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Cooking In & Getting Our Kids on Board with New Foods!

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This post was sponsored by Blue Apron // We strive to only partner with and endorse companies who promote products and messages that we already love, and know you can appreciate too!

I was thinking about it the other day and I realized that it's been over 4 years since I've been a full-time stay at home Mom. 
I've always had another job, or something else going on outside my everyday mommy and wifely duties, and I just feel SO lucky to finally be able to focus on my kids, my husband, my house and myself again - with NO work stress!

All of that being said, there are definitely things that I'm noticing I need to make big improvements on.
* Patience
* Laundry
* Continuing to get ready for the day even though I have no plans to go anywhere. ha! (it just makes me feel better about life in general, if I have my hair done and makeup on)
* Working out regularly 
And last but definitely not least... 

For the last handful of years we've gotten into some really bad habits with eating out. I'm talkin' like 3-4 times a week people :( 
And let's get real, when you are constantly eating out, no matter HOW many good choices you try to make, you always feel either unsatisfied or grossly stuffed. Not to mention that theres something to be said about making dinner in your own home with your family that just brings everyone together and makes a home feel... homey!

I definitely struggle with dinnertime more than any other meal. I think it's because by the end of the day I'm tired, out of creativity and don't feel like cleaning up a huge mess. If I plan ahead (which I'm trying to get better at) then it's about a MILLION times better for everyone; and throwing in a couple of totally unique, freshly picked and 100% ready-to-cook meals from Blue Apron each week, can pretty much make you feel like a gourmet chef with no extra shopping needed.
We're in love :)
If you want to try out a couple of these awesome dinners for yourself, go for it! They're offering two FREE meals off of your first Blue Apron order.

This leads me to my next point. Something I've been strongly enforcing around here the past year has been a love for ALL types of foods; not just carbs, cheese and chicken. ughhhh. I swear, those are the only things offered to our kiddos when you go out nowadays.

Fruits, veggies, different types of grains and spices/sauces are SO important for kids to try as they grow up. I think it has really helped my girls to become better adjusted to situations where they have to eat meals that are offered outside of our home. Plus, it has really expanded their taste range, and even THEY are surprised at the things they end up liking! 

The BIGGEST tip that I can give any parent who struggles with the typical kid(s), who doesn't love stepping out of their food comfort zone, is to get THEM involved in dinner planning and preparing WITH you. I feel like when my girls know what exactly goes into their foods and they can help cut, chop or cook it up, they are way more likely to eat it.

Yes. This can take an insane amount of patiences, and sometimes double your meal prep time, so I'm not saying do this EVERY night, but maybe just on nights where you know they might have a tougher time with select ingredients or new flavors. 


How We Battled an Allergic Reaction to Mosquito Bites

Oh Jocey girl. Who is she in a nutshell?
She's our independent, loving, sassy, helpful, determined, creative, passionate twin B.
And if I could show you one picture that sums her up... well, the below would be it.

Every year we head to the DI (our local thrift store) and pick out every semi-decent $5-$10 women's dress that we can find, for our big ol' dress up box.
Yes, sometimes they are gaudy, tacky, ridiculous and even funny... but my twins LOVE them, and it's basically impossible to find any dress up clothes that fit my twins' almost 5 foot tall frame. And yup, my two 9 year olds and 7 year old are still OBSESSED with playing dress up - and I love it so much :) I mean, isn't life just one big fashion show, where you dress up each day to feel good about yourself!? Well, that's how I feel anyway.
Like I mentioned before, my strong-willed, passionate little chick is totally determined to dress, look and act like a "business lady" who looks fancy and knows ALL the things, ALL the time. HA!
Don't know where she gets that from. lol

Another thing about Jocey, is her awesomely awful ability to attract almost every mosquito wherever she is, and then blow up like the human Michelin Man after she's bitten.
And before you ask, yes, we are usually very good about putting bug spray or Terashield Oil on her before she goes anywhere where she could get easily bit. Buuuut, I'm a Mom who forgets things, and she's a kid who doesn't care... so sometimes it doesn't happen like it should.


All of the Things and None of the Things + An Office Peek

I found an article the other day on Momastery and it really struck a cord with me. I quickly highlighted and copied parts of it into my notebook on my phone, so I could send it to Cason later.
Within minutes I was crying and laughing all at once, and I knew I had to share it with you too, because as women, I think we all feel these things from time to time.

Excerpt from Glennon @ Mommastery:
Explaining to your Husband how your day was.

"It was the best of times and the worst of times. There were moments when my heart was so full I thought I might explode, and there were other moments when my senses were under such intense assault that I was CERTAIN I’d explode.

I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone. 

I was saturated—just BOMBARDED with touch and then the second I put down the baby, I yearned to smell her sweet skin again.

I was simultaneously bored out of my skull and completely overwhelmed with so much to do.

Today was too much and not enough. It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. I was at my very best today and then, just a moment later, at my very worst.

Husband—when your day is completely and totally dependent upon the moods and needs and schedules of tiny, messy, beautiful kids, your day is ALL OF THE THINGS and NONE OF THE THINGS, sometimes within the same three minute period.

But I’m not complaining.

This is not a complaint, so don’t try to FIX IT.