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?!

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!

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!

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

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.

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.