Jul 21, 2014

MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!


My first give away -- YAY!! I've always wanted to try a giveaway on the blog. I know people do this all the time for various reasons, I was just waiting for something I liked enough I suppose… 

So I'm super excited to introduce you to The Paper Nut - her stuff is SO CUTE.  I snagged one for munchkins room and am excited to be able to share the LOVE. 

Please check out her Etsy Shop here.  


But first enter to win this adorable 
chocolate ballerina print!!! 
Scroll for details...



Munchkin is starting her fourth year of ballet this fall, so I was really excited to present this to her.  Im still waiting in the wings for her to become the prima ballerina I always knew I could be, I know she can be.. in the meantime, I hope she has sweet dreams of pointe shoes and tutu's and dancing her little heart out..

ENTER TO WIN: 
FOR YOURSELF/ YOUR LITTLE BALLERINA.
FOR A GIFT OR A FRIEND.
JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE ME AND OUR BLOG:-)



xxB

P.S. I hope I don't mess this thing up... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 17, 2014

BACK TO SCHOOL | DINNER MEAL PLANNING

I've been meaning to do this post for a while, but was inspired recently as I've had a few rounds of guests over who really liked the menu board hanging in the kitchen. I thought it would be right on time as we are gearing up to try and get (OUR LIVES) organized for the hustle and bustle of back to school!

Menu planning has proved to be a real life and annoyance time saver; one less thing to worry about.  Here are a few tips that I have found helpful.


Weekend Menu Planning 
I try and take some time on the weekend to come up with ideas on what I'd like to cook for the week. Nothing super formal, just an excuse to peruse, my favorite magazines..  I really like the little inserts from  Martha Stewart  or any other 30 minutes or less cookbooks/mags. I also "like" a few cooking resources on Facebook which is really helpful. Some of my favorites are Saveur and Cooking Light.  And lets not forget Pinterest. I save things that I'd like to try in my Bunnie's Recipe Box folder.

Shopping List
Currently using this "All Out Of" magnetic pad I found on Amazon. I also like this one from Target. Goes on the fridge and we add/check off items as we run out during the week, and add any additional items needed for the meals we (and by we I mean me) plan to make. We usually do the big grocery run on Mondays.


Menu Board
I LOVE this menu board. Nothing is as annoying as trying to figure out at the last minute - whats for dinner? I literally look up at this in the morning and pull out whatever I need from the freezer to thaw.

P.S. I took an IKEA frame, removed the glass an painted the wood backing with chalkboard paint. Drew the lines and pics on with a fine white chalkboard marker , it wipes off easily with water and a damp sponge. I will probably need to apply an "fresh" coat of paint for the new school year.



I'm not ashamed to say that I don't prefer to make dinner every night.  Sometimes its spaghetti and (turkey) meatballs, some times its more elaborate, and sometimes we throw all plans out the window and eat PANCAKES FOR DINNER - YESS!!

But here's a good rough plan for the week:
On the left is whats for breakfast every day and that stays the same. The middle is dinner.

Big dinner on  Sunday so there are
leftovers on Monday.
Prepare a new meal on Tuesday with enough for
leftovers on Wednesday.
A sandwich night on Thursdays makes things easy breezy.
And Friday is always PIZZA NIGHT.  Sometimes its homemade (a frozen cheese pizza, or pizza dough from the bakery, where we add our own toppings.). Occassionally we order delivery or go out.
On SaturdayI don't care what we eat we get take out at whatever yummy kid friendly patio or burger joint we can find a seat!

Please note: We eat leftovers twice a week if at all possible.

The point is to make it easy on yourself, save a little at the grocery store with a list and a plan, and find time to read magazines on the weekend  have the time and energy to make healthy meals for your family.

Do you menu plan? Any tips/tricks you'd like to share?

xxB
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Jul 15, 2014

BACK TO SCHOOL | KID STYLE





So yes! The reason for this post!

Its that time of year again, and if your little has sprouted up over the summer like mine, you'll be needing to invest in new clothes for back to school. I'd like to add some classic little things that I think will carry her through the year. She'll be able to mix and match, add sweaters, tights, boots, as we get into the colder months. Here are some of my top picks/favorites…

Most of these things I'd like to add to my own wardrobe as well..

This chambray bib tunic from CrewCuts should last through the warmer months with shorts and capris, and we can add a cardigan when it starts to get a little cooler in the fall months. I'd even stick it under a pullover in the winter.

I know pink gets much play in a little girls wardrobe. So these pink suede mocks are right on trend for Andie who still can't get enough of the color. No socks in the summer early fall, in the winter add socks/tights WOOT.

All of munchkins leggings have turned into capris since her little summer growth spurt. These striped leggings will be the first - I like to stock pile these things to go under dresses turned shirts, and skirts.. 

I'm not sure where she got the notion, but the little has been making plans to add a horse (and small stables) to our "estate". This Gunner and Lux - Little Lux  horse necklace will have to do.. I think its adorable, and would love some of their "Grown-Up" pieces as well...

This little kitty ears liberty print headband is SO CUTE RIGHT? 

Cant go back to school without a new pencil case! I really like the stuff over at Peppercorn Kids.

Now should I stay true to size a get a little bigger? How to you buy clothes for your littles?

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you about my guest post over on my bloggy pal Maria's blog. I shared some really yummy recipes with her folks. Please check her (and me) out if you have a few minutes (and some blackberries you want to make plans for:-)

xxB

Jul 9, 2014

BACK IN THE RING: FIGHTING THE BABY BULGE | HEALTHY SNACKING


this yumminess is what gets me in trouble every time. the perfect reward for meeting my first goal? 
me thinks so. recipe here via brooklyn supper.

for some summer is almost over but for me we aren't even half way there yet. Munchkin (and little h) still have about 6 weeks left Jesus Take the Wheel  before school starts. Which means plenty of time to cross things off of our summer bucket list and plenty of time to raid the refrigerator on a daily basis when we come in from galavanting through the city (and the back yard) all day.

H is two years old now.  Apparently I've lost 10 and then gained five pounds since this time last year. Booo! Hissss!

And I'm certain of the culprit. SNACKS and lack of exercise.

While I think I've done a decent job of maintaining I haven't yet gotten down to a weight I'm comfortable with (i.e. I can fit into the seven pairs of jeans I've anointed with oil and prayed over tucked away in my closet for safe keeping).

I can't totally get rid of the decadent and caloric snacks I have around the house, because unlike me, the other folks around here could stand to gain a few pounds. So in order to combat my wandering (to the snack cabinet) eye, I'll need to have some artillery of my own.

Cue the:

HEALTHY SNACK LIST:
-a hard boiled egg with a half cup of grapes
-a savory parfait made with two tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese, a quarter of an avocado chunks, and a table spoon of raisins.
-a packet of instant unsweetened oatmeal with cinnamon and chopped nuts
-hollowed out zucchini halves topped with guacamole
-a low fat Greek yogurt with a cup of your favorite berries
-a cup of baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus
-Kind Bars
-a cup of steamed in the pod edamame
-a half cup of high fiber cereal with skim milk
-a 100 calorie pack of almonds and a banana
-a handful of whole wheat crackers and a wedge of laughing cow cheese, cucumbers

I've taken the liberty of creating a printable list to take to the grocery store here.

Keeping it real: My mom has gotten on the healthy eating and exercise kick and lost like 40 pounds?! If she fits into my jeans before I do, I may spiral into a deep depression. The good news is, my sister has gained a few pounds, so I'm not totally the chunky one anymore:-)

So lets set some goals…

First to lose 5 pounds. READY, SET, GO!

You in? #bhOPERATIONSKINNYJEANS

xxB

Jul 7, 2014

REAL TALK: TEACHING GIRLS

love this scrunchy little face.

I hope you had an awesome Fourth of July weekend. I truly did. We had a few folks over and H went overboard with the fireworks. Little h was having NONE of it though. I ended up catching what I could of the spectacular show from Andie's window upstairs while he pulled the blanket over his little head. 

Fresh lemonade, Apple Pie care of Southern Sweets Bakery, we used Martha's recipe for a southern shrimp boil and it was SO GOOD. Bubbles, music, sack races the whole shebang. The kids had SO MUCH FUN. Speaking of which, maybe it was because I was so distracted with little h trying to get as far away from the cracking sounds of "poppers" or maybe it just went over my head at the time, but in hindsight I missed a real teaching/learning moment with Andie that I'd like to get down, so I don't forget or miss the opportunity again.

We were playing the game where you balance the (plastic) egg on the spoon and walk to the cone and back again. If you drop the egg, you have to start again from the beginning. She was SO excited, giggling the whole way. She dropped it after a few steps, and ran back to start again. She got all the way to the end and dropped it again. I could see her little heart break:-( She put her arm over her eyes and ran behind a tree. I ran after her to console her. All I could think about was that I didn't want her to be sad. I told her it was okay to be upset, and she didn't have to play the game if she didn't want too.

BOOOO mommy!!

NO QUITTERS!!

How I wish it would have played out:

Scenario 1
She walked blindfolded with one hand behind her back down to the cone and back with her egg still securely in place in less than 10 seconds and her friends carried her on their shoulders as the reigning egg race queen!!

For Real:
Andie: (Drops egg the second time) Mommy, I can't do this!! I don't want to play anymore.
Mommy: Its okay that you are upset. You CAN do it. Don't worry about beating everyone else. Its a fun game, lets try it again, just me and you.
Scene: Even though the kids have moved on to the next game - We keep trying together until she gets it. Smiles, tears and all.
End Scene:-)

Not sure it would have worked out that way. But the lesson I would have liked to teach:
Winning isn't everything. Its important to give it your best shot. Its okay if you don't come in first place. Its not okay to give up when you don't succeed on the first (or second) try.

As we all know these little people do not come with instructions. Feeding, clothing, Tucking them in at night (for the 10th time), that's the easy part. But building them up - courage, confidence, character -that's what we are really charged with. That's my prayer daily. For wisdom, for guidance, for grace.

xxB





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