Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday favorites


What a busy week! It's been pretty cold and we've had some snow, but not enough to slow things down like in Atlanta. I'm back to working five days a week and the kiddo transitioned to her new childcare routine this week.


Since I've been running around like a crazy person and I am planning to make a nest and recharge this weekend. Ahh...

Since Maggie seems to be loving solids, I started to read up on Baby Led Weaning and am so pleased to come across this collection of 100 BLW recipes.

In an image obsessed age, this project that asks "who is perfect?" is refreshing.

Even though my child isn't school age yet, I found 5 ways to support public school inspiring.

I love this project from Elise and it's gotten me thinking about a part of my day I could capture throughout the month of February.

And as much as I love finding good recipes on Pinterest, I love how this puts things into perspective.

Do you have big plans for the weekend?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

raisin bran + grapenut muffins


My schedule has been hectic lately and I find myself running out the door in a hurry each morning, but I've made a few batched of these muffins and they're downright yummy. I found the basic recipe on the side of the cereal box and added grapenuts since I had bought them for another recipe.


ingredients:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups raisin bran
1/2 cup grapenuts
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

directions:
Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper muffin wrappers.
Combine milk, oil and egg in a bowl and stir in cereal; let stand for 10 minutes.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in separate bowl.
Add cereal mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened.
Divide evenly among muffin cups.
Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in muffins.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in air-tight container.

They're especially tasty, if you nuke them for 15 seconds and put some butter on them!

Friday, January 24, 2014

recipe recap (1)


On Sunday, I shared the photo below via Instragram of our meal plan for the week ahead. Planning meals is one thing that helps me feel immensely settled and ready for the week. I try to not be too rigid, but choose about 5 meals and leave room for changes as the week happens. I know several bloggers who share their week meal plan on Monday, but I haven't seen anyone talk about how it went. Since most of my recipes are from online sources, I thought it might be fun to share our meals with some recommendations and thoughts on how they turned out. Who isn't looking for a new great recipe to add to their repertoire?


Here's how the week actually played out...

Sunday -out // we met friends to watch the AFC Championship

Monday -cauliflower crust pizza // a tried and true favorite. My husband is diabetic, so we love that the crust is low(er)-carb.

Tuesday -BBQ pulled pork (made from pork chops in the crock pot) // a new-to-us recipe I found pleasantly surprising. The mister actually assembled it all in the crock pot, but we both loved it.

Wednesday -deconstructed enchilada soup (crock pot) // it was a snow day for me and this seemed like the perfect meal to throw in the crock pot mid-day. I used boneless chicken thighs and it turned out great, even making enough for 2 lunches the next day!

Thursday -veggie laksa // another family favorite. It's the perfect combo of easy-to-prepare and full of  flavor!

Friday -on my own (pasta/veggies/pesto) // when the mister is at work, I try to keep meals as simple as possible

Saturday -roasted butternut squash + red onion pasta // another favorite I've relied on for years. Even though it got pushed aside earlier in the week, I've been looking forward to it.

We spent about $50 for the week's worth of groceries, going to two different stores. Most of our produce comes from a local market and the rest from a grocery chain. Things like coconut milk, eggs and the pork were already in our pantry and freezer.

Do you meal plan in advance?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

word of the year: thrive


For the past three months, I feel like I've been in survival mode, going from one thing to the next. I can't seem to make plans more than a day in advance. Whether it's meal planning, sticking to an exercise regimen or any other daily/weekly routine, I have been struggling. Survival mode wears me down; it's exhausting (for me) to not have an established routine day to day.

When I started to consider my word of the year for 2014, I thought about the past three years (give, ready, grace), but I also thought about what I didn't want the year ahead to look like. What one word could spur me say goodbye to survival mode and allow me to get out of the rut? I don't want to simply survive, going from one happening to the next. I want to thrive.


What will it look like to thrive this year? I' not talking about wearing the latest clothing styles or turning out blog posts about finished renovation projects. It has more to do with health and sanity than it does with money or things. Thriving this year means the things I say 'yes' to will be done well. It isn't about adding anymore to my plate, but considering what I'm already doing and how I'm making it happen.

Monday, January 20, 2014

reaching


I've only had this mom gig for six months, but it's been so sweet. There are times I don't know how I'm going to get through a situation and others that are so precious I have to write them down.

On Sunday, one of those sweet moments occurred. I was holding Maggie on my lap at church and Brandon pulled out the Bible to follow along with the Scripture reading. She reached for the Bible with both hands. Obviously, she didn't know what she was reaching for, but only wanted it because it was something different and unknown.


I thought about how her reaching for the Bible, was a reminder to me to reach for the Bible. My Heavenly Father wants me to have the same enthusiasm with which she reached each time I sit down to read the Word. It was a beautiful reminder in a season of struggling to get into a rhythm of daily quiet times and reading God's word faithfully. Since returning to work, I've been undisciplined about getting up early enough to allow time to read and pray.

Even though motherhood has its challenges, I'm so grateful for the reminder this little one brings to lean on Jesus and read God's word. She pushes me to want more, to set a good example and love unconditionally.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January confessions





We took these photos over two weeks ago and I finally uploaded and edited them.

Looking at these photos made me miss Colorado real bad; its brilliant blue skies and intense sun (the crazy shadows and my squinting eyes made me think twice before posting).

Sometimes I forget when the last time was I bathed my child, so I have to check my Baby ESP app (and hope I remembered to enter her last bath time there).

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was something I picked out for my husband: a soda stream. We aren't soda drinkers, but we do love seltzer!

I'm loving all things gold lately, especially the combo of wearing this ring with these bangles and this bracelet goes perfectly with it.

I've been eating too many sweets and depending on the whole "nursing burns calories" a little too much.

I'm in serious need of organizational help (and you may have already noticed if you follow me on Pinterest). I have dreams of corralling all Maggie's things into bins located strategically around the house (because it seems near impossible to contain it in one room).

wear:
top: DKNY via Marshall's
scarf: Christmas gift
jeans: Old Navy
boots: New Directions via Belk

I'm linking up with Lindsey of The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Maggie: 6 months


This is one observant kid! Maggie is six months old (as of last week) and she studies the world around her. If she hears a sound, she tries to figure out where it came from. The other morning her dad got her up and was changing her, while I walked by the room and he said "mommy's coming." She stared at the doorway watching for me.

A few things you may not be able to tell from the photos: She also became more aware of her surroundings while sleeping, being woken up by sounds. I guess the days of her sleeping soundly are gone. A tow truck backing into the neighbor's driveway ended her nap last week.


Perhaps the biggest milestone of this month was learning to sit on her own. I wish I could remember when exactly it happened, but it was sometime before Christmas. And in the time I was off from work for 10 days with her, she really loved sitting on her own (can't you tell?)


At Christmas, Maggie took her first airplane ride when we flew to Colorado. She was such a champ about it, doing well with the ascent and decent. And thankfully, she didn't seem to have a hard time with the altitude.

Recent nicknames:
Maggaroni, Maggeriffic, Mellow Maggie, No Blinks (she rarely blinks)



Maggie's likes:
  • Making a fake cough (a 2 week phase)
  • Grabbing her feet/toes
  • Making a smacking sound with her lips (mimics chewing)
  • Listening to music

Maggie's dislikes:
  • Having her feet covered (she often pulls off her socks)
  • Having her hands/arms restricted (i.e. mittens)

The past six months have been such a treat. While they have been some of the most challenging, they have also been just precious. We are so blessed to watch this little one grow and discover new things, and I have a feeling the best is yet to come!

Friday, January 10, 2014

weekend links


Even the best laid plans sometimes fall through. I have blog post ideas coming out the wazoo and hardly any time to them. I even have a pile of unedited photos!

Yet, here I am publishing a post with none of my own images. I'm simply stopping by in the midst of a chaotic week to tell you I've been encouraged in beautiful ways lately (many via Pinterest). I want to share some of those inspirations in case you're like me and 2014 is taking you by storm (either literally or figuratively)! Blame it on the polar vortex?!

My friend, Nicole, published a new ebook this week, Meeting Motherhood. It's for new moms, offering real glimpses into her journey as a mother.

We celebrated Maggie's half birthday this week and I had dreams of making half a cake like Elise did. Beautiful!

Instead of beating myself up over not making a lovely half cake (that we don't need to eat), I'm going to do my best to...

This is a few weeks old, but who had time the Saturday before Christmas to stay up late and watch TV. Not this mama. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Thank you Justin and Jimmy for bringing the laughs to SNL!

My lips could really use this lip exfoliator and I just might have make time to make my own this weekend. After all, I already have ALL of the ingredients on hand!

I did try a few new-to-me recipes this week that were successful: chicken lo mein and sweet potato chili.

I'm craving soups, stews and all things hot to consume. Yet, this post about tea made me reconsider each time I've reached for a cup of hot tea. Everything in moderation, right?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A new year + considering goals


If you follow me on Instagram you may already know, I've been mulling over my word of the year for 2014, and I still haven't figured out what it will be. It usually takes me a while to land on one.

But I've also tried to take some time to consider my goals for the year ahead. Most of those goals have to do with creating healthy rhythms as a working mom. I'll be discussing them in the coming weeks. I put together a Pinterest board dedicated to determining my vision and goals for the year ahead.

Today, I'm sharing my goals for the month of January and linking up with the Tiny Twig Community.


January goals:
  1. Assemble a family binder (similar to this one). 
  2. Finish one book (I'm currently reading three books and I really need to focus one one and finish it).
  3. Donate 5 bags of clothing and other housewares to the Salvation Army.
  4. Implement at least two new organizational strategies in our home (I'm considering these inspirations I found via Pinterest).
  5. Hang photos and artwork on the walls in our bedroom. We painted last summer and I've been slowly collecting frames and prints I would like to display. 

Do you have any goals for the month or year ahead?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rest (+ a Christmas photo dump)


Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration. We enjoyed our first vacation as a family of three, spending over a week in my hometown of Colorado Springs.

It was a welcome chance to get away and really rest. There were naps to be had, leisurely baking, and perusing Pinterest (luxuries our busy life doesn't always afford me). Just getting some distance from the normal routine of life refreshes me. Being one who frequently overcommits, I so appreciate the west; the pace is always slower than our daily routine on the east coast.

I was also intentional about not scheduling much. We took a few day trips and spent quality time with family and friends. Maggie enjoyed her first Christmas and soaked up all the extra attention from her grandpa and uncle. And I'm so grateful to my husband who so faithfully photographs our adventures.









Happy New Year! I'm excited for what lies ahead in 2014 and will be sharing more of my hopes for the new year in the coming weeks. Until then, I'm soaking up a bit more rest and filling up on the snuggles of our sweet girl before returning to our routine next week!