Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stitch Fix Review #22

I'm back with yet another Stitch Fix review! I was planning on taking a break for a few months until it was time to start requesting warmer weather clothes. But then I got a referral credit (thank you to whoever used my referral link!!), and the weather abruptly turned warm here. (Is Winter really over??). So I justified ordering another fix.

Unfortunately, I have been too busy taking care of sick kids lately to update my Pinterest board. And for the first time ever, I told my stylist to just surprise me. I gave her no direction whatsoever, which I realize is probably very frustrating for a stylist. I imagine it is incredibly difficult to pick out clothes for a stranger who you have never met. And then when they give you no hint of what they'd like.....well that makes it nearly impossible. So I shouldn't be surprised that I'm really torn over this month's fix. Please help me decide what to keep, if anything!

Owena Split Neck Tunic by Fun2Fun

This is a purple paisley print tunic made out of a silky soft material. I love the colors and I do like paisley. I'm just not sure I'm a tunic kind of girl. I like the idea of leggings, flats and a tunic in theory.....but do you think it makes me look pregnant? I'm also afraid I wouldn't wear the tunic very often because all I have to wear it with are my black leggings and black skinny jeans. I don't own denim skinny jeans that are slim enough to look right under a tunic. Verdict: UNDECIDED

Demi Pullover Sweater by 41Hawthorn

I wasn't in love with this sweater when I first saw it. It just looked too geometric, or too preppy, or too something. But once I tried it on I realized I loved the colors on me. Red is a color I don't own. And the other color is a brownish charcoal grey, which I ended up really loving. However, this sweater feels more appropriate for Fall then late Winter/Early Spring. I'm not sure I should be buying more sweaters right now when the high for today is 73 degrees. Also, this sweater is ever so slightly itchy. I checked the tag and it is 7% angora! There is no way my stylist could have known that rabbit hair irritates my skin. Verdict: UNDECIDED

Alyzander Split Back Knit Top by Papermoon

This is a really unique top with an open back. I would have to wear a white tank top underneath because as you can see, the back opens up to reveal my skin. I like the idea of this unique feature. However, the front of the top was just too wide and boxy. It did nothing for my figure, so this is an easy no. Verdict: RETURN

Renesme Graphic Print Faux Wrap Dress by 41 Hawthorn

This dress fits perfectly! It provides great coverage on top, and it narrows right where my natural waist is. It is such a flattering cut. However......I'm just not in love with the pattern! The colors are nice but they don't excite me. Now if this was a beautiful floral pattern or included some lighter colors, I'd be in love. But unfortunately the pattern just looks a little dated to me, like it is something I saw a few years ago. I know I'm being picky.....what do you all think? Verdict: UNDECIDED

Jina Back Slit Knit Top by Loveappella

Oh boy I saved the best, errr worst for last! This top is just all wrong. The don't like the pattern and I hate the fit. Because my chest is large, I need a lower neckline on tops, especially when they are fitted like this one. Just no. Verdict: RETURN

Alright, help a girl out please! Should I send everything back this month? Or should I keep the sweater, dress, or tunic?

As always, here is my referral link for you to try Stitch Fix for yourself!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Legos Legos Everywhere

We have officially entered the stage of legos! (Unfortunately Jenna has also entered the stage of putting everything in her mouth!) Adam convinced me that that Ryan would love getting legos for Christmas. We got him his first big box full of zillions of tiny legos. I inwardly cringed as I imagined little legos ending up all over the house.

And even though I feel like I am constantly picking up legos, Adam was right. Both Ryan and Lucas love playing with their legos. They sit at our big dining room table and build rocket ships, race cars, and airplanes.
I don't think I have ever seen the boys sit and play quietly for so long. Getting twenty minutes of happy playing out of them is wonderful! It makes stepping on legos with my barefeet completely worth it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Strengthening Our Immune Systems

We've been working hard around here to strengthen our immune systems. Over the last two months we have strengthened them with two colds, the stomach flu, the croup, and now pneumonia.

Lucas now knows what Lysol is, and he tells me to get out the "Yisol" when someone is sick.

I am so stinkin tired of all this sickness.

I know little kids get sick a lot. I get it. Their immune systems are not strong yet and they pick up lots of germs. But it is starting to feel like we are always sick! And over the past few months, we really have been sick constantly.

It is draining. Not just physically, staying up at night holding a congested baby and checking temperatures of hot foreheads. But it is also emotionally draining. It is the constant worrying and stress and being cooped up in the house that gets to me.

So I am asking and begging for all your healthy secrets. What do you do to keep your family healthy? Eat raw garlic, diffuse oils, drink honey, stand on your head? I will try anything! Please send me your best ideas.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Faves

Hey there! Just thought I'd share a random assortment of recent favorites from my life this week.

1. Our bedroom archway.

When we moved in to our house, the master bedroom was a peachy tan color and the archway into the bathroom was a dark brown. We painted it a soft greyish green a few months ago, but never got around to painting the archway. Every time I walked into our room it made me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream! Adam surprised me this week while I was out with the kids and painted the archway our white trim color. It looks so much better with our wall color now! He also hung those little glass candle jars that he got me a few years ago. At night we turn on the candles inside of them and it looks so pretty!

2. Sheet Pan Suppers
Once again, something Adam surprised me with that I absolutely love! He bought this cookbook for me, thinking it would made dinnertime easier. All the recipes in the book are baked or roasted on a sheet pan, kind of like a one-pot meal. I have made about 5 recipes so far and every single one has been absolutely delicious. Two recipes have included roasting cherry tomatoes, and oh my goodness. I really do not like cherry tomatoes when they are raw, but roasting makes them so good! Roasted cherry tomatoes are my new favorite vegetable. (or fruit?)

3. Puffer vest and rain boots
I bought these navy blue rain boots from back in the fall, and they were such a smart purchase! I walk Ryan to school and home every single day because we live too close for driving to make sense. This means I am sometimes walking in the pouring rain while pushing the double stroller and holding an umbrella over the kids. I keep my rainboots in the garage and slip them on if it looks wet outside, which has been happening a lot lately. They are so cute and comfy. My blue puffer vest is also a favorite of mine. I got it for $12 a few months back from Old Navy and I wear it at least twice a week! It looks especially cute with my latest Stitch Fix sweater.

4. Sleep Sprays
Adam bought me this sleep spray from Bath and Body Works last year and I love the scent. I spray it on my pillow at night and it supposedly helps me sleep better. I don't know if it works, but I do love the way it makes my pillow smell! This year he bought me the stress relief version. It smells slightly different but still really nice. Apparently he thinks I'm stressed? haha
5. Big Middle and Little

Of course I have to include 3 of my very best favorites! We call them big, middle, and little and I love them so much!

What are some of your recent favorites?

Monday, January 25, 2016

What Ryan Ate In A Day

Ryan has always been a picky eater, even as a baby. He would gag over the tiniest crumb of food and reject trying new things. Now at the age of 5 and a half, the list of foods he will eat is extremely limited. He generally refuses to try new foods. If I serve him something that looks slightly different than what he is used to, he puts up a huge fuss. The smell of foods bothers him and sometimes he can't sit next to me if I'm eating something "stinky". Textures also bother him a lot.

The more I read about how to combat picky eating, the more I think battling over food is pointless. It just makes mealtime miserable for us. We have gradually stopped forcing Ryan to take bites of new things. We strongly encourage it, but if he won't try something at the table, we don't make a big fuss about it these days. Sometimes he goes to bed hungry, because I just can't justify allowing him not to eat dinner and then rummage for a sugary snack before bed. However, on the rare occasion that I serve dessert after a meal, we let him eat it even if he hasn't had a great dinner. I know this might not make sense. But the idea behind this is that he can choose to eat however much he wants of what I serve. That includes dessert (he's not big on desserts anyways). But I'm not going to make him a separate meal or allow extra snacks after the meal. What I serve is what he gets, and he has full control over what he eats off his plate. One rule I do enforce is not snacking for about two hours before dinner. Ryan's appetite is so tiny that he needs to be really hungry at mealtime in order to eat anything.

On an average day Ryan doesn't eat much. He is just small and doesn't have a big appetite. I chose a random day last week and snapped pictures of everything he ate throughout the day. Is his diet ideal? No way. He is awful about eating fruits and vegetables, and he probably doesn't get many healthy fats in his diet. Here we go.....

Breakfast: For breakfast I offered Ryan eggs or homemade granola. Just for the record, Ryan has never eaten an egg in his life. He chose the granola but after eating one tiny bite, decided he didn't like it. He went to school hungry.

School Snack and Lunch: Ryan's snack was an applesauce pouch, which he brought home uneaten. So he lasted until noon without eating anything. His lunch at school was a small piece of leftover cheese pizza, 5 homemade animal crackers, and a box of raisins. He ate the pizza and crackers and brought home the raisins uneaten.

Afternoon Snack: Ryan ate these two mini homemade muffins, plus a 3rd. I made them with whole wheat flour and added mini chocolate chips. He loved them. He also ate a few more homemade animal crackers.

Dinner: Dinner was chicken fajitas with kale chips and raspberries. You can see what I served Ryan on his plate below. Small tortilla, two raspberries, chicken, bell pepper, cheese, and kale chips. He wrapped the chicken and cheese in the tortilla and took a few bites, but then decided he didn't like it. (This was huge for him....I was shocked that he actually tried the tortilla!!) He ended up eating one more small piece of chicken by itself. He did not eat any kale, bell pepper, or raspberries.

So that's what Ryan ate in a day. I would say it's a pretty accurate representation of the amount of food he eats. I wish I could have gotten a fruit or vegetable into his little body. But some days he will eat apple slices, so that's better than nothing.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

From Baby to Little Girl


My little Jenna has changed so much since she turned one just two short months ago! I think all my kids went through a big developmental leap right after they turned one. All of a sudden Jenna is less baby and more little girl, especially her personality!

If I could use one word to describe Jenna right now, other than "happy" or "sweet", it would be playful. She tries to get people to play with her and talk to her. She will stare at strangers and wave until they notice her, and then she smiles to engage them. Sometimes she will smile shyly and put her head on her shoulder, as if she is pretending to be shy. But I wouldn't necessarily call Jenna shy. She seems to be a happy mix between her reserved brother and her outgoing brother. Jenna loves playing at the park and climbing on everything. She is a little cautious but she still loves trying to keep up with her brothers. She will even get down on the floor on her tummy to play.

Jenna also seems to be understanding a lot of words. If I say "say cheese", she will give me a big smile. If she picks up a crumb off the floor and I say "give it to me", she will usually hand  it to me. The other day she even took food out of her mouth and handed it to me! She will also pick up crumbs off the floor and put them in the trash can for me, or in the dust pan if I am sweeping. Jenna says Hi Dada, uh-oh, yay, all done, that, num num, and mama.

Jenna loves peek-a-boo and patty-cake. She claps, waves, and points at things and says "dat!". As adorable as she is, she is also learning a few naughty habits. She shrieks and bucks her head when she gets really mad. Sometimes when I use a stern "NO" with her, she will lower her head and look up at me with her blinking eyes. She will stay frozen like that for a quite a while, as if she is testing me to see if I really mean "no".

Jenna is getting so fun, and I know she is going to become even more playful as she gets older. This age is exhausting but oh so fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vinegar Veggies

Back when I was pregnant with Jenna I had a few months where I craved vinegar. I seriously poured it on my salads and then drank it out of the bottom of the bowl. Nowadays I don't crave it quite to that degree, but I still love anything vinegary!

I attribute my love of vinegar to my Mom. When I was a little girl she used to rinse the shampoo out of my hair with apple cider vinegar. (Did anyone else's Mom do that?) Smelling it always reminds me of getting my hair washed. Apple cider vinegar in particular is really healthy not only for your hair, but for eating. It has all sorts of amazing health benefits.

Last month after consuming too many cookies, I started to get that craving for vinegar. I wonder if this signals some sort of vitamin deficiency? Or maybe my body was just screaming for something healthy after eating too many treats. Anyways, I saw this recipe for Pickled Cabbage Salad, and I decided to try it.

It was good, but not quite what I was expecting. The 1/3 cup of sugar just made it too sweet for my liking. When I eat something vinegary I want to really taste the vinegar. The cabbage also turned really rubbery, which I did not like.

A few weeks later I bought another bag of pre-shredded cabbage and tweaked the recipe. I reduced the sugar a lot and added a little olive oil for healthy fats. The result was absolutely perfect!
I simply combined a bag of shredded cabbage and a few other veggies (thinly sliced cucumbers work great). To the veggies I added 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Mixed well and then ate it over the next few days. The cabbage stayed crisp and the taste was very sharp and vinegary.

I just made another batch today because eating it makes me feel clean and healthy from the inside out. Is that strange? Let me know if you try this. But be must like vinegar to try this recipe!