Rachel Loza @ itsahero.com

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Ohio Blogger. Mama ✖️3. Runner/Yogi🧘🏼‍♀️Craft 🍺 Enthusiast. ☕️ Addict🤸🏻‍♀️Gymnastics Coach 🚴🏼‍♀️ Instructor. 🗺 Explorer. 📍Ohio

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Real talk: I feel like I've BARELY cooked this whole school year. We've been so incredibly busy, running between one event and another; PLUS we have 'events' several times a week, where food is served/involved for us; ...and my kids are super picky.  But we're about a week out from the end of the school year and I LEGIT cannot wait to regularly cook family meals again. One of our go-to Summer meals are air fryer cheeseburgers. They SUPER easy, delicious, and something that every single kid will eat. If it's too hot to grill (or, heck, even cook on the stovetop), the air fryer saves the day!  Find the recipe here -- https://itsahero.com/air-fryer-hamburgers-recipe/

It's Mental Health Awareness Month. Since I started my little blog (and Instagram) nearly 15 years ago, it's evolved into something of a space for recipes, motherhood, and complete openness in regards to mental health.  It's no secret that I've dealt with my share of mental health struggles for the better part of my life. From eating disorders in high school and college, to severe postpartum depression and anxiety, and everything else in between ... I've made it my personal mission to be as transparent as possible. I hope that being open about my struggles will help at least one other person. But, if nothing else, purely to get it off my chest. So if you're here looking for someone who has it all together, you're in the wrong place. I'll never have it all together and I'll NEVER pretend to be anything other than a mess of a human, just trying to figure it all out.  So if you're struggling with your mental health -- whether it be depression, anxiety, or something else -- know that you're not alone. You're never alone. There are millions of us. ONE in 5 Americans struggle with a mental illness.  For more information on mental health/mental illness, you can go to nami.org. For information regarding ending the stigma of mental health and the mental health of children, visit kidsmentalhealthfoundation.org and @kidsmentalhealthfoundation If you are in an immediate need for help, please call or text 988.  #onoursleeves #kidsmentalhealthfoundation #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #breakthestigma

It's May! Which means we're almost to2 big milestones -- the end of the school year.... AND CINCO DE MAYO! Okay, but for real -- every day is Taco Tuesday around our house. 🌮 But if you're looking for a reason to switch up your normal 'taco whatever' routine, then you *must* try making your own taco bowls. They are 100 times better than hard shells you buy at the store -- and are just perfect for a little taco salad. Head over to this link for the yummy recipe. https://itsahero.com/tortilla-taco-bowl-recipe/ #cincodemayo #tacotuesday #margaritamonday #tasty #tastemade #inmykitchen

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We've been in a weeknight dinner RUT lately. Our schedule has been jam-packed with commitments. And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I have been.... well, seriously slacking in the dinner department. But this week, I returned to a tried and true recipe -- Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Pulled Chicken!  It's perfect for busy weeknights. It's easy, delicious, and an absolute crowd-pleaser.  Check out the full recipe here -- https://itsahero.com/instant-pot-dr-pepper-pulled-chicken-recipe/

Another quick Mila update ❤️ I've had a little time to process since Mila had her MRI on Monday. The MRI was reviewed by her neurologist as well as the director of neuro at the children's hospital. They did NOT find a hypothalamic hamartoma. While this is GOOD news, it also had me very uneasy. Medical journals (I'm not using Dr Google -- I'm reading through many medical articles) seem to all say the same thing: Gelastic (laughing) seizures are almost always caused by hypothalamic hamartoma. ...but nowhere can I find the OTHER cause(s). It's not discussed. At all. So as happy as I am that she doesn't have a non cancerous brain mass, I'm also so frustrated that we still don't have an answer. It took me a full 24 hours to be okay with this answer. And it was only after her MRI was reviewed by the head of neuro. So now we wait until she has her 23-hour EEG in a couple of weeks. And we hope for some answers. That's where we are now.

Raise your hand if you're addicted to the vanilla sweet cream at Starbucks! 🤚 Typically, I'm a straight-up cold brew gal, but on the days when I just need a little bit of a flavor kick, these do the trick. They are just a little bit sweet, but they can be a bit expensive. This recipe hack has been LIFE CHANGING! It's the perfect copycat recipe and ZERO guilt over the cost. Find the full copycat recipe here -- https://itsahero.com/copycat-starbucks-vanilla-sweet-cream-recipe/ #starbucks #copycatrecipe #sweaterweather #springbreak #tastemade #tasty #EasyRecipes

Guys. I SWORE I would be a crunchy mom. You know -- the kind of mom that feeds her kids only organic food. It turns out that being a hypothetical mom is a LOT easier than being an in real life mom 🤣 In a fun twist, my kids' favorite food is McDonald's Chicken nuggets. Thankfully, I have a tried and true COPYCAT McDonald's Chicken McNuggets recipe. If you need to fake your kids out with a copycat recipe they'll love, check this out here -- https://itsahero.com/copycat-mcdonalds-chicken-mcnuggets-recipe/

👋 HI! 👋 It's been a wild ride over the last several months, and there are a few new faces around here, so I thought I'd do a quick (re)introduction! I'm Rachel. Mom of 3. Extrovert. Peloton-obsessed. Runner-ish. Nitro Cold Brew fanatic. Constantly reading. Otherwise, singing. Red wine drinker. City councilperson. Very community focused. Oh, and I run this little blog where I write about family travel, share recipes, the tough motherhood stuff, and LOTS of chatter about mental health and wellness. I've been quieter than usual as of late. I've been juggling a new role and also just trying to focus more on my family. But I DO enjoy being on here, too. And I'm sp grateful for you and hope you'll stick around and say HI! So tell me something about you! Where are you from?! What's a cool fact about you?!

We're just a couple of days out from Easter. If you've put things off until the last minute (like meeeeeee), perhaps you need to throw a dessert together in a pinch? If you're in the mood for a chocolate and peanut butter treat, look no further. It's been said that the Reese's Egg is the superior shape for a peanut butter cup. I couldn't agree more! The peanut butter to chocolate ratio is PERFECT.  This Copycat Reese's Egg recipe is exactly what will pull together this Easter weekend! Check out the recipe here -- https://itsahero.com/copycat-reeses-eggs-recipe/ #reeses #reeseseggs #copycatrecipe #easter #easterfood #thatstasty #tastemade #homemade #inmykitchen

Mila update! Back in October, Mila was admitted to the children's hospital. She had a series of gelastic and absence seizures (which was our purpose for being in the ER), but she was also suffering from ketotic hypoglycemia. Basically, her body is too small (and weight is too low) to keep her glucose levels stable when she's under the weather. We followed up with her endocrinologist and had an EEG with neurology all before Thanksgiving last year. Well in February she had another series of seizures followed by a spike in blood sugar (while she was sick -- and hadn't eaten much). Her endocrinologist wanted her to be seen in the ER. This time they didn't admit her. But we went outpatient with her endocrinologist a week later. At that follow up appointment he noticed that she hadn't really grown much since her last visit (a few months prior). He sent us for blood work to see if she was deficient in growth hormone. An hour later be called us and said that her blood work was normal. Last Friday we finally had a neurology consult at the hospital. And we have to go for 2 tests -- an MRI under sedation, and a 24 hour EEG. Both are scheduled for April. But the neurologist seems to think this may all be from a hypothalamic hamartoma. Basically a non-cancerous tumor on her brain. All to be determined, of course. So I'm not panicking. But I am relieved to be moving towsrds answers. All this to say, please send all good vibes our way!

I refuse -- REFUSE! -- to believe that next weekend is St. Patrick's Day. Because that would mean we're halfway through March. Which is basically the first part of the year. And soon enough it will be Easter and then before we know it school will be out for the Summer. So I'm just going to sit here in disbelief. But while I sit in disbelief, I'm going to be sipping on this MAGICAL St. Patrick's Day Hot Cocoa. Because these are equal parts adorable and delicious. If you're looking to bring some magic into the lives of your family this weekend, you just *have* to make these delicious hot cocoa bombs. Find the full recipe here -- https://itsahero.com/st-patricks-day-hot-cocoa-bombs/

For as much as I bake, I don't really actually *eat* much of what I make. Especially cake. But Nothing Bundt Cakes are just delicious! So when I make this copycat recipe, I absolutely 100% will have several pieces of it. 😍 Check out the recipe here- https://itsahero.com/copycat-nothing-bundt-cakes/

Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

This post may contain affiliate links Confession: I never really had fast food growing up. But the truth is, I’ve developed quite a taste for a few Taco Bell items (like the bean burrito, sans onions). So I decided to perfect a Copycat Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme recipe. Sure, you can grill and press this, but it is far more delicious in an air fryer.

Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken

We have had an air fryer built into both our oven and toaster oven for the last 3+ years. — like frying fresh cod and making our own Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken! Honestly, the first time I used orange zest in any recipe, my husband freaked out (in a good way)! Just make a side of rice (I use my Instant Pot for rice) and serve your Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken over it!

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