Thursday, April 13, 2017

Shopbop Favorites

Third times a charm, right?

Because I think that's how many times I've tried to write consecutively on the blog and always seem to fail. I'm still not completely ready to make this a full time hobby, but I have some ideas that might help hold me accountable and allow me to slowly ease my way into the blogging world. Crossing my fingers, but not entirely holding my breath that I can put that into action NEXT WEEK!!

 But in the meantime, it's a FRIENDS AND FAMILY time of year and right now it's SHOPBOP's turn!! One of my favorites, and a great one to take advantage of while they're offering a promotion!!

 I've compiled some of my favorites, some of which I ordered last night, and I'm hoping they arrive before the end of the weekend (Thanks to their partnership with Amazon Prime: Free 2 day shipping).

Click on an item below to get more details. :)




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Twinspiration Tuesday: No Teeth!! What can my babies eat??

I can remember leaving Graham's nine month check up excited that he could start eating table food, but not really sure how I could provide much of a variety considering he didn't have many teeth for chewing. Thankfully the doctor provided a handout with some suggestions which helped get us through the first couple months. 

Now, as we approach this same phase a second time, I look back and realize what amateurs we were! There were so many other food choices we never explored. 

When Graham was a baby, we always had Gerber puffs on hand, but this time we are almost six months into the finger food phase and I rely mainly on cheerios. We could have probably knocked out a container of puffs every day between twins and Graham always wanting whatever they have. Cheerios come in a much larger box and for half the price. I always carry a baggie or container of Cheerios in my purse to control any rumbling tummies while we are out on the go. 

Here are some of our other favorites: 

Fruits and Vegetables: 
  • Frozen peas: We give them frozen and they work like a charm. I think they feel good on their gums.
  • Gerber Graduates Veggies: They offer Green Beans and Apples, but we mainly stick with the carrots. Our babies LOVE these containers. They are great for throwing in my purse if we are headed to a restaurant or if we need a quick fix at home. 
  • Campbell's Vegetable soup: Drain the juice and serve the veggies. 
  • Frozen peas and carrots mixed: I do boil these and serve them cooked. 
  • Sweet Potatoes: Bake in the oven 450 degrees for about 45 min. 
  • Avocado: I just do these at dinner time directly before bath because they are messy!
  • Banana: I've decided one of the best parts of having twins is that you always get to split the food. I remember thinking a whole banana was so much food to give Graham so it's great I get to divide it between the two so they can eat more of a variety instead of filling up on one thing. 
  • Fruit cups: We stock up on the pears, apples, peaches, and mixed fruit containers from the grocery store. These are also easy to pack if we go to the pool or out to eat. 
Meats/Protein:
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This lasts us at least half the week. I bring it home, cut off all the chicken, and store it in a ziploc container so it's easy to access during meal time. 
  • Ground turkey/chicken. I can sauté the turkey on Sunday or Monday and put it in a container to use for several meals during the week. 
  • Ham and Turkey sandwich meat cut up into pieces. 
  • Tilapia/Salmon. Babies don't know what they like so feed it all to them. Harris and Wynn loved the parmesan tilapia we had for dinner last night!
  • Scramble an Egg. (Until their one, you're supposed to only give them the yolk for allergy reasons?) Google that if you're not familiar ;)
Breads: 
  • My babies are obsessed with oatmeal!! It's basically a dessert treat around here, Graham included. 
  • I break a piece of bread up into small pieces (one piece between the two of them)
  • Ritz crackers, Graham crackers, and Goldfish are all favorites (dad included)! 
  • Cheerios, obviously







These SpaceSaver High Chairs have been a huge hit with the babies, and We love them too!!





Saturday, June 18, 2016

Meal Planning Week 4


This week's menu:
Monday: Parmesean Crusted Tilapia with asparagus
Tuesday: Ziti with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce
Wednesday: Korean Short Rib Tacos
Thursday: Turkey Burgers with Kraft Mac 'n Cheese



Monday: Parmesean Crusted Tilapia

I've only made this once before and found it on Pinterest, but I remember it being quick and easy so I'm giving it another try because that's the description I'm looking for on a Monday night. Graham's in the middle of swim lessons right now and by the time we get home, I'm waaaay too tired to think about dinner so I'm trying to fill the week with some of my easy favorites. 

I'm serving it with asparagus because that only requires olive oil, salt, pepper, and some parmesan (and I don't have to look at a recipe which is an added bonus). 


Tuesday: Ziti with Spinach, Cherry, Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce

I've blogged about this dish before which I linked above. It's been on our favorites list for awhile. One of my girlfriends said she substituted the gorgonzola for feta and it was pretty great so if you're not a fan of the blue cheese family, you might try it by going that route. 



Wednesday: Korean Short Rib Tacos

I don't do the best job incorporating beef into our diet so I'm making an effort to branch out a little and try something I've never made before. (My husband has made this though and it was AMAZING!!) I'm hoping I can pull it off as great as he did. 

This is a little more work than some recipes because you have to put together the marinade and let the beef marinate over night. But that actually helps cut down on the preparation time on the day of the meal which is helpful. I also have to add that the recipe calls for a 1/2 cup mirin which I'm not familiar with and will have to google before I go to the grocery store (eek). But I'm promising, all the extra effort involved is completely worth it!!  




Thursday: Turkey Burgers

We're finishing the week off with some turkey burgers that I will use the cast iron skillet to cook. I like to use Gouda as the cheese on top with some avocado to spice it up a little. For a side, Mac 'n Cheese. Brian keeps buying Velveeta shells and cheese, but i'm a Kraft girl through and through (and I think I've convinced Graham that Kraft is the way to go too). 


Have a great week! Hope you find something that sounds appetizing!



Friday, June 17, 2016

Mom Meets World: Swimsuits

Here's a review of this week's outfits. 

Monday


This is the perfect summer dress that also doubles as a great swim cover up. 
Dress: here, here, and here || Shoes: here


Tuesday


Chambray top sold out but similar options here and here || Sandals: ON MAJOR SALE here (other colors available too)!!



 Wednesday:




Romper: here || Sandals: here and here




 Thursday:


Top: here || Shorts: here Sandals: here (ON MAJOR SALE!!) || Necklace is sold out but other favorites here 


Friday

I just finished up a workout class and we are headed to the pool after Wynn gets a little nap. It took me two years to build the confidence to post a selfie of my daily outfits, so it will probably take at least another two before I post myself in a swimsuit :), but here's some of my current favorites in case you're in the market for a new suit. 

Click on the pictures below for more details and information: 



Have a Great Weekend!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Twinspiration Tuesday: The Sippy Cup

This picture is truly worth a thousand words...and pretty much sums up why nursing Graham for a year was the right decision for me. 



But it might also be the reason, I've gotten myself in this dilemma more than once. 

I rarely used bottles with Graham. If I did, it was usually because I was out of town and Grandparents were watching him, and in that case, they were also the ones cleaning the bottles. It made so much more sense to me to nurse him and eliminate cleaning a bottle and the breast pump parts. 

Then Graham turned one and switched over to whole milk. The sippy cup world was new to me. There were so many styles and brands to choose from. Of course I had try lots of different types and figure out which one we liked best. Naturally, he liked them all. He wasn't going to discriminate if it was supplying him milk. 

So, I would spend the next year trying to keep all the right parts with each sippy cup. It was overwhelming, but at the time, I was too tired to think of a better solution. We were also terrible about looking for the sippy cup he had used earlier that day, so we probably had three used sippy cups by the end of the day. ugh!! And sometimes, even worse, I would find a three day old sippy cup with milk (I should probably say cream) still in it!! What a nightmare to open and clean! 

This was the main reason I planned to nurse the twins as long as I possibly could. I couldn't imagine three dirty bottles/cups times three children. I would have spent the whole day washing. But nursing two wasn't quite as easy as nursing only Graham so I threw in the towel around nine months and began experiencing what it was like to wash bottles and sippy cups ALL THE TIME. Luckily I didn't own a ton of bottles especially since I was dividing them by two. I realized this was helping cut down on how many bottles we would have to wash at the end of the day. 

So when the twins were ready to transition to a sippy cup, I was prepared. I made the decision that they would both have ONE sippy cup each! We literally use the same one ALL DAY LONG. It gets filled up first thing in the morning with milk, Rinsed out after they finish and filled up with water (with a splash of juice) for lunch. I fill it halfway for snack after nap in the afternoon, and again at bedtime. I rinse it out after they've used it each time and give ONE good thorough scrubbing of all the parts every day. 


Choosing one type of cup was a pretty big deal. I decided it made the most sense to go with a straw cup. This way, when we are at a restaurant or birthday party, I know there is a pretty good chance there will be a straw that the twins can use when they want to take a drink. 

I chose this Munchkin weighted straw option because it allows them to hold the cup like a bottle, but drink through it like a straw. They can tilt it any which way and still get to the milk because the straw bends. 

Graham has graduated from his sippy cups and mainly uses these Take and Toss cups with lids and straws. 

In addition to the sippy cup, I've rounded up some of our favorite toddler tools. 


1. I couldn't find a picture for the exact cup I use, but the one above is similar. Click here for more info on the Munchkin one we use. 

2. This drying rack is amazing. We use it for EVERYTHING! wine glasses, knives, sippy cups, ziploc containers, etc. Also available in clear here and additional accessories available here and here

3. Bottle and Sippy Cup brushes are a lifesaver. I keep these hanging around our hand soap in the kitchen for easy access. This is one of my favorite tools because it helps get in those hard to reach places. 

4/6. Toddler forks and spoons

5. Plate divided into servings. 

7. Throw away/Reuseable bowls with lids. Great for traveling or for putting in a lunchbox every day. 

8. Throw away/reuseable plastic cups, straws, and lids. My oldest loves these! He's learning to use them without a lid, but also loves the straw option. 

9. Snack Catcher: The most genius invention ever! I love that I can give these snack containers to the twins on a walk and it helps minimize the amount of snack they are trying to fit in their hand. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Father's Day Guide


Father's Day is in less than a week!!! And lucky for you, I got a little carried away with brainstorming gifts to help out that last minute shopper. 

1. Nordstom has LOTS of Great swimsuits for men! Check out a couple here, here, and here

2. The twins literally get giddy when we pull out this book!! I used to read it and change out "Dada" for "Mama" but I've decided to give up ever since they started chanting "Da-da" the second they see it. Jimmy Fallon's a smart man. 



3. Check out these Golf shoes here. I know nothing about them, but my hubby says they're great. (and he knows his golf)

4/5. Dad deserves the best so treat him to some great shaving cream and the brush here

6. The Greatest Wine Opener EVER!! 

7. Maybe the Dad in your family has plenty of kids at home and needs a break from other people's kids when he flies for work? Try out these noise canceling headphones here

8. Flip Flops mature enough for Dad. 

9. I'm pretty sure a belt makes my husbands Christmas list every year (or maybe that's my brother's) either way, you can't go wrong with a great belt. Check this one out (HALF OFF) here

The top three rows of gifts felt a little more practical, but I couldn't leave out the ones my husband actually suggested when I asked for some great Dad's day gift ideas...

10. A Power Washer. Brian could literally spend hours with this toy. If you're looking to splurge, this isn't a bad idea. 

11. A stand up paddle board? We just got home from the lake so I guess that's why he said this one? I'm still a little puzzled, but maybe it's a good gift idea for someone? 

12. It's a toss up whether this is a great gift idea for my husband or the kids, but either way, it looks like fun! If you're in the market for a bike trailer, check this one out here


and if your husband loves to grill, don't forget to check out My Big Green Egg post here! Lots of great accessories and tools to add to your Big Green Egg collection. 




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Meal Planning Week 3


This week's menu: 
Monday: Bar-B-Que Chicken Wraps
Tuesday: Walnut Crusted Salmon/rice/spinach salad
Wednesday: Chinese Chicken Salad
Thursday: Mexican Stuffed Shells




This is one of those recipes that I found while doing a quick scroll through Pinterest. 
  • The perfect Monday dinner. 
  • Extremely easy to put together, 
  • GREAT flavor
  • Very few ingredients: off the top of my head you need red onion, cilantro, pineapple, mozzarella cheese, chicken, tortillas and BBQ Sauce


Tuesday: Walnut Crusted Salmon/Rice/Spinach Salad


When honey is involved, you know it's bound to taste great. This is one of my favorite salmon recipes. For the longest time, I used to always cook salmon with sour cream on top, sprinkled with lemon pepper, and this was just as easy and more delicious. I served it with a spinach salad. (Spinach washed and prepared in a bag), red onion chopped, fresh grated parmesan, and italian (or Olive Garden) dressing and rice. 


Wednesday: Chinese Chicken Salad


Ingredients: 
1 lb. chicken tenders 
Romaine lettuce
Shredded carrots ( I buy the already washed and prepared romaine bag of lettuce that includes carrots. It helps combine two steps.)
2 green onions
1 apple (I use golden delicious)
1 package ramen noodles, crushed
1 cup chopped walnuts
4 Tbsp margarine, melted

Dressing: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

I coat the chicken tenders in olive oil. Salt and Pepper them, and then bake them in the oven on 350 for 15-17 minutes. Once cooled, I cut them into strips/cubes. Set aside.

Brown walnuts and noodles in the margarine using a skillet on the stove. 

Mix up the dressing ingredients and refrigerate

Layer veggies, chicken, toppings, and dressing. Enjoy!

My mother in law made this salad for use while we were visiting a couple years ago. It's from a family recipe book so I don't have a link to include, but it is definitely worth making. The apple slices, carrots, ramen, and my favorite part, the dressing, make this the perfect summertime salad. 

Thursday: Mexican Stuffed Shells

This recipe combines my pasta and Mexican craving all in one. It's super kid friendly and always a favorite of Graham's (pretty much anything covered in cheese is always a winner). 

**I substituted the taco seasoning packet for the ingredients from the turkey taco recipe found here.


Have a Great Week!!