Valentine’s week has def been a cheat week for us here. We had scallops and pasta, cookies, candy, cheesecake, french champagne, and even more candy. We might have gone a little overboard this year but what the heck?! I think we were all feeling really happy this year. I try to maintain a healthy menu each week but I wanted to let you all know that its totally ok to cheat. Just not all the time. I feel like without indulging every once in a while, it just becomes too hard to say no to your cravings when they come. Most importantly to me, why do we live if we can’t enjoy things occasionally? This weekend I’ll be right back on it again … my goal is 4.5 miles this weekend. I am slowly working my way up. Then probably a cookie. 😉 If you haven’t tried this sugar cookie recipe yet (I already posted it around Christmas time) do it now! I am sooo addicted. The most delicious sugar cookies ever.
My new favorite Champagne…I only get it when it’s on sale!
The boys were sooo excited for their own Valentine’s we got for them.
Some more of our Valentine’s goodies overload.
And finally for some laughter because we all need some… some “take a Valentine’s Picture for mom” outtakes.
^My favorite because Liam is just a blur. Such a true to life pic! 😀 ^
I wish everyone good luck recovering from your Valentine’s sweets overload… or maybe its just me. Oh well!
Just a little glimpse into behind the pictures type post today. I had gotten the boys and I cute Valentine’s Day shirts and wanted to share some pictures of us wearing them with you all. Of course, after I get a little photo backdrop set up and camera ready to go, Jake only wanted to wear his firetruck shirt. I had to bribe him to even wear his heartbreaker shirt. My hubby had gotten me a remote for my camera to help me take better tripod pictures, so as I am sure you can tell from the photos, Jake then only wanted to push the camera button. And he was mesmerized by it. haha. Anyway, thats real life.
Liam’s cute doggy Valentine’s shirt is an old hand me down from Jake. I got Jake’s Heartbreaker Tee from the Gap. I thought it was something fitting for Valentine’s Day but would work any other day as well. I found this anatomically correct heart sweatshirt on amazon for myself and I thought it was just too perfect. ^OBSESSED with the camera remote!^
He’s so mesmerized by it and would not let anyone else push the button. haha. At least he did a pretty good job.
Boy mom life seems to always end in my boys getting rowdy… no exception here.
At least my only little girl Emma is always up for kisses and cuteness. ❤
Next week we plan on making some cute heart shaped cookies and some special Valentines for our friends. I got them their own special Valentine’s Day chocolates to surprise them next week too. I can’t wait to see their excited faces. What are all your Valentine’s Day plans? I hope they are good ones! Until next week, XOXO.
Slowly, I have been working on home projects to class up our new house. Eventually we will get to where I want it to be, but what fun is life without some home projects? At least for us; we love doing home projects. I am slowly working on upgrading our playroom space to something way cool for the boys. It is a challenge with all the cabinets in there now but is actually nice for toy storage. Only problem is I constantly have boys standing on top of the counter. Not sure what to do about that, but I am brainstorming ideas and hopefully I can come up some something cool. Meanwhile we had this random empty under the counter space (maybe it used to be a desk type area) that the boys started parking their cars and trucks in. It made a pretty cool garage but mostly turned into a pile of trucks.
First I went to Target (woo whoo!) and Hobby Lobby for a couple supplies… a shower curtain rod and some garage door looking fabric and matching thread. Once I was ready to start, I busted out the dusty sewing machine. *Side note: I used to love to sew things and made alot of cute clothes actually but deciding to purse a degree in Fashion Design really killed my passion for anything related to that.* I don’t have a studio space right now for my painting or projects so I have been setting up on the random sink and cabinet area in the playroom basement area. Like I said before, its not perfect but I am working on it all… over time. Gotta love my little helpers always. ^Curtain rod detail.^Once the curtain was hung up, it turned out to be a pretty cool place to hide and peek out of. 🙂The next step was to paint it to look more like a garage door and less like a grey curtain. I drew a chalk outline of what I wanted to pain then I mixed up a color with acrylic paint I already had and went to town on it. A quick paper towel and water on the chalk after the paint dries takes care of the chalk lines really quick. I had the hubby add a shelf in for more levels of vehicle storage in the garage.
Then we just play! Jake was the photographer remote button pusher. He was really into it… we had a bit of a fit when I told him we had to put up mom’s camera equipment because it wasn’t a toy. 😀 Hope you all have an wonderful weekend and if you need any Super Bowl party inspiration check out my Super Bowl Sunday! post from last year and my Super Bowl Sunday! post from the year before that. Pretty much have all the same decor so I am sticking with it!
I have been working really hard the past year and a half (since my 2nd baby was born) on getting into shape and being healthy. I tried several different workout plans before I found one that really works for me. It did not happen over night, for sure, and it took a while, but I feel like I am in the best shape of my life right now. I feel very energetic and healthy. I really wanted to share the workouts I do with others so if you wanted to try and see if it works for you as well, you can. After I was cleared to exercise from the doctor after the birth of my second son, I slowly eased into it with this 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout I found on youtube. I just started out doing this 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) during the boy’s nap time. Along with this I did a 20-30 minute walk around the neighborhood with the boys and the dog once a day. Nothing crazy at first since I did not want to over do it. I like the quick 10 min workout because I can easily do it whenever I have a few extra minutes at home. I love getting outside so a walk everyday is nice. Now it is harder to get a walk in because of the weather, but I try to go whenever it gets warm.
After I felt good about the 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout three times a week, I added this 8 Minute Kettlebell Abs Workout two times a week (Tuesday and Thursday) during the boys nap time as well. These quick toning and metabolism boosting workouts paired with a daily 30 minute walk and healthy eating has really helped me this past year and a half. Another quick weight management tip that has really worked for me is my “no wine during the week” personal rule. This way I don’t completely cut out the fun, just reduce it for my health.
I am now doing the 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout three times a week, the 8 Minute Kettlebell Abs Workout twice a week, 20 minutes on the elliptical five times a week (or at least every week night my hubby is able to hangout with the boys after dinner so I can exercise) and just this month I have added a training run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. As I had previously posted, I am working up to run a half marathon this October so each weekend I am pushing a little bit longer run. I want to gradually get there like when I first started getting into shape so I don’t hurt myself or get burnt out. I still try not to drink wine during week days and try to eat healthy. If people are interested I can post some weekly menus I plan for my family and I. Just let me know!
I love how yoga makes me feel so I like to throw some relaxing yoga sessions in the mix instead of my regular workout every once in awhile. It is nice to have a variety of healthy exercises so you don’t get bored.
Every person has to figure out what works best for their body. The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body and go with what works for you. Try a few different things sometimes before finding what works. I wanted to share some quick workouts for busy moms because it’s hard to take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself! Keep in mind when I first started doing these workouts, I couldn’t do it all (even though they are only 10 minutes!) I just did what I could and kept pushing myself to do a little more as I went. And always remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water = health!
I wanted to share a quick post about some fun Birthday celebrating we did for me yesterday. Yes it was another wonderful 25th (hehe) birthday. I wanted to try to make a super cute cake for myself… I did actually think about ordering one but decided I liked the challenge. I combined a couple different ideas from pinterest to make the cake itself. I was soooo proud of how well it turned out. I thought I would share what I found and made for anyone thinking of taking on a baking challenge themselves. Really it wasn’t to hard to make… just a bit challenging with all my “helpers”.I wanted to decorate it in a pink (my favorite color) and snowflakes (I love snow) theme for my birthday cake. I found this Cookies and Cream cake on Pinterest and used the cake part and Oreo butter cream part. I skipped the chocolate ganache. I actually doubled the amount of Oreos in the cake and halved the amount of buttercream icing they made. I didn’t want a ton of icing on the cake since I wanted to make a strawberry ganache drizzle. The cake was not had to make at all. I used this recipe I found on pinterest as well for the Strawberry Ganache. I added a little bit of hot pink food coloring to boost the pink color since everyone needs more pink in their life. 🙂 I also got a little excited and drizzled a bit much of the strawberry ganache but it still looked pretty and tasted fantastic! I finally added a rose because its pretty, my sugar snowflakes, some whip cream “snow”, and a couple extra strawberries. TAA DAA!
My birthday wish helpers. ❤
Last week we all got the flu… booooo… so we were also very happy to get outside and play in the snow too. I was so excited that Liam finally decided he likes playing in the snow… the best birthday present! All my snow babies! ❤
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my cake making… although it is not quite as fun as the cake eating. That was very yummy! Here’s how I finished out the evening…Happy Birthday Cheers to another blessed year!
It is a frigid start to 2018 here in Indiana. I do have to say I really don’t mind the cold… you might even say… “the cold never bothered me anyway”. But along with some of my personal goals for the new year, I thought I’d share some warmer Florida Christmas Beach pics. We traveled down to Florida to see family for Christmas and although I know many people love to escape the cold, it never really ever feels like Christmas there. We had a challenging trip with crazy kids and everyone getting sick, but mostly had a great time seeing friends and family. We are happy to be back home even if it’s really cold. We spent Christmas morning walking along Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. It was our first Christmas beach trip.
Goal #1: Save More Money… not a lot to say on this one. I really love clothes and sometimes I get too excited. This year I am making a much bigger effort to cut down my spending. There are alot of clothes and makeup and shoes and jewelry I would love to have but I guess I don’t really need. This one will def be the most challenging for me but I am hoping it will pay off in the future.
Goal #2 Get Working on my Paintings… Now that we are more settled and in a routine I should be able to spend a few hours a week on my personal paintings. It is something I am passionate about but has fallen to the back burner the past couple years. The biggest challenge of this one will be the lack of studio space in my house.
Goal #3 Get our New Indiana House Updated… It is a very nice house but totally off from my personal decorating taste. There are alot of projects with this goal and I plan on sharing more home project we do. I enjoy them and I am hoping you, my readers, will to.
Goal #4 Stay in Shape… I have worked very hard this past year getting healthy and in shape. I am finally very happy with how I look and feel which is really hard to get to. I want to continue my personal workout plan and increase my healthy eating even more to maintain my fitness and weight. Just today I decided add to my fitness goals and to run a half marathon with one of my bffs in October. Having a goal buddy will really help us both. Long term goal but I have never run one and would really like to. Purdue half marathon here we come!
Goal #5 Stay Positive… Sometimes when things do not go the way I planned, I tend to get upset and sad. I want to work on staying up beat and positive about my life. I think this will help me be a better person in general and I know this is a major weakness of mine.
What are your personal goals for 2018? I am hoping to make this a great year ahead for myself and my little family. It does seem to help me to share with others to make my goals seem more concrete and achievable.
A few weeks ago I painted a couple storage bins for the boys’ playroom and decided when I got done that the middle two needed to be painted too. Here is the original post incase you did not see it and here is the post from when my hubby and I built the Toy Storage Bench a few years ago. Here are a few pics of the final project. Looks pretty cute for the wild men adventure playroom (still a bit of a work in progress). One of my personal resolutions is to make more time for my own art projects because I really enjoy them. I want to finally get working on a few paintings again as well as refocusing my blog into more of an art based life-style blog which is what it has evolved into. I just really enjoy sharing photography and craft projects but have much less time for my own artwork now a days. I just hope to inspire a few other mom’s out there while creating a fun way to look back at family memories.
I cannot wait to see what 2018 will bring. Thank you for all your comments and words of encouragement as well as reading my blog.
On our list of many preparations before Santa comes down the chimney is always baking some sugar cookies and decorating them for Santa. When I was growing up, we made a big deal of this every year. I always remember being so excited to decorate cookies. Many wonderful memories were made along with many very creative Christmas cookies. Since this was one of my favorite traditions, I wanted to continue to do it with my boys. This was the first year Jake could really do anything. Liam is still young but enjoyed helping bake and then eat quite a few cookies… hey its Christmas; it’s ok to indulge. At least thats what I tell myself. I saw and tried this new Velvety Soft Sugar Cookie recipe. OMG is it good! Delicious.
The boys always love helping me cook anything so the baking part was pretty fun as well.
Then its the cookie cutter time which Liam enjoyed throwing them on the floor but Jake really liked cutting the cookies out. And finally the decorating…
We only had the patience to decorate maybe a third of the cookies but thats is ok . They are delicious just plain too. Here are Santa’s cookie plate cookies as well as some other awesome cookies.It is an awesome activity for little guys even if it’s not Christmas. This Dump Truck and this Bulldozer cookie cutters could make for a fun cold and snowy January afternoon I am thinking. And I definitely recommend trying this sugar cookie recipe. I am eating one right now! haha.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all around. Until next week, XOXO.
My best friend threw a Christmas Pajama themed Friendsmas party and I was sooo excited to get all my boys matching Christmas jammies. There were tons of cute family pajamas everywhere but I really love the classic buffalo plaid look so I got us these. They turned out so cute all together. We even got Emma a little doggy bandana… sorry Tiny cat but I didn’t see any matching cat shirts. I was a little sad after these festive pictures turned out so well that I already made and sent out Christmas cards. I will just have to remember this when doing Christmas cards next year.
I had made some snowflake marshmallows for some winter hot cocoa too. It seemed like a perfect thing to sit in front of the fireplace and sip hot cocoa in pajamas. The boys loved it. It was just a small thing to do that seemed so fun and special to them. I used this Martha Stewart recipe I found and they turned out really cute. While the marshmallows where sitting, I sprinkled some christmas sprinkles on some of them to make a little extra fun.
It was very fitting that we had a hot cocoa day since this past Wednesday was national hot chocolate day. We just had so much fun. Today we are working on making some cookies for Santa and planning a fun week before Christmas full of Christmas activities. Cheers some hot cocoa and snuggle someone you love while relaxing and remembering the Spirit of Christmas this coming week.
This past weekend we visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art or what is now called Newfields (a little has changed since I last lived in Indy). They are showing a pretty awesome exhibit called Winterlights which we loved! Some very amazing decorations hard to capture in photographs. Everyone loved the over 1.2 million lights that made up the exhibit. If you are in the Indy area, I totally recommend checking it out but make sure to buy tickets ahead of time online. Especially on weekends as they have been selling out. I have read that Santa is there on Tuesday evenings for the little ones or us forever kids as well as free cocoa and cider for kids. Not only were the lights amazing that night, but it was a beautiful full moon too.^No not Christmas lights, but the moon!^The best of the family shots we could get…A couple selfie shots because why not.
They had this crazy cool giant tree made out of recycled plastic toys such as kiddie pools, sleds, etc. I personally thought that was so awesome since I have worked with repurposing used materials into artwork.
Throughout the lovely stroll through the lighted garden, are hot chocolate stations and girl scouts with smores at the end. Jake somehow heard about smores and demanded smores the whole time. He did not take a nap earlier that day and was Mr. Super Grump at Winterlights… you just can’t win them all. He did really enjoy it overall though.
Yummy!I think these floating trees with the dangly snowflakes were my most favorite. How cool are those??!! Total Christmas Tree goals right there for me. Love it! Winterlights is such an amazing exhibit and lights display incase you haven’t realized how much I enjoyed it by now. I know I was way more excited to go then the boys… hopefully it’s an yearly event!
I have just been in heaven with all the fun festive Christmas events going on. Hoping to check off a Santa visit here soon and some Zoo lights too. Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season too. Until next week, XOXO.
*Meanwhile I am the one person praying for snow 😉 *