May 26, 2017

How 'Bout Friday // Happy Friday

To be perfectly honest I have no idea what that title even means but I know that I'm crazy happy that it is finally Friday. I am personally exhausted. It has been a heck of a week - maybe sometime I'll tell you all about it.

It's just been a long week and I was starting to think Friday would never come. But here it is and here I am wishing it was Saturday. Oh well.

All I know is that today is going to be a take-it-easy day around here. Maybe a movie for the kiddos. Maybe a nap for mama (when they nap of course because I have a boy who gets into everything!). Something easy for dinner and clock watching for daddy to get home.

So honestly I don't have much for today, which is a bit sad since I just talked about how I was switching up my posting schedule because I want to have more content with something more to it. But also I want to stay true to why I started this blog and maybe part of that is because I like being able to free-write and just talk about nothing.

Which just so happens to be what this post is all about today! But never fear I may have nothing to say except thank goodness it's Friday, but I do have a couple cute pictures to get you through the weekend.

Have a great [long] weekend!
Happy Friday!

May 24, 2017

Preschool: Year 2

I can't believe this is the end of another year. This year has completely flown by.

Unlike when we started this preschool journey last year, I had no reserves about having her in the classroom. Of course last year she wasn't actually in the classroom but I still considered it the first year of preschool. (You can read my recap on last year here. And my post about the first day here.)

Addison was excited from day to go into the classroom. She was very much ready this year and had a blast. Her teacher told us that Addison started the year very reserved and shy but this year has ended with her being a leader in the classroom. She also started the year with an IEP but is now finishing without one (read about that her second year of an IEP here and how she finished the year without one here).

She has really grown this year. Not just physically but in so many ways. I even believe that in some ways she could be ready for kindergarten next year (she can't start even though she will be 5 in October because she has to be 5 at the start of the year) but that's not an option so another of preschool for us.

She was able to be discharged from her IEP. She can write her name and spell some words and sounding out others. She is doing some very basic math. She has learned so much this year and has just loved going to school every day.

But that doesn't mean she's not ready for the end of the year and a break. She has told me a couple times in the last week or so of school that she wanted to stay home with mama and Connor. Although I think she will quickly find that we aren't quite as exciting as she seems to think.

She will be itching to get back to school after probably about a week of being home with us. And luckily earlier this week we found out that she is off the waiting list and back in the classroom next year with her friends. Finding that out was a huge weight lifted off for me. We are so excited for her to be able to go back next year - who knows what she will be doing by the end of next year before kindergarten.

She has come so far and I am so proud of her. She is my fighter and so much stronger than she ever knows. She just keeps doing her thing and she just keeps being her and that is one of the things I love the most about her.

So here's to an awesome school and the summer to come!

Comment below: What are you looking forward to this summer?b

May 22, 2017

I Disappeared...

So you might have noticed that all the sudden things went quiet here. Well let's just be honest here, I got busy. But that's not all of it. I hit a major major major writers block. So I decided instead of writing something half-done or whatever, I just went quiet.

The truth is I have been hitting some major writers block lately. I seem to keep running into it over and over and over again. It's pretty unpleasant but that's the nature of keeping a blog that you write on every week day.

Normally when summer comes around I switch to three days a week. So I think I'm going to be making that switch a little early.

We have some major stuff going on (no I'm not pregnant in case you were wondering) and life is just plain getting busy. I have also been devoting more time to my shop recently. I want to share good family posts. I want to share more about my business. I want to share plenty of family pictures of course and everything in-between. So I want to be able to give the time it takes to work on these posts each day.

Not to mention this is all part of my finding balance.

So now that I got all that over justifying out of the way, I definitely feel good about my decision to temporarily space out my posts more. I'm excited about things that are coming up and I'm excited to share all those things. I'm excited about how my shop is going and all that I am learning in regards to running a business (yup, I'm a history major definitely not a business major so it's all new stuff to me!). I'm excited about Addison finishing up school sans her IEP even if we have no idea how next year is going to go yet.

So anyway, Monday is here again. Anyone else ready to for another week? I'm not sure I am but here we are anyway. At least the week ends with a three-day weekend (Memorial Day in case you were wondering) and maybe some family fun for us!

Comment below: Anyone else looking forward to the week ahead? Any big plans for Memorial Day?

May 16, 2017

Making the Cut: Beginner Shred

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that I am back to exercising! It is amazing and although I'm not back to where I was - and nowhere close - I am at least heading in that direction.

I was at a point where I felt like I was physically ready and definitely mentally ready. I wanted to get back to being more active. I also felt like PT in general was not doing enough for me. I needed to push a little harder and do a little more. So I decided it was time to jump back in. However I knew I wasn't going to be doing anything intense for awhile because like I said before I wasn't even close to the level I was at when I dislocated my knee. In some sense I'm basically starting all over.

So I needed something that would be a little easier on my leg. I can do little hops and I am currently working on being able to quicksteps but I'm not to running yet. Of course I'm not a runner but in a lot of my workouts there is some serious cardio. So at least for my first workout I needed some low-impact stuff. Which meant Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred was exactly where I needed to start.

I was definitely excited but also very nervous. It's been so long since I have exercised and although my knee is out of any danger zone I'm never completely sure about how well it will hold up. So my goal for my first day was just to complete the workout. I could go at whatever pace and use the lightest weights but I wanted to get through the 20 minutes.

And I did. I made it through day one of level one and I felt amazing. I didn't burn a ton of calories but I felt like I still got a good workout. It was definitely the best place for me to start. I had get over my fear of modified push-ups which meant I was on my knees and I had to fight to get through the first circuit which was all squats and lunges. But I survived the workout and ready for the next day.

Then the next day it was a little bit easier. My knee bothered me less. I could do a little more, a little faster. Of course across the board I still continued to struggle a little with lunges when my left leg was in the back because that's a hard one, but each time I did it it got a little easier. I also struggled through the push-ups because apparently I'm really out of shape. But it felt good to something other than PT. It felt good to sweat a little and wake up the next morning feeling a little sore.

I definitely had a good start to working out again, starting out strong for two weeks at level one.

I was definitely nervous about level 2. I knew that in the warm-up there was jogging in place. There were moving backward lunges and side lunges. But when my two weeks were up with level one I was ready to move on to something more. My goal was much the same as going into level 1, I just want to make it through. I used only 3-pound weights and just aimed to do the best I could.

Turns out all the worry was for nothing. Granted I still struggle with running in place. That's a hard one for me still. I lack the strength to control my leg and I'm basically relearning but it will get there. And each time I do it, I get a bit stronger. But the rest of the workout wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined it to be. I didn't struggle with any of the leg stuff like I thought I could and even thought about how I really needed heavier weights because the 3-pound weights wasn't cutting it. So after day one at this level I upped my weights to 5-pounds and continued to feel awesome.

I could definitely feel that I was growing stronger each day I was doing it. I usually struggled right at the beginning of the workout as my knee was warming up and getting stretched out. Sometimes my knee still aches some and just hurts while I'm just starting but as I get along in the workout I feel better and my knee stops hurting as much.

I have definitely learned to love the stretching at the end. I have always like stretching but even more than I used to because when I get to really stretch my quad out is an awesome feeling. Sometimes my leg still gets tight and bothers me quite a bit [when I'm not working out] and even cramps during the course of the day. So that stretch is amazing.

Overall level 2 went really well. I definitely liked stepping it up and having some harder things to do. I'm definitely not to any crazy cardio yet and it will be awhile before I am but I'm getting there and definitely feeling stronger.

Level three definitely kicked it up a notch. Holy batman I struggled. Or at least I did at first. So remember how about five months ago I had knee surgery. Turns out I still struggle with some exercise moves. But not necessarily because of knee pain or strength but sometimes just due to not being able to figure out how to do certain moves.

Anyway, it was definitely harder. But it's a good thing to have it a little harder because that means I'm getting myself ready for the next program I'm going to do that definitely isn't a beginner workout.

At the beginning of starting this level I struggled a lot with river dance and the towel runs. Those are both knee related and its stupidity. Whereas I struggled with the tricep push-ups because apparently my triceps are a bit weak. But how else do you keep going other than to keep pushing through?! I do wonder if part of the reason why I struggled so much with this level was actually because I was still sick and just under the weather. That's definitely less than awesome when you feel terrible and you can't breathe out of your nose then try to do cardio. But I kept going.

By the end of the two weeks at this level I was able to do more of these moves. I was struggling less. I really loved to see the progress as the two weeks went on. I still couldn't do butt kicks (basically running in place pulling your feet up behind you to your butt) because I just lack the strength but I made it work and I will get there one day again. Overall I felt really good about how these weeks went. My least favorite circuit was definitely first circuit and once I got through that I felt like I was almost back to normal again (which I really am not but I'm definitely stronger).

I definitely struggled finding the motivation. I was so excited about getting back to working out again but yet about halfway through I just lost my drive to get through this. But I also kept going each day because I knew that one day I would regret stopping. I knew that I would start feeling better and I would wish that I had just kept exercising even if I lacked that motivation. 

It was definitely awesome being back at it again. I needed to get back to exercise (even if I didn't have much motivation during about half of this program). I knew this program was never going to be a body changing workout because it was only a way to get myself back into it and ease my quad back into exercise. So today I survived my first exercise program back from knee surgery. It went good and I'm glad I started here. But I'm definitely ready to move on to the next program and see where I can go from here. 

Comment below: What is your favorite way to exercise? What program do you love and recommend?

May 12, 2017

OBMS: Some New Ideas & Feedback // Happy Friday

So every now and again I like to come here and give updates about my shop and how things are going. And I bet you can guess that that's exactly what today is - well kinda. Actually today I would love some feedback and opinions about something I'm thinking of adding into the shop.
A lot of my necklaces are great for layering. I wear them at different lengths, pairing different ones together. It's a great gift idea and just cute.

But lately I have been playing around with pairing up two or more pendants on just one necklace. I love this option for the longer lengths. And I have put a few combos today and would love to get your feedback on what you love, don't love or would love to see together.

Large Arrow + Tassel

Circles + Large Feather

Mermaid + Large Feather

Mermaid + Large Feather + Circles
So I know these aren't exactly the best pictures since I just snapped them quickly as I played around, but I think you can get the idea. So what do you think? Any that you love together? Any necklaces in the shop that you would love to see together?

I'm also thinking of putting the option together that you can request a custom order for a collection of pendants together that I may not have listed.

Also coming soon is a small handful of new necklaces that I am really excited about. They are great for summer, layering or combining. So make sure to keep an eye out for those - although if we are being honest I'll be doing a post here when those go live on the shop so you can see all the new items!

It's too late to get your favorite necklace (or your mother's favorite necklace) in time for Mother's Day but you can order at any time and necklaces ship in 1-3 business days (although I often will send necklaces out on Saturday as well) first-class shipping.

Comment below: What do you think about the combos? Any you love or don't? Any you would love to see? ● ● ● Also anything you would love to see come to the shop? I also love feedback!

Happy Shopping!

Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday!

May 11, 2017

How to Boil Water: Beef Enchiladas + Cilantro Lime Rice

Dinner Brought To You By: The Chunky Chef and Add a Pinch

Here's What You Need: 
• Beef Enchiladas 
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef --  the original recipe called for 1.5 pounds and I used that much but that was way too much and I had some left over, so I recommend just 1 lb. However if you want to go heavy with the ground beef mixture in your enchilada then definitely go with more. 
Salt & pepper
4 oz can diced green chilies
15 oz can black beans, rinsed -- I actually used pinto beans because I realized I had forgotten to buy black beans and I had pinto beans so I used it. You can probably use just about any beans you fancy. 
8-10 flour tortillas --  I used 8 tortillas.
2 cups Mexican-blend cheese --  Again I went off what was in the original recipe. They called for 3 cups but I only bought one bag of cheese which is 2 cups. It was a good amount of cheese for us. If you want more then go for it!
1 can red enchilada sauce
Green onions

• Cilantro Lime Rice 
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup cilantro + 1 tsp chopped for garnish
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp lime zest

Here's What You Do:
 Beef Enchiladas 
Preheat oven to 350°.

Add oil to big skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and crumble. Once beef is halfway cooked, add onions, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for 3-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.

To make enchiladas, spread a couple of tbsp of the enchilada sauce over the tortilla. Add beans in a line down the middle of the tortilla, then add in a spoonful of the beef mixture, drizzle some extra enchilada sauce over the meat, then add 1/3 cup of cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Continue with remaining tortillas.

Spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, broiling the last few minutes if you want the cheese more golden brown. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.

Cilantro Lime Rice 
Add the chicken stock and salt to a large stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stir in rice, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow rice to absorb the broth and become tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, blend cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and garlic. Pulse until just blended.

Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in cilantro lime mixture, along with 1 tsp lime zest. Fluff rice with fork, top with cilantro and remaining zest.

Beef Enchiladas 

Cilantro Lime Rice • 

This meal was delicious. We really liked this one. The kids downed it quickly. It is definitely in our favorites book now. It wasn't that hard to make - I have made some enchilada meals that are harder. It didn't take too much time and the family loved it. There is no wrong to be had with this one.

Comment below: What is your favorite enchilada recipe?
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