Thursday, August 23, 2018

What I’m Loving Lately 118

Hey, guys!

Phew, it’s been a busy week around here. I’m trying to get ourselves organized before we head out of town on a fun end-of-summer vacation. Clearly, we’re trying to soak up every last minute of summer while it lasts, and I hope you are too!

Ok, let’s get into a few new finds that I am majorly loving this week – a couple of them are high on my wish list for fall. I also stumbled across two short, but sweet blog posts that I found especially helpful that I wanted to share with you -from macros to motherhood, I hope you find something you will love too!

The Hanover Shaw’s facelift (for the local readers) – This was a nice surprise to stumble upon! Check out all of that beautiful fresh produce – and there are a ton of organic products and other favorites throughout the store. I’m so impressed. This Shaws location has come a lonnngggg way from what it once was. Plus, it’s nice to find more of a one-stop shop instead of hitting a few different groceries stores.

And, bonus, there’s a Starbucks inside and it’s on the way home from CrossFit! 😉 CrossFit + iced coffee + grocery shopping? I have a feeling I’ll frequent this location a ton!

Big Brother 20 – While most TV shows are on summer hiatus, Mal and I eagerly look forward to the return of Big Brother during the warm weather months. It’s honestly kinda the highlight of our summer! Is that sad? Yes? No? Mal and I are super fans and have watched Big Brother for years and years now. Any other BB super fans out there? Who do you think is going to win? I’m cheering for Tyler!

Point Sur allover pointelle crewneck sweater – Cutest sweater ever! It comes in dark green, navy, and light pink too – and it’s 25% off with code FLASH!

women's point sur allover pointelle crewneck sweater - women's sweaters

Vanilla Bean Collagen Peptides Powder – You guys know that I LOVE my iced coffee, and I am always experimenting with fun add-ins. Collagen peptides have been in the rotation for a while now, so when I stumbled across this vanilla bean flavor, I knew I had to give it a try. It adds a nice sweetness to my coffee, and I love the ingredients: grass-fed, gluten-free and non-GMO. Plus, I swear collagen is such a great way to improve your hair and nail health. Winner!

What 20g of Protein Toast Looks Like: It’s no secret that I love toast of all kinds – a good quality bread, slice of sweet potato, or rice cake, all serve as a vehicle for tasty toppings! 🙂 When I started experimenting with macro counting, I learned that I was eating a lot of carbs and fat, but my toast creations often lacked protein. I love this blog post from MyFitnessPal because it shows a ton of different ways to build a more balanced and protein-rich toast of your dreams!

Free People Palisades Thermal Shirt – You guys know I can’t dress myself, so I’m lucky to have a husband who helps me out. Mal actually sent me a link to this sweater saying that I should buy it, so you know it’s fashionable! It looks super cozy for fall (and winter) and stylish with the off-the-shoulder look.

Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee PodsChameleon Cold-Brew has always been one of my favorite brands of coffee. They’re a great company who focus on sustainability and producing high-quality coffee – not to mention it tastes fantastic! I usually buy the cold brew concentrate or ready-to-drink bottles at Whole Foods and Target, but the brand recently sent me some of their cold-brew coffee pods to try. You just add the cold brew pod to 9 ounces of water and steep in the refrigerator overnight. The end result is a super smooth, low acid, and seriously delicious organic cold-brew coffee! It’s actually really bold and strong – just the way I like it! 🙂

Zella Daydream Jacket – I always keep my eyes peeled for great deals at Nordstrom, which is one of my favorite places to shop online. I saw this super cute zip-up jacket on sale for half off at only $44! It comes in 3 different colors, and how adorable is the cozy neck? Need!

Day Dream Jacket, Main, color, Red Hibiscus

Benefits of Traveling with Young Kids Mal and I love to travel, but adjusting to doing so with a little one has taken some time. It can often feel like it’s not even worth the hassle, which is why I loved reading this post about the benefits of traveling with kids.

TOMS Cabrillo Sneakers – After obsessing over these sneakers for months, I finally got them, and they’re everything I wanted and more! Now that the cooler weather is here, I am pumped to wear them – they’re so comfy!

Cabrillo Sneaker, Main, color, Drizzle Grey Chambray Mix

Theo Chocolate Organic Fantasy Flavors – I definitely have a sweet tooth and love finding a small bite that fills my craving. Theo makes some of my favorite chocolate and now they now have a new line with all sorts of fun flavors. They are super rich and delicious, so I just need one square to feel satisfied!

Zella Perforated Duffel Bag – With of our summer travel and lots more on the horizon this fall, I am loving easy-to-pack duffle bags with plenty of room to overpack. This Zella duffle bag is just $44, and I might just need it in my life!

New Perforated Duffel Bag, Alternate, color, Navy Maritime

Question of the Day

Any Big Brother fans out there? Who do you think is going to win? 

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The Ups and Downs of Back-To-School Week

We survived the first day of school! Before it started, I was so worried about getting up early and the morning rush to be on time. But what I didn’t realize until the first day was that, as of 7:15 am, I am by myself to face the day head on. We loved our leisure mornings when preschool didn’t start until 9, but it sure is efficient to be solo so early now. (That is until my life does a 180 in October!!!) I’m using this time as efficiently as I can for now. One of my big goals is to do some dinner prep during the daytime, and I haven’t decided yet if I’d rather do that in the 8:00 hour or after lunch. I’m thinking after lunch when my kitchen is already messy from lunch making. Hmm…

Zooming back to earlier this week, Grammie and Pea went with us to Mazen’s open house on Monday. He’s been on-and-off nervous about the new school and we had some “I don’t want to go” moments before every school-related event, but once he’s there he’s totally fine.

Touring the music room / stage / auditorium!

Playground time at the end was a hit. He is so strong he can climb the fire poles straight up!

My mom was pleased to find a copy of her book in the school library!

At home, we were hanging in the basement when I saw something black on the baseboard.

Turns out it was a tiny SNAKE!!!!! Despite the fact that it was only about five inches long, its movements sent chills through my spine. Mom was brave enough to catch it in a mason jar (even when it coiled up to try to strike her!) and dad released it at the back of the yard. I was freaking out the whole time and spent the next few days looking for more (don’t baby snakes live in nests?!) I imagine he crawled in some hole or crack, but I sure hope there are not more. Dad said it was a yellow ring-neck and was not poisonous. Either way, I’m glad I was not home alone when it was spotted!

On a more positive note, I’ve been loving garden heirloom tomato + cheddar sandwiches. This one also had avocado and pickles! I had this two days in a row along with the Garden of Eatin’ Lime chips, which are fantastic, and red pepper strips.

Matt took Mazen shoe shopping and came home with these awesome light-up Sketchers. (Don’t worry – they only light up when manually pressed so they are not a distraction unless activated by a human.) Con: They have laces. So add shoe-lace tying to our “things to learn” list!

We had a great B2S block party with our neighbors on Monday night. Pizza, salad, watermelon and a whole lotta kids running around! That’s the lemon, currant, arugula pizza from Whole Foods. It’s the best!

The day before school started, I went on a crazy organization bender. I think a combination of the chaos of summer, the yearn for school routine, Mazen’s upcoming birthday, and my nesting instinct created the perfect storm in my brain. I didn’t sit down for 10 hours! (And as a result, my pregnant back ached for two days 🙁 )

I did a massive toy overhaul and cleaned out Mazen’s closet. Look at all that white space! (I also cleaned out my closet and several other problem areas in the house.)

Toys went in several categories:

  1. Mazen’s current favorites (in his closet, treasure box, and in baskets in the basement family room);
  2. Toys Mazen loved but has outgrown to be saved for Brother (stored in our toy/game closet); and
  3. Toys Mazen never really played with and has outgrown (donated to the preschool and Goodwill).

I am pretty good at knowing what he will notice has been relocated and what he will not, because I see what he plays with on a daily basis, but I generally tuck the toys away for a week to see if he asks for anything. Worst-case scenario: We can buy it again!

Books went into similar categories:

  1. Current favorites (in his book crate in his room)
  2. Baby books (now in the nursery)
  3. Favorite toddler books (on a shelf ready for Brother)
  4. I Can Read books (ready when Mazen shows interest in them; on a shelf downstairs)
  5. All others and baby/toddler books that were never big hits – donated to the school

We have read every book in our house at least once and there were SO MANY! Hundreds! If any are missed, we will go to the library : )

And Christmas books were tucked into our Christmas storage in the attic.

I found several back to school books that were perfect for reading at bedtime all week.

Legos were sorted too! (Pieces and instructions are in bins stored under the train table)

Found at the back of Mazen’s closet :mrgreen:

By the end of my organization day I had walked 5 miles inside my house – ha!

The night before the first day I made chicken, cheese, and arugula quesadillas and cornmeal baked okra.

Getting up around 6:15 wasn’t too hard, actually. Thomas is up in the 5:00 hour so he’s been great to help get Mazen up while I get up and get dressed. M didn’t want much breakfast on the first day and was quite nervous until our awesome neighbors (who are going into third and first grades along with their kindergarten sister) came over to get Mazen. He instantly perked up, thank goodness. I do not know what we would have done without them!

The bus stop was filled with excitement and the kids were full of energy. We met two other families there, so it’s quite the bunch of kiddos! When the bus finally arrived, the boys raced on and Mazen didn’t even say goodbye! I got a little glimpse of a wave through the tinted windows. It was sort of sad when the bus pulled away, and I wondered how he was doing all day. The day went great though! He has an awesome teacher and several friends in his class.

I couldn’t resist doing a school-by-year collage – look at how he’s grown up!

2s class (about to turn 2)

3/4s class (about to turn 3)

Pre-K (about to turn 4)

Transitional K (about to turn 5)

Real K!! Almost 6!

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