Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! Hope everyone had an awesome week and is having a great day. We have had a somewhat low key day. Being lazy, ran to the store real quick, and lots of cuddles. I know the next couple of days are going to be crazy and stressful, and next week is the last official week of summer vacation for us. 

Today I a linking up with  ErikaNarci, and Andrea for some Friday Favorites randomness from the past week. 

We are knocking more items off Ella's summer bucket list. One of the items was paint a bird house. Well we modified and used markers on one we bought from Pat Catans. She enjoyed doing it. To bad she put it outside and I forgot about it, it rained and got ruined.

This showed up on my top hop from two years ago. This angry face Austin had for his 1 month photos is just so cute. 

The kids finally got to play in the sprinkler that Austin got for his birthday. Ella loved it, Austin wasn't 100% sure about it. The sprinkler sprays different heights in ever different directions. 

Ella requested to walk to the school she will be going to this year (hopefully). It is about a 15 minute walk, we live to close for buses. Then we walked around our neighborhood some. 

This is what happens when I start to workout and put my phone on the ground to take pictures and videos. 

Austin also stole my workout mat. He mowed it with his lawnmower, drove a front loader truck over it, and set up his bat cave cars on it. I ended up grabbing another mat and letting him have mine. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. 

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 
Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spaghetti Squash

If you would have told me 5 years ago that spaghetti squash was going to be one of my new favorite meals, I would have thought you were nuts. It has taken Brian a little getting use to but he enjoys it as well. When I made this for dinner last week, Ella even asked for seconds. (Austin is another story) I'm so excited to find a healthy meal that everyone loves. 

I recommend having a really sharp knife and some muscle to be able to cut through the skin of the squash. It can be a little tough. You don't need a huge butchers knife. Using a small paring knife works just as well.
One tip I have learned over the times of trying to cut into some of the toughest skin, is to throw it in the microwave for two minutes. It helps to softer the skin just enough to make cutting easier. 

You can also freeze the shredded squash for quick simple meals later. 

There are so many options you can do with the Spaghetti squash once it is cooked. Some of our family favorites are using as pasta and adding red sauce, making little hash patties for breakast, and added a protein and a bunch of veggies. 
The dinner below was shrimp with mushrooms, grape tomatos, garlic, onion, and fresh lemon juice. 

Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash 
olive oil (or avocado oil, or coconut oil)

1- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2- Cut spaghetti squash in half, length wise.
3- Use a spoon to scoop out seeds.
4- Brush or spray oil on the cut side of the squash. Then sprinkle with salt. 
5- Place on baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on size of your squash. 
6- Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. 
7- Use a fork to break up strands. 
8- Serve alone or with your favorite meal.
9- Enjoy!!!

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 
Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Hey friends!!! I am back for another Wordless Wednesday. Post photos on your blog and link up. Feel free to grab the image above, join in the party, invite your friends, and link up at the bottom of the post. 

Interested in Co-Hosting? Message me and lets chat.

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 

Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Talk- Breastfeeding

Hey loves!!! How is everyone doing on this Tuesday? We have a little back to school shopping to do, then hopefully my kids will want to play outside again. They have their moods when they don't want to go outside. 

It is the third Tuesday of the month so it is time for Tuesday talk with Ashley and Erika. It is a great link up where you can talk about anything and everything. Today I am talking about my breastfeeding adventures. A few weeks ago was National Breastfeeding week, and I realized I have never shared my struggles and wins. Lets talk about Breastfeeding...

There was never any hesitation or question about it, I planned on breastfeeding both my kids. Breast milk is FREE, natural, the best nutrition option, a great bonding experience, and the most convenient. I didn't realize how "hard" it was. I never did any research before having Aubriella about problems or complications you could have. I thought I was prepared with a black nursing tank, nursing pads, a nursing cover, and a nursing pillow. Boy was I wrong. 
At the hospital with Aubriella, I meet with a lactation consultant once. She helped me get a good latch, and gave me a nipple shield to temporary help with latching also. We were sent home with no real directions or concerns (besides jaundice) 

I remember when my milk finally came in and feeling the pain and heaviness in my breasts 3 days after giving birth. We were out shopping at Walmart getting food and odds and ends we needed. Luckily we were done shopping and went straight home to feed my little princess. 
With Aubriella we had to supplement some with formula to help her to gain weight in the beginning. I loved her Dr at the time. She was very supportive of breastfeeding and my choice of what I wanted to do. At the time home life was pretty rough. I was married but raising my daughter for the most part like a single mom. I was stressed, exhausted, and didn't have support at home. As a new mom I wasn't comfortable breastfeeding in public. Comments were made by family members any time I went into another room to food my daughter.
I pumped occasionally at home with not much luck. When it came time to go back to work at 6 weeks I knew if I wanted to continue breastfeeding I would have to at work. This was also a struggle. I was a hair dresser at a franchised salon. There was no real space to pump. I had to go into the public restroom to pump. At that time I was (and still am) disgusted at having to pump in a restroom. I ended up stopping breastfeeding and switching over to formula completely at 7 weeks. 

Before I had Austin I was a lot more prepared, or so I thought. Austin had a lot more complications. He was born a few weeks early, had a lung infection and spent a week in the NICU. I love the hospital we used but the NICU is very small and "nursery like". We were unable to stay overnight with him and had no privacy. We tried to breastfeed as much as we could but had to supplement to get him nutrients he needed to fight his infection. The hospital supplied me with a breast pump that I used whenever I couldn't be with him. 

Austin also was tongue tied. We ended up getting his tongue nipped when he was a few weeks old. It make a world of a difference and helped so much with his feedings and latching on.

I went back to work at around 6-7 weeks. I only went back park time and pumped in the office whenever I needed to. I would try and plan to pump or feed before I left and when I got home. I was at a salon again, but they were a lot more accommodating. 

Austin was born with 4 holes in his heart. We saw a cardiologist regularly for observation. During one of the visits Austin had an elevated heart-rate and the Dr. suggested it could have been from my caffeine consumption. He made it very clear that I needed to stop all caffeine consumption because it was being passed onto Austin. Which in turn could turn out to be harmful, if not deadly. That meant no more coffee (even decaf has a little caffeine) no tea, no chocolate, no shakes.... I was willing to give it all up and tried. One evening I grabbed some chocolate cake without even thinking about it. It didn't dawn on my until after I was finished that it had caffeine in it. I was so scared and cried. My only option at that moment was to give him formula. You don't realize how the little mistake you make can affect someone else until it is to late sometimes. This was my turning point of giving up breastfeeding Austin and going to formula from here on out. 

I loved the experience, enjoyed our special bonding time, and learned a lot from breastfeeding both my kids. I believe that my kids don't get sick as often being they had extra "germs" from me. (Having a vaginal birth also helped and I know this isn't possible for everyone.)

If I decide to have another child I will again opt to breastfeed. I have learned so much from my girlfriends having babies and breastfeeding. As I have gotten older I care less what people think and I do what is best for myself and my family.

I have to admit I have no pictures of me actually breastfeeding either of my kids. It is something I look back at now and wish I would have just that little extra memory in a picture form. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a beautiful thing. 

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 
Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram

Monday, August 14, 2017

Long Weekend Wrap-Up

Hey friends. Happy Monday!!! We had such a fun busy four day weekend. With only two weeks left of summer before school starts, we have lots we want to do. Knocking out some more items on our Summer Bucket list and a few parties mixed in.

On Thursday we had a surprise for the kids. Brian left early and showed one house then came home and we hit the road for there surprise. We get there and didn't realize they didn't open until noon, and it was like 10:30. (Brian was in charge of the planning for this surprise) This made for an impromptu trip to a nearby park. 

We went to Coe Lake park in Berea. We had previously taken our family pictures here back in May. Once we arrived we realized some of the park was under construction. Austin was in heaven starring at bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, and huge rocks. He honestly stood at the fence three different times for at least a total of 20 minutes. He also got the dump truck driver to honk the horn at him twice. 

With time to spare we decided to let the kids run around the walking paths. I knew that Austin would be cooped up in the stroller once we got to our surprise. Fresh air, and getting rid of some of his energy in house he would have a good nap later.

I love the peacefulness, family friendly lots of trails that Coe lake has to offer. There is also a fountain that is in the middle of the lake, a gazebo, a pavilion and a Pirate ship play area. 

Every time we go to Coe Lake after playing on the pirate play area, Ella has to have a picture with this cement seal. 

Noon finally came and we took the kids back to the surprise, the fair. Ella keeps asking to go when the fair isn't going on. We normally go to one of the local fairs every summer. My favorite part is always seeing different animals.

This year in the back of one of the barns, there we ladies spinning wool into yarn. One nice lady asked Ella if she wanted to help her. Ella made yard for a good 5 minutes. 

When she was finished the made a quick bracelet out of the yarn. I told Ella she was just liking Sleeping Beauty and the spinning wheel in the movie. 

I had no intentions of doing any rides at the fair. Growing up I never did the rides and we don't normally take the kids. Especially after the death and the Ohio State Fair, and an injury at one of the local festivals. Ella had other plans. She finally talked Brian into paying and going in a fun house with her. 

As you can tell they both had a blast. I honestly have never done a fun house. 

One of Ella's favorite parts is seeing the honey bees. She hates them at home but loves to look at them through the glass. This year I also let her buy 4 different flavored small little honey tubes. 

While wondering the vendors we found a booth that had face painting for $2 (WIN, compared to another one was $10) and princess halo's for $3. She was the happiest batman princess in the world. 
After the fair we just had a relaxing evening until her father came and got her. Brian and I ended up going for a walk that night with Austin. 

Friday was a relaxed day. My back was bothering me and we had no real plans until the evening. Brian was scheduled to play in a softball game, Lakewood Police against Lakewood Fire. Ella wanted to watch him play so we got a babysitter for Austin. We got to the field to find it out was cancelled due to water on the field. Instead we decided to have a mother, daddy, daughter date night. 
The field we were at had a tall playground, two stories high that scared the crap out of me. We let Ella play there for a good half an hour before heading to Lakewood Park. Picture above is from Lakewood Park with Cleveland skyline as our backdrop.

Lakewood Park recently put in "solstice" steps. They overlook the lake to watch boats, the sunrise and the sunsets. Ella enjoyed climbing up on down the steps. 

We sat down for a little bit to watch the sunset. 

Had to get a picture of us too.

Then we ended the night with Ella playing on the playground at Lakewood Park. There is so much different and fun areas of the playground. She played for a good 45 minutes. 
After leaving the park we went and found some ice cream at a local ice cream shop in Lakewood. I fell in love with Ice Cream Joy with all the vegan flavors they offered. I am not vegan but I try to avoid cow milk based ice cream, it doesn't agree with my stomach and I prefer not to be in pain the rest of the evening. They had 6 different vegan flavors to choose from. I went with Mexican Coffee which is made is avocado. OMG it was amazing. Ella got "Pixie Dust" ice cream that was vanilla ice cream with pixie sticks in it. Brian got Blueberry and Brie, it had pieces of Brie cheese in it. Brian's wasn't bad I had a small taste. 

Saturday morning Ella and I went to support our local North Olmsted PTA at their fall resale. I got Austin a few things. Ella got a Monster High doll, a zebra monster high hair clip, and a new sweater.

Later Saturday afternoon we celebrated my girlfriend's sons, Alex 2nd birthday. 

While all our 6 kids were playing we played the Heads-Up game on one of their phones. (It is free to download on Android, but costs on an Iphone) We also took one good picture. Misty just doesn't listen to show your teeth. 

Saturday night since no one really wanted to cook we tried out Mission BBQ. OMG it was delicious. I am not a big fan normally of going out for BBQ, but this place changed my mind. Also the kids both got mac n cheese, which was homemade not Kraft they ate all of it. I got a pulled pork sandwich and green beans, both were amazing. Brian got brisket, ribs, and beans. The ribs were to die for, we weren't impressed with the beans or the brisket. 
After dinner we decided to put up the tent I got for my birthday and try to sleep outside. I put down all the workout mats we had, sleeping bags, blankets... 

We also had our first family fire. We have lived here for a little over 2 years and finally had a fire. Brian and the buys had one last year one night. It was a gorgeous mostly clear night to see stars. We also roasted marshmallows and made smores. 
We lasted in the tent until about 430-5. Austin had crawled over Ella to sleep next to me. Ella woke up then woke me up. Then Brian woke up cause he realized Austin wasn't next to him anymore. Then I had to get up to go to the bathroom. When I got up I really felt the pain in my back from sleeping on the ground. That the determining factor of us going in the house. Ella had then decided she wasn't tired and stayed up for a little bit and watch Mickey Mouse then went in her room and played for a little bit. She eventually said she was scared and lonely and I went to sleep with her in her bed. Minus the pain from sleeping on the ground sleeping in the tent went a lot smoother than I had anticipated. Now we can try actually camping, but getting an air mattress first. 

Sunday we had Brian's uncle's surprise 60th birthday at a local American Legion outside pavilion.

Austin enjoyed running around. His favorite though was playing in the boat coolers with all the ice. Ella also enjoyed running around and playing with her Aunt Leah, their dog Frankie and just being a kid. 

This was Uncle Jim's fishing cake (sorry picture is sideways).

Overall we had a fun busy four days. We got a few things knocked off our summer bucket list. Lots more fun planned for the weeks ahead. 

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 
Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends. This week has been crazy busy. Back to school shopping, fun family time, cheerleading practice, and trying to figure our a routine for myself and the kids. 

For now lets talk about some favorites from the past week or so. I am joining ErikaNarci, and Andrea for some Friday Favorites. 

Austin has an obsession with Garbage Trucks. It is his real first word for an item that he repeats and knows what it is and will bring it to you... Now any truck is considered a garbage truck to him also when he is talking. But it is so cute. 

He was so proud of himself, he did it all by himself then layed down on it. Ella showed him how to do this.

Fun play day being a mermaid

Austin insisted on riding his CAT truck on the couch cushions. He needed help getting it up there then would drive it down. 

Like father like son, using the end table as a person table to eat breakfast. How do you tell him no when he saw dad do it the day before. 

You can take the girl out of the salon but never the hairdresser out of the girl. Cut my girlfriends three kids hair, using a kids chair with my kneeling on the floor. 

My princess is a goober.

Ella started cheerleading practice this week. She is the one that talked her father into signed her up and now she isn't so sure about it. She didn't realize there would be practice multiple times a week and it has been over whelming with so many girls. Next week starts smaller group practice.  

I made fish tacos for the first time the other night. OMG they turned out so good. I will be sharing the recipe next week. Even the kids ate it, minus the taco part just the tilipia and sides. 

If you are new to my blog, Thank you for stopping by!!!!! 
Feel free to follow along.
You can find me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram