27 August 2014

End of Summer Goals

*I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

I'm having a really hard time with the fact that the end of Summer is nearing. Waaaa! I mean, there's a lot to look forward to in the Fall, but I do love the sunshine! Before the Summer started, I made a list of things, goals, that I wanted to accomplish before the fall. Luckily I was able to cross off quite a few of those things, but I'm determined to make the most of the rest of the Summer and cross a few more things off my bucket list, as well as get back on track with some things. 

Take the kids to the Ocean.
This was something I REALLY wanted to do with the kiddos this Summer. We are so lucky to live so close to the coast, and I would have kicked myself if we didn't get out to the ocean at least once! But luckily, I had a chance to take the kids to Ocean Shores & Long Beach earlier this month, and my Husband and I are going to Seaside tomorrow!!! So that's two trips to the ocean this Summer! I get to CHECK that off the list!


Finish outdoor projects.
My Husband and I put together a big list of home/yard projects in late Spring and our goal was to get most of the outdoor projects done before the end of the Summer. Well, we definitely haven't done that. So I feel like we need to scramble to get those things done before all the rain starts coming, and doesn't leave. ;-) The main thing we need to do is get the trim on our house painted! It takes forever, though!

Get back to school shopping done.
I actually thought I would be on top of this, but man, Summer has flown by and I still haven't done back-to-school shopping. I was actually surprised at the amount that Bennett needs by way of school supplies! Guess I'd better get on that. Plus, he has grown out of most all his pants, jeans and sweaters. So I will definitely need to do some clothes shopping for the big guy. 

Get my gym schedule back on track.
I've been kind of all over the place with my work outs. I used to have a very strict exercise schedule, but lately it's just been whenever I can fit it in. I really want to get back to a reliable schedule and stick to it by the end of the Summer, so by the Fall, I'll be in a good routine again.


Snack a little less.
I'll admit that I've been really snacky recently. Like, it's to the point where I'm starting to sneak handfulls of the kids goldfish crackers every time I walk by the pantry. Ugh. I was doing so well for a while, so it sucks to fall off the wagon. But I think I've found a solution to the snacking! 

Chewing gum!! A friend recommended that I just pop in some gum when I get in a snacky mood, and it's actually helped a lot! My gum of choice is Juicy Fruit! And luckily, an enormous box of Juicy Fruit gum showed up on my doorstep to sample. Pretty sure it will last me all year.



 The awesome thing, is that the new soft chew gum is sugarfree!! Which definitely makes my Husband happy, and I also feel good about giving it to my kiddos. They are at an age now where they understand what "chewing gum" is, and they will chew all day long if I let them. lol

We also got to try some of the new Juicy Fruit Bubble Gum!! It comes in Juicy Fruit Original and Juicy Fruit Sweet Strawberry, and I'll tell you what, it's delicious. Oh and I will also let you know another little fun fact about me + chewing gum. On top of helping me snack less, I leave some of this gum in my car and it actually helps me battle my road rage. If I get annoyed or frustrated on the road, I pop a piece of bubble gum in my mouth, and surprisingly, I calm down a little. Who doesn't like to blow bubbles?

I'm still working on helping Bennett learn how to blow bubbles with his bubble gum, though. It's a work in progress. :-)


What are your End of Summer goals? And what are your tricks to help yourself snack less?

26 August 2014

Caterpillar!

Just the other day, I posted an update on Bennett's development. And part of his delay, includes some issues with his fine motor skills. He's been working with a therapist in his school to help with his dexterity, but he's never ever been able to draw, color, or write very well. Nor has he ever shown any kind of real interest in it. He mostly just scribbles for a second and then says he done.

Honestly, it's been kind of discouraging. It's hard for it not to be, because as his Mother, I want him to develop and continue to grow. But I mean, you can't force your child to do something they don't want to do, you can just encourage them and continue to give them opportunities to learn.

The other day, Bennett came running up to me with the Magna Doodle in hand, yelling "Mommy mommy, look!!!! It's a...."



And before he could finish his sentence, I said "it's a Caterpillar!!!" The smile on his face was priceless. And me?? I was absolutely blown away. It may seem silly and insignificant to some, because most 4 y/o have been drawing like this for a while now. But Bennett? I've never seen him draw, or even attempt to draw anything recognizable.

This was a huge moment for him. It's like something just clicked in his brain and he realized he could draw. I would be lying if I said I didn't tear up. Because I did. This kind of thing, though small, is a big milestone for him.

Children amaze me, they truly do. I think a lot of times, all they need is the confidence to do something, and they can do it.

What I'm trying to say, is these little milestones are completely worthy of a huge celebration. I don't think we realize how huge this kind of thing can be for a child's self confidence.

25 August 2014

A bold & delicious lunch solution for the WAHM.

I know I sound like a broken record, but being a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) can be challenging sometimes. I recently got a laptop, which helps a ton with multi-tasking throughout the days. But mealtime? That can be tough. I feel like any downtime I have in between entertaining the kids, running errands and cleaning the house, should be spent working. So meals can kind of get lost in the shuffle of it all.


Sometimes I think ahead and am able to prepare something the day before and have leftovers. But that doesn't always happen. So in those other instances, what I need honestly, is an easy, quick solution. Oh and it needs to be yummy, too. ;-)


I'm one of those people that prefers a lot, like a LOT of strong flavors in my food. Not really into bland food that much. I say, bring on the spices and the kick. And I'm telling you, I found the most amazing frozen meals that satisfy both my need for a quick meal prep as well as my love for bold flavor.


I recently discovered these Chili's at home frozen meals and basically, they're my new favorite thing to pop in the microwave when I'm feeling hungry.

Here are some some fun facts about this new line of frozen meals:

 Bellisio Foods, a leading frozen foods manufacturer, partnered with Chili’s® Grill & Bar earlier this year to introduce a new line of licensed Chili’s®-inspired frozen meals — boldly flavored and deliciously prepared to enjoy at home.

 The new line of Chili’s® frozen foods is inspired by some of the restaurant’s most popular and innovative dishes. Chili’s® new line of frozen foods delivers the bold, southwestern flavors and same great taste for which Chili’s® is known, with entrĂ©es like Pepper Jack Mac ‘N’ Cheese and Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl.

 Chili’s® new line of frozen foods is available at major retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Food Lion, H-E-B, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Schnucks and many more. Chili’s® frozen foods is igniting innovation in the frozen food aisle — a retail category that has been frozen in time for decades, and one in which inventiveness is unexpected.

Chili’s® frozen foods let consumers treat themselves or their families to the experience of bold Chili’s®-inspired flavors — right in their own homes.


My personal favorite? The Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo! Whoa. I was actually surprised (in a good way) with the flavor in this meal. It definitely had some kick to it, but man, it is so good. And tasted like it came right from the Chili's Restaurant Kitchen. I'm fairly confident that before the month is over, I will have tried every one of these meals. Check out all of the amazing entrees here!

Oh!! And if you're interested in trying these (which I strongly recommend!) You can grab a coupon here!


Personally, this is exactly what I need when I'm trying to cram in a quick meal while trying to get some work done throughout the days. Forgetting to eat happens all too often for me, and when that happens, by the end of the day, I get a little cranky.

What is your go-to meal as a busy parent? Or just as a busy adult?! Have you tried these Chili's at home frozen meals? They are divine! 

22 August 2014

August Stitch Fix

End of August? No. I don't believe it. The good news is that with the end of the month, brings me my August Stitch Fix!! And this one, well, it was better than I could have hoped! I'm pretty sure I'm basically indebted to Stitch Fix for filling up my closet with clothing that I truly love. I't's felt good to slowly start getting rid of things I don't wear anymore, and replace it with clothing pieces that I actually like.




If you need the details about Stitch Fix, here's the details:

First, go to stitchfix.com and you create your style profile. Also, create a Stitch Fix Style pinboard and link it to your profile so that your stylists can get a feel for your clothing tastes and preferences. Then schedule your fix!! The stylists will hand pick 5 items for you to try on. They send the clothing pieces directly to your house, you try them on and decide what to keep (if anything) and then you send back what you don't want. Super easy and convenient!
  • There's a $20 styling fee, which you can use toward your order. (that's awesome!!)
  • If you keep all 5 items you receive 25% off your order.
  • You choose your price range.
  • The more feedback you give on the pieces sent to you, the better they get over time. So be sure to be very specific to your stylists so that they can send you things you'll love.
Again, I'm really happy with the colors and patterns! They're kinda nailing it this Summer. But what I love, is that I think these pieces can transition into other seasons as well!!

Here we go....

Item #1 - Rye Floral Short Sleeve Blouse
At first glance, wasn't sure about the pattern on this, but when I put it on, my mind changed immediately. I really like the way it fits and I like the bright, bold colors!! <3


Item # 2 - Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee
I actually requested this top, and was super exited when I saw that they sent it!! It's very very comfortable, but still stylish. The only thing is that I wish the front of the top was a little big longer. But I don't mind layering, especially for fall/winter so it's not a big deal!

Item #3 - Zabaleta Boat Neck Striped Knit Shirt
Item # 4 - Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean
Okay first let's talk about the top. It's like my stylist, Angela, creeped into my mind and sent me exactly what I was looking for. I am always looking for super comfortable tees to pair with jeans. This is seriously my go-to look. So this striped tee? Winner.

The jeans, I really really really love these jeans. The only thing is that they are kind of big on me. Hard to tell in this photo but they are baggy around the waist and once they stretch out, they will probably be too big in the legs, too. But this is really my fault. I recently lost 10lbs (woo hoo!), but I never updated my sizing on my style profile. I'm bummed because I totally would have kept them if they were a size smaller. Maybe I can request a new size in my next box??



Item # 5 - Rex Hardware Details Crossbody Hobo Bag
Yes, Angela, yes. This is perfect!!! I was literally just scouring the internet for a brown hobo bag. No joke. Then viola, like magic, one shows up on my door stop. I'm a happy girl.


And that's it for this month's Stitch Fix!! What do you think?!? I'm super super happy with everything! If only those darn jeans fit, I'd probably be keeping the entire box!!! I want my 25% off! lol