Two In One

Between sick kids and Nora boycotting her nap almost daily I’ve been short time to blog. So you get the pleasure of one really long post to cover the past two weeks ūüôā

I started something new this past week that I’m pretty excited about!¬†Now that Calvin is sleeping through the night until about 5:45ish (somewhat consistently) I decided I really wanted to incorporate more yoga into my life because I miss being able to practice more than once a week. So this week I began waking up at 5 a.m. so I can get about an hour in before I have to start the day with the kids. l’m still keeping up with my other workouts later in the morning on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays and so far it’s working out. It¬†has been a great change of pace!

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Finally making some progress in wheel pose. First time I’ve gotten a foot off the ground. Now to just get it up a little higher.¬†

What actually prompted this change was this awesome new YouTube channel I found¬†Five Parks Yoga. When we lived in Hawaii, I went to Core Power Yoga¬†6 days a week and LOVED it! They had an early morning yoga class called Sculpt that incorporated weights (with yoga flows) and a little cardio throughout the class. It was awesome. Needless to say, the Five Parks Yoga YouTube channel has a huge variety of 30 min- 1 hour classes and several that include weights. She calls them her “Fit Yoga” classes. ¬†Her yoga teaching style is the closest I have found to Core Power and I’m so thankful I stumbled upon it.

Sometimes Calvin wakes up a few minutes before I’m done, so he gets to enjoy an early morning snack once Nick leaves for work, while I finish up.

I tried a new one pan dinner Wednesday night (I love these, they are so quick and easy!). I made this¬†Peanut Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner¬†and everyone loved it! Everyone except Calvin, he still isn’t too keen on chicken. (Next time I’ll remember a picture)

Calvin and I did our usual grocery shopping while Nora was at preschool Tuesday. He fell asleep on the drive so we headed in as soon as he woke up. This is his “I just woke up, why am I in a grocery store” look.

He also enjoys helping me out any chance he gets. And yes that is one of those cart covers you see, I still put it on there for him even though he is 15 months. But he prefers to snack while I shop and this thing is great for holding his snacks and keeping them from falling all over the floor ūüėČ

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It was Nora’s turn to bring snacks to preschool on Thursday. So Wednesday her and I got to¬†work putting them together. She is always so excited to do this, but in reality very little gets into the bags and more in her mouth. This time we combined pretzels, raisins, popcorn and chocolate chips. Then she decorates the bags with stickers of her choosing.

Thursday morning was jam-packed with Dr’s appointments. Calvin had his 15 month check up and I had a last-minute scheduling for a follow-up with my Dr. regarding something I’d had checked out the previous week. With both appointments, Calvin’s immunizations and a trip to the pharmacy, we spent a total of 2.5 hrs there. I came fully prepared with books, Baby Einstein to watch on the Kindle and snacks. Calvin was a trooper.

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There is a diaper there somewhere, it’s jut hidden ūüėČ

Nora is really into her baby doll right now. She always has been since Calvin came around, but the involvement at which the baby joins our everyday life varies. Last week though she had to be included in everything. This was Nora’s set up for a couple of days. We have learned to utilize the kitchen table as much as possible when she doesn’t want Calvin interfering with her playing. That baby gets fed soup a lot ūüėČ

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And we had a fun mid-week visit with Elliott. He had just returned from spring break with loads of laundry and an appetite for a home cooked meal so we happily obliged.

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The tail end of our week and the week after we have been hit with sickness. Experienced croup for the first time in the middle of the night with Nora. The steroid shots and breathing treatment in the ER cleared the croup but we are still trying to get over the residual cold symptoms with both kids.

Although we are not all 100% better, everyone has been in pretty good spirits.

I’ve tried a couple new things in the kitchen this week. I made some butternut squash noodles to go with dinner one night (picture on the left). They were so good! You simply spiralize the squash first and then roast the “noodles” in the oven. ¬†Another night we had some roasted vegetables including sweet potato, brussel¬†sprouts and zucchini. I sprinkled them with salt, pepper, garlic and parmesan. These are my fave! I really love any roasted vegetable and especially love adding them¬†to salads.

Later in the week things warmed up a little outside and we were in the mood for something lighter. I made this Spicy Quinoa¬†& Kale Black Bean Salad. We haven’t had this since last summer and forgot how delicious it is! And talk about simple and quick! This is great leftovers too as it always taste even better the next day, after it sits in the fridge and all the flavors absorb into the beans and vegetables.

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I sampled a new recipe for Calvin as well this past week. It turned out to be a win for both kids! These Zucchini Bites are cheesy, healthy & delicious (I sampled one or two as well).

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We tried to lay low this week to let everyone rest up and start to feel better. But no matter how sick they are, it’s hard to keep this two kids down. Calvin is always ready to play, especially when his sister is close by.

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I think she had actually moved off the couch to get some space from him, but he quickly found a way to move closer.

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I love being their Mom, most days are pretty fun ūüėČ

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We got a little bit of relief from the cold. But we are hoping that we can get another burst of warm weather that will stick around so we can start enjoying the parks on a daily basis.

When Elliott came over for dinner Friday I tried a new recipe that is definitely a keeper! This Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake is something Nick is already asking for again. This picture doesn’t do it justice, take note of the original bloggers pictures of the inside of the enchiladas.

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I used corn tortillas (as I have a gluten sensitivity) and I’m still trying to determine if dairy is a problem for me. For whatever reason my stomach can handle feta cheese ok, so I mixed that along with sharp white cheddar cheese for the “Mexican cheese blend” the recipe calls for. You could really do whatever type of cheese you wanted. She does mention at the end of the recipe that it is on the spicy side. I used only about a Tablespoon and ¬†half of jalapeno and I only used 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper in the enchilada sauce. Mine still turned out a little too spicy for the kids. So definitely do some taste testing as you go along to make sure you get the spicy kick that best fits your taste buds.

I did finish reading¬†Present Over Perfect but I’m going to have to save my thoughts on that for another post in fear of making this one ridiculously long.

Here’s to hoping this week brings a restoration of health and some warm sunshine! We are hopefully headed to Boston at the end of the week, Nick has a work conference, the kids and I want¬†a little change of scenery and we will have the opportunity to enjoy some time with family!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break

We had lots of tentative travel plans for this year’s spring break, but at the last minute we decided that we really just wanted to relax and enjoy time with one another and ultimately with what we have going on right now, staying home and doing some new things around here sounded like the best plan for us. Little did we know that during this week we would get the biggest snow storm yet this winter. Our change of plans actually worked in our favor cause the snow would have actually changed or canceled our scheduled travel plans. Here is a glimpse of the weather we received:

This is out our back door. The picture on the left is around noon after it had been snowing since the wee morning hours. And the picture on the right was around 4 p.m. and it kept coming down. It is hard to say much we actually got since there were such strong winds and lots of snow drifts, but my guess is around 30 in.

We had to get creative with what we could do inside. We weren’t supposed to be out on the roads Tuesday or Wednesday so there was plenty of time to kill.

Here was our first try at snow ice cream. We added a little sprinkles for topping.

But enough about the snow. Let’s back up a bit. Sunday night we had a movie night after Calvin went to bed, we watched Trolls and had popcorn and just had a lot of fun hanging out the three of us, it doesn’t happen very often anymore.

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And on Monday we went to an indoor play place near us called Elk’s Place. The kids had so much fun as did Nick and I. We had such a great time that once the roads we cleared, Friday we ventured back there to play again.

We followed this with lunch at Panera. This week was the first time we were able to get Calvin to successfully eat a meal out. He still isn’t keen on restaurant food, but he actually ate his entire meal I brought from home at the restaurant!

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I made one of our favorite soups this week to have on hand. This Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Curry ¬†Soup is really easy and versatile. We like it served over rice and we typically top it with whatever vegetables we have on hand or if you’re like me and love feta cheese I think it is a great topper as well.

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It’s hard to decipher in the photo, but here we threw in some feta, red pepper, zucchini and some leftover grilled eggplant we had.

Some other ways Nora filled her time while we were stuck at home. In the pic on the left she is playing with some really fun reusable stickers she got as a gift, these Melissa & Doug ¬†Reusable stickers to be exact. She loves them! She is also really interested in learning to write letters these days, she has mastered the letters for her name so we see that everywhere now ūüėČ

If Nora would let him, Calvin would lavish her with love & affection all the time. Well his version anyways, being any kind of bodily contact whether rough or gentle.  While she was watching her morning show he climbed off my lap right over her and laid down, but had to make sure his feet were still touching her.  We are having a lot of fun watching their little relationship develop.

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Saturday we had a filled day with friends. In the morning we got together with some of our friends who have kids the same age as Nora & Calvin. Then later in the afternoon some friends of ours who have a new baby came over to hang out for a bit. ¬†Then we ended spring break with a quiet Sunday and it appears the snow is slowly beginning to melt and our patio furniture in the backyard is starting to appear again ūüėČ

Now back to reality! (And in case anyone else is counting, only 10 more weeks until we move on to the California sunshine. ūüôā )

Waffling and Last Week

First off, food.¬†I don’t know if waffle makers are that common in people’s kitchens, but we certainly love ours. Nora eats these whole wheat waffles every morning for breakfast. (P.S. if you are looking to transition to clean eating this website is a great place to start! So many great recipes and tips, I have followed her for several years.) I typically double the batch and freeze them to last us about 2 weeks.IMG_20170318_083716478

But we also like to use our waffle maker to “waffle” other things. The picture below is a rice waffle. Calvin loves these and they are easy for him to hold and¬†feed himself. It is simply rice, egg and whatever else you want to add to it. In the past I have added cheese or beans. He doesn’t seem to like it with beans, although eating beans and rice in a bowl is one of his favorite meals. We have all actually tried this and agree it tastes great! You could¬†really include anything. We have also made omelets in it¬†which turned out great as well. For kids it has really turned into a creative way to serve¬†them foods they may be getting tired of, ¬†just changing the presentation makes it exciting again.

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Last week Nora started practicing her photography skills with my phone. I’d say so far she is doing a pretty good job. Calvin had just woken up from a nap, and that’s his look for about the first 10 min upon waking. But after he shakes that off and really wakes up he is always right back to his happy and smiley self again.

We ¬†have music playing a lot in our house and anytime it’s on you most definitely will find Nora dancing. ALWAYS. Sometimes she requests music just because she is in the mood to dance. And almost every time a family dance party ensues because her enthusiasm is contagious.

Nick had some work obligations that kept him out late into the evening Thurs-Sat and ¬†half the day Sunday. So I was solo with the kids for most the weekend. We hit up church on Sunday but had to fit a cat nap in for Calvin before hand, so we left extra early so he could sleep in the car. This meant a great parking spot since we got there so early to let him sleep. Nora was pretty happy about it too since she got to watch something on her Kindle for the drive and while we waiting for him to wake up. I was a little worried it was going to turn out to be a failure and he not sleep and then be a mess going into the nursery but he proved me wrong and slept great. Waking up just in time for us to go in. It was one of those good “parenting win” moments for me ūüôā

I’m currently reading Present over Perfect¬†right now. I had been on the wait list at the library for the e-book for months and it finally became available! I’m only a few chapters in but I’m definitely intrigued by the authors thoughts. I’ll post my thoughts and a little book review when I’m done .

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And we are closing out Nick’s week of spring break now, so more on that later!

Moves and Weekend Highlights

I ended my last post with talk of our overseas move. Since that will be such a big move sometimes I think about that more than I do our upcoming move. But we are in fact moving to Monterey, CA in June/July. I think we are all really pumped and maybe a little ready to head on out of here. West Point has definitely been great. The community here is amazing and I don’t know that we will ever experience anything quite like it¬†anywhere else. Also, I think the best part is that my brother is here, so we get to see him weekly. He will actually be graduating 2 weeks before we leave, so it will be natural for us all to transition out at the same time. But we are ready for Monterey’s beautiful weather and to leave winter behind. While we will only have a short time¬†to enjoy all that Monterey has to offer but we are excited to call it home for this phase of our lives.

Here is a pic from when we visited Monterey almost two years ago. I can’t believe how little Nora was!20150607_151341

And just for fun, here is a picture from the last time we were in Southeast Asia, almost 3 years ago.

On the left we are on the beach of the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia and on the right we are in Singapore standing in front of the iconic Merlion. Little Nora was about 4 mos. old. Looking through these old photos has made me pretty excited to go back!

Maybe, one more.

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So these monkeys were just hanging out at the resort we stayed at in Langkawi, Malaysia (here is a link to the resort The Datai Langkawi, it was amazing¬†and I highly recommend it. We plan to return there while we are living in that part of the world). There tons of them and they weren’t a bit afraid of us. I think this picture that we captured of this mama and her baby is so sweet.

Ok, I’m done reminiscing.

We will be beginning our move almost exactly 3 month from now and I’m beginning to purge. When you have to pack¬†ALL your belongings in order to move them across the country, you quickly discover (at least we do) that we have way too much stuff. I think I’m also extra motivated to get rid of things since we will be in California less than a year before we put a little over half of these things¬†in storage and head on over to Southeast Asia. ¬†Our guest room is quickly filling up with items that need to go, be sold/given away. It’s not really a pretty picture or else I’d share ūüôā And the more things I discover and pull out the more dirt and dust that seems to surface, so there’s that. We are all ready for something new and fresh in CA.

(More on moving later…)

Speaking of new, we¬†received this really cool cookbook from one of Nick’s students. We have had him at our house several times and he gifted this to us not too long ago. It has a lot of really great recipes! I have bookmarked several that I want to try. I really don’t like buying store bought crackers that are full of artificial flavors and preservatives, and there seem to be some great cracker recipes in here I’m anxious to try among other things.

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Over the weekend I made some Almond Butter Chocolate Granola, a recipe from the cookbook and it was awesome! I had intended to take it to our friends we had plans with Saturday morning, but those plans fell through and we ended up eating all but one big jar of it. I gave that to my little brother, who most likely consumed it all in one sitting ūüôā

Another weekend highlight was that we finally made it to church Sunday. We had fallen out of the habit of going. Our church moved locations in January meaning it’s now a 30 minute drive from our house. It also changed the service times which happened to now start right in the middle of Calvin’s nap. But we were able to make it work this past Sunday. We were reminded of how it is such a positive part of our week for all of us. When we left Nora was upset because she didn’t get to stay long enough and we had to pluck Calvin out of the nursery as he was having so much fun playing. Nick and I both agreed it is definitely worth the adjustment in naps and the 30 minute drive. I’m always nervous when it comes to leaving the kids in new environments and messing with their sleep schedules but I’m amazed at how God honors our obedience when I let those things go. We had such a great day all together. If you want to take a listen here is a link to last weeks message, we always come away feeling refreshed, encouraged or challenged in some way.

http://www.graceoc.com/messages/lost/

This is the mischievous look of someone who knows he is doing something he¬†shouldn’t be:

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He is always finding some new way to push the limits of what he can climb or get into.

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He has always loved getting into this drawer and pulling out all the tupperware, but now he can’t open it with out climbing in. However, he is not as skilled at getting out so I have to keep a close eye on him, or we may just have to end up Calvin proofing this drawer too (if it doesn’t break first).

Came across these photos from summer! Can’t wait to get out and enjoy the warm sunshine¬†and water again with these two!

NYC & Sunshine

A couple weekends ago we spent a day and night in New York City. We stayed right in Times Square which was fun. The weather cooperated nicely and we were able to do a lot of walking.¬†We decided to check out the New York City Public Library. It was AMAZING (if you like that sort of thing, which we really do!) It is a mix of library and museum. We literally could have spent all day there. But being that the kids were with us, we were able to explore a little but spent most our time in the kids section. Nick and I did however come away with library cards. This is great because now I have access to their online library (it’s HUGE) where I can download books to my iPad.

By the time we walked back to the hotel to grab some dinner, it was getting very busy out.

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Times Square was all kinds of crazy. I was being run over by pedestrians as I took this photo hence the blurriness.

When Nora was little we did lots and lots of traveling. She stayed in at least 8 hotels (from what I can remember) before she turned 1. So she has the hotel game down and she is typically really bummed when it’s time to leave and go back home. Calvin on the other hand is not quite as in love with hotels as his sister. So that is a work in progress. He likes being new places and exploring, but when it comes to doing the normal routine things he is totally thrown off, just the little things ya know like sleeping and eating.img_20170218_160654503

He has the hotel chilllin’ and snacking down though.

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Hanging out in Nora’s bed waiting for breakfast.

Some things we do to make hotel trips as successful as possible with our kids:

  1. Talk. We always talk a lot about our trips/hotel stays before they happen. This way they know what to expect (right now more so for Nora than Calvin). And it builds some anticipation with getting to see where we are going and lets them be a part of the planning process.
  2. Bring their stuff. And by stuff I mean the little things that make the bed feel like theirs. Now that Nora is older, there really isn’t too much she needs. But as you can see she really wanted her baby along, so we brought her. And we always bring books from home to read before bed. In Calvin’s case, I always bring one of our own sheets for his bed, so it smells like home. He also has a particular stuffed animal that stays in his bed so we bring that along too. And he sleeps with a pacifier and small monkey that comes as well.
  3. Keep the same routine. No matter where we are, we do the same bed time routine that we do at home. Sometimes it may take a little longer for them to settle down, so in that case we just spend a little extra time reading books. Or we relax in bed and watch something to unwind before reading and going to sleep.
  4. Adjust.¬†As with everything there are times occasionally that even if we do all of these things, bed time away from home is hard. We have yet to go and stay someplace and Calvin sleep through the night. (Granite, he just started sleeping¬†through the night some nights at home¬†2 weeks ago). But he seems to do better with each trip we take. There are also nights that Nora will go to sleep fine but is restless and wakes up and needs some extra snuggles. So in that case one of us may go lay with her to help her sleep peacefully. That isn’t something we do at home, but we make the exception when we are some place unfamiliar.
  5. Bring Food.The food options at the hotel are sometimes great for kids and other times they offer nothing that would be substantial for a meal. And depending on the days activities, we may not have time to run out to a restaurant if we are already back at the hotel and discover that the food they have to offer isn’t going to work for us. So I always bring along healthy snacks. I’m a firm believer that my kids sleep so much better and it’s so much easier for them to¬†have more self control and have better behavior when they have filled up on something at least a little nutritional. In Calvin’s case I bring meal options too because so far he is proving to be a picky eater.

The rest of the week we had great weather and were finally able to enjoy some play time outside. Calvin had never really been to the park before at an age where he could play, so it’s been really fun getting to see him explore and tackle the playground. It also gave us lots of opportunities to play with friends.

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We had some friends who recently had a baby and I made them a meal last week. I made this Crockpot Chicken Chili recipe. It is definitely a crowd pleaser, so much so that I won a chili cook off with it. I also made and sent these Paleo Peanut Butter Cups.

This is our picture and trophy for winning the chili cook off back in November. Everyone was excited ūüôā

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And a couple random side notes to end this post:

First:

It is deceivingly beautiful outside today, when you look out the window. However, the day started at about 48 degrees and the temperature keeps dropping and it is INSANELY windy, like blow my children over windy. Yesterday it was 69 degrees out! But it looks like by Saturday the high will be back down in the 20’s. ???? We are ready for spring.

Second:

I’m occasionally hit with anxiety when I think about our move overseas in about a year. Like so much so at times that it brings me to tears. Moving to literally the¬†other side of the world is definitely exciting but it also has a lot of unknowns and worries that come along with it, not to mention all the major and minor details that go along with orchestrating that kind of¬†move. For me the biggest concern is my kids and making these moves, transitions and major life changes as positive and enriching as possible.

But a few days ago as I was sitting, thinking and feeling completely overwhelmed, God reminded me that he is the SAME yesterday, today and tomorrow and whether we live right smack in the middle of the United States or somewhere in Southeast Asia, regardless of how different and unfamiliar our surroundings may be. So I shouldn’t fear. (But I¬†need this constant reminder ūüėČ )

Highlights from Last Week

Last week I¬†really didn’t do any meal planning. My husband and I both love salads, so typically my go to is always a big salad for us full of a large variety of vegetables and some other fillers like rice, edamame, etc. And then I make something different for the kids. We like to use olive oil and vinegar for dressing but lately I’ve been making this Tahini Dressing¬†taken from this salad recipe from The Glowing Fridge instead…I love it, but it may be a bit of an acquired taste if you aren’t used to tahini.

However, Wednesday night I came across this Rainbow Pad Thai recipe that I had all the ingredients for and it appeared fairly simple and quick.

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I think I may make it again this week, it was so great! I didn’t have any chili paste however, I googled some substitutes that are more commonly found in pantries but in the end I was hopeful that Nora would try it so I left it out all together. It seemed its primary purpose was to add the usual pad Thai spicy kick. My husband who LOVES spicy food (so much that he likes food so¬†spicy it makes his nose run) ¬†actually thought it tasted great even without the spiciness!

Here’s a throwback of Miss Nora for Valentine’s Day

 

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Also in light of Valentines Day being last week I wanted to share this blog post that I ran across.

The One Word That Could Change Everything About Your Marriage

It is such a good reminder for me as this is something I’ve recently discovered myself in my own marriage, but this blog post just describes it so beautifully.

My husband and I are at a stage in our lives where he is so busy with work and I am so busy with the kids and managing our household that it often feels like we are living two completely different lives and coexisting under one roof. The kids bring us together in the evenings but often I’m exhausted and ready to be without kids, while he is finally getting the time to enjoy them. Yet, when the focus becomes enjoying each other it is so much easier to live in the moment regardless of what circumstances the rest of our day may have thrown at us. I love the analogy between the NFL linebacker and ballerina. I think it really ties right back into what I touched on in my last post about controlling our thoughts. Each day I have to choose to focus on what makes me fall in love with him over and over again, instead of being critical or focusing on the things that drive me a little crazy. Cherishing the man I married and intentionally loving him with grace and¬†kindness.

Nora LOVED Valentine’s Day. She received flowers, a little gift from us and a special package from her Mae Mae, but I think the highlight was celebrating at school with a party and exchanging Valentines with all her friends. At bedtime she told me that she didn’t want to go to sleep because then Valentines Day would be over and she was very sad about that. However, all the treats she received lasted for days. There were many unique pairings with the valentine cards instead of just candy. I will be saving some ideas for next year ūüėČ

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She was kind enough to share some of this treat with her brother. 

Ok, quick change of subject. But I’ve talked about how I do a lot (ok, right now ALL) ¬†of my workouts at home. Here are a few of my current favorites from you tube. While¬†I typically try to do my own yoga flow a few other days throughout the week, practicing different yoga poses for strengthening, I like to use yoga as my only workout one day out of the week. Or as an extra workout if I have time on the weekends.

Sara Beth 30 Min Full Body Cardi-Yoga Power Yoga Workout

Sara Beth 30 Min Power Yoga Beach Bod #2

Sara Beth Abs Power Yoga Workout

Blogilates Lean & Sculpted Body

All of these are quick 30 min workouts. I typically combine a yoga workout with a ab/core workout to follow. I have done many you tube yoga videos from various instructors that are great, but right now Sara Beth’s channel has been my fave.

 

I’ll conclude with a little of life with Calvin. I was sitting in the kitchen working on something when I saw him begin to push that chair from the other room, into the kitchen and right up to his high chair. Then he climbed right up to get his milk. He is definitely a little man on a mission. And as seen in the second picture, he will sit and work on this stacking toy for several minutes (which is a long time for him to be focused on a single task). He seems to really enjoy a challenge and tasks with a foreseeable goal. Projects if you will. Reminds me of someone else I know ūüôā And he gets VERY disgruntled if you block his goal. Then the last picture just because it’s cute. He likes to help me out with daily chores around the house like collecting laundry. ūüôā

Oh and one more! One of my faves (another throwback) of all my loves who I get to share¬†every Valentines Day with. ‚̧

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Lots of Recipes and Some Snow

Fair warning, This post is mostly full of recipes, so if that doesn’t interest you, stop reading now ūüėČ

The last time I posted about some of the regular recipes I cycle through for my kids, I completely forgot to add one I started making as soon as my now 3-year-old could eat solids. I found it online somewhere, but it was several years ago and I just have it saved in a word document. But here it is:

Quinoa Meatballs

1/2 lb lean ground beef
4 oz (1/2 cup) cooked quinoa
2 oz (1/2 cup) grated carrot
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tbsp applesauce
pinch dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
Mix all the ingredients together and form into 1 inch meatballs with your hands.
Cook for around 15 mins, until the meat is done.
Serve warm, storing excess meatballs in the freezer.

**A couple notes: I typically use turkey instead of beef, but it’s just a personal preference. And I didn’t ever keep my kids from eating egg whites, but it seems to work fine either way.

Both my kids love these. Now that my daughters taste buds are accustomed to a larger variety of flavors, she prefers hers with soy sauce.

Another one that I make regularly that Cal is particularly fond of are these Spinach Sweet Potato Tots. They are super easy and taste great.

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This week I’ve made several recipes that are regulars for our family. I typically modify them a little bit to fit our food preferences, but they still always turn out great. I have been very forgetful with taking photos this week however, so here are everal links to what I have made.

Crockpot Mexican Quinoa Tacos

This is SO easy, and very delicious. And if your kids love Mexican like mine do it is definitely a toddler pleaser. I make my own enchilada sauce and include guacamole as a topping. This is the enchilada sauce recipe I used.

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole with Butternut Squash

For this casserole I actually don’t use the cranberries because I have never been able to find any that are unsweetened. And we always have brown rice on hand, so I just use that instead of the wild rice but it is probably so good with wild rice!

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Cashew Chicken

I love anything that is crock pot friendly and curry (my family is a bit crazy about curry recipes). This is something Nora really enjoys, although it is a little too strong for Calvin. I always have sweet potatoes on hand so I just use those. The flavor is more of an Indian style curry than Thai. The blogger has a note at the bottom mentioning to include garlic for a more robust flavor as well as swapping out a tablespoon of red curry past for one of 3 tablespoons of yellow curry powder. I include both every time I make it and it turns out great!

Coconut Chicken Thai Curry

Last weekend we had a cadet and his girlfriend over for dinner (she has a gluten allergy) and this is what I made. It made enough for all four of us with leftovers. This is definitely a favorite! It is also relatively easy, the most time consuming part is cutting the vegetables.

For dessert I made these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

It has definitely been necessary to have all of these warm dishes to fill us up in the evenings with the cold temps and all the snow we’ve had recently.

Nora and I braved the first round (18 in) to attempt sledding.¬†It was very very windy and cold so we didn’t last too long, but we made it down the hill a few times.

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The snow was so thick and deep it was so much easier if I pulled her in the sled instead of her trying to walk through it.

My snow day activities while everyone napped.

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And some indoor snow day fun for everyone

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Yoga, snowflake craft, stickers, coloring and Calvin is somewhere under the table probably collecting all the stickers that fell or playing a game of his own.

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I was cooking/cleaning in the kitchen and happened to glance over and witness this glorious seen. They were both playing peacefully side by side. No hair pulling or finger smashing to be seen. It was very refreshing to see ūüôā

He has also discovered where we keep all the good stuff.

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This boy LOVES to eat!