Sheryl Jesin


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Should you wake up at 5am? Yes!

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A couple weeks ago, I completed a 5 day early wakeup challenge.

I challenged myself to wake up five days in a row at 5am.

Why did I do this?

I have noticed that when I make an effort to wake up earlier than the kids, my day goes much more smoothly.

I feel relaxed.  I feel at peace.  I feel energized!  I feel like I can tackle anything.

Just having a few moments of silence before my very noisy household wakes up can make the difference between a good day and a bad day.

You might be wondering – what do I do when I wake up so early?

Here’s how it goes:

  1.  Read for 15 mins – Every day I set a goal for myself to read for at least 15 mins.  And I’m talking reading a book OR listening to an audiobook…scrolling Facebook or surfing the net does not count.  Lately I have been into non-fiction personal development books.  I like books that are motivational, inspiring and that can help me become a better parent, wife, coach and human being.  The book I am reading right now is called Rising Strong by Brene Brown.  I am actually listening to it on Audible as an audio book.  Brene Brown herself is the narrator and I love hearing it in her actual voice.  She is a social scientiest who has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulternability, shame and worthiness.  She shares stories of people being brave, failing and getting back up.  I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more cultivating wholeheartedness and rising up from struggles.
  2. Drink my pre-workout drink and then workout for 30 mins – Let’s be honest – it isn’t easy to get going at 5am…I am not going to lie.  But – when I drink my pre-workout drink it gives me a burst of energy so that I can power through my workout.  I workout for 30 mins in my living room.  It is dark at 5am and I am glad to not have to leave my nice warm house to go to a gym or a class.   It feels SO GOOD to move first thing in the morning and I like to workout then because my workouts are important to me, and I know I always have time for the things I do first.  Plus, it is nice to take a shower right after and get dressed instead of sitting in my pyjamas or sweaty workout clothes all morning/day.
  3. Make my to-do list for the day – 5 am is a great time to get organized for the day.  I write down my to-do list so that when pockets of free time arise during the day, I am ready to be productive.  I need to write things down to organize my brain, and plus it feels awesome to check things off!
  4. Take a few minutes to express gratitude and write down positive affirmations – Both of these things are daily habits that I have been working on.  I take a couple minutes when I wake up and also before I go to sleep to list out things that I am grateful for.  This can be as simple as having fresh food, a house to live in, and three healthy kids.  I am amazed by how this practice makes each and every day a little bit happier.  I also take a couple of minutes to write down positive affirmations.  A few affirmations that I have been enjoying lately are: ” I deserve and receive massive amounts of love every moment of every day”.  “I am one with the universe – the universe is awesome and so am I”.  “My heart is open and love pours in and out”.  And – “I respond with wisdom, love, firmness and self control when my children trigger me”.  I know these might sound cheesy – but try reciting these each morning and see how your day improves!

So what do you think?  Could your day improve by waking up a little bit earlier and making time for things that are important to you?

I truly belive that what you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day and even for the rest of your life.  Do you agree?


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Life

Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, even during NaBloPoMo. I had high hopes of writing this whole week about running, but a few illnesses (croup, stomach flu) have gotten in the way. Our routines move fairly smoothly when everyone is healthy, but when the kids are sick, things get thrown off, and things don’t get done. Such is life.

So I leave you with a picture of a sweet little sleeping face, on his way to health again (I hope).

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NaBloPoMo is here!

November has arrived and that means it is time for NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. That means for the month of November, I will be posting a blog post every single day. Yes, weekends too!
I’m sure, dear readers, that you are on the edge of your seats, anxiously awaiting 30 days of blogging from Little Snowflakes. I can’t promise you that each post will be earth shattering, but I promise you now that something will be posted daily.
I had a lot of fun with NaBloPoMo in 2011 and I’m sure this year won’t disappoint.
Post number one is now done. We are off a good start!

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Hello 2012!

I’ve taken a bit of a blogging break lately.  Dylan was off school for winter holidays, we went away for 10 days, and now we are back in the swing of things.

You may have noticed a shift in my blog in 2011.  My blog started off as a place for me to write my thoughts about parenting and breastfeeding.  In 2011, I started writing more about exercise and healthy eating.  In reality, I think all of these themes are connected – my interest in parenting and breastfeeding ultimately led me to my interests in exercising and healthy eating.  I hope that the healthy habits I am establishing my own life will be an example for my boys!

Hopefully you have enjoyed the new direction my blog is taking, as I plan for it to continue to move that way in 2012.

Happy New Year readers!  I look forward to spending 2012 with you.


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Natural Parents Network Volunteers – Best of 2011

I am proud and honored to be both a contributor and mentor with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), an empowering and inspiring community of natural-minded parents. When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about ActivismBalanceConsistent CareEcological ResponsibilityFamily Safety,Feeding With LoveGentle DisciplineHealthy LivingHolistic HealthNatural LearningNurturing TouchParenting PhilosophiesPractical Home HelpPreparing for ParentingResponding With SensitivitySafe Sleep, and so much more!

The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs. To close out 2011, NPN volunteers have come together to provide you with some extremely valuable reading material. Each volunteer has selected either her most viewed post of 2011 or her favorite post and shared the link below. Please take a few moments to visit posts that interest you.  Our intention is to expand our reach as bloggers and inform parents as we move through our own journeys. The volunteers have also provided links to other social media sites where you can follow them.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them.

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares her Christmas Cookie Swap Blog Hop, which is her fourth annual virtual cookie swap and most popular post of the year. Please stop by and link up your favorite holiday recipe until Dec. 31. You can find Farmer’s Daughter on Facebook and Twitter.

Adrienne from Mommying My Way shares Fear vs. Faith, one of her favorite posts about how often living a life of faith can look like a life of fear, but the two are really quite different. You can also find Mommying My Way on Facebook.

Alicia of Lactation Narration retells the story of her oldest daughter’s 5 years of nursing and weaning in her favorite post of 2011, The Weaning Party. You can find Lactation Narration on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy of Toddler In Tow shares Finding My Mommy-Zen, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she shares her desire to balance her own self-esteem by choice in order to parent with peace and compassion. You can also find Toddler In Tow on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and follow Amyables (Amy W.) on Google + and Ravelry.

Arpita of Up, Down, and Natural shares one of her most popular posts titled Reflections. This is a beautiful look at the type of mother she wants to be. You can find Up, Down, and Natural on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post explains the shocking info that one unsuspecting mother discovered when she started researching why her daughter had a violent allergic reaction to eggs. This is a must read post for ensuring the health of your family. You can also find I Thought I Knew Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Stumbleupon.

Christine of African Babies Don’t Cry shares The Best First Food for Babies, one of her favourite posts of 2011. This well-researched post delves into the healthiest and most nutritious food to feed your baby. You can also find African Babies Don’t Cry on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Cynthia of The Hippie Housewife shares Gentle Discipline for Toddlers, her most viewed post of 2011. This post describes five gentle discipline tools for parenting toddlers. You can also find The Hippie Housewife on Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest.

Darcel of The Mahogany Way shares how Babywearing As a Way of Life one of her favorite post of 2011. This post showcases some beautiful woven wraps that she has purchased, traded, borrowed, and sold over the years. Darcel also talks about the benefits of babywearing from the newborn through toddler stage. You can also find Darcel{ The Mahogany Way} on Facebook, Twitter, Her Community for Mothers of Color, and Pinterest.

Dionna of Code Name Mama shares 50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids Plus Fun Serving Suggestions, her most viewed post of 2011. Most of these snacks are quick to fix and portable, so you can pack them to send with your child on play dates, at preschool, or to just have handy in the refrigerator for when your child wants to grab a bite to eat “all by himself.” You can find Dionna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Erica at ChildOrganics shares a post that is not only close to her heart, but also her most viewed post for 2011 titled Attachment Parenting in the NICU. This post shares her top 10 tips for parenting should you find yourself with a baby in the NICU. You can also find Erica on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her personal experience of returning to work, expressing milk, and the ups and downs in between in her 2011 most viewed post, Mama’s Milk. You can also find Gretchen on GFC, Blog Lovin’, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Isil of Smiling like Sunshine shares how to make an autumn tree using pumpkin seeds, her most popular post in 2011. This post features a lovely craft activity that you can do with your kids! You can also find Isil on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 80 Uses For Coconut Oil, her most viewed post of 2011. This comprehensive post provides background information on the benefits of coconut oil as well as outlines 80 uses for it. You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Jennifer of True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares her most popular post of 2011, Weekly House Blessing (Otherwise Known as Cleaning Once a Week). This post outlines a once per week cleaning routine for busy moms. You can also find Jennifer on Twitter.

Joella, the mama behind Fine and Fair, shares An Unusual Gripe with Bebe Gluton, one of her most popular posts of 2011. In it, she discusses the controversy surrounding a “breastfeeding doll” and offers her take on the gender role implications of dolls in general. Fine and Fair can also be found on twitter and facebook.

Julia of A Little Bit of All of It shares the story of how her co-sleeping relationship ended with her daughter, her most viewed post of 2011. This post shows how her daughter transitioned to her own bed on her 2nd birthday and the emotions involved for her mom. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares True Blessings: White Noise and Grandparents, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Kat talks about how she maximizes getting sleep and how grateful and blessed she is to have her parents be so involved in helping and spending time with her kiddos.

Kelly of Becoming Crunchy shares That Cup Does What?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post is one of a series of reviews and information on switching to all natural menstrual products – having heard so many different options and recommendations, Kelly decided to give a whole bunch of them a try and pull all the reviews together in one week for anyone interested in making the switch. This post in particular covers the ins and outs of the Diva Cup. You can also find Becoming Crunchy on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Kristin of Intrepid Murmurings shares a popular post from 2011, something she and her husband made for their girls for Christmas, great for open-ended play and construction: Handmade Tree Blocks. You can also find Kristin on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Lani of Boobie Time shares Helping a Fellow Breastfeeding Mom, her inspiration for starting to blog. This post discusses the importance of fellow moms supporting each other and some tips on having a successful breastfeeding relationship. Lani can also be found on Facebook.

Laura at WaldenMommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door writes about finally entering “spring” when her child with special needs begins preschool. After battling post-partum mental illness (post tramatic stress disorder) after the preterm birth of her third child, she finally begins to feel healthy and whole again in “It’s Fall, Ya’ll-Again.”

Lauren of Hobo Mama shares On not having an AP poster child, her (OK, second) most viewed post of 2011. Lauren’s first child shook her certainty that attachment parenting meant babies never cried and toddlers grew independent — and that’s all right, too. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Luschka of Diary of a First Child shares Lactivism, Breastfeeding, Bottlefeeding and Mothers at War, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This post discusses how the breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate causes a division between mothers, leading to the alienation of women and babies, while divisive companies prosper. You can also find Diary of a First Child on Facebook, and Twitter.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how With Privilege Comes Responsibility, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This compelling post explains her strong felt desire to stand up for those less privileged. You can also find Living Peacefully with Children on Facebook.

Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings shares a Montessori-Inspired Checklist for Choosing Toys, her most popular post of 2011. The article outlines some important Montessori principles and how they relate to children’s toys, translating that into some simple guiding principles. You can also find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Melissa of White Noise shares Modern Day Wet Nurse, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Melissa shares the benefits of human breast milk and human milk sharing. You can also find Melissa at Mothers of Change.

Momma Jorje shares Amniocentesis – What is it *really* like?, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This open and honest series offers not only the technical process of amniocentesis, but also the emotions involved in awaiting (and receiving) the procedure and a diagnosis. Momma Jorje can also be found on Facebook.

Moorea of MamaLady: Adventures in Queer Parenting shares Fluoride: Another Reason Breast Is Best, her favorite post of 2011. This post provides research on the harmful effects of fluoride in drinking water for babies and toddlers and ways to limit fluoride consumption in your home. You can also find MamaLady on Facebook and Twitter and her Parent Coaching Site.

Rachael at The Variegated Life is Calling the Muse in her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she describes how she uses ritual to help her tap into her creative spirit. You can also find Rachael on Twitter and The Variegated Life on Facebook.

Rebekah and Chris from Liberated Family shares Using Cloth In a Disposable Society, their favorite post of 2011. This extensive post provides a lot of information regarding the varied uses of cloth as well as the many benefits. You can also find Liberated Family on Twitter.

Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares her most viewed post: Confessions of a Breastfeeding Advocate: I Couldn’t. She confesses her struggles with breastfeeding her daughters, but shares why she’ll continue the good fight. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Seonaid of The Practical Dilettante offers a science- and reverence-based meditation on The Living Earth, her most viewed post of 2011. This meditation was originally written for Earth Day, but it provides a way to reconnect with your place in the living breathing planet at any time of year. You can also find Seonaid on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes shares I Recommend (But Moira Likes This Book Too), her most viewed post of 2011. This post is a review of a wonderful book that talks about all the different ways that families can be made up, along with some of why this topic is so important to her family.

Sheryl at Little Snowflakes shares her experiences with tandem nursing in Tandem Nursing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, her most viewed post of 2011. You can also find Sheryl on Twitter.

Stay tuned for some amazing posts from all of these tremendous bloggers in 2012!


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There is no prize

When I told my husband that I would be participating in National Blog Posting Month, he (half jokingly) asked if there was a prize for doing it. Nope, there is no prize. And there is no blogging police out there making sure that I post everyday. No one is going to give me anything if reach my blogging goal this month. So why do I bother doing it?

I like a challenge – I like setting goals and working towards something. It gives me a sense of purpose while I’m working away at it, and a sense of accomplishment when I meet my goal. I’ve enjoying NaBloPoMo – it’s been fun to sit down and write every day, and I feel good when I post something new.

This whole prize concept got me thinking. I do a lot of things that require a lot of work and dedication, but there is no prize in the end. For example – no one gives me a prize for working out. No one gives me a prize for making healthy home cooked meals, and no one gives me a prize for parenting my kids with love and compassion, and breastfeeding my baby day and night!

So why bother doing these things? As I said above, I like a challenge and I like the feeling of knowing I’ve done a good job. Also, as a mother, I want to set a good example for my kids and inspire them to be self-motivated. Hopefully when they see me working towards and reaching my goals, a spark will be ignited within them to do the same.