Uncategorized

6 Steps to Meal Planning Success

Either Monday or Tuesday night, I grab my small notebook and start to menu plan for my grocery shopping trip the following day.  I’ve menu planned almost weekly for the last two year or so.  I couldn’t imagine trying to go grocery shopping without a menu planned it.  I would spend so much money and time just wondering the store trying to think of meals and going back for that random item that I forgot that I needed.

I’m not gonna lie when people say that they don’t menu plan, I do wonder how you grocery shop and what your grocery budget might be like.  But I know it can work for some people but I need a plan and this is how I do it.

1: Find a best menu planning method that works for you

I know this is very undescriptive but there are so many options out there from pretty printables on Pinterest to a Menu planner petite planner from Erin Condren.  My personal favorite is just this simple $3 notebook that I scored from the Target Dollar Spot in January.  I’ve done the big binder with all the sheets and we don’t have a colored printer so the pretty sheets just wouldn’t be the same but the little notebook has really worked for me.  It’s not the full-size notebook and fits perfectly in my backpack and doesn’t take up much space in the cart when I have it out.   One side of the page I make a list of the days of the week (more on this below) and the other side is the items that I need to get.  Simple and that’s how I like it.

fullsizeoutput_cab

But I do think that finding a method that works for me has what makes all the difference in how regular I menu plan and I do it every week.  I don’t have a ton of pages to keep track of or flip through when I’m at the store.

I do want to stress that this is the method that works best for me.  If you like all the colorful printable or like the big binder with multiple pages, that’s great.  If it helps you menu plan and saves on your budget, that’s even better.  You do you!

2 – Figure out the day that you are going to need to cook and what those days look like.

This is can either make or break your menu plan and grocery budget.  The first thing I do when I sit down to do my menu plan before I start to think about recipes or write down what items I need to get at the store.  I write down the days of the week then I take note of the days Wes is at the station (I don’t cook on those days) and if we have any other plans in the evening.   If I know that I’m going to my parents for the day, I’ll pick a crock pot meal or something insanely simple to cook for dinner because I don’t feel like cooking when I get home with the kids after their house.

Knowing how your week looks, what days can you make the long meal because you are going to be home or what days do you need that simple and quick meal because you have 5 other things going on that night.  The more you think about your week, the more you can plan for it and less likely you are going to say ‘screw it’ and pick up fast food.

Also, you need to think about breakfast and lunch as well.  I don’t normally menu plan breakfast. I have a couple of simple meals that I rotate through and keep the items on hand.  Lunch depends on a lot of what my dinner menu looks like.  If I have a meal for dinner that will produce a lot of leftovers then I’ll just do that for lunch but if they won’t, then I’ll plan something for lunch normally something that I can prep once and eat it for the rest of the week.

3.  Take Inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

This will save you huge on your grocery budget.  Before you get you lost in your recipe page on Pinterest, take stock of what you have already brought.  Do you have that meal that you were going to make last week but you ended up going out instead?  If it was good enough for you last week, move it to this week and if you are missing a couple of ingredients, add them to your list.   Think about that meat that is frozen in your freezer that you forgot all about – make something with that.  Or find a way to repurpose your leftovers.    You probably have more complete meals in your pantry/ freezer than you think you do.  Use it and save yourself some money.

4.  Check out the Ads.

We almost all know that the best deals are the front page.  That’s where the best deals are and the rest of the ad is fluff.    I don’t shop the ads as well as I should.  I like to look at them for meat but I don’t really do it with the rest of my grocery items.   I would like to get better at buying my pantry items at the best prices I can find like I do with my meat.

5.  Finally, write down the recipes

I don’t really do themed days but some days of the week we do have the same thing as pizza Friday and Binner (breakfast for dinner) on the weekend.   I try to find recipes that are simple, don’t require a lot of different ingredients especially ones that I don’t normally have.  Some weeks, it’s all new recipes, other weeks it’s a bunch of old favorites or a mix of both.

6.  Making my list of items to get

After I figure out the recipes that I’m going to make this week, I write down all the ingredients that I need to get at the store. And all the other things that I need for the house or for the kids or snacks.

I used to make a big list, divided by store and store department but it all just got too much.  So now I just do one list.   I have a good idea of what I can get at each store so I just go through the list as I go through the store.

7. BONUS TIP Write down the price of the item and add up as you go.

I’ve only recently started doing this and it has really paid off on keeping my total within my budget.  Since I go to two different grocery stores to shop, I try to keep a total in my mind about how much I need for the next store so writing down all the prices helps me do that.

So those are my 7 tips on how to meal plan successfully and how it can keep your grocery budget in check too.

Do you menu plan?

Do you like to try out new recipes or do you make the same ones every week?

Love,

Megan 

 

Uncategorized

My 5 minutes, 5 products under $40 Make-Up Routine.

Like most moms out there I don’t have a lot of time to do my makeup or sometimes I don’t feel like putting a full face on but I do want a little something to even out my skin tone and give me a little pep.  So I’ve developed this 5 minute, 5 product makeup routine that does just that.

Before                                                  After

The Products That I Use:

  1.  Physicians Formula Organic Wear CC  Cream ($14)- If I’m not really going anywhere fancy or just doing errands around town, I don’t like to wear anything heavy.  So this CC Cream is my go-to foundation.   It evens out my skin tone but still looks natural.
  2. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder ($10)- I like to apply a little powder over the CC cream to set it a little bit.
  3. Elf Brow Pencil ($2) – My eyebrow turn a little blonde on the ends so I use this  fill out my brows
  4. Maybelline The Flashies Volum’ Express ($6) –  This was actually my second layer of mascara until I lost my first one.  I’m really not too picky about mascara and it’s just the one that I have right now and it does the job.  It makes my eyelashes look thick.
  5. Covergirl Cheekers Blush ($3) – In all honesty, I like this blush because it’s cheap.  The color goes on well and it seems to last for a while.

How I apply my make up

I squeeze a little physicians formula on my hand and use my beauty blender to apply it to my face.  I try to focus on the middle part of my face where it’s the reddest and uneven skin tone.

After blending in the foundation, I cover it with a little powder just to set it.

Before                                              After

You can see in the first picture, my eyebrows get blond and thin at the end, so with the ELF pencil, I just fill it in to frame out my face.

fullsizeoutput_c68

Not the best picture, but here is a close up after I put my mascara on.

I did grab a picture of me before and after the blush but I just put it on the apples of my cheeks and blend if I need to.

And that’s it, my 5 minutes, 5 product Mommy Make-Up Routine.

What products do you use?

Do you have a different makeup routine depending on what your day looks like?

Love, 

Megan 

Uncategorized

My Weekly Grocery Haul and Meal Plan

From the blogs/vlogs/Instagram stories that I see, there are two favorite things that all people like to see – Day in the life and grocery hauls.  I think it’s because people are so curious about what other people’s day really looks like and what they really buy.  So before I put away my groceries from my grocery trip on Monday, I grabbed a couple of pictures including my favorite picks for this week.

Also, I included my meal plan for the week.

I do 95% of our grocery shopping at either Aldi’s or Meijer.   I like to hit up Aldi’s first since most of their items are cheaper and try to get as much on my list there as I can before I go to Meijer.

fullsizeoutput_c14

My Aldi’s Haul

  • bananas
  • 2 dozen eggs (I eat a lot eggs now)
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • fruit multigrain bars
  • strawberries
  • 2 lb of ground turkey
  • spinach
  • sugar snap peas
  • 4 6oz tomato paste
  • carrots
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • green onions
  • almond butter
  • french dressing
  • red grapes
  • 10 baby food pouches
  • 2 containers of grape tomatoes
  • garlic
  • bacon
  • cauliflower rice
  • mix string cheese

fullsizeoutput_c13

Meijer Haul

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 3 regular potatoes
  • red onion
  • white onion
  • snowpeas
  • 3 salad cucumbers
  • chocolate chips for cookies
  • face wash
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • body wash
  • rice vinegar
  • Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • mini beef ravioli
  • orange
  • tapioca flour
  • ginger

fullsizeoutput_c19I found these at Meijer when I was looking for a new shampoo and conditioner.  I had a $2 off coupon for each one and they were $2 off at Meijer.  So it took it from about $8/ bottle to $4/bottle.  A little more budget friendly.  I will give a review of them when I get to try them out.

fullsizeoutput_c1fThese chips were on clearance so I thought I would try them out and see if they make my chocolate chip cookies any better.

fullsizeoutput_c1bWhile I’m on the Whole 30, I can’t have peanut butter but I can have Almond butter.  I haven’t priced it out to see how it compares to other almond butter but I’ve really liked it and will buy it when the whole 30 is over.

fullsizeoutput_c1cAnother Aldi’s find.  We are having orange chicken with veggies this week.  And I haven’t had cauliflower rice before so I thought I would buy it first before I try to make it myself.

fullsizeoutput_c1dI ended up grabbing 10 of these for Norah this week.  At only 79 cents per pouch, it’s not a total budget buster.  Yes, 79 cents per pouch for organic baby food.  Aldi for the win!!!

fullsizeoutput_c1eThis is my new favorite bacon.  I put it in the oven at 375 and cook it for about 15 minutes and it perfect and so easy.

My Weekly Meal Plan

Breakfast –  eggs and bacon for me, the kids will eat a variety of stuff for breakfast that we already have in the house

Lunch – leftovers, chicken salad, rolled turkey.  Kids – PB&J, string cheese and whatever I can pull together

Dinner – I don’t normally plan a meal on the days Wes is at the station and just eat leftovers for dinner or make something quick.

Monday: Turkey meatballs and zoodles w/ homemade spaghetti sauce

Wednesday:  Orange Chicken with cauliflower rice

Friday:  Burgers and Fries

Sunday: Shredded Barbecue Chicken on Sweet Potato “Buns”

So that’s my weekly grocery haul and my meal plan.  What do you have plan for this week?

What are your favorite places to grocery shop?

Have you picked up any new products to try?

Love,

Megan 

 

Uncategorized

Small County Fair, Big Family Fun

One of my strongest childhood summer memories, besides making bicycle trips to the Frozen Custard for ice cream, is going to the county fair.   My aunt’s house butted up next to the fairgrounds so we always had the best parking spot and it felt like we spent the whole week there.  Not only did the fair have the animals barns and the homemaker exhibits but there was always tons of food, carnival rides, and games.   It was one of my favorite places to go in the summer and something I always looked forward too.  I’m sure I’m idolizing it as we do with a lot of things in our past (say your favorite song “Mmmmbop” by Hanson or TV show “Full House”) and how watching them now they just don’t quite add up to our memories but I want my kids to have similar memories so I saw that the county fair was happening last weekend, we packed up and the kids and went.

Given that we live fairly close to the Indianapolis, where the Indiana State Fair takes place, the local fairs around here aren’t as big as they were in Lafayette but honestly, that’s what we enjoy about it.  This past weekend, Hamilton County Fair went on from Friday – Monday and we were able to visit it on Sunday in the afternoon and had a great time.

First, we visited the trackers (James is a 3-year-old boy, enough said)

fullsizeoutput_c01

After that, we hit up the animal barns.  These were always my favorite when I was little. I was always  daydreaming about what it would be like to own these animals.

fullsizeoutput_c02

It has been a while since I visited a local country fair and was surprised to see that there was a Llama barn now.  I guess llamas are pretty expensive to raise and need to have access to A/C but they are growing in popularity so cue the llama barn.

fullsizeoutput_c04

While we were walking through the homemaker exhibits Wes and I started talking about the future and what we want for our kids to do.  I told him that when it comes to 4H, it’s easy to get wrapped in all the animals and to think that it’s just that.  But there is whole other side to 4H and I think it has something for every kid and every interest, not just farmers.  I didn’t take that many pictures of the homemaker exhibits but there were woodworking, fashion, painting, and even gift wrapping.  Not to leave out all the food/dessert/cake decoring areas too.   I can’t wait until James and Norah are old enough to enter 4H and to see what they will be drawn to do.

fullsizeoutput_c05

Next, we hit up the food.  Since I’m still doing the whole 30 food challenge, I didn’t get anything but the kids shared some pretzels, Wes had a pork tenderloin (it’s an Indiana thing) then all three of them shared some ice cream.  The best part about the food is that we got all that for under $10.  In a normal situation, that wouldn’t be a deal but in a fair situation, it’s a steal. And definitely won’t be that cheap when we hit up the Indiana state fair.

Our second to last stop (we hit up the trackers on our way out because once again James is a 3-year-old boy who loves trackers) we headed to the horse barn.   I think this was Norah’s favorite stop.  Because of how the stalls were set up, I held her so she could see the horse and when they would swing their heads over to her, she would get the biggest smile on her face.  She is also loving peek-a-boo so when a horse played a little round with her, she let out a sweet little giggle and smile.

After a few more minutes testing out the tractors, we pilled back into the van and headed home.  Which was just in time for a storm to roll in.

This Sunday will probably go down as one of my favorite family things that we have done in a while.  I’m glad that we got to spend Sunday together and instead of just hanging out at home watching TV we decided to get out and do something.  So I would highly highly recommend checking out your local county fair, who knows what type of day it might lead to.

What summer activity do you remember from your summer as a kid?

What is your favorite summer activity you have done this year?

Love, 

Megan 

Uncategorized

What I pack When I Take Two Toddlers Hiking.

fullsizeoutput_be0

 

Last week the kids and I took an early morning trip to the playground.  We had some errands to run and the weather was nice so I thought a playground rump would help the multiple stores errand to go a little smoother.  Not only was the morning a perfect summer morning, not to warm, not to cool but the playground wasn’t crowded or loud.

After we spent some times on the slides and gave the playground a run for its money, we decided to give the nature center a look. The playground that we visited is just a small part of  Cool Creek park it also offers a nature center and a couple of trails throughout some acres of woods. It was good, a lot of turtles but James and Norah are still too young to really get the most out of it.  Before getting back into the van, we wandered into the wooded area and check out the trails.  James liked walking through the woods and going over the bridge but we didn’t have the right shoes with us and I didn’t bring any water or snacks  with us so we headed back to the van and I told him that we would come back tomorrow.

fullsizeoutput_be1
The small creek that crisscross throughout the trails.

And unlike a lot of my mommy promises I say throughout the day, we did.  The next day, we put on our tennis shoes, made sure we had enough snacks and water and hit the trails.  I didn’t capture any pictures from the first hike but we had a good time.  James played in the creek a little, took a tumble but surprisingly didn’t seem bothered by the cold water or wet clothes.

fullsizeoutput_bde
Snack Break!!

On Thursday of this week, we made our second hike.  This time I made sure to dress James in his swim trunks and to bring him a change of clothes for after the hike that a left in the van.  I let James lead the way, we didn’t stay on one certain trail or path and ended up doing a lap in the park but that’s okay.  It lasted about an hour which I think was good enough for all of us.   My goal for our hikes is that maybe by this time next year, we can go on longer hikes at different parks and really enjoy them as a family.   Even though it doesn’t release as much of James’ energy as I would have liked it to, it’s still such a nice way to start the morning off.  James and I had some interesting conversions while walking around Big/ Small trees and trees crashing when they fall.  It was really nice to spend this time with them without any interuptions.

So for those whole are curious about what I packed for a hike with two toddlers, here it is:

  • Camelbac backpack – I’ve had this bag for a long time and it’s perfect to take hiking. It’s super lightweight, has a lot of pockets and even has a water reserve if I want to use it.
  • Small hand towel – after our first hike and James playing in the water. I realized that I would need to have a small towel to wipe his feet off before I put his shoes on.
  • Extra socks for James – Just in case he gets his shoes/ socks wet.  I don’t have room to carry an extra pair of shoes but at least dry socks will help against blisters.
  • First-Aid Kit – While the trails aren’t very long.  If James or I were to fall and get hurt, having band-aids on hand would be nice.
  • Water Bottle – One for James and one for me. Both of the ones in the pictures are stainless steel wall bottles. Mine I got at bed bath and beyond and James was from Toy-R-Us.
  • Snacks – I usually do some kind of trail mix for James, a pouch for Norah, and a Larabar for me.
  • Sunglasses – While where we are currently hiking it’s not too sunny but I like to have them just in case.
  • Diapers and Wipes – Just in case someone has a huge blowout.  I do keep extra diapers in the van for backups.
  • A little pouch for my cards and license – I made this small zipper pouch (you can find them on my Etsy page) but it’s the perfect size for my debit card and license so I don’t have to carry my huge wallet or risk leaving it in the van.

fullsizeoutput_be2.jpeg

A couple things about Norah’s carrier.  It’s a BabySteps Ergonomic Baby Carrier  . I’ve had a couple wraps/ baby carriers but I was never really sold on them and knew that walking for a while, it wouldn’t turn out well.  So I did a little research and found one on Amazon, it had good reviews and wasn’t crazy expensive like a lot of the baby carriers are.  The cool thing about the carrier is that there is a little ledge or seat for her to sit on and I can have her face in or out, go on my back or on my side.  The only downside is the aquaily blue/green color but it isn’t a huge issue.  Overall I’ve very happy with the carrier and would recommend it to anyone.

So that’s the story of our first two hikes and what I pack to keep us going.  I hope everyone is able to find something that makes them excited to go do as a family and helps them reconnect and enjoy each other’s company more.  Bonus if it wears the kids out and leads to good naps.

Love,

Megan 

Uncategorized

My Steps to Self-Care

I was listening to the radio the other day and the DJ asked all the male listeners what was the one thing when polled, did women want more than chocolate and trashy tv shows,. Truthfully I guess the answer before the DJ came back and I’m sure most Moms reading this can too – it’s alone time.

958e497b59919644ef70eb8be39fff0c

As a mama of two young kids, I didn’t get that much time alone.  And if I did, it’s usually was filled with cleaning the house or doing office things for Hiker (my husband’s business).  That was until I did something about it.

f369a26a71376d58d2074057c6911368

The first thing that I did was that I started running.  I really got into running about 4 years ago, that was pre-babies.  I had the early mornings free to myself (besides going to work) so it was no problem for me to find time to run.  Post babies, this wasn’t as easy.  Norah still isn’t sleeping through the night so that means no straight through solid night sleep for me and the idea of taking two kids out in the stroller for a run isn’t appealing and isn’t giving me that alone time that I was craving.  The day after finishing Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis,  I got up early, 6 am, put on my running shoes and got my run on.  And to be honest, it has become my favorite part of the day.  Working around Wes’ firefighter schedule is a little difficult and in the past, I would have let that stop me but not now.   So on the days that he has to go to the station and will be gone about 36 hours (24 hours firefighting and 12 hours at the shop with Hiker) I get up early and go for a run so I can squeeze it in before he has to leave for work.  Going for a run mixed with getting up early and being able to experience the house before everyone else gets up is pretty magical.  I know I’m not the first person to write this but maybe there is a reason that everyone is raving about it.

The other self-care act that I’ve been doing lately is taking a bath.  I know that a lot of people have a lot of different options on baths but I love them.  I took them all the time growing up but since we moved into this house, I haven’t really taken them.  Our master bath doesn’t have a bathtub and we have had issues with our guest bathtub.  But a few weeks ago, I stopped using those excuses to keep me from taking care of myself.   So on Sunday nights (except last Sunday where we had a pooping in the tub accident, not me but one of the kids) after the kids go to bed, I draw myself a bath, put in a nice bath bomb and bubble bath,  prop up my laptop to watch a little TV and relax.  Sometimes I  put a little face mask if I’m feeling fancy.

2f8536cd275680900e30709048601add

These two little things, things that I loved before kids. Before I answered to Mama or Mommy more than my own name during the day.  Before I made everyone breakfasts, lunches, and dinners before my own.  Before my day was started with crying from a monitor.  Before I wore so many more hats than just Megan.   Bringing these two things back into my life, my versions of self-care is my way of filling my cup so I can fill the other around me.   So I can be a better mama, a better wife, a better me.

I’m not gonna lie and say that on days where I do get to go for a run, I don’t have upset or angry or have a bad day.  I’m a mom with two young kids, it happens.  My family and I are human and we have our rough and emotion-filled days.   But getting that 30 minutes of true me time in the mornings fill my cup enough to where I’m more patient, happy and together.

We as mothers do everything for everyone else and honestly it leaving us run down, exhausted and a walking exoskeleton of the person we were before we became a mom.  Our internal cups are empty and when your cup is empty, you can’t be your best self, let alone fill anyone else cups so they can be their best self.

441f765df3d95e2855f586449fd87590

So find out what fills your cup, what was your passion before you become a mom or a wife?  And make it work, forget about all the excuses that you have told yourself for years that you don’t have the time or money to make it work.  If you love getting your nail done, find a cheaper place to get it done, ask for it for a Christmas, birthday or mother’s day gifts or have your friend do your nail and you do hers.   When you stop letting the excuses be the reason why you don’t do what makes you happy, what fills your cup, then all is possible.

To all you moms and wives out there reading this, I want you to do one thing today for yourself and yourself alone because honestly, you truly deserve it.

 

Love, 

Megan 

 

Uncategorized

My Best Jordan Page Tips for Everyday

A few months ago I stumbled upon a youtube channel called Fun Cheap or Free and it’s run by Jordan Page.  She specializes in frugal living but she has tons of everyday tips.  She is a mom of 5 young kids and her and her husband both run their own business so she’s got a ton of experiences and tips for making the most out of your day.  So I just wanted to share with you some of the ones that I’ve started to use in my life.

IMG_4068

Have a clean dish side of the sink –  I don’t know about you but emptying the dishwasher is not on my list of fun things to do in the day so I put it off as long as I can.  So that means that I usually empty it while I’m making dinner or cleaning up after dinner.  So instead of just filling the sink with dirty dishes all day long, I rise off the dishes and put them in the clean half of the sink.  Not only during this leads to a quick and easy load of the dishwasher when I do empty it but also it keeps the kitchen tidy.

If you are making a meal, make double and freeze half –  I actually did this tonight.   I made chicken fajitas tonight and while I was at the store buying the ingredients, I noticed that it would only cost a couple extra dollars to buy enough to double the recipe. It doesn’t require any extra dirty dishes but will really come in handy when I don’t have time to or want to really cook.

IMG_4050

If an item is on a really good sale, don’t just buy one, buy three –  When you are grocery shopping and there is something on your list that’s on sale (I mean a really good sale, like over 30% off) don’t just buy one, buy three.  That way when you decide to make the meal again or need that ingredient again you already have it and don’t have to go buy it and chance it not being on sale.

Save the laundry folding until the evening –  This tip isn’t something that Jordan has said directly but she has mentioned it a couple of times of where she’ll just sit down with a couple baskets of laundry, turn on a TV show and just fold.  I’ve done this a couple times and it works well.  I don’t feel guilty about just chilling in front of the TV while I ‘should be doing something’ and I don’t have little hands and feets messing up my piles of just folded laundry.

So those are my top Jordan Page everyday tips.  I hope they improve your life like they have mine.

Signature

 

Uncategorized

September’s Favorite Things + Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

I know this post is a couple days late but it’s still in the beginning of October so it’s all good, right?   I thought I would put together a little list of things that I found last month that I can’t get enough of.

51397374

Kristin Ess Thickening Spray –  I originally got this spray to help my hair keep the curl when I attempt to curl it but I use it almost all the time now even when I’m not curling it.  My hair is on the fine side so this spray gives it a little more body and a better hold.

IMG_2374

Aldi’s Caramels –  I first tasted these at my MOPS table meeting when someone brought them to our wine tasting and every since then I’ve been obsessed and at only $3 it’s hard not to be.  I really need to stop getting them because I eat way too many in one day.  I will say that they pair very nicely with Aldi’s $3 wine.

images

Fun Cheap or Free –  It’s a blog and youtube channel hosted by Jordan Page and it’s all about saving money.  I had watched a couple of her videos before last month but in September I half participated in Shelftemper – an idea she purposed that you only shop for fresh items for the whole month and cook out of your pantry and use what you have.  I will post more about my experience with Shelftemper and Stocktober later but it really has changed the way that I cook and grocery shop.   She also gives advice on all sorts of money and lifestyle topics.

spf

SheProvesFaithful Podcast – I found this podcast through a friend when she posted something on her Instagram and since I’m always looking for a new podcast I thought I would give it a try.  She covers a wide range of religious topics and gives great advice on how to improve your own relationship with God.

pantry check

Pantry Check –  This is an app that I found during Shelftember.  It keeps track of everything in your pantry including your fridge and freezer.  All you have to do is scan the barcode and puts it in a category so you can find it easily later.  You can also put in the expiration date if you like.  This app has made my meal planning so easy because I don’t have to get up to see if I have black beans, all I have to do is check my app.

huggies

Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean –  One morning I loaded J and N into the van to head off to preschool and we were running a little late when I noticed that J still had his breakfast all over his face.  So I had to reach over to the other side of the van for the diaper bag, pull out diaper and wipes and clean off his face.  A pretty big inconvenience when you are already running a little behind.  So the next time I was at the store I grabbed the Huggies Clutch ‘n’ clean and I don’t know what took me so long.  I hang it off the headrest of the passenger seat.  It’s the perfect thing for a quick clean up.

The Giveaway!!!  I decided to gather a few of my items and pass them along to one of my readers.    The giveaway includes the Kristin Ess Hair Thickening Spray, Huggies Clutch ‘n’ Clean and Aldi’s Caramels.  This giveaway will run until October 13th.

There are 4 ways to enter.

  1.  Comment below with something that you have found last month that you are obsessed with.
  2.  Like and Share this post on facebook.
  3. Like HooiserMamaBlog on facebook or follow on Instagram.
  4. Do all three for a double entry.

 

Thanks for stopping by,

Signature

 

 

 

Uncategorized

My Favorite Nursing Bras

Hi Everyone,

Every woman knows the importance of a good bra but you don’t realize how important a good nursing bra is until you are pregnant.  I know what you are thinking a nursing bra while you are pregnant doesn’t really make any sense but until you are pregnant and your baby bump decides to take over your whole torso and the thought of putting on a bra with underwire makes you want to cry.  And if you are like me, usually by the time that I’m the second trimester by boobs have gotten the baby notice and have decided to get a head start on preparing food for it and have ballooned up a couple size more than normal so even without the underwire issue, my regular bras wouldn’t fit anyway.

I have either been pregnant or nursing for the past 3 years so I have been able to gather a list of my favorite nursing bras and I wanted to pass them along.

buttercup_0006_Layer_1_large

Bravdo Buttercup Nursing Bra– I don’t know if this is the exact one I have (I found it over 2 years ago and yes I still wear it) but it’s similar.  I like this one because it looks very similar to a regular bra and I wear it when I get dressed up.  This bra goes by your actual bra size not just small, medium and large which is nice for a great fit.

bravado_nursing_bra_bss_0002_Layer_5_large

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra –  This one is just for everyday wear.  It’s super comfortable, has a removable pad if thats not your thing and just overall a good bra.  I do wish it had a little more support so I could get a little more lift.

006-99162-22cu

Motherhood Maternity Full Busted Seamless Nursing Bra – This is the newest bra to my collection.  One day after wearing a not supportive, really wish I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place nursing bra.  I was over it and went out with the idea of just buying one with a underwire.  These girls need some support.  The kind lady at Motherhood Maternity talked me out a underwire because they can cause mastitis and I didn’t want that.  To humor me, she did give me an underwire to try on and it was not comfortable at all.  But I was able to find this one.  It proved a little lifted that I was looking for and because of the high wall in the front, my boobs weren’t falling out of it.  My only issue with this bra is that I feel like it rides up a lot in the back but overall it was a good find. And at $25, it’s a lot cheaper than the other too.

52205224

Women’s Power Shape Max Support Front-Close Sports Bra – In my path to get stronger, healthier and just overall better shape I’ve need to find some nursing friendly workout bras.   Before being pregnant and/or nursing I didn’t have small boobs to begin with so when I do high level exercise I need to be able to keep the girls close and contained.  Those cute little spaghetti strap nursing bras don’t do anything for me besides waste my money so I have to go with the high impact sports bra.  These bras are often by your bra size and hook in the back similar to a regular bra but this have the back support like a sports bra.  Those bras are great until you have to take them off while you are sweaty.  Since I’m still nursing, I know I need to be able to have easy access when the time comes to a hard to get off sports bra isn’t going to cut it.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw at target that they had zip up high impact sports bras.

They have a little hook on the front that helps you zip it up and will keep it together if the zipper happens to unzip while you are working out.  I haven’t had this happen yet but it could happen.  I have two of these bras.  I plan on nursing N for over a year like I did with J and I want to get back into running so I’m gonna need the extra support.  I was able to get one on sale and the other one on clearance. Score!

So there is a list of my favorite nursing friendly bras.

What are some of your favorite nursing bras?

Signature

 

 

 

Uncategorized

4 Tips for a Successful School Morning

J is in his 4th week of preschool so naturally, I’m a pro that getting him ready in the morning.   Just kidding.  I may have just tipped my toes into this whole getting ready for school but I do have a couple of tips that keep our mornings running as smoothly as you can with a moody toddler and a newborn.

Get Ready Station –  I decided to set up a little area by the back door for James.  It’s a place where he can keep his backpack, jacket, and shoes.  My hope is that we get into the habit of keeping these items there so in the morning we don’t have to go hunting for them.   I used 3 command strip hooks, a small play chair, and a basket to hold his shoes and socks.  I heard on a podcast about placing your socks near your shoes so it’s easy to grab them and not have to search for them.

Plan ahead –  On nights that I’m able to, I like to get as much ready for the next morning as possible.  Sometimes this means just getting the kid’s clothes laid out and on other days it gathering all the things and placing them near the front door that I will need for the errands that I plan on running while J is at school.

IMG_2311

Art wall – I’ve heard about all the art that preschools seem to bring home and if you don’t have a plan it can multiply faster than a pair of frisky bunnies.  I didn’t really have anything in place before J started school so I took some string (my roast chicken string/ twine), 2 nails and clothespins and made up a line that we can hang up his art.  My plan is to go through it probably every month or so, keep my favorites and get rid of the rest.

DSC_02164. Watching my tone –  Every mom knows that when you get stressed out and yell, everything you are trying to do doesn’t get done.  And it’s the same for when I’m trying to get James ready for school.  I know that if I get angry or upset, James will have a meltdown and it gets us nowhere.  But if I keep it together,  not fight him on things like brushing his own teeth in the morning, that we will get to the van without any major hiccups.

So those are the 4 things that I’ve tried to do so we have asuccesful and a meltdown free mornings before preschool.  Like I said, 4 weeks in, only one kid going,  I’m a total pro.  Just kidding.

What tips/ tricks do you have to make a morning a success?

Signature