5 on Friday

So it’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend and I feel like it’s a peace offering from above for every family with pent-up kids suffering cabin fever. WE WILL GET OUTSIDE THIS WEEKEND!!!! So happy weekend to you!

one. Valentine’s Day – We’re not huge Vday celebrators but we still try to make it feel special. This year we actually had an amazing Valentine’s Day. In the morning Leah and I met some friends at a local bakery to have breakfast pastries and play on the patio. It was so much fun and I highly recommend Deluxe Cakes and Pastries for anyone local to Iowa City. And while it’s pretty small inside, the outside area was great to relax and let the girls run around.

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5 on Friday

One of my favorite blogs, Carolina Charm always does a 5 on Friday. It’s just a quick list of 5 fun things each Friday. I can’t promise that I’ll do it every Friday, but I thought I’d do it today with my favorite easy breakfasts.

One. This morning I’m enjoying for the second day in a row a yummy fruit smoothie. Leah loves these too and on mornings when a heavy breakfast doesn’t sound great, smoothies (protein shakes as Leah calls them) are an easy breakfast.

Smoothie, coffee and a very unstaged glimpse at our morning…Leah’s watching her episode of Daniel Tiger and drinking her milk while I get some stuff done.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Blend together 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries (frozen work great!), 1/2 cup spinach or kale, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder and 1 -2 cups unsweetened almond milk. You can also squeeze in a teaspoon of honey if you’d like. Continue reading

Random Thoughts for Monday

Well hey everyone! I think the cabin fever has officially set in as we work our way through February. It’s been a mild winter, but it’s still not warm enough to get outside and I’m really starting to look forward to Spring! But the good news is that hopefully warmer weather is a month or so away. I thought I’d bring you a few random thoughts if you need some reading material to get through another Monday.

New Recipe

sweet-potato-pizza-skilletWe had the best new recipe on Friday for dinner. I saw this on a friend’s Instagram (she is a health food blogger – check out her sight for great meal inspiration!) and immediately wanted to try it because Mike is obsessed with Pizza but also on a huge health kick, so I figured he’d appreciate the opportunity to indulge without going overboard. It was a hit and you have to try it! MY TIP: it says to use a spiralizer and I don’t have a fancy one – just a little handheld one that doesn’t really work for anything but zucchini. So I employed my food processor, using the setting you’d use for cheese grating; it worked great and so was much quicker.

Update on Us

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Bye Bye To The Paci – Mission Complete!

We’re paci free! I am so relieved that this went off, for the most part, without a hitch! About a week ago I handed Leah the step 4 pacifier when she crawled onto my lap for storytime and she didn’t bat an eye; never commented that it was any different from the paci she had before. Two nights later when I nervously gave her the step 5 paci, the one you can’t suck on at all, she tried a few times to get a good suck going, and finding it impossible, she looked up at me and said “It’s too tiny!”. I pretended to be shocked, then told her “Well you can just hold onto it.” She said “My want to put it in my mouth!” so I told her that she can’t anymore because it’s bad for her teeth, but she could hold onto it if she wanted to. She did want to. So that night and the next day for naptime she went to sleep just fine holding the paci in her hand. After naptime it got brought down and left on the kitchen counter and completely forgotten about. SUCCESS! Continue reading

Bye Bye To The Paci – Days 3-6

As promised here is the rundown on how it’s been going the last few days. We’ve gone from the Lily Method Step 1 pacifier to Step 2 to Step 3. Step 2 was accepted without a second glance, Step 3 has most of the round part of the nipple cut off so I’m told that when my husband put Leah to bed the first time with it she looked at the paci and said “What’s that?”.  But she then accepted it and went to bed just fine.

So far I’d say that the Lily Method Pacifier Weaning System is MVP in this process, BUT we’re not through the woods yet. I think that as long as Leah has something to hold and suck on she’s doing fine, but she’s no pushover. She knows when she doesn’t have something she wants. Which means I’m nervous about introducing Step 4 and even more so Step 5 in a couple days, which she won’t really be able to suck on at all. Continue reading

Time to Say Bye Bye to The Pacifier (cringe!) – Day 1-2

Image result for pacifier

The first time the nurse rolled Leah back from the nursery into our postpartum room at the hospital and I saw that green Soothie Pacifier sticking out of her mouth I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. About 3 hours later when I had nursed, swaddled, sang and shushed I finally popped that baby back in her mouth and she stopped fussing. I became the pacifier’s biggest fan. Not much changed as Wubbanub and paci’s helped us get every minute of sleep we’ve gotten since September 15, 2014.

Yes, that’s right. My 28 month old still uses her paci for bedtime. And as we have a plethora of dentists in the family I’ve felt pretty comfortable doing that, but recently one of these dentists (my husband) said that it’s time to get rid of the paci. Leah LOVES her paci and actually sleeps with 3 of them, needing both “pink ones” and the “purple one” before she can fall asleep. So I had a panic attack, but then calmed down and negotiated to get rid of the pacifier AFTER the holidays (several extended stays at houses other than our own), and AFTER I fly with Leah by myself to California.

Well it’s now after. So here goes nothing.

I’m taking a 3 strategy approach to this, like most other things I do, based on very little research.

Strategy 1: The Babies. Continue reading

5 Holiday Hacks

I’m still alive! It’s been a combination of writers’ block and a lot of traveling that has kept me away and fortunately and unfortunately the traveling isn’t over yet. But in the midst of the holidays I thought I’d share my list of Holiday Hacks.

  1. Costco Christmas Cardscostco christmas cardThis year I actually did a Christmas card for the first time in my married life, and after shopping around I found Vistaprint was inexpensive and had really cute options, but Costco was MUCH cheaper and they had next day pickup. So I went with Costco. A couple of weeks ago they had a $5 off coupon which allowed us to get 75 cards and lined envelopes for $15. The normal price is $14.99 per 50 cards, still a steal. The trick is to go with the photo greeting cards, they’re printed on photo paper and only one sided, but for us that was just fine! Order them here. I also love Costco’s fresh cut Christmas trees but you have to buy one right when the truck gets there so you can saw off the end and get it right into water, otherwise they’re sitting on the truck drying out for a long time and won’t be as fresh.
  2. Ginger Snap Christmas Cookies0183ac1cf6e76fc19bb6b056d3f36970e77dc1a405 Continue reading

Low Cal Dark And Stormy

Image result for dark and stormy with mount gay

Print Recipe
Low Cal Dark And Stormy
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1.5 shots Mount Gay Rum Or dark rum, or if at a party whatever rum they have
  • 1/4/1/2 lime, juiced Depending on taste preference
  • 1/3 can Vernon's Diet Ginger Beer Or any diet ginger ale
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1.5 shots Mount Gay Rum Or dark rum, or if at a party whatever rum they have
  • 1/4/1/2 lime, juiced Depending on taste preference
  • 1/3 can Vernon's Diet Ginger Beer Or any diet ginger ale
Instructions
  1. Mix ingredients and pour over ice. Enjoy! But not too fast, these pack a punch!
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Ginger Snaps

photo cred goes to the original poster of this recipe: piebirds.org

Photo credit goes to the original poster of this recipe: piebirds.org


Print Recipe
Ginger Snaps
One of my all time favorite holiday cookies, there are many versions of this cookie but I really love this recipe and get tons of requests for it each year.
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
White Chocolate For Dipping
  • 2 10-12 oz packates white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shortening
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
White Chocolate For Dipping
  • 2 10-12 oz packates white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shortening
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Combing sugar & oil, beat in eggs. Stir in molasses.
  2. Combine dry ingredients & gradually mix into wet ingredients. Mix well until combined.
  3. Shape dough into ¾ inch balls, roll balls in sugar and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until cookie springs back when touched. Under bake rather than over bake to ensure a chewy cookie. Remove to wire racks to cool.
White Chocolate
  1. In a double boiler or microwave melt chips and shortening until smooth. After cookies are cooled, dip ½ of the cookie into the white chocolate and place on waxed paper to dry.
Recipe Notes

These can be frozen once the white chocolate is cooled.

Originally posted on Piebirds.org

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Election Day

Well it’s finally here – election day, and as someone who had a hard time voting for either candidate, I’d be lying if I said I was excited and I think that a lot of the country feels the same way. But I am interested to see which way the vote sways. If I could change one thing about the way we elect our presidents it would be the requirement to stay so faithful to one party or the other. I have a hard time believing that anyone truly believes in ALL of the causes of one party or another, and yet to get on the ballot you need to convince America you believe staunchly in all (or most of) the Republican or Democratic beliefs. 

I hope in my lifetime I have the opportunity to vote for someone with more moderate views. I want to cast a vote that protects the environment, and life – both in the womb and from the electric chair. That protects my children from unfit citizens with deadly weapons, and my husband’s years of work and sacrifice to become a surgeon from being regulated and overtaxed. I want to cast a vote that passionately fights for all the things we love in America, but that doesn’t do so at the expense of common sense. Geez, is that too much to ask!? And if your views are the opposite, I hope you can vote your way someday too! And we can both tactfully voice our opinions without anger, hate, stubbornness and self-interest blinding our best judgement.

And whoever is elected tonight, you don’t have to love them (I won’t!) but do your part to show the little eyes who are watching that we respect our president.

That is all – happy voting! And God Bless America.

PEACE