Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Five: Toys for the First Year

In honor of TinyKrueger's first birthday, I wanted to share some of our favorite kiddo products this past year. There are tons of mommy blogs out there with these kinds of lists but they all seem to be touting all the same books and all the same toys and products. Those toys/books/products don't always work for everyone (like us) so I wanted to offer a different list of items.

Last week, I shared our favorite board books, and this week it is toys. In a world of light and sound toys, I really appreciate basic toys that require more interaction and imagination. That being said, I did list two toys that are battery operated lights and music toys but these things that our little one was drawn to before the power was switched on.

Friday Five: Favorite Toys



Kiki Elephant Teether // This soft rubber "teether toy" was one of the first toys we received before Teddy was even born. It quickly become a favorite and is still something he plays with and "talks" to daily. He particularly likes to keep her with him during our long car rides.
Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy // The first of the two battery operated toys on this list had our little guy's attention from the moment we pulled it out of the box it was gifted to us in, before the lights and music started playing. Not only does Teddy like it, but with 3 different settings, I appreciate that it is a toy that can grow with him throughout various stages.
Bright Starts Lots of Links // I love links! Teddy loves links! We all love links!! Whether we use them in a long chain, or solo as something to chew on, these Links are so great. 
Skwish Classic Toy // This awesome shaped toy is advertised as a mix of a rattle and teether. The little guy loves squishing it, shaking it, and flinging it about.
Sit-to-Stand Walker // Second of the two battery operated toys listed. This walker was another instant hit! The gears and shapes on the front keep him busy while the music and barnyard sounds and music keep him entertained. He also is a fan of actually pushing it full speed down the tile hallway.

So that's it for toys we like! Check back next week for our list of longer, paged books that we like. Do you have any kiddo toys that you feel your little one was especially drawn to? 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Five: Board Books

In honor of TinyKrueger's first birthday, I wanted to share some of our favorite kiddo products this past year. There are tons of mommy blogs out there with these kinds of lists but they all seem to be touting all the same books and all the same toys and products. Those toys/books/products don't always work for everyone (like us) so I wanted to offer a different list of items.

Today I am sharing a collection of board books. These are the ones that always seem to catch his attention and keep him engaged or are the ones he grabs from the pile and flips through on his own. Coming up next I'll be sharing paged books and our top five favorite toys this past year.
Friday Five: Board Books

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Around Here


We have been visiting with lots of friends and family lately. It is so awesome watching Teddy making the connections and remembering the faces and names of the people that are so dear to us. We have been really blessed with such a smart kid and such a loving group of people in our life!

We are gearing up for TinyKrueger's first birthday! Lots of DIY-ing and party planning to celebrate the big day. How has it been 11 months already?!

We are already deep in the start of Fire Season! I am always interested to see how each season plays out in our life. Navigating this season will be different with a little one that is starting to understand dad being gone for work versus gone for a few days. So far it has been manageable with the distraction of my sister's wedding, hopefully it stays that way.

Speaking of my youngest sister's wedding, we are getting so close! The last few weeks have been spent celebrating her and I can hardly believe there are only 6 weeks left. I am currently working on a few posts detailing the different invites and other things I have made for all the different celebrations. I am hoping you'll enjoy or be inspired by this projects!

Lastly, I am in the process of working on more content and getting back to consistently posting. As I build my calendar, I would love to hear what you want to see in the space! So please, leave a comment with your opinion!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April | Currently


gearing up for a really busy couple of months
making my way to various parts of Arizona and California
spending the next few days in the Happiest Place on Earth
looking forward to spending the next few weeks celebrating my youngest sister
disbelieving that this time next month we will be celebrating TinyKrueger's first birthday
working on getting the invitations out the door
chasing my super mobile toddler around
loving every second of it
reading this aloud to the little one and this at night before bed
listening podcasts and audiobooks while on the road
finishing bachelorette, bridal shower, and first birthday decorations
enjoying the hustle and busyness of coordinating all these events 
welcoming spring and the warm weather
starting to get little backyard projects started
scheduling new garden posts now that my natural light is better
geeking out that my BBQ Bacon Dog Totcho recipe was featured on the Ore-Ida Facebook page
using it as the kick in the pants to rework untouched areas of my blog and to repost some of my original recipe posts
getting really excited for all that is happening

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February | Currently



typing this in real time after a 4:30am wake up call from the kid
sipping a rather large cup of coffee
unpacking all the things slowly
purging when possible
wearing the little one all the time
chasing after him as he stands and reaches for EVERYTHING
adoring 9 months 
watching in awe as his personality develops 
working on some fun things for the blog
making plans for documenting our 2016
taking walks in evenings with my guys
enjoying the reconnection with Berkeley
starting on our little backyard "refresh"
dreaming of homegrown vegetables and fresh chicken eggs
getting ready to participate in 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge in March
encouraging you to join in
hoping to stick with it throughout our upcoming travels
starting to thrive

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Peanut Butter and Jelly Danish Braid



One thing about living in the woods, is that there isn't easy access to a bakery to quickly grab a donut or breakfast pastry to complement a hot mug of coffee when the mood strikes. When we were in Flagstaff, we were lucky in that we never lived more than a 5 minute drive away from such deliciousness! Now that we don't have that luxury, we have to do a little more planning by either picking what mornings we get an extra sweet treat or by making our own pastries at home.

Today I am sharing how we make quick pastries at home! The hardest part of this is the dough. If you are ambitious you can make danish pastry dough at home beforehand and keep it in the freezer or you can sub in pre made crescent roll or croissant dough instead. I've done both and I love it both ways. Our go to filling is a peanut butter and jelly swirl but this could easily be made more traditional with a cream cheese filling or even as a savory danish with cheddar cheese, eggs, and breakfast meats. Hmm... I may have to share my hearty savory danish next!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Danish Braid
ingredients
  • Danish pastry dough - I like this recipe but pre made crescent roll dough could be used
  • All natural crunchy peanut butter
  • raspberry preserves
  • egg
  • 1 Tbsp milk
directions

  1. Roll out enough dough to make a 12x6 inch rectangle (one tube of crescent rolls or half of the pastry recipe linked above) onto a lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400*F
  2. Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter down the center of the dough. Add a thin layer of preserves.  Then take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter and jelly together. 
  3. Cut slanting strips about an inch wide along both sides. Fold the bottom ends up to seal the filling in. Bring the strips along the side across the filling, crossing the strips in the middle. alternating from the left side and right side. Optionally, you can give the strip a little twist as you cross it over the center. After you finish your "braid" allow it to rest 10-15 minutes while the oven heats and you prepare your egg wash. 
  4. Beat together 1 Tbsp milk and egg. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. 
  5. Bake braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. If your oven has hot spots, be sure to rotate the pan so that your braid is browned evenly. 
  6. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then cut and serve! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Five: Winter Skincare

To say that I am not so much into cosmetics would be an understatement. I don't keep up with makeup trends and I barely know how to apply foundation and coverup. My go to tends to be plain black eyeliner, long wear mascara, and lip balm. Sometimes I get brave and throw on some colored lipstick.

Despite my general lack of interest in most cosmetics, one thing I do care about is caring for my skin during winter. Where I live we have cold, dry, harsh winters. Even when it snows it is pretty dry. It makes wanting to cake on lots of products a pain and undesirable. Today, I am sharing five products I rely on in the winter months to help me love a little more radiant!
Friday Five: Winter Skincare

Monday, February 8, 2016

Around Here


Around here we are getting the odds and ends squared away in the new house. We still have plenty of boxes to get through but the most important things are in place. Above, you can see a little photo walk thru slideshow that we shared with our families the day we got keys.

Around here we are trying new things. We have been watching Nurse Jackie in the evenings after the kiddo is in bed. I know, I know. We are so late to the game with this one, but wow! this show is great. "Totchos" are now a staple! We've been experimenting with toppings. So far our favorite combination is BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos.

Around here we are celebrating a work promotion for Berkeley! We really weren't expecting it but it is so very welcome. Thankfully, this promotion has us in the White Mountains for plenty of years to come. It is so comforting to know that we won't have to move again for awhile now unless we want to. And believe me after two moves in 6 months, I am ready to plants some roots.

Lastly, I am on the hunt for a new planner. I had been using a Moleskine 18m weekly notebook but they aren't available for 2016-2017 yet so I am considering switching to something new. What do you use?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos

The summer before starting this blog I worked at a 1950's style hot dog and ice cream joint! The dogs were steamed all beef franks and the ice cream was hand scooped with loved. One of my favorite weekly specials was our BBQ Bacon Cheese Dog! It was so good that I often try to recreate the flavors at home. When Influenster tasked me with create a unique nacho recipe using some OreIda tots, for some reason all I could think about was using the ingredients for my beloved BBQ Bacon Cheese Dogs.

Some grilled dogs, crispy bacon, gooey cheese, salty OreIda Tater Tots, and a drizzle of BBQ makes up an awesome platter of Totchos! I prefer the OreIda brand Tots to other brands because the flavor is perfect. It is the best balance of crispy, salty goodness on the outside and soft potato-y inside.

This Totchos recipe was an instant hit around here! It is super simple and a quick weeknight dinner idea. The first night we ate these was during a hockey game while enjoying beers. It is for sure to be a great dish for the upcoming "Big Bowl Game"!

BBQ Bacon Dog Totchos
ingredients
  • 4 hot dog franks (I prefer all beef)
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 pkg OreIda TaterTots
  • 16 oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese
  • BBQ sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • sour cream (optional for serving)
directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425*F and prepare the Tater Tots according to the package directions. 
  2. While the tots are cooking pan fry and crumble the bacon, then set aside. Cut franks into half inch chunks or "half moons" and brown. Set aside. 
  3. Once tater tots are finished cooking, arrange half in the bottom of a oven safe dish. Layer on half of the meats and onion, and then 3/4 c. cheese. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Repeat saving 1/2 c. of cheese. 
  4. Return the oven and bake for another few minutes until the cheese is melted. 
  5. Remove from the oven sprinkle on remaining cheese and serve! Garnish with optional sour cream if desired. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Five: Polish For Winter

I have always lived in places where the winters are cold and either raining or snowing regularly. That means lots of layers. Being a practical person I tend to buy jackets and coats based on functionality first and then fashion! My favorite way to add a little bit of a pop to an otherwise boring outfit is a fun at home manicure. Below are a few of my favorite nail polishes for winter!
Friday Five: Polish For Winter



Pure Ice Home Run / Essie Imported Bubbles / New York Color Big Apple Red Creme /
 OPI Make Light of the Situation / Julep Vivienne
There was an error in this gadget