After another wonderful workout this morning at Life Designs Fitness & Nutrition, I was talking to Andrea about making a disinfectant spray for the mats and equipment at her fabulous studio. She was looking for something that smelled good and could disinfect. I suggested she make a Orange Oil Disinfectant Spray.
Orange oil is a natural cleanser and deodorizer. It’s also a good anti-bacterial and anti-septic agent. Orange oil is considered one of the most potent essential oils based on it’s disinfecting properties. With a rich, fresh citrus scent, the essential oil of Orange lifts the spirits yet is calming to the nerves.
Here’s how to make your own Orange essential oil disinfectant:
Fill the spray bottle nearly full with water (leave some air space so you can shake it to disperse the essential oil).
Add 20-25 drops of Orange essential oil, shake, and you’re ready to go!
That’s it! How quick & easy is that? And far healthier than a store-bought disinfectant.
Spray surfaces until damp, let it sit for a minute, wipe with a clean rag or sponge. This works perfectly for cleaning yoga mats, gym equipment, surfaces, floors, counter-tops, toilet bowls, sinks, etc.
You can spritz around the base of the toilet too and let it air dry to kill any nasty smelling odors typical around the floor near toilets.
For harder to clean surfaces like tubs. Spray until moistened, sprinkle some Baking Soda and then rub clean and rinse.
Give your sinks and tubs a spritz of the spray after they’ve been cleaned and let it air-dry, this allows the essential oil in the spray mixture to continue disinfecting.
Order your here; http://www.prenataltoparenting.com/shop/organic-orange-oil-10ml/
July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments
These are one of my favourite treats. I keep a bag of them in my freezer and snack on one a day. Mostly it’s my after dinner, the kids are finally in bed, time for me treat. They are easy to make, pretty darn healthy and yet sweet enough to feel like a treat.
Trail Mix Clusters Recipe:
Heat 1 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of cocoa, 1 & 1/2 tbs agave syrup until melted.
Mix in 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, dried cranberries and dried cherries.
Spoon approx 1 tbs into silicon muffin liners, sprinkle with sea salt, place in freezer until solid approx 15 mins.
Store in fridge or freezer. Makes approx 20 clusters.
June 8th, 2014 · No Comments
Fathers make unique contributions to their children:
A father’s emotion involvement, emotion coaching & style of play with his children predicts:
Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from active, involved fathers. Women are happier with their relationships and their own parenting when dads are involved, warm and emotionally available with their kids.
That’s why this June in honor of Father’s Day I’m making 2 special offers to fathers;
1) For Dads-to-be I’m running a special Dads-to-be Workshop on June 14th from 2:00-4:00 PM at Destination Maternity Langley. This workshop was designed to put some focus on Dad. So much of our time preparing for the birth of a baby is focused on Mom but Dads have a lot to learn, go through significant changes and have a lot to offer. Join me on June 14th for some great tips for being the best Dad-t0-be & partner during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum.
2) I’m giving the gift of love to all the Dads-to-be and Fathers of young children by offering them a FREE Bringing Baby Home class. In order to receive your free class please email me by June 21st 2014. The BBH series offers couples research based information and skills on how to bring the focus back to their relationship and keep the magic alive after having kids.
May 26th, 2014 · No Comments
Prenatal to Parenting is proud to now be carrying Essential Oils For Healing (EOH) pure essential oil products! I’m pretty darn excited to be offering these wonderful oils!
Why EOH you ask? I chose EOH because we love their products and what they stand for. EOH is a LOCAL and CANADIAN home-based business, based out of Surrey, BC, committed to sharing the life-enhancing benefits of their 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils and remedy blends. The amazing woman behind the company is a mom of two toddler boys, a Laboratory Technologist by trade, and a Registered Aromatherapist … aromatherapy is her passion! It all started as a hobby for her and grew into a business from there. All oils she uses in her products have been selected for their purity and aroma-therapeutic benefits. All EOH oils are supplied by CANADIAN companies, but are produced from all over the world. They are 100% pure, unadulterated, complete and from first run distillations only. Best of all, they are safe to use on everyone, including babies and during pregnancy (unless specified otherwise).
We sell the following EOH products:
We are also very excited about the recent launch of EOH’s new Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond line of essential oil products that have been designed specifically for the Pregnant Mama, Birthing Mama, and Post-Partum Mama.
We conveniently offer free local pick up from the Clayton area of Surrey. We also offer local/regional shipping for a flat fee of $8.
We absolutely LOVE the uplifting and healing benefits of essential oils for preventing and treating many day to day issues such as sleeping, snoring, teething, cold/flu, allergies, fatigue, stress, and so much more! Essential oils have become a staple in our home for battling everything you can think of and we are so happy to be able to share their powerful benefits with our family, friends, and clients! Go have a look on our website and check out all the new fab products.
March 19th, 2014 · No Comments
Burnout is a state of emotional exhaustion. Parents can feel burnout when they fall out of balance and stay that way for too long. When burnout occurs emotions often run high. It is easy to become unhappy, overwhelmed, drained, angry, frustrated, exhausted and defeated. It can make parenting more challenging as those feelings can make it difficult to have the patience to deal with misbehaviour or the creativity to find solutions to everyday challenges. It can defiantly lead us to question our ability to care for our children and make us wonder why we are not enjoying parenthood the way others seem to be.
First, burnout is only possible when parents are committed to being good parents and work hard at it. Obviously it can occur more frequently in families where there is a high-needs baby, a spirited child or a special needs child. Other factors that can increase the risk of burnout include an unsupportive environment, personal challenges, relationship difficulty with your partner, or unrealistic parenting expectations.
Let’s face it, our society places a lot of pressure on parents – especially mothers – to do it all: have a clean house, a great relationship with our partners, interesting hobbies, workout, cook gourmet meals for our family, and raise intelligent and creative children. Parents who try to live up to this image of the perfect family are surely headed for some kind of trouble.
So let’s get real. We can’t do it all and do it all well. As much as we’d like to, it is not humanly possible to be everything to everyone, satisfy our own needs and maintain a clean home without help. Plus parenting is about modelling behaviour and values we want to instill in our children. By modelling self-care we are teaching them a valuable life skill that will help our children grow up to be happier, healthier adults.
Once burnout sets in it is difficult to conjure up the energy to find resources, support and make a change for the better. For this reason, it’s a good idea to prevent burnout from occurring in the first place.
Here are some easy preventative steps you can take;
*Image courtesy of Jeanne Claire Maarbes, of freedigitalphotos.net
February 21st, 2014 · No Comments
A couple years ago I found this idea on pinterest and thought it was a fabulous idea! So starting at age 3, I have been asking Parker these 20 questions every year on his birthday. I’ll start asking Zola the same questions on her next birthday. Then I am going to assemble an album for each of them.
Since it was just before Parker’s 3rd birthday it was perfect timing. I’m yet to do anything with the answers from the first year’s Birthday Q + A, but I have the answers set aside with the photo I want to use for the 2 page spread.
Here is this year’s answers and photo that will join them in Parkers Birthday Q + A book that will take many years to complete. I just love this idea and think it will be so much fun to look back over the years to see how his answers change. Even just looking at the way the answers have stayed the same or changed over the past three years has been fun.
So without further ado here are the 20 questions answered by Parker
1. What is your favorite color? Brown, blue & red
2. What is your favorite toy? Lego
3. What is your favorite fruit? Black grapes and red watermelon
4. What is your favorite tv show? Bob the builder
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? mac & cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? Spiderman costume
7. What is your favorite game? Busy Bugs
8. What is your favorite snack? Sandwich & a wrap
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephant & giraffe
10. What is your favorite song? Jam song by Will Stroet
11. What is your favorite book? How do Dinosaurs Take a Nap?
12. Who is your best friend? Ethan
13. What is your favorite cereal? honeycombs
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play at the park
15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas & Easter
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Eeyore
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? waffles
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? pizza
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef
Happy birthday to my little man, I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.
Zola insisted on answering the questions as well….she turn 2 at the end of October.
20 Questions answered by Zola:
1. What is your favorite color? Draw picture for Mommy
2. What is your favorite toy? Blocks with Mommy
3. What is your favorite fruit? Pasta & cheese
4. What is your favorite tv show? Thomas the train
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? I don’t know with a shoulder shrug
6. What is your favorite outfit? These, these, these – her missmatched pjs
7. What is your favorite game? I don’t know – Mommy pick
8. What is your favorite snack? crackers
9. What is your favorite animal? tinker bell
10. What is your favorite song? Jam song by Will Stroet
11. What is your favorite book? Thomas
12. Who is your best friend? Caleb
13. What is your favorite cereal? pops
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play at the park with Mommy
15. What is your favorite drink? milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Santa
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? baby
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? waffles
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? meat
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A hiccup
Her answers are funny but probably won’t make her book. It’s a good example of why waiting for the 3rd birthday is a good idea.
Couples with Children have a lot less time and energy for communication, as kids are so often clamoring for, and genuinely needing, attention. In studies of couples happily married more than three decades, the quality of friendship between the partners was the single most frequently cited factor in the relationship’s success (McCarter, 2000). But two thirds of all parents report a significant drop in relationship with their partner after a baby arrives in the family. Conflict in the home increases 8 times in the first year.
After your long and demanding days, by the time the evening comes along, you are exhausted. The TV can be much more tempting than an open conversation or a smile. But you like each other. You want to connect. During this season where we celebrate love and connection, how do you maintain feelings of love and connection to your spouse?
Here are 3 simple tips for staying connected with your partner:
1. When your partner comes into the same room, pause what you are doing, make eye contact and smile.
This is the first step to communication… noticing that the other person is there, really noticing, and caring.
2.Take a few minutes to catch up when the work day is over.
Don’t let the kids pull you away. This little bit of conversation will keep you both in-the-loop with each other’s lives, and will leave more time on date nights to talk about deeper issues instead of playing catch-up. If it isn’t practical to do it when the kids are still away (though training the kids to wait can help), try it as soon as they are in bed.
3. Use a Date Night Contract.
Don’t wait until you have an event to attend. Book it in. Commit. Sign a contract. I found, in my own relationship, that we were more likely to connect weekly for date nights when we had this contract and the pressure to find a babysitter was off. We would meet every Friday night at 8:00 pm after the kids were in bed. Our rules were simple; no frumpy clothes, and no TV. Sometimes the date was 30 minutes of chatting over dessert. Other times we were up late playing games and having fun. There was no pressure to make it last a certain amount of time, the idea is to connect in a meaningful way.
If babysitting is required, it can be most helpful to schedule in advance, regardless of whether you have plans or not yet. You can also ask about your babysitter’s availability over the next two months and book several at once. Sort out the details later. Be encouraged, as Pirak quotes “The magic in a relationship can be restored if couples work to restore the balance. Doing so not only benefits the couple’s relationship, but it also improves the quality of the parent-child relationship.”
As our little gift to you and your relationship, we have attached our own Date Night Contract that you are free to download and use as a tool for connection. Or you can use it as inspiration and write up your own together!
We are also running a special Making the Magic Last Workshop on Feb 14th at Destination Maternity from 6:30-8:30 PM. Come learn more ways to improve the quality of your relationship so it will be strong for years to come.
Happy Season of love!
What is Peaceful Parenting?
Peaceful Parenting is about becoming more aware, practicing mindfulness and developing skills for reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, controlling our mood and becoming fully present in our own lives and the lives of our children. It’s about cultivating our emotional intelligence and sense of self. It’s about becoming a great role model for our children and being in a place to build deeper connections with them.
It is a practice that can grow to include:
These are valuable life skills that we can then teach our children. They are skills our children will need to navigate our highly distractible, high stress and often negative world. We can only teach what we know, so first we must learn, practice and become more comfortable with these skills before trying to teach our children.
How Does the Challenge Work?
Peaceful Parenting Toolbox:
Each week, throughout this challenge, more content will be added so please check back weekly, but feel free to come back as much as you’d like to use the tools.
Video Learning Seminars:
A note on video length – running time is approx. 25 minutes long learning module plus a 17 minute Body Scan guided meditation. The guided meditation is also available separately below under the Guided Meditations heading.
In this module you’ll learn how the way the brain interprets incoming information affects our reactions, you’ll become more familiar with triggers, automatic parenting and what patterns of communication have developed in your family (I like to call these family dances).
Please pause this video at the blank “Brain in Your Hand Video Clip” Slide and watch the video which is below the Module 1 video.
In this module you’ll learn about cultivating compassion for yourself, creating a positive inner dialogue, how paying attention to body sensations can help you short circuit our automatic responses and practicing mindfulness. (length 33:05 – approx 25 min of content and 7 min guided meditation at the end)
Home Practice Assignments:
Audio Guided Meditations:
Peaceful Pause: This meditation is a foundational practice about cultivating a pause amidst the busyness of your everyday life. A Peaceful Pause is a tool we can use to step out of automatic parenting and reconnect to awareness in the moment. It helps us out of stress mode so we can respond instead of react. And enables us to become more grounded and mindful. (Length 4:22)
Body Scan Meditation: The Body Scan Meditation is helpful in understanding the importance of the body in the development of mindfulness. It is the perfect meditation to help us reconnect to our bodies. Going back to our body sensations is a simple and fast way to bring our attention into the present moment. (Length 13:38)
Loving-Kindness Meditation: Kindness is the attitude underlying all meditation. We do this practice to further cultivate the min of kindness and compassion. We are forming the intention to be kind, compassionate, and loving to ourselves and others.
Peaceful Parenting Affirmations: The power of positive affirmations have the potential to create a life of happiness and peace. By reciting positive affirmations on a daily basis, you are creating positive subconscious thoughts, which will help you to build a happy internal dialogue and support you in your goal of parenting peacefully.
February 2nd, 2014 · No Comments
Today I did something brave! I pushed the post button….
I don’t often share this part of my mothering journey but after reading this article I felt compelled to. I’ve been silent for too long, allowing fear to keep me tight lipped and alone. But today, today I’m being brave and over coming my fears of being judged, of being called a hypocrite or a phony, of being thought of as a bad mother. Today I admit to the world that I struggle, that I yell, that I react in rage, that I am human and I have flaws.
You see after Zola was born I experienced an anger so deep and quick to surface it scared me. I’ve struggled with it, agonized over it, shamed myself for it. I’ve spent many hours over the past two years crying, feeling guilty and struggling to understand where this rage comes from. I’ve talked with the Pacific Postpartum Society, I’ve seen a Hypnotherapist, I’ve talked to my doctor and have had my thyroid tested. I’ve cried to my own mother, my best friend and my partner. I’ve shared with them how embarrassed I feel to admit that I am struggling – me the parent educator, the positive discipline advocate!
It is one of the reasons I turned to Peaceful Parenting practices and have developed the Peaceful Parenting Challenge, along with my Peaceful Parenting Affirmations and Meditations tracks. It is the reason I found my way back to practicing meditation. I have found these practices to support me in becoming more aware of my triggers and learning how to take a Peaceful Pause before responding.
Want to hear something really crazy? I think I’m able to share this with you now because I’ve done some personal healing and restorying. I’m grateful for the rage and what it has taught me. Don’t get me wrong; there are many reactions I wish I could take back, many memories I pray I can heal for my children and pave over with new happier ones. I mean, I’ve come to know myself so much better. I’ve developed so many new skills. I feel that the path the rage has lead me down was needed for me to become the person I am today – wiser, more open, more self-reflective, more peaceful and content.
I have more growing to do, my journey is not over; I don’t think this journey into mindfulness, into peaceful parenting really ever is over. It’s a journey, not a destination, just like parenting. I intend to enjoy the journey – most of the time anyways. I’m not perfect, I still yell, I still lose it, but I’m happy to say that the occurrence is much less frequent these days. And in those imperfect moments I turn to self-compassion instead of self-bashing. I apologize to my children, hug them and move on knowing tomorrow will be better than today.
I share this with you today in hopes that if you are struggling and staying silent you will feel my courage and virtual hug. Reach out your hand, ask for support, ask for help, there are others like you; you are not alone! There is compassion in the world, in yourself; find it.