We All Still Need A Break From Motherhood

I’m not sure about you, but I have never felt the need to get away more than these last few months. It’s been 3 months since my son (and second child) was born and over a half year since any news of COVID-19 was brought to our attention and changed our lives.

So I planned a break.

A new baby brings a plethora of stressors. Add in working from home, a toddler not in school, minimal support systems, and the news cycle slowly draining my life force along with the baby sucking me literally dry.

I was at a breaking point. I couldn’t need a break more than I already did.

My husband is busy working but also still in our space all day. I’m exhausted from the lack of sleep only a newborn brings. I could feel the weight of PPD starting to push down on my shoulders and didn’t know what to do to change things. It felt as if there was nothing I could do.

Sometimes it seemed like the walls were moving inward like a horror movie.

I sat down for couples counseling with my husband and tried to describe how I was feeling. At the end of my diatribe of complaints our therapist said,

“Truthfully what you need is a nap – not therapy – and maybe a little trip to look forward to as a family on top of it.”

I let out a deep sigh of relief. This is why we pay her the big bucks. Deep inside I have a problem stating my needs. I struggle to say when I need a break and it’s become even harder in the current situation.

She suggested I look into hotels by the hour for me to be away from our kids and my husband long enough to sleep. I laughed. Isn’t that for affairs and maybe sex work? Then I cried. Honestly it sounded like heaven.

Was I truly allowed to make that choice?

She reminded me that people used hotels still, they were open, and as long as I social distanced it should be ok. No guarantees but worth a try.

Going to a hotel seemed selfish to me when thinking about taking that time to myself.

But if someone else told me they were doing it, I’d have applauded them. This is usually how I can tell that the thing I’m judging myself for isn’t actually reasonable. Would I judge a friend for it? No.

Still, I couldn’t leave overnight.

The baby still nurses every 2-3 hours. But I could take an afternoon, leave a bottle, and hope for the best. So I did it. I booked an afternoon at a local hotel. On top of that, I hopped on Airbnb to book a cabin for our family to go to the mountains, in a bit over a month.

Suddenly I felt giddy.

Nervous and excited in a way I hadn’t in probably over a half a year, you get me? The next day I packed up my breast pump, some snacks, my mask, and drove down the street to the Marriott. I was so nervous checking in. The front desk clerk was behind a glass partition. What if other guests weren’t wearing their masks correctly? Was I being selfish?

Ugh why am I always so filled with Mom Guilt!

I pushed through and got into my room. It was silent, and clean, and quiet. Did I say it was quiet? So quiet. I laid down with my book, and soon enough fell asleep. After a few hours my alarm went off. I got up and did some stretching, listened to music, drank coffee and prepared to face reality.

It was time to return to real life.

But I felt myself breathe deeper. I knew I was on the right path. I looked forward to my next step, a trip somewhere else with my newly-formed family of four.

Three weeks later we packed up our family and almost every item in our house, and met my best friend and her family in Big Bear. Again that same sense of peace started to fill me as I drove away from the home that has begun feeling like a prison. Exhaustion was deep in my bones but I knew that this was the right thing for us.

We had all quarantined for two weeks to feel we were safe to get together. A large one-story cabin awaited us.

I’ve not seen my daughter (she’s 3) that happy in all of the time we have been dealing with this pandemic. She had lost so much of what brings her joy: her school, regular visits with friends and grandparents, and we hadn’t travelled at all which is rare for us. We felt until then that it was our duty to stay home and stay safe. I had seen signs of depression in her, she stopped wanting to go for walks or play outside.

I was working with her on expressing her feelings and moving through them, but she needed this break too.

Breathing in the fresh mountain air, and letting our kids get dirty and go on a “dinosaur egg hunt” brought clarity to us all. I saw her brighten and be her true little happy self. Not only that, but I was able to let my best friend and her family gush over my new baby in a way that hadn’t happened yet.

That was good for all our souls.

That weekend really confirmed it for me. While the pandemic is still here, and it’s not over just because we are over it, we also can’t completely stop living. We need to do things to take care of our mental health and families.

For us this means scheduling in breaks.

Time to spend with specific family members or friends after a two week strict quarantine on both sides is well worth it. We may be nervous about exposure risks but the trade off was immense. So get away, plan a staycation. Escape your monotony. Don’t let mom guilt pull you down.

We all still need a break, maybe more than ever.

We All Still Need A Break From Motherhood PIN

My Top 20 Trader Joe’s Fall Favorites

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Any Trader Joe’s fans out there? I am what some might call a diehard fan. I love everything about Trader Joe’s. From the amazing flowers, to the unique finds and wonderful wine selection, it all speaks to me!

Trader Joe’s definitely takes it up a notch in fall.

If you are a lover of pumpkin spice or apple, then you MUST head there today! Due to the fact that many items mentioned here are seasonal, there is a limit to what each store carries. So be sure if you see something you like you don’t hesitate to make a trip.

And with that, here are my top 20 picks for Trader Joe’s Fall Favorites!

Trader Joe's Fall Favorites

#1 – Pumpkins

So this one is a pretty basic pick, but the options are anything but! From beautiful white pumpkins to fantasy pumpkin and various squashes, you can create stunning front porch displays and festive décor!

 

#2 – Bagged Harvest Salad

In general, I am a pretty big fan of all the bagged salads here. But in the fall they usually have many good offerings like this Harvest Salad. This salad reminds me so much of Panera Bread’s Fuji Apple Salad and has spring mix, cheddar cheese, apple cinnamon chips, pecans, and an apple vinaigrette.

 

#3 – Pumpkin Ravioli

For all the pumpkin lovers, this one is a must! With so much flavor, you really don’t even need a sauce! Perfect for a small pre-course appetizer or side. Or add your choice of protein for a full meal.

 

#4 – Apricot, Cherry, Cranberry Goat Cheese

This goat cheese is bursting with flavor and would be a great complement to a charcuterie board, Thanksgiving appetizer, or crumbled up in your favorite fall salad.

Trader Joe's Fall Favorites

 

#5 – Pumpkin Biscotti

There is nothing better than a perfectly spiced biscotti with your morning coffee! What better way to start your day than with one of these Trader Joe’s Fall favorites.

 

#6 – Fall Leaves Chips

The taste may not be any different than your standard tortilla chips, but the cute fall leaf shape of these chips will jazz up any holiday gathering!

 

#7 – Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

With a tangy and flavorful taste, this sausage would be great for adding that fall type something extra to pastas, rice dishes, or salads.

 

#8 – Spicy Pumpkin Samosas

Probably one of my favorite fall items I have tried this year, these pumpkin samosas have all the pumpkin flavor but with a definite spicy kick to them. Pair them with a tangy and sweet dipping sauce, such as mango chutney, for a perfect complement in flavors.

Trader Joe's Fall Favorites

#9 – Soft Pretzels

If you are planning any Oktoberfest events this year, these pretzels are a must! Whip up your favorite cheese sauce or fondue and you just might feel like you are at the main event!

 

#10 – Focaccia Primavera

Perfect as vegetarian appetizer, this stuffed focaccia is a delightful blend of spinach, cauliflower, egg whites, and cheeses. Paired with a salad, this would be a complete meal on a crisp fall evening.

 

#11 – Mashed Sweet Potatoes

So to be truthful, there is nothing super fancy about these sweet potatoes. But for any of you that go through all the trouble of making mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, you will understand the value of the fact that these are practically done for you!

#12 – Harvest Grains Blend

This combination of couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa is the perfect grain dish for fall. Cook and toss in some walnuts, feta cheese, and cubed squash for a delectable dish.

Trader Joe's Fall Favorites

#13 – Fall Zucchette Pasta

Well it just doesn’t get any cuter than this one. This pumpkin-shaped pasta would be super cute for a pasta salad for a seasonal gathering or would make a festive Mac ‘n Cheese for Halloween dinner!

 

#14 – Steel Cut Oatmeal

For some reason, I tend to consume a lot of oatmeal in the fall months. It just seems right! This steel cut variety is simple to warm up and eat. Add some fruit and granola and you have a yummy breakfast to start off your day.

 

#15 – Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bagels

For all the gluten-free mamas out there, just know that you don’t have to skip out on your pumpkin bagel dreams. Trader Joe’s has you covered!

 

#16 – Pumpkin Brioche

All my French toast lovers, I have found your bread. I can not wait to make a delicious batch of pumpkin French toast, complete with pecans and a maple syrup drizzle! You can also dice this bread up to make a tasty overnight French toast casserole. Search Pinterest and thank me later!

Trader Joe's Fall Favorites

#17 – Apple Cider Donuts

Back when I lived in Kansas, the cider mill was THE bucket list thing to do for fall. They had the most delicious cider donuts ever. But I would say these Trader Joe’s ones come in a close second!

 

#18 – Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps

With a lot of crunch and a little bit of sweet, these crackers are the perfect complement to any appetizer or charcuterie board for fall.

 

#19 – Sweet Potato Chips

With sweet potato chips you can put a fall twist on things like nachos and taco salad, enough said!

 

#20 – Champagne Pear Vinaigrette

This tangy and sweet vinaigrette can turn any ordinary salad into a flavorful fall dish! Add things like sliced pears, spiced pecans, and feta cheese for pure fall magic.

 

And with that I am hungry, and headed to pick up some of my Trader Joe’s Fall favorites!

My Top 20 Trader Joe's Fall Favorites PIN

Shopping With Sustainability In Mind

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This post is brought to you by our sponsors at Sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil

I am always shopping with sustainability in mind.  And the reason for that is my kids!  I want them to know I did everything I could to leave this planet a better place.

And part of shopping with sustainability in mind is looking for sustainable ingredients in the everyday products I buy.  And my recent favorite is certified sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil.  If you didn’t know – it’s in so many products already!

It’s nearly impossible to find products that list certified sustainable Malaysian palm oil as an ingredient. Instead, focus on healthy fats.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says fat is an essential nutrient for children. It
    provides energy for growth and play and should not be restricted.
  • As a general guideline, fat should make up about a third of the calories in a child’s diet.
  • Look for healthy fats, such as palm oil. It’s rich in nutrients — palm oil is rich in vitamin
    E tocotrienols which support skin, heart, and brain health — and is less inflammatory than corn, sunflower, and soybean oil.
  • Stay away from hydrogenated fats, the source of harmful trans-fats.
  • Unlike most soybean, canola, and corn oils, Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO.
    Products which feature palm oil
  • Natural peanut butters such as Smart Balance all-natural Peanut Butter and Jif Naturals
    and Skippy Natural contain palm oil. The regular Jif and Skippy contain hydrogenated
    rapeseed (canola) and soybean oil.
  • Nutella uses Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. You can read online about
    Nutella’s commitment to sustainable palm oil here.
  • Many companies such as Kellogg’s, Hershey, Mars, Nestle, Kraft, Pepsico, Ghirardelli, and Lindt, have pledged to use sustainable palm oil. You can read about this on their websites.
  • Many ice cream treats contain palm oil.
  • Granola bars: It depends on the flavor, but many Luna bars contain palm oil

As you can see – plenty of the items I usually buy already contain certified sustainable Malaysian Palm oil!  It can be difficult to find the exact ingredients, but as suggested above it’s important to try and find foods with healthy fats.  That will lead you in the right direction!

So, if you are shopping with sustainability in mind, look for certified sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil.  If you can’t find it specifically on the label – check for the healthy fats.  AND don’t forget to visit the website of the various brands.  The websites often have more information than the label.

And here’s a little shopping trip video to show you a few products you can find at your local shopping center that use Certified Sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil!

Shopping with sustainability in mind

2020 Halloween Costume Contest + $100 TARGET Gift Card Giveaway

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OC Mom Collective is putting on an annual Halloween costume photo contest, again this year! Enter your little pumpkin(s) for a chance to win the grand prize!

2020 will not keep us from celebrating Halloween, dressing up in costume, and winning a grand prize!

anaheim Moms blogAnd what is the grand prize?!

A $100 Target Gift Card

Yes, that’s right!! So get the photos sent in!

Email photo entries to [email protected]

****This policy is to make sure that those of you with private social media accounts or those of you without them are able to play.****

How To Enter:

  • Email your Halloween Costume photos of your kiddos to [email protected] by noon on Sunday, November 1st, 2020.
  • We strongly encourage everyone to also post them on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter using the following official tags: #OCMCHalloweenContest2020 and tag @ocmomcollective
  • Once the contest photo album is posted live on November 1st – share it on your Facebook page, email it to your friends and family – do whatever you can to get those votes in!
  • All of the pictures received will be posted in the album on our Facebook page by 9pm Friday, November 1st.  We will re-share the album each day until November 5th. The picture that receives the most “likes” (in our official entry album) by Friday, November 6th at 12pm will win the grand prize.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, November 6th.

Official Halloween Costume Contest Rules:

  • Pictures should be family-friendly.  OCMC reserves the right to use discretion in which pictures are posted.
  • Only submit pictures to which you have the legal rights (i.e. they are your children and it’s your photograph).  By sending the picture to OC Mom Collective, you are agreeing to have the image posted on social media.
  • Each reader may submit only ONE (1) official entry per child.
  • Pictures must be EMAILED to [email protected], not posted to our Facebook page.  OCMC will not accept pictures posted to the page as official contest entries.
  • When you email your photo, please be sure to include your name & your child’s name (first is fine) and costume title.
  • Pictures must be liked in the album on our Facebook page, not on a picture that is shared.  So please be sure that you are clear with your friends and family when asking them to vote!  Only album image “likes” will be counted (this essentially means your friends and family have to navigate to the OCMC Facebook page, scroll through the album, and vote).

Good luck! We can’t wait to see your entries!

What’s On The Menu

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What’s On The Menu this week? Scroll down to find the recipes for this week’s menu!

Sunday – Beef with Snow Peas

I personally call this recipe my restaurant quality meal! It’s from the Pioneer Woman, and just amazing.  Pro-Tip – cook the strips for 15 seconds on each side – promise!

Monday – Grilled Chicken, Frozen Veggies + Sweet Potato Fries

Not going to lie this is basically all frozen!  I get the frozen veggies and sweet potato fries from Trader Joe’s.  Of course, I use my air fryer for the fries! I marinate the chicken with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, red pepper, and paprika.

I also make a super yummy sauce to go with it – mayo, minced garlic, and a little chili lime seasoning.

Tuesday – Fajitas

I know – we make this a lot, but it’s easy and I can easily modify it for my kids.  Here’s the marinade that I use.

Wednesday – Butternut Squash Ravioli

I LOVE the Butternut Squash Ravioli from Costco!!  It’s so good.  I generally serve it with frozen garlic bread.  I make homemade alfredo sauce and use a jar for the red sauce.  This is because I love alfredo and my husband and kids don’t care if I make homemade red sauce or gravy as my family calls it!

Thursday – Chicken Burgers

I buy the frozen chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s. That is the recipe!  And then I put a side together, sometimes I get crazy and buy a side from Trader Joe’s because everything there is amazing.  Maybe it’s their cauliflower gnocchi or their sweet potato gnocchi – sometimes I just do tater tots – in the air fryer of course!

Friday – Homemade Pizza.

Yes, we do this every week.  And no it most likely won’t change. Here’s the dough we use from the Pioneer Woman. I use whatever tomato sauce we happen to have lying around, BUT if I’m being super gourmet I will buy the pizza sauce from Trader Joe’s AND their Pizza seasoned shredded cheese.

Saturday – Turkey + Cheese Sammies

Y’all, I get tired of cooking so sometimes we just do Sammies.  BUT I do get a little fancy and use Hawaiian bread because let’s face is that bread is amazeballs. I also make a yummy broccoli salad or have a spinach salad on the side.  Ya know, just to make it a little “healthier”.

And that’s what’s on the menu this week!

 

 

How To Support A Friend Who Has Breast Cancer

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It’s hard to know how to support a friend who has just been told their world has stopped and they will forever talk about life in terms of before cancer and after cancer.

When my friend was told she had breast cancer I didn’t know what to do. I’m awkward at best when it comes to knowing the right thing to say.  I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, I didn’t want to be too up in her business, I didn’t want to not be enough up in her business.

And to be honest, all of those silly thoughts were about me and not her.  And she was the one suffering.

There is no right or wrong way to support a friend who has breast cancer.

Send the texts, send the groceries, set up a gofundme, call, drop off dinner, make the blankets, do it all. Just do it.

And there may be times when your friend isn’t able to respond to your messages or your calls or doesn’t send a thank you for all the things.  And that’s okay!  Because you are showing up, and whether your friend is mentally, physically, or emotionally able to receive you showing up, she will know that you did!

If you want to know how to support a friend who has breast cancer, simply show up.  In the big ways and the small ways.  In all the ways.

Because cancer is not a one-stop-shop.  Most likely your friend will be going through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, doctor’s appointments, and so on. There will be months and months and sometimes years of this.

Meal-trains will end, the surge of help will subside, everyone else will be “getting back to their regularly scheduled life” but for your friend.  For your friend who will now only refer to their life in before and after terms – this is reality.

Let them know you’re thinking about them. Bring them a coffee. Send them a card. Don’t let yourself get in the way of showing up for a friend. You will never know how much a simple text can matter to someone.

It can be hard to know how to support a friend who has breast cancer.  But the most important thing is that you try.

how to support a friend who has breast cancer

 

Don’t Wait To Get Your Mammogram

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This post is brought to you by our sponsors at Caduceus Medical Group.

It’s 2020, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to get your Mammogram.  Especially if you have been doing your regular self-exams and see or feel anything out of the ordinary for your body.

Yes, we are living in a pandemic, and yes going to a place where people are being tested and treated for COVID-19 may seem counterintuitive, but our local partner Caduceus Medical Group is not only taking every precaution when it comes to COVID-19 but they are also still actively screening women in-person during this time.

Caduceus follows ACOG and USPSTF guidelines and although there may be slight variations these are the current recommendations – Women should be getting mammograms every other year starting at age 40 until age 50 and then annually. Acceptable to stop at age 75.

We had the pleasure of speaking with the newest OBGYN, Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola about Breast Cancer Awareness and what Caduceus offers for women.  Please watch the video below to learn more!

Caduceus is proud to walk alongside each and every patient and understands that every patient has a different health plan need.  It is so important to talk candidly with your primary care physician so that together you can make a plan for your health.

Whether this is deciding that an early mammogram is right for you or focusing on your diet – these decisions are uniquely personal and Caduceus is proud to have an individual course of action for each person.

So, yes, it is 2020 and we definitely are still living through a pandemic, but that should never stop you from getting a mammogram. It also should not stop you from getting your annual check-up.

Early detection and intervention are key.  So don’t let this pandemic stop you from getting your screenings done!

Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola is currently accepting patients.
To schedule a visit please email [email protected] or email [email protected] for a telehealth video visit!

don't wait to get your mammogram

 

Telehealth Is The New In-Person Doctor Visit

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This post is brought to you by our sponsor Caduceus Medical Group

Telehealth is the new in-person doctor visit.  And if you haven’t experienced telehealth then you are truly in for a wonderful surprise!

Did you know that 80% of all visits can be accomplished through a telehealth video visit from your phone if you prefer not to visits an office during COVID? How amazing is that?

Especially now as we are currently living through a pandemic.  And especially for women who often are caring for young children and unable or not wanting to bring them into a doctor’s office.

2020 should NOT keep any woman from continuing regular well-woman exams.

Caduceus for Women is offering telehealth visits as well as in-person doctor’s visits. A woman only needs to come in-office for a PAP at age 21 then ACOG guidelines: Age 21-29: Pap every 3 years, HPV not recommended. Age 30-65: Pap & HPV every five years.

Caduceus offers so many services for women.  We recently interviewed Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola who is the newest OBGYN to join Caduceus Medical Group.  And he gives some insight on what to expect at Caduceus as well as what Caduceus offers in terms of screenings and services.

I recently was able to schedule a telehealth visit for my son and it was absolutely amazing.  First, I didn’t have to wait in a waiting room – we simply set up the computer and waited for the doctor to let us enter the call.

Second, because I was able to upload photos ahead of time the doctor was already prepped on our needs so the visit was super quick.

Third, our prescription was sent directly to the pharmacy after our visit.

I do realize that there are times when an in-person visit is required, but for everything else, telehealth is one of the best things I’ve ever discovered!

I was so happy that we didn’t have to get in PPE and make our way to the doctor’s office.  I am more than willing to do so but with all that is going on if there are ways to make our lives easier I am 100% for them!

I am so thankful that Caduceus has had telehealth visits for so long and am so glad that they continue to offer these visits as well as their in-person visits on a need basis.

Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola is currently accepting patients.
To schedule a visit please email [email protected] or email [email protected] for a telehealth video visit!

What To Expect At Your First Mammogram

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The Mammogram – something all of us will need to get at some point in our lives.

And for those who have never experienced the joy of a mammogram – let me tell you that it’s not as bad as you think.

Really.  I promise.

You will have to wear one of those amazing gowns that open in the front.  Don’t try to put it on the other way, although it seems more prudent to have it open in the back, that’s the wrong way.

Pro tip – don’t wear any deodorant, lotion, oils, or perfumes.  It can mess with the imaging and the last thing you want is to have to do it again.

A tech will be in the room with you positioning your breast at just the right angle, and once it’s positioned between two plastic imaging plates the pressure will be applied.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable.  No, it is not worse than childbirth, but it’s also no trip to Disney!

Pro tip – RELAX.  I get it, trying to relax while having what feels like your incredibly vulnerable breasts inside a vice seems absolutely impossible – BUT it is extremely important to try your best to relax.  If you tense up you will be fighting against the plates making it more difficult to complete the mammogram. So, just relax.

And that’s it my friends.  The whole entire process of getting the mammogram done goes pretty fast, in my experience, it lasted less than fifteen minutes.

And like I said, it really isn’t that bad.  I received my results a few days later, but I believe that depends on your provider and also the reason behind having your exam.

So, don’t wait to get a Mammogram.  If you have a history of breast cancer, talk to your provider about getting an exam before you are forty.  Once you hit forty, be sure to schedule your exam as often as your provider recommends and again, if you EVER feel or see something suspicious – GET IMAGING DONE IMMEDIATELY.

Like, it’s no joke.  There is nothing funny about it – get checked and stay healthy.

Mammogram

My No Lump Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Dear fellow mamas, I am writing to you because when I was thirty-seven years old I had a no lump breast cancer diagnosis.

And to say that cancer has changed my entire life would be the understatement of the century – and that’s saying a lot considering 2020.

I am almost a little embarrassed to say how I discovered my cancer.  I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror and I was being silly.  I was flexing in the mirror like the incredible hulk.  When I noticed some rippling.  I thought that was odd.

So, I figured that since my life had been a bit of a sh*t-show for the last couple of years that I should probably get it checked out.

Of course, when I went to get checked my doctor couldn’t find a lump and determined that I was fine – and to come back in a few months.

I’ve heard the stories of people having to convince doctors to do a double-check and that’s exactly what I had to do.  I insisted upon an ultrasound.

And there, during the ultrasound, the tech found tumors in both of my breasts.  They were undetectable by touch.  I had biopsies done and I was told that I had breast cancer.

My no lump breast cancer journey was beginning. Did I mention that I had JUST gotten engaged to the love of my life? Talk about for better or worse being tested before we were even able to take our vows.

From there my life became managing appointment after appointment and a medication merry-go-round. Cancer is a full-time job – it doesn’t leave space for your children, your family, your friends, your career, or anything else.

I could probably write three books based on my experience and it hasn’t even been two years since my diagnosis.  But the one thing that I just can’t stress enough is doing everything in your power to check yourself and then push even harder at your doctor’s office.  Demand that you get imaging – whether it’s an ultrasound or a mammogram!

DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE 40 TO GET IMAGING DONE!

I am thankfully in remission.  A word I am still wrapping my brain around.  As I said, cancer will change your entire life.

So, fellow mamas, check yourself.  Go and get yourself checked. Please, for me, for your kids, for your partner, for your family, for your friends – because cancer will show you in the most awful way how much you are loved.

my no lump breast cancer diagnosis

Our Favorite Amazon Prime Day Deals!

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amazon prime day deals

Amazon Prime day deals are here!

We love a good deal, especially on something that we’ve had our eye on for a long time – which is why we’ve been looking forward to Amazon Prime Day!  Whether you’re starting your holiday shopping early OR you’re just getting a little something for yourself, we hope you love our favorites!

So shop local, show black-owned, shop subscription – we’ve got it all below!

Our Mission at OC Mom Collective is to bring products and services that we think moms in Orange County will love. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this post we may receive a small commission of the sale via Amazon Affiliate.

Electronics

It wouldn’t be Amazon Prime Day without deals on electronics.  Now is the time to purchase those big holiday items with deals so good you can’t pass up!  And who can’t resist a Robot Vacuum?!

Echo Show

Amazon Echo Show

Kindle Paperwhite Bundle

Kindle Paperwhite bundle

Toshiba 4k TV

Toshiba 4k TV

Shark Robot Vacuum

shark robot vacuum

Subscriptions

We love a good subscription and this Amazon Prime Day is full of them!  Now is the time to get Audible, Music Unlimited, and more!  The deals are the best they’ve ever been!

Amazon Music Subscription

Amazon Music Unlimited

Audible

Audible Subscription

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

West Coast Favorites

Looking to shop locally?  We love these Amazon Prime Day Deals from West Coast retailers.

Meditation Journal

meditation journal

Halloween Scents

Halloween Scents

Bamboo Storage Box

Bamboo Storage Box

Skoolzy Peg Board

Skoolzy Peg Board

Black-Owned Businesses

We are thrilled to be able to support Black-Owned Businesses for Prime Day!  Below are a few of our favorite products!

Leovard Anti-Aging Cream

Leovard Cream

Jollof Rice Seasoning

Jollof rice seasoning

Soothing Baby Cream

Soothing Baby Cream

Natural Deodorant

Natural Deodorant

Powerhandz gift set

powerhandz gift set

Wireless Phone Charger

Wireless phone charger

DewBurst Wet Wipes

dewburst wet wipes

Charcoal Mask

charcoal mask

Women-Owned Businesses

We love supporting women-owned businesses and are excited to feature a few products that are our favorite!  And one of these lovely products is owned by a local OC Mom!  So if you haven’t gotten yourself a ScrubBEE then get yours today!

Crystal Triangle Studs

Crystal Triangle Studs

Vegan Leather Backpack

Vegan leather backpack

ScrubBEE

scrubBEE

Unicorn Socks

Unicorn Socks

Pouf Ottoman

Urban Pouf

Hanging Planters

Geometric Hanging Planter

Party Decorations

Woodland Creatures Decorations

Body Wash + Lotion

Body Wash + Lotion

Makers

Products from crafters who physically make their items are some of the best ones out there.  We love to support local artisans making extraordinary things!

Soy Candle

soy candle

Feather Tea Towel

Tea Towel

Hammered Open Cuff Ring

Hammered Open Cuff Ring

Felt Garland Balls

Felt Garland

Hand Painted Ceramics

Natural Soap Set

Leather Tote Bag

Leather Tote Bag

Wall Art

Fall Centerpiece

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Our Favorite Amazon Prime Day Deals

How To Check For Breast Cancer

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It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a woman, it is so incredibly important to be self-checking for breast cancer as often as possible.

As a mom, I am dedicated to my children’s health.  They always get their well-visits and I’m very on top of their vitamins, etc., but my health usually comes last.  And that just won’t do.

So if you’ve never checked for breast cancer – do it today!

How To Check For Breast Cancer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation – women need to do a self-breast exam every month.  Below are their guidelines for checking your breasts each month.

  • Check in the shower – With the pads/flats of your 3 middle fingers, check the entire breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium, and firm pressure. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes.
  • Check in front of a mirror – I think most of us check in the shower, but it is important to look at our breasts and look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Check when your arms are in the air and when your arms are at your side.  THEN puts your hands on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Again, look for any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples.  The more times you do this the more you’ll be familiar with what your breasts look like and will be more able to notice any subtle changes.
  • Check when lying down – When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

On top of a self-breast exam each month, it is important to consult with your doctor about any and all changes that you may experience.  As well, getting an annual mammogram can help detect a tumor before it can be felt.

According to Cancer.org 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.  So, it is important that you remain vigilant.

Fun Halloween Costumes for Pregnant Moms Who Want To Dress Up

Halloween costumes for pregnant moms

halloween costumes for pregnant moms

Hey There Pregnant Mama! We have some of the best Halloween Costumes for Pregnant Moms! Don’t worry, we got you covered from fully dressed up, couples costumes to comfy and cute! Enjoy this fun collective of these adorable Halloween costumes for pregnant moms!

Our Mission at OC Mom Collective is to bring products and services that we think moms in Orange County will love. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this post we may receive a small commission of the sale via Amazon Affiliate or Etsy Affiliates.

Halloween Costumes for Pregnant Moms

It doesn’t matter if you want to be all dressed up, feeling like a princess or looking comfy and cute in onesie!

Mommy To Be Devil Lady

Avocado Onesie

Princess Gowns

Kangaroo Onesie

Halloween Couples Costumes

Grab your partner in crime and team up to win the cutest couple award this Halloween! Perfect Halloween costumes for pregnant moms and their plus one!

Pasta Chef + Prego

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Juno + Bleeker

Couples Xray

Baker + Bun in the Over

DIY Halloween Costumes for Pregnant Moms

Making your own costumes can be so fun! Here are some easy tutorials to DIY them or a simple add on costume piece to your already adorable preggo wardrobe!

Baker

@EmpoweringMama on Instagram nailed this baker costume! Grab an apron and hat, throw a little flour and Voilà!

Baseball

Find the tutorial HERE on how to make this adorable baseball + the matching empire to go with it!

Star Wars

Chelsea Lafever has the most adorable family costume that is sure to turn anyone from the dark side!

Witch

Find your favorite little black dress, add this super cute witch hat and a good smokey eye to finish off this adorable look!

Gum-Ball Machine

Life with My Littles made this O So Sweet Gum-ball costume! You can find this How To Tutorial HERE. Get the Supplies below!

Juno + Bleeker

An easy and comfy couples costume! Juno + Bleeker For Life! Get your own Juno stripped shirt right here!

Red Riding Hood

Grab your favorite little black dress, a cute basket (stuff with favorite bake goods and don’t share) and add this simple cape!

Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball

Gray + Black Shirt + Big Chain + Barbie Just make sure to style Barbies hair in truly Miley fashion!

Graphic Tee Halloween Costumes

Growing a human is exhausting but dressing up can be oh so fun! Here is a fun way to dress up and be comfy, casual with the ease of just a simply click of a button!

Tired & Pregnant Costume

BB8

X-Ray Twins

Bump Smash

Growing a Little Pumpkin

Monsters Inc.

I Smell a Child - Hocus Pocus

X-Ray Supherhero

We hope we made your costume planning THAT much easier! Be sure to tag us @ocmomcollective on socials so we can see that cute dressed up baby bump!

Don’t know where to go now that you are all dressed up? Check out our Fall Guide for fun places to go!

 

 

Halloween costumes for pregnant moms

Halloween costumes for pregnant moms

To My Husband Who Says “Quit Your Job!”

An open letter to my husband whose constant answer during this pandemic is to, “Quit Your Job!”

Dear Husband,

It’s Thursday and the busiest day of the week. I’m up early squeezing in a quick workout, doing my hair and makeup (since this will be my only chance), getting Macy ready for preschool (which is often a struggle b/c she is not a morning person), and then run downstairs to ensure her backpack is ready to go with ice water and snacks plus her face mask. I get some breakfast ready and open the laptop by 7am to check my emails. In the next two hours, I’m working (trying) and getting Maddox ready for his day.

By 9am, we are ready to run out the door for piano lessons, pickup at Macy’s school, a quick lunch, Macy’s drop off at my mom’s house, and then Maddox’s drop off at kinder. The next few hours are a delicately detailed sprint of events. So as I’m about to leave the door and explaining, “Yes honey, this is the day and I’m still supposed to work in 8 hrs of my job into the schedule….”

Your only response to me is, “So, Quit Your Job!”

First and foremost, it is with deep gratitude that in these last years you have kicked butt in your career and reached your highest highs and broke your records. I’ve spent almost a decade with you and I’ve seen you grow professionally – we went from a point where I was the one making more to now my paychecks are nothing compared to yours. I am unbelievably proud of your success and I feel at ease knowing that we are in safe hands.

Secondly, when you married me you knew that I wasn’t your typical girl waiting for her Prince Charming. You knew that I was independent. I had just finished college, had a promising marketing career, and loved to travel around the world. I grew up with two working parents and never thought or desired to be a stay-at-home wife or mom and while I have no judgment (b/c being at SAHM is hard work), I knew that being a wife and mother didn’t define me.

They would be huge parts of me but I was more than that.

Collectively, I was Allison: the girl who graduated college in 3.5 yrs. The girl who interned in NYC. The daughter of immigrant parents. A girl who loved nonprofits and charity work. A wife, and mother of two. I’m a big believer of ages and stages and knew that certain things would take precedence, but they wouldn’t dissolve my past or even define the future “me.”

Who I was then doesn’t disappear. The fire, the drive, and the ambition doesn’t go away. It’s always there.

In these last few years, we’ve been blessed with two amazing young children and had hit big milestones like our first home. Last year, we decided that I step down from a very demanding position that I had held for over 11 years. You knew that it was a hard decision for me, it’s one that had months and almost a year to decide. I had examined and proposed options but in the end, the thought that constantly came into my mind was,

“Who Gets the Best of Me?”

Is it my career or my family? And because of that, it was easy to walk away and find a part-time position. And there are no regrets. I have more flexibility, time, and bandwidth to do more with our kids. I am there for drop off and pick-up. I am able to get to know their educators. I am able to take them on mid-day playdates and take the role as room mom.

But, I’m also able to still keep my old identity by working part-time. I am still able to grow and learn professionally. I know that this option isn’t one that is always available and for that, I feel extremely blessed and fortunate.

Last but not least – this pandemic has been hard, to say the least.

It has tested and spread us so thin, but what I need from you is not, “Quit Your Job.” What I need is, “How Can I Help?” How can we make the most out of this situation?

I’m lucky that there is a “time out” or “tap out” bell when I feel like this is too much to bear. But I also want to know that you can step up and be a team player. Quitting my career entirely is an option, but it’s not one that I choose to take now and hopefully ever. If there’s a will there’s a way and with little eyes watching me, I want to make sure that I’m given them something great to watch. So with love, gratitude, and a gentle reminder – this mama isn’t ready to quit.

Sincerely,

Your Wife

To My Husband Who Says "Quit Your Job!" PIN

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