Best of the Weekend: The Great Outdoors and First Steps

Happy Monday, all! Who else is in a post holiday daze? (I wanted to write “holi-daze” there, but I don’t think I’m cool enough for that.) Personally, my cup of coffee is THIS big today, and I know it won’t be my last!! This weekend was definitely a fun one, even though we didn’t do anything too crazy. Anyway, here are the highlights from our weekend!

Saturday was filled with running around to find another Craigslist find, followed by Bobby’s Burger Palace. We used to live really close to one before we moved, so when we realized we were in the area we knew we had to go. I was too hungry to take a picture, but if you go, do yourself a favor and get both sweet potato and regular fries and a Crunch Burger (American cheese and [Lay’s, I think] potato chips).

We also hit up our all time favorite grocery store near our old house and I was overjoyed. I went there at least twice a week since they are a small, family owned and run Italian grocery store with the BEST quality and prices I’ve ever seen. We were tehre so often, all the cashiers knew me and were the first to ask me if I was pregnant. (Livotti’s if you’re in the Matawan/Aberdeen area. They pull mozzarella on site and make soup, salads, and sausages fresh! So good.) The best. Anyway, we picked up a dinner of homemade broccoli rabe and roasted pepper chicken sausage patties, fresh buns, and corn.

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Ryan is really digging on the summer corn, as are his dad and I. He crushed that whole cob, and then chewed on Alex’s. Babies nomming on corn cobs are HILARIOUS.

Before dinner we played outside on his Power Wheels and sat in the grass. Obviously, very interesting stuff.

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Ryan was asleep by 7 on Saturday and I spent the majority of the night comforting our scaredy dog who was whining, shaking, and scratching on everything. Eventually I sat in our tiny bathroom for about two hours playing music loudly and trying to calm him.

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Sunday was filled with errands and lots of coffee thanks to Cooper keeping me up until 1 and Ryan waking me at 6:30.. Errands included a trip to Harbor Freight where daddy was boring and Ryan and I talked colors and shapes.

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Later after a failed nap, we took to the great outdoors (a.k.a our backyard) with Ryan’s walker to do some more walking work. Obviously he wasn’t too interested once Alex brought out his Power Wheels.

But the number one “Best of the Weekend” event was definitely Ryan FINALLY taking his first step!! Alex saw the actual first on, and then I saw a second step when he was holding on to the cabinets and wanted to go after Cooper. No pictures, but it was definitely exciting!!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun for the holiday? Let me know in the comments!!

Linking up with Katie and Erin!

Friday Favorites #10

AND BOOM, we’re at the 10th Friday Favorites. Weird. I started this blog back when I was pregnant with Ryan and didn’t update a ton or regularly and once Ryan was born kind of dropped it. I had a real urge one night to start writing again and I’m so glad that I’ve picked this little blog up, ran with it, and get to talk with you wonderful people all the time. Random question for all you bloggers out there : do you edit or delete old, poopy posts? I have a fair amount of poorly written and poorly formatted posts from pre-taking-it-seriously that I’m at such a loss with. Any suggestions?

Anyway, after not having my phone this week I feel like it both flew and dragged, so I’m definitely ready for the weekend. We had zero holiday plans, and I definitely am not mad about it. We live not quite on a lake, but in a lake town, so we’ll probably go see the fireworks over the lake, but that is it. Do you have any good plans? Either way, enjoy your holiday, be safe, and here are my Friday Favorites!

Favorite Funny: Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detector Test. I seriously could not stop laughing during this. Like, had to pause it and catch my breath laughing. I just can’t even.

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Favorite Workout: 9 Stroller Workouts To Do With Your Little One. When Ryan gets cranky at home, I pack him up and out we go. Sometimes we hit the grocery store or Target but that gets costly, so a lot of the time we hit the park. I love this list for ways to switch up my normal walk and to get in a little workout with his as well! (PS I’m still doing the Summer Shape Up, those this week was kind of all over the place. I’ll get into this in a different post)

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Favorite Bake: Fourth of July Pennant Cookies. So cute for the upcoming holiday!

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Favorite DIY: Watermelon Tote.  How cute is this watermelon tote? Watermelon is my all time favorite in the whole world. Like, I just ate about half a watermelon in less than 12 hours. #noshame. I want to make this for the beach or even the grocery store. Love!

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Favorite Aww: This #ShareACoke proposal give me chills. Okay, it’s probably because the fridge is open, but still. I’ve written about my undying Coke Zero love on here before, and if I wasn’t already married I would be sending this to Alex in hopes that he’d get some ideas.

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Favorite House DIY: DIY Tiki Torches. I LOVE THESE. Tiki torches remind me of my childhood (my dad works at a pool store, and they sell them there. The scent alone brings me back.) and these looks so much nicer than the traditional ones. They’re on my long list of things I need to make for the house. Sigh.

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Favorite Pre-Made: DIY Cornbread Mix. We’re big cornbread lovers in this house, and I can’t wait to make this mix for quick cornbread!

 

Favorite Links:

A Coffee Buyer Has the Most Glamorous (and Toughest) Job in the Coffee World
I Like American Cheese, and I’m Not Ashamed
 (Okay, a little ashamed)
5  Unique Vegetables to Try With Your Kids I TOTALLY want to do this! Buy random vegetables and try em with Ryan.
Why Supporting Bloggers is a Labor of Love
Coconut Lime Almonds

 

 

Linking up my Friday Favorites with Katie, Heather, and Clare!

5 Things I Learned After 24 Hours Without My Phone

For 24 hours this week, I had no phone. On  Tuesday night, after almost a month of minor charging issues, my phone decided to stop charging all together and die. It was too late to go out and get it looked at, as Ryan was already asleep and a big storm was on the horizon. I sat on the floor in front of the outlet for about 30 minutes in disbelief and denial, toying with the charger, Googling what the problems could be, and trying everything from cleaning out the charge port to checking for bent pieces. After, I sent Alex an “I’m alive, but sadly my phone is not,” email and a text from a free online service, (I used this one) and sat on my bed, staring sadly at my poor, dead phone. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but I did feel lost.

I’ve had a cell phone since I was 10 and my parents got a divorce. It was a pre-paid phone and used solely to talk to my mom who I no longer lived with, but still. Unless I have had it taken away, I haven’t been without a cell phone in a very long time, much less without a phone while home alone with a baby during a bad thunderstorm.

Those 24 hours taught me a lot about myself and my phone use. I happily have my phone back (It may or may not have been my charger. I actually bought a new cord a few weeks ago which seemed to fix the issue until it didn’t. Hopefully the new charger fixes my issue!) and now I am thinking about how to change the bad parts about what I learned. I am feeling very thankful  that I am fortunate enough to have a phone at all, and I don’t want to forget that it is primarily for contacting my loved ones and to give me piece of mind.

I wanted to share what I learned without a phone for this week’s Thinking Out Loud, and hopefully you can learn these little lessons without having to go through the drama.

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Oh, you thought I wouldn’t slip in a picture of the little dude? Ha.

5 Lessons I Learned After 24 Hours Without a Phone

1. Having no phone is very, very scary. The very first thing that happened when I (finally) accepted that my phone wasn’t going to charge was panic. I panicked. Like, hard. During the week it’s just Ryan and I at the house. I make sure to keep my phone with me at all times. I have vivid fears of falling and no one being able to help me since I’m alone. What would happen to Ryan? Would I be okay? Would help come in time? I have no idea. (Alex has offered to get me, in a half serious manner, one of those Life Alert buttons for the elderly..) Without a phone, I wouldn’t be able to call 911 in an emergency. No one would be able to reach me if something happened to Alex at work. A huge storm came that night and there are a lot of trees near our house, and I just prayed that nothing happened to our little home. I double- and triple-checked all the locks on the doors and windows because if an intruder came, I would have no way to alert the police. The next morning I was driving to my dad’s (who didn’t know that I was without my phone. We went together to the store to get it looked at since the plan is under his name) and I was so scared to get in to any sort of car trouble. Being without a phone is such a scary concept that I never really thought of, and I am so lucky and glad that I do, in fact, have a phone if an emergency were to ever occur.

2. I rely on my phone for so much. So many times I thought, oh, let me look that up really quick. Nope. Oh, let me go check my email really quick. Nope. Oh, let me check Instagram/Wordpress/Twitter/Feedly really quick. Nope, nope, nope, nope. I rely on my phone for little tasks all day long, be it finding out who voices Sheriff Callie, (Mandy Moore – I knew it sounded familiar!!) looking up a recipe, or simply checking my email on the fly. I scroll through Instagram while I rock and nurse Ryan, and read blogs to help myself fall asleep when Alex isn’t home. I use a flashlight app to see if the cap to the balsamic vinegar rolled under the oven. (Nope, that did not happen last night. No sir.) I use a podcast app to listen to something vaguely intelligent while putting together breakfast. I use it as my alarm clock, my calendar, my notepad. I rely on my phone for so much that it has become a part of me and I feel legitimately lost without it.
3. I don’t use my normal camera enough. I’m sure everyone has this problem, whether you are a parent or not. We bought a very nice Nikon for our wedding (we had an all-inclusive package and while the owner of the Inn we stayed in/married at was a great photographer, we needed our own camera or her to use/send us home with so we splurged. So glad we did, even though I know about 1% of what it does.) and I vowed to used it to take adorable and beautiful pictures of Ryan. Yeah, about 98% of the pictures I have of him are on my phone. I filled my free cloud space in just a few months, and had to invest in an extra SD card for my phone storage. Thankfully, I back everything on to my computer and a USB often just in case. But I really need to work on using my nice camera more. I think if I was more comfortable with the settings and all I could do with it, I’d feel more at ease with grabbing it for the cute, quick pictures I take of Ryan through the day on my phone. I want to make it a point to use it more.
4. I use my phone when I definitely don’t need to. This is kind of embarrassing, but I was watching TV Tuesday night (PLL fans – WTF is going on right now? I feel like I need to watch every episode 4 or 5 times just to get a clear picture of what is going on. I love that show, but I have to say, kind of glad they’re not going to drag it out much longer.) and editing pictures on my laptop and while waiting for a page to load, I went to grab my phone to browse I don’t know what. How sad is that? I had the TV on, it wasn’t even a commercial, and I wanted to look at my phone because my laptop was taking too long. It really put into perspective how much I use my phone as a boredom  solver, and I really wondered how much more I would get done if I used it less. I really want to consciously start being more mindful of when and how I use my phone.
5. I really, really, really love my husband. The first thing I thought of once I accepted that my phone would not be charging was, I won’t be able to talk to Alex tonight. Alex calls me every night before bed and I talk to him until he just about falls asleep. I tell him all the minutia about Ryan’s and my day, make silly observations about the animals, and tell him about a million times how I miss him. He is a quiet guy, and doesn’t talk much, but even our comfortable silence makes me feel content and helps me sleep. With out that, I felt so sad. Alex and I had a very quick relationship, and up until recently, I hadn’t spent more than a day or so away from him since a few months after we met. We are always together when he is off, and not being able to tell him I love him and hear him say it back was heartbreaking to me.
Do you feel like you rely on your phone a lot? How long do you think you’d last without it? Let me know in the comments!

What I Ate Wednesday: Quick Dinner for One

So today (Tuesday, as I write this last minute) as been the longest day ever. After a long morning with a cranky baby, going to the store, only to realize I didn’t have my wallet, said cranky baby only taking one 30-minute nap, and my phone dying and refusing to recharge, I’m done with today. Adios, finito, end, DONE. But, at least I have my favorite post of the week to put together and share with all of you!

Like always, I’m linking with Jen for What I Ate Wednesday!

In contrast to the poopy day and rushed food of today, Monday had some pretty good food! Thanks to a surprise early visit from my monthly lady, I was starving at every meal, leading to a huge lunch and dinner. Anyway, enough babbling and whining, here’s my eats! (If you want a more in depth, meal by meal post of Ryan’s eats, check you some of my older What I Ate Wednesdays, like this one, this one, or this one.)

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Breakfast: I made Ryan some egg bites and decided to just eat the same for breakfast because I was way too tired. Add in a plethora of watermelon (I’m not going to bother to write “snack” here. Just insert a lot of watermelon between meals.)  and a cup of cold brew, and I was a happy momma. Okay, maybe not happy as it was Monday morning, but I was more awake.

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Lunch: Oh, hi new favorite salad. Spinach topped with a cooked/thickened mix of brown rice, black beans and salsa, fresh onion, pepper and tomato, more salsa, greek yogurt, cheese, black olives and cilantro. This is a good, easy meal for one that takes less than 5 minutes if you do some meal prep.
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Dinner: Ryan had his first corn cob for dinner, and that is a face of pure joy, people. He also had chicken, carrots, broccoli, tomato,  I had my favorite fast dinner. A little prep and you’ve got one tasty meal for one. (or maybe two, less hungry people with a side)  A bag of frozen stir fry, precooked brown rice, onion, garlic, and chopped chicken. Saute the chicken, onion and garlic until cooked through and steam the veggies. Add the veggies to the pan, add some soy sauce, chili flakes (I’M TRYING TO LIKE SPICY, GUYS.) some optional brown sugar/honey/duck sauce. Saute a bit more, and eat. Dinner for one, DONE.

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Dessert: excuse the recycled picture, but I finished this pint of amazing Ben and Jerry’s, Three nights. One pint. #sorryimnotsorry.

 

Tell me what you ate this week! Any new favorite combinations? What’s your favorite quick meal? Any good meals for one? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things to do Every Morning to Make The Day Easier

A few weeks ago, I wrote a guest post for Sarah about the 5 things I do each night to make the following morning easier. Even as I wrote it, I thought of the things I do each morning to make that day easier.

Mornings are hard guys. I am NOT a morning person. My husband is a rare breed who jumps out of bed as if he’s been up for hours. He’s loud and awake and ready to start the day. I, on the other hand, cannot do that what so ever. I need at least an hour of quiet talk, shuffling around, and ahuge cup of coffee in order to fully wake up. He’s learned (though he often forgets, leading to early morning arguments that no one likes) not to even bother for at least 30 minutes, or until he’s promised me coffee and bagels.

Short of a breakfast out (the promise of pancakes will also do the trick!) I need some real help in the morning. I find that having a set routine that I can follow without thinking each morning really helps me get through the morning. This is my little routine (not including the basics of bathroom, tooth brushing, getting the baby, letting the dog out, etc) that I have perfected to make my mornings run smoother and my days a little easier.

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5 Things to do Every Morning to Make The Day Easier

1. Finish what you missed last night. As much as I wish I could say I complete my nightly routine each and every night, I can’t. Especially on Sundays, when Alex has to go to bed early and I want to squeeze a few more care free minutes out of the weekend. Those nights, I get a few things done and resign to finish them in the morning. But please, please, please finish them in the morning. Navigating around mess and chaos all day will really do no good for you. Finish those last few dishes, sweep a bit, put away toys.

2. Put away the dishes. Speaking of doing those dishes, remember how last time I told you to do all of your dishes, but you didn’t have to put them away? Well, now that they’re clean and dry, put them all away! That is all.

3. Choose 3-4 items off your to-do list. This is my big one. I know that you, like me, have the to-do list of the century. It’s three miles long and seems like it will never be over. The only way I can both make sure I get some done AND not stress out non-stop over it is the each morning, look it over and choose a few that I will finish that day. Maybe you’ve had “send thank you” on your list for 2 weeks. Maybe you really need to call the dentist, once and for all. Maybe you have a shirt to return to Target (always.)

4. Plan your days meals. If you don’t meal plan, this will really make a huge difference in your day. Think of what you want for meals through the day. Check your fridge – do you have what you need? If not, make sure you have time to get what you’re missing, or change directions. I hate when 5 o’clock rolls around and either a. I don’t have something I thought I did, or b. I have NO idea what I want to eat and I’m starving. The worst. Reduce the possibility of disappointment and dismay by planning ahead.

5. Take 30 minutes to yourself. If you take a single one of these tips to heart and execute just one, I hope it’s this one. Every morning, give yourself a few minutes for you. Drink your coffee, peruse the internet, watch your favorite morning show, read a book – I don’t care. Just take it. It will really set your day up to be so much more relaxed and happy. The mornings that I skip this little bit of ‘me’ time I feel it all day. Try it for a week and you’ll feel a million times better.

 

Anything you would add? What does your morning routine look like? Let me know in the comments!

I also want to throw a quick happy birthday out to my dad! He’s the best dad and grandpa in the world, cheesy dad jokes and all. Happy 54th you old man.

Best of the Weekend: Rain and the Racetrack

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having an okay Monday. I was going to write “great” there, but then I thought, let’s be real, Monday. Even though I’m a SAHM Mondays usually look pretty rough in these parts. Sunday nights I put off my nightly routine in favor of hanging with the hubs before he leaves for the week. Add in a 3 am wake up for Alex and general confusion on behalf of Ryan and Cooper as to where Daddy is, it can get a little hectic.

We had a pretty fun weekend, considering we were originally supposed to do an anniversary beach weekend that was rained out. Womp. Saturday was very low key since there were thunderstorms in the area and we didn’t want to leave Cooper for long. He gets very scared during thunderstorms and basically spends the entire time trying to get in to Ryan’s room and shaking. (He’s not allowed in Ryan’s room and we keep the door shut after one too many diapers eaten and the pure fact that he eats wipes in one gulp.. Yellow Labs, people. Yellow Labs.)

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There was some early morning Mickey Mouse and running out to buy some random Craigslist find for Alex.

who needs a learner's permit? not this kid. (before you freak out, the car wasn't even on.) #13months #momlife #drivingbaby

A photo posted by Morgan Wieboldt (@morganmanages) on

Ryan’s first driving lesson. (you may have seen this on Instagram – if not, follow me! @morganmanages)

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Sunday was no rain in the morning, so we went to the park for some swing time!

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Then went to buy the essentials before heading to get lunch. Clearly the watermelon love is genetic.

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Alex’s best friend from tech school was at the racetrack that’s almost the halfway point between us, so we grabbed some essentials and took the drive down. (Caramel Macchiato for the win. I usually get the skinny one or a Misto, but Alex ordered while I was in the bathroom and I was one.happy.lady. Whole milk all day.)

wpid-2015-06-29-08.39.28-1.jpg.jpegThe track is pretty boring if you’re not into it, but the new girlfriend of Alex’s friend was there who was super nice and I love her, so that was fun. Ryan was VERY interested in the cars going by. (If you’re interested, which I wasn’t, it was Englishtown Raceway Park, imports and drag racing.) We weren’t sure how it would go because it can get a little loud, (we actually ordered him earmuffs last week and are waiting for them. Timing sucks sometimes) but he was SO good. In fact, the only time he cried was when we covered his ears a few times if a louder car was passing. He hates hats and sunglasses, so I have a feeling earmuffs wont last long either.. FYI: nothing was crazy loud, it was just a precaution. I’m not the worst mom.

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We had an unpictured-because-I-spent-the-whole-meal-sharing-with-Ryan dinner out at our favorite Greek place, (Pithari Taverna is sit down, BYOB with a connected Greek liquor store, and so so good if you’re in Central Jersey. Start with the homemade loukaniko, get the chicken souvlaki, and ask for more of their hot, fresh pita every time you’re basket is empty. You are welcome.) and relaxing on the couch with my new favorite find. I don’t know where I saw this first, (maybe on Katie’s blog?) but I’m glad I did. If you’re not like my husband and like peanut butter, go now. I love cookie dough everything so this is a home run for me. I bought ti Friday and I plan to demolish it tonight. #sorryimnotsorry

How was your weekend? Did it rain near you? Let me know in the comments!

 

Linking up with Katie and Erin!

 

 

Friday Favorites #9

I really feel like doing a Friday chant right now – who’s with me? FriDAY, friDAY, friDAY, friDAY! Man, this week felt MUCH longer than last week. Isn’t it weird how that happens? Everyone in my house (okay, Ryan, Cooper and me) have all been in a funk making the days long and the nights even longer. I was looking forward to this weekend more than normal because we were supposed to go to the beach for the weekend as a little family, but the forecast is looking gross so we need to reschedule. Womp womp womp. Bummersville. Not a bummer are my favorites from this week! Without more whining from me, here are my Friday favorites that I found around the good ol’ interwebs this week!

Linking up my Friday Favorites with Katie, Heather, and Clare!

 

 

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Favorite Workout: 30 Minute Bodyweight Tabata Strength Workout. This workout looks AMAZING and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve still going hard on the SSU workouts, but once those are done, this is being thrown into my nap time workout rotation!

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Favorite List: Friday Finds – Safe Sunscreens. With summer finally here, (!!) we all could use a good, safe sunscreen. I use Babyganics for Ryan, who has crazy sensitive skin and he’s never had a reaction (knock on wood) but it IS very thick and when it gets wet it always looks like its dripping off, even though it says water-resistant. I’ve been thinking about trying a different one. This list is a great starting point!

 

Favorite Ryan: Ryan is SO close to walking – he’s finally starting to dig walking while holding my hands, is almost standing without help, and then he started doing this on Wednesday to avoid his knees touching the concrete and grass in my dad’s backyard. Such a crazy kid.

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Favorite Vegetable: Summer Vegetable Gratin. I’ve mentioned here a few times how much I love Kristen’s blog Iowa Girl Eats. It was one of the first blogs I religiously followed, and I am always amazed at the beautiful pictures and delicious recipes she posts. How amazing does this simple summer vegetable gratin look? I’m dying to make this and pair it with some sweet potato fries and grilled chicken.

Favorite Laugh: I’m seriously still dying over this one. Wednesday Ryan and I went to my dad’s. We played at the water table all afternoon and after dinner I took off his swim diaper, but his booty was all damp, so before putting on his night time diaper (he had just gone number 2, so we were safe) I let him crawl around sans pants to dry off. He was standing at my dads coffee table and dancing, looks back at me, and.. TAKES A POO ON THE FLOOR. I literally CRIED laughing. Seriously, he just pooped on the floor, then crawled over to me laughing. I just can’t with this kid. POOP.

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Favorite EXCITED: I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE. It may be the most excited I’ve been about a movie release since Harry Potter. My family is essentially the Griswolds, and I can recite lines from ALL the movies in any situation.

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Favorite Home Tip: 22 Items You Need to Look for at Ikea. I LOVE me some Ikea. Alex and I go regularly just to check it out and walk around. Most of the furniture in our house is Ikea, to be honest. I love this list of things that are easily changed up at Ikea!

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Favorite Bake(?): Banana Cream Pie. My brother’s “specialty” for family events since we were little was banana cream pie. He would use a Keebler crust, boxed vanilla pudding and Cool Whip, but it was always pretty tasty. I think it’s time we step our game up, though, and I totally want to surprise him with this from-scratch pie from Brown Eyed Baker.

Favorite Commercial: Samsung Washer Commercial. I’m DYING at this commercial for this Samsung Washer with Dax Shepard and Kirsten Bell. “Don’t let her see the fear in your eyes!!”

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Favorite Salad: Grilled Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Salad. How delicious does this salad look? I want to eat it all summer!

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Favorite Buy: Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book. I bought this journal about a month ago and I LOVE it. I have always loved journaling and have tons and tons of notebooks full of my thoughts dating back to middle school,  but since Ryan was born I can’t find the time. I love the idea of writing one little thought of what happened in a day and being able to compare the days over a few years.
Favorite Links:

4 Socially Responsible Ways to Cut Food Costs
The Best Time to Salt Your Burgers
10 Popsicle  Recipes to Cool Off with This Summer
Sea Salt Vanilla Fudge Chuck Ice Cream (REALLY?!)
Things You Missed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

#BreakYouMake

A break. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? A chance to stop, relax, and pull yourself together? A chance to take a deep breath and stop thinking? Breaks shouldn’t be a luxury – they are needed things for your sanity! And can’t we all use a little break? In fact, 8 in 10 people admit that they are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed.

Recently, Chobani released their #BreakYouMake campaign, encouraging us all to share about the #BreakYouMake. I adore this campaign. The idea is to carve out a little “you” time each day. Make yourself a break, so to speak. I try to do this every night after I put Ryan to bed. I sit down on the couch with my nightly something sweet and watch 30 minutes of mindless TV. That 30 minutes often can make or break my night and even the next morning. If I skip it, I can definitely feel it! Lately I’ve been digging yogurt with some fruit as my nightly snack, and I’ve also been really loving Chobani’s Flips – yogurt and a yummy topping you can add at your own pleasure, like Almond Coco Loco, a coconut greek yogurt with chocolate and almonds.

Flips #BreakYouMake

In honor of National #BreakYouMake Day this month, Chobani wants everyone to nominate someone who deserves a break. Someone who deserves a little more “me” time.  Nominating just one person for this #BreakYouMake campaign was hard – so many people I know would qualify are truly in need of a break. But there was one person, as always, who shone in his need of a break.

My husband, Alex, is honestly the most hardworking person I have ever met. Up until very recently, through our entire relationship he worked Monday through Saturday, having only Sunday off. For the vast majority of our relationship, we were together for one day a week. As a diesel mechanic, he is constantly doing hard, heavy labor in everything from the blazing sun on the side of the road, to 5 below weather in a bay with open doors.

Ryan's First Birthday

A few months ago he started a new job. It was a lot more pay, a better position, and the ability to finally be recognized for his expertise and hard work. The only problem is that it’s 3 hours away. Each Monday he wakes up at 3:30, kisses me good-bye and drives off to work. He works 14-16 hour days, checks into his hotel room, calls me, goes to sleep and then wakes up at 5 to do it all over again. On Friday nights, I keep our son up a little late so that he can see Alex when he homes home at 8:30 or 9 before he goes to bed.

When he comes home, he is faced with a long list of things. Errands we have to run together, home improvement projects we need to finish, family we need to see  – all crammed into two days. We need to stuff everything he would do at home during the week into 48 small hours: dinners with parents, playing with Cooper, enjoying our son, allowing me some time to myself to get some things done, shopping, mowing the lawn, changing the oil on my car.. all while finding time to romance me and make me feel as loved as the day we got married. (Please note here, he does all of this willingly and without my asking. I truly married an amazing, selfless man.)

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The man never stops. He never takes a minute for himself. Never just sits down and says, yeah, the next 30 minutes are about Alex. It’s all for me and our little family, all day, everyday. When I was pregnant with our son, we made the decision that I would stay home and raise Ryan while Alex supported us. It was at his insistence that I caved and accepted what I had really wanted in my heart, to be a stay-at-home mom. I thank him every single day for the sacrifices he willingly makes each day to allow me to stay home with our little boy.

The thing is, I can hear it in his voice everyday – how the commute, the long hours, the being away from his family are all taking their toll on him. He is exhausted, and stressed, and over worked. But all he wants to do is provide for his family, to make us as comfortable as he can, to give us everything we could ever want, so to him, none of the other stuff matters. Like I said, even when he comes home, he continues to work for his family, to do whatever he perceives us to need to make us minutely happier, even though him just being home with us is everything.

No one deserves a break more than this man. This hard working, non-stop, self-sacrificing, loving father and husband. A man who makes every being in our home light up when he walks in the door, a man who puts his family’s wants before his own each and every day.

So here’s to you, Alex. There is no one more deserving of a #BreakYouMake than you. And, if you don’t make one for yourself, I will make you take a break.

If you have a blog, Chobani wants YOU to write a post nominating someone for a #BreakYouMake. Don’t have a blog?  Nominate someone in the comments or on your social media channels! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BreakYouMake to alert Chobani of your nomination!!

I’m linking up with the fabulous Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for letting me wax (not so) poetically about the love of my life!

**I was not compensated in anyway for this post. I genuinely love the concept and wanted to share this campaign with all of you. I hope you love it just as much, and would love to see your nominations!

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! I personally am pretty pumped that the week is halfway over, especially since we’re celebrating our anniversary this weekend! The original idea was to make a beach weekend out of it, but its supposed to be gloomy and cold, so I’m bummed. Either way, a weekend with my boys, relaxing, sounds pretty good right now.

As always, I’m posting my eats for a whole day for What I Ate Wednesday. If you’re new to What I Ate Wednesday, head over to Peas and Crayons to get the full scoop, where Jen hosts this lovely link-up each week. So here, you go!

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Breakfast: Half(ish) of a bagel, and yogurt with honey, PB and chopped apple for me, and eggs, tomato, sweet potato, peas, carrots, and broccoli for the boy. Fruit is now given after the meal or else he won’t eat, so some strawberries and apple we eated later.

best husband ever. happy anniversary, babe. coop is also enjoying it!

A photo posted by Morgan Wieboldt (@morganmanages) on

Snack: Alex sent this on Monday because he’s the sweetest husband ever and knows that food is the way to my heart, not flowers. As you can imagine, we’ve been snacking on this non-stop. The fruit is all perfectly ripe and delicious!! Ryan ate chunks of apple all day, leaving the chewed up, spit out peels all over the house. Thanks, bud.

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Lunch: Salad with spinach, chopped turkey, apple, tomato, onion, broccoli, peas and corn, shredded carrot, shredded cheddar and lots of balsamic. Pretty much whatever was in the fridge. Ryan had the same, separated.20150622_154601

Snack: Have you ever tried cream top yogurt? It’s UNBELIEVABLE. I instantly regretted not buying more. This was my second cup, and the first day Ryan had his first few spoonfuls of yogurt (IE, he ate half) and, obviously he loved it. He cried when I took the spoon away.

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Dinner: This was pretty similar to lunch, but a million times better. First, spinach, chopped with scissors and sprinkled with seasoning and a good amount of balsamic. Add veggies (I used tomato, onion, peas, carrots) and shredded parmesan and toss together. On top, add warm sweet potatoes (I had just finished roasting some sticks for ryan, so I chopped them and put ’em on top.) and some form of meat. Beans would also work. I used left over beef rib from lunch on Sunday, and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. I can’t. I also tried this Zevia cola, which was pretty good, but no beloved Coke Zero. It tastes like a melted Coke Slurpee, which I’m okay with. Ryan had balsamic chicken and veggies!

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Dessert: I can’t end my day without a tasty treat, so some of that delicious fruit and a big ol’ squirt of whipped cream were in order. Uhm, those chocolate covered strawberries? SO. GOOD.

Baby Led Weaning: On the Go

In my opinion, one of the best parts about baby led weaning is the freedom of it. I can go anywhere and not have to worry about a spoon or a jar or pouch of food. I can eat my meal without hovering over Ryan, or having to feed him myself. I always eat a hot meal because I eat with Ryan. I’m never (okay, rarely) rushed and we get to eat every meal as a family.

We have been taking Ryan out to eat with us since he was about 3 weeks old. Our first trip was Chipotle (cue surprise) and about a week or two later we went to our favorite sit down Greek restaurant and he slept the whole way through. When he was about 7 months old and getting really into eating, we started bringing him his own little meals when we went out to eat. Like I said, he eats when we eat. People are always amazed watching him eat like a little grown up as well as his surprisingly good table manners.

Baby Led Weaning On the Go

Baby Led Weaning On the Go

Along the way we’ve picked up a few tips, tricks, and gear for making baby led weaning on the go easier for both you and your little eater.

Gear:

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A Mat. We bought this silicone place mat by Summer Infant and fell in love almost immediately. It has 4 suction cups to stick to the table, a spot that catches all the dropped food, it’s easily wiped down and cleaned, and folds up into a little tube shape to throw in your diaper bag. Sometimes the suction cups don’t work perfectly, depending on the material of the table, but it’s never been a huge issue for us. Also, if you wet the cups a little, they stick much better!

Wipes. This is a given, but it’s a huge part of making this work. I use antibacterial wipes on the table and then normal baby wipes to clean off hands and face and we’ve never had a problem.  Find what works for you and make sure you always have at least 1 full pack in your bag. Trust me, being out and running out of wipes during a meal is no fun. Not that I speak from experience.

Containers. I like Ziploc Twist n’ Lock containers the best.  They have a screw top so they have never leaked in my bag, and they’re the perfect size for a meal. I use these for everything, and end up buying about pack a month. Inevitably, one gets left somewhere, I throw one out, or I give one away each month..

Sippy cup. This is the sippy cup we use, but bring whatever your child is using at the moment. Ryan isn’t a fan of soft spout or straws yet, so this one is perfect. I suggest one with a lid if you plan on bringing water or whatever with you, but I’ve brought an empty with me and filled it up at the restaurant many times.

 

Baby Led Weaning On the Go Tips:

-I prep a few meals on Fridays, or before we leave. I know that we’ll be going out to eat once or twice during the weekend, so I make a few before so I’m not scrambling. Here’s what ours look like:

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Essentially, it’s whatever we would put on Ryan’s tray at home, in a container! Then I dole out a little at a time as needed. I usually put a little extra of everything in case he’s feeling one thing over the other that day or in case a lot of it hits the floor.

Prepping food once or twice a week makes making quick meals (both for going out and staying in!) easy and stress free. Meal planning and prep isn’t just for your meals!!

-Frozen corn and peas make great ‘ice packs’. If it’s going to be warm or I know that we’ll be out for a while I put a generous handful of corn or peas on the top and bottom of the containers and by the time we eat most are defrosted so they’re edible and it’s kept the rest of the food safe to eat.

-Never go straight from the pan/pot to the container and out. This is dangerous and can breed bacteria if not kept at the right temperature or eaten in a timely manner. For more about food safety, check out foodsafety.gov

-I know it’s a bummer, but clean up the best you can before you leave. Especially if it’s somewhere you plan on going again. It’s common courtesy!

-As you get more comfortable, sharing your meal is fun as well! We didn’t start this with Ryan until he was 12 months, partly because of his allergy, but also because of recommended sodium. Use your gut, do what feels right for you and your family.

-Put in a few “sure things” that will keep your little one entertained, happy, and willing to sit for an extended amount of time. For us, it’s larger chunks or slices of (now, raw) apple, tomato, corn, bread, or fruit in general. Also, things that they love but take a while (see raw apple  – if I know it will be a longer outing, I’ll give him a half of a raw apple to munch on) to use up time.

If you’re new to baby led weaning, or just want more information on the process, check out the other posts in my baby led weaning series:

Why We Chose Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning: The First Steps
Baby Led Weaning: Step 2
Baby Led Weaning: First Foods, Fruits and Vegetables
Baby Led Weaning: Meal Prep

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