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January 30, 2015

January Self Care Challenge Checkin #selfcare

So...how did we do with our self care challenge this month?

How did it feel to take fifteen whole minutes to yourself? Did you indulge in the mindfullness of the activity...

Running the water
Pouring the bubble bath under the running water
Lighting candles
Turning the lights off
Turning the water off
Soaking in the hot water for fifteen minutes
Letting your muscles melt into the water

How did it feel to tune out the mmmmmmmooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyy at the door?


January 27, 2015

Cherry Berry Carrot Apple Flax Waffle Recipe

Last fall, I noticed that one thing was consistent with my son's lunches: the containers of applesauce+veggies were coming home. He ate it the first day, even picked out more varieties at the grocery store, and then....they came home.

So, waste not...want not! I developed a recipe that incorporates them and gets some added goodness from ground flax.

Preheat your waffle iron so it is nice and hot when you need to drop your batter.

2 cups flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
5 tbsp ground flax

Once you have blended your dry ingredients together, mix in your wet ingredients.

1 1/2 cups milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup cherry berry carrot applesauce

Mix well and ensure all of your dry ingredients are combined into the batter.

I like using an ice cream scoop to drop my batter. This makes the waffles a little smaller, which is perfect for school lunches and small hands. Let cook for 4.5-5mins

And here's a bonus...all of the ingredients are lactation boosting and breastfeeding friendly! Make a batch and pop them in the freezer, then when you're in a pinch for breakfast for yourself or your kids, reheat in the toaster!


January 26, 2015

Half Marathon Training and Self Doubt #fcrr #doinit

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been in half marathon training mode. I'm trying to run every other day, most times it works out to be three runs a week. I was following the Half Marathon Training app for iPhone and after conquering the Walt Disney World 10km earlier this month, it felt really strange to go back to short runs with 60 sec/90 sec run/walk splits.

Weird as in I didn't like it...not one bit.

So, I set out to make up my own calendar with distances in mind. Time and pace aren't my focus right now; completing the full 13.1mi is.

I had my first scheduled training run yesterday. It was -11C (12F), slightly windy and I was all bundled up and ready to go. It had snowed overnight, with a little freezing rain, but the roads were dry and clear so running should have been nice and easy.
A photo posted by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei (@sweetstellas) on

Should is the operative word there.

I had my zaggora hot pants on, so I was pretty warm, but they are capris so my calves got pretty cold and then started cramping. I tried to ignore it, and ran in .5mi splits which seemed to help them recover but boy oh boy...did I ever feel like a snail trying to run in peanut butter!

So often this thought crept into my head...

What in the $%ll am I doing thinking that I can run a half marathon? This is insane! What am I thinking!?

When the 2mi marker chimed in my ear, I knew that the end was so close and I started to consider a few things.

I have a six month old baby, who was napping while I was out running.
Of course my pelvis is going to be sore when I run...I have a six month old baby.
I got back to running just 23 days postpartum.
I've run in six events since having Graeme.
I have a six month old baby...and I'm kicking some serious running ass.

My pace may have been slow as molasses in, well, January, but I was out there. My feet were cold and wet...but I was there. My nose was running and I was cold with sweat...but I was there.

And I will be there...every step and every mile of that Half Marathon in April.

When doubt creeps its way into your brain, sometimes you need to consider just how far you've come and how hard you're working toward that goal.


January 22, 2015

10 Things That Make You Happy #gratitude

When I begin working with a new family as a part of my doula work, I always provide them with a journal and a card.

The card often reads....

Use this journal as a space to scream...cry...vent...remember. Celebrate the small victories, the tough days and great ones.

It's all about taking a moment to reflect and be grateful for the life you've created, your new outlook and family.

Each month right here, you will find a gratitude exercise. This is one that I did last fall on Instagram, and I thought it was such a great exercise to take a moment and think about the small things in your life that make you happy. The ones that probably no one else notices. The small, quiet moments that put a smile on your face.

So go on...what makes you happy??

Write them down, put them in a space place. Share them here if you want to publicly celebrate them!


January 19, 2015

How to Create a Safe Space at Home

One thing that I hear over and over again from my postpartum doula clients is that once they become a mom, they feel lost and overwhelmed. Suddenly, the essence of who they are has changed and now they are being called on for feedings, diaper changes, meal prep for the rest of the family, cleaning the house, and the list goes on and on.

So how do you create a space that is just for you, within the walls of your chaotic home?

Think about the things that you truly enjoyed prior to becoming a mom. Maybe you really loved to curl up with a favorite blanket in a comfortable chair with a beautiful book and warm cup of tea. Perhaps you like to get your hands dirty with clay and a pottery wheel. Make a list of the things that you really loved...things that make you truly happy.

Now, look at your list and consider the space that you have in your home. Maybe you have an unfinished basement and a pottery wheel would be totally doable. Maybe you don't have that space but you have a lovely corner in the nursery where you could put a reading chair and side table.

Then, make the space uniquely yours. In my art studio, for example, I have an area for creating at a high table with lots of storage under neath. Then, I have my rocking chair, side table and stack of books off to the side, with a cozy blanket. The entire room is just for me, and only those who are invited in are allowed. It is my space, and I feel safe, free and like myself when I am in it.

On my cork board, I have inspiring phrases about being awesome, drawings that I have done of arrows and anchors, and badges of honour that I want to be able to look back on and learn from. I also have pictures of those important people who have etched their way on to my heart, those folks who are proud of where I came from and who I am becoming. Reminders of why I do what I do, and how hard I push myself.

So...what does your safe space look like? Is it an entire room, or a corner of a shared space where your family can see you taking time out for yourself? Full of books, or empty for self reflection?

Whatever the space, make sure that it is yours. Make sure that you feel safe, grounded and secure there. Make sure to take care of your heart.

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