How to Make Friendship Pie, beyond the book activity

Want an easy recipe that you can make with the kids? Let’s make Friendship Pie.

It’s tasty, simple, and pairs perfectly with my newest children’s book release: Princess Winnabelle and the Friendship Pie. It’s a sweet and empowering story for girls – with a fun message of friendship and teamwork baked inside!

Follow the recipe below for a ‘beyond the book’ extension activity. I suggest making two – one for your family and one for a friend. I mean, it is Friendship Pie, it’s meant to be shared!

Grab a free digital version of the book here.

Or get the paperback here.

Tag me when you post a picture online, I’d love to hear who you shared your friendship Pie with! (@StoriesbyJKCoy FB and IG)

Photo Credit: Unknown

Friendship Pie Recipe

Makes One 9″ pie

Ingredients:

*two 9″ pie crusts

*9″ pie pan

*7 cups fresh berries (or frozen) – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

*1 cup sugar

*1 Tbsp lemon juice

*4 Tbsps Corn Starch

*2 Tbsps Butter

*1 large egg white beaten with a fork

*heart cookie cutter (optional)

Princess Winnabelle and the Friendship Pie, Beyond the book activity

Instructions:

  1. Add berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a large saucepan on the stove and heat on medium
  2. Simmer until warm and juicy (about 5-10 minutes) – stir occasionally
  3. Spoon out about 1/2 cup of the juice from the saucepan to a bowl. Stir cornstarch in to the juice until smooth
  4. Bring saucepan of berries back to a simmer and slowly pour the cornstarch mixture in. Stir gently until thickened (2-5 min)
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in the butter, then allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie crust in a 9″ pie pan.
  6. Use heart cookie cutter to cut out a heart from the center of the additional unbaked pie crust
  7. Lay the 2nd pie crust on top of the berry pie and pinch the top and bottom pie crusts together. Optional: Brush a thin layer of beaten egg white over the top of the pie and sprinkle with a pinch of extra sugar
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40-45 min. Check it at 25 minutes and place a piece of tinfoil over the top if the crust is getting too brown
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow it to cool for several hours. Once cooled completely, cut it and serve, or cover it and put it in the fridge to serve the next day.

Tip: You can freeze the baked pie for up to three months! Thaw overnight in the fridge then set it out and let it get to room temperature to serve.

Princess Winnabelle and the Friendship Pie available on Amazon – part of the Smart Girl Fairy Tale Series

What to Feed Your Toddler Next: 5 Easy, Healthy Recipes

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took.

As a writer, I sometimes get asked to do fun things like write a guest post for an important site like Kindred Bravely, or read one of my stories to kids in the hospital via a virtual story time. This makes my day.

The Coys

If you have a toddler at home, check out this guest post –

5 Easy Finger Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers

When my daughter entered the finger food stage, I was elated. We could all sit down together to eat as a family. I didn’t have to airplane homemade baby food purees into her mouth between each bite I took. We could even eat some of the same foods. It was messy, but it was exciting.

It would have been easy to just let her live on the snack foods she immediately liked. But I wanted to make sure she was also eating real, nutrient-rich foods that helped her grow. And truth be told, I didn’t want her to grow up like me – a kid who exclusively craves Pop-Tarts and whipped cream and doesn’t eat vegetables until college (only a slight exaggeration).

Continue reading…

The Coys

Parents, How Are Your Emotions Handling this Crisis?

Parents – If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

How are your emotions handling this crisis? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it?!

I’ve thought about it the last few days, and as a parent of two little ones, here’s where I stand…

Obviously, I want this to pass. I want our nations health and economy to be in a better place, I want to move on to making plans and looking forward to the future, I want to wear fewer hats in a single day, and I want to have people over.

On the other hand, I know as soon as all this is over, I’m going to deeply miss it. Specifically, the extra family time, a mostly unhurried pace, and being pushed to try new things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Even in knowing that I’ll miss it, I often get frustrated right now.

My husband and I work full-time and have two young kids in the house – two and four. The house is loud and messy. My husband and I manage work and parenting in two hour blocks, always feeling one step behind in each. All of our plans that we were looking forward to for months are slowly being cancelled. And my four year old reminds me daily that she just wants to play at the park and hug her friends.

I know sweetie. Me too.

And thus, my grumpiness creeps in. This crisis highlights some not-so-pretty traits about myself that I don’t have to face often when life is “normal.”

And my feelings are real and valid, but it doesn’t serve me, or my family, to spend too much time hanging out with my negative attitude.

If we let ourselves think something for too long, it becomes our reality.

So I decided that my brain was in need of a new, more positive, default message. One I could read every day, like a mantra or prayer, to start my emotional responses from a better, more serving, space.

I can’t always control circumstances, but I am in charge of my reactions. If I fill my heart and mind with good, good is more likely to pour out when I’m pressed in uncomfortable situations. So I wrote down the positive thoughts I want to start my day with, and hung them in my home.

If you’re emotions are vacillating from day to day (or moment to moment), I encourage you to print these words and hang them somewhere your family can reflect on them daily.

Choosing This Moment - Quarentine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

Here is the 8×10 .pdf: Choosing This Moment – Quarantine Mantra or Prayer by JK Coy

If you’re a parent of young kids and need some reading material, check out these titles.

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From Concept to Published, a Princess Story

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

The first story is already published!

Back in October I posted thirty writing prompts for the month of November.

I can’t believe how that one thing has helped propel me this year. Every day I showed up and wrote something new. Now I’m using those stories to help me determine what to release this year.

The first story is already published!

Princess Winnabelle and the Missing Jewels released last week.

Cover_final

Amazon Book Description:

Perfect for little princesses that believe a hero can be fierce, fun, and fancy!

All is well in the magical Land of Five Lagunas…until a stubborn little mouse moves in.

In this modern fairy tale, the sweet and spunky Princess Winnabelle doesn’t have time to worry if her fancy dress gets dirty. She is busy learning lessons that will make her a leader one day.

When Kya Mouse ruins the peace and tries to take over the throne in the magical Land of the Five Lagunas, Winnabelle gets to practice her creative problem-solving and smart negotiation skills.

The sweetest bedtime story you’ll read all year! Girls 3-8yrs. adore this fairy tale, and parents can’t help but fall for it too.

But will that be enough to save the day?
Is this really a job for a little princess?!

Find out now.
Buy the paperback and start reading the kindle version for FREE!

***

My plan is to publish three books this year, and I love having a backlog to pick from. Come November, I plan to do this exact challenge again.

Was it hard to show up every day and fit in it? Yes.

I had to get creative. Not just in the writing, but in the ‘how’ of fitting it in.

One day it was over voice memo as I drive back from Vegas.

Anther day it was on a plane while traveling for Thanksgiving.

Some days it was at 6 a.m. before the kids woke,

and many days it was while they were running around shouting at the top of their lungs (one of their favorite activities).

But in thirty days I wrote thirty stories.

And less than six months later, I am holding a printed copy in hand.

#1 new release PWMJ

Want to hear it read out loud? Check it out Here!

Or, you can grab your own copy of Amazon Here🙂 Share it with your Princess tonight.

P20

How to Write 30 Children’s Stories in 30 Days

#ChiBoWriMo 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books. Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated. 

I’ve fallen off the wagon.

This last year has felt out of sorts.

In the last two months, we have…

…said goodbye to our dog of fifteen years

…our 3.5 yr old daughter left the daycare she had been at since she was four months old and started at a new preschool

…we sold our house

…we bought a new house and did a large remodel in thirty days

…then we moved and went right into having house guests visit

All that to say, I need some routine in my life. Especially in my writing.

My birthday was this week and I’d like to start the year off right.

I want to help you gain a feeling of accomplishment too.  So whether you have thought it would be fun to write your own children’s book, or you just need a new goal to flex your creative muscle, I’ve got something for you!

Come November, you often hear the writing community discussing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Their goal is to finish a 50k word manuscript in the month of November.

It’s a great goal, but it doesn’t translate to those of us that want to write children’s books.

So in an effort to get motivated and try something new, I’m challenging myself to write 30 children’s books in 30 days. One book a day in the month of November,

Sure, these will not all be gems. I know that. But the goal is all about creating routine and space for creativity to come out.

Want to write 30 stories too??? I’m starting #ChiBoWriMo (Children’s Book Writing Month), and you can join me!

(yes I totally just made up #ChiBoWriMo)

Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated.  Then use #ChiBoWriMo online if you want to share your progress for accountability.

#ChiBoWriMo: 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books

  1. Write a story about a pet
  2. Write a short, silly rhyme for 1-3 yr olds (think Sandra Boynton)
  3. Write a story about a bubble bath gone wrong
  4. Write a story where they live in a strange location (spaceship, treehouse, etc)
  5. Write a story about how to promote kindness in the world
  6. Write a story about ice cream
  7. Write a story about kids that sell something
  8. Write a story about a free day with no routine
  9. Write a story about a unique animal
  10. Write a story explaining how you would make new friends if you moved to a new place
  11. Write a story about a grumpy object
  12. Write a story about a hair cut
  13. Write a story about something strange happening at the library
  14. Write a story that has a game element to it
  15. Write a story about an animal that is part of the circus
  16. Write a story about a secret door
  17. Write a story that pulls from a fond childhood memory
  18. Write a story on a hot topic for kids (use google to research)
  19. Write a story that has a character with a growth mindset
  20. Write a poem
  21. Write a story about a food eating contest
  22. Write a story about a shocking gift from a crazy aunt
  23. Write a story about the profession you wanted as a kid
  24. Write a story that revolves around one emotion
  25. Write a story about a child that woke up and was all of a sudden an adult
  26. Write a story about a never-ending supply of something totally normal (floss, paper plates, shoes, etc)
  27. Write a story about your car breaking down and having to ride your bike everywhere
  28. Write a story about waiting in line for a very long time (think about everything you might observe)
  29. Write a story about never growing up
  30. Write a story about something random you find in a junk drawer

 

Happy Writing!

Now I’m off to do ALL the Halloween things.  Thankfully I finally had kids so that I don’t have to be the creepy adult trick or treater in the neighborhood – anymore-:)

 

 

 

 

 

Quit All 2019 Resolutions Today

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

I am a goal setter. Are you?

I’m currently mapping out 2019. My list is long and spans many facets of life (business, marital, social, physical, spiritual, financial, family, hobbies…), but the one thing you won’t find on my list?

Resolutions.

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

That kind of self-talk flat out stinks. It’s not motivating. Goals, on the other hand, help you frame everything with a growth mindset. “Today (fill in the blank) happened. What can I learn from that to take the next step toward the goal I set for myself to achieve in 2019?”

I literally just finished four miles on our treadmill, then picked up my phone and started typing this post. Probably not a huge surprise for those that know me, but two of my goals this year are:

1, Set a new PR for a half marathon. (Benchmark: Surf City 2017 1:50:14//8:25 pace)

2. Write daily. It could be in my journal, working on book four (another children’s book), or the next blog post – it all counts to me – I just want to make writing a part of my daily rhythm.

If you want to use the same goal tracker I’ve been using for years – here is the monthly and quarterly template view:

2019 goal box monthly

2019 goal box quarterly view

No matter which way you chose to attack 2019 – be courageous. Set big goals and set out an action plan for each.

Yes. You have to write it down.

More specifically you have to write down the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) action steps that will point you in the direction of your goal, and let you know if you actually got there!

Once you’ve decided on a goal and written down your S.MA.R.T. steps, share it with someone. A boss, a spouse, a friend, Instagram. Me. It doesn’t matter who, but it does matter that YOU DO.

This year I started by writing down every goal I could possibly hope to achieve in each category.  Then I spent the next week just letting them swirl around my head to see if…

…anything else came to mind…

…then really consider which one was most critical in each category.

Not which was the easiest to achieve, but what would truly take that area of life to the next level.

Next week I’ll be putting them in to my template so that I can track them weekly (honestly, sometimes weekly becomes monthly, but do what you need to do to keep yourself accountable).

Don’t be afraid to let this goal-setting process take a week or two.  Remember, you are planning out the next year.  That’s pretty major.

You’re pretty major.

GO GET THIS YEAR!

I’d love to hear which goal you are most excited to work on in 2019.  Drop it in the comments below.

File Dec 10, 8 46 26 AM
Happy New Year from the Coys! Cracking up because the little ones eyes are saying, “Help me!”;)  

 

 

Because You Are Superwoman; Chapter One Freebie!

An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth. Start reading now!

My newest book release, Because YOU Are Superwoman, was a labor of love.

After nine months of research, collaboration, story compiling, cover design, editing, formatting, etc. launch day is finally here.

The book has over twenty positive birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, to provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.

You can check it out on Amazon Now.

Or Start Reading Chapter One Below…

Chapter One: Claiming Your Superpower

My husband likes to refer to me as “Superwoman.”

Of course, no spouse constantly feels this way about their other half. I am highly aware that I have plenty of shortcom‐ ings. But when the subject of birth comes up, he likes to remind me how amazing it was to witness his wife being so incredibly strong and capable as we welcomed our daughters into the world.

It was two intervention-free hospital births in the last two years that earned me that designation. But painting myself as a strong, brave heroine isn’t the full picture. I am also the preschool wimp who got one ear pierced and then jumped into the store’s window display to hide because I was so filled with fear just anticipating the pain of the second poke. I actually refused to get the other ear pierced until the fourth grade.

Don’t worry, my mom did take out the lone earring to spare me from looking like a tiny pirate. No one wants their little girl to have to explain that she is a big wimp every time someone notices her pirate ear. Thanks, Mom.

So obviously, anticipating the pain of childbirth for over thirty years had me terrified. I assumed that when the day came my water would break somewhere wildly embarrassing. Then, with water dripping between my legs, I’d rush right to the hospital in a panic, screaming for the epidural the moment they sat me in a wheel chair. Then I’d lay on my back with my legs spread eagle, cursing my husband’s name for DOING THIS TO ME! The doctor would rush in just in time to catch my camera-ready newborn baby, and the nightmare would be over!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

Honestly, that was one of the only common birth examples I had ever been exposed to. On the very rare occasion that someone brought up a story involving a woman going au natural or desiring minimal medical interventions, it was surrounded by snide comments, alluding to the notion that the woman and her birth were a bit…crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned or reckless in the face of modern medicine.

My own sister-in-law had two home births after a tough hospital birth, so you would think I would have some other reference point. But she also now lives on a mountain in rural Argentina, so she is obviously a unique breed. It was difficult for me to relate to her and her “natural ways” when I finally found myself in need of childbirth advice. In fact, since we were really nothing alike, I assumed birthing without intervention wasn’t for me.

 

Me (Probably a Lot Like You)

I’ve spent years learning from higher instruction, earning degrees in business and education. I’ve worked in profes‐ sional environments for a decade and a half. I have a fairly progressive husband who willingly jumps in to help maintain the details of managing our household. Our finances are in order (meaning, I at least track my spending enough to know that I have burned through way too much of my daughter’s college education money at coffee shops as I pen this book). I’ve created a modest, yet comfortable, Pinterest-worthy home for my sensible family of four and our rescue companion, an elderly red dog that looks more like a dingo.

Alright, enough with the gold stars. We’re all bored.

But all that said, it is not unfathomable that I resist my intervention-free births being categorized as crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned, or reckless.

And I’m not the only one.

 

The New Examples of Birth

In this book you’ll read over twenty stories of amazing women who had positive birth experiences, all requiring very minimal intervention from modern medicine. These women have conquered their own self-doubt. They have stared down the deepest parts of childbirth, and now, you get to be a fly on the wall as you transport yourself into their stories and see how they found their own strength to kick childbirth squarely between the eyes.

The women in this book, myself included, are strong, educated, modern mamas who wanted more options to achieve a positive and healthy birth experience for them and their babies. Just like you, we had questions. We wanted to understand the “why” of our care. We wanted the evidence, and then we wanted to feel supported to make decisions with our family’s interests in mind. We did not want to make our birth decisions out of fear. When we looked at how modern medicine had overstepped its boundaries, we insisted on something better.

Just because birth interventions are so common that they are now considered normal, we knew that didn’t actually mean they were necessary or beneficial for us. They were not accepted as our standard for care.

Alternatively, we all knew how fortunate we were to have modern medicine as our back-up in case we were truly part of the small minority that should require intervention.

 

Some Alarming Intervention Data

According to the National Listening to Mothers Survey (2013), which interviewed over two thousand women who had birthed in the prior year, interventions in labor were closely linked to increased, unplanned cesareans. Specifically, the study noted women who received an induction or epidural were more likely to have an unplanned c-section. The most common forms of induction they referenced were the use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin), breaking a woman’s waters, inserting a finger into the cervix and “sweeping” or “stripping” the membranes, or a prostaglandin gel, pouch, or tablet placed near the cervix. Often times, women receive an induction concoction that includes two or more of these methods.

The idea that one intervention increases the likelihood of others, is often referred to as the “cascade of intervention.” Once interventions are introduced, the unplanned cesarean rate increases. Among first-time mothers who had term births and experienced labor, those who had both labor induction and an epidural were six times more likely to have a c-section (31%) than those who had neither intervention (5%). Get out your highlighter and make sure that last sentence is glowing.

Additionally, there are plenty of other routine birth practices that have become par for the course but show little benefit to a laboring woman: restricting food intake, using bladder catheters, restricted movement while attached to intravenous fluids, time constraints, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, and lying flat on our backs to push.

 

Reserving Interventions for Plan B

Please understand, I am not here to tell you that medical interventions are the devil. I am not on some witch hunt, crusading for women to deny all assistance during birth. I would like to assume these interventions were created with good intentions in mind. The problem lies in the fact that most interventions have become synonymous with childbirth in this country. And many have become widely used out of convenience, instead of necessity. Interventions have become the Plan A; the starting point for birth. As women, we have stopped asking “Why?” and started accepting that this is just what birth looks like in this country.

Unfortunately, this passive acceptance has come at a cost.

Medical practitioners perform cesareans at approximately 32% of U.S. births. That is almost one in three births that end with major surgery. Ultimately, cesareans have become the most commonly performed surgery in this country. It feels like that should be a red flag, birth in this country is in a bit of a crisis.

In fact, our cesarean rate is more than double what the World Health Organization recommends to reach the most favorable outcomes in decreasing the maternal and infant mortality rate. Staci Berrey, a doula for almost a decade, and owner of Labor of Love Birth Services in Orange County, CA, explained, “Medical intervention is not the enemy; it is the overuse of it for reasons that show little benefit to the laboring mother that we should take issue with.”

Interventions save mothers and their babies every day, but we should question whose best interest is being put first when an intervention is the starting point for birth in modern medi‐ cine. If we prepare a woman’s mind and body, make her feel safe and supported, and then get out of her way, the body is amazing and actually knows how to birth with very little assistance or intervention. If we were able to save costs on unnecessary interventions upfront, that would leave more money available for a woman’s follow-up care after delivery. One way to do this could be reducing the cesarean rate, since c-sections are fifty percent more costly to providers than vaginal births.

It should be noted that the United States has the highest maternal death rate among developed nations. Over sixty percent of maternal deaths are preventable with regular monitoring of the mother. After giving birth twice, I fully believe that waiting four to six weeks for a woman’s first postpartum check-up is far too long, especially since in the same time frame it is common to have three or more appoint‐ ments centered around your newborn.

A Mental Shift

When I found out I was pregnant with my first, I spent the first thirty-two weeks under the care of a traditional OB- GYN, who I actually really liked. But once I started to learn that my birth choices were greater than…

  • A tree-hugging, drug-free, painful birth or medical interventions as soon as I reached the hospital?
  • A home birth with no aide or a hospital birth where someone else made choices for me based on dated practices?
  • How soon did I want to be induced or would I rather just schedule a c-section?
  • An epidural or pure hell?

I started picturing the possibility of a minimal intervention, positive birth experience, based on the principles and prac‐ tices of believing in what my body was made to do (while not being embarrassed to admit I was totally open to evidence-based medical interventions that became necessary).

With this mental shift, I knew I needed to switch to be under the care of a woman who was experienced in advocating for using only those interventions that were in a woman’s, and her baby’s, best interest. Someone who routinely saw the miracle that our bodies are capable of with very little aide. Someone who truly believed that most medical interventions did not need to be common practice and would best be saved for Plan B, after first supporting me with less invasive techniques.

I knew that for me to fully trust someone during a time when I could feel scared and vulnerable, it would be critical to have someone in charge of the show who knew what was “normal” during a birth where medical intervention was an option, but a road taken only after a number of other more natural methods were exhausted.

Because You are Superwoman back

The Birth Dialogue

If we want to change birth in this country, we need to change the dialogue surrounding it. Birth doesn’t have to be trauma‐ tizing. Each woman sharing her story in this book truly believes that. We want to empower you with confidence in your mind and body. We want to give you the courage to seek a positive birth experience beyond the horror stories that society has routinely exposed us to. This means educating yourself with new perspectives of birth and seeking out care providers who specifically align with your goals. Our child‐ birth beliefs have such a profound impact on the care choices we make, on the way we labor, on our outcomes, and ulti‐ mately how we feel about our experience.

My Great Aunt Pat shared her positive, intervention-free, hospital birth story with me long before I was pregnant. She didn’t tell me it was orgasmic. She didn’t say it was easy. She didn’t say it was painless. But she did say it was totally, one hundred percent worth it. In fact, she chose to birth the same way two more times. At the end of her story, she turned to me with delight in her voice and said, “You could totally do it, too!”

Her words spoke power into me. She believed in me before I had even considered believing in myself. Because the confi‐ dence was coming from a strong woman who had fully expe‐ rienced birth and spoke positively about it, I trusted it.

But I was still nervous. How could she believe I could do something so unfathomable? Births like that are for superheroes. They are rare unicorns. They are for totally- committed natural mamas. They are for people so much stronger than me. But words are powerful, and the notion stuck with me.

A few years later, I found myself pregnant, and I recalled her confidence in me. I wasn’t sure what it all meant, but little by little, I started to put aside what I thought I knew about birth. By reading the mind-blowing stories of women who didn’t curse birth, but instead believed in their bodies and took charge of their care, I started letting go of the notion that childbirth was just some tragic event that women had to endure. Instead, I started getting excited about the life transforming power women can experience through childbirth.

By harnessing the confidence and techniques I learned from other remarkable women who had succeeded in the type of birth experience I wanted, I was able to create my own posi‐ tive examples of birth as I welcomed my daughters into the world. The same six techniques I used (laid out in detail in chapter three) can be replicated by anyone who wants their own minimal intervention birth. The journey began when someone opened my mind to the possibility of a positive birth experience and then instilled confidence in me with their positive words. From there, the responsibility fell on me to be an active participant in my care choices.

I want to pay it forward. I want to provide that same confidence to you. I believe in you. I believe in your body. I believe it is okay for you to stand up and ask questions. I believe you deserve a positive birth experience. You are an incredible, educated, strong, modern woman with a body that is capable of giving birth. Each of the women in this book believe in you. You are not too weak, too old, too broken, or too scared to just roll over and let birth happen to you. You have superwoman inside you.

It’s time you believe it.

Get Chapter Two Now.


 

If you enjoyed this preview, consider writing a review on Amazon to help spread the word!  You can add a review here.   here.

With Love – J.K. Coy

 

One More thing…

Share your positive birth posts with these tags to join the conversation and possibly be featured on my author pages: #MIBirth #BecauseYouAreSuperwoman @StoriesbyJKCoy

 

ALL the Birth (Book) Details – Slighty Less Graphic than My Birth Video

Can you imagine being pregnant and having the “due date” continuously pushed back, week after week?

At some point you might just think you are going to stay pregnant forever.

Many times I felt that way during the writing of the latest book.  Things took far longer than I expected to come together.  It literally ended up taking nine months from the time I put a call out that I was looking for positive, minimal intervention birth stories to then compile, write, edit, format, and publish this baby.  And like an anxious mama-to-be, I was losing my patience with the process toward the end.

Even the name took longer than expected to choose. But a title, is pretty important.  It will be around for a while.  I wanted a strong title, yet one that wasn’t too “birthy.”  So like most of us do when we are expecting, I made lists and ran them by friends (and fans) to gauge their reaction.

But ultimatly the decision was mine.  This book was my baby.  The final title is one I feel honors the women that shared their positive birth stories in the book. And it also encourages any woman, that decides to one day give birth, to believe in her body:

Because YOU Are Superwoman:  How to Harness Your Superpower and Create a Positive Birth Experiance with Minimal Medical intervention 

Things are finally coming together.  This baby is fully baked and ready to make an appearance.

Speaking of appearances, let me share the first official cover photo!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

The cover clearly lets readers know that the topic is “birth,” but hopefully the strong, modern, and bold look and feel alludes to the tone of this birth book.

I also threw in some humor and overly personal details, just to keep it light;)  Think of the book You are a Bad*ss and then add the words, At Giving Birth.

Here is the working book description:

***

Do you want a positive birth experience, but haven’t heard of any?
Do you think a more natural birth experience sounds ideal, but don’t know how to go about having one?
Have you ever wondered if other strong, educated women choose to birth with minimal medical intervention?
Fortunately, these are not your typical birth stories. 
These are the remarkable stories of modern-day superheroes. A bunch of bad*ss super women, just like you. They are bold, educated, strong, and they decided to do things differently. Ultimately, they chose to make their belief in their body Plan A, while reserving the marvel of medical interventions for Plan B.
Over twenty birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, will provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.
Stop simply hoping for a positive, minimal intervention birth. This book contains the specific birth plan for you, and it’s easier than you think.

***

Cursing, pooping, grunting, naked, raw, real and candid birth stories told by strong, intelligent mamas.  Above all their stories will encourage fellow women that they too have everything they need to birth their baby with minimal intervention.

So here is the exciting part. Unlike childbirth where you never know the exact birthdate, this book is going to be available on Amazon on Nov. 11th, 2018!  That’s just two weeks away, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for you to read it!  If it lives up to the expectations of those of us that collaborated on it, this book is going to change the way women, and practitioners, think about birth.

If you’d like to get an advanced copy of Because YOU Are Superwoman in exchange for an honest review on Facebook or Amazon, join the launch team! Contact me here and include the words Launch Team in the heading – I’ll follow-up with details next week.  To join the team and get your free advanced copy, I need to hear from you by Monday, Nov. 5th.

Ready to get your hands on something now?  For a limited time, if you buy either of my children’s books on Amazon, you get the e-book FREE and you can start reading ASAP!

And if you are still questioning, does she really have a graphic birth video? The answer is yes.

And no.

It’s not a flattering angle, and I don’t plan to share it;)

How Hard is it to Make Your Own Baby Food? Spoiler, it’s Not!

Do you have fifteen minutes one time a week? I understand that as a busy parent you probably paused to honestly consider your answer.

But seriously, it takes me fifteen minutes to make a week’s worth of baby food.

Let me share some recipe ideas and tips to get you started on the right foot – all have been tested by a busy family of four, in a household with two under two.

Baby Liv is eight months now, but her adventures in food started at about four and a half months. I know at some point in her life she will eat whip cream on pop-tarts (a high school favorite of mine) or chocolate frosted donuts, but right now it is up to me to make sure she gets some good stuff to help her body and brain grow and thrive.

Your baby’s primary calorie and nutritional needs should still be met by breast milk or formula, so think of baby food as a supplemental learning experience for your little one.

I enjoy making baby food so I can control what is in it. Plus, we decided to skip the baby cereal and puffs since they don’t provide much nutritional value. Thankfully it seriously takes less than fifteen minutes to make a week’s worth of food – don’t get too hung up on the ingredient quantities, just scoop it in extra containers for the freezer!

*FYI the first two months we tested foods one by one for a few days to check for allergies, but since around six months we have been having fun with some yummy combinations*

Below are six quick ideas for a more interesting meal.

Make a batch and store a few days worth in the fridge, and any extra can go in the freezer in 1-2oz. containers.

– deli rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast, chicken or veggie stock, steamed sweet potato or squash, and unsweetened apple sauce – mix in blender

– unsweetened apple sauce, chia seeds, almond milk, and cinnamon – stir to combine

– cooked ground turkey, fresh pitted cherries, splash of breast milk or almond milk – mix in blender

– rinse a sweet potato, wrap it in a paper towel and steam it in the microwave on the potato setting. Then scoop out the insides and add a little cinnamon. Add breast milk or coconut milk to thin if needed.

– cooked black beans, peeled and pitted peach, vitamin D drops, mix in blender

– cooked garbanzo beans, blueberries, spinach, full fat Greek yogurt – mix in blender

Tips that have helped me make baby food prep easier:

– make baby food in bulk and store in 1-2oz. Containers. I use the XO ones!

– add vitamin D drops to your baby food containers so you don’t have to remember to get it out daily

– the baby food lasts in the fridge for at least three days, or if you make bulk you can freeze it and take one out to thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to use, heat in microwave for 18 seconds

– no prep foods if you need something on the go: mashed banana, unsweetened apple sauce, mashed avocado

– serve purées right out of the fridge (cold) if your little one is teething

– steam fresh veggies make baby food prep so easy. Steam the veggie in the microwave then purée it in the blender. You can always throw in some spices or other foods on the back end for variety

– if you need more recipe ideas the book Sage Spoonfuls has been a great guide for feeding both my girls so that I know what is appropriate at each stage

– they sell reusable pouches if you want something less messy for mealtime. Just put your purées inside (in all fairness, I love this idea, but haven’t used mine yet)

As they get older, you can purée the food less to provide some food interest with texture.

Now that Liv is eight months and has two teeth, I try to give her at least one thing on her tray that she can feed herself (like steamed veggies, cheese, apples or bananas – in tiny pieces). Half usually ends up on her or the floor, but it keeps her and our dog VERY happy!

Can’t wait to hear your creative baby food ideas and tips!

*Always reach out to a Doctor with questions or concerns

A Toddler Mom’s Staycation

Happiness hides in everyday moments.  Go looking for it.

Sometimes ten free minutes can feel like gold to a busy parent.  

Take a minute to join me on a mental Staycation…

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***

I dance outside to seize a very rare moment in a young mother’s day where both her daughters are off in the loving care of a grandma-like figure, leaving me a few glorious minutes sneaked in between tasks on my monotonous to-do list.

The sun is so bright that I have to squint as I release my thoughts on the pages of a composition notebook in a quick, messy scribble that no one else will be able to read. I feel the instinct to capture them on paper before they float away like bubbles. Sunglasses would be ideal, except all four pairs are sitting on a wooden shelf just inside the sliding door, snickering at me for forgetting to grab one, yet again. But I am on a mental vacation, and I am unwilling to get up until I begin to sweat through my clothes.

My annoyance slips away, as the sound of our bulky air conditioner soothes me like shushing to a baby, as it sprints to run down the heat of the afternoon canyon sun. A welcomed breeze whispers through and helps my body pause momentarily from melting like a creamsicle.

I find myself enjoying the smell of bonfires tickling my nostrils as it brings back vivid childhood memories of Michigan summers; until I remember it is actually the heartbreaking scent of thousands of acres of trees blazing in the Holy Canyon fire.

Laying on a beige, outdoor L-shaped sectional, I get distracted when I look up and suddenly notice how confined I am by neighboring fences, squeezing me from all sides. Yet, I am oddly comforted knowing this little slice of the world is my families, and I get to watch my young daughters laugh and learn through play in this outdoor classroom made of skinned knees and chalk masterpieces.

The heat starts to get to me. I swallow and notice the dry flavor of black coffee lingering in my mouth. Licking the fuzz off my teeth, I imagine hydrating myself with an overpriced flute of anything sparkling. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs hearing a bell, I begin to salivate. Tonight is Mom’s Night Out with some old friends; our gathering is only six months overdue.

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Before I can feel good about heading out and leaving my family to fen for themselves, I feel an internal tug to finish my to-do list. I pick myself up off the warm couch, feeling completely restored from just a few minutes of silence and sunshine. I have renewed energy to tackle the pile of laundry that is staring me down. I will win. This Mom is putting on studded black heels tonight because I am tired of seeing them slowly wither in the back corner of my closet.

***

My staycation write-up was actually part of a writing exercise I took part in last week.  The assignment was to use all five sense to describe a vacation spot you traveled to this summer.  Because I have been busy starting a new job, getting my six month old in daycare, and juggling book releases, mental staycations are where it is at these days!

Coincidentally, this week my husband and I finally scheduled our ten year wedding anniversary trip to Palm Springs in October.  I am giddy.  I can hardly believe that an Adults-Only vacation is happening!

But if an adults only resort getaway isn’t realistic for you right now, take a minute to really explore the environment you are in – drink in the sights, smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds around you. It might just take something that normally blends in to a weekday afternoon, and reframe it.  For me it was ten minutes outside in my own backyard.

Happiness hides in everyday moments.  Go looking for it.

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Next Book Release Coming Soon!