The Oscars and a couple other things

First things first. Did you see the Oscars last night? I was able to watch maybe 3/4 of the show and what I realized is, I really don't get out much any more. Aside from The Martian which the husband and I recently rented, I don't think I've seen a single one of the nominated movies. I definitely have a watch list going now, though! The Revenant is at the top (fist bump to Leo for taking home the win!) and Spotlight, Ex Machina and The Danish Girl will make for some good solo watching on the nights when Travis works late. I wasn't thrilled last year when Fury Road appeared as the latest Mad Max installment, but after watching it receive nominations -and awards- for pretty much every freaking category I may break down and watch that one too. 

And then, of course, we have to talk about the really important part of the night: the dresses, duh. There were so many beauties, but two in particular made me swoon: the little girl in me fell head over heels for the flowery seafoam Armani Cate Blanchett was wearing, and I loooved Jennifer Garner's sparkly black Versace. Two hot mamas for the win!

Via HollywoodLife and Popsugar

Aaaand for my nominations for least awesome dress of the evening it's a dead tie between Emily Blunt's uncomfortable looking throwback-to-freshman-homecoming and Heidi Klum's boho grandma-chic in 50 shades of lavender. Two gorgeous, talented ladies. Two really unfortunate choices. 

via don't really have a good segue from all the Oscar talk, but can I tell you that I've found a new Podcast obsession just in time?! I got all caught up with Serial and was at loose ends for about 5 minutes until I discovered The Black Tapes -a podcast about paranormal phenomena/investigators. I admit, I was disappointed when a little Googling revealed that the whole thing is entirely fictitious, but it's still good creepy fun. 

Lastly, we spent some time this weekend visiting cousins for this little cutie's first birthday...

And since balloons and cake are without a doubt the most direct way to my almost-two year olds heart, she wasn't exactly miserable about the whole thing. 

What did you think about this year's Oscars? Have you seen the movies? Who has your vote for best and worst dressed? 

Friday Favorites: Podcast Obsession & The Best Skewers Ever

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Happy Friday, guys! I'm definitely feeling the TGIF after a busy week so I figured I'd keep things simple today and share a few of the things making me happy lately.

1.) Podcasts. Specifically: Serial and Straight Up With Stassi.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to jump on the podcast bandwagon. For years I've assumed that podcasts were a modern version of the super boring AM talk radio my dad would occasionally subject me and my brothers to when we were kids. Hell, maybe that's actually accurate and I'm just so old now that I don't care anymore?? Either way, I guess it's probably not too shocking that I recently became hooked on Straight Up With Stassi (one of the stars of Vanderpump Rules) since you already know my weakness for reality TV. Listening to her show sort of feels like having my girlfriends gossiping around me while I'm doing something super boring and mundane like folding laundry. Bonus.

But oh man, Serial you guys! I'm obsessed and basically binge-listened to the entire first season + updates in under a week. If you're not familiar with the podcast, season 1 is the story of Adnan Syed: a Maryland teenager who was convicted -on what seems like pretty thin evidence- of murdering his girlfriend in 1999. If you listen, what do you think? Is Adnan an innocent victim of a broken system or an absolutely brilliant sociopath? I'm fascinated! Season 2 -the story of Bowe Berghdahl- is so far just as captivating. What in the world am I going to listen to when I'm all caught up?? Music? Psh. Lol

2.) Terriyaki pork and pineapple skewers.
Including fruit in an entree isn't usually my jam (haha) but seriously, I think pineapple on pizza is the absolute worst. There's something about this pork and pineapple combo that just hits the spot though, and it's such an easy meal to make! Cube some thick cut pork chops or pork sirloin and give them a good couple hour's soak in a teriyaki marinade. Then thread onto skewers alternating with pineapple chunks and throw the skewers on the grill. Rice goes great with these for a quick and easy side dish. I posted this pic on Instagram the other day and looking at it now is making me hungry all over again!

3.) These ankle boots. I picked them up at one of the little shoe stores in the mall recently and I've kind of been wearing them...a lot. They're super comfy and the light neutral color is just really easy to work with. 

Apologies for the pic quality...haven't had time to set up the whole Nikon/tripod deal in a hot minute. Lol

4.) I got a B on my first math exam of the semester (just barely!) Ordinarily I wouldn't even mention that, as an 81% isn't exactly a brag-worthy grade. However, since I was actually convinced I'd failed the test I was pretty stoked about it. I normally enjoy working under pressure, but when it comes to being tested on math I turn into a total borderline-panicky sweaty-palmed stress case. If I can get my sh** together and stay focused for the next exam maybe I'll do even better. 

5.) Toddlers are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault.
I know there's been some controversy surrounding this book (I've read a few ruthlessly critical, sanctimoniously negative reviews) but honestly, I appreciate the humor. To clarify: no, I do not actually think my toddler is an a-hole and yes, I love being a parent. It's just that sometimes after a long day of tantrums, whining, meals thrown on the floor, etc you need to laugh about it with someone who has been there. And the author (Bunmi Laditan) most certainly has. 

Linking up with Momfessionals & Sincerely Paula. Happy Friday!

Food trucks, toy houses and hard drinking moms (let's talk Bachelor, baby.)

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It's hometown time on this week's Bachelor, and we start off in Laguna Beach with Amanda.

Sorry...too aggressive? I couldn't help myself. 

So Ben and Amanda and her kids all meet up on the beach and my first -and biggest- question of the night is: how the eff did they wrangle two toddlers into gladiator sandals?? What magic is this? I can barely get Madi to hold still for the 20 seconds it takes to velcro her into her little Nikes. Mind. Blown. But anyway, obvious sorcery aside, the foursome has a great time hanging out, playing on the beach and flying kites and what have you. It's all very southern California. Then comes the car ride back to grandma and grandpa's house. And it is a car ride full of standard tired-toddler fussing and whining, and here's where I call it. The final three will be Lauren, Jojo and Caila, because I can see by the look of sheer panic in Ben's eyes that Amanda ain't gettin' no rose this week. Being a step-parent has got to be tough at the best of times, but jumping into that role with two toddlers? Lord have mercy. 

I think Ben's starting to get the picture that there's a bit more to this package deal than making out with a hot mama and reading cute made-up fairytales to her kids before bed. But just in case he's still feeling optimistic toward the end of the date, grandpa makes sure to hammer home all those points about "responsibility" and "not doing what you want anymore" that would-be suitors everywhere are longing to hear. 

Lauren is up next with a hometown date in Portland. They hit up some pretty fantastic looking food trucks (what is this georgian cheese bread?? I must know!) They spend some time hanging out in a "whiskey library" (and now I'm really getting jealous because none of these things were "things" when I visited Portland a couple decades years ago!) And then we're off to visit Lauren's family. and They really seem like nice normal people and there just isn't too much to say about the visit (um, aside from the awkwardness of the little brother asking about the fantasy suite -yikes- but that's not shown until the credits) so, moving on... Caila in her postcard-perfect hometown of Hudson, Ohio. After a visit to the makeout bench at Caila's old high school she decides they should pay a visit to the toy company where her dad is a CEO. They're going to design their very own toy house, you guys! Then of course it's dinner with the folks and Caila confiding to her dad that she's sure Ben is "the one" and that he's going to give her her "happily ever after." I can't. The cutesy-ness of the date (combined with the 3 glasses of wine I had at dinner with the in-laws) is starting to make me a little queasy. I want some action! Some controversy!

Things finally look up for us in that regard when we head to Dallas for Jojo's date with Ben. It starts with the roses and heartfelt letter placed on Jojo's doorstep by Bachelor producers  her ex-boyfriend. This is followed by an emotional phone call to the ex, a heartfelt chat with Ben and then a little bloodsport in the form of a "friendly" family gathering where Jojo's brothers aren't afraid to let our Bachelor know how they really feel about this whole situation. In case you were wondering, how they 'really feel' is less warm and fuzzy and more deep-freezer hostility. They accuse Ben of "brainwashing" the girls and giving "coached" answers to their questions. 

Methinks "Dallas's most eligible" brother Ben Patton is just a wee bit jealous since his own reality show attempt at finding a mate on NBC's Ready For Love seems to have crashed and burned. 

While Jojo's brothers continue to harangue Bachelor Ben in the kitchen, good old mom can be seen in the background chugging the champers straight from the bottle like, well, like a champ. You go, girl.

So yeah, best hometown of the night by a freaking mile. 

At the rose ceremony, Amanda is the odd woman out and I'm completely surprised. No, not really, but I did feel for her and it was sweet that Ben got a little choked up about sending her away. But then Amanda gives him a hard time about forcing her to come all the way back to LA for the rose ceremony when he could have just said goodbye at her house. I mean, LA is a good 50-60 miles from Laguna Beach! And that's like 19.5 hours in traffic! The nerve! Seriously though, don't these girls know the drill by now?

Ta ta Bachelor Nation. Next week, fantasy suites. Ooh la la!

A Twinkle Twinkle 1st Birthday

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I've heard it from just about everyone I know with kids, but it's still crazy to me that with Madison here time seems to be flying by exponentially faster than it ever did before. I can't believe my sweet girl will be turning 2 in just a couple of weeks! 

Last year, for the big birthday numero uno I went a little bit crazy attempting to create the perfect pink and gold "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" themed party. I made some of my favorite appetizers, dozens and dozens of star shaped sugar cookies (using this recipe good!) and plenty of mini-cupcakes. I spent way too much time Pinterest'ing and Etsy'ing trying to gel every last detail, and for a type-A non-party-planner like me, the process was as exhausting as it was fun. Of course,  Madi couldn't have cared less about all those little details I was stressed over -she wouldn't even taste the smash cake- and she would have been just as happy with a few friends or family coming over to play.  

This year we're doing exactly that: inviting a few family members to celebrate her birthday with us over dinner and dessert, and keeping things simple. Still, I thought it would be fun to reminisce with some pictures from last year's party because after all, those awesome memories are really the whole reason (IMO) for making a big deal out of a first birthday in the first place.  :-)

Birthday banner from Mod Party

Personalized birthday shirt from Pink Daisy Boutique

Cake topper from Inspired Little Parties

Twinkle Twinkle printable from Prettiest Print Shop

I'm so thankful someone grabbed my camera to take a few shots during the party because once I  snapped pictures of the decorations I got sidetracked with everything else going on. It's so fun looking back at that day. I can't believe it's been a year!

Introducing Skinny Sips and the faux colada

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This week started out with some gorgeous 70-80 degree weather and It. Was. Heavenly. For two glorious days I was able to trade in my boots and sweaters for shorts and tank tops and flip flops and pretend it was summer. Once I got into summer mode I  immediately started dreaming about all the awesomeness that goes along with my favorite season: the long days, barbecues, camping trips and best of all, delicious fruity summery cocktails. Of course! 

Today the weather was back to cold and rainy, but too late for me. Mama wants a cocktail! And I'm not super picky...a margarita, a pina colada, a strawberry daiquiri -basically anything that would look appropriate with one of those adorable tiny umbrellas- would do me just fine. Well, fine except that most of those types of drinks have upwards of 400-500 calories apiece and ain't nobody got time (or extra room in the jeans) for that!

Pinterest has saved my butt over and over with everything from "how to wear booties without looking like a dumbass" to "please tell me what to make for dinner tonight with this pound of ground turkey" so I figured it would be a snap to log in and find  some worthy low cal substitutes for my favorite beverages. But nothing I found really fit the bill of exactly what I was looking for: fruity, tasty, makes-you-feel-like-you're-sitting-on-a-beach-in-Maui, and under 150 calories. Boo! Hiss! So now I'm on a mission -obviously- to create some cocktail yumminess sans the guilt. I kind of want to make it a thing: weekly if I have time, every couple weeks if things get crazy up in here. Either way, I give you.....

My first drink is super easy! Only 3 ingredients + ice and soooo good. The husband prefers dirty martinis and sipping pricey bourbon, but he still gave this one a thumbs up. So here we go! Ready?

1.5 oz Malibu Rum
1 Tbsp sugar free vanilla syrup
1/4 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup ice

Tips: If you're having trouble finding the sugar free vanilla syrup in your grocery store, try the coffee aisle. It hides in some strange places! Also, if you go for the convenience of canned pineapple chunks like I did, make sure you look for the kind packed in juice rather than syrup.

Directions: Blend until smooth, garnish if you feel the need and enjoy! 

You want to hear the best part about these faux coladas?? They're only 112 calories per serving. How awesome is that? Cheers to a great weekend!

My 4 favorite mom-friendly workout programs (and a little background)

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Getting back in shape after growing a human is no joke, you guys! Most of you mamas out there know exactly what I'm talking about. It's kind of crazy what your body goes through with pregnancy and delivery and how things change. Stay with me here and I've got some great recommendations for you if you're looking to get back in shape post partum! But first, a little background. 

The first several weeks after bringing Madi home I honestly couldn't have cared less what my body looked like. I was basking in the glow of my very own 7 lb miracle, while functioning at the level of a sleep deprived zombie and struggling to figure out breastfeeding/diaper changes and how to get my little bundle of joy to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. It took 6 or 7 weeks postpartum to be able to manage more than a slow walk while clutching my abdomen  convinced that at any minute my uterus was going to fall out somewhere between the kitchen and the living room.

Madi at 2 months

As the weeks passed and the stitches began to heal and my body started to adjust to it's new normal (and I was finally able to get some amazing 3-4 hour blocks of sleep) I started thinking about how I was going to get back in shape and lose the baby weight. It was bizarre looking down and seeing a deflated beach ball where I used to have an actual waist, not to mention the extra padding that had accumulated errrywhere thanks to my constant pregnancy cravings of sourdough bread, peanut butter and hot pockets. 

I read about Jessica Simpson losing all her baby weight by walking 6 miles a day. I was like, 'Psh. That's all I have to do?? Easy peasy!' So I strapped on the front carrier and started walking: a mile, 2 miles, and finally 6-7 miles a day while Madi occasionally looked around to see what was going on. And I occasionally ducked into the bushes to pee, because, mom bladder. 

The walking worked great for a little while but it wasn't long before I hit a plateau.  Apparently, I'm no Jessica Simpson (What??) I figured I needed to step up my game and promptly ordered the Insanity DVDs (on eBay for 1/3 the retail cost because I'm not completely insane!) I lasted 9 weeks on the program before the relentless intensity of the workouts, combined with doing basically the same HIIT cardio routines day in and day out -and not seeing the kind of results I hoped for- burned me out completely. I was just done and quit exercising entirely for several months. I know, I know...lame

So....last February I decided to get off my butt once again and make a renewed effort at being fit and getting in shape. The nearby gym -with it's very limited child care hours- hasn't really the best option for me with a toddler, but though trial and error and recommendations from friends I've managed to find some really awesome workouts that can be done completely in the comfort of your living room. They've totally done away with all my excuses for being lazy! (And I have a lot.) I can now proudly say that I've  been exercising consistently for just over a year and I'm not looking back. I may never have exactly the body shape I did before baby, but I feel strong, healthy and I can comfortably wear all my pre-pregnancy clothes so I'm calling it a win. 

Below are my four all-time favorite mom-friendly online workout programs. I can just about guarantee that you'll love at least one -if not all- of them. You absolutely deserve to look and feel your best, especially when you spend so much time taking care of others! :-)

1.)  Betty Rocker
Vibe: Betty is a little funky, very up-beat and gives tons of positive affirmations like "you're awesome!" Who doesn't love hearing that?? 
How it works: Sign up by email to get a daily workout in your inbox for 30 days, free! The challenge videos are also available on YouTube. 
What I loveBetty Rocker's 30 day body weight challenge  is a great way to ease back into exercise! It's literally only 15 minutes a day but will still leave you in a sweaty heap on the floor if you give it your max effort. 
Cons: Although she does post a new workout video to her site every couple weeks, if you want to continue working out consistently with Betty after the 30 days, you'll need to invest in one of her DVD programs ranging from 25-200 dollars.

Vibe: Working out with Briana Christine is like working out alongside one of your best girlfriends. She cracks jokes, sweats, gets out of breath sometimes and overall just keeps it real. 
How it works: There are four 90 day challenges and one 6 week mini challenge that you can access for free on the site, or you can sign up to receive a daily workout email. If you opt for  premium membership you'll gain access to all of her pre- and postnatal workouts, an extensive 5 minute ab series  and "maintenance" videos for $1.99 mo. 
What I love: This site is super easy to navigate! The workouts are only about 20 minutes long and include a warm up/cool down in each session (something I don't always remember to do when left to my own devices.) The 6 week mini challenge is my favorite BBM workout with a great mix of cardio and strength, and I'm keeping my eye out for the next 90 day challenge release.
Cons: If you're already in great shape, or really looking to push yourself hard these workouts may not be quite challenging enough, although you can always double up or add weight.

Vibe: Karena and Katrina are insanely toned and have a real laid-back surfer chick vibe. A lot of the workouts are filmed on various gorgeously serene beaches. 
How it works: You can find plenty of workout videos on the Tone It Up site and on YouTube. Workouts range from 10 to around 40 minutes and include strength, cardio, yoga and stretching routines.
What I love: The Tone It Up yoga videos are my favorite because they just fit so well with the girl's mellow vibe. I also love that the site offers lots of free healthy eating recipes and strong community support. 
Cons: If you want a more organized "program" you'll need to order the premium workouts for $25 
or one of the Beach Babe sets $20-37 depending which one you choose and whether you want digital or DVD. (I have the Beach Babe 2 DVDs which contain 9 workouts. Good value for the money.)

4. Blogilates
Vibe: Working out with Cassey is like working out with your fun, super-energetic little sister who says things like "Let's have a little conversation while I kill you!"
How it works: You can access a ton of her cardio or area-specific (abs, butt, arms, etc.) videos on YouTube or the Blogilates site, or sign up for the newsletter and you'll be able to download a monthly workout calendar that tells you exactly which 4-5 workout videos to do each day. She also has a separate calendar available for beginners if you're just starting out.
What I love: I've been surprised at just how challenging most of these body weight workouts are! I also love that each individual workout is only an average of 5-10 minutes long so if I need to break them up throughout the day or stop and change a diaper after the first workout it's no big deal. Super mom-friendly!
Cons: The website can be a little confusing -possibly because of the sheer volume of content- and the search feature doesn't always work as well as I'd like when I'm hunting for a specific video. My experience has been that it's easiest to print out the workout calendar and then use YouTube to find the workouts listed for the day.

If you've already tried one of these programs I'd love to hear about your experience! And of course I'm always taking recommendations for new workouts!  

**Linking up with Sincerely Paula and Momfessionals!**

Debates are my new trash TV & highlights from this week's Bachelor

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Hello gorgeous ladies! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and Valentine's Day! We were pretty lame around here this year since the husband and I have both been cutting back on the sweets and the wine (aka "dieting.") We did get to go see a matinee of DeadPool (romantic, right? Lol) and I loved watching Madi open her Valentine "presents" but most of our weekend involved less exciting stuff like cleaning out our walk-in closet and doing yard work. You win some, you lose some. Right?


So I'm old enough now that I've been through a few election years as an adult. One thing I have always always always avoided during election season was watching the political debates on the assumption that they were really just extra opportunities for candidates to go back and forth reiterating the party lines that everyone already knows blah blah boring blah. Well, ladies and gentleman I am here to tell you I was wrong about that. So gloriously wrong. I switched on the TV Saturday night and the first channel to come up happened to be showing the Republican debate. Can I just tell you that watching JEB, Trump and Cruz throw barbs and hurl insults at one another was at least as entertaining as the most dramatic episode of The Bachelor (which was actually last Monday and I didn't even have time to blog about it so booooo for that.) Anyhow, in summation, political debates are my new reality TV. I guarantee you I'll be watching a few more before the polls open. 

Okay, on to this week's Bachelor highlights!

This week Ben takes the final 6 women home to bustling Warsaw, Indiana (population 14,000.) 5 minutes in, a few of the girls are already ready to jump on the baby makin' family raisin' bandwagon.

Lauren gets the first date in Ben's hometown and predictably everyone else is pissed. And "terrified." And "overthinking it." The date includes a tour of the local hot spots: high school! Church! Hotel! and then they head to the youth club where Ben used to work -possibly because he is actually a saint- and play basketball with the kids and a couple members of the Indiana Pacers basketball team. Later they touch on Crazy Leah's criticism from last week about Lauren acting differently around Ben, and something about the dialog or the camera angle or the lighting or something makes me feel like I'm  watching a really cheesy episode of Days of our Lives.

Jojo has Ben-time next and he takes her to Wrigley Field in Chicago for the obligatory "deserted baseball field date." (When and why did this become a thing??) After playing around (pun intended) they have dinner in the outfield and it looks sort of cold and windy and uncomfortable...kind of like the start of their serious dinner convo. Ben expresses that he feels taken aback by Jojo's recent pulling away and nervousness. (Umm, I totally thought he was into that after his positive response last week to Caila's confusingly circular having the feels/not having the feels/I might love you/I might break your heart nonsense.) Either way, Jojo decides she's still #TeamBen after all.

Caila, Amanda and Becca have a group date this week involving kites and rowboats and a farm, but mostly involving trying to see who can be the most awkward and miserable.  Ben takes Caila aside for a little chat and asks her if she could see herself ever settling in one place. In typical W-T-F Caila fashion she compares herself to tree moss and says "I could see myself moving or I couldn't." (Seriously, I think this girl has a future in politics.) Anywho, Amanda gets the rose and she and Ben take off in the limo leaving Becca and Caila to work up their respective existential crises. Maybe the girls would have been a little less bummed if they had known Ben was taking Amanda to....McDonald's. McFreakingDonald's. (I can literally hear the sound of the record scratching as they walk up to the door.) Sometimes you just need an Egg McMuffin, a super size fries and some bonding time working the drive thru to know if you're really compatible with someone. I guess?  #macattack

Emily gets a date with Ben, and Cailas exasperated because "She's just a bright eyed puppy. She has so much to learn. I don't know if she's there yet." #Irony. Then again, she's not totally wrong. The parents are not impressed with Emily's dislike of vegetables and big dreams of becoming an NFL cheerleader so Ben returns Emily to the house and promptly dumps her with the other girls looking on. Ouch.

Becca leaves the rose ceremony empty handed this week, after showing more emotion than we've seen from her in a season and a half. Ah well, there's always Bachelor in Paradise.

Until next time, Bachelor Nation!

The (mental) struggle is real.

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Becoming a mom is hands down the best thing that has ever happened to me. Hands down. This stay at home mom gig though? It's a little weird, no lie. And I don't even feel like I'm a totally legit SAHM, since I do work a couple shifts a month and go to school and therefore get actual time around non-related-to-me adults on a weekly basis, which seems to be something a lot of SAHMs say they miss out on. But still. I'm currently not contributing much to the family with regards to income (in fact, I made a whopping 10k last year. Can I get a what what?) and it's mentally been a huge adjustment for me to come to terms with the idea that hanging out with my little one all day is my full time "job" right now. I feel guilty about it. I feel judged. Not by my husband, because it's his preference that I'm with Madi as much as possible. And not by my family, or my husband's family or my friends or even my coworkers, none of whom have tried to make me feel lame for giving up a full time place in the workforce. But somehow I still feel like there are a lot of people out there assuming that "SAHM" is just a fancy acronym that actually means "I sit around in stretched out yoga pants watching soap operas and Judge Judy stuffing my face with bon bons all day and contributing nothing of value to society." Which I know -and anyone who has spent more than 3 consecutive hours with my tiny tow-headed dictator knows- is total crap because Disney or Sprout are the only networks playing up in herrr these days. And anyway, it's like Parenting 101 that you don't eat the good stuff around a toddler because then you have no choice but to share, and by "share" I mean you're lucky if you get the crumbs. Plus, I'm attempting to raise my daughter to be a kind, compassionate, non-serial killer, so that's somewhat valuable in and of itself.

But where was I? Oh, right. So I'm assuming that this feeling of being judged is just a result of some of the attitudes that are currently prevalent in our society, even though the people closest to me are kind enough not to express them if they happen to think the same. If you google "stay at home mom" it's kind of crazy the number of polarizing articles and outspoken opinions that pop up. So, whatever. I don't necessarily appreciate that, but I also don't necessarily need society to validate my life choices either. This nagging feeling of guilt I carry around is for sure the harder one for me to dissect. Is it because I spent a good 20 years working my tail off and now have to almost re-evaluate who I am without my job being such a defining factor? Is it because I spent so many years paying my own bills, managing my own finances (albeit not managing them well) that it feels wrong, almost, that another person has now taken over those responsibilities? Whatever the root cause, I feel like I'm pulling a fast one over on...I don't know...somebody. And because of that I feel like I need to work my butt off to make sure my husband doesn't suddenly realize he's getting some kind of a raw deal. After a busy beginning to the week, days like today where I'm tired and kind of off and really just want to spend the day laying on the living room floor while the baby plays "climbing over the mountain" I'm out in the yard instead, cleaning up after the dog, pulling weeds, raking leaves.  Something, anything to show that I'm being a team player and earning my keep, so to speak. 

Am I nuts you guys? Maybe I'd feel less guilty if I was a SAHM caring for 2 or 3 kids instead of one. Or maybe I just have issues? Scratch that, I know I have issues. I'm a "recovering Baptist" after all haha. So if the stars align and I'm accepted into the nursing program this fall I'll be back here pouring out my guilt not for spending too much time at home, but for not spending enough.  Has being a mom always been this confusing? 

I think I need a cocktail. 

Traintown & my favorite Superbowl commercial

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I don't talk about it a lot, but I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before on this blog that my husband works in law enforcement. His particular job assignment means that in addition to his regularly scheduled hours, he's also often asked to come in early, work late and spend a lot of time being on call. As much as I support his career and appreciate what he's accomplishing, I won't lie that it can be a little frustrating at times. When I've spent an hour prepping a meal and find out he won't make it home to eat or when we have to rush to get family here to watch Madi because I have a shift scheduled and he's gotten called into work on yet another day's great for the bank account, but definitely adds stress to the relationship. Where I consider myself lucky is that he's really aware of that, acknowledges it and does his best to make up for it at other times. 

Friday was one of those times where he was able to take the day off for some quality family togetherness. We ended up taking Madi to a local amusement park called TrainTown. 


It's a pretty small park with some carnival-type rides, a carousel and the main attraction: a kid size train that makes a trip around the park to a little kid sized town. Made loves "choo choos" so Traintown is one of her favorite spots. 

Waiting for the "big" train.

Saturday afternoon the husband volunteered for toddler duty and I had 3 beautiful, quiet hours of alone-ness, wandering around the mall doing some shopping. It's funny how something I took so completely for granted in my previous life has become the height of luxury! 

Yesterday was Superbowl obvs! Did you guys watch? Our Niners had a pretty terrible 5 and 11 season, so I wasn't supes excited about -or emotionally invested in- any of the playoff hoopla. I mean, I watched the big game,  but in a calm, not totally paying attention, no screaming at the TV or using inappropriate language (aka boring) kind of way. 

My favorite things about yesterday in no particular order: 1. Peyton Manning winning his 200th game (awesome way to cap off a stellar career!!) 2. Home made BBQ chicken pizza and a bottle of Kenwood sauvignon blanc. 3. Lady Gaga's rendition of the National Anthem, which I thought she nailed.  I loved that she performed without any weird latex costumes, crazy hats or prosciutto couture.  I even thought she rocked the red glitter eye shadow, but man oh man did I want to take a brush to her hair! I could not shake the mental comparison to Joe Dirt...

And lastly, 4. This commercial. I die. It got a couple bad reviews, but I love Amy Shumer and I watched it like 5 times in a row and laughed every time. 


I hope you had a great weekend too! If you're a Broncos fan, congrats on the win! What was your favorite commercial from yesterday? And what did you think of Queen Bey and the halftime show?

Easy Home Made Sugar Scrubs

I'm kind of obsessed with home made sugar scrubs right now. Is that weird? Oh well, I blame the evil influence of Pinterest (and also the fact that every once in awhile I like to play mad scientist in the kitchen haha.) The thing is, sugar scrubs are so nice for exfoliating and moisturizing dry winter skin and so easy to make that I can almost guarantee you already have everything you need in your kitchen right now to whip up your own little jar of awesome. 

So all you really need for this quickie project is some sugar (white or brown) and some oil (olive, coconut, almond or grapeseed.) Simple, right? For fragrance you can add any combination of extracts or essential oils that float your boat, and maybe a few drops of vitamin E oil for extra moisturizing. Those things are optional, though! Go crazy! 

Below are my two most recent recipes, and I'm kind of in love with both of them.

Almond Rose Sugar Scrub

1 cup white sugar
3/8 cup grapeseed oil
1 1/2 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp almond extract
splash of vitamin E oil

Mix the sugar and oil well then add rose water and almond extract. Store in glass jar. 

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

1 cup white sugar
3/8 cup grapeseed oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 drops lemon essential oil
splash of vitamin E oil

Mix sugar and oil well, then add vanilla extract and lemon oil. Store in glass jar.

Have you ever made your own sugar scrub? What are your favorite ingredients? I'm thinking maybe lavender and honey for next time :-)

Linking up with Momfessionals, Sincerely Paula and...

Kristin's kNook
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