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    Family

    Working Mom V.S. Stay at Home Mom

    When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant this was one of the first issue that came up for us. Our pregnancy was not planned, and at that time we had other personal and relationship goals we were going after.

    At first our plans were for me to either work part time or not at all due to the time restraints my husband had with his job. His schedule required him to work nights two weeks straight and one week off. At that time I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and honestly I did not feel like working at all.

    But as time passed and my pregnancy progressed, opportunities came presented to us that opened the option of me being able to work full time or part time. Josh, my husband, had received a promotion at work, and I had also become really successful in my career, and both of our mothers were more than willing to babysit whenever we needed it. We agreed daycare would not be an option for us, and my mom was willing to take care of our baby if I decided to work full time. We were lucky we were only 15 minutes away from both sides of our family.

    But even then with all the options before us, I was still hesitant about going to work full time. I felt some what guilty and selfish for pursuing my career. I wanted more than anything
    to be the best mother and wife that I could. My family meant everything to me. It was easier when I didn’t have as many choices. I understood the sacrifices both working mothers and non working mothers make especially when there is no option but to be one or the other.

    It’s not easy being a mom in general. There’s pros and cons in every situation. Being on maternity leave, and not working has given me more appreciation for stay at home moms and all they do. I don’t know if I would be very successful being a full time mommy. I’ve never even changed a diaper in my life! The closest thing to a baby I’ve taken care of is my cat, and she’s pretty darn easy to take care of.

    On the other hand, working full time has its pros and cons too. It’s a sacrifice of time you will miss with your little one. But I have seen a lot of mothers do it and be very successful at what they do including my own mom. And as crazy as it seems I miss work already and I haven’t even been gone for two weeks. I guess for me my work has always given me something to feel accomplished about, daily affirmation that I am good at something. I guess what worries me is if I will feel the same way about motherhood.

    So though I am only a couple days from my due date, and while I’ve given so much thought in my decision, I have yet to make up my mind. But I do know this, there is no right or wrong, no all around better choice. Working or not working, I know all mothers make a sacrifice, and whatever decision they make is a decision they make for the best of their family. As mothers we cannot judge others on their personal choice to work or not work, rather offer support for the decision they do make. I am thankful for having a supportive husband that works hard to be able to give our family that choice, and for our families for being there for us and offering their help with the baby. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m very blessed for our village our child will grow up in, because no matter what decision I make he will be loved unconditionally.

    💛 Dawn P. Darnell 😊✌️

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    Fitness

    4 things to do to prevent stretch marks when you’re pregnant

    When I found out I was pregnant I feared what everyone else feared and that was getting stretch marks. You read all of these things about what causes them and what you can do to prevent them and wonder what works and what doesn’t. I was worried because I had read genetics played a part in it, and my mother had stretch marks from her pregnancies. I already had stretch marks on my thighs and waist from my younger days when I went through a growth spurt, and even though they weren’t noticeable it still worried me because I didn’t want them to spread to my stomach. But here are somethings I swear helped me from getting stretch marks through my pregnancy. I’m not a doctor, but I hope my personal experience can help others out there.

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    1. Drink lots of water – stay as hydrated as possible! Flavored water and tea was my drink of choice. When your skin stays hydrated it allows for better elasticity.

    2. Take your vitamins – Prenatals everyday helps you get the vitamins you need for you and your baby. Sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy when your pregnant, especially when your hormones are out of whack and all you want to do is eat sweets like I did. Vitamins are good for your skin.

    3. Stretch and exercise – I do believe keeping your body active and flexible through your pregnancy helps with circulation and blood flow through your skin.

    4. Body butter – I am a big believer in Palmer’s cocoa tummy butter. My sister gave me a tub like this and it lasted me through my whole pregnancy. I lathered it on twice a day religiously, when I woke up and before I went to bed. I was not stingy with my application at all.

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    I truly believe in incorporating these simple steps throughout your pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks. It may not work for everybody but it’s worth a try. Hopefully it works for you as it’s worked for me.

    💛- Dawn 😊✌️

    Family

    Nautical Bohemian Themed Maternity Shoot

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    I finally got my maternity photos back and I wanted share them with you. I was really pleased how they turned out. I wanted to do a Bohemian theme but also add a nautical touch to tie in our Nautical themed nursery and baby shower. The Life Preserver is a DIY project I wrote about in my previous article Jayden’s Nautical Nursery and DIY Life Preserver. I love how these turned out. My brother did a great job in capturing these precious moments.

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    For the Home

    Jayden’s Nautical Nursery and DIY Life Preserver

    38 weeks and nesting. This week I was able to work on putting together Jayden’s temporary nursery at my parents house. My husband and I are still currently looking for a house and are considering possibly building a new home. We are fortunate to be able to stay rent free at my parents home until we find a more permanent solution. I wanted to share some pictures with you and a DIY craft I did that I found on Pintrest.

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    Check out this cool DIY Life Preserver. Here’s the step by instructions found on this site below:

    Clever Nest DIY Life Preserver

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    The only difficulties I had was making the cloth smooth around the wreath. I used pins to play around with the cloth, and when I was satisfied with how it looked I superglued the pieces together.

    Let me know what ya’ll think. 😊

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    Food

    Gluten Free Meatloaf

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    Hey guys I was googling healthier versions of meatloaf on my Yummly App and came across two recipes. One made with a Turkey and the other one was a Paleo Recipe. Below is the link to both.

    http://flavorthemoments.com/turkey-meatloaf-with-homemade-barbecue-sauce/
    http://thepaleodiet.com/paleo-meatloaf/

    Unfortunately I wasn’t fan of the turkey, nor was I a fan of having a flat texture with the Paleo recipe. So I decide to make my own recipe and take what I did like from both and combine it into one and hoped it would come out just as good. I was pleasantly surprised how amazingly delicious it came out! And it took less ingredients and time to make. If your a beginner at cooking like me there’s a 5 ingredient 5 step rule to anything I make, anything more is just too complicated for my short attention span brain lol. But you would be proud of me I did venture out a little with incorporating more than five ingredients with this recipe.

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    Ingredients:

    3lb lean beef
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup of milk
    1/2 old fashioned rolled oats
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
    1 whole chopped purple onion
    1 whole chopped red bell pepper
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    1/2 fresh parsley
    2 teaspoon cumin
    3 eggs
    Ketchup

    Directions:

    1. Take all ingredients and mix in bowl with your hands. Set in fridge for 30 to 45 minutes till firm

    2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    3. Bake for 15 minutes and then add ketchup. Add as much as you would like.

    4. Bake for another 35- 45 minutes until done.

    Hope y’all like it! Let me know what ya’ll think. 😊✌️

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    Family

    We’re having a boy!

    This last Wednesday we found out we are having a boy. Both Josh and I guessed it, and I had an inclination from the beginning it would would be a boy. We are so excited! I wasn’t ready to share my crown yet with a little girl, because I knew she would come out just as spoiled as me.

    For our gender reveal we decided to do balloons, and for our party we did little monster cupcakes. Here are some photos of our gender reveal.

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    Food

    Protein Cookie Banana Smoothie

    I think one of the hardest thing for me during my pregnancy is getting enough protein in. My first trimester I had an food aversion to meat and was diagnosed anemic due to my low levels of iron. I found myself lethargic and not wanting to do anything but sleep.

    It was a new experience for me and a change of lifestyle from my fitness competition pre pregnancy days. It was almost depressing not having complete control of my body or my hormones. But as I got further along my pregnancy I began to accept the changes to my body and my new sense of taste. I found ways to get my protein in, whether it was eating beef jerky or having a protein shake.

    Here is one of my favorite protein shakes. I’ve added my craving for cookies to a healthy nutritious shake. I love using Macrogreens in my shake. It’s a great way to incorporate vegetables in your diet in a tablespoon powder form.

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    This shake is simple and easy to make. All you need is the ingredients in the picture below.

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    Blender/nutribullet
    Protein
    Banana
    Cookies of your choice
    Milk
    Ice

    I love my nutribullet and for $100 is a great investment. I also prefer Casein protein at this point in my pregnancy because it’s a protein that last longer and doesn’t break down as fast giving you consistent energy through the day. The milk I use is Mootopia. I love it because it has more protein than regular milk.

    First step is fill the cup halfway with ice. Add your cookies, banana, protein, and Macrogreens.

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    Then fill the cup halfway with milk, and blend till a smoothie consistency.

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    And you’re done! It’s that easy. Let me know what ya’ll think! 😊