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5 Fast Facts About Whole Foods’ Merger with Amazon

Ever since Whole Foods and Amazon announced its merger, I’ve been wondering if they could find a way to get that food bar shipped to my door.

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Think of it: a selection of up to eight hot soups during cold months. Fresh sushi. Kale tossed in that amazing garlic tahini dressing. The Entire. Cookie. Bar.

Sign me up! Show me the app! Free shipping, right?

Apparently, not quite. Whole Foods doesn’t provide delivery on hot bar items. Their private label products, like the 365 Everyday Value, will be available via Amazon.com and AmazonFresh, an online grocery delivery service, as the company integrates its systems over time. But in between time, the public may see some benefits we’re not used to seeing at Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods. 20170829_093448Like lower prices. On selected items. As I shopped the aisles this morning in a Maryland suburb, I found quite a few items marked down. Hass avocados are now $1.49 each, marked down from $2, which is a lot better than the 2 for $5 avocados my neighborhood grocer was offering yesterday. Organic Whole Trade Bananas are 69 cents a pound now, down just 10 cents. Organic Fuji apples are $1.99 a pound, down from $2.99.

But before you go and fill up an entire shopping cart, there’s a few things you should know.

5 Fast Facts About the Whole Foods Merger with Amazon

  1. Staple grocery items will be cheaper. Think butter, eggs, and select organic produce like avocados, apples and bananas.
  2. That fantastic organic rotisserie chicken will also be part of the price cuts.
  3. Expect lower prices on their line of responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia.
  4. Amazon Prime will become the customer rewards program at Whole Foods. Eventually, shoppers with an Amazon Prime membership will have access to coupons, special savings and other “in-store benefits,” the company says.
  5. Amazon Lockers will be available in some Whole Foods stores. So if you need to return an item to Amazon.com, you can drop it off at the locker during your trip to the store. You can also have products shipped from Amazon.com to your closest Whole Foods with a locker for pick up.

The merged companies called the lower prices a “down payment” on their vision to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone.

It will probably still be necessary to shop the “outer aisles” at the store–focusing on produce and staples- to keep the shopping bill down. This morning I didn’t see any of the Amazon sales stickers on the middle aisles near the boxed food, bread, tea and coffee. Don’t expect discounts on their prepared foods, like the hot food bar or the coffee station. At least not yet.

20170829_093533-e1504019425463.jpgWhole Foods is not my main grocery store, but I end up shopping there at least once a week to find allergy-free snacks and treats for my youngest baby. You can’t imagine how hard it is to find snacks free of dairy, nut, tree nut, soy, or lemon extracts–all of my daughter’s allergies. It’s also very challenging to cook family meals with these allergies in mind.

At Whole Foods, I’ve been able to find vegan muffins in their bakery section and baked crackers and cookies without those allergens.

I’ve never included Whole Foods in my weekly price comparisons; I have several options, including an Aldi’s, Costco and several other natural grocery stores within a few miles of my home. But now that Whole Foods is touting lower prices, I may look for more reasons to go there.

 

 

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5 Tips for a Good Day

5 Tips for a Good Day

So it’s February.  And the newness of 2017, the feelgood promise of new beginnings, affirmations and resolutions have faded.

I’m in a rut ya’ll.

Call it seasonal depression. Maybe I need two cups of coffee to jumpstart my mood.

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It’s a tot potty, in front of a real potty with a potty seat on top. We got it covered from all angles.

Maybe its that one toddler is potty-training but now uses the darn thing every 15-minutes. I’d put a diaper on him if I could find one that fits a 40lb three-year-old. And baby #2 is teething and leaves puddles of drool EVERYWHERE. Not to mention she screams and cries at the drop of a hat now.

I’m overwhelmed by mommyhood. I’m trying to balance a freelance career and deadlines with being a stay-at-home mom. I’m trying to stay crazy in love (and not just, you know, crazy and married).

I’m trying to be the Bestest Mommy Ever. (It’s as impractical as it is ungrammatical folks. See what I did there… a little sexy syntax and wordplay for ya Thursday!)

But I’m determined not to stay in this rut.

I’ve been collecting great quotes and positive words on Pinterest lately and I recently came across a great set of daily affirmations from the Levo League, a life hack and style website. The post was from 2015 but still feels timely to me. I shrunk my list and adapted it for my daily life. It’s pretty short, which means if I can master these changes and make lifestyle adjustments, hopefully they will last longer.

1. Wake up early.

Cus opening your eyes just as the first kid starts crying in the crib, which wakes up the other kid, ain’t working out. I start out frazzled and end up playing catch up all day.

2. Read something positive and meditate on how to include it in your life.

Holla. Seriously though, this can set you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. I’ve been reading the book of Ecclesiastes and meditating on Solomon’s wisdom about purpose in life and using our time on Earth wisely. If that don’t set ya straight….

3. Take a shower.

Mandatory self-care. Daily.

4. Text or call two people to say good morning and wish them a good day.

For me, this is about passing on good vibes to other folks. And this keeps me from getting bogged down and drowning in my own muck. Reach out and call, or at least text somebody and let them know you thinking about them. It feels good too.

5. Make a to-do list with five tasks to tackle.

This has been helping me prioritize my tasks and get stuff done.  I keep it short so I don’t overwhelm myself. And if I’m having a slow day, I put in stuff like Eat. Feed the kids. Brush my teeth. And check’em off when I’m done. By the end of the day, I have a record of productivity (at least they ate food, right?)

Short and sweet. Five changes to get you in the mode and the mood to have a good day.

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Enjoying a warm winter day in January.

Life is getting better.

I’d like to incorporate a nap or daily exercise too, but I’m pacing myself.

What are your tips for having a good day?  Feel free to share yours in the comments below; it’s always encouraging to hear how other mommies are keeping it together.

Thanks for reading! Love and Peace!

Have you ever lost your kid in a store?

Have you ever lost your kid in a store?

I’ve never lost track of my kids in a store.

Not yet. I actually try not to go into stores with them. I’ll go out of my way to pick up a girlfriend so she can stay in the car with the kids while I run errands or do grocery shopping. Or I’ll just wait until the hubby gets home and run to the store while he’s home with the kids.

It’s just too much trouble to unlatch car seats and wrestle them both out of the car and grab a cart and get them both in and then make sure they are not knocking everything off the shelf or begging every minute for something. I like shopping. And I like to do it alone now.

So losing track of them in a store is rarely something I think about. But keeping track of two toddlers, I’m very aware it could happen.

Today it happened to someone else. In J.C.Penneys. On a Saturday afternoon. During the holiday shopping season.

I was standing in line waiting to get checked out and the cashier hangs up a store phone and yells “CODE ADAM!!” She picked up another phone and yells it again over the store intercom: “CODE ADAM!” The registers stopped.  The Christmas music paused. Floor salespeople, wearing red JC Penney t-shirts started to walk quickly to the escalators. And they kept yelling Code Adam. “We’re looking for a little girl with a black hoodie and gold barettes.”

My heart fluttered. My little girl has a hoodie too. I looked down at my side expecting to see her. Wait, she’s in the car. With her father. Get a grip Tav.

“CODE ADAM!”

Adam. The little boy who was kidnapped from the store. In the 1980s. Walsh. That was his name. And his father kept looking for his killer.

“CODE ADAM!”

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING! Somebody’s baby was missing. I turned to the guy behind me. “Oh my God, maybe we all need to start looking.” He just shrugged.

Another lady said, “I ain’t got time for this.” And she threw her clothes on the counter and walked away. The middle-aged lady in front of me was clearly annoyed too. “Who loses a kid in the middle of a busy department store? You need to be watching them.”

“I have a three-year-old and I can definitely see how it might happen,” I said, defending the parents of the little girl with the black hoodie. My voice started to sound shaky. “They can get away from you so fast.”

“Well I raised three kids and that never happened to me,” she said.

“Now you know that was at least 30 years ago and you barely remember it!” I was thinking that but I didn’t say it. Another judgmental mom. I decided to stop talking to her.

I wanted to keep defending these parents, whom I didn’t know but who were obviously somewhere in this store likely going crazy looking for their child. And what really mattered at the moment was finding the little girl. I got out of line. Where could I look? What could I do?  I didn’t have a plan or anything, just a sick and nervous feeling in my stomach because if that was my child I would want all hands on deck.

And as I was walking away from the line, someone shouted that they found her.

THEY FOUND HER! The little girl with the black hoodie. And the gold barettes. She was somewhere safe again. Probably with her parents. Probably crying because she had gotten scared. Or maybe she was laughing somewhere under a rack of clothes. Yep, she was laughing and okay again.

So I’m standing here, blinking back tears, heart still fluttering, and now thinking about how I can ask this guy to give me back my place in line. As I turned to ask him, he just nodded and stepped back. I said thank you. He nodded. Was I the only person who had freaked out?

The cashiers returned to the counter and started working again. I dont know when the Christmas music came back on but it was back.

And everybody just kept going about their business again.

 

 

5 tips to nurse and run a 5K Like A Boss

5 tips to nurse and run a 5K Like A Boss

How is this lady with the seeing eye dog about to pass me?

She had been gaining on me for a while. She was like a mirage, inspirational and mostly unbelievable.  The lady and the dog were running in sync, panting in rhythm and they were quickly gliding right pass me.

I ran my first 5K (3.1 miles) this weekend and although I wasn’t planning on being competitive, I was not letting this lady with the seeing eye dog outrun me.

My Runkeeper app told me I was at the 2.7-mile mark, and I opened up the throttle. I straightened up, threw my shoulders back and let my legs fly underneath me. I felt tears streaming out of my eyes and whip back toward my ears.  I literally started to feel like a kid again, running around the playground, trying to achieve a mile run in gym class under 10 minutes.

I felt the roar of applause in my ears as I lengthened my stride and sprinted across the finish line. Was that photographer snapping my picture? Just in case, let me force a sweaty smile. No Tavia. No. They’re applauding the lady with the seeing eye dog who crossed at the same time as you. 

In any case, I reached my goal. This race fulfilled my promise to myself to be a fit mom who is healthy and physically and emotionally balanced for my family, but mostly for myself.

And it felt AMAZING! I have been pregnant or nursing for the past three years with no breaks in between. My mid-thirties body has experienced the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Twice.  So to get to this point of pushing my body to run (mostly) for three miles, 14 months after giving birth, feels like a tremendous accomplishment.

And did I mention that I’m still nursing?

The product of pre-race pumping. 10 ounces!

I pumped 10 ounces of milk the morning of the race. I sipped some water but I didn’t want to keep running to the bathroom during the race so I didn’t drink anymore.  BAD IDEA. I typically try to guzzle a bottle of water every time I nurse. But common sense didn’t prevail this morning. My legs hurt really bad all day after the race. I was so tired and lethargic I could barely get off the couch. I was super dehydrated.

So tip of the day: Stay hydrated if you’re gonna pump 10 ounces of milk before a 5k. And here’s a few more tips for nursing moms who want to set a goal of running a 5K in the future:

1. Wear a good, supportive sports bra. And take it off as soon as the race is finished. Too much prolonged restriction can actually be painful and restrict the flow of milk.

2. Pump or nurse as close to the start of the race as possible. Empty both breasts.

3. Stay hydrated, particularly after nursing, even if it means you have to go to the bathroom during the race. This race is for you but you are still a nursing mom.

4. Wear comfortable underwear that will fit over that loose baby belly and doesn’t get caught underneath it, where it can rub on a C-Section scar.

5. Have a good nutritious meal afterward to replenish your body or opt for a good post-race smoothie to replenish nutrients and help with recovery.

And then kick back and soak it all in. Cus you’re a boss!

Learning to banish negative self-talk

Learning to banish negative self-talk

Refuse to give in to the negative self-talk that happens in our heads. Banish it.

I felt myself retreating into a corner this week, more like a hole. I felt like my creativity was getting choked, like an editor was hovered over me criticizing my work, deleting my articles and replacing type with question marks.

But none of that was real. It was all anxiety, smoke shoveled into my mind to shutdown my work. And I was doing it to myself.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever shutdown a dream, an idea, a vision, with negative self talk and scenarios that haven’t even happened?

Well it has happened to me. Alot. And the reason is fear. Fear of failure. Sometimes it’s masked as procrastination, or mommy brain (I hate that phrase) or fatigue or I-just-don’t-have-time-to-do-it-all.

But I do. I do the things I want to do. Don’t we all? We make time for the things we really want to do.

But if I start, maybe I’ll stop in the middle, and an incomplete project seems worse than never having the idea leave my mind. 

And there it is, an imagined failure over a unrealized plan never set in motion in the first place. Fake fears shoveling smoke and masking fruition.

So I didn’t blog all week. Because I kept looking at my wordpress stats and thinking no one is reading this and I don’t have anything unique to say and those two blog views from China were probably hackers anyway.

But I kept jotting down ideas for new posts, like how my son put himself in a time out after drinking my coffee.


Or how my baby girl, who spent the first week of her life in intensive care, is now wrestling her 40lb brother to the ground.

Or how I spent an hour this week speaking to a refugee family about hope. In Swahili. Yes, I had a productive conversation in Swahili, a language I’ve been trying to grasp for more than five years now.
There is inspiration all round me.  How can I not write about that or share it with someone in the hopes it will inspire them?

But everyone is a mommy blogger nowadays. It doesn’t matter if there are already a thousand mom blogs. Didn’t Seinfeld conceive and write an entire show about nothing? For nine seasons? Is that even a helpful example?

Negative self talk is real and it can feed fears that make you immobile and paralyzed, unable to progress or move forward. I have to banish it as soon as it starts and replace it with positive, encouraging talk. Even speaking it out loud helps to drown out the negative noise.

Tavia you really do have a track record of finishing projects. Remember, you have been a published author and journalist for more than 15 years now. And you just set up this blog last week boo, so it’s a bit unrealistic to expect 20k followers but give it time. 

Yea! Yes! Yaaaaasssss! Take that fear!

Keep it up and I’ll give it to you in Swahili too.

Crockpot Comeback

Crockpot Comeback

Monday got off to a rough start.

The baby woke up around 5:30 this morning. I nursed her back to sleep, then passed out again, only to wake around 8:55, just five minutes before the contractors arrived to install the new boiler. And they turned off the water just as I stepped into the bathroom.

C’mon Monday!

It was a far cry from last week, The Bestest Monday Ever, when I was kicking butt and taking names.

And if it wasn’t for my Crockpot, I might have just turned on House Hunters and called it a day.

Coffee was a supporting actress. It took a minute to get in my system. But once I felt my eye twitch, I knew I was ready to werrrk.

Chili, just chillin.

There’s just something about a crockpot that makes you feel productive and super accomplished,  even if that’s the only thing you do for the rest of the day.

Basically I assembled lunch and dinner for the next three days by noon.

I used this recipe from House of Yumm and tripled the ingredients, using three pounds of ground turkey. Tripled the spices too and then added a pinch more.

After I browned the ground turkey, I put all the ingredients in the crockpot and turned it on low until 6pm. Fixed a pot of rice to go with it.  By Wednesday I’ll probably bake some potatoes to add some variety.

Topped it with avocado and cilantro for myself and the baby with dairy allergies. Added cheese and sour cream for hubby and the toddler.
And this is what we are eating for the next three days. Take that Monday.