What’s for dinner?!

This week is a busy week for us I am trying to keep meals easy! I have one crockpot meal on here this week.

2/17-2/23

Sunday: Meatloaf Muffins with potatoes (mashed or wedges) served with a vegetable (tbd) and homemade onion rings

Monday: Crockpot Orange Chicken with steamed broccoli and brown rice (made with chicken bouillon)

Tuesday: Matt’s quick and easy carbonara served with salad and two ingredient garlic knots

Wednesday: Smoothie Bowls

Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad (crispy onions, avocado, corn)

Friday: Pizza Night (Trader Joe’s crust)

Saturday: Chicken Bruschetta with pasta and salad

Enjoy!

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Is that a doll?

Why yes, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Why does it matter to you? I know this may sound harsh, but really I don’t need random people giving me their opinions on what my child should be playing with.

H started playing with baby dolls at an ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class we were taking. He would rock the baby and feed the baby. It melted my heart watching him play with the baby dolls. He always knows when a real baby is nearby and makes a point to say hello. He’s a loving and caring child and I will nurture those qualities no matter what.

I was telling my mom how much H wanted a baby doll and kept asking for one. She sent him the one seen in the photo above. He was beyond excited to get HIS BABY. The joy in his little body was so great, he smiled so big when he opened his package.

Since his baby arrived, they go everywhere with us. The baby doesn’t have a name yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. The baby goes to the gym, the grocery store, to school pick up, etc.

I can’t tell you how many people commented on the fact that my son was carrying around a baby doll. A friend said to me when discussing this issue with people inserting their opinions, “Do you think they would have made a negative comment if he were carrying a stuffed dog?” Honestly, I don’t think any comment would have been made or if there was it would have been, “Aw, so cute!”.

I tend to walk away when people make comments at the store, but maybe I need to take the time to explain to them that there is nothing wrong my son playing with a doll. To me, I see a child learning to be nurturing (he changes the baby’s diaper and feeds them too), caring, and pretending to be just like his Mom and Dad.

H is learning and growing. It doesn’t matter what he plays with, he’s using his imagination and developing important life skills. So, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Playing with his baby is no different than him playing and using his imagination with his tools, cars, trucks, superheroes, stuffed animals, etc… It shouldn’t matter to you what he chooses to play with, what should matter is that we are raising loving, caring, and compassionate children who will one day excellent friends, uncles, fathers, partners, and contributing members of society.

What’s for dinner?!

Alrighty! Back for another edition of What’s for Dinner!!

Meal planning really just takes a lot of stress away with our weekly calendar filling up quickly! I like to know what I need to have on hand or know what I need to grab if I have to run out that day.

Sunday: Chicken/Turkey dinner with Heavenly Potatoes and asparagus (L really, really, really wants a wishbone)

Monday: Chicken Shawarma Bowls (cauliflower rice for us, brown rice for the boys)

Tuesday: Chicken Taco Soup (0 points if you follow WW) served with tortilla chips, cheese, and avocado

Wednesday: Lemon Chicken Scallopini with spinach served with rice and salad

Thursday: Steak with gravy served with either mashed potatoes or steak frites and green beans

Friday: Daddy Does Dinner/ Takeout for M&K after event

Saturday: Hamburgers with veggie tots and salad

Enjoy! If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

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

Becoming our bar: The tale two hutches

I’m probably posting this for accountability. We need to get this project started! I’ve been dreaming about it for months now.

As you can see these beautiful hutches are still filled with things that need to be unpacked. BUT most of the boxes and things that are there are going to be going in/on our finished products.

We plan on sanding these down a little and updating them with a new stain, a grey. The great will fit perfectly in our living room.

The one hutch we will make into our at home bar. We have plans to hang some wine glasses, although I recently started buying plastic ones since Matt is really good at breaking real ones 😆.

I think this will be a great addition once finished to our living room area and a plus when entertaining!

The other hutch we want to put our more grown up games that the boys are too young to play, like monopoly, and I hope I don’t destroy their souls the first time we play…I’ve never lost 😂 and I’ve always been playing the cheaters edition for as long as I can remember. We also will use this as our bookshelf for our books and cookbooks! I love a good cookbook, I know we can use our tablets and phones, but I like having the recipe on paper in front of me.

I know this will be a project, but the outcome will be so fun! I’ll share updates as we go along and I’ll share the final product and take suggestions on what we should add to them!

Who is coming for drinks once it’s done?! Just know we have children and dogs, so your cocktail most likely won’t be enjoyed in peace and quiet!

Wildkin Luggage

Traveling with children isn’t a walk in the park. Lucky for me, my boys have been traveling for a good part of their lives and are decent travelers. Since L was about 2, he was carrying something of his own when we traveled. It gave him great pride to have something that was his, that could be filled with his things. I think this was a start of instilling responsibility in him.

Now that H is almost two, and he will be 2 when we fly across the country next, he will also have to carry something of his own.

When I came across the Wildkin luggage, I knew it was perfect for our family.

I partnered up with Wildkin to share with you about their luggage for children, and oh my goodness it couldn’t be cuter!

We received two pieces of luggage, a rolling suitcase and a duffle bag.

The Roller Bag:

This bag is lightweight and the wheels roll nicely. Either child (4.5/2) would be able to successfully use this bag. We plan on using this as a carry-on. The bag also comes with a strap that you can attach to the back to carry as a one shoulder bag and there is a loop that you could use to connect to a larger bag.

The Roller Bag also has a water bottle holder and a front pocket. L is already planning on what snacks and books he can pack in there!

The Duffle Bag:

It is so cute seeing L holding the duffle bag! He fell in love with the bag instantly! The bag has a padded shoulder strap and a small front zip pocket. Perfect for a weekend getaway or toys, books, and snacks!

Both bags are wipeable and should only be cleaned with a cloth. Make sure to let them dry complete before closing them up!

Whether the boys are flying to Revvie and PopPop’s or driving down the street to Gert and Papa’s, these bags are perfect! The boys know that these bags will be used for special times and are excited to use them ASAP! I know these Wildkin bags will be with us for a while! Oh and did I mention how many fun patterns they have?! You have to check them out! Wildkin Luggage

Disclosure: I received these bags from Wildkin and this review is my honest opinion about the luggage. This post is sponsored by Wildkin.

Reasons for Remy and Zoey

I figure with the holiday season upon us I wanted to share about our rescue pups. My husband and I always knew we wanted to rescue a dog. I think dogs are amazing creatures and I’d take any of them but there was something about rescuing that really was important to us.

Zoey:

Our ZoeZoe just turned 9!

We knew we wanted a dog and talked about it often when we were in college. We moved to Ohio in 2009 and we decided to wait until after the holidays so we could maybe find a dog that we knew really needed a home. We found Zoey at a shelter in January 2010. She was with a few of her brothers. We found out that her mom was left on the side of the road pregnant with the puppies and was under extreme stress. Zoey was the runt of the bunch and they didn’t even think she was going to make it. When we met her we knew she was ours, little did we know at the time that the stress her mother had during pregnancy was passed to the puppies…We would later learn that Zoey is unable to shut off her stress. Zoey was put on Prozac after we worked with a behaviorist for a while. It seemed to help! Something changed when we moved to Minnesota, Zoey’s was almost like a different dog and we were able to wean her off of the medication.

Zoey loves to snuggle with the boys and is the Queen of being sneaky…she knows who to sit by during meals.

We noticed Zoey getting white whiskers and eye lashes. We know she’s getting older and we will continue to love her forever. She’s our first baby.

Remy:

December of 2015 I had my second miscarriage. I was numb. We were numb. I needed something, a distraction maybe? We discussed over Christmas that we needed to find a puppy. Were we crazy? Probably.

Again, we wanted to adopt a dog after the holiday season, since we have seen it time and again, people gift animals and then realize they don’t want them or take care of them after a few days.

We met Remy. He was dopey and looking for love. We found out that Remy already had 4 homes by the time he was 8 weeks old. He was homeless, taken to a shelter, adopted and returned after Christmas, and then put into a foster home. We were this little puppy’s 5th home. We figure that Remy’s need to be attached to my hip or constantly with someone might not just be the GSP in him, but also the fact that he was so lost for the first few weeks of his life.

L and Remy bonded immediately and then we needed to make sure Zoey would like him too…and she’s a tough one to impress if you know her. To our surprise, they clicked. Remy was the newest family member.

When H came along we were nervous to see how Remy would adjust since we knew Zoey would be fine…Remy and H seem to team up from time to time and get into trouble together. The dogs fit into our family perfectly.

So today, it’s 6 of us. Two adults, two children, and two dogs. It’s a little crazy at times (ok, most of the time) but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’d like to ask you to keep in mind all of the animals who are looking for their forever home and who are in rescues. You do you, but please don’t return your dog. They are family. If you need help, ask someone, a friend, a family member, or your vet.

The Question of Cutting Cable

This is something that we have gone back and forth on for a very long time. We pay for so much cable and we barely use it. We do our best to keep screen time for the boys to a minimum but there are days we have something on in the background. We try to be outside as often as possible (although it’s gotten so cold so fast here) and encourage play and learning when we are inside.

The TV tends to come on in the late afternoon when I try to get dinner started…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I always enjoy winding down to something mindless or funny at the end of the day, but life gets crazy and I’m trying to read more! I’ve even joined a book club!

On top of the cable we also have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (through Prime). And these companies have some great shows of their own, for both adults and children. We sometimes pay for extras, like Showtime, we love ending our Sunday nights with the Gallagher family when they are on.

I mean this list is excessive and we watch over the air channels and maybe three others. So we have decided that now is the time we CUT it, at least for now. We have narrowed our choices down to HuluLIVE or YouTube TV. Does anyone have any either of these? Pros/Cons? Let me know your opinion!!! These options will be significantly less expensive than cable. Now, if only we could find a way around the cable company’s cancellation fee!

Bachman’s

GUYS!!! I was invited to Bachman’s for a sneak peek event at Bachman’s Holiday Idea House! I was able to bring a plus one and I brought my mother in law since she has been telling me about Bachman’s since we moved here (for about 9 months now) that I had to go to this place and how amazing it is!

So the Holiday Idea House was incredible! I felt like I walked into my Aunt Karen’s house (she’s an incredible decorator!) and just made me so happy! I’m all about Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite holiday, but Bachman’s gave me such Christmas cheer!

The House is open to the public today, November 8 and is open until December 16.

This was just one of many rooms!!!

We also were able to explore the rest of Bachman’s and even had some delicious treats from the cafe located there too!

The best part about the house was that you could go to the store and buy anything and everything that you loved inside the house! (This could be dangerous!!!)

I found the most magical trees all lit and ready for Santa!

Since I was there for a special event we were able to make these super cute ornaments too!

I honestly can’t wait to go back to Bachman’s to shop for the holiday season so I can decorate my new home for Christmas!

Below are the list of events coming up a Bachman’s. I know we are excited to attend a few of them!

Holiday Idea House: November 8-December 16.

Holiday Open House: Saturday, November 17: 9 am-3pm *Santa and his reindeer, Albert, will make an appearance!

Who Wants to be a Toymaker? Holiday Play: November 17-December 16

Santa and Albert Photos Only Nights: Monday, November 26, 6 pm-7 pm and Monday, December 3, 6 pm- 7 pm

Inspiration Night: Make it Merry: Thursday, November 29. 4-8 pm

Holiday Design Workshops: Holiday Wreath: December 2 and 4 Trendy Greens Wreath Design: December 9

I gave addition information on each of these events so please feel free to ask for more!!

Huge thank you to MNBloggerBash and Bachman’s for a very merry night!