Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Little bit of Autumn

As October is nearly coming to an end I thought I'd fill you in on our Autumn so far:

-This year I decided not to carve any pumpkins and instead to draw directly onto the pumpkins wth Sharpie markers. It's a quick solution and though I can't put candles in them they will last a little bit longer this year.  I can't wait until Halloween... Sera wants to be the tooth fairy!

-There are still flowers blooming in our tiny urban garden outside. Until last week I couldn't remember what colour these flowers would be but then as soon as they bloomed I remembered. Pumpkin orange! Perfect for the season.

-Sera and I have found a beautiful park behind her new school. Every morning we arrive a little early and park on the other side of the park so that we can walk through it and listen to the birds. After I pick her up, we do the same ont he way back to the car but this time can stop to walk across a log, collect leaves or pick the last wildflowers of the season.

-I pulled out my old Halloween decorations this week and found this old friend in the box. He's a papier machè cat I made for myself quite a few years back after reading an article about Lori Mitchell's version.  It's clear I didn't stray at all from her design so all the credit goes to her. Check out her other characters!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Canva Access Giveaway Winners!

Big congrats to Ana, Ana, Daniel, Rodrigo and Steve who have won instant access to Canva after having entered the giveaway last week!  Enjoy playing with this fun web-app!

Winners: make sure to check your inbox and or spam folder for the access invitation from Canva directly!

I'm hoping to be running more giveaways in the future so stay tuned!

Friday, 25 October 2013

100 Posts and Counting!

I missed the 100 posts milestone of this blog. It was 2 posts ago and I had been meaning to celebrate in some way but completely forgot... busy telling you guys about giveaways and paper crafts and such.

This post is my celebration of all the work I've put into this blog since I started it this past April. 100 some posts is quite an accomplishment for a hobby-blog that I wasn't even sure would survive past the 10th post. I'm happily surprised that I've stuck with it and am hoping to maintain this stamina for many more posts to come. I'll write until I run out of steam or ideas and I'm nowhere near that yet.

The interesting thing about becoming a blogger is that though I didn't exactly know what i would be blogging about at first I can now see a personal voice and style forming that isn't necessarily what I expected.  I thought I'd be writing a mommy-blog and it seems that instead I've ended up with a bit of an everything lifestyle blog, and a lot of my reader response is related to various health topics. I didn't expect that at all.  Below you'll find links to some of the other things I didn't expect to be writing about.

And now, a collection of a few of my favorite posts, either cause they were fun to write or have good memories attached to them.

I want thank my readers directly for following the blog and continuing to remain active in doing so. Every comment on the blog or via facebook is really what motivates me to continue it.

Special thanks go out to Michelle, Alice, Ana, Melissa, Raffa and Christine:  Even though I only know some of you via cyber-space I know that without you girls I wouldn't even believe anyone was reading and don't know if I would have kept the blog up.

I hope you're enjoying the blog and would love to hear from more of my readers. Leave comments below so I know what it is you like and what you hate!

**The graphics for this page were made with Canva... you can get instant access to make your own by participating in my giveaway!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cone Girl Cuteness!

I'm in love-love-love with these free printable cone-girl dolls that I found over at Mr.Printables.  Not only are they adorable but they're much more manageable for Sera's little hands than traditional paper dolls with tabs and they're 3D! What could be more fun?

Since I've printed them out Sera is OBSESSED with these. She does crumple them up every now and then out of sheer excitement, but then she brings them over to me and in a sweet voice says 'Mommy, I crumples her.. can you fix it?' and of course I do. She wanted to take them with her for a nap and we did have a few tears because I told her she couldn't and they would get ruined.  As soon as she woke up she asked me were they were. She says they're her favourite! For the cost of the ink and a few pieces of paper I think that it's quite a bargain to have a new favourite toy! I was also thinking that by simply laminating the cut-outs before assembling them you'd also have something that lasts a bit longer -less damage can be done during inadvertant crumples. I suppose that'll have to be for the next batch.  If you act quickly you can also print out the adorable halloween costumes for the girls in time for the festivities next week.

The Mr. Printables site is amazing because they also provide wonderful free printable paper toys, decorations, crafts and learning tools with beautiful graphic design.  Head on over to the site for access to all the printables or to the connecting blog where you can see loads of wonderful projects they're up to.  I love these robot emotions flashcards.  I find it adorable that robots, who normally don't express emotions are being used to teach kids about feelings. Clever and cute. Hooray for Mr. Printables!

Testing Out Canva Giveaway

I just got access to Canva, the coolest on line graphic design web-app suite and have been playing around with it to see what it can do.  It's really awesome!  It's a drag and drop system with really wonderful graphics to choose from. The image above was made in less than 5 minutes and the whole thing has been customised.  It's a great little tool to have for quick party invites, e-cards, blog graphics, photo collages and more. You'll definitely be seeing more of it's uses here on Buonaserababy in the future cause I'm super excited about the possibilities!

I had to wait a few weeks from the time of registration for my account to be set up because the program is still somewhat closed, but the great news is I have 5 instant access accounts available for my blog readers to join up. I'm holding my first giveaway for my readers to be able to grab their access to Canva immediately.

You can join in 2 ways. Either like Buonaserababy on Facebook, or leave a comment to this post. Or, if you do both you'll have more chance to win!  Use the widget below to join! The giveaway ends on Monday so act fast!

Best of luck! And happy designing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Doll's House

I wouldn't mind being the doll that lives here!
I don't live with many regrets. In fact I'd say that I probably have only one thing that I would have done differently in my 34 years.  It's not a significant or life changing regret in any way, but it is heart-wrenching when I think about it... So I try not to think about it.

When I was a little girl my father built me a dollhouse in our unfinished basement workshop with his very own hands. He got the plan from a book in the library. He sawed and measured and glued each piece together and even put shingles on the roof and working electrical lamps in each room. It must have taken hours upon hours and was surely an act of great love.

similar to the one my dad made me
In my mid-teens, during a time when I was very disconnected from my past or my future I agreed to l the dollhouse in a garage sale.  At the time it felt like a liberation of a large object of clutter that I didn't use anymore. I didn't have any foresight.

I didn't know my father would die and that that material proof of his love for me would become such a symbol of loss for me.... As if had I not given up the dollhouse I wouldn't miss him as much.  I also worry that he was saddened by my letting it go so easily. I hope that he had never read anything into me having sold it and I hope the child that subsequently got to play with it has fond memories of it as well. In a way having something my father created out there in the world somewhere is a comfort as well.

Unless the family broke it down for firewood... Which is possible too. I hope the glue fumes didn't asphyxiate them.

Since Sera will never play with my own childhood dollhouse a substitute must be found!  Ideally my hubby will become a carpenter when the time is right and built his own version of a dollhouse for his little girl and when she turns 16 I will stop her and remind her that she too will have children one day and that hand-made items are by default family heirlooms.  But he's not all that crafty or carpenterish. But I guess anyone can learn!

There are also loads of gorgeous dollhouse kits on the market and I suppose that could be an alternative with just gluing things together in the right order. We could work on it all together.  Or there are the classic store-bought versions. They come in all shapes and sizes but lack that personal touch that having a parent built it adds in. 

GLENN HOWELLS design for A Doll's House Auction
If you would prefer a dolls house that you can leave out in your lounge and that doubles as a work of very exclusive art you nab one this November at the A doll's house auction You'll also be helping a great cause as all the proceeds go to a children's charity called KIDS. The 20 houses up for auction are designed and built by some of the best current architects in the world, but be prepared to pay upwards of £1000,00 for any of them, and the bidding has just started.  

Monday, 21 October 2013

Paleo-AIP 'Taco' Lettuce Boats

Now that I've been on this diet for quite some time I'm getting more confident in experimenting.  Today I had a delicious lunch experiment go well and I thought I would share.

This recipe is AIP-Paleo and gluten free

What you'l Need:

-450g minced beef
-1 iceberg lettuce
-1 yellow onion
-1 large carrot
-1 medium zucchini
-1 stalk celery
-1/2 head of cauliflower
- lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
-1inch cube fresh ginger
-powdered turmeric
-dried oregano
-5 radishes (optional, adds a bit of heat)
-coconut oil

In a food processor* chop the onions, garlic and ginger cube until very very fine but not so much that they're a sauce.

In a large pan fry the onions, garlic and ginger for around 10 minutes being very careful not to burn them... just until they're transparent.

Add your beef and brown it while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. As it's cooking add 1/2 teaspoon oregano, a dash of turmeric, a spritz of lemon juice (about a teaspoon) and a bit of salt.

Back in the food processor chop the carrot, zucchini, radishes (if using) and celery until about the size of a coarse rice and add that to the pan making sure to stir regularly as if it were a stir-fry.

Lastly, in the food processor, chop your cauliflower until the chunks are the size of grains of rice and add that to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes and taste to make sure you enjoy the consistency (the less you cook, the crisper) and add a bit more salt if needed.

Serve hot on large leaves of iceberg lettuce.  You can wrap the iceberg around the mixture for a crunchy taco-like meal but make sure you have a spoon on hand to scoop up anything that falls out right into your mouth.

This would also go great with a nice AIP-Paleo guacamole or even just fresh slices of avocado if you're looking for more of the good fats in your diet.


*I don't bother to rinse or wash the food processor between the various vegetables to save time.

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Funny Thing Happened - My Beginners' Italian (anche in italiano!)

Woody Allen by Kerry Waghorn

I'm lucky enough to hear compliments on a regular basis on my fluency in Italian.  Either it's because Italians are very kind to foreigners learning their language or it's because I've actually mastered the language after living here for the past 9 years.

People often continue in the conversation to say how they're envious and would love to learn a second language themselves, but that it would be too complicated or they don't have time or that they're just not language minded. They tell me it's too late.  First of all, if you're still breathing I don't think it's ever too late to try something... even if you don't succeed at it.  Secondly, no language doesn't come to everyone easily and at times it can be embarrassing, but eventually with persistence, patience and a sense of humour it will come

Here is an anecdote from my own personal journey towards my current level of Italian:

I was studying 3D computer graphics shortly after arriving in Italy and all my classes were held, amphitheatre style, in Italian.  My way of following the classes and learning what I needed to know for the exams consisted of me writing everything down in notebooks, even the words I didn't understand, for review later on at home.  The notebooks from those days are classics and I with I had photographed them now to share with you. Every word is spelled incorrectly, every word misunderstood.
One of my courses was Film History.  I sat through the invention of Cinema and the Lumiere brothers and up through Charlie Chaplain without any trouble having done it all before.  The course was going OK and I felt confident that my Italian was also improving.
One day the teacher came in and started his lecture about the films of Woody Allen.  I was a bit surprised because I didn't realise that Woody Allen, though a great film maker, merited an entire 3 hour lecture to himself.  'I film di Woody Allen' this and 'I film di Woody Allen' that. The teacher went on and on.  I put it down to cultural differences.... maybe Italians LOVE Woody Allen??
When the next weeks lecture started much in the same way.... with 'I film di Woody Allen' I was confused and worried.  Surely a culture couldn't be obsessed with Woody Allen.... I peeked over to a neighbours notebook and to my horror found these words:
I film hollywoodiano
The translation is not the films of Woody Allen but rather the films of Hollywood.  That's why the lectures made no sense.  I was certain that Woody Allen had nothing to do with 2001 a Space Odyssey.

And on that note, as a special treat to my Italian readers I will attempt to translate this post, as best I can into my adoptive country's language... please forgive me.

If you also want to learn Italian here's a good place to start.


Sono molto fortunata perché ricevo spesso i complimenti sul mio Italiano.  Non so se è perché i italiani sono generosi con i complimenti oppure perché veramente sono bilingue dopo 9 anni di residenza qui a Milano. 

I stessi che mi fanno complimenti dicono che sono invidiosi e vorranno imparare anche loro una seconda lingua (sopratutto Inglese). Dicono che non c'è tempo oppure non sono bravi ad imparare. Dicono che è troppo tardi, ormai.  Nel mio parere, se respiri ancora non e mai troppo tardi per qualsiasi cosa nuova... almeno di provare anche se i risultati non sono quelli che aspetti.  Poi credo anche che imparando una lingua nuova è difficile si, ma con pazienza e un senso di umorismo si può fare.

Adesso vi racconto una piccola storia di una mia prima esperienza in Italiano.

Appena sono arrivata in Italia ho iniziato un corso di Grafica 3D. Parlavo il minimo Italiano immaginabile.  I miei corso erano in una grande Aula con tantissimi studenti.  Ho deciso di seguire i corsi scrivendo tutto quanto che sentivo passare per le orecchie su un quaderno e poi a casa mettere insieme i pezzi del puzzle nella mia mente.  I quaderni di quei tempi sono pieni di parole miscelati, scritti male e tradotti in maniera brutale.Dovevo seguire un corso di storia di cinema.  L'ho seguivo dal introduzione dei fratelli Lumiere a Charlie Chaplain e oltre. Mi sembrava che tutto stava andando bene. Ero contenta che finalmente cominciavo a capire Italiano.Un giorno il docente inizia a parlare dei film di Woody Allen. E parla, e parla, e poi parla ancora dei film di Woody Allen.... ero un pò sconvolta perché anche se Woody Allen e un bravo filmaker, non pensavo che meritava 3 ore di classe.  Magari i Italiani AMANO davvero Woody Allen?La settimana dopo la lesione inizia nel stesso modo. I film di Woody Allen. I film di Woody Allen. I film di Woody Allen.  Non potevo credere!! Guardo il quaderno del tizio al mio fianco e inorridito vedo queste parole:
 I film hollywoodiano.Al mio orecchio Inglese i due frasi erano uguali.  Adesso ho capito il motivo per quale le lezione non avevano senso.  E poi ero quasi sicuro che Woody Allen non avevo da fare con 2001 Odissea Nello Spazio.
Allora, amici italiani.... sto facendo il mio meglio per condividere questa esperienza con voi per farti vedere che siamo tutti idioti mentre impariamo nuove lingue e non dovete temere niente!  Al massimo fai un gaffe... ma la vita è troppo breve per non provare... per avere de rimpianti... o per dubitare.

Se vuoi imparare inglese davvero, farlo.... se no, smetti di dirti che vorresti farlo.
E se vuoi farlo puoi provare con questo sito. Sto usandolo per migliorare il mio Francese ;-)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Tallest Building In Italy - Torre Unicredit

We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the tallest skyscraper in Italy this past weekend, the Unicredit tower.

The construction of the tower, designed by César Pelli was completed in 2011 and has only recently opened its doors to the 4000 Unicredit employees who will be working there. The whole work is actually 3 towers in a circle with a gorgeous fountain and completely pedestrian piazza below measuring 100 meters in diameter.  The piazza currently houses a bookshop, cafè, some shops and a Gelateria (find out the difference between Ice Cream and Gelato here). There are thousands of tiny solar panels in the piazza helping to power the buildings. The complex has won global sustainability awards and can boast a reduction in energy consumption of 37%.

The tower we went up in was tower A (The Unicredit tower) and is the tallest in Italy, clocking in at 231meters or 758 feet. We were allowed to visit the rest area on the 25th floor just before the spire begins (the entire tower is 32 floors high).  As soon as the elevator opened I felt nostalgic for my days working in a cooperation as a graphic designer in London....Of course it differed from my days at Blackfriars in considerable ways due to the newness of everything and the spectacular 360° views of Milan and in the distance the majestic alps.  I jokingly said to hubby that I almost wanted to work there he replied that he's look into it (... I really was just joking... I didn't really mean for him to start scouring the wanted boards for Graphic Design jobs, but oh well, the view is nice).

Sera had a great time pressing her face up against the glass and leaving the cleaners with tones of sticky fingerprints to clean up. On the way in she was gifted a giant lollipop which she proceeded to crumble and stick all over the new carpeting and on the way out they gave her a pink balloon. She thought she was in heaven.

Even if you don't have the opportunity to get to the top (or near top in my case) of the Unicredit tower you should definately visit the Piazza Beneath it and the whole renovated Porta-Nuova, Garibaldi, Corso Como area if you haven't already.  I'm glad to see that Milan is doing its best to try to up its international presence in a lead-up to EXPO 2015 and that they have had such a success with this beautiful project. I was sceptical and wrongly so before I went to see it for myself but am glad to have been pursuaded otherwise.

Rendering of the entire PortaNuova plan with
the Unicredit towers in the middle
 **All photos in this post except for the rendering copyright Fabrizio Lingesso 2013**

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The right choices for our children

trying on the dress-up clothes on the first day of school
I mentioned last week that Sera has been having a hard time adjusting to her new daycare. There have been tears and tantrums and nightmares and emotionally it's exhausting.  I leave her in the morning and then go back the the car with a heavy heart and need to spend a little while centring myself again before I can start my day.

Yesterday I was at a friends house and she asked me how it was going and I started to spew out all the negative things that I have seen in her new school in comparison to the old. More kids per teacher, less space to play physically, less structure, less attention to hygiene, less organised activities, infrequent diaper changes (yes, she's back in diapers... Forget about all my potty-training attempts), over-administration, strict and loud teachers and of course, Sera telling me she preferred the one from last year.

Well it's still early days as it's only been 2 weeks, but I realised while talking how much I'm disliking the new school, as well. I've been trying to ignore my negative sensations because I have been wanting to give it a chance. Also, it is significantly cheaper than the school she went to last year, which is definitely a motivating factor.  I'm also worried that by pulling her from this school and returning to the old one she will learn that if you don't like something you can just quit.... But is that true or just a paranoia that I'm harbouring? She's only 2,5 does she really understand that school is supposed to be for 10 months instead of 1?

Today was a bit better. We went in with dad too so I could get his opinion.  He confirmed that it's different from the old one but said it didn't seem too bad. Sera was happier than other days and though she cried a bit she stopped before we left and seemed excited to start the day. I also saw a sculpture she had made (some goo on cardboard) and felt a bit relieved that they're doing some creative work with her. 

My question is, do I pull her out and put her back in the old private school or hang-tight and keep her where she is? And how do I know which decision in right? Everyone says to 'do what's best for the child' but that's not always so clear.

I don't want to be the crazy over-protective mum who doesn't let her child face difficulties but I also don't want to be the mum who prefers to have a new pair of shoes or two over the quality of daycare of her child.

Mums! Please leave comments! I need your advise! What would you do???! 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Finished my Headspace Journey

I'm sure I've mentioned in the past my love for meditation and mindfulness.  It's really been life-changing for me and has put me in a happier place.

Today I have cause for celebration. A little over a year ago I first started meditation with an app (believe it or not) called getsomeheadspace and today I finished the series. That's 365 20 minute meditations!

I didn't manage to finish in exactly a year because I didn't manage to sit to meditate daily, but I still feel this is an amazing personal accomplishment.  Here's how my life has changed as a direct result of meditating daily this past year:

  • I am more aware of everyday moments.  For example, I have decided I don't like minty toothpaste, I just always use it because I always have.
  • I am more aware of the choices I am making while I am making them and am less attached to my convictions.  I'm more flexible.
  • I am treating my body better and making healthy choices for eating, sleeping and exercises.
  • I have managed to find total recovery from post-partum depression and post traumatic stress disorder
  • I have less emotional outbursts and feel like my emotions are not something to worry about.
  • I see life from a better perspective and don't get hung up on little things
  • I enjoy helping people more
  • I am a better mother and wife
  • I am better at letting go of what I can't control
  • I have less expectations and go with the flow more often.
It's a bit of a crazy list and makes me seem as if I was quite unbalanced before I started meditation, but I suppose in a lot of way I was. I'm 100% grateful for all of these positive changes and thrilled to have found a way to unwind and take a step back from this hectic world to just find some peace.

I'm going to be continuing on my meditation journey by revisiting some of the topics I found in Headspace as well as continuing to follow meditation challenges as they come up (there's a free one available now with Deepak Choprah) and by practicing yoga and mediation with my teacher here in Milan.  There's just too much to gain in continuing to stop now. I feel like it's a lifelong habit that will keep me younger, grounded and healthy for longer.

I wish you the same success if you decide that you'd also like to meditate. Headspace is a great place to start.  If you do let me know how it goes!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Then & Now - My Little Pony

I always thought I'd be one of those mums who limited television to 1/2 hour a day and came up with loads of creative activities to do with my children. I pictured us spending the afternoons baking, crafting and imagining our days away.

In reality I'm more like one of those mums who uses TV as a babysitter on occasion.  There are days when I don't have the energy to come up with creative crafts and to deal with the cleanup that follows and so Sera is plonked down in her very own mini tweed armchair and I'm free to get some of my work done, or the house in order or dinner on the table. I have felt guilty about this in the past, but I also know that I'm a pretty great mum when I do spend one on one time with the little cutie and I get a lot of that kind of time in as well.

A lot of the shows that I used to watch as a kid have been re-invented and re-styled for today's generation of little ones.  Probably every parent feels nostalgic for their own childhood as they watch their kids grow.  I know I spend loads if time thinking of the 'good-old days' and am having a lot of trouble adjusting to the new styles.  For me one of the biggest changes is to my beloved My-Little Ponies.

Here is an interesting chart I found on a My Little Pony fan site addressing the change in designs and names since the original series.  Though I appreciate the artwork and style of the new ponies by Lauren Faust, I think that the 80's versions were more child friendly, while the modern counterparts seem more appropriate for teens.

I am lucky enough to have kept some ponies from my own collection that I have given to Sera as a gift.  She current plays with Glory, Sunbeam, and Posey, and has two of the original Sea-Horse babies which she used in the tub and pool.  It's going to save me from ever having to buy the new versions of the same horses and I love the fact that these toys didn't end up in a landfill somewhere.

Sera doesn't watch My Little Pony at the moment; it's too frightening and intense fr her.  She really enjoys the toys though and makes up her own adventures.

I was thinking about showing her the older versions but revisiting them on You tube I've found that they're probably for older kids too as there are quite a few monsters in them. I wonder how much damage I'm carrying around due to my many hours in front of the TV as a kid .

You can have a look at the pilot episode here.

Did you watch My Little Pony growing up? Did you have any of the toys? Do you still have them somewhere in a closet or storage room? I want to know!

My little pony, my little pony,
what does the future hold?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A Letter from A Reader: PCOS

I got a mail today from a reader I thought I would share with you because maybe some of the info could be helpful. The following letter was translated and adapted from Italian:

Hi Jessicka... how are you? I am really enjoying your blog. The other day I read your posts about autoimmunity (I've read them all but don't know too much about this topic). I do, however, have first hand experience with PCOS which I have been battling for quite a few years now. I had been managing it with the birth-control pill but also suffer from high cholesterol and therefore the pill can be dangerous because of its' association with thrombosis. Without the pill my ovaries are a complete mess! I have high levels of the wrong, male hormones and I lose breast tissue as well as other typical problems with PCOS. I have seen many doctors without any concrete results or advice. They always suggested the BCP. I decided to start my own research as to an alternative. I found out that there is a medicine called Metformin that is used to treat diabetes to control insulin levels in the blood which has had some results in controlling PCOS as well. Since starting this medicine I have seen some changes and thought I would let you know about it too.... maybe it could be some help? You could talk with your doctor about it. How are you treating your PCOS? Did you have problems conceiving Sera? I don't ovulate... I think it will be very difficult for me to conceive when I'm ready to have a family. It's been two years since I have stopped taking the pill and haven't seen any signs of ovulation. I'm not actively searching for a pregnancy but would be very happy if one were to happen. Kisses to you and little Sera... sharing this with someone else who can understand is always useful.

I checked with the author if I could share this mail with you because I think that a lot of what she says and the questions that she asks could be helpful for someone else in the same situation.


PCOS is a very distressing Syndrome because it's not life threatening or debilitating but it is very alienating. Although it won't kill you or make you too sick to function, for a woman of child-bearing age, a diagnosis of PCOS is still something hard to digest. It means that you may not ever be able to conceive children and that if you can you will probably have a hard time doing so. It means you might not feel or look as feminine as you'd like to. In my case, my PCOS manifests itself in severe acne on my chin, unwanted excessive hair growth, a small breast, and extremely painful periods... all things that don't scream attractiveness. You can also feel alienated because seeing how PCOS is relatively common, the people who suffer from it are often overlooked by the medical community and the syndrome can be brushed off as insignificant. Doctors don't seem to be serious about finding a solution to a PCOS problem. It's frustrating and unfair. On top of that, telling a woman she may not be able to have children and that she's full of testosterone and there's nothing she can do about it except take potentially dangerous hormones is damaging to morale and can lead to all kinds of psychological problems. Sharing the burden of living with PCOS is a great way to counteract this and I'm very glad you wrote.

I have heard of the use of Metformin in PCOS treatment before. It seems that a lot of women are having good results with the drug. There has been some research linking PCOS with diferent types of diabetes and a mis-processing of Insulin, so that ma be why Metformin is successful. I'm not by any means an expert on the subject and due to my other medical issues try to avoid any pharmaceuticals in general. I will make sure to mention it to my doc at my next appointment however and see what he thinks.

I guess you can say I am currently 'treating' my PCOS with diet and careful monitoring. It has only been 4 months since I stopped taking the BCP myself but so far I haven't had any of the my usual symptoms except for irregular cycles. The diet I'm following calls for the elimination of all carbohydrates and instead consumption of good sources of protein, fat and fresh vegetables. Eliminating the carbs also eliminated huge fluctuations in your insulin levels throughout the day, so perhaps it's working much in the same way as the Metformin. You can read more about the diet here. In your case, if you decide to undertake a diet like this one I would suggest a cholesterol test a month or two after starting to make sure that your cholesterol is under control.

I have had PCOS for as long as I've been an adult and was told, based on my hormone blood tests, that I would not be able to have children without hormone therapy and infertility treatments. I was sure I wanted a child but didn't want to become a science experiment so I didn't start the treatments. Instead I decided to start getting to know my body better. I did research on fertility and PCOS and then registered for a website to help me track my cycles and fertility. You say that you don't ovulate. Do you know that for sure? I thought I didn't ovulate either until I joined Fertility Friend and started tracking my body temperature every morning as well as other fertility signs. I also purchased ovulation strips on line and used them whenever I saw a fluctuation in my body temperature. They're much cheaper than the pharmacy or supermarket brands. I wasn't hoping for much after what the doctors had said, but one day in May the strip came back with 2 pink marks, claiming I was ovulating! I couldn't believe it because it had been over 70 days since my last period... but who was I to doubt? Sera was conceived that morning.

When she was born she was 60 days overdue--- hahahaha.... that's a side note.

PCOS can be tricky because it's unpredictable... In my case my cycle was super long but then one day an egg got through. It might be the case in yours as well. Or it's possible that you find a doc who gives you just the right meds for a while until an egg gets through. Or you change your diet and an egg gets through. Who knows? Doctors certainly don't and it's easier for them to tell you it's impossible.

My advise to you would be to start getting to know your body... I still use Fertility Friend to track my cycles and signs/symptoms even though I'm not hoping for another pregnancy. It makes me feel more in control of things and helps me to keep an eye on my PCOS. I'd also recommend changing your diet to one that helps with your PCOS symptoms by eliminating aggravating foods for me AIP/Paleo sems to work. There's no cure for PCOS but it can be kept under control.

All the best,

PS. Here's a nice little article that I also mentioned yesterday that might be of some help.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What I've Been Doing Wednesday

Has it really been a week since I've posted? Naughty me!  Here's a quick catchup on what you've missed:

Sera started 'Sezione Primavera' which is a grade between Pre-school and Kindergarten for kids born from January to May. In Italy the grade a child is in is determined by the year they were born and not from September to September like in Canada.  Sera was born in 2011 so can't qualify for real Kindergarten but is too old for Preschool/daycare cause she's basically at the same level as the kids born 28 days earlier than her.  Sezione Primavera is for the kids born from January though the springtime of the year following who will turn three this year but don't officially qualify for actual Kindergarten.

All this said, the insermento* is going horribly.  Sera seems to hate her class and cries a lot every morning when I drop her off. This morning she grabbed onto my leg and told me 'I don't like school.' through her tears.  It's really tough for both of us.  My heart breaks a little and when I leave I stand outside the door until I hear her stop crying. The teachers say she doesn't cry long but instead curls up and tries to sleep on the couch... which I imagine can't be easy in a small room with twenty loud and crazy kids.  I hope it gets better soon especially since last year she loved her old school and was very excited to go every morning.


When the weather gets colder and the leaves start changing colours I have a few things I always instinctively do.  I start researching soup recipes, thinking about getting out my winter clothes (though I never do until it's too late and I'm freezing in the house in a tank-top) and I drag out my pink-polka dot bag with all of my knitting needles.  That's my official cue that the fall has arrived.

This week I have started a new project... a scarf and hat for Sera. The wool was gifted to me by an amazing crochet artist friend and x-neighbour named Daniela Cerri several years ago for my birthday and has been crying out to be used now for ages. It's very woolly and fluffy and I've used an amazing pompom tutorial for some creative finishes so keep your eyes open for the completed work... In the meantime here's a peek.... though it's not quite finished Sera has told me 'It's my favorite!'


On a spiritual journey update I have started Yoga classes on Mondays and an definitely enjoying them. The practise is pretty much one-on-one with the teacher and is very very meditation centred. It's good because I'm already quite involved in my daily meditations so it's just a bonus that I have even more clarity during the class.  Speaking of meditation, a new series with Deepak Chopra 'The Secrets of Mediattion' started on Monday so I'm super excited for that. It's not to late to join in and it's really really accessible to beginners. And it's free!  The last 21 day meditation challenge I did with Deva Premal and Miten was surprising.  I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did and definitely didn't expect to adopt a mantra practise, but by day 6 I was 100% loving it. It's taught me that it's worth trying something new and letting go of your prejudices.


Here's a quick list on the rest of what's been keeping me away from you:

What I've been watching: Continuum Season 2

What I've been reading: A brilliant article on Painful Periods and an alternative to disposable sanitary products by Christina at A Clean Plate - I had been meaning to write a similar article but couldn't have said it better. She talks about diet at the beginning of the article but then goes onto talking about something I love love love...

What I've been working on: Animating the kiss scene from Hick!

What app I've been using: Duolingo to brush up on my French. It's so embarrassing to have come from Quebec and not speak a word!

Where I've been: We spent the weekend in Piemonte near Barolo drinking amazing wines and eating tartufo with friends. Yum!

*inserimento is a period of time where a child is introduced slowly to a new school environment by gradually increasing the time away from the mother on a daily basis.  This period normally lasts 2 weeks.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

AIP- Paleo Tabbouleh

As much as I've been trying to plan ahead on this AIP-Paleo diet, today I ran around so much that I forgot to pick up something for myself for dinner. Upon opening the fridge I found some leftover chicken breast and a large bunch of parsley which I had left out of a recipe accidentally over the weekend.

I decided to reheat the chicken and see of I could find someway to eat all that parsley... With a bit of creativity I came up with a dish that was surprisingly delicious!

AIP - Paleo Tabbouleh 

You'll need:
1 large bunch of parsley
1 small red onion
1/6 head of cauliflower 
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Chop the parsley finely in a food processor and transfer to serving bowl. Process the onion in the same way and add to bowl. Finally, process the cauliflower until it forms tiny rice-like pieces and add those to the bowl as well.  Coat liberally with extra-virgin olive oil and mix. Add a few dashes of apple-cider vinegar and salt to taste.