A Few of the Best Items I Bought for my Son

Being a first time mom I wanted to make sure I had everything necessary. There are a few things that I definitely love having in his first 6 months, and I’m going to share them with you.

*These are all of my personal opinions.*
*I am not making any money from any of these links.*

1. A good stroller
I chose this Graco Travel System jogging stroller, and I love it. The car seat clicks right into the stroller making it super easy. The tires are large and for any amount of walking makes it so nice. Yea, it’s a little big, but for the comfort it’s so much easier.

2. Swing
I bought one while we were in Canada that he spent a total of 30 minutes in the whole time we were there. He wasn’t fond of it at all, but when we got to Florida he loved the one I had there. It had music and a mobile. I chose the Fisher-Price Snugapuppy Swing. I would still be using it now, but he’s pretty much outgrown it.

3. Infantino Seat
Walking around Target we stumbled upon this seat. After little debating we bought it. At the time he was 4 months, and our sweet boy felt he was too big to lay down all the time. We tried his bouncer, but he still wanted to be more upright. He was still too little for a high chair so we settled for something smaller, and he loved it. He wanted to sit in it every morning to play, and as he got bigger we started feeding him in it. It definitely became a favorite of his, and ours. We started taking it with us to restaurants, and we all loved that.

4. Diaper Genie
I bought a Diaper Genie before Gunner was born and only had it for 2 weeks when we were home. When hurricane Dorian hit it was destroyed, and regrettably I haven’t bought another one yet. Don’t let someone talk you out of this. This is definitely a must for any family with diapers, trust me! I’ve lived without it so I can tell you this is something you need.

5. Walker
Again with the growing up thing. He wants to grow up too fast and unfortunately I can’t stop him. At 4 months I was running out of options of places for him to be happy while not being in my arms. Because babies have a short attention span I would rotate between his swing and his Infantino chair. Going between the two so much I needed something else, so I got a walker. He loved it. Just being able to zoom him from room to room with me was all the change he needed. This is the walker I chose. Now at 6 months, and can touch the floor, he is learning he can get where he wants to go. Seriously baby boy, stop growing so fast!

6. Jolly Jumper
So thankful we got this. I didn’t pay as much as advertised now, so I’m glad I got a deal. He loved it from the day my husband put it together. I chose the stand alone so I could move it wherever I wanted so I could talk to Gunner while doing other things. He has had super strong legs since he was in my tummy, he kicked A LOT. When he was in the NICU a few of the nurses commented that his legs hadn’t stopped moving since he was born. So when he started jumping while we held him we decided it was time for a Jolly Jumper, and I don’t regret it. He can use it until he starts to walk so it is great to get when you think your baby is ready so he or she can grow with it.

These are definitely my favorite items in his first 6 months. I will keep you updated on the next few months and what become, or stay, my favorite as he grows.

Hope this helps when you’re purchasing for your little one. Remember, every baby and situation is different. You need to do what is best for your baby, and you!

Mushroom Soup

Hey Cravers!

While staying in Canada I cooked and baked to take my mind off everything that was going on. I needed to be in the kitchen. Canada is cold in the fall, well cold to me, so soup was definitely on the menu.

My grandfather loves soup, but always wants something with meat. So I adapted a mushroom soup to include ground beef. It was delicious. He raved about it so much and wanted me to make it when he came to visit. This time I wrote down the recipe so I could share it with you! If you love mushrooms you will love this soup.

Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of each process, but don’t worry, the end result is so worth it!

The soup is quite easy to make. The most tedious part of making the soup is chopping the onions and mushrooms.

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Served with a delicious, crusty, French bread that you can pick up and throw in the oven for a few minutes just before time to serve.

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This soup has become a favorite of my family, and I hope it will become a favorite in your home too.

Click the print button below to print the recipe.

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Stay tuned for more recipes, and updates from my home, Abaco.

Please continue to pray for the locals and volunteers who are there rebuilding. We appreciate everything everyone continues to do for our little island.

 

2020

Happy New Year to everyone!!!

This year I will be bringing to you information from my beautiful island home, Abaco! And more of course.

We still need all the help we can get at home. Please don’t give up on us! Abaconians are resilient and we are not giving up! We love our home and will continue to do everything we can to be back there.

I plan to bring to you all the positive vibes from Abaco. Sharing with you what’s open, where you can get some good food, shine light on who we can help and how, and much more!

Thank you so much for all the support from everyone in the months following Dorian and before. I don’t think I have ever spoken with someone who did not love Abaco after their visit, and that has truly shown. Your love for our island is amazing.

Let’s continue to show the world our love for Abaco and make it a home again for so many!!!

Thank you to all the hard work from every single NGO that has come to help. We need you! Thank you to every single local that has gone back to rebuild, repair, or just to visit. We need you!

I cannot wait to see what the new year brings for Abaco!!! Keep the prayers coming!

Happy 2020 everyone!!!

Acid Reflux After Pregnancy

Roughly 3 weeks after I had my son, Gunner, I experienced acid reflux for the first time in my life. I thought it was gas, but after some time, and eliminating things from my diet I figured out it was acid reflux.

I have had tooth aches, sprained ankles, and went through labour. Nothing, and I mean nothing hurt like experiencing acid reflux. It feels like my chest is about to explode.

I’m still figuring things out as I’m only 5 months postpartum. I’m going to tell you what has bothered me, and what has helped me.

*All of these are my personal findings. Everything is different for everyone so keep that in mind.*

Bother

1. Tomatoes

I learned this the hard way because I LOVE tomatoes. I’m one of those people that can eat it like an apple. When I thought it was gas I continued to eat tomatoes, bad idea. I can eat it during the day, but not in large amounts. I find it’s better to eat it earlier in the day when I am more active, rather than sitting or laying down after eating.

2. Champagne

This one was a hard one to learn. If you know me, you know I love champagne, so this was a hard one to figure out.

3. Dairy

I am self diagnosed semi lactose intolerant. It only bothers me sometimes so I’ve never seen anyone about it. It also only bothers me sometimes with acid reflux so it’s hard to know to cut it out completely.

4. Spicy foods.

I had Chinese a few weeks ago, (at night) and ate a few spicy pieces. Man was that a bad idea. I suffered for 24 hours, no relief, just constant pain. Won’t do that again.

What Helps

1. Pepcid AC

Pepcid usually helps me within 15 to 20 minutes. I take the maximum strength. Depending on what I’m eating I will take it before I eat, and I don’t have issues. Now because I’m still figuring things out I don’t always catch it, and I pay for it later, like a few mornings ago… Up at 4am, two Pepcid AC, one Nexium, gum, lactose free milk, and I’m still up at 6am.

2. Nexium

I wanted to make sure that I was okay so I have been to the doctor a few times. I was put on Nexium. I take it twice a day, morning and night. I keep stopping after I don’t have flare ups, don’t stop taking it until you know it has gone away completely. I’m learning this the hard way.

3. Gum

Peppermint bothers some people so be careful of that. Gum has helped a lot. Chewing gum creates more saliva and helps push the acid back down.

4. Water

Keep drinking water. Lots and lots of water. I love ice cold water, but I have to stay away from it if I have an attack. It doesn’t hurt, but doesn’t help either. Room temperature is the best.

5. Lactose Free Milk

I’ve found it helps a bit. My mother in law drinks almond milk and it helps her a lot as she also suffers from acid reflux.

6. Sit Up or Walk

Don’t lay down after eating. You will regret it. Sit up, go for a walk, do some dishes, something that will keep you upright so the acid can settle in your stomach. If you are in a lot of pain, like I usually am, all you will want to do is lay down…don’t.

7. DigestZen by Doterra

This has been my BIGGEST relief!!!! My oils dealer, yes that’s what I call my supplier haha, is amazing and pointed me in the direction of DigestZen. I have empty capsules so I just got the oil to fill them with. The oil can also be used in a diffuser for relief (haven’t tried it yet though). DigestZen also comes in chewables and capsules.

It works very quickly for me. I am so happy I found this because this has been amazing for me.

Ladies, I know this has been a long post, but I hope this was worth the read and hope you get some relief.

Good luck, Cravers!

Trying to Move Forward

Ever feel like you are in limbo? That’s how I have been feeling since Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco. We’ve stayed in 5 different places since the hurricane. I want something stable. I NEED something stable. I’ve been trying to make some stability in our lives. I started baking again, I started crafting again, and I got a new planner.

20191006_114706.jpgCute Halloween wine glasses I made.

I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but a new planner is a big thing for me. I LOVED my Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I carried it everywhere! I lost my planner in the hurricane. So I purchased The Happy Planner planner from Walmart in Canada. I needed a planner, but not just any planner would work. I wanted something that would make me feel happy, something cute, something bright. That’s what I got!

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My new planner!

I couldn’t remember anything before the hurricane, so imagine my brain now. I can’t remember a thing! My thoughts are scattered. I can’t concentrate. Everything is different.

Writing in a planner is starting to make me feel normal again. It sounds small, but right now the little things are what means the most. I can see what I have coming up. I get excited about new things for the future. I am on the road to recovery. I know it is a long road, but I will get there.

I speak for Abaconians when I say, “we will get there”. We are a strong island and we bounce back, usually very quickly, but this one hit us hard. People are returning home! Whether it’s to clean up or salvage what they can, they are going home. Some to stay, some for a quick trip, but we are getting there. I believe in Abaco! We are #AbacoStrong! We are a community who will grow as we rebuild. Abaco is HOME.

Right now, we will make somewhere else our home, but Abaco will be in our hearts. We will go back, we will rebuild, we will be better than before!

Thank you to everyone who has helped and continues to help. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are. Thank you!

#AbacoStrong

July to October

Hey guys,

I know I have been away for a while. I was building content while awaiting the arrival of my sweet, baby boy. I was excited to share with you recipes and places to eat here in Collingwood. Yes, I said “here”, because I am back in C-wood! Plans changed…

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Carter and I the night before Gunner was born

Gunner arrived 6 weeks early! What a surprise! My water broke, and I had to get to the hospital asap. I couldn’t go to Collingwood. (They don’t take you unless you’re 37 weeks, as they don’t have a NICU.) Frank wasn’t here. My mom and dad were in Toronto. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going according to plan!

I called Frank at 3 am to tell him what happened. At 5 am I had another gush, 5:30 am I was cramping, and 7 am I was on the way to Owen Sound hospital. All I wanted was for Frank to get here and be by my side. I didn’t want him to miss it. Well, he didn’t! He arrived at 7 pm and Gunner was born the next morning! The nurses and doctors at Grey Bruce Health Services are absolutely amazing!! We had such incredible people by our side the entire time, and still continue to stand by us. Thank you GBHS!

He spent 9 days in the NICU but did amazing. Every time the doctors thought he would need something he would prove them wrong. We were very lucky. Gunner means “warrior” and that’s exactly what he is!

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Calm before the storm. Taken Saturday before Hurricane Dorian destroyed my home.

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Taken around 9 am Sunday before things took a spin for the worse.

Less than two weeks after we left Canada we were hit in Abaco by Hurricane Dorian. My husband, myself, and baby Gunner (6 weeks the day of the storm) had to hide in a closet as our windows in the living room had all busted and our roof was going. By the time the eye came and my dad walked up the hill to get us he said his heart sank when he saw the house. The roof was gone and he had no idea what he would find. Well, he found us. The 3 of us were fine. Shaken, scared, soaked, but we were ok physically. Mentally we are still taking things day by day.

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Pictures of the house we lived in.

We evacuated 4 days after the storm. My cousin Cliff, his wife Lily, my mom, dad, Aunt Dar, friends Bobbi and Tim, Sara, and Tara and Jody all, every single one of them, did everything they could to get us out of there! And they succeeded! We spent the night in my grandmother’s house in Russell Island, it gave us peace of mind just being there. As we flew out from Sandy Point to Eleuthera all I could do was cry. I cried because my heart was broken, I was leaving the only home I had ever known and had no clue when I could return. Also because I was so happy to be out, away from a place that has now caused me so much pain, and has scarred me beyond measure.

 

After the storm.

Carlos, an angel, flew us out again, this time to Florida. I was so happy when we saw Aunt Lily, Bobbi, and Micheal waiting there for us. We spent a week with Uncle Cliff and Aunt Lily before we traveled back to Collingwood to be with my parents and grandparents for a while.

*I just realized that it may be a little confusing. I have two dads. My dad in the Bahamas and my stepdad in Canada. I call them both dad.*

Right now I am regrouping and taking care of the little one. Trying to stay strong and keep it all together. I have my moments. I never thought that I could be scared of wind or lightning, but now, I’m terrified. Frank isn’t with us at the moment, but he is rebuilding our life back home. I am always so proud of how hard he works, but I am even more proud now because he is helping others at home. My man is amazing!

Everyone you come in contact with, from home, has a story. I am deeply sorry for all the lives lost in this terrible storm. You will never be forgotten.

Abaco is so grateful to the few people that stayed to start rebuilding. Those that are there helping others and from the help that we got from outside the Bahamas. All I can say is thank you! I don’t feel like a single thank you is enough, but that’s all I can say for now. Thank you!

 

Lakeside Grill

Last week I went for lunch at Lakeside Grill with my grandparents. We parked in the parking lot of the Living Water Resort and Spa and walked through the hotel. The hotel entrance is so beautiful and relaxing. I hadn’t done any research on the restaurant or the hotel before I went for lunch, but I was very impressed. I saw a few pictures of their spa, and I definitely would love to check that out! Okay, so time to talk restaurant.

It was a beautiful, foggy day in Collingwood. I’m not used to fog living in Abaco, but this was just gorgeous. We walked into Lakeside Grill and the doors to the patio were open over looking the foggy Georgian Bay, again I have to say how stunning it was. We sat close to the patio, but not outside.

 

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Absolutely beautiful day.

 

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Some of the interior of the restaurant.

 

Lunch was delicious. I had their Mushroom Flatbread. It’s assorted mushrooms with a truffle bechamel and topped with fontina cheese. It was amazing! I was a little worried after I ordered it because I know that sometimes truffle can be overpowering, but this was excellent. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly, the truffle bechamel was great, and topped with fontina cheese just made the flatbread so delicious!

I also had a taste of my grandmother’s soup, which was the Summertime Lentil Soup, and it was very good! They both also enjoyed their meals.

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Yum!!!

 

I highly recommend Lakeside Grill to anyone living in or visiting Collingwood or the surrounding areas! I can’t wait to go back!!

Pierogies with Sausage Sauce

I love pierogies! Seriously, who wouldn’t love pasta filled with mashed potatoes and cheese? Yes, I know that’s not all they can be filled with, but that’s always how I have them. If you’ve never tried them, you should! I introduced my husband to them about a year ago and they’ve become a staple meal in our household.

I love having the pierogies with a sauce so I decided to add some meat to a creamy tomato sauce and it was a hit!

I recently made it for my grandparents and they fell in love. I left the recipe with her so she will be able to make it for my grandfather again and again.

So there are a few things I’d like to comment on the differences in doing the recipe in the Bahamas and in Canada. In the Bahamas, I can get Jimmy Dean’s sausage and that’s all I use. In Canada, at least in Collingwood, I couldn’t find Jimmy Dean and went with just a plain pork sausage, next time I won’t. I would use the Hillshire Farm sausages and just cut the casings off. Also, the box of pierogies that I use has roughly 12 in the box, but in Canada, the box I bought had 24, so I should have made a double batch of sauce, but I didn’t.

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Yum, yum!!!

Check out the recipe below.

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Pierogies with Sausage Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Pierogies – 12 (roughly 1 box)
  • Sausage – 1 lb.
  • Tomato Sauce – 15.5 oz.
  • Heavy Cream – 1 cup
  • Red Pepper Flakes – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Onion Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Italian Seasoning – 1/2 tsp

Directions:

  1. Brown Sausage and season with all seasonings above.
  2. Add tomato sauce and season again with seasonings above.
  3. Add heavy cream, stir to combine, and let simmer.
  4. Boil or fry pierogies, if frying, just use a little oil or butter and keep flipping to obtain a nice crust.
  5. When pierogies are finished add them to the sauce and let cook with the sauce for roughly 5 mins.

Enjoy!!!

Update

Hey Cravers,

I’m so sorry that it’s been a while since I posted. (Yea, I know, again…) I have had a lot going on. In December, my husband and I found out we are expecting!! (Yay!!!) We are so thrilled awaiting the arrival of our baby…..boy!!! He is my first baby so this whole pregnancy has been new to me.

I was quite sick in the first trimester and have still had rough days here and there throughout the second and now as well into my third trimester. I have to say, aside from the sickness, I have LOVED my pregnancy. All the new feelings of flutters, movements, kicks, hiccups, everything has been amazing and I’m nervous for it to end. I am so excited to meet my sweet, baby boy, but I also feel that I am going to miss all the feelings inside. All that being said, I am very ready to meet him!

In my first trimester, I had to go through something I have never been through before. I lost my sweet dachshund, Lily. It broke my heart into pieces. I know ultimately God has a reason for everything, but man has it been hard. She was my everything, my baby girl, my Lilymanily, and I had to say goodbye. It was so hard and still is. I’m still having trouble looking at pictures and videos of her. I had her for 8 years and unfortunately, cancer took her away from me. Just a month after we returned from our Christmas vacation in Canada we found out she had cancer, and there was nothing we could do. My heart broke. I completely lost it. At the same time, I knew I had to be strong for my baby on the way. The vet, Dr. Bailey, and his assistant, Chamara, were amazing and so supportive knowing what I was going through. I can’t thank them enough for being there for me.

I’m now in my eighth month and I am doing great!! Sleep is the only thing I’m having an issue with, but from what I’ve heard, that’s every pregnancy. I’ve found propping a pillow underneath the belly, when laying on your side, really works! Also, stay active, I haven’t been exercising like I should, but I am still active. I don’t sit all day, I’m constantly up in the kitchen, walking somewhere rather than driving, or swimming (ish haha. A little more relaxing rather than swimming.) I do advise sleeping whenever you can! You need your rest as well. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for resting, seriously, you need it!

That’s the update on my life right now, and my “two cents” (Bahamian saying for advice) on a few pregnancy tips.

Stay tuned for more posts!

Fall in Abaco?

A beautiful breeze has been blowing in Abaco the past two weeks, and I’ve been soaking it up. It’s so relaxing to sit outside enjoying coffee, the sunset, and lunch without the heat beating down on you. Once in a while it feels like fall has arrived, then summer kicks back in, but I’ll savor it while I can.20181005_184717

Last week I had lunch with a friend at Abaco Beach Resort. Lunch was good. It was a beautiful day so we sat out by the pool bar. We got the potato skins for appetizer, which are always good, and I got my favorite crawfish sandwich for lunch.

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I love the lobster sandwich, I rotate between this and maybe two other lunch entrees. I was really disappointed in the fact that I got plain mayo instead of the crab meat aioli. The crab meat aioli really gives the sandwich the little extra oomph that I love.

20181005_124330Fried Lobster Sandwich with Avocado

I grew up in Abaco Beach Resort. My parents would take me and my siblings here every weekend to play on the beach, swim in the pools, or just head out to Angler’s for any family celebration. Over the years they’ve made some modern decor changes, but overall it has stayed the same, and that’s what I love.

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If you are visiting Abaco I highly recommend stopping by Abaco Beach Resort to enjoy lunch at the pool bar or dinner at Angler’s. The pool bar has a beautiful swim up bar to enjoy a delicious Pina Colada. Take a walk to the beach while passing the stunning boats that visit every year for the fishing tournaments (April-June).

Don’t forget to stop by the resort boutique. They offer a little something for everyone. My favorite items are anything Bahama Hand Prints!

20181005_132501Sneak peak of the boutique. Bahama Hand Prints clutches on the shelves.

20181005_132611Sweet Yolanda will help you with all your shopping!

 

Enjoy fall, Cravers!

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