Oh My Baby ehh I mean Toddler

Well H turned 2 at the end of the new year and he automatically became a full fledged 2 year old. He absolutely hated having “Happy Birthday” sung to him and he does not like having his picture taken anymore.

He is still so sweet and loving but he is giving me a run for my money. The best way to describe him would be that he is a Sour Patch Kid.

He is constantly learning and growing and while doing that he is figuring out brand new ways to do things!

H is in a big kid bed now since he’s been climbing out of his crib since he was a year old. L moved to a big kid bed around 2.5 years old. L never got out of his bed and always called to us if he needed us. H however would get out of bed and bang on his door! That lasted a few weeks until last week when he figured out how to open his bedroom door and really all of the other doors too!

One night he ran into our room and yelled, “BOO”…that was fun! I can’t hide out in the bathroom any longer either (we need to get a new lock for that door).

We remind him all the time to be safe!

Matt and I were talking the other day about how H will be the kid we are called to the school for because he did something like bring a frog to school because he found it on the way there and he needed a friend. Totally harmless but not really what he should be doing.

I have been blessed with two very loving children and I couldn’t be happier. H is really lucky to have L as his brother because I think even if they get into something together, they will also figure it out together.

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What’s for dinner?!

Hello there friends! Here is my meal plan for the week of January 13-January 19!

Sunday: Lemon Chicken with Aglio e olio, served with salad and bread

Monday: Farro and tomatoes with side salad

Tuesday: Lemon and herb roasted chicken and vegetables

Wednesday: Mini bacon and egg tarts served with fruit

Thursday: Bolognese served with salad and bread

Friday: MYO pizza with Trader Joe’s dough

Saturday: Burgers and potato wedges

Breakfasts ideas: eggs, avocado toast, smoothies, oatmeal (sweet or savory)

Lunch ideas: leftovers, panzenella, hard boiled eggs, salads, wraps, protein bars, shakes

Questions for my Mother

I sat down with my mom and asked her a few questions! We laughed and cried and enjoyed some great conversation. It was really nice to share this time together and I am so appreciative of her. Love you Mom.

Photos by Erin from Hello Photo Photography

What’s the hardest part (to date) about being a mother? Making sure that everyone’s needs are met and keeping everyone happy at the same time.

Why do you think it’s your job to keep everyone happy? I don’t know.

When you were a new mom, is there anything you weren’t prepared for? I wasn’t prepared for what needed to be done and how to do it. After the birth, there were so many things that needed to be done, such as appointments and managing relationships.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Rebel, Creative, Hardworking

Describe me in 3 words: Rebel, Adventurous, Super-Friendly

How do you think we are alike? How are we different? We both like to be with people (who want to be with us). We love life and our children. We are different because I am obsessively organized and you are not.

How are you different from your mom? Alike? We are different because our generations are different, for example, women were expected to stay home when they had children. I stayed home for a while but eventually went back to work in the school where my kids went to school. We are alike because I share the creativity that my mother has and the creativity that her mother had.

Is there something as a parent you swore you never would do, but you did anyway? I don’t think there is anything.

Biggest achievement? I have accompanied several shows at University in NYC and that’s the closest I’ll ever get to Broadway.

Biggest regret? That I did’t go to music school my freshman year, I went to school for math for two years. I finally switched because that’s what I needed to do for me.

Is there anything you wanted to tell me, but never have? I am an open book, Kate.

What’s the best thing I can do for you right now? Just love me for who I am and take care of me when I am old, even when I am difficult.

When did you realize you weren’t a child anymore? When I had you.

What’s your biggest insecurity? Caring about what people think about me.

What do you love most about yourself? I love everything about myself. I love the things that I can do, my talents, my family. I love my looks, I am 60 and I think I look ok.

What did you think I would grow up to be? Honestly, a singer, either opera or on Broadway…but I am happy with what you are doing but I wish you would sing again.

What’s your first memory of me? The doctor was holding you upside down measuring you and my dad came in to the room taking pictures and was kicked out of the hospital.

Did you ever lose me? If so, where? Nope. Never did.

Which one of the parents at my school annoyed you the most? Haha not mentioning names on record.

Any of my friends really annoy you? No.

What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t care what people think about you and do what’s in your heart.

What’s your favorite family tradition? Camping.

What’s one thing you want to ask me? That’s a good question, I never thought about that. Actually, why are you not singing, Bitch.

What’s for Dinner?

Well we are back home and in meal planning mode. This week will be the last week that I just meal plan for dinner and I am going to give it a try at planning breakfast, lunch, and maybe snacks too!

Sunday: Crock pot pulled pork with slider buns, salad, coleslaw, and rice pilaf

Monday: Skinny Taste’s Corn Chowder, salad, bread

Tuesday: Steak! and potatoes wedges, salad.

Wednesday: Out to dinner with Family

Thursday: Pasta Night or Fish

Friday: TBD

19 Goals for 2019

Someone gave the idea to come up with 19 goals for the new year and here are mine. I didn’t go into detail of each goal but if you would like to know more about why I chose each one feel free to ask!

  1. Sleep more
  2. Stay healthy
  3. Manage stress
  4. Take better care of my skin
  5. Read more books.
  6. Bar Crawl with friends
  7. Plant a Garden
  8. Plan weekend getaways throughout the year
  9. Dates with the boys separately. (1 on 1 times)
  10. Take a class
  11. Stay at a bed and breakfast
  12. Remove self from toxic relationships
  13. Throw a party for friends
  14. Up my water intake
  15. Go to new restaurant
  16. Be more confident
  17. Focus on Self-Care
  18. Give neighbors a gift
  19. Be kind to myself

What’s For Dinner?

Well, I should have thought about not starting my meal plan before the holiday season! This upcoming week and the following week are going to be so different with Christmas and New Years and our traveling! We will get back to normal once the New Year is here!

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan with homemade sauce, salad with a homemade lemon garlic dressing, and L requested mashed potatoes.

Monday: Christmas Eve Dinner with my in-laws. We will have prime rib, potatoes of some kind, veggies, etc… This dinner is always delicious!

Tuesday: Christmas Day! (Breakfast- egg bake and baked apples with cranberry mimosas.) Dinner will be a recipe from my friend Rana (rana.monet on instagram!) I will make the crock pot version of her Beef Daube Provencal and serve it with a spinach salad with a homemade lemon dressing

Wednesday: LEFTOVERS

Thursday: H’s second birthday! This kid loves to eat so tentatively we will have pizza and cotton candy for lunch and burgers for dinner! Of course we will have cake too!

Friday: Honestly, NO CLUE!

Saturday: Travel Day!

Duck Duck Grey Duck

No, no, not the game…the bags! Have you heard about the Grey Duck Bag Company? If you haven’t you have got to check them out. https://greyduckbags.com/

I received three bags and a wrist strap: The Market Tote, The Adventurer, and The Minimalist. I am going to review each bag for you! First you should know though, these bags are WASHABLE, not just in a sink, but machine washable! The bags are made out of a super soft laminated cotton and they contain 0% lead, BPAs, or Phthalates. These Grey Duck bags are HANDMADE in Ely, Minnesota. One of my favorite things about this company is that a portion of every sale goes to the Ely Community Resource.  You can learn more about this here: http://elycommunityresource.org/

The Minimalist: This is a lifesaver for me. My wallet just doesn’t fit into my Coach wristlet and my wallet is always a mess then. I can easily fit my wallet, my keys, and some essentials (MAC lipsticks!) in my Minimalist. This will be a great asset to my summer pool/beach bag, I will be able to keep everything important zipped and in one place, and if the bag gets sandy or dirty I know that I can wash it and it will be good as new!

The Adventurer: THIS BAG IS EVERYTHING in my opinion. Right now, I have a few diapers and wipes in this bag. I can attach the wrist strap if I need to. I know I will use my Adventurer all the time. We are almost at the potty training point with H and I will add undies to this bag and I can also use this bag if I need to put in soiled clothing if we are out, BECAUSE the bag is washable!!! This bag will also be an essential in my summer bag, this is the perfect bag to keep all of our sunscreens in (yes, we have a few varieties!). 

The Market Tote: I know the first thing I always check in larger bags is the pocket situation. This bag has three deep inside pockets, on the Grey Duck website, it says you could even put a wine bottle in there, and I think I am going to have to try this out! Honestly, the pockets are great, and I know I won’t lose anything if the bag falls over, or is knocked over by  a toddler. There is also a pocket on the outside, which is a great place to put your keys and phone until you are able to get them into your Adventurer or Minimalist! I know this bag will have many uses for me, the bag with many hats, I have been needing a bag for the gym because I really don’t want to put my stinky gym sneaker back in my diaper bag after  workout, the Goldfish crackers don’t need that smell. This bag is a great fit for my shoes, a towel, a water bottle, and my sneakers. I know if I drop my bag in the slush and snow, I can wipe it down and then wash it once I get home!

I really need you to go to the Grey Duck Bag Company website and look at all of the patterns. These bags aren’t only great for moms but these would be a great addition to your child’s backpack, or uses in the car to hold toys, books, and crayons! These bags are a great teacher gift idea, or a gift for a friend or family member. The wrist strap can turn these into sweet wristlets for anyone to use! 

I know I love my bags and you will too. Even my children love my bags, and I don’t have to worry about a water bottle ruining them. Remember, these bags are handmade, and made with love. You can feel the love from Ely, MN when you are using your Grey Duck Bag.

Full Disclosure: I was sent these bags from The Grey Duck Bag Company. The review of the Grey Duck Bag Company is my honest opinion.

What’s For Dinner?

I’ve had a lot of inquiries as to what I do with my meal planning for the week. I’m not a “meal planner” but I do plan dinners for the week each week, and typically we stick to it unless I realize when I start to make dinner that I don’t have all of the ingredients that I need! 

They change every week, and I do my best to keep everyone happy and healthy! Friday nights tend to be our takeout night or our takeout fake-out night. 

Here is my dinner plan for the week of 12/16:

Sunday: Crock pot creamy ranch chicken with 2 ingredient biscuits and salad (the recipe is actually much healthier than it sounds)

Monday: Bacon, Garlic Chicken with Spinach served with rice and an additional vegetable

Tuesday: Baked Tilapia with riced cauliflower and homemade broccoli tots 

Wednesday: Homemade Mac and Cheese with riced cauliflower mixed in and a side salad

Thursday: Spaghetti with homemade sauce, salad, and bread

Friday: Cheeseburgers with Matt’s famous fries and a veggie

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner

I usually try to make sure I have enough leftovers for Matt to take to lunch the following day and some to freeze for a leftover night or a freezer clear out night!

Please feel free to ask about these recipes and share your ideas too! I love adding to my recipe repertoire! 

Customized Hair Care: Formulate

I was seeing different posts and review about customized hair care and I was curious, could this really work or is this just another “Instagram Thing”? When Formulate and I partnered up, I was excited and slightly nervous.

Could this formula, created for me, really help me achieve the hair goals I had? Would my hair get some of its pre-baby boost back? I recently was getting really bag tangles on the back of my head, and I tried a few different hair masques and leave in conditioners, and honestly, nothing was working. 

I didn’t really notice a big change in my hair after L, but after H, my hair changed completely. My hair went from being super straight to wavy. I was super excited to have wavy hair but I had ZERO idea on how to tame it! 

So fast forward, we are about two years after H’s birth and I’m three weeks into trying my own customized shampoo and conditioner: FORMULATE. 

I used the hair wizard to pick and choose what was right for me. I even was able to choose my scent…and strength of the scent. Abby from Formulate was very helpful and answered any questions that I had. (They also have an app you can use!)

Formulate’s formulas are sulfate free, paraben free, dye free, preservative free, and cruelty free. They also give you a pamphlet that lists all of the ingredients and also gives you insight on some of the specific ingredients chosen just for YOU.

Since using, I am able to get a comb through my hair with ease. My hair smells great all day long (yes, even after the gym before I can sneak away to shower). My hair just feels healthier. 

I do think the next time I receive my Formulate shampoo and conditioner I will change a few things to try to achieve different goals or maybe the scent. 

Overall, my experience with Formulate has been positive and I would recommend to friends and family! Oh, and a fun thing I noticed the other day: They have braille on the bottles to label which is which! 

If you are even a little curious, ask me some questions, enter the giveaway, or let me hook you up with a coupon! Trust me, it’s worth it!

Disclosure: Formulate sent me these products as a launch partner. Even though they sent these products to me, my review is my honest opinion.