A letter to our baby girl

May 18, 2020 Utah, USA

Dear baby Olive,



You aren’t even here yet and already so loved... I can’t help but think of how lucky we are to be bringing such a precious little thing into this world. 

We are getting closer and closer to the finish line and mama is finally starting to feel like herself again. Being sick from the moment we found out you were inside me to now heading into the third trimester. It’s been worth it and it will continue to be worth it when we get to see your beautiful little face. Every moment, every kick, every sleepless night staring at the ceiling, every sickness and emergency room visit, every emotional outburst is so freaking worth it! We are lucky and you’re worth it baby girl!

Daddy is currently doing something that only 1% of Americans do... He is in the Air Force and he gets to protect us and fight for our freedom. He is the type of man that your mama dreamt of. Someone that would take charge and do anything and everything to give his little family a better life. Daddy is my hero and soon enough he will become yours too! 

Olive, I hope you know how much we have wished and hoped for you to come into our lives. You are our missing puzzle piece that will some complete our little family
Puzzle. You have a big brother that has the most gentle and kind soul, he will protect you and take such good care of you, he will listen and play with you even when he wants to be alone. Because your brother, much like your daddy has the biggest heart! Now your sissy, she might look tough on the outside but she will also protect you from anyone that ever tries to hurt you. She is going to be your biggest cheerleader and probably try to dress you up like a baby doll. She has the best imagination and the cutest little singing voice!

You see, mama and daddy were both born  in Brasil but didn’t really get to cross paths until we moved to the United States. So as some might call it faith brought us together in the most unexpected way.... 

Daddy really fought hard to be part of mamas life and I’m sure glad that he did! He never gave up on me because that’s the type of man he is. He fights for what he wants (even if he gets hurt along the way) because he knows that the outcome is going to be worth the wait. 

See, mama wasn’t just ready for daddy to come into my life because I already knew that he would be the one. I knew that he was special and I was just really scared. Brazilian boys specifically scared me. Ha! was mama wrong! Now we get to have a full Brazilian baby which has been our dream for a very very long tome! And daddy gets to have a little girl of his own. Your name is very special to both of us! We love Olive and we hope you do too. 

So you can see why you are so special to us and why your arrival is going to make our life so much better. You are going to come into a family that loves hard. That sticks together through the highs and lows and make big decisions together because we want your future to be bright and amazing. 

As Mama types this letter you are giving me the strongest kicks I’ve ever felt! It makes my heart full and I have butterflies everywhere. I love this feeling! 

I love you baby girl and I’m counting down to the moments I get to have with you soon.

Xoxo
Mama

Do you suffer from Anxiety? Read This!

May 1, 2020 Utah, USA

The research you are about to read today was originally part of my Anxiety Presentation for College; With everything that has been going around and all the Covid-19 talk, I think this is great timing to share all the information I know about Anxiety. 

Anxiety & Symptoms:


An anxiety disorder is characterized by a sudden feeling of panic, fear, restlessness, and uneasiness. The treatment includes medications, therapy,  you could use other natural approaches such as breathing exercises, food therapy, and flotation therapy.

  1. Trigger: Usually the person is found in a situation that triggers it internally/externally

  1. Thoughts: Fear, negativity, confusion, regrets.

  1. Anxiety: whole body starts to get weak, your mind is somewhere else, and then panic comes into play.

  1. Beliefs: usually is the last but also the first part of the cycle, it is all based on what your mind is thinking at the moment. 

Fear & Anxiety Difference:
Anxiety & fear both seem to overlap and cross paths in the brain (when it comes to chemical signaling). The difference between the two, however, is that fear is a response to immediate present danger, whereas anxiety is a response to unclear or imagined potentialities. 
There are many chemicals in the brain that are responsible for sending these signals. One, for example, the adrenal Gland – Part of your endocrine system. It produces many kinds of hormones that activate and regulate anxious, fearful, and stress responses.
Medication
  • Benzodiazepines: Have a calming effect due to their sedative properties.
  • Alprazolam · Clonazepam
  • Antidepressants: Relieve the symptoms by affecting neurotransmitters.
Self-care
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes as suggested by the therapist.
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing exercises.
  • Floatation sensory deprivation
  • Acupuncture
  • Finding a “zen space”
Therapies: psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, food therapy 
Flotation sensory deprivation tank:
  • An isolation tank, originally called a sensory deprivation tank (also known as float tank, flotation tank, or sensory attenuation tank) is a lightless, soundproof tank with high Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) content filled with salt water at skin temperature, in which individuals float.
  • The tanks are designed to remove stress and it allows your body to reach the creative state of mind. It's great for recovery for athletes, postpartum, anxiety. 

Nutritional Intake:

I decided to have my client (aka my husband) track his food intake on his phone. Each night he would check-in from the previous day. Most of his foods were healthy besides the occasional treats at night. 
Observations: On days that he was stressed at work he would come home and grab a glass of wine and go drink before he would eat dinner. On days that things were good and relaxing for him (much closer to the weekend), he was happy, not stressed, ate all his foods throughout the day.
-My client (aka my husband) tracks his macronutrients and follows a Mediterranean diet. 
Food Therapy: 

This is a mode of dieting rooted in Chinese beliefs concerning the effects of food on the human organism and centered on concepts such as eating in moderation. It could also be called nutrition therapy and dietary therapy. There are also different herbs that could be used to aid in recovery. 


Using Music for Anxiety:
I read a study that suggested that music and singing have a positive influence on wellbeing and quality of life by providing enjoyment, social interaction, improved memory, and social inclusion. Furthermore, music and singing have been shown to be able to reduce anxiety levels in older adults, and to decrease anxiety and confusion, and improving their quality of life (Houston et al 1998, Guetin et al 2009). Likewise, the use of music in clinical situations has proved beneficial psychologically and physiologically.
  • Music such as calming songs, opera, and white noise. 

A few takeaways: 
Before taking prescribed medications you could try a natural path and if everything mentioned on here doesn’t work then you could do go that route. 
  1. My husband liked learning about the different alternatives to medicine. He is going to practice yoga more often, complete the flotation therapy, and watch his alcohol intake. 
  2. We have also set a designated “zen” room for him at his house. 
  3. He will also either attend an opera or concert once in a while to help him. 
So there you have it. Did you learn something new today and are you going to try some of these suggestions?

xo,
Nina

CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING

April 28, 2020 Utah, USA

Lately, I have been on this chocolate kick which I am totally blaming it on a baby girl since she is making me crave all things sweet... So yes, I've made my fair share of cakes and desserts but I also want to make sure to make some healthy and delicious recipes as well. 



This is a great way to eat chocolate in a healthy pudding, and still be sugar-free, and good for you!  You can make this ahead, keep it in the fridge, and enjoy it anytime you need that chocolate boost, or to satisfy a craving for something chocolaty and delicious!  This is also great to share with friends, for a healthy alternative to sugary desserts.  You'll love this recipe.

CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING


HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cups of Chia seeds
4 cups of coconut milk
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
2 Tablespoons of Stevia
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
8 - 10 - 6-ounce glass containers

HERE'S WHAT YOU DO:

In a medium bowl, combine the Chia seeds, milk, vanilla, Stevia, and Cocoa powder.  Mix well until all ingredients are well blended.  Fill glass containers with chocolate pudding, top with chocolate chips, and chocolate shavings (OPTIONAL).  Cover containers, and place in the refrigerator.  Puddings may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Enjoy!

Makes 8 - 10  6 ounce servings



I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Don't forget, you can always sub the chocolate for a different flavor and still make this delicious dessert. 

XO, Nina


8 Healthy & Delicious Smoothie Recipes!

April 6, 2020 Utah, USA

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. It provides your body with the essential nutrients to keep your energy level up throughout the day. Nutrients are the substances in foods that are required to support body function and maintain health. Such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein. Try adding at least 1 cup of fruit to your diet daily.


Here are 8 Healthy & Delicious Smoothie Recipes by some of my favorite food bloggers that will make your mornings much brighter and delicious:

1.  Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie
















There you have it, which one of the recipes above is your favorite? 

xo, 
Nina
 

Air Force Life: from a wife's perspective

February 3, 2020

Earlier last year, Daniel called me during work because he had an important question for me... As soon as I answered he told me that he was thinking of joining the Air Force and what my opinion on it was. Without any hesitation, the word YES came out of my mouth. And with every fiber of my being, I knew that he was making the right decision! 

You see, my dad is an Army Vet so the military life is nothing new to me... Having watched my mom go through multiple deployments and really taking care of the household while he was gone made me feel confident that should that time come for Daniel I for sure could do this! 

So back to Daniel, from the moment I met him I knew that he would be perfect for the military life. The way he carries himself, how much he cares for others, how respectful he is, how determined he is to give it his all when he has a mission in mind, oh! I can't forget how health/fitness is important to him. So yes, he is the poster child for the military I tell you. 

The military was something that was always on his radar and he did apply right out of high school but due to an injury, he wasn't able to join at the time. 

This decision also made sense for our little family... As we are going to retire in the military so with him signing up later in life made it to where we only have about 20 years left. 


This photo is from the day that Daniel swore in and signed his contract. The months leading up to this moment had been keeping us busy with paperwork after paperwork and sleepless nights... So what a relief it was to actually get to this day and make things real. 

Soon I'll be writing more in-depth posts about the whole journey from joining, to basic training, to tech school, and drill weekends. 

For now, I will just say how proud I am of my husband and his decision to serve our country! 

xo,
Nina

5 Ways to save on your Wedding!

January 13, 2020

First comes love, then comes marriage.  After that is the huge bill for the wedding.  It doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways you can save money on your wedding without skimping on the overall experience.  


Invitations

You don’t have to spend a ton on fancy invitations.  There are several options that you can go with that will still get the job done.  If you want to go with the most affordable option, you can go paperless. There are websites that specialize in wedding invitations that will allow you to email out an invitation to your guests.  If you still would like a physical card to be sent out, design them yourself and print. Websites like Canva.com are easy to use and you can either download and print at home or even opt to have them print and mail them to you.  Either option is affordable and completely customizable. *You could always look on Etsy.com for designs or printable invites.




The Dress

There are many ways you can save money on the dress.  A great way to find a beautiful dress without the high bridal store price tag is to shop department stores.  If you can shop for your dress around Winter Ball or Prom season, you’ll be surprised at how beautiful the dresses are, but a few zeros less on the price tag.  Another option is to shop the sample dresses at the bridal store. If you are able to find one in your size, you can save a lot of money because it won’t be custom.  *You can always search online for used wedding dresses such as Facebook Marketplace.

                           




The Venue

The venue you pick can be a huge burden on your budget.  When picking your date and location, think about what that price tag will bring.  If you really want to save some major money, skip a Saturday wedding. Most venues are marked up on Saturday because they are more popular.  If you are able to hold your wedding on another day, you can save a lot of money. When deciding on a venue, try to think of nontraditional options.  There are lots of options, depending on your area. Try restaurants, outdoor recreation areas or other local favorites. *Another great idea is to either look on Groupon.com or on Airbnb.com cheaper destination ideas.




Flowers

Flowers are a big part of the wedding but they can very costly.  When thinking about your floral arrangments and bouquets, consider what type of flowers you choose.  Lilacs are pretty but will cost you quite a bit. Choose a larger, more robust flower that is not as expensive.  Often times you can reuse your flowers that decorated the ceremony and repurpose them at the reception. Arches are great to move into the next venue and get the most use out of them.  Place vases on tables for your bridesmaids to store their bouquets during the reception. * You can also buy fake flowers from places like Joann's & Michaels Crafts.



BONUS TIP: Create a Wedding and Reception board on Pinterest to help your vision come to mind! Make sure to follow the Nina Talks Pinterest account as I pin all things wedding regularly:



We hope that these tips have helped on your journey to wedding planning. Share in the comments any other suggestion you might have!

xo, Nina






Chocolate Wine Cake Recipe

January 6, 2020

Chocolate & Wine are one of my most favorite combinations. How can one go wrong with that?

I have never been a big drinker, as a matter of fact, I am very lightweight when it comes to alcohol. Unless we are talking about wine. I can turn on sweet romantic melodies, drink wine, and make a delicious meal. Add dancing in the kitchen with Daniel, and we have the most perfect night!
Music moves my soul... It puts me in the best mood. Here are my recommendations for today's post:
  1. My Girl - The Temptations 
  2. Stand By Me - Ben E King
  3. Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
  4. I Will Always Love You -  Whitney Houston
  5. I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith 
  6. Take My Breathe Away - Berlin 
  7. More Than Words - Extreme 
  8. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden 
  9. Listen To Your Heart - Roxette
  10. Much Too Young, To Feel This Damn Old - Garth Brooks
Today I'm sharing with you one of my most favorite recipes. The best part about it is that even if you don't drink wine you can enjoy this deliciousness because the alcohol gets baked and you are left with a yummy combination of chocolate and wine.  A quick tip: Make sure that you buy DRY red wine (any brand will do). It won't taste as good if you get a different version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine ( I used Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon but you could also use 13 crimes)
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting


How to:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350; Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
    2. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.
    3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack; let cool completely.

I hope that you enjoy this delicious cake! Try it for your next night in with your loved one 🙂
xo,
Nina

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