GOT MILK? Yeah, it’s in the Bottle. (Linked Up, part II)

Because there has been so much commentary on pro-choice breastfeeding lately, including that brilliant and brave Wash Post article I mentioned last week, I wanted to link up to this commentary as well. http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1053781/one-surprising-reason-french-women-dont-breastfeed

French have always espoused liberty. Where were these women when I was bumbling my way through blazing boobs, two at a time. It was such a disaster, never making it to the major leagues, no matter how hard I tried, squeezed, pumped and inhaled fenugreek! And to make matters worse, by night time I had to ALWAYS supplement since supplies ran low. It was the equivalent of high end restaurant torture in which miniature sized plates de resistance leave you BROKE and STILL HUNGRY.

Glad those bovine days are over. For those of you still in the trenches, “Let them drink milk!” And don’t worry if it’s from the breast or the bottle.



Gosh, I could not agree more with this writer. I did a combination of both, but the breasts were hung out to dry early–and I didn’t care. And yes, I got a bunch of judgmental stares. But YOU try breast feeding and pumping (and diapering and bathing) TWO at the same time. Check this out below, x, Carolina




Numerous studies have linked ‘blue lights’ (you know the kind that emanate from electronics like computers, tvs and phones) to disruptive sleep in kids and adults. I was just at the home of a friend and could not believe how many apparatuses were plugged into her kids’ room. Really?

Blue light at night can interfere with melatonin production, which basically means that are kids are not getting quality sleep. And if they don’t get a good night’s rest, it will percolate into their day (poor testing, distracted, ADHD, etc.) … Here’s the bottom line:

1- if your kid has a computer in the room, make sure it’s in sleep mode when your kid is in the same mode.

2- Limit electronics in a room. Have them do their homework somewhere else (I like the kitchen table, so you can keep a watchful eye).

3- Ditch the modern alarm clock. Go old school and get one of those battery operated or wind up  clocks.

4- If there are a lot of lights outside your kids’ bedroom window, invest in shutters or shades. Keep the room dark.TeddyBear_Text copy

5- Finally, for the love of BLANK, ditch the night light. If your kid is out of diapers, they can turn on a bathroom light. It’s one thing to have small lights were there are stairs, etc., but not in the bedroom.

Happy Zzzzzs. x, Carolina



If you’re like me, it’s hard to get three square meals in. On busy mornings my breakfast can be a musical plates rendition of eating my four kids’ leftovers. We all know that skipping any meal–especially breakfast–is not a good thing. Especially bad when it’s time for bed and I’m suddenly starving. That’s when Haagen Dazs yells at me from his stainless steel prison. “Let me out!” Or more like “Let me in!”

That’s why I’ve just started keeping some easy, homemade ‘snack packs’ in my mini-van and in my purse. And while I’m waiting for Chick 1 and Chick 2 to get out of school in the abominable pick-up line, I have something to munch on (of course, the kids are not allowed to eat in the car, but Mom is a constant rule breaker. Plus, I don’t leave crumbs!).

Some of my favorite energy boosters:


-CRISP CEREAL (like Special-K or Product 19) MIXED IN WITH RAISINS, DRIED CHERRIES AND DRIED PINEAPPLE … cereal is a great way to get filled up and obtain vitamins and minerals we may be lacking in (for me it’s iron), the dried fruit rounds it out and gives some natural sweetness

– TRADER JOE’S THAI CHILI ROASTED ALMONDS (if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s just flavor roasted almonds with chili powder, salt, pepper, and lemongrass leaves)


roasted-and-salted-macadamias-SALTED MACADAMIA NUTS MIXED IN WITH COCOA NIBS .. chocolate, especially in this form, is chockfull-of goodness and antioxidants. This is a perfect pairing of semi-sweet and savory. Get a protein and mild caffeine boost.


sleep-banana- BANANA … how easy is that. Bananas are like a heaven-sent power bar. And you can buy them for 19 cents. Potassium, B6, manganese, vitamin C, biotin, fiber … and I could go on.


OLOVES-Hot-Chilli-Mama-906x906-OLOVES … a relatively new product. They are basically vacuum-packed olives with none of the juice, but all the flavors. Of course, I love the chili flavored ones. The packets are small, and not exactly cheap (walmart sells 10 for $15), but it adds to the variety. Of course, not everyone loves olives. I could eat a Costco-sized jar, but that’s just me!

ENJOY!  x, Carolina


Tripping, Treading Water and Tree Climbing

treeChatting with a group of moms during preschool pickup, Chick 5 became bored with the conversation and asked permission (thank you Cat in the Hat!) to climb a nearby tree.

The higher she climbed, the more horrified one mother looked. She gave me an obscenely steely stare and then gaped in the direction of my daughter. I tried to ignore her judgmental eye popping. But she could not contain herself.

“She’s going to fall,” she blurted out. “She’s gonna fall!” Even louder. All of the moms remained speechless. Total buzz kill.

“Well, falling is a part of growing up,” I calmly responded. “Learning how to pick yourself up is the valuable lesson.”

(Though for the record, this was no towering tree and I was keeping a tight eye on her.)

“Really? She can break an arm!” she countered, looking at me like I was some kind of Mommy Dearest. This woman was relentless.

I was trying to control the urge to snap back at her when Chick 5 jumped down from the tree, waddled a little and fell on her rear end. Holding my breath to see if there would be tears or laughter, Chick 5 dusted herself off and with a huge smile powered by new-found confidence asked, “Hey Mom, can I do that again?”

All of the mom’s chuckled — some genuinely, others nervously. I responded, “Absolutely!”

Kids need to explore boundaries. Climbing trees, treading water, and scraping knees are all a part of the process. In life, we’ll figuratively and literally trip over many obstacles. I say, teach them early to dust themselves up and keep walking.

xx, Melissa


ODE TO GREEK GOODNESS … Whole Wheat Pasta w/ Shrimp and Lemon Ginger

photo 1-2This summer I ripped through a number of books, including my friend Yvette’s When the Cypress Whispers, set in Greece and NYC. A fantastic, love story that incorporates Greek myth and mouth watering Greek food. Seriously, I wanted to be on a plane headed for Mykonos. So, in the spirit of the cypress whispers, here is an easy, let’s-extend-summer recipe.

x, Carolina

ps. Of course, in Florida it’s always summer, except these torrential rains that have not stopped for the past three weeks.


Extra virgin olive oil

Large peeled shrimp, fresh or thawed (we do 4 per person)

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 box whole wheat pasta (spaghettini or whatever you like)

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup white wine

juice of one lemon

zest of one lemon

1 teaspoon of grated ginger

2-3 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup roughly chopped flat parsley

1 cup feta cheese, roughly crumbled


Set a large pot of salted water to boil, for the pasta.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium. When hot, gently lay down the shrimp. Lightly salt (and pepper) them. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes or until they turn pink and easily peel off the skillet. Turn them over and cook for another minute. Remove shrimp onto a large plate and cover with a towel. Add a bit more oil and throw in the garlic. Sauté quickly. When the garlic starts to turn golden, add wine, lemon juice, lemon and ginger zest and bring to a simmer. Season to taste (i.e., add more salt/ pepper). Throw shrimp back in and cover to make sure they are cooked through, about another minute. Turn off the fire and add the butter, letting it melt. Place in a serving bowl and toss with the parsley and feta cheese.

*I also like to add some chili pepper flakes, but I add that to everything!