Thursday, June 27, 2013

SAHM Activities- Part 2

I love when I find good, everyday activities that we can do at home to keep the kids entertained. I love passing these along and I also love getting ideas from others (so don't be shy, people! Post them!).

Here is my first post about activities with your kids at home. Obviously you don't have to be a stay at home mom to enjoy these with your kids. I just figured stay at home moms might have more time they need to fill during the day and might need some more ideas! :)

These are easy, quick, and you have everything you need right at your fingertips! It's also a little different than the usual activities (puzzles, toys, etc) and gets your kids excited about something new!

Activity #1:
Playdough!

I was interested in making playdough with my kids one day (Charley loves to eat it and I figure I should know what she is ingesting!). So I headed to good ol' Pinterest and typed in Homemade Playdough. I came out with this recipe. The best part is that once I clicked on the picture of the cute little red-headed boy, I realized I KNOW THESE PEOPLE! Well, I technically have never met sweet Carter, but I was good friends with his momma in college and feel like I know both her boys through her blog!

Anyway, long story short- great, EASY recipe! I doubled it and divided it into 5 big chunks- one for each color of food coloring I had and one white chunk. I gave each kid one half of each color chunk (had to be fair!), and divided them into little snack-size ziplock baggies. Well, a month later we have a few HUGE chunks of "tie dye" mess. Two little people just like to mix them all together. No biggie- we can easily make it again!

Sidenote- I have actually brought this to restaurants and in the car- great great great little busy-hand helper! Make it!




Activity #2:
Hair Rollers

Ok, girls. How many of you still have your hot rollers from way back when (bonus if you still use them!)? Well, I have mine in the back of my "hair drawer" in our bathroom. As I try to get ready or straighten my hair, I inevitably have a sweet little helper at my feet trying to tug on the straightener or sit in our drawers. So, I pulled out this little gem and it was AWESOME! So very Montessori with the sorting and put-and-take. Love it! We have done this so many times now! Win!






Activity #3:
Part 1.... Gluing beans

I had some old beans in the pantry that I bought specifically for crafts/activities. I pulled them out the other day with a bottle of glue and some computer paper (lame, I know). I started putting glue on the paper and told the kids to put the beans on the glue. Voila! Insta-activity! They LOVED this so much!!! Way more than I thought they would! Score! (Yes, Jay asked for the shape of an elephant- yikes!)


Part 2... Painting

To take it a step further, I got out some old finger paint and let them go to town. There is something about kids having the "power" to use a paintbrush, so I grabbed those, too. They had a great time painting away! And then we got in the kiddie pool/splash pad we have to rinse off. Good times by all!







PS- The most ridiculous part of this post is that Charley is wearing the SAME outfit on three different days!!!!! You can tell our favorite "play" clothes! Bwahahaha! Yikes, mom... get a clue!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Two Sweet Spots

Two notables lately...

-Charley and I have a routine where we go through and say goodnight to pretty much every single person in our family when I'm putting her down at night. "Night night Gubby. Night night PawPaw. Night night Jill...." etc... we go through everyone in the family (extended, too!)...even Tex and Ella get a shout out. So the other night she was saying night night to everyone and then she said, "Night night Bible. Night night Jesus." It was SOOOO cute! I had never said night night to any of those things with her before- it was all from her own pure heart. Just the sweetest ever!




-Jay is great to put down these days. We do lots of talking and praying and more talking. For the past several months, the best way to get him to lay still is to hold his hand. At first it was a ploy to keep him from fidgeting, but it's become the sweetest gesture- and all on his own doing. He will grab my hand right away just as we lay down and he holds it until he's long gone asleep. As he fidgets and turns he will switch hands or move positions- but he never lets go. It's one of my very favorite things with him.




Our kids never cease to amaze me. They have such sweet tender hearts and I can't get enough of them!

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Used It All!

So I posted on my Greenling box last week.

I can officially say I have used all of the contents!

I knew what to do with pretty much all of it, but there were a few things I wasn't sure of...

So, here are the contents and here is what I did with it all...


-Sweet corn on the cob (boiled and seasoned it)
-Blackberries (Blackberry cobbler!)
-Peaches (ate them)
-Mango (smoothie)
-Spaghetti squash (made a rosemary, garlic, lemon chicken spaghetti squash dish. So insanely good. This was my first spaghetti squash experience and I'm DEFINITELY coming back for more!!!!!!!)
-Kale (roasted it with coconut oil and salt/pepper)
-Asian greens (used in a salad)
-Red Potatoes (used in the pre-made meal kit to make more hash)
-Summer squash (roasted in coconut oil and salt/pepper)
-Yellow onions (diced and used in a jillion different things!)



I am so so proud of myself! And I'm not gonna lie, our dinners were so great last week! They tasted good, were healthy, and made us feel even better. I'm all over this Greenling business!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Photo Dump

I need to catch up on pictures on the blog, and I have no material to write about... So here is our recent life in pictures!

Pinkalicious!

Neither kid was ready to wake up this morning
(this problem could be solved by sleeping later than 6!!!)

Chuck E Cheese!
CK is terrified of him! 

Love these feet!

Poor Michelle got demoted to the back with the dogs
(might be time for me to give into that bigger car argument with Anthony)

Yes, it's dirty laundry. Yes, I realize it's disgusting.
But when it's 8:00 and you've already been up for over two hours and no stores are open, 
you do what you can to entertain. 

Who doesn't love a good toilet paper tower??

Legs!

These two are a pair! Charley loves her Josh and he's so good to her. 
They always snuggle!

That's a bird head, some feathers, and legs on our back doorstep.
Thank you to our cat for leaving the remains for us. 
So thoughtful. 

Best dog in the whole world ever. 
Tex is awesome. 



Jay is REALLY into dressing himself lately.
Check out the shoes, too. 

First painted piggies (this is a few days old, so they chipped- don't judge the job I did!)!!!
I have been looking forward to this for SO long!!!!! love love love!

Charley in her brother's clothes. Even his Diego underwear. 
She was so happy. She even slept in his shirt. 



Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Rest of It

My goodness- our trip away was just amazing!


The Broadmoor  was absolutely gorgeous! We had SUCH a great time together. Away from our sweet children, away from the everyday tasks, away from the nagging feeling of routine... just away.

The trip started out great with a peaceful, quick flight to Colorado Springs. Another quick and easy transfer to the hotel was nice and checkin was great. Our room was gorgeous, our wraparound porch was to die for, and the welcome gifts were great.

Views from our room. 



We walked around that afternoon, lounged by the pool and read, and napped. It was pure bliss. But the best part? We got to hang out together... alone. Ahhhh how I miss those days of getting uninterrupted quality time with my wonderful husband. It was fantastic.

This totally doesn't do the pool justice.
It was an infinity pool overlooking the lake. Just gorgeous!




The golf was tough (according to Anthony) but awesome. The spa- not so tough :)   My facial was amazing! The view was wonderful, the pampering amazing, the amenities were excellent... but you know one of the best parts of the spa? Heated toilet seats. Yes, that's right. Heavenly. Sidenote- one of my friends from college has toilets at her parents' house with heated toilet seats and water and air and things that go all sorts of directions... It's pretty remarkable. These were the same. And they were fantastic! After my facial I sat in the aromatherapy room and read by the fire. I LOVE spas!

After the spa I napped (because the spa was so hard) and read by the pool. Anthony joined me by the pool after golf. We had dinner that night and then the company rented out the bowling alley there and we bowled. It was SO fun! I was just ok. I hadn't bowled since I was pregnant with Jay (I'm pretty sure that was the last time), so I was definitely a little rusty, but I beat most of the other people around. I'm sure it had nothing to do with how much others had had to drink by that point ;)  I'm not competitive at all (ha!).

Bowling alley!
I'm sad I didn't get a picture of my outfit that night- it looked really cute! :)



Saturday we woke up and had a delicious breakfast with friends. Then we spent the day at the pool with one of my friends from growing up. He lives in the area with his wife and three precious girls. They had to evacuate because of the wildfires, and they came out to visit us. It had been over 6 years since I'd seen him, and it was fun to catch up!

Breakfast view


We left to go get massages. The massage I got that day- meh. The girl called me back AFTER Anthony went back, and I got back to the common area a good five minutes before he did. Not only was it short, it was probably top 2 worst massages ever. It wasn't BAD, it just wasn't good- at all. I talked to a few other people on the trip and one other person had the girl that I had and said the same thing. Ugh. Oh well, it was a chance to relax nonetheless! Anthony's was great, so that was good.

That night we had a fabulous dinner overlooking the property. It was a great evening with gorgeous views.


The sunset was gorgeous, but a little bright for our side of the table!


Sunday we checked out and headed back to see our babies! I missed them SO much! We Facetimed with them each day. And while I didn't want to (for their sake), they seemed to do fine with it. It made me miss them so much, though. They were in great hands, and had a blast with their grandparents. I'm sure they didn't even think twice about us- and I'm so grateful for that!

Our flight was an hour and a half late- spent mostly on the hot, teeny plane. I was so mad! I was so ready to be home snuggling my kids! Finally we got home and they were SOOO cute! I swear, they seemed bigger in just four days! I soaked them in as much as possible. I missed them more than I thought (and I might have cried when I saw them! Ha!).

I love work trips like these where you get to know so many new people. I hear stories all the time about these guys, so it was great to put faces with names and meet wives. Who knows when I will see most of them again (it's a nation-wide thing), but it sure was a fun weekend!

A lot of people have asked what I thought about The Broadmoor. It was GORGEOUS. Colorado in the summer is just unreal. The views were incredible and the hotel/grounds were very well taken care of. The staff was super super friendly and accommodating. I didn't run into one rude person who worked there. The housekeeping does a great job and comes in twice a day. The one negative- the food. The breakfast food was marginal, the pool food was not good, and the dinners were definitely interesting. Two nights the meals were pre-planned, so that was part of it, but the food just wasn't great. Definitely disappointing for such a beautiful resort.

It was a wonderful trip and I am so thankful we got to do this. It's so important for us to take time away together every once in a while. And when it's on someone else's tab, even better ;)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Yummo!

A few months ago, I discovered a wonderful little thing called Greenling. They tout themselves as a "Farmers Market at Your Door."

There's the box! At my door! 




Over the past six months I have really made a conscious effort to better and cleaner. While I still enjoy the occasional fast food meal, take-out dinners, and my beloved Mexican food (I can't ever give that one up), our dinners at home have really started to look different. 

Out are the boxed, canned, processed foods. In are the fresh ingredients. About a tenth the number of carbs are served. Our meats and eggs are antibiotic, free range and grass/grain fed. The milk has gone from regular 1% to almond or organic. The creams are all replaced by greek yogurt. And the amount of veggies and fruits we consume has probably more than quadrupled. 

Needless to say, we've made some great changes. Not only are we feeling better, but it has contributed to a 12 pound weightloss for me- something that my workouts alone weren't helping with. 

We have LOVED this change!

Now, don't get me wrong. You will still see me munching on pretzles/goldfish/Pirate's Booty with the kids. I will still eat a PB&J (natural and sometimes it's almond butter) and Cheetos (!!) for lunch. We get kolaches every Sunday together before church (our little family ritual) and Mexican food every Friday night. I'm not saying we are perfect, but the big meals we are eating and the snacks we are consuming have definitely changed. 

So I was excited when my sister and my neighbor told me about Greenling. 

They can send you a "local box" as often as you'd like with a random assortment of fresh fruits and veggies. Which is awesome- but I don't always know what to do with some of the stuff (you can find anything on Pinterest, though!!). 





But what is even more appealing is the ready-made meal kits! OMG. Talk about a lifesaver!!! 

They send you a "kit" of food/seasonings for a meal. The instructions are laid out and it's quite possibly the easiest thing I've ever cooked in my life! For real! 

Tonight we had the potatoes/sausage/green hash. They sent two potatoes to dice up, four sausages to cut up, some greens to chop, and already chopped garlic and onions. Then they give you instructions and it takes around 20 minutes of hands on time to prepare. Beauty. And the best part- it was only like $15 to feed 2-4 people (and it fed 4 adults and 2 teeny kid portions). It's a healthy, local, organic meal and it's easy AND delivered to your doorstep






I just wanted to tell y'all about this in case you hadn't heard of it. It's awesome you guys. You should totally go and see if they deliver to your zip code. Cause if they do- you can get a free first box and try it out. I get nothing from this (no perks for having people sign up), but I just think it's that awesome to tell everyone about it! 


Friday, June 14, 2013

Not Trying To Make You Jealous, But...

Anthony and I laid out and napped by the pool yesterday at the Broadmoor. We sat in rocking chairs on the patio looking at the Colorado Mountains. We showered, took out time, and enjoyed a loooong dinner with friends. 

On the plane...

Hotel view (I cut off the mountains. Oops)



We then had uninterrupted sleep for as long as we could keep our eyes shut. Y'all, we actually woke up NEXT to each other and just laid there talking!! 

This morning we had a great workout with the mountains as our view, gorged ourselves at breakfast, then went our separate ways. I enjoyed a facial and pampering at the spa while he played golf. Now we are napping by the pool. 

Breakfast view

Spa view

View at the pool




Dinner tonight, followed by bowling at the resort with all the work friends. 

Hanging out by the pool tomorrow, then getting a couples massage, followed by a fun, fancy dress up dinner. 


Did I mention how much I'm enjoying this?! I have plowed through one book and have gotten far in the second. I have slept more than I needed to, had long meals, nice conversations with my hubby... It's. been. glorious. 


But I SURE miss my little nuggets!!! 

Until the next update... :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whew!

We are finally on a down day in the middle of a whirlwind couple of weeks!

As I mentioned here, we took a last minute, impromptu road trip to Austin to stay with my sister and her kids. Her husband was out of town for a weeks for a trial, and she needed some company! So we went and had a great time. It was crazy, exhausting, and fun all at the same time. It's definitely more fun to have a partner to deal with the chaos of daily life.

Once we came home last week, we had a couple "normal" crazy days- grocery shopping, playdates, regular stuff.

Then, Kiki and Aaron and their kids (the sister in Austin) came in for the weekend and beginning of the week. We had lots of cousin play time, lots of fun grown up time after the kids went down, and lots of mass chaos! :)  

Jay even had his first "sleepover!" Cousin Owen slept with him in his bed each night they were here, and one night cousin Josh even spent the night and all three boys (2.75 yrs, 7.5 yrs, and 9 yrs) slept in Jay's room together. It was SO sweet and kind of made me a little weepy. Ha! Oh, and did I mention that when Owen slept in Jay's bed Jay NEVER got out of bed in the middle of the night?! I'm thinking of investing in a blow up doll to pretend it's a person in there! I kid, I kid....

The Fountains left for Austin today, my cleaning came and worked her magic today, and we are getting ready for the Squillantes to come in town tomorrow night! Anthony and I are (gasp!) taking a trip together for the first time in about a year! I. Can't. Wait. I haven't had a night away from the kids since September- I am so beyond excited to get sleep and be lazy! Eek!

Here are some pics from the past week to keep you abreast of our lives... Exciting stuff, I tell ya!


Charley and Auntie JJ at Boogie Down Brittmoore.
This is a tradition where the fifth graders at my nephews' school (and my old school), walk down the street on the last day of school to the neighborhood pool for their pool party.
On the way, parents and students (and us!) line the streets and launch water balloons and water guns at them!
It's a BLAST! 
Charley's holding her balloon waiting! 

CK's first real splash pad experience (I don't count last summer when she could hardly sit up as real!)
She LOVED it! 

This girl LOVES to be out and about!

Wyatt and Jay

Drinking the splash pad water. Gross. 

Charley ready for her nap. 
The scale must have looked comfy. 

Sad this one's blurry. 
Slip n slide fun at Auntie JJ's house. 


Charley was OBSESSED with getting water from the little sprinkler holes. Ha!

Swinging at Auntie JJ's. 
Did I mention how awesome it is to have sisters?!



Shopping with mommy at TJ Maxx. 
Yes, my little hooligan with no shoes on around the store. Sigh...

Josh is SO good to my kids. They LOVE snuggling with him. 



Here's to another FUN week ahead!