What’s for Dinner?!

I feel like some weeks are more meat heavy than others and I guess it really depends on what I grabbed at Costco.

This week I grabbed a pork loin, which can be cut into boneless chops or a roast.

I do my best to make healthy and well balanced meals for my family. Sometimes I come across a dish that sounds so good but is not good for you, so I see what I can do to change some of the ingredients. For example: switch out heavy cream for fat free half and half or skim milk, sub for lower fat cheeses, use nonfat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream…

So here are our dinner plans for this week!

3/24-3/29

Sunday: Slow Cooker Cuban Pork and served with rice, black beans, and corn

(Can anyone guess what convo comes up every time the boys eat corn? 🙈)

Monday: Breakfast casserole (eggs, shredded potatoes, bacon or turkey sausage) served with arugula salad and fresh fruit

Tuesday: Beef, bean, and cheese enchiladas served with guacamole

Wednesday: Hawaiian Pulled Pork served with potato wedges and salad. This can be served using slider buns! (I’ve never made this and Matt is skeptical with having pineapple cooked with his pork but I bet it will be good!)

Thursday: Boneless Pork Chops with a garlic/spinach sauce served with Cous Cous and a veggie

Friday: MYO Pizza with non meat toppings (veggies, olives, cheeses)

Saturday: Homemade Mac & Cheese serges with fresh cut veggies and a dip (hummus or salad dressing)

Enjoy your week friends! Hard to believe it’s almost April! 🌷

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Luminous You: Skin Checkup!

If you remember my last Luminous You post, you will recall that I was giving some new (new to me) products a try!

I’ve been using most of these for about two weeks now and I am seeing a difference in my skin! I switched out my Benzoyl Peroxide face wash for the Obagi Gentle Cleanser, since doing this, I’ve actually noticed less breakouts and my skin isn’t dry and flaky anymore, it’s smooth!

I’m sure it’s helpful too since I’ve been using the HYLA, which is a hyaluronic acid, and this is supposed to help reduce the look of fine lines and give added moisture to your skin! The C-ESTA Face Serum is supposed to also help reduce line visibility and reduce uneven skin tones as well as help reduce redness. I also feel like the C-ESTA keeps my face from getting super shiny! The toner, which helps balance the PH levels of your skin, I use right after cleaning my face and it makes me feel extra clean and not dry at all!

I’ve been using sunscreen daily on my face and this is something I’ve been doing for years. I know this is working for me because during my BBL treatments I had very minimal sun damage. I was super proud of that! I want to make sure I’m protecting my skin always. (Remember to use sunscreen with a zinc oxide!)

When I met with Valery she was happy with the overall feel and look of my skin with my new skin care regime.

She showed me the before photos and the photos from six weeks after my first treatment and seeing the difference in my redness was incredible! The vessels are barely visible anymore. I only have a little bit of redness now, which is more noticeable when I get out of the shower or when I’m walking in the brisk MN weather!

Valery recommended that the BBL treatments are continued every three months for maintenance.

If you have any questions regarding any treatments that Luminous You offers, feel free to reach out to Valery.

*This post is sponsored but the opinions and views in this post are completely mine and 100% honest.

What’s for Dinner?!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! With my maiden name meaning Luck, you know I’m Irish! Anyone making anything special for today?! How do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?

Here’s the line up for this week:

Sunday: Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, all the GREEN BEER.

Monday: Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies (potatoes, red onion, broccoli, tomato)

Tuesday: Avocado Caprese Salad with grilled chicken (I might make some baked avocado too!)

Wednesday: Pulled Tandoori Chicken (crockpot)

Thursday: Smashed Potato Burgers- smashed baked potatoes with a hamburger and all the fixings on top!!

Friday: PIZZA

Saturday: Lemon/Garlic Shrimp with Asparagus and Rice

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 🍀

Luminous You: Third Appointment and Skin Care

On Saturday, March 2, I had my third BBL treatment with Valery at Luminous You. Shortly after I arrived, Valery applied the numbing cream to my face and then I waited approximately 20 minutes before the BBL treatment started.

On average, a person needs only two of the BBL treatments, but some of my redness was being stubborn and we agreed that a third treatment was needed. Valery decided it was best to turn up the settings on the BBL machine to go deeper into my skin. This was definitely more painful than usual. Valery handed me a pig from her zoo to squeeze! (Her zoo is a few different stress balls/animals to squeeze if necessary.)

After the treatment I went home. I noticed a lot less redness which is great! Unfortunately, a few hours after my treatment, I noticed a little swelling of my face. It wasn’t a big deal, I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.

Let’s jump back to the day of my appointment… Valery suggested that I try a few new skin care products because my face has been very dry lately (I blame the INSANE cold weather). Here are the products that Valery gave me to try: OBAGI nu-derm Gentle Cleanser, OBAGI nu-derm Toner (I have never used a toner before), Hyla 3D HA Activating Complex by Jan Marini, C-ESTA Face Serum (step 2) by Jan Marini, Elta MD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44, and D2O Hydrating Spray by Jane Iredale to use after makeup application. Typically I use all Kiehl’s products and generally have been happy with them. Skin care is very important and needs to go along with the BBL treatments to maximize the results. As mentioned in previous Luminous You post, taking care of your skin is very important and using sunscreen daily is a must!!

The redness in my cheeks a few days out is less noticeable and there are barely any visible vessels, so I think overall the third treatment did the trick. I will update you on the skincare products after I use them for a few weeks.

I am done for now my with BBL treatments, I do feel as though Valery does care about her clients best outcome. She has reached out to me many times to see how I was feeling and to help get to the bottom of the swelling! I appreciate the way she cares about me as a person, not just another client in her chair.

Don’t forget to schedule your free consultation!

*This post is sponsored but the opinions and views in this post are completely mine and 100% honest.

The Kitchen Sink

The kitchen is the spot where we all are found regularly. The kitchen connects the dining room and our playroom, there is always movement, there is always a bit of a mess. I might be in there cooking or baking, with or without help. The dogs can be found hanging around for something to fall or getting their own food and water. The boys are usually scheming ways to find snacks… after having snacks. They even teamwork in the fridge now and gather apples and cheese sticks. So basically what I am trying to say is that our kitchen RARELY sleeps…and this means our kitchen sink usually has something in it.

When we bought our house, we didn’t realize it didn’t have a dishwasher! Our sink is pretty and big and I love it….especially when it’s empty. (Honestly it’s rarely empty.) The sink could have dishes from dinner or just a single spoon from a peanut butter lollipop, but what I am learning is that this is really a blessing. A sink with something in it means there was food that was made and shared. Conversations happened over a meal or little giggles between brothers as they helped each other pour their own milk.

The sink is somewhere I can be found often. The boys also love to help wash dishes or wash their hot wheels. I hope that they are learning these skills now to take with them later in life when they have their own dishes to wash in their own homes.

From the sink, I can hear playing (or arguing) downstairs, I can hear the boys reading in the living room, I can also look at the window above the sink and see the squirrel tormenting the dogs in the backyard. (On that note I better get going…)

So, moral of this post: the sink might not be completely empty everyday, but it does mean my family is lucky, blessed, and loved.

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?!

Hey Friends! This week I’ve been MIA because of the Polar Vortex and didn’t have time to write while we were hibernating.

Here is the meal plan for this week!

Sunday: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Monday: Chicken and Rice Casserole serves with green beans

Tuesday: Crock Pot Beef and Potato Taco Chili

Wednesday: LEFTOVERS!!!

Thursday: One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner

Most of these recipe ideas come from https://thepounddropper.com/

What’s for Dinner?!

The week of January 27- February 1 is a odd dinner week here! I will only be making dinner 5 out of the 7 nights. I am already thinking ahead and have some fun dips/dishes planned for next weekend…for the Puppy Bowl…we are much bigger puppy fans than football fans.

Sunday: Easy Vegan Falafel (thank you to Jasmine for sharing this recipe) served with couscous, cucumbers, tomato, roasted red onion, and hummus.

Monday: Dinner with Gert and Papa

Tuesday: Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos

Wednesday: Chili / Mac & Cheese Night at School

Thursday: Skillet Gnocchi Pizza Bake served with salad

Friday: Hamburgers with potato wedges and salad

Saturday: Omelets and fruit and maybe 2 ingredient bagels!

Bon Appétit

Potty Training

I am so ready to be done with diapers. For one, they are expensive! I also am just ready for H to go to the bathroom on the toilet.

I remember potty training L like it was yesterday. Our goal was to have him potty trained before H was born, and that definitely didn’t happen. He was showing signs that he was almost ready, like hiding when he went to the bathroom, telling us AFTER he went, and just being really interested in the bathroom. We let L pick out fun new undies and we let him wear them throughout the day while we had a timer set for every 30 minutes. We all were getting very frustrated and decided to stop for a few weeks and try again. After about three week we tried again with L and there were no issues or accidents, HE was ready…we can’t be ready for them.

So, here we are, H is two and he is definitely showing signs that he is interested. He tells me when he has to go to the bathroom (he won’t sit on the toilet unless he wants to…and this kid has multiple options from potties to toilet seat covers). I ask him often if he is ready to sit on the toilet and his response usually is: NO THANKS! ( At least he’s polite about it.) He also loves to flush the toilet and take all of the toilet paper off of the roll.

I think we need to try the same techniques we used when training L but I know we will need modifications because they are totally different children. Firstly, I need to take him shopping for his own undies. H likes to wear L’s over his diaper from time to time, but I want this to be special for him too. I am ready for H to be out of diapers but I’m not sure that he is quite ready… maybe in a few more week we will really be able to start!

So here is where I need you! Send me your tips and ideas! I want to add to my bag of tricks! So please let me know how you potty trained your little one(s) or how you plan on training when you/they are ready. Feel free to send wine too!

Luminous You: Consultation

This photo is of me on January 19, 2019 without any makeup on. This is my before photo. I know I have scars (from pimples and chicken pox when I was little), I have rosy cheeks, zits, and I’m starting to see lines.

I do my best to take care of my skin and have been for some time now, but I’ve done most of it on my own. I use a lot of Kiehl’s products, and I love them so much! I also saw a dermatologist after having H because my skin decided it was time for me to have acne at 30. Thankfully it isn’t as bad as it was.

I know most of the things I’ve mentioned are things that you might not notice on my face, but I notice them, we are our own worst critics right?!

I do wear sunscreen every day on my face. I also moisturize every morning and night. I wear a foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, and maybe a little highlighter daily. Wearing the makeup makes me feel a little better about myself when leaving the house.

I was so excited when I learned about Luminous You (Medical Spa) and the services that they offer. I set up a consultation to sit down with Valery, the owner. I felt so comfortable, like I was having coffee with an old friend, while we discussed what Valery does and what I thought my problem areas were. We talked about what my goals are, and one of my goals for 2019 came up: To be more confident.

One way that I can be more confident is being able to go out of the house without my “face” on. This is a great skincare goal. I’ve been invited to join the “No Foundation Club”, who wants to join with me for 2019?!

Before I left Luminous You, Valery asked me to come up with some questions about skincare or questions that were specific to my skin. I’ve never met a provider that took this much time to speak with me and really make me feel cared for. I sent Valery a handful of questions and she responded with answers that I think will be very helpful for my skin! Here are my questions: She also sent links and additional information that I found to be very educational: To find out your skin type: https://www.skinbarnyc.com/2016/04/18/considering-laser-hair-removal-get-know-fitzpatrick-skin-type/

About BBL: https://www.adamscheinermd.com/achieve-forever-young-skin-with-forever-young-bbl-treatment

I have to say, I really appreciate that Valery want to help me learn about the processes and tools I will experience rather than just doing whatever without me knowing.

Another thing that I really appreciated about our first meeting was that Valery wants me to focus on solutions for my skincare problems rather than specific treatments. I really didn’t know there were so many options to help me, and as a 32 year old, Valery has a whole package meant just for the 30 something crowd! Everyone’s skin is different, so there isn’t a one size fits all. I also plan on educating myself through my skincare improvement process and use products that are appropriate for my skincare needs.

It means a lot to me that Valery wants to help me look and feel like the best version of myself. I am nervous because I’ve never done anything like this, but I’m also very excited for my future with Luminous You. My first treatment will be in two weeks!

I hope that you follow along and if you have any questions or if you have been thinking about going to a MedSpa, reach out to Valery (even if you don’t live in the Twin Cities, Valery has so much information to share so you can be knowledgable about your skin and skincare). Valery offers FREE consultations.

Just remember, you can change your hair and clothes, and makeup…but you only get ONE SKIN. Take care of your skin, drink water, use products that won’t damage your skin. USE SUNSCREEN! (Valery shared with me that your sunscreen should be sunscreen with at least 5% Zinc Oxide.)

I’m leaving a link that Valery shared with me for a shop that sells “sun protection you wear”: Coolibar and they have so many clothing options as well as swimwear for everyone!