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Cupcakes n Crunches

Friday Favorites

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Family Fun, Running, Smoothies, Treadmill Workouts | 1 comment

Hooray for the weekend! I’m pretty pumped for the Superbowl. And by that, I obviously mean I’m pretty pumped to eat an obscene amount of buffalo chicken dip. I don’t even know who is playing in the Superbowl. I want to say Denver is in there, but don’t quote me on that. But who really cares because BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP!

Anyways, before I slip into a food coma for the weekend here are some of my recent favorite things!

Rolling Hills on the Treadmill

Rolling Hills Treadmill Workout

I really really love this workout. I did this on Wednesday morning and it kicked my butt in the best way! I actually love running hills. I mean, I hate it because it makes me feel like I’m going to die while I’m doing it, but I love the way I feel when I finish. And I really do think the secret to running faster is running hills. But sometimes I don’t have time to run out to an actual hill, so just heading to the treadmill is easier and faster and because the incline changes so frequently during this run, I find the 30 minutes spent running goes by super quick! If you want a challenging treadmill workout, definitely give this one a go. And obviously, adjust the pace to match your normal speed. I just aim to run the hills slightly faster than a comfortable pace.

Chocolate Peppermint Recovery Shake

Chocolate Peppermint Recovery Shake

I’m currently obsessing over all things peppermint flavored. I’ve been mixing peppermint extract + 1 scoop chocolate complete + ice + vanilla almond milk + a spoonful of the Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate mix (don’t judge me) together in a blender and it taste like a peppermint milkshake. If you try this, only use a tiny drop of the peppermint extract though – a little goes a long way.

Like Christmas in a cup, I tell you.

Leather Leggings 
Leather Leggings

Leather Leggings

I blame NYC for my recent leather obsession. After I saw 3 different girls wearing leather leggings in Soho one day I was all, “OMGosh – leather leggings are so in and I’ve got to have a pair because that’s what the models in Soho are wearing. I hope I can find a pair to match my diaper bag.”

These leggings are surprisingly comfortable and I think they would make for a great Valentine’s Day Date outfit. Fun fact: I put on a dress to go to brunch the other day and glanced in the mirror and was like, “What the heck is wrong with this outfit? Why does this look hideous? Oh MY gosh! It’s my legs – they are whiter than the snow outside. It’s almost blinding. That is what is wrong!” I immediately changed into leggings and am now researching the best self-tanning creams. Anyways, if Dave & I were the kind of couple that went out on Valentines Day, I would totally wear this outfit again. We aren’t that kind of couple though. I’ll be in sweatpants eating a cookie the size of my face on Valentines Day if all goes according to plan. We are low-key like that.

Dog vs Toddler

Dog vs Toddler

Hooray for Atlas not being sick anymore! That’s actually my most favorite thing from this week! Healthy kids (minus Andi’s teething). So incredibly grateful for the gift of health. Since the kids were in better spirits and the weather wasn’t frigid, we played outside this week. Atlas loves to race Ob and it it is hilarious. He wants to beat her so bad so the whole time they are racing he is yelling, “Oooobbbb! Slow Down! Wait for Atlas!”

I’m not sure he fully understands the concept of racing, but it is so fun to watch those 2 together.

Sibling Love

Sib Love

There were a couple of moments this week where Atlas sat with Andi Rose and genuinely enjoyed her. Since Andi is crawling and all over the place now he’s starting to view her as a real human, I think. I found him sitting and laughing with her a few times this week and it about made my heart explode. He must have got bit by the love bug this week because he was giving out lots of kisses too. I just love watching their relationship grow! It is one of my favorite things in this life. I hope and pray they always have a steadfast bond.

That’s it for this week. What are you loving? Tell me in the comments section. And what are you making for the Super Bowl (besides buffalo chicken dip)?

Catch ya later, friends! Have a great weekend!

 

Toddler Lunch Ideas

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Baby Atlas, Healthy Dishes | 0 comments

Last week I shared our go-to breakfast foods for Atlas and this week I’m coming at ya with some of our go-to lunch items.

Before I share what Atlas eats though, I want to reiterate that I am not a nutritionist and I’m not saying this is what your toddler should eat. This is just what works for us during this season of life. Also, I’m not super creative on the lunch front and because Atlas typically eats a big breakfast, I don’t make his lunch all that huge.

But this is how we do lunch in the Andrews’ house.

  • Dinner leftovers: Most days, Atlas & I eat the previous night’s dinner leftovers because it is easy. And usually pretty healthy. And cheap. And I can microwave it with one hand while holding Andi.
  • The Snack Plate: When leftovers can’t be found, this is my go-to for Atlas and it is always a hit because Atlas loves the variety.

Toddler Snack Plate

I realize the above photo is pretty horrendous, but that’s our real life. I just chop everything up and throw it on his tray most days. That’s how we roll. The above lunch is turkey/fresh cut cheese/avocado/grapes. I think he actually had a side of apple sauce with this meal too that’s not pictured.

Other snack plate options include:

  • Cottage cheese/apple slices/carrots/raisins/peanuts
  • Hard boiled egg/banana/string cheese/sweet potato fries
  • Toast with peanut butter/apple sauce/broccoli/yogurt

And obviously, I mix and match all those items based off what we have on hand and what Atlas wants that day. We love the Alexia frozen sweet potato fries. We love the Chobani flip yogurt cups. Atlas hates raw carrots (& let’s be honest, you do too), so I always boil them or sauté them. Cheese is his favorite food on the planet.

  • Grilled Cheese: Atlas would eat this every day if I let him. He only gets it about once every 2 weeks though.
  • Applegate Chicken Nuggets + Broccoli: I try to avoid frozen foods, but these frozen chicken nuggets are good and Atlas always seems to enjoy them. I bake them and make a veggie to go with them – usually broccoli or peas because that’s what my boy likes.

Toddler Lunch

That’s really about it. Sometimes a smoothie gets thrown in the lunch mix. Sometimes I cave and buy him corn dogs. Sometimes we get this mac and cheese. Sometimes I pre-bake sweet potatoes & load one of those up for him. But the meals listed above make the most appearances during our week.

I hope that helps! Oh, and if you have a little boy who loves trucks, I recommend this plate!  Toddler Lunch

On days when Atlas is protesting about eating, I offer to let him eat on his construction plate with his construction utensils and he thinks it is awesome! He will eat foods he doesn’t normally love if he can eat them off a spoon that looks like a digger. Go figure.

Toddler Lunch

Anyways, it makes mealtime way more fun for him so I thought I would share!

If you want more toddler meal ideas, definitely check out Brittany’s blog and Weelicious. They do meals up right! :)

The Wilderness

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Serious Stuff | 3 comments

The kids and I attend a Bible class together on Wednesdays called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). You can read all about BSF and even find a class near you here. BSF is the highlight of my week. Atlas’ highlight of the week is the doughnut we get after BSF. And let’s be honest – that’s also another highlight for me.

BSF spends a whole year studying one book of the Bible and this year the study is on Revelation. I was actually hesitant to study Revelation because it sounded terrifying and I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of it, but I’m so glad I decided to do the study because it is changing my life, as only God’s word can do.

Anyways, I just felt led to share something that I read last week in my BSF notes that really encouraged my heart. The study was from Revelation 12 where John has a vision of a woman about to give birth to a son, but a dragon is waiting to devour the baby (FYI, this chapter of the Bible doesn’t make for a good bedtime story to read with your child). In this particular vision, God protects the child by snatching it up to Heaven as soon as the child is born and then God sends the woman into the wilderness for shelter so the dragon cannot harm her.

This was written in my BSF notes…

“Why did God send the woman to a wilderness? God often protects His people by leading them into situations of lesser comfort but greater dependence on Himself. Are you in an uncomfortable place you would not choose? Would you rather have a different spouse, live in a different city or pursue a different career? God’s protection surrounds His people; His wise and good purpose can be trusted. What seems like a wilderness to you may be your place of greatest safety.”

I couldn’t help but think of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness and how God used that wilderness as a place of protection for His people and also as a place to display His power and glory, through the parting of the Red Sea and sending manna from Heaven.

But just like the Israelites did, we often grumble in the wilderness. Or, at least I do. This is what I tend to look like when traveling through a wilderness…

Wailing in the Wilderness

Because it is uncomfortable. But what if we shifted our perspective next time we found ourselves in the desert and viewed it as the place God prepared for us? How much would that change our attitudes?

As I think of the different ‘wildernesses’ I’ve traveled through in my own life, I realize they were places prepared for me by God. Places that ended up leading me to something greater or places that simply gave me more of Jesus. I’m learning that even as I walk through wildernesses today, they aren’t as dry and barren as I always believed because when I look to the right source, there are always streams of water and manna to be found.

Maybe you’re reading this from your own wilderness. I hope this encourages you to lean a little closer into Jesus while you’re in that uncomfortable or painful place. Trust that He is faithful and His plan is a good one.

Weekly Menu

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Healthy Dishes | 0 comments

Hi! Just popping in to share our weekly dinner menu in case anybody is looking for ideas.

  • Monday: Thai Quinoa Bowls (I marinated the chicken in Trader Joe’s curry sauce and this meal was really tasty. This didn’t make a ton though, so if you have a bigger family definitely double the recipe.)
  • Tuesday: Skillet Chicken with Peppers
  • Wednesday: Chili + Cornbread
  • Thursday: Leftover Chili
  • Friday: Acorn Squash stuffed with sausage and eggs

I was clearly feeling the Thai vibe this week and the recipes from How Sweet Eats never disappoint. I’m always searching for quick and easy weeknight meals so if you have any dinner recipes you want to share, please do so in the comments below!

I’m hoping to post toddler lunch ideas (aka What Atlas Eats for Lunch) later in the week, so mamas be on the lookout for that! But I’m currently running a little behind at life because my sweet Andi girl is needing extra snuggles since she’s teething.

Weekend Recap – New Mercies Every Morning

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Family Fun | 0 comments

Happy Monday! Pretty much all our weekend plans got nixed, as I suspected they would, due to sick kids. Both kids seem to be almost over that cold bug though and I’m super thankful for that. However, I think poor Andi is teething now and she isn’t handling it well. She had a time this weekend. Upset stomach. First diaper rash. Terrible sleep. My heart was breaking for her.

Snow Bunny

Dave had to work Saturday, but stayed home Friday to hang with us. I was hoping to catch a mile high run class (haven’t been yet, but dying to try it) + get my eyebrows threaded (big goals), but I felt guilty leaving him with 2 sick kids since they were both still pretty congested on Friday. I opted for a 5 mile treadmill run that morning and then we all stayed home together. We did venture out for a family walk that evening though and Atlas loved playing in the snow!

Our 'hood

Family Walk

Family Walk

Snow Dance

We are {obviously} doing the electric slide in the above photo. 😉 We also had a snowball fight and Atlas thought it was the greatest thing ever. I spent the rest of Friday night reading about all things related to baby sleep habits/diaper rash/teething. It was wild.

Saturday was a big doozie, so there isn’t much to say about that day. I was feeling particularly run down and the kids both gave me a run for my money that day and then Saturday night Andi was up again several times. We are pretty big advocates of crying it out in this house, but I just haven’t been able to justify that with her lately because I can tell she’s not feeling good, whether it be because of a cold or a diaper rash etc. So, as I sat in the rocking chair with her at some ungodly hour on Saturday night, I was fighting back tears because I so badly wanted sleep. I prayed that if God wasn’t going to answer my prayer of getting some solid sleep, He would just give me more of Him while I sat up in that rocking chair. This verse came to my mind…

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

I’m so grateful that God’s mercies are new every morning and I’m so thankful that I can rest in His steadfast love at 3am.

Sunday morning I woke up to Dave sitting on the edge of our bed watching me sleep. When I opened my eyes and looked at him he said, “I know you had a rough night and were up a lot. I’m going to make you an extra special cup of coffee.” Extra special = extra sugar.

Then as I was brushing my teeth, Atlas came running in our bathroom, grabbed my leg and kissed me and said, “Wuv you, Mama! Make Mama’s day!” Every time he kisses me I always tell him how it makes my day, so my heart melted in that moment. Also, “wuv” = “love.”

I remembered the verse I thought on just a few hours earlier while rocking Andi and I was so happy to see that God was showing me new mercies that day. Little signs that let me know He sees and He cares. I’m thankful that even when I’m tired and I feel like I’m sinking under the weight of sleep deprivation, His faithfulness doesn’t end and he meets my needs.

While the kids napped on Sunday, Ob & I went for a nice 4 mile run outside. We averaged a 7:48 pace and only stopped once so Ob could run wild in the snow. It was good for my soul.

Winter run

Puppy Play Time

Winter Run

Sunday night we ventured out to dinner, where Dave and I alternated picking baby toys up off the floor. Because that is what dining out with children means.

I hope you had a great weekend and here’s hoping this week flies by!

Friday Favorites

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Family Fun | 4 comments

Hola and happy Friday to you! I’m so ready for the weekend! Not that weekends really mean anything once you’re a mom – but knowing Dave will be home always gives me something to look forward to. This week was a long one for us since Atlas and Andi were sick. I’m hoping they are totally recovered soon and we can re-establish a normal routine. We had big plans to ride the sea glass carousel this weekend, but I’m afraid that will get cut from the agenda since both kids are still under the weather. I’ll settle for a long walk with the dogs at this point. I’ve got a case of cabin fever after this week.

Anyways, before I check out to enjoy some quality time with my people (or more likely to continue using that nosefrida snotsucker every 10 minutes on my children), I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this week.

Leather Jacket

Winter Fashion

Mom Uniform

I’ve been living in this {faux} leather moto jacket lately and even though Dave thinks I look like a biker chick, I prefer to think of this look at biker chic. 😉 It’s super warm and easy to throw on over a t-shirt and go. I like wearing a feminine scarf with it because I think it downplays the edginess of the leather (I’m not edgy, I’m a rule follower) while also serving as a snot rag for my kids. And it’s warm. And it hides the stains on my shirt. So basically, the scarf is a win all the way around. Scarf + Jacket are from Nordstroms. Scarf is Free People. Jacket is BlankNYC.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Ben & Jerrys

This salted caramel brownie ale ice cream is the bomb.com. Dave bought it for himself and didn’t like it, so I tried it and then proceeded to immediately finish the pint. I’m already sad about it being a limited batch.

Morning Snuggles

Morning Snuggles

I almost always wake up way before my kids, but this week I was up most of the night with Andi since she was too congested to sleep. I opted out of my workout most mornings as a result, which was a bummer, but I let Atlas be my alarm clock. He would come into our room and climb into bed with his bear and blankie and we would cuddle until Andi woke up. Before tucking Atlas into bed at night, we talk about riding the Polar Express together in our dreams to go to the North Pole and this week he wanted to talk about what all we did on the Polar Express each morning while cuddled up with me in bed. It was so cute. ♥ He kept saying he ate a blue doughnut on the polar express. That’s a kid after my own heart, I tell ya!

Where’s Waldo

Where's Waldo

Were you ever obsessed with Where’s Waldo books? Dave & I both were, so Dave bought some Where’s Waldo books for Atlas and we look through them every night before putting him to bed now. It is so much fun! Atlas loves it and we pretty much make it a family competition to see who can find all the different things first on each page. Surprisingly, Atlas usually wins. He’s really good at it. It is such a sweet ending to our day because it is both entertaining and hilarious to watch Atlas search for Waldo. Great family activity!

Surprise Treats

Surprise Treats

Dave surprised me with cupcakes from one of my current favorite cupcake shops (my cravings change on the regular) in the city (Baked by Melissa) + an iced-white-chocolate-peppermint-something-or-another from Starbucks. It was such a thoughtful gift and it came at the perfect time – I needed the sweet treat after this long week filled with little sleep and lots of runny noses. That is one of my favorite things about my husband – he is always so thoughtful and truly seeks out ways to make me smile. I married a gem!

My Growing Girl

Andi Rose

This girl! Gah! Even when she has me up 3 times during the night and she gets crazy fussy during dinner (causing me to forgo my meal and bounce her around), I still wouldn’t trade her for the world. She’s had a rough week with her first cold bug, but she still smiled through so much of it. And she’s trying to pull herself up on everything now! Being her mom is such a joy and I can’t believe how fast she’s growing – we have to lower her crib mattress this weekend. Seriously – I may as well start filling out her college applications. She’s growing so fast!

I hope you have a great weekend filled with a few of your favorite things! See ya Monday, friends!