Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Cookies Part 1


It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. I can not believe how fast it has come. There is always something magical about this time of year. There's just more happiness in the air. And as much as I love Christmas, I don't want it to come yet because I don't want it to be over!

So far my family has done the following to celebrate the holiday season...

Visited a Christmas tree farm
Sat on Santa's lap ( the kids not me )
Saw Santa's reindeer
Decorated our Christmas tree
Watched the classic Christmas movies (Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
Put up our Christmas lights
Wrapped gifts and put them under the tree
Started an advent calendar and then lost said calendar 

But now for the best part of all. BAKING. I love love love baking for my family.

CHRISTMAS COOKIE SEASON

I mean literally just a perfect excuse to make and eat dozens of cookies. Today I am making one of my own favorites which are the Italian rainbow cookies. And one of my husband's favorites the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kisses on top. Also, known as the Santa hat cookies.

Every year I always say that I am going to attempt to make rainbow cookies but never do because they are a little bit of work. But this year they are my mission. Since I have never made them before I didn't have a recipe so this one is inspired by allrecipes which I have included the link below.  Rainbow Cookie Recipe 

What we need


8 ounces almond paste
1 cup butter at room temp.
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (separated)
2 cups flour
6 drops red food coloring
8 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot preserve

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (melted)

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9x13 inch baking pans with parchment paper.

Step 2
In a large bowl, break apart almond paste with a fork, and cream together with butter, sugar, and egg yolks. When mixture is fluffy and smooth, stir in flour to form a dough. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the dough. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Mix one portion with red food coloring, and one with green food coloring. Spread each portion into one of the prepared baking pans.




TIP- I only had two 9x13 baking pans so I baked the first 2 layers and had to wait to bake the last layer. However, I found that as the dough got to closer to room temperature while waiting, it was much easier to spread the last layer onto the baking sheet. Next time I will leave all 3 portions of dough for 15 minutes before spreading onto the parchment paper baking sheet.




Step 3
Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Carefully remove from pan and parchment paper, and let cool.




Step 4
Place green layer onto a piece of foil large enough to wrap all three layers. Spread green layer with raspberry jam, and top with uncolored layer. Spread with apricot jam, and top with pink layer. Transfer layers to a baking sheet, and enclose with plastic wrap. Place a heavy cutting board on top of wrapped layers to compress. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

TIP- I was afraid that when I was assembling the layers together that they were going to break apart. So instead of trying to peel them off the parchment paper, I flipped the layer face down and then peeled the parchment paper off the top! It worked great!



I know I know it doesn't look so pretty! YET! I was a little concerned myself!

Step 5
Remove foil. Top with melted chocolate chips, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until chocolate is firm. Slice into small squares to serve.




FINISHED PRODUCT!!!!



Now for the Santa Hat Cookies! These are super easy!


Of course I realize that I do not have vegetable oil. So I am going to substitute that with coconut oil.

All you need is
Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
1 egg
1 tablespoon of water
3 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper because it just makes it so much easier.

Step 2 
Mix all ingredients together.

TIP- If you are using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, make sure that the water and egg are room temperature so that it does not cause the melted coconut oil to harden. I first mixed in the egg and water a little bit before adding the coconut oil.

Step 3
Shape dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased or lined cookie sheet. Use fork to flatten cookies into crisscross pattern.


Step 4
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the cookie size. Or until edges are light golden brown. I made large ones this time. 

Step 5 
When cookies come out of the oven, top each one with a Hershey's kiss.


ALL DONE!



Now we can eat them :)

We had a such a good day together. I had my little audience while I baked. Baby girl even wanted to help!




Still more time to bake more cookies!!!




















Saturday, December 10, 2016

Homemade cough drops but not !!

So I've been battling a cold the last week or so. Basically, can I get away with not going to the doctor and just will away the sickness?!

As I was laying in bed, resting and browsing through Pinterest, I came across a recipe for homemade cough drops.

I, of course, watch the video and think to myself... that looks pretty easy.

Realize I don't have half the ingredients and that I am way too lazy to try to do this right now. I mean I am sick and don't want to move.

So anyways, I have some raw honey from this fabulous place in Florida and have an idea. I pull out some wax paper and make droplets of honey and throw it into a freezer. Now I don't actually think this is going to work but I'm like maybe it will freeze?!


Well, it did not freeze. 

BUT!!!!  It was very, very soothing on my throat to scoop it off the paper by the spoonful and eat it :)

So it was a fail but not a complete fail!!! Cold honey drops for a sore throat for the win :)


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy December!

YES! The very best part of winter is the holiday season! It is upon us!



Our family got our Christmas tree this weekend! We visited with Santa and even saw his reindeer.

Baby boy absolutely loved hanging with Santa. Baby girl couldn't get away from him fast enough. As soon as she saw him she put her hand over her eyes. She was very happy to say goodbye and couldn't blow him kisses fast enough. 

So much more to post about all the fun things to do this holiday season! 



Sunday, November 13, 2016

4 ways to use a fresh pumpkin (DIY HOMEMADE BABY FOOD, pumpkin muffins, freezable fresh pumpkin bags, pumpkin seeds)


Since my babies are too little to carve pumpkins, I decided to use the entire pumpkin for cooking purposes.


The first thing I did was cut off the top of the pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds and inside stuff. Then I cut the pumpkin into sectioned pieces. I got a big pot of water boiling and threw the pumpkin in. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft enough to easily stick with a fork. Let cool for a few minutes and then scoop flesh off of skin.

TIP - Do not worry about trying to get the skin off the flesh before cooking. It comes off very easy when cooked.


#1 Pumpkin Seeds
1. Cut off top of pumpkin and scoop insides out
2. Separate seeds from gooey stuff
3. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with seasonings
Bake for approximately 10 minutes on 350 degrees

I love me a salty snack so I like to just season with salt. But I have also done cinnamon and sugar which is a nice sweet kick. 

# DIY Homemade baby food
1. Cut pumpkin into sectioned pieces and boil in water for 10 minutes or until soft enough to easily stick with a fork
2. Separate flesh of pumpkin from skin and put into food processor
3. Add breast milk or formula and blend until smooth
4. Freeze extra

I literally became obsessed with making my own baby food for my daughter. I just couldn't believe how easy it was. The best part of it was being able to freeze extra and just pulling it out when I needed it, instead of having to run to the store. My pediatrician suggested starting with orange vegetables first so here is another good one to start with.

#3 Freezable Fresh Pumpkin bags
Label, Scoop and Freeze


#4 Pumpkin Muffins


I made this recipe a printable! :)

Today's forecast is 61 and sunshine. Let's enjoy the last days of fall!






Friday, November 11, 2016

2 under 2 Chapter 4 - My baby girl


When I first started this blog I wasn't sure exactly how personal I wanted to get. But mostly importantly how much of my kids lives that I wanted to show.

But this morning I took a picture of my girl capturing her true essence as a little person in all its glory and I felt like I just need to share this.

So let's start from the beginning of the morning. She woke up about 6:45 and was already snuggled next to me in bed. So I put on Goldie and Bear because lord knows I'm getting tired of the damn Mickey Mouse Club. She is always a little mushy in the morning and needs a little extra snuggle time whether it's me holding her or just laying in bed a little longer.

So we hang out until about 7:15 when the baby boy wakes up. He also wakes up pretty happy today and we let him join girl time and watch a little TV with us. Which of course doesn't last very long.

So we do the usual diaper changes and breakfast routine.

Today I decided to do my son's 4 month pictures even though I am a few days late... So I think to myself while I am going to dress him up so cute that I should dress her up too and try to get a few pictures of them together. I really do not have a lot! It's near impossible to get a good one of the two of them, I guess you could say I am feeling motivated this morning.

So first I got him all dressed and ready to go. I only half dress my baby girl in her shirt and I did her hair. We did her hair the way we do it most days. She really doesn't love her getting her hair brushed so maybe I let her sit on the bathroom counter with her feet in the sink. Just maybe I also let her put on the faucet to splash her little feet. ( Hence why I only put her shirt on ) She has the curliest and most beautiful little head of hair. I mean I am not partial or anything but still.

I am getting off topic a little bit but since I mentioned it I have to share his 4 month picture with you.


OK so while this cuteness was going on....

My baby girl absolutely LOVES taking baths. I mean literally any time of day that I would let her take a bath she would. So before I had started taking the pictures of my little man. She was trying to get into the EMPTY tub. I didn't want her to fall over into the tub and hurt herself so I just picked her up and put her inside. There were already some of her toys in there and I knew it would keep her occupied for literally 3 minutes is all I needed.

Then I heard the water running.

PLEASE keep in mind the bathroom is across from his bedroom and I can see directly into the bathroom at any point!!!

Anyways, I go in and check and see that she is just splashing her feet in there.

So I go back and take a few pictures. Peek my head in at her. Check the pictures. 

I take him off of the chair and get him settled in the living room with pillows so that I can finish getting the baby girl ready and try to get a few pictures of them together, Go back to get her and.... this....


" Oh hey ma, yeah I am not feeling the photo shoot. I think we should push it back until after my lunch break. "

This is who she is. DETERMINED. 
When my daughter was around 6 months old and I took just the cutest picture of her and decided that I had to enter it into the one of many cute kid contests that are around these days. That is until you get to the end of the application and you have to pay to enter and I'm like no thanks! This one in particular contest asked to describe your child in just one word and I right away chose DETERMINED.

She always has this sense about her that when she is on a mission to do something, she is going to do it. I mean to the point where I can call her name 8 times in a row, she obviously hears me and is obviously ignoring me because she is just too busy into doing whatever it is she's doing to be bothered. She will not be distracted for a moment until she is done.

And yes kids should listen to their mother when they are being called, But maybe she doesn't have to stop what she is doing every time someone is trying to get her attention in life. And maybe she doesn't always have to do things by the book. 

I love her creativity. I love the way she does things on her on own time. And as her mother I promise to never push her to be anything but herself. 


















Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!! Free Printable Fall Bucket List!

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone is getting in the spirit, getting dressed up or getting ready to trick or treat!

 Well, today is the last day of October so I was just curious how everyone did with their favorite fall activities. I did not get to everything on my bucket list but I did do a lot of fun things with my family.



As for me I am going to try and cram as much of this as I can before the winter comes :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2 under 2 Chapter 3 How to survive a roadtrip

We made it. 12 hours in the car with 2 under 2.

 


Here was our plan of attack.

Step 1. Pack the car the night before so you can just pack up the last minute things and cooler but theoretically you can throw the kiddies in the car and be on your way.

Step 2. Leave at 3 am so that we were guaranteed at least a few solid hours of the children sleeping. It was just not possible to leave at their bedtime (somewhere between 7 and 9 pm) after both my husband and I working a full day and then trying to pull an all nighter. We are just too old for that.

Step 3. Bring a DVD player with about 25 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And YES I absolutely swore I would never be "one of those mothers" that shoved electronics onto their children just to keep them occupied but guess what ... desperate times call for desperate measures. For my own sanity, yes, I am now prepared to watch Mickey Mouse for 5 hours straight if that is what it takes to make it to the destination.

Step 4. Pack a secret weapon. For my baby girl that would be goldfish. Anyone who knows (and loves :) ) me, knows that I do my very best to feed my girl as healthy as possible.  My feeling is that while she is still young enough to not know what junk food is, I see absolutely no reason to give it to her. Especially if she is not asking for it.  And yes I absolutely make exceptions if everyone is having birthday cake then I will not leave her out of the fun.  But on the day to day she eats healthy and let me tell you she loves all fruits and veggies and loves trying new things! But back to the goldfish. This was so clutch at the last 45 minutes of the trip when she's been in the car for over 11 hours and just wants to sit in mama's lap. She is now bored with mickey, putting the window up and down, and listening to me pointing out the water, trees, boats and whatever else I can think of. Goldfish. Oh I don't get these at home. Give me more. And now I am happy for a few more minutes.

My baby boy is just shy of 4 months old so there is only so much you can do to keep him entertained. Thankfully he is a pretty easy baby in the sense that as long as he has someone to talk to him, he is very smiley and happy.  So being stuck in a car actually works out great to be able to give him all the attention he wants. But again there is only so much conversation that a baby can take before getting stir crazy and wanting to be held by mama!

All in all I think we made about 5 stops. One stop for a poop diaper. One stop to change out of the pjs. One stop to get out and run around for a little bit to get some energy out. However, we were attacked by bugs and had to jump back into the car which made it extremely hard to get the kids back into their seats. They had a taste of freedom and were not happy going back in the car. One thing I hate about feeding my baby boy in the car is that I never know if he needs to burp. Is he crying because he has to burp or because he just wants to get out of the car seat. Sometimes it is a little of both.

But we made it. Leaving the cold weather behind in New York for the sunny and warm weather of North Carolina.

                                                      It was all worth it for this alone.
                                                GG got to meet her 3rd great grandchild.

I will keep you posted about the trip back!





Monday, October 17, 2016

2 under 2 Chapter 2 FUN FALL ACTIVITIES


Well here is the whole family! I am in between two car seats and Lola is riding shotgun. It's just easier this way. We were on our way to a fall festival. My daughter had a great time listening to the local band and she was bopping away. We also got to see the little animal section chickens, bunnies, tortoises, etc. We did not ride the pony. But my daughter's favorite part of all... climbing the hay bales... over and over again.

My daughter is 18 months old and has recently become very interested in coloring. So this morning we started our day by coloring a pumpkin with crayons.

There are so many fun things to do in the fall and some of them don't cost a thing. I have already done some of the things on my list but need to get to more before the season is over!

My fall bucket list

Find a fall festival
Visit a pumpkin patch
Carve or decorate a pumpkin
Go apple picking
Take a long walk and look at all the trees and leaves changing color
Have a picnic
Find a corn maze
Go to a haunted house
Take a hayride
Put together a leaf pile for the kids to jump in
Make decorations for Halloween
Cook a delicious fall inspired soup (this year I made a creamy yellow squash soup)
Collect leaves for the kids to trace, paint, or make a craft
Have a Halloween movie night
Drink cider
Sip hot chocolate
Enjoy a lazy football Sunday

Break out the blankets, make a backyard campfire and roast some marshmallows.
I shall skip the fire this year with my 2 under 2 crew.

My favorite is baking fall treats. There are so many great recipes using pumpkin and apples. So far this year I have made pumpkin brownies, pumpkin dip, and pumpkin muffins. I still need to make pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin and cinnamon apple bread at some point... YUM. If you want to pick up a pie on the way I am quite sure that no one is going to complain.

Spend as much time as you can in the fresh air. It is beautiful this time of year.




Monday, October 3, 2016

PUMPKIN Cheesecake Dip!



It's pumpkin season and I have been slacking!

My second favorite time of year (after summer) is just that. Right after summer when it starts to get chilly and it is the best excuse to start baking season. Just for extra warmth in the house and the scent of anything pumpkin in the oven. YAY

Naptime in my house is the best time to be in the kitchen.

However today this is a NO BAKE recipe :) Super easy!

Perfect when you are pressed for time and who isn't these days.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

What you need
3 cups of ricotta cheese
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Garnish
Chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree and cinnamon.
2. Using a mixer add the ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt.
3. Garnish with powdered sugar and walnuts.

Serve with vanilla wafers or graham crackers and enjoy :)



Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to make your own baby food! Chapter 1

    Sweet Potatoes (2 ways without a baby food maker)



NOTE : Making your own baby food is so so much easier than you imagine it to be!

So when you first find out that you are pregnant, there are a million thoughts and emotions that are running through your mind. I'm sure whether or not you are going to buy jar baby food or make your own is definitely not one of them. 

One of the most fun and exciting things to do with your daddy to be / mom / sisters / whoever is nice enough to help, is to create your baby registry! Yayy to picking out adorable themed nurseries, the cutest baby clothes and of course all the crazy gadgets that you have absolutely no idea how to use. 

I almost had a meltdown when I got to the bottle section. Why are there so many different bottles with so many pieces?! 

Anyways I came across a baby food maker and I was like that looks awesome. Let's scan that. 

If you are annoying like me, you check your registry as time goes on and see what has been bought. Wahoo someone got it for me. But then my baby shower came and went and I didn't get it. So a few weeks after my shower I got a surprise in the mail! The baby food maker and I was so excited!

So fast forward to when my daughter was 6 months old and now had the go ahead to start her off on cereal. Next was orange vegetables... which bring me to my first baby food I ever made...

Sweet Potatoes (2 ways)

1
Step 1 - Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour
Step 2 - Scoop out the sweet potato and mash
Step 3 - Mix in breast milk or formula to make it smoother

2
Step 1 - Peel sweet potato and cut into a few pieces
Step 2 - Boil for approximately 10 minutes or until soft enough to easily pierce with a fork
Step 3 - Throw cooked potato and breast milk or formula into a food processor (or blender) and mix until smooth

THAT'S IT!

If you have a baby food maker it is as easy as peeling the sweet potato, throwing it inside the basket, and pressing a button to steam it. Then when it beeps dump the potato (with breast milk or formula) into the processor, blend, and you are done.


The real beauty is that pictured above is only one sweet potato!!!! It was enough to fill four 2 ounce containers which is more than enough for a few days worth of feeding AND to freeze half. There is no better feeling than having a back up stock of baby food in the freezer. :)


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Meal Prep SUNDAY - quinoa salad bowls

I was going to take the day off relaxing with my family and wait until tomorrow to do meal prep Monday. Then I remembered my husband would be home all day watching football. Of course on week 1 of football Sundays he wants to juggle 2 kiddies while I cook :) Don't worry he benefits from this too!

Meal prepping can be time consuming and annoying but it really does make life so much easier for the rest of the week. Especially when I go back to work.

Which brings me to one of my favorite healthy lunch ideas... QUINOA SALAD BOWLS


TIP- I just learned the best trick to cook quinoa. You can cook it in the rice cooker! When I cook quinoa on the stove I am never really sure whether it is cooked enough. So using a rice cooker makes it quick and easy!

Ingredients
Quinoa
Craisins
Walnuts

-Add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to cook in the rice maker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( If you don't have one, you can cook on the stove top.)
- After the quinoa is cooked, it should be enough to portion out for at least 3 lunches.
- Add craisins and walnuts
- Enjoy :)

**If desired to have dressing, add a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar depending on how you like it. Because quinoa is very plain, it is easy to kill it by adding just a little too much dressing.**

Okay back to football :)




Friday, September 9, 2016

Lazy FriYAY!!!


Wahoo! It's Friday!!! This is what a good morning looks like... :)

Today we are going to spend the morning cuddling in bed and watching TV in our pajamas for a little bit longer than we should and I am going to love every minute of it.

The hardest thing about having 2 under 2... they are both babies. Yes, an obvious observation, I know that. But what I mean is that when they wake up, they both need me at the same time. They both want to be held a little longer when they are waking up, they are both hungry and need to be changed. So the mornings usually start off very chaotic.

But not today!

Two sets of fresh diapers.
A little bottle for my baby girl to get back in bed with.
A bottle to feed my baby boy.
A cup of coffee for mama and we are in business.
Everyone is content and happy to be together... even the dog and 2 cats are curled up somewhere in the bedroom.

Today we will soak in our time together as it is almost time for me to return to work.

I am working on being in the moment with my children instead of trying to capture EVERY SINGLE MOMENT... I am so afraid that I am going to miss a picture or video of my kids doing something that I find hilarious or adorable or bad lol. I am so afraid that I will forget even one day of them being this small.

So today I will soak it all in...except this picture because when my daughter voluntarily snuggles up closer to her baby brother I just can't help myself! Work in progress.

Happy Weekend !!!!!




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

3 ingredient pizza rolls for dinner!


FREEZER MEAL!!

Last week I made chicken pot pie and I had some extra pie crusts. So I started thinking what can I make for dinner without having to go to the store... PIZZA ROLLS

Everyone needs a little pizza now and then.

I love this because if you freeze the rolls in a tin you can literally pull them out of the freezer and into the oven and dinner is done!!

This is also super fun for kids or picky eaters because you can make all different shapes and sizes.

I always make my own marinara sauce but today we are going for the super quick and easy recipe that is still delicious!


3 Ingredients

Pre-made pie crust
A jar of marinara sauce
Shredded mozzarella sauce

Step 1: Cut pie crust to desired size and shape
Step 2: Spoon a little sauce onto each piece of crust
Step 3: Add cheese
Step 4: Seal up the edges with a fork
Step 5: Arrange on a baking sheet

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown

ENJOY :)




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2 under 2... Chapter 1 Warning! Rough morning ahead!!

That should have been a text message from the universe last night.

Well, actually maybe the foreshadowing was my daughter throwing up all over herself and her daddy at bedtime. Bath time again! Strip the bed spread! Clean the floors!

Baby boy slept through the night for the 4th night in a row...

Baby girl, not so much. Every night that he has slept through the night, she likes to wake up at 2 am ready to partayyyyyy.  She must think she is missing out on something but her brother is sleeping!

Anyways it's only 1145 am and they are both down for their naps at the same time. Which is fabulous now but prepare for disaster when they both wake up at the same time.  It is 11:45 am and I feel like its 10:00 pm.

Baby boy wakes up at 6:30 am and very hungry after a good night rest. He sucks down his bottle and then spits it back up all over the both of us. At least I jumped off the couch fast enough. Okay, so let's hit the reset button and start the morning over because now its time for a bath, new diaper and new outfit!

But now baby girl wakes up and she wants me. I put on mickey mouse for her because I just need a little more time with her brother. She is crying because she wants to get on the bed. But she can't be trusted on the bed because she stands up and runs around on it. It is only a matter of time before she belly flops right off. So instead she is on my leg. She wants up but I am busy!

Breakfast time. Why does my daughter insist on trying to climb out of the high chair while I am feeding the baby. I NEED MORE TIME ALL THE TIME! It seems like no matter what I try to do this morning someone is crying and wants to be held. And I am pretty sure my daughter is faking it and just wants to be held :)

Okay, baby boy falls asleep and baby girl is distracted by mickey for a minute. Now I attempt to run downstairs and change the washed clothes to the dryer and bring down a new load. Nope she caught me now she must come with! Guess the clean clothes are staying down there for a few more hours.

Sometimes I ask myself why do I bother trying to do these things while they are awake? Then I remember it would never get done if I waited.

And this cycle continues for the entire morning. He's crying. She's crying. Pick one up, put one down.

Every chore I try to get done, she is quick behind me wrecking it all. Dumping drawers of clothes, unfolding clothes, pulling out couch cushions to bounce on, but mostly making sure I have my full attention on her at all times. All while my son is crying on and off. I can't help but smile and laugh to myself while I am writing this. It's actually not that serious.

When all is said and done, there are only two things I am going to remember about this crazy morning. It's not going to be if the dishes got done. Or if the laundry got put away or that I left my bathroom floor soaking wet. It will be the time I spent reading to my daughter with her snuggled in my lap and holding my peaceful, sleeping son. 

Life has no warnings and that's probably a good thing. My family is healthy, happy, and taken care of and loved. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters. The rest is mostly bullshit! So maybe this post is just me being dramatic but sometimes it's overwhelming! I think we as mothers put the most pressure on ourselves. We want to be our best every second of the day. We want to do it all. No one is asking us to be perfect so why are we expecting ourselves to be?



Friday, August 19, 2016

A cure for constipated babies!!

When my daughter turned one and it was time to switch from formula to whole milk (YES! goodbye expensive formula!), she absolutely loved it!

The only problem was that it seemed to make her constipated. Ugh. This was absolute torture. The worst feeling in the world is watching your baby in pain and not being able to do anything to help. My daughter is usually such a happy go lucky girl and mostly quiet, until she feels like chatting. She would scream and cry and work up a sweat because she was so uncomfortable at times. I had to do something to stop this and I didn't want to change her to soy milk at such a young age.

I started to cut up prunes once a day and that seemed to do the trick. Except she would get sick of eating them after a few days in a row and would refuse to eat them.

One day while my daughter and I were spending the day with her Grandpa, he suggested to put just a little bit of prune juice into her bottle with her milk. I said "Ew!! That is disgusting and that is not going to work!"

Well guess what I did....I googled it.

And guess what I found....

ADD A LITTLE PRUNE JUICE TO THE BOTTLE WITH THE MILK!
(just a teaspoon or two)

So everyday I added a teaspoon of prune juice to all of her bottles and she never had that problem again. It worked like a charm! (Just don't add too much otherwise you will have a different problem!)
Happy baby = happy mom.

Well Grandpa, you were right. Just one of the many reasons why my daughter will forever be Grandpa's girl.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Motherhood is....

Motherhood is.... 

Fill in the blank Moms!!

For me today....

Motherhood is... when you have a doctor appointment in 20 mins and you are about to walk out of the house and your son has an explosive $#!^ and covers himself and me... Looks like I will be late today....

Motherhood means so many different things to so many different parents on a day to day basis.

Every day is a new journey.

Some days are easier than others.

Some days are more stressful.

At the end of the day just remember to take a deep breath or two because....

Shit happens. Literally.




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

To cook or not to cook? That is the question!



I love to cook! I could cook all day long. It's the clean up that really sucks!

But lately one of my biggest struggles with 2 under 2 is finding the time to feed myself. As much as I would love to fit into my skinny jeans, I keep reminding myself how important it is to eat enough and healthy choices because I am still pumping breast milk.  And of course I need energy to run after these two rugrats.

By the time I am done with the morning routine of changing two sets of diapers (sometimes two sets of two lol), two sets of outfits, giving baby boy a bottle, feeding baby girl her breakfast, and finding time to pump somewhere in between, I hate to admit I find myself grabbing things that are easy to wolf down while I'm doing five other things. Granola bars, pop tarts, and ok maybe a cookie once or twice!! 

I have always loved to try to freeze half of what I was preparing or cooking. This comes in handy when I run out of time to prepare a full out meal. Having back up meals in the freezer makes life easier to have a "lazy day" and still feel good about serving the family a good meal. This makes time to do something fun instead of spending extra hours in the kitchen. Screw cooking dinner, its movie night!

So, here is what is on the breakfast menu for today. Egg muffins! 
I'm going to keep half in the fridge for the week and freeze the other half.  This will stop me from grabbing something easy from the snack pantry when I am running around in the morning. Filling and wholesome! 
I am writing the recipe for what I like in my egg muffins but feel free to add extra veggies, take out what you don't like, or add some meat to make it extra tasty! 

Egg muffins 
Makes 12 to 15 large muffins. 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or butter. Set aside. 
3. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium to low heat. Toss in 3 cups of chopped mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally and set aside. 
4. In a bowl whisk together... 
12 whole eggs ( you can substitute with egg whites if you like ) 
1/2 cup of milk 
10 ounce package of frozen spinach (or fresh spinach) 
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese 
Add mushrooms
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste 
5. Fill tins almost all the way to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown.

Enjoy!!! Don't forget to freeze some for a quick breakfast to go!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Breastfeeding at the beach?!

Packing a cooler for a day at the beach sure has changed for me and my husband....
For all my breastfeeding mommas on the move this summer, do you feel comfortable putting up a towel barricade to breastfeed your baby?

I am a strictly breast pumping mom at this point so I am packing a cooler of frozen breast milk to take with me! There are no outlets at the beach so I will have to find somewhere to pump.  I hate having to find random places to pump but giving my baby breast milk is so so important to me.

I am a firm believer that as a mom you have to find what works for you. You are your own boss and you know what is best for your babies! Not everyone will agree with your choices but that doesn't matter because guess what you are the mama not them :)

Of course it is easier to bring unfrozen breast milk but if this is all you have, then here is a quick and easy way to defrost the breast milk on the beach...

Bring a large container such as a tupperware and a few extra bottles of water.
When you get to the beach, fill the container with water and leave it in the sun to warm up the water.
When you need a bag of breast milk, place it in the warm water for a few minutes.
Be sure to take the bag out occasionally while its defrosting, and use your fingers to knead the contents so that it will mix it up.
When its to a temperature that your baby likes, pour it into a bottle and you are good to go!

Just be sure not to leave the breast milk in the sun for too long!!!




Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Struggle is Real!



Hello world!!!! My name is Erica and I am the mother of two babies under the age of two! My daughter is 16 months old and my son is one month old! I also have a husband, a dog and two cats. So I guess that would make my house pretty fun/chaotic and why my husband and I refer to our home as "the zoo." So I guess my first post should be about what made me want to start this blog? Especially because I am not computer or internet savvy in the least bit. However, that is what brought me here. When I found out I was pregnant, I found myself googling question after question. Silly things…. such as can I eat this food? But also the more private and embarrassing questions that I felt more comfortable reading about before I voiced my concerns to the women in my life. Like is this normal?? Which I did quite often.  After my daughter was born and I was officially a brand new first time mom, I was still googling question after question. I love to ask the experienced moms in my life their thoughts, ideas, the way they did things etc. But also to my pregnant/first time mom friends who were wondering the same thing I was…. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?!