Monthly Archives: February 2016

Healthy Oatmeal Choc Chip Cookies

February 29, 2016

It’s the last day in February and to celebrate another winter month down I’m giving you a recipe! It’s a good one too. I love to find healthy alternatives to some of our families favorite recipes. Not everything I try to make comes out yummy, so I was pretty excited when these cookies came out so delicious. They tasted the best when they were warm right out of the oven, but then again what cookie doesn’t taste best right out of the oven. IMG_1066 IMG_1063 So here’s the recipe

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Oats (I used gluten free)

1/2 Cup Almond Meal (you can find it at Walmart with the flour)

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup chocolate Chips

2 Tbs Melted Butter

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Peanut Butter

1/2 Tsp Vanilla

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats, almond meal, cinnamon, sea salt and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined. Then add the wet mixture to the dry and stir well.
  4. Make cookie shapes on your cookie sheet, you can use a melon ball scooper to make it    simple. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Then enjoy!

I love how simple this recipe is, it took me no time at all to whip them up. There are only a few ingredients and most of them are already in my pantry. I will definitely be making these again. Try them out and see for yourself.

February Vacation Craziness

February 22, 2016

It’s Monday and we’re back into our normal routine of school. Having Elly home with us all last week was a blast. Don’t get me wrong there were times I was at my whits end with all the girls but I tried to fill our week up with lots of fun things so that I didn’t get to frustrated with them. Elly and Jordyn are at the age where tattling is the funnest thing, I can only handle so many “she looked at my wrong” or “she is on my side of the couch” before I say “everyone just stop moving, looking, talking, breathing….” you get the point, right?

So here are some things we did and places we went.

We met some friends at The Yard. Which is an indoor playground place, they have tons of fun things for kids to climb on, swing from and run around.IMG_0949IMG_0952IMG_0946IMG_0968 I also took the girls to Smudge Art Studio to get their creativity flowing. This was our first time there and it was so great. They had all kinds of stations set up with play dough, spray painting, regular painting, making magnets and coloring. There were only two other kids there besides the girls so it was somewhat peaceful. I was happy because they could make a huge mess and I didn’t have to clean up any of it, it was perfect!IMG_0984IMG_0973IMG_0985 We also spent time visiting we with some besties. The girls love holding baby Kenzie, if she’ll let them, lol. My friend has 4 littles, so add my three and you’ve got some screaming chaos, but they have so much fun together.IMG_0988 We also finally got Harper a new carseat this past week. The one she’s been in is from Elly as a baby and it’s been well used, and smelled like it had been thrown up in about a hundred times (it had been). I’ve been wanting to for quite some time but they are so expensive I’ve had a hard time pulling the trigger. Babies R Us is having their Trade In Event right now though, so I lugged our old car seat into the store with all three girls in tow, got the coupon, and picked out the new car seat. We decided to go with the Graco Nautilus 80 Elite 3 in 1 Harness Booster, it’s a mouthful I know. This thing is going to be the last carseat we’ll have to purchase for her though, it switches into a booster with a back and then the back will come off when she’s big enough to just have the bottom booster. I was quite happy with my decision, I took it out of the box in the store and brought it out to the car. Figuring out how to put it in the car was pretty easy, although you wouldn’t think so if you had watched me trying to keep Harper from climbing out of the van and keep the older two from getting in my way. As you can tell Harper was pretty excited about it.IMG_1002 We spent the weekend mostly sick, Jud on Friday, me on Sunday and now Jordyn is throwing up. Yep, I thought we were going to skip it this year but it somehow weaseled it’s way into our house and I’m not happy about it. What are the chances Elly and Harper won’t get it?? I sure hope not because Wednesday Elly has her first swim practice and Thursday Jordyn has her first dance class. We’ll see how the rest of this week goes I guess. Hope you all had a great Monday!

Valentines Celebrations

February 15, 2016

Hello again on this freezing Monday morning in Maine. It’s the first day of Elly’s school vacation and I couldn’t be more thankful that we weren’t outside waiting for the bus in -10 degree weather at 7:20 this morning. We have a few fun things planned this week, but to kick things off we’re having a stay at home day. As I write this the girls are still in their pjs. I made a new banana bread recipe found HERE this morning, I think it’s one of the yummiest ones I’ve tried.

Speaking of food we had some delicious food this weekend. Jud and I have been watching closely to what we eat for the past couple weeks but I knew that this weekend would be an exception. We had reservations for a romantic Valentine’s dinner on Friday night at the Fore Street Grill in downtown Portland. I wanted to get a new dress or fancy shirt so I headed over to Target, unfortunately I had Jrodyn and Harper with me so I couldn’t try anything on. So I admitted defeat and started to walk away when I looked up and found the perfect shirt for me….although it wasn’t for my date night. IMG_0890

You can never have enough workout shirts right? This is the reason I have no “real” clothes. So I just dug into the back of my closet, picked a blouse that I hadn’t worn since last summer, threw a sweater over it, leggings and some heels to dress it up. The restaurant was super fancy, like $38 for Jud’s steak fancy. We got a gift certificate for Christmas and have been counting down the days until we got to try it out. The atmosphere was relaxed and romantic, our food came out in courses which gave us time to just sit and enjoy talking to each other without kids spilling drinks or throwing food on the floor. IMG_0905 IMG_0903 IMG_0902 It amazes me that Jud and I have been married for almost 8 years. The time has seriously flown, our story has changed from something that we planned to just holding on for dear life. We stopped putting our trust in our so called plans and just trusted that God was leading us to where we needed to be. I could go on and on about that but I won’t. I just want to say that after all these years I can still sit at a table with this man and talk for hours about anything and everything. We didn’t have our phones out (except to snap a few pictures), we didn’t sit there in silence waiting for our food, we laughed and talked like we were out on a first date. We dreamed about our future, our kids, traveling, running, and everything in-between. It was the best night we’ve had in a long time. I love spending time with him no matter what we’re doing but one on one time is so special to us.

The rest of the weekend went by way to quickly. Saturday was our big grocery shop day which included Walmart, Hannaford, BJ’s and Whole Foods. Since we live farther away from Portland right now, the shopping trip was an all day event. The girls were tired and ready to stop walking around stores by the time we got home, so we set up their tent in the living room and they watched a movie.IMG_0917 Valentine’s day was pretty laid back. Jud made me a fruit bouquet and then an egg hash for breakfast. We gave the girls their cards and gifts then headed to church. I made heart shaped grilled cheese for lunch, which made the girls pretty excited, lol, it’s the little things. We were going to end the night with the movie Valentine’s Day, it’s a cheezey movie I can’t resist. But Jud ended up taking a test online for school which he didn’t finish until after 9, so I snuggled up next to him in bed and watched Youtube. Here are a few more random pics from the weekend. IMG_0906 IMG_0922 IMG_0935 IMG_0928 IMG_0938 Now that Valentine’s is over we’re starting to think about spring and maybe even Easter. I’ll be on the lookout for some cute dresses for the girls. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Till next time

Our Weekend

February 8, 2016

Ready or not it Monday again. Luckily for us we’re coming off a long weekend thanks to a snow day this past Friday. I was woken up by my phone ringing at 5:30 Friday morning and a man telling me that our school district was going to be closed. I was so out of it, I didn’t even know we were supposed to get a storm, but I was happy about the call. I shut my alarm off and fell back to sleep! It was Elly’s first snow day of the winter, so we were all pretty excited. I had a cleaning job that I had to go do so the girls spent the afternoon at my cousins house, playing outside with her boys. They had a blast and the snow was perfect for making snowballs and snowmen, not the best for shoveling but fun for playing.IMG_0755 We spent the rest of the day warming up with hot cocoa and just relaxing around the house.IMG_0749 This was one of the first weekends in a long time that we didn’t have any set plans. We slept inish on Saturday (as much as you can sleep in with three little kids). I made a yummy sweet potato hash for breakfast, which I forgot to take a picture of. The recipe is HERE, I used mild sausage instead of ground turkey and I also added eggs. It was delish and the perfect way to start of a Saturday morning. We ran some of our regular weekend errands, Hannaford, Target, Coffee run. It’s so much easier going out with the kids when Jud is with me, most of the time I go by myself I always have to give myself a little pep talk before I go into the store, lol. I try to get in and out as fast as possible before any meltdowns can happen. Although last weekend we went to Walmart (I had Jud with me) but Harper somehow grabbed a big pack of blueberries in the back of the cart and spilled them all over the produce section floor. Those are the moments you stand there and look around like (who’s kid would do something like this?!?)…oh mine *insert big sigh, head down, eyes closed*.

Saturday night was a big night for Elly and Jordyn. Jud had signed them up for a father daughter Valentine’s ball months ago and it was finally here! They were so excited all day, the kitchen was the practice ball room dance floor. They showered, I did their hair and they even got a little sparkley makeup. This was the aftermath, and I thought to myself, “boy this is going to be so much worse in a few years”.IMG_0795IMG_0791IMG_0792IMG_0793 They had a blast and my husband came home saying he wants to take me dancing, that should be interesting. I do know the Whip Nae Nae, does that count as dancing?2622d17096c53c9cbff45adc66b853f3 Pretty much

This past week Jud and I also decided to get back on our super healthy kick. Sometimes we’re super healthy and other times we’re just regular healthy, does that make sense? We’re both working hard at sticking to a strict workout plan, Jud is trying to put on muscle, lose weight and get a six pack by summer. I’m working on getting longer, leaner muscle and losing a few winter pounds. Last week my step class started up again from a holiday break. It felt so good to get back into a twice a week group with other people to motivate and challenge you, not to mention a teacher who knows you can push it harder. So when you’re working hard at the exercise part it makes you want to clean up the eating a bit. We’re focusing on really limiting our sugar intake, and upping our protein. Lots of chicken, fish, eggs and veggies. Here’s one of our dinners from this weekend. Salmon and roasted asparagus, you can easily add brown rice or whole wheat pasta if you need a little starch with it.IMG_0776 I also made these Peanut Butter Granola Bars they were a big hit. We eat a lot of granola bars around here and I spend so much time at the store reading the labels and trying to pick the best of the worst basically. I’m definitely going to make these bars once a week to have on hand for lunch boxes and snacks, they were easy to make and taste way better then store bought bars. Anyway back to the weekend….

Sunday we went to church and then grabbed salad at one of our favorite cafes on our way home. Harper and Jordyn took long naps while Elly did quite play time and Jud and I fit in our workouts. The evening was relaxing and we ended the night in bed watching the super bowl, which obviously wasn’t really a big deal to me because the Patriots weren’t in it this year. That about sums it up. It was a great weekend, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as well. Here’s to large cups of coffee to get us through this cloudy Monday.

Till next time

Valentines Craft and Toddler Tales

February 2, 2016

Hello and happy FEBRUARY! January came and went almost as quickly as December for me. It feels like winter hasn’t really hit here in Maine and it’s throwing me off, today when I went to pick Elly up from school it was 53 degrees, what is up with that?!?! Luckily to get us through this mid winter month we have Valentines day. The girls and I had fun brightening up the kitchen with some festive decorations today. Every year we love to make each other hearts with all our names on them, it’s such a simple thing but brings them so much joy.IMG_0720Now to change the subject, can I just say, I can’t wait for summer? Even though it’s been usually warm this winter it’s still muddy and the wind has been pretty fierce still so it’s not like we’ve been playing outside a whole lot. My kids needs to run around, ride their bikes and hunt for frogs. Harper is going to LOVE summer! This pint size peanut gives me a run for my money every..single…day.

A couple weeks ago the older girls went to Jokers with Jud’s grandparents for the day. When Jordyn got in the car with her new toys she was so excited. She opened up her new paper giraffe fan to show us and all I saw was Harpers tiny hand grab and rip. Jud and I tried so so hard not to crack a smile while Jordyn balled her eyes out and Harper smiled proudly.IMG_0486

We have to be careful about what gets left out as well. She may look all innocent just laying here on the floor, but as you can see all the covers are off the markers. When I turned my back she colored on my macbook. Thankfully I have a cover on it and was able to scrub it off.IMG_0418

One of the signs that we’re nearing the terrible two’s is the amount of toilet paper we seem to be going through. It’s not because we’re into potty training though, I’ll let you see for yourself.IMG_0641The past few weeks I’ve been using Siri on my iPhone while I’m in the car. So now my little 20 month old walks around with her toy phone yelling “Hey Siri! Text Jud”. It’s the best, I wish I could bottle it up and keep it forever. I know that someday I’m going to look back and want just one more minute of the craziness.  I try and remember that these are the best days of my life. Even though most nights I feel like I’m never going to have enough energy to get up and do it all over again the next day, I know that it doesn’t last forever.

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed when I step on toys that are all over the living room floor or go into the bathroom and see toothpaste all over the sink, mirror and floor. I could spend all my time cleaning and picking up and doing nothing else but I try to just let some things go knowing that the mess will be there in a hour. If the girls want to sit on the couch and snuggle or color at the table then that’s what I want to be doing. I also love taking the girls out, doing fun things and just showing them the world. Our weekends are usually busy with family activities and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We took the girls sledding a couple weekends ago and they loved it. Last year both Elly and Jordyn were still a little timid about flying down a hill on a sled, but this year they seemed way more into it. Harper even sat in-between my legs and went down with a big smile on her face. We only had one breakdown, when Elly kept going sideways she got so frustrated, she kicked her sled, sat down and cried, lol. But other then that the day was a success!IMG_0594IMG_0595 I hope you all are having a great start to the week!

Happy Tuesday