Try It Tuesday

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Today, I’ve got THREE Try Its for you! Yes, you read that right, THREE! And they’re all beverages! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies into my diet, but its tough. I tend to get very ambitious, buying a ton of veggies and then they end up going bad before I can enjoy them. So I was excited to see this at Target:

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Four pounds of produce in every bottle?! Heck yes! I was sooooo pumped to try this! That is, until I poured it into a cup and took a whiff:

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Umm… yeah. You know how it smells outside when you’ve just mowed your lawn and the grass is kind of wet? Yeah, that’s how this TASTED.

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During the same shopping trip at Target that I got the liquefied lawn cuttings, I also grabbed these:

They’re new from Ocean Spray–a tasty concoction of non-alcoholic drinks! These were VERY yummy! You can either add in a little Sprite or Sprite Zero for some fizz or, if you want to add a little somethin’ somethin’, 1-2 ounces of Malibu coconut rum per cup of juice makes these drinks pop! I think my favorite was the Tropical Citrus Paradise! It made me miss Hawaii veerrrryyyy bad! You can get more recipes here!

 

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Y’all, this mom gig is hard. Its taxing: emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So anytime I see a gadget, a whoozit, or a thingamabob that will make my life easier, I need to A. buy two and B. let other people know about it so I can help a sistah out!

 

If you’ve got older kids and wish they would just fix their own breakfasts but are terrified at the thought of them pouring their own milk into a bowl–because, let’s face it, most of it will end up on the floor–grab this handy dandy device!

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It’s called “The Magic Tap” and turns any bottle–milk, juice, soda–into a tapped dispenser! Your Littles just press their bowl or cup up to it and faster than you can say, “Put that down!” they’ll have their own breakfast made!

 

Anyone else have a kiddo that likes to squeeze their own toothpaste? Wait, let me rephrase, anyone else hate seeing a sink full of Tom’s toothpaste WASTED? Join the club, girl. I think I might actually invest in this:

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The iLifeTech hands-free toothpaste dispenser not only dispenses the correct amount of toothpaste for the wee people in your life, it also comes with a sanitizer able to hold 5 toothbrushes!

 

Anyone else a babywearer? When Huff the Babe was smaller, I loved being able to pop in the Moby Wrap or in my ring sling and do stuff around the house or go shopping while also getting some snuggle-time with my boy. My biggest complaint, though, was needing my purse while at the mall or grocery store and not being able to carry it on my shoulder. Thankfully, TWELVELittle has some ca-yoot fanny packs to help a momma out!

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When I was nursing, I didn’t mind using a cover in public, but it was a bummer that I couldn’t see my little one. I liked being able to have that intimate time of eye contact with my baby and Huff the Babe liked to see me. (Please note: if you nurse without a cover in public, go you! I’m personally not comfortable with it but if that’s your choice, you do you, sistah!)  the company Skip Hop has you covered (literally–hey-oh!) with their windowed nursing scarf!

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Not only are the covers super cute and have a window to watch baby, but they go ALL. THE. WAY. AROUND. This means there’s no way baby can kick or tug and flash “the girls” for the entire mall to see!  

 

A few years ago, I did a Try It Tuesday about cleaning mold out of bath toys. That made me put a moratorium on bath squirters for my kids. Which kind of stinks, because the little monsters LOVE them! Thankfully, Marcus and Marcus has a better-designed bath toy for mold-paranoid moms like me!

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These bath squirters come in different shapes and colors but also detach so they can be cleaned! And bonus! They’re made of silicone and can be washed in the dishwasher! Can I get a hallelujah?!

 

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday

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Ah, Friday. My second favorite “f” word. (What? I was thinking “fries”. What were YOU thinking?!) Enough chit chat, let’s dive right in to the nerdy nifties I’ve found this week!

I really thought Huff the Hubs and I had a pretty nerdy wedding. I mean, our cake toppers were Lego, we had a frickin’ TARDIS, and I walked down the aisle to Storybook Love from The Princess Bride. But this couple? Man, they put us to shame!

Cassie and Lewis Byrom of Manchester, UK totally hit the Snitch out of the pitch with their a-DORK-able Harry Potter-themed nuptials! Just check out these pics!

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The bride and groom featured on their very own Wanted posters!

 

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The groom’s boutonniere? Yeah, those are pages from Harry Potter!

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The cake not only had house crests, but was adorned with a tribute to The Three Brothers and topped with Voldemort and Bellatrix Lego minifigs!

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Every guest (130 of them!) were each given a handmade wand! I wish I would’ve been invited to this! For more pics, click here!

 

Keeping with the HP theme, I’ve found an awesome way to not only help you de-stress, but also find out once and for all which Hogwarts house you belong in! Etsy shop ScentD has these amazing surprise bath bombs that reveal your house colors when dropped in the tub!

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Each bath bomb also includes a charm–either a lion for Griffyndor, a badger for Hufflepuff, a serpent for Slytherin, or bird for Ravenclaw! You can choose which house you want OR select “random” and be sorted! (They also have a charcoal bath bomb called “Sirius”!)

 

For the Potterhead that needs a magical manicure, NOVAPolish has what you need!

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Seriously, how cute is that polish?! NOVA also has Totoro, Batman, and other themed polishes!

 

Let people know you mean business with this striking silver Lord Voldemort wand necklace from Soft Kitty Clothing:

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Just, ya know, don’t go all “Avada Kedavra” on anyone, mmmkay?

 

Happy fangirling!

Her’s Day Thursday

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The other day, the kiddos and I were walking around Walmart and, because I bribed Huff the Tot with looking at the toys if she behaved, we found ourselves on the doll aisle. I let her do her thing and then heard her shout, “Mommy! Look! It’s Leia!” And sure enough, there was Princess Leia, in all her awesome glory! Turns out, Hasbro has just released a bunch of all female Star Wars action figures called Star Wars: Forces of Destiny!

There’s Princess Leia in her Hoth gear with R2D2:

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The princess rockin’ her look from Endor (complete with a cute ewok sidekick):

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Rey from The Force Awakens: 

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Rey and BB8:

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(I LOVE the freckles!)

 

Sabine Wren:

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And (my fave) Jyn Erso from Rogue One!

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This is super exciting to me! I feel like, in the action figure department, female characters really get the raw end of the deal. Store shelves are packed with male characters from super hero/nerd culture films, but their equally bad-a female counterparts get fewer figures. Plus, not only can you snag some of these for your little BAMF-girl in training, but there are also books all about the lightsaber-wielding ladies as well:

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Hashtag, intergalactic girl power!

 

Try It Tuesday

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Huff the Hubs has been doing this program called The Ketogenic Diet, so I’ve been trying to find ways to help him have low-carb dinners (homeboy is on his own at lunch) without putting more work on myself. One of our menu staples is spaghetti–its easy, its cheap, there are easy ways to make it healthy, and–BONUS–my kids will eat it (translation: I only have to cook ONE meal). But I needed to be able to make it low-carb for the hubs. I’ve used a spaghetti squash before but with two kids, its too much work. Thankfully, Target had my back! The kids and I were doing our weekly Target run and I spied this:

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A veggie that’s already spiralized, organic, and it only takes 3-4 minutes to cook? YES, PLEASE!

All I did was toss the entire container into a skillet with a teensy bit of EVOO and a dash of salt and pepper and stirred every now and then for 3-4 minutes. BAM. Done.

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I added a little to my whole wheat noodles because I was nervous about how it would taste…

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It was really good! I actually liked it a bit better than the whole wheat noodles! And check out the nutrition facts:

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You could eat the entire box of zucchini spirals and still eat three times FEWER calories than ONE serving of whole wheat noodles! Plus, you get all the health benefits from the zucchini!

 

Have you ever tried these? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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If you haven’t been on Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, to the grocery store, or watched the news lately then you probably haven’t heard that there was a total solar eclipse today. This is quite a big deal as another total solar eclipse will not happen again for another seven years.

While I think its cool in a, “Hey, there’s a solar eclipse. Neat.” sort of way, I’m not too hyped about it. There are some things, however, that feel like they happen every seven years–because they’re so rare–that I do get excited about. For example…

My family all eating the same meal, without a fight.

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Normally, I make Huff the Hubs and I something and then the kids get something else. Because I know that they will throw a big ole hissy fit about eating salmon or some kind of chicken that isn’t golden brown and dinosaur-shaped. But, there are rare occurrences when I say, “Too bad, so sad,” and errybody has to eat what I cooked for the grownups and it actually goes well!

All the laundry baskets empty AT THE SAME TIME. 

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Most days I get about 1-2 loads of laundry done and then they sit in baskets until laundry overflows in said baskets and I’m up folding clothes until midnight. But, once in a blue moon, I get laundry washed, dried, folded, AND put away ALL in the same day. Its glorious.

My children sleeping in past 7:00 a.m.

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No matter what time my kids go to bed, they are almost always up right at the stroke of 7:00 a.m. They could’ve gone without a nap the day before and didn’t fall asleep until 10, but rest assured, they’ll be saying, “Mommmmmmaaaaa!” before I can hit snooze. There are some times, though, that they sleep until 8:00 and I’m actually able to do stuff. Like, drink coffee before it gets cold and actually eat a healthy breakfast.

Wearing a white shirt the entire day without spilling something/my kids rubbing food on it.  

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I don’t buy white clothes. Not only because my kids can attract any mess within a 1-mile radius, but also because my nickname is “Messy Jessie”. So any time I can wear a white shirt without dropping a drink or a meal on it, I feel pretty accomplished.

Only having to ask Huff the Hubs once to take out the trash. 

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Calm down, I’m not going to get into a husband-bashing debate. But come on, all you wives out there know what I’m talking about. You’ll ask your hubby to take out the trash after dinner. And then again after the kids’ baths. And then again after you’ve tucked them in bed. And then you’re both laying in bed and you say, “Honey, did you take out the trash?” So when it only takes ONE TIME to ask and it gets accomplished, its basically the same feeling you get when you find $20 on the street.

Eating a warm meal. 

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You know that scene in A Christmas Story when the mom sits down to eat but can’t even take one freaking bite because her family keeps asking her to get them stuff? Yeah, its funny because its true.

Going to the grocery store without enduring any meltdowns. 

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“We just need a few things. We won’t be long.” HAHAHAHAHAHA! Famous last words. The grocery store and I are not on the same page when I bring the kids along. Why can’t they have a drive-thru?! Why must they put all the candy by the registers?! Its like they WANT you to fail. Sigh. So whenever I can go through the store quickly and without a major meltdown, I feel like a total bad-a!

 

What about you? What “rare occurrences” would you add to the list? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

Her’s Day Thursday

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Last Thursday, my family and I were hit by a devastating loss. Our sweet little miniature pinscher, Pinny Lane, passed away.

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We knew it was coming. She was plagued with health problems: diabetes, cataracts/eyesight loss, hearing loss, pancreatic tumors, and kidney problems. Even though we knew it was coming it was still tough.

Last Monday I took her to the vet and she said that even though it hurt her heart to say it, she believed euthanization was necessary. Very reluctantly, and with heavy hearts, we made the appointment for last Thursday at 4:30.

The kids and I had somewhere to be at 9:30 that morning. On our way, I decided to stop at my sister’s house to check on Pinny. When I walked inside, the house was silent. There was no patter of little paws coming to greet me. I turned from the kitchen into the living room and saw her laying on her pillow, with her favorite pink blanket over her. At first, I thought she was sleeping.

I called out her name, but she didn’t move. I gently shook her pillow. When she didn’t stir, I knelt down, searching her chest to see if it rose and fell. It didn’t. I reached out and touched her–she was gone.

As I went back to the car and my kids, I started thinking about that sweet little pup and everything she meant to my family…

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Pinny was given to me by an ex-boyfriend while we were still together back in 2004. At the time, she stayed at his house. This was fine with my family–they didn’t get along with the guy and certainly didn’t want a dog at their house that reminded them of him. The relationship was…awful. And that’s being nice.

There was emotional/mental abuse, manipulation, and controlling behavior. When I finally broke up with him, I decided that I was taking Pinny with me. She was mine, after all, and I wanted to be the one to care for her.

She came home with me and my dad set up a little fenced in area for her in the backyard. Soon after, my grandpa built her a dog house. I always thought it was so cute the way she’d fluff her blankets to cover the hole of her little house. Eventually, when the weather changed, Pinny became an inside dog.

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There was a point that my family was still a little reluctant to take her in. But soon after, Pinny got sick–I still don’t really remembered what happened. What I do remember is my mom and sister crying on the back porch and praying over that little black and brown dog. She quickly solidified her place as a member of the family after that!

We moved to a new house on the other side of town a few months later and Pinny Lane slept with me in my bed. When Huff the Hubs and I got married in 2011, neither one of us wanted to keep her cooped up in a tiny apartment, so she went to live with my sister, Bridget. And that’s where Pinny has been ever since.

Pinny has been such a great companion to Bridget. Bridget spoiled her rotten and loved her deeply. There were so many times I’d see her wrap that sweet dog in a blanket and hold her like a baby. But that’s what she was–Bridget’s baby.

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Pinny has held such a huge part of our hearts for so long and means so much to my family. We credit her with bringing my family back together again after I was in such a bad relationship that fractured our family dynamic (it’s no wonder the name Penny means “weaver”!).

She was an enormous blessing and will be forever missed.