Category

Kids

Must Have Beach Trip Items

By | Husband, Kids, Style | 21 Comments

For our son’s second birthday, we decided to do something a little different and not throw a big party that he wouldn’t even remember.  We decided to make it a joint vacation birthday with his daddy and we loaded the Durango to the roof and headed to Galveston to stay at a beach house, dog and all. Read More

Sunday Funday at Moorhead Blueberry Picking Farm

By | Husband, Kids | One Comment

When one thinks about Sunday Funday, they probably think boozy brunch, sleeping in, and a great relaxing day. Right? Well, not when you have two tiny people that dictate your life. I heard about a “You Pick Blueberry Patch” pretty close to us that had just opened and memories of blueberry picking with my mom, cousins,aunts and grandma all came flooding in.  I remembered my aunt Sheryl meticulously picking over the ripe berries and freezing for us to take back to Florida and how amazing the blueberry crumble was that my mom would make upon getting home.  I was so excited to be able to take my family and do the same. Eghhhhh That is the sound a loud buzzer that should go off when I think of things like this! Read More

Dinosaur pancakes

By | House, Kids | No Comments

Pancakes are a big hit in our family! I once saw a video of a person making the most awesome pancakes and I have been trying to recreate ever since. I have learned that they have to be white pancakes. I tried the Kodiak Cakes and it didn’t work. Today I used Birch Benders and it was better. I put the mixture in an empty bottle. I bought some empty bottles at the dollar store, but you could use an empty ketchup bottle or something similar.

I use coconut oil to grease the pan and put it on medium to medium high. I draw my idea BACKWARDS and wait about 3 minutes. I turn the temp down to low and then fill in the image. I only let it sit for a minute or two and flip.

She just turned 3 so it’s time for her to start pulling her weight! She loves helping in the kitchen. Last night she was so excited to watch Master Chef with me. I’m getting her ready for when she is only enough for MC Junior! 🙂

When your sous chef is as cute as she is, she gets the kind of pancakes she wants. She has asked for cars, people, hearts and names. Today while eating the heart she asked dada for a dinosaur. He told her to ask the kitchen. She replied with “dada, the kitchen doesn’t talk!” He explained that he meant to ask me, but mama has ears everywhere and was already working on this guy! 🙂 I had a very happy little 3 year old!

Jax ate about 5 smaller round pancakes and didn’t care what they looked like. I like to make extras to have on hand for snacks or for tomorrow’s breakfast. These pancakes are packed with protein and we are loving them!

Video of Working out with toddlers = circus

By | House, Kids | No Comments

My toddlers are only 15 months apart, so I was literally pregnant or breastfeeding for like 3 years! There was no time for eating healthy or working out. I mean I’m sure there was time, some moms find it, but I couldn’t until now! We have a gym membership but to load the kids up and trudge through traffic and sign them in….ugh there is my workout! Some days we do it, some days we skip it and some days I just dance around or workout with my little monsters…I mean angels 🙂
Whats your favorite move with a few babes around?

Be sure to follow me on Insta @Bitesizeblonde also please leave me comments and let me know what you think!! Are there any other videos you would like to see??

Cook-Create-Consume!

Girly dinosaur birthday party

By | Crafts, Kids | No Comments

Our little girl was about to turn 3 and we asked her what kind of party she wanted. She told us she wanted dinosaurs. We thought that wasn’t a very girly party so we waited and asked again a week later. Our sassy little threenager said, “mommy, I told you. I want dinosaurs”. She then reminded me that her favorite color was orange and that she wanted an orange dinosaur party. Time to get planning. I went on Etsy and found @rocketliv who made the cutest invite. She worked really well with me being a control freak and wanting lots of changes.

It came out perfect and I smudged the address and number so all the creeparazzi on the internet don’t show up at my door 😉

On the day of her party she looked perfect in her orange birthday outfit sitting with her boyfriend Robby.

The food was all fun dinosaur and orange themed foods.

Thanks to Pinterest and my amazing mother in law for our T-Rex fruit!

I found some awesome sandwich cutters that have been a big hit.  My kids weren’t big sandwich eaters until they were cut into cool things like dinosaurs! I did ham & cheese and turkey & cheese.  My neighbor told me I didn’t even need mayo, and she was right. The kids scarfed them up. She also helped me put these together the night before over some libations 😉 I also save the edges and scraps of sandwich to chop, add with eggs and spices for a yummy breakfast casserole for everyone getting ready before the party. It was perfect!

Lily’s auntie RoRo makes the best queso so we included that in the volcano. I also had homemade turkey chili and all the fixings for nachos.

The light on the banners was terrible but it said Happy Birthday Lily and there was a big head and T-Rex tail at the top thanks to my longtime bestie Caitlin, who flew in for the event. The banners were all done by hand using my Cricut machine.  I created Green Triangles and then added gold vinyl for the letters. I strung it together with orange hemp string.

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lily bday banners

For her birthday we decided to get her a bounce house, instead of spending a similar amount of money to just rent one.  I did lots of research and found the best deal on Amazon.

Another huge hit of the party was the Dino Dig. I go a big plastic pool and filled it with sand, plastic dinosaur fossils, and little shovels. We put it out in the yard, covered with the neighbor’s pop up tent and surrounded with chairs for the adults. It was a popular spot for the kids. It baffles me how much kids love a sand box. I think its pretty gross and don’t get the excitement, but kids love it. My kids have continued to love it since!

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The kid’s Gigi also got Jax a super cute dinosaur outfit to wear! 

HEB did amazing on the cake!! I called and talked to the main decorator. I explained that I didn’t need to spend $150 on some over the top cake but wanted more than a $30 sheet cake.  He went above and beyond to give this little girl the perfect dinosaur cake that didn’t break the bank.  It was perfect! I love our HEB.


Seeing this big smile on a very happy little girl made all the planning and crafting worth it….who am I kidding, I love crafting!!

I realized that I forgot to get pictures of the kids treat bags.  I am not a big candy person so I had sunglasses, dinosaur stamps, dinosaur gummies, some plastic dinosaurs, I made all the kid’s names in vinyl for them to use on their lunchbox or something, I also ordered some dinosaur masks (but realized not enough) and I did put a couple of orange candies. I ordered most from Amazon but did get the candies and a few things at Party Warehouse and the gummies at HEB. I spent a good month planning and organizing for the party so that I wasn’t frantic at the last minute!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0189VPG6E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=bitesizeblond-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0189VPG6E&linkId=3a0b6a30854728bb9137c920091775ca
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00374BIRK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=bitesizeblond-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00374BIRK&linkId=88b2fae9b1e12a6f7db1f06bfe3ca09b

Everyone was very tired and ready for some snuggle time after the party. The kids had so much fun with their Titi Caitlin! Hurry back!

Cook-Create-Consume! 🙂

Dear Mother-In-Laws

By | Husband, Kids | 12 Comments

 

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I am in a lot of mommy groups, read a lot of blogs and just listen to people I meet. One constant theme in mom conversations and secret groups is Mother-In-Laws. There are some people who have great ones like my sister, some who don’t know theirs for other reasons and then there is my group….those of us that just don’t have the relationship that we would wish with our mother in law. Women are frustrated at how little/too much time thir MIL spends with the grand children, how MILs BABY their sons, how MILs can be so touchy and take everything personal, how MILs don’t follow parents rules and wishes with the kids, and mostly, just being sad or angry at how their MIL treats them. While blogging about about MILs and their behavior, Scarymommy.com actually states “If I ever behave like that, please punch me in the face – and I promise to do the same for you.” After much consideration, I decided to write a letter with a few of my feelings, and others that people have shared with me. Although, after doing my research and talking with other moms, my relationship isn’t nearly as scary as I thought. I have also addressed many of my issues with my MIL (and she got to address some of hers) and we are doing great. I still decided to share a lot of which has been discussed with me. Here I go.

Dear Mother-in-laws everywhere,
Please listen carefully when I say that your daughter in-law (DIL) loves you. You gave birth to her husband, best friend and father to her children (even if they aren’t born yet). You kept him alive long enough to come into her life and hopefully even taught him to put the toilet seat down. All she wants to do is run her household, be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and daughter-in-law to you! She goes out of her way to make sure to get you good birthday, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Christmas presents. She makes sure your son signs the cards, because let’s face it- he didn’t pick out or buy your present- he probably even forgot it was your birthday because he probably also forgot his wife’s birthday. (MEN….Next letter is to husbands everywhere)

Your DIL has tried to be the best for your son and fill your large shoes. She IS NOT trying to replace you! She DID NOT steal your son or take him away from you! He chose her! He is probably a better, more responsible man and father because she pushes him and makes him that way!
She gets to be the bad guy and tell him to pick up his underwear off the floor and remind him that he has an early meeting and maybe shouldn’t drink that beer; while you just get to be mom. The person he can talk to and drink with. The person who can come spend time with him and the kids if she is out of town. If he doesn’t call, call him until he picks up. If he still doesn’t pickup, maybe he’s busy?! Maybe he is cooking dinner or bathing and putting his kids to bed. When you do talk to him, don’t complain about his wife, because no matter how mean you think she is, and even at times he thinks she is, he loves her.

You should love her for the hard work she has done in standing beside your son and the fact that she gave you your grand children, the best gift that someone could imagine giving. And she wants them to be in your life. Imagine that, after all the mean things you have said, snide comments and dirty looks- she wants you around! She wants her children to be around family and know their heritage. She tolerates you telling her how to treat her son, how you show up late, or not at all, or without calling. She looks past the fact that you feed her children whatever you want and the fact that you take everything she says out of context. She puts up with your nasty comments and disregard for her because she loves her family. She does it for her husband and for those precious grand babies!
Stop thinking about your DIL as this person who is so terrible to you and so mean to your son and look at his beautiful life. Look how far he has come with her “pushing” him and how far she has come with him “pushing” her.
Also, look at how she treats other people. Is she sarcastic, joking and opinionated with her mom, sisters and friends?? If yes, realize it’s not personal! If she treats you the way she treats her mom, then be thankful and stop taking things so serious, because she isn’t!
Remember what it was like when you were raising your son and any siblings. It wasn’t easy. I’m sure you had other people who had their opinions on how to do things or how to act, but you just did the best you could. We are all just doing the best we can, without people randomly showing up at our house without a call/text.
The best thing you can do is embrace her and realized that there isn’t a competition. You are not competing for your son’s love or attention. He will always love you and you will always be the first woman he loved but now he has a family to take care of and pay attention to. You should be so proud of the man he has become and the good husband, father he is. The only person that you are hurting with your attitude is you.

Yours Truly,
Disgruntled daughter-in-law that is not going anywhere

I received a lot more comments, ideas and even some very colorful things girls wish they could say to their MIL, it really had me laughing and realizing how good I have it. I just took the things I heard most and went with it.

Be sure to read my other works and follow me on Instagram @bitesizeblonde

Have a great day and for loads of laugh Google Mother in Law memes! LMAO!

Let’s get trashy….using kitchen scraps to grow vegetables

By | Garden, House, Kids | 6 Comments

 

I want to talk about how trashy I am. I use every day kitchen trash to feed my garden. Things like egg shells, coffee grinds and banana rinds that the average Joe might throw away are gold to me and my beloved garden. Also things like scallion bottoms, onion tops and carrot peels are used in our house. My husband gets mad at the constant little containers of trash or growing things by our sink but then loves when he can go cut fresh ingredients from our backyard. He calls them my science experiments and in a way, they are. Here are my tips:

Save banana peels and soak them in water in a jar in your fridge and continually add to it. When the jar is full, use that water to water your garden. This “banana tea” will be full of Potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Check out Frugal Chicken for more info on the tea and other uses for banana peels.

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Save your coffee grinds and left over coffee to add into your garden as well. My blueberries are loving the acidity of the grinds. I wish I would have planted more!

I also used my egg shells when starting some of my seedlings. It is a quick and easy was to start your garden from seed. Plus they are getting vitamins from the shell as they start to grow.  Its easy to crack the shell when you go to plant them. I also crush them up and fertilize my fruit trees.

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Save the bottoms of scallions, lettuce, celery, and Bok Choy. They will regenerate and continue to grow. We have so many scallions growing because I always have new bottoms that come from the salsa I make for work, keep an eye out on @cleaneatingmommy for guest blog ;). I also learned to cut lemon grass in half and it will start to grow both sides to plant as well. This pairs nicely with our Thai basil growing for all of our Asian food we make!

Baby Bok Choy re-growth

Lemongrass Re-growth

Ready to add some new scallion growths to the garden

I also save onion celery, beet, radish and carrot tops, carrot peels, garlic and vegetable ends and any herbs that are wilting or that I pick and don’t use right away in the freezer for making soup stalks or bone broth.  I will clean out my veggie drawer and throw almost everything in a soup stalk.

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Perfect soup stalk for unplanned soup for a sick hubby.

I love to find ways to save or re-purpose or save everyday items. I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up with a VERY frugal dad or the fact that I lived in Guatemala and really became more conscious of waste, but it sure does help when we have a thriving garden!

Please share with me any other tips you have and be sure to follow me on Instagram @bitesizeblonde

Have a yummy day!

Pre-Whole 30

By | Food for thought, Husband, Kids | 2 Comments
whole 30 book

The how-to guide and some yummy bison meat snacks

Enough is enough! I feel that as soon as I turned 30, I started to fall apart! My neck, shoulder, and just one wrist hurt, I have a weird dry patch, I am so tired, and I am about 25 lbs heavier than I would like to be! I am sick of looking in the mirror and wondering who is this really pale, jiggly looking naked person in my bathroom?? A beautiful, energetic and happy person I just met told me about the Whole 30. A new way of life that starts with 30 days of no dairy, sugar, gluten, legumes or ALCOHOL. This is supposed to help your body “restore it’s natural balance, heal, and recover.  Give your brain a chance to change your tastes, create new habits and find new rewards”. It has been suggested to help with all of these aches, pains and low energy. It has also been suggested that it might help me with some of this post 2-baby weight that won’t get a hint and beat it!

I ordered the Whole 30 bible (Whole 30 by: Melissa and Dallas Hartwig) from Amazon and slowly started mentioning hints to the hubby. By the time the book arrived, I had him convinced that we needed this. We needed to get a kick start and this was the perfect way to do it. We sat down with a calendar and chose our date, April 27th! This gives us enough time to read the books, clean out all the junk in the house (eat/drink it all), obtain some appropriate groceries and get our minds around all of this! It will leave me with a sober, cakeless birthday, a taco/margarita free Cinco de Mayo and a mimossaless Mother’s day; but it will also give us a great wedding anniversary on May 30th with healthier bodies, booze and cake!

famil whole 30

Studying up while the family naps

I have a lot to learn but I am very excited!  I am excited for the recipes in the book, they look amazing! The first part of the book starts by telling us that “This isn’t hard”. I got tears in my eyes reading this. I have overcome many obstacles including death of family and friends, parent’s divorce, car accidents, heart breaks, 2 sucky pregnancies and 2 even suckier births. My two mottos for life have been “if it doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger” and “go big or go home”, I think they both are very suited for this next step in our life!  Everything that I have heard and read have said that we will not go back to our old way of looking at life or food and I am pretty excited!

I have to ask our friends and families to help us with our experiment. Please don’t try to tempt us. There are no cheat days, cheat meals or even cheat bites. For 30 days we will be abstaining from dairy, sugar, gluten, legumes and alcohol. Yes, I said it!! Marshall and I will be sober for 30 days! If you see us near any of these “forbidden fruits”, please remind us of how badly we both want our hot beach bodies back 🙂 Please support us and root us on because it is going to take alot of strength, will power and planning. If anyone would like to join our journey, please reach out to me!

April 27th-May27th!! If you have any other great recipes or tips, please share!

Wish us luck!

#GoWhole30orGoHome

Here are some great kitchen must haves that might help:

 

 

Bacon Grease and Himalayan Salt

By | Food for thought, Garden, House, Kids | No Comments

It’s Spring Break! WOO HOO! That means this mama is home with her lovies all week. Daddy is working from home today too.  With a full house, I decided to make a yummy breakfast for everyone to enjoy outside on this beautiful day.  I had a few packages of Grands biscuits that I bought on sale a few weeks ago and a package of Thick Cut Natural Bacon that has been patiently waiting in the fridge for a splurge event like this. I knew that a scrumptious bacon, egg and cheese was just what the doctor ordered!

Some tips for bacon-must be thick cut, any other is just a waste. I like to cut it in half so that I can fit more in the pan and it also doesn’t fold up all weird when it cooks. Last, cook it all. Bacon saves just fine in the fridge and then you don’t have to get your kitchen covered in grease a second time in a week. We don’t cook bacon very much, even though it does make everything better, because it is such a mess…and not so healthy or lean. Other people splurge for cake or ice cream, I splurge for Bacon! I am also obsessed with my new William Sonoma dish towels! Lily picked them out so of course they are orange! The material is cotton so it actually dries your hands and dishes, unlike many others I have tried.

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I use our largest Cast Iron skillet to make the bacon while the biscuits are baking on my awesome silicon baking sheet. The eggs are cooked last in the bacon grease 😉

Using a cast iron can be a little scary at first. I found a great read on some tips about using a cast iron at

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/cleaning-seasoning-cast-iron-skillet

Once the bacon is cooked and resting on a paper towel to suck up the grease, cook your eggs in the bacon grease. We like ours over easy so we get that nice ooze of egg yolk when you bite into the sandwich. Use a spoon or spatula to cover the top of the egg in the fat. This will help cook the top of the egg and give you nice crunchy edges. I also season with pepper and a little salt. I am currently obsessed with Pink Himalayan Salt.  There are lots of great reasons to choose pink over white! Here is a good article to educate yourself on why pink is better!

http://fitlife.tv/10-amazing-benefits-of-pink-himalayan-salt/

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Once eggs are cooked to desired perfection, take out and set on paper towel to soak up any extra grease. By this point I have already cut open the biscuits, added cheese (cheddar for kids and Jalapeno Jack for mom and dad) and put in the toaster oven to melt cheese. All I have to do is assemble. Gently add your egg and bacon.  You could add a little lettuce and tomato or avocado as well to really put it over the top. Add a little fruit for color and Bob’s your uncle! I used fresh strawberries and some fresh grapefruit wedges which are in season and so sweet right now! You can get a huge bag for a few dollars at HEB.

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Little side note:

Bacon Grease should NEVER EVER be put down the sink. I thought it was common knowledge, but after making bacon one day I almost had a heart attack watching my husband pour it down the sink.  He has the theory that if you pour it down with hot soapy water, it will be ok and not clog your drains. I have now done a lot of research to be able to tell my amazing, loving husband….YOU ARE WRONG! Don’t put that bacon fat down my drain again unless you want to be paying for a plumber when our drains are clogged. Upon researching, some of the best suggestions are put in cup that is lined with tin foil and trash when thickens, wait till thickens and put in ziplock and trash, but the best…. SAVE  IT! I’m sure our grandmothers and great grandmothers would be sickened by us throwing away bacon grease because it packs so much flavor and can be used in sautéing vegetables for a frittata or for potatoes, scrambled eggs, to rub on chicken before roasting, and my all-time favorite….when roasting Brussel Sprouts (be sure to add in some of the bacon too)!

You just leave the fat till it congeals and then scrape off the top fatty layer, leaving the little chunks in the bottom.  Put it in a jar and in refrigerator to enjoy more flavorful dishes in the future.

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I had to add my #aholeparent pic of this guy who was very angry that I wanted to take a picture of his food before he could eat it! #lifeofablogger

Gardening and backyard fun

By | Garden, House, Kids | 2 Comments

Last year we planted our first garden and it was a lot of work but it was a great learning experience. We started most of our plants from seed and I think we started a little late. This year I bought one of those seed starters from Home Depot and got them started in February. I think this was better so that I can get them in the ground and growing before the Texas heat becomes too much.

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I also learned that I need to fertilize more. Our brussel sprouts didn’t do very well but made it through the winter and are now doing much better since I have been fertilizing more.

Last year I did herbs on one side and tomatoes, brussels, peppers, okra and beans on the other side. The tomatoes did really well, along with the pepppers. The okra flourished but was kind of a pain because I had to pick it at the perfect size or it got too big to eat. The beans were a hot mess. I think it was too hot for them. I have since learned that they are better in the fall.

My herbs did the best! We have basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano and mint. Other than the basil, they are all still doing really well and flourishing. I have even had to cut back on the mint and oregano because they are like weeds and wanted to take over!! I was able to harvest a ton of mint to freeze for my morning smoothies!

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I also learned about cutting back plants and herbs to make sure that they grow more fully instead of tall and narrow. I also planted my tomatoes more spread out this year and went with a larger heirloom tomato instead of cherry tomatoes like last year.

I am doing more kinds of peppers this year, lettuce, cucumber, beets, strawberries, and radishes.  I have never done any the salad veggies that I am trying this year so if you have any tips or advice please pass along! I know that some people like to plant beautiful flowers and roses but I just don’t have time for that. Gardening is like having a part time job. You have to spend time each day watering, weeding, fertilizing and making sure that the kids/animals don’t dig it up. I am only putting in that time and effort for things that I can use in my kitchen to help nourish my family.  I wish that there was a chip tree 🙂

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We also planted our first lemon, lime and grapefruit trees. As stated in an earlier post, I love lemon water and fresh limes for Margaritas (recipe in previous post). We try to make our garden something that the whole family gets to help with and enjoy.

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Something else that made my gardening a little better was our water table for the kids! It keeps them happy for a long time! They love playing in it. Ours is made for half sand but I despise sand boxes. I think they are disgusting. They remind me of cat litter boxes. We also have a Little Tikes table where the kids like to eat snacks with an umbrella.

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After a great afternoon in the garden, Lily was asking why there weren’t any strawberries yet. Her amazing daddy went to the store while she was napping and got some beautiful organic strawberries and proceeded to put them in our garden with our little plants. When they woke from their nap, they got to “pick” their strawberries and enjoy a little picnic. They loved it! Can’t wait for all of our veggies and fruit to come in!! strawberrstrawberry3

strawb jax strawberry

To review the things I learned from last years garden.

-fertilize

-spread plants out

-start early

-research plants before starting

There are so many cute water tables and things for kids to keep them entertained outside. A water table is a great gift if you want to think outside of the box for something cute for a good friend or family member or gift from the Easter Bunny!