Although I’m blessed to be a work-from-home mom, that doesn’t make weekends any less special. It’s my time to get out & go somewhere with Will, whether that be shopping or to the park or somewhere special for the day.
Last night I took Will to Target because I wanted to go ahead & get him a potty so he could become familiar with it. It’s better to start early right? I have a lot of reading to do on potty training boys!
Anyway, once we picked out Will’s potty throne, we ventured over to the toy section. Oh if you could have only seen the look at that boy’s face! He was enthralled!
If he could use his words it literally would have been “please” after “please” because he went from one toy to the next.
We left with only the toilet & sippy cups & a shirt that was on sale. Once again, all for Will none for mommy! But that’s okay ☺️ Really what I want to find is more outside toys for him — a basketball hoop in particular.
Then this morning we headed over to the yearly yardsale for DaySpring which is sort-of like an assisted living program for the mentally disabled/handicapped. My mom’s cousin currently lives in a DaySpring home so we are always happy to help the cause!
We found this great little bike for Will for just two bucks! I also got a bigger bike for him with attached training wheels for just $5, & a coffee table for $10. Hopefully sooner rather than later I’ll have my own place to fill with all my furniture, no matter how mismatched it may be!
Other than that, our weekend has been spent just enjoying time with each other! My little boy is developing such a big personality & every day is an adventure, but I still take advantage of sweet cuddle moments when I can. (Like when he’s watching Jake & the Neverland Pirates or Doc McStuffins). This kid can dance to the Doc theme song like no other!
Ignore my pout, I promise I’m a happy mom!
How is your weekend going to far? Anything super fun happening near you?
Thanks to Andrew over at EatingRules.com and Pinterest, I was able to find a healthy recipe for pancakes that taste really good! Ihop was celebrating their 57th year with a short stack of pancakes for only 57 cents. I was so tempted to take Will there yesterday for cheap pancakes, but knowing how hard it is for me to say no to their other delicious food, I decided to opt out.
But that didn’t make my craving for pancakes go away. In fact, I woke up this morning wanting them just as bad as the day before. Pancakes aren’t exactly diet friendly, however, at least when made the traditional way. So I searched on Pinterest for healthy pancake recipes until I found Andrew’s. His recipe called for Greek yogurt, oatmeal, egg whites, and more, which meant the recipe was certainly healthy but hopefully delicious!
I topped mine with melted peanut butter, strawberries, and chia seeds. You can head over to his website to find the recipe!
Week 1 Workout Update
Okay now onto my workout update. As I explained here, I finally found the motivation I needed to lose that last bit of baby weight and get healthy. I’m so desperate to lose these love handles!! I took a few days off to enjoy the 4th of July holiday, but other than that I started kicking butt in the gym. Here’s my workouts from the past week, not including today. (Sorry for the poor picture quality!)
I’m pretty sore today in my quads and hamstrings, but it’s a feeling that I absolutely love. I kicked major butt with my workouts this week so I’m pretty proud of myself. I also ate better, not fantastic, but certainly better.
The bad news is that I actually gained weight. But I did a little Googling and found that, especially when you’re sore, your body will sometimes hang on to excess fluid, making it appear as if you’ve gained weight. The good news is that once I get into more of a routine, the weight should begin to melt off. Here’s hoping!
My goals for this next week are to see some weight loss, work out at least four days, and head to the running track around the reservoir for a good long outdoor run/walk sequence with Will in the jogging stroller. Hopefully the weather will allow that to happen!
Will and I had an absolutely wonderful, relaxing 4th of July weekend! Friday I was ready to get out of the house for a bit before I had to work at 2:00, so we went over to the local water company’s reservoir so Will could see it for the first time. I know you’re thinking it’s a bit strange to take him there of all places, but it’s a beautiful area with a walking path all around it. Will especially loved the ducks that were swimming in the reservoir. You could tell by his constant “quack quack” noises!
We then headed home and Will took a nap while I got work done. Once I finished, we goofed around for a while and then I looked up some recipes to try for dinner. What I came across was this recipe for fried avocado tacos. It’s from Color Me Meg, a blog that I absolutely adore! I thought I would change it a bit to make it my own, but what a great inspiration for dinner! Check out my version below!
Fried Avocado Recipe
2 eggs – beaten
Approximately 10 saltine crackers – crushed
1/2 C flour
Pour oil into a medium-sized saucepan until it’s about one inch deep – heat to about 350 degrees
Slice avocado in half and then into slices
Place flour, cracker crumbs, and eggs into three separate bowls
First coat avocado with flour, then eggs, and then the cracker crumbs
Carefully place into the oil and fry until golden about 10-15 seconds on each side
Remove from oil and sit on paper towel to drain excess oil
Once I fried up the avocado, I added them to tacos along with ranch, black beans, corns, lettuce, and shredded cheese. It was an absolute hit in my book, although Will just had a cheese quesadilla with black beans and corn. He didn’t know what he was missing with that avocado!
Happy 4th of July!
To celebrate the holiday, Will’s dad came down and we grilled out burgers and hot dogs, and ate them along with baked beans and french fries. We sat outside on the back patio and enjoyed the meal which was great since it wasn’t too hot!
After we finished dinner we headed to Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen, which is definitely our favorite Louisville ice cream parlor, and got some dessert. Will gobbled up Daddy’s chocolate chip ice cream, while I enjoyed a brownie sundae with caramel chip ice cream!
We then headed down to the waterfront and the walking bridge to walk around a bit before finding a spot to watch the fireworks. Will kept dropping his jaw in awe at the fireworks which I found to be hilarious. I’m so glad he’s not scared of the sound because it makes it so much more enjoyable!
Then Sunday we went to Frisch’s for their breakfast bar, another one of our favorites, before relaxing for the rest of the day. It really was an easy going, enjoyable holiday. I hope you had a great one as well!
Okay so a ton of people and websites alike will tell you that it’s much harder on mommy than it is baby to say goodbye to the pacifier, and well, they were right. I knew that as soon as we got back from Disney World, it meant no more paci for Will. I had already limited paci time to being only in the car and the crib. He will be 16-months-old on the 11th and now that he’s walking, I knew he was getting too big (at least in my eyes) for the pacifier. So the first night back home, it was time for bed without it.
He screamed. Okay I don’t mean like a little “ah!” I mean like a full out bloody murder I think my head is going to explode scream. It’s like he wanted everyone in the house to know something wasn’t right. But I stood my ground. I walked into his room, wrapped my arms around him and hugged him gently saying “you’re alright” over and over for a minute or so, and then walked out.
The screaming didn’t magically stop after that. He crawled and walked in circles around his crib looking for the paci, screaming out in horror upon realizing it wasn’t there. I stayed strong, however, and within 10 minutes he was asleep. Whew! I made it through the first night without it!
Well then morning came. Typically, when Will would wake up, he would sit up and play with his stuffed animal and sort-of talk to himself until I walked in ready to start the day. Well not without his paci! He practically woke up screaming! Imagine how quick that shot me out of bed! Once he realized it was time to get up for the day though, he was fine and his typical happy self.
That’s how it’s pretty much been for the past five days, except the time spent screaming has decreased each day. So fingers crossed he goes back to sleeping like an angel like he was before!
Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower
On a whole different note, today I wanted to try a healthy recipe for lunch. As I shared in this post, I’ve begun a new fitness journey and it’s really important for me to feel like I’m not completely depriving myself from delicious food. I love anything buffalo flavored so I thought I’d try buffalo cauliflower that I had seen posted so many times on Pinterest.
Here’s what you need to make it like I did:
1/2 head cauliflower
three tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper – to taste
1 cup buffalo wing sauce
To make roasted buffalo cauliflower like I did:
Break cauliflower into pieces of all sizes and spread onto a baking sheet
Drizzle with olive oil
Add salt & pepper
Roast in the oven on 450 for 20 minutes
Pour buffalo wing sauce over cauliflower and mix until thoroughly coated
Bake for 5-10 more minutes
The cauliflower certainly wasn’t crispy like buffalo wings and still tasted like cauliflower. But if you’re a fan of roasted cauliflower and buffalo sauce flavor, you’ll love this recipe! It’s super healthy, full of flavor, and makes for a different, delicious meal addition.
Have you tried any new recipes lately? Did you have a bit of battle with your kids over their pacifiers?
I can’t exactly say I’ve suddenly decided out of nowhere to lose weight and get fit. I also can no long call my excess weight “baby weight” given that Will is almost 16-months-old. I’ve been on many fitness journeys in the past few years, pretty much ever since I finished playing volleyball for the University of Cincinnati, but this time is different.
When volleyball first ended, after playing for over ten years pretty much non-stop, I was a bit freaked out. I was incredibly worried about gaining weight and suddenly being completely out of shape, given that workouts and practices were no longer required. But I was pleasantly surprised at my motivation to start running. As much as I hated running while I was playing volleyball, for whatever reason, once it was over, I developed a true passion for it. For those first 7-8 months, I focused more on running than anything else. By month six I was running five miles, three times a week with no problem. I was lean, toned, and incredibly happy with the way I looked.
But that summer I got pregnant, morning sickness took over, and I lost all motivation to work out. Combined with my boyfriend telling me “this is the time to eat whatever you want” I indulged and gained 55 pounds! I wasn’t all that worried about it though, because I knew as soon as Will was born I would get my butt in gear and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Or so I thought.
Losing The Baby Weight
After Will was born, the weight seemed to fall off. I easily lost the first 25 pounds, much attributed to breastfeeding. I got a gym membership at Planet Fitness and began working out again in hopes of losing the last 35 pounds. I got down to 180-185 by working out a few times a week and going on constant walks with Will. But then I got a little too comfortable.
Winter rolled around and walks outside were out of the question. Because I work from home, I had constant, easy access to food, and unfortunately I took advantage. I was constantly snacking and wasn’t watching my portions. I had almost fallen back to my pregnancy-style eating, which was frightening.
Getting Back On Track
Finally, for whatever reason, when we were on vacation in Disney World, it hit me. I had to get my butt in shape. I was tired of feeling bad about my body and being embarrassed about still being unable to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I have all these great pairs of jeans but can only fit into two of them! I decided that once we got back, it was go time, and this time I would document it on my blog as a way to stay on track and not let my weight or my diet fall to the wayside again.
Weekly Workout Update
I say weekly, but I plan on posting an update every Wednesday, just because it’s easy to remember with all the W’s! I took pictures this morning of what my body looks like now so that each week I can compare photos to see progress. I know from experience that the scale doesn’t always reflect progress so I felt that was the best way to do it. The hardest part will be actually posting those photos!
But each week I will post my workouts, any healthy meals I tried, the best and worst parts of the week, goals for the upcoming week, and maybe (hopefully) a progress photo. I will make my first post next Wednesday so that I have a full week of content to share. I hope you all will follow along through my journey and maybe even join me!
No more slacking off! It’s time for this mama to get fit!
If you remember, I shared that I would be making a trip to St Louis for the weekend with my mom, sister, and female members of my sister’s fiance’s family in hopes of Sara finding her wedding dress. But it wasn’t all work and no play!
We actually went to Saint Charles which is on the other side of St. Louis. My mom and I met Sara, Stephen’s step-mom, and half sister at a restaurant called Trailhead. They had half-price pizza and appetizers until 7 so just about all of us ordered pizza. I got their barbecued beef pizza which was absolutely delicious! Sara and I also each got their beer sampler, which was only 8.50 and was pretty much a small beer of each of their local home brews. Although I only truly liked about half of them, it was neat to get to try all the different kinds.
A Walk Along The River
After dinner we wanted to visit some of the cute shops they have in downtown Saint Charles, but they were all closed, so instead we took a walk along the river and took this great picture with the Lewis and Clark statue.
The Search Begins For The Perfect Wedding Dress
So we headed back to our hotel Friday night and got some rest because we had a busy Saturday ahead! After we enjoyed breakfast at the Holiday Inn, we headed to David’s Bridal to begin the hunt for the perfect wedding dress.
The woman David’s Bridal was really nice, and understood our constant references to Say Yes to the Dress. We just so badly wanted Sara to have her “YES!” moment! Once the woman pulled a few dresses Sara thought she might like, Sara began trying on. Keep in mind that Sara went in to the weekend thinking she wanted a sweetheart neckline, strapless, a-frame (or shape) gown.
You see that look on her face? That’s a combination of I’m wearing a freakin’ wedding dress and I don’t know if I really like this one. But it was a great place to start. It was an a-shaped dress like she had in mind, but Sara wasn’t a fan of the straps. On to dress number two!
This is it! This is the dress! Right? No? Wait a minute…
So Sara walked out and she kind-of smiled and we all thought “wow she looks beautiful.” It was everything she had in mind and she looked great in it. I know, you’re thinking so what’s the problem? Well it just wasn’t “all that.” She looked great, and felt great, but just wasn’t so sure. So on to dress number three.
So this was the dress that made Sara kind-of have an “aha!” moment. She loved the bodice of the dress and the neckline, but wasn’t a fan of the mermaid style flare out at the bottom. She said she would love the dress if she could take the top and put it on more of an a-frame bottom. Unfortunately, David’s Bridal didn’t have that kind of dress at their store.
The good news is that Sara had already made an appointment at Frew’s Bridal in Alton, Illinois.
Wedding Dress Shopping At Frew’s Bridal in Alton
We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to Frew’s Bridal. When we first walked in, we were a little shell-shocked to say the least. All of the dresses seemed to be around $1,300, with a few less and a lot more costing even more than that. Sara was really hoping to stay under $800. Should I mention that the woman laughed at her when Sara told her that? But we continued to look through the store until one of the woman informed us that there was a room full of half-price, as-is dresses upstairs.
We headed upstairs and began the hunt for a dress within Sara’s budget. We pulled five that we thought maybe could work, knowing we didn’t see one that we thought fit Sara’s desired style. But we had an appointment so why not go ahead and try some on.
Well Sara walked out in a few, but she knew pretty much right away that they weren’t for her. We were starting to think maybe Sara wouldn’t find a dress at Frew’s either, until she walked out of the fitting room absolutely glowing.
Sara loved the way the dress fit her, and even though it technically has straps, it was more of a sheer, lacy material to where she felt like she got a mix of straps and strapless. Look at the gorgeous back of the dress!
As you can see, Sara “said yes to the dress” that was absolutely perfect for her. It’s like she was made to wear it. It’s easy to say she’s going to look beautiful on her big day. It’s a good thing we didn’t turn right back around and walk out of Frew’s. You never know where you’re going to find your perfect dress!
A Perfect Girls Weekend
We ended the weekend with a great dinner in Saint Charles and a visit with my mom’s good friend that lives in St. Louis. As much as I missed my little man while I was gone, it was a fantastic weekend and a successful one at that!
It’s time to go wedding dress shopping! No, it’s not for me. I’m not even close to getting engaged, but my older sister on the other hand… She got engaged over Christmas and her fiance is originally from Kansas City. So if we’re from Louisville and he’s from Kansas City, why are we going to St. Louis? It’s the perfect halfway point!
This is where it gets a bit confusing. We’re in Louisville, Stephen (Sara’s fiance) has family in Kansas City, and Sara and Stephen live in Murray, Kentucky. Sara really wanted all the women in the family to be there when she went shopping for her dress, so she thought St. Louis would be a great halfway point for all of us to get together. And by all of us, I mean me, Sara, our mom, Stephen’s mom, step-mom, and two sisters.
Unfortunately I don’t have a recent picture of me with Sara besides the one from the 5k, but I’m sure plenty of pictures will be taken this weekend!
Wedding Dress Shopping
The main goal for the weekend is for Sara to find a wedding dress. She said she was thinking about going for a strapless gown, but she’s open to trying various styles. We have a morning appointment set at David’s Bridal, so we’re starting there! There’s no doubt that shopping for a dress can easily become overwhelming, but after watching way too many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, I’m so excited for Sara to have her big “this is the dress” moment!
She’s also hoping to find mother-of-the-bride and mothers-of-the-groom dresses while we’re there, and then bridesmaid dresses if there’s time as well. She’s going with a navy and yellow theme because both she and Stephen went to Murray State University and Stephen currently coaches there. Bridesmaid dresses will likely be navy, but there’s no telling what color the mom’s dresses will be. Our mom isn’t a fan of wearing either colors.
A Weekend Away From Will
Because we’re going to be spending most of our time in boutiques and shopping, I knew it would probably be easier to not have Will crawling around everywhere. He’ll be going with his dad for the weekend, which of course means I’m going to be missing him like crazy. You never truly realize how much you miss someone until you have to say goodbye to your kids, even for a short period of time. Plus, being five hours away from him isn’t exactly comforting.
But I know Will’s going to have a fun weekend watching baseball and hanging out with his dad. I just hope he’s as excited to see me as I will be to see him when I get back!
Even though he’s been waking me up around 6:30-7:00 lately, I adore my mornings with the little guy. It’ll suck not having that for two mornings, but I guess we can give Daddy a turn! Plus, mommy will be busy with her maid of honor duties, right?
What are your big plans for the weekend? Anything exciting going on?
So it’s already Tuesday and I’m just now posting about our weekend, but as I, and I’m sure my mother, have always said, better late than never!
So Saturday was a pretty lazy day and we both ended up enjoying a morning nap. My little superman woke up a bit dazed but definitely refreshed! It’s hard to tell in the picture, but his adorable Superman shirt has a removable cape on the back. It’s definitely one of my favorites and was actually a hand-me-down from my cousin!
I didn’t take many pictures throughout the afternoon but pretty much the only exciting thing to happen was our trip to GiGi’s Cupcakes to split a red velvet cupcake. Oh my goodness was it absolutely delicious but oh so rich! I wouldn’t have been able to finish the cupcake myself so good thing I had my little wiggle-worm right there with me to share!
Watching American Pharoah Go For The Triple Crown
After enjoying some pizza for dinner, we settled in to watch the Belmont Stakes to see if American Pharoah will bring home the Triple Crown. Being from Louisville, Kentucky, we knew we couldn’t miss this race! It had been like 37 years since a horse last won the Triple Crown and American Pharoah had a great shot at the title! When 6:50 rolled around we were all eyes and ears on the screen, clapping and cheering “GO! GO! GO!”
In case you haven’t already heard, he did win! He ended the dry spell of Triple Crown winners and took home the prestigious horse racing crown!
The Fault In Our Stars: A Sob Fest
Will and I spent the rest of the night cuddling and goofing around before he went to bed. After I said goodnight, I plopped back down on the recliner and watched The Fault in Our Stars for the first time. I don’t want to say it was a mistake, but I was absolutely sobbing all by myself watching the movie. It was a great movie but it was easily one of the saddest I’ve seen!
Sunday Breakfast + Savory Oatmeal
Usually on Sunday’s my mom makes a big breakfast for the family consisting of biscuits, eggs, and either bacon or sausage. But my family was out of town helping with the Special Olympics, so it was just Will and I. He enjoyed his usual banana with some cereal, while I sipped on my coffee and checked out my updated BlogLovin feed! I then decided to try a brand new recipe.
I had heard of Martha Stewart’s savory oatmeal before but never thought it to be something I would enjoy. However, given how healthy it is and how hungry I was, I thought I’d give it a shot. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the recipe. You can find the recipe below!
Savory Cheesy Oatmeal Recipe Ingredients
1/4 C quick-cooking oats
salt & pepper – to taste
1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg – cooked over-easy
dash of cayenne pepper
Savory Cheesy Oatmeal Recipe Directions
Cook oatmeal according to package directions
Season with salt & pepper
Cook egg over medium heat until whites are done but yolk is still runny
Sprinkle cooked oatmeal with shredded cheese
Top with cooked egg
Shake cayenne pepper over-top
Enjoying The Warm Weather
We then spent a lot of the rest of the day outside, with Will in his favorite swing next to Gram’s! He’ll even point to the swing and say “wheee!” when he wants to go outside and get in it!
Overall we had a pretty relaxing, enjoyable weekend. Did you do anything fun or did you have more of a lazy couple of days like we did?
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! On Wednesday June 3, I took Will to the zoo! My brother and his girlfriend joined us, which was definitely a treat. I recently purchased a zoo pass that allows me to take a guest with me for free, as well as Will, and the pass pretty much pays for itself after just a few visits.
Another great money-smart decision I made was to pack a lunch. I think it’s fantastic that the zoo allows you to bring in a cooler full of food and drinks! Before we left and while Will was taking his morning nap, I made sandwiches for all of us, and packed bags of chips and grapes. I also loaded the cooler with water bottles to keep the food cool and to have something to drink. It was about 65-70 degrees and overcast so it was actually a perfect day to visit the zoo to avoid getting too hot or sunburned.
Lego Brick Sculptures At The Louisville Zoo
One of the first things we noticed was that the Louisville Zoo was featuring dozens of Lego Brick sculptures throughout the park.
Right inside the entrance was this adorable photo booth, for a lack of a better description, made entirely out of Lego’s! Next to each sculpture was a description that included how many Lego’s were used to make it and how many hours it took. It was truly incredible to see and every time we spotted a sculpture we would point out the facts. At one point we even did a little math to determine how many days the artist likely spent creating his pieces. For one it was around 50 days!
A Great Learning Experience
We checked out the polar bears, brown bears, and then hung around waiting for the sea lion show. The show was short, only 9 minutes long, but we learned where the sea lions came from and how they’re trained. It was great for kids to learn that the sea lions were rescued, not captured. One sea lion in particular kept coming back to the rescue facility, even after being released three times! It was also neat to learn about how the sea lions swim and what they eat. Although it was a short show, it was great for all the kids that were in attendance. The ones in the front row even got splashed after one used his flippers to splash them!
Although he couldn’t really grasp what the trainers were saying, Will loved watching the sea lions, and even imitated their barking sounds!
It turned out to be a fabulous day and a fun trip to the zoo! In fact, I think my brother enjoyed it just as much as Will did!
How do you make a trip to the zoo into a learning experience? What are you favorite ways to enjoy a zoo trip?