Monday, May 15, 2017

May Blogging Plan

May has gotten away from me. Basically April did to. I was doing so good on my goals until about the last week of April and the end of May. This is also when I was going through a planner crisis and wasn't keeping up on my planner, I think it is in correlation because I feel like everything is getting away from me right now. It doesn't help we went on vacation's back to back and then we had some major holidays (Mother's Day and Easter). I have plans to get back to everything and I am starting with the blog.

First I am going back to my posting twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That means five more posts I need to come up with for May. For ideas so far I have, My blogging plan (already typing up that one), Books I read April and May (I am going to combine these two because I didn't read very much in April and hardly at all in May), I am your typical Mormon Mom and I love it (in response to this post by Al Carraway. I love her and I wanted to share what I thought about being a working Mormon Mom and why that is OK to), Toddler Favorites for a 21 month old (Ah!! I can't believe that), and I can't come up with a fifth post.
So that is my blogging goals so far. As for reading (which is a part of blogging goals since I post on what I read), I am currently reading a book called America's First Daughter and so far I like it. I also checked out Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and hope to at least crack it open soon. I think that is all I will get through this month and I might not even get through those but here's to hoping.
Life has been really good lately, just busy and I am still dealing with Anxiety and trying to figure that all out. I hope to keep up with the blog more as I do love sharing our adventures here.
Maybe that is what I will do for the last post in May is a combination of what we have done all month, like a monthly recap.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

St George Trip #3

I am behind on posting by 3 posts. I don't know how many people are following this blog regularly but I try and post twice a week. Last time I posted was April 25 so I need to write 3 posts to "catch up". Of course no one is holding me accountable for these posts so it's not really something I need to catch up on but I like to put out a lot of content for you guys. It's fun and let's me share my ideas with you all.
Can you believe we went to St. George again? Okay for those of you who don't know Zack's aunt (his dad's sister) owns rental homes in St. George. Zack's mom goes down to St. George to help her set up the houses and in exchange for all that work she gets some vacation time. She loves us a lot so we are so lucky to be able to go down as much as we do. Thank you so much Rose for letting us hang with you! It's always fun!

Day 1. We left Thursday April 20th and Claire and I rode down with Dave and Rose. Zack couldn't come until after work on Friday but since I didn't have work I wanted to spend Friday down there. So day one was mostly a driving day this is what Claire did most of the time:

 Once we got down there we went and stopped by the brand new rental house (seriously it's gorgeous!). The house has a huge play area in it and even a slide. This is Claire on the slide that day and she loved it.

Day 2:
We woke up and hung out in the morning. Claire watched Sofia the first and then played with toys while Dave and Rose went back to the new house to do some work.

Claire loved this awesome play area that the rental house has upstairs and played there all day.
Finally Nana and Grandpa came back and we went swimming. We swam for a while then Claire went down for a nap and so did I (I swallowed to much pool water so I was sick). After our nap we went on a four wheeler ride really quick.

 Notice how we strapped her car seat in, that is the nice thing about having a side by side. Then after four wheeling we went to Don Pedro's for late lunch/ early dinner. I love Mexican food so it was super yummy.

 When we got home Claire wanted to play for a little bit up stairs so we dressed her up in this adorable pirate outfit and it was so fun.

After that I put her to bed and then hung out until Zack got there which he did around 9:30 at night.

Day 2

We spent the majority of the day swimming that morning. Zack did go help with some furniture at the new rental house and so it was late morning by the time we got in the pool. It was so fun to go swimming.

After swimming everyone just kind of relaxed and the girls were so cute watching Sofia.

 Shortly after Claire and Zack passed out cause they were so tired.

Then we had dinner and I put Claire to bed while everyone went back to the new house to work.

Day 3.
This was Sunday and we just went to church in the morning, Cleaned the house after church and drove back home.
It was a super fun trip and I am excited for the next one.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring Family Pictures 2017

We took some pictures in our backyard on Easter Sunday and I loved how they turned out. So cute! Claire's dress is from Carters and mine is from Dress Barn. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Easter 2017

Easter weekend 2017. We had so much fun!!

 Dying eggs! Thanks to whoever suggested on the internet using a whisk for a toddler. It worked really well.

Eating marshmallow off the mixer. She loved all the treats.

 Her second Easter outfit of the day, from screaming owl. It is so cute! Love all the outfits they have.

First time hunting for eggs with daddy. She picked up on what she was supposed to do really fast.

How was your Easter?

What was in Claire's Easter Basket

Holiday's are so much fun when you have children. Claire has been loving all the family time we get to have when there is a holiday and that is the most important thing. She lit up when she saw what the Easter bunny brought her. I may have gone a little over board but I just love her to much not to spoil her.
Her basket was the same one we had last year from Walmart or Target I can't remember. I didn't put any grass in because I knew she would immediately pull it out and make a mess with it so I saved myself the hassle. The one thing I knew for sure she needed to get was her Easter dress and everything else was just extra, she didn't get a lot of candy which is good cause I would have ended up eating it.

Basically you can see everything there but we got coloring books, stickers, those bath changing foam things (which she hated BTW), bath books,  some stickers/notebooks,  and pajamas.
She is sure loved.


What I eat in a day

 Lately I have been trying to be more aware of what I eat. I know that our bodies can only intake so much bad stuff before it starts effecting our every day lifestyle. Although what I currently eat wouldn't necessarily be referred to as clean eating this is a lot healthier then what I normally eat.
This is also what I eat on workdays which is Monday-Thursday.

 For breakfast I generally love having bagels. Thomas Bagels are only 260 and I actually eat mine plain most of the time. Sometimes I will toast them and add a tbsp of cream cheese which only adds about 50 calories. I am counting calories while I'm trying to loose weight and it's hard. I know, but will be worth it.

I then go to work for about 6 hours and I eat my bagel at work, then I'll have a 32 oz of water before lunch time. This helps me so much to stop overeating/snacking. I also chew gum, that is my lifesaver when trying to loose weight.
 I love this huge mason jar I got from Target and I try and fill it up at least twice a day but usually reach three. Water is so good for you!

For lunch at work I have been meal prepping, If you haven't seen my previous post about meal prep then you should check it out but I ate one of my meal prep lunches today and it was yummy. Chicken and veggies over rice. If I don't meal prep then I have been getting those salad kits at the grocery store and I love those for lunch to.

After I get home Claire usually goes down for a nap and I am hungry/ ready for a snack. My go to snack is usually popcorn but I like to save that for movie night. Today I had a yogurt.

 If I am still hungry after a snack I'll have more water and then will try and get myself busy doing something around the house. Once I am busy it helps me stay away from the kitchen.

For dinner I just have whatever is on our menu for the night, it varies but tonight it was chicken Parmesan with salad. So yummy!

Eating right is so important, make sure and take care of your body while you can.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meal Prep

I recently started a weight loss challenge that my cousin is hosting. I am excited to be more conscious of my health and so far I've been doing pretty good with it. A big pitfall for me is lunch, especially when I am at work because it's tempting to go out to eat. To avoid that I have started meal prepping. This saves so much money and is healthier for me. This week I made these chicken veggie bowls and next week I am doing turkey taco bowls which I am excited for.

chicken breasts (two)
cherry tomatoes
broccoli florets
pepper variety or onion
olive oil
Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut up chicken into cubs and cut up all vegetables.
Align on foiled baking sheet in a rainbow.
Sprinkle paprika, salt & pepper, and Italian seasoning all over pan
Add 2 tbsp olive oil to chicken and vegetables.
Roast in oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Once food is in the oven cooking go ahead and make either rice or quinoa to add to the bottom of the bowl. I went with brown rice.

Once vegetables are brown on the outside and chicken is cooked through go ahead and pull out the baking sheet. Start prepping your bowls by adding the rice on the bottom then the veggies and chicken on top.
I got these containers from Walmart and they are the Great Value brand, you can get them in the Ziploc area. 

Once all prepped put the lids on and slide into your fridge. They can stay in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
Having these lunches prepared before hand has literally saved me so much time and effort in the morning. I am not a morning person so simplifying my routine helps me get going.  I am so excited to try out the turkey bowls for next week and will let you know how those go.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Toddler Clothing Haul

Toddler clothes are so fun! I love purchasing new clothing for Claire. I budget her clothing in with our weekly groceries because I shop at Walmart. This makes it easy because the majority of her clothes are from Walmart. They have such cute items and I just love how inexpensive they are. We have a weekly grocery budget and I use whatever isn't spent on groceries to purchase clothing, household items, activity items, etc. So let's start with what I got her at Walmart.

In this picture above you see all the basic items she needed. On the right are her shirts. I got a few solid shirts in the spring colors and then a few in the patterns. All are size 24M which in shirts is almost two small for her. On the right is the pant selections, as well as the shorts. These are in 24 months and the shorts and skirts fit her but the pants in the middle with the bow on them those are a little to big around her middle. She has a tiny waist so we usually just stick with leggings.

In this picture I got her two new pairs of shoes. Those sandals are to die for! So perfect to wear with her new Easter dress (I'll do a post on our Easter outfits in two weeks, after Easter). She also got some 2T shirts which are adorable. That unicorn one up at the top! I also got her a pack of toddler socks because she needed some to wear with her new tennis shoes since we are outside a lot now that the weather is warmer. Oh I also got a few footie pajamas that aren't pictured because she needed new ones.

Now onto what I got from Target.

The Cat & Jack brand at Target is my favorite. Those eyelet t-shirts I couldn't resist. And those black leggins in the middle are what I have her wear basically daily. They are great play leggings. This brand is very inexpensive and Target usually has sales every now and then.

So that's it for her spring clothing haul. I picked up a bunch of dresses from Walmart recently but didn't take a picture so she is also set for dresses for church.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Books I Read: March

March was such a good reading month for me. I got to explore some new books and finally read a book that's been on my to be read list since January. I am happy that I got three books in this month and I was able to be a beta (test) reader for one of my friends. She is in the process of writing her first YA novel and I have been interested in it since 2013 when I first heard she was doing this. She recently finished her novel and I got to be a beta reader and it was amazing. I don't know how much she wants me to share about it quite yet so I wont go into to much detail on her book. It was one of the books I am counting for March though because it was around 300 pages.

1. The Reptile Room

 A series of Unfortunate Events. It gets old after a while. I know it's written primarily for children but I had a hard time finishing this one. I was trying to read all four books before I watched the Netflix series but I can't get through them so I wont be reading #3 and #4 and just watching it. I know what happens as I have read the books before when I was younger. I remember enjoying them when I was younger but now it's just so depressing that I can't get through it. I need something a little happier in my life (especially since I am prone to anxiety and depression). If you read the first one you get the gist of what happens to the children and can figure out the story from there. I know there are some story lines that you would be missing but if you are an adult I would say skip this one.

2.  My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen

 I loved this book. I have featured several "A proper romance" novels on this blog in the past. They are some of my favorite. Historical romance is always fun to read but I don't like all the raunchy stuff that is often included in them. These novels are clean and catchy. They draw you in simply on character development and story line which I believe is a sign of good writing. This story was sweet and although these novels are always predictable I do like to read to the end to find out what happens.

3. Don't by Kyra Palmer (Beta Read)
This was the Beta novel I got to read and it was phenomenal. So good. It's a contemporary novel about a girl in high school and her experience finding love. It has good twists and turns in it to make you keep reading and the characters are rather interesting. Sorry I am being so vague but I can't reveal to much except keep your eye out, hopefully it will be published soon.

4. Sadie by Rebecca Belliston

I picked this book up while browsing Deseret Book one day with Claire. We went to go buy her new church books but I always stroll down the novel aisle to see if anything new has come out. This book caught my attention and I read it in March. I read it during my personal time at night while I took a bath and it was awesome. I loved having that time to read and soak in the tub every night.
The story is interesting and is about a girl who finds her self caught up in a world she knew nothing about. She was about to marry a guy who was involved in illegal activity and the FBI showed up to try and figure out what was going on. She ends up having to flee her fiance and gets rescued by four guys on their annual ski vacation. At first you don't suspect a love interest will form but one does and the story of what happens to her former fiance keeps you interested in the novel. It's a good quick read and I would recommend it for the summer.
To my surprise I just discovered that there is a book 2 so I'll be picking that up to read while we are in St. George this month.

April to be read:
The Sheriff of Savage Wells
Augustina (book 2 of the Sadie series)
Better than Before (I really want to read this!! I just need to get a copy)

That's it for now, I probably will read 4 books but I am doing good with my goal so far and I am enjoying all the reading I have been doing. I want to read more classical stuff so I am thinking of adding a poetry book in there as well.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Summary

I'll spare you the whole... it's going so fast make time stop. I think that is just a consequence of being an adult and having a kid. But I wanted to start doing blog posts on a summary of every month to see how it went.
What was AWESOME about March.
1. NEW JOB!! I got a new job which I am so excited about. I am going to be working for the city of Provo in the fleet/sanitation/water department. I am the new office administrative assistant and I am really excited for this new opportunity. I only work M-TH and I work early morning 7:30 am - 1:30 pm. I have babysitters lined up for Claire and I am just excited to start somewhere new.

2. We got a new entertainment center. You saw it in my post on Easter Decor. It's this one from Amazon:

I love it and I am excited to continue buying more decor for our home.

3. My Easter Decor. That post got a lot of views for me and it seemed like you guys really liked it. I loved putting it together and can't wait to do a spring/summer one.

4. Working out. I have been really enjoying the Provo Rec center recently. Since I got a new job I now have a free pass to Provo Rec center and that facility is just so nice. I have been going to the Barre (ballet workout) class there. It's a class I can really do and don't feel stupid for doing it. Zumba I'm not coordinated enough for and always feel like I look crazy but with Barre it was something easy I could handle and it 's a good workout. I also go and watch youtube videos while walking on the treadmill. Claire loves going to child watch and it gives me a good excuse to get out of the house.

5. Last but not least is Moana. Ha ha I know Moana. But really Claire is obsessed with it. She loves it so much and I love it because I can turn it on she'll sit and watch and I can do laundry/ chores around the house. It's a win win for me. It's a cute movie. The end gets me every time when she discovers who Te Fiti really is. It's just beautiful.

What was not so awesome about March.

1. Zack worked a lot of overtime this month. The only reason why it wasn't so awesome was because that meant we had less time together as a family. I like having our weekends together and having him work Saturdays really messed that up.

2. Laundry. Ha ha I feel like I can never get caught up on it though. I am looking into better laundry systems but honestly I just need to do it.

3. Working Saturdays. see above.

4. The Weather. There were a few glorious days of awesome weather but mostly it's been a drab month. We had snow at the very beginning, then the last week it's just been a lot of rain. I know we need water so that's good I just am so excited for warm weather consistently and beach days, lagoon, parades, festivals, etc. All of that is coming up in the summer and I can't wait.

So here is what I am looking forward to in April
- St. George Trip. After a month of not going we are ready for some sun and relaxation down in St. George.
- General Conference. My favorite weekend, I am seriously so excited.
- Easter. I have our easter baskets all planned out already. Claire is going to love all the activities we do, the egg roll, the easter egg hunts etc. It will be so fun.
-Tulip Festival. We've never been but I love tulips and it will be fun to walk around with the family and see all the pretty flowers. I'm pretty sure Zack will hate it but he loves us so he'll go anyway.

How was March for you?

Monday, March 27, 2017

My Favorite Weekend!

General conference is coming up for the LDS church and it is my favorite weekend of the year. I am so blessed that I get that weekend twice. It happens the first weekend of April and the first weekend of October. Can you believe it's April already? Here is my blogpost on Conference from last year if you are interested in reading.
So what am I doing this week to prepare for conference?

1. Menu planning.
I know this seems like such a trivial thing but having good snacks on hand is key for me to pay attention and to keep our toddler occupied. So far on the list I have is to make muddy buddies (puppy chow), get a veggie tray, chips and salsa and Zack wants reese's eggs. Those are just the snacks. As far as meals go, we plan to go out between sessions on Saturday for burgers and fries. Then Saturday night making Lasagna. Sunday we are having a big yummy breakfast of French Toast, Bacon and Eggs. Then Sunday for lunch grilled cheese and then we are going to my in-laws for the last session on Sunday and enjoying birthday dinner for my mother-in-law. Having a food plan makes the weekend go by so much easier and I get really excited.

2. Go to the temple.
I really want to attend the temple this week. I might have to go alone so Zack can be with the baby but I am looking forward to that special time with God before the spiritual revelation that comes. I want to reflect in the temple on what I need to hear and what questions I have.

3. Get my nails done.
Doing this on Friday I think. It helps with taking notes and everything because you are excited with how cute your nails are.

4. Figure out what journal I want to use. I have a lot of journals, so I want to grab one and take notes during conference. Claire will probably sleep during Saturday afternoon and the rest of them she will be occupied with toys/snacks etc so I probably will be able to take notes.

5. Pray for inspiration and guidance.
I know that General Conference is a time to get spiritual guidance for what I need in my life. I find answers and peace for my life. Praying ahead of time let's me focus on what I really need and what I am willing to do should that inspiration come. 

I am so excited for this weekend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Easter Decor 2017

This is the first time I've really gotten into holiday decor. Having my own home to decorate makes it easier and I want to save these pieces for years to come. I am excited to decorate for the holidays and seasons in our new home. For Easter this year we went with mostly pastel colors. The color palette was peach, teal/mint, pink, white, and gold. I purchased almost all of the decor from Target, but also thrifted some pieces and went to Michael's.

Our front door is painted yellow and I kind of hate that color. I really want a red front door. I have been obsessed with red doors for the last five years or so and this summer we are painting this door. I am so excited for that. Anyway this door hanger is from Walmart and I love the look it brings right when you walk in. The speckled pastel eggs went perfect with my theme for the rest of the house.

Upon entering the house you see the entryway table and I added this cute bunny that I thrifted on top of the console. I also got the carrot's from Walmart. The rose gold planner is my on the go planner and it makes it easier to grab and go when I have it on the table.  This photo just screams spring to me.

Next thing you see is the piano. It was hard to get a really good picture of the decor here because of the big window it sits in front of. The jar on the left is from the dollar tree and the eggs inside are from Target. The tulips are from the dollar tree as well as the vase that's holding them and then the white candle is from Target. I wanted to keep it simple on top of the piano since I teach piano lessons twice a week and use the space. 

We have a few bookshelf's in the living room and this one is painted this teal blue color and it actually fit in perfect with the decor. On top of the bookshelf I have this metal bunny from Michael's. Claire loves this guy and loves pointing him out to me, "mommy look bunny". The tin tray is from Michael's as well. The egg's inside are from Target. The jar with the pink bunny lid is from Michael's and the eggs are from Target. 

Next you see our TV stand. I put this egg garland (from Target) up but my 18 month old discovered it and would carry it around so I moved it over to one of our other bookshelf's and it turned out pretty good.

Onto the Kitchen. On the dining room table I put some magazine's down and this cute egg vase from Target. I love having magazine's on the table because we like to read while eating breakfast so this gives me something fast and easy to pick up and flip through. We have the Magnolia Journal as well as some church magazines.

 Also on our kitchen counters we have this egg basket from Walmart and this mint candle from Target. This candle smells amazing and reminds of spring so much so I burn it a lot.

Well that is it for my Easter decor for this year. I like that it is simple.