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Saturday Quick Tips: How to Mill Oat Flour

Just stopping in on this beautiful Saturday to give you all a tip that we use in our house all the time: milling your own oat flour!

Oat flour is great in a ton of different applications, from cookies and pancakes to savory breads and biscuits. At my grocery store, a 22 ounce package of non-organic oat flour costs $4-5. Meanwhile, an 18 ounce canister of store brand organic oats costs $1.49, while non organic is usually $.99.

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If we put the cost of the flour at $4.50, the cost per ounce is $.20.
The cost for the oats is $.11 per ounce for organic oats, and the non-organic is just $.06 per ounce.

With a little time and effort, you can save over $3 per package of oat flour. You benefit, your family benefits, and your wallet benefits!

When I heard that you can actually make your own flour, I laughed. No way. And then I tried it.

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And I had fine, fluffy flour ready for a batch of pancakes.

I use a plain old food processor for this recipe, but if you have a high powered blender, feel free to use what you have.

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As always, a little kitchen helper makes the process a little more fun!

Oat Flour
makes 2 cups of flour

2 heaping cups of oats (rolled or quick)

Pour oats into food processor. Process the oats for about 2 minutes, and stir to get any larger bits from the bottom. Continue for another three minutes before checking again. Feel the flour – if you If it is not a powder, continue processing in 30 second intervals until powdered in consistency. If not using right away, store in a sealed container until ready to use.

**For each cup of flour needed, you will need one heaping cup of oats since the flour takes up less volume than the whole oats. If you are making the flour for a specific recipe, I would suggest making a half cup or so more flour just in case.

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Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! As I’m putting this together (Thursday) I am doing a million and seven things, which is definitely NOT my favorite. Thursday’s always stress me out because I want to get as much done as humanly possible so that I can enjoy the weekend. I know I won’t get much done from my to-do list on the weekend so I try to finish everything I procrastinated all week on Thursday night/Friday morning. But anyway, here are my favorite finds of the week!

Favorite Mother’s Day gift: I REAALLYY want one of these adorable necklaces. I love the bracelets as well, but I know I would never wear it. I love the idea of showing your love a little more subtly.

Favorite money saver: Ebates has a new button for Chrome so when you shop at a store where you can qualify for cash back, a bar pops up top to let you know and remind you! I love Ebates and try to remember to use it when I shop online, but I find myself forgetting a lot. This helps! If you don’t have an Ebates account, click here and sign up! You’ll get a $10 bonus for signing up (they will legit send you $10 check even if you NEVER use the site again) and I’ll get a referral bonus. I’d appreciate it, but I really just wanted to let you guys know how awesome this site it.

Favorite tear-jerker: This post is so beautiful and it makes me want to cry and gives me the chills. I will never forget the moment Ryan was put into my arms and this just brings it all back.

Favorite fitness: I could wax poetic all day and night about this program, but I won’t because I’ve mentioned it in like four posts already. Basically I love C25K so much, and you should to. End of story.

REAL PARTIES: One Year Old in a Flash Birthday Party

Favorite first birthday: With Ryan’s first birthday coming up, I’m scouring Pinterest looking for inspiration for the small first birthday party we’re throwing at the end of the month. I LOVE this theme!

Okay, I’m off to bed, and when I say off to bed I mean off to procrastinate for a couple of hours doing random things.

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Getting Back to Basics

When I first met my husband, I was a lot bigger. Like, 45 pounds bigger. Living with my then-boyfriend who doesn’t snack and eats pretty healthy made me lose weight. Just being around someone who led a healthy lifestyle made me unconsciously adopt one. I began to lose weight without trying, then started to try by consciously changing how I ate and saw food, and lost even more weight. Finally, I started running, which felt amazing and I kept losing weight until I was at my ideal weight. I was between 117 and 120 and felt amazing and confident. I ate pretty strict Monday through Friday and indulged with Alex on the weekends. I counted my calories on myfitnesspal, worked out, and made good choices.

#FridayFitspiration: Keep at it. It's not what you do some of the time, it's what you do MOST of the time that counts. Never give up, and you'll never fail. | Fitbie.com

I was at my ideal weight in July of 2012. In September of 2012 I over did it and I screwed up my knee. I have no idea what happened but it’s a pain that is inside my knee when I over work it, usually a throbbing dull pain, but if I keep going it can get sharp. I tried to recover, but between full-time school and almost full-time work, I barely had time for sleep much less doctor’s visits to figure out my issue. So I supplemented with a LOT of incline walking at the gym (I got a bit obsessive and would go for two hours before I went to work. Who was I?) and classes. I made it work. I graduated in May and started working full time. In July, one of the best things ever happened – we got Cooper!

Cooper was like having a newborn, but with energy. I was up all night with him, letting him out, taking him for a walk, dealing with teething, and playing with him. Alex works as a diesel mechanic and at the time had INSANE hours, so  when we got Cooper, we knew the late nights would be my job since running on no sleep could put his life at risk, literally. I stopped going to the gym. I needed that extra hour or two of sleep in order to safely drive to work and get my job done. I couldn’t go after work, because I had a 3 month old puppy waiting for me to let him out and we lived in the second floor of an apartment building, so no doggy door.

I gained 7 pounds by the end of September.

And then I found out I was pregnant. I started my pregnancy at around 127. I weighed about 170 when I gave birth to Ryan. (I’m a little embarrassed to even type that. Hello, ice cream, bagels and pasta.)

December after I gave birth, I weighed about 130, and currently hover around 125. Those last five pounds, man. They’re no joke. I’ve tried a few different things (30 Day Shred, which I like but can get super monotonous, Blogilates which I ADORE but her calendars are 60 minutes a day and momma ain’t got time for that, and Fitness Blender, which I’m really liking.) but nothing has made me feel the way I first felt when I started losing weight and running. I miss it. A lot. Running was one of the only things I have ever found where I can shut off my brain and just go. So I need to get back to it.

I'm not shy to admit that losing weight was a huge struggle for me. Aside from making a lot of mistakes along the way (what, I can't eat an entire jar of peanut

I plan on documenting my knee journey here, but here is a quick glimpse at my plan:

Couch to 5k: C25K is how I got into running in the first place and I think it’s a good way for me to get back into it. I have a real problem with going all in on things and then burning out, so this will (hopefully) stop me from charging through without thinking about overworking myself. The plan calls for 3 days of running/walking combos a week, so while I would love to be running 5 or 6 days a week again, this will keep me at a reasonable amount of run time.

Strength: The key to rehabbing most knee problems is to strengthen the muscles that support the knee, so this time around I’m making sure to get it in.

Monday: Day 1 Couch 2 5k, Runner’s World Knee Strength Workout
Tuesday: Arms and Abs. (I’ll be using either a Fitness Blender video or a combo of Blogilates videos)
Wednesday: Day 1 Couch 2 5k, Runner’s World Knee Strength Workout
Thursday: Arms and Abs.
Friday: Day 1 Couch 2 5k, Runner’s World Knee Strength Workout
Saturday: Some kind of yoga/stretch routine in the morning while Alex sleeps
Sunday: Off/active recovery with Alex

I need running back in my life and I’m more determined than ever to make this work. If I start feeling pain again, I will probably look into going to the doctor to get it looked at and maybe work with a PT, but all of that is hard with Ryan, so I’d like to work it out myself first.

Stay tuned for updates on how it’s going! On Sundays I plan on posting the previous weeks workouts and I’ll put a bit more about how the knee is holding up and how I’m feeling.

Have you ever had to over come an injury? What kept you motivated? Any tips for knee pain?

7

The Things I Already Miss

In less than a month, my son will turn one year old. It has been one hell of year. A year of learning to be a mother, of trial and error, of tears and of joy. The years to come are years filled with events and memories I look forward to making: learning about cars from his mechanic daddy, watching my father teach him to ski as he did with me and my brother, going on family vacations, hearing his opinions, watching him grow into a little man. But all of this can wait.

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As I count down the days until he has his first birthday cake, I find myself begging for time to slow down. The phrase I was so tired of hearing just a year ago is one I myself keep saying: It goes so fast. I am now attempting to soak in all of the little quirks this little boy has. Soaking in all the little moments. The moments I already miss.

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It seems silly to miss things that I have right now. But how can I not mourn the things that I know will be gone soon, the things I will never see from this little boy ever again. Granted, some things will still be here for a while. None of them will magically leave the day he turns one. It’s just that noting that an entire year has passed brings to light how quickly time flies and makes the reality that your baby will one day grow up all the more real.

ryan lap

So here are the things I already miss about my little boy. The things that when they happen, I drop everything and breath them in a little deeper, trying to hold on to them a little tighter in hopes that they will stay a little longer.

The way his little hand curls around mine when I’m nursing him.
The way he still, at 11 months, needs me, and only me, to rock him to sleep.
The squeal that shatters my ears when our dog nudges his belly.
The proud face he makes when he stands up on something, looking around to see who else saw.
The way he sings along to the radio in the car, going, “BAAABAAABAAAA!”
How he gets shy and rubs he face in the crook of my neck when a stranger talks to him.
The way he pulls hard on his own hair when he’s starting to fall asleep.
The excited face he makes when you walk into his room after he wakes up and sees you.
The way he would rather play with an empty plastic cup rather than one of his plethora of toys.
The way he tugs at my face when I’m trying to get him to sleep, shoving tiny fingers into my nose.
The way he slams his hands on his highchair when he wants food.
The way his hair curls on either side of his head, giving him horns.
His laugh, his yawn, his grumpy face, his smile, his chubby legs, his round belly, his tiny feet, his scrunchy nose, his soft, curly hair, his bright blue eyes.

My baby.

These are the things that I am taking mental pictures and videos of. These are the things I hope are burned into my mind forever. These are the things I already miss.

Linking up this week for Thinking Out Loud with Running With Spoons!

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Ryan Richard: 11 Months

It completely baffles me that you are 11 months old. You are so silly and happy and smart. I sound like such a cliche mom where ever you are involved, which is what I swore would never happen, but I can’t help it. The little dude you’re growing into is just SO cool and impressive and even though I am so sad that you are getting older, I’m so excited to watch you grow.

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Here are some cool things about your 11th month of life!

Teeth: 7! You have four on top and three on the bottom, but you’ve been very bite-y and drooly, so I’m pretty sure that fourth one on the bottom is close!

Words: Mostly mumbling and bumbling, but you’ve definitely mastered the “dada” event though he’s not suite sure what it means or when to stop (dadadadadada)

Favorite foods: apples, pancakes with PB&J, chicken, eggs, green beans, peas, basically any fruit and bread.

Not so favorite foods: To be honest, you love all food! The other day we were out to dinner with your grandma and you were sitting in my lap. I gave you a lemon slice and you just kept munching away on it, happy as ever! Weirdo!

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Favorite things to do: Play with Cooper and daddy, sit in the back room, run to which ever room is blocked off from you, open cabinets, climb up on everything, look at yourself in the mirror, play with your many toys. You’re still a fan of your jumpy jump, and Grandpa is definitely starting to grow on you!

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Things you hate: being told “no,” when Cooper barks, falling (all the time),  naps, diaper changes.

New things this month: Pulling yourself up on things, cruising along things, your first Easter, turning the pages on books, “dada”, shaking your head no when I say “no”.

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Keep growing little boy. you are so amazing to watch and Mommy and Daddy love you so much. I can’t wait to see who you turn into as you keep growing. But please, don’t grow up to fast!

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What I Ate Wednesday: vol. 2

It’s already Wednesday again! With this gorgeous weather, I feel like time has been flying. I can definitely dig it. Here’s Ryan and my eats for yesterday!

We wake up super early today, which is probably due to all the windows being open to let in the cool air. The same windows that woke Ryan up at 5:45 kept Cooper up until 1:30, so I’m pretty beat. After I do my second day of oil pulling, I make a giant cup of coffee with coconut milk and start breakfast. Ryan has his wake up snack of banana cookies (i swear he likes them, regardless of his face) and freeze dried apples.

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Breakfast: Coffee and a banana muffin for one recipe that I’m working on. (I know those measuring cups are so ugly, but I love them. I use them for everything. Remember when I was eating salsa out of them last week?) Not great yet, but tasty. Ryan has his norm of pancakes and various steamed veggies, which I forgot to take a picture of.

Banan muffin

Lunch: Organic salami, provolone and yellow mustard on rye. It tastes like heaven. As I said earlier, Ryan’s pediatrician suggested I start eating a bit of dairy, and MAN am I enjoying it. Ryan has his favorite eggs, steamed veg, kiwi, english cucumber and tomato. It was his first time having kiwi, and kid LOVED it.

morgan lunch

ryan lunch

No snack today, because I was busy making this for my brother for tomorrow. He got a job in Boston so he’s moving out there in two weeks, and we’re throwing him a small party tomorrow. I figured a Boston Creme pie was in order. (dont mind the lumpy writing. I was trying out a frosting to use on Ryan’s birthday but obviously it was no good ahhaha)

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Dinner: I loved that sandwich so much I was inspired to try a childhood standby – Bread, mustard, salami, onion and provolone, broiled until brown and bubbly. I used to have this every saturday morning on an everything bagel from ages 7 to 12. I paired it with a quick salad of spanish olives, banana pepper, tomato and cucumber. Ryan has grilled chicken, a little eggs, mango, kiwi and apple, and more steamed veggies and tomato. ryan dinner

morgan dinner

Snack: I ended up sandwiching these, for a beautiful half sandwich post running around with Cooper outside and pre-workout. I’m obsessed.

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Dessert: left overs from cake making. A little hardened ganache made from Enjoy Life chocolate chips and coconut oil, part of a banana, and half of the Cool Whip pictured. I feel no shame.

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PS am I the only one that likes my Cool Whip mostly frozen and dense rather than smooth and spreadable? I usually don’t like Cool Whip (homemade whipped cream FTW) but I wanted the easiest fool proof recipe I could find for this cake so I went the easy/lazy route.

I’m linking up with Peas & Crayons for WIAW!

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Goals for May

So you're going to #smash that next workout, right?! #believeitandachieveit

Can you believe it’s May already? This time last year, I was out on maternity leave and just waiting for a little boy to come and say hi. I can’t believe he’ll be one this month.

With a new month, comes new goals. I have some big ones this month, so let’s get to.

1. Get through Ryan’s birthday with minimal crying. Obviously, Ryan turns one this month, on the 26th. I. Can. Not. Even. I’ve already cried once this month about it, so I’m hoping I got (most) of it out of my system. I just can’t believe my little bitty baby is going to be one. (enter every mom cliche)

2. Finish the first 4 weeks of Couch to 5k without any pain. C25K was how I got into fitness and working out 3 years ago. I started running and fell in love, only to totally mess up my knee. I didn’t devote the time and energy into healing it to the point where I could get back to running, but I’m making it my mission now. More on this later.

3. Get the backyard into party shape. Our backyard is a MILLION times better than it was when we bought it last year, but it’s far from party shape. We’re throwing Ryan a small birthday party with family so I’d like to get it a little closer. I know that it’s honestly going to take a few years to get it where we 100% want it, but I can always get closer.

4. Get my meals back on the right track. There was a time where during the week I had the SAME THING every day. It was reliable and I never deviated, so I was able to keep my calories in check. With my pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding hunger that has completely fallen to the wayside. I’m determined to get my nutrition and health back on track, and I’d like to start to get there this month.

5. Work out 5 times a week. No exceptions.  I’m not going to be a stickler about the days, but I’d prefer M-F, since Alex is off and home on the weekends. But I can still fit in workouts when he’s asleep in the morning without intruding on our together time. (I don’t count any of the walks/hikes we take as a family as one of my five workouts, though obviously a 5 mile hike is considered a workout…)

6. Get at least 2 months DONE in Ryan’s baby book. Love hate relationship with this. I’ve been slowly slowly slowly working on Ryan’s baby book using a custom Shutterfly photo book, but I’m so picky that it takes FOREVER. I would like to get more of it done before I have to start worrying about year 2.. ugh.

7. Pack up all winter clothes. This is self-explanatory and has been on my to do list for too many weeks. Get it together Morgan.

8. Try out oil pulling. I’ve seen oil pulling all around, ad it really really intrigues me. I have very very sensitive teeth and a family of terrible teeth, so I’m really interested in this process. I’ve heard it has amazing results in regards to whitening, strengthening, and helping with plaque and tartar build up. i’m going to document the process and my results, so look out for that post in the future!

What are your May goals? 

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Weekend Highlights

I love the weekend. Who doesn’t? Here’s a phone dump of how mine went!

On Saturday, Alex came home and we went right to dinner for his birthday with his mom. Friday I had talked to my pediatrician who had told me to start testing the waters for me for dairy so that we can test his diaper right away when he comes in for his 12 month appointment. So that means I was more or less free to eat what I wanted at dinner.

We went to a restaurant near my MIL’s that was our favorite when we lived there. If you live within 2 hours of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, GO NOW. It’s amazing. You need a reservation since they are always booked but it’s so, so, so worth it.

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I didn’t take any pictures at dinner, but I DID take a picture of myself eating my leftovers just a few hours later 😉 Much to Cooper’s dismay, I kept it alllll to myself. P.S. the menu is always changing, but they always have shrimp and grits. Get them. Now.

Sunday is always my favorite day of the week. It is Alex

s only guaranteed day off, so we get quality family time. I woke up with Ryan early this Sunday. We ate breakfast and played while daddy slept. And this happened.

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Obviously nothing happened, but my God it looks like any day he’s going to stand up, say “see ya later mom,” and run off to college. Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out

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After a trip to Chipotle for lunch, we decided to pick up Cooper and break in the B.O.B on a walk at the park. We got it about 2 weeks ago, and have been dying to really break it in. Apparently to Alex a walk in the park means a 5 mile hike. I was wearing TOMs, and Alex was wearing Sperry’s so I’m sure we looked weird to anyone passing us. (Though, he doesn’t even own a pair of sneakers other than skate shoes and does everything in either jeans or swim shorts, so this isn’t really weird attire for him. Big ol’ weirdo.)

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Momma did the downhills and the flat parts, but daddy insisted on pushing the stroller up the inclines. Coop and I used it as a chance to run up the hills while Alex sweated it out and Ryan laughed at us both.

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I really, really, really love these three.

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Also, I was having a gooooooddd hair day.

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We ended the day with a beautiful sunset on the drive home from the grocery store and chicken pesto pasta at home.

It was a great weekend with my little family. Good moods for the little man, wonderful weather the whole weekend and quality time together. What more could I ask for?

How was your weekend? What was your favorite part?

I’m linking up with Healthy Diva Eats for #MIMM and Her Heartland Soul’s Weekend Snapshots

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Breast Milk Pancakes

Confession time: I’ve been eating these pancakes for breakfast nearly every morning with Ryan since I’ve started making them.

As any breastfeeding mother can probably tell you, I went through a month or two where I was obsessed with pumping and freezing. I had a fear that I would stop producing, I would get sick, Ryan would stop wanting the boob, etc. etc. etc. that I just kept pumping as much as possible. Ryan never took to a bottle so the milk wasn’t (and isn’t) going anywhere, so once we solids I needed a way to start using it up.

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I’ve tried a ton of different recipes, and this is one I created after messing around and mixing a few different once. If you want, you can use all white flour, but I like the idea of using a little oat flour and reducing the amount of white flour in his diet. I don’t suggest using ALL oat flour – it makes the pancakes really dry and gummy at the same time. They taste like they haven’t cooked long enough, even though they have.  Also, you can use white/brown/no sugar, but PLEASE don’t use fake weird maple syrup.


I make a double batch of these, which will give you about 75 2-inch pancakes. When they’re cool, layer the pancakes with sheets of wax paper in between and then transfer to big zip top freezer bags when frozen solid. When you want to serve them, either taken them out and leave on the counter for 30 or so minutes, or put in a warm oven for about 5 until defrosted. We serve them with a layer of peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and maple syrup. For pre-pincer grip you can give them to baby whole or cut into sticks while post-pincer grip they’re perfect in little squares.

Breast Milk Pancakes

Breastmilk Pancakes
makes about 35 2-inch pancakes

1 cup flour of choice
1 cup oat flour (grind oats in food processor until flour-like in consistency)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup breast milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 tablespoons oil (I used canola for its light flavor and MSPI)
2-3 tablespoons sweetener of choice (maple syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, etc)
1 tsp, more or less to taste cinnamon**
Mix-ins of choice**

**optional.

Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon is using in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, vanilla, sweetener, and oil. Gently stir the wet and dry ingredients, stirring as little as possible while getting rid of as many dry spots as possible. Small lumps are fine, don’t over stir. Heat up a pan (or two, if you want to make this quick!) over medium, and grease it. Spoon out batter on to the pan once to temperature and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the sides are set and bubbles are forming in the center of the pancakes, then flip. You may need to play with the temperature a bit  as you go. About one more minute on the other side until golden and transfer to a wax paper lined cookie sheet. If you wish, add in mix-ins after the batter is scooped but still wet. These could be frozen blueberries, banana slices, sliced strawberries, or chocolate chips for older kids (or moms!) Once the batter is gone, serve with toppings of choice or layer with wax paper and freeze, then transfer into labeled freezer bags for storage.

4

Friday Favorites

Happy May! And happy Friday! Even though when you’re a SAHM there’s really no “Friday” in the traditional sense, I still get the same excitement when Friday rolls around. It usually means that Alex’s work week is closing and we get him all to ourselves for two days. With the weather warming up, weekends are even more exciting and filled with hope of parks and day trips. Here are my favorite things from this week in this weeks inaugural edition of Friday Favorites!

A beautiful Mess Washer dryer

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Pork Chops – The Kitchn wrote this article and I was so excited! Pork chops are usually pretty affordable and most cuts are lean, so they’re a good choice in our house.

Washer Dryer

Washer & Dryer Makeover – This is SO cool and SUCH a good idea! This post on A Beautiful Mess uses electric tape to decorate a washer and dryer.


crispy-broccoli-with-lemon-and-garlicCrispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic – smitten kitchen posted this recipe that is exactly like what my mom used to make me when I was little. I made something similar now for my vegetable hating husband, and the crispy broccoli tops MAKE this dish.

mothers day

Mother’s Day Photo Gift – I love this Mother’s Day gift idea from A Cup of Jo. I’m thinking about making one for my mom and my MIL. Simple and adorable!

birthday throne

Birthday Throne from Target – My love for Target runs deep, and this adorable DIY video for a birthday highchair banner is so cute and easy! Hello inspiration.

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Yesterday after a rough start, our day got MUCH better. After a good, 2 hour nap for the boy, we hit up Target (and the in store Starbucks, hello coconut milk) and the car wash, then sent daddy a fun message for his birthday.

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An Easy Daily Calendar – The weblink for this seems to be down and I can’t find it anywhere else, but here’s the Pinterest link for it. I love this idea for a daily calendar/diary to use over multiple years.

What have been your favorite things this week?

-Morgan