Sunday, July 16, 2017

Monday Meals: A New Series

Back in January, Brian and I went on a couples trip with good friends, and I talked to the girls about how I wish I was still blogging (I use that term lightly as I was never a “blogger” but did enjoy writing blog posts). Of course, fashion blogger is at the top of my list, but that lifestyle isn’t feasible on a consistent basis. I pretty much spend each season rotating between three work-out outfits in the morning, three regular outfits when I need to look presentable, and three night time outfits. Not enough clothing to post every day. 

So we brainstormed and I realized that not only is cooking dinner one of my favorite parts of the day, but I also love the idea of helping others with weekly meal ideas. 

I know I tried this in the past, but I was struggling to post four meals a week. Too often Brian is out of town for work, I have a girls dinner, or the little ones have extra curricular activities that keep us out too late to cook a meal. We all agreed, it’s rare for any family to want or need to cook four times a week at home. Sharing one recipe a week is plenty. 

So, on the plane ride home, I got to work, and started pinning every meal that looked do-able as a weekday meal, but I was also beginning to realize that this idea might be a waste of time. Why sit down to blog about a meal that you could access from my pinterest page? A little redundant. But I powered through my discouragement, and started making new meals all week long. 

None of the meals I made that week will make it on this blog. Monday night we were starving after dinner, Tuesday night I was exhausted from all three hundred pots and pans I had to clean, and Wednesday did not taste good. Thursday, I threw in the towel and picked up Barnaby’s because I couldn’t handle another failed dinner. 

The next week, I was more careful about the recipes I chose. I also started realizing the value of this blog idea, and how I can hopefully use it to make someone’s life easier. 

So, here is the beginning of my new series, Monday Meals. 

My goals: 
  1. Post every Sunday night with a new “Monday Meal”
  2. Share how long it takes to make the meal
  3. How many pots/pans/dishes it requires ——Because a short cook time doesn’t always mean the same for clean up
  4. Alterations I made to the recipe to make it easier 
  5. The difficulty level (based on the amount of ingredients)
  6. Wide variety of ideas (chicken, beef, seafood; Asian, Italian, Tex-Mex, etc.)
  7. Share how I served it to my kids
  8. Keep it short, sweet, and SIMPLE. 

So until next week, check out all my previous meal pages here, here, here, and here

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Greatest Pair of Shorts

I've spent most of the summer in my swimsuit so far, but on the off chance I have to get dressed in real clothes, I'm digging these Ruffled Shorts

I started with the green pair back in March to celebrate my St. Patty's Day babies, and then bought them again in the seersucker for Graham's birthday party later that month. 

They're high waisted, fit like a glove, and are truly the perfect length. Pretty much a win all around. So last week when I stumbled upon the pink ones, ON SALE, it was a no brainer that I was adding them to my collection. 

Check them out below....

And coincidentally, as much as I love the shorts, I also am loving this Clip Dot sleeveless blouse! I wear the black one at least once a week, and recently added the white one to my wardrobe too. 

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. 
  • 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 ;)
  • 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. 


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


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


Romper: here || Sandals: here and here


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


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.