Monday, March 30, 2015

What a weekend

Do you ever have a weekend where going back to work on Monday feels like a vacation?

The weekend started off great, Friday after work I just headed home for a night in with the kids. We had Kylie this weekend, so I even had an extra set of hands to help me entertain Abby. We ordered pizza and just hung out, it was great!

Saturday we started the day by going to a surprise birthday party for one of my dearest friends. Do you have a friend that is just so special to you and even though you don't get to spend much time with them they remain one of your bests? That is how I feel about my friend Lauren. We met through our ex-boyfriends about, oh my gosh, 7 years ago. I didn't even realize we had been friends that long. Well lucky for us we both lost the boyfriends but kept each other!!

After we left her party we headed to my mom's house for her Scentsy party where I bought too many scentsy products. What can I say, I'm a fan! While we were hanging out at my mom's house Jax had an accident. Kylie had sat him in this little chair not realizing that it wasn't a safe place for him and he ended up face planting onto my mom's deck. This resulted in a hysterical Kylie and a hospital trip for Jaxon. Everyone is okay in the end. The hospital trip was more for piece of mind because he was crying so much and I was so freaked out; that baby never cries.

On Sunday we finally had our family pictures taken. We should have them back in 2 weeks. I hope they turned out fantastic. I'll be sure to share if they did. The rest of Sunday was the normal stuff... cleaning, grocery store, laundry, kids playing, etc. I even squeezed in a short evening run. I ran a mile to our neighborhood park and did some lunges and push ups and then ran the mile back home. I finished the 2nd mile in under 10 minutes; it was nothing short of a miracle.

And.... this happened Sunday night!
Jaxon eating oatmeal for the first time!!!!! 
We went to the pediatrician last week and he told us to start Jax on cereal twice a day. I picked some up at the grocery store on Sunday afternoon and he got his first taste of it Sunday evening. I'd say his first feeding was pretty successful, I can't wait to see how he likes stage 1 foods in a few weeks! 

I hope everyone else had a good weekend!!

Happy Monday y'all! 

Linking up with B Loved Boston

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday- Worry Wart

Confession: I am a worry wart. It is something that I have battled my whole life so really it isn't a secret. I worry about everything, I worry about anything, I worry about serious things, I worry about stupid things. I am also very aware that worrying is pointless and an inefficient and ineffective use of my energy but I just can't seem to stop myself. 

The Slay family is about to go through a change and even though I trust that this is the right decision and I believe that God has put this in our path as an answer to a prayer, I still find myself worrying. So today for Thoughts for Thursday I'm sharing some positive/motivational things to encourage myself and maybe any other worry wart out there wasting good energy on worrying.

I am working to stop trying to control everything in my life and just to enjoy life as it goes along. I am trying to focus my thoughts on all the good things that can and will happen instead of the if this happens, then that will happen, then this will happen, and then utter catastrophic tragedy COULD happen. I mean it's just ridiculous, it's pointless. Thinking positively and living in the now is way better. Outwardly I am not a negative person, actually most people would say I'm such a positive person. Worrying is my own dirty little secret and it's one thing I am very convicted on. I should not worry so much. 
I have to remind myself to give it to God often and sometimes even when I give it to him I hold onto it with a death grip not wanting to let it go. (Am I the only one that just sang Let it Go in my head)

 Don't worry, be happy... right??! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend scenes

It's Monday. I started my week off by missing my boot camp and then proceeding to oversleep majorly. In other news, spring has sprung in Houston! The temps have been great and the skies have been blue and I just love it! Spring is my 2nd favorite season of the year and it's finally here!

Friday night, as most of my Friday nights are these days, was very laid back. After work I picked up the kids and we headed home to cook dinner and play until bedtime. On Fridays I usually get off at 4pm so that give me a little more time with them before bed time. I know some people let their kids stay up later on the weekends but mine are both so young, I choose to keep their schedule pretty consistent all 7 days of the week. D stopped at the gas station on his way home from work and surprised me with a bottle of Cupcake Red Velvet! I had mentioned last weekend that I wanted to try it. You should definitely try it! It was the perfect end to the week.

 Saturday was pretty rainy all day. I love that we rarely have Saturday morning commitments and I can take my time drinking coffee and spending some time with the kids.

The first thing she wanted to do was put on her Cinderella dress and hold her "brudder" . Jax looks thrilled

I can't believe he is big enough to play in this already

Saturday night we went to a surprise party for my cousin. Jax wore this...

baby polo boots & jeans!! 

Sunday is D's only weekend day off. He usually gets 1 day off during the week also, but that day is usually reserved for him to catch up on rest and any personal errands he has to do. Sundays he commits fully to us. We had a few errands to run but like usual my first priority was eating lunch! There is a local restaurant called Locatteli's that we love but rarely get to enjoy, so we went there. The only table they had available was on the patio which was perfect because it was a beautiful day out! 

My boys! 

Yes, she is using her fork as a dingle-hopper
After lunch we headed to Marshall's to browse the home goods section. This particular Marshall's is always a bit disappointing. We should just travel the extra distance to go to the Home Goods store; Home Goods NEVER disappoints! Then we decided to divide and conquer. D & Abby headed to Home Depot and Jax & I hit the grocery store! 

Do you ever feel like trying to budget for the grocery store is pointless? I made a list for the grocery store and did a great job sticking to it and STILL spent $194. I feel like I did not get $194 worth of groceries. Is that a normal weekly grocery budget for a family of 4? 

We also worked a little in the yard on Sunday and cleaned up the front flower beds. Abby spent the day being Ariel in her Ariel dress and high heels. I'm pretty sure that she may actually think she's a princess. Jax just hung out and was the normal sweet baby he always is! it's Monday. My goal, besides just surviving this week, is to make a valiant effort to get my eating back on track and hit my macros every day and even though I missed my boot camp this morning, get in at least 5 workouts this week.

How was your weekend? Any grocery store savings tips? 

Happy Monday y'all! 

Linking up 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five on Friday-Spring edition

Happy Spring!!!! Today is officially the first day of spring and although it is humid and gloomy outside here in Houston, I remain hopeful for some great weather this weekend. I also heard that it is International Happiness Day or something like that, so let's all be happy!

With Spring coming and bringing nicer weather it has me longing to fix our backyard up. I really want it to be an oasis and somewhere that we really enjoy spending time at. Last year we had a deck built and bought the kids a nice swing set but other than that the backyard is really lacking in ambiance. D and I both agree that we would like to focus our efforts and finances on the backyard this spring. Sunday we are going to make a trip to Home Depot to pick up some flowers to replace all our dead plants and maybe a few extras. Of course like any normal woman I've been trolling Pinterest to find some inspiration for my dream backyard. 

Here are some things that I found that I think I would be able to do on my own with some help from D. 

I like the idea to add some dimension to the backyard by putting something between the deck and the grass. This seems perfect and definitely doable. 
Use rocks to separate the grass from the deck, then bury rope lights in the rocks for lighting.

We desperately need some light on the back porch. This looks like a rather inexpensive solution, but one that will create a nice atmosphere for outdoor evening entertainment. I can definitely see my self sitting on the porch drinking a nice glass of wine under these lights
Very detailed instructions for hanging Outdoor String Lights. The arrangement can be changed but the idea is the same. This would be easier than hanging lights from the house to the garage as we did for the wedding.

Currently the only real decorations we have on the patio are 2 American Flag stars hanging (similar here). I like the idea of decorating the back yard in red, white, and blue; an American flair if you will. What's more American than hanging out in the back yard on a beautiful day? I think I will stick to that color scheme with maybe a little flag decor thrown in here or there. I saw this on Pinterest and totally think I could make it happen! D even said he could get me a pallet from work. I'll be sure to do a post on my DIY project if I actually get around to making it happen. 
Pallet flag for front porch.. Pallets are so easy to get from many companies in town.

This seems like such a fun idea for a playful backyard. I definitely want the atmosphere of our backyard to be fun and relaxing. Glow in the dark paint is already on our shopping list for this weekend. 
Coat planters with glow-in-the-dark paint for instant night lighting. | 31 Cheap And Easy Backyard Ideas That Are Borderline Genius

I like the shade of red of these. I am not a plant person though so really I'm clueless on what flowers I should plant for our climate, sun exposure, etc.... but... I think these are pretty so I will probably buy them and they will probably die like all the other flowers that have been planted in a pot on our back porch. Wish me luck! 

I also like these

Happy Friday y'all!! Hope the spring is treating your right so far! 

Linking up for 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Taste of Tuesday- Side Dish Style

One of my goals at the new year was to try to cook some new types of food. Most of the time we eat the same thing over and over and over again. It's boring! Since I am trying to lose weight and Drew is supposed to be eating a high fat, high protein diet I need to figure out how to make our dinners more interesting. When it comes to side dishes I am super lame. Most of the time I just cook frozen steamable veggies. I've decided to start trying at least one new side dish a week that is healthy for us but will spice up our dinner time a little bit. Today I have two recipes to share with you, both of which I am proud to say turned out to be delish!

Baked Acorn Squash 

The first one I tried that my husband refused to eat, but I loved was a baked acorn squash. I found the original recipe here.

The prep on this is super quick and easy but it takes about 70 minutes to bake it.

You will need:
                          1 Acorn Squash
                          1 TBS. Butter
                          2 TBS Brown Sugar
                          2 TSP sugar Free Syrup (the original recipe calls for maple syrup but I substituted)
                          Dash of salt

1. Preheat the over to 400 F.
2. Cut  the squash in half and clean the inside out. Then score the inside with the tip of a sharp knife in a cross hatch pattern
3. Rub butter on both halves of the squash then add a tablespoon of brown sugar to each side. You will just crumble it the middle of the squash.
4. Drizzle both halves with the sugar free syrup.
5. Then you are ready to bake! I baked mine for 70 minutes. You want to bake it until the flesh is very soft and cooked through. There will be liquid in the middle and you can spoon that over the entire squash. 

I will definitely make this again. Maybe one day I can convince D to try something new. 

Baked Green Bean Fries. 

This recipe I tried last night and the outcome was fabulous! 

This one has a little bit longer prep time but cooks fairly quickly. 

You will need:
                         12 ounces of green beans
                         1 c. panko bread crumbs
                         1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
                         pinch of cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste
                         1/2 c. Almond flour (the original recipe calls for all purpose flour but the almond flour worked just as well)
                         2 large eggs
                         3 different bowls 

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F
2. Lightly oil or spray non stick cooking spray on the baking sheet
3. In 1 bowl combine the Panko, Parmeesan Cheese, and season to taste with the cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper
4. In the 2nd bowl beat the 2 large eggs
5. In the 3rd bowl put your 1/2c. almond or all purpose flour. 
6. take a hand full of green beans and dredge them in the flour, then dip in the eggs, then dredge in the Panko mixture and place on the cookie sheet. Do this step until all your green beans are coated and on the cookie sheet. 
7. Put in oven and bake until they are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. I think I cooked mine for 12 minutes. 

The green beans turned out crisp and delish! I couldn't stop eating them and can't wait to make this recipe again. 

Let me know if you try these recipes, I'd love to hear how you liked them. 

Do you have any favorite side dish recipes that I should try? 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Back from Vacation

Last week we were so lucky to get to spend the week at Disney World. We went 2 years ago with Abby & Kylie but then Abby was too young to care and Kylie was too old to be mesmerized by meeting all the characters. This trip was more magical than I could have imagined. Abby loved everyone she met. I was worried that she may be apprehensive about meeting the characters, but she really wasn't at all.

On the very first day we were there we met Sleeping Booty (as Abby says it). She was at Magic Kingdom near the front and we didn't even have to wait in a very long line. It's like she was hiding in a corner just to meet Abby.

We met several other princesses too! 

On our last day there we did the princess breakfast in Epcot at the restaurant in Norway. If you are planning a trip to Disney, I definitely recommend it! It was worth every penny. Abby was in awe and honestly so was I! 

And now... a quick photo dump for you of some of my favorite moments of the trip. 

It was my mom's first trip to Disney also. She was excited to see Mary Poppins

Animal Kingdom day! 

cooling off for a bit at the pool

It was too cold in the pool for Jax so he got to hang out with daddy 

My real life Little Mermaid 

Doesn't Abby's face scream happy! 

Abby, Jax & Their cousins 

Although I don't have any pictures for it, seeing Abby's face at the Anna & Elsa Frozen sing-a-long was the highlight of my trip. It actually made me cry. Who cries at a sing-a-long.... well me I guess. She was so excited and it was like all her dreams came true.  

We got home Saturday and my plan for Sunday was just to relax. That didn't happen. I'm pretty sure I didn't sit down at all until after the kids went to bed. I had laundry to do, suitcases to unpack, toys to put away, grocery shopping, and meal prepping for the week.....and the list goes on. Now I'm back at work and honestly after being at Disney all week work actually feels like a vacation. My feet will take weeks to recover I'm pretty sure. 

Oh yeah and we came home to this. 

Happy Monday y'all! 

Linking up for Weekending with B Loved Boston 

Thursday, March 5, 2015 can it be?

My thoughts on this too cold Thursday have been surrounding my daughter, Abby. On Saturday Abby is turning 3 and seriously y'all it has left me wondering where the hell the last 3 years have gone. I remember when I found out I was pregnant with her. It was July 15th, 2011. Getting pregnant was not in my plans....ever. Drew and I had known each other but really had just started dating a few months before. I wasn't even sure if I liked him enough to commit to a long term relationship just yet and bam...we were pregnant. I remember crying on my mom's porch barely able to get words out of my mouth and telling my mom that my life was over. I had plans, big plans, but no plans for a baby. Disclaimer- I never once thought of not having the baby and I'm very happy with the way everything worked out. I have a great husband and now 2 beautiful children from him and 1 great step-daughter!

Brand new baby Abby

Fast forward to March 7, 2012 and my world was rocked, in the best way! I never knew love like that. She was the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me.

I remember Drew and I were both hoping for a boy but the moment I found out it was a girl I had never been happier. I loved being able to put bows on her head and tutus. Today I love watching her play with princess dolls and baby dolls and little girl make up. I love getting to see her love things that I loved as a child also. 

I'm pretty sure I'm doing all the wrong things as a parent but so far she is turning out to be a pretty good girl. She has a very strong will so we struggle with discipline and I usually have to repeat myself 3 times to get her to do something but I'm hoping with consistency she will grow out of it. She is very sweet though and boy does she love her mommy. Sometimes it can be exhausting but really I wouldn't change it for the world. Lately she always tells me, "You're my best friend, right?" 

She is also a great big sister, better than I could have ever expected. 

She is more than I ever could have asked for. Happy almost birthday Abby! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wino Wednesday - Linking up

Kids and Cabernet

I really wanted to use this link up as an excuse to try a new and more expensive bottle of wine, but that didn't happen. I refuse to go to the store alone with 2 kids and I was never able to break away on my own to go browse through the wine section at our local grocery store. So today I bring you Menage a Trois, a red blend coming to us from California. 
Menage à Trois Red

This wine will run you about $8-$10 a bottle depending on where you buy it at. It is a wine we drink often in our house because it is easy to drink and... they sell it at the gas station down the road from the house. There you have it folks; convenience is everything!! :) 

This is what the wine maker says about the wine  Ménage à Trois Red exposes the fresh, ripe, jam like fruit that is the calling card of California wine. Forward, silky and soft, the delicious dalliance of our red wine blend makes the perfect accompaniment for grilled meats or chicken.

I will add that it also goes well with Hershey kisses as a late night snack.

It really is an easy wine to drink. It is very smooth and easy on the pallet. If you are a beginner red wine drinker this one would be an easy one to start with.

Next week I will be on vacation so it will be a prime time to try some new and different wines. I can't wait to share them with you on the next link up!  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jaxon Knight- 4 month update

Jaxon is 4 months old today! I can't even believe how fast the time is going by.

We got so lucky with this boy; he is a good sleeper, no tummy issues and he only cries if he is hungry. He is so smiley these days and within the last week or so has started to belly laugh if you tickle him. He hates tummy time. He loves human faces and voices. All you have to do is look at him and speak to get a smile out of him. He just recently started playing with rattles and loves to hear the noise but hates when he accidentally hits himself in the face. His favorite thing to chew on is his fingers. Also lately he doesn't like to be left alone, he wants to be sitting up in his frog chair or bumbo watching what is going on and being part of the conversation. 

He is beginning to reach out to grab things and is able to bring things up to his mouth to chew on now. I think he may begin teething soon. He has been extra drooley lately. Has anyone tried those amber necklaces to help with teething pain for babies? I've heard they work. I'm thinking of trying one. 

I love watching him develop and learn more about his world each day. His smile lights up our world and he has completed our little family. 

Happy Tuesday y'all!!!