Monday, September 12, 2016

Easy-Peasy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a remix of some ideas I  have been seeing floating around. As always I do some trial and error and come up with my own.

I am always into making really great snacks for the kids that are healthy but they will enjoy. However, these cookies could also double up as a breakfast addition.

It's easy, fast and only requires 3 ingredients!!

Yes you heard right.

Give it a go people!

2 bananas
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or raisins or craisins or dried fruit)

Cut up the bananas and mash it up good. If you choose, add the sugar and vanilla at this stage. I sometimes add it, I sometimes don't, but it does enhance the taste a tad and also makes for mashing the bananas a bit easier.

Mix in the rolled oats, mix well.

Add chocolate chips and mix.

On a greased cookie sheet, scoop out the mixture in small balls. Pat it slighty to shape as small pucks (it is ok if not all uniform).

Bake at 350°F for about 20 min.



Turning mommy: 3 ingredient oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Vama Life Wellness: Doula, Wellness & Beauty for all Moms

I am so excited to share with you this new service available.  It is local,  it is centered around natural health, and focuses on woman health, particularly pregnancy through motherhood. It is a must-know for all moms out there in Vancouver. I must state that this is not a sponsored post, but I truly love letting moms and mom-to-bes know about great local products and services that are super useful.

I invite you all to learn about Vama Life Wellness. If you need a doula or all natural and safe (pre and post pregnancy) beauty care products, this is the company to seek. They are hosting an amazing "Meet the Doula" night as well, read on for more details.

In this post we cover:
  • What is Vama Life Wellness
  • Learn about Arti, the Doula
  • Meet the Doula Event - Sept.20th, 2016
  • Vama Life Wellness Beauty & Body Care Products for moms
  • Q and A with Arti
Learn about Arti, the Doula
  • Goddess Scrub
  • Goddess O Bath Salts
  • Herbal Sitz Bath (for mommas recovering postpartum)
  • Belly butter
  • Natural bug sprays (specifically formulated for moms and babies and a natural spray for everyone)

I personally have been using the Goddess scrub and can't live without it now, it is amazing, natural exfoliant and moisturizing. I know that all these products are safe but also effective in terms of skin care, given Arti's passion and interests and knowledge surrounding women and the whole birthing process through to baby care. I had no hesitancy using it while nursing because all the ingredients were natural and known to me.

What is Vama Life Wellness
“VAMA” (Sanskrit; For Beautiful Women).
VAMA life is a locally owned and operated Wellness company. VAMA life is committed to providing women and their families with Labor Support Care services from prenatal to postpartum and education. 
Originally the company was created to raise awareness to safe birthing practices through fact-based and holistic strategies, to help women cope in labour, and help partners better support the moms.
Vama Life Wellness, as of now, includes birthing and baby doula services as well as a line of beauty and body care products.

Arti Naidu first started in the Health and Wellness field by working as an aesthetician for many years. She met countless women that would share stories of pregnancy and birth with her. She found their stories to be intriguing and decided to learn more about the process. After meeting a group of midwives, she discovered what a doula decided to look more into becoming a doula; 2 years later she witnessed her first birth and her life changed. 
Arti has been attending births since 2014 and has witnesses 8 births. 
"A part of what I love most about being a doula is educating and raising awareness about the Doula profession. It's still not a common knowledge to most people and I love that it always sparks an interesting conversation", says Arti.

Meet the Doula Event - Sept.20th, 2016
Vama Life is hosting a "Meet Your Doula" night, on September 20th, at Kings Cafe, 2223 Kingsway, from 8-10pm.
This is an event with other birth professionals. It is a free, informal, meet and greet, where expecting parents can come to learn more about how doulas support mothers and their partners prenatally, during labour and postpartum.

Please follow this link to learn more and RSVP:

Doula vancouver burnaby - Turning Mommy Vama Life Wellness

Vama Life Wellness Beauty & Body Care Products for moms
Vama Life Wellness Products were designed with pregnant and breastfeeding moms in mind. Although all the products are safe for everyone to use, they were created to ensure safe usage for pregnancy in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters and for moms that are nursing. All products are hand made locally using all natural ingredients.

The line of products includes:
"These products have become my little baby and a passion project. I really feel like I'm in my happy place when I am formulating them. With anything the line is still a work in progress, It's still very new and I am always trying to improve the formulations." - Arti Naidu

Turning Mommy: Vama Life Wellness Beauty body care products

Turning Mommy: Vama Life Wellness Beauty body care products

Turning Mommy: Vama Life Wellness Beauty body care products

To learn how to get these products please read the Q and A or contact Arti directly.

Q and A with Arti
I wanted to bring awareness to Vama Life Wellness because of its unique catering to mothers and the fact that the services and products are truly great. To learn a bit more I sat down to do a little Q and A.

Why did you become a doula?
I truly believe that being a Doula is my calling. I feel like all my experiences and training have lead down the path of being a birth worker. I love that I get to support women and their partners through on the the biggest transformations they will ever go through. That to me is exactly why i became a doula just to offer space and support.

Why is a doula so important these days?
Many families especially in the city may not have that "village" that others might. Nowadays families and extended families might not be near by to offer support. Having a doula can offer some of that support. On the other hand I see families that might be well supported but they simply don't feel like it's an ideal situation to have them present at the birth. Doulas are a great way to relive anxiety for those parents.

What made you want to start your own beauty line?
My product line started as a hobby first. I made scrubs one Christmas for all my friends and they wanted more so I started selling them. Who i started to develop each product i wanted to tie it into my doula work so I decided to first start to develop my products with pregnant women in mind. 

What products do you think new moms or mom-to-bes will benefit most from and why?
A couple of my favourite products are VLW Belly Butter to help minimize and prevent the look of stretch marks for expecting moms. I also love the Herbal Sitz Bath for mother recovering after birth. It helps to aid in a faster recovery to help heal and tears or lacerations. I also highly recommend the Goddess Scrub. its a great way to naturally nourish the skin, brighten and reduce or prevent stretch marks by exfoliation and nourishing at the same time.

Where can people buy these products?
I am currently in a couple of stores and a spa. You can find VLW Products at The Basement by Loyal Coalition in located in the heart of Gastown, Joanna Keller Beautique on West Hastings also in Gastown, Blissful Beauty Lounge in Burnaby, The Brow Vault by Reena Kholi in East Vancouver, Kings Cafe on Kingsway and Mark's Pharmacy on Scott Road in Surrey! 

So there it is, a synopsis of Vama Life Wellness  and how it benefits all mommas.

Again please attend the Meet Your Doula night.  Link here:

Or to connect with Arti please visit here:

First day of Preschool

My baby, my first baby, so grown up.

This day is bittersweet. I am so happy he is ready for school and such a good boy, generally, and loves to learn. However, this is a sign of how fast time is going.

I was a little nervous preparing, me and Vick both were. I was frantically setting out his clothes, all the things for him to take, and praying on the potty Gods that he would be okay in that department.  The truth is, I dont think the nervousness was to do with him and how he would be. It is letting him go a little. He is at an age where he needs to now learn to take instruction from others, learn to make friends on own and so forth.  In that sense, you cannot hover over and it's time.  But how did we get there so fast?

As I dressed him and took his picture, I was thinking just how big he suddenly looks.  On our drive I talked about how I will be back to pick him up and not to worry. He said "otay momma."

As we got to the door, he saw toys and kids. He let go of my hand, shook his teacher's hand and let go of mine. He ran into the class and didn't look back. I left and sat at a coffee shop, here, now, to write my reflection.  And I had to message Vick, as I did...water welled up in the lower cringes of my eye, like a ravine collecting water. I fought the sudden urge to ball...but the emotion is raw. 

I'm not a's just that my baby is no longer a baby. proud.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mommyness is Hard, But It's Worth It

It is easy, it is extremely easy, to acknowledge the hardships and craziness that is motherhood, and parenthood alike (I don't mean to always forget the dads...I just don't know how many daddies are reading this). Anyways, kids are hard, they are relentless, and sometimes don't let you get what you intended to get done in the day. Then your husband comes home, and naively innocent enough,  asks, "so, what did you do today?" That is when you can easily go into a long saga of how no one appreciates how hard this truly is and then cry or pout.

But then, your toddler looks at you and says "mommy I wuvv you." Suddenly you forget that you stepped in poop earlier because he had a potty training accident.

Your baby girl pulls your face in and plants a wet one on you and says "mmmmuah", while grinning her 6-tooth smile. Then you forget, she screamed all day long and didn't let you get to the bathroom.

Then you catch your kids laughing and playing together, signalling for you to join with delightful shrieks of "mommmmmaaaaaa." You immediately forget how all you did was clean and clean a mess that got messed up again.

That's when you realize, who cares how hard it is at times. That is what it takes,  which is a small price for this wickedly amazing family I am blessed with. This is surreal to be surrounded with so much love.  The kids sheer excitement surmounts any verbal reassurance that I would ever need that I am doing a decent job.

They are healthy, happy and cute as hell.  They love me, even when they are nuts!  They tire me by 8pm, for sure, but it is worth it because of how much endless joy they truly give me daily. 

The truth is every hard day has its beauty.

In my case, two.

I love these crazy kids of mine.  Thanks for being awesome my babies. 

Now let's see if we can go one night with no wake-ups...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"What I Have Learned" Series - Featured Mommy: Lisa Huffman

Lisa is an Edmonton resident and mom to gorgeous Nora, 2 years old. While admitting mommy life is busy, this mom loves all it encompasses and shares with us that it does come with learnings but also new joys. She shows us the real side of mommyhood, and how to not get overwhelmed. Lisa shows us to relax and not always stress, that things always work out and it is ok.  Her positive attitude (though she may not call it that) and fun-loving nature make her an amazing mom, and person really.

Lisa has worked as a freelance consultant after having Nora, but just returned back to working full-time as a data analyst at a bank. She admits it is a big adjustment, and that she is just now starting to make a point of doing more stuff for herself moving forward. Hobbies and such are hard to pursue in the early years, and her goal this year, other than career goals, is to read an actual book this year. Yes, her humour and her honesty make for an awesome feature mom for this month. I personally love it!

Here is Lisa's interview.

Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
Definitely! But really, when we grew up, it was basically unheard of not to, right? In my 20's, I remember wondering if I just wanted to be a mom by default, or if I actually actively wanted to. It turns out the biological close is real, yo.

What would you say is your biggest learning(s) since being a mom?
Oh my God, so much. I was really surprised how much it actually changes you, in so many ways. I hope this doesn't sound pretentious, but for me, seeing the world through the eyes of a parent is so totally different than before having kids. It seems so much more dangerous, terrifying and sad sometimes, and so much more magical and amazing other times. And you get to have to guide, these precious little souls through it all, until they can do it on their own. That's a pretty heavy responsibility to carry, and I don't think I really grasped it until she was here.

What, if anything, was the hardest about transitioning to mommyhood?
Basically just adjusting to being a role model 24/7! I've always been pretty jaded and sarcastic, and I'm realizing that it's not cool to download that onto your kids. So for me, it's trying to turn that off when my daughter is around and try to be a little more optimistic. I want her to CHOOSE to be jaded and sarcastic on her own terms!

What is your favourite thing to do with your child?
We spend a lot of family time on bike rides or at the lake or river. I have a child seat on my bike and I absolutely love riding around together. My daughter loves going fishing with her dad and digging in the sand and mud. At home, we do a lot of colouring and building Lego.

Any particular funny or insightful stories?
My daughter was 17 days late. 17 days! And no, her due date was not off. My midwife and I were both just stumped. I felt like I was being punked. It was insane. Nora basically came at the last possible minute - we had plans to meet at the hospital for an induction/c-section the following morning, and I went into labour that night. Everything went great and she came out perfect - I say she got her dad's sense of time.

What advice would you give to new moms?
For those first few months - do not worry about what the books say! Everything will be fine. Whatever you are doing, it is totally fine.​ There is no such thing as a textbook baby. You are the expert on your own child. From the very beginning of my pregnancy until Nora turned 1, I freaked out approximately 85,000 times. None of those fears ever came to fruition. So I would say of course you will be worried about this or that, but don't let it get in those amazing first few weeks. They are really special. Also, spend that time exactly how you want to. Don`t worry about visitors, relatives, friends - they can wait. Everyone wants to see/hold the baby, and everyone has advice for you. Take it and leave it on your own terms. You get to decide what works for your family. I recommend reading about the fourth trimester, I found it a really useful way to approach those early days.

Is there any item or anything in general you would say is a must-have or must-do for parents? and why?
​We both really liked our adjustable carrier (we got one that is good from newborn to 30 lbs) - we never bothered with a stroller until she was older because it was nice just snuggling her while we walked, ran errands whatever. My husband wore her most of the time and it was a really nice bonding thing for them.

I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed interviewing Lisa. Her "go with the flow and enjoy the ride" mantra is so true. She is all we need to hear about just doing our best and choosing what works best for yourselves and not defending your choices to anyone. In the end, it's pointless to get sucked into pre-conceived notions, it will all be OK. Enjoy and be true to yourself.

Thanks Lisa.
Turning Mommy - Feature mom story Lisa Huffman
Lisa and her beauty, Nora