4.29.2014

Our Weekend (not in pictures)

Do you ever have those days (or weekends) where you do lots but have like 2 pictures to show for it? Yeah, happens to me way more than I'd like to admit. If you don't have a picture, did it really happen?!

Anyways, after I got my haircut on Saturday, my Twinkie, Stacy, and her family, Brad and Chase, came over for a visit. Their little man is 4 months old and absolutely adorable! We're already plotting his and Autumn's future marriage ;) Autumn will be the cougar in the sitch! haha. She was really interested in him and all the little noises he was making, especially when he was screaming! She made the funniest face and went 'ooooh!'.
Getting two babes to look at the camera at the same time, impossible!
After they left, Autumn painted, took a nap and I made Neiman Marcus Bars. These things are to die for! If you are on any kind of diet, run (don't walk) from these bars before they make you eat them all! Ernest's parents came over so we could celebrate his mom's birthday.Then I sent her home will every last crumb of those bars so I wouldn't be tempted. Totally normal.
Sunday made me feel like I was back in college (minus the hangover, plus a kid). Up bright and early and headed to my parents house to do some laundry. That's right, laundry. The lint trap in our dryer broke and has been causing a mess ever since. So not only do my black yoga pants have little banana hand prints all over them but now they have me looking like Fozzie Bear. As much as I wanted to ruin all our clothes with lint ::eye roll:: Hence, doing laundry at my parents. Thankfully our new washer/dryer will be here soon!! You really don't realize how much you need a washer/dryer until you're without one. #firstworldproblems

At my parents, we had a great time...
Making a very colorful breakfast
Playing dress-up with Grandma's jewelry
And making copycat Lara Bars. I'll be doing a separate post on these soon :)

I've been wanting to get 18 month pictures of Autumn since she has changed SO much from her 12 month photos. My parents got me a mini photo sesh with my mini as an early Mother's Day present! Since we rarely have any photos of just Autumn and I, it'll be awesome to have some special moments captured. I am so super excited to take them on Sunday! I think I found our outfits, just need a few more pieces...like a necklace, belt and a bow for Autumn's hair.

Sorry for the super dark closet picture!
Happy Tuesday!



4.25.2014

Make My Garden Grow

I'll let you in on a secret...I have a black thumb, not a brown thumb, a black thumb. Pretty much any plant that comes into 5 feet of me turns to dust within a few days. I love plants, I would like to keep them alive, it's not for a lack of trying. I just can't keep them alive. One of my spring/summer goals is to actually grow some stuff and keep it alive! I have big dreams of a salad or salsa garden with tons of fruit, vegetables and herbs!

This 5 on Friday is brought to you by my dream of being a real gardener someday instead of the garden crypt keeper, haha. Linking up with The Good LifeA. Liz AdventuresCarolina Charm, and Hello Happiness

Some cool gardening stuff...

//one//
I'm all about recycling and repurposing stuff so these K-cup plant starters are an awesome idea! These would be perfect to start a few more things inside before we transfer them outside. I saw another plan starter using egg shells and you just plant them straight in the ground and the egg shells help!
Via
//two//
This penny ball is kind of cool and helps repel bugs and slugs. Who doesn't have five million pennies lying around in every junk drawer?!
Via
//three//
I really should have looked this up months ago because I'm a little late. But, we'll take our chances!
Via
//four//
This would make the perfect watering jug! Inexpensive and easy to make!
Via

//five//
These DIY garden markers would be fun to make with Autumn (once they are painted/dried) and let her draw on them as well. Now to take enough paint sticks from Lowe's without being noticed...
Via
I bought some Target $1 bin plant starters and Autumn and I planted them about two weeks ago. We planted cilantro, strawberries, basil and tomatoes. They recently started sprouting and we were both super excited! Ernest's grandma gave me a small raised plant bed to transfer these over and to add a few more things. I'm going to wait a few more weeks because we've still had some very cool nights and ours sprouts need to grow a bit more.
 You can check out more of my gardening dreams here.

Do you garden? What are your gardening tips?  Please send good gardening vibes our way and wish me luck! :)

P.S. Autumn's blood work came back normal AND she ate a hot dog last night! Woot Woot!!

4.24.2014

Gelato Fixes Everything

I've been avoiding taking Autumn to get her blood work done for weeks now. It's just to check her vitamin levels because the doctor was a little concerned at her 18 month visit.
After yesterday, I know why I was avoiding it. I thought they'd do the heel prick like in those wee early days. Nope. She's big girl status now and had to get her blood drawn like you and I. Gasp! 

The guy doing it didn't seem super confident. He ended up having to get someone to help hold her arm. She was great this whole time while this idiot tried to find her vein. Pricked her, screaming, no blood. He missed. You can bet I had more than a few four letter words for him. 

Autumn finally calmed down, another lady came in, felt around for her veins. Then the lady came in (why she wasn't there in the first place is beyond me!). Before she even touched Autumn she was in full out scream mode because she knew what was coming. 

Luckily she drew blood on the first try but it was not coming out very fast, at all. The lady asked if Autumn was dehydrated. Ummmm...I have no clue, she's a toddler, she has water at all times but how do you know that?! Poor Autumn was hysterical at this point. Screaming, crying, looking up at me like please stop this! I was getting teary eyed watching my poor babe. What was probably a few minutes felt like an eternity. I think the girl finally gave up when she realized she just wasn't going to get an entire vile of blood.

Autumn was still super upset until we walked out. It was horrible. I pray we never have to do that again for a very long time. My heart breaks for any child and parent who has to deal with medical issues on the regular. I couldn't even imagine that.

I took Autumn for gelato at Frost (soooo good!) and it helped. A little pineapple gelato and she was perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, took a little longer to recover, haha! Here's hoping her test results come out fine (which, I'm sure they will)!

4.22.2014

Easter Eggs, Bubbles and More

Those three words pretty much sum up our entire weekend. Lots of Easter eggs, bubbles and 'more, more, more'!
We colored Easter eggs Saturday night. Which mostly involved Autumn chucking the eggs into the bowl, splashing color everywhere and then laughing hysterically. She was very proud of herself. Then it was always 'more, more' after she was done with one egg.
I planned Easter egg coloring right before bathtime. One of my smarter moments.
The Easter Bunny brought all kinds of goodies! Probably a little too many but hey, she's only a kid once, right???
She got some sandbox toys, chalk, a little purse, a crochet doll I made, some books, a stuffed kitty, some sippy cups and plasticware from Ikea. What did she go for first? The sippy cups and spoons! We filled those cups up not less than two minutes after she got her Easter basket!

The kitty was a close second.
We headed to my parents early to help cook and get ready for Easter lunch. I made cauliflower rice and roasted garlic asparagus. Yum! After we stuffed ourselves with tons of yummy food, it was egg hiding time.
Note: Since my computer died a few weeks ago I've been using my Dad's old computer. So old that it won't read my camera when I try downloading all the wonderful pictures I took. So, there is no proof of half our day on my iPhone. Time to get a new computer...
We were looking at the fancy camera...
My two little cousins, Alan and Kaleb, also helped look for eggs. They are both much older than Autumn tho so we had hard eggs for the boys and the easy ones for her. Although, they got super excited and just started grabbing them all! Autumn didn't mind :) She got plenty of eggs filled with Doc McStuffins band-aids (NOT a hit with the boys! lol), hair bows, socks, Goldfish and bubbles. My puzzle idea was a total bust since the pieces were way too big for the eggs! Womp womp.

After the egg hunt was over, my Dad had Autumns mega bubble machine ready to go. It blows out tons of bubbles at once. To say Autumn was mesmerized would be an understatement! She didn't know what to do with all those bubbles. But as soon as it was turned off all she kept saying was 'more, more, peeez.' Such a doll.

We thought she'd be down for the count once we got home but her car power nap had her ready to go again. We played with her new chalk and hid eggs again. She was not having it with the eggs once she realized there wasn't anything in them, haha! We migrated towards the sandbox until it was bedtime.
She'd rather cruise without pants at home! haha

We had such a fun filled Easter weekend with our little bunny! Holiday's with kids are truly special!


4.18.2014

Whole 30, Round 2


Starting a Whole 30 again. I loved how I felt on the last Whole 30 that I wanted to do another one. Plus, I'm not really where I want to be yet. Going to Phoenix messed me up a bit and I haven't really been able to jump back in with two feet. I had it in my mind that Easter was coming up and it'd be really hard to eat on Whole 30 then. But Monday, April 21st, is day one, yet again!
Via @jennaskitchen on Instagram
I'm still eating about 95%  90%Whole 30, but that is not the same as 100%. I've been having a bite here, a bite there (a frapp there, shameful) and all those small things add up. Plus they just don't give you the detox and full benefits of eating completely clean. Anyways, I'm about halfway through the book It Starts With Food. I didn't read it the first go round, but I'm so glad to be reading it now. It really goes into the why and how bad foods affect you, your hormones and your health. If anyone is considering doing this, I strongly recommend reading the book to understand why sticking to it 100% is so important. 

I'm going to prep myself by making our mealplan this weekend and doing some shopping. I'll definitely be keeping these favorites on the list...

Slow Cooker Chicken with Cauliflower 'Rice'
This meal is oh so good!!!
For the chicken...
1 package organic chicken
Rotel Tomatoes- I just realized the can kind has some added nastiness (gasp)! But you can make your own. Just make sure your hot sauce is Whole 30 (Cholula is a great option)
Sea Salt, to taste

Cook the chicken in a slow cooker with all the ingredients on low for 8 hours. I kept mine on warm for an additional couple hours and it was fine. If it starts to dry out, add a little water or tomato sauce. I seasoned it after it was cooked. 

For the rice...
1 head cauliflower
Olive oil
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
Sea Salt, to taste

Grate your head of cauliflower on a cheese grater until the whole head is gone. You'll just have the branches/stub of the cauliflower left. Warm a large pan with the olive oil. Saute the cauliflower in the oil until until it starts to brown and soften, about 7-10 minutes depending on your stove. Add in the chopped cilantro, season and squeeze a fresh lime over the 'rice'. Done!

I served the chicken over the rice and topped it with some guacamole (avocado, lime, cilantro and salt). It is soooo good and super easy! 

Roasted Italian Portobellos and Hearty Spaghetti Sauce
I was afraid I wouldn't be satiated enough without pasta, but no way. This meal is super hearty and comforting.
Sorry for the bad food photos! Trust me it's delish!
For the spaghetti sauce...
1 large can diced tomatoes (make sure there is nothing extra added, organic is best)
1 14oz can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
Tons of  spices- basil, parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, thyme, almost anything. The more, the merrier
1 tsp. dry mustard
Garlic salt
Pepper
1 1/2 c water
1 package organic grass-fed ground beef
1/2 chopped onion

Throw everything in the Crock Pot on low for 8 hours. 

For the portobello...
Heat the oven to 375
Season the portobello with garlic salt and some Italian seasoning mix, add a little olive oil to the top and a little sea salt. Place with the top down in a baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes-ish. 

Top the portobello with the spaghetti sauce, a little sliced avocado and dinner is served. I've also served this sauce with zoodles too which feels more like spaghetti.

Another favorite on my list is La Croix sparking water. OMG it is oh so good! I've tried the coconut (my fav), the peach-pear and berry ones. They are all naturally flavored and don't have any other junk. I really want to try the lime flavor, some fresh mint and blueberries to make a mock-tail of my favorite cocktail, the blueberry-mint mojito at Q Bar. Ohhhhemgee, so good!

If you are thinking about doing a Whole 30, here's a little something to motivate you. This is my before and after picture. I'm not ready to do a whole body shot but look at my face (scary early morning shots, sorry! :/ ).
There's no filters on either photos. This is all real 5am me in all my makeup-less glory. It's a huge change! My mom said it looked like I got a facelift. I feel like my skin is glowing. This is only one of many other benefits I felt from Whole 30. I really am excited to start another round!



4.15.2014

Weekend Fun

We started the weekend off right by heading straight to the opening night of our hometown baseball team. Our friends have a suite which was perfect for a busy little toddler who needs to run around everywhere. Autumn had the best time. Maybe ever. 
She was dancing, waving to everyone, climbing everything, 'ooo'ing at the birds, clapping, and yelling. Ernest got her a little baseball hat cup of Dip N Dots and she ate it all!!! It was more like shoveled it down. By the 7th inning she was running on pure sugar.
 The lights went out on the field in the 3rd inning for a good 45 minutes so the game went pretty late. Everyone else left early so we had the entire suite to ourselves! Boom! 
She was so tired when we got home that she was fast asleep. I was even able to put her pajamas on without her even waking up!! Little babe danced her heart out!
Can you tell they are both thrilled to take this picture?
You'd think her going to bed so late that she'd sleep in, right? Nope. At 5:45 she was up and super grumpy pants! She is going through this really lovely stage of not wanting anything. We'll hold her and she wants down, then she gets pissed and wants you to hold her. This pretty much goes for everything. It's not all the time, but when she gets in these little fits it's pretty hard on all of us. Oh the joys of toddler-hood. These are probably things a Mom shouldn't say but...I'm human and my guess is there are a few other mama's going through this :)

Autumn did not pull out of her funk all morning (even after we watched Frozen and I made her blueberry pancakes!) so Ernest took her to color Easter eggs with her Aunt and cousins while I got my hair done. Which, btw, turned out awesome! We did a sort of ombré but less drastic and more summery. I love it!
Ernest's parents wanted to take Autumn shopping and to dinner Saturday afternoon. They got her a sweet little turtle sandbox!! We set it up that night and she LOVES it! We're going to have so much fun!

While Autumn was away, we hit up a tequila and taco place in our neighborhood with some friends. Sadly, the service was terrible and the food wasn't great. Womp womp. But the atmosphere was awesome and so was the weather! Then we went to the car show (such a boy thing to do right? Not my choice) and drooled over the new Mustang Ernest wants and I found some nice SUV's for myself. Saturday night we played in the sandbox until the sun went down!

Thank goodness Sunday wasn't my turn to wake up early because Autumn was up at 4am!!! Once I woke up at 7, we let Ernest sleep in a bit and took a drive to Starbucks for some iced coffee, a croissant for Autumn and a Puppacino for Jack. The plan was to take Jack for a walk but the stroller was hidden in the garage and my trunk looks like a hoarder lives in there so we just went to the park instead. Usually this park is bumping with tons of kids, parents and dogs. This time: nobody was there. Granted, it was like 8am but it was glorious!
 I let Autumn run around like a mad-woman, Jack could sniff everything he wanted and I enjoyed the quiet. It was one of the best morning we've had in recent memory...we played on the swings, Autumn went on the slide a million times and played in the sand til her shoes were filled to the brim.

Once we got back and ready, it was off to breakfast and a little early Easter egg hunt. Autumn could not get enough of egg hunting! Everytime she would see an egg she'd go 'ooooo, yaaaaaay!'. Everytime. We re-hid them for her at least 5 times! The weather was gorgeous and we all had such a good time being outside and enjoying this little lady!
Weekends like this make it SOOOO hard to go back to work on Monday. We're looking forward to Easter this weekend! I'll have a roundup of Ernest and Autumn's Easter baskets later this week!

4.09.2014

Happy Half-Birthday Autumn!

Yup, I'm that cheesy. Half-birthday's are totally a real thing. She actually turned 18 months a few days ago but I was waiting until we went to the doctors for all the good stuff...except shots, they always suck. She cried for 15 seconds until she saw the band aids had puppies and started panting like a dog. Totally normal. 
Eating a snack in the refrigerator is also totally normal in these parts. 

//Height-Weight//
 30.75 inches (41st percentile). 21.5 lbs. (19th percentile). 19 inch head circumfrance (94th percentile!) Baby genius? 
We had a minor scare at the doctors when her height first came back. They re-measured her and she was right on target, whew! For a second I thought she was going to get my short girl genes!

//Clothes//
 Still a mix of 12, 12-18 and some 18 month. I finally cleaned out all of her teeny tiny clothes 
::cue the tears::

//Sleep//
 Rough at the beginning of the month, she had finally gotten back on a better schedule, then we went out of town. This morning she was up at 5:30am. Fingers crossed she goes back to 7am!
Sometimes Elmo goes to bed with her
//Eating//
 This has been the most improved area recently. She is eating SO much and quite often! Still no meat. We're taking her for some blood work this week, per doctors orders, to make sure she's getting what she needs since she's so picky. We also had to cut out ALL acidic foods because of horrible diaper rash. So far it's helped. The doctor said if there aren't more issues with it in the next month, we'll start adding back stuff one at a time to see what she's sensitive to. Starting with cheese which will make this little girl super happy!

Her favs are: coconut yogurt with almond butter, banana's cooked in coconut oil, roasted asparagus with lots of garlic salt, avocado and any/all carbs!
//Teeth//
 Still only 6 that are fully popped out. The molar from hell is still half in, two incisors (which are not canines as I was corrected at the doctors! face in palm), and one other baby tooth at the bottom.
//Health//
 She caught another little cold a couple weeks ago that was passed onto Ernest and I making for a miserable week. Other than that, doing great!

//Words-Phrases//     
Aside from constant toddler babble, she's started to say phrases: go caca (her Gigi taught her this!), thank you, right there, lets go. 

She pretty much copies everything else we say. Most often she's saying: more, peeezzz (please), oh-p (open), ish (fish) and shaking her little finger and going nooo, nooo, nooo.

//Personality//
Firecracker. That pretty much sums it up. She is one determined, independent, feisty little girl on one hand and the sweetest, most loving, caring girl on the other.
//learning//
It seems like everyday she's learning something new. She blew me away the other day when she was watching Super Why and they asked what letter was on the screen and she shouted out 'D!' which was exactly what was on that screen. Say what?! It truly is amazing how she is growing and learning so much. We're so proud of her!

The other day she went in her room and was super quiet. We went in and she was sitting on her rug reading a book! She loves her books!! 

//likes//
Bubbles. Oh the bubbles. They stay hidden otherwise I'd pass out from all the bubbles I'd be blowing.  Doing downward dog. She does it in the kitchen, on the rugs, over her balls, over balloons. Which brings me to...balloons. We went to Old Navy the other day where they have tons of balloons. She threw a fit when another kid had a balloon and then again when we wouldn't give her all the balloons. See above under 'Personality'.
She loves 'mugga, mugga' kisses, using my hair as a paintbrush to tickle her nose or mine then laughing hysterically, putting on makeup, lotion and chap stick.
Eating chapstick. Really?!
Being outside! This kid would live outside if we let her! She loves mimicking the birds, dogs and watching the butterflies go by. 

//dislikes//
 Being clothed. Diaper changes. Putting the bubbles away. Going inside. Sharing. Other kids. We need to get her around more kids stat!

We have so much fun with Autumn! Her personality is so fun and constantly developing. It's awesome to see how she is becoming her own little person each day. 
I just love her to the moon (and beyond)!!