5 for Friday

Hi there!  Let’s jump right in with five things I’m loving this week!  I’m linking up with these ladies…AndreaNarci and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!  I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!

{ONE}

I’m loving that my son is loving soccer camp!  It’s been a day camp from 9-12 each day this week.  He’s enjoyed meeting new kids plus the fun games they play.  He does comment at pick-up that it’s so much fun and so much running.  I’ve also been loving a little extra one-on-one time with this girl!

IMG_5042.jpg

{TWO}

I’ve been loving green smoothies for a mid-morning snack this week!  Here’s my recipe:

1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. no sugar added vanilla almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana and a handful of frozen spinach.  I’ve also added in a fiber supplement plus probiotics.  Yum!

IMG_5049.jpg

{THREE}

I was extremely cautious while pregnant and breastfeeding about what food I ate, medicines I took, and personal care products I used.  It’s been nice to have a little more flexibility in that department since I weaned my daughter back in April.  I recently started using a Retin A product prescribed by my dermatologist and have seen a big improvement in some acne issues as well as skin smoothness.  I typically use it once nightly and apply a rose hip oil over top.  I love this stuff!  Here’s a link to Amazon to buy.  Here’s a link to an article written by LIVESTRONG.COM about the benefits of rose hip oil use.  

Unknown.jpeg

{FOUR}

I have continued my on again/off again relationship with Wal-Mart.  Isn’t it just a necessary evil sometimes???  I do like the online ordering and curbside pick-up for busy weeks and big, specific orders.

IMG_5051.jpg

{FIVE}

I’m loving finalizing and preparing for our last few trips, special days, etc. this summer.  I  want to make the most of the month we have left!  Our plans include three family trips, lots more pool & library days, beach visits, and more!

I hope you have the best day!

Natalie

 

 

A Meal with The Neighborhood Harvest

We really really go thorough some greens in a week!  I find that I’m often running out of salad fixings before it’s time for my weekly grocery store and/or Sam’s Club trip.  It’s kind of a pain too since I have to lug both kids in just to pick up some spinach or kale.  I was contacted by Rebecca at The Neighborhood Harvest about this very issue!

Check out this description of their services seen on their website…

Our greenhouse farm is not weather-dependent allowing us to deliver freshly-cut greens year round.  Delivery within a day of harvest yields plants with two-three times more shelf-life than store bought greens.  Yet we are comparably priced.

There is no other source of greens and lettuces that are: 

*Delivered to your door the day after harvest.

*Sustainable, Beyond Organic, Pesticide and GMO free.

*Locally grown in Suffolk, VA reducing your environmental footprint 

and supporting the local economy.

*The most incredible flavor!

To have my greens delivered, I just put a cooler out on my front porch.  Everything was packaged so nicely!  Once I opened up each container to really check out the goodies, it was easy to see that the quality was far superior to what I had been getting at my local grocery store or Sam’s Club.  We enjoyed these greens (baby kale, mesclun, baby spinach, green leaf lettuce, romaine, and some pea shoots!) in salads for several days.  The meal below was a veggie lover’s dream!

Chickpea Tofu BBQ sandwiches <-Recipe here!  Very good!  🙂

Sweet Potato {oven} Fries

side salad with ranch dressing

IMG_3957.jpgIMG_3956.jpgIMG_3954.jpg

I would highly recommend this service!  Just think how inspired you would be to eat your veggies if they came fresh and super delicious to your doorstep!  Here’s a link to explain a little more how it works!

Have you ever tried a delivery service like this?

Blue Apron or any of those other total meal delivery services?

How was your experience?

Natalie

5 for Friday

Wow!  These summer weeks are flying by!  I officially have three weeks left until the end of my maternity leave/summer vacation.  I’m linking up with Andrea, Shay, and Narci for Friday Favorites.

Friday-Favorites-01-1.jpg

I’m also linking up with April, Christina, and Natasha for 5 on Friday.

5onFridayLogo-Final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068.jpg

Can’t forget about this link up too!  Amy and Karli

SUMMER-16-oh-hey-friday_zps7wesjo4r.png

Here’s 5 things going on with me this week!

{ONE}

Books – I’ve done it!  I’ve conquered fiction (I’m a die hard nonfiction) and read 1 book in entirety!  I really enjoyed it too.  😉

IMG_3959.jpg

Basically, the book is set on Nantucket during the summer.  The three step/half sisters have to live together for one summer to be able to sell (and get the $$$) from their father’s vacation home.  Lots of drama and characters!  A great summer read!

Then, I read another nonfiction!  I really enjoyed this book although it didn’t impart any earth-shattering knowledge.  It did reiterate things that I already know/have learned from other books.  One interesting thing was the really overwhelming damaging impact of TV and video games on young minds.  Kind of scary.  P.S.  I had no idea that the American Academy of Pediatrics had issued a statement saying NO TV for kids 2 and under.  Personally, we followed this rule for Holden and plan to do the same with Helen.  I do let Holden watch occasional TV, and he definitely has been loving his one nursing time/one TV show this summer.

IMG_3958.jpg

{TWO}

I’m so so so excited about my sister and mom visiting this weekend!  We are celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday about a month early due to a trip that she will be taking.  I have a few surprises that I’m super excited about.  It will be so good to enjoy both my mom and my sister’s company.  The only thing I really dislike about where we live is that family isn’t right around the corner.

{THREE}

Yummy Recipe to Share – Mix and Match Mama’s Shrimp Tacos – I love this lovely lady’s recipes!  I plan to make two over the weekend.  She uses simple ingredients (and not 5,436 of them either!) to make some yummy food.  I especially enjoyed the avocado corn salsa that goes with the tacos.  I had leftovers for lunch, and I could definitely tell the salsa tasted even better the next day.

IMG_3931.jpgIMG_3932.jpg

IMG_3940.jpg

sorry so blurry!  dinner is fast and furious around here!

{FOUR}

Running/My Foot – Well, it was somewhat better.  I enjoyed about a 4 mile run on the treadmill yesterday morning.  Very minimal foot pain…However, my calf felt very tight and somewhat sore after I hopped off.  There also was a bit of a “creaking” sound in my foot.  I know…yikes!  I plan to rest it and stretch today.  Fingers crossed for a decent run tomorrow!  12 miles!

IMG_3947.jpg

{FIVE}

Playdates – I need to be a little more intentional about scheduling some playdates for Holden.  He definitely wants buddies around to play with, and I am usually up for some playing.  This summer has definitely been a different pace since my time/arms/attention are occupied by Helen.  I’m hoping we can see one of his friends this week!  We’ve also been trying to get out there  and bike ride with our neighbors more often.

Here’s a few cute ones from the camera roll this week!

IMG_3926.jpgIMG_3951.jpgIMG_3943.jpgIMG_3937.jpgIMG_3927.jpg

Hope you have the best weekend!

Natalie

Pinspiration Wednesday

Good Morning!  I’m linking up with Justine, Leigh, and Erica today to share some crockpot recipes that are perfect for those busy school days on the horizon!

PinspirationWednesday.jpg

I know that I’m going to need all the time I have in the late afternoon/evening to check off the daily “to do” stuff AND spend lots of time with the little man and little lady.  I just know I’m going to be missing them so much!  Here are a few supper ideas that will let me enjoy time with them instead of standing over a stove!

Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans – Doesn’t this look easy?!??  I’ve done this before in the oven too.

Seasoned-before-cooking-21-683x1024.jpg

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – I think this looks so good!  You could even use leftovers for tacos.  I would serve this with a nice salad.

Slow-Cooker-White-Chicken-Chili-4.jpg

Let me begin this one by saying I HATE to bake potatoes!  They take so long, but the Mr. (and now Holden) loves them!  This recipe may be our answer…

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes – I would probably do just cheese or just bacon.  I would even add steamed broccoli.

Crock-Pot-Baked-Potatoes-for-a-crowd.jpg

Now, this one isn’t a crockpot recipe but…it’s super easy!

Creamy Potatoes and Peas – I didn’t use fresh peas (frozen instead), and I added leftover rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club (about 1/2 the chicken).  My guys loved it!  The Mr. even requested a definite repeat of this recipe soon!

Creamy-Potatoes-Peas.jpg

Isn’t it just something about a crockpot going that reminds you of the cooler months?!

Speaking of getting ready for school, it’s tax-free weekend here in Virginia starting this Friday.  I got my school supply list for Holden ready to go!  His list is so little compared to what I know it will be as he moves up in school.  In case you are wondering, here is a listing of other states’ tax free weekends.  Happy shopping!  Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Natalie

5 for Friday

It’s time for another five for Friday!  Let’s jump right in!

{ONE}

Running – Lots of running happening around here!  I completed my 10 mile long run of the week on Thursday morning.  I did this, so I would not be running (a long one anyways) over the weekend when we are with family.  This meant I had to rise and shine at 4:30 in order to fit in breakfast and the digestion of it.  I calculated my pace at about 8 minutes 15 seconds.  I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy that particular run.  Some hip pain that alternated sides which I believe may be the result of some toe callouses (lovely image, right?) that were throwing off my stride.  However, I’ve been having awesome shorter runs.  I did the run below on Tuesday in the comfort of my low-humidity home.

IMG_3794.JPGIMG_3797.jpg

Love that fast last mile!  Looks like I ran that last one in 7 minutes and 2 seconds!

{TWO}

Outings – I love doing little outings with Helen and Holden on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This Tuesday we went to the library for a reading of Stellaluna and a real live bat presentation.  Holden was such a good boy.  He sat and listened…even raised his hand with a legitimate question!  I remember taking him there when he was just a little over a year and working on those very skills!  I got to just hang out in the back with Helen.

IMG_3798.jpgIMG_3801.jpgIMG_3803.JPG

We also played at the park across the street afterwards.  Gotta take advantage of these temps that AREN’T in the upper 90’s!

IMG_3808.jpg

Here’s another picture of our Thursday outing…Mt. Trashmore and Goodwill!  Holden even got to pick out a toy!  For $1.25!  😉

IMG_3811.jpg

{THREE}

Checking off my to-do list – I posted back at the beginning of summer a “fun list” of things I hoped to do.  Let’s see how we’re doing!

  • Sprinkler time not yet
  • Sidewalk Chalk sadly not much interest on Holden’s behalf – I think a fun game might work!
  • Visiting all the Eastern Shore family did it!  So much fun!
  • Color Me Pottery {paint your own!} Yes, Holden painted his crab coffee mug 😉
  • Children’s Museum in Portsmouth, VA may opt out of this one
  • Brickheadz {Lego Play Center} Unfortunately, this place has summer camp until 12 each day.  We do best with morning outings, so I’m not sure if we will make it until fall.  
  • Norfolk Zoo Holden is actually going on a summer camp field trip there!  
  • Farmer’s Market Hope to do this in the next couple weeks!
  • Jamestown Visit check!
  • Visiting Granny (& Auntie Brookie and Uncle Michael) Soon!  🙂
  • Fishing Trip for Daddy, Big H, and Poppy Yes!  Holden caught his first fish!
  • Baseball Game – Try, try, try again at this one! We enjoyed seeing the Norfolk Tides play.
  • Beach – Hopefully, we may even try some quick trips with me and the two H’s. 4 trips total for me and the kids.  Two for the Mr.  Hoping to go again soon!
  • 4th of July Parade – Holden loved being in the parade last year.  We’re looking forward to doing it again! Yes, this was so much fun.  
  • Swimming Lessons These were great!  Now, we just need to keep him practicing all his skills.  
  • Library Visits Oh my stars!  We’ve definitely done this one.
  • Little H’s Baptism in August

Menu for Baptism…

IMG_3815.jpg

  • 1 night getaway for me and the Mr. in July – It will be the first night away from kids since Little H’s arrival!  We had to cancel this one.  
  • Play Dates with new and old friends We’ve done some biking with our neighbors!
  • Ziplining Date with the Mr. at The Adventure Park Yes!  This was so much fun.  

I’m so excited about all these things!  My personal goals for June include

  • Put together easel and little table for Holden to use this summer check!  Actually, I delegated these jobs out.  🙂
  • Develop a little summer schedule for Big H’s days at home {He will be attending summer camp starting in July MWF for half days.} with some fun activities We do a little mini “school” on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have a pretty good schedule going too.  
  • Read 3 books!  Not sure if I met this one…just try to read a little in the evening before bed.  
  • Take Holden on a Mommy – Son date I do feel like most of our days are a Mommy & Holden date since Helen sleeps when we are out and about in the morning.  
  • Run outside once a week For sure!  Every since signing up for the half-marathon I’ve been doing lots of running!  😉

Another item on my work to do list was to wash and wax my car.  Holden helped me wash one morning this week, and I waxed while he was at summer camp.  It always reminds me of my grandfather.  He was the first one to show me how to wax a car.  I remember being underneath a large pine tree in the backyard with him…just waxing away!  He had definite opinions about the right way to do it.  Never would have approved of this wax!  It did the trick though.

IMG_3809.jpg

{FOUR}

Bizarre Food I Eat – I think everyone has some weird stuff that they like to eat.  This week I’ve been enjoying a hard-boiled egg (sliced) on two pieces of toast with BBQ sauce.  Absolutely delicious!  I know you’re probably grossed out, but (like I tell Holden) you should try it before you say you don’t like it!  I’ve been eating the same breakfast for like a month a half.  1/2 cup oatmeal + 1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter + 1 tbsp. Trader Joe’s raspberry jelly + lots of boiling water.  Then, I let it sit covered for a few minutes.  Last, I microwave it for like twenty seconds.  If it isn’t soupy enough, I add extra water.  I love this breakfast!  So filling AND sweet!  No picture of either of these items as I’m sure the pictures would do them no justice!

{FIVE}

Summery Desserts! – I’m going to pick up the ingredients to try out these Strawberry Lemonade Bars this afternoon.  I have really been enjoying lighter desserts since the weather has been so hot.  Don’t these look delicious!?!?

strawberry_lemonade_bars.jpg

photo & recipe from the baker upstairs

P.S. I realized I didn’t snap any pics of baby Helen this week!  Poor girl!  I’m going to blame it on having my hands-full when she’s awake!  I’ll try to do better by the sweet girl this weekend.  Have a great one!

Natalie

5 for Friday

Hi there!  I’m so excited that it’s Friday!  Now, I’m on maternity leave right now, so it’s not exactly like I’m super excited to be off from work.  I am excited that the Mr. will be home for three whole days!  That means I will get to talk to someone who actually responds over the course of the day!  🙂  Here are five things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

Sleep Training – Gosh, it just makes me tired thinking about it!  We (not really…it’s mostly me) have been a little all over the place with how we are putting Helen down at bedtime.  I’ve read so many blog posts, online articles, actual books, and even a DVD about sleep and babies.  A lot is similar.  However, there are enough subtle differences that can really affect how you approach sleep and your baby…I specifically found lots of differences with how you approach that stressful time of the day from 5:30-9.  Helen is the fussiest from about 7:00-8:30.  In my efforts to help her out, I think I’ve actually hurt the situation by bouncing from one idea to the other.  Last night, we talked about our game plan and committed to following it.  It’s so nice to have a parenting parter aka the Mr. how is on the same page…most the time!  Just FYI – we are following the routine laid out in Babywise.  No negative comments!  It worked absolutely wonderfully for our #1 bambino.

{TWO}

I honestly miss caffeinated coffee.  This is my new French press…  I’m not sure I like it better than a traditional coffee pot, but I do feel less wasteful.  I’m the only AM coffee drinker at our house.  I always feel like I make too much.

IMG_3257.jpg

I’ve been on this decaf stuff since last fall.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I was even drinking only decaf tea.  I can’t wait for next spring!  There are so many things mamas give up and/or change when they are pregnant or nursing.  I plan to drink coffee with abandon, rub toxic chemicals aka those found in anti-aging creams and other assorted toiletries/cosmetics all over me, and possibly have more than .5 of a drink next spring.  I will not be the mom nursing her child into preschool!  No thank you.  Truthfully, I don’t enjoy breastfeeding!  There!  I said it!  I do it, because I want the best for my child.  I can’t wait to have nothing latched on to me, but I’m thankful I’m able to do it now when she needs it.

{THREE}

We are hoping to go to the beach tomorrow!  I’m very excited about this!  🙂  I got this new sunscreen spray to try out from Wal-Mart.  I know sprays aren’t the best, but it’s quite challenging to put sunscreen on your own back.

IMG_3254.jpg

This is the sunscreen I typically use on me and H…

450.jpg

It has a great smell, but it does require some thorough rubbing to make sure it soaks in.

This will be one of Helen’s first big outings.  Girlfriend got a new outfit for the beach occasions in her future.

101a3_pink_suit__46304.1436673995.220.290.jpg

Link here.

She also has some sunglasses and a hat from here.  I also got Holden one of these SPF suits when he was little.  Technically, you are not supposed to use sunscreen on little ones.  These suits are perfect.  I also used Holden’s when we would go on walks.

{FOUR}

Fun Food – We are supposed to go to a Norfolk Tides baseball game with Poppy (Moochie is watching the little girl.) on Sunday.  I’m hoping the rain stays away for this!  Afterwards, we are planning to grill up some hot dogs and other sides.  I’m going to make this dessert, Red, White and Blue Trifle, from Mix and Match Mama.

{FIVE}

Summer Plans – Holden has two more weeks of preschool.  Then, he’ll be home with Little H and I until after the 4th of July.  He’ll be attending summer camp at his preschool three days a week for half days in July and August.  We thought this would give me a little time with just Helen and also give Holden some fun activities to look forward to each week.  Since we’ll all be together each and every day for a few weeks in June, I’m trying to brainstorm ideas for what we’ll do.  We won’t be jaunting off each day, but I would like to plan a couple things each week to do…like the park, library, does the grocery store count as fun with two kids???  I’m hoping to share that list on Monday.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend!

Natalie

 

 

A Meal and A Lofty Craft Ambition

It seems as if my school days are more fast and furious each day!  Although I complain about it sometimes a lot, I do like being busy.  There is a fine line between completely overwhelmed and just putting in good work on a work day.  Teaching English/reading skills all day is good in a way as the skills and lessons can overlap somewhat being I’m working with third and fourth graders now.  It just cracks me up that NO YEAR is remotely the same as the last, and I laugh at the thought of being able to reuse/recycle lesson plans!  So not happening!

Today’s chillier temps and a busy day meant it was a soup and bread kind of dinner for us.  My favorite soup recipe is this…

-1 pkg frozen mixed veggies

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 32 oz. container of chicken broth

-2 cans navy beans, rinsed and drained

-2 tbsp.-ish of olive oil

-salt & pepper

-2 bay leaves

  1. Soften chopped onions in olive oil in large stock pot for approximately ten minutes over medium/high heat.  Be careful not to burn.  I do this often!
  2. Add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil and let boil for about five minutes.
  3. Reduce heat or turn off completely with lid on for about 15-20 minutes or whatever!
  4. Server with warm bread and butter (preferable that you let someone else bake for you!  Thanks Kroger!)

Ta-da!  Everyone LOVED it!  H especially liked dipping his bread in his soup.  I am reminded at every meal how thankful I am that H is a super good eater.  This recipe gave us dinner and three containers of left-overs for lunches.  Enjoy!  🙂

Now, my craft isn’t that easy!  I’ve always admired these peace sign wreaths…especially at Christmas time.  I would love to have one and discovered one to buy.  However, it was sadly more than ten bucks (like 5 times that much!), and I’m cheap.  Here’s the one at CB2!

cat-inner-peace-wreath

Then, there’s this DIY one…

wreath

It doesn’t look super complicated.  I think the most challenging part may be gathering up the twigs!  Fortunately, I’m pretty sure I can wander around my parents house and find some that would work.  Hmmm…DIY is not my thing.  What should I do?  Buy, make or just admire via the internet?  🙂

Speaking of other Pinteresty wants – Look at this neat one!  It’s a fingerprint sweethearts necklace.  I LOVE personalized jewelry that is super meaningful.  What could be more personal than something as unique as a fingerprint of your love?!?

il_570xN.544580222_nn1f

More cute jewelry!  I love all these cross bracelets!  Unfortunately, the one I like the best {the white one} is sold out right now.

Could this post be anymore random???  Yes, it could.  I know when I’m not feeling my best or when things are challenging at work the people (and doggie) at home get the rest of me, sometimes not the best of me.  I saw this good reminder recently and thought I would share.

Club31Women.com_20-Little-Things-to-Make-A-Big-Difference-Free-Printable-473x1024

Click here to get the free printable!

It can be hard to remember in the craziness and demands of the day, but I know ultimately that my husband, my child, my family have to be my priority over students, fulfilling roles outside these walls, etc.  Each day is another chance and another challenge.  Hopefully, this list inspires you like it inspires me.

1950F063759FBD8D5632F4CA61CFC2E6