The other week, I was holding my baby girl while talking to a friend. I was doing one of my favorite things…feeling her little peach fuzz hair against my cheek…and at that point, my friend said – “be honest, she’s your favorite.” I started laughing and said, “well, she is the only one who listens to me, so maybe?” Really though – as a mom, do you have a favorite child?
I couldn’t stop thinking about the “favorite” piece though as the days went by. I have a favorite everything…
Food: eggplant parmesan
Pattern: Black and white polka dots
Baseball Team: Yankees
Shoes: Flip Flops
Book: Gone with the Wind
Let’s be honest – I also have a favorite check out person at the grocery store, a favorite day of the week, a favorite train to take on the way home. I have a preference for absolutely everything in my life…did I have a favorite child as well?
Unbeknownst to my three little people (well, really 2 active participants), I gathered up their thoughts on my own little research project. I asked them if they had a favorite parent. Please note, this is a question you can ask really when you are the only parent there. The answer was giggles. They started laughing at me and said it was silly to like one of us more than the other. They did start to tell me what they liked about each of us though.
Daddy reads us the big long books, and reads all the words (seriously – I will read my kids 100 short books, the long ones get me!). Daddy is silly. Daddy knows more about sports. Daddy picks me up whenever I ask Daddy buys us cakepops and munchkins when he gets coffee. Daddy throws snowballs with us. Daddy sings us funny songs.
Mommy makes us lots of food. I love when Mommy reads me the last book. Sometimes mommy throws snowballs at us (but not so hard). Mommy will sometimes share her Kindle with us. Mommy brings us to playdates with our friends and lets us have friends over the house. We love how Mommy lets us put on our songs in the car.
My children loved things about both of us…but they didn’t have a favorite. I realized that my love for them was similar. I loved all three of them equally, but I loved different things about them. Things that were uniquely them…I have been writing down things that I love the most about each of them, and have also been ensuring that I spend time telling them which of their special qualities I love on a very regular basis, celebrating their uniqueness.
I love how he lives to be an older brother, and cares so deeply for his little sisters. I love how he loves to learn about anything. I love that he remembers everything – I know he appreciates every memory, or at least will never be afraid to throw it back in our faces. I love his competitive nature, because I know exactly where it comes from. I love how he can get lost in anything – playing, talking, singing, watching sports…
The energy – Dear Lord…where does her energy come from?? (Usually) I love how she could outrun the energizer bunny. I love how she has no fear – she will talk to anyone, not worry about going anywhere, and is confident. At the same time though, I love that she needs to know that someone she loves and trusts is nearby. I love that she has learned at a young age to compliment others, and tries to make others happy. I love watching her enjoy the things that I loved as a little girl. I love how full of life she is.
I love everything baby about this one…the peach fuzz hair, the snuggles and cuddles, the chunky thighs, the little fingers. I adore her deep dimples, the huge smile that comes on her face, the twinkle in her eye. I love the bond that we have. I love seeing her personality growing, and the uncertainty of who will she be later in life…
So do I have a favorite???? How could I?? My favorite part of thinking about this is knowing that I never have to choose, but can appreciate and love so much about the three little ones I am blessed to have in my life.
I am always thrilled to have a recipe which combines the crock pot and the freezer, and love one that doesn’t look like it came out of the crock pot. You know…that bland orangey, brown look, that just doesn’t look appetizing. One of my coworkers is a fellow working mom, and said that she swore by this recipe…I was happy to give it a try! This was pretty easy that right after a Saturday morning shopping trip, I put all the ingredients into the crock pot, and when it was done cooking, I packaged it up for the freezer. Can’t be easier than that!
I have frozen the chicken into portions that would be suitable for my husband and I to have as an easy weeknight dinner, as it reheats very quickly.
*Note for my readers…I promise to get back to pretty food pictures soon. Lately I have remembered to snap a picture right before we eat!
Crockpot Southwestern Chicken
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies (do not drain)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 8 ounce jar salsa
1 cup of frozen corn
1 tbsp. parsley (fresh or dried)
1. In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
2. When the cooking is complete, shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker for an extra 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
To freeze: cool the dish, and place in freezer containers. To use, place in the fridge overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring as needed.
Disclosure: I am sharing my own honest views of the experience with Stitch Fix. I am not working together with the company, however, if you sign up through the links below , I do receive a referral credit to the Stitch Fix service (for which I would be extremely grateful…)
So last month, I shared my thoughts on Stitch Fix in this post. I was very excited by my finds…or really, but what was sent to me, and was getting very excited for what was going to be coming my way this month. Shopping time is pretty much non-existent for me, especially as I am back to work, but my wardrobe is in need of a little “pick me up.” I received another box in January, so figured it was time for another Stitch Fix Review!
Last month, I did receive a comment on my post from someone who felt that Stitch Fix might be rotating some of their inventory to people, and that at times, the pieces seem like something you could buy at a regular department store. I could see that this might happen, but for now, I am really happy with the service. The upside is that you don’t have to buy anything that they send you….so it is in their best interest to find things that work! I did just want to mention that though, before I shared my latest items
So first up….
The Queensland Dolman Jersey Top…loved the hunter green color, the material, the fit. When I pulled it out of the box, it looked beautiful, and when I put it on, it was 100% a big yes. I am SO excited to wear this top…it is definitely more of a date night, girls night out, or dressy type top, as opposed to something I could wear into the office, but I loved it so much, it had to find a place in my closet!
This was a KEEP :)
Next up was the Jaclynn 3/4 sleeve button up cardigan. I loved the color of this one, and it fit well, but I have about 20 cardigans in my closet. I did not see the need to buy this one…
This one got…RETURNED
Next up was the Marquis Slub Knit Dolman Sweater…I was excited to try this one, as a friend of mine received a similar sweater in her fix last month, and it looked very cute. Unfortunately – it was not the same result for me! Boo!
This one got…RETURNED
After trying on two duds, I was getting bummed. I tried on the Marilyn Mix Striped Maxi skirt next. I became obsessed with maxi skirts last summer while I was pregnant. I had three which I rotated through as quickly as they would come out of the laundry. I loved this one because while horizontally striped, they are not as unflattering as they usually are because of how they sit on the skirt. I also liked the black and tan, a nice change from my usual black and white
This was on the KEEP list!
Lastly, we have the Emer Geo Print High Waisted Cropped Pant…ok, so when I got the email about my Fix for this month, I checked out the page, where I had a view of the names of what was coming my way. I texted my friend, and said – what the hell are they thinking with something like this? I should have known to trust…I tried on these pants and loved them. It was definitely something I never would have picked out for myself, but they were so comfortable, looked really cute, and I could see these becoming a great part of my spring wardrobe. I feel like the picture doesn’t do these justice, and I am not a selfie picture person really, so…trust me, so cute!
These were definitely on the KEEP list!
So overall, my fix was 3 out of 5…not bad at all!
Any thoughts on the clothes here? Are you intrigued by the service yet?
I am overly excited about this news…why? Well, it is a little venture that I am working on with one of my close friends. My friend Meghan and I met on the PTA at our children’s “school”…she has been mentioned on here several time for her awesome recipes, but she is also a super crafty lady. We kept running into each other at craft stores and home decor stores. We would have the same things in our baskets, or be looking at the same pieces, and it quickly became obvious that we had similar tastes. We both loved doing crafts, but when we started creating things together, we had a blast. Some of our friends and family members started asking for creations…and we figured, why not try something a little bigger. She loved the design aspect, I loved the building of the venture.
After quite a bit of planning, we decided to launch CAZ Tait Designs in November. We named the company CAZ Tait because C, A, and Z are the initials of our 4 daughter’s names (two share a letter), and Tait is the name of the road that starts out a trail that we often walk together. On that trail, we always talked about our “someday venture” – so it had to be included in our name! I have to say though, our sons are the ones who take the business the most seriously behind us in our families. They will often approach us with new ideas for CAZ Tait, and both really like to help with the jobs of packing up our wreaths for mailing, or helping to deliver them when possible.
We are first focusing on our wreath line (both outdoor and indoor), but have some fun plans of new items to come in the future. We are getting great joy out of making products that make people smile. While we create some designs that we are inspired to make….we have been creating a ton of custom designs as well. It is exciting to make things for people’s home, businesses, and as requested this week – for baby showers and wedding shower gifts. I am excited to show some of the wreaths we have done so far, and for more information, please check out the FaceBook page for CAZ Tait Designs (and maybe “like” and “share” while you are there…!!!!) . For extra incentive…we will be doing a fan giveaway soon as well!
Here are some of our past products…and we have a couple more on the way for Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, Spring, and Summer!
Saint Patrick’s Day:
What do you think? Do you see any styles that you love? Any ideas for a wreath that you think we should work on?
Can you tell that we are plowing through our 2014 resolution to get s$it done and organized? I must say, it has been a really amazing feeling. This past Sunday, as we were waking up, my husband and I realized the household chores for us to do were minimal. I mean, there were huge things on our to do list, but nothing that was so urgent, that if we said, “let’s take a day off and do nothing,” our house would go into shambles. We had a relaxed, enjoyable day…went for a family adventure walk for a couple of hours on a nearby trail, made breakfast and dinner together, played board games in the afternoon, watched football, and all got to bed early. It was a day that was truly a reward for busting our arses all week, and for putting in time and effort to be organized, and productive. As I mentioned the other week – this will all go down the toilet in a couple of months, but we are trying! At times, things really important are being addressed – like ensuring if we are in an accident, my kids will be ok (check out last week’s post) – this week, the focus was toys. In a house with three kids – the toys are what can drive me absolutely bonkers. How do things that cause so much joy for children drive parents bonkers?? They are everywhere, slightly disorganized, and you know, deep down, your kids would probably be happy with half of what is in the house. So for now…we are up to toy organization – puzzles specifically.
My son (5) and daughter (2 1/2), are incredibly into puzzles. They will both sit at our kitchen table, forever, plowing through puzzle after puzzle. They will do them individually, or together, or sometimes just give each other encouraging words across the table. I am loving this because they rarely argue while they are doing them (except sometimes, over who gets to put in the last piece), and I love seeing their building approaches to problem solving. My son is very into the 100 piece puzzles, and my daughter is loving the 24 piece puzzles. They both received a bunch of new puzzles for Christmas…so we now have about 600 new little pieces of puzzles hanging out around our house. This would be the one major downfall of this loved activity, for me mostly, because when a piece goes missing, well, all hell breaks loose. We are frantically searching for the pieces so that we can finish the puzzle…or the other side of it, we are cleaning up, and find one random piece. Where does it go!? AHHHH….
One of the puzzles that my daughter received for Christmas was a set of Disney Junior Puzzles:
She loved the puzzles, but I absolutely loved what I learned from these…on the back of each puzzle, there was an identifier. For example, on the Sofia puzzle, there was a princess crown, on the back of a Jake puzzle, there was a sword. Genius! This was the perfect way to make sure that we knew which piece went to which puzzle. At first, I thought I would write a letter, or number on the back of every puzzle. I then had a though, which falls nicely into my “encourage kids to be more independent and responsible” resolution (seriously – I have way too many resolutions over here). I pulled out stamps…
and let them stamp away on the back of their puzzles.
Here is the example I showed them (they were a bit more overzealous in stamping theirs):
I noticed that a lot of the puzzles were awkwardly shaped as well, and basically, a huge pain to put away on the shelves, taking up storage space. So I have also transferred them into the gallon zip lock bags, with a picture of them inside, and they fit nicely into a little tote in each of my children’s rooms.
When they want to do puzzles – they bring the tote downstairs, instead of lugging a bunch of boxes. With the stamps on the bags, we can also always find where a wayward puzzle piece belongs. I am loving this new organization, and especially that the kids played a big part in the organization
Next up is attacking my daughter’s baby dolls and dress up clothes. Both of these seem to be everywhere in our house…any ideas?
Do you struggle with toy overload? Any ideas to tackle with keeping it organized?
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