Finding My Center

I love that you’re always so happy to see me at school pick-up.  When I’m up on the ramp, looking down at all the grown-ups, some are mad or sad or looking at their phones.  But you, you’re happy and silly and I love when you put your sunglasses on upside down.  I love seeing your face too mom”.

My first-grade daughter had no idea of how poignant her tender words were a few months ago. She had no idea how it felt to hear her clearly articulate something that I already knew about parent/child relationships on that fall afternoon.  Something as simple as looking into my loved ones eyes and being fully present in that moment is what truly matters.

Little ones are observers by nature.  They want to watch our pet fish devour their food after each feeding.   They want to feel the crunch of fresh leaves or touch each mound of snow on our daily walks home from school.  And it’s typically these sort of subtle gestures that stop me in my tracks and pull me to reflect on the sort of intentional life that I want to live. being present in motherhood I’ve made a concerted effort to identify when I’m feeling rushed or distracted at times when I shouldn’t be.  Realistically, I know that there will still be frantic school mornings in our future.  As a work-from-home mother, I know that there will be moments when electronic screens have my attention when I’d rather give it to my family.

I think that we all need moments to find our center and re-focus on the present moment.  And as mothers, we often need to be reminded of self-care so we can better care for our loved ones.  Over the past few years, I’ve identified certain things that I can do to help live a more authentic life.

    • Reflect on gratitude: This one is simple.  A few moments to reflect on the positive can work wonders.
    • Nurture relationships and authentic friendships: I’m grateful for partnership in marriage and steadfast friendships.  Taking time to nurture these special relationship is crucial.
    • Exercise: Taking care of my body physically helps to nourish my mind.
    • Eat well: Fueling my body with healthy food is important to my overall well being.  I believe in the power of breakfast and beginning each day with a solid start – Kellogg’s Special K is one of my morning favorites.
    • Pursue a special interest: Cultivating my creative interests is important to me.  I find pleasure in seeing a sewing or handmade project come to life.  I also enjoy learning about photography.

I’m grateful to wrap up this series with Team Kellogg’s with a helpful meditation tip that I’ve started to implement into my own daily life:

Albeit challenging days, motherhood continually calls me to be fully present.

Motherhood reminds me that right now is what matters most.

For more helpful tips from Team Kellogg’s visit: Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

Kellogg's Team Kellogg'sKellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

 

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

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Bottom Of The Box || Apple & Spice Cookies Recipe

 

Winter weekends are for early morning supermarket trips.

2

They’re also for family fun in the kitchen!

I like to think that there’s gold at the bottom of the cereal box (like extra raisins in Kellogg’s Raisin Bran).  We like to utilize the bottom of the box for cooking and baking.  It’s a simple way to ensure that nothing goes to waste.  I’ve also found that unexpected ingredients in meals (like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in chicken dishes) gets my kiddos extremely excited!  And when the kids help cook and are invested in the process – they are more likely to eat their meals.

I can always use help in the recipe department and found great Bottom of the Box Recipe tips from Team Kellogg’s:

 

We decided to give their Apple & Spice Cookies Recipe a go.

rice krispie treats valentines day recipe

Little ones are always eager to help out.

apple spice cookies recipe

And ensure that the cookies pass the taste test.

Apple Spice Cookie Recipe

Rice Krispies Cookies

Bambini approved!

For more great tips from Team Kellogg’s visit: Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

Kellogg's Team Kellogg's

 

Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

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Like Mother Like Daughter: On Exercise and Body Image

 

Why do you workout mommy?” I sometimes hear from my six-year old daughter. My answer has consistently been a steadfast variation of “I want to be strong enough to always carry you and Adrian down the stairs” or “I love the energy that I feel when I run to school to pick you up”.

I’m aware of the fact that my children are little sponges.  They are constantly connecting the world’s dots through both verbal and non-verbal cues.  I’m imperfect, but well aware that there is no greater responsibility than setting the best example that I can for my children. That’s why I walked with confidence in my swim suit on our recent family vacation – despite the fact that I’m inwardly unhappy with the recently acquired pounds that I’m determined to say goodbye to.  That’s why I’m intentional with my words around little ears, and speak of my own body with respect and admiration for my strengths – even if I’m feeling weak. And that’s why I want my daughter to grow older seeing exercise and healthy eating as an empowering lifestyle, not a means to fit into an article of clothing.

Lucia and I frequently have physical activity time – and I think that keeping it fun and relaxed is a key component to healthy self-esteem development. We’ve been having music-blasting dance parties since her toddler years – and they have the ability to transform the gloomiest of moods into lighthearted silliness. It’s amazing how a duo run around the block can instantly lift our spirits, and simultaneously jumping on yoga mats to a workout video nearly always ends in belly laughter.  When we play mama-mirror as highlighted in the below Tip For a Great Start With Team Kellogg’s – we smile so big until our faces hurt.  Most importantly, being active together provides us with a special way to connect while doing something good for our bodies.


I’m determined to never let my daughter hear me speak of how my clothing fits. But I will continue to talk to her about how exhilarating it was to attempt surfing while living on an island, and how great it felt to exercise in the park while pushing her in a baby stroller shortly after her birth.  I hope that Lucia will see through me a strong example of love for being active.  And I’ll always encourage her to spread her wings and let her powerful light shine.

healthy body image in girls

For more tips inspired by Team Kellogg’s check out: kelloggs.com/greatstartstips.

Kellogg's Team Kellogg'sKellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips

 

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

 

 

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The Cereal Mixologist

In one way or another – I think that we all crave variety in our lives.  Subtle changes to a standard routine can often change mundane moments into something extraordinary.  When I stop to think about it, there are several things that I unconsciously do to mix up my daily routine.  I frequently take an alternate route on my walks to the subway or the kids’ schools to admire the architecture or simply add change to familiar daily steps.  Like many mothers I know, I’m always looking for ways to bring change to our meals – and on school mornings quick and effortless options are a necessity.  I’m excited to share the below Tip For a Great Start With Team Kellogg’s because I happened to marry into a family of serious cereal mixologists.

Children crave variety as well and mixing cereals gets Lucia and Adrian pretty excited.  Perhaps it’s the idea of  having several cereals instead of one that appeals to children?  I’m not exactly sure, but it’s a quick way to keep school mornings interesting.  And we happen to have an applied methodology of cereal mixing and consumption in our home:

The Marino’s Basic Mechanics Of Cereal Mixing:

  • The Blending Method: This method is used when a minimum of two cereals are mixed and eaten as a total combination.
  • The Layering Method: This method is used when multiple cereals are layered like a sedimentary rock.

Applied Cereal Consumption Strategies:

  • Top Down: This strategy is used when cereals are layered.  For example, my husband always puts Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries in first – so the bottom of the bowl saves his favorite component for last.
  •  Bottom Up: This consumption method preserves crispiness and prevents sog-factor.
  • Total Combination:  This method leaves your options open with a bit of everything in each bite.

For the true cereal lover, each component of the mixture brings something important – and the applied methodology of both mixing and eating becomes second nature.  Our current favorite mix (pictured below using the blending method) contains Kellogg’s Special K for flavor, Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats for crunch-factor, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to complete the tasteful trio.

team-kellogg's-cereal-mixing

If you happen to cereal freestyle in you own home, please share what your favorite bowl looks like!

Check out more helpful tips from Team Kellogg’s at: kelloggs.com/greatstartstips:

 Kellogg's Team Kellogg's

Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.

 

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

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A New Year & Great Starts With Team Kellogg’s


I love the feeling of a fresh start that a new year brings.  This past year was rich with memories and I’m welcoming 2014 with open arms.  I often tell my family (and myself) that every morning brings a new beginning, regardless of what happens the day before.  Lucia and Adrian typically wake up brimming with excitement –  “WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY MAMA?!!” they exclaim before belly-flopping into my bed.

Children are great reminders of the possibilities in each new day.

every morning brings a new beginning New York sunrise sunset

Mornings are important – they set the tone for the entire day and it’s my job to ensure that we all get off to a solid start.   I’m excited to be teaming up with Kellogg’s in the New Year to pass on advice to help us all achieve great starts.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing how I incorporate tips from Team Kellogg’s into my own busy schedule; including Tip #11  – Mix it up with Cereal Freestyle – which makes mornings interesting by combining my kids’ favorite cereals.  It’s a simple way to keep the little people excited during the school send-off whirlwind.

cereal mixing Team Kellogg's

Cheers to 2014 and great starts in the New Year!

Be on the lookout for more tips from Team Kellogg’s at kelloggs.com/greatstartstips.

Kellogg's Team Kellogg's

Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.

Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.

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