Jul 29, 2013
Jamie

First Birthday and World Problems

A few weeks ago we celebrated Dylan’s first birthday and for months I planned, pinned and thought about this thing. I wanted Dylan’s first birthday to be unforgettable. I mean after all it’s his very first birthday and the start of a day that I want to feel magical, exciting and oh so very fun for him. Going in, I knew he was too little to really enjoy it but through my rose colored glasses (which I always seem to look at life through) I thought he would open his gifts, get jiggy with his smash cake and stay awake with a smile for 4+ hours. But no…hello… Earth-to-Jamie… he’s a baby and babies do what they want, when they want. The problem here was my expectations and what I like to call #firstworldproblems. Sure, my Pottery Barn Kids Catalog birthday party didn’t go as I expected but for the maximum amount of time possible, Dylan had a blast and got to celebrate with those that love him to pieces… what more can ya ask for…?

Maybe happy birthday pictures? Ok, I’m stopping now. Repeat it with me… “No expectations!”, “No expectations!”

photodylan

Ok, back to the party. So I love feedin’ people, and sure I could’ve totally simplified this, but when friends and family drive hours for a 1 year old’s party, you just gotta feed them. So with a little help from my BFF who has no idea we’re actually best friends, Ree,… wait we’re probably not on a first name basis yet as she doesn’t even know I exist even though we hang out every Saturday morning. Weird, right? Ok, I’m rambling. Starting over now… So with a little help from the good ol’ Pioneer Woman recipes, I spent the entire morning cooking whipped up cheeseburger sliders, grilled chicken sliders, cheesy potato casserole (sans peppers), potato salad, pb & j’s + goldfish, corn on the cob, and watermelon. And if was deeeeelish, if I can say so myself. Always a good sign when people leave asking for a copy of a recipe.

In the party chaos, I took one picture of the food and it happened to be while 80% of it was in the oven warming.  #firstworldproblems

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Since I knew it was going to be hotter than Channing Tatum in Magic Mike out and that most of the party would likely happen inside and within our dining room, I decided to move some of my dishes from our china cabinet and use it to showcase Dylan’s monthly photo shoot and a time capsule for friends and family to write him a note with some life advice to be opened on his 18th birthday. I then took all of the notes and placed them in a envelope within his baby book. I think this is going to be really special to read when he is 18! I mean that is if friends and family wrote sweet and inspirational messages, which I wouldn’t know, because there’s no way I would read those before putting them in his baby book. I mean who would do that…?

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But the party happening inside did mean that no one was able to enjoy the 95 degree day outside and this wonderful world of gingham I created. again, #firstworldproblems

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On to the other highlights… there was one oh-so-sweet moment of this:

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And 15 moments of this. So I ended up sitting in a toddler’s bean bag chair and opening gifts. This isn’t what you guys came here for? oh, my bad.

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There was a lot of feeling the cake and not a lot of smashing. Perhaps it was the crazy helicopter parents circling him like hawks. Note to self… back the funk up. Yes, I just said that. It’s my 10 year old way of getting away with cussing. I kind of secretly miss that word.

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And then finally while sipping a much deserved adult beverage at the beautiful tables no one sat at, I snapped this precious photo of my boy enjoying a birthday present, ahhhhhh Smile

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xoxo,

jamie

Jul 27, 2013
Jamie

Toddler Approved Zucchini Mini Muffins

Ever since Dylan, who we’ve formally nicknamed “Mr. Pickles” (poor kid…) turned 1, he’s ironically hated vegetables. This kid use to gobble them down pureed, but outta no where baby food became about as uncool as nap time and bite sized veggies started decorating my kitchen walls. So I decided this weekend that I would get a little sneaky sneaky and hide as many of them as I could into something that he loooooves – muffins! I was one proud mama bear watching him inhale these healthy little snacks… my first of many “because I love you deceits” I’m sure.

This mini muffin recipe is oh so simple. I used zucchini for the veggie but you could easily substitute carrots, squash, or any easily grateable veg.

Zucchini Mini Muffins Ingredients

So I started the deception process by mixing the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Ahhh… nutmeg and cinnamon. What doesn’t taste good with that sprinkled on it? Please don’t answer that… :)

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I then grated 2 zucchini’s…

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Beat 2 eggs together for a minute or so and then added in the milk, oil, and sugar. Once that was combined, I added in the good ol’ grated zucchini. As you can see I was very productive during naptime this morning.

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Then using a handy dandy scooper, I dropped spoonful’s into the mini muffin tray.

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I then sprinkled each top with a little bit of sugar (or in this example, because I was trying to also take a picture) a lot of sugar. Although the entire recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, these are really not that sweet, so this is a nice addition to the top.

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I then baked these bad boys at 375 for 20 minutes and TADA…. 40 veggie packed mini muffins for my little love muffin.

Zucchini Mini Muffins

Mama tested… little monster approved. He LOVED them!

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I popped about half of these in the freezer for later.

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So as you can see I’m on a mission to gets the goods in wherever I can. What recipes or tips do you have for getting toddlers to eat their veggies?! I’d love to hear them!

Here’s the recipe card:

Muffin Recipe

 

xoxo,

jamie

Jun 7, 2013
Jamie

I love you because ______.

I love my husband. He’s the bees knees, the bomb.com, the spaghetti to my meatballs, the …. ok you get my point. He’s amazeballs and I try to tell him everyday. Although we both totally mean it every time we say it, we’ve started auto-piloting the “I love you”, as we say it at the end of every call and every time we part.

So this year for our wedding anniversary, I decided to give us a quick way to go beyond the casual “I love you, bye” and tell each other why. Since Amazon Wishlist has also gotten us in a bit of a gift rut (i.e. we just get each other what we ask for), I thought this would be a fun surprise.

And to top it off, it was perhaps the easiest “craft” I’ve ever done. I typed some words in Photoshop, printed them off, and framed them. #easypeasy

I love you because frame

I debated where to hang this but landed on the bottom of our stairs, as we pass this everyday. I’ve gotta admit that I check it often to see if Jer erased mine to write something (hint, hint, Jer!). I also sat a dry erase marker on top of the frame so we could quickly update (hint, hint, Jer!)

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DownloadSo to spread the love (literally!) here is the template I used. Just getcha an 8×8 frame (I love this gray one from Target), and then just frame & hang that bad boy. This also makes a great gift for friends and family. I made my mom one for Christmas and she loved it! My sister and I take turns writing on it every time we visit.

 

I love you because

xoxo,

jamie

Jun 2, 2013
Jamie

Working Mom Cleaning & Chore Schedule

It’s probably not something I should admit out loud or to everyone that follows or stumbles upon this blog but I’m going to anyway. My house is founkey. Yes, that’s my way of saying it’s super funky. I’m talking dirty, dusty, sticky, smelly, stinky. I know in my previous post I talk about embracing your dirty floors and dusty shelves for that oh so precious time with your little ones, but I may have taken that a bit far recently. I mean when your husband (who I believe washed his sheets yearly in college = supa founkey), starts to comment on the cleanliness of your abode…. that might be a sign that it’s time to scrub this joint down.

Jen over at iheartorganizing also got me jazzed up to do some cleanin’ with her May Mini Challenge. I absolutely adore her homemade cleaners and tips for organizing it all – featured below:

Source: iheartorganizing.com

As much as I would love the time to make my own cleaners and keep this place spotless – my life reminds me that it just aint gonna happen. In fact, the lack of time from working full-time + the joy I’m having using my spare time to play with my sweet baby boy is what got this place in it’s current state of founkeyness (if you haven’t already, say it out loud, it’s fun!). So I decided to take some of Jen’s cleaning tips and apply them where possible, with the hope that it will save me time down the road because let’s be honest, there are about a million and two things I’d rather be doing than scrubbing you know what off you know where.

First things first, I had to get my cleaning supplies hoarding under control. With three sinks in this house, it seemed easier to just get three of each cleaner and distribute evenly, however when you run out of one and forget to restock, you’re forced to run back and forth, thus adding more time to an already sucky chore. So to nip this in the bud, I began by taking stock of what I had:

Cleaning Products

And then I pared it down to one of each of everything that I really needed for this traveling caddy. I keep kitchen cleaners and such under the kitchen sink, so this caddy is more for cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas.

Cleaning Caddy

Here’s what’s in my handy-dandy caddy:

  • - Pledge Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner + Microfiber cloth: I mostly just use for dusting furniture
  • - Windex + Paper towels: Mirrors and granite countertops for a little sparkle
  • - Lysol wipes: Countertops, faucets, toilet seats
  • - Lysol Power & Free Bathroom Cleaner: Toilets, tubs and sinks. I LOVE this stuff. Lysol claims it has more cleaning power than bleach without the harshness and I believe it. It smells wonderful too. I debated using it to get this horrible spray tan off me but the warning label made me think twice.
  • - Lysol Disinfectant Spray: I hose the house down with this stuff often. From door knobs to sofas, this stuffs kills the germs and freshens the room. In linking to the site, I saw they have a new scent for Baby’s Room. Anyone tried this? Does it smell better than the original?
  • - Scrubbing Bubbles: Does wonders for my glass shower door.
  • - Sponges and scrubbers

So with my caddy all ready to get down and dirty, Jer and I spent Saturday cleaning the snot out of this house and it literally took hours. It really got me thinking – how can I do little bitty chores (I’m talking less than 10-20 minutes) throughout the week so that I don’t have to spend my precious weekends cleaning all day? So I created {drum roll please}… a Working Mama Cleaning Schedule:

Download Customizable Cleaning Schedule Here

Daily and Weekly Chores

As much as I’d love to have a spotless house everyday, that’s simply not possible with my life, but I think this schedule is totally doable. There are the basics that just have to get done everyday like making beds and cleaning up after dinner but then there are the larger chores like cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming floors that will get done throughout the week. Since everyone’s schedules are different I included a link above to download the word doc version of this schedule and make it your own.

Got any working mama tips for keeping a clean house?! Would love to hear em’!

xoxo,

jamie

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I'm Jamie, just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home

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