Monday, September 16, 2019

8 Maxi Dresses For Fall

8 Maxi Dress For Fall

I'm not sure why, but up until now, I've only worn maxi dresses in the summer. From a logical standpoint, wearing a dress with more coverage would make more sense in the cooler months, but there is something about a long, gauzy, floral dress that just screams summer to me. Regardless, I am feeling maxi dresses for autumn, man. And the ones I'm sharing here are my current favorites. I'm especially smitten with #1; I see it paired with some great boot style clogs like these.

If you're a maxi dress person, do you prefer to wear them in the summer, fall, or both?


Thursday, September 12, 2019

10 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes

V10 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes

I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, but I'm always trying to take things a step further and eat more completely plant-based foods. I also try to share a lot of plant-based recipes here. Today I thought I'd round up some of my favorites into one easy post. Just click on any of the images or links underneath them for the full recipes. Enjoy!

Jasmine Rice, Lentil, and Red Quinoa Tacos

Plant-Based Lunch-Kabobs, 2 Ways

Tofu Chocolate Pudding

Guacamole and Black Bean Pizza (via Bubby and Bean)

4 Delicious Autumn Soups

Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

Straberry Papaya Tofu Smoothie

Avocado and Pan Toasted Chickpea Pitas

Jasmine Rice and Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Do you have a favorite plant-based recipe?


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

First Day of Preschool Interview (Emmett's Turn!)

First Day of Preschool Interview

A couple of weeks ago, I shared this first day of school questionnaire along with my answers from my daughter (who just started Kindergarten). A few days ago, my three year old Emmett had his first day of preschool, and I gave him the same interview. This was the first year he was old enough to ask him these questions on the first day (and get answers that were at least somewhat logical). As you can see, the child likes his pizza.

1. What is your name? Emmett.
2. What grade are you in? Preschool.
3. How old are you? 3-1/2.
4. What is your favorite color? Blue.
5. What is your favorite thing to do at school? Play with toys.  
6. What is your favorite activity outside of school? Gymnastics.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A singer, a farmer, and give dinosaur rides.
8. What is your favorite food? Pizza.
9. How old is your mommy? I don't know.
10. What is her job? Work.
11. What is mommy's favorite food? Pizza.  
12. How old is your daddy? I  don't know.
13. What is his job? Works for a band.
14. What is daddy's favorite food? Pizza.
15. What do mommy and daddy like to do? Work.
16. If you have brothers or sisters, what are their names? Essley.
17. How old is your brother(s) (and/or sisters)? 5 1/2.
18. What is your brother(s) (and/or sisters) favorite food? Pizza.
19. What is your favorite toy? Grover.
20. Where do you live? In my house.
21. What is your favorite thing to do? Go to the pool.  
22. What is your favorite place you've ever been? The candy store.
23. Who is your best friend? Essley. (awwww)
24. What is your favorite animal? Elephants and pigs.
25. If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be? A blue unicorn.

I'd love to hear your kids' answers if you do this with them! (And because so many of you have asked in the past, here is the link to the cute Etsy shop where we purchased these chalkboard signs.)


Thursday, September 5, 2019

6 Ways To Keep Your Kids Fueled Through Busy Days

This post is sponsored by Lorissa’s Kitchen, but all opinions are my own.

We are now officially a few weeks into the new school year, and I have to admit it's been a major adjustment for all of us. This is the first year of full-day school for my daughter, and between the long days and her activities (dance, swimming, soccer, and Nutcracker rehearsal), things can get a little overwhelming. My three year old is adjusting to more days at preschool on top of his activities (gymnastics and soccer) as well.

I've been really making an effort to come up with ways to help my babes get through these busy days without feeling exhausted, and they seem to be working. If you have kids constantly on the go, I hope these tips prove useful for you as well!

1. Encourage your kids to move their bodies. 
As soon as they get out of bed, we do stretching and even some simple cardio (like a few jumping jacks) to give them a (literal) jump start to their day. We also walk to the bus stop which it down the road, and both kids know that if they feel sluggish during the day, they can do things at school like wiggling their feet and fingers and stretching in their seats. And we encourage them to participate in activities that encourage movement, like swimming, dance, gymnastics, and soccer. Our bodies are made for movement, and movement provides energy.

2. Make breakfast a priority.
This may sound like a given, but my kids don't hop out of bed hungry, and they'd be happy to skip breakfast. Breakfast is crucial to kids' feeling energy throughout the day, so as soon as they're out of bed, breakfast is first priority. This gives them more time to eat than if we save it until after they're dressed and ready. We also make sure they start with something rich in protein, like yogurt or eggs. (Tip: Try drinkable protein if necessary. Even if they don't want to eat, they'll drink smoothies made with Greek yogurt.)

3. Provide fueling snacks when your kids are on the go.
After my daughter's full school days, she is always hungry, but sometimes we don't have the time to prepare lavish after-school snacks. We also want to make sure she and her bother are satisfied and energized before their activities without feeling stuffed. Sometimes this just means grabbing an apple or cheese stick, but their favorite snacks for feeling fueled and not filled are Lorissa's Kitchen snacks.

My husband is a big fan of the Original Grass Fed Beef Sticks and Korean Barbeque Tender Beef Steak Strips, and my daughter decided to try them this summer (she always wants what daddy has!). She was smitten. Now she carries the Original Grass Fed Beef Sticks (which are individually wrapped - so convenient!) in her backpack, her dance bag, her swim bag, and sometimes in her school lunches. I also keep a bag of the Korean Barbeque Tender Beef Steak Strips in the car for when we're running errands and the kids start getting hungry. With 10 grams of protein per serving, they're nourishing and satisfying. Both the Original Grass Fed Beef Sticks and Korean Barbeque Tender Beef Steak Strips are ethically sourced from 100% grass-fed beef raised without hormones or antibiotics, which makes me feel good about her eating them. They're the perfect snack to provide the kids with the energy they need through quick, high quality snacks.

My husband also keeps them in his road case when he's on tour with the band for when he needs a high energy snack to keep him going. (He especially loves the Korean Barbeque Tender Beef Steak Strips, and loves to have them in stock!) You can grab some of your own here and here on Amazon.

4. Encourage your kids to drink water throughout the day.
I was so happy to learn that my daughter's school requested they bring reusable water bottles with them to school everyday, because I know from my own experience that staying hydrated makes all the difference in whether I feel sluggish or energized. My son doesn't take a water bottle to preschool, so I encourage him to take lots of drinks from the water fountain, and I make sure he's consistently drinking water at home and activities.

5. Give your kids a good night's sleep by starting your bedtime routine early.
You know all those stories of little ones who fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow and/or who take blissful multi-hour naps? Well, my kids are not those children. Neither of them have ever been great nappers, and unfortunately they both got their parents' night owl genes. This school year we have been getting them ready for bed at least an hour before their bedtime (and trying to get them in bed a half hour before), and it's really been helping them to get enough sleep each night.

6. Let your kids rest.
Most days, we have a lot of activities and it can feel like there isn't time for breaks, but we make sure to take them anyway. Even if it means five minutes of breathing exercises on our back patio or just lying down together and talking, a brief break in a hectic day can provide some of the extra fuel your little ones need.

If you have other suggestions for keeping kids fueled throughout busy days, I'd love to hear them. And if your kids haven't tried Original Grass Fed Beef Sticks and Korean Barbeque Tender Beef Steak Strips from Lorissa's Kitchen yet, head over to Amazon and get some now. My daughter said to tell you all that they are "deeee-licious!"