Lifestyle, Parenting, Publications, self love

FabUPlus Summer ‘18 Digital Issue Giveaway

So excited to share with you Loves a FREE digital copy of FabUPlus Magazine’s Summer 2018 issue featuring my article Breastfeeding: There Is No Shame, featuring original images shot by House Of Winter.

The article delves in to the stigma formula feeding Mom’s face in public and my own personal experience with medical professionals .

Click the link for your very own copy:

FabUPlus Digital Issue

Now, hopefully you Loves headed over and collected your own copy and meandered back this way for a bit more of an in-depth plunge in to the topic of this plus size mom who was unable to breastfeed and was shamed as a result.

Three months after giving birth I was unable to continue producing breast milk, I was pressured to take prescriptions to induce lactation (that irritated an intestinal condition I deal with on the regular and mind you I was also healing from a c-section) that never worked and even tried herbal remedies (tea that tasted like I was licking the forest floor yuck- which is saying something because I LOVE tea!), I just couldn’t produce it. Mentally I was devastated – I was so prepared to be apart of this group of women who took part of a tradition that has been happening since the beginning of time.

Then you factor in the hormones and changes my body was still going through after giving birth and then having to visit my OB or my daughter’s pediatric doctor: each visit would be bombarded with posters encouraging breast feeding, having to deal with every nurse asking repeatedly why I didn’t breastfeed my child and how much healthier it would be for her if I did, and I’d have to endure this speech and pressure until finally I’d be able to get a word in and tell them I physically couldn’t produce breast milk and boom! End of conversation. Beyond frustrating.

I also had to deal with several public instances where I was told by a fellow shopper that I was “poisoning” my daughter and she’d end up unhealthy and fat like me. I had a cashier judgmentally ask me, “Haven’t you heard how bad it is to feed your baby this stuff?” And I’ve had acquaintances of friends feel free to comment about my lack of health awareness feeding my daughter formula – lack of health awareness meaning I’m fat of course. Insert biggest eye roll possible!

With every frustration I faced I had my daughter’s healthy smile to beam back at me, for every nay-sayer that we encountered my daughter just proved them wrong with every milestone she hit and surpassed, and honestly, that’s the best mute button I’ve encountered to silencing people’s judgements when it comes to parenting.

I’m interested in hearing from my fellow parents: when it came to feeding your little one did you experience any shame or societal pressure for your choices?

Share your experiences below and I’ll make sure to join in on the convo!

Until next time my Loves,

Kat XO

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Lifestyle, Parenting

Fun Inside Craft/Baking Activities For You & The Little One!

As a stay at home Mom I know trying to find fun and fulfilling activities for my little one is an on-going effort, I’m always looking for fun and interactive things to keep our day filled so below are some of my favorite activities and what you’ll need to try them out! I’ll continue to add this list so make sure to check back often.

Remember to stay creative, make it fun, be prepared for messes and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Cookie Recipe – Delicious And way healthier than an Oreo!

  1. One whole sweet potato; puréed
  2. 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 2 cups of all purpose Flour
  5. One tbsp Vanilla
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  8. 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  10. 1/2 teaspoon of all spice
  11. 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  12. 1 stick of butter (or half cup) room temp (I personally melt it because it mixes better)
  13. Gluten free caramel or chocolate dip for glaze

Step one: preheat the oven to 375 F and adjust racks to middle position, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper/foil/ or non stick cooking spray.

Step two: In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and all spice.

Step three: Use a mixer and combine the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla – once mixed well add in the sweet potato and once you’ve mixed this all together blend in the dry ingredients and mix well.

Step four: Drop a good spoonful on the cookie sheet, keep about 2 inches of space between cookie blobs. Bake until edges are golden brown, usually about 18min.

Step five: Let cool & add the glaze!

Archeologist, Digging For Dino’s

  1. Small toy Dinosaurs
  • 2. Jello
  • Prepare the jello mix as directed, before setting in the fridge place plastic toys in the bowl and then let it set. Once done the activity is ready to go as soon as you and your little one are ready! I usually take this time to talk about the Dinosaurs she’s playing or putting on Dinosaur Train while she engages in this activity.
  • To shop for the items used above to create your own dig, click the link here: Kat’s DIY Kids Activity List

    Flour & Salt Ornaments/Mementos

    1. 1 cup of flour
    2. Half a cup of salt
    3. Cup of water
    4. Craft/art/acrylic paint
    5. Decorative ribbon
    6. Straw

    Step one: preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

    Step two: Combine all of the ingredients and knead the dough for five to ten minutes. If the dough happens to be dry add a little more water in and knead it a little more.

    Step three: Roll out the dough to a thickness that you’d like it to be, keep in mind the thicker it is the longer it will need to bake.

    Step four: Using a large cookie cutter or bowl of your just going for a round plaque or ornament, cut out different shapes that you’d like to decorate.

    Step five: If your doing a handprint or footprint now is the time to have that little one place their hand/foot into the dough.

    Step six: Using a straw or a pair of scissors, make a hole in the top for where you want to hang your ornament.

    Step seven: Bake for 1-2 hours. If still doughy, put back in for another hour.

    Step eight: Let cool for about an hour and then you are ready to paint and decorate!

    To shop for the items used above to create your own ornament, click the link here Kat’s DIY Kids Activity List

    Finger Painting

    1. Construction/art paper
    2. Non-toxic paint

    For this example I used our family home made holiday card, we used the finger paint to create little lights and then my husband and I added our own prints to complete the card.

    To shop for the items used above to create your own finger painting masterpiece, click the link here Kat’s DIY Kids Activity List

    Sewing activity

    This activity I chose to do during a rainy day which is why we made a cloud.

    1. Construction paper
    2. Yarn
    3. Tissue paper
    4. Egg carton
    5. Hole puncher
    6. Markers/paint/crayons
    7. Tape

    Step one: take two pieces of construction paper, trace out a simple yet large shape, cut out while holding both pieces so they match exactly.

    Step two: using the hole punch go around the cut out papers and place easily spaced out holes.

    *Step three: this next step is optional, I wanted the project to have volume so I made a second set of holes and laced that small part myself and stuffed a piece of tissue paper in it, so not only could she hold on to that while we worked but also so it couldn’t come apart while she was trying it out.

    Step four: once you have the holes done take the yarn and tie one end off in a knot so that’s always their starting point, then take the tape and wrap the other end of the yarn, this makes it easier to keep it together while sewing.

    Now once your little one is done you can either tie it off as completed and add decorations or leave it untied so they can unlace and re-lace to their little heart’s content!

    To shop for the items used above to make your own sewing activity, click the link here Kat’s DIY Kids Activity List

    Make sure to check back for updated activities and crafts! Until next time Loves,

    Kat XO

    *The links above are affiliate codes which means I will earn a small commission which will help me to continue providing future content. Appreciate y’all!*

    Parenting, Publications

    Breastfeeding: No Shame – FabUPlus Summer ‘18 Issue

    Recently I had an article published in the latest issue of FabUPlus Magazine that addressed a topic I’d like to expand on here… There is a TON of talk about women who breastfeed; should breastfeeding be allowed in public, should women face shame for feeding their children in the same way it’s always been done, should women be forced to cover up while breastfeeding, is breastfeeding the preferable choice to formula. The list goes on… But what I don’t see is the discussion about women who just plain out can’t breastfeed and the pressure and stigma they face when they can’t produce for their child.

    In quick summary the article touched base on the pressure I faced from medical professionals, random strangers condemning my choice of formula, and the utter devastation I felt when I stopped lactating three months after my daughter was born. I encourage you Loves to run to the nearest Barnes & Noble or the link above to get this issue!! With that being said… I’m going to expand on each area here below. But first a little cuteness before we dive in to the ugly!

    Three months after my daughter was born I stopped producing breast milk and felt like such a failure. Now mind you, the month prior my supply was already dwindling so I began to stress about it which everyone will tell you only makes matters worse. So I go to my O.B. (who is fabulous and never tries to shame me about my weight) and explain my concerns, she suggests this herbal tea that has helped other mothers with similar issues. I literally Amazon that stuff while I was still in the parking lot, two days later I start drinking this god awful forest floor tasting tea 4x a day! Nauseating. Which was a bummer because I genuinely like most kinds of tea.

    Back on point: my third month and daily forest mulch tea drinks and BAM no more breast milk. Go back to my O.B. feeling panicked and upset, my husband and I had decided on breast milk and that’s what our plan had been (I’m a planner and organizer so when the plan derails so does my anxiety), and ask her if there is anything else I can do? So she prescribes this pill that for two short weeks worked but also caused my intestinal condition to worsen – so no more pills. Which left me with no way to breast feed my daughter.

    I felt like a failure as a mother, never did I consider I wouldn’t be able to continue doing what countless other women have done for their babies. I felt shame that my body was somehow lacking. And every time I went for one of my daughters check ups I had to deal with nurses badgering me to ‘make the healthy choice’ for my baby. Throwing in suggestions on how to improve my lactation, rude questions about what I was eating as if my poor “diet” choices where preventing my breast milk from escaping my fatness (all that crap we plus bodies consume on an hourly basis of course – insert heavy eye roll) and tactless questions on my apparent choice of diet for my baby. Add in my hormones and I was one HOT MESS.

    I’ll never forget how my husband found me on the bathroom floor crying because I couldn’t pump a drop of breast milk. Very gently he collected me off of the floor and brought me to stand over our daughters crib and told me to look and see how healthy she was. That I didn’t fail her but instead was making an effort to make sure she was provided with every vitamin and nutrients she needed, which in this case was formula, while giving her so much love that there was no way she could be anything BUT healthy.

    So I made a new plan. If I couldn’t breastfeed then I’d still make sure my daughter was receiving everything she needed and more with the added formula. My daughters doctor was thrilled with her health and her growth. Which meant so should I. I began to let the anxiety go and forgave myself for being human. Some of us just can’t breastfeed and there is nothing wrong with that. And even if you can and decide not too, there’s nothing wrong with that either.

    Mom to Mom – If you ever have the unwanted opinions of others barging in to your day just tune them out (or my approach – telling them to kiss my fat ass). My child is healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.

    Breastfeed. Don’t breastfeed. There is no shame.

    Ok parents I want to hear those crazy encounters with strangers – you know the kind I’m talking about, the kind of encounter where they impart their unwanted bat-shit crazy “parenting wisdoms” to you.

    Example: as I was purchasing the formula for my daughter the check stand clerk promptly told me that as a fat person she understood that I didn’t understand I was feeding my daughter poison and it was her “moral duty” to inform me as such. I politely told her that my daughters health wasn’t any of her concern and that she should put that effort in to becoming a person who minds her own business and judges other less. The look on her face was priceless! Talking full on jaw hanging open, eyes wide and filled with shock and rage, and the utter indignation of being put her in place by a fat woman was seriously the highlight of my day.

    So share those parenting gems below and let’s all have a bit of a laugh!

    Kat XO

    Publications

    FabUPlus Spring Issue ‘18: Crossing Off Bucket List Goal

    If you had told my sixteen year old self that someday I’d be able to walk in to a mainstream nationwide known store and buy a publication with my face in it and an article I wrote myself… I probably would have laughed and then cried. Why? Well for starters I wouldn’t have believed it. I’ve always been a fat woman. Literally, since grade school I have been plus size and I’ve spent so much of my life hiding behind self deprecating humor and clothing meant to shrink my size while hating my body and the way the world viewed it. Plus bodies gaining any positive media attention was (and still is) a huge deal and while looking up to only a handful of plus women who attained some notoriety, it was hard to see myself as beautiful or worthy of positive attention. Fast forward a decade or so and you have one heart skipping moment for lil’ ole me. Seeing my plus body and in lingerie accompanied by my words and thoughts in a publication like this… well like the title says it’s a bucket list dream goal that I can now cross of my list!

    And if there is one thing I could pass forward from this experience it’d be to help inspire women and men to know and love themselves just the way they are! There is No Weight Requirement for success, love, and happiness. Self confidence is knowing your strengths and positive qualities and using them to improve your world and the lives of those around you – it has nothing to do with what size jeans you may wear. It took me years to stop beating myself up for not being thin enough and it also took me years to balance what was healthy for me while enjoying my life; FAT was always a bad word that equaled to ugly and lazy. Well, No More. This fat lady was bullied relentlessly, told I was a waste of space and that beauty was not meant for plus bodies like mine. Well guess what? It Is meant for me and it’s meant for YOU too.

    This moment for me is a huge F*** You to the bullies who think they have the right to police or judge other’s bodies and I’m truly happy to be sharing it with you all. It honestly represents my determination to use the pain created by years of teasing and torment and turning those negatives into a great big fat positive.

    I would love to hear your #bulliedintogreatness moments… Did you take up space and not apologize for it? Have you overcome a social fear like wearing a swimsuit in public? Did you try something a little more daring then the regular wardrobe you usually wear? Share it using the tag and watch my instastories for a special shout out – I want to share in your positive moments and create a positive community where we can cheer on those successes no matter how big or small!

    Kat Xo

    Would you like to own this issue or maybe subscribe to a monthly delivery? Click the link : FabUPlus Magazine