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Summer Maternity Faves

Since my pregnancy hunger can strike literally at any moment, and it doesn't take much for me to get hangry I usually keep a couple of my favorite snacks in my purse. I moved from a spacious diaper bag to a purse recently, even though I'm going to have to switch back, I pick snacks that all 3 of us like to eat. We have the craziest schedule sometimes & I hate getting fast food because the grease totally makes me sluggish which is the opposite of what I need right now. Keeping snacks stashed is the best way I've found to avoid having to stop for a burger. I've learned that the quickest way to calm Mila down is a snack, because of course she's my daughter haha! So here are a few of my go-to snacks to stash in my purse. This post is brought to you by StarKist and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

1. Starkist Chicken Creations™

StarKist has seriously always been in my pantry with their amazon Tuna & Salmon Creations®, and I'm so excited that they created the Chicken Creations™! The Chicken Creations™ come in 4 amazing flavors BOLD Buffalo Style, Zesty Lemon Pepper, Ginger Soy and my absolute favortie Chicken Salad. The premium, white meat Chicken is sourced from American Farms, raised cage free and hormone free. They’re available in single serve, no drain pouches – just tear, eat and go!™ Which is why they are perfect to keep in your purse to enjoy literally anywhere! The StarKist® Chicken Creations™ Chicken Salad is a classic flavor mixed with modern convenience. With only 70 calories & 9g of protien per pouch it makes it easy to get an all-American favorite wherever you go!

 Follow @StarKistCharlie on Instagram and Twitter and like StarKist on Facebook. You can also visit http://starkist.com/ for more information.

2. Fruit Snacks

 Come on moms who do we really buy fruit snacks for, the kids or us? I admit that every time I give Mila a fruit snack I always grab one for myself! They're so yummy and literally the best alternative to candy. 

3. Crackers

When I was in the beggining stages of pregnancy crackers were the only thing I could keep down and since then they've become a constant in my purse, plus they are great with the StarKist Chicken Creations™! 

4. Mandarin Oranges

I keep these in a zip lock bag so that way when I peel them I can stash the peel in there. If I get too hot and don't have water handy I usually sit down and eat one of these! 

5. Trail Mix

You can never go wrong with a good trail mix! I love ones with dried tropical fruit and almonds. Nuts provide so much energy which I love because I'm doing my best to stay away from caffeine! 

What are your favorite snacks to keep in your bag?

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Sistema®; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
As back to school season is upon us we are celebrating Mila going to head start! It’s a little bit of an emotional season for me because my baby is growing up, and she’s never been away from and around so many kids. It’s so important for me to feed her little body the most nutritious food I can, even while she’s at school! This last month of summer is really the time when I get to test out some lunches on her where I sneak healthy food, because while she loves fruit greens are just not her jam. Here are 3 tips I’ve picked up while in my trial and error phase. 

1. Don’t send them to school with something they’ve never eaten before!
While you might want to fill their lunch bags with all sorts of healthy things make sure it’s things that they’ll eat. The last thing you want is for them to be hungry at school, it makes it harder for kiddos to focus.

2. The more color the better
I’ve learned that when Mila’s plate has more color in it she’s more inclined to eat it, so I do my best to use the color’s mother nature has already provided us with. Things like carrots, grapes, blueberries, apples and cucumbers. Sometimes, when I have time, I’ll cut her food into shapes and have her tell me what shape and color it is that way we make eating fun and educational.

3. Don’t over complicate things, just be prepared!
The truth is that there are going to be those mornings when you run late, and you didn’t get a chance to pack lunch for the kiddos the night before. I find that on mornings like those it helps to have the fridge stocked with healthy grab and go items that way you’re not throwing in a bag of chips when you could have just thrown in an apple. Have containers that you can easily pack lunches in that will separate the food & keep some things from getting soggy, like the Sistema® Salad bowl, bento box, or lunch kit. You can find Sistema® Containers on Amazon, right now they're running special promos through August!

While I’m preparing myself to get into the groove of a morning routine with my little one, I’m glad that I can count on my Sistema®  containers to help me organize our lunches in the fridge when I do prepare them the night before. They make buying items for our lunches a lot cheaper because I can always buy items in bulk instead of in small individually wrapped items that cost a lot more.

What are your favorite healthy items to put in your kiddos lunch boxes?

If you've followed us for any length of time on social media then you know that our little princess is obsessed with everything dinosaurs! We're not sure where it came from or what sparked it but she just can't get enough of them. She spends her youtube time watching videos of dinosaurs and sits in her room for hours just playing pretend with the millions of dinosaurs she has in there.

She always gets so excited when I find her a shirt or a dress adorned with dinos, and gets a little upset when some of the things we find say "only boys". The happened to us more than once when we were looking for things to put in her room. It's hard to explain to a 3-year old that we can't hang a 'boys only' dinosaur footprint in her room, so she had a mini-meltdown at Hobby Lobby.

I never realized how gendered dinosaurs were until Mila, and it made me wonder who decided that only little boys could ever like dinosaurs? Mila can name 7 dinosaurs, and often likes to pretend she is a dinosaur. Her favorite movies to watch right now are the Jurassic Park & World movies so when they came out with merchandise in the Target stores not only for boys but for girls too I knew that times were definitely changing.

If you look at the hashtag on Instagram #GirlsLikeDinosaursToo you can see everything from little girls that love dinosaurs just as much as Mila does, to small shops run by moms who started filling the gap for things that are made for little girls that have dinosaurs on it. It warmed my heart when I saw that there was a community built around it and that I wasn't the only one that noticed Dinosaurs were marketed for boys and not for girls.

I don't see how little girls could have fed into their Dinosaur obsessions a couple years ago without being called tomboys, or maybe if I was an older parent I would have tried to give Mila baby dolls and barbies. We do often get comments on how 'cool' it is that Mila doesn't like what other 'normal' little girls like. Which always rubs me the wrong way because everyone's definition of normal is completely different. 

On the flip side if my little brother loved barbies and baby dolls the reaction from my family probably wouldn't have been as supportive or as positive as the one Mila got with her dinosaurs.  If Mila was a boy and liked barbies and baby dolls I don't even think Jeff would be ok with it. Gender roles and stereotypes are so ingrained not only in our cultures but in our society that I feel like it's still going to be a couple of years until we see or even notice a big shift.

Do you think it's fair that toys are heavily gendered? 
I would be lying if I told you this pregnancy has been a walk in the park, and for some reason when I say that people ask me how old I am and tell me it should be a walk in the park. Well, age ain't nothing but a number honey!

When I was pregnant with Mila I had such a confidence and a glow to me, and I was always so happy. One because of how long it took to actually get pregnant and two because I felt like a goddess all the time. I had morning sickness but it came every morning at the same time and after I was done that was it, no nausea the rest of the day. This time though, my whole first trimester felt like I was on a small boat on choppy waters. I lost 15 pounds from not being able to keep anything down and was dehydrated countless amounts of time. I seriously counted down the days until I would make it into the second trimester because I had some small hope my body would finally come to terms with the fact that we were carrying another baby.

When my body & I made a deal that it would chill with the throwing up once we entered the second trimester, it said sike and threw me another curve ball. When we went into our anatomy sonogram we were so focused and excited to find out our baby's gender that I don't think we were truly prepared for the news that we got. 

The doctor comes in and tells us that I have placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta partially or wholly blocks the neck of the uterus, thus interfering with the normal delivery of a baby. She told us that if it didn't move into the correct place by the 28th week, they would put me on complete bed rest but for now, I am supposed to take things easy and not do anything that would cause contractions or put a strain on my body. 

I feel like Edgar in that viral video la caĆ­da de Edgar, and my body is his cousin Fernando. 

Due to the nature of Mila's delivery I had already come to terms with the fact that this baby would also be a C-Section so that part of Placenta Previa wasn't the complete shocker, I think when the doctor said if I start to bleed I could hemorrhage and die is kinda what scared Jeff and sent him into a whole plant buying frenzy. It's his way of dealing with stress but it so happens that I'm also learning a thing or two about plants myself. I was scared at first but figured that God probably just has a funny way of telling me that this would be the last baby Jeff & I would have. 

As I enter the third trimester my nausea keeps reappearing and all of a sudden I've had the urge to puke whenever I smell meat. I'm currently just focused on carrying our baby full term and delivering a happy and healthy baby. 

For now, I'm going to eat my feelings (I have the worst sweet tooth with this one!), be the best mom to Mila bear & do my best to get our place ready for another little one!

How different was baby #1 from baby #2? I feel like I'm a new mom all over again! 

These last couple of weeks have been probably the busiest of all! We road tripped to our heart's content through Bastrop, Blanco, Johnson City, and Hillsboro Texas for a full week. This was our first road trip where we only stayed and explored some of the smallest towns in Texas, and to be honest it was a refreshing break from city living. 

Bastrop, Texas

Our friend Amanda from Positively Beautiful Life moved out to Bastrop, a small town about 30 minutes before you get to Austin from Houston. Her house is in the hilltops and her view is absolutely amazing. I'm glad we got to escape there for a few days. It's hard not to be as positive as she is with such a serene view outside your window every day. We often eat at Main Street Cafe in Downtown Bastrop, Jeff's favorite thing to order on the menu is the Pork Belly Tempura waffles but I'm a sucker for their croissants. 

If you're looking for an awesome Margherita pizza plus live entertainment on the weekend', Neighbors Kitchen & Yard is the place to stop by. Afterward, you can walk off all the yummy food down the bridge over the Colorado River and stop to snap some pics. 

Amanda lives right off the Colorado River, so we decided to cool down one day and let Mila bear swim her little heart out! 

Blanco, Texas

The Blanco Lavender Festival is one you'll want to visit at least once in your life! When in bloom the smell of lavender is almost heavenly.  

On the hunt for more lavender, we wandered through Blanco state park and regretted not bringing our swimsuits because the water looked so fresh! 

Johnson City, Texas

We stopped here by accident to grab a bite to eat, but after driving around I wish we could have explored it a little more! 

Waco, Texas 

The last time we stopped in Waco we tried to visit the Magnolia Silos only to find out they were closed on Sunday haha so this time we made it a point to stop and see what the hype is all about. I would advise going earlier in the day when it isn't so hot. It might also be less packed! You can enjoy a quick bite or refreshing drink from the food trucks there.

Hillsboro, Texas 

This probably wouldn't have been on our list of places to visit but since I had an event to attend, this was the last stop on our road trip! I got to visit the Schronk family farm and learn all about how corn is produced! (Read the post here) It was a quirky little place filled with cotton and corn farms. 

If there's anything visiting these small towns has taught me, it's that they sometimes have a lot more unique experiences to offer than some bigger cities. It's also nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We enjoyed a week free of traffic and lots of greenery! 

This road trip would not have been possible without the fuel-efficient Mazda3 Grand Touring. This has been my favorite car to road trip in so far not only because gas didn't cost us an arm and a leg but because of how sleek and smooth the ride was!