Social distancing for the social butterfly

 

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There is not a day goes by when my 12 year old is not hanging out with her friends. Whether she is taking a hike, playing basketball or studying for a test, she is always with the neighborhood kids. Once it was announced we were in a pandemic and school was canceled, my daughter did not know what to do with her self. She did her school work alone, took our dogs for a walk… alone and played all by her self. However it was like social distancing was sucking the joy out of her life.

As a parent I wanted to ease her suffering as much as I could. It started with catching up with some friends via facetime. However life isn’t very exciting for either party so they ran out of things to talk about fairly quickly. We decided our next playdate would include a board game. Where each child would take turns interacting through facetime. It was a huge hit. Next time i would prefer to choose a game both houses had on hand so that both girls could be actively participating. Other ideas include reading to each other from the same book (think kids in the same class), virtual study buddies and the new Netflix party extension through google chrome.

For older kids and adults try trivia night. This is a difficult time but we are happy to make the most of it. Slow down, spend time together and check in with our friends (electronically of course). And when all else fails we get outside. A hike, or fishing trip may just inspire our next conversation. These solitary outdoor activities are recommended by health care officials and are thought to be perfectly safe. 

Part Two: Choosing Gratefulness Over Anxiety During A Pandemic

I wrote a post in November after reading “Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado. Please read here: https://pittsburgh.momcollective.com/parenting-perspectives/choosing-gratefulness-over-anxiety 

Page from the book

With so much going on in the world around us I figured it was a perfect time to revisit Max’s words about choosing gratefulness over anxiety.

To be honest, I am struggling. I was thrown into a situation where I must work from home full-time while my five-year old son is home from school. Not only am I supposed to be engaged as an employee, I need to be engaged as a home school teacher and a mother as well.

Trying to be engaged for multiple things at once is exhausting and I finally had my breaking point.

I had a stressful day at work, the weather was cold and dreary, and my son probably watched 6+ hours of television. I was so upset of the fact that my son was bored to tears and there was nothing I could do because I was attached to my desk.

The mental aspect of staying at home for over a week was starting to show. I was irritable and exhausted. All I wanted to do was be left alone in a dark, quiet room where no one would speak to me.

Working from home, parenting, and home schooling my son while my husband is at work because he owns an essential business and worrying about a potentially fatal virus while four months pregnant is making my anxiety skyrocket.

Then I remembered Max’s words. I wish the library was open so I could reread it again or maybe I need to buy it so I can reference it in a time of need.

I know it is hard to pick out blessings in regular every day stressful situations, but in a pandemic it can be extremely rare to focus on the good things.

After changing my mindset I was able to clearly identify my blessings.

The company I work for and my managers are understanding and flexible as many of them are going through the same struggles. Before we left the office to work from home a senior manager told us that the most important thing was our health and our families health. We were told to be as productive as possible, but also to take care of our families. It was refreshing to know that a big corporate company had and still have their employees and their families at the forefront of their minds.

Spending extra time with my son is always a balance struggle. My commute is over an hour and I am out the door before he even wakes up. Even though this situation is extreme and being home is driving me crazy, I would not trade any of this extra time for anything else. As much as it is frustrating, it is a blessing that I get to wake up with him every morning and make him breakfast (cereal, cinnamon toast, and chocolate milk). I get to enjoy my lunch breaks with him. As soon as I log off I get to spend my usual commute hour with him going outside for a walk or playing games.

Lunch Break
Getting some fresh air

Even though work can be stressful I am thankful I still have a job during this time. I am also thankful that my husband is still working. Many of our family and friends are affected by job losses and unemployment. It puts things into perspective that even though we complain about our long days at least we have long days to complain about.

We may not have all the answers, but right now we have our families, our health, our jobs, and each other.

The outcome of this pandemic is unknown. It is scary and it is frustrating, but I cannot dwell on every bad thing that may happen.

I need and maybe we all need to reassess and list things every day that made us happy. You will feel better, I promise. Fight your anxiety with gratefulness and enjoy being alive in this moment with all the extra time you have struggled to find because we will never get these extra wake-ups, extra lunches, extra playtime, and extra snuggles again. 

Indoor Hockey

 

No Mom Guilt Allowed, Especially Now

The next few weeks are going to test many of us for many reasons; but I hope what I’m about to share can be remembered far past this pandemic period. The idea of being home for days/weeks (or possibly) longer with our kids is unsettling for many. If you are not used to being home with your kids, please give yourself a little grace. Develop a daily schedule slowly (don’t feel like you have to jump in and complete everything right away!) and don’t try to make drastic changes all at once. Some days may go great and others may not; it’s okay. Also keep in mind that some days a schedule will work and other days, you may just need to throw it out the window. In fact my own kids just watched two hours of Curious George during what was meant to be yoga and storytime because they just weren’t having it. 
 
On a regular basis I’m a full time work at home mom; who has the flexibility to have to have the kids around (mostly), so I am used to a lot of multi-tasking; but, without preschool, other activities, errands, and some time out alone, I’m even a bit nervous of how the next weeks are going to play out. I’m sticking to the manta of “No mom guilt allowed”. 
What does this mean? This means that when we have a day filled with movies, snacks, and no real schedule that’s okay. When we have day where the kids didn’t do anything educational and just free played all day, that’s okay! There is no mom guilt allowed! If you have a day where you are on edge, raise or voice, or have to spend the majority of the day working….just let it go (in the words of Elsa) and start new the next day. 
 
It’s also okay to set aside time for yourself and/or make it known to your kids that you still    have work to complete during this time. I’ve learned that spending even just 15 uninterrupted minutes with your kids is enough to recharge them and allow you some time afterwards completing what you need to. 
 
 
Here are some quick and easy ideas to help your kids pass the time: 
 
1. Playdough, clay, and even slime (if you’re brave enough)
2. Cosmic kids yoga on Amazon Prime, or have a dance party with music 
3. Create art with watercolors, paints, crayons, color wonder, markers, stickers, ect 
4. Leave out a few boxes from your recent deliveries and let the kids use their imaginations. 
5. Get outside! Play with chalk, go on a walk, ride bikes, have a scavenger hunt or picnic. 
6. Building with blocks, magnatitles, Legos, train sets, etc. 
7. Get your kids in the kitchen to help you bake/cook even if it’s just a batch of cookies or help with dinner prep 
 
I also love Busy Toddler and Days with Gray on Instagram for tons of creative ideas to set up for the kids. The majority are super easy, fun, and can be done with things you already have around the house. 
 
It’s important to keep in mind that we are all this together and shouldn’t isolate ourselves  Reach out to friends/family/co-workers via text, call and video. It’s important to stay connected and to help our kids stay connected as well. 
 
Please don’t forget to take care of yourself, as this will be a draining time for many. Find a routine either in the morning or evening (or both) when you can have some time to yourself. Please don’t feel like your day has to look like anyone else’s either; create a schedule that works best for you and your family (and some days throw it out the window and just go with the flow). 
 
We got this, and remember no mom guilt allowed! 
Feel free to share any advice or fun activities that are doing with your own children during this time! =) 

Falcon Camp: Ohio’s Premier Overnight Camp

Falcon Camp, widely known as Ohio’s premier overnight camp, is an intentionally small private camp located in the forest on an 8-mile lake. With a maximum capacity of 110 campers, there are enough young people to make friends and find someone interesting, while keeping things small enough that every face is familiar and counselors know everyone by the second day.

For many, the best part of camp is that campers are given lots of choices throughout their daily schedule, meaning they always enjoy what they are doing, since they chose it! We have four 90 minute periods between breakfast and dinner, with two to three activities during each of those times. Each day, campers get to choose which activity they will go to. They can make a different choice from day to day, or specialize; the choice is theirs! Activities include archery, tennis, drama, athletics, riflery, horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, swimming, crafts, nature study, and more!

In addition to the daily activities, Falcon offers some unique activities sporadically throughout the week. These include music, photography, overnights, cookouts, movie-making, field trips, half-day activities, weekend competitions, and others. For some, campers have the choice to participate in them instead of their regularly scheduled activities. Others are planned for entire units.

Campers live in cabins in units; units are cabin groupings by age and gender. We have six units, ranging in age from six to sixteen. There are three boys units (Blue Jays, Kestrels, Eagles), and three girls units (Robins, Cardinals, Hawks). Campers travel to daily activities by unit and eat with their cabin. Cabins often form special bonds during camp; there is something unique about living together for two weeks or more, that can’t be replicated by a year spent in the same classroom at school. We frequently hear about lifelong friendships formed in one session.

Falcon Camp is designed to maximize fun while also encouraging learning. Campers learn to be more independent, resilient and tolerant. Camp teaches problem-solving, decision-making, respect for others and leadership. Because Falcon is a longer term camp, with two week sessions as our shortest time (aside from our one week introductory session for our youngest campers), we are able to have more of a focus on learning skills, as opposed to jam-packing each moment with excitement til you drop. Falcon’s wonder comes from building a daily routine around exciting activities in which campers get to gain expertise, while also introducing them to new people who will become close friends.

Falcon Camp has a no cell phone policy, and while that may seem daunting at first, most of our campers leave feeling like it was one of the best parts. Children today are not given many opportunities to disconnect, slow down and experience what’s going on around them. We spend most of our time out of doors, whether that means we are learning about nature, how to build a fire, or just playing a game of soccer. Removing worries about social media and contact back home also means our campers focus on their authentic, in-the-moment face-to-face interactions. This helps young people learn how to have positive, productive social exchanges.

 

Falcon Camp has been around since 1959, with owner/director Dave Devey in his role since 1984. The administration at Falcon is key to the training, support and oversight of the staff. In order to make sure that the staff have the tools to be successful, the administration team works hard all year round. With over 100 years of camping experience and expertise in a variety of other related fields, our directors are uniquely qualified to create the environment where both campers and staff thrive.

Our Falcon counselors (between the ages 18 – 25) are carefully selected and trained in first aid, CPR, child abuse prevention and much more. Many of our staff are “home grown,” having been Falcon campers and completing our Staff Development Program. This program trains our oldest campers and junior counselors to support the counselors, campers and activities. Our caring staff is passionate, well-trained, knowledgeable and ready to share a fun-filled summer with their campers. They are skilled in their activity area(s), and know how to build communities within their cabins and units. We require all counselors to participate in pre-camp Staff Training. Falcon staff are the foundation of our close-knit camp community, and we ensure that they are prepared to help campers have the best summer they can.

We are looking forward to Summer 2020 at Falcon Camp, and hope your family will be a part of it! To learn more about Falcon Camp, visit www.falconcamp.com, or contact us at [email protected] or 216-991-2489.


 

Snapology Summer Camps

Although it may seem impossible right now, summer is on the horizon and school will be out before we know it. Now is the time to get organized and start planning all of the fun activities, vacations, and experiences that will fill up those long summer days. Seasoned parents know that winter is the best time to shop around for summer camps, too. Early bird camp shoppers have the best chances of scoring their favorite picks and often receive discounted rates.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed just thinking about summer camp shopping, we’re right there with you. Fortunately, Snapology is the one-stop shop for summer camps in the greater Pittsburgh area. Snapology programs offer endless fun and (shhh…) educational themes to keep your kiddo’s hands busy and mind active. If your child is eager to play, build, tinker and discover, Snapology has the perfect summer camp for you. They change up the themes each week so your child will be engaged and entertained all summer long.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Snapology, this innovative company focuses on robotics and engineering skills through interactive play for kids ages 3 to 14. Students in these programs try their hands at building their own amusement park, coding robots, making slime and so much more. This summer, Snapology is offering full-day, half-day and one day camp options at their Bridgeville location.

Kids are sure to love learning and playing with all of the fun camp topics that are explored in each program. The best part is that your kiddo will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize how much they’re learning. Snapology believes that learning S.T.E.A.M. concepts can be (and should be) fun! Some of the skills your child will secretly be learning can include coding, engineering, video game design, and animation. Snapology curriculum is paired with the use of interactive learning tools such as LEGO® bricks, K’Nex, and tablets for a truly hands-on experience.  

But robotics and engineering are just part of the curriculum. Snapology programs are designed to allow students to explore real world skills such as design and implementation, teamwork and collaboration, trial and error, and sharing with others. When summer finally comes to an end, your little one will be fully prepared and excited to reenter the classroom equipped with everything they learned at Snapology.

Don’t wait too long to book your camps. Select weeks of Snapology’s awesome camps are already at capacity and for a limited time they are offering Pittsburgh Mom Collective readers 10% off by using coupon code PGHMOM.

Learn more :: Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter


 

2020 Summer Camps In + Around Pittsburgh

You’re probably already exploring Summer Camp options for your kids (and your kids are probably already counting the days!).

Well, we’re here to help!

There are so many awesome, unique summer programs for your kids in and around the Pittsburgh area, whether they’re into sports, adventuring, sailing, STEM activities, arts, animals, nature, or anything else!

We hope you find this list helpful in your summer planning. After this winter, we all are anxious for summer!

The Summer Camp Guide is sponsored by our featured programs. We so appreciate the support of the community and the opportunity to present our readers with valuable resources such as these.

Snapology

Snapology offers FUN (and shhh, educational) camps for children ages 4-14. Your child will explore fun themed programs, like animals, space, minecraft, star wars, superheroes and much, much more, all while learning engineering, science, robotics, coding, video game design & animation. It’s the perfect mix of fun and education. Don’t miss out.

2020 Camp Schedule

“Snapology is simply the best place to get children of all ages involved in hands-on play time that is educational as well. I have a 6 year-old boy and a 4 year-old girl and both of them have a wonderful time each visit and always want more!” – Steve Keller via Facebook
 
“I recently dropped off my brother at a Snapology class in Pittsburgh and he absolutely loved it! I thought they would just be playing, drawing, etc., but when he told me that they did educational games and exercises I was blown away. My little brother actually had a fun time doing these activities, I was jealous. Haha. I wish they had these classes and camps when I was his age. I totally recommend for any mom/dad to check this place out for their kiddos!”- Paul Prost via Google

 

Ages: 4-14

Date of Programming: June 8 – August 21; Full-Day, Half-Day, and One Day Camps Available

1350 Old Pond Road
Bridgeville, PA 15017

Falcon Camp

Located only 80 miles west of Pittsburgh, Falcon Camp is widely recognized as Ohio’s premier summer camp. Falcon offers a beautiful lakefront setting, an extensive range of activities and a talented, experienced staff. The program includes horseback riding, sailing, swimming, mountain biking, canoeing, paddle boards, fishing, drama, video, photography, crafts, team sports, riflery, archery, nature, overnights, kayaking, tennis and much more. Boys and girls ages 6-16 are separate with planned coed events, and campers choose their own activities within a general framework.

Falcon has a strong reputation for making sure a camper’s first overnight experience is very positive. The non-competitive environment is inviting to new campers while our awards system challenges more experienced campers. The 1:4 staff/camper ratio allows individual instruction and attention. Most of all it’s great fun! ACA accredited since 1959 with many references available. Falcon is an outstanding opportunity for fun and learning where good things happen by design.

Selected as a “Top Ten Camp in the USA” by EarlyChildhoodEducation.com ’50 Amazing Camps in the USA’

Chosen as Ohio’s “Coolest Camp” by Philly.com ‘Coolest camps in each of the 50 states’

Program Excellence Award presented to Falcon Camp by American Camp Association Ohio

2019 “Best Parenting” award, Cincinnati Family Magazine

Ages: 6-16

Date of Programming: June 14th – August 8th in 2,4,6 or 8 week sessions plus special one week intro sessions for 6-10 year olds.

4251 Delta Road SW
Carroliton, OH 44615

Point Park University Teen Summer Programs

Pittsburgh’s only Downtown University, Point Park is proud to offer an array of summer opportunities for students looking to enrich their lives, work towards their desired career, or make new adventures and lasting connections. Laying a foundation for the future, our summer education programs motivate and inspire participants to maximize their true potential. Students will have our award-winning faculty and state-of-the-art facilities at their fingertips while they get to immerse themselves in hands-on, real-world learning and application. Point Park University offers summer education sessions in many innovative areas and for most ages. Local families have the option to commute, while resident programs are available to out-of-town visitors or for those who want to get the full on-campus experience. Students will be housed in Point Park dorms with round-the-clock staffed supervision and safety. Come experience the perfect blend of fun and education because after all, that’s “The POINT!”

Ages: High School Programs: Ages 14 & Up; Middle School Programs: 6th through 10th Grade

Date of Programming: June 21st – August 1st

201 Wood Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Mad Science of Pittsburgh

Mad Science is on a mission to spark the imagination and curiosity of children by providing them with fun, interactive and educational programs that instill a clear understanding of what science is, and how it affects their world. We offer kids summer camp and one day “flash” camp experiences that are sure to entertain and delight! They will be wowed by green glowing liquid, messages written in secret code, autonomous robots, and mystery substances that change from solid to liquid in seconds. There’s something for everyone this summer at Mad Science! Our camps take place both at our Mad Science Lab in Etna, and throughout the region at over 20 locations.  Mad Science also offers exciting birthday parties, special events, preschool programs, and after school clubs!

SPECIAL: Save $25 off any camp at our Etna location! Enter code PGHMOMS at checkout.  Apply to as many camps as you’d like!

REGISTER TODAY 

Ages: Rising Grades 1-6

Date of Programming: June 8th – August 22nd

100 Hafner Ave
Pittsburgh (Etna) PA 15223

Camp Invention

Imaginations will soar this summer in the all-new Camp Invention® program, Elevate! Campers in grades K-6 will spark their creativity and build collaboration skills while controlling their very own flight simulation robot, protecting Earth’s ecosystems, designing the ultimate sports complex and learning the value of their ideas! Local educators will lead fun, hands-on STEM activities inspiring children to ask questions, overcome obstacles and be confident in their innovative ideas.
 
Visit invent.org/camp or call 800-968-4332 to register.
 
Use promo code LOCAL25 to save $25 (expires 3/31) or LOCAL15 to save $15 (expires 5/12).

 

Ages: Children entering Grades K-6

Date of Programming: Check Location for specific dates

Locations throughout the greater Pittsburgh area all summer!

iD Tech Camps for Kids and Teens

iD Tech is the world leader in summer STEM education, with over 450,000 alumni and 20+ years of experience. Weeklong, day and overnight programs for ages 7-18 held at 150+ prestigious campuses including Carnegie Mellon, Caltech, and NYU.

Kids and teens learn to code, design video games, mod Minecraft, create with Roblox, engineer robots, print 3D characters, work with AI and machine learning, build laptops, learn about cybersecurity, and more!

Students explore a top campus with new friends, learn from world-class instructors, and create impressive projects for their portfolios. Small class sizes are guaranteed (no more than 10 students per instructor) to ensure proper pacing for all skill levels.

Ages: 7-18

Dates of Programming: June – August

Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

River Mountain Retreat

River Mountain – Replace Screen Time with Outdoor Adventure!

River Mountain is a summer camp for kids to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the world. Developed in partnership with Penn State, River Mountain adventure-based summer camps help kids create a healthier relationship with technology. From mountain biking to rock climbing, yoga to forest bathing, River Mountain’s unforgettable one-week experiences empower kids to have fun, experience the natural world, and establish tech-life balance for back at home.
 
River Mountain is located just “down the road” from Pittsburgh in Bedford County, PA, with no stress on parents as round-trip shuttle transportation is provided! Open to all kids ages 10-15. PLUS – be sure to check out their circadian rhythm cabins, wellness facilities, unique adventures, and epic mountain views – River Mountain will leave you asking “Can my mom friends arrange a camp retreat too?” (yes we can – we checked!)

 

Ages: 10-15

Date of Programming: June 21 – August 22

3600 Black Valley Road
Everett, PA 15537

Shady Side Academy

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SSA Summer Logo

Shady Side Academy offers a wide variety of fun, affordable summer programs for kids entering grades PK-12 on its campuses in Fox Chapel and Point Breeze. With 25 different day camps, sports camps, arts camps, STEAM camps and summer school courses to choose from, you can build a summer schedule customized to your child’s interests and needs. Our camps are designed with working parents in mind: full-day camps include lunch and free before-care, plus optional paid after-care, and bus transportation is offered to and from the North Hills and East End to our Fox Chapel camps.

Register by March 13 at 10 a.m. for a 5% early-bird discount!

Ages: Grades PK-12

Dates of Programming:

June 8th – August 2nd

 

423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Carnegie Science Center

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Inquisitive campers ages 4-18 have a unique chance to investigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math this summer when they step into the shoes of computer programmers, astronomers, scientists, and robotic engineers. Whether it’s learning chemistry in the kitchen, diving into video game design, facing a series of Olympic-sized challenges, or blasting into outer space, a summer camp at Carnegie Science Center will create memories that last a lifetime.

Select camps also make use of BNY Mellon Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh’s digital fabrication laboratory. At Fab Lab camps, campers explore “maker” technologies and game design – and even get a chance to build a mini indoor drone!

Ages: 4-18

Dates  of Programming: 

June–August | Half-day and Full-day Camps

One Allegheny Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Want to be a part of our Summer Camp Guide?

Interested in being featured in this guide? Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Get in touch to find out more!

My Reflection With Pittsburgh Moms Blog

I first started writing for Pittsburgh Moms Blog back in 2016. I was a first time mom trying to navigate motherhood of an almost two-year old when I saw the contributor call. I thought it would be so cool to be a part of something bigger than myself. So, I applied and I never thought I would actually be selected. 

My first post was about my sons Plagiocephaly – Flat Head Syndrome. Read about it here: https://pittsburgh.momcollective.com/parenting/plagiocephaly-flat-head-syndrome/

It was therapeutic to write about a situation as a first time mom with hopes that someone, somewhere would read it and offer advice on how to handle our helmet situation.

My first Pittsburgh Moms Blog picture

Fast forward four years later and I never thought Pittsburgh Moms Blog would ever have such a big impact on me. I have written about many topics that have reached thousands of people, some who have reached out just to say they feel what I was going through. My most recent post is about Flying With Food Allergies. Read about it here: https://pittsburgh.momcollective.com/educationlearning/advocacy/flying-with-food-allergies/

Flying With Food Allergies

My posts have evolved over these four years and will continue to evolve as life goes on. I am very excited about this next chapter of writing for such an inspirational group of women.

Pittsburgh Moms Blog is a sisterhood. It’s a group of moms sharing stories about their love, heartaches, struggles, worries, milestones, expectations, commitments, and everything else that comes with marriage, motherhood, and overall life. 

Pittsburgh Moms Blog is evolving along with City Mom Collective and all of our sister sites because we are more than just a blog. We are a community of parents, grandparents, and caregivers sharing happy, sad, honest, and sometimes raw emotions of our journey through life. 

It’s not just about parenthood. We write about marriage, health, mental health, events, miscarriages, diagnoses, death, divorce, finances, and balance. 

We are impacting women, men, grandparents, and caregivers everyday. 

I feel a sense of pride when I connect with my readers because even though it may seem like you are the only one going through something, you are not. 

I appreciate readers feedback and it helps me become a better writer. 

My goal for Pittsburgh Mom Collective is to become more relatable to our readers. I want to know what they like to read about, what they want to advocate for, and what changes they want to make. 

I want to share my experiences and truly connect with our readers. I always write honest pieces on how motherhood, full-time work, anxiety, food allergies, and daily balance affect my family’s life. 

I am excited to continue my journey with Pittsburgh Mom Collective. This group is special. These moms are all in different stages of parenting and they all wear their hearts on their sleeves to provide exceptional content for our readers. 

I love these women who I can call my sisters because we are in this life together through the happiness, tears, struggles, and beautiful gift we call motherhood. 

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Instant pot orange chicken
Serves 4
Delicious and healthy orange chicken
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Add to instant pot
  1. Cube 4 sweet potatoes
  2. 4 Whole boneless skinless chicken thighs
For sauce, mix ingredients in a bowl
  1. 1/2 c orange marmalade
  2. 1cup chicken broth
  3. 3 tablespoons of corn starch
Instructions
  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add sweet potatoes and chicken thighs to instant pot before pour sauce over top. cook on meat setting for 20 min.
Notes
  1. I serve with whole grain rice, but carb-avoiding friends have served with Brussel spouts
Pittsburgh Mom Collective https://pittsburgh.momcollective.com/

Women Need Yoga Now More Than Ever: Stress Doesn’t Have to Be a Default of Life

Studies have shown that 75% of women are stressed. 3 out of 4 women. That is a huge number considering women are often the caregivers and leading roles of many households. Imagine how many lives are affected by women that are stressed out from all the things on their plate. What was even more interesting is that those same women don’t intend on stopping any of those responsibilities, which means they are happy to be in their positions but that they are seeking help to manage the stress. After hearing this news I researched more about what is causing that stress.

Some top causes of stress are:

  • work
  • family
  • what to eat
  • outside commitments 
  • money
  • body image

Bringing awareness to what stress does to the body is so important because we almost have become to accept it as normal but I am here to say constant stress is not normal and it is not good for the body. Here’s why:

Increased Stress can cause:

  • weight gain
  • weakened immune system
  • exhaustion
  • irritability 
  • heightened anxiety 

…and more.

It adds extra pressure on the adrenals (in your kidneys) that’s makes it hard to function in it’s normal rhythm. Constant stress produces extra cortisol, a hormone that creates more weight in our midsection so if you’ve been busting your but at the gym but still feeling stressed and not hitting your weight loss goal it would be a good time to analyze your stress factors. Stress is our bodies way of saying it’s going through too much and it’s either taking on too much or it’s not releasing the built up energy inside. Normally it can feel like an on edge day but if you are feeling stressed consistently you have to be mindful of the dreaded burnout. 

Burnouts are our bodies way of saying it needs a break and can look like many different things. One day you may wake up feeling hopeless and exhausted or, like me, you can come down with terrible illnesses that make you stay in bed for an extended amount of time so you have to get the rest you needed. Before I realized the importance of boundaries and self care I often burned my candle at 2 ends. Even as a fitness instructor I was always on the go without being mindful of how I was managing my stress. I experienced extreme tiredness, consistent asthmatic episodes, and terrible eczema breakouts. Even though I was moving my body,  I was not resting my mind. Our brains are very much like muscles and without adequate rest, they too can sprain and strain like the other muscles.

In my last hospital trip from the flu I realized I had to be more mindful of how I was taking care of myself if I wanted to be present for my daughter and I soon found yoga. Yoga was the mental break I needed to help me manage the stress in my life. A lot of my awareness started with boundaries, then yoga helped me with the day to day of stress management. 

Yoga is important for women’s health because it provides a natural way to manage stress while providing the physical benefits of exercise. It connects the mind and body with breath that provides an outlet for that pent up energy. Each exhale is a beautiful invitation for a relaxing inhale to wash all the stress away. While it is not a cure all for all that life can give us, it is a great way to manage how we get through it.

While busy may be the norm for modern women, being stressed doesn’t have to be. In fact it can easily be managed by taking 5-10 minutes a day or more if possible with simple yoga postures and breathing techniques. So keep being the boss mom you are and handling all the things you have to do while squeezing in time for yourself. I have short simple yoga flows made for busy women for this reason, it’s hard enough making the time so I focus on making each video time and beginner friendly.

I love helping women take care of themselves because I believe when we take care of our women we take care of our world. If you are looking to manage your stress I made a Destress Toolkit to help women around the world start living in more bliss and less stress. Get yours HERE

 

My Meat-Free Mondays :: Black Bean Salsa Burgers

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Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash

One of the things I still find myself missing after switching to a primarily vegetarian diet is cheese burgers. I LOVE cheese burgers. I’ve tried a lot of meatless/plant-based alternatives like the Beyond and Impossible burgers hoping to satiate that craving, but they all fell short. Instead of trying to mimic the taste of a real burger, I wanted to try to make something different, but equally as delicious. 

Print Recipe
Black Bean Salsa Burgers
Combine a few simple ingredients for this delicious take on a southwest burger. These can be cooked on a stove top or in an air fryer. This recipe has been adapted from one found on TasteofHome.com
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
patties
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
patties
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour Black Beans into a bowl and mash them. I used the bottom of a glass for mashing.
  2. Beat the egg, then pour into the mashed black beans.
  3. Add panko bread crumbs, salsa, garlic, and cheese to the black beans. Mix well.
  4. Make 4 patties.
  5. If pan frying, heat 2 tbsps of oil over medium heat. Cook patties on each side for about 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160.
  6. If air frying, set your air fryer to 370 degrees. Cook on each side for 6 minutes. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in 2 batches.
  7. Serve on Brioche Buns (or whatever buns you prefer).
Recipe Notes

 We topped ours with guacamole, sliced tomato, and onion. Get creative with the toppings and enjoy!

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