Happy Monday folks! How was the weekend for you? It was a beautiful fall weekend in our neck of the woods and I hope you’re jumping into the week feeling nice and refreshed as well! I’ve decided to keep it light on the words and let the pictures do (most of) the talking today. Getting James to cooperate for photos is…well, like I said a picture speaks a thousand words.
Question of the Day: What was your favorite activity this weekend?
Hello everyone! How are you all doing? It has been a while, hasn’t it. I didn’t blog at all last week and it was really just what I needed. I have been taking a major break from social media, so I’m trying to figure out how my blog fits into that. I really enjoy blogging but I’ve also enjoyed just living life in the present moment detached from all things screen related. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my phone and computer quite regularly, I’m just not spending as much time mindlessly scrolling. When I do that, I find myself sinking into comparison traps that just aren’t a healthy mindset for me. I’ve been struggling to take photos recently too and I find that blogs are way more fun with photos.
Before I get carried away with that ramble, it’s almost officially FALL!! I know a lot of us are already in the full swing of it, but I’ve been procrastinating pulling out our fall decorations and my current excuse is “it’s not fall until September 21st”. We did go on a quick apple picking trip this weekend and then I made apple crisp with the fresh apples! Here is the recipe I used, and really liked! Oh my gosh does anyone else feel overwhelmed by the amount of apple crisp recipes out there. I know there are a lot of dishes like this where it just feels like you can find a hundred variations of the recipe and it can be incredibly stressful to weed through the slight differences to pick the best one. I’m not going to claim this is the best recipe on the planet, it’s one that my friend/cousin Katy shared with me a few years ago. I have tried many of apple crisp recipes, and this one is very good!
I would LOVE to get really crafty in the kitchen and make my own fritters (dream!), but I just don’t have the time or energy these days. So for now, simple apple crisp it is. And hopefully a batch of applesauce later in the week because I think James would be a fan. Speaking of James, he had a lot of fun apple picking this year. I think he’s always amazed when we’re out in nature picking sweet fruit off of trees or bushes. Similar to our blueberry picking experience this summer which consisted of lots of “nom nom” as I handed him endless blueberries, he happily ate away at the small apples we picked off the tree for him. He might have scared us with a few coughing fits and I’m not sure we’re quite at the age of eating whole apples yet, but he did well overall.
As for the week ahead, we have a few exciting plans on the agenda. My friend Kelly (heyy!!) is going to be in town at the beginning of the week. She is currently living out of a beautifully renovated van exploring the country (jealous) and I can’t wait to catch up with her and her parents in person! I also have another friend visiting from Colorado at the end of the week, so lots of fun visits to look forward to. I’m sure James and I will be enjoying plenty of playground time as well, our favorite hangout these days.
I hope that your week is off to a good start! I hope to be back soon 🙂
Happy Friday to YOU! How’s the week going? Yay for another summer weekend. Gotta soak up all things sun and summer while it lasts, am I right?! We have a few plans on the agenda including dinner with friends, a church picnic, and an afternoon playdate for James including games and snacks for us and some friends. I’m looking forward to having Josiah home the next couple of days because life is always more fun when he’s around 🙂 Without further ado let’s take a look at what I’ve been loving this week! Feel free to join in in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!
Speaking of my wonderful husband, let’s talk about how awesome date nights have been the past couple of weeks. I used to take for granted time spent with Josiah, but these days any uninterrupted time together is extra special, especially when it involves a meal that James is not throwing all over the floor. We have been trying to be more intentional about having regular date nights and Thursday’s have worked well with our schedule. It’s nice to have one night a week to look forward too, knowing that we’ll be getting a parenting break to recharge and connect.
What a blessing it is for James to have both sets of grandparents right nearby! He has a very close relationship with all of his grandparents and it makes my heart so happy. I can’t wait to see these relationships grow over the years. Grandparent-grandchild connections are as special as it gets.
We’ve got quite the theme going so might as well roll with it. Summer get togethers with family are definitely a favorite. Between nice weather, yummy food, and good company, you can’t beat it. As I mentioned in my food highlights yesterday, my sister was in town last week which called for a family dinner at my parent’s house. Despite how close we live to both of our parents, we actually don’t get together for meals too often. It’s a nice treat when we do 🙂
MY CUDDLE BUG
Every afternoon this week James has woken up from his afternoon nap wanting to relax in my arms or fall back asleep, as you can see from the photo above. He has been a crib sleeper from the very beginning, I didn’t want him to get in the habit of sleeping on me or Josiah or anywhere else besides his crib, but I’m letting things slide this week because these moments feel fleeting, I want to soak up all of the baby cuddles while I can!
AROUND THE WEB
This post from Robyn on career and motherhood has provided me with a lot of reassurance and comfort and a new perspective in times when I’ve felt like the only mom out there who enjoys being a full-time mom. She hasn’t been blogging much these days because she’s busy being a full-time mom herself. But as a Registered Dietitian and Nurse Practitioner, her blog has a wide range of helpful resources when it comes to women’s health and nutrition. She’s a non-diet dietitian as well which I wholeheartedly support! I’ve actually been mentored by Robyn personally and through her “Heal Your Hormones and Get Your Period Back” online course. I love her so much!
I can’t wait to make this Burst Tomato and Burrata Pasta this week. Cherry tomatoes are so good right now! I’m going to sub fresh mozzarella for the burrata because we like mozzarella better (and it’s a whole lot cheaper). I like the taste of burrata, but it’s a little too soft for me.
If you’ve never made soft pretzels before, you’ve got to give it a try! Since we’re having friends over for games and snacks on Sunday, it’s the perfect excuse to make a batch of these tasty twists. The recipe yields 12 pretzels and I usually end up making 1/2 the batch classic salted pretzels and the other half dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar. My mouth is watering just thinking about these!
Question of the Day: What is one thing you’re loving this week?
Happy Monday to YOU! How did the weekend treat ya? I hope you were able to enjoy a couple of days of fun and relaxation. It almost felt like *gasp* fall around here this weekend and I’m still not sure how I feel about it . Hopefully it was just a fluke, and our regularly scheduled summer weather will be back in full swing this week. We’re not maxed out on summer fun just yet!
We had an enjoyable weekend in our neck of the woods. Friday is usually the start of the weekend for us since Josiah has to work Sunday’s, and I can’t say I hate the early start to the weekend.
We kicked off our Friday morning with a hike around Green Lakes State Park followed by play time on the beach and playground for James. While he tolerated the loop around the lakes in the hiking backpack, his favorite part of the outing was by far the 4 girls and their dog that found a fondness with James on the playground. They were helping him down the slide, letting him pet their dog, playing with wood chips, etc. Josiah and I weren’t about to complain about a little impromptu babysitting while we got to sit back to enjoy some peaceful lake views.
Once we arrived home, lunch was in order asap thanks to our rumbling tummies. Fortunately I had prepped a dish of buffalo chicken dip that just needed to be heated in the oven, along with some leftover pizza and veggies. A lunch that includes both buffalo dip and pizza is not one to be neglected around here. We dug right in as soon as our food was out of the oven!
James was more than ready for a nap after lunch, and I was quite wiped myself. While James napped we had a few visitors in the form of apartment maintenance who stopped by to take a look at our semi-broken oven. After a lot of screw driver madness, it was determined that they would need to order a new part for our oven. Womp womp. Household repairs are never fun. Once they had cleared out of the kitchen, I tried to make the most of James’s nap and prepped our dinner for the evening which was a vegan egg roll in a bowl that we served over ramen. I made the entire egg roll part of the dish and stored it in containers in the fridge. When it was time to eat, dinner came together in a flash. After cooking a few packages of ramen and reheating the stir-fry, dinner was done and plated in no time! Cleanup was a breeze as well. I often drag my feet to do dinner prep during James’s nap (because I usually want to collapse myself), but the payoff is always worth it.
James woke up from his nap in a not-so-great mood, which meant it was time to hit the road for a little treat. What did we have in mind to cheer James up? Ice cream! It works like a charm to put a smile on my face so why not test it out on our son? Sure enough, James was a happy camper once he had a big cone of ice cream in his hand…and all over his entire body. And while he was riding a sugar high, we decided to burn some energy at Josiah’s elementary school playground. I’m having so much fun exploring new playgrounds this summer, especially as a family.
Josiah was invited to a boys night on Friday, and I took advantage of the quiet evening by catching up on the latest episode of The Bachelorette. It was Men Tell All which was my least favorite episode of the season, but the first 20 minutes really grabbed my attention (and heart) with a very unexpected and heartbreaking departure of one of my favorite contestants on the show this season. So sad. For those watching this season, what did you think of it so far?
I was hoping we would have a nice slow start to our Saturday, but no such luck. I know there are parents waking up even earlier than us, but a 6:30am start to the day was a liiiitle too early for mama. I quickly made a batch of coffee to get the day going on a more energetic note. The fridge was looking a little bare and I was feeling uninspired, so it was a kodiak cake kind of morning for me and James! I absolutely cannot get Josiah on the pancake bandwagon, but two of us were there for it!
When the weather feels like fall how can you resist a morning drive for some donuts. A solo morning drive to boot! Josiah stayed back with James while I made a family donut run. After dropping off a box of donuts to my in-laws, I brought our box inside and we devoured it in 2.5 seconds. I wish! I’m actually kidding. I have this thing with donuts lately where I prefer to eat them for dessert rather than during the day. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like to eat super sweet things during the day and another part of me that likes to have something extra special to look forward to at the end of the day…like donuts. If you’ve never had a donut for dessert, give it a try!
I reached out to a friend about going for a walk Saturday morning and she was free! We enjoyed another walk at Green Lakes along with great conversation, and James getting dried mango slices stuck everywhere…James was highly amused by the bike rack at the park and after lots of time spent in this exact location, we hit the road in need of lunch and a nap.
I spent James’s nap time working on a few blog posts, and before long James was up and ready for action. It was a beautiful afternoon so we decided to walk down the road to Grandma’s house to visit her and Uncle John. James’s afternoon slump was quickly brightened by seeing two of his favorite family members. After a quick walk home we met up with my parents at our apartment before setting them up with James for the evening. He was more than thrilled to see Grammy, Pappy and Charlotte and literally ran as fast as he could to greet Pappy at the door. I just love his love for all of his grandparents <3.
Our date night took an unexpected turn when our first takeout option had just closed when we pulled into the parking lot. We ended up getting our favorite greek salads and then met up with friends for a round of mini-golf. Our evening concluded with (too many) donuts, and the finale of season one of Manifest. What an ending!
Sunday morning started bright and early as it usually does around here. Josiah went to the church and James and I did our usual morning routine of breakfast, play, chores, and a quick neighborhood walk before we went to church ourselves.
The rest of Sunday was rainy and cold which called for a relaxing afternoon at home, and a warm and comforting bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese for dinner. Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday? Although with a 1 year old in the picture, when is life ever relaxing? Haha.
Alrighty folks I’m off to get this Monday started! I hope you all have a great one 🙂
Happy Monday to you! Here we are at the beginning of another week! James and I don’t have too many plans on the agenda for the week, but I hope to fill our days with lots of summer activities and outdoor fun! Maybe a few playdates too? We’ll see!
On Friday morning we had some unexpected visitors at our apartment building, the fire department! They were doing a routine assessment, and were very kind to let James explore their fire truck. He might need another year under his belt before he fully understands the concept, but I was impressed with the “vroom vroom” noises he was making as Josiah toured him around the truck.
Our weekend plans kicked off with a trip to a new-to-us playground and splash pad. It was about a 45 minute drive, but SO worth it. I have never been to a splash pad before and it was a blast. Josiah and I were so giddy, I think it reminded us of a mini waterpark! James was hesitant at first, but quickly warmed up to all of the water-filled fun!
Prior to the splash pad opening, we explored the beautiful playground right nearby. I loved the fact that this was a turf playground as James LOVES to eat wood chips and rocks which are commonly found at most playgrounds. Once again, I think Josiah and I had just as much fun exploring this playground as James did. They even had a double-sided swing that you could go on with your little one. So cool!
We couldn’t head home without making a stop at Bob’s BBQ for an early lunch. It’s a once a year stop for us since it’s in the middle of nowhere, but worked out perfectly with our morning activities because it was only 10 minutes away from the park and on our way home!
The food was delicious as usual, and James got some extra play time in thanks to the adorable kid area they have on-site. He even dug in to some of the BBQ chicken which was shocking! Must’ve been good 🙂
We all slept in Saturday morning, which is never taken for granted these days. I always appreciate when James decides to sleep in on a weekend day. Originally we had planned to get an early start and head over to another splash pad before going to a family birthday party, but ended up opting for a slow morning at home before our travels. We went through a Starbucks drive-thru on our way to the party and I thought it would be a fun idea to order James a “puppacino” aka cup of whipped cream, as you can see he loved the idea and I quickly regretted it, ha!
We enjoyed a fun afternoon of kid-chaos and catching up with family while munching on Wegmans subs, cake, and ice cream! Lots of kids and babies on Josiah’s side of the family.
Sunday was filled with a lot of the usual, Josiah went to the church bright and early while James and I did a quick neighborhood walk followed by a few errands at Target and Trader Joe’s (our favorites!). We joined Josiah for church at 10:30 followed by a relaxing afternoon. Josiah stayed home with James so that he could nap and I got out of the apartment for an afternoon with the ladies! We gathered for a little girl’s lunch and conversation and while our group didn’t have a lot of energy (hello, lazy Sunday!) it was still nice to see everyone and spend a few hours with some of my best friends <3.
Question of the Day: What activities did you get up to this weekend?
Happy Saturday afternoon everyone! I always seem to sit down for blogging coffee dates in the afternoon, but I’m certainly not drinking any coffee right now. What’s everyone up to today? I’m sure you’re all out enjoying some kind of summer activity. I’m staring out at a beautiful day over in our neck of the woods.
We are having some down time while James naps. I am in the middle of making healthy peanut butter twix bars, that we miraculously had all of the ingredients to make, praise! I’m finding these bars to be easy as well. They are only time consuming because of the cooling process in between steps. I don’t mind a recipe with built in down time. Still questioning where to set my expectations with these bars, they are labeled as “healthy”, but I’m holding onto hope that they taste good. Stay tuned!
Josiah took James out for a hike this morning and I got a little solo time at the apartment. It always goes by too fast, and I feel like I’m either unsatisfied by the things I get accomplished or I have no idea what to do with myself. Today I did a quick barre workout. Literally haven’t done any kind of workout for months besides walking, and this 15 minute workout kicked my butt. Plus I’m not sure how I feel about exercise these days. I wish I had more time and energy to exercise but I just don’t. Mothering a one year old, while it doesn’t tone my muscles, somehow feels like a workout every day. I also showered and next thing I knew the boys were home.
We went to a graduation party around lunchtime up at the church and James made a new best friend, Danielle. Well I’m not sure how James felt about the relationship, but Danielle was more than thrilled to cling to James the whole time. James is in one year old independent mode these days. Meanwhile I’m in invisible mom mode trying to keep an eye on James without invading his space. It’s a great time.
Let’s get back to the coffee, shall we? I worked in a coffee bar for almost 5 years and barely drank a sip of coffee, yet I have a fondness for the art of coffee and espresso. It smells amazing, latte art is fun, and creating different drink flavors and names is also a hobby of mine. Would I ever go back to working in a coffee bar? Absolutely! My husband thinks I should aim for higher stars, but I’m content with the low ones.
Coffee dates around here seem to equate to me talking about whatever comes to mind. Basically just a one sided conversation because my company right now is working away at his computer and I’m trying not to be a distraction. Life of a pastor’s wife…
Ok folks, off to finish those bars. Thanks for taking the time to stop by the blog today. I hope you have a great day 🙂
Hey y’all! How’s everyone doing this week? James and I got out of our usual routine and took a trip to South Carolina earlier this week. I am feeling very grateful for the change of scenery and time with family. Which brings me to my first favorite of the week…
We got to soak up lots of time with family the past couple of days and it was so much fun! I love a bustling beach house. James did too, as it meant lots of people giving him attention. This is an annual trip for my family and it’s usually the only week during the year that we get to spend together.
Sun, Sand, and Surf
The name of the game. I appreciated the fact that the beach and ocean offered instant entertainment for James, no toys necessary. Although he did spot a cute girl named Baker one morning who was pulling a little wagon full of sand toys. James quickly caught on to that fun and started shuffling down the beach in pursuit of Baker and her wagon. Luckily she was willing to share 🙂
Having a Twin
I happen to be married to a twin, hi Josiah and John! It’s also been a life goal of mine to be twins with people, so I was more than thrilled when I realized I had bought James and I yellow shirts that *almost matched. Still soaking up our twin moment. These also happened to be our travel outfits on Wednesday, just look for the two in yellow!
The Sweetest Husband
Can we just flashback for a second to the most patriotic and beautiful welcome home sign that Josiah greeted us with on Wednesday night. It is still putting smile on my face.
Speaking of flashbacks, if you read my post yesterday, I was talking about having a good day but I knew that anything could happen to upset the mood. Well, Josiah and I got totally rained out on our date night last night. Downright drenched. It was discouraging at first but we rallied our spirits and didn’t let our soaking clothes stop us from ending the night with a drive (blasting the heat) for some ice cream. Ain’t nothing gonna stop me from getting ice cream on date night. Ha!
Question of the Day: What’s one thing making you smile this week?
Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful summer weekend! It feels like there is always so much to do in the summer, it makes me wonder what we all do during those cold winter months to stay busy…
Our Saturday morning kicked off with a quick breakfast followed by a little road trip. Not much of a road trip really, but it was a solid 30 minute drive which is pretty far for us these days. We wanted to check out a disc golf course that we had never been to and I thought it would be totally doable to have James tag along with us. When we pulled into the parking lot early Saturday morning there were already a number of cars there, and we immediately got the impression that this was not necessarily a family friendly disc golf experience.
Everyone seemed to be dressed professionally while sporting official golf carts loaded with more discs than I could even count and ALL of the disc golf accessories. Meanwhile our crew showed up unpacking the baby stroller, grabbing my bright yellow recreation frisbee, all while trying to get James’s sneakers on as we fed him a bottle. A hot mess of a family about to do a walk of shame across the parking lot, passing by all of these “real deal” players as we tried to locate the first hole.
We gave it our best shot on the course, no pun intended 😉 James spent some time in the stroller until he got restless, then he lagged behind us getting distracted by every leaf along the way. The course was long and we felt the pressure to move quickly because the pro’s were on our tail. At one point we saw a playground on the horizon. I didn’t think much of it, but Josiah quickly abandoned his motivation to continue golfing, and James seemed like he could use some toddler fun, so we made our way to the playground. Sure enough, James had a blast!
After completing 3.5 out of 18 holes with a baby, we concluded our experience by saying, “never again will we bring James disc golfing”. At least we got to explore a cool playground instead! Not to mention a stop at a local bakery on the way home. Yes please to a donut and a box full of other delicious treats!
After James took a quick nap on the car ride home, we all ate leftovers for lunch, followed by a walk to the library. James and I still hadn’t been to the library near us, so I was excited to check it out. Unfortunately all of the children’s toys and games were packed up for Covid reasons so the children’s room looked a little bare, but James still enjoyed exploring the new space and quickly found some stairs to climb. We walked out with a library card too!
The rest of our Saturday included a nap for James and play time at home, followed by pepperoni pizza chicken from the meal plan that I posted last week. I will be sure to share a full recap of the meal plan after we’ve tried all of the meals. This one was a bit messy and I’m shocked that I was able to get a decent photo of it. Tasted great though!
On Sunday we had plans to do an even longer road trip to meet up with friends at Lake Ontario. Josiah’s mom kindly offered to take James, so he got to spend the afternoon with his grandma and cousin Maya. It was HOT on Sunday, so a lake day sounded perfect! The water was intimidatingly cold at first, but once you were in it was very refreshing. Josiah insisted on dragging a giant tree branch into the water and it quickly became our lake entertainment as we all attempted to stand and sit on the branch all while having lots of fun splashing in the lake.
After a few hours of water excitement, we made our way over to Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In for some Fish n’ Chips. We lucked out with a table right along the water in the shade and enjoyed our fish sandwiches while chatting away. An ice cream shop was conveniently right next door and our group had no hesitation concluding our time together with some ice cream!
A weekend that includes donuts, ice cream, family time, friends, and swimming is a good one in my books! I hope you all had a fun weekend as well! Talk to you soon!
Hey everyone! How was your weekend? I’ll share a few highlights from ours below, but as I edit this post I’m realizing that I didn’t take any photos of the activities we did just the food we ate. I am a work in progress here in the blogging field. But if your interested in some food highlights keep on reading! I linked all of the recipes too in case you’d like to give them a try!
Pancakes topped with Greek yogurt and peaches for James and I to kick off the weekend! We live by the rule, a pancake a day keeps the doctor away.
Naan pizzas for lunch! One was a simple cheese and pepperoni while the other was a roasted buffalo cauliflower. I was originally going to make my own flatbread, but store bought naan came to the rescue instead!
Pizza paired with a side salad of course because #balance. If you’re looking for an italian dressing that tastes homemade but comes together in 2 minutes or less, we love the Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix.
James enjoying a banana muffin as an afternoon snack. When he wakes up from a nap cranky, there’s nothing like a muffin to turn his mood around.
Hello Trader Joe’s mini cone, don’t you look familiar! Seriously guys 10/10.
Moroccan-spiced turkey burgers with lettuce, tomato, avocado and creamy feta sauce. I like to get experimental with burgers, usually in the summer. Turkey burgers tend to be tricky because they dry out easily. I liked the flavor of this burger, but the texture was a little off. I might have overcooked it?
The easiest sheet pan gnocchi with italian bread olive oil, balsamic, and herbs. This is my go-to dinner recipe when I want to make something homemade but also don’t want to put any effort into cooking. 5 minutes of prep and into the oven it goes!
Question of the day: What is your favorite meal or sweet treat from the weekend?
I hope everyone has a great start to the week! We’ll talk soon 🙂
Happy Memorial Day Everyone! It is easy to get caught up in the long weekend activities, so this is a good reminder for me to take a minute to reflect on those that have sacrificed their lives while serving our country. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one in the service, as this day must be especially hard on you.
I haven’t decided if I’ll be sharing a full weekend recap, to be honest today has consisted of a lot of toddler meltdowns paired with mom (me) wanting to throw in the towel and drink a margarita on the beach. Ha! I don’t even drink, but sometimes anything sounds better than listening to a crying baby on repeat. It’s just been one of those days, ya know?
On a brighter note, we’ve been enjoying some yummy food this weekend so I thought I would share! Since you got a close look at what James has been eating yesterday, here’s a peek at mom and dad’s eats.
It was a gloomy day last Friday so I made some buttermilk biscuits and corn chowder because who doesn’t love a good bowl of soup on a rainy day?
Of course the strombolis that I mentioned in my Friday Favorites post last week were thoroughly enjoyed on Friday night for dinner. Look at all of those carbs and cheese, now that’s my kind of meal!
My Aunt and Uncle were in town for the weekend and we had them over for breakfast on Saturday morning. I made cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, a veggie egg casserole, bacon, and fruit.
After enjoying a hearty breakfast Saturday morning, a refreshing salad was in order for lunch. With a base of mixed greens this salad is topped with avocado, strawberries, blueberries, honey roasted almonds, pistachios, and goat cheese. We dressed our salads with a homemade champagne vinaigrette. I don’t usually put in the effort to make homemade salad dressing, but whenever I do I am always surprised by how easy it is!
Don’t be fooled, dinner Saturday night looks more impressive than the actual amount of work I put into it. It was a good one though! Buffalo chicken sandwiches, and a caesar salad. Gotta love a meal that comes together quickly but also hits the spot.
You would think we eat a lot of salads in this house, and we do! But don’t start thinking we’re total health nuts over here. Our salads are always paired with some kind of bread, roll, or muffin, and our evenings always conclude with a sweet treat. It’s all about balance. This salad is a mix of lettuces topped with roasted sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Now that I’m looking at it, I should have thrown on an avocado…oh well!
Donut mind if we do. Some festive donuts to round out the long weekend. Donuts for dessert are becoming a big hit around here. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
I hope you all are enjoying lots of yummy food on this lovely weekend!