Friday, February 27, 2015

February Monthly Eats

Happy Friday and Happy almost end of February!  Today I'm linking up with Shea Lennon to share some recipes we ate this month.  Apparently we were all about getting healthy this month, we were definitely on a salad kick!

We decided to recreate a salad bar at home one night.  We started with romaine lettuce and some carrots.  We added a hard boiled egg and some diced ham for protein.  We added a little bit of cheese and then my favorite - Nate's homemade croutons and finally tossed it all together with a little Western dressing and a little Ranch dressing.  It's silly, but this might be my favorite meal of the month.  Delicious, semi healthy (I say semi only because of all the things we added!) and easy.

Next up, for our at home date night this last week Nate made us some grilled shrimp and scallops with steamed broccoli on the side.  YUM.  He keeps it pretty simple when he grills seafood, he only adds olive oil, salt and pepper before throwing it on the grill.  Nothing is really needed, it comes off the grill tasting like butter.  It just melts in your mouth.  We steam our broccoli in a steamer basket for about 20 minutes and also just have that with a little bit of butter and salt and pepper as well. Again, a simple meal, but very tasty.

And finally, we have another salad.  Nate wanted to recreate a salad he's been enjoying from a coffee shop near his work right now, so he picked up some supplies to attempt it at home and let me tell you, it sounded like an odd combination, but I ended up really enjoying it.  It has spinach, feta cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries (think Craisins), honey nut granola (that is where it started to sound odd to me at first) tossed together with both poppyseed dressing and a balsamic vinaigrette.  It was so good and so filling!  The sweet items and tangy items went really well together.  I think this will be a go to for us, especially coming up this summer.

So there you have it!  We've really been making efforts to eat a little healthier and I think we did pretty good this month - and I think we've also found that eating healthy things like salad doesn't have to be boring or bland!  Have you tried anything new and different lately?  And check out Shea Lennon's blog for other food related posts!  Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thrift Style Thursday - Time Warp

Let's do the time warp again!  This week's Thrift Style Thursday post was chosen by yours truly!  I chose Time Warp - and encouraged everyone to dress like any of their favorite decades - even if it's the one we're currently in!  I chose to do a 60's inspired look, I love everything about the sixties. I'd usually choose to do a bit of a hippie/flower child vibe if I was going for a 60's inspired look, but this time I went kind of Mad Men-esque instead so I could make it more "work appropriate."  For my look I chose my favorite shift style dress that I bought at one of the two birds pop up shops (and that was the first time I met the fabulous Megan and Nora too!) and I modernized it slightly - but I think it still has a vintage vibe overall! (This dress was also what I wore for my feature in TC Style Magazine this past fall.)

Dress - two birds vintage pop up, Sweater - Old Navy
Scarf - Secret Santa swap, Boots - Target, Belt - JCPenney
Tights - Old Navy

I was trying to go for the dramatic in the above pose, ha.  I don't think I can pull that off real well! Since I was being inspired by Mad Men, I chose to take some pictures in my dad's office at my parents house the other morning before work.  I thought it worked out pretty well, but I did attempt one outdoor photo too.  We're getting closer to spring, it's at least lighter in the mornings outside!

I've really missed this dress, it's one of my favorite items I own,and I'd pushed it to the back of the closet while pregnant and nursing so much because it didn't work well for those things.  We pretty much have Ollie down to only nursing at bedtime now, so I can wear anything I want during the day now!  I'm looking forward to getting back to playing with ways to style this dress again, it's pretty darn versatile!

Don't forget to check out how the other Thrift Style Thursday gals traveled back in time today!  What decade of fashion is your favorite?

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Morning Routine

The last prompt for this month's writing challenges from the Let Your Blog Shine group is "Your Morning Routine".  Oh this should be fun.  Let's just put this out there right now - I'm not a morning person.  I'm also not a night owl either, but that's neither here nor there.  So I'll just warn you, getting in my head in the morning might be a scary place to be, but here we go anyway!

6:00 am.  Alarm goes off.  I lay in bed desperately clinging to my blankets and wishing I could have just five more minutes.  I never hit snooze though.  I give myself until about 6:02 and then I'm off to the bathroom.

As I walk to the bathroom - which isn't even two feet from my bedroom I think - I am extremely careful not to hit any of the floorboards (we have an OLD house) so that they won't make noise and wake up Ollie.  It could be an Olympic event I swear.

Once in the bathroom, I turn on the shower so it warms up a bit.  Take care of my bladder needs (don't we all?), pull off my pajamas, weigh myself and then pop in the shower.  Oh that hot water is delightful, especially on these cold winter mornings.  It takes me a minute or two to decide that just standing in the hot water is not probably the place I can spend my whole day, so I finally get myself cleaned up.  I wash my hair first, face second and body last.  Then I stand and phase out for a little bit because let's face it, no amount of hot water is going to truly wake me up in the morning.  Only one thing has that power - coffee - and I haven't had that yet.  Somehow I finally convince myself to get out and get moving.

I dry off, comb my hair and brush my teeth.  I get dressed (I always have my clothes picked out the night before, saves time in the morning and I bring them with me to the bathroom so I can give Nate a few extra minutes of quiet in our room in the mornings).  I then dry my hair.  In the summer I was air drying my hair, but with how cold it's been this winter and especially now that I'm growing it out, I dry it a bit.  Not for long, maybe a minute.  I finish off in the bathroom with putting my makeup on.

Now it's just about 6:30 and that's when Nate's alarm goes off.  I can hear Ollie starting to stir, but I leave him be and head into our bedroom.  Nate turns on the lamp when he hears me come in and starts getting himself moving.  He's usually the one who goes to get Ollie then, I'll sometimes go if he seems particularly distressed before this point, but he's usually sitting in his crib just babbling so he can wait for Nate.  While Nate gets Ollie up and changes his diaper, I make our bed and then put on any jewelry I want to wear and pick out my shoes for the day.

Nate plays with Ollie for a bit and I make my coffee, pack up Ollie's bag for the day and load up the car.  By the time I am done with all of that, the coffee is brewed, so I pour my very large travel mug, then get Ollie bundled up.  We say goodbye to Nate and head out to the car.  We manage to leave our house by 6:45/6:50 at the latest.

It only takes about ten minutes to drive to my parents house.  One of my favorite things in the morning on our drive is two DJs on one of our local radio stations play a "Guess Who Turns What" game each day at this time where one of them reads clues to the other one about celebrity birthdays of the day.  I like listening and playing along.  

7:00 am and we're pulling into my parents driveway.  My mom comes out to meet us and gets Oliver out of the car and then I grab my coffee, purse and Ollie's bag and come in behind them.  My mom feeds Oliver his oatmeal and I fix myself some breakfast - often just cereal and toast - and have about half of my coffee while I eat that.  After Ollie and I are both done eating, I used to nurse him at this time and watch the morning news, but we've now transitioned him to a bottle at this feeding, so now I give him his bottle.  We get him dressed for the day as well and then I play with him until I need to leave for work at 7:45.

So now it's 7:45 and I grab my coffee (are you starting to see how important my coffee is?), get my coat on and my purse and kiss Ollie goodbye.  He's pretty good about it when I leave, he says "bye bye" very sweetly and often goes to the window to wave to me, but he doesn't cry or get sad.  That makes it easier to leave him.

8:00 am I roll into my work parking lot.  I make the trek up three flights of stairs to the third floor where my office is.  I always take the stairs for the extra exercise unless I'm really loaded down with stuff that day, then I'll take the elevator.  I open up my work computer and get myself punched in for the day, I check emails and then I quick take Instagram or blog pictures before my boss gets in (I know, I'm bad).  Then I pretty much settle in for the work day!  While finishing my coffee.  Because coffee.  By the time I'm pretty awake and with it and ready to tackle just about anything.

The morning usually goes by pretty fast after this.  I try to make myself get up about once an hour and move around.  Then at 11:30 I go to lunch and then we're into the afternoon after that!

So there you go!  I guess it's not that scary overall, if anything, it's not that exciting!  Of course, weekends are an entire other ballgame, but I'll just have to share that routine on another day! 

What does your morning routine look like?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Currently - Ollie Edition

What up people?  Ollie here.  I saw my buddy Jona take over his mommy's blog Shea Lennon last week and I told my mommy I had to do the same thing.  Because mommy and daddy keep telling me something about monkey see, monkey do.  Anyway,  since I'm almost a big 15 month old who walks now and everything, mommy's letting me do a post here on what I'm currently up to.

--Currently Ollie is--

Hearting - Elbow!  That's my special word for Elmo.  That little red monster is the bomb dot com. He just gets me.  I also dig Mickey Mouse. He has this magic clubhouse and man, the things they do and the places they go in a little half hour show?  It's trippy and I dig it.  I also love chasing my kitties, somehow I never seem to catch them though.  And I heart the lids from storage containers.  Did you know you can spin them on a hard floor?  My mind was blown.  It's soooo fun.  Oh and I guess I heart Mama.  I should probably say that since she's letting me write on her blog.

Reading - Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs - this book rocks my world.  First the dinosaurs are happy and then they're sad and they're cute and not and wait!  I can't spoil the ending for you!  I had my daddy read me this book so many times the other night he ended up hiding it from me.  That was not cool Dad.  Well ok, I forgave him because he read me one of my other favorite books Clip Clop.  That book gets me every time, when Cat and Dog and Pig and Duck fall off Mr. Horse I always worry if they're ok, but spoiler alert, they're just fine cause they landed in a haystack!  But I tell you, I'm on the edge of my seat with that one!  One of these times the haystack could be gone!

Eating - Meat good.  I love meat.  Oh and Daddy's pancakes are the BEST.  I ate an entire pancake all by myself this weekend!  I also love pizza.  It has meat and cheese and tomato on it.  What's not to love?  And don't even think about messing with me in the morning before I have my oatmeal.  I can't play Legos or cars or farm until I get that oatmeal.

Wearing - I'm going for the college preppy look these days, check out this striped v-neck sweater and super awesome cargo pants.  I'm a stud right?  Ladies, I'm available, though my mom says I can't date before I'm 25, but she's silly.

Singing - Baa Baa Blacksheep is my jam.  And Old McDonald.  My favorite part is EIEIO, I have to shout it.  These songs are on repeat all day, every day.  Can't stop, won't stop.

Anticipating - My mommy and daddy keep talking about this thing called Spring and they're promising me we'll be spending more time outside when it gets here.  Well hurry up darn it.  I remember outside.  It was a fun place to be, I don't know why we don't get to hang out there anymore. There's this huge space behind our house that mommy and daddy say is the "backyard" and now that I'm a walker I just want to get out there and run all over it.  It looks like the best place ever.

And that's it. I'm bored with writing, I want to go look out the window for birdies and squirrels now.  Or no, I want to go chew on my building blocks.  Or wait nope, I'm going to play with my farm puzzle.  Yep, that's it.  See ya later everyone! 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Bag Lady

It is likely no secret if you've been reading this blog for awhile now (or just know me in person really well) that I love bags.  I'm a crazy bag lady.  It's like being a crazy cat lady, but instead of a million cats, I have a million bags. (Side note, I am a crazy cat lady too with my two furry girls at home, but that's another subject.)  Bags just make me happy the way shoes or makeup make other people happy. I like changing up my bag quite a bit.  Recently though, I have stumbled on to what just might be the holy grail of bags for me and I haven't really changed up what I've been carrying now much at all in the last several weeks - that's a pretty big deal for me!

I was talking with a friend who used to sell Stella and Dot and she was getting rid of some samples she no longer wanted.  She is not a bag lady and offered me the How Does She Do It bag in pewter because she knew I was a bag fan.  I wasn't about to say no, so I took her up on it.  And then I got it home and was like...hmm.  This is a LOT bigger than what I usually carry.  So it sat in my closet for a bit.  Then I finally said, ok, I'm bored with my usual bags, let's give this a try.  Oh my god.  What was I waiting for??  First of all, it can be made SMALLER.  All you need to do is flip down the two sides and it become a great sized hobo, over the shoulder bag.

See?  Isn't that cute?  I also absolutely love that it has this large pocket on the front outside of the bag - this is the best slot for my cell phone and work badge to slide into.  Now, I did take a quick picture of it expanded so you can see that too - there are some instances that I have actually liked having it be bigger, especially because I found out there was a crossbody strap that could be added and was able to order one through my new Stella and Dot enabler - Sara from Writing With Bangles.  

So when you open it up like that it becomes a pretty large bag, but I like having the extra room to throw in a few things for Oliver on the weekends - then I don't have to carry a diaper bag AND a purse.  It even has a little water bottle holder inside, so I can stick his sippy cup in there if I want (just need to be careful that it is actually sealed - learned that one the hard way one weekend, but thankfully the inside is a water resistant fabric that drys well.)

It looks really cute when you wear it crossbody - makes it nice and hands free for shopping/chasing after my child/etc.  But I also still like making it smaller and wearing it over the shoulder as well.

And the inside is just too fun - I love purses that have fun colored insides, this one is pink and how cute is that little message by the zipper pocket that says "Hello Gorgeous"?  It also has two slip pockets on the side.  Lots of room.  Even snapped into it's smaller silhouette it has tons of room inside, I don't even think I could fill this up all the way!

The most surprising thing about this bag to me is, it's actually relatively lightweight.  I'd expect it to be super heavy, but it only gets that way if I have added a bunch of Ollie's stuff.  I think it would also probably weigh more if I added my laptop, which is supposedly supposed to fit, but I have a different bag for that.  So anyway, I have hardly stopped carrying this bad boy since I pulled it out of my closet in January.  I'm even starting to get rid of other bags that just don't add up  - and that's huge!  Now I did decide to host a catalog party with a friend who sells Thirty One and some of their new purses have the potential to rival this one for me, so I guess we'll see what happens, but for now, this bag is pretty much the new love of my life and I just had to share.  Do you have a favorite bag?  Or are you more of a shoe/something else fan?

(Links because I love, I am not affiliated with nor do I sell Stella and Dot.  I think this bag is actually sold out at the moment anyway!)

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