Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Day in the Life | April 18

Blogging has the unique platform to give insight to individual's lives beyond posting on Facebook or Instagram. I think that is the fun part of lifestyle blogging getting to know people at a deeper level and gain insight from others experiences. I love finding anything from new makeup favorites or activities for Caroline based on other's reviews. One of my favorites is getting a sneak peak into the daily life of others. So, today I'm sharing a bit more insight into my life as a part-time stay at home mom. I haven't shared a day in the life post since Caroline was a little bitty baby at three months old! Here is a peek into my day yesterday.

The alarm clock goes off and I start to hear Caroline stirring in the monitor. She typically wakes up anywhere from 6 to 6:45 each morning. Joe gets up and starts to get ready for work and I head upstairs to grab Caroline. Quick diaper change and we start our morning playing and hanging out on the couch while watching the news. Caroline enjoys her sippy cup of milk while we hang out.

Both Caroline and I start to get hungry and we head downstairs for breakfast. Caroline enjoyed a spinach muffin with grapes and cheese while I had a protein waffle. I also quickly emptied the dishwasher and got ready for the gym. I also got Caroline changed and ready for the day. 

We play for a bit downstairs before heading to the gym. I have been going to Burn Boot Camp for a year now and both Caroline and I love it. She is always inthralled with all the musical toys they have since we do not have many at home. The 8:30 class has been my go to since last summer. 

We head home from the gym and Caroline immediately goes down for a nap. Right now, she will nap anywhere from one hour to over two hours. I can never tell how much time I have so I always try to squeeze as much as I can into her naps. While she slept, I quickly showered and started on laundry. I then tackled some ironing while catching up on the Today show. I also quickly straightened up my car and cleaned up around the house from the weekended. Caroline was still sleeping so I made a batch of apple sauce & sweet potato puree to place into pouches. Then I prepped for dinner tonight by starting mashed potatoes in the crockpot. 

Caroline's up from her nap and it's lunchtime! I grabbed a goddess bowl I prepped yesterday with with quinoa, edamame, chickpeas, carrots and beets.  I got the entire meal inspiration from Sarah Fit's recent ginger dressing recipe. Caroline tolerated the chickpeas but that was about it. I try to offer different veggies to her each day even though she frequently refuses. She ended up also eating some of the apple sauce & sweet potato puree as well as grapes and kiwi. 

I loaded up the car with Caroline and Charlie to run a few errands. Afterwards, we head to a local park for a walk and playtime. Caroline absloutely loves the swings. She gets so excited when she sees them at the park and will cry every time it's time to leave. 

Back home and head upstairs for some playtime. Lots of chasing, stacking towers and practicing walking. Her favorite toy right now is the busy box and could stand there playing with the beads for a few minutes. Which is impressive since her attention span is a bit short! 

Caroline started to get grumpy and quite tired. So I took her into her bedroom for a nap. Lately afternoon naps have not happened and today was the same. She played and rolled around for about 45 minute before becoming upset and throwing her pacis out of the crib. I went back in and calmed her down and gave her back the pacis. After about 5 more minutes of her not winding down I got her back out to play. 

The no afternoon nap really started to wear on Caroline and she was getting quite upset at every little thing. So we headed downstairs for an early dinner to buy a bit of time before bedtime. She looked at books while I cooked some chicken breasts and finished making the mashed potatoes. She had chicken, mashed potatoes and then kiwi for dinner. 

Early bedtime for Caroline and she goes down without a fuss. After she is asleep, I head back to the kitchen to finish our dinner and clean up the kitchen. Joe is working late tonight so I place his plate in the fridge. 

Relax on the couch for a bit while watching the news and enjoying dinner. I'm a old lady at heart and look forward to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune each night. After dinner, I start working on this blog post and catch up on reading a few blogs. 

Joe is finally home and we catch up while he enjoys dinner. Then we watch a few episodes of The Crown before I call it a night around 9:30. 

Shop some of my favorite daily essentials!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

The joys of any celebration seem to be amplified 2x when you see it through your child's eyes.  A our church service on Sunday,  a young boy shared his testimony of his parents teaching him about Jesus and how He died for our sins on the cross. While Caroline is too young to understand the meaning of Easter. I pray everyday that she grows to love Jesus and that I provide an example for her through teaching. Sometimes it is really difficult to get out the door and to church on time due to nap time. I'm thankful that this Sunday we were able to celebrate Christ's resurrection by attending church.

The rest of our weekend was spent enjoying the beautiful springtime weather. Friday I took Caroline on her first egg hunt with her playgroup friends. She really did not understand the concept but enjoyed piling the eggs in the basket and then dumping them out again.

Saturday Caroline enjoyed her final introductory swim class. We signed her up for a 3 class session at our local YMCA. She loves the water and splashing during swim time. The only thing she did not like was going underwater. I can't wait to practice some of these skills in the pool once it opens!

We celebrated Easter a bit at home before church with a little Easter basket and family photo. Caroline's basket was filled with 2 Easter books, a light up bunny wand from the Target dollar spot, hide and squeak eggs and a few hair bows. 

Sunday after church we headed to have Easter lunch with Joe's family. We grilled steaks and enjoyed baked potatoes. I made this delicious broccoli salad as a side. Caroline enjoyed her first bite of watermelon and hunted Easter eggs in the yard. 

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Five

Made it to another Friday. This week has been amazing thanks to being off work for Spring Break. Caroline and I have had a blast visiting friends and checking out all the local parks. Today I'm taking her for her first easter egg hunt. I am truly looking forward to this weekend and celebrating Easter with family. This morning my devotional reflected on Christ's resurrection and His saving grace.

Spring Treats. If you are looking for something to bring to an Easter celebration this weekend, I highly recommend these treats.  White Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Marshmallows. Need I say more? 

Walmart Score. This is for all girl moms out there. While I was shopping for last minute easter gifts I checked out the baby section and found these simple bows for just $1 a piece! Perfect for my little girl who tend to loose bows easily. While she is usually good about leaving bows in her hair, Caroline will still throw her bow out of the stroller at least once a week. I can't find them online but they were in the sock/accessory area in the baby section. 

Baublebar X Target Collaboration. When I first checked out this line I did not love anything featured. Many pieces were too elaborate or bulky for my style and being a stay at home mom. But what I did not realize is they were releasing new pieces. I saw these drop earrings online week and just had to have them. They are inspired my the crispin drop earrings but are 1/3 of the price! The pink is more of a hot pink than pictured online.

Weekend Sales. This weekend, Old Navy is having a 50% off sale. It's my go to for play clothes and PJs for Caroline. Their basic T's and jeans for women are also a favorite! 

Web Favorites.

This recipe for lemon whip fruit dip sounds perfect for summer!

Another amazing eye palate by Tarte that's on my wishlist.

A simply amazing Easter Brunch tablescape. Swoon.

What are your plans for the weekend? 

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

White Chocolate Wonderful Bars

Today I am sharing a delicious sweet, springtime treat just in time for easter! These bars are oh so simple to make featuring only 5 ingredients. The flavors are inspired by the amazingly indulgent whit chocolate peanut butter by Peanut Butter and Co. Once you have a bite, they are addicting and will leave you in a sugar filled trance. I have already made these 3 times this month and everyone has raved about them! Make these as an easter treat and they are guaranteed to be a hit!

2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate wonderful peanut butter or regular creamy peanut butter
3 cups rice cereal
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup M&M's
9x9 pan

Place white chocolate chips in a bowl and melt in the microwave on 30 second intervals. Stirring until melted. Combine the peanut butter with the melted chips then add the cereal and marshmallows. Sprinkle in M&M's and stir gently to combine. Pour mix into a parchment lined pan and spread evenly. After the bars are completely cooled, use parchment paper to lift out of the pan, cut into squares and enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Toddler Approved Muffins

Somewhere between 8 months and turning one year old Caroline has become quite adverse to vegetables. The only way I am getting her to eat anything green is pureeing veggies with something sweet like apples. On a whim, I decided to use up extra produce from the week into muffins in hopes that she would enjoy them. Surprise, surprise, they were a hit!

These muffins were so easy to make and my favorite part was I had all the ingredients in my pantry already!

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 1/2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute vegetable oil)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the first seven ingredients (apple sauce, egg, spinach, zucchini, bananas, honey, coconut oil) in a food processor and blend. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients stirring until combined. Add in the vanilla extract. The batter will be dense. Add a bit of water to loosen if needed. Scoop the batter into lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 17 minutes.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Recent Recipe Favorites

Weeks that I am able to plan and prepare 3-4 delicious dinners always make me feel like a successful wife/ adult. Bonus points if it provides leftovers for baby meals and lunch the next day. Last week I found three new favorite recipes that made for a delicious dinner and leftovers. I really enjoyed the fact that each recipe was around 30 minutes start to finish and did not have a huge ingredient list!

Hands down my favorite was the Pork Stir Fry. The sauce was so simple to prepare. I subbed fresh veggies for frozen I had on hand which made it even easier!  I highly recommend making stir fry with jasmine rice which is absolutely delish!

The other favorites were Chimichurri Chicken Breasts using this recipe and Mediterranean Chicken with quinoa using this recipe. I swapped the bulgur for quinoa I already had on hand and it was a huge surprise hit with my husband.

My goal for meal plans is to start building my recipe and flavor combination knowledge so I can make a delicious weeknight dinner without having to search high and low for recipes!

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