Duluth Trading Company. All of it.

I don't even need to link to it, just go there. Everything washes really well. Everything wears really wear. It's all super comfy and especially easy to move it. Their leggings are amazing. Their fleece-lined leggings are even more awesome in the winter.

Dance Class For Baby Chewie

The Monkey has been in dance class for 4 years now and it's been amazing for her to learn how her body works and how she can move her body. I decided to sign Baby Chewie up for dance class too. It's just through the community center, no dance studio yet. Parents do have to stay but they do not have to participate (these are the classes that I LOVE! I learned my lesson with The Monkey, do not sign up for parent participation classes because they are SO MUCH WORK AND SO MUCH BEGGING YOUR CHILD NOT TO MELTDOWN).

They don't really do too much "dancing," it's mostly running around like wild creatures and getting their wiggles out while loosely following along with the teacher.

They get to use scarves and run wild. 

And tape spots. Did you know that toddlers absolutely freaking love their tape spots? These kids are enamored with their tape spots. And they stay on their spots!

Plus watching kids learn how to flex and point their feet is hilarious. I'm really happy there's other boys in the class, though Baby Chewie doesn't care because he's been one of few boys in every ECFE class or whatever class he's been in. There's quite a few more classes plus a very small recital in June, I need to get Baby Chewie a button up white shirt and black pants. Supposedly they're going to put ties on the boys, I don't think Baby Chewie would let me put one on him but he'll definitely let his teacher! I'll share photos of that in June.

Happy MOnday!

EEK! I Got Re-Tweeted By An Awesome Author!


This Is How I Don't Lose My Mom Shit (For the Most Part)

1. Delegate tasks.

Yep, that's right. Stop doing shit you don't need to do. Like clearing out lunch boxes. The Monkey is old enough now that she can clean out her own lunch box after school and if she forgets...well, there's school lunch tomorrow! A few other things you can delegate: scraping plates into the organic waste and putting them into the dishwasher; throwing dirty clothes down the laundry chute; asking kids to return random crap to their rooms; put trash in your husband's hands as he's walking out the door for work; and much to the unthinkable...if you can let go of perfection...ask your kids to wash the windows and mirrors!

Consign kids clothes and stuff - but find a way to do it so that the stuff that doesn't sell gets donated so you don't have to pick it up afterwards. Bimmer Man is into selling stuff on Craigslist whereas I just want to be done with it - I do porch pick ups and if shit isn't picked up, I move onto the next person and if there's no interest it gets put into a box and dropped off at our local emergency program or Arc or Goodwill or whatever place is close.

USE YOUR SPOUSE. They are your partner, use them for what they're good at! Bimmer Man is fantastic with cars, building things, research, finding stuff to do for family time, and countless other things that drive me insane if I were to do them myself - we work together so much better when I ask him to find us something to do as a family on the weekend or have him schedule swim/mountain bike/soccer lessons. He enjoys going/doing that stuff as much as I do and he will find times that work in his schedule to go to them with the kids too! Delegating to your spouse the things that they like that need to be done helps you work together better as a couple AND as a family! Don't be afraid to ask.

2. Calendar

If something isn't on the family calendar, then it doesn't get done. I have too much to do to even think about something that isn't on the calendar. Every single time you have a new appointment, party, practice, class, volunteer thingy, travel, book club, etc...otherwise shit gets forgotten and family members get irritated and angry and feelings get hurt. PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR.

3. Make a list of things you like clean. And keep them clean. Lower your expectations for the rest of the house.

I like my sinks nice and white and shiny and clean. I take two minutes each week to scrub the shit out of them all with Barkeeper's Friend. It's lovely and I feel like I accomplished something. I'm lucky if I can find the time to pick up the hand vacuum to get the crumbs/dustballs from the corners of the rooms every few days. Life happens. I hired a cleaning person over the past few months and I've learned that with little ones and all their toys, it's too fucking hard for me to clean for the cleaning lady unless I sacrifice time with my kids to clear out the clutter and pick up after everyone every fucking day. I can't do that anymore. She'll come back after summer when we're stuck in the house and I can order everyone to clean up their shit because we're in the house for months on end. Minnesota winters can get rough! We're not in the house so I don't have to look at the sand piles on the floor anyway. Meh, whatever.

Also, take 15 minutes whenever you can (morning, afternoon, evening) to get basic shit done - throw a load of laundry in with the reminder sound ON so you hear it to swap your laundry; put dishes in the dishwasher, gather up dirty dishes; wipe the counters down, etc... or better yet...delegate this shit so you can spend 15 minutes in the bathroom pooping alone.

4. Meal plan. And then lower your expectations. Again.

If you ask your partner, and your child(ren) what they want to eat for one day per week then you've completed half your meal plan. Make pizza night one night. Do take out another night. Repeat until you've figured out which days you CAN make homemade meals and which days you absolutely have no time. Figuring those days out will drastically improve your chances of having a homemade meal. ALSO: shop at Costco, buy the portioned chicken breasts, ground beef, ground turkey, etc...until you have time to find a day where you have at least two hours to be able to open packages of meat and dump them into containers with meat marinades (this is advanced parenting shit, take your time to learn this but when you do get dump marinades down...your summer grilling will be AMAZEBALLS).

Buy all the fruit, veggies, and individual guacamoles/hummus/ranch dips. Put the fruit and veggies into individual containers so your children AND you will have healthy snacks that are ready to eat - no rinsing fruit when you have to run out the door. The earth will hate you until you can find time to be sane again but you know what...you'll be healthy, your children will like fruits and veggies and everyone will be jealous that you brought fruits and veggies for a snack to Tot Time instead of gummy fruit snacks. One day you will not need the individual containers and one day you will have your sanity back to be able to eat fruits and veggies a normal way, until then...MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF.

My meal plan example: we do a big meal on Sunday, leftovers on Monday (swim night), Taco Tuesday, a home cooked whatever meal on Wednesday, Leftover/Crockpot/Hot dog Thursday, Pizza Friday Night Movie Night, grill or go out on Saturday.

5. Do you have time for yourself? 5 minutes? No?

Change that shit. I made my workout time after lunch. We clean up from lunch, I set up Baby Chewie with toys, games, sand, books, whatever it is and I WORK OUT. I take 30-40 minutes, sometimes interrupted, for myself. This means I put Beachbody OnDemand on the Firestick and workout in the living room where the neighbors can watch me lose my balance when doing lunges and IDGAF. But I'm stronger, happier, healthier, and much more motivated to get shit done when I need to. Strong moms have strong kids. You don't need to take 3 hours to drive to the gym, drop the kid off to just scream for 30 minutes while you put your stuff in the locker to eventually not even workout for whatever time you want to. Then drive home.

Set your kids up on the couch with their books. You get out your book. You read for 10 minutes. Or use TV babysitter for a 30 minute show and lay down on the bathroom floor. WHATEVER YOU DO, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER FOR TIME FOR YOURSELF. It helps. A lot.

This is everything that I do that makes life easier for us. I don't think Bimmer Man even realizes how hard staying at home is or everything that needs to be done in a day. At all. I should probably leave for a week just so he understands that if you let one thing slide, then everything else goes downhill the rest of the day and all you want to do is lay on the floor and let it eat you alive. So I get it. Life is stressful and you need to make it easier on yourself so you can enjoy life more. That includes telling other people what to do to get shit done so you don't lose your shit on your family or start to resent anyone for being able to leave the house and actually get away from the family.

Happy Thursday!!! Get your shit done today!

New Read on My List

Super excited to start this one, but I have to finish two books first - No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert and Behold The Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.

This past Saturday Bimmer Man and I biked to a new book store that...also sells adult beverages! It's called Cream & Amber and it's not far from the Greenway so it's easy to get to for biking. It's on the west end of Main Street in Hopkins - you'd drive right by it if you didn't know it was there. There is street parking, it doesn't look like you'll have to parallel park with much difficulty if you're worried about that. On Saturday it looked like they had the beginnings of an outdoor patio area (because here in Minnesota we want to be outside on nice days, otherwise it's winter and we're hibernating!). I saw chairs and tables set up outside. Inside there were comfy chairs, side tables for your beverages and tables for laptops. Cream & Amber was really bright and airy - the atmosphere was really cozy and bright. 

There was a separate room for book club meetings or just regular meetings with a table and chairs plus club chairs which seemed pretty comfy for a book club meeting! I will have to suggest it for my book club for next time. I think it would be a great place to meet (plus then I'd buy more books!).

So...if you're in the Twin Cities area, check out this cute little book bar - it was really fun to go to and I had a great time wandering the shelves with my beer and wondering which book I was going to take home next. This isn't a large bar, the books are all lined on shelves and there's not a HUGE selection, instead the choices are limited but all very good. There's definitely something here for everyone (except apparently Bimmer Man who claimed he didn't want to load down my backpack with a heavy book and then said that he had too many on his to-read list but seriously, every to-read list is so long, might as well add on another book!). I'm planning on returning here later this week with the kids because yes, they did have a box of kids books that were in easy reach for the little ones!


Dance Costume!

Someone got her dance costume and is so freaking excited!

I can't wait until this year is done though, I'm over waiting at the dance studio with Baby Chewie. He's a bit daring and likes to climb furniture and then jump off it. I need to keep him distracted but it doesn't seem to be working this late in the year. UGH. 

The Monkey's recital is in June, she has a new teacher and I'm absolutely positive that this is the first younger class she has taught because there's not as much repetition in the moves - there's also quite a few girls in the class where this is their first year and they're struggling to keep up, the recital should be interesting to watch! I'm curious to see which girls will have practiced and which will not. The Monkey loves to dance, so this year I'm taking it a little more seriously and having her practice more than just take the class. I haven't had any complaints. We'll see what this year's recital brings!



3/4 Sleeve Sweater - Lou & Grey (this is several seasons ago, found on ThredUp)
Striped Tank - Madewell (also from several seasons ago found on ThredUp)
Jeggings - Old Navy, seen here too
Plus mom accessories like a Fitbit and socks from Target AND a messy room! HA!

I got a new full length mirror. The only spot for it in our upstairs is to hang over a door, otherwise I wouldn't actually be able to see myself in the spots where we could hang it on a wall. I tried on the outside of the bathroom door but I leave the door open to pee and it's so weird looking at yourself while you pee, I didn't want to try it pooping. I really didn't. So it's not in the best spot for lighting for taking photos but I have one! I've never had a full length mirror before so now I'm wondering what terrible fashion decisions I've made that I now have to slowly weed out of my closet. Yikes. That will be a summer project for sure. 

Also to note, I link to all these places for your browsing fun, I make no money from linking to these stores, just simply sharing where I found everything. Personally, I HATE ads on blogs. They irritate the shit out of me and I don't go back to blogs with an insane amount of ads or pop ups. You won't find that shit here. 



Mom Fashion - Spring! Bikes!

T-shirt - French Connection, currently listed on Poshmark HERE but I purchased mine from ThredUp.com
Jeggings - Old Navy
Shoes - Target

Finally, I can sort of be fashionable again? I was back at it with The Monkey when she turned 3, and Chewie is almost 3 which means I can start wearing fun clothes again instead of crap clothes that need to be changed and washed every three hours. Because kids do that. They just sort of ruin everything. Including clothes, shoes, boots (and they don't always ruin their own, they ruin your things too, just ask Bimmer Man about his watch, that's not a great story at all). I do love fashion, I love wearing fun clothes and fun shoes and being semi-in style. Plus I'm working out so that means I look good in my mom-jeans!


New Favorite Snack

Oy. My new favorite snack is so darn easy! Plus the kids don't like cottage cheese yet so my snack can't be eaten. Well, Bimmer Man can eat it if he wants to...

Have you tried the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's??

That's what this is. Cottage cheese with Everything But The Bagel seasoning. It's an easy and cheap way to get your protein! Plus the seasoning is deliciously salty - but don't eat it with the low-fat cottage cheese because that makes it super salty and not delicious anymore. 


Current Favorite Costco Buys

I finally stopped buying everything at Costco - it's been so busy that I was buying as much as I could there to save myself time, and energy, and make life easier on myself. Baby Chewie finally follows directions and doesn't run away in stores which means that I can now run several errands at a time and go to stores other than Costco and Target. WOOT!!!

This means I have to change my shopping habits again, which is just fine with me and probably cheaper in the long run - because now I can shop at Trader Joe's and Fresh Thyme. I do enjoy the convenience of being able to "shop" in my cupboards but eating the same things over and over gets really old and boring - so new shopping habits, new healthy snacks, etc...

Orgain Protein - I make chocolate protein shakes for breakfast every morning, mixed in with flax seed - below. They have both vanilla and chocolate, I think I like the chocolate the best. It also hides spinach really well. HA!

Way better than raisins or craisins. Super delish! I mix these with granola and stick it in a reusable pouch with a yogurt cup for The Monkey's school lunch. I add a container of fruit too so she can make her own fruit parfait for school lunch.

Everyone needs to poop. So flax seeds it is! After two babies my insides are not the same anymore and flax definitely helps. Yikes, that's a lot of information! This is also a great ingredient for energy bites - it pairs well with peanut butter, oats, and chocolate chips.

The kids absolute favorite breakfast is pancakes. I buy this mix in bulk - I use one cup of organic almond milk (because Costco sells organic almond milk in bulk!). I use a cookie scoop to measure out small pancakes and then I make about 8 pancakes total - save the leftovers in the fridge for the next few mornings. You can pop them in the toaster so they're nice and crispy and ready for maple syrup! YUM!

I can't wait to see what I can find at Costco next!


Caught Chewie Sleeping

Baby Chewie has not consistently napped since well over a year ago. I caught him napping while I was working out last week. I heard him talking to himself and then...nothing. 

Turned around and I almost shit my pants. 

His eyes were closed.

And it was daytime.

So I got to finish my workout and do laundry in peace and quiet. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. And yes, that is an apple in his hand.


Denim Is Making a Comeback

My mom wore denim shirts in the 80's. I guess I can do it too!

Actually, this shirt is tencel and it's from Velvet Heart, one of my favorite brands. Super comfy, and easy to wear - easy to wash too! I just hope that some day soon I won't have to layer my winter coat over it. HA!


Winter Is Never Ending

I really hope all this slush and snow melts soon! I'm ready to NOT wear winter boots for awhile. Saturday is the Minnesota United home opener. Go Loons!

(It's a loon, not a snowman)


Reusable Straws

Bimmer is on a zero-straw usage kick right now (which I am totally on board with!). Because there's just too much plastic in this world. This is one super easy way to be nice to the Earth!

Here's a link to Amazon (no, I don't make money on this link) to a double pack. I love this because I can keep two in my bag for the two kids. They're super easy to clean too.


Pizza Waffles

Easiest kid dinner ever. 

Pizza Waffles

Crescent Roll dough (I make a ton of these to send with lunch the next day, so I use 3 cans)
Mini Pepperonis
Cheese, whatever kind you like, shredded
And whatever other toppings you like
Pizza sauce (make it yourself OR take the easy way out and buy it!)

Unroll the crescent roll dough. See how 2 crescent rolls together make rectangles? You need 2 rectangles per waffle. Each can of crescent dough makes 2 waffles. Separate the rectangles and flatten them out a little - but not so much you start tearing the dough.

Heat up your waffle maker. Making these works best in the waffle irons that just set on the dough, not the ones that have to click together because pizza waffles are super thick. We have a Flip Waffle Maker so the waffle irons just set on the dough and you flip it over, the irons do not connect together. We ruined a different waffle maker when making these because the irons clicked together. Bad news bears.

Put a small handful of cheese on a rectangle. Put your pizza toppings over the cheese. Add another layer of cheese and then finally, another rectangle of dough.

Yes, this shit looks tiny but whatever. You really do get full on one fucking pizza waffle and if you want to be healthy...serve a side salad.

Onto the hot waffle maker, put the pizza waffle and close the waffle maker.

I set my timer for 5 minutes for each waffle. You may have to do a minute less or a minute more. Check on the waffle at 4 minutes.

Repeat until you have enough pizza waffles.

Serve with pizza sauce.


So Much Snow!

End of February

Middle of March

It's April!

Can we get some green grass around here???

I am so ready for the last of the ice hills to melt, the last snow piles to go away and April showers to wash away all the crap on the roads and bring out the green grass and May flowers.

44 inches of snow in February to basically a really dry March has made Minnesota look like fall again - without the smell of falling leaves and and crunching around leaf piles. So it's still gray and dreary. We've had a few sunny days but I'm still going strong on taking my Vitamin D.

Chewie and I started some seeds - he totally mixed up pumpkins with tomatoes though. Ha! I'lll plant those jack o'lanterns in the front and cross my fingers that they actually grow. A few seedlings are coming up. I moved the tray to upstairs in a south facing window.

We brought out the bikes and scooters again. Thank goodness, because spring fever has hit and everyone NEEDS to be outside, running around and practicing their scooters and bike skills. We're headed to Colorado again this summer and that will be so much fun because now everyone can go mountain biking together. 

I'm going to see if I can scam Bimmer into bringing my road bike too - I now really want to throw myself down a mountain on my road bike and see how fast I can go. But first I have to ride up the mountain to enjoy the ride down. I think I've become more of a thrill-seeker as I've gotten older, having life insurance helps knowing that Bimmer can hire a nanny. I think. But I LOVE going fast on my road bike and I really enjoy the muscle burn when I'm done. It just feels good. 

This month I'm determined to exercise/workout every day. If I can't do 30 Days of Biking, then I CAN DO 30 days of working out to keep myself in shape. I went down two inches in my waist, my arms are way more toned, I feel better, I can keep up with the kids so much better, I don't get out of breath jogging after the kids on their scooters for a mile. I realized that I CAN do things if I put my mind to it. I can workout, I can feel better about myself, and I really like the high of working out. Why I didn't do this before sort of baffles me, but at the same time not. Doing push-ups is hard. Do tricep push-ups is even harder. Doing tricep kickbacks fucking burns. But those are things that I CAN do and I actually WANT to do them. And I will workout later today. I look forward to my workouts because that is my time for me!

So...happy April! Hopefully it rains soon to wash away all the crap!