by Melanie

A Bunch of Random Things and Christmas Craziness!

December 18, 2014 in Adventures, Baby, Family Life, Holidays by Melanie

It is late and I need to go to bed, but I have a bunch of random things/pictures to share with you all!  Soooo, here goes nothing…

This little chubkins had his 4 month check up yesterday!

At the doctor with C and J

He is now 16 pounds, which is the 75th percentile and he was in the 92nd percentile for height.  He is a big, squishy, darling boy!  I love his cute big brother as well, who is also growing up way too fast!

Oh, and I just want to mention that I ran on the treadmill yesterday, showered, threw on some clothes and a little makeup, pulled my wet hair up in a clip and hurried to this doctor appointment….that’s why I look so dang cute in that pic above.  Actually, that’s a pretty typical day for me most days.  Ha.

My poor baby also got a bunch of vaccinations and didn’t sleep too well last night because of it.  Poor little dude. :-(

Consequently, I’ve been snuggin’ with him most of the day today…

Snuggling with my baby

I soak up every single second that I get to cuddle with this sweetheart.  Pure heaven.

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I’ve been making Chocolate Peppermint Protein Shakes lately and I love them!  They also make me feel so festive, lol.

I don’t follow a recipe, I just throw in some Unsweetened Coconut Milk, water (maybe a cup of each), 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder, a spoonful of cocoa, a sprinkle of stevia, a small spoonful of chia seeds, a drop or two of peppermint extract, 2 big handfuls of Power Greens (spinach, kale and chard) and 2 peppermint candies (da bomb!)  Oh and a bunch of ice.

I sometimes put a sprinkle of xanthan gum in there too to make it more smooth and creamy.

I took a pic of my shake today, but it doesn’t look peppermint-y or festive.  Dang.  It was yummy though!

My Chocolate Peppermint Protein Shake

I also made this yummy salad for lunch yesterday!

My Pulled Pork Salad

It was just a bunch of romaine, grape tomatoes, red bell peppers, olives, green onions, leftover pulled pork and some feta cheese.

Oh, I LOVED this salad so much!  I sometimes get bored with the salads I make at home, but I’ve learned that there are a few things that make a boring salad not so boring!  Some of my favorite toppings are: leftover flavorful meat (grilled chicken, pulled pork, roast), flavorful cheese (usually feta or bleu), green onions, chopped nuts, craisins, chopped apples and avocado.  YUM!

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Check out this house in our neighborhood…

griswold house in our neighorhood

Full on Clark Griswold.  LOVE IT!

Check out the next door neighbors house….

Neighbor's Ditto House

You probably can’t read that sign too well (the one I circled), but it says “Ditto” and has an arrow pointing to the neighbor’s house.

LOVE IT!  Too funny.

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Check out this gem I found while shopping at Ross the other day…

Crappy vitamins I found at Ross

Are you kidding me???!  Now if this doesn’t just scream B.S., I don’t know what does.  It actually kind of ticks me off.

They advertise something called “Bikini Ready” that will in NO WAY helps you to look better in a bikini!  These are just little candies with some Vitamin B12 and caffeine mixed in!  Oh, and check out the serving size…FIVE!

Soooo, this bottle is essentially 10 days worth.

RIP….OFF.  That’s probably why it was in the clearance section.

It did make for a good laugh though!

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I got some stocking stuffers for the kids that I’m probably a little too excited about….

My Contigo Water Bottles

Contigo is my favorite water bottle brand and there’s just something so exciting about new, cute, water bottles in fun colors!

My kids also like to take MY water bottles and leave them in various places, so I decided to give them their VERY OWN water bottles so they won’t have to use mine!

AND, when I find them laying around the house I will know who the culprit is.

AND, hopefully they will take a little more ownership of their water bottles because they BELONG to them!

Pretty good strategy, right?  I also like the fact that these “stocking stuffers” are big so they fill up the stocking pretty quick!

Oh, and my kids read my blog from time to time….let’s just hope they don’t read it in the next 6 days, huh?

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I also put together a quick, easy and cute gift for my kid’s school and church teachers this year….

My Christmas Teacher Gift Idea

It’s just a pair of really soft cozy socks and a Christmas Hershey’s chocolate bar.  On the other side of the card, I wrote “Have a Cozy Christmas.”

Cheesy, yes.

It’s certainly not Pinterest worthy, but it was quick and easy to put together and who doesn’t love new soft socks and chocolate?!?!

Oh, and I bought the socks at Costco.  They were Keds brand and were on sale for $8 for a pack of 3.  The candy bars were $1 a piece, so this turned out to be less than $4 a present.

Not too shabby.

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Well, I’m sad to say that I’m getting just a wee bit sick of Christmas lately.  I’m so excited for it to come, but I’m looking forward for it to be OVER as well.

It pains me to say that. :-(

I’ve been having a few nervous breakdowns the past couple days.

Let me paint y’all a picture….yesterday I was getting ready to go to a Christmas party with a bunch of my high school friends.  I was trying to feed my family, make the food I was taking to the party (Artichoke dip), while nursing a baby standing up with my pants unbuttoned (I was in the middle of getting dressed) with my hair pulled on top of my head with a clippie (I was in the middle of blow drying it!)

Oh, and all of the other children were saying “Mom” incessantly and asking for various things.

Doesn’t that sound lovely?  Yes, it is an accurate description of my life as of late.

I love CHRISTMAS and all the fun things that come with it, but MAN am I tired.

I’m looking forward to the New Year, kicking my fitness into high gear, sticking with a healthy diet and organizing and de-junking my entire house!

Sounds heavenly!  Well, I gotta go to bed so I can survive my life tomorrow!  I hope each and every one of you are enjoying this holiday season!

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by Melanie

MoTab Christmas Concert, Fun Stuff on the Internet and Daily Healthy Goals

December 15, 2014 in Adventures, Cute Clothes, Deep Thoughts, Goals, Motivation by Melanie

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

On Thursday night, Kev and I were able to take two of our boys to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert.  It was fabulous!

The fam at the MoTab Christmas Concert

The MoTab Christmas concert is always so well done.  First off, it’s held in the Conference Center, which is an absolutely amazing building!

Conference Center

Conference Center 2

It seats about 21,000 people and my boys were in absolute awe.  My older son’s face pretty much says it all!

Cute kids at the MoTab Christmas Concert

Each year, the Tabernacle Choir invites special guests to perform with them.  This year they invited Broadway star Santino Fontana (he also played Prince Hans in the movie, Frozen) and they invited the Sesame Street Muppets!

sesame street

It was fabulous and we all loved every single second!  Here’s a fun highlight video that shows some of my favorite things from the concert…

It was such a fun way to enjoy the holiday season and it was a night none of us will soon forget. ;-)

Over the weekend, I also had some fun on the internet with the kiddos.

I LOVE the Portable North Pole website and had so much fun creating FREE personalized videos from Santa to my kids.

Portable North Pole

Hopefully this goes without saying, but I only tell you guys about companies/products/websites that I really think are cool.  Sometimes companies pay me to promote their products, but even if I get paid, I still only agree to promote their product ONLY if I really like it and think it’s cool!

In the case of the Portable North Pole, I’m just telling you guys about it because we enjoyed it (i.e. they did not pay me!)  My kids truly had so much fun watching their videos from Santa.

We also had fun playing around on Jib Jab.

Jib Jab Pic

If you want to watch our video, you can click here.

I think Jib Jab is hilarious and we all laughed until it hurt!  HOWEVER, I was so bugged to see that they charge for it now.  I made a Jib Jab video several years ago and it was free.  I’m annoyed that it’s not free anymore and they make you pay for an entire year!  Seriously, who needs a subscription to Jib Jab!??!?!

Weird.  But since the kids and I were having so much fun with it, I decided to fork over the yearly fee ($18!) and call it “Holiday Entertainment.”

Oh, I was also bugged that it said it would “automatically renew” at the end of the year too.  That is so lame.  Soooo, I made sure to log into my “account” and turn off the “automatic renewal” (i.e. we just want to rip you off and hope you forget that you subscribed to Jib Jab) feature.  Seriously so lame.

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Well, I’ve been struggling a bit with my healthy living this month!  ‘Tis the season!  I’ve just been lacking in the motivation department a bit.

But, I was doing some deep thinking last night and I reminded myself that healthy living takes COMMITMENT, DEDICATION and PLANNING!

Yes, I would love to lose 15 pounds, get in serious kick-butt shape, have loads of energy, fill my body full of good, clean, real food and exercise every day, but if I don’t PLAN and COMMIT to it, it won’t happen!

It actually takes work.

Dang it.

I’m a big fan of to-do lists and checking things off, so I decided to make myself a “daily to-do” list of the things I would love to get done every day!

I love setting/accomplishing goals and there’s something so therapeutic about physically checking something off of a list!

Now, I realize there will be days I don’t get all these things done and that’s okay!  I just like to identify what I really want to do with my life so I can focus on those things and get rid of all the extra “meaningless fluff” that seems to fill up my days!

With all that being said, here’s my list….

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep!
  • Stay away from sugar and treats
  • Eat veggies with each meal
  • Exercise 6 days a week
  • Drink a gallon of water
  • Floss my teeth
  • Read my scriptures
  • Say Family Prayer
  • Read to my kids
  • Spend meaningful time with Kev

That pretty much sums it up!

I put sleep as the #1 on my list because when I become sleep deprived, I turn into a zombie and get NOTHING done!  It is vital to my healthy lifestyle.  I’m also going to strive to exercise every single day except for Sunday.  It may not be a MEGA killer workout every single day, but I just want to sweat and get the heart pumpin’.  FYI, things like “cleaning the house” and “playing with the kids” don’t count as exercise in my book.  Yes, those things do burn calories and are good things to do, but when I exercise, I like to get dressed in “exercise clothes” and purposefully exercise!

I also bought some dang cute hoodies from Gap recently that I love!  I told Kev that all I wanted for Christmas was some cozy hoodies and some new jeans!

I bought two hoodies from Gap that retail for $60 and I got them for $25 (mega sales and Gap Cash!)  Woo hoo!

Me in cute Gap hoodie

I bought one in this col0r and another one in charcoal gray.  I LOVE them so much and they are so well made!  BUT, they are very fitted on me right now.  Yes, they are supposed to be fitted, but I want them to fit a little bit looser.

Soooo, I’m using them as motivation to get my bum in gear!  I’m going to use them to track my weight loss progress and I won’t wear them until I like how they look on me!  Sounds cheesy, but it’s keeping me motivated!

Well, I need to go feed my family now so I gotta end this.  Have a great night!

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by Melanie

Cute Kids, Healthy Eats and Deep Thoughts about the Gym

December 9, 2014 in Family Life, Meal Ideas, Motivation, Nutrition by Melanie

Hey guys!  I haven’t been able to blog for a while, so I have a bunch of random things to share!

First off, this cute little duffer got glasses last week…

J with glasses

He’s the first person in our family to wear glasses, including Kev and I, so I feel like a complete “glasses newb.”

FYI, he had a bit of a lazy eye so I took him to an ophthalmologist to get it checked.  The doctor discovered that my son was a little bit farsighted and he thinks his eye was wandering in an effort to focus better.  The glasses are supposed to help his eyesight so his eye won’t try to wander anymore.

So far, I think the glasses are helping!  Yay!

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This little cutie pie is getting so giant

C busting out of his Superman shirt

I am LOVING his chubbiness and all of his rolls!  However, he’s totally busting out of that shirt and it makes me sad.  It’s size 0-3 months and I refuse to believe that he doesn’t fit in that size anymore.  Sigh.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have already seen this gem…

C with cups on his hands and feet

My 6 year old was playing with the baby the other day and he put all of these cups on his hands and feet.  I laughed and laughed!  #bigfamilyproblems

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Well, I’ve still been trying hard to keep it healthy this month!  I’ve been loading up on good, wholesome, clean eats, but I’ve still been snitchin’ a few things here and there.

This time of year is tough!  It’s such a “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” time of year and it makes me want to eat lots of “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” kind of food!

Gah!

Here are some of the healthy things I’ve been enjoying lately…

Oats in a Jar….always a fave.

My Oats in a Jar this Morning

Various omelets and egg creations

My Omelet with Mushrooms

You guys would be proud of me for that omelet because it had mushrooms in it and I really, really do not love mushrooms!  Blah.  They are squishy, fungusy and they have little fins on them….’nuf said.  BUT, I ate them anyway because they are good for me.  Yay.

Here’s another egg creation

Eggs and veggies for breakfast

Lately, I’ve been roasting a bunch of veggies on Sunday and then I enjoy the leftovers for days afterward.  It’s great and really simplifies the whole “eat your veggies” thing.

One of my favorite simple dinners; grilled chicken, sweet potatoes (drizzled with honey and cinnamon) and veggies (in this case, peas!)

Chicken, Sweet Potato, peas

I’ve also been taking healthy snacks on the go with me…

Healthy Food on the go

When I know I’m going to be gone from home for a while, I love to snag one of the kid’s insulated lunchboxes and fill it with healthy things!  This time, I filled it with veggies, leftover chicken, string cheese and almonds.  Yum.

We had Burrito Bowls for dinner last night and I love them so much!

Burrito Bowl

I made them with Pulled Pork and Cilantro Lime Brown Rice.  SOOOOO good!  This meal is fairly quick and easy to make (thanks to the Crock Pot and Rice Cooker) and all of my kids enjoy it too!  Although, my kids usually make this into pulled pork sandwiches and then have rice and salad on the side.

I’m also happy to have all of the leftovers in my fridge now.  Score.

I also made Cauliflower Pizza for dinner last week and it was fabulous!

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower pizza slices

I made my regular homemade pizza for the kids (they didn’t share my enthusiasm for Cauliflower pizza crust, ha ha) and I made cauliflower pizza for Kev and I.

It was DANG, freaking good folks!  I’ve experimented with cauliflower pizza crust a few times over the years, but I dare say this version was perfection.

I promise I will share the recipe ASAP.  I know y’all will love it!

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I also made these “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” Sugar Cookie bars last week and they were heavenly!

Yummy Sugar Cookie Bars

I’m really trying so hard to stay away from sugary goodness this month, but my cute 4 year old was invited to a Cookie Exchange party, so we decided to make these!  Auuughhh.

I probably should have just made something I didn’t like, but I couldn’t think of anything!  Besides, these “cookies” were quick, easy, not messy and super yummy…just what we needed.

FYI, here’s a link to the recipe I used, but I omitted the almond extract.  They turned out SO GOOD, but I imagine you could use any recipe for sugar cookies and just bake them as bars.

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I’m very happy to say I made it to the gym TWO times last week (I worked out from home a couple days too!)  Woo hoo!  I didn’t go to any classes; I just went to the weight room.  I got some killer workouts in both times though.  Loved it!

I even managed to take a selfie

My gym selfie

I must say that taking a selfie at the gym is a very scary thing to do!  Ha ha.  At any given moment, someone could walk in and I would feel like a complete and utter dweeb.

But, that’s the risk I take as a blogger.  Y’all should feel so loved. ;-)

Actually one of the things I love/hate about going to the gym is that there are mirrors everywhere!  Whether you like it or not, the truth is staring right back atcha’ in the mirror!

Although at times it can be depressing, it really helps me to stay accountable and motivated.

I try not to let it get me discouraged though!  If I’m feeling poofy, out of shape and extra fluffy (which I am!), I remind myself that that is WHY I’m at the gym….to de-poof, de-fluff and get in shape!

Then I pat myself on the back and get to work!

Also, it is so rewarding when you go to the gym, look in the mirror and notice, “Hey, I look ever so slightly thinner today!” or “I think I see some tiny little muscles showing up!”  or  “Oh, I think this tank/tee/capris are fitting a little bit better today!”

I’m looking forward to those days.  Sigh.

Well, that’s all I have to say today.  I now need to pick up the kiddos from school, run to Costco, fix dinner, and go to the gym!!

Woo hoo.  I’m going to that same muscle class tonight that I went to a few weeks ago and I’m so excited.  I hope y’all have a wonderful Tuesday night!

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