Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mom Uniform Upgrade

So on days when I'm not sporting my usual yoga pants and Gap v-neck workout tee (what I wear maybe 3 out of the7 days a week), I still always look for comfy things to wear since my daily duties involve picking up a 14 month old and/or two two year olds (sometimes all at the same time) and scraping their crusty food and snot off whatever shirt I happen to be wearing.

In colder months, my go-to "cute" outfit usually involves leggings. I mean, God love the person who made these a stylish trend several years ago. And please don't crush my dreams by telling me they are no longer "in style" if they're not. This was just like the hugest favor to all of us moms still sporting our "mummy tummy" and hate the way jeans dig into our muffin top.

So with my love of leggings comes a close second love of all types of tops that involve the word "t-shirt" (read: comfortable and non-dry cleaning) and "swing" (read: loose fitting in the tummy). I mean these two combined basically equate to a cute, acceptable-to-wear-during-the-day nightgown. Add a cute scarf and boots, and everyone you see basically thinks you're an editor for Vogue (or at least I pretend they do).

Along with good, easy recipes, I absolutely love when other bloggers share great clothing finds. I recently stumbled upon what I hope will be a great mom uniform addition (they should arrive early next week).

Both are from ASOS. I've heard of the website but never have bought anything from there. Another huge selling point for me is that both of these are under $40! I think these will be perfect for adding a cute necklace or scarf/jacket to. And good gosh, do they not look dreamily comfy?

Hurry up, fall!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Recipes: Tried and True

So nearly every mom I know is always looking for good, easy recipes. And easy to me = crock pot. So I thought I'd share a good one we've enjoyed lately, plus one other that isn't a crock pot one, but equally as easy. I'm also including some good "kid friendly" recipes/snacks that sneak in a nutrient or two. If your kid willingly shoves broccoli and spinach into his/her mouth, then don't worry about scrolling down that far. Brat. 

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki 

This is seriously the BEST Teriyaki Chicken recipe I've tried to date. The sauce is thick and super flavorful. Using chicken thighs is totally the key to good crock pot chicken, in my humble opinion. This recipe does involve removing the chicken from the liquid and then cooking the liquid separately, adding the cornstarch that makes the sauce thicker and yummier. We eat this with rice and brocolli. 

Recipe found HERE

Honey-Pecan Chicken Thighs

Ok so this is not a crock potter, but it is still really easy. Again, chicken thighs are far superior in taste to me than breasts. I have a sneaking suspicion it's because they are probably fattier and more unhealthy than the breasts (I'm afraid to google this to confirm my suspicions, so please don't tell me otherwise). We all loved this recipe (even the kiddos) and I even ate it on a salad with the dressing for lunch for several days after. 

Recipe found HERE.

No-Bake Energy Bites 

These are by far my kids' favorite snack. I call them cookie balls because they taste like no-bake cookies and the girls will eat ANYTHING that has the word cookie in it. We eat them for snacks, breakfast on the go, and when Kyle gets real desperate for something sweet and we're all out of oreoes, he reaches for these. They are basically a mix of peanut butter, honey, coconut, flax seed (doesn't this make me sound super healthy?), oatmeal, and chocolate chips.

Recipe found HERE. 

Toddler Muffins

I'm pretty sure I've pinned this one before, but I'll share again. I've recently had to start making these again for my picky little chunk-a-munk, Burke. He isn't thrilled about any type of produce that isn't a banana or avocado, and would mostly prefer to eat carbs, cheese, and meat (wouldn't we all?). These sneak in grated carrots, zucchinni, and applesauce. I even put about half a head of chopped broccoli in the last batch. Basically you can just throw in whatever you can get away with. I make a batch and freeze them to last longer. 

Recipe found HERE

Deceptively Delicious English Muffin Pizza

So Burke is not my only picky eater. Since turning approximately two and eight months, the girls have gradually become pickier and pickier. I will credit this to the fact that they are wisening up and realizing that mommy and daddy are ex.haust.ed. by the time dinner rolls around and have been too hot and lazy to enforce the vegetable eating (while sipping on their glass of wine).  Lesson learned. And a fun little twin fact? Campbell is pretty awesome at eating her vegetables, but is not a big fruit fan; and Sophie would eat fruit all day long, but looks at me like a pissed off fourteen year old when I insist she eat ONE FRIGGIN BITE of a vegetable. Of course they would be this way, right? 
With all this said, I've had to get creative and borrow my mom's Deceptively Delicious cookbook. So far I'm a fan of the English Muffin Pizza, Quesadillas, and am going to try the Mac-n-Cheese later this week. We all know the basics of these easy meals, but to add more nutrients, you sneak in vegetable purees. It's annoying to make the purees beforehand, but I now have a pretty good stock of them in our freezer, so I just thaw one before I make it and it hasn't been too bad. For the English muffin pizza, mix whatever vege puree you have on hand with tomato sauce, spread on muffin with mozzarella and mini pepperonis (or just plain cheese) and broil in the oven until cheese is melted. 

I also came across this really great piece of advice via Pinterest, and will be giving some of these ideas a legit shot this week in hopes of expanding my little picky eaters' palettes. 

Happy Eating! 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Movie Day

Today I took the girls to their first movie in a movie theatre. And, it was a success (if you count lasting a whole hour before getting a little to wiggly a success)!

It was one of the sweetest days we've had in awhile. I rarely get the chance to have one on two time with my girls, so I was really looking forward to some time with just them. After today, I will definitely be making it happen more often (and Kyle decided next time he gets to join the fun). The girls were so excited to be going somewhere with just mommy. After getting our overpriced treats from the concession, we all made our way into the theatre and upon picking our seats, the girls decided they needed to share a seat {melt my mommy heart}

The girls got really into the movie (Planes). I knew they would both love it since they have a special love for all things "Yightning M-Tween" (Lightning McQueen). They called the main character plane by this name throughout the movie, and even cheered and clapped during the race scene (ha!). They took turns sitting on my lap, feeding me skittles, holding my hand, telling me they "wuved this sooooo much!" and Sophie loved being in the movie theatre so much that she kept leaning over to give me kisses and giggle.

Not that I don't enjoy nights out with Kyle, but this had to be one of my most favorite dates I've ever been on. ;)

(dark, bad quality iphone picture-sorry)

And what trip to the mall is complete without a ride on the germy cars?

Thank you sweet girls for such a fun day. You never cease to remind me how lucky I am to be your mama. 


Thursday, August 1, 2013


A few months ago we embarked upon the adventure that is ISR (Infant Swimming Resource). This is basically like the boot camp of swim lessons. If you recently saw the video that made national news of the 16 month old swimming and floating across the pool without a floatie or parent to assist, that was the result of ISR. To say that these are intense swim lessons is an understatement. Since mid-May up until yesterday, both Sophie and Campbell (we decided to wait a year for Burke) have been going to a ten minute swim lessons Monday-Friday every week. I believe we went right at 8 weeks in a row. Campbell finished around 6 weeks, Sophie last Friday. They were expensive, it was a pain in the butt getting all 3 kids there every single day, listening to the girls scream in protest for the first 4-5 weeks every time I mentioned the words "swim lessons", and dealing with the hour ordeal it was getting there, having the lessons, and drying off/re-dressing two two year olds while making sure Burke didn't crawl into the pool, BUT, we did it.

And I would do it again. In a heartbeat.

Do I think these swim lessons are for everyone? Probably not. Around March of this year, my parents (who also have a pool we swim in 2-3 times a week) introduced this idea to my sister and I. I was extremely hesitant and downright against doing them. I mean, the girls liked the pool just OK on a good day, and most days would get in up to their chests and then be over it. How are they going to handle being dropped in the pool without having a panic attack? At the time, we were looking into Burke doing them as well. How on earth was I going to wrangle three, wet screaming children who were basically learning not to drown every day to swim lessons without wanting to kill myself and/or my children in the process? Unless a free, full-time nanny appeared on my porch, this just did not seem like an option for us. While I knew they would be great for the kids, it just wasn't going to work.

Then, on Mother's Day weekend, Sophie fell in the pool. With three adults outside who had just turned their backs for a second. In those few seconds before Kyle was able to get to her, she swallowed a lot of water. While I was not there to witness it, Kyle was beyond shaken up after it happened. After giving it some serious thought, it was decided that between my sister and I's 5 small children, we couldn't risk something like that happening again, perhaps with a far worse ending.

Enter, ISR.

When I say the girls hated it for the first 4-5 weeks, that is an understatement. Tiffany (our amazing instructor that I adored), basically drops them in the water and they have to figure out how to dog paddle/swim for their lives to the side of the pool, gradually increasing the distance day after day. The girls swallowed water, threw up, screamed, you get the idea. Afterwards they would cling to me for dear life, and we would do it all over again the next day, all while listening to them scream from the backseat "I dooooon't waaaannnnnnaaaaaa goooooo to swwwwiiiimmmm lesssssoooooons!!! Pleeeeeaaaaaaasse Mommy, noooooooo swim lesssssooooooonnsss!!"

During which time I would be counting down the minutes until I could get home and pour myself a glass of wine and/or start dealing drugs on the side so I could pay some poor person to take my swim-hating mongrels to these God forsaken lessons every day. It got old. Real quick.

But as the weeks went by and the girls were literally learning how to swim on their own right before my eyes, then gradually float on their backs, then go from swimming to floating better than I probably could right now, I finally started to feel like doing these was the right decision. Not only were they learning a life-saving skill, my once ambivalent swimmers now ADORED being in the water, swimming, jumping off the side/diving board, and were off the charts confident in the water. And watching them beam after swimming half way across the pool was the icing on the cake. They were so proud of themselves, and so was I.

Below are some videos from our first week doing the lessons, and our last week. I wish I would have video'd more throughout the process, but like I said, I was barely surviving them and my phone has a horrible amount of storage space, making my video-ing near impossible.

Sophie, week one. (please ignore my annoying mom cheerleading in both videos)

Campbell, week one.

This was Sophie a few days before she finished. 

Since sharing a few videos on facebook of the girls, I now have 5-6 friends enrolling their kids in the lessons, as well. If you live in the Edmond area, and would like to know more about them, I would love to help. Here's a few more resources if you're interested.

Click HERE for the ISR website. You can also find our instructor's information on there, as well. Her name is Tiffany Rains.

Go to YouTube and search ISR. You can see lots of videos of other ISR success stories. 

Again, I'd love to answer anymore questions anyone reading this may have. It's a scary undertaking and I was so glad to have a friend to bounce questions off of before and during our lessons (thanks, Kaylan!). Leave a comment if you'd like to chat more about them!

Happy swimming. ;)