Saturday, August 19, 2017

Adam's 4th Stitch Fix

Well this Stitch Fix was a surprise! I forgot that I had changed Adam's Stitch Fix frequency to every other month. (You can select to receive a Stitch Fix on a twice-monthly, monthly, every other month, or manual basis. Basically you can choose when you receive your surprise box of clothes.) Adam received the email notifying him that he was receiving this Fix, but of course he doesn't check his email. So we got this fun surprise on our doorstep! I was secretly jealous. I want a fix!

You can read Adam's 3rd Stitch Fix Review here. That one was a homerun!

Baja Standard Slip On Sneaker by SeeVees

These were an immediate NO for Adam because he does not like slip on sneakers. He says they make him feel lazy, as if he didn't even have enough time to tie his shoes. I don't know what he's talking about...I love slip-ons! He does like that Stitch Fix keeps sending him shoes, because he likes getting shoes. I'm trying to talk him in to requesting a nice pair of boots in his next fix. I love the way jeans and brown boots look together for men. Status: RETURN

Essential Stripe Crew Tee by Hawker Rye
Adam's initial reaction to this shirt was negative. He has never worn a shirt with thin stripes, and honestly it looked more like something I might wear. Once he tried it on he liked the look of it, but ultimately decided it just wasn't for him. Status: RETURN

Baseline Triblend Henley by Threads 4 Thought

Adam really likes this shirt. It is similar to the gray polo he kept from his last box, but this one doesn't have a collar. It is soft and comfy and casual, which is exactly what Adam likes. Status: UNDECIDED

Talos Garment Dyed Pique Polo by Alesbury

Adam loves this shirt. The color looks great on him and it looked especially good with his grey shorts. He is trying to decide if he needs another polo. Status: UNDECIDED

Portland Chino by Flag and Anthem
Adam couldn't get over how stretchy these pants were! I didn't realize that men's pants are rarely stretchy. Mine almost always are! He didn't mind the stretch, he just thought it was different. Ultimately he wasn't in love with the color, so these will be returned. Status: RETURN

I think Stitch Fix has done a great job "getting" Adam's style. Almost everything they have sent him has been casual and comfortable and inexpensive. I think going forward if Adam gets another Fix he will need to be specific about he needs and wants. (Boots! Request boots!)

Have you ordered a Stitch Fix for the man in your life? Or for yourself? It's really fun and especially great if your guy hates shopping. Please consider using Adam's referral link if you try Stitch Fix.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Dinner Recap

I didn't exactly lose any weight this week (well, half a pound), but I thought I'd share some of our dinners from this week.

Chicken Tenders, Roasted Veggies, Gnocchi
I cut up some chicken breasts and coated them with some panko and a few spices. I roasted them along with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. I've been roasting a lot of veggies lately and I especially love asparagus and tomatoes together.

I had a package of gnocchi that had been in our pantry for a long time. So I finally cooked them and made a quick little cheese sauce to mix in. It was just ok.

Burgers and Salad

Burgers on the grill! These were SunFed Ranch Burgers, which is a grass fed beef company owned by my friend's brother. I have been seeing more and more of their products at Costco, so I try to support them when I can. I ate mine bun-less, with a salad and a pickle on the side.
 Ryan wanted you all to see his dinner. He LOVES burger night!
Breakfast For Dinner
I cooked some bacon and then scrambled eggs in some of the leftover bacon fat. Yum! We also had strawberries and these Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes. They were SO good! They tasted exactly like oatmeal cookies to me. Next time I'll cut down on the sugar since they were pretty sweet. Ryan and Jenna loved them!

Turkey Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli
On this night I made a tiny little meatloaf using this recipe called Honey Barbeque Meatloaf. I used turkey instead of beef, and only made half the recipe. It was sweet and had a great BBQ flavor.
For Ryan, the star of dinner were these potatoes. He has SLOWLY been warming up to potatoes over the last 6 years. He'll eat French fries, so I've been roasting potato wedges in a slightly thicker size. Still kind of like a fry but closer to a potato, if that makes sense? He loved these and ate a ton. Steamed Broccoli on the side.

Chicken Fajitas, Watermelon

This is my go-to recipe for fajitas.
Every time I make them they come out perfectly.

I ate mine over a salad topped with a little cheese and Wholly Guacamole's Avocado Verde. Watermelon on the side!

Baked Ziti, Garlic Bread, Broccoli

I'm still on the hunt for a good ziti recipe. This one didn't seem to have enough ricotta in it. We are trying to find one that tastes like the ziti from Sbarro. Any good recipes you can share? On the side I made a little steamed broccoli and garlic bread.
And there you go....some of our dinners from this past week. Hopefully I will lose more than half a pound this week!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kindergarten and Second Grade

Our 2017-18 school year began this morning! Getting the boys to school was pretty easy. No tears or tantrums!
Ryan was not terribly excited about going back to school. He just doesn't like it. Plus, his best buddy is not in his class this year. So Ryan was kind of nervous this morning.
Lucas was both excited and nervous.
He said he didn't want to go to Kindergarten, but I'm hoping he was just being influenced by his older brother's attitude towards school.
 We dropped Ryan off at his class first. Someone was feeling too cool for school!
 I left Ryan in front of his class and took Lucas over to the Kindergarten area. He was ready!
He got in line without a problem. Gave me one last smile and walked into his class without a backward glance. I'm really proud of him!
I ran back over to Ryan's class to give him one last goodbye, but he was already at his desk. I really hope he enjoys the second grade and learns to like school this year.
It's very strange at home with just two kids. On the one hand, I feel like I've already gotten more done this morning than I did the entire summer. On the other hand, I do have a 2 yr old and a baby, so it's not like I'm on vacation. Ha!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The End of a Summer Era

School starts in less than a week!! Now I'm not an overly sentimental person, but I am feeling SO many mixed emotions about the end of summer.

On the one hand, I will have ONLY 2 kids at home for over 6 hours every day. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah!

I can't even remember what that's like.

But the more I think about summer ending, the more sad I become! As much as my boys drive me crazy I am really going to miss them when they're in school. I look at our summer bucket list and get teary eyed. I feel like the summer just slipped away from me and maybe we didn't do enough. Did we do enough fun things? Did we get outside enough? Did we play enough? Are they going to mind that we never made it to the movie theater? Will they hold it against me that the month of July was too blazing hot to ever go to the park? Some days it was just easier to let them sit and watch TV in their pajamas. Does that make me a lazy Mom?

And what about the important life lessons I planned on teaching them this summer? Ryan still can't tie his shoes. Jenna still isn't potty-trained. Have I prepared Lucas enough for Kindergarten?

Being a mother is such a roller coaster of emotions!

Then I start thinking back to all the things we DID do. I find this helpful whenever I feel like I'm not doing enough as a Mom. Because jeez, we had some serious fun this summer!

The boys attended 2 weeks of vacation bible camps. We went to Lake Tahoe. The boys swam at Grandma and Grandpa's house a LOT! We made sandals out of cardboard. We found a frog in our kitchen. We rode our bikes. We built giant train tracks in the playroom and made huge messes.

We played with the cousins. We did a lemonade stand. We watched an evening movie at a local church. We had a few playdates. We visited our family in Brentwood. We attended a gymnastics class. We went to the Farmer's Market. We visited a couple splash pads. We (I) told the ice cream man to stop driving down our court every single day! (And he listened! Ha).

Speaking of ice cream, we haven't gotten out our ice cream maker this entire summer. Time to go fix that problem!

How does the end of summer make you feel?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Portions

I finally lost a little bit of weight! It's been a couple weeks since I checked in here with my weight, and that's because the number on the scale was just NOT budging. But I made a few changes and I have lost 2 pounds since I last weighed in.

LBS Lost So Far: 14
LBS Left To Lose: 13
I knew I was eating the right kinds of foods. Lots of produce, healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, and the occasional treat. But I haven't been losing weight and it's been frustrating. I decided that maybe I was just eating too much of a good thing. So I started using MyFitnessPal to track my calories and macros. And it has been very interesting! I definitely don't see myself counting calories long term, but to lose this baby weight, I see it as a useful tool.

I took a class in college where we had to record everything we ate over the course of a few days. We then analyzed the vitamin/nutrient/macro content. I remember being so fascinated by it all. MyFitnessPal is similar. I enter in what I eat and it not only tells me how many calories I have left for the day, but it also breaks down my food by fat/carb/protein. I can see if I've hit my daily calcium or fiber goals, among other things. I love it! Maybe I should have been a nutritionist or something like that.

So that's my latest weight loss update. Going forward I will only update if I have lost weight, since there isn't much to say otherwise. Our neighbor's fig tree hangs over our fence and I picked a few dozen figs this week, so I plan on making a fig cake today. I will definitely be hitting my sugar goal for today! HA.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Big Girl Bed

On Friday we decided it was time to move Jenna from her crib to a toddler bed!

For over 2.5 years she has slept in here, and until very recently, she was happy in her crib.
Last month she started putting up a big fight at bedtime. She also started trying to climb out of her crib. I can't believe it took her so long to do this! The boys were doing this much younger, by 1.5 years.
So Adam took apart the crib and put Ryan's old toddler bed back together. She tested it out and loved it.
 Jenna had the biggest smile on her face as we all gathered in her room to read books at bedtime.
Adam and I were nervous that she would get out of her bed. When we made the switch with Ryan many years ago it was awful.
But my sweet girl surprised all of us and slept in her bed all night! I gave her a couple books to read in bed and I think she felt really big and special.
Then yesterday she woke up before everyone else and I found her laying in the hallway outside her room reading books. I'm so glad the transition to her big girl bed is going smoothly!

Unfortunately Jenna seems to be done with naps. Instead, I have implemented a quiet time for her, where she must stay in her room and read or play quietly. So far she is doing really really well! She is great about looking at books or playing with her little doll house or play kitchen. I've been putting her to bed a little earlier since she is extra tired without the nap.

Now to get Andrew to sleep in the crib.......

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lake Tahoe 2017

Last week we headed to South Lake Tahoe for a few days as a family of 6. I posted this picture on Facebook....we look excited but we were honestly pretty nervous about traveling with 4 little kids!
We arrived early in the afternoon and immediately found a spot for lunch. It was this outdoor Irish pub/grill that had a great view.
 My sandwich had corned beef and sauerkraut!
After our bellies were full we walked around the local shopping centers. We weren't too familiar with South Lake Tahoe but we liked that there were many stores and restaurants within walking distance of each other.
 Jenna made a little friend in one of the stores.
After shopping we headed to our hotel. I got a great deal on it through Groupon. When we pulled up the front looked really nice. However, the building we were staying in was in the back. And it looked like a dump. We got out of the car and realized it also smelled like a dump. Once inside our room it was unbearably hot. There was no AC and the room was probably 90 degrees. And stinky. And kind of dirty. We called the front desk and requested a new room. After a while we got switched to a room with AC but the smell was still awful. We left the hotel to drive around and research other hotels. After a while we stopped for Jamba Juice as an early dinner.
 By 6pm we still hadn't found a new hotel room, but we did find the beach. Woohoo!
While the kids played at the beach I was on the phone with various hotels as well as Groupon, trying to figure out how to get a refund. It was really annoying and we felt like we wasted so much time trying to figure everything out.
 We booked a room at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was SO much better!
 I told the boys to give me their best rocker poses.
We cleaned up in our room and got the kids ready for bed. Around 10pm everyone was hungry so we ate granola bars and promised them a big breakfast in the morning. Unfortunately the AC in our room wasn't working that well. It was cranked down all the way but we sweated all night. Ugh not a great night.

First thing in the morning we complained and got switched to another room. 4th hotel room of our trip! This one was nice and cold.
 And it came with a balcony view of the pool.
 We ate breakfast at the hotel and finally got ready for the beach at noon.
The kids were more than ready!
 It took forever to find a  beach that wasn't too crowded. Then we had to park miles away and walk down with the 4 kids and all our gear. Adam and I have decided to NOT go to the beach next summer. We'll see if we remember how hard it is with little kids!
The weather was in the 80's. See that big boat in the distance? They were doing tours of the lake on it and I really wanted to go!
 The kids definitely had fun in the water!
 I love seeing the beach with all the trees in the distance.
 My parents drove up for the afternoon and joined us at the beach for a couple hours. After that we got cleaned up and ate dinner at the Hard Rock CafĂ©.
Our night in our hotel room was much cooler! The next morning we checked out of our room and grabbed a late breakfast at Starbucks.
 And then we went mini-golfing!
After golfing we ate at a place called Verde Mexican Rotisserie. I got a burrito salad that came with the best homemade avocado dressing!
 The kids were asking for more beach time, so we drove around trying to find a less-crowded spot. Someone recommended Fallen Leaf Lake, so we turned down a road to look for the lake. We drove and drove and drove.
The rode got bumpier and more narrow the further in we got. Finally we found the lake, but there as no way to actually get down to the water. By this point we were pretty annoyed and Andrew was screaming.
After that big waste of time we stopped at Camp Richardson for ice cream! (Jenna was mad because she couldn't climb up on the log)
 There we go!
It was around 4 at this point and we really needed to get on the road but I didn't want our vacation to end. It felt like we had just gotten to Tahoe, and wasted so much time finding a hotel and not knowing where we were going.

So we took our ice cream and walked down past the Camp Richardson campsite until we found a beach!
 It was SO windy!
 This is what Andrew thought of the wind.
This was definitely my favorite part of the trip. Adam and I took turns walking along the water with the kids. They chased ducks, pulled debris out of the water, and skipped rocks. And then it started raining. I loved it!
 We packed up to walk back to the car and heard thunder in the distance.
 We got all cozy in the car.
 And prepared for the drive home.
 Andrew was NOT happy in the car so we stopped halfway to settle him down. And to grab a pizza!
Lake Tahoe 2017 was full of some stressful moments but I think the kids had a lot of fun at the beach! I'm researching cold vacation spots for next year!