Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Perfect Watermelon Snack

I love how effortless meals are in the summer.  I don't mind the drive by snacks and meals on their way in and out of the pool, or the fact that we live on fruit and cheese as a real meal when it's hot out.  We have a very short window of warm weather and I try to keep myself out of the kitchen as much as possible.  Somewhere along the way I decided summer was a guilt free mom season and we were meant only to enjoy it.

In my guilt free haze I sometimes end up in a snack slump.  We have the same basic on-the-go crap on hand every day... cheese, goldfish, gummies, pirates booty, you know healthy stuff (insert eye roll).  Leavitt and I recently had a little time on our hands while Preston took a nap and decided to get our creative on in the kitchen.  We cut up some watermelon, half to eat, half to create something with.  I decided to scour the pantry, we happened to have some white chocolate melts in there and fruit dipped in chocolate is basically a love language in our house.  I let Leavitt help me pick our toppings.  I wanted shredded coconut, and he opted for raisins.  

I melted the chocolate according to the directions on the package and let it cool enough to thicken.  Dipped small/medium sized watermelon wedges in the chocolate and tossed some coconut and raisins on there.  We slid them into the freezer for a couple hours and enjoyed them outside when the baby got up from his nap!

I have honestly missed being in the kitchen with my not so little man.  He has become such a great fisherman this year, and while I am so happy for him I miss these moments in the kitchen just us.  He asked me the other day if we could try again and put some cheese on there, when I said no (frozen cheese?!) he said he wanted to try Cheetos.  So stay tuned we may conjure up some more epic concoctions!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Catching Up

I just love all the messages you guys sent on my post The Fitting Room Diaries, seriously some of the sweetest messages.  I did end up hiring a trainer and going back to the gym I went to after having Leavitt, and while it is much less glam feeling, I suppose that is what I need for now.  A humbling experience, in a good way.  I'm older than I was, busier, and actually much happier now than I was back then making the work a little harder.  I just hope my trainer has thick skin and can handle my eye-rolling and sass.

Other than my new torture routine, I have been neck deep in the summer.  I took a weekend away to surprise a lovely gal pal at a bachelorette weekend her bridesmaids had planned.  Being a friend to ladies without kids, I think its super important to give the relationship that attention because they hang in there with me when I say "what were we talking about" 100 times during lunch when my brain is just scattered and trying to keep up with kids and conversation.  It was lovely, and I missed my babies dearly.  They were in capable and loving hands with our parents making it that much easier to relax.

We have been fishing like crazy so that my oldest can get his fix.  He loves fishing and is so good at it.  I feel kind of bad he's stuck with me all day while his dad works and he would much rather be tossing lines than hanging out with the mommy and me crowd.  Where are the redneck kids camps at?!  That being said we have had so many fun play dates this summer and I am really loving all this unstructured down time with the kids.

We spent Independence Day with my husband's family.  Eating lobster, fishing, and catching up.  We really needed some down time after the holiday, and have spent some much needed time hanging out at home, and at the pool.  Preston is so rambunctious and eager to keep up with his big brother.  When we got home from camp after the holiday, I had to lower his crib mattress down again, when I heard him fussing (totally not his character), I found him with his diaper off.  This was the first time he showed me his spunky spiteful side - I loved it.

I'm working on some new posts for you all.  Including a super cheap patio update.  We have lived here for almost four years and still have no deck furniture.  That will change in the up coming weeks and I did it on the cheap.  With kids, dogs, food, and Maine's weather I didn't want to spend a fortune for usable outdoor stuff.  So stay tuned for that!  I hope you all are enjoying your summer and really soaking in these warm summer days.  I am going to miss the smell of warm baby hair lathered in sunscreen when these kids head back off to school!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weekend Recap & Nuby On-the-go

We are home from another weekend at camp and I am already feeling the aftershock at home.  The amount of stuff we lug down and back every weekend makes my head spin.  This weekend was the first real weekend of camp so it was nice to be able to hang with the boys and watch Leavitt really come into his own as a fisherman!  He can cast his line all the way to the neighbors dock, and caught more fish than I can count.  That being said it's really all he wants to do which is hard on poor Preston who is less than comfortable in that bulky lifejacket.  He will get used to it I am sure, and he loved the boat.  

The hardest part of being at the lake is feeding the kiddos.  Leavitt will fish a solid eight hours every day if he can, he hates to come in off the dock to eat, while his adult caretakers are starving so he must be famished!  My husband asked about getting him some meal replacement shakes for him so we know he's getting enough good stuff when we are on-the-go or he is busy with activities.  I snagged a few and his favorite water canteen from Nuby and he kept it with him all day.  I don't love the idea of replacing meals for kids or letting him skip them, so we still put up the good fight over meals but I felt better when he walked away after meals knowing he had gotten plenty of nutrients and hydration throughout the day. He is in love with the bear print especially at camp and the free flowing straw, and I love that the transparent base lets me see how much he has consumed.  I also love the flip top to keep the straw clean.  I tell you these boys are going to keep me on my toes! 

If you have a teething baby this is a game changing must have for introducing solids and relieving the  pain from teething.  You can get a one pack here and a two pack here.  

The NEW Nuby Thirsty Kids Active water canteens is coming soon to Babies R’ Us stores! Can’t wait shop the Nuby Thirsty Kids Reflex water canteens in store at Target or online   How cute are all those prints the canteens come in?  Leavitt loved the bears, I really love the gray ones, which are your favorites?  

Because we love you we are going to give one of you a chance to win a Nuby Thirsty Kids Active water canteen.  Find us on Facebook to enter! 

Bringing up Leavitt is a Nuby parent blogger and was given products in exchange for reviews.  All opinions are and always will be my own.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Fitting Room Diaries

Grab a cup of coffee and hold on to your mom jeans,  its about to get real.

 After my post about dressing the mom bod for spring I got some of the sweetest feedback to my inbox.  Most everyone can relate to needing a little extra love in the wardrobe department to help us navigate our post baby bodies and closets.  While I loved all the positive feedback, and felt good that I had encouraged some of you, I have to admit I have been backsliding lately on the self love.  

Last weekend I was out of town on a girls shopping trip.  I went out the night before to eat and had a couple drinks because the kids were with my mom.  My 3AM wake up call and 5 hours in the car bright and early had me feeling less than my best.  Then I decided to spend the day dressing and undressing over and over again in front of a mirror under fluorescent lights.  Needless to say my usually solid self esteem took a nosedive and I saved my husband lots of money not going crazy updating my closet for summer.   I figure I should probably stop living my life like I am on permanent vacation and shake this mom bod of mine back to its happy place.  

The week before our shopping trip Preston got super sick, Leavitt seemed to also be sick but not double-ear-infection-and-pneumonia-sick like his little brother.  My talented and super thoughtful gal pal the fabulous Danielle Brady Photography, had us on the books for mommy and me pics that had to be rescheduled because who needs 100 pictures of my kids crying and me sweating? No one.  I mean those are actually my favorite pictures from every single session ever, but I do love the perfectly sweet candid just as much.  I was kind of happy they got pushed back so I could find new outfits for the photos, however after my day in the fitting room I started to think I didn't want to do pictures at all.  

Now I will just stop here and say I am a fairly confident gal, who despite knowing my flaws tends to embrace the season knowing at some point I will work on it (or not depends on the mood I guess) but I just don't find my self worth in the mirror, or in my closet for that matter.  I love fashion and clothes make me happy but that is not part of my self worth.  I give and receive love all day every day and that's where my worth comes from.  I have a deep appreciation for my body, for carrying two healthy baby boys, a gift that I would never cheapen by hating it for being a little too soft should we say.  

My weekend in the dressing room was a rough one on the pride, but I would never turn down the chance to take pictures with my boys, to document a season of life because my ego is deflated.  I am mad at myself for letting my head go there.  So mamas, suck it up, suck it in, take the pictures and for gosh sake when the fitting room is letting you down head to the shoe department! Can I get an AMEN on that one?! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Here We Are

I have a little confession to make. I've had so many ideas for new content and even started a handful of posts, but I can't seem to finish them or I get a little negative and scrap on the idea.  So many of my closest friends had been checking in on me leading up to the one year anniversary of my Dad's passing.  Which happened to fall on the day before Mother's day and my birthday.  I am fairly tough and try to be in control of my emotions so I was confident I was going to stroll through this one OK.  The more I was reminded though, the more I began to get a little sad and reflect on what a crazy year it was.  I put every ounce of myself into Preston and Leavitt that I didn't take the time to ever grieve properly.  Instead I began the constant panic and internal obsession over my health.  Going crazy thinking anything that didn't feel right was something terrible.  A few new moles were shown to three different doctors just to make sure I didn't have melanoma.  I have been channeling my grief into a weird almost obsessive fear of leaving my kids behind.  Maybe it's a control thing, who knows.

Sorry if this all seems a little crazy, but putting it all into words helps sort out why I haven't wanted to blog.  It's not just blogging I have been avoiding without meaning to, I have had a few friends ask if they did something or if I'm mad because I have been distant.  I clearly let myself wander into a rut and have only focused on my family and some of my gal pals who have kept my mind off of the sad stuff and on having fun and celebrating my last year in my 20's.  I'm so thankful for friends that recognize when I'm a little off and help me stay the course.  Where would a girl be without her friends?

We are winding down at school, and have finished our last week of MOPs.  How crazy the year has flown by!  At our last MOPs meeting I realized I was still pregnant with Preston when we started this year.   At the beginning of the school year I was so concerned that adding to our family would create chaos, an unmanageable amount of work for me, and rock my world in a way I could never recover from.  I had a good little thing going and was nervous to rock the boat.  Then came Preston.  The sweetest, little bundle of love there ever was, who completed us all in a way we didn't even know we were desperate for.  He seamlessly filled a huge part of me, so much so it is hard for me to even believe we got by without him.  But here we are wrapping up the year, starting our summer, and that tiny human I was still growing is now a husky eight month old I don't ever recall living without.

I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes I am just happy to be getting by.  If I met my kids needs for the day, and my husband and the boys have heard that I love them, that's enough.  I love when my house is spotless, the kids are in adorable outfits, and I have it all together.  But life happens.   Eventually I will get around to going the extra mile, striving for the perfect Instagram worthy snippets of my life to share.  But in order to be myself, and be a good friend, mom, wife, and daughter I have to be OK with short seasons of getting by.   Letting the details in life go so that I can focus on my relationships is what keeps my heart full when it very well could be a shattered mess.

I am glad to see Leavitt's first year of school end on a happy note.  Preston didn't throw me into a tailspin of chaos.  We can handle life as a family of four.  I also am glad to be free of this first anniversary.  A weight has been lifted and it is time to get back down to business!  So if you are still reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me.  I have missed posting, I miss seeing your messages when I step back, so if I haven't gotten back to you I will do that this week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

With the days being longer, brighter, and warmer - Monday is becoming a dirty word around here.  Our weekend kicked off early Friday when my mother-in-law and I took an impromptu trip to Portland to shop.  I wanted to get a couple things for the boys Easter baskets, and got myself some good transitional pieces for this weird delayed spring we are having.

I rushed back to grab Leavitt from daycare because we had a birthday party to get to.  He was exhausted so the fact he managed to not try to bring their house down was a major win for the mom team.  We both had after party plans - he was going to his grandparents and I was headed to a girls night.  I was already red faced and giggling when I arrived at the second shindig, so it was nice to let my hair down and get some gal pal time in.

My mom is like a pinterest grandma if that is even a thing.  She hosted a super cute Easter egg hunt for her grand kids, and some of our family friends.  It was so much fun to watch the kids finding eggs.  Per usual she was over the top and had filled something like 215 eggs all stuffed with chocolate.  She had made even more Easter goodies inside and we filled our bellies with homemade goodness, and ourselves with new memories.  I love that this is now a tradition, and hopefully it is something all the kids get to do together throughout the years.  Nick and I decided to head to our favorite Mexican restaurant for a date night.  I was honestly pretty tired but I'm not going to turn down an opportunity to have a date night.  I ended up having a few margaritas and was feeling pretty festive by the time we left.  We are opposites in many ways, but share the same sense of humor, I had a pretty good work out just laughing with him.

Sunday I woke up feeling more tired than normal thanks to those margaritas, so I got the boys ready and struck off for Starbucks.  Leavitt ended up wanting to go with his grandparents to camp for the day.  When I pulled in to drop him off the screamed "that's so awesome!"  seeing his grandfather's fishing boat hooked to his truck.  I love his enthusiasm for all things outdoorsy.  I also love that he has someone to do all that stuff with because I couldn't keep up with all that all the time. They ended up bringing him home after less than an hour because he threw up in the car.  I thought we had avoided the stomach bug that had been going around, but with our social calendars packed it was only a matter of time.

We spent the remainder of Sunday resting, snuggling, and watching movies.  While the boys took naps I tackled the laundry I normally would put off until Monday.  My husband had invited friends over for sushi Sunday night.  The boys were already in bed, so if everyone gets sick I'm blaming bad seafood! Ha! 

Busy jam packed weekends are my favorite and I am so excited for our weekends to feel more like this as we get into Summer.  If only I could cram a girls night, family time, and a date night into every single weekend I would welcome Monday with a smile a little more often!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mom Bod - Spring Essentials

Well spring is here - kind of.  I woke up to snow today, and a text from one of my gal pals that Tuesday it would be 70 out.  The girls at Mops were also talking about promising spring weather next week, which had us all giddy and ready to kick cabin fever.   So with talks of lunching on the patio at the Sea Dog, and mom park play dates, I am talking all things mom bod and spring wardrobe essentials!

I live by the motto I am built for pleasure not speed.  Meaning I enjoy eating, drinking, having/making babies (too far?), and I truly hate to run.  I have big boobs, I don't think God designed  me to run.  My neighbors also don't want to see me running, they do however enjoy the apple squares I drop off after we go apple picking a dozen times, and leave with an abundance of apples every single time.  Keeping the mom bod is actually just an act of community service.

I am a true believer that calories consumed with friends, on the weekends, or off my child's plate don't count.  This is also why I will never be skinny, because those may be the only times I actually eat.  Also see above for why this is true.  That being said the mom bod is going to rock it's happy self right into the warmer weather, new wardrobe and all.  

Every year I invest in a pair of white jeans.  I don't buy expensive ones because I only want them to work for one year.  The obvious reason for this is that they are white and need to be washed after every wear.  I also use bleach on them which ruins the elasticity, which in turn ruins the fit.  The fit of white denim must be good.  White denim shows lumps and bumps, and saggy white pant butt, looks like a diaper - not cute.  I usually grab a pair from the Gap, this year I found a distressed pair and a regular pair at Old Navy.  I also found a great pair at Target last year while pregnant, you can find them here... expecting mamas invest in these ASAP!!

I am also loving all things ruffled sleeves, off the shoulder, chambray, and give me every pink shoe ever.  I almost think the pink shoes need a post of their own but here is a sneak peek into what I have invested in so far!  Loose tops that flatter and conceal mummy tummy, and mid-rise jeans that don't show your bottom when you bend over are my jam.   These are my favorite outfits I just know will be heavy in the rotation as soon as its warm, and my car isn't covered in dirt.   

Jeans | Mules | Top similar |

I love these white distressed jeans so much.  I got them super cheap during one of their online sales for $22.  These mules are everywhere right now.  I live for the blush and bow combo.  The leather feels luxe, and the sole is a nice heavy wood.  They feel more expensive than they are.  The top is Beachlunchlounge.  I link them a lot because I love their fabrics and I found this one at TJ Maxx, that being said I couldn't find mine online, but I found one similar that I like more for you guys, so jump on that!  Also be sure to look for their stuff at your local TJ Maxx, and as always shoot me a message if you find something, or if you're in Maine and think I need to check a store out that has tons of it! 

Jeans | Top | Shoes |

These jeans are also from Old Navy and a ridiculous steal at $25 everyday.  They are a nice mid-rise and I won't care if I ruin them and need to snag another pair.  The top I got at TJ Maxx for $19.99, it is way pricier ( $69 ) on the designer's website so check out your local stores first!  The shoes are also  a TJ Maxx find from a couple years ago but you can still find them online!

 | Jeans | Shoes | Top similar |
This top is a Max Studio find at TJ Maxx.  I could not for the life of me find one online anywhere.  I got it for $19.99 and am obsessed with the sleeves.  The linked version is super cute too!  The sandals I have had for two years and go with literally everything.  I know Tory Burch sandals are pricey for flip flops but if you're going to invest in a pair these would be the place to start!

 | Top  similar | Jeans | Shoes similar |

This top is a TJ Maxx find that I couldn't find online so I linked a similar one.  I am all about this bright pink.   These sandals I was able to link the current version.  Mine are the Miller 2 and have a metal logo in the middle and have been discontinued.  I love the preppy stripes with pink top combo and will be rocking it on the regular.  

Jeans | Top similar | Shoes |

The top and jeans I have already told you about above - but let me tell you about these lace up pink flats!! They speak to me!  I love the lace up detail, and bright color.  They aren't pricey which is good because I don't think I will get more than a couple years out them unless the lace up flat trend sticks around longer than most.  Get them during a Gap sale when they include shoes for a really good deal!

   | Top similar | Shoes | Jeans |

These blush jeans are super cute on.  They are just blush enough to not be white, with tiny spots of distressing.  The stock website photo shows a hole in the knee and mine came with light distressing on the knee.   The stock photo also shows a darker wash than what came in the mail.  I like the stock style better but I snagged them during friends and family sale for less than $20 with free shipping so no complaints here.  

As you can see I will be mixing and matching most of these outfits to get me through the spring.  I strongly suggest finding things you like online, knowing your retailers sale habits and watching them to make sure you are getting the best deals.  Gap and Old Navy run 30-40% off on a regular basis.  I would wait to buy anything from them until I saw a 40% off my purchase sale.  I also find good deals on current styles at TJ Maxx, if you live north of Portland here in Maine you are probably hurting for options to shop locally.  As always message me with any questions on sizing and fit!