12.23.2019

Week's Food Plan


I'm not sure if we'll follow this plan exactly - Bimmer Man wants to make tacos on Christmas Eve for lunch, I think I'm going to swap the ham/Wild Rice soup because the kids and I will be at a movie (while Bimmer Man and his mom are going to a movie, and no, the kids and I were NOT invited to that one so I had to make the magic happen for the kids. Don't ask). 

The CSA delivered a ham, lots of ground beef, about 15lbs of carrots and 10lbs of yellow onions - which means that I don't have to buy either of those for quite awhile. WOOT!!!

The skillet pot pie recipe is from Eat At Home Tonight. And the recipe is so freaking easy - you soften the veggies in a cast iron skillet, make a roux, add in chicken broth and shredded chicken. Put drop biscuits on top and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. SO EASY. 


I tend to make Byerly's Wild Rice Soup about once per month. It calls for a roux and cream but I've had no problems swapping out cream for almond milk, especially since I don't normally buy cream, I've had to get a little adventurous in trying non-dairy substitutions. For the most part, they've worked out really well. Is the soup as creamy as it should be? No, but it still tastes really good - and you can swap out more almond milk for chicken broth too. I haven't found a big difference in taste.

Next up on my list of things to make this morning is egg muffins. I do 12 eggs, a package of feta and bake it all in a muffin tin for about 15 - 18 minutes. Also, any recipe that just says prep your pan with A LITTLE OIL is a fucking lying liar. You need to coat the muffin tin in cooking spray so you don't end up with muffins sticking to your muffin tin and being inedible. Seriously. It might take you one or two tries to realize I'm right. Don't worry about it. You'll get there. 

Ok, friends. On with the week!!

Winter Break Is Here

And OHMYFUCKINGGOD. My children were up at 6am this morning, the first Monday of Winter Break. Thank goodness it's shortened this year to a week and a half, not the whole two weeks. By the end of the last week, the kids hate each other, I've run out of things to do that don't cost money and they've basically thrown their toys all over the house.

And I just scolded Baby Chewie for taking a bully stick from Phil.

Oy.

This is going to be a long 10 days.




12.21.2019

Marble Runs for Entertainment


We've now had the Q-Ba-Maze marble run for several months and I LOVE it! The kids do too and whenever anyone seems bored, I just pull the bag of Q-Ba-Maze cubes out and it lasts for at least an hour, if not more. I first saw these at The Works Museum in Bloomington a few years ago. 

Baby Chewie actually picked this out at Target last year and I was thinking it would be just too much for him, but he CAN put the blocks together, however, he has no clue as to how to build a marble run quite yet. That will come with time though, it's a developmental leap and a learning curve. I think it took The Monkey about 3-4 times of building to actually understand how the marble runs work and how to build them so they're level, but supporting all the different ways the marble run. It took me a few times too! Now I've realized that I want way more so we can build some monster marble runs (aka, someone is getting more Q-Ba-Maze blocks for Christmas!). 

So if you need new things to do to keep your kids entertained for this winter, try out the Q-Ba-Maze blocks and marbles. They're so much fun (and by the way, I don't do sponsored posts. That's not my jam so don't think I'm making money off this! It's all me!). 

12.20.2019

Super Comfy Winter Style


Photo credit: Baby Chewie
Long sleeve T-shirt, color is Hunter Pines: Old Navy Luxe Long Sleeve
Leggings: Duluth Trading Company, I no longer see the exact pair that I own (ok, I like them so much that I have two pairs), but I linked to the similar version

It's too cold for fashion this week. I may or may not have even stuffed my face with pretzels and pub cheese on the couch while wearing my jacket, scarf, and hat. This is Minnesota. We stay warm however we can. Or maybe I just tell myself that.

12.18.2019

Book Review - Tana French's Broken Harbor


OMG. I freaking love to read. My little Monkey is absolutely in love with reading too and honestly, I should have just bought her a $100 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble so she can pick out her own books. She's currently obsessing over the Wings of Fire graphic novel series. 

Me, on the other hand, can only read mystery novels if Bimmer Man is home. For some reason my brain is just not wired to see fiction vs. reality and so I have nightmares fairly frequently if I read/watch something that's even a tad bit "scary." YIKES.

I started on the Tana French Dublin Murder Squad series YEARS ago. Before I had kids. And now I'm wanting to finish the series because I just can't leave a series unread if I've started it unless it's just so terrible that it's not worth my time. I really enjoyed the first three novels in the series - however, I also really like how she writes NOT THE SAME CHARACTER as the main character of the book. The first two carried the same - we see mentions of previous characters and I can tell already there's been mentions of future characters in this novel. 

Her mystery writing isn't always cut and dry. Her characters have flaws (which in this novel with Scorcher as the main character, he makes me want to bang the book against the wall at some points, I find that makes the author a great book to be able to make the reader have feelings for or against the characters instead of making them bland). The victims also have flaws and I like how Tana French writes the victim's stories to be relatable to people in real life. The victim's family in Broken Harbor has bought a lemon of a house, lives in an estate (neighborhood to Americans) that's been basically left abandoned and the father lost his job. Of course there's more to the story, there always is, but the whole family has been stabbed and a close family friend has been arrested for the murder (this comes about 30% of the way through the novel, I wouldn't call this a spoiler). I'm right in the middle of where the detective partners are upset with each other because neither thinks the other is correct about the guilty-ness of the arrested suspect. So in a way, it's a little predictable but I really like how Tana French writes the "predictable" stuff into her novels. It's there, and it's coming, but she throws a loop with other issues and problems. 

So far, I'm about 75% of the way through with this novel, and I can't wait to finish, I think I can do it over this weekend. WOOT!! As long as the kids are occupied and Bimmer Man is occupied, I can generally get in a good 15-30 minutes of reading on a weekend day. 

In any case, I'm really excited to finish this novel. I can't wait to sit my rear end on the couch with a very large glass of wine and read!

Wordless Wednesday


12.17.2019

Put My Party Pants On


Plaid Pants, purchased last year from Old Navy - Shop similar HERE
3/4 sleeve sweater - purchased from ThredUp several years ago
Socks - Darn Tough, exact stripe isn't made anymore but more cute stripes available!

FINALLY. I got to wear my plaid pants. Honestly, I should wear them once a week in the winter. I do live in Minnesota and they really are pretty awesome and comfortable. Plaid has turned into a staple pattern in my wardrobe. Growing up I ALWAYS chose to wear plain items - I hated people looking at me and I really tried to just blend into the floors and walls. I've discovered as I grow older that I LOVE patterns and I really do like wearing patterns, especially plaid. I probably have way more plaid shirts than I should (in a variety of colors too!). So I had to add the plaid to my pants too and I've been looking for an excuse. We had a holiday party and it was so much fun to see friends and get all fancy shmancy dressed up. I definitely don't regret buying these - I just need to wear them more!

12.16.2019

Work Out Swap


I generally work out during the day - I send Baby Chewie to his room or let him have my phone so I can workout in peace in the living room without constantly being interrupted. But I decided to make the switch to early mornings. Last week I worked out 3 days at 5 am, and 2 days during the day. My days where I was up early went by so much easier. I actually had time to get things done that I wanted to get done (like clean the bathroom, gross; wash the kitchen cabinets and wash the walls, yuck; vacuum daily; and make sure all my plants are watered). I had a lot more energy and I actually didn't mind being up early. I mean, I actually yawned during HIIT moves in the morning but you know what....I got it all done! And then I even had 15 minutes to make my coffee and watch the news in peace and quiet before the rush of the day started.

Phew. I think I'm going to make the swap to early mornings as much as I can. I have a Beachbody membership so luckily I can access everything from the Firestick or my phone or the computer. I really enjoy going to the YMCA, but there's no way I can get there, get changed, workout, shower (maybe), and be home by the time Bimmer Man needs to leave for work. I tried it earlier this year and I felt awful every day I did it - I just felt like I had too much on my plate and driving all over town and just doing too much in general. I might change it up and go back to the YMCA when Baby Chewie is in preschool some days, but during the day is my time to catch up with the whole house and get shit done so I'm not working at it all after the kids go to bed. I want to be done so I can sit and read my books!

This past fall I really buckled down on saying NO to things I couldn't do, saying YES to me and making my life easier.

Welcome to COTA Year 2

This was the second year that I was lucky enough to go to COTA aka Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX to watch North Loop Motorsport win the GP2 Championship!

We were there the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! I included pictures of the pits - it seems like so many people are interested in knowing what exactly happens behind the scenes and honestly, a lot!! This was my second year and another partner was there - her second year too. We tend to stay out of the way and help only when asked. I don't know my way around cars but I sure can help with food, clean, get waters, and basically make sure no one has starved themselves and is about to pass out on Pit Lane. 

We stayed in an AirbNb which was super awesome - a HUGE house, enough bathrooms for all and a very large kitchen. Every time we stay in an AirbNb, it makes me want to buy another house/condo and do the same. I can't exactly get a job with Bimmer Man working so often - he just can't do days off to watch kids or sick days and so honestly, that's why I stay home. SOMEONE needs to take care of it all (ME). I think I'd be able to stay on top of an AirbNb when Baby Chewie starts Kindergarten in a couple years but I'm not quite sure that's in the cards when we're going to rip the back of the house off next year. 




I finished The Lager Queen of Minnesota - so good! Such a cute story and it's SO FREAKING MINNESOTAN. If you like easy reads and FAST reads, I think I finished this in 4 days, only reading at night and then on the airplane and while sitting on the team scooter. HA!!




This is one of my favorite spots at the track - it's the VIP section. Mostly it's shaded but you can see Turn 1 (behind me) and down the main straightaway. The drivers can also see you if it's a yellow flag - this is where I usually sit to watch Bimmer Man and this year I could get to a new bridge to watch. On normal race days for like the Formula One, you're not allowed to stand on bridges and they cover them so you can't see the cars and just cross the bridge. 


This is a pit stop - they're doing a driver change. Bimmer Man is going INTO the car. He's ready to jump over the wall. The drivers help each other into the car and out of the car. 



And of course, in Austin, TX we had to go to Allen's boots. I bought myself a pair AND I bought The MONKEY a pair. I really hope she loves them!

Enjoy the photos! I really had so much fun in Austin but unfortunately the WRL has a new owner with a new schedule and I don't think Austin is on it. The team owner has also started sprint races and Bimmer Man's M3 is almost finished to start sprint races as well. His first sprint race will happen at some point this spring. We'll have to find another race to go to with as many people as we did this one. 

AND the best part - the team won the first day - first place in GP2 AND they won the overall season Championship!! If you're interested in following along with their racing adventures, you can find them on Facebook HERE.

Happy Monday!!

12.14.2019

Waves

It's been so busy the last month.

Just kinda cray cray. 

And with that comes blog posts in waves. I finally get a good hour or two to post and write and create and think and then BAM. Life freaking hits again. 


Thanksgiving was quiet, except for the night before. We went to a restaurant for dinner and poor Monkey ended up with food poisoning. She was puking at 1am. UGH. I felt so bad for her. Poor girl.

The next day her stomach was so much better. I was a bit worried for her - I wasn't quite sure if I was going to have to make her a different meal for Thanksgiving dinner or not. Luckily she recovered well and after a few days of probiotics, she was back to normal. 

I was so surprised because usually it's Baby Chewie that's the puker - he's allergic to SHELLFISH so we have to be careful at restaurants because most waitstaff forgets that they have deep fried Calimari on their menu - which is mollusk shellfish and then fries AND chicken tenders are cooked in the same oil. That's going to be a forever thing too. Poor kid. 

Phil obviously loved Thanksgiving dinner. He helped himself to leftovers in the organic waste bin. 

I have lots of updates and photos to share so I'm fairly positive the next week or two of posts is going to be completely OUT OF ORDER. Sorry, friends. 

Happy Saturday!!

10.20.2019

It's More Phil!


Moco Museum Amsterdam

Did I tell you I went to the Moco Museum in Amsterdam? No? It's one of the rare museums where you can actually take photos of the art so I took several of my favorite Banksy pieces.

There was a room where there was a video of him putting his artwork on the walls in famous museums along with the time spent until someone noticed that his art didn't belong. That was actually my favorite - I think Banksy and I could be friends with his sense of humor. 

It was amazing seeing these pieces in person and some day I hope I can find a Banksy on my garage doors. 

Enjoy!






10.18.2019

The Terrible Threes

We went through the Terrible Threes with The Monkey so long ago, I barely remember it. I'm pretty sure I drank a lot of alcohol. And yelled. And was so frustrated. But we got through it. And now that same boundary-pushing, demanding, insolent behavior is back with Baby Chewie. UGH.

So I'm here to say that parenting the age of three is awful. It's frustrating. It makes me want to drink copious amounts of alcohol to never remember this age so that I can think he's a little angel forever. Or maybe just black out the parts where he tries to climb over fences, irritate the dog, and demand he get all the sugary treats in the world. FOR EVERY SINGLE MEAL. Nice try, honey. 

So to all the other parents out there dealing with three year olds, I'm right there with you. We shall overcome this terrible age and we shall get through it with blinders on to never look back. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TRYING AND TERRIBLE TIME.



Fall Shoes and Boots

Oh man, I love my black Chelsea boots so much from Tom's that I've been scouring their website for more fun finds. I don't wear heels very often because if I do, I'm wearing them to school pick up/drop off and honestly, I need running shoes for that because Baby Chewie isn't exactly the best at listening, although he now stops at corners, stop signs, and street corners so we've turned a corner. 

But I still love fashion and absolutely dream of the day where I can walk at a temperate pace and possibly wear heels to school pick up/drop off. Or maybe I can just dream of that. I dunno. In any case, I've got my eye on the following shoes from Tom's and now I'm going to wait until Black Friday to possibly purchase because I want to see what kinds of deals they'll have! The most I've seen is 25% off, which is what I used to purchase my Chelsea boots. Last year they had 30% off, so I can definitely wait until Black Friday for a good deal!







That's all for now, friends! Have a great weekend!


10.14.2019

Preschool Lunches


Baby Chewie gets to go to preschool. YAY!!! Baby Chewie also gets to eat lunch at school two times per week. He's 3 and lunch boxes don't last longer than two years in this house because they get used almost daily. I had Baby Chewie pick out his own lunchbox at Target and this one drives me nuts. I honestly don't think it's super great at keeping cold things cold, even with a cold pack. It's also smaller and not as squishy as The Monkey's so I have to pack it in weird ways or find weird containers to pack food in. Even a Thermos fits in it a bit odd. I dunno...all I know is that before Kindergarten this kid will be getting a soft sided lunch box from Land's End.

So far I've sent him with some strange things and he's eaten them all. But the favorite so far is macaroni & cheese - I make it in the morning and put it fresh into hot Thermos' so it's warm for lunch! And then I also pack fresh fruit and a very small treat. He needs to be sugar detoxed, that kid. 

Meatloaf was another favorite - I cut it into bite size pieces and drizzled BBQ sauce all over it. When I opened the Thermos, it was EMPTY. WOOT!!

Strangely enough the kids will eat Mini corndogs in the Thermos but The Monkey will not eat the school's corndog. I have no idea why. I don't ask these questions anymore. Not quite sure.

Tomorrow I'm making macaroni and cheese again but sending it with a scoop of chili. We shall see if the kids like Chili-Mac!

Baby Phil!!


10.07.2019

Weekly Plans

I feel like I've fallen behind in so many ways, and in others I'm completely on my game.

CLEANING:

I started following The Fly Lady again to keep the house clean - because with the dog I have to vacuum daily but I need a list of things to do otherwise I just Swiffer and wait until everything is kinda gross to clean. If I have a checklist, then I can keep on top of things and our house is pretty neat and clean. And after growing up in a clean house with a cleaning day, I really hate spending a whole day cleaning. I would rather spend daily time cleaning so that I don't have to work after the kids are in bed and I'd rather spend the weekend doing what I want to do, not what I have to do (though that rarely happens!).

This week is the kitchen to clean so today I went through the cabinets and gave away food that's not expired that we're not going to eat and semi-organized it. I have a short people problem though and I can't see all the way into the back of the cabinets without a step ladder so I moved everything that we eat on a normal basis to the front, put the tall items in the back (maybe I'll find a step thingy for the actual items???). Hopefully this will help the next week for finding meal items.

THE HUMAN CHILDREN:

There's no swimming on Monday because someone had diarrhea in the pool and people got Cryptospirosis which is a diarrhea bug. GROSS. Tonight I had mini corndogs on the menu, but I guess I can change it to something a little healthier? Eh, maybe I'll just make wild rice to go with it, or quinoa. Eh, just steam some veggies.

THE DOG:

Phil is now signed up for Puppy class. He gets his 3 month vaccines on Wednesday. He can get a dog license next month. He can go to doggy daycare next month. So cheers to that! I also saw the training place also offers classes on greeting guests, walking, and other things too. I'm really excited about that so we'll have to sign up for a few classes over the next year or so. And he's a pretty good puppy - although Baby Chewie has been bit several times (all his fault I might add for teasing the dog after I have repeatedly said STOP, so this week I'm buckling down and basically making Baby Chewie play in his room every.single.time he tries to do anything with the dog). Phil has his own Instagram (@philthedogg) and lots of followers. I try my best to take photos every day, he's pretty darn cute so it makes it easy!!

PLANS FOR THE WEEK:

Sign Phil up for class (DONE)
Walk the dog daily
Clean the whole kitchen
Vacuum
Get large containers for my summer clothes so I can swap to fall/winter clothes

9.18.2019

New School Year, New Mantra

Last year I shot myself in the foot trying to make meals from scratch for dinners before after school activities and I tried to control all food aspects and seriously make sure everything was low-sugar and all whole foods.

I realized I just stressed myself out way too much so...this year my mantra has basically become "fuck this shit, just let it go."

However, I also have a husband that doesn't do some things unless I ask him. For example, last night there were dishes in the sink, the wagon needed to be dragged inside, the laundry needed to be swapped, the dog needed to go out, and the kids needed to get their shit together to go to bed. He did the least amount of everything to get to the end of the night. I hate being a nag about shit, but if something needs to be done, I'm going to have to be up his freaking ass about it so that I'm not stressed out. I feel like I need some emojis to explain myself but frankly, I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I do 90% of everything around here. Bimmer Man just mowed the lawn for the first time THIS YEAR last weekend. I can't do everything AND keep my shit together. For the most part, none of this bothers me, but there's times where I think to myself, "OH MY GOD. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE???" And that's when I realize I'm too stressed to really do anything at all and I need to be more vocal about what needs to be done and that the crumbs on the floor are driving me batshit crazy.

So this year I'm going to eat out more, make more processed food, and basically go back to being lazy so that I'm not so stressed out.

Eh, fuck it. We only live once and I'd rather enjoy my time on earth. For now. But I'm sure I'll get sick of processed food in a month and then I'll be back to home cooking everything. I'm throwing in the towel. Make it easy.

9.06.2019

Fun Friday Finds...Whistle & Flute

Oh, man. I wish I would have known about Whistle & Flute long ago! Their clothes are so awesome. And before The Monkey had opinions I totally would have dressed her in any of these (ok, maybe not all but definitely lots!).

And unfortunately the shirt that I want to buy Baby Chewie is all sold out in his size!


We've had a few Twin Six shirts in this house (headquarters are here in the Twin Cities, actually in St Louis Park!) and I'm always looking for more bike stuff to add to both kids' dressers. Girl bike themed clothes are always a little more difficult to find too. 

I also noticed that I'm not always a huge fan of the mall brands - it seems like all the kids have Target, H & M, Gap, Old Navy, etc... and I like to get my kids stuff that not only fits their personality but also comes from European and small shops. Once kids start having opinions then it makes it so hard to buy clothes. 

I happened across Whistle & Flute items in a resale group on Facebook and thought I'd check it out. Here's a few goodies that I thought I'd share! There's even adult items too which is fantastic because sometimes there's days where I do want to wear a taco shirt. 






Enjoy shopping for your little ones or for the little ones you know. Or yourself!! Happy Friday!

9.05.2019

Black Booties


I want these.

These are the black Cleo boots from Toms

Oh, man. They are so darn cute! And stylish! And they look like they'd get me to and from school really well. And comfy. Do you think they're comfy? I'm old now and have old feet so I can't do stylish and not comfortable. I HAVE TO HAVE COMFORTABLE. I feel like you get to a certain age and suddenly you're consumed with finding shoes good for high arches, and super comfy for walking kids to and from school. I'm going to order these in hope that I have enough time to break them in before we go to Amsterdam so I can be somewhat in fashion (however, I will absolutely bring my flannel plaid shirts because those are also comfy and I have no idea what the weather will be). 

Signing off to find a coupon code...

Good Grief

It's been over a MONTH since I've posted. WTF is wrong with me?>?>?>?

Meh, not much. We went to Colorado. The MOnkey started 2nd grade (and yet this is her second day home sick with a cold. Insert eye roll here). Baby Chewie starts Preschool next Tuesday.

Oh, and we get a puppy on Sunday.


Meet Phil! He's coming home on SUNDAY. That's two days away! Isn't he ADORABLE??? We haven't made it Facebook official yet (because does it count if it's not on Facebook still? Or now is Instagram the place to make things official? I'm not sure) because he's getting neutered on Saturday and that's his last vet visit. He's also doing a puppy kissing booth tonight. He's adorbs.

I renegged my deal - to a certain extent. I don't have too much time to myself (surprise!) but I think we can squeeze in a puppy right now - it's going to be difficult to find a puppy training and obedience class because Bimmer Man still works crazy hours. Basically he's gone from 7am - 6:30/7:30pm. Yep. That's 12 hours. On the regular. When you're with someone that works a ridiculous amount of hours you have to realize that they're just not going to help or do anything until they're home. And even then they might not want to but they have to because that's how households run. So he's going to have to wake up and let the dog out. And then he's going to have to let the dog out before bed.

The kids are going to feed the dog. I decided not to feed raw. I absolutely cannot do this alone and if we feed raw it would be on me to do everything. I'd rather have dog food delivered. Or buy it at Costco. And the kids can take turns feeding the dog. Baby Chewie gets the morning, The Monkey gets the evening.

The Monkey even said she would pick up poop.I'm not sure how long that will last but my plan is to hire a poop scooping business when I don't have time to do it weekly or daily or whatever. I'm at the point where I need to make life easier because I hate when it's so chaotic. I get frustrated easily, irritated, and I have to learn how to delegate tasks better. Something I've learned as I've aged.

Ok, friends. I will update more when I can. EEP!!! I'm so excited!