SQUEASY GEAR 

When choosing products for my kids, I am often frustrated with what is available. I was the highest quality, non-toxic products for them which either comes at ridiculous prices or just difficult to find.

My kids love smoothies, so I was searching for something non-toxic, unbreakable, and easier for them to eat them out of. Everything was plastic, and I was discouraged. But then I found Squeasy Gear bottles and completely fell in love! I was so excited to try them out and once they came, I was even more please with them.


Starting off with the bottle itself, they are made of food grade silicone that’s non toxic and when your kids throw it/drop it, it’s not going to shatter! The name explains it perfectly: it’s squeezy texture is perfect for little hands! They come in several sizes, so you can use them for all ages and needs. We use the largest size (sport) for water bottles, and the 6 oz. snacker for smoothies etc. They also make a smaller snacker size that is perfect for baby food and homemade applesauces!

When my kids were babies, I used these reusable pouches to make baby food for them sometimes, and I wish I had used these! They are amazing and would make the best shower gift.

The lids have a no spill insert you can put in or take out for older kids. My 1.5 year old uses the no spill and it works pretty good! I honestly didn’t expect it to work as well as it does. My 3 year old uses hers without the insert so she can squeeze water out, or tip it back.

Overall, I am very satisfied with these products. Since we got them, we have used them daily!

I also wanted to share one of my kids favorite smoothies we make to put in the snacker bottles!


Coconut Gingerbread Smoothie:

1 frozen banana

1/2 c. steamed then frozen cauliflower

1/4 c. frozen butternut squash

1 heaping T. shredded coconut

1 T. molasses

1 t. ground ginger

1 t. cinnamon

1 scoop Vital Proteins vanilla and coconut water peptides

1 1/2 c. filtered water or nut milk

Blend until smooth, and pour into Squeasy Gear bottles! I also like using these to store leftover smoothies and turmeric lattes for my kids. They save well in them.

*I use all organic items!

 

 

MODERN TWIST


Good morning! I have been loving on a brand lately that I want to share with you guys. I know most of us have heard of Stasher, their sister company Modern Twist has some of the cutest products for kids!

The first one is the tiny tote which has been so perfect for snacks at home, and on the go. My kids love it so much. I love that it’s re-usable, completely toxic-free, and easy to clean. This bag zips closed really easily, and my toddlers can open it on their own too. I love having a great option to put their snacks in when we leave the house!

We have the garden play mark-mat too that we love! It’s such a fun idea, and something my 3 year old has really enjoyed coloring on. Heck, even I love coloring on it! It’s so cute and for some reason coloring on silicone is way more fun than anything else. I love that we can use this as a place mat as well, and that it’s dishwasher safe! It’s amazing! I am looking at getting this one and this one next! They are all so cute.

They also have stuff for younger toddlers and babies, too. We have been using the bucket bib (on backorder in this print but the others are SO cute too!) for out 1 year old and he actually likes it! The silicone makes it a lot more comfortable, and its super easy to clean after (my favorite part!).

Like Stasher, Modern-Twist is out the make the planet plastic-free, which is something we should all be getting behind. I also love that with these high quality, easy to clean products, I don’t need a ton of them to get us through each day.

Have you tried them out yet? If you have, what is your favorite product?

xx, Chels

MINDFUL MONDAY

Happy 2017! Last year was a really hard one for me, personally, but it also taught me a lot. I really want to make this year about healing and enjoying my life completely.

Essential oils are something we have used for a long time. They are always a go-to in our house, so it was an obvious choice to use them in my postpartum anxiety and depression recovery. However, I know that all moms could use help with stress on an everyday level. Raising little humans is not always so easy.

These oil roller blends are for stress relief and joy. I apply the joy over my heart twice a day, and use the stress relief ALL DAY LONG on my wrists and neck. Not only do they actually help drastically with my anxiety, they smell so heavenly. Even Amelia loves to use them! My favorite time to apply is always  before yoga or exercise, before errands, etc.

If you are a parent, or struggling with anxiety, you need to get these rollers from my  friend Clair right away! I can honestly say that they have helped me more than I thought possible for something so simple.

If you use EO’s to help your anxiety, depression, etc. please share your experience with me in the comments or you can email me at naturallychelsblog@gmail.com

You can also always reach out to me if you need someone to talk to, because I love you all!

*This is a sponsored post, all opinions are completely my own!!

5 IMPORTANT LESSONS MY KIDS HAVE TAUGHT ME

Calum’s Moccs: Freshly Picked / Amelia’s Moccs: Freshly PIcked

Being a mom has been the best experience of my life. I love being a mom. It’s really hard, and along the way I have learned and changed so much. More than I ever thought I would. Today I wanted to share (a few) things my kids have taught me…

1- Things (materialistic items) do not matter like they used to.

2- Non-attachment (not literally!). Children are the best example of this, and it is something that I admire deeply.  When I was in yoga school, we learned a lot about non-attachment. I remember thinking how great that would be, but noting I could never, and hardly even trying. Note: this non-attachment Buddhist practice means to be unattached from things like goals, dreams, desires. To not hold expectations of yourself that typically end up making people unhappy.

3- To live in the present. Nothing has made me more present than my kids. Nothing. In fact, before they were here, Sam and I used to talk about how we hated always living for what was next, and never feeling in the moment. We got engaged, and we lived for the wedding. Then we lived for buying a house. Then we lived for the next house, then for a pregnancy, then for the birth. It felt like a never-ending cycle that we were always hoping to break.

4- To smile and laugh more. Kids are literally ALWAYS smiling! It’s definitely contagious, and I think the more you smile, the happy you are.

5- Quality over quantity. Seriously, kids are hard on everything! After about two weeks of certain brands of comfy pants, Cal will tear a hole through them! I do not recommend the H&M sweat pants for babies. Ugh. Freshly Picked moccasins are SUPER high quality and they last forever. They are so durable, my kids walk in them, wear them outside, and Amelia would wear them to dance even! (Also, they are going to be having a year end sale tomorrow, so get ready! YAY!)

 

What have your kids taught you? I seriously feel like my kids teach me more about life in a single day than anything else has for all of my (nearly) 25 years. They are so incredible.

 

*Thank you Freshly Picked for sponsoring this post!

 

 

MINDFUL MONDAY

It’s Monday! Monday’s seem to be pretty hard on almost everyone. I was thinking a few weeks ago about ways that could make Monday’s better, things that would be attainable and simple for everyone to try. I was trying to incorporate some aspect of yoga, because I love it so much (I am certified in yoga!).

The thing that came to my mind immediately was mindfulness. It’s something that I have been meaning to work on for a really long time, but prioritizing things like this can be really hard sometimes. I feel like so many of us, especially moms (and dad’s!) put ourselves last on the to-do list, which needs to stop! I am the worst at it, so I really try to be better. I also feel like so many of us are living in the future, or in the past, and rarely fully aware of our present. I’m totally guilty of this. I hope that this blog series will help me and some of you!

Today’s Mindful Monday is going to focus on something easy: breathing. Mindful breathing is really simple. Sometimes breathing exercises are really vague, which makes them really hard to achieve for the majority of us. So I will guide you through this exercise as in depth as I can, in hope that everyone will be able to try it out!

Today I want to start out with something basic that will get us started in the direction of mindfulness. I know it may seem a little silly at first, but I PROMISE you it will be beneficial! By the end you will be surprised at how much you noticed!

Here is how we will get started:

  • find a quiet (or semi-quiet, I know it is hard for some of us!) place to take 5 minutes to yourself. It can be the shower, before your kids wake up, while you are eating, etc. Do what you gotta do!
  • take 3 deep breaths to get yourself started.
  • in your head, name off 3 things that you see.
  • take a deep,slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you smell.
  • deep, slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you hear.
  • deep, slow breath.
  • in your head, name off 3 things you feel. (this can be physical or emotion, or both!)
  • take 3 deep breaths.

Take just a moment to reflect on the things you noticed being fully present for just a few moments. Note how you feel afterwards; was it easy, or difficult? Do you feel refreshed? Do you feel peaceful?

Please share your feedback with me! I would love to hear if this has been beneficial for you, or not, and maybe help find a way that would work for you.

I would also love to hear what you guys think about this series?

Share in the comments below, or on Instagram!

Thank you so much for following, and reading. I hope that everyone has a great Monday!

XX

GENTLE POTTY TRAINING TIPS

Good morning! I have been working with kids for a really long time. I was a preschool teacher and nanny all through high school and up until Amelia was born when I became a stay at home mama. I helped potty training so many kids, that going into it with Amelia, I knew what to expect. In every aspect of parenting, I believe that you have to do it differently with each child. Potty training (or potty learning) can cause so much stress to the parent and child, and I have seen it so many times that it becomes too much for either or both of them and they give it up.

I completely understand the difficulties that come with potty training. It hasn’t been so simple for us, either. Amelia was so ready for it when I was pregnant with her baby brother, and so I went for it. She was doing amazing, but she was not even 2 yet. Soon after we started, I was put on bed rest. I felt so bad, but I had to put her back in diapers because I couldn’t run her to the toilet every 3 minutes anymore. I was looking forward to her being out of diapers by the time Cal was born, but I quickly realized that was not at all a possibility anymore. In choosing to have kids so close in age, I knew diapering two kids would be tough, especially because we cloth diaper!

About a month ago, she decided she was done with diapers again, and ready to get back to panties and going on the toilet! I have been asked so much how we did it in a gentle manner, with a baby to care for, and any tips we have. I could really go on and on forever about this, but I will keep it as short as I can and share my top five tips!

  1. Spend a whole week at home, focusing on going on the toilet. I know, I KNOW how hard it is to stay home for an entire week, but it is so worth it. Your child needs the time to learn how to “hold it” to make it to the toilet on time! I have seen a ton of people suggesting only 3 days for this. Some kids don’t need very long, Amelia caught on quick and naturally because she was ready for it. But I really think that a full week of staying home is crucial, because leaving the house is going to need a lot of practice!
  1. Don’t make missing the toilet a big deal. The last thing you want is your child to feel like they have disappointed you, or done anything wrong by missing the toilet. It IS going to happen, and they will be upset, so don’t make it a big deal. When Amelia misses the toilet, we say “hey, that’s okay babe! That is going to happen sometimes, and you did a great try! We can try again for next time.” and leave it at that. It doesn’t get too much attention at all.
  2. Have patience and little expectation for your child to learn to go on the potty quickly, without fail, and with ease. It’s hard, and they may learn super fast, or they may need some time and to take it in steps. That is okay! Just be patient and you will be amazed.
  3. When they DO go potty on the toilet, make it a big deal for quite awhile! For the first week or so, we did a chocolate chip each time Amelia went on the toilet. We cheered, and made it A HUGE EXCITEMENT that she made it! It’s a big thing to do! It’s hard, it really is, for kids to learn. It’s been about a month, and she is doing INCREDIBLE at going all the time, and we still tell her great job, and maybe clap every time she goes! It might seem silly to some, but it keeps them encouraged and excited about going on the toilet.
  4. Remember that learning to poop on the toilet can be really hard and really scary for toddlers. There are a lot of articles out there talking about how the feeling can frighten kids and make them scared to go on the toilet. Just stay calm. Until they get the hang of it, stay in the bathroom with them while the go. It might take awhile! We like to read books, songs, and telling stories. Often, I will remind her to “relax” and sometimes she wants to hold my hand. If your child is really struggling, try giving them 2 prunes in the morning to help them go easier, and offer up a BIG prize for going poop on the toilet!

There are a lot of potty training seats out there, but honestly I don’t like them at all! This is what we use instead and it is AMAZING! If you don’t already have one, do yourself (and your child) a favor and grab one now!

Thank you for reading and good luck to all the parents and kids out there potty training!

What are some of your tried and true tips for potty training toddlers? Please share in the comments! 

xx

Tessa