Monday, November 4, 2013

Kitchen Table Talk With My 2 & 3 Year Old Boys....

CAUTION: This is what happens when you're blunt with your kids....err uh I mean, your boys. But duh, right?


What age is it that kids realize that girls and boys are different?  My boys are on the brink of this age-dreading discovery.
This past summer, we took a family vacation to SeaWorld in San Antonio with some friends and their 3 kids. We had a ton of fun (that made me super tired for the entirety of August) but their newly-turned 3 year old boy left a lasting gift with my boys before they left. The word boobies.

Of course, when I first heard their youngest son say it, I laughed and then asked my friends where he got that from. I don't think I got a real answer, just more about how he's the defiant one of their brood.
Well, since the weekend of July 4th, that's all I hear my little guys talk about. We gave them the stipulation that they could only say that word AT HOME. And boy do they wear it out!

They use it in all kinds of ridiculous contexts....just to bother us. (They know they're bothering us because of our "Hey hey hey!!!" reactions. For example, they say, "Your name is Reid Boobies!" "You have boobies ears." "You have a boobies plate." "1-2-3-4-5-6-boobies-8-9-10! ---> W.T.F.

This is not every day but it is.....every other day. {blank stare}
A few weeks ago, the kitchen table talk was about boobies, butts and penises.
How do they know all of this stuff? We told them of course! But since they're boys, they wouldn't be normal if they weren't obnoxious, I guess.

We usually just stay silent, glance at each other and stuff our faces when they talk like that....and try not to burst out laughing.
Because laughing is like putting gasoline on a fire and getting upset would be unfair.
We've never really done the baby talk kind of thing, probably because our brain isn't that creative. We're engineers. (When I pledged my sorority in college, my lack of quick creativity really was shameful. Ugh.) When we bathe them we have them wash and dry their own private part and tell them that no one should touch it besides them.

On a separate occasion when I was out shopping with my kids, they needed to potty and I took them to the big handicap stall. I used the restroom after they did, my youngest tried to sneak a glance while I was peeing and said, "Mommy, that your penis?" Me: Uh, no honey. Mommy doesn't have a penis, only men do. Women have private areas. Now turn back around so I can wipe."
I can't have my baby walking around thinking everyone has a penis!

The night the kitchen table talk made me and my husband stuff our faces in silence, all we heard was, "Mommy has boobies but no penis just a butt." Then they went around the table and said whether each of us had "boobies" or "nippos."

Needless to say, my husband almost choked on his food. I just put my head down so that they didn't smell my shock, discomfort and laughter. I mean my kids are brutal to us because shock, discomfort and laughter fuels them.
I can't wait until the love affair with this word is over....but I won't be holding my breath for that to happen anytime soon.

Do you have any similar stories from your kids or kids that you know?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hair Color and Hair Detox

  
So I took the plunge and got highlights put into my hair.  I feel 'comme ci, comme ca' about it. (That's French for "okay.") I wanted to go much lighter than I normally would just because I figured that its probably going to be one of my last dye jobs for a few years.
My thoughts are when my twist out becomes more of a frizz-out, then the color will help to break up the fro look. And I know that's all in my head but hey.....whatever.
 
Initially, I picked up a box of Shea Moisture's Hair Dye. I was sooooo excited to use it. Almost like a kid on Christmas Eve. 
 
It didn't provide me with the color that I desired so I set up an appointment with stylist for a professional dye job. But, I absolutely recommend it but I'll do a separate review on that later.
When I applied the Shea Moisture Hair Dye to my hair, I mainly applied it to my bang area using a highlight cap that I had bought at Sally's Beauty Supply store.
So when I met with my hair stylist, I took the box to her so that she could check the ingredients and double check that no lifting agents had been used on my hair and then she got to coloring. She used Redken Coloring Gels and set me under the dryer for 20 minutes and the result is shown in the pictures above. 
 
Even though time had passed since between the time I applied the Shea Moisture to the time I had the coloring gels applied, I still was a bit leery, so while I was under the dryer, I made sure to bend my head forward as to keep the bang area from seemingly getting hit with too much heat......just in case it were to get doubly damaged or even came out too light. Weeeeellllllllll, the bang area came out dark from not getting heat at all. Clearly the coloring gels need direct heat, not just indirect heat. {insert sad face}
Sometimes I forget the color is even in there. I mean, really who has highlights that don't frame their face?!?! Heeehhhh.
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Anyway, my next project was to detox my hair. I've been wanting to use the Terressentials Hair Wash for quite sometime, but instead of using it, I would just look at that big bottle on my counter and then go to Target and buy some Shea Moisture shampoo. Just being lazy.

I chose Left Coast Lemon but there are several kinds based on the dryness
of your hair and/or the thickness of your strands.
To be fair (to my laziness), the detox is quite the process. The detox process is recommended for those that use sulfates, other 'harsh' ingredients or have had their hair chemically altered, i.e relaxer or dye.
Getting the color helped kick my intimidation of the detox process to the curb. I do not want the color to keep me from having 'healthy hair,' but secretly, I've been wanting to do the organic hair wash thing for a while because I feel like after I had my 2nd son, my hair changed and now I don't know its identity. I'm pretty sure I have 2 different porosity levels in my hair and that is what has been keeping me from finding and maintaining the proper amount of moisture in my hair, thus continually leading to split ends and subsequent cuts.
I'm hoping the Terressentials Hair Wash will help me with moisture issues, while cutting down on having to buy shampoos and conditioners.
*If you're interested in learning more about the Terressentials Mud Wash (and you don't know who Naptural85 is), go here.

Now, even though I went through that dreaded detox, I think I may need to go through it again to rid my hair of my styler's silicones.....and of course find a new styler.
One day, I swear I'm going to get my hair right again and find out who it is.


So what do you think about my bang area with no color? Should I get that part redone? Don't worry, I'm going to detox again once I find a new styler anyway.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Low-Key Birthday

My husband celebrated his birthday this past weekend. We didn't do much but have dinner at Houlihan's. Our boys came down with fevers Saturday afternoon and we didn't want to leave them. They haven't been sick in forever so newly returned colds and fevers tend to wake them up and sometimes keep them up in the middle of the night. Next weekend, we'll go out and have some more fun after hours.
We hung out and watched some college football , gave my hub special meals and enjoyed chocolate cupcakes. Then we topped the evening off with dinner at Houlihan's. The original plan was to play a Par 3 golf course as a family and then maybe the pumpkin patch since the weather is still warm....but its hard to pull the hubby away from football sometimes. Especially when our typically losing-prone teams are kicking some butt and actually winning.
Next weekend we'll hit the course and I'm excited because my swing is 100 times better since I last played 5 years ago. That's what the range and the proper club can do I guess. I gotta be able to keep up with my guys. Mine little swings are crazy good, so I gotta have them think mommy's a beast too!

Jack + Malbec. That's how we roll.

Scallops and risotto.

Pot roast sliders.

S'mores fondue pot.

Hey! Open your eyes! And swallow those carrots little brother!

Peace! Wait...we can't see my oldest's eyes.

Take 2.
Fevers don't hold them down, especially when they're mild.
Yep, those carrots are still in there.

The pot roast sliders were scrumptious and my hub's scallops were perfectly cooked. I'm not a fan of lemon risotto but his dish was tasty. Our dessert was ah-mazing. Its the second time I had it and mu hub's first time. He really enjoyed it and even though the portion looked rather small, it was just the right amount for us.
I definitely recommend these plates if you haven't had them......espeeeeecially that fondue pot! You won't be disappointed.

What's your favorite menu item at your favorite restaurant?

Friday, October 11, 2013

A New Identity That You've Seen Before

Notice anything different?
I think I proooobably had it right the first time. Or at least close to right.
My blog name is back to or close to what it was before. Instead of it being 'Love & Tangles' or ''Elle to Elle,' its now 'Love In Tangles.' Why didn't I think of this before?!? I guess I just had one hell of a processing delay.
This one will probably stick for awhile since it pretty much describes what I share here.
I like it and it feels like me.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Camera Dump: SeaWorld, Mini Golf, and more

Even though summer is over, I'm glad the weather here doesn't reflect it yet. I like being able to still dress 'summery.' Although I like fall clothes, my legs always seem to become dry and eventually itchy when I wear pants (except for my stretchy/leggings type of pants) so I'm still digging the shorts weather.

Anyway, we had such a busy and fun-filled summer that I figured it was time to unload my camera phone. I really am going to work on actually taking my camera around with us more often. Initially we were researching a DSLR to buy but I think I'm going to start using what I have and gradually work my way up to a camera with more capabilities.


We vacationed with some friends who also have boys ranging in ages of 2.5 and newly-turned 5 and 6 year olds but I didn't feel like including the one picture we all took together. I didn't like my pose.

Shamu was absolutely AWESOME!


 
After being splashed by Shamu and looking like we had jumped in the pool fully clothed, we moved pretty far back, as seen in the bottom picture. It was still an awesome show! I highly recommend!


The middle picture on the right: How did that squirrel get up there and how is he going to get down?!?
Not included are pictures of me having fun in SeaWorld or any of our go-carting pictures.
We had soooooo much fun racing go-carts with our boys coaching as passengers but unfortunately my husband's phone slipped out of his pocket while we were racing and it was stolen.
He went back to look for it literally 5 minutes after we had gotten finished with our round. Hundreds of pictures and videos gone. He hadn't saved anything to the cloud and hadn't yet downloaded the "Find My Phone" app.
Don't make the same mistake!!!!!


We, of course had to visit San Antonio's downtown Riverwalk in the evening and it was beautiful. My husband had some really nice pictures on his phone. {sad face} The top picture is of our boat ride on the Riverwalk. We had dinner at a restaurant called Mi Tierra. I am a really picky eater when it comes to tacos. (My husband thinks tacos from anywhere are good.) But MI TIERRA has the best tacos in the world! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. In the entryway of the restaurant, where normally a seating area is, there was a bakery that sold authentic Mexican desserts. And that huge space was packed. I almost thought it was a bakery, but the ambiance definitely said restaurant. Its a local favorite, even for the San Antonio Spurs players.
The bottom picture is of the State Capitol in Austin, TX. We love stopping through Austin! It's such a cute, artsy town. We had some yummy burgers and shakes at a local favorite called, Hopdoddy Burger Bar. We were too busy enjoying the ambiance, d├ęcor and food for pictures, but the next time you're in San Antonio or Austin, check out those restaurants.





Miniature golf is always all about the celebration dance.
Miniature bowling is fun too but doesn't get a celebration dance.

Me and my mom. A red lip always does the trick for me.

This year was my sorority's 100-year celebration, and my line sisters and I were also celebrating our 10-year anniversary since first pledging. I love these girls so much and being in DC was pretty awesome! (DC is great in general too). I wish I were more active in my community like I used to be but I'm still navigating my life as a wife AND mom. During my blog break, I self-reflected on my hobbies and my passion and it does involve helping my community in some way. Now I just have to figure out how to do that with my current day job as a SAHM.
Some of these ladies have lived in Japan, Brazil, gotten master's in the UK, are successful fundraisers for non-profits and more. I'm so proud to know them!
Ten years after I pledged, my mom pledged. It was pretty random and I'm so happy for her. She'll be retiring this year but with our sorority, she'll still be doing plenty of work. She loves to mentor youth living in at-risk environments and she's pretty well-known in that particular demographic where she lives. I'm sure she'll continue that form of work within our sorority. So we all were are part of 'painting the town red' that weekend!
Now if only she would've pledged 10 years ago or more, so I could've asked for money during those college days, haha. {straight face}


Have you done a camera dump lately?

Monday, September 9, 2013

My New 'Do

Its about that time of year again, where I notice that my hair is growing at a snail's pace, so I chop it off!
 
I'm not really feeling, or should I say wasn't really feeling, the length in which my hair was and I have been seeing the short natural hair tapered look for months now and of course I got that 'itch.'
You know that 'itch' you get when you need a change in your look?
 
My itch usually comes every 2-3 years but sometimes it comes sooner when I'm feeling lost or stagnant in an area of my life.
Right now, I'm tired of living in an area with such a lack of diversity and I'm tired of my hair not growing.
Not to mention, I'm waiting until the end of the year to really put some money into and further develop one of my special interests. And that is definitely keeping me mentally anxious.
(By the end of he end year, I'll be able to pay for it in cash as opposed to doing any payments.)
 
Anyway, I checked out Pinterest for some inspiration and showed the picture to my stylist and voila. I'm in love.


 
Now I'm trying to convince myself not to put some highlights in there....but then again, just give me a few weeks.
 
 
 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Staying On the Move

I've had an extremely long hiatus. I did a lot of soul-searching about who I am and who I want to be and what I want to do as a mom and more. I felt like I was starting pick up too many random hobbies which was making me feel lost.....because, although I adore my boys more than I can ever say, I was not only meant to be a mom. And I don't want to twiddle my [intellectual] thumbs until they reach kindergarten.

Needless to say, I have figured out the direction I want to go in, but I will be waiting until I implement it before sharing because that just makes good sense. Oh, but I did realize that all of my random hobbies will probably be of good use in the future because I was meant to stumble into them. I just will have to devote time to them differently than I initially was; which is basically just not all at once.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying a structure-less summer, but I'm definitely ready for their preschool program to begin next week. Keeping these little dudes entertained and busy tends to burn me out. And I've been pretty burned out for the past couple of weeks. We stayed on the move this summer, traveling to SeaWorld in San Antonio, Kansas City and DC. On the weekends we weren't traveling to somewhere, someone was traveling to us. I'zzzz tired.

On another note, I have TWO potty-trained boys! Woo hoo! We had a thousand accidents and a whole lot of nudity....some occasional bribery but my youngest did it!
Unfortunately, they both had a shitty accident (pun-intended) at a park playdate. My youngest had on a pull-up but my oldest had on regular underwear. Sigh.
He went to the bathroom, which happened to be pretty gross, and I guess he was so grossed out about it that he just said, "screw it" and went on himself. I was shocked. Normally he would've cried due to feeling embarrassed or ashamed but I think he didn't that time because he just didn't want to have to go back to that nasty bathroom.
Oh, the life of a mom. 

Now....if I could only get them to flush the toilet and wash their hands after each use without reminding them!

*By the way, what picture editors are you all using nowadays? Before my hiatus, I had been using PicMonkey but it started to freeze up on me too much. Have you had any problems with it?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Feeling Lost

Sometimes I feel so lost.
Have you ever just felt lost and like you didn't know the direction your life was headed?
That's how I've felt, off and on, since college up until now. It hasn't been a consistent feeling, but the fact that this feeling has been ever-present in my mind for a prolonged amount of times is "no bueno" (not good), "tres mal" (very bad) and just the pits.
Well I finally am done with feeling lost.
Hopefully.
Maybe.
I am ready to do what it takes to have assurance about the direction that my life is headed.
This doesn't mean that I am going to know exactly what I will be doing with my life (besides taking care of my precious boys), but it does mean that I will have comfort in knowing that whichever direction, industry and/or purpose I take on, it will fulfill me.
I have finally put my trust and faith in God, and that means I will not be "searching" for my next career field, but letting God reveal it to me. So when an idea spontaneously pops into my head or when I have a strong urging towards an idea, that's when I'll follow it because those are the ideas from God, and after all that's the whole point of my renewed introspection.

Have you ever felt lost about a certain area of your life? If so, what did you do to navigate your way through? Did you try to organize the clutter of your mind by making lists of desires and goals, by meditation or what?

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Post Partum Pooch = Diastasis

I've missed blogging a lot. I took quite the break, huh?
Well, I've been kind of overwhelmed emotionally regarding my career or life's purpose. I just couldn't find time for blogging in the midst of those emotions.
Plus, I'm still slooooowwwwwly unpacking boxes at our new place. I'd like to get every single box unpacked and have all the miscellaneous items that we haven't seen in 2 years.

I replaced my blogging time with nothing other than the gym. LA Fitness to be exact. I'm so ashamed to admit that I still am not at a place in which I can wear a two-piece bathing suit but the rest of me is looking pretty darn good! I only do about 10 minutes of running cardio a week and spend the rest of my time LIFTING WEIGHTS. And I'm in total love with it.
I'd like to think that I moved into beast-mode this past week. I do 4 sets with 30-45 seconds of rest in between each set. Supposedly this higher intensity burns the same amount of fat that our usual forms of cardio. I'm pretty sure I need to do both high intensity lifting and regular cardio. Now that the weather is more consistent, I'll probably do early morning runs. I detest treadmill running.

Regarding my post-pregnancy tummy: I did tons of research and realized that I had a slight abdominal tear, otherwise known as diastasis. This is where your abdominal muscles were spread so much that the tissues didn't come back together after birth. I wish it didn't take me 2 years to realize it. Oh and regular ab exercises actually prevent the muscles from coming together and tightening. [No wonder I still had a mini pooch.]


I visited a couple of body-building gyms, and one gym rep said that she thought I would need to have a tummy tuck and the other gym rep said I wouldn't. Of course I started obsessing and after googling and you-tubing tons of research on proper exercises, I'm finally starting to make some headway. I also bought a diastasis splint associated with the Tupler Technique. I'm hoping I'll be where I want to be or at least closer to my goal by the end of the summer. Hey, the end of the summer is better than never.

If you have an questions about the Tupler Technique or diastasis, let me know. You're not alone!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New House, New Workout Shoes and A New Snack



We're finally, officially Texas residents!
 We packed up the rental house ourselves; rented a UHaul and moved all of our shit household items ourselves (with the assistance of one very helpful friend) and then unpacked...okay well almost unpacked all of our boxes.
Mother Nature, who is obviously having an identity crisis, decided to rain on our 'moving day parade.' But like NeNe from Housewives of Atlanta says, "One monkey don't stop no show." We moved in the rain, with our tiny humans getting in and out of the way.
And of course, daylight saving's time was the next day. I'm tired just thinking about it right now. Especially since I'm sitting across from 5 different-sized boxes. Sigh. Life goes on....unpacked or in boxes.

The sellers left us a bottle of champagne in the fridge!
The seller(s) also left us a very nice note filling us in on the neighbors and their families and all of the upgrades that were made to the house since its construction.
We were able to keep the refrigerator since he didn't want to ruin the hardwood floors moving it out. So now we have 2 refrigerators! Which works out perfectly since we need but never bought a deep freezer. Anyway, our congratulatory champagne was a nice surprise.
Something we can do when we sell!



Even though my life was in boxes, my work out gear wasn't. #KeepItTight

I like my shoes. :-) They're the Pegasus' and really comfortable.
Orange laces. Yellow swoosh. #TeamNeon
 
Gotta stay colorful. #KeepItTight
 
We got our new mattress!!!!!!!

Goodbye back pain and hello peaceful night's sleep.
We had to get splurge-y and buy a memory foam. Our old mattress really messed us, well me up in the head. Death to spring-loaded mattresses!!!
I gained 40-lbs with each pregnancy and our old spring-loaded mattress was my support.
"You ain't got to go home, but you got to get the hell up outta here!"
{That's how I feel towards my old mattress}


My new snack addiction. $2.98 at Walmart.
Better than popcorn and pringles! Once you pop, you can't stop!
 
 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Its Been A Long Time..... + Cash Giveaway!

"Its been a long time...
...I shouldn'ta left you...
.....Without a dope beat to step to...."

You all know how life gets in the way....so please excuse my absence. I've missed updating and staying up to date in your lives but I'll catch up really soon.

This post is really about a GIVEAWAY!!! I'm so happy that I am apart of a cool giveaway like this.
The prize? $100 cash 'mahhhhney' for 2 participants! Cool right? Yeah, I agree.

You don't have to follow tons of people that you may not have similar interests with if you don't want to....but it certainly increases your chances of winning.



KimberlyLuxe // Maybe Baby // A Lovely Day BR // GG Renee

Mackensie G // Femmes With Benefits // Love, Darbie // Elle To Elle

RC // The Urban Umbrella // Aphrodite Kinks // Call Her Courtnee

Never Jaded // Work It Out Girl // Fendi Bag & A Bad Attitude // Carmen Vogue

ThinkFeminist // Memoirs Of The Chic // Mylah



We're hosting a giveaway! And 2 Lucky Girls will win $100 each! This giveaway requires a couple of simple mandatory tasks:
[1] comment below with what you'd do with the money
[2] then enter the rafflecopter using your facebook login or your email address to submit your entry!

If you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can submit multiple entries by completing these super simple tasks on the participating bloggers' sites! And you're not limited to one entry, you can submit up to 27 entries! The giveaway closes on the 1st of April and the two winners will be announced and contacted on the 7th! Who knows, in two weeks you may just be $100 richer. You have nothing to lose, and $100 to gain!

1 Mandatory Easy Submission | Simply comment on this post with what you'd do with the money & then enter into RaffleCopter!

Quick Way To Follow Blogs | Log into blogger > Go to your blogger dashboard (blogger home page) > Click "ADD" under "Reading List" > Paste link to blog you wish to follow > Click Follow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time To Get Crafty! - Cardboard Box Car

When I first started this blog as well as when I first joined Pinterest, I was soooo inspired to become a crafter. Well, after a few novice-level crafts, I soon realized that I will leave that to the more artistcally-gifted group of DIY-ers. I left the crafter's group with my head held high....figuratively speaking of course. I'll occasionally venture back into it....but only for a occasional holiday, school project or maybe a birthday. My 'craftiness' will have to stay dedicated to the kitchen.

Fortunately, the wonderful thing about kids (under 4-5 perhaps) is that the crafts that you do for them are absolutely amazing in their eyes. Hmmm now that I say that, I should probably change what I said in the first paragraph and do tons of crafts this year while they appreciate it and can't notice all of the blatant spots of imperfection. This, this I will do.

Anyway, at my sons' parents day out school, there are different thematic days to get parents involved. One of those days is 'Drive-In Movie Day' where parents (along with your child as long as they like to help and not tear ish up --like my youngest) decorate cars made from cardboard boxes, wagons or laundry baskets. I'm not going to lie, last year was our first year in the program and we didn't participate. Poor Drew didn't have a 'car.' It could've been due to pure laziness or not knowing what to expect, but after seeing some really decked out cardboard boxes, I knew that we had to participate this year. Plus, I couldn't send TWO boys with no 'car.' If we're apart of the same parents day out program next year, we'll have to step it up a notch, especially since this was done in one night.

My boys are still obsessed with Disney Pixar's Cars characters. We used to have about 13 different cars (gifted from their GG) from the Cars 1 and Cars 2 movies, but my youngest with through a phase of being enamored with our trashcan and would secretly dig in and throw away different items.
How do I know? I would either catch him near the trash after the fact, look through it and recover said items OR I would put two and two together after days of searching for lost items.
As of today, we only have 7. Thanks Reid.
And, we used to have 3 different advanced-level sippy cups. Now, we only have 2. Thanks Reid.
We are preeeettttyyyy sure that he trashed them. Secretly of course. If I would have caught him at the end of the act, I would have certainly recovered them. Each Cars-themed car is about $3.50 or $4 and that cup was $4 or $5 for a package of 2. We're not buying anymore cups because he's moving to straw cups only next and we're not buying anymore Cars-themed cars until they're on a much better sale. I mean, you can get a package of 10 Hot Wheelz cars for the same price of just 2 Cars-themed car. I'm just explaining the reason of our frugality.

Soooo, out of the 7 Cars-themed cars, my oldest loves Lightning McQueen and my youngest loves to carry around Finn McMissile. So that's what my husband and I made.




And they still love it.

If you'd like to make one of these for your kid, girl-themed or boy-themed, go here for easy instructions. What we did varied from these instructions but it gave us a good starting point. Oh and paint was $0.57 at Walmart. I bought 2 bottles per color but only ended up doing 1 coat instead of the 2 coats needed, so I had paint left over. The 4 bottles were definitely enough for 2 coats for each box.

Next time, I'll actually let them paint with me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weekend Birthday Pictures - Food & Family

So as I told you here, my 30th birthday was this past weekend and instead of 'painting the town red,' I spent time with and consciously appreciated being with my family.
I only got fed up with constant whining for maybe 5 minutes. Yay!
I was so excited to see them have fun during our day of no schedules.
Which included skipping church and letting Thomas & Friends babysit the boys while we took a nap. Hey, they like to get up between 6:30-7:30am even on the weekends so that nap was much appreciated!
I guess that means that 'schedules' create a bit of stress..............well, maybe it has more to do with always being behind schedule that creates some of my everyday stresses.
Annnnnnnyyyywaaaaaaayy, check out some family-food-filled pictures below.


Saturday, I found a new stylist, got my hair straightened and had a 1/2 inch trimmed off. Waahhh! At least it was a cute style.



I looked pretty darn cute and of course didn't take a picture. We were late to the sitter's house and then to dinner. Ugh. One day I'll get these outfit posts together. Anyway we had theeee most delicious sushi. We pigged out, ordering 5 rolls and spending a LOT of money. Oh well, we had a great time though. If you're in Dallas, go to RA Sushi and get the Viva Las Vegas roll (shown in the picture). We ordered it twice!


Say cheese!

Wake up Sleepy Head!!!

Yep, the front exterior is a gas station. Chef Pointe is near Fort Worth, TX.

#Foodie
The appetizer on the right is SO delicious! They are 3-cheese mushrooms drenched in a buttery, scampi sauce. They are 'smack somebody's mama' delicious!



I'm pretty lucky to have tiny humans that actually stay in their chair.
By the way, my oldest is usually a photobomber and makes the face he has in the picture on the right allllll the time, unless you use your stern voice. This time we coordinated a 'silly face' picture though.
Luckily my youngest doesn't do that yet, but I'm sure he will next year.

How was your weekend?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Turning 30 and Looking 18


Source: cheune.com via Larissa on Pinterest


Yesterday was my birthday.
It was my 30th birthday.
Finally.
How does it feel?
I don't know. A birthday is a birthday.
I feel good about turning 30 because I still feel and look so youthful. Ha! Thanks to my height, healthy eating and the lack of [ever] smoking, I'm still told I look 16 or 18. I'm reeeeeeaaallllyyyy going to appreciate hearing that when I'm 50!
I'm excited to finally leave my 20's. I feel like I made so many mistakes of caring what people think, being manipulated by guilt trips and not self-reflecting enough on what I want to do as opposed to what others want me to do. Others and people = my family and my husband's family (excluding my mom). They mean well even if it is for their own personally-fulfilling reasons.
I've been viewing my 30's or maybe just my 30th birthday as a magical time when a 'fairy godmother' flies over me sprinkling wisdom dust releasing my inner Oprah.
Then I won't waste any moments regretting not speaking up when needed or giving a damn when I shouldn't.
Wishful thinking but doesn't magic happen in your 30's? Only if you make it, I'm sure.
I have no big plans. No trips across the states or across the 'pond.' No self-thrown parties. All celebrations that my single/unmarried/kid-less friends did. And of course they'll be in my current season of family as soon as I leave it. Its just the way kismet-{fate} works.
Just me and my hubs having a kids-free night on the town.
And a moderately-sized shiny new house.
I'd say those are the only gifts I need.
The season of my life right now is all about family, my husband, our boys and providing stability in our routines. In a couple of years, it'll be a completely different story. For example, my 3-year old already wipes our kisses off. Pretty soon, he'll be requesting us to not kiss him at all in public.
I'm going to enjoy this season and hope pray for more wisdom.
I'm still going to be on the lookout for my 'fairy godmother' though.

Did you have any pivotal/life-changing moments on a specific birthday or did you have any hopes for life-changing moments after you reached a certain age?

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Bad Mattress, A Bad Diet & A Bad Attitude




This past week [and weekend] was one of those weeks.
A week where I didn't get enough rest, didn't have enough coffee and didn't have enough patience.
I blame our old mattress for ruining my restful nights of sleep.
And I guess I can blame myself for not making coffee everyday.....but coffee everyday isn't healthy. At least not the way that I make it. (I double-boil white chocolate, mix with almond milk and then pour it into my coffee. The only other way I can drink it is straight black with Kahlua and that probably defeats the purpose of it.)

I had to hear so much whining from my two tiny humans.
I mean, sure it was probably the usual amount but my depleted amount of patience didn't think so. I just wanted to be left alone.
I didn't even have enthusiasm in my workouts, and that's usually where you blow off steam!
Do foods ruin your mood? Its possible that I've been eating so healthy that any form of 'cheating,' ("Damn you milk chocolate and ice cream!") can not only make my stomach churn initially, but it can also effect my moods.
I also discovered that I have a problem with thinking I have to eat all of the Valentine's Day chocolate until they're gone. Over a 3-day span of course. C'mon, I have a little bit of restraint!
But really, if you haven't tried Lindt Chocolate truffle balls...you are really missing out, even if they are addictive. "Once you pop, you can't stop" should've been their slogan, not Pringle's!

I'm sure it doesn't help that we need a new mattress or that I have been mentally running in circles while banging my head against the wall. Gosh, I hope I can settle that part soon.
We've had this mattress for seven years now. And its been through TWO pregnancies...with 40-lb weight gain each time! Oh and to make it worse, its a pillowtop....those can only be rotated, not flipped. Yeah, yeah I know mattresses are supposed to be replaced every five years, but time got away from us. Now my back and my peaceful nights of sleep are suffering.

I'm also anxious for our move at the end of the month (when we get our new mattress). We finally bought a house! But now comes the fun part --- in figuring out color schemes for the rooms, especially for the boys' room. I want to make sure that their room isn't too infant-toddlerish so that we're not re-decorating their room in another couple of years when they become "big boys."
I researched feng shui colors and finally can check decorating off my list.
Too bad I can't say that for the other tasks going on in my mind. {Throws pity-party confetti}

I'm still not looking forward to the amount of whining and/or fighting that this upcoming week will bring me, but hopefully the mattress fairy will come and sprinkle 'restful sleep' dust on our mattress every night this week.....or every night until we buy a new mattress.

People, women and moms can't be perfect. Some days, or unfortunately some weeks, will just be a time of survival. I can't be perky, fun and unfazed all the time but I will fix my eating and try to keep things in their proper perspective.


Please tell me that some of you have the same kind of day(s) or week(s) sometimes.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Delicious Three Cheese Veggie Lasagna



I saw this recipe on one of my favorite cooking shows and had to try it. It was just as delicious as it looked on tv and I am so glad I have this in my food repertoire now. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we did!
Oh and thanks Nik for inspiring me to try meatless dishes! I'm going to add them to our menu once or twice a month.

Ingredients:
(6-8 servings) 
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tbsp panko bread crumbs ---> My favorite is Kikkoman Japanese Panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves ---> I didn't use these
  • 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped squash
  • Salt and coarse grind black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced or finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock ---> I used a beef bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles

  • #### I roughly halved of all of these portions (except for the grated parmesan) and we had the perfect amount including leftovers.
     
    Directions:

    Preheat your oven to 350F.

    Noodles
    Blanch your lasagna noodles in a large bowl of really hot water for about 15-20 mins until al dente or until the vegetables and sauce are done cooking.Then drain and set them aside.

    Veggies
    Cut up your broccoli and cauliflower into florets size if you didn't buy frozen broccoli florets. Then, scoop all the seeds out of your zucchini and squash to minimize the water extraction and cut into chunks. Scooping out the seeds will prevent the veggie mix from being too watery. I preferred preparing ALL of my veggies before cooking them because I know my burner tends to cook quickly.
    Sautee the broccoli and cauliflower in a pan of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sautee until al dente. Add the zucchini and squash once the broccoli and cauliflower are close to being done. I'm sure you know how fast they cook. Just don't let them get mushy.

    Sauce
    Take your onion and miced garlic and sautee them in 1-2 tbsp of butter, but don't let them get too brown. Next, add 2-4 tbsp of whole wheat flour to the garlic, onion and olive oil. The mixture will be thick like dough. Then, add the the vegetable/beef stock, milk, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and half of your parmesan cheese. Continue adding seasoning according to taste.
    Let your sauce mix simmer on low, until thickened.

    Panko Mixture
    Add your red pepper flakes and smoked paprika to a bowl of 1-2 tbsp of butter and heat all of it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once melted, add your panko bread crumbs and stir in.

    Build your lasagna in your oiled square (or rectangular) pan:
    Sauce -> noodles -> veggies -> sauce -> noodles -> cottage cheese-> veggies -> shredded mozzarella cheese -> noodles -> sauce -> panko mixture

    Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of the baking process for a crunchier crust.
    Cool and serve.
     
    To check out the recipe go here.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Book Review: Symphony On Sand

    Symphony On Sand
     
    by
     Katrina Jewett Hammons


    "Three friends, one year, three events -- Reagan Hamilton is ateacher and a die-hard Democrat. Alexandria Giroud is an attorney and a staunch Republican. Taylor Rays is a corporate executive and an Independent. These women take on the highs and lows of life together until betrayal, deceit and tragedy strike in a heated election year. Suddenly, the friends must make tough choices. Can friendship triumph over the zero-sum game of politics? Only the journey tells..."



    A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to meet the author of this awesome book at a publication brunch tour that a mutual friend held for her. Katrina's writing is definitely the kind I enjoy, moderately suspenseful and descriptive with just enough details left out so that readers can use their imagination when visualizing the way the characters may look, dress and act as well as the sex scenes. (No 50 Shades here, which I am personally okay with.)

    I like to think of this story as a mild political 'thriller.' Okay, well maybe it's not a thriller since there's no violence or killing. It's just a GREAT fictional political drama. The story revolves around the 2008 Presidential election and covers an example of health insurance corruption. The author, Katrina, had such a balanced delivery when discussing the political beliefs of each character throughout the book. I not only learned about the cracks in health insurance [premiums] but I also gained insight from her politically balanced approach.

    I could NOT put this book down and was so upset when I had to ---> motherhood duty calls. I can't wait for the sequel to this book, which she is currently writing, and wish that it could be turned into a Lifetime movie!!!

    This is Katrina's first book. She is a former healthcare attorney, but this book is not based on her life nor on the work she has done, just about what she learned can happen - within the fine print of health insurance.

    You can buy her book by clicking the links: Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    Buy it NOW and tell me how much you love it!!!

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Potty Success! (With Tips)



    During the Thanksgiving holiday, a miracle happened. My 3-year old (then he was a month shy of turning 3) all of a sudden decided to tell us each time he needed to pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty.

    With most things in life, its easier to understand something once you go through it....so I now understand what other parents mean when they say, "They'll do it when they're ready."
    That's a frustrating idea but I now see it as thoughtful preparation of situations we may encounter as parents.

    I started potty-training him, rather inconsistently, a few weeks after his 2nd birthday and more consistently when he was 2.5 years old. I didn't wait until he was ready to start his potty-training but he didn't become fully [daytime] trained until he was ready.

    I'm proud and relieved and so is our budget!
    I wasn't sure how to feel about throwing empty/non-soiled pull-ups but I know its better than them being soiled. What's most important is that I'm glad to not be smelling and cleaning 3-year old crap. Now, its two months later and he's even night-time potty-trained! Completely on his own. Except for when he's sick, I think.
    {I still want to put a pull-up on him for my security but that's kind of synonymous with a 2-3 year old with a pacifier. Its not needed, but there for security. My husband is the one who encouraged me to take them off.}

    I'm not sure if my 2-year old will pick it up faster since he's been watching his older brother or if he'll make the process all his own and drag his feet. He's the headstrong and controlling one of our brood.....at least he was with eating so its quite possible he will be with pottying too.
    Hey, at least I'm mentally prepared.



    Tips:
    -Give lots of praise and encouragement with each trip to the potty
    -Bribe! Bribe! Bribe with a treat that is only given with each potty success: I gave 2 fruit snack gummies for pee and 4-5 for poo
    -Entice with the bribe by giving a taste everyday, so they know what to work for
    -Eat their treat everytime YOU go (this undoubtedly makes them upset when they're in the mood of resisting potty-training....but I always laughed to myself, mean I know)
    -Find a peer of theirs that they really like that is or was recently potty-trained and let your kid watch them potty (that's if your kid is the only child or oldest child)
    -Remind them about that treat all throughout the day. Dangle it.


    The absolute only time my boys get fruit snacks is when they use the potty correctly. Their part-time 'school' uses mini marshmallows. Use anything that you know they would like that they have never had before. Another favorite of mine (when I'm out of fruit snacks) is dried cranberries.
    I have the kind of 3-year old that remembers EVERYTHING so even if he goes in the middle of the night, he reminds me of his fruit snacks in the morning.

    I sure, hope this helps someone! I sure was looking for some information or tips like this last year.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    My Month Long Hiatus

    Yo, what's up folks?!? I've been taking a month long hiatus to give myself some time to read and research a healthier lifestyle.

    The church we attend (that we'll eventually become members of) did a church-wide fasting and praying venture while reading a 31-day devotional. Since I've been attending this church, I've learned about Biblical principles that I never really knew and the messages are delivered in a college-lecture fashion as opposed to the crunk Holy Ghost fashion. There's nothing wrong with either method but the latter method tends to side-track my me more.

    I've been a Christian and person of good conscience all my life but attending this church has pushed me more to listen to and follow God's plan for my life. Since I have no idea of how to get started, I was that much more inspired to begin finding out what my purpose is....and its not just motherhood.

    I decided to fast from desserts, which is a complete weakness and usually a daily meal/snack that I have. I figured it would also be a great time, month to get a tad more serious about my gym time, so all month I've been hitting up the treadmill, stairmaster and free weights.

    By the way, I cheated one day on my desserts and I'm 4 days behind on my reading just because I didn't feel like reading. {rolls eyes}
    I'm going to finish it though ----> my New Year's Resolution to myself was to read more books and FINISH them.
    That really takes up my free blogging time.


    Welcome to the 'Gun' Show!




    My muscles look bigger in person, but hey, I'm finally getting somewhere on #TeamKeepItTight!