5 Books for Parents to Be

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My sister purchased several best sellers for me to read before Emilia makes her debut in July. I always end my day snuggled in bed with my doTERRA Petal diffuser blasting lavender engrossed in a book. Reading has always had a calming effect on me. These are currently on my nightstand:

I Heart My Little A-Holes: A bunch of holy-crap moments no one ever told you about parenting by Karen Alpert

I finished this book in 3 days and laughed out loud almost every single page. It made me realize how my life is going to completely change in a few months. Kids are true blessings – but I know that this parenting ride may not always present with smooth sails. The author has a comical way of giving us soon-to-be parents a glimpse into reality.

The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance (Owner’s and Instruction Manual) by Louis Borgenicht M.D and Joe Borgenicht

Another light-hearted, non-threatening read that I finished over the course of a week. It covers the basics, but with some new information that has changed since my babysitting and nannying days. It calls doctors “service providers,” which always gives me a good chuckle. This owner’s manual also helped me with a few things on my baby registry.

So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide 3rd edition by Janet Tamaro

Breastfeeding. This is my take on breastfeeding; fed is best. I am hoping that Emilia and I both enjoy and have an easy breastfeeding experience. If not, formula it will be. I was a formula kid. So was my sister, husband, and sister-in-law. We all turned out somewhat normal. Our moms didn’t even attempt breastfeeding. I, on the other hand, would like to give it a try. Of course, like any new mom, I’m nervous, so this book is a great way to educate me on everything relating to breastfeeding in an informative, direct, conversational way.

Your Baby’s First Year For Dummies by James Gaylord, MD and Michelle Hagen

I love for Dummies books. It breaks everything down so simply and reviews every topic within the baby’s first year. I like how it has pictures (I’m a visual learner) and pediatrician recommendations that really helped me to formulate a plan when Emilia arrives. The book is extensive, so the index is super helpful when I want to read a specific topic.

Show Dad How (Parenting Magazine): The Brand-New Dad’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Shawn Bean

Jason claims he has never been much of a reader so when my sister surprised him with this Show Dad How book, I got really excited because this is a very simple picture book to learn how to do basic things, like change a diaper. It provides comedic relief, as we all know, raising children does take a village.

bake bread

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Book Review: Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault

My husband and I are obsessed with eating local food and visiting Canada. At dinner last night, he mentioned that we should plan another trip there so that we know where to move when he retires (14.5 years and counting!) I never heard of Acadian cuisine but was excited and intrigued to learn more.

Enter Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault. A cookbook into a history-lesson-slash-novel where I was wishing I was in his Grandmother’s kitchen cooking these delectable items right alongside her…Simon, you are so lucky to have had a Grandma who cooked and kept records! (And I commend your efforts of extensive research!)

A favorite line from Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food:

“When talking about our favourite dishes, many of us start by saying that “My grandmother made,” or “My [insert family member] made,” and then talk about how those particular dishes were made in very particular ways.”

My mother has my Grandma’s meatball recipe. I know that my sister and I will fight over who gets the real handwritten version. I digress…

 

The first section of Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food is Preserves in which I can’t wait to make his salted green onion recipe. I use scallions on my nacho platter and in all my soup recipes. This just sounds delicious and would be a great addition to my daily recipes.

 

The second chapter is for the Breadmaking folk. I have both a gluten and dairy intolerance, so the only place I make bread is with my clients at work. These recipes seem simple enough – so sometime this week I will gather ingredients I don’t have in my pantry (there is a nice segment on stocking your pantry in Pantry and Palate) and choose a lucky client to make delicious bread.

Lard encompasses the third chapter. I never worked with lard. I don’t know if I want to work with lard. Lard seems like something I rather read about then experiment with in my kitchen. Sorry, Simon!

Tȇte de Cochon is the next section. Simon, you are more than welcome to come to my home in New Jersey and give me private instruction on cooking a pig’s head! (That would make a really great YouTube video, I promise!) I appreciate the Acadian cuisine but am not this adventurous when it comes to cooking.

The next two sections are my favorite! Section 5 reads Soups, Sides, and Staples while the last is Desserts. I love Meat Pies, and it reminds me of when my Grandmother made them when she was alive and well. Simon gives a few variations, one I hope to try soon. He also gives a Potato Pancake recipe that I can’t wait to make! I always wanted to make potato pancakes but couldn’t find the right recipe. I tabbed this page instantaneously! And, you better believe, that I will be making his Scalloped Cabbage recipe for Thanksgiving. I had to Google “summer savory” spice is and added it to my shopping list. I think this is my favorite chapter of Pantry and Palate; meals I can make simply and that I know will taste delicious.

I love desserts, but with my food allergies, I only eat them on very special occasions and have my DigestZen from doTERRA on standby. I think the Baked Apple Pudding recipe will be a hit for the holidays. I also have always wanted to experiment with rhubarb and his clear, concise directions make me feel like I can tackle that task.

Simon Thibault

©2017, Photographs by Noah Fecks. All rights reserved. Published by Nimbus Publishing

Pantry and Palate isn’t for those looking for thirty-minute meals, or people who need an illustration with every step. Pantry and Palate would be best for those looking to experience cooking and who want to integrate culture into their meals. When I read Pantry and Palate, I feel like I am holding a distinct piece of Acadian history in my hands. Thank you, Simon, for opening my eyes into a world I didn’t know existed. Pantry to Palate is a cookbook that I certainly cherish and will begin making my tabbed recipes immediately.

Amazon Affiliate link: Click here to purchase Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food.

Please visit Simon Thibault’s website here, and follow him on Instagram.

Namaste.

 

Pantry and Palate by Simon Thibault

My copy of Pantry and Palate by Simon Thibault

 

Disclosure: Pantry to Palate was sent to me complimentary for review purposes. All opinions within are my own. If you would like your product featured on Realm of Vibes, visit my Contact page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com

5 Life-Changing Books

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the picture or link and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation. 

I am that woman with nine books on her nightstand. I read every night before bed; whether it be a magazine, fiction story, or self-help book. Subjecting myself to someone else’s words calms my mind, and opens my heart. The books listed below have been my go-to reads, especially when I am feeling anxious, unhappy, worried, or upset. I hope they bring you the tranquility that they bring me.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

I have read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom four times. The four agreements are:

      • Be impeccable with your word.
      • Don’t take anything personally.
      • Don’t make assumptions.
      • Always do your best.

Don Miguel Ruiz writes based on ancient Toltec wisdom. His words are powerful and have taught me so many great lessons.  I find myself saying, “Always do your best. Your best changes at every given time.” I also find myself speaking more honestly and openly with my words. This book has truly transformed my life by practicing the four agreements and integrating his principles into my life.

Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer

Let me preface this paragraph with the notion that I was raised Italian Catholic, but as I grew older I became more spiritual. I believe in God, but I do not attend formal religious services.

I have had debilitating anxiety in the past, and have to work very hard each day to not return to living a life with panic attacks. When my best friend, Lauren, gave me Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind, I handed it back to her and said, “You know, I’m really not into Christian Living books, Laur. Thanks anyway.” She placed it down on the table and replied, “I think you should read the section on anxiety. I’m giving the book to you. Do with it what you will.”

I have read the chapter titled “An Anxious and Worried Mind” close to one-hundred times. I have highlighted sections and dog-eared the pages. Joyce writes,

“It is impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time.”

I appreciate the biblical references and that Joyce ties them into real-life. For a woman who “wasn’t into” Christian Living books, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind has a special place on my nightstand.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I love Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail have read it twice and always refer back to my highlighted sections. Cheryl Strayed words make me feel empowered. She didn’t know what she was going to experience on the PCT. She didn’t have the appropriate gear. She lost her mom. Her marriage had ended. She transformed in the wild. She tackled what seemed impossible. She challenged herself and succeeded. Fear wasn’t a limiting factor.

One of my favorite excerpts:

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman explains the five love languages and how knowing our spouses love language can transform a marriage in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.

The 5 Love Languages

      • Words of Affirmation
      • Quality Time
      • Receiving Gifts
      • Acts of Service
      • Physical Touch

Can anyone guess what my love language is?

Acts of Service. I appreciate and feel loved when my husband does things without me having to ask him, and when he sees that I am exhausted. I remind him that acts of service are my love language. The funny thing is, acts of service is also his love language. We better get servicing each other to stay happy!

Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be by HeatherAsh Amara

I bought this deal on Amazon Prime day and couldn’t be happier. HeatherAsh Amara understands the life of a modern woman. We have so many balls flying in the air that it is impossible to keep them all spinning. The others we may catch, or they might drop. Such is life. Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be provides growth, whether spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, you will grow. I loved the questions and reflections she prompts you to complete in the book. I recommend you have a pen and paper to engage with her introspective exercises.

An excerpt: “While we cannot control life, we do have a choice in how we respond to what life brings and how we react.” – HeatherAsh Amara, Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be

Final Thoughts

What are your favorite books to read and why? Leave me a comment below!

Namaste.

5 Life-Changing Books

 

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My At-Home, Budget Friendly Spa Day

** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission to help sustain this blog.**

I am writing this wearing a leopard robe. Coconut oil is swishing around in my mouth. 11 more minutes to go before I spit my toxins out into the garbage can. My face has a dark grey, charcoal mask on it. A nose strip is waiting for me on my bathroom sink. That fruity sugar scrub is going to exfoliate the winter dryness off my scaly body. A hair mask will hopefully tame my split ends and make my natural balayage tendrils extra soft and shiny. A lip scrub and conditioner will make my pucker extra plump and smooth. Today, is a day of at-home pampering.

I wish I could afford facials and massages, but those are luxuries, and do not fit into my budget. I will ask for them as a gift for special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. In the interim, when I have some extra time, I try to take care of myself at home. Here are some easy, but effective ways to make yourself feel good on a budget.

Water

I fill up a huge (wine) glass of ice water, and then add a few slices of lemon and/or cucumber. Drinking water helps maintain your metabolism, increases energy, decreases fatigue, and improves your complexion. I hydrate during my in-home pampering experience.

Meditation and/or Music

I turn off my cell phone and other electronic devices and really take the time to focus on me. I type “guided meditation” into a search engine, and play something that takes me to a calm headspace. Sometimes, of I want to zen out without a guided meditation, I will turn to Trevor Hall. If I’m not in the mood for calm, then I will turn on Amy Winehouse or Joss Stone. Set the atmosphere for your mood.

Robe & Scents

I absolutely love my fleecy leopard robe that I bought myself and my bridesmaids for my wedding. It is incredibly warm and comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pulling anything over my head. (I don’t want to get my face mask on my clothing). I usually put a headband on as well, to keep my bangs out of my face. Then, I light a candle in my bathroom, so I can smell a relaxing scent as I perform my at-home pampering routine.

View my ipsy Glam Bag

I subscribe to the ipsy Glam Bag. Each month I receive a bag with 5 samples including facial cleansers, blushes, face masks, primers, moisturizers, eyeshadows, hair care items, and brushes. It has introduced me to so many different products and brands. On my at-home pampering days, I go through my ipsy Glam Bag and see if there is anything new I can implement (usually the hair/face masks, moisturizers, body lotions). The ipsy Glam Bag  costs $10/month, or you can sign-up for their yearly plan which is $110/year.

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The Full Package: Teeth, Face, Hair & Body

It sounds counterproductive, but you want to start with a clean canvas. Brush your teeth swish with mouthwash, and floss. Wash your face with a mild cleanser or exfoliant (I use what I have received in my ipsy Glam Bag), then I use a toner to make sure my face is stripped. I apply Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask and scoop 1 tablespoon of Carrington coconut oil into my mouth. Oil pulling, when performed regularly, pulls toxins out of your blood and benefits your oral and overall health. I swish for 20 minutes, and then spit my toxins into a garbage can. I have oil pulled for 2 months straight and my teeth are noticeably whiter and it feels like there is a protective layer covering my enamel. After the 20 minutes are up, I hop in the shower, where I wash the face mask off, cleanse with a mild cleanser, and exfoliate my body with Yes To Coconut Polishing Body Scrub. I rub Sara Happ Vanilla Bean Lip Scrub on my lips to exfoliate dry skin. While I am shaving, I apply Marc Anthony True Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment. The mask needs 3-7 minutes to be effective. I wash it out, then shampoo and condition. Before I towel off, I slap a Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strip on my nose and then slather lotion all over my body. After I remove the nose strip, apply a cream moisturizer to my face and a lip conditioner. Bam, new me.

Power the Temple: Food & Vitamins

On my at-home pampering days, I make a nice healthy green shake (water, spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries) or salad. In healthcare, sometimes meals happen, and sometimes I can be found scarfing a Larabar on my way to see my next patient. When I am home, I try to savor each bite, really focusing on the taste and texture of what I am drinking or eating. After I have a full belly, I make sure to take my vitamins.

Open your Mind: Read

Read something, anything. We spend way too much time on our electronic devices. Pick up and hold something in your hands. I subscribe to a newspaper and ten magazines. Books sit patiently on my built-ins waiting for my attention. Find a comfortable spot to lounge, read, and relax. I try to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading something that inspires or motivates me. It is another gratifying, stress-relieving activity.

Feel Good, Be Good

When I spend time pampering myself, I feel better physically and emotionally. You don’t have to have a lot of money to feel good and clear your head. Even if you pick one or two things to do from my post, you will reap the benefits. If you need someone to tell you to make time in your schedule to treat yourself…

Stop what you’re doing and go take care of you.

Namaste.