National Margarita Day!

What a day, what a day, what a day. I think the universe knew I would be partaking in National Margarita Day by enjoying a refreshing cocktail this evening, so it threw every possible curve ball at me. But there is now way I’m letting a few hiccups get in the way of enjoying this beauty:

3 Ingredient Skinny Margaritas - The easiest margarita you'll ever taste - under 70 calories!! www.happyfoodhealthylife.com #skinny #margarita #alcohol

My favorite margarita of all time is a jalapeno one my dear friend Valaree made for me when I visited her in Chicago a few years ago. I was pregnant, so it wasn’t even technically a real cocktail, but man – it was so good! I must have drank an entire pitcher by myself. Since I’m watching what I eat (and drink) right now, that margartia isn’t in the stars for me today, but this low-cal margarita (pictured above) has just three ingredients and is only 65 calories. Couldn’t be simplier – and hopefully, couldn’t be tastier! I’ll let you know the verdict.

Well, now that we’re all home and the kiddos are in bed – it’s time for chicken fajita bowls and, of course, margaritas!

Happy National Margarita Day, everyone!

With love,

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-78-237BD790B4C69237D36BC80B87CCEE68

Currently….{February 21, 2017}

We’re about a month out from the official start of spring, but it’s been in the 50s and 60s around Northeast Ohio lately – so it feels like spring is here already! We are loving the warmer weather, and so are the boys. We spent almost FOUR HOURS at the park last Saturday. Needless to say we were all totally wiped out after that. I think we all slept like rocks that night!

We’ve been busy around the homestead lately. Earlier this month, Ryan was out of town for two weeks at training for work (yay to getting promoted this year!!), so I had my first experience of just me and the kiddos at home for a long period of time. I’m so, so, so blessed to have a wonderful babysitter and an even more wonderful mama who made those two weeks not only doable, but not that bad. And it helps that my boys were eerily well-behaved. But in any case, I was SO happy when Ryan finally came back home. Our home just isn’t the same when he’s not around, and I swear Gunner (our younger dog) was in a state of depression for those two weeks. The dog loves his dad.

The biggest news I’d like to share is my baby boy turned three-years-old last weekend. We took him to see Paw Patrol Live, and even though it cost us a small fortune to go, it was worth every penny to see the look on that little boy’s face. Priceless. My mother-in-law also surprised us by coming to visit, and we had a little birthday party with my side of the family on Sunday. It was seriously a perfect weekend.  My heart is so full! Still, even though my face had a permanent smile the entire weekend, I still couldn’t shake this SAD feeling that came from the realization that my baby is three. I just can’t believe my sweet little JJ is now officially a PRESCHOOLER! How did this happen?!

With all the craziness going on in our lives right now, I thought today would be a good day to do a “Currently” post. So, here we go!

Currently….

…Listening. My “Tear in My Beer” playlist on iTunes. I made the mistake of listening to it in front in front of JJ last week – and now he loves it. What can I say – the kid gets his love of sad country sounds from his mama! My favorite part is that he calls it “Jesus” music! Haha! That boy is a country-music-loving, God-fearing little man – just like I wanted. 🙂

…Reading. I just finished “Wonderdog” by Inman Majors last night. I got this for $0.25 at a library book sale last fall, and I was surprised – and very happy – at how good of a book it was. It was really funny and an interesting story. Not bad for $0.25! This morning I started “The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense” by Joyce Carol Oates (one of my favorite authors). I’m one story into this collection of short stories – and wow, the title is right on.

Wonderdog

 

15977

…Drinking. Drinking coffee right this second (of course), but I’m looking forward to treating myself to a nice glass of my favorite wine later tonight. It’s been a long week! Ryan surprised me for Valentine’s Day with a few bottles of jalapeno wine from a local winery. I LOVE this stuff. It’s the only alcohol I craved while pregnant (probably because I crave jalapenos just about every second of every day). Very much looking forward to that tonight.

Wine a Little, Laugh a Latte / Wood Sign / Coffee and Wine Glass Holder

It’s like this was made just for me!

…Eating.  I’m still (STILL!!!) trying to lose that baby weight, so I’m back on Weight Watchers and being really strict about  my diet. Month 1 went really well (down 12 pounds! Mostly water weight I’m sure, but whatever! 12 pounds is 12 pounds.), so I’m trying to stay with it, but February has been so hard. It seems like we have had something scheduled every weekend day or night – which often means decadent food is involved. I really need to get back on track – which is why I am so, so, so excited about my new “toy”: an Instant Pot.  One of my favorite bloggers raves about her Instant Pot – and I would just skim over all the talk about it, since I had no idea what it was and am very intimidated by kitchen stuff. But when I was struck by a weird surge of energy at 10pm on Sunday night, I spent waaaaaaaaay too much time on Pinterest and ended up down a rabbit hole of Instant Pot recipes and tutorials. I looked up as much as I could this week and turned to some experts (i.e., my Facebook friends), and when pretty much every single thing I heard about the Instant Pot was overwhelming positive, I took the plunge and purchased one. Eeeeeeee!!! It was delivered late last week, but I haven’t cracked open the user’s manual yet. I am especially excited to make homemade yogurt in it, since I’m pretty sure my children eat their weight in yogurt every.single.day.

…Wearing. My new favorite shirt in the whole wide world:

Image result for tim riggins shirt with heart

…Craving. A big, juicy burger and onion rings from The Rail. Definitely going to be my cheat meal here sometime soon!

Image result for the rail akron

…Needing. More time in the day. There never seems to be enough time to do everything I need/want to do – and time is slipping by so quickly. How is it late February already?!

…Watching. I just finished “Stranger Things” (holy moley – it was so good and so scary – I should not have watched that alone!), so now I’m trying to catch up on “Nashville” and figuring out which show to start. I’m thinking “The Crown” but I just can’t convince myself to start it. 

…Feeling. Like spring-cleaning. I’ve had such an itch to clean-out and organize our house lately (and trust me, it needs this badly). I feel like we need a  major purge of things we don’t need – or even WANT – any more, since it seems like we keep accumulating more and more kid “stuff” as the years go by. They are so little – how do they have so much STUFF?!

…Weather. Spring-like! It’s been so nice lately, but I’m trying not to get too excited that our Ohio winter is gone for good. 

…Wanting. My full time job to be the Pioneer Woman. Sigh. A girl can dream…

img_9227_6085

 

With love,

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-78-237BD790B4C69237D36BC80B87CCEE68

Coffee Season

Hello, hello! Summer FLEW by – and now we are entering fall, my hands-down favorite season. The cooler temperatures make me want a hot cup of coffee more than I normally do – and trust me, I want coffee just about any time of day, any time of year. Coffee is my comfort; it’s what I drink when I want to wake up, as well as when I want to relax. It’s what I share with family and friends while catching up about the up’s and down’s of life. It’s a part of who I am, and if you think that sounds silly, do a quick search of the internet for coffee memes. Looks like many other people agree with me!

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Image result for quote about coffeeSource

Image result for quote about coffee
Source

Image result for quote about coffee
Source

And I am definitely not a coffee snob. I actually prefer McDonalds coffee over Starbucks, and my absolutely favorite coffee is from Einstein’s Brothers. Have you tried their Buttery Caramel blend? If not, you need to go there RIGHT NOW and try it. And if you have already tried it, well…still, you need to go there RIGHT NOW and try it again. It’s so good!

Anywho, back to the point of this post: fall kicks off the start of the six-month season where there is chill in the air that in my mind is best warmed with a cup (or two) of coffee. So to celebrate, I wanted to share some of my favorite things about coffee. I couldn’t come up with a number that I associate with coffee, so I picked five, i.e., the number of cups I’ve had today. Which may seem a bit high, but I’m doing it for the health benefits. 🙂

So, without further ado, my 5 favorite things about coffee…

1. Coffee creamer. I don’t use sugar in my coffee, but I do love me some creamer. Usually my choice is plain half and half, but everyone once in a while, I’ll indulge in something flavored. Currently, I’m using Coffee Mate’s Creme Brulee, but my all-time favorite flavored creamer is a DIY version I posted about a few years ago. It’s creamy and slightly sweet – with the added benefit of being homemade. Try it out!

DSC_1535_2

2. Fancy coffee drinks. Most of the time, I’m a straight coffee kind of person, but there is always room in my heart and tummy for a specialty coffee drink, especially during fall. If you think I’m talking about pumpkin spice lattes, you’re absolutely correct! Starbucks brought PSLs into the spotlight, but you can also make something just as good at home. Here are three versions to try – or if you’re not in the DIY mood, save yourself some time just head to your nearest coffee house.

psl

3. Coffee makes me want to read. Personally, whenever I’m drinking coffee, the first thing I want to do is pick up a book or a magazine. I’m not sure why I associate coffee with reading, but it’s probably not a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s a very good thing!

Image result for coffee fallSource

The list of books I plan on reading this fall are:

  • Wreckage by Emily Bleeker {Side note – I’m almost done with this book, and in all honesty, I’m only finishing it just to finish it. I’ve hated just about every page, but I have a deep-rooted need to finish a book once I start it. Can’t wait to move on to the next one!}
  • Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins {I was hoping to read this one before the movie came out, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I just borrowed it from the library, so I’m going to read this one next! I’ve heard mixed reviews from book-lovers in my life, so I’m interested to see how I like it.}
  • In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware {A nice and spooky fall read I’ll be reading with my Skim’bassadors Book Club.}

4. Coffee is comfort. I know I shared this above already, but I cannot stress it enough: coffee brings me comfort. I associate it with the people, places and things I love most in this world. It warms my body and my soul.

captureSource: My Instragram

5. Coffee is a shared love. My husband loves coffee. My mom and sister love coffee. Most of my best friends love coffee. My coworkers love coffee. There are so many people in my life who share the love of coffee with me – and I’ve found that some of my fondest memories are shared across a table and two coffee cups.

Feet warming at fireplace with hands holding coffee
Source

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go grab cup number six. Happy coffee season!

With love,

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-78-237BD790B4C69237D36BC80B87CCEE68

What We’re Eating – May 23 – 27

We had a nice little surprise over the weekend: our refrigerator stopped working…for the second time in a month! We went through the whole DIY fix last time, but it was such a huge ordeal, there is no way we’re going through all that again. So until a technician can come take a look (Friday or Saturday!!!! AGH!!!!), we are surviving with a mini fridge and a deep freezer (located in our non-attached garage). Should be a fun week. 🙂

Anyway, since our cold storage space is limited, we’ll be making several trips to the grocery store this week for our meals. Nevertheless, I’m excited about our menu this week! Continue reading

Healthy Babies!

To a mother, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of her children. What they eat, where they play, what their little eyes see…it’s a constant worry and factor in the decisions we make. I love learning new ways to improve my children’s lives, which is what I’d like to share with you today!

Svg loginpage logo 160x60

I recently joined Seventh Generation’s “Generation Good” online community, which provides a forum for like-minded people to share tips and information on raising our little ones in a clean and safe environment. This is a HUGE priority for me, Continue reading

Stocking The Pantry

The day I’ve been dreading for almost five months is almost here: the day my maternity leave ends. I start back at work in the beginning of May, and besides the overwhelming mommy-sadness I feel, I’m getting nervous about juggling a full-time (and demanding) job and two small children. It wasn’t easy with just J – so I’m sure it’s only going to get harder with another.

Therefore, I’m doing everything that I can now to make my life easier later. First thing on the list: stocking up the pantry and freezer! I am so bad (so very, very bad) at turning to take-out when times get stressful. This is bad for our health as well as our bank account, so I’m getting ahead of the game by stocking up on pantry and freezer essentials.

download (3) Continue reading

What We’re Eating – April 4 – 9

It sure it cold for April here in Northeast Ohio, so our meals this week are warm and comforting. And tasty of course 🙂

Breakfasts: blueberry waffles (store-bought); oatmeal; toast with salmon cream cheese and capers (my latest obsession – it’s so unbelievably good!); fruit; yogurt

Snacks: strawberries, carrots and green peppers, granola bars

Lunches: leftovers (one of the perks of having only 2 1/2 people who can eat solid food in the house is lots of leftovers! I hardly ever have to plan lunches.) Continue reading