April Favorites

Know what makes me happy? Favorite things posts!

Our monthly favorites - Curls that last all day, the best kids' multi-vitamin, and our trick for getting kids to try new foods.

There are few things I enjoy more than the monthly favorite things posts! I’ve got a fun (albeit random) mix of favorites this month. Let’s get to it!

1. Vitamins and Probiotics.

One of my big goals for our family is to get the nutrients we need from food. For Michael and me, that’s pretty easy. I eat fruits and veggies at every meal, and we eat a good mix of animal and plant proteins. For my picky eater (Milo) and my recovering problem feeder (Sophie), that’s not always as easy.

Sophie’s developmental pediatrician recommended a good multivitamin with Omega 3s and a good probiotic. Some research suggests that kids with autism do better with more Omega 3s and some research suggests that the gut flora of children on the spectrum is pretty severely disrupted (meaning they don’t have enough healthy gut bacteria and have an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria).

In our case, removing dairy and gluten from Sophie’s diet (along with dyes) has really helped with the digestive issues she had since birth and, when she feels better, her behavior and function is also better. To help fill in the nutritional gaps of both kids’ still-limited diets, I’ve had them on the SmartyPants Kids Complete Gummy. It’s a multivitamin with Omega 3s (DHA and EPA fish oil) and Vitamin D. (Amazon has a $5 off coupon right now, or Sprouts carries them and puts them on sale every few months).

What I love about it: it’s gluten free and allergen free, uses no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. It also tastes remarkably good. Like, best vitamin taste ever. Both kids ask for their vitamin in the morning. I can cope with some organic sweetener and plant-based colors (from things like carrot juice) if it means my kids take a good vitamin.

We’re still nailing down which probiotic seems to do best for our kids (we’ve tried a few), but we have nothing but great things to say about the SmartyPants vitamins. We had a remarkably light cold and flu season this year. I don’t know if healthier gut flora helped with that or not, but I’m sticking with this regimen for now.

p.s. Lest you don’t have little ones at home (or are on the hunt for something yourself), they also make an adult version and Amazon has a $6 off coupon for that at the moment, too. 

2. Curling wands.

I’ve been fully on the curling wand bandwagon for a few years now, and it’s the only way to go. I have never been able to master the curling iron loose curls (I always end up having a big line from the clamp). After my makeup post, I got lots of messages about what curling iron I use. I have two:

My hair is as straight as it comes, so this is the only possible way for me to hold a curl in my hair. I love the loose waves of the 25mm wand, but I will say that they tend to loosen up even more throughout the day. The 19mm is a bit tight right when it’s done, but it shakes out a bit throughout the day and I like that look, too.

Our monthly favorites - Curls that last all day, the best kids' multi-vitamin, and our trick for getting kids to try new foods.

3. Mini Salt and Pepper Shakers. 

So, I’ve been trying my best to really help Sophie and Milo do as much for themselves as they can. Some of that’s easier for me to let go of, like learning to get dressed (go for it!), and some of it is much harder to let go of, like letting Sophie choose how much tamari (gluten free soy sauce) to pour over rice (too much!).

As messy as it sometimes gets, I’ve been trying to have them do more for themselves in the kitchen, like letting them spread their own jam on toast. Sophie has LOVED this and it’s actually been a really helpful tactic for getting her to try new foods. She’s finally eating eggs (SUCH a big victory) and one of the big reasons is because she gets to use the salt and pepper shakers. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s made SUCH a big difference! She’ll try almost anything if she gets to put salt (or another beloved condiment) on it herself.

I picked up these adorable mini pig salt and pepper shakers when I was visiting my mom over spring break and was delighted to see that Amazon carries them. Now I can order another set for when we have company over!

4. Lindsay Brin 30 Day Core. 

You know I’m a Lindsay Brin fan if you’ve been reading this blog for any real length of time. I feel like no one quite knows core workouts (especially core workouts for MOMS) like Lindsay does. I’ve been working on her 30 Day Core DVD for the last few weeks. It’s got a lot of different workouts (some are more full-body, some are nearly all core work). They’re tough, but she provides lots of modifications, which I appreciate (and use when I need to). I’m going to be trying out her Pretty Fierce DVDs next.

Also, she’s happy and nice but not too perky. Do you know what I mean? She just seems like someone you’d want to take to lunch and be friends with. Which is important to me in a living room workout buddy at early o’clock in the morning.

(See more of my favorite at-home workouts and fitness faves here

5. Gaby Dalkin.

So, this is the first time I’ve put a person in one of these lists (I think?), but I have to throw this one out there. Gaby Dalkin (of What’s Gaby Cooking) is just killing it at life lately. Her Instagram account is stunning, her website is mouthwatering (Matt Armendariz does her blog photography and he is a genius), and she does these amazing Snapisodes on Snapchat (@whatsgabycooking) every Friday where she live-cooks a recipe for you.

What more can I say? She’s adorable. She’s talented. She shares my ardent affection for avocados. Also, she’s going to be in a cooking show soon with Minka Kelly, which is kind of the best news ever. Go follow her already! You’ll want to make everything she posts, from Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls to BLT Salmon Salad to Loaded Hummus and more.

What do YOU love lately? 



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5 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for recommending this vitamin! I will definitely check it out. I am currently giving my twin boys (who are both on the autism spectrum) the Lil Critters Gummy Vites. They are dye free, allergen free as well, but do not contain omega3s like the SmartyPants ones do. As far as probiotics, we use the GoodGreens probiotic juice- (is gluten free and dairy free). Please keep us posted if you find one that you and your family like

  2. I would really enjoy a review of the Pretty Fierce DVDs – I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while and would love to hear your thoughts. ­čÖé

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