Thursday, August 17

Pumpables Review + GIVEAWAY

I was just telling my husband how I needed a new pump for our trip to Colorado.  A few weeks ago, Pumpables contacted me about reviewing their new pump called the Milk Genie and it could not have come at a better time!  I have been using the same ol' pump for almost 4 years now and I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that haha. 


Even though the pump came all the way from Australia, it only took about 3 days to get to our home and I thought that was incredibly fast and efficient!  The package came carefully wrapped and organized which helped me keep all the individual parts together.  I didn't even need to use the instruction booklet as putting the pieces together for a mother with 3 children was very self explanatory.  A first time mom that has never used a pump before may probably need to get a little help from the instructions but would surely figure it out relatively easily.

Pumping has always been a bit of an issue with me.  I never responded well to pumps even though I have continuously and successfully sustained the lives and nourished our girls for 4 straight years now by breastfeeding.  I am a big proponent of telling new mothers about the negative effects of stress and anxiety on milk supply and that the amount of milk pumped is not an accurate reflection on how much milk our body makes.  Once I understood and accepted this concept, pumping became much more of a relaxing and sporadic thing for me since I didn't have to rely on it to feed our daughters.  But I know that so many mothers out there are not so fortunate and rely on a powerful pump to provide their babies with breast milk.  I was so incredibly impressed at the power that this tiny little pump had.  This pumping session happened after going months without pumping and an entire day full of nursing our littlest baby and I still managed to pump out 2 ounces!  I know that may not sound like a lot for some but that is huge for me!
I loved that the pump itself is so tiny, minimal, and portable.  I could fit it in a small bag in my car for the date night that my love and I have planned at the Red Rocks Amphitheater (eeeeeeeepp)!  I also love that the pump came with two really great sized bottles.  Gwendolyn Rose loves to drink from a bottle and these were a huge hit with her.  In fact, she is sipping on her milk next to me as we watch Sing and mama works.  Another thing that I noticed as compared to my other pump is that it is extremely quiet!  My set came with two different sized shields for different sized nipples and I think that is super important to have the proper sized shield to reduce pain and increase yield of milk.  One thing that I noticed was that there was no priming prior to when the pump started actually pumping out milk.  I can't really attest as to whether the priming actually helps me pump more milk or not but I will update this review as I use it to see how my yield compares.

I love working with brands that are reliable, passionate about what they make, fun to work with, and committed to helping mothers and I can honestly say that it has been exactly the type of experience that I have had with Pumpables!

If you have been needing a new pump or are expecting a new baby and have a pump on your absolute must have list, there is an amazing GIVEAWAY going on right now to win a pump of your own!  All you have to do is enter here, the giveaway ends in 3 days so hurry! 

I actually have to go pump now because of Red Rocks tonight but I would love to hear your experience with pumping and what advice you would give new mothers or advice that you wish you would have gotten!  

*Pumpables was so gracious in giving a pump in exchange for this review.  Thank you so much to all of you for keeping my passion alive and allowing me to share it with you!  I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.*

Wednesday, August 9

9 ways to help you find a delicate balance between motherhood and self-care

A friend of mine told me something that I will never ever forget.  She said that she wishes that her mama would have taken the time to take care of herself because maybe then she might actually still be alive.  Tears streamed down my face. 

We as mothers give 1000% of ourselves to our families every single day and what if, just what if we are missing something really important in all of this. 

What if this is a false type of humility?

What if by doing this we are being more self-ish than we are being self-less?

How many of you are like me and haven't been to the dentist since your oldest child was born.  You haven't had your pap smear or general doctor visit probably since then too.  I'll never forget the last time I went to the gym, I was 20 weeks pregnant with Ari Love and I blacked out on the treadmill.  I was really excited to get back in a gym I guess haha.  Thankfully my doctor husband was there and saved me while I re-gained consciousness.



Yesterday, I reluctantly posted this photo on my Instagram and my Facebook because my intent was not to focus on the difference, but instead on the fact that I love, respect, and admire who I am in both photos, both taken in very important seasons of my life.  I'm not mad that my body needs to accumulate a lot of fat to grow our healthy babies.  I felt beautiful and strong during my pregnancies and post-partum.  In fact, there's nothing like the strength and empowerment that I felt after growing and delivering our babies.  I realized that the only way that I can stay on that high has been to focus on my physical and emotional strength post-partum.

Six months ago, my love and I made a commitment together that we were going to get better at prioritizing our health.  For me, that meant taking better care of my skin (I posted my skin routine here) and work on getting in shape again. 

Honestly, when we started all of this I never thought it would become the self-care journey that it has been.  I just needed some structure so that I could gain some sort of grasp on life.

Well, it gave us that, and so much more.  And actually, the more has been more life-changing than anything else because it became health as in our body, our mind, and our spirit.

A lot of you were asking "what did you do?"  That question is actually super easy to answer.  We ate right and exercised.  That's it.  No magic pills or magic wraps or magic workout program. 

But the hard question is how
How does a busy mother of three young children find the time to meal plan?  How do I find the time to go to the grocery store?  How do I have time to cook?  How do I have time to exercise? How do I have time to wash my face?  How do I have time for anything really haha! How how how?

Now I'm no expert in your life.  But I will tell you what has helped ours.

1.  Make the decision.  I know this sounds silly but making the commitment is basically the most important step.  Saying that I'm going to do this and sticking to it.  Brent and I literally sat down and had a very heartfelt conversation about why we needed to do this and that it will make us stronger as a couple and better parents to our girls. 

2.  Communicate your needs.  Don't wait until you're about to explode from frustration.  This is healthy for any relationship and while I'm married to a psychiatrist (the best psychiatrist in all of Earth by the way), I still make the mistake of shutting down sometimes and he reminds me to just let it out, he is my confidante and my partner.  We are a team and Brent tells me to tell him what I need so that he can better understand how to help me.  I told him that I really needed some therapy time at the gym and needed to be more intentional about what we are eating because I'm tired of eating the goldfish off of the high chair (feel me?!) and he was immediately on board with me because he felt the exact same way! 

3.  Figure out what's important to you.   It started by me really wanting to go to therapy.  Yes, that kind of therapy.  I'm telling you this because there's no shame in it.  Therapy is so good, and I'm human and my family is going through a lot emotionally right now and I felt like I needed someone to help me get through grief.  I mean, if I had more time and more means, it would also include a mani/pedi every week, a massage, my hair done, a full time nanny, etc...you get the drift haha Anyway, we had our family in town one week so I had help with the girls and I just felt like I needed to go for a walk.  The walk turned into a run, and that run turned into the therapy that I didn't even know I needed.  God definitely spoke to me and told me that I needed the endorphins from exercise.  I cry sometimes when I work out.  The pain that I feel helps me connect with the pain that my mama feels.  It sounds sort of silly but this has helped me deal more than anything and then seeing the changes in my physical and emotional health has been totally worth it.

4.  Start low and go slow.  Oh look, pharmacy lingo that I finally get to use haha!  This phrase is used in the medical world for starting blood pressure medicine, but interestingly, is relevant to motherhood and self-care.  What I mean by this is to start by setting what you would consider attainable goals, to set up the momentum for when you go big or go home.  There's some psychological study that I read about once that talked about how our brain is affected positively when we attain goals which then lead to attaining even bigger goals.  I think in this delicate process, I want to set myself up for success.  My goals included going to the gym at least twice a week, and also not going to bed without washing off my makeup.  Even this was almost a little over-zealous but when I achieved these goals pretty consistently, I upped my workouts to 3 times a week and added a 5 minute skin routine.  This is where I'm at right now and so far so good!  I'm curious to see how my goals change in the upcoming months.

5.  Plan ahead.  Planning does not come natural to me so this was a hard thing for me at first.  But when I became a mother, making somewhat tentative plans was essential for us to thrive and so I'm really proud at how far I've come with this.  It's so important to plan out my self-care time, and having a consistent schedule with it is even better because then everyone knows what to expect, including me.  I feel like I'm so much less inclined to follow through with something when I have to scramble last minute, especially, especially when it's something for me.  Planning our meals (mostly) and the days that I exercise and all the fun activities that we have in between has made me a more present mother and gave us more time for so many other things.  See, in the end, taking care of myself for an hour of the day made me a better mother for the 23 hours remaining, and that's what I really consider as self-less.

6.  Ask for help.  Ah.  So much easier said than done right?  I will say that none of this has come without a price for my love and I.  We are blessed to have amazing and generous family who come all the way from Texas and help us and see the girls that they adore every couple of months.  In the in between time, Brent and I have budgeted to hire a babysitter about 3 times a week to help me get my workouts in.  We also joined a gym membership with daycare (so so important).  Florence does not feel comfortable in the gym daycare yet so we decided to get our own babysitter that all of our girls can really get to know and develop a loving and trusting relationship with.  We have two sitters that we absolutely adore and I tell them constantly what a blessing they are to our family. 

7.  Have a support network.  Don't do it alone!  My primary and most important support is my sweetheart.  He understands me and has been so incredibly amazing through this continuous journey.  I also have incredible mama friends near and far who are in this same season of growth and we keep each other inspired.  One of these mamas is a fitness guru and she gives me so much reassurance and confidence in what my body and my mind can do.  I also joined a running club full only mothers here in Little Rock and they all do such a good job of holding me accountable.  I don't run as much right now because I'm trying to heal my knees from 3 years of pregnancy and hormone buildup, but finding other mothers to connect with has been life-changing.

8.  Be flexible.  Things happen, and while planning has been a big part of this for me, I've also learned to adapt.  Adaptation really is the key to survival so this is super important.  If I can't get to the gym, I get the girls involved and do something at home, or we go for a walk in the stroller, or I reschedule for another day.  With fitness, what I eat is probably more important than getting to the gym so if I know I can't workout on a day that I usually do, I just try to really have my eating on point, and vice versa.  For my skin, I think in the 7 months that I have stuck to my skin routine, I've slept with my makeup on about 5 times and like, oh well! haha I'm happy with that!

9.  Give yourself time and grace.  *breathe in, breathe out*  "Rome wasn't built in a day," darlings.  Taking your time and being intentional about the changes that you instill into your life will have a much better outcome in the long run, I literally have to tell myself this multiple times a day.  And when you fall, pick yourself right back up and keep going.  Don't be ashamed to celebrate all victories, large and small, they matter.  Your feelings matter.  Your family matters.  You matter.  The Lord says that you are His masterpiece!  Believe that you are a masterpiece, and you are raising little Van Goghs and Picassos and Amelia Earharts and Maya Angelous.  

I know that the example that I set when I am trying to be the best version of myself leaves a much greater impact on our children than the mistakes and setbacks and failures that I make along the way. 

I pray that this has helped you in some sort of way.  As I've said, I certainly do no claim to be an expert in this, I'm just a wife and mother who wants to be a good one and I try hard, just like you.  I would love to know if there are other suggestions that you would like to add to this list!  Leave me a comment and lets start a discussion! 

My family is my motivation behind this post.  Thank you for all that you do for me and for us my love.

Monday, July 31

My 5 favorite products for flawless skin


At the turn of the year, Brent and I made some pretty big commitments to the betterment of our health and fitness.  This journey has truly been so beautiful and even more fulfilling to experience with the person that I love the most.  

In addition, I also made a huge commitment to myself that I honestly wasn’t sure if I could stick to…....

.......it was to stop sleeping with my make-up on *gasp* and to grasp some sort of motherhood life-post-partum friendly skin routine.


For the past few years, there were definitely times where it was about survival, sleep was more important than washing my make-up off and at the time I was completely ok with that.  As we enter this new season though, I’m really trying to also focus on self-care, as I’m focusing on raising our girls.  It’s as beautiful as it is bittersweet, and I can already see the fruits of this labor not only in myself and my skin, but in our little girls that watch me very intently.  I can proudly say that I have stuck to my quick and easy skin routine for over 6 months now, and I’m actually addicted and I don’t think I will ever stop!


Here's my routine.  Every night, no matter how tired I am or how long it took to get our babies to sleep, I make it a priority to stay awake until I wash my face.  I start off by using Cetaphil Antibacterial soap to gently wash off the superficial layer of makeup.  Then come the most life-changing products that I have used that have literally saved my face from 3 years of neglect.


1.  Clarisonic Mia Fit face brushOk, if you don’t care about anything else that I talk about today, go buy this.  Right now.  Run.  You can find it here.  I’m addicted to brushing my face y’all.  I actually look forward to the sensation on my skin every morning and every evening.  This little brush thing has made all the difference in me actually feeling so excited about getting my makeup off! One of my girlfriends who has the most beautiful skin that I have ever seen (hey girl hey Katherine) let me in on her Clarisonic secret and I am ever so thankful!  It does a billion good things but the main ones that I love are that it leaves my skin feeling so clean and refreshed.  This particular one that I have has 2 speeds and it gives you a little cue on when to move on to the next area of your face.  It also gets rid of dead skin which actually ends up getting rid of fine lines!  So basically, it has made my skin look younger, smoother, and it helps other products penetrate into the skin more effectively.  It's basically a mini-facial every time you wash your face.  My Clarisonic has probably been one of the best investments that I have made this year and there is no looking back for me. 


2.  Aveeno Cleanser-  I put this directly on my Clarisonic brush, wet it a bit, and then cleanse my skin.  I used to use a Clarisonic cleanser that came with the gift set that I purchased and I liked a lot. But then my husband brought this home one night to use for washing his face and I randomly used it because I was out of my other stuff and literally fell in love!  Not to mention it's like $30 cheaper!  We get ours from the grocery store but I'll link it up here for your convenience.  I truly feel like it has evened out my skin tone and gives my skin almost like a glowing effect.  I'm obsessed with it and it's definitely a must have.


3. Jason Moisturizer-  I can honestly say that this is the first time that I have ever been so excited about talking about face products.  I kind of want to scream from excitement about this cream (or as I like to say it fancy in my head as *creme* haha)  I actually came across this completely by accident.  I got it from the organic section in our grocery store and I’m literally addicted.  I used to use just the plain Vitamin E oil at night and it would be so thick and didn’t absorb into my skin well and leave me feeling gunky.  But this stuff, oh my gosh it's like heaven on my skin.  I only use it at night because it is greasy but it's so worth waking up with baby smooth skin every morning.  It has Vitamin E oil which helps reduce fine lines and it’s like this whipped creamy texture that just feels so delicious.  I’ve already gone through almost 2 tubs because I gunk it on my face thick because I love the way it feels so much haha.  I massage it on my neck too for good measure, and sometimes use it on my hands because I can't get enough.  I will probably never use any other nighttime moisturizing cream again.  Here it is on Amazon, go ahead and prime it to your house and let me know if you get as addicted to it as I am.


4.  Elta MD Sunscreen-  I have come a long way from the girl who slathered tanning oil all over her face and laid out in the sun to get as dark as I possibly can.  Now I’m the crazy wife/mom who reminds my husband daily to reapply sunscreen at the turn (golf lingo for those who don’t know hah) and who wouldn’t dare be out in the sun without at least SPF 40 and a hat and sunglasses and maybe possibly a ninja suit.  Thanks to my sister in love who introduced me to this product, I LOVE it!  It’s the best out there, and the best part is that it’s safe to use on super exfoliated skin if you're using the Clarisonic.  So actually, the zinc oxide gets absorbed better and is therefore more effective at protecting your gorgeous skin from the harmful sun rays.  I love the tinted one because on no make-up days, it gives me a teeny bit of coverage to where I feel a little made up even when I'm working out.  If I am wearing make-up that day, I mix it into my foundation to make it go a lot further.  I love that it is absolutely not even the least bit greasy, it's so versatile and incredibly effective as not only a moisturizer, but a sunscreen.  I'm pretty sure it's recommended by dermatologists everywhere and I found it here on Overstock for a lot cheaper.  They also have a clear non-tinted one here if that's what you prefer.


5.  Neutrogena Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer-  This is the last, but certainly not least.  I've been using this moisturizer for probably about 6 years now.  That's probably the only thing that I've been consistent and good about is putting on moisturizer in the morning before my makeup to keep my skin hydrated.  I adore this moisturizer because it's not greasy and goes under my make-up perfectly.  I put it on then brush my teeth for a minute while it dries and then immediately start my make-up routine and it has done my skin so much good.  It has a bit of sunscreen in it which is always always good in case I forget to use my actual Elta MD sunscreen and it works on wrinkles which I'm always down for.  I realized that it's a lot cheaper here on Amazon than it is at Kroger or Target so I have been priming it to myself when I'm getting low.  A tube usually lasts me about 5 months so it's a very small investment for how great it works and how long it lasts. 

And that's it!  I pack these 5 products with me everywhere we go and I can truly attest to the fact that they have healed my skin from the years of neglect.  I feel so confident leaving the house bare faced and feel like I have gained a whole new sense of self love.  I really think that a big reason that I have succeeded in continuing with my skin regimen is because of its simplicity and efficiency.  From start to finish, it takes me a total of 4 minutes and then I can cozy up and go to bed comfortably knowing that my skin is getting the love that it needs.  I really believe that with every new commitment towards self care comes the realistic approach of setting yourself up to succeed.  Figure out what you need and then keep it as simple as you can so that you can start small and then gradually work up to your next goal.  And always always always, give yourself time and grace.  The journey can be just as beautiful as crossing the finish line.

XO,
Madina

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you so much for keeping my passion alive and allowing me to share it with you, I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.*

Wednesday, July 12

Summer Nursing Style // Date Night in NOLA

Not only have I realized that I really REALLY love doing these nursing style features, but so many of you wonderful readers and friends have told me how much you love/want/need them as well!  That makes me so happy!  You have no idea how much I appreciate each and every single one of you for following along and being so genuine with me and not only that, but it has given me great purpose to provide you with inspiration. I can't wait to share with you all of the wonderful transitions that are coming and update you on what my family and I have been up to!  But first, let me tell you a little bit about my obsession...all that is floral print..


Last week, we took an impromptu trip to New Orleans and we had the absolute best time!  Yes, you can still be spontaneous with 3 young children (post on that soon but I digress haha).  I made sure to pack this plum colored floral dress to surprise my sweetheart with on a date night.  I love dressing up for myself, and for him.  I knew the weather would be super H&H, HOT and HUMID haha so I needed something lightweight but also elegant and that I could wear with comfortable shoes because we would be walking everywhere.  It actually didn't fit me for a while post-partum but now that I've lost most of my baby weight, I was so excited when I tried it on and it fit!  It has feminine flutter sleeves and a deep V that is perfect for that emergency nursing session while out on a date with you gorgeous beau (because how many of us non-pumpers have had to run home real quick!)  The lower part is lined only until about mid-thigh and it has a sexy slit that kept my legs nice and breezy (because here in the humid south we need breezy).  I got it from the sweetest blogger turned boutique owner local to me in Little Rock.  I paired it with my absolute favorite Kendra Scott statement earrings and my heavenly comfortable mom hack clogs- because wooden clogs were cute for about a minute before they murdered my feet and I had to find an alternative. 


And lastly, my baby bag/backpack purse is what dreams are made of!  With 3 girls, I could literally pack the house in one small outing, so I have become as minimal as it gets when we go out.  This bag is perfect for that, and since I have to have both hands free most of the time, I absolutely needed a backpack.  It's my first ever Tory Burch purchase and my favorite thing is that it has those outer pockets to function as drink holders.  I'm pretty sure I bought the last one of her site though but I'll link up some similar ones.  I've got some super sexy and functional outfits coming soon so stay tuned!

Dress // Brand is Everly & I'm wearing a Medium, sold out at I Do Declare Boutique but this one is similar and I'm obsessed with it!  Check out their Instagram here.  I found an S and an M available at this Australian boutique. Also similar here and here on Amazon.

Earrings // Kendra Scott - similar ones here and they are ON SALE!!  I found the exact ones on Poshmark (obsessed with this site by the way!) and if you use the code JSISY, you get $5 off your first order!

Shoes // Dansko - the most comfortable shoes known to man and so cute, here

Backpack/Diaper bag // Tory Burch - similar one here but the exact one here on Poshmark, if you use the code JSISY, you get $5 off your first order!

Happy shopping darlings <3  Let me know if you need help with sizing or styles.

xx,
Madina

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase, at no cost to you.  Thank you so much for keeping my little side hustle alive, I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.*

Monday, June 26

Honey & Sage Co Review


Once upon a time, I was chosen for a series called the Sling Diaries where I met a group of the loveliest and like-minded women on this planet.  A few months later, I got to meet one of my favorite humans from the series at Gwendolyn Rose's first birthday party, Sarah.  She was everything I ever thought she would be, and truly, much much more.  A few months later, Sarah and her friend Nova launched what I believe to be the best and most useful care packages and monthly subscription boxes out there.  Together, they are Honey & Sage Co and go all over the Dallas, Texas area helping post-partum women.  They have devoted themselves to helping mothers around the world and honestly inspire me every day.

I've waited a bit to post this review because my post-partum experience with Florence was a much longer period for me than with our other daughters.  I'm sure it has to do with a bunch of different factors.  Maybe because we were in the 3 under 3 club for a while and then transitioning to mothering 3 little babies because that's what they are, babies.  I needed longer moments to breathe and longer moments to take in the joy and even longer moments to be present.  It sounds like I was pretty needy and that's the absolute truth.  I'm not sorry for it.  Technically, the post-partum period is considered the 3 months after birth but for me, can I honestly tell you that I feel like I've maybe just gotten out of it...emphasis on the maybe.  Florence is 10 months old.  


Sarah sent me my care package just in the nick of time.  I chugged the happy drops and bliss tea in times of distress, so basically all day haha!  But really, I'm Arab so naturally I'm a huge tea drinker and the bliss tea was my comfort.  The feeling of warmth on my hands from my mug along with the floral aroma of the tea was what I look forward to every evening as my love and I talk about our day.  I love that it's called Bliss tea because that's exactly how I feel when I'm drinking it, blissful, high almost.  There's that birth high that I'm so addicted to and I truly feel like my tea drinking ritual prolonged that feeling for as long as possible.  I carry the Happy Drops in my baby bag for emergencies, and oh my goodness, just the taste in itself makes me happy happy.  The pharmacist in me is so intrigued by it, the compounding formulation.  I'm like, what's in this stuff and why is it so good?!  It makes me feel womanly and in tune.  Something about it, gives me that "ahhhh" feeling.

I feel like every item that Sarah and Nova so very carefully select to include in the boxes comes with such beautiful and powerful intentions and affirmations.  The package as a whole is so well thought out, and fills so many needs (and sometimes wants because those are important too) of a mother.  This really is the perfect gift for a baby shower as well, so unique and beautiful and thoughtful.

I think what I love the most about Honey & Sage Co is that they are thinking about the mamas.  I feel like so many times after women give birth, we give all our love and energy to this beautiful tiny bundle that we almost forget about the mama.  Our society has this expectation for the woman to just get up and go 4 days after giving birth and we glorify that.  When I'm out and see a mother with a week old baby shopping at Target, instead of saying 'oh good job for being out so soon,' I'm always like 'no no, go back to bed mama, give me your number so that I can come over and bring you a meal, bond with your baby, heal, recover, let someone else do the laundry, and the groceries." The thing is, when you take care of the mama, you're also taking care of the baby.  Her milk production increases and her hormones release and her muscles relax and that is just recipe for a beautiful post-partum period and beyond!

Forget happy wife happy life, when a mother is happy and nurtured and pampered and is physiologically and mentally well taken care of, everything that flourishes within her also does the same in the life that she has just given birth to.  


Here's to the blossoming of life, both for mama, daddy, and baby.  Thank you so much Sarah and Nova for letting me experience just that, you are destined for great things mamas. 

XX,
Madina

*Thank you so much to Honey & Sage Co for sponsoring this post.  As with anything that I review on my blog, all products are held to the high standards of the City of Hearts brand and all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the makers and doers and movers and shakers that make this blog possible <3*

Tuesday, June 13

WHOLE30 Easy Oven Baked Beef Ribs


Stop what you're doing right now and go make these!  Then invite your whole family and friends and neighbors and aunties and uncles and cousins and let them be impressed by your amazing cooking skills.  Then as if you didn't already blow everyone out of the water, you can tell them all about how they are Whole30 compliant and then they will never want to leave your house wanting to know more about what that is!

Whoops ok.

Maybe don't do that if you ever want privacy again, so just make these for your sweetheart haha!


In January, my love and I finished our first ever Whole30 program.  I'll tell you more about how it went soon in another post but long story short, it was amazing, it changed our lives, and I still cook about 90% compliant consistently, even 6 months later.  I plan dishes around taste factor obviously but also ease of preparation because I am a busy wife and mama and can't spend hours in the kitchen. 

My husband loves protein any way that he can get it which is one reason why we chose to do the Whole30 program.  He also loves to grill for me but his work schedule doesn't really allow for any grilling except on weekends.  I really REALLY wanted to make him some type of ribs for supper but knew that I would have to use the oven since it's what I know and I have no idea how to work a charcoal grill.  He brought me home some beef short ribs from Whole Foods one day because they were on sale and I thought, I have got to make my man something with these that will be over the top amazing!  So I used my pharmacist skills which surprisingly do come in handy from time to time and experimented and this is what I came up with.

Needless to say, his exact words were "This must be what it feels like to eat like a King!"  I don't know about you but this is my goal in life, to make my husband feel like he is a King to me.


If your hardworking man is the kind of that receives love through his stomach, this is the perfect Father's Day meal!  So if you want your love to feel like a King or Queen too, then here's what you will need.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 lbs meaty beef short ribs
  • 2-4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (or any Cajun seasoning without sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional as the creole seasoning already has salt) 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I use Hungarian paprika because my sweetheart is a quarter Hungarian :P)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F (or wait if you have time to marinate).
  2. Rinse ribs and thoroughly dry with paper towels.
  3. Lightly coat ribs in olive oil.
  4. Mix together seasoning and sprinkle generously over ribs, front and back. (don't have to use all of seasoning mix)
  5. Massage the spices into the ribs with your hands, adding more olive oil to help distribute the spices well if needed.  Ribs like to be pampered, and so do I.
  6. If you have time (I don't most of the time because #momlife and #mombrain I would probably forget them for a few days haha so skip to #7 if you're like me), place the ribs in a large ziplock bag or covered bowl and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours. 
  7. Place the ribs on a baking pan in a single layer.
  8. Cover the baking pan tightly with foil.  Be sure to seal the edges of the foil so that it's tight and steam won't seep out because you're creating a heat pocket.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of 3½ -4 hours. (I usually plan for 4 if I'm cooking for a large group of people) Check on it after the 3½ hour mark. The oven temperature is so low so you can afford to cook it a bit longer without worry.
  10. When the ribs are done to your liking take them out and let them sit for a few minutes.  You can keep the drippings for au jus if you're into that (we sure are!).
  11. Serve hot with some sides like sweet potatoes and salad and enjoy!!
XX,
Madina

Wednesday, June 7

Spring Nursing Style- Mom Hack Edition + Giveaway!

I wanted to start off this post by saying happy WednesYAY but then I was like wait do people even get excited about Wednesday and then I didn't want to seem like a total dork haha I mean, I get excited about any day of the week when there's free stuff involved!

So I've had so many people ask me about this dress and my answer is always an enthusiastic "Target!'  Pronounced with a fancy French accent and everything.  Ain't no shame in my game because we all know that Target is my happy place.  But here's the thing about being a nursing mama who loves fashion, you learn little hacks that make spending money on an otherwise non-nursing friendly dress worth it.  Are you ready for this?


I'm wearing this dress BACKWARDS...!!!  Yes.  If you scroll down my photos, you'll see me proudly showing off the tag in the front haha!

And honestly, I think it looks so much cuter this way!  I wore Florence in my sling, nursed her, danced, and had a wonderful time with my family all while feeling fabulous keeping my very functional little secret in my backwards Target dress.  

So here's your chance to win this perfect for Spring and Summer gingham dress and carry the same little secret with you as I do every time I wear it.  

All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment that you've done so and you're entered in the giveaway.  For more chances to win, head over to my Instagram @city_of_hearts and Facebook page found here and enter there as well.  You do NOT have to be a nursing mom to win! If you are, then Happy nursing!

The giveaway ends Sunday, June 11th at midnight.
 

I added our future little fashionista photobomber in here for good measure.  I love our sweet girls so much.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase.  I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.  XX, Madina*