June 4, 2014

Hello :)

If you're new here, I haven't blogged much lately (you can read about that here, here, and here), and mostly you can find me these days on Instagram.

If you're from

-the Naptime Diaries post where Jessi talks about taking care of herself as a mama and making her skin glow again,
-the Wifessionals post where Kaitlyn explains how she got rid of her post-partum acne,
-the Thrive post where I explain why my husband doesn't have to get a second job,
-a Sorta Fairytale,

you can learn more about Rodan + Fields and why I do what I do here

And if you're just plain curious, you can learn more about me here, learn how my husband and I fell in love here, my most important piece of breastfeeding advice here, family photos of my little crew here, my son's birth story here, my daughter's birth story here, and my most favorite thing I've done online to date: Real Motherhood

Thanks for visiting :).

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April 11, 2014

7 quick takes

With Jen.

1.  We went out for tacos last night. I've explained how picky we are about our Mexican food, but we've yet to find The Place here. Last night was good (I could swim in Torchy's Tacos queso), though. All it was missing was a margarita and my best friend/taco partner. 

2. Are you on Instagram? You should be. If you're not following me, you should, so I can follow you. I am reeeeeeally starting to like Instagram.

3. We're going on a sugar detox!


I've been wanting to do one for a veeeerrrry loooonnnngggg time but haven't yet pulled the trigger. I figure, when you're demanding things from your body like nursing and growing a baby and caring for little ones on less than a full night's sleep, the least you could do is feed it well. Sugar is an energy trap, and I know if I could get through a detox, I'd feel nine million times better. I've seen a lot of detoxes, but I think we're going to do Diane Sanfilipo's 21 Day Sugar Detox. She's featured on Mom Conference today (only), so if it's still Friday, you should check out her interview about sugar. SO GOOD. 

4. I (finally) added my Rodan + Fields story to the blog! There might or might not be free samples involved, so you should check it out.

5. Freezer crockpot cooking ain't glamorous, but...I finally caved and bought Stephanie's Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes cookbook. It's good. I have Chicken Marsala in the crockpot now, and if it taste as good as it smells...

6. We watched Catching Fire the other night. I read the books a while back, enjoyed them, watched the first movie and can't really remember it...and I really, REALLY liked the second movie. My hubs wanted to know what happened in the third book, so I explained and (SPOILER!!!) when he guffawed about Catniss ending up with Peeta (Peta? Peeta.) instead of Gale, it took me a while to figure out why that actually felt right. I think I appreciated the character in the movie--so many people making sacrifices for others. Not in a over-romanticized, emo/hipster/sparkly kind of way, but in the kind of way people do when they're living for something higher or better than themselves. And Peeta kind of embodies that. And I fo sho have a girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence.

7.  Seven, huh? Wow, I'm really stretching. We went to the park for several hours this morning, then I gave the kids a bath, put one in her bed and one in mine, and absolutely expected them to both takes nice long naps. They went down an hour ago, and I don't think either has slept yet. It's gonna be a loooong rest of the day...

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April 10, 2014

Meal Planning for the Mama Who Needs Simple

I am NOT (NOT NOT NOT NOT) an expert on meal planning, but a friend was asking me about it this week, and I thought I'd share a few meal planning pointers, plus our meal plan for next week.

The plan above is one we've actually started (my husband doesn't do the normal Mon-Fri schedule). You can find the recipe for the beans here, veggie lasagna here, and the chicken recipe I'll use but turn into stir fry here. If you need a recipe for the cheeseburgers, you're on your own, my friend.

And here are my hard-earned pieces of meal-planning wisdom:

1. Know thyself. And thy family. Life must be simple for me right now, so if it's a complicated meal, I'll buy the ingredients and then they'll go bad, because I won't make it. Also, my family eats like a bunch of horses. All of us. Leftovers don't happen unless I double the recipe (which I like to do).

2. Immediately use the ingredients that will go bad first, like the chicken. See what I did with this meal plan? I left the ground beef and the chicken till the end of the week. That wasn't very smart. I should have planned on the lasagna and grilled cheese last, since those ingredients will last just fine in the fridge all week. See, not an expert?

3. Find grace for yourself. On Tuesday, for example, you'll spend all day working, and won't have put the pot of beans on the stove early in the afternoon like you were supposed to, and dinnertime rolls around, and your husband arrives home to three sets of eyes staring at him hungrily, because...mommy didn't make dinner! When we're working really hard to budget and save money, these are the days that really frustrate me, and I'm often tempted to just give up on the rest of the week's plan altogether. Give yourself grace, don't give up...and keep trying.

4. When it needs to be simple, keep it simple. I need simple right now, so I buy jarred tomato basil soup, boxed cornbread mix, and frozen french fries. Yes, making my own would be healthier and cheaper, but ain't nobody got time for that. At least, I don't right now. I try to compromise by buying grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, but mostly I just pray over our food. A lot. 

Meal planning is an art and a skill. It takes time to get good at it and it takes discipline to follow through on it. And when you figure it out, please come to my house and do it for me....    

(More tips for feeding your family on a tight budget here.)

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