Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Couldn't Live Without...Stain Free Fabrics

I received complimentary Crypton Placemats for review purposes, all opinions below are my own.

Messes, they are kind of my worst nightmare. Seriously, from a self-declared neat freak I really cannot stand a mess. Or a stain. I like things to be neat and tidy and I have a toddler. The ultimate oxymoron, right?

So you better believe that when I found out about Crypton fabrics and the fact that they do not stain I HAD to try them. We are transitioning Baby K out of her high chair and into a booster seat which means she has a real place at the table and needs a placemat to help contain her mess. My first thought was to just buy a plastic placemat that I could easily wipe off, but then I found Crypton and couldn't pass up the beautiful look and soft feel. I wanted those placemats on my table.

Crypton promises that their placemats and other fabrics offer superior performance with exceptional protection from stains, odors and mildew. When I heard all of that I knew I needed to look no further because the perfect placemat for Baby K was right in front of me. I was a bit skeptical at first; a fabric placemat that doesn't stain? Is this for real? YES!!!!

Before handing the placemats over to Baby K, we decided to do our own test. I whipped up a yummy three cheese pasta from Dashing Dish (with tomato sauce!!!) for dinner one night and then we put the food straight onto the placemat. No napkin, no plate, just the food directly on the placemat. We let Baby K play around with her food (I even got into some of the fun) and saw that a mess was made. Then came the real test...the clean up. Tomato sauce is something that stains a lot of fabrics almost instantly so I was a bit nervous that I had just ruined a really nice placemat. But you better believe that the stain and the mess came right up! Right before my eyes!!! And I didn't even have to throw the placemat in the washing machine to get it clean.

I am amazed at how easy it was to clean the Crypton fabric and how the placemat looks like new, like it had never even been used. There is no stain, anywhere in sight!!! Isn't that incredible?

Crypton has so many other products besides the placemats; I definitely plan on investing in one of their couches as Baby K gets older and makes more messes. Then I would never have to worry about spills and messes. Crypton is definitely a neat freak mother's best friend.

Because this sounds too good to be true, we made a little video so you could see it for yourself!
But you don't have to take my word for it. The video and pictures speak for themselves.


Now's your chance to link up with me and For Lauren and Lauren for our weekly link up!

Link up with us and share something that you couldn't live without: a recipe, a piece of clothing, a person, an iphone app, baby product, song...whatever. Just share something that made your life better this past week.
You can link up on either of our blogs. And feel free to grab the button below to help us spread the word!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fun Toddler Quirks

Toddlerhood has got to be one of my favorite ages (and all the mamas out there called me crazy!). Yes, I am currently dealing with some early stages of the terrible twos, but all of the fun stuff that Baby K is getting into makes the terrible twos so much more bearable. All my child has to do is run down the hall and into my arms for a big bear hug and I forget all about the fact that she just threw an embarrassing fit when we had to leave the park (to go home and play with bubbles no less).

I love this age/stage for many reasons, but the biggest reason has to be the fun little quirky things that Baby K does. All little kids are so adorable at this age, with cute little voices. I had to share some of the fun things about K that really make me smile. I know there are more, but these are the top ones.

- If I give K two options, she will ALWAYS choose whatever I say last.
Me: "K, would you like to play with Roo or Mickey Mouse?" K: "Mickey Mouse"
Me: "Would you like to play with Mickey Mouse or Roo?" K: "Roo"
I have learned that I can use this to my advantage!!!!

- It is no secret, I like to keep my house neat and tidy (check out this post for my cleaning schedule). Well it never fails, when K sees me mopping or sweeping, she will run and grab her broom. Every.Single.Time.

- I'm not quite sure why my daughter has a fascination with washing her hands and brushing her teeth ("wash hands, brush teeth") but she loves to do both and asks about them a lot.

- I taught K to say Happy Birthday back in February when my sister had one to celebrate. Well now, K thinks anytime someone has a birthday that it is also Flash's birthday (that's what she calls my sister).

- My child can be mid-tantrum and we can tell her that it is bath time or time to play with bubbles and she will immediately stop her fit!

- Because Baby K hears us use the possessive of people's names (that's Daddy's phone, that's Mommy's car) she now adds an -s to everyone's names. In fact, this past weekend she was convinced our friend's oldest son was actually named Coopers.

- The way she says virtually anything causes me to melt, but my favorite is how she says sit down, "sheet down."

- There is no differentiation with up and down as far as her asking for one or the other. She uses the same phrase (which actually is run together so much it sounds like one word) and it is up to Tolar and I to figure out if she wants up or if she wants down: "upanddown."

What about you? Any fun little quirks that the little person in your life has? I'd love to hear!!!!

And thank you to everyone for ALL of the love on yesterday's post. Seriously, your comments and facebook messages are the exact reason I decided to share my story. You are not alone. XOXO

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Breastfeeding Story

This post is long overdue because I finished feeding my child breast milk back in June of 2014. However, after having several honest talks with some of my close friends here in Dublin (who all breastfed their babies before I met them) I realized that I needed to share my story, because I'm not alone. I want to give a voice to others who have gone through a similar situation.

Throughout my entire pregnancy with Baby K, I heard quite a lot about how much you can bond with your child while breastfeeding. I knew I wanted to do it! I read a lot of articles and even took a breastfeeding class prior to giving birth. However, it didn't come naturally to me and Baby K.

We had a lot of issues with latch right at the very beginning and sadly I didn't get a lot of help from the lactation consultants at the Inova Alexandria Hospital where I gave birth. In fact, even after asking multiple times the first two days we were in the hospital, no lactation consultant ever stopped by. It was only after Tolar called and demanded that someone come help us before we were discharged that anyone even showed up. And even with the LC's help, we still had issues. They even brought in a pump so she could get something. Baby K lost weight (as most babies do), but her pediatrician asked that I feed her every two hours to get her weight back up.

So I began a very frustrating couple of days trying to get my baby to eat and make sure she got enough. I made appointments with lactation consultants, seeking any kind of help I could find. And we made some progress, with loads of assistance from the amazing pillow called the Breast Friend. Luckily Baby K's weight increased and we started our journey of feeding every three hours. And I'm here to tell you that I spent two months completely stressed out.

Because we had so many issues, I needed a lot of items to feel like I could really breastfeed my child and I could never breastfeed in public because I needed so much. I needed the Breast Friend pillow, a nipple shield, a burp cloth, a bottle of water and my phone so I could record everything Baby K did. It was so stressful which is not at all how I thought breastfeeding would be. It was messy! I was always soaking wet and so was Baby K. I never felt close to Baby K during those times; I felt inadequate because I realized I didn't like breastfeeding at all. I even made a comment to my mom about how cows and sheep didn't need to seek help from lactation consultants, so why did I? I was so bummed that it didn't come naturally to me. Not to mention how long it took. Baby K would nurse for over an hour at times and I never felt empty which meant that she wasn't getting a lot. I kept on, because that's "what you're supposed to do." Our society says that breastfeeding is the only way, so I kept doing it. And I hated it.

It wasn't until I was telling my sister about all of my problems with breastfeeding when Baby K was about 2 months old that I found a release. My sister told me that if I didn't want to breastfeed Baby K then I didn't have to. It wasn't good for either of us to continue to be stressed out and that there were other ways to feed her. As soon as I hung up the phone with her, I told Tolar that I was going to start pumping exclusively. I wanted Baby K to get breast milk, but the natural way just wasn't working for us.

I pumped around the clock for an entire year and I barely told a soul. Can you believe that? Because of the whole "breast is best" philosophy being shoved down everyone's throats I found myself ashamed of pumping and doing what was best for me and my child. When in actuality, my child WAS getting breast milk. I pumped exclusively while having a newborn who required my attention even when my hands were busy and I found a way to do it. I pumped at work, I pumped in the car, I pumped on vacation, I pumped and pumped and pumped. I stayed up until 11:30/midnight and then got up at 5 a.m. for a year! It was hard work and yet I was ashamed. Only my family and maybe two friends really knew. I sacrificed that special time to bond with my child to ensure that she got plenty to eat. Most of the time when I was pumping, I was in a room by myself while someone else got to cuddle my baby and see her discover new things.

It was the most exhausting year of my life, but I am so glad I did it. Baby K was fed breast milk and I always knew how much she was getting. I contribute my pumping to the success we had with getting her to sleep for 12 hours at night by 13 weeks old (side note, I HIGHLY recommend The Baby Sleep Solution to help with getting your child to sleep).

I want other moms who pump to know that you are AWESOME. You sacrifice so much and make yourself feel like an actual cow just to ensure that your baby is fed. Pumping is not for the weak, that I am sure of. However, I was made to feel like I was. And I want to add that giving your baby formula is not a weak habit either. I FULLY BELIEVE that moms need to do what is right for them and for their baby. As long as your baby is eating and getting nutrients, that is the important thing. It doesn't matter if you have a natural birth, an epidural or a c-section. It doesn't matter if you nurse, pump or give formula. YOU are still an awesome mother who is doing everything she can for her baby.

Because let's get real...when I first met Tolar (or any guy I dated for that matter) I was never asked how my mother fed me as a baby. It isn't one of those questions that makes or breaks a marriage/dating relationship. I've never been asked that question in a job interview either. So let's stop putting so much pressure on each other to be exactly the same. If we were all the same and all raised our children the same way, this world would be pretty boring.

Moms, do what you need to do. And be proud of it, even if I didn't always take my own advice. YOU are the mommy, what you say/do goes. You are making it work in this tough thing called life and you deserve respect and support from everyone around you. Keep your head held high, because your little one loves you and thinks you are AMAZING. Moms, just be YOU bravely!

Friday, April 24, 2015

High Five For Friday

Happy Weekend friends! My heart is full because I get to spend the weekend with friends I haven't seen in a long time. But before we get to that, here are some great moments from this past week:

1.) I saw this pillow on instagram and laughed out loud because it is so true. The more time I spend with my own mother, the more I realize that I am just like her.

2.) My Dad took Baby K for a ride on his tractor, she had a blast! Dad said he will turn her into a country girl yet.

3.) The other day I was doing something in my room and noticed that Baby K was looking through books from my bookshelf. I was a super proud mom when I realized that she was "reading" my all time favorite play, A Streetcar Named Desire.

4.) The theatre where I work part time had an 80's gala over the weekend. Check out my outfit, I couldn't stop giggling as I was getting ready.

5.) Tolar is such a good daddy, he will basically do anything Baby K asks. This week, they spent a lot of time coloring.

How was your week???

I'm linking up with September Farm, Bright on a Budget, Style Elixir and Meet @ the Barre.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Couldn't Live Without...You Tube

I never thought I would say this...but seriously I cannot live without You Tube. Now that I am a Mom and my time is extremely limited, I've had to get creative with how I learn or do things. And You Tube has come to my rescue! Where else can I learn makeup tricks, find new ways to curl/style my hair, follow along with a workout routine and also find random videos of families unpacking their Sophia the First dolls (which Baby K was glued to while on vacation in Flordia - not kidding)?

My all time favorite You Tube Channel is Kandee Johnson's. She has taught me so many cool tips and tricks for how to get my makeup to look flawless. I've purchased lots of products because of how she uses them in her videos. Kandee is awesome and full of so much makeup info! And she is the sole reason I decided to buy a Beauty Blender...because of this video right here:

I've mentioned it before and I'll probably keep saying it, Bikini Body Mommy is another You Tube channel that I really enjoy. I started following her workouts after my sister achieved AMAZING results (seriously, my sister gets smaller and smaller each time I see her!). The work outs are designed for a busy mom and you can do them all in your home in 20 minutes or less. I like to work out while Baby K is with me so I set a good example for her, plus her imitations of the moves I do are pretty hilarious which helps to make the workouts exciting.
I'm working through the first 90 day challenge, but she has other challenges that you can check out.
Here is Day 1 of the 90 Day Challenge 1.0 to get you started. Be warned, it is harder than it sounds, but so worth it!

And finally, we all love Kate from The Small Things Blog because of her awesome hair tutorials. She has a ton of different videos showing you how to style your hair in more ways that you ever thought possible. My all time favorite one is her messy bun tutorial which will get worn quite a lot this summer. It is so easy to create and always looks great! 


Now's your chance to link up with me and For Lauren and Lauren for our weekly link up!
Link up with us and share something that you couldn't live without: a recipe, a piece of clothing, a person, an iphone app, baby product, song...whatever.
You can link up on either of our blogs. And feel free to grab the button below to help us spread the word!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat Review


I have waited on the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat for months! And I finally have one! I first heard about the mat when they did a super cool instagram campaign and by the time I clicked over to their site, the bad boy was completely sold out. So I joined their wait list and got an e-mail letting me know when it was back in stock and I am so glad I did! Because sadly, the mat is out of stock again!!! Click this link to get on their VIP waiting list.

The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat lives up to its hype for sure and there is a reason it keeps selling out!!! I have always been a fan of regularly cleaning your makeup brushes - hello, get rid of that bacteria and say hello to clear skin - but if I have a lot of brushes to clean, it can take awhile. (Click here for my tutorial on how to clean makeup brushes if you don't have a spa mat) Well this mat cuts my makeup brush cleaning time in half!

I love that the mat can fit in almost any size sink and that the water runs right over the mat to optimize your cleaning time. I also love that everything washes right down the drain, no need to have to clean extra bowls or cups too! Clean up after cleaning :) is a breeze. And the mat has great suction cups on the back, so you don't have to worry about the mat slipping while you use it.

Because there are so many ridges and textures, I really feel like my brushes get a thorough cleaning. In fact the water runs clear relatively fast, letting me know that my brushes have all of the gunk washed out of them. I really like using the spa mat for my smaller brushes (i.e. for my eyes and lips) because I felt like they looked like new when they were cleaned and dried. The mat can still work for bigger brushes, but I felt like I had to do a little extra cleaning and squeezing more so than with the little brushes.

All in all, this is one purchase I am so happy I made. I can seriously wash my 15 brushes (yes I use that many) in about 5 minutes. Easy peasy and it is all done!!!

A few tips:
-use baby shampoo, it is gentle on the brushes and gets them clean
-read the handy how to guide that comes with the mat
-use warm water
-wash your makeup brushes in the morning, immediately after putting on your makeup, so they have time to dry thoroughly before you need to use them again

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. I'll try to alert you as soon as this mat comes available again!

Friday, April 17, 2015

High Five For Friday

It was a busy week around here. As you learned in yesterday's post my mother in-law was in town, which was so helpful! I was able to get a lot done and she got to spend a lot of time with Baby K. And now for some fun moments from our week (my mother in-law's visit was definitely fun!!!), apologies that a lot of these are of Baby K. That girl just lights up our world!

1.) Baby K got her first ouchie that required a bandaid. While that doesn't sound like fun, the fact that she didn't cry and absolutely held still while I put the bandaid on was fantastic. My girl is growing up!

2.) Since Tolar's mom was in town, we got to have a date night! We grabbed some yummy dinner, walked around because it was so gorgeous outside and watched some improv comedy.

3.) Baby K got some fun new toy tools and decided to help us with the yard work. Train 'em up right!

4.) We went to a family fun event at Tolar's school and Baby K participated in a cupcake walk. Watching her and Tolar walk around the circle, I couldn't help but realize just how big Baby K has gotten. She's definitely not a baby anymore!

5.) Someone decided that a mouth full of Jimmy John's was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Can't argue with her on that!

I'm linking up this post with September Farm, Bright on a Budget, Meet @ the Barre and Style Elixir.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Thing I Couldn't Live Without This Week...My Mother In-Law

First things first, I am so happy to be back. There just isn't enough time in the day/week to get everything done is there? I told one of my co-workers one day that I was working on finding more hours in the day, but apparently I'm failing miserably! HA!

Which leads me to exactly why I need to write this post! I am so thankful for my mother in-law and I definitely could not have lived without her this past week. Kim/G Ma arrived last Thursday and she was an absolute blessing to us this entire week. We had a lot to do and plenty of nights away from home and she was right there helping us out with everything. From yard work, to cleaning, to folding Baby K's laundry, to showering Baby K with gifts, to helping us with a self-employment ledger, to the all important task of spending time with her granddaughter while mommy/daddy got a date night - she did it all! And was such a huge help to me.

I felt like we were go go go all week long and my laundry pile definitely shows that. But Kim was there with a smile on her face and plenty of kisses for Baby K to make the week just awesome. I'm thrilled that G Ma and Baby K got so much time together. At first I felt guilty that it seemed so many of my meetings/small groups/activities were piled in the same week that she was here. But then I realized that G Ma really came to see Baby K so she was getting exactly what she wanted!

It is not lost on me that I am in the minority. I have an incredible mother in-law who I simply adore and I realize just how lucky I am. In fact, I have a memory of going to a girlfriend's bachelorette party and everyone chatting not so nicely about their own mother in-law and I honestly said to them all that I just adore mine. And it is so true!

My sweet mother in-law just got over being sick and I wanted to be able to cheer her up a bit. So I planned a surprise night out for she and I while she was in town and took her to Paint Nite. We had a blast drinking wine and pretending to be painters (neither one of us can paint or draw!). Paint Nite was such a fun experience and I cannot wait to do it again. If you have something like it in your area, definitely check it out. I love finding new things and this was such a unique experience, unlike anything else I had ever done.

So Kim, thank you for ALL of your help. Thanks for keeping Tolar in line, thanks for loving on my daughter and all of my family so well and thank you for being my friend. I adore you!!! Cheers!


Now's your chance to link up with me and For Lauren and Lauren for our weekly link up!
Link up with us and share something that you couldn't live without: a recipe, a piece of clothing, a person, an iphone app, baby product, song...whatever.
You can link up on either of our blogs. And feel free to grab the button below to help us spread the word!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday and Happy Spring! I know, I know, the real first day of Spring was a little while ago. Now that the sun is out in full force and it looks like warmer temps are here to stay - well that is Spring to me!

Here are my top five moments from my week:

1.) Did you see my post on Monday about our Easter weekend? Well if you didn't, you missed this oh so precious picture right here. I just had to share it with you again!

2.) I am NOT A FAN of pictures that someone takes of me when I don't know said picture is happening. I just consider myself a very awkward person and more often than not a candid shot of me just looks silly. Well, then this photo happened. I knew that Tolar was taking this picture, but I still look completely awkward. :) I don't remember what was happening, I guess Baby K was squirming too much as you can see the ball is starting to fall. But anyways, this picture makes me smile and cringe all at the same time. And I love it because it reminds me that I am no where near perfect, no matter how hard I try to make my picture appear, and well that is just beautiful. Because God made me just the way I am and I'm supposed to be that way!

3.) I'm in love with this Stella & Dot necklace. I let it sit in the box for quite some time because I always considered it a necklace to wear for a fancy occasion, but then I decided I didn't want to wait any longer and I paired it with a dress for work earlier this week. Because let's face it, when a person only wears makeup 2 days a week (the one day I work in the office and on Sundays), those seem like special occasions, right?

4.) Sorry for the blurriness, that is just the fun that Tolar and Baby K had during their dance party the other night.

5.) The other night I was texting with both my friend Katie (you know her from the blog For Lauren and Lauren) and my friend Kara. They both live near each other and I was trying to connect them for MOPS. Well I was having conversations with them both at the exact same time and since their names both begin with KA, I kind of got confused. I thought Kara asked me how I knew Katie, but as you can see I was totally wrong. Katie and I are still laughing about this.

So that was my week! How was yours? Got any fun weekend plans?

I'm linking up with September Farm, Bright on a Budget, Style Elixir and Meet @ the Barre.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Thing I Couldn't Live Without This Week...

Who watches the Today Show?

I'm a HUGE fan. I've been watching it for years and always wanted to get the Shakespeare Theatre Company some coverage on their broadcast. Well, STC/Today Show coverage never happened while I was there (though New York Times and Wall Street Journal coverage did, thank you very much!), but I am absolutely thrilled that the company I now work with was just featured on the Today Show this week.

The Today Show is quite the accomplishment in the PR world. Here is the clip that I am just so thrilled about:

And since the Today Show has taken notice, I had to share it with all of you. Because honestly (and not just this week) I couldn't live without Rodan + Fields!

Seriously, this business came into our lives when we didn't even know we needed it. Many of you already know our story (if not read here) and I can honestly say that Rodan + Fields has been such a huge financial blessing to my family. That's right, I am able to stay at home with Baby K the majority of the week and still contribute to our family financially. In fact, I'm the bread winner while Tolar goes back to school. And I do the majority of my "bread making" through Rodan + Fields. If we didn't have Rodan + Fields I don't know what we would do. But luckily I don't have to worry about that.

Have you ever wished you could work from home? Do you want to get paid a great paycheck working part time hours? Are you looking to fund a shameless shoe fund and bring in some extra cash? Do you want to give more to your church or other charities? Would you like to replace your income? Would you like something extra (and extra money) that you can also work around a full time career? And the you need to pay off debt?

If your answer to any of those questions is YES, then we really should talk.
We are not a party company, which was so huge for me! And I don't consider myself a sales person. Being a Consultant with Rodan + Fields is built around relationships and sharing great skincare in your daily life (just like you would share a great restaurant or an awesome movie). Whatever your Why is, this is a "job" that can help you get there. And I love that this is a "job" that can fit into any area of your already busy life - because let's face it, we are all busy. You can seriously do this job in just a few minutes a day.

This business is for working moms, stay at home moms, anyone who wants a little extra cash on the side or even anyone who wants a full time income AND you can work the business around your crazy life.

I'm working my Rodan + Fields business while working 2 days a week at the theatre, running this blog, managing my family's finances and household, being involved in church/MOPS and most importantly being a wife to Tolar and a mommy to Baby K. I work R+F less in one entire month than I did in a week when I worked full time in D.C. and I get an incredible pay check each month.

Now is the time to hop on board! My team is growing fast and going places and I'd love to have you on this incredible ride with me. When you join, you're not thrown to the wolves in figuring it all out. I will help you start up your business and give you by best practices and tips to get you off to an incredible start!

So if what you just read sounds like something you would like to hear more about, then send me an e-mail ( or comment below with your e-mail and I promise I will be in touch. I'd love to chat further and fill you in on the blessing that is Rodan + Fields!


Now's your chance to link up with me and For Lauren and Lauren for our weekly link up!
Link up with us and share something that you couldn't live without: a recipe, a piece of clothing, a person, an iphone app, baby product, song...whatever.
You can link up on either of our blogs. And feel free to grab the button below to help us spread the word!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Meal Planning Tips

Now that I spend a lot more time at home, I've started cooking more regularly and planning our weekly menu. When we lived in Northern Virginia and I worked full time (not getting home until 6:30), I failed miserably at cooking dinner. By the time I finally got home from work, all I wanted to do was spend time with Baby K until her bedtime at 8 and by then I definitely didn't want to tackle cooking dinner. So we ordered in a lot.

I've always wanted to cook regularly because I really enjoy cooking, but my busy schedule didn't allow it. Which is a reason I am very thankful for our change in lifestyle. When I first started meal planning, I had absolutely no clue where to start. But now that I've been meal planning for several months, I've picked up some tips and tricks along the way. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to you as well.

  • Make a list of every meal that your family likes and keep it somewhere that you can easily access.
    This makes it easy for me to determine what we will eat instead of having to just remember all of our favorite dinners. On my list, next to each meal I will write where the recipe is located so I can easily find it when I'm ready to cook (i.e. pinterest, cook book, blog)
  • Meal plan by the week to allow for the inevitable schedule changes.
    I have a friend who meal plans by the month and she is my absolute hero! Meal planning by the week works best for us as stuff always comes up. I will sit down with Tolar on Sunday nights and plan out our week, determining when we have events that will cause one of us (or both of us) to be out of the house for a specific night.
  • Check your pantry to see what items you already have on hand.
    When deciding what we will eat each night, I always like to see what I already have before I buy anything new. Usually I can come up with one or two dinners based on food items I already have (this is a cost saving tip too!).
  • Grocery shop once a week.
    After I plan out what meals we will have for the week, I write my grocery list and include items for every dinner. By only going to the grocery store once a week, I save myself a lot of time because I will already have everything on hand when it is time to cook dinner. Of course there are times when I forget something and send Tolar to the store on his way home for class, but overall I just go once a week.
  • Don't forget to schedule leftover nights!
    Every night doesn't have to be something new, scheduling a night for leftovers is perfectly fine. If you don't schedule a night for leftovers they will likely go bad, which just wastes money. I like to schedule a leftover night once a week which is a nice break for me!
  • Try to schedule meals that use similar ingredients in the same week, if a recipe calls for an ingredient you don't use regularly.
    If I plan a meal that calls for plain greek yogurt, I always try to plan two meals. We don't like to eat plain greek yogurt by itself, so if I don't use all of the yogurt it will go bad. The same is true with lettuce. If I plan to have a salad one day, I will later plan to have tacos and use the lettuce on those. The trick is to making sure your perishable ingredients will get used.
  • Search for inspiration to add variety to your weeks.
    I'm constantly searching pinterest for new recipes to try so we don't get bored eating the same thing. Recently I started searching for crock pot and clean eating recipes to add some new dinners to our rotation. If you need some inspiration, here is my dinner Pinterest board.

    What about you? Do you meal plan and have any tips that you can share? I'd love to read your tips in the comments below.

Monday, April 6, 2015


We just had a pretty awesome weekend celebrating Easter. My sister, brother in law, nephew and my sister's best friend were all in town to help my family celebrate the greatest holiday. We took the kids to an Easter egg hunt where they both collected a ton of eggs, had a yummy family dinner at my parent's house and had an incredible time at church on Sunday.

I have a new appreciation for holidays because I get to experience them in a new way as I watch Baby K. It is so fun to see the joy and wonderment on her face as she discovers all there is about holiday traditions. I love the smiles and laughs and I simply adore watching Baby K and my nephew interact. They are really starting to have a lot of fun with each other and their giggles are the best.

My Pastor said something on Sunday that has been on repeat in my head: our Pastor gets emotional about Easter when he thinks of everything that Jesus has done. He knows the kind of person that he really is, he knows all of his imperfections and shortcomings and yet Jesus died for him and for you, for all of us, so that He could save us from our sins. It is incredible to think that someone can love us even with all of the junk that we have going on in our lives. I'm blessed beyond even my own comprehension. I will never know what I have done to deserve all of the greatness that Christ pours down on me daily, but I will spend my whole life thanking Him.