Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Camden!

In preparation for this post, all about Camden, I went back and read my birthday posts for Jonah and Carson.  I found myself smiling so big as I imagined all the adventures we have ahead of us with our littlest boy.  He has already brought us so much joy, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

He definitely knows what he wants...

And what he doesn't.


He's so incredibly loving.

And so loved.

He has had a year full of first experiences...

First Wedding: Abby and Christian's

First Disney Experience--and with "That Guy" too!
Making gingerbread cookies with Mommy and his brothers.

and has worked up such an impressive vocabulary...

Hat and "Nanta" are two of his many, many words.
He has an equally impressive appetite.

He cracks us up every day...

He wants to be just like his brothers.

And his brothers wouldn't have it any other way.

We have had so much fun getting to know our little "C."  He completes us!  

The Five K's

And I finally finished Camden's first ABC book, just in time to start his second.  Better late than never.  I am so happy to be able to continue this tradition with our little guy.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Camden!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What I Wore on Wednesday

What I Wore Wednesday

Let me just start out by saying that this type of post is still a little outside of my comfort zone.  But I know that when I spend a few extra minutes getting myself ready in the morning, I feel better about myself, I eat better throughout the day, and I am more motivated to exercise.  So here goes nothin'.

As promised, here is the blardigan, ready for a day of running errands:

This was a perfect outfit for a yucky, rainy day.  I just threw on my blardigan over a tank and black leggings, and pulled on my Uggs.  Comfortable enough for grocery shopping and running errands, yet I felt confident and put together.  

A couple other tips for building better outfits...

A hat or a scarf can do wonders for your look.  Especially when you don't have time to wash your hair.  Braid your hair, throw on a hat, and you're good to go!

A necklace and shoes that make a statement can also spice up your outfit.  And flats are easy to kick off when you want to cuddle on the couch with your little one.

And finally, sometimes you just need to invest in something that makes you feel good.  This sweater would look good on anyone!  And it comes in SO many colors.  I think Sheaffer should include it as one of her "must have" shirts!!!  Here is a link to the one I am wearing below.  Nordstrom has lots of other colors here.

I am linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.  What I Wore Wednesday was originally her idea and you can find lots of inspiration over on her blog!

pleated poppy
What are your go to accessories for spicing up an outfit?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blardigans, and the Most Popular Posts of 2014

The main reason I blog is because I love to write.  I also love to challenge myself to try new things, and to hold myself accountable, by putting it out there in writing.  A bonus for me is knowing that people are actually reading my writing, and occasionally letting me know that something they read made a positive impact.

So, I looked back at 2014 to see what blog posts got the most hits.  Three stuck out the most.  They are What I Wore, Why Wouldn't You Join Momsanity, and The App Every Mom Needs.  I read a few blogs.  One of my favorites is A Holy Experience, and I enjoy my Parents magazine and self-help books, but sometimes I just need to rest my brain!  I need to look at something mindless.  And that is when I enjoy a good fashion blog.  My favorite is Pinterest Told Me To.  I have mentioned Sheaffer before.  She is a hoot.  If you don't look at her blog for the fashion, just take a look to see how cute and funny she is.  She really has a talent for finding good deals out there, looking absolutely adorable while showing them off, and bringing humor in to wrap it all up.  One of my favorite items of clothing in my closet I learned about from her blog.  And I bought it while shopping with this beautiful friend...

One of my favorite moments of 2014 was shopping for this blardigan

 I will never forget Amber saying, "Now, when we walk into Nordstrom, don't ask where the blardigans are.  That's not a real word."  Seriously?  Well, it should be.  And everyone should have one of these!!!  It is part blanket, part cardigan.  It's a blardigan.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Carson can't even stand it when I wear my blardigan.  He either needs to be in my lap, or wearing it himself.  And I'll take any excuse I can to hold my big eight year old.

The best part about the blardigan?   You can snuggle in it at home, AND you can wear it to run errands, on date night, to volunteer at school, to storytime, to a playdate...the list goes on and on!

Tomorrow, I am going to show you how I wore the blardigan out, and then highlight several other outfits I put together.  The purpose of my post is to show you how you can look cute, be comfy, and still get down on the floor to build Legos.  As busy moms, it's so easy to stay in workout clothes or PJs because we know we'll just be chasing a toddler, running errands, and prepping meals all day.  But here are my three reasons you should get dressed and put a little effort into yourself every day:

1. You will FEEL better.  I know for a fact that when I take a few minutes to put on a necklace, or wear boots instead of tennis shoes, I feel better about my appearance, I am more confident, and more productive throughout the day.

2. You will EAT better.  You know how easy it is to overindulge when you are wearing pants with an elastic waist?  Enough said.

3. You will EXERCISE more often.  I promise.  When I know I want to wear my skinny jeans tomorrow, I am more likely to invest the time and effort to pull up a momsanity workout and get it done today!

Need more reasons?  Tune in tomorrow and I will show you how I took two ordinary, drab outfits, and made them more fun by adding accessories or layers.  

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

In Honor of Fifteen

I have been kind of dragging my heels about getting back into blogging.  I got really out of the habit of writing before Christmas, and gave myself a break because there was so much to do around the holidays!  But now that Christmas is behind us, I really have no excuse.  And I miss writing.

So, let's get started.
I think I may have mentioned that I don't typically choose a recipe for a weeknight meal unless it has five ingredients or less.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  And when I say five, I mean five ingredients other than the ones I already have on hand.  So I am not counting the typical spices most of us have in our kitchens, or the pantry and fridge staples I almost always have (cheese, pasta, milk--you get the idea).  Sometimes I'm not even counting the meat, because I purchase our meat in bulk, at Costco.

I may have also mentioned that there is an app out there all moms need.  It is called paperless.   And I use it EVERY DAY.  So, I decided to put it to work a little more in 2015, by creating a list known as 15 Meals, 5 or Fewer.

Let's face it, in a perfect world, we'd have the week's meals planned out on Saturday, completed our grocery shopping by the end of the weekend, and have a stocked pantry ready to meet the needs of a busy week of meals.  But, we don't live in that world, and basketball games and birthday parties, date nights and playing catch up tend to take over a weekend.  So, in the event that meal planning doesn't get done, I do not want to find myself scrambling to put dinner on the table.

Here are 10 family friendly dinner options, with five ingredients or fewer.  And I have loaded them into my paperless app so that I can access them from my phone at any time.  So, if I happen to be in Target and don't have a clue what to make for dinner, I can pull up my app and see what I need.

Mini Meatloaves with Pureed Veggies (I borrowed this from my good friend, Rachel Joyce, but I changed it a bit--I use swiss cheese and top it with bacon).

Better for You Baked Mac and Cheese (this can be a vegetarian dish, or you can add ham steak)

Savory Chicken (Momsanity Recipe!)

Spicy Tilapia with Mango Salsa

And I said 15, didn't I?  So, bonus 5 Friday night recipes, when you just don't feel like cooking, but going out to eat is too expensive and it's hard to order healthy!  (These are not ALL super healthy, but I guarantee they are healthier than eating out.  And you are guaranteed to EAT less.)

I don't have pictures for all of these, but here they are:
Trader Joes Fish Nugget Tacos--cook fish according to package directions, place in corn tortillas with TJ's broccoli slaw and a little cilantro lime dressing (also TJ's brand).  Yum!

French Toastie Sticks--French Toast (make it yourself for a healthier version), bacon, strawberries, and bananas on a kabob stick.  Little ones will love eating right off the stick (just cut off the sharp end for safety reasons).

Chicken Cheddar Flatbread Pizzas--whole wheat pita, granny smith apples, cooked shredded chicken, warm in oven til cheese is melted and top with Jack's special salsa.

Chicken Sausage and Veggies--saute TJ's Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix in olive oil, remove from pan.  Add sliced sausage and brown.  Mix together and serve over farro (also TJs--cooks in 10 minutes).

Chicken and Rice Crock Pot Meal--place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot, add 1 packet Italian seasoning and pour one cup warm water over the top.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve over rice with a salad.

And here is screen shot of what my paperless app list looks like.  If you would like me to share it with you, I can.  And you don't even have to have the app installed on your phone!  But trust me, you will love it if you do install it.

Have a wonderful week!