Friday, April 20, 2018

Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas

I don't know about you all, but early mornings can be a little rushed around here. The boys have to leave for school by 7:40, and Adam often has to be at work by 7am.

Then of course Jenna and Andrew are hungry. And oh yea, me too. Sometimes we are so rushed that I send Adam off to work without any breakfast. And I feel so bad for him!

There are a few make-ahead breakfasts that I make regularly, but those are more for the kids. Like a big batch of waffles I make on the weekend and then pop in the toaster on school mornings. 
Recently I decided to step up my breakfast game a little bit. I got to work making breakfasts ahead of time. And it has been great! Adam needs energy for his job, and I want to make sure I send him off to work with a full stomach.

Here are a few ideas:

Over the weekend I diced up some russet potatoes, tossed with seasonings and olive oil, and roasted in the oven at 400 until crispy. I also scrambled a big batch of eggs (plus I threw in some spinach!). I kept them in the fridge for the next 3 days, and they made for easy breakfast skillets in the morning. We just topped the potatoes and eggs with some salsa and cheese. Add some fruit on the side and it's an awesome breakfast.
This next idea is for me, rather than Adam. Overnight oats!
I typically use 1/3 cup oats and 1/2 cup milk. You can also add a couple tablespoons of yogurt. For this batch I also included cinnamon, flax seed, and a little chia seed. Place in the fridge overnight for up to 4 days! You can get really creative with your toppings and mix-ins. I especially love adding frozen blueberries and then topping with peanut butter in the morning. Oh, and you can always heat up your overnight oats in the morning if you prefer your oatmeal warm.
Yum my mouth is watering just thinking about this next idea! Breakfast sandwiches take a little bit of time to prepare, but they are so nice to have in the freezer for a busy morning. Last weekend I made 8 of these. And they are half gone now!
 I started with a bunch of whole wheat and sourdough English muffins. I topped each side with a small slice of cheese, a slice of bacon broken in half, and then a baked egg. I use my small ramekins, grease liberally, and crack in 1-2 eggs per ramekin. I mix them up with a little salt and pepper and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. I just keep an eye on them until they look done. Once they are cool, I add them to the breakfast sandwiches. Wrap in foil and freeze. When you're ready to eat them just microwave for around 2 minutes. So delicious!
And finally, homemade instant pancake mix! I used this recipe and the pancakes turned out so light and fluffy! I like that you can make just small batches at a time, but not go through all the trouble of measuring out the dry ingredients. And most importantly, you know exactly what is in your mix! No weird chemicals added to make it shelf-stable. I will say, these pancakes are not sweet at all. So if you and your kids like eating pancakes plain, like we do, consider adding a little sugar when you mix it up. Otherwise top with syrup and enjoy. 2 out of 4 of my kids like pancakes, so this is a winner for us!
 Do you ever make your breakfasts ahead of time?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Extended Weekend Recap

Our weekend unofficially began on Friday, when I was woken up by a cranky baby. Andrew had been super fussy and clingy all week. He also had a yucky cold, so I decided to get his ears checked. My Mommy suspicions were correct. Second ear infection for this guy.
Friday night Ryan's baseball team was invited to a Rivercats game in one of their suites. Adam and Ryan went and had a fun night.
 Ryan had a blast! He said the best part was all the free food.
 Meanwhile, the 3 little kids and I watched Monsters Inc at home and binged on cheerios.

Saturday morning I got up and made waffles for the kids. When Adam got up I passed the baby off to him and went out for a run. When Adam is home to watch the kids, I like to try and run further distances. My plan was to run 4 miles, but then I changed it to 3.5, since my 5k the previous weekend was the longest distance I had run. But then literally right when I reached 3.1 miles I looked down at my phone and it died. Soooo I decided running a 5k distance was good enough and I called it quits at 3.1 miles. My time was 36 minutes and 20 seconds....literally the same as the previous weekend's 5k.

The rest of Saturday was a day full of baseball. Lucas played first. He keeps asking me "Mommy why did you sign me up for baseball? I don't really like it." Oh well, he seems to be having fun when he's out there.
We had a 30 minute break in between games during which I stood in line for a couple of overpriced hot dogs.
Then we watched Ryan play. And Ryan is loving baseball this year!
Jenna was such a trooper. Unfortunately she was starting to catch Andrew's cold, so by around 4pm she was begging to go home. She did get a free cookie from another Mom!
We ate chicken fajitas for dinner and went to bed early.
Sunday morning we had good intentions to go to church, but with 2 sick kids and a to-do list a mile long, we chose to stay home and watch the sermon online. Our Pastor is currently teaching from the book of Habakkuk. I don't think I have ever read this book in the Bible before, so it is quite interesting.

We ate an early lunch and headed out to Lowe's for some new plants. Next we went to Trader Joe's because we had NO food in the house. (At least according to Adam and the kids). When we got home the kids immediately ate about $50 worth of groceries. (I know, I know, I need to save now for when they are teenagers!)
It was starting to get cold and cloudy, so we decided to squeeze in a few more minutes outside. We loaded everyone up for a bike ride. Unfortunately we only rode for 15 minutes or so before it got too cold!
I suggested the kids play a game while I cook dinner. They tried to play Life but a couple kids were in a "mood" so that got cut short.
Instead they built this big pillow bed/fort thing in the living room.
How many boys can you spot?
I see 4 of them!
Adam didn't have any work on Monday so he helped me tackle the giant mess in the house. Busy weekends are fun but they sure leave a lot of work for Monday. We planted out new plants out front before the rain began.
And then we spent almost the entire day cleaning. Anyone else feeling the Spring cleaning itch? I want to organize and donate everything.

Later in the day I had to run to Lowe's for a new doorknob. Adam had the 3 big kids at home and when I got back, they had built this epic fort. It may not look like much but it is amazing! It has 3 separate rooms for each of the kids, and the only way to access the fort is to crawl through our bench tunnel.
 And that was our extended weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Run Rocklin 5K 2018

The boys and I participated in Run Rocklin this last weekend. The boys have never done a race, and the last (and first) time I ran a 5K was 10 years ago at work. So we didn't really know what to expect!
We were up bright and early, and feeling grateful that the race was literally 5 minutes from our house.
The boys ran the kids' 1/4 mile. We talked to them beforehand about not sprinting the entire way. We told them to pace themselves. Run quickly but hold back some energy until close to the end. I mean, I know it was only a quarter mile but my boys have never run a race. So it seemed like good advice.

They didn't listen. Ryan shot out of the starting line and gave it all he had. Lucas wasn't too far behind. Ryan is a very fast runner, and he's quite proud of that fact. He was running to win. Unfortunately he pushed himself a little too hard, and he threw up in the bushes shortly after the race. He told me he is never running that race again, but I'm hoping he'll change his mind by next year.
Next up was the 5K. I began following the Couch to 5K training program back in January. It literally guides you from sitting on your couch to being able to run a 5K. Now let me preface this by saying I am NOT a runner. Never have been and probably never will be. I was that kid in school who finished dead last in PE. So going into all this, my only goal was just to finish the race, hopefully without walking.
The first two weeks of 5K training were pretty easy. The app on my phone would tell me when to walk and when to run. It began with very short 1-2 minute increments of running, followed by a few minutes of walking. Very simple. Most of my runs were done on our garage treadmill. I would let Jenna watch a cartoon and put Andrew in his highchair with some cheerios while he watched me. I did 3 runs per week.

Weeks 3-6 were much harder for me. The running times grew longer, and even though there were walking breaks in between, they didn't seem to help much. Then somewhere near the end of week 5 or 6 I had to do a solid 20 minutes of running without stopping. The sun was out and Adam was home early, so I headed outside for my run. And guess what? I loved it! I realized that running without stopping was more enjoyable than doing the run/walk increments. And running outside was SO much better than the treadmill. Week 7 was the same. I was now up to 2 miles of solid running and I felt like I could do more.

On the day of the race I was excited. The longest distance I had run earlier that week was 2.75 miles, so I knew I could do 3.1. I had a goal to finish in under 40 minutes. Did I mention I am a very slow runner?
My Dad also ran the race, and we ran together the whole time. The first mile was very easy and went by quickly. During the second mile there was a slight incline to the street, and it felt like it took much longer to run. But according to my phone we were consistently running each mile in just over 12 minutes. The third mile also felt kind of slow, but once we rounded the last corner and could see the finish line in the distance, we picked up a little speed. We crossed the finish line at 36 minutes and 20 seconds!
I was so proud of us! I was proud of myself for finishing the race and not stopping to walk. It's a great feeling to set a goal for yourself and then reach it. In the past I have only done food/nutrition goals, such as completing the 21 Day Fix (this included daily workouts) or doing the Whole30, or giving up sugar for a month. And completing those always felt so good. But exercise was more intimidating for me. I didn't think I could even run a mile. A part of me kind of figured I'd give up partway through the training. So it's a great feeling to know I actually trained for a 5K and completed it! It reminds me that I have more willpower and discipline than I think.

What health goals do you set for yourself?

Until next year Run Rocklin!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Confessions of a Mom of 4

1. I rarely remove my makeup and wash my face at night.
This would have shocked me just a short year ago. I have ALWAYS removed my makeup before bed. But having Andrew in our room at night has made a few things impossible in the evenings. Like taking care of my skin. Basically here is what happens. I put Andrew to sleep around 8pm. Go downstairs to finish cleaning up from dinner and pack lunches. He is awake 30 minutes later screaming. I scramble into my pajamas and lay down in bed with him to put him back to sleep. From then on I am a prisoner to my bed. I can't get up or Andrew will wake up. So the makeup stays on. (On my to-do list is to bring some of my toiletries downstairs so I can wash my face at night without waking up the baby.)

2. I resent the disorganized person I have become.
Or maybe I should say I resent how motherhood has stripped me of my ability to be organized. I just feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I crave order and routine and having a place for everything. And no matter HOW HARD I try, I just can't achieve it anymore. It makes me feel like a complete and utter failure. Someday I hope I will feel organized again. But I don't see it happening anytime soon with 4 little kids.

3. I eat too much sugar
If it's sweet and it's in the house, I will probably eat it. I think I turn to sugar if I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Or maybe it just tastes really good and I have minimal willpower. So for the most part, I try to keep it out of sight, out of mind. I have declared April the month of no sugar!

4. I don't enjoy playing kid games
Does this make me a bad Mom? I don't think so. I just find playing little imaginary kid games so mind-numbingly boring. I obviously play with my kids sometimes, but I would almost always rather get something done around the house. What can I say? I'm a boring Mom. I do love a good board game though!

5. We eat on paper plates almost every night.
Washing dishes for 6 people when you eat almost every meal at home. It's a full-time job. Need I say more?

6. I don't put my marriage first
I have always heard we should put God first, our spouse second, and kids third. But this is one I really haven't figured out. Kids just have so many immediate needs. How do you put your spouse before your kids? How do you even find time for a conversation? I need help with this one.

7. I clean everything with baby wipes
Come on, you know you do this too! I've got 1 extra minute in the bathroom before someone starts pounding on the door. So I grab a baby wipe and wipe down the countertops and sink. Grab another and do the toilet. Voila....bathroom is clean! Anyone??

. My kids watch too much TV
I try so hard to limit the screen time. And yet my kids still watch TV every single day. And probably too much of it. When the alternative is fighting and arguing, sometimes TV is just easier. Mom guilt! And while we're at it, I spend way too much time on the internet on my phone. More guilt!

9. I can't imagine doing anything else
Despite how exhausting motherhood is, I can't imagine doing or being anything else right now. Maybe someday I will go back to working outside the home, but I really feel like this is where I belong. At home with my kids, loving them and investing my time and energy into their lives.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Stitch Fix Review #36

Well it finally happened! I absolutely love everything in this Stitch Fix box. I tend to be really picky and rarely fall in love with more than 1 item in my box. But everything in this box is just so pretty and perfect for Spring!

I love the color scheme of the box. Navy blues and pinks and whites and yellows. Not only are these clothes beautiful, but each item really fulfills a need in my closet. I'm considering keeping everything, but I still have a couple days to think about it.

Another thing to note....I signed up for a Stitch Fix "Style Pass:".  I paid a one-time fee (which was then applied to my next purchase), and now I can get unlimited fixes for an entire year. Zero styling fees for a year means I will be getting a "fix" every couple weeks with zero guilt. It will be my way of shopping, with zero pressure to keep anything. Unless of course I fall in love with the entire box like I did this time!

Scola Jacquard Burnout Knit Top by Market and Spruce
First up is this beautiful top. This is absolutely one of my top three favorite Stitch Fix items of all time. I love this shirt! I have been eyeing the baby bell sleeve trend for a long time, but every shirt I found was striped. And I didn't need another striped top.
This shirt is made of a gorgeous lacy knit material. It is soft and feminine and comfortable and just perfect. Status: KEEPING

Delmar Espadrille Wedge by Report Footwear
I have been asking Stitch Fix to send me wedges and they finally delivered! To be honest, I've always been a little intimidated by higher-heeled shoes. I don't like feeling really tall. But at just under 5'6", I'm really not that tall. And I am also realizing that having a heel on my shoes makes my feet look smaller.
I think these shoes will be great for church this summer with a variety of dresses in my closet. They're always cute with jeans, as you can see here. Status: Keeping?

Liara Knot Front Knit Top by Hummingbird
This is a simple navy blue top that is just really cute and easy to wear. I love the knotted detail and the way it lays is quite flattering.
I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this top. And it may even be long enough to wear with my printed Lularoe leggings. Status: Keeping

Esther Brushed Knit Maxi Dress by French Grey
Isn't this dress pretty? I love the combination of colors!
My one hesitation is the fit. The waistline isn't terribly flattering. It basically makes me look like I have no waist.
I'm going to try it with a belt cinched under my chest and see if that looks better. I want to make it work because I have a wedding this summer that I can wear it to! What do you all think? Status: Keeping?

Finnegan Cuffed Short by Dear 
Do not look directly at my legs. I repeat. Do not look at my legs or you will be blinded. Actually, can we just take a minute to look at how long and thin my legs look? I promise, they don't actually look like that! This mirror is like an optical illusion and it makes me look taller and thinner. I don't have skinny thighs people. 
Ok moving on to the shorts. They are short, yes. But I have this exact same pair of shorts from Stitch Fix in blue and I wore them constantly the last two summers. These shorts are listed as red but they appear much more pink. Obviously I wouldn't wear them with these yellow sandals, but I can see them with this blue top and maybe brown sandals. Or a white top and my white converse. I'm excited about these pink shorts! Now to get a tan. Status: Keeping

Wasn't that a great fix?? I'm leaning towards keeping everything and taking advantage of the awesome 25% discount that Stitch Fix offers. Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? If you use my referral link your first fix will be FREE! Zero risk and a box full of beautiful surprises chosen for you. Try it!