A Surprise Mini Baby Shower (almost gone wrong)

One of my closest friends, Jaime, is pregnant with her third baby girl, due at the beginning of next month. I knew I wanted to do something for her before the baby comes, and when I was talking with a couple other girls from my women’s life group, they were thinking the same thing!

It was my turn to host our women’s group on October 11, so I thought that would be a good time to try and do something for her. I figured that most of the ladies would be able to make it since it was an already scheduled life group date, and I was also hoping that Jaime herself wouldn’t cancel because it was already on her calendar.

The plan was to just have everyone come to life group as planned that day, and then I would decorate the basement for her little shower and we would all walk down there and surprise her. I am not sure I should even call it a shower (maybe a sprinkle?), but we basically just used our social time of life group to eat cake and give Jaime a couple gifts!

On Monday and Tuesday I got my house ready, picked up decorations and gifts and ordered the cake and balloons. I talked to Jaime on Monday, and she said she was coming, so all seemed like it was going as planned!

On Wednesday morning, the morning of our women’s group and the surprise shower, I got up at 5AM to get my workout in early so I could shower, get the house straighten up and go pick up the cake and balloons.

It was also Aurora’s picture day at school. I wanted Anthony to take her out of the house as early as possible so she wouldn’t mess it up, so he ended up taking her to get a bagel and I just prayed she didn’t get food all over herself or ruin her hair in the process!

My attempt at a before school pictures picture, but I was in a rush, she was kind of moving and she wouldn’t give up “zebra” and her babies clothes. 

When I ordered the cake, I asked them if they could lay some fresh flowers on top and they took me over to the florist and I put an order for what I wanted. Well, when I got the cake it was nothing like I pictured. The flowers where in a bouquet-like arrangement that was super tall! I wanted a couple white roses laid on top of the cake nicely with some baby’s breath around them. I took a picture of the cake in the back of the store and quickly called my sister, who is a pastry chef, and asked her what she thought and what I should do.

She said it didn’t look that bad, but I could pull the bouquet straight out if I wanted to and try and place the roses and baby’s breath right on the cake like I wanted to.

This is more what I was going for, but I am so not crafty. 

After I fixed the cake, which left me a little frazzled, I went to go put the balloons around and they were all tied together like four times, super tight, and I couldn’t cut the strings because they were tied up at the top too.

As I am frantically trying to untie these balloons before anyone shows up, Jaime texts me. She was up all night, her all-day morning sickness is back and she doesn’t feel well…she isn’t coming.

I was extra emotional that day and the cake and balloons were an unexpected annoyance for a busy morning, so I broke down in tears. I called Jaime (half crying) and asked her to come for just 15 minutes. I told her I couldn’t tell her why, but that she really needed to come. She said okay. PHEW! I am sure at this point she knew we were doing something for the her and the baby, but I was hoping she thought we were giving her a gift and that maybe the cake and decorations would be a surprise.

Well, it turns out, Jaime actually thought I was pregnant!! And she came because she thought I was telling everyone that day. (DISCLAIMER: definitely NOT pregnant!)

It was a crazy morning with several little bumps in the road, but it all turned out good in the end. I just wanted Jaime to feel special and to know she has a lot of support when baby number three comes, and I think we accomplished that! Thank you to all the ladies who helped make this special morning for Jaime a success!

My Top 5 Favorite TV Shows Of All Time (Plus a couple more)

I am a big TV watcher. I don’t watch TV all day long or anything, but when the girls go to bed, I have plenty of shows to catch up on! First, I have a confession to make…I am a reality TV junkie…there I said it! I would be lying if I said The Real Housewives (mostly all of them), Big Brother, Southern Charm, Vanderpump Rules…basically any Bravo show, aren’t near the top of my list of shows to watch. With that said, I am not including reality TV in my list, but if I was, RHOC might be up there (oh the entertainment!!).

One of the ways I figure out what shows are my ultimate favorites is by thinking about when I watch them. If I HAVE to watch the show live because I don’t want any spoilers given away or just because I can’t wait for it to be on, I know it’s one my all time favorites! Some shows sit on my DVR for days and even though I like them, they wouldn’t make my top list.

In no real order, here are my top five!

THIS IS US

This show is the reason I decided to blog about TV shows today! Season two premiered this Tuesday and oh man was it good! You know it’s a good show when you’ve seen the sneak peek trailer a bunch of times, but when the actual scene comes on, you still bawl your eyes out! This show relates to so many people and is such a rollercoaster to watch…in a good way! Now that I am a mom, I love a family oriented show and I love the fact that there are so many unanswered questions each episodes so you can’t wait for the next one! I look forward to This Is Us every week and it never disappoints.

PARENTHOOD

This show is VERY similar to This Is Us, which I think is why I liked it so much! It is off the air now, but if you like This Is Us, it would definitely be a good one to go back and watch! It tackles many common family issues and is very relatable!

FRIENDS

I know a lot of people who would say this is one of the all time greatest sitcoms, and I feel the same way! I could watch Friends re-runs all day and never get sick of them! It seems like every time I am running in a hotel gym, Friends is on, and I never hesitate to watch it! I still find myself quoting this show all the time and I still love the cast!

GREY’S ANATOMY

I was hesitant to add this to my top five because it is one of those shows that I sometimes miss live and don’t really care if I have to watch it a couple days later. I think it is because it has been on for soooo many years. With that said, I could never stop watching it completely because I am so invested and if I ever seem to think it just isn’t that good anymore, something happens to real me back in! The cast has changed a lot in the many years it has been on, but the current cast is one of my favorites and I am excited for the new season to start tonight!

DEXTER

This may be a controversial choice, but my husband and I got really into Dexter a few years ago and binge watched every season. (I read a couple of the books too!) This may be the only show I’ve ever binged watched and I thought it was clever and it always kept you on the edge of your seat! There were episodes and story lines a bit more disturbing than others, but that did not keep me from watching each one! If you’ve never seen it, Dexter works for the police department as a blood spatter expert who helps solve cases, but it turns out he is also a serial killer who only kills the guilty and sometimes works on his own murders.

If I had a sixth, it would be SUITS….I love that show, but haven’t see the beginning seasons!

Those are my top five (well, now six) shows of all time…I think! It was so hard to pick five, so I made a short list of other contenders. I am sure I am missing some!

COLUMBO
SEINFIELD
THE OFFICE
HOUSE
HEROS
THE OC
CRIMINAL MINDS

FULL HOUSE

And I also made a list of some of the top shows other people watch or have watched, but I just never watched them, or have only seen a few episodes.

SOPRANOS
GAME OF THRONES
THE BIG BANG THEORY
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
GLEE


I am sure there are so many more to name, but these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head!

What are your favorite TV shows? 

 

 

 

All Things Fall

This weekend felt sooo much like fall and I loved every minute of it! We celebrated Hailey’s birthday with Anthony’s side of the family and watched a lot of football!

Uncle Joseph bought Hailey a hammock for her birthday and they set it up in her room! She actually slept the whole night in it on Saturday night.

Aurora and I represented Penn State on Saturday with our outfits! I had my jersey on and she wore a dress my Aunt Brenda (who just retired from Penn State!) bought Hailey years ago…got to love hand-me-downs!!

My Aunt Brenda also got me these Penn State ice cube trays and made the suggestion that I should use them for Jell-O shots instead! Of course I thought that was a great idea and made it happen!! Thanks Aunt Brenda!

Anthony’s dream came true and he was able to watch football on two TV’s at once in the new basement!

And with the fall theme of the weekend, I enjoyed one of my favorite pumpkin beers while watching football!

The fall candles are out in full force, and I am definitely making a trip to Bath and Body Works this week to stock up! Oh, and it you look in the background, here’s a sneak peak of the shelves Anthony and Joseph made for the basement!

I decorated the house this week too! When I was in Erie on Labor Day weekend, we celebrated my birthday. My birthday is in May, but we hadn’t been to Erie since March, so I got some presents and they were all fall decorations which I was so excited about! I think I was meant to have a September birthday! My Aunt Lori got my this “Thankful” sign that is a perfect fit for my living room…thanks Aunt Lori!

Here are my built-in’s with ALL THE PUMPKINS!

And some of my table and counter décor!

In true fall fashion, I also made chili for football Sunday!

Gosh, I love fall so much!! I am looking forward to lots of football, baking and pumpkin everything!

What is your favorite thing about fall? 

 

Fantasy Football Draft 2017 and Some Weekend Fun

We had such a fun weekend…which started after Friday morning, when Aurora got her staples taken out! That was almost as terrible as her getting them in!

Anthony had Friday off to get the house ready for the draft, so I decided to take Aurora by myself to the doctors and let Hailey stay with him while he mowed the lawn. I really wish I could have had another person with me, especially because I had to help hold down her legs and I so wish she could have seen my face during the removal for some comfort. The nurse had to hold her head down…it was awful! She did find her sisters purse in the car and took it in with her. She was pretty excited about that!

We took a walk on our road with our neighbors when we got home and then after nap, we met some friends at The Blue Parrot for dinner. The girls love it there because they have sand they can play in while we are wait for our food.

Our friends came to dinner by boat and invited us to go for a ride on Lake Norman after dinner. The girls have been asking to go boating so this was a perfect end to our day!

Hailey even got to drive the boat and did great! (There were no other boats close by of course.) Aurora was her co-pilot which apparently meant honking the horn a million times.

On Saturday morning, Anthony took the girls to his mom’s house so we could get ready for the Fantasy Football draft. While he was gone, I made four Stromboli’s! Here is the recipe! Two were for our draft, and Anthony had another draft after ours, so I made two for that one also.

I love draft day! It’s a 14 team league and we have four guys who don’t live in NC anymore, so they drafted live from the computer.

We drafted in our basement which had the perfect set up! We don’t have many decorations yet so the blank walls worked out well.

I was sporting my Steelers earrings to represent my team! Here we go!

I liked my draft. I went WR heavy early because we are changing the scoring to half point PPR and we are using decimals. I picked 13th out of 14 because I came in 2nd last year, and I did not like that spot at all. After the two almost back to back picks, it seemed like it took forever to get to pick again!

It was such a fun afternoon and my face hurt from laughing so much! A lot of the guys have been in the league for 8 or 9 years and it’s always fun to get together and talk football. Here’s to hoping my team stays healthy and does well!!

We had a little time between drafts, so a couple guys stayed to swim for a bit. Of course I had already done my hair and makeup so I couldn’t go in…hashtag women problems.

I am not in the second draft, but I go every year to hang out and sometimes help if they need it.

They had three guys drafting from afar too, so I sat at the computer to input all the picks so those guys could see the who was taken.

Then they got the fight and I fell asleep on the couch before it ended. This mama is not used to staying up that late!

Sunday, Anthony and I went to breakfast just the two of us. Then I did my long run while he went to pick up the girls. The girls had a blast at Gammie’s house per usual!

I had a ton of stuff to get done around the house and I went grocery shopping for the week.

Hailey starts Kindergarten on Tuesday, but we are starting her on her new bedtime routine Sunday night so that she hopefully gets used to it. Her school does a scattered start so only five kids go at a time, on one day of this week, and then they all go together next Tuesday after labor day. I wanted to get everything together Sunday for her first day of school since I had Anthony home to help with Aurora.

The three of them played some games.

After dinner we went on a nature walk so the girls could collect leaves, and then they frosted the carrot cake they made at Gammie’s house this morning!

This is a bad mom and dad fail because the cake is in a pumpkin shaped pan with the face on the other side. We were suppose to flip the cake out of the pan AND THEN frost it….duh! *eye roll*

This was a great last weekend at home before school starts! Next weekend we are making a quick trip to PA for Hailey’s 6th birthday!!!!!! and yet another Fantasy Football draft for Anthony!

 

 

 

 

Lay’s Potato Chip Flavor Contest

The girls and I went grocery shopping last week ,and I came across the new Lay’s Potato Chip flavors: Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato. I am actually a fan of all of those things, so I thought it would be fun to buy all three and do a taste test!

I had to include the girls, of course, and they were very excited that I was letting them eat three different kinds of chips at once!

They dug right in and didn’t hesitate to give me their opinions!

Aurora looks like she is taking this very seriously, haha!

THE VERDICTS

Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese

Me: I thought it tasted almost just like sour cream and onion. I didn’t get any “everything bagel” flavor. I really like an everything bagel so I was definitely disappointed when I tasted this one. It tasted good, just nothing like the name. This was my least favorite.

Hailey: This was Hailey’s favorite! She didn’t care that it didn’t taste like an everything bagel, she just liked the flavor.

Aurora: Aurora liked this one too. But she is two, so she liked them all.

Crispy Taco

Me: I was really impressed with this one! I thought it was going to taste like a chip with a packet of taco seasoning thrown in, but that was not the case at all. I could taste lettuce and ground beef flavoring, and I didn’t hate it! It was really good if you like tacos!

Hailey: Hailey didn’t mind this one, but she was set on the Everything Bagel flavor and didn’t want to give this one a real chance.

Aurora: Still two. Still just wanted to eat chips.

Fried Green Tomato 

Me: I loved this one! First of all, it’s a wavy chip, which I think is way better than the original ones. It starts off kind of tangy, but then there is a little kick at the end. This was my favorite of the three!

Hailey: She didn’t like this one. I don’t know if it was the slight spiciness at the end or just a flavor she has never experienced before.

Aurora: She liked this one too, it was a chip after all!

CONCLUSIONS

I would say the Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese is the most kid friendly. No bold flavors but still tasty.

Crispy Taco and Fried Green Tomato have more elevated flavors (for a potato chip, that is!). They are both really good and taste like their names.

And, two year olds just like chips.

That’s all for the Lay’s Potato Chip taste test. We had a fun time trying the chips. Now what else can we taste test!?

What is your favorite potato chip flavor? 

 

 

 

The emotional ups and downs of having a husband who works long hours 

Last week, Anthony left Monday morning for a week long trip for work. He is not a big work traveler, but he works ALOT. I didn’t think this would affect the girls much because they are only used to seeing him for maybe an hour in the mornings, on a normal work day. 

For me, I knew it would affect my sleep at night because I don’t like being in the house with the girls alone, and I also like the breakfast and morning routine help. However, as soon as I get the girls in the car for the Y, it’s really like any other day after that! I would also miss a little time seeing him late at night too.

Sunday night, Anthony read the girls some books together and then put Hailey down for bed. I took Aurora back downstairs because she had taken a long nap that day and wasn’t quite ready for bed yet. While we sat on the couch, I could hear Hailey crying, hard. I had to fight back tears and when Anthony came downstairs, I went up to try and calm her down. 

I explained to her that daddy works very hard so that mommy can stay home and spend time with her and her sister. I told her we couldn’t live in our house, have our pool or take fun trips if it wasn’t for daddy. I was successful in calming her, but our conversation made me think…

Sometimes, my appreciation for how hard Anthony works FOR US falls to the wayside, and me trying to calm Hailey down was a reminder of that. 

The next day, Anthony Facetimed us from the airport before he took off. Then, when we got to the Y, Aurora was bawling when I tried to leave her, holding onto me for dear life! Aurora has been going to the Y since she was 8 weeks old (the day she was allowed to go). This was so weird, but I knew immediately it was because she knew Anthony had left. Aurora didn’t seem fazed the night before he left when he was trying to say goodbye, but obviously his absence the next morning affected her. 

Even though the girls only missed out on 5, maybe 6 hours total that they would have seen their dad last week, the fact that he wasn’t here really sent them through a loop. 

I hear other people’s stories about eating together as a family for dinner each night, or a mom relaxing while their husband takes care of bath and bedtime routines, and I get jealous. I wish Anthony was here to see the girls more and here to help me with them. 

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and be jealous. I get jealous of people’s husbands who come home for dinner. I get jealous of people whose husbands work from home. What I would have given not to have had to wake up Aurora just to pick Hailey up from preschool everyday. 

But I realize, I shouldn’t be jealous at all. Some people get more time with with their dads and husbands than we do, but some get less. Everyone’s household is different and shouldn’t be compared. Everyone has struggles. 

Me having to explain to the girls why daddy had to leave last week really made me look at the big picture and realize that I shouldn’t dwell on the time Anthony isn’t here, but make the most of the time he is. 

Anthony works so so hard for our family and I know he wishes he could be around more too.

Anthony, if you’re reading this, thanks so much for all you do for the girls and I. We love and appreciate you. 

Recent Eats

I thought I would write a post of some of the things I’ve been eating lately. This was all part of last week and weekends meals and snacks.

Lets start with breakfast! I don’t usually eat an early morning breakfast. I wake up and have a cup of coffee and then head to the Y. I don’t like to eat before a workout, so my breakfast is usually around 10:30-11:00. With that being said, I am usually starving by that point and love to have something quick and full of protein to snack on as I whip up something more satisfying.

Shredded buffalo chicken that I snacked on while making my real breakfast.

Here are a couple things I ate for breakfast last week.

BLT wrap: a little bit of light mayo, lettuce, tomato and bacon 

Open-faced English muffin with avocado, egg, a little bit of cheese and tomato

Egg white omelet with avocado, tomato, onion and goat cheese from Patisserie Café

Lunch for me is usually a salad, and last week I made the same one almost everyday.

This has spring mix with avocado, tomato, onion, shredded chicken, cheese, crushed tortilla chips and avocado ranch dressing.

On Saturday, I had extra time between my massage and hair appointment, so I stopped at Joel’s Asian Grill and had some sushi.

Crab, cucumber, cream cheese

We went out to dinner at lot this week, which is rare for us. On Wednesday, when our playdate got sick, Hailey wanted to go to dinner. We went to Barcelona Burger. I ate my burger open-faced and it was so so good!

Barcelona classic with the sauce on the side and a side kale berry salad.

This is spaghetti squash that I grew from my garden!! I just added some pasta sauce, mozzarella and red pepper flakes.

On Friday, Anthony and I had a date night and went to Ghostface Brewery in Mooresville. He got the chicken parmesan Stromboli and I got a veggie pizza.

Forgot to take the picture before digging in AGAIN! (insert eye roll emoji) 

Does beer count as a part of dinner?!

I also took pictures of a couple of my snacks this week. I am a big snacker! I usually eat smaller meals because I like to snack all throughout the day.

Cottage cheese with salt and pepper.

This might strike people as weird, but I do this almost every night. I grab one of the girls little bowls and fill it with a bunch of different salty snacks. I don’t have much of any one thing so I can have a variety. I also just want to say that we have a lot of weird snacks at my house right now because of the beach trip and long car ride. I haven’t had a combo in years, but the girls picked them at a gas station on the way home from the beach.

Pretzels, cheesy popcorn, baked Cheetos, taki’s (very hot and yummy rolled up tortilla chips), combos and hot fries. 

And wine…of course!

I plan to do another post like this when I don’t eat out as much, but this is what last week looked like for me! I hope you all have a great Monday!

 

 

 

Daveste Vineyards, Cars 3, TJ Maxx and a big girl bed!

Why do weekends always fly by way too fast!? We had a very eventful weekend with both adult fun and kid fun too!

Friday after the Y, the girls and I had a play group play-date at a gymnastics studio.

They had a blast! Hailey has been asking to do gymnastics for a long time now so she loves when we get to do things like this. I think next year we are going to let her take classes.

Saturday, we had a bunch of friends over to swim in the afternoon. Because it was early, I made a little Bloody Mary bar to start things off!

Our friends 6 month old, Stella, was loving the giant rubber duck!

What a cutie!

Hailey and Aurora love having baby Stella around!

It started raining, so that was our cue to start getting ready for the winery. Daveste Vineyards is less than 20 minutes from our house and is a beautiful and fun place to hang out. We packed snacks and went to enjoy some wine!

The rain kind of put a damper on the kids fun. We usually set up cornhole to keep them busy, but we didn’t have much space because there was a private party in the pavilion area and the uncovered areas were soaked. They still had fun playing in the rain but I’m not sure Aurora’s white shorts are going to make it from all the mud she was playing in!

Sunday, we went to lunch and had time to kill afterwards so we stopped by the Antique shop we just bought Hailey’s new dresser from. I had never been and it was awesome! We bought a sign with Lake Norman coordinates for the basement.

Then we headed to the movies to see Cars 3. This was Aurora’s second movie theater experience. The first one was on a weekday afternoon (Smurfs) and it was just the girls and I. There was only one other family in the theater with us that time so it went pretty well. Today, however, did not go as well.

Aurora is doing her “Spider-Man” impression!

About 45 minutes in, Aurora was over the movie. She kept dropping her binky and water bottle on purpose and she was running down the isle we were sitting in and interrupting other people. I ended up taking her out a couple times to try to talk her into being good, but that didn’t happen. The last hour was spent running the halls and playing games in the lobby. Anthony and Hailey said Cars 3 was really good!

She wanted to take pictures with the cars instead of watching them!

The man who was taking the tickets at the movie theater watched Aurora and I run the halls and play in the lobby for an hour and heard me ask her repeatedly if she was ready to go back in to see the movie. When we were walking out, he came up to me and said he talked to his manager and they wanted to give me a free ticket for my next movie because he knew I didn’t get to see much of the one I had just paid for. That was SUCH a nice gesture that man went out of his way to do! So whoever you are, a big thank you to you!

We were suppose to go grocery shopping together after the movie, but since Aurora was not cooperating, Anthony suggested we go home and I could go shop by myself to give me a little break before the long week ahead. I was totally good with that! Target by myself is like a mini vacation! I decided to stop at TJ Maxx also to look for a new bathing suit for an upcoming beach trip. I ended up finding a bathing suit, and maybe a couple other things too!

I got these two dresses. Both are cute and comfy!

I loved these shark shorts but didn’t end up getting them. I couldn’t find a blue shirt to go with them, so maybe if I find that, I will go back and buy them!

And the last bit of our Sunday was spent trying to introduce Aurora to a big girl bed! Well, kind of a big girl bed…we took the front part off the crib and added a little attachment so she has the option of getting in and out by herself.

She was super excited and we explained to her that she wasn’t supposed to get out of bed even though she could. I didn’t even make it downstairs and this is what was on the monitor.

No Aurora.

It took a while, but eventually she laid back down and fell asleep! She slept the whole night, and when she woke up she didn’t get out until I came to get her! Fingers crossed she does well with it this week!

How old was your little one when you took the front off the crib?

 

 

 

 

Weekend with my sister, brother-in-law and niece

We had a great long weekend with my sister and her family! They got in late Thursday night so I let the girls stay up to see them. They weren’t sure they were going to get here Thursday so it was a surprise and the girls were so excited!

Friday we woke up and I ended up not running (which is totally weird for me!) because everyone wanted to swim at 9:30! I didn’t want to miss out on family time, which is definitely the way to go! They live in Pennsylvania, so 70 degree weather calls for a dip in the pool!

Turns out both two year olds had the same bathing suit!

We swam, jumped on the trampoline and Uncle Brian finished blowing up our giant rubber duck Hailey got for Christmas!

Aurora was eating her sunglasses so Uncle Brian decided to copy her!

Saturday was Hailey’s dance recital. My sister-in-law was first in line and got us awesome seats! Thanks Jess! My sister did Hailey’s hair and makeup. Aurora HATES having her hair brushed by me…not my mom or my mother-in-law…just me! These pictures sum up her feelings when I brush her hair. Just look at the progression of her “pain face!”

Hailey did great and was so excited to have all her cousins there watching her! Between her sister and two cousins, who are two, two and three…there was a lot of “Where’s Hailey!,” and “Is it Hailey’s turn yet?!!” going on.

Happy Father’s Day on Sunday to all the dads in my life! I selfishly ran 8.5 miles because I missed my Friday workout, and then I helped with the kids!

We swam a couple times!

We had a great steak and scallop dinner thanks to Grandma and Papa Deano! The girls colored and played fruit ninja. It’s fun to see Hailey be a big cousin and sister. She truly is such a great kid and big helper!

I hope every dad out there had a great Father’s Day! We are sad to see my sister, brother-in-law and niece go, but are excited to go to outer banks with everyone in a couple weeks!

 

My 2017 vegetable garden and some gardening tips

This is my fourth year doing a vegetable garden… I think. Is that bad that I honestly don’t remember if it has been three or four years?! Anyways, I’ve been attempting to grow vegetables for a few years now and this years garden seems like the best one yet! (knock on wood…)

Maybe it’s because I have two cute little helpers! Here’s one of them with some tomatoes and a cucumber.

This garden has all different kinds of tomatoes.

This garden has squash, eggplant, cucumbers, spaghetti squash and watermelon.

I’ll start with the tomato garden. This year I did four grape tomato plants, two yellow tomato plants, three Roma tomato plants and two or three big beef and other bigger sized tomato plants.

All of the tomatoes are growing like crazy this year! It’s the tallest and most flourishing it’s ever been for me.

The other garden is doing great too! We have already eaten many squash.

We have an eggplant growing really well.

We planted both slicing and pickling cucumbers and have already gotten a couple pickling cucumbers which we have been eating all week!

We have a ton of spaghetti squash growing already too!

These were the spaghetti squash a couple weeks ago.

This is a terrible picture, but these are them now.

We also did something new and tried to grow three watermelon plants. They were super small when we got them but have grown a ton and recently started growing flowers, so we will see if we actually get an edible watermelon this year!

Here is another sweet girl excited about eating our home grown vegetables! Or maybe just pretending she is an elephant with them?!

Now that you have seen my garden, here are some tips that I have learned through trial and error over the last couple of years. I am no garden expert, but this is what has worked for me!

1- If you live in the south with hot summers, make sure you water your garden everyday thoroughly. I have made the mistake of going on a summer trip without asking a friend to water my garden and it made for a lot of dead plants when I got back!

2- The best time to water your garden is in the morning or when the sun is going down at night.

3- This year, Anthony told me to rotate which vegetables go in each garden bed to help with the soil nutrition. I listened and moved my tomato garden to the bed they have never been in before and they have seemed to grow a lot better.

4- If you have kids, get them involved! My girls are always more excited to eat the vegetables they helped grow and that they picked from our garden.

What kind of vegetables do you grow in your garden?

Do you have any tips or tricks to make your garden more successful?

 

Weekend re-cap and food prep

We had such a busy weekend. Which seems to be the norm lately! I like being busy, but there is so much to do around the house that I could use a weekend (or day) at home with nowhere to go.

Anthony took Friday off to do some work around the house. I took the girls to the YMCA, which is where I workout Monday-Friday.

We got a text from a friend inviting us out for national donut day, so I did my workout, which was 3 miles on the treadmill (8:30 pace), 30 minute spin class and a 30 min P90X class which focused on lifting arms and legs, and then I ruined it all with a donut.

When Anthony finished his house work, he came in the pool with us and then we grilled some chicken and shrimp and had some cocktails.

Saturday, Hailey and I had a run for her friend Crews, who recently found out he has Leukemia. The event was through the Pinky Swear Foundation, who help financially support kids with cancer and their families. It was an emotional and eye opening experience. The older kids did a triathlon, but Hailey and her friends just did a short run for Crews. Crews and his family amaze me with their strength and positive attitude and I ask everyone to keep them in your thoughts through this extremely difficult time.

After the race, we took the girls to my mother-in-laws and headed off to tailgate at a friends house for the Train concert. Our friends sweet daughter Stella was there, and she just loved Anthony!

Train was awesome. Natasha Bedingfield opened and I was so surprised that I knew so many of her songs. Then O.A.R. followed and they were good too! We all had a great time!

Sunday we picked up the girls and headed home. I ran 8.5 miles and then Hailey and I went to her friends birthday party. They had a giant bounce house with a water slide and Hailey had a blast.

We took the girls to dinner Sunday night and Aurora was not good. She kept putting her bare foot on the table and not listening at all!! Someone help me with this child.

Even though we had a very busy weekend, I was able to get some food prep in. I always eat so much healthier when I food prep!

Thursday night at 11PM I put 2 pounds of chicken breast and a jar of salsa in the crockpot on low and then at 7AM on Friday, I shredded it and now I have salsa chicken! I do a lot with salsa chicken during the week, especially when we are busy. I will share some salsa chicken options soon!

The girls love fruit so I cut up some watermelon. Summer time is such a great time for fresh produce. We are actually attempting to grow watermelon in our garden this year so we will see how that goes!

Made some energy bites… which we call “cookie balls” because what kid would turn down a cookie!?!

Hard boiled eggs for egg salad for lunches. Anthony and Hailey love to chop up an egg or two and just add some mustard, salt and pepper and make a sandwich out of it!

And I made a breakfast casserole for easier mornings since the girls start a week long camp Monday-Friday this week.  I will be posting this recipe soon!

Food prep always makes me feel better about a Monday. Now if someone could just come clean my house!

Do you food prep for the week?

What are your go-to recipes or food-prep items?

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a very eventful couple of days! Lets start with Friday…

I was hoping to swim but it was a little chilly so we painted festive nails instead.

Saturday we did some running around and then Hailey swam in the pool before her friends birthday party.

Last years fourth of July outfits worked perfect!

We had so much fun at the Moana themed party with her friends family!

Hailey was introduced to paddle boarding…

And then she was hooked and took Aurora out!

They had a piñata, which was a hit! Especially since there were only five kids going for the goods!

The girls had a great time. Aurora really liked the cake.

Hailey was definitely over tired and fell asleep on the way home, to then be woken up to get a shower because of the lake water she had been swimming in all day…it wasn’t the easiest night as a parent…

Sunday I ran 8.5 miles and then made a Mediterranean Pasta Salad (which I will be posting soon!). We went to a friends house for another big family get-together.

I really tried to get a good picture of them in their matching outfits. This was the best I could do.

They played at the beach area and swam in the pool. They had a blast! Mommy might have had a good time too!

Sunday I actually asked my babysitter to come over so I could workout because the Y childcare was closed…is that weird?! I ran 8.5 again and lifted. Then got ready for my inlaws to come over for Memorial Day.

I tried to get their pictures together, but that didn’t happen today. Notice Aurora’s Blankie and Binkie–all day, everyday!

The girls love hanging out with their cousin!

We had a great holiday weekend! Thank you to all who serve!

 

Sycamore Brewery Bacon Fest and Papi Queso

New Blog Post!

It was a hot weekend in North Carolina, so we started it off with a pool day on Friday.

Saturday started with Hailey’s last soccer game and then her and I got our nails done. Usually when I take Hailey she just gets her nails painted, but this time she got her first “big girl” pedicure with all the fun stuff they do to mommy’s feet and she was pretty excited!

Then we took the girls to Gammie and Papa Keith’s house and headed to Sycamore Brewery in Charlotte with some friends. They were having their 2nd annual Bacon Fest. I actually don’t like bacon on or in other food, but I’ll eat it buy itself. I guess that’s kind of weird. They called it a bacon fest because there were a bunch of food trucks there and they added extra menu items showcasing bacon. Sycamore had all their beer set up outside in different places so it was very easy to get a drink.

Prosecco Pops included!

He said the sun was in his eyes in this picture. I don’t think that justifies a fake smile, but he really does like me, I promise!

The main reason I wanted to go to the bacon fest was for Papi Queso. They are a grilled cheese food truck that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. I’ve been wanting to try it forever and it did not disappoint!

I got the “Green Muenster” which had muenster cheese, avocado, spinach and wasabi horseradish sauce. It was so good! They are known for “The Pig Mac,” which has pulled pork, bourbon onions and mac and cheese on it. Maybe next time!

We had a fun Saturday, and the girls enjoyed their time with Gammie, Papa Keith and their cousin Anthony.

Do you try to eat at places you see on food shows?

My husband and I do, especially when we are in a new city!

I’m Starting a Blog!

Hello World! Those are the words you see when you buy a domain name and try to figure this whole blog thing out. I have been wanting to do this for what seems like forever. I finally told myself that when I turn 30 I would start a blog. Exciting right!? Well, I turn 31 tomorrow…I guess today, but I am writing this the night before my birthday. Procrastination at its finest.

I blame my stalling on life with my 5 1/2 and 2 year olds…and on my nerves. I know a lot of judgement comes with blogging and that is the part I’m scared of, but I am also excited to start!

Speaking of life with my girls…the weather in North Carolina has been on the warmer side lately, which means we spend a lot of time outside.

Hailey, my almost kindergartener, and I had our last muffins for moms at preschool.

Annddd….my littlest baby turned 2!

A lot of milestones and craziness around here! I hope ya’ll enjoy my blog!