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!

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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.

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!

My #momlife

This. This photo. This is how my #momlife looks most of the time. My husband had come in from the other room to see our two children and two dogs basically on top of me. In this position I usually end up covered in slobber (from both the humans and dogs) but I also know I’m covered in so much love. I wish you could hear this moment, there was so much laughter and I’m so thankful Matt snapped this photo. It’s not perfect, it’s not set up photo, this is our real life…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Ok maybe I would make the dogs not shed, but you know what I mean.)

What does your #momlife (or #dadlife) look like?

Voting

I swore I was taking the boys to vote with me on November 6…just like my parents would take me when I was little. I said it every day, “We will vote on November 6.” I may have said it as a reminder since you know, mom brain.

Last week, two of my friends posted about early voting and voting in general (Hey Danielle and Allison!) I didn’t think about early voting. I decided to look into it and realized I could apply for an absentee ballot. It took me maybe 5 minutes to fill out the online form and by the next day my ballot was in the mail.

I was excited at how fast it came! The real reason for my applying for an absentee ballot was that things come up…I know my life can go from calm to poop literally on the floor in the matter of seconds. I didn’t want November 6 to roll around and me lose track of time or miss my chance to vote because of something coming up.

This morning I made sure to get my ballot in the mail and I will proudly wear my sticker today. (Ohio, I hope you’re with the program now and give stickers to absentee ballot voters!!)

I voted while the boys ran around and sang Baby Shark. L asked what I was doing and I did my best to explain to a four year old What voting was and why we do it. I told him that I voted to help make our world a better place, for me, for him, his brother, my sister, my brothers, and our friends and other family. I want the boys to know that their voices matter and they need to make sure their voices are heard. Their vote might only matter when it comes to meal planning right now, but eventually they will be 18 and voting with the rest of us adults.

Family and Friends…PLEASE VOTE. I will love you no matter how you vote, just please do it.

Minnesota Children’s Museum Night

Mini Postal Workers

The car wash might be the boys favorite exhibit! They can get all soapy and wet!

This week we got to explore the Children’s Museum after hours! We have been many times but there something about Matt being able to come after work even more fun!

We two hours to play and explore and that time flew by! I know we could spend an entire day here! It’s such a fun space for children and adult. There is even a sign that said “Attention: For Children and for those who use to be Children”.

For kids of all ages!

We are so lucky to live in a big city where there are so many opportunities for us to take our children so they can grow and learn as individuals, with each other, and with other children.

My only complaint…the parking garages 😂 Other than that, this place is a membership worthy spot, especially with the cold winter months coming up!

Our Pumpkin Patch Adventure

Yesterday we decided to head back to Pine Tree Apple Orchard to explore the pumpkin patch and corn maze. If you remember when we went apple picking, this was our first stop and then we realized they didn’t have U-pick Apples.

The adventure started off great. We explored the corn maze first. I do wish that they had some sort of activity to do while going through the corn maze. It was so windy and chilly while we were in the maze but it made it that much more fun.

If any of you reading this saw my Instagram story the other day, I posted that four years old is a much more difficult year than the terrible twos or the threenager ages. I’m going to be real with you, once we got to the pumpkin patch, something didn’t go L’s way and he had a meltdown. I don’t really know why but we did take him to the car to settle down. The looks from the teenagers staring while Matt carried him down the hill made me chuckle a little…we were totally their birth control for the night.

After L cooled down and we discussed his choices he understood the few mintues prior to our conversation. We then went to the Farm Store (which really is the best part, right?!) and grabbed some goodies..probably too many goodies, but so delicious.

We then sat by the lake and enjoyed a treat and played for a little bit. Overall we had a nice time other than our little hiccup. We might have to go back to the farm for strawberry picking in the summer, but I do think there will be other pumpkin patches we try next year.

Tonight we will carve the pumpkins and roast some seeds! Photos to follow 🙂