4/29/16

weekend links.

Last night after I put the boys to bed, I saw Parker had moved Anders' new shoes to be lined up with his new shoes. When I see things like that after I put them to bed for the night, it makes my heart explode. Sometimes I find toys in the colander in the cabinets (Anders) or knights all lined up on a windowsill (Parker). I love it.

What are you doing this weekend? We're going to a big lasagna dinner tonight at a friend's, and then I'm really hoping for some nice weather because I'm dying to go on a hike. Is that weird? I've had a hike on my brain for the last several weeks. 

This salad looks amazing. I'm definitely making it.

For the pour-over fans, is this stand not the coolest?

Decoding Beyonce's Lemonade. (I had no idea what it was all about until I saw a bunch of funny IGs about Jay-Z the other night.).

10 Best Self-Tanners. I want this one.

Lena will actually move to Canada if Trump wins.

I've never been much of a loafer gal, but these are making me change my mind.

A boutique near me carries these candles, and they smell really good. Like, all of them.

Using an angry bear to stop dismissing sexual violence.

The noodle bowl craze is in full gear and here's a recipe to make at home.

This would be such a pretty beach cover-up.

Have a good weekend!

4/28/16

Easy activities for young kids + toddlers.

I've been searching this website as of late to come up with activities for Parker to do. It's not even that we need them right now as we're heading into nicer weather, but he's in a requesting TV ALL THE TIME phase and is pretty much asking for Paw Patrol within three seconds of waking up every morning. (Side note: he seems very much over Daniel Tiger which makes me sort of sad. I'll love you forever, Daniel Tiger.) We've given in to TV too many times, and I don't want it to become something of a habit (though I'm afraid it already is). So, I planned a few of these activities lately and can I just tell you they are so easy?? They require the tiniest bit of prep, the tiniest bit of clean up, and the tiniest bit of money for a fairly substantial bit of fun for him. Perfect for filling that before dinner boredom! Or that as-soon-as-you-wake-in-place-of-TV time as the case may be.

The above is ooblek. One of the highlights of the four. Made with corn starch and water in the ratio of 2:1! He played with it plain white for quite awhile then I dropped a few drops of food coloring in and put him to the task of mixing them. It feels crazy. I could imagine sitting down to play with it if I wasn't busy making food while he was doing so!

The below is baking soda and vinegar with food coloring in a squirt bottle. We used an entire large box of baking soda for this because he was having so much fun with it. After he squirted out three bottles of colored vinegar, he continued playing with it and mixing the colors with a spoon.
This one was easy. Freezing ice cubes (in an extra large tray like this) and food coloring. He was actually really excited about this one and kept checking his ice cubes the night before to see their freezing progress. The next day, he transferred them to the bowl of warm water one by one  with tongs or a spoon and watched the colors blend into the water as the cubes melted.
We moved right into this one once the ice cubes all melted. I got him another bowl of water, and in the ice cube tray mixed water and food coloring in each cube of the tray. If I had an eyedropper to spare, I would've used that, but we did have a Motrin dispenser! Use what you have! So I gave him that and he transferred the colored water into the water bowl. Back and forth for at least thirty minutes?
Next up, I want to try this one. And this for when we're sitting waiting for food at a restaurant (always an antsy time--we usually play I Spy.).

As for Anders, he tried the ooblek but didn't love it, and I did let him in on some of the ice cube fun: warm water and a bowl of ice cubes.
It's been fun clicking through the site and coming up with more things to do with them. So many of these things are right in my kitchen cupboards, so pulling them off isn't hard either. Let me know if you try any! 

(We also bought this butterfly garden and the caterpillars have probably quintupled in size in the last week. But let me tell you -- the process is gross.)

4/27/16

plum organics giveaway! :: GIVEAWAY CLOSED

plum organics has been a bit of a god-send to us. before i mostly limited my plum organics snacks for the boys to on-the-go times. those organic fruit and veggie squeeze pouches?! i have been known to have packed two (or eight!), an apple, a couple granola bars, and some nuts for days where we'd be out for hours with the kids. without plentiful snacks, no outing with kids involved is going to go well, plus mama gets anxious.

now, plum organics is rolling out their mighty mealtime line for tots. think less on the go, but with equal ease of use, and still organic. sometimes cutting and dicing and stirring and spending even ten minutes over the stove for lunch is not going to work. sick kids, teething baby, kids who aren't napping, preschool pickup, laundry, an episode of orange is the new black (just kidding), the list goes onnnnnn. doesn't mean you have to sacrifice something on the healthy side, though. the line includes the oatmeal and sweet potato or broccoli mac and cheese too.
i made anders some of their apple cinnamon oatmeal. one of my favorite parts of the whole thing? zero sugar added. no maple syrup, no cane sugar, no brown sugar, no nothing. anders really likes oatmeal, so when i have time to make it, i usually scoop some out for him and sweeten it with some bananas instead of maple syrup. i love that plum organics hasn't done the sweetening for you but instead lets you decide how you want to serve it to your kids. and the ingredients?! chia seeds, barley flakes, quinoa. it's good stuff.

i made anders' with frozen blueberries (which also cooled it right down), and mashed up banana. those two were enough to sweeten it without anything else added. other options? banana, plain yogurt, applesauce, raisins, slivered almonds, blueberries, coconut... but the possibilities are endless. 

plus, actually making it? add hot water. it won't totally replace our old standby of stovetop oatmeal but for those mornings when time isn't on our side?! done.
leave a comment with some of your favorite toddler breakfasts (plus your email!) and you'll be entered to win mighty mealtime for tots plus a whole bunch of other plum products. i'll announce a winner by friday!

this post is sponsored by plum organics. thank you for reading!

giveaway closed! laura konrade is the winner! congrats, laura!

4/25/16

The things I wish I bought in the aisles of Target but didn't or else I'd be broke, volume 07.

hello, hello! here we are in the blessed golden aisles of target again!! in his hand, parker holds a lego set that is for "william" for his birthday. i can't say william's laid a hand on it since the initial building it that they did together. what a thoughtful gift, parker!!

and anders, still strapped in but totally turned around, trying to pluck things one by one out of the cart and throw them to the ground happily. i know your tricks, anders! 

okay, click to see more, friends.

4/22/16

weekend links.

I love this picture from a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what he was looking at, but that face!! Anyway, what are you doing this weekend? I need to catch up on SLEEP. Anders has been waking pretty routinely at 5:45 and I've been staying up late to get work done. The two don't mix! Hopefully tonight I'll get in bed early. (Now THAT is a good Friday night.) Now for some links...

Girl on the Train trailer! (Though I didn't like any of the characters, I totally want to see this.)
My next book for SURE. And if you've never read anything by Catherine Newman, stop what you're doing and go get Waiting for Birdy.

Hamilton fan? Totally? Don't know what it is? (It's okay! Neither did I!) Anyway, Hamilton backlash.

This website has a million great, simple activity ideas for young children. I'm going to do this one with the boys soon. Do you have any favorites?

These Trump and Sanders impersonations are spot-on.

Surfing babies! (Thanks Sylvia!)

This chicken alfredo baked ziti looks so good.

This breezy top is so pretty for summertime. I also love her hair but somehow can't make mine look even close to that.

Have a good weekend!

4/21/16

Being sick + bored babies.


I was sick Monday and Tuesday of this week. Wednesday, today, I'm feeling a lot better though not 100%. 80%? 85%? In the midst of this sickness--which I'm trying to figure out the name for (was it flu? was it a touch of mastitis? a plugged duct? just a really wicked cold?)--I vowed to never eat another bit of junk food again. Not a morsel! Not a crumb! I will be as driven as they come! I will eat only the finest fruits, vegetables, and meats and nothing more! The willpower of a saint!

Today I was really tempted by a cookie at this farm where we buy our milk. I didn't buy it, no, but I was really tempted and we're like one day out from me feeling like death.

It's just that a) I like to pinpoint exactly how I got sick--like the moment and place in time the germ actually entered my body and b) I really want to come up with the surefire way to avoid getting sick ever again. No carbs? No sugar? No starch? Eat raw ginger and garlic every day? Bathe in a mixture of bone broth and my own breastmilk?

On another note, Anders-badger (the way I feel I ought to reference him when he does certain things he does and does not give one shit) has more determination than Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant when it comes to sleep. That boy. I say it ten times a day, "It's a good thing you're cute." Cause holy moly is he cute. He walks now, and he has this sort of extra wide gait, like he just got off a horse, and this loopy sort of drunk swagger like he's seconds from falling at any time, but always righting himself before the fall, and he's so proud of himself, and I pretty much (clicheeeeee!) want to eat him all the time.

But wait, before I go airing my baby-sleep grievances, let me cut the boy some slack: he was a gem all over Europe. Seriously, I can't think of a time where he just cried and fussed without having a very legitimate need that could easily be met. Planes, trains, and automobiles all over Italy, Switzerland, and England and he'd just be... chill. But then, he came home and I swear, I think he's just bored. So he's like, "Oh, this chair looks fine for climbing? And would it be alright if I got inside the dishwasher?? No? Doing it anyway. And naps? I'm thinking... ten minutes today. Once you disengage your person from my person, I'm good! Anders-badger don't care!"

Sleep and babies. I've written about this before.

It didn't occur to me until writing this right now that it's probably just boredom! He'd never really experienced idle time in this home (let alone winter in this home!) since being an active baby. Last year he was a mushy little nursing thing. He learned to crawl while abroad and then it was pretty much (little to no exaggeration) three months on the go. I came home to SIT for the FIRST time in THREE months and he's all HOW SHALL I FILL MY TIME. I CAN CRAWL! LET'S BURN THIS HOUSE TO THE GROUND!

I know now, having been through this before, he'll be sleeping better one day, and probably one day soon. Those milestones, I also know, come long before I'm ever ready for them. So wake up, little dude. Mama's here. But, maybe, if I'm feeling really ill, you could just take a really decent nap?

4/20/16

4moms high chair!


once again, the genius over at 4moms have come up with another product that's functional and attractive. they're like the masters of that in the baby world. (remember this video?!? and how about baby anders in the mamaroo!?) really, they have the form and function thing down pat. our last high chair--without naming any names--was a pain. it was a two-handed tray removal (you'd be surprised how annoying that gets), and had a fabric seat cover that never really got clean. i remember loving the look of it and being all, "who cares about anything else!" before parker was born but... i was wrong. i cursed it every time i had to put the food or baby down to remove the tray. 

click to read more!!

4/18/16

ten things i'm absolutely loving right now.


one. eating dinner outside. we just got the deck furniture out this weekend and had nice weather too. we celebrated nathaniel's birthday on saturday with burgers outside and then had a favorite orzo salad on sunday night. all outside, hurrah! it feels like my house just grows when the outside becomes an option! anders is absolutely loving it too.
two. bitsy's brain food smart crackers. parker loves the cheddar chia veggie ones! picking boxes up every single time i'm at target. (i prefer them to their cookies.)
three. that green plant i just picked up at my grocery store the other day. anyone know what it is and how i can not kill it?
four. climbing into bed next to anders every night. he just never sits still! sleeping next to him is like heaven to me!
five. meyer lemons in my water. a little sweeter than other lemons? refreshing.
six. these sneakers.
seven. that i'm staying on top of the laundry in my house (AT THE MOMENT). it will change in a few days, no doubt, but for the meantime i'm reveling in it.
eight. duke ellington spotify station.
nine. i have the oldest eyeshadows ever, so i just got this and the colors are beautiful.
ten. watching movies this weekend. we watched the big short (which convinced me that the whole housing collapse was even more convoluted and complicated and crooked (alliteration) than i was even aware of.) and mockingjay part 2. recommend both!

4/15/16

weekend links.

What are you doing this weekend? We might try to get to the beach (!!) and we're going to have a date night hopefully too. We've managed to have a few of them recently and it's been really nice. Last week I got an Earl Grey infused vodka cocktail (with basil too) and it was so good. 

A bike stroller! This is awesome!

This top in purple. So pretty. (But #braproblems. Good strapless bra?)

Damn, Facebook. Lots of hidden messages they think are spam in your Messenger (it's true; I checked and had a bunch I'd never seen!).

Animal courtships performed by humans.

I've never really asked for jewelry for presents, and my engagement and wedding ring are the only consistent jewelry I wear, but I might change my tune with this. So. pretty. Can't stop looking at this ring.

Why we can no longer smell our own perfume.

Eyes Wide Shut parties in Paris. How does one get invited to these?

Costco is the organic heavyweight now.

Almost time for another pair of summer shoes for Parker. (These really are awesome.)

World peace cookies. I want to make these.

Trump's kids can't vote for him.

Have a good weekend!

4/14/16

almond flour pancakes.

It's funny to me that I'm sharing these with you as Parker's first reaction to eating them was, "Disgusting!" He's been spoiled by the heavy-on-the-butter yogurt pancakes I typically make. So before you go writing these off, just know that if your usual pancakes are sub-par, these will do just fine! You might even like them! 

Let's try this again.

Almond flour. It's becoming a thing. Or maybe it's been a thing. I don't know. I haven't strayed too far from normal flour yet, but I'm dipping my toes in the alternate flours world with my love of Kodiak Cakes mixes, and now, you guessed it, almond flour. 

So, Anders (and I) are currently dairy-free because he has some eczema on his legs and I think it may be dairy-related. So my usual pancakes were off the table (pun intended!), and out of desperation came inspiration. Almond flour pancakes. 

Now, I'm not going to share my recipe because, like I said, meh. But I am going to share my brother-in-law Mike's (husband of the face wash queen!!!!) recipe. When he makes them, he makes an enormous batch and I've had them and they're delicious. They're not your typically fluffy Buttermilky dinery sleep-all-day-after-you've-eaten-themy. But they're really good and also healthy. If I'm not going dairy-free, I might try adding plain whole milk yogurt or melted butter to them some time too. 

Mike's Almond Flour Pancakes
1 lb. Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour (1/2 of the above bag)
9 eggs
4 T honey
3 T vanilla
3/4 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
1-2 T cinnamon
optional: shredded apple (I made ours with it, and recommend!); chocolate chips

Mix above ingredients. Coconut oil or butter on griddle. Get flippin'.

If you make a ton, freeze them in a big ziplock and pop them in the toaster when you're ready.

(Any success in subbing out normal flour for alternate flours in your every day cookies, breads? Half and half? I'm nervous to ruin a whole recipe with how infrequently I bake, but I want to try this more and more!)

4/12/16

spring style.


outfit 1: romper + gladiator sandals
outfit 2: turtleneckjeans + sneakers
outfit 3: dress (i love!) + gladiator sandals

outfit 4: chambray topwhite jean + metallic flip flops + straw hat
outfit 5: chambray dress + wedge espadrille + scarf
outfit 6: tassel shirtjeans + shoes

the changing of seasons always makes me want to buy, buy, buyyyyy! (which is not okay.) it's just that the trends changed, steve! high-waisted flares are back and i only have skinnies! peplum's totally out and now i need more off-the-shoulders! (hypothetical conversation.) 

i do buy a few pieces with the changing of season, but i don't go crazy. at least, i think i don't go crazy. do you? are you? favorite spring purchase so far? mine is this vest. i know, broken record at this point, but i just loooooove it.

so, since i have full shopping carts at a few choice online retailers, i decided to take those pieces out of hiding and, at the very least, splash them across my blog for the day. i don't foresee many of them making their way to my doorstep but, it's fun to put these outfits together anyway. do you have a favorite? i can't decide between 3 and 4 -- but those sneakers in 2! (and, those gladiator sandals are $23 if you're in need!)

bad influence, right here.