Powered by Blogger.

My favorite Amazon Prime Day deals


amazon echo
Disclaimer - this post contains affiliate links

It is one of my favorite days of the year - Amazon Prime Day! If you're not familiar with Prime Day, think Black Friday sales in July.

To shop Prime Day sales you do need to be a Prime member.  If you're not one already you can  sign up for a free month trial and take advantage of these deals today! We became Prime members right after we had our son just for the convenience alone and honestly life has never been the same.  We've ordered things from formula, diapers, clothes, housewares, furniture you name it all at the touch of a button and had it delivered to our door in less than 48 hours.

Ok so here are some of my favorite Amazon Prime Day deals-

Amazon Echo
Sale Price $69.99 (originally $99.99)
Play music, order takeout, make calls. If only she folded laundry too!

amazon echo













Firestick 
Sale price $19.99 (Originally $39.99)
amazon firestick













Roomba
Sale price $297 (Originally $374.99)
I just got one of these for my birthday and I can't wait to break it out in the new house!
roomba












Home Security System
Sale Price $28.68 (Originally $44.99)


home security system













Instant Pot
Sale Price $58.99 (Originally $99.95)

instant pot













Mrs Meyers Multi-Surface concentrate
Sale Price $9.06 (Originally $15.98)

amazon prime day













Farmhouse bar stools
Sale Price $100 (Originally $169.00)

farmhouse decor













Toy organizer bins
Sale Price $38.43 (Originally $120)
Getting these for the new playroom, no more toys throughout the house!

baskets
 












Hypoallergenic matress topper
Sale Price $14.99 (Originally $49.99)

home











Pyrex Mixing bowls
Sale Price $34.99 (Originally $60.00)

cooking










 

$30 off your first Amazon Fresh order
We just tried grocery delivery for the first time this past weekend and I don't think I'll ever step foot in a grocery store again!

amazon prime












Happy shopping friends! What are some deals you scored this Prime Day?






Skinny Cucumber Grapefruit Margaritas - keto friendly


skinny keto friendly margarita

Any senoritas out there need a margarita? Then you've come to the right place! I love me a nice cold marg when I'm floating in the pool, out with the gal pals, on Mexican night or anytime to be honest.  I love mine fresh, not too sweet and on the rocks.  So since I've been following the keto diet, I had to come up with a recipe that was keto friendly. (If you haven't heard of the keto diet, it's an amazing lifestyle change where you consume a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet - it's seriously a gamechanger! I'll share more about my experience another time.)

So anyways, back to the margs. This margarita combines the fresh summery flavors of cucumbers, grapefruit and lime.  You bet I whipped up a whole pitcher and have it chilling in the fridge to enjoy on this Sunday Funday.

Here is my recipe for the best Skinny Cucumber Grapefruit Margarita


keto friendly margarita


Ingredients:

1 cup of silver tequila
2 cans of lime LaCroix
2 cans of grapefruit LaCroix
1 cucumber sliced 
2 grapefruits sliced
2 limes sliced
Mint leaves (optional)
3 packets of stevia (optional)
pink himalayan salt (optional)


Directions:

1.) In a blender, blend 3/4 of the sliced cucumber for a few seconds until liquified.
2.) In a large pitcher, combine the liquified cucumber, tequila and Lacroix.
3.) Squeeze the juice of grapefruit and limes into the mixture then toss the rest of the fruit and cucumbers into the pitcher.
4.) Stir in some chopped mint, 3 packets of Stevia and some ice.
5.) Rim your glass with some pink himalayan salt and pour!

(I love to put my glasses in the freezer for a little bit to get super chilled before pouring and serving).

If you try my recipe let me know how you liked it. And if you have your own skinny margarita recipe, remember sharing is caring ;)

skinny keto friendly margarita


I was suffering from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety and didn't realize it



postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety

I still feel the need to defend my postpartum anxiety.  After a three day long induction process, an emergent c-section and breastfeeding issues, the first few weeks were no walk in the park. I wasn't sleeping (but what new mom does?), there were lots of tears and constant worrying.  I dreaded when the days would turn into night because I would spend the entire night watching my son obsessively, fearing he would stop breathing in his sleep. I had no interest in holding him and I would cry every time I had to breastfeed him because I absolutely hated it but I chalked it all up to the baby blues and being new at this motherhood thing.

It was at my two week check up that I realized I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and depression.  My sister came over to watch the baby so that I could go to my appointment and I remember feeling so relieved for the break from the constant breastfeeding and pumping. I broke down in tears in the car to my husband. This was supposed to be such a joyous, happy time. After going through infertility I was over the moon when I found out I was pregnant yet here I was thinking "What have I done? I hate being a mother. I don't have this immediate love for my baby like everyone else does, I'm not cut out for this. What is wrong with me?"  I made the difficult decision to stop breastfeeding and once I went back to work I started feeling like my old self again.

10 months postpartum and the demons crept in again, this time worse than ever. I felt like things were spiraling, I had lost control of everything and I literally wanted to escape my body. I walked around in a fog and felt so selfish for what I was feeling. "What do I have to be so depressed about? I have a beautiful, healthy family I should feel grateful."  I felt shameful for the way I was acting but I had no control over it. I wished I could feel happiness when my son smiled at me. I remember the day I was driving to get my hair done and I felt like I was having a heart attack. My heart was beating out of my ribcage, my arms and hands were all tingling, my lips were numb and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  I pulled into the urgent care that was in the same parking lot as my hairdresser, convinced I was having a cardiac event. I am a nurse after all.  I can recognize the difference between postpartum anxiety, panic attacks and a heart attack when I see it.

Well I was wrong. The thing is postpartum depression and anxiety looks different on everyone.  Depression doesn't always look like an unkept, person who hasn't slept or eaten in weeks.  Anxiety doesn't always look like fear or panic attacks.  Successful, put together people can suffer in silence as we've recently seen in the tragic cases of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Mental illness doesn't discriminate.

 I've learned there is nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for help from family or friends, going to talk to a counselor, or taking something to help ease your anxiety or depression.  You are not illogical in what you are feeling and you are not "burdening others with your problems."  I wish it didn't feel so embarrassing and shameful and I hope that one day it won't. So until then I will keep sharing my story and I hope that I can encourage you to reach out to someone you trust and ask for help.

(For more information on ways to cope with postpartum depression and anxiety check out this article I wrote for Consumer Health Digest.)

postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety

Joanna Gaines' Lemon Poppyseed Bread Recipe

Joanna Gaines' lemon poppyseed bread recipe from Magnolia Table
Disclaimer - this post contains affiliate links

So for those who didn't know, Joanna Gaines is pretty much my spirit animal. I love her classic style, her effortless take on design and entertaining, her family values, her cute relationship with Chip, her kids names (I mean we almost named our son Duke), and pretty much everything about her. So naturally when she came out with her own cookbook I read every page cover to cover in one night, tagging all the pages I wanted to try.  (Side note - if you haven't already checked out Magnolia Table, Joanna Gaines' cookbook, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy!)

Now let me give you a little back story.  I absolutely love to cook. There's something so therapeutic about being in the kitchen with some music playing and just throwing in some random flavors and watching it come together and the looks on everyone's faces as they dig into your masterpiece.  However, my family will be the first ones' to tell you I'm no baker.  I mean I once made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, we ran out of vanilla extract so I threw a little anise in. (Why not?) Well, the end result was absolutely repulsive, they tasted like black licorice! And then there was the time I made a cheesecake for my sister's birthday and it was stuck to the pan, we pretty much had to scoop it out.

So when I told my family I was going to make Joanna Gaines' lemon poppyseed bread they just gave me a look.  So there I was, just me and my apron in the kitchen in all my glory ready to prove my family wrong when I realized the recipe called for vanilla extract and there was none to be found in my spice cabinet. The dude was taking a nap so I couldn't run out to the store, but I saw a tiny bottle of almond extract in the back. This tiny voice inside my head told me I'd been down that road before and hadn't I learned my lesson but I thought why not I can use almond instead right?

Well my friends, I am renaming this Nicolle's Victory Loaf  because let me tell you, the combo of lemon and almond is just so perfectly fresh and sweet!

Here's my spin on Joanna Gaine's lemon poppyseed bread


Joanna Gaines' lemon poppyseed bread recipe from Magnolia Table


Ingredients:

Lemon Poppyseed Bread 
Vegetable oil spray
 2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups milk
1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract (Jo's calls for vanilla here)

Lemon Drizzle 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil.

2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3.) In another bowl combine sugar, milk, eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and almond extract stirring until all combined. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and stir together.

4.) Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake in the center of the rack in your oven for about one hour. (I test by inserting a butter knife or toothpick into the middle and when it comes out clean you know it's done).

5.) Let cool on a baking rack before taking the loaf out of the pan.

6.) While the loaf is cooling prepare the lemon drizzle. Sift the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the lemon zest and stir together. Stir in 1 tablespoon of water and as much of the lemon juice as necessary to make a pourable icing.

7.) Drizzle over the loaf either warm or at room temp.

Joanna Gaines' lemon poppyseed bread recipe from Magnolia Table


Let me know which version you made, Jo's or mine and how you liked it!!!

The BEST baby gift and diaper giveaway

This post is sponsored by IncrediBundles but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hi friends! Hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend!  Mother's Day may have come and gone but I believe mamas should be celebrated every day, am I right?  So I am here to bring you the ultimate gift for new moms and a super sweet giveaway brought to you by IncrediBundles!!!!



So we've all been invited to those baby showers where you're searching on the registry for the perfect gift and nothing strikes your eye. Or you want to be sure to gift them something they will really use.  Instead of spending hours trying to create the perfect diaper cake, let IncrediBundles do the work for you! They put together the best little subscription bundle including a chic reusable storage container filled with toys, books and other baby products. Some cute ideas are their Sleep bundle which features a pack of swaddling blankets, an elephant blanket, sleepytime books and a sleep bag.  I also love their Eric Carle book bundle (I can't tell you how many times a day we read Brown Bear Brown Bear).

My personal favorite option is the Diaper Bundle. I wish I knew about this when I was creating my own baby registry. It's a diaper subscription service of up to one year of diapers! Seriously, diapers that are delivered to your door! No more hauling heavy boxes of diapers through the store out to your car with your other bags and kids in tow.  It comes with a reusable storage box and a cute teddy bear and the recipient can select the brand and size of diapers they choose each month. Super easy right?


So now for the giveaway! I have teamed up with IncrediBundles to offer one lucky mama a 3 month diaper bundle! To enter the giveaway, head on over to my Instagram and follow the post's instructions.

For an extra entry be sure to comment below!!!

Good luck!!!!









Mom Crush Monday - The Freedom Kids Need from Helicopter Parenting

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your families.  I'm here to bring you another Mom Crush Monday post.  This week I am featuring Sarah from The Halfassed Housewife.  Sarah, The Half-Assed Housewife, spends her sunny southwestern days chasing her herd of kidiots, half-assing housework and sometimes blogging. She likes her coffee as dark as her humor and as strong as her opinions.  I absolutely adore Sarah's sarcasm and writing and I think you will too! This is one of my favorite posts of hers about helicopter parenting and why she doesn't watch her kids play.


helicopter parenting

I don't watch my kids play - the freedom kids need from helicopter parenting

I might be alot of things but a helicopter parent certainly isn't one of them.  I don't watch my kids. I don't control my kids and their playtime or run behind them on the playground. I don't hover. It wasn't that long ago that I recall reading articles about free-range parenting (a term which has thankfully faded into the great unknown) and how parents were shamelessly ridiculed for not watching their kids play every moment of every day. 

Let me set the stage before someone calls Child Protection on me for "not watching my kids". I'm currently not watching them as I type this. There is some army-style sneaking happening by the older kids and the little ones have made a giant mud-puddle after taking it upon themselves to water our newly planted Raspberry bushes and are, I am certain sitting in it.

They are playing, happily.

We have a large yard with a somewhat secure fence on all four sides. We actually have 2 acres of property. Our backfield is fenced so that, in theory, our asshole goats will stay back there. In Theory. We have sheds, wood piles, a "vintage car" parked on the guesthouse lawn, tool shed, four wheelers, trees, grass, sandboxes and mud-pits courtesy of an Idiot Australian Shepherd and a two-year old with a hose.

I can see and hear what it is going on outside almost at all times. When I can't hear the kids, I go find them. I can spot them from the kitchen window climbing a tree, a fence or an addition they built to their Little Tykes castle using an old trash can.

They have places specifically designed for them. We have a trampoline, we have a swing set, we have a sandbox. Those kid-friendly areas are used frequently but rarely in the way they were intended. The trampoline is more like an MMA octagon, the sandbox is a buffet and the swing set has seen some crazy Ninja Warrior skills from all 3 kids. I have noticed the less I watch the kids, the more adventurous they become. Or, the less they think I am watching them, the more confident they become in themselves. I also notice some wierd things being created by them all. We adults would call them messes but in our brush-off sort of way - but they are masterpieces and feats of engineering in their own respect. They are created by my kids every single day. Had I been hovering or helicoptering my kids, these things never would have been created.

kids play


I have seen some impressive problem-solving occur from the kitchen window as I sip my coffee and don't hover over my kids like a helicopter. I have watched the three kids form alliances and make deals and solve fights without my ever having to leave the comfort of my living room. Kids who spend the better part of an entire meal pinching, kicking, poking and fighting have spent hours upon hours working together to dig a hole for a fort or collect the perfect rocks for a castle wall. Granted, I have also seen my herd run screaming past the window with sticks. Just because I don't helicopter does not mean I don't parent. I took the sticks away and sent them back outside.

I will not hover, control or helicopter parent. I am what I like to think of as a Drone Parent. If I see or hear of something going down I appear from nowhere and shut-that-shit down Drone Strike style without warning. Whenever I see some real shit about to go down I appear magically in the front door, hollering in my most serious mom-voice something along the lines of "absolutely fucking not". The kids look around as though the Voice of Reason has just called to them and then they quickly scramble to quit doing whatever it was mom caught them doing that they shouldn't have been. The "absolutely fucking not" is reserved for moments like the time I saw two 7-year-olds transferring a pickaxe and a fire extinguisher from a shed to the backyard for reasons that I could only imagine. Nothing more needed to be said and we haven't had that issue happen again. Sometimes a quick yell from the window about hitting, sharing, screaming like you're dying or trying to get out of the gate will suffice.

This drone style parenting is not for the faint of heart. There is a risk that while you cook dinner, three feet from the door your kids will be covering one another head-to-frickin-toe with tile thin-set powder. There is a very good chance that you will have to hose off your child multiple times, probably millions, throughout their childhood. There is a good chance that scrapes and bruises will become commonplace, but you will see that tears and band-aids are only requested when absolutely necessary. I have seen small children tackle tasks much larger than themselves with the determination of a nation. There is a good chance you will start to believe that when a tiny voice tells you "NO! I CAN DO IT!" that they can.

Not a helicopter.

I had read an article months ago about somewhere in Europe creating what basically amounted to a Junk Yard where parents weren't allowed beyond the gate so that kids could do what kids are supposed to do. Apparently, that is break shit and get tetanus. I wouldn't necessarily take my kids to this pre-fab junkyard to bounce around BUT letting them explore their own surroundings, at their own will, without my constant hovering, nagging, directing and fun-stealing has really allowed everyone to grow.

I don't miss anything because what I don't see while peering at my children occasionally they excitedly tell me about. Tugging my shirt to come see their sand castle, mud pie, rock pile - or telling stories over dinner about their day. Sometimes they don't tell us. Sometimes their dad and I will be out wandering the yard and find something that looks like an army fort or a ramp or who knows what. We found some Hay Hooks in the bushes once. Immediately moved those out of reach, but I bet that was a really fun game of pirates.

 Thanks so much Sarah for the laughs and a funny start to our Monday!

Are you a helicopter mom, drone parent or somewhere in the middle?



4 Tips for a Clean Enough House




Spring is here and to me there's nothing better than opening the windows to let in that fresh breeze and a nice clean house. But I gotta be honest, I'm not much for heavy duty cleaning.  There's other things I'd rather be doing, like taking my dude to the park or sitting outside on the deck with an iced coffee and a good book.  And let's face it, with an 18 month old and a dog my house is never going to be spotless, messes are sure to happen. Since becoming a mom I've adopted a new motto, embrace life's messes, I just want my house to be clean enough.
spring cleaning

So today I am sharing 4 Tips for a Clean Enough House so you can enjoy the gorgeous weather and time with your family and friends.

1.) Wipe down counters and clean sinks - every morning (after my coffee of course,) I do all the dishes in the sink, empty the dishwasher and wipe down all my countertops. Throughout the day I try to put any dirty dishes and cups in the dishwasher or wash as I go.

2.) Tidy up the bathroom - Once I've showered and I'm done getting ready for the day, I hang up my towels, wipe down the bathroom counters and give the bathroom sinks a quick cleaning.

3.) Clean your floors - Between Maxwell throwing his food from his highchair (that's how he tells me he's 'Done', does anyone else's kid do that?) and muddy paws, my floors need a good wipe down on the daily. I just got a new Libman Freedom Mop and let me tell you it has made mopping super fast and easy.  You can use it to clean wood, marble, stone, linoleum or laminate floors and the 360 degree swivel neck is great for getting in tough to reach spaces like under the dog's dishes and appliances.

spring cleaning
I mean how could a face that cute be capable of making such a mess?

What I love most though is that it's so easy to fill with your cleaner, attach the microfiber cloth and you're good to go! There's no buckets of water and cleaner needed and you're not pushing dirty water around on your floors. And when you're done, just throw the microfiber pad in the washing machine, it's good for up to 100 washes.

spring cleaning
spring cleaning


Head on over to The Libman Company website and sign up for their newsletter to receive a $3 off coupon!

4.) Declutter your living spaces - Last I tidy up my living room and other living spaces. I straighten up the pillows and blankets on the couches, pick up all of Maxwell's toys and put away any other clutter.
 
By sticking with this quick routine, I can keep my house clean enough and presentable so I can enjoy the nicer weather.  What are some of your quick cleaning tips?

And don't forget to sign up for the Libman Company newsletter and get your $3 off coupon!

Happy Spring!