Texas State Fair 2014

Today we took advantage of Jack being out of school and headed to the state fair! It was kind of a perfect day to go- not too crowded, not too hot. Ok, it was a little hot. But we had fun! We made the mistake of parking behind the Midway, so we immediately had to pass all of the fun rides ($$) and games ($$$) to get where we were going. Of course Jack wanted to do everyyyyyyything, but we managed to find a ride that he and little sis could ride together:

Then onto the petting zoo. This is always my favorite part of the fair. Isla was a little dubious about the goats (aggressive!) but Jack loved it.

Next the dog show… there’s a 3-legged pit bull who jumps into a pool to catch a frisbee. I’d completely forgotten about that until we got in the car to head to the fair and Jack goes, “I wish that dog had 4 legs.”

I’m like, “What the heck are you talking about, buddy??” And then I realized that he remembered that from an entire YEAR ago. Holy geez that kid doesn’t forget anything. And yes, the 3-legged dog is still performing:

Oh man. Isla’s hair. The struggle is real, people.

But most importantly: the food. We had to hunt down our usual cold root beer, then Jack’s fries (with salt & vinegar!), then Fletcher’s for corn dogs. Aaaaand finally cotton candy for the kids and a Dole Whip for me. Brian may have snagged a fried Snickers on the way out:

Ugh. Good thing the fair is only once a year… but TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Posted in September 2014 | Leave a comment

It’s Fall Y’all

This weekend was spent doing LOTS of stuff around the house- cleaning gutters (Bri), washing windows (me), cleaning out flower beds, scrubbing cabinets, blah blah blah. Basically a good ol’ fall cleaning… to make up for the spring cleaning that just never seems to happen around here.

All of the above needed to happen, but it was accelerated by the fact that I was stop 1 on our MOPS progressive dinner tonight. It worked out really well in my favor because what better justification for FALL EVERYWHERE??? Seriously, autumn pretty much exploded in our house. Just the way I like it… pumpkins, candles, mums. Yesssssssss.

A few pics before everyone showed up:

I made a big batch of apple cider sangria to “share.” It’s because I’m so generous, not at ALL because I wanted to drink it myself. Nope. I used this recipe from How Sweet It Is. Because we were expecting 20ish people, I doubled the recipe. Also, instead of club soda I used ginger beer (aka, spicier ginger ale) to give it a little sweetness.

Good stuff! I’ll definitely be bookmarking that recipe.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Jack is out of school tomorrow so we’re heading to the state fair. Can’t wait to get my Fletcher’s! Yet another reason I love fall…

Posted in September 2014 | 1 Comment

She’s Gotta Wear Shades

Since the school year started, I’ve banned any TV in the mornings in an effort to make things run a little more smoothly. My children become complete zombies in front of a screen- they won’t eat, they won’t get dressed and it’s impossible to get their attention when they’re watching cartoons.

BUT. This morning Jack woke up early and I was still trying to get myself ready, so I let him watch the iPad in our bed while I pulled myself together. I tossed his clothes to him and told him to get dressed and then went to wake Isla.

Fast forward to 2 hours later when I’m dropping him off at school. At this point we’ve already been to the dentist, walked Isla in to her school and are halfway to his classroom at HIS school, when I look down and notice that his pants are on backwards. Awesome. Giant butt pockets on the front. And then tonight Brian is getting the kids ready for bed and starts cracking up, because not only did Jack wear his pants backwards all day (he refused to turn them around), but he also put them on OVER HIS PJ’S. So he wore his pajama bottoms all day under his shorts.

And this, my friends, is why we do not watch TV in the mornings.

Back to the dentist… it was Isla’s first visit! Our dentist and his staff are amazing. They had Jack come back first and then explained to Isla everything that they were doing to him, so when it was her turn she just hopped up in the chair. She did amazingly well and didn’t fight them at all. Win! Plus they let the kids pick out toys after their cleanings. We got in the car after and Isla immediately asked to go back.

Obviously she wore sunglasses to the dentist.

Dinner was not so exciting tonight. We had a ton of turkey meat sauce leftover from Monday night, so the kids had that over pasta. I had mine over sauteed broccoli slaw, with a side of roasted broccoli. Yeah, we eat a lot of broccoli around here.

Hope everyone has a fab weekend! Jack has a half day tomorrow and then no school on Monday, so I’m looking forward to a little extra time with my sweet bubbers.

(PS- SCANDAL!!! I’m so excited!)

Posted in September 2014 | Leave a comment

My Little Pumpkin

This morning Isla and I dropped Jack off at school and then headed to the Arboretum. Every year they do a big pumpkin village- it’s amazing and one of my absolute favorite activities with the kids. I mean, the Arboretum is really just a giant (enclosed) park for them to run around in, and it’s 10 minutes from our house. Win! Isla loved the pumpkins, but her favorite part was seeing all of the brides and quinceañera gals having their portraits taken. She kept demanding, “MORE PRINCESSES!”

Little Miss Sass with those sunglasses. She threw a huge freaking fit when I made her get out of that Cinderella carriage, too. Life is tough when you’re 2.

Yesterday I was out running errands while the kids were in school and needed to grab a quick lunch. Someone on Instagram was raving about Roll N Go a while back and I’d been meaning to give it a try. Basically it’s really quick, mostly Vietnamese (but also Asian Fusion), super cheap and a GREAT place to pick up lunch!! The sandwiches (banh-mi style) and wraps are buy 1, get 1 free at lunch during the week. I opted for the chicken-mango spring rolls- they gave me 3 HUGE rolls stuffed with chicken, pickled carrots, bean sprouts, apple, pineapple and mango, with peanut sauce for dipping.

I got those and a coke and I’m pretty sure my total was under $6. I ran into a friend there, and she and her son each had wraps, drinks and then shared a big bowl of wonton soup and it came to under $10. The atmosphere is a little overwhelming (neon, loud music and crazy lighting effects) and they only have bar-type seating inside, but I still think it’s a great place to grab a quick lunch. Apparently they deliver, too- though not sure about the delivery radius. Anyway, always excited to find new restaurants!! A ton of people came in and ordered fresh juices and smoothies, so those might be worth a try as well- and probably way cheaper than the Whole Foods across the street, haha.

Ok, tomorrow is my “cardio recovery” day so Mama is going to have a glass of wine!

Posted in September 2014 | 1 Comment

I Scream You Scream

Tuesdays are cray around here. Both kids have school, then pretty much immediately after I pick Jack up, we head to Isla’s dance class. Today we just added to the craziness with a park playdate after ballet AND our neighborhood ice cream social tonight. Poor Isla didn’t nap at all today, so she was one sleepy squish. But they had fun!

I was especially excited that Jack got to play with some of his best buddies from his old school. I know he misses them!

Last night I fired up the ol’ crock pot to make Nom Nom Paleo’s slow cooker kalua pig. It takes a full 16 hours to cook, so you really do have to start it the night before (and let me warn you- it’s a little weird waking up to a house that smells like pulled pork… and a little gross when you’re trying to work out at 6am). Despite the looooooong cook time, it’s an incredibly simple dish to make. You just layer bacon in the bottom of your crock pot, insert a few garlic cloves into the pork roast, slather the whole thing in coarse salt (I found the Hawaiian red salt at World Market, just FYI) and go.

What you’re left with is a big pile o’ pork:

I used mine to make another quesadilla. What is it with me and quesadillas lately?? I don’t know. Weird. But you can use the pork in tacos, on salads, sandwiches, whatever your little heart desires.

Posted in September 2014 | Leave a comment

Not So Early Bird

This morning we hosted playgroup, and we had 10 sweet girls (and 1 boy- sorry, John!) ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years running around our little house. Total chaos and yet so awesome. The mamas drink coffee and talk while the littles dress up, play with babies, fight over snacks (ohhhhhh, Isla Grace…) and wear each other out. I’m sad that Jack has to miss out on these now, but at the same time I think it’s good that Isla’s getting to do some things on her own- even if she does try to throat punch anyone who touches her stuff.

My parents came over for dinner tonight. I made a big batch of spaghetti and turkey meat sauce. Ingredients:

This marinara sauce was buy 1 get 1 free at Central Market today. It was pretty good, but not ten bucks good. Probably won’t go out of my way to buy it again.

I just browned 2 lbs of turkey with a chopped onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Once the turkey was cooked through, I set it aside (and drained the pan), then added chopped celery, shredded carrots and sliced baby portabellas. Cooked until soft and then added the turkey back to the pan. Finally I poured in the jars of marinara and and let the whole thing simmer for a while:

Oh, and we also had that kale and brussels sprouts salad from Costco:

Off to bed… I was up late last night folding laundry and cleaning up, then out of bed again at 6 for more Insanity. I’m definitely loving the workouts but NOT loving getting up early. I wish I was more of a morning person, but pretty sure that’s just never going to happen.

Posted in September 2014 | 2 Comments

Much Needed Night Out

Sunday night again, huh? We had a pretty sweet weekend. On Friday night I went to Oishii to celebrate Allison’s 30th birthday- sushi, wine (and pineapple-infused vodka!) and friends. Can’t get much better!

Saturday AM was our typical shuttling-kids-around circus. Jack had a birthday party first thing in the morning, then it was straight to his soccer game. He’s kind of ambivalent about soccer at this point. I can’t really blame him- it’s still pretty hot and miserable right now. Last week at practice he told me that he’d “changed his mind” about playing, and that it was “just too difficult.” Ha!

My parents met us at the game and ended up taking the kids for the night so that we could head to the lake with our friends Todd and Kira. Kid free! What! I never realize just how much I need a break until we actually manage to get away (which is basically never). It’s so nice to be able to sit back and relax and not have to get someone a snack or clean up a mess every 5 seconds. We basically did nothing- just went out for dinner, played Cards Against Humanity, slept in and hung out. Of course it was great to get back and see the kids, but I could have used another 24 hours away. Just keeping it real.

Anywayyyyy… since I didn’t post on Thursday (sorry), here’s what we had for dinner: chicken, bean and cheese quesadillas made with Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas, chopped rotisserie chicken (thanks, Costco!), TJ’s spicy black bean dip and shredded cheddar.

Along with roasted brussels sprouts. Such a perfect, easy dinner!! I’m obsessed with that black bean dip, so the more ways to sneak it in, the better.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Posted in September 2014 | 2 Comments

Stuff On Toast

Today Isla was my little shopping buddy while Jack was at school. She was actually really, really good. I let her walk at Northpark and you could tell she felt like she was Big Time. She would look over at me and say really random stuff like, “Soooo… happy birthday!” or, “Soooo… I eat cookies?”

I thought the whole “So…” thing was hilarious, but Brian informed me that I (allegedly) say that ALL THE TIME. Oh well, I guess there are worse things she could repeat. Yikes.

Jack had soccer practice tonight, so I fed the kids an early dinner. Brian and I had a quick and ridiculously easy dinner after they went to bed. It’s another one from the Seriously Delish cookbook, but it really isn’t even a recipe. You just spread hummus on toast, then top with sliced hard boiled eggs, diced tomatoes, chives (I used green onions), salt and pepper:

We had them with soup (Pacific brand roasted red pepper and tomato) and it was the perfect, simple dinner. I’ve officially decided that “stuff on toast” is underrated: mashed avocado, whipped goat cheese, coconut butter… endless possibilities!

Alright, I’ve got to go to bed. I’ve been staying up ’til midnight, then getting up at 6 to work out- aaaand I’m feeling it. Many, many cups of coffee were consumed today.

Thanks for all of the Insanity advice! It’s definitely kicking my butt so far. OH- and completely unrelated, but someone just posted this dog video on Facebook and it’s seriously the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  I had to share. Enjoy!

Posted in September 2014 | 2 Comments

Insanity

Holla. So I just started the Insanity workout yesterday. Has anyone else tried this? I bought the entire set for $10 on our local Facebook yard sale page. TEN BUCKS. That’s how much someone wanted to get rid of it. Anyway, I’ve done the “fit test” and one cardio-plyometric circuit workout, and already I can barely sit down. In other news, I’m really out of shape. Let’s see how this goes!

But really- if anyone has done this, is it worth it? There are rave reviews online, but I feel like half of them are written by people who *sell* the programs. Looking for unbiased opinions here…

Isla had her second ballet class today. It was just as adorable as last week, possibly more so because she was SOOOOO excited to go. All afternoon: “I go ballet class now? Yes?” Love it.

Tonight we grabbed dinner at our little neighborhood Italian place, Tony’s. It’s crazy cheap and loud, which unfortunately has become a requirement with our two hooligans. Isla and I shared a pizza (half cheese for her, half chicken/green olive/pineapple for me):

And there’s our day. This week is flying!

Posted in September 2014 | 8 Comments

Monday Monday

Ha, so remember last night how I was going on AND ON about Isla not eating? Well this morning I get her up and she’s acting really weird- very lethargic but no fever. She actually fell asleep on the changing table while I was getting her dressed, then snoozed on the couch while Jack ate breakfast. Then when we took Jack to school, she wanted me to carry her the entire time and didn’t demand to walk up the stairs, “BY MYSEF.”

So yeah, definitely not her usual spunky self. We get home and she proceeds to throw up massive amounts of apple juice (basically the only thing she’d consumed in the past 12+ hours). But then she was GREAT. So, so weird. I put her in the tub and she was immediately happy and playing. My mom brought her crackers and she basically took down an entire sleeve of saltines. The only other sign that she wasn’t feeling 100% was that she took a crazy long nap this afternoon. But she ate dinner, played all day, was in a great mood. Super weird but I’m glad she’s feeling better now.

I actually planned to make this soup later this week, but today seemed like a chicken soup day. It’s the creamy slow cooker chicken noodle soup from Seriously Delish (again). It’s a really good basic recipe, but you definitely have to improvise with spices. I threw in a few cloves of minced garlic and then seasoned with a LOT more salt at the end. Also, maybe wait and add the noodles during the final 30 minutes of cooking (rather than the last 90 minutes as indicated in the recipe)? They kind of fell apart, so it tasted more like chicken and dumplings than chicken noodle soup. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I was expecting either:

Not a huge hit with the kids. Jack said that it was “too peppery” and Isla just refused to even try it. Brian said that he really liked it, though. Alongside is the saddest bagged salad ever- baby spinach with almonds, cherries and blue cheese. I had to fortify with my own cherries and goat cheese because it was pretty dang bare.

Hopefully tomorrow AM will be a little less eventful! As long as I’m not cleaning up puke, we’ll call it a win.

Posted in September 2014 | Leave a comment