August 31, 2016

What's Up Wednesday August '16!



I have not linked up with WUW in so long, and I'm excited to do so!! Some of my faves, Mel, Shay, and Sheaffer  host it every last Wednesday of the month, as a way for everyone to share a little about their past month! So here it is, since August and Summer is about to end!!

What we're eating this week:
Did anyone catch my Friday Faves last week? We've been eating lots of Trader Joe's because I have been laaaazy with meals!! It's the last week of summer and I've been doing in service for school all week!! Ain't nobody got time for that! Although I wish I did! I want to get Shay's new book, and dig into that! I was eating paleo for a while, and was feeling really reenergized and losing some of that summer weight, so I need to get back to that real fast!

NEED!!!

What I'm reminiscing about:
My sis and bro in law had their baby last Saturday (our new niece Cecily!!) so I'm reminiscing about my babies! Noelle is back to school next week and Halle is 2.5 years old in a month! What!? Where did the time go? 

Brand spanking new, Baby Cecily!!

Noelle!!

Halle!!

What I'm loving:
All the Halloween stuff that is already out in stores. I know, I know. People just want to murder me when I say that because it's not even September yet, but come on! Do people really not enjoy Halloween? I love it! I love that Target already has their Dollar Spot full of Halloween stuff, and Dollar Tree: OMG. It's like Halloween heaven there!! I love it. I've already stocked up on new pumpkin decor, and some other "classy" Hallo stuff. LOVE!


What we've been up to:
Me: SCHOOL! The last two weeks I've already had some of my first teacher meetings, and work shops, and this week has been tons of preparing, planning, and emailing. So much school stuff!! I'll be teaching Kindergarten Intervention and Specialist this fall, so it's so much to get ready!
Joey: He's been busy with his usual work!
Noelle: Summer dance is finally complete, and she finished her last gymnastics class of the summer last week! Getting in some down time before the start of another school year!
Halle: Being cute mostly.

We picnicked at the pool one day before swimming! I'll post more pictures from our summer soon!

A trip to the American Girl store with Emma!

We did have a mommy/daughter pedi/mani salon date!

Another pool day at Lifetime!

Bike rides!

Fun at the library! Trying to get in all our summer things before it's over!

A trip to the Crayola Experience at Mall of America.

Ice cream!

Mommy/daughter date to see "Welcome to Monster High!"

What I'm dreading:
This weekend. Is that bad? I know it's Labor Day weekend and we should relax but I have SO MUCH TO DO before school starts!! There's so much to finish up with the house, chores, shopping, preparing before I go back to work and Noelle starts school! It's crazy how long my to do list is!

What I'm working on:
School stuff, a command center for at home, getting pictures up around the house (still!) to make it cozier, and putting away summer clothes and unpacking fall clothes!

What I'm excited about:
So much. Noelle starting school, dance, and gymnastics. Halle starting her first recital year dance class. Me teaching kiddos next week! Halloween. Fall. Noelle's birthday party. 

What I'm watching/reading:
Definitely not watching anything but I'm reading a lot! I'm juggling between some books, mostly non-fiction because I don't really have any time to "fun" read right now. Here's what I'm poking in and out of:

Well. You know. 

Another fun read, lol.

Haha. No worries. No big problems in paradise. Just always good to be keeping your marriage strong and healthy!

What I'm listening to:
A couple of faves currently:

Kill 'Em with Kindness! (Yes! Total motto.)

I'm not a huge Meghan Trainor gal, but this song is so fun and uplifting! Great work out song.

Oh jam. Love this.

What I'm wearing:
Now that the teachers have been back in school, I have had to bid farewell to my yoga pants, and tanks (so sad) and put on "real" clothes. It's been rough, not going to lie, lol, but also nice to have more reasons to look like I'm over age 18 LOL. I have not taken ANY pictures of my outfits, but will start to, to share what I think is "cute teacher duds." 

What I'm doing this weekend:
100 things across the board from folding baskets and baskets of laundry, to getting my hair cut. It's all about being productive this weekend!! We also have one BBQ party to go to on Sunday to celebrate the end of summer with our friends.

This past month Joey and I went out on a triple date with our faves, (Aja and Cal, Kalynn and Kyle) and we will be hanging out with them again this weekend!

What I'm looking forward to next month:
A paycheck - lol, my birthday, and being one month closer to Halloween/Noelle's birthday!!

I'll be posting more soon to close out this summer!! (Aka a huge picture dump post is coming at y'all, lol.) Hope everyone has a wonderful FIRST DAY OF SEPTEMBER TOMORROW!!!! (Can't believe August is over!) 

August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites: My Trader Joe's Fridge Must-Haves


My favorite place in the whole world is Target. Hands down. Where else can I spend all my money on food, clothes, and home decor in one place?! But following really close behind Target is TRADER JOE'S!! I love Trader Joe's. Not just for their affordable produce, or wider range of healthy selections, but for their delicious frozen meals and variety of tasty frozen veggies! They have everything my heart desires. This Friday for the Friday Faves link up with Narci, Erika, and Andrea, I'm sharing my list of favorites at Trader Joe's that we have at the house ALL THE TIME. They are definitely my must-haves.

Veggies:

I love these. They are so easy to make with a small dash of soy sauce. Yum!

OMG. These are SOOOO good. I have to limit how much I eat of them because although they are VERY lightly battered, the are still battered, and if I don't watch it I could eat the whole bag for a meal, by myself.

This might be my favorite thing ever though! It literally tastes like white rice! I use it instead of rice whenever I can. I've been craving it so badly, and currently eating paleo, so I wish so badly that I could get my hands on some bags, but unfortunately our Trader Joe's has been out of stock the 3 last times I've gone to get some. Waaaah, so sad!

Another delish side. I love how easy Trader Joe's makes my life. I don't even have to slice veggies up and marinate them anymore, you guys. I just buy this and dump it in a pan and heat it up. 

Such a yummy side!!


Meat:

Where else can you get a bag of seafood for under $8? Wowza, what a deal. And I love seafood!!

Just a must have. Can't go wrong with chicken!

Okay, you guys are going to get grossed out but I almost eat one of these sausages every single day for lunch. They are all natural, there is no casing on them, they are gluten free, and also paleo/whole30 friendly. They also happen to come in a gazillion flavors. (Roasted garlic, spicy Italian, apple chardonnay, tomato basil, spicy jalapeƱo, and way more that I can't even think of. So you get the idea.) I mince it sometimes and eat them in lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps, or I slice them and stir fry them with veggies, or I just eat a spicy one with a big side of sauerkraut. You could also slice them up and throw them in with pasta. The possibilities are endless. Why are they so good!?


These are just so good, you can't believe they came from a bag.



Frozen meals:

This isn't one of the healthiest options at TJ (or really any of these frozen meals) but they are still a better option if you are going to use a frozen meal. Joey and I usually have this on hand all the time, because it's tasty and easy. I haven't been eating any because I'm currently not having grains, but I can vouch that it's yummy!

I looooove the asian stuff at Trader Joe's! (Trader Ming's, lol.) It's SO good and taste SO much like take out Chinese food! My problem is that they aren't that good for you because naturally, the sauces are full of sugar. Even if it's natural, I don't want to put all that in my body, so what I do is just use half the packet of sauce that comes with each of the frozen meal bags. Sometimes there's even 2 pouches of sauce in a bag!! I always use half of what they give me. If I am serving this for other people then I will heat up the extra sauce and put it in a bowl for anyone who wants extra sauce.

Joey and my favorite chicken at TJ! Mandarin Orange Chicken. SO good. And since my kid are picky eaters I just bake these in the oven and serve the sauce on the side, so the kids can just dip the chicken into ketchup instead, lol. Two meals in one! ;)

These scallion pancakes are the bomb. I love them for a light snack when I'm craving something savory or I'll make 2 for a lunch by myself. Currently in my fridge, but currently not on my paleo diet. Can't wait to eat this again, yummy.


Others:

It's not SUPER healthy but a better alternative than the Annie's version, that's usually deemed as the healthier choice of dressings. 

I'm obsessed with their sushi. 1.) It is so fresh! I am so impressed how good it is every time I've had it! As if someone just made the roll that morning and they haven't been sitting there! Unlike store bought sushi, from say Target, that tastes rubbery and old. 2.) It's so affordable! Why is it that target's sushi is $8, but the same version at TJ is $4? 3.) It's so good. Like, so good.

This coffee is so good, and smells amazing. Again, so fresh! Each time we open one up the smell is intoxicating.

TJ has tons of super good tasting dips and sauces and that meals pop. I use super insanely small amounts and it seems to be enough! I love dipping the Korean ribs in this sauce! YUM!

Snacks:

Halle's favorite cookie!! And they are super low calorie, so I like to have a handful of them too, with coffee!

Ugh. These chips are ah-mazing. I love them with some chunky salsa.

Yummy kid friendly snack.

Always stocked in our pantry.

This salsa is so good! It reminds me of the authentic stuff at Mexican restaurants! We put them on everything: egg bakes, rice, nachos, tacos, scrambled eggs...

Kids love these, and I love that they are organic and better than fruit snacks.

Again, one for the kids! We call them Pop-Tarts at my house, but don't tell them about the real stuff, okay?!


Desserts:

For a while I was vegan so I wasn't having any dairy. This was my go-to ice cream. I like it so much, that even now that I am not vegan anymore, I still eat it! It's just so, so good, and tastes exactly like dairy!

This is Joey's fave ice cream!! And I agree, it's delish if you are a coffee lover!

These are so yummy!!! We love the ones at Big Bowl, but these are almost even better!

These are the softest, most moist gluten free cupcakes I've ever tried. They are SO good. 

Well, that's my list of our must haves! Hope everyone has a great weekend! And eat something delicious!!

August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites: Our August Cabin Trip

So for this edition of Friday Favorites with Erika, Narci, and Andrea, I've decided to share about our trip from last weekend!! We decided to take a little trip to the cabin since we hadn't gone in so long (a year for the girls and Joey, and over 2 years for me)! We went up with Don and Sue, a handful of the grandkids, and had room for 2 more families. We decided to invite our friends The Calhouns and The Blisses. We went up on a Thursday afternoon and came back Sunday evening. It was a nice getaway from civilian life and the city for a few days, although I won't lie, I was so happy when we returned! There's no place like home! Here are some of my favorite moments from the weekend!

The girls piled into the backseat!

The car ride was actually quite peaceful. I thought the girls  were going to be so loud and crazy, but they actually all quietly sat, ate snacks, and watched Peppa Pig.

First morning at the cabin! So excited for their 3 day sleepover! Whew.

Halle and Mason are future besties, or future crushes, lol. They do everything together, hug, and ask for each other all the time.


Dressed and ready for the day!

Captain America.

The screen house was transformed into a toy haven!

"Bad moms!" Yes, totally cocktails at 10 am.



My favorite picture of my love!

She's definitely our "cabin" girl. She LOVES nature, the outside, doesn't mind getting dirty, and loves to swim! Quite the opposite of Noelle!

Kyra is quite the sass muffin!

We tried for Charlie's Angels but it was easier said than done, haha.

Day 1 was pretty cloudy and actually poured rain midday, so that was a little stinky!

Kalynn getting her baby fix.

Lily pad time!

There was no way Noelle was going out there. Haha.



Jenga time!


Ava pile!





Throwing rocks with the big girls!





Mason and Ava became friends...almost, haha.

Salon De Aja.



So much Peppa Pig.

Love those Kylie Jenner braids, haha!


4 Wheeler rides!

Waiting patiently for their turn to ride the 4 wheeler!


Gracie took the babes out!


Noelle wouldn't go with anyone but Ellie!

Don and Halle.

Love these girls.

4 Wheelin' girls!




Fun in the sun!








Dad bods!



Everyone got a kick out of the lily pad!


Grandma Sue. Always spoiling with those darn treats!



My sweetie.

A lot of sass in a small package!





His knee is still recovering but he's doing good!



Uncle Nik made an appearance for one day!


Sleepy sleepy!

Besties.

Another game of Jenga.

Ellie put Halle to sleep!



Cousin love.


Passed out for hours!

Taking Ava out!

Batman made an appearance, haha.







Parker helping the kids get rocks to throw, so sweet.



Noelle going on her first ever jet ski ride!








Like a boss!

She loved it! She ended up going on it again, and went around the lake with Joey for over 15 minutes!

I'm so proud of her!

Also proud of this one, for all the swimming!! She loved it!


Halle LOVES the water!












Popcorn and Inside Out!










Ready for a boat ride!



Booze cruise!





Playing Simon Says on the boat!



















It was a great weekend! We are hoping to be able to do this again next summer!! We're glad to have friends that we jive with so well, whose kids are also close with ours!

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