Weekend Wrap Up & Menu for the Week

Happy Monday!

I figured I’d share a few tidbits from our February break weekend as well as my menu for the week!  I am still doing Gluten Free (for me) but I’m experimenting a little with dairy… I’ve been watching a ton of You Tube videos of other healthy ladies who have had similar digestive issues as myself, and they have found that going GF and even Dairy Free has helped them feel so much better.  I have been feeling pretty well, but not 100%.  I’m not going to give up yet and since meds haven’t helped, I am simply listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs.

We’ll start with this week’s menu, shall we?  All recipes are linked!

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli

Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)

Baked Scallops

Veggie Quinoa Soup  (Slow Cooker)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

I saw Jordan Page post this recipe and I may try it for the kiddos.  Sometimes we have lots of fruit going quickly, so it maybe nice to Some of those may end up being lunches or just food for me, as Joe’s diet is low fiber and lots of carbs.  I’m getting used to the 3 ring circus that is dinner some nights.  I don’t expect my family to eat no gluten, and on pasta nights, I can either sub zucchini noodles (zoodles) or GF pasta or rice. Simple!  I am not one to give up carbs totally, so I’m trying to take on this GF thing as something new and exciting…rather than omg it’s so hard and more work.  Being pain free to me is 100% worth it!

As always, if need be there’s always these as back up options:

Taco Night (I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken and taco seasoning. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, rice, beans, tortilla shells.) It’s a fam fave.

Breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, pancakes or eggs)

Leftovers

Ok moving on to some randoms from the weekend!

I just LOVE this green juice.  It has a whole bunch of goodness in it and my body actually craves it.

Friday the boys got hair cuts and look so cute!

After that we hit up the Outlet Mall for some new clothes for Joe.  Mama may have scored a few things too!  This CK hoodie was on sale for $14.99. I LOVE the neon!

Miss Brooke insisted that we stop at Justice and she picked out a few things as well.  I already miss that she’s back in school full time.  She’s growing up so fast!

Saturday night was low key; Joe built us a fire and Holly snuggled near it.

These two pretended to like each other for a few minutes…

Sunday brought more sunshine and I felt the need to purge all the things.  While doing so, I watched this documentary on Netflix.  The power of our minds and how to heal our bodies.  It all fascinates me and I do believe in the power of our thoughts. Have you seen it?

Look at it still being LIGHT outside during dinner Sunday night!!  (Smoked/Grilled Wings for the win!!)

I gotta say I was awesome at my workouts last week! I made it to the gym 4x with the kiddos.  Saturday I did the bike and triceps/biceps.

I also baked my babies some chocolate chip cookies! I used the back of the Wegmans brand chocolate chips recipe. 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes had these babies crisping up! I took some out around the 8 minute mark so they’d be chewy for Joe. I had a tiny nibble, but don’t want to upset my stomach so I refrained.  Any good GF sweet treats you could share?

I also got to chat with my mom a little bit.  She just launched a blog for her Life Coaching business!  Check it out.

Mom’s Blog!

I hope all of you have a great week.  Remember: start before you are ready and that DONE is better than PERFECT.

All things Christmas

It’s total crazy this time of year. Every mom I chat with is (more than) overwhelmed and counting down the days where she can just relax with family, friends and good food!

We’ve been battling a few little sicknesses here and there but nothing major–Thank God!  This little dude is my daily sidekick.  Whether we are working real estate, home, running here there and everywhere, he’s been such a good boy!

I was going to rush through the drive-thru one morning after checking on one of the houses we are renovating and decided nope, I’m going to allow us to get out of the moving vehicle and pause.  I am finding this is helping me not just “get through” this season but “ENJOY” it as well.

His fave from ‘bux is the Ham & Cheese Croissant.

I had to make a return at the mall and tried to do a little more shopping, so we again paused and I let him be little.  Isn’t that what this time of year is all about?  Making memories and letting the little ones just enjoy the beautiful sights?  To a busy person, this tree may just be taking up space, but to Bradley, his whole face lit right up.

Plus he got to ride the train which he always enjoys!

This one has been busy!  She had her holiday performance last weekend and had so much fun!

While she rehearsed, we ran some errands and Bradley was stoked to have Daddy around.

They danced to Frosty the Snowman and all proceeds went to the Wilmot Cancer Society here in Rochester.

Even Ana & Elsa were there!  I had to admit, I totally cried when the girls were dancing on stage.  This is Brooke’s first year in “competition” classes and often times in my head, since she is no longer a baby, I feel like she’s just big.  And then I watch all the other dancers from ages 7-17 and I realize how little she still is.  These girls did so great and I love being aware of how much time we still have until she’s off and running into this big world.

Then later that evening we decided to attend a White Elephant party about an hour away.  I quickly re-heated some leftovers and called everyone to the table to eat a quick dinner before making the trek.  Long and short, I dropped my iPhone IN THE FREAKING TOILET!!! Mind you, it didn’t just drop for a second, it literally sat there for 20ish minutes while we ate, I finished getting ready and then decided to look for it.  I didn’t have much time to do very much about it because we had to get going to the party and it was snowing and the roads were horrendous.

It worked for awhile so I did snap a few photos at the party…

As for the White Elephant gift exchange, it was so fun!! We got a nice bottle of Baileys that came with two cute mugs (mine & yours they said!) and I opened a $20 Applebees gift card, but then switched with a girl who got a $25 Starbucks card.  I was more than excited–no pics from that though because, well said phone was in rice.

But then it stopped.  It just went blank and kept showing the Apple logo.  It was basically the joke of the night, we put it in a bag of rice and everyone kept checking on it.

Part of my secretly wanted it to die—I often feel tethered to the damn thing and would love to go back in time and have more freedom from it.  But also on the flip side, we take so many photos of the kids and I use it for our business. I don’t know what I’d do.

By  Sunday it was working fine and though the lens fogged up, we set it on the mantle above the fire place and it seemed to have dried out.

A Christmas Miracle I tell ya!!  It’s an iPhone X and works perfectly fine (unless it gets dropped in the toilet.) Super grateful I don’t need to spend the money on that right now.

In other news, the Elf has been keeping the kids on their toes all month long!

He also likes to treat them to little things like cocoa and books from time to time.  Again, it’s about the magic of the season.  I don’t get why so many people hate on the elf.  Maybe I’m just a big kid at heart, but there’s nothing better than hearing the squeals every morning of where Buddy may be.

This one is so funny.  I caught him just staring out the door the other morning watching the snow.

The wonder of being 4, almost 5.

I pressed pause yesterday to sip on a decaf Chai latté and look at the tree while I looked up some yummy Christmas Day Brunch ideas.  I want to make all the things!

I’ve still got some shopping left, I’m about 80% done.  I need to do 100% in the wrapping department and of course we have school holiday parties and performances to attend, on top of life things like annual Dr appointments.

But I keep telling myself it will all get done, it always does.  No sense in stressing over everything.  Just keep plugging away and be sure to pause and enjoy the moments.  I am doing such a great job of it this year because years past it all went by in a blur and I was so stressed and so mad that I didn’t feel like I enjoyed anything because I just rushed from one thing to another.

I’ll say that there’s more laundry piling up than usual, the dog fur needs to get vacuumed (again) and I don’t have a “meal plan” for this week. #oops But you just do what you can do and let it go.  I do however have a great plan for our Christmas Brunch. Would you like a blog post on that?

One week from today, Christmas will be over and I am going to stay in my PJs all day with my kids and just enjoy the peace (and probably more mess) of this beautiful holiday.

 

Brooke Dances

I never got around to posting this, but I still want to see it later on in life! Our sweet girl just loves dance.  She’s been dancing at the same studio since she was 2. She has been in 4 dance recitals total and we just found out she will be doing competition dance starting in the Fall!!

Back in June she had her recital.

This was her “Material Girl” dance costume, how darn cute??

She likes ballet, but thinks it’s a bit slow.  She loves being on stage though!

Her ballet song was, “You are the Glow” which is some Disney princess song I think?  Either way, it makes me cry watching her dance to it.

I never knew the joy that could be watching your little girl up on a stage.  My mama heart just bursts with love and tears stream down my face when I see her light up the stage.

We are so proud of her!

One of her favorite parts is getting a trophy.

The stage makeup is fun for her too, as she never wears anything but chapstick at her age ha!

She was so happy her nana and papa could see her dance.  It was a beautiful Sunday performance and we are so blessed to be her parents.

She will be taking 4 classes this Fall, lyrical, ballet, jazz & tap.  Let the fun begin!

{Sorry, not sorry I love being a #dancemom!}

First and Last

The smile on your face, the excitement behind your eyes— baby girl, it seems like yesterday I brought you into this world. Your first day of Kindergarten, I was so nervous all day long!  I kept staring at the clock, every other hour and checking your schedule all the while.  I remember baking cookies for you to enjoy and tell me about your day.  I recall sitting on the front porch, tearing up because I knew that this was it.  It was the first day of your big schooling and the last of being home with me.

And just like that, the year flew by, so many memories tucked safely away.  You loved school so much, you rarely missed a day!  You grew so much (look how big!) but even more in school.  You’re a big girl, reading and writing all sorts of things.

Most importantly you gained so much confidence and weren’t so shy.  You made new friends and enjoyed all of your subjects.  You’re 6 six years and have so many questions, and as much as I try to keep you small, you simply must know it all.

So cheers to you, for a fantastic year!

And here’s to us for having you near all Summer.

I couldn’t have picked a more perfect daughter, you’re truly a blessing from above.

I ended the year, as I began, baking some cookies from my heart with my hands.

I hope these memories of love fill your soul.

And that you, sweet Brooke Lynn, remember that you can do it all.

Happy Summer 2019!!

Weekend Rewind

Friday was the first day of Summer!! It came in hot too! We had such a gorgeous weekend weather wise, everyone here in the 585 seemed to be smiling.

The boys and I had lunch on the canal–I keep feeling this pull to the water, so I am trying to listen and make it happen more frequently!

Friday night was full of fun on a boat with some friends.  We had Mexican food for dinner and took a cruise down the canal.

I got my baby fix too–how cute is she?!

Saturday I dropped the kids off with my dad and step-mom and had some FREE time ALONE—whoa!  This time I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I went for super yellow nails for Summer. How fun!

I was able to get ready for our date night in peace and quiet–totally weird!  I decided to soak up that extra time and curl the hair.

Kid free and on our way to dinner!

We caught a glimpse of the view after the sun set.  Our city isn’t that big, but it’s pretty from a rooftop!

I wanted to go dancing (duh) but there’s not really any places to go out here, other than bars.  We made the most of it though!  I think one of my favorite parts of the night was when a lady asked us if we just started dating!  She said we looked so happy and we laughed explained we were kid free for a bit and actually are coming up on 9 years of marriage this July!  We took it as a compliment.  We do have so much fun together.  We had a lot to celebrate and so much to be grateful for.

Sunday morning we woke up with the dogs and took them out back to run around.  Afterwards we hit up Brueggers for a bagel breakfast sandwich and drove to our land.  Look at how many crazy daisies there are!

We also have a makeshift pond at the moment.  We are figuring out this water situation and will be living here soon.  I cannot believe we bought this land almost 4 years ago!

We spent most of the day chilling.  Joe actually napped!

 

I finished this book–it was good!  It was my “fall asleep reading” book until it wasn’t. It started keeping me awake because I wanted to know what on earth was happening! I kind of figured it out but still wanted to see it all come together in the end.  It read like a YA book, but wasn’t, if that makes any sense.

Sunday we scooped up the kiddos, took a little drive and then decided on grilling corn and sausages for dinner.  I am calling this a “Driveway Dinner.”  Joe grills, I bring out all the supplies, we all eat sitting around the grill and the kids can continue to play.  It relieves me from having to set the table and doing a bunch of dishes.  PS grilled corn was so good!

This one– be still my mama heart– she’s been working so hard on riding her bike without training wheels.  Sure she gets discouraged, gives up temporarily but then she’s back at it again in no time.  Such a metaphor for life really.

She was so proud and we are so proud of her!  #thisis6

I finished my setpbet finally!!! I will report on how much $$ I made if any hahaha.

 

It was a beautiful mix of some time for myself, time alone with Joe and some time with the family.  Summer, we are SO happy you are here!  Cheers to an amazing Summer and a wonderful week.