is a pair of running shoes and shorts. I even take the kids with me, as I have a Chariot running stroller. Even when Matthew is at home he comes along, either riding his bike or scooter (I have suggested he run with me but he hasn’t bit yet).

You might think that running with the kids is not really a break for me, but it truly is. They are all occupied and safe, quiet, and all I have to do is push the stroller along and get lost in my own thoughts as I do my route around the neighborhood. In fact, when I first started running again I liked having the stroller to push as it provided great balance for my arms.

I love the feel of the wind on my face as I cruise along, the steady rhythm, feet pounding the pavement. I am aware of my surroundings yet lost in my own thoughts, able to process things and work things out. It’s a great way to clear my mind and let the ideas flow. When I am stuck or feel bogged down, a run clears it all away and then I can focus again. Sure getting outside and a change of scene always help too, but there is just something about the movement of running that is quite satisfying.

Along the road Oliver, BC

While we were away on vacation last week I actually got a treat and got to run by myself, not once, but 3 times. Though I do find going with the kids is still a form of time for me, going without was even more so! In Oliver, BCwhere we were visiting my parents, I would get up and go first thing in the morning to beat the heat, because if you waited it got very hot. It was a great way to start the day, sunny blue skies, surrounded by the mountains. Morning greetings exchanged with all the seniors who were out for their morning walks as well, feeling elated and free. Just a few moments for myself, enjoying the sunshine and reveling in the beauty that surrounds me. How nice would it be to start each day like this?

Though I have not taken any running classes or programs, there are a variety of them out there that cater to all levels from beginner to advanced. Places like The Running Room and local running clubs offer programs and workshops. Clubs often provide other benefits like discounts or special prices for members, social activities and running clinics.

I would also highly recommend that if you are going to run that you invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go to a specialty shop like The Running Room, where there are staff who are knowledgable and can help fit you properly. I found that when I bought running shoes, it really made a difference in how I felt about running. It became a much more pleasant experience because I was properly supported and cushioned.

Running is not for everyone, but it certainly is convenient. And like I said I did not always love it. But now it meets my needs, provides some time for me, rounds out my work out routine (I also go to the gym 3 times a week) and provides some variety in my exercise, as that is important as well.

So if you’re up for it, give running a try. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’ll provide you some great benefits, if only the opportunity to get outside for a little while and clear your head!

 

Welcome to Momma on the Move!

Welcome to Momma on the Move, a parenting blog written about the joys and challenges of parenting 3 young children in a world full of adventure and change.

This light hearted, witty, yet informative blog on the joys and adventures of parenting twin babies and an older child is full of tips and tricks that will help you to appreciate and manage the challenges of being a parent. My hope is that this will help you find the light heartedness in each situation and challenge, which will aid you in managing every day with ease and a smile. As well as to appreciate the positives of parenting and see the joy and the gift in each situation.

I am a mother of 3 children, Matthew, 9 and Luke and Chloe my 2 year old twins. Adjusting from one child to 3, was not hard but I discovered it has made things very busy! Through trial and error I’ve discovered tricks and tips in parenting twins, equipment must haves and survival tactics for managing a busy household. I love to write and in addition to my blog, freelance and have published in Today’s Parent, Angels on Earth and Suite101.com. I am also a regular contributor to Calgary’s Child of Calgary, Alberta where I live with my family.

I love the outdoors, camping, travel, reading and adventure and greatly enjoy spending time and sharing these passions with my children.

Over the past year we have made a number of dietary changes in our family due to allergies, intolerances and some personal choice. I have become well versed in being able to eat dairy and sugar free (and what the workable alternatives are), while still being able to enjoy the foods that we love, like cookies, pancakes and macaroni and cheese! I have been dabbling in some gluten free choices as well but this is still fairly new to us.

In this blog I will cover a variety of topics including

“Mommy Time”- taking time for yourself, how to fit it in and some of the unique “Mommy Time” experiences I have

Healthy Kids/ Family Nutrition -tips on eating well, exercise and play, ways to get the kids to eat those vegetables, tips and substitutes for sugar free and dairy free eating

Activities and Games for kids -inside and outside, in the car and on the way to the park

Sugar free/ dairy free recipes- ones that are tried, tested and true! That I have personally made, recommend and are favorites in our house

Events/ Special Occasions/ Milestones

Guest Bloggers – other bloggers/ experts in the above topics

As well as lighthearted stories to help us all relate to being parents; the trials and challenges, the joys and successes and the steps we take to get there; not only to laugh at our experiences and find the gifts in them but to create a sense of community where we don’t feel so alone. Where you hear yourself saying, “Oh her son does that too! Good I am not crazy!”

So welcome, read and enjoy, comment, ask questions. I am here to share with you what I have learned and experienced and hope that you find it helpful in some way, if only to make you smile.