Sunday, December 25, 2016

how to avoid freezer burn!

So is anyone else gearing up for the new year? Us too! Raise your hand if one of your resolutions is to eat healthier? Us too! So for us, that means a lot of meal prepping.

We already purchased some meal prep containers from Amazon for Scott's lunches (we love these because they actually fit in his lunch box! Our tupperware didn't...).

best ways to prevent freezer burn for meal prepping, healthy meals, freezer meals

So how are we preparing? Well, every Sunday we pre-make as much as we can. So garlic & herb mashed cauliflower is made in huge batches along with Mexican Cauliflower Rice, and fruits & veggies are washed & diced. We also make as many freezer meals as we can fit in our freezer!

We used to never make freezer meals because everything just tasted awful if it was even slightly freezer burnt & we'd end up tossing the whole thing. BUT I have a lot of freezer meal recipes show up on Pinterest and it made me wonder how everyone else did it. so I did my research and I found the best tips out there for preventing freezer burn! I hope this helps you as much as it's going to help us this year!

best ways to prevent freezer burn for meal prepping, healthy meals, freezer meals

Tips to avoid freezer burn:


1. Use freezer containers! (they are made of thicker plastic or glass)
2. Remove as much air as possible (fill containers full leaving 1/2 inch from top for expansion if it's a liquid)
3. Allow foods to cool before you freeze so you don't get ice crystals from frozen steam.
5. Keep temperatures below freezing. If possible store in a separate freezer than the one you use regularly so that the temperature doesn't rise from being opened and closed all the time.
6. Double wrap it.
     * For breads/baked goods, wrap in foil first then a ziplock freezer bag.
     * For meals in casserole dishes (casseroles, enchiladas, lasagna, etc), cool the meal in the fridge and then cut a sheet of aluminum foil the same size as the casserole dish, spray one side with cooking spray so it won't stick, and then press it on top of your dish, then cover with it's lid. This will keep air from touching your freezer meal and help prevent ice crystals from forming.
7. Freeze in small batches. (The faster the food freezes the less likely it is to have large ice crystals form.)

Did you know?


Freezer burn mainly occurs when the temperature of the freezer is inconsistent and/or the food has not been securely wrapped in air tight packaging. So do your best to make sure your food containers are securely sealed with as little air as possible AND try not to open the freezer too much to keep the temperature from fluctuating!

Good luck and happy meal prepping!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Save money with Groupon Coupons!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Who else loves payday? Honestly, I love it and I hate it at the same time. It seems like every expense in the world comes up as soon as I get paid. Even if my paycheck is bigger than normal, it's still gone just as fast! It's ridiculous.

For that reason, I try my best to save wherever I can. It's more than just waiting around for sales. I look for coupons now too! I'm not quite at the "extreme couponer" level yet, but I do save a bit with Groupon Coupons.

They've actually got a pretty wide variety of coupons. Anything from food to clothing stores (like Dressbarn and Tommy Hilfiger) and spa packages!

For example they have 16 coupons available for Shari's Berries alone! Haven't heard of Shari's Berries? My mom always sends us their chocolate covered strawberries for birthdays and holidays. They are delicious, the presentation is amazing and they send them in a refrigerated box in the mail.



It's a great gift for the holidays; we look forward to eating them! The last one my mom sent me was actually on a really rough day. David had just spilt the breast milk I had pumped for his sister all over himself so I had to give him a bath fast forward to him running away from me naked & pooping in the corner! Ugh! That mom life! (Ironically this was on Mother's Day!) Shari's Berries will always have a special spot in my heart because it made a rough day better.

TIP: if you receive one of these boxes, hide it right away! Hide it from your kids & spouse! That way you don't have to share ;)

Do yourself a favor & check it out! If there's even the slightest possibility you could save money this holiday season, it's worth it!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why I love Nature Made and Walmart

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central

Alright guys, today I just wanted to do a quick talk about vitamins. As you know, we have a busy lifestyle here in our home. With two under the age of two, EVERYTHING is a little bit of a hassle ;) There is no such thing as a quick trip to the store anymore! I joke about it, but it really is something that I miss!

I do my best to time shopping trips for when my husband can watch the kids, but sometimes that is just not possible. Because of this, I have discovered a next to perfect alternative.

What I've found to be the most efficient way to shop is to first off make a list (soo important) and then second, try and shop at as few places as possible. That means trying to get as many items at one store as I can.

For us, the best place to do that is at a Walmart Supercenter! They literally have everything! We can get groceries, diapers, wipes, pet food, even protein powder & vitamins!

Luckily, we have a Walmart Supercenter extremely close by because without it I would be running all over town to make my weekly purchases. Is anyone else thankful for Walmart? or is that just me? lol

naturemade vitamins are my favorite! find them at walmart!

I only get vitamins from Walmart because they carry the brand that I love: Nature Made. Including Nature Made vitamins in our purchases has helped me to feel that I am making my best effort at striving to be as healthy as I can.

And in case you didn't know, Nature Made® is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for many key dietary supplement categories* 

Plus, Walmart always has low prices on vitamins so I really don't even need to wait for a sale. I can just pick them up whenever it is convenient for me.

Quick tip: if you love probiotics, Nature Made has those too, just make sure to stop by a Walmart Supercenter to purchase those!

naturemade vitamins are my favorite! find them at walmart!


Have you ever used Nature Made? Here are some facts about them that you may not know:
Nature Made® Probiotics: Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotic has been clinically studied and provides dual support to both your small and large intestine for comprehensive coverage to help support digestive balance and healthy gut flora.†


Nature Made® vitamins and supplements: An easy, convenient way to help your body get the nutritional support it needs every day, whether it be to support bone health, immune health or energy metabolism (helping convert food into energy).†


Nature Made® has a variety of vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) to help support nutritional gaps with your health goals in mind ranging from Digestive Support, Heart Health & Function, Energy Metabolism, Women’s Health and much more!†

naturemade vitamins are my favorite! find them at walmart!


If you love Nature Made and Walmart, there is a sweepstakes where you have a chance to win one of SIXTY $50 Walmart gift cards. To enter, visit this site (Walmart Nature Made® Retailer Hub) for the details, no purchase necessary!



*Based on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey.


†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to save money with Groupon!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Guess what holiday is around the corner? All of them! It's that time of year. Gift-giving season is upon us! Have you started your holiday shopping? Personally, I love using Groupon to browse for deals on different gifts or even just household items that I need.

I still remember when I was first really introduced to Groupon. It was almost exactly 3 years ago. I was at work and one of my co-workers was talking about the Groupon app (yes, they have an app too!). He mentioned how he had already finished his Christmas shopping for his wife and that he couldn't stop buying her things on there because of all the great deals! Well, later that night, I downloaded the same app and have been addicted ever since.

Not only do they have fantastic deals on nights' out (date night anyone?) but they also have deals on goods you'd need anyway. I purchased a knife set 3 years ago and it's still in great shape.

shop groupon for deals on great items

Honestly, head on over to Groupon Goods and just start perusing. You can find deals on anything from bath towels to those super cool rainfall shower heads!

shop groupon for deals on great items

I love Groupon. In fact, we need a new scale for our bathroom, so if you don't mind I'm gonna head on over right now to see what they've got ;)

Happy Holidays & Happy Shopping!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why I don't make my son apologize.

You read that right. I don't make my toddler apologize. Well, what I mean is, I don't make him apologize for accidents. When he runs over to his baby sister and smacks her on the head I do make him apologize (after sitting in time out).

why I dont make my kids apologize

In our culture it is common practice to over-apologize. I have done it my whole life. Oh, we reached for the same thing at the grocery store "oh, sorry." Did we almost bump into each other? "sorry again."

Honestly, I never really thought this was strange until someone pointed it out to me at work almost 5 years ago. He was from Mexico so it's possible it's not common to say this for everything over there? He told me a story about something trivial, like bad traffic and I responded with an "I'm sorry. That sucks." Apparently this was the last straw because he said "You're sorry? Why are you always saying you're sorry?" I didn't know what to say. It's just a habit I guess?

I now try my best to come up with better responses rather than apologizing, because it's really not my fault.

Now when it comes to my two year old, I think it is important for him to understand how to apologize and admit when he is wrong. I do my best to model that behavior. But I learned something very quickly when I tried to make him apologize for an accident--he wouldn't do it! He clearly felt bad that his sister was crying when he wasn't intentionally trying to make her upset, but he refused to apologize. Instead he just sat there silent and in shock. This is when I decided to stop making him apologize.

Here is why:

  1. He clearly felt bad enough. He felt worse for making his sister cry on accident than he ever did when he hurt her on purpose. 
  2. I don't want to rub salt in the wound. Like I said before, he already felt bad, why would I want to make him feel worse? 
  3. He doesn't understand. Right now, for my son, an apology is something we say when we did something wrong, like hitting the cat or taking a toy away from his sister. Forcing him to apologize would just make him think he did something wrong. Accidents are oftentimes, out of our control.

What I do instead:

Alright, so what do I do when he does something accidentally that hurts someone? I give him a hug.

For example, yesterday he was walking and tripped, knocking his sister over. She immediately started crying and he stood there, silent, unsure of what to do, clearly feeling bad, and wondering if he'd get in trouble. Instead, I immediately ran to comfort Farrah & held my arm out signaling for David to come over. I gave them both hugs. I asked David if he was okay, and told him to try and be more careful next time. He hugged me back, smiled, and handed the baby her binky. 

why I dont make my kids apologize

Accidents happen. I'm not saying this is what everyone should do, but this is what works for us in our home. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Potty Training Essentials

This post was sponsored by Charmin as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Alright you guys, today I wanted to talk to you about Potty Training. As you may know, our son is TWO years old!! I can't believe how fast he is growing up! He turned two in the beginning of July and we think he may finally be ready to take the plunge and start potty training. 

This is a huge deal. I don't recommend potty training unless your toddler seems ready. One clue that helped us is seeing David insist on diaper changes as soon as he dirtied them. He used to fight us on getting a new diaper--not anymore! This is just one thing that really clued us in.

When you decide to start potty training you need to be ready. You need to make sure you've done your research and have a game plan for how you are going to tackle it. This isn't something you just wake up one morning deciding to do.
potty training essentials- charmin now has a bargain priced toilet paper!


Here are some things to think about before getting started:



1. Has my child transitioned to a toddler bed?


  • I definitely recommend this. Think about it. What happens if you kid needs to go in the middle of the night but can't get out of bed? 
  • Transitioning from crib to toddler bed is a whole other obstacle, so make sure you take care of this at a separate time from potty training. Don't attempt too many new things at once.
    • make sure you toddler proof the house before transitioning to a toddler bed! We have chain locks on our doors now because our son can unlock the door. Last thing we'd want is for a jail-break in the middle of the night!

2. Do I need to adjust our bed time routine to take out any last minute drinks?

  • For a while we were giving David some water in a sippy cup to drink in his bed. We had to slowly phase this out to try our best to eliminate needing to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

3. Do you have a potty training seat?

  • Not everyone uses these, but we definitely find them beneficial for those tiny bums.

4. Do you have enough toilet paper??

potty training essentials- charmin now has a bargain priced toilet paper!
  • When kids start wiping for the first time they tend to use wayyy too much toilet paper so we love to go for bargain brands.
  • Even if your kid isn't wiping themselves yet, it is still a new thing for the parent. Learning to wipe someone else on the toilet is a whole lot different from wiping yourself and for me at least, takes a lot of attempts to make sure everything is clean since I can't see it as well as I could during a diaper change.
  • Because we have one more person on the toilet in this house, and the reasons mentioned above, we are going through wayy more toilet paper than we used to so we decided to turn to bargain toilet paper. Unfortunately, the normal bargain brand we used just wasn't doing the trick. But did you know that Charmin just launched a new product that is actually comparable to that bargain brand toilet paper price?? Well, they did. They have the Charmin Essentials Soft and the Charmin Essentials Strong. We prefer the Soft and it is amazing! It is super soft and advertised as being clog-safe which is sooo important during potty training!
  • potty training essentials- charmin now has a bargain priced toilet paper!
    • One more thing. Charmin is actually running a deal right now where you can upgrade your current Angel Soft or Scott 1000 toilet paper to the new Charmin Essentials Soft or Strong. This is a FREE upgrade! All you have to do is tweet your TP swap out request to @Charmin using the hashtag #CharminEssentials and #Promotion and Charmin will send you a FREE roll! (read terms and conditions here)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What you should know about freezing breastmilk!

I like to be pretty transparent here on Lexi Michelle Blog, and so today I want to tell you a little about my experience breastfeeding this time around, specifically about storing breastmilk in the freezer.

I wish I had know this BEFORE i started my breast milk freezer stash! No one ever tells you about this! MUST READ!


So, with my first I did no freezer storage whatsoever & I regretted it. I regretted it when I went back to work shortly after he was born and my milk supply completely DROPPED! It was almost impossible for me to bring it back up. Plus, while my work did have a mother's room for pumping mothers, I felt guilty taking as many pumping "breaks" as I would need to keep it up. No one else in my department was a mom, there were a 1 or 2 fathers, but I just didn't think anyone really understood. It felt like people just thought I was relaxing in the break room & skipping out on work, even though that was not the case at all.

I am a stay at home mom now, and so I probably don't "need" a freezer stash, but I opted for one for emergencies.

I did struggle in the beginning with an initial oversupply of milk right after Farrah was born which led to plugged ducts and eventually mastitis & then an allergic reaction (hives) to the medication they gave me to treat mastitis. This then led to a decrease in my milk supply. So it was tough.

I worked hard to increase it.

I purchased Brewers Yeast, added Ground Flaxseed to everything and even started eating oatmeal & drinking coconut water even though I hate both of those things! And you know what? It worked! After a couple days my milk supply increased. I was pretty prone to plugged ducts after that bout of mastitis, and so occasionally my supply would drop a little, but for the most part I produced a ton of breast milk!

I was happy. I had enough milk where every time I pumped I could give one bottle to Farrah & one would go in a freezer bag & straight into the freezer.

This built up my freezer stash very quickly! But I never touched it! Why? Because fresh breast milk was just so much more convenient for multiple reasons:

  1. It is already the right temperature.
  2. It can stand for up to 6 hours at room temperature before expiring.
  3. I always forgot to pull breast milk out of the freezer to thaw.
breastmilk storage guidelines- what I wish I knew before I started my freezer stash!
Add caption

Okay, so when my freezer started to fill up I decided I should probably start rotating out. When I actually started using this milk I learned a couple of things that I wish I had known ahead of time:

  1. Freezer milk is a lot more temperamental.
    • it is only good for 24 hours in the fridge (and takes almost as long to thaw completely).
    • it is only good for 1 hour standing at room temperature.
  2. The taste changes.
    • Yes, I taste my breast milk. I noticed that anything from the freezer older than about 6 weeks started to taste more iron-y/metallic. Why? I guess this has something to do with the enzymes that digest milk(lipase) breaking down the fats while the milk is stored. The milk is still perfectly fine for baby, but some babies don't like the taste.
  3. It is pretty inconvenient to prevent the metallic taste.
    • I read that you can prevent the metallic taste from happening if you heat the breast milk on the stove (not oven) until the edges start to bubble, then let it cool, & freeze it. This works because it stops the activity of those enzymes.
    • I have never tried it, but honestly, the whole house falls apart when I pump. David turns into a little toddler tornado & I really don't have time to heat milk on the stove & watch it to make sure it doesn't turn into a rolling boil.

So what would I do differently?

I would definitely start rotating out freezer milk every couple weeks. This taste is something I only noticed in my older milk, so instead I recommend rotating it out and not waiting until the milk is already 3 months old to do it. 

I am pretty lucky and Farrah will drink the older, metallic-y tasting milk, but I do feel pretty bad giving it to her and avoid it as much as possible. My sister has had success feeding her son bottles that are half fresh and half frozen breast milk to minimize the taste so that is another option. Otherwise, scald the milk like I mentioned before.

But honestly, this is something NO ONE talks about when mentioning their freezer milk & I really wish I had known about it when I started storing breast milk.

One more thing!

If you are using those Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags (which is what I use) and you are thawing the milk in the fridge, be sure to set those bags in like a tupperware container or a small bowl because I have had a couple leakers! I think it's because the frozen milk can be sharp when frozen & sometimes cuts into the plastic baggies. Nothing's worse than spilt milk!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

This post was sponsored by Evenflo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Evenflo Sibby Travel System to facilitate my review.



Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

Alright, as many of you know we gained a new member to our little family in April! Farrah is now 4 months old & all smiles! 

I love my little Farrah, but I do miss the convenience of traveling with just one child! I can't tell you how many times people catch me walking with Farrah in her car seat in one arm and my 2 year old in the other! And on top of it all, I may be the only mother who HATES baby wearing! I get all sorts of sweaty from it, especially now that it's summer time.

It's actually a bummer too. When I was pregnant I decided not to get a double stroller for multiple reasons: (1) the bulkiness (2) David is now two & loves to run around, only sometimes wanting to be in the stroller, so the extra seat would go empty a majority of the time (3) I planned to babywear during the times he wanted to sit in the stroller (until I realized I hated it!)

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board (now available at Target) and you have no idea how much easier it makes my daily activities!


Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

I can avoid the bulkiness of the double stroller that my 2 year old won't sit in anyway, and I still have the option of toting both children with the Ride-Along Board attachment for David while baby Farrah sits in the main seat. When David is not using the attachment, I can just fold it up very quickly & continue on our walk.


Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board


The Travel system also comes with a super light weight car seat that can actually sit in the stroller as well (I love this for if Farrah falls asleep on the drive and I don't want to wake her). 


Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board

Honestly, this travel system is pretty straight forward & super easy to assemble I personally didn't even need the instruction manual. My 2 year old was even able to figure it out on his own! 

When I first set it up, I was a little concerned about the space on the ride along board. I wasn't sure if the back of the stroller seat would bother my son, but honestly he doesn't seem phased by it & it's basically like a little skateboard so he loves it! He especially loves it when we are going somewhere uphill. He just jumps on & then jumps off when he's done. Make sure you teach your toddler to warn you before they jump off, I made that mistake lol

All-in-all super easy to use, glides smoothly, has a large storage basket in the bottom (with front & back access), & it's pretty versatile, plus my baby girl thinks it's pretty comfy! And it comes with a car seat! I'm all for deals like this! Don't forget, this deal is available at Target, so be sure add it to your registry!

Evenflo Sibby Travel System and the Ride-Along Board




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

If you follow my instagram, then you know that I am OBSESSED with cauliflower! It is literally my favorite veggie! Why? because it can transform itself into different rices and potatoes! And as long as you season it correctly, it passes for the real thing!

A couple weeks ago I made some Mexican Cauliflower Rice for the first time. My husband LOVED it! Upon trying it for the first time, he asked me if we ever needed to make the real rice again! So now we've subbed out mashed potatoes AND Mexican Style Rice with this delicious dupe. Here's to low-carb living! Woohoo!!

This recipe is very similar to my normal Mexican Style rice, but for convenience I am using canned tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes. This recipe makes 8 servings, which we immediately place in tupperware as an easy side for the week.

Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!


Ingredients:


  • 2 (12 ounce) bags frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 tbs canola oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cube chicken bouillon
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen mixed veggies (peas, corns, carrots, & optional green beans-depends on the brand you get) 
  • salt to taste


Directions:


  1. Start by microwaving all frozen veggies according to package directions. (I usually subtract 1 minute from microwave time, just because I am also pan frying these, but that's optional)
  2. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until it resembles rice.
  3. In a medium pan, heat 1/2 tbs canola oil & add garlic, onion, & bouillon. Sautee until onion becomes translucent & bouillon is melted.
  4. Add "rice" & tomato sauce and stir. Let simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Add mixed veggies & salt to taste & then stir once more.


Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!

Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!

Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!

Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!

Mexican cauliflower rice, low carb mexican rice sooo good! tastes like the real thing!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes (from a 2nd time mom)


Baby girl Farrah came 9 days early and within a half hour of arriving at the hospital. And because I'm the procrastinator that I am, I didn't have my hospital bag ready--at all!

Sure I would've loved to have been more prepared or been one of those moms who had their hospital bag packed months in advance, but it's just not me. I did purchase the "recovery" stuff a week before, but my toddler got into it and when it was actually time to use it, half of it had gone missing =/

I had been feeling contractions all day, but they were a little sporadic and if I was walking they were terrible, but if I laid down I hardly felt them at all so I really wasn't sure what to think. Luckily I went into the hospital just to make sure because little Farrah was ready! I went from being dilated a 5 when I checked in, to a 10 within a half hour and delivered her after just 3 pushes! Can you imagine if I had ignored my instincts and not gone to the hospital??

So today I bring you: How to pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes! (because sometimes that's all the time you have)

how to pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes from a second time mom (bare essentials that you need in your bag!)

Here's what you absolutely need for the hospital, including some things I forgot in my hurried packing frenzy, but wished I hadn't.

  • bag for dirty clothes
  • Comfy sweats & tank top for road home
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Newborn mittens (didn't bring these =/)
  • Binky
  • Mombo nursing pillow
  • Cell phone charger
  • Flip flops
  • Shower essentials
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste (I forgot this!! I felt so gross the next day!)
  • Make up (I remembered this, but didn't use it)
  • Make up removing wipes
  • Chapstick (this is a MUST! My lips got so dry at the hospital, it was awful)
  • Underwear
  • Bra 
  • Hair ties & Bobby pins
  • Insurance card & IDs (forgot this, didn't need it at our hospital)
  • Carseat w/newborn insert
  • Prenatals if breastfeeding
  • Colace
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
(Tip: Always call hospital to see what they provide. Ours provides diapers, wipes, formula if necessary, newborn clothes, blankets, booger grabber, pads, mesh underwear, tucks witch-hazel pads, ice packs, & dermoplast spray)

Anyway, these in my opinion are the bare necessities. They had a room at our hospital with crackers, drinks & other miscellaneous snacks that were great for us & especially our toddler along with the other items I mentioned above, so please call your hospital ahead of time to find out what they provide so you are not packing unnecessary items. 

Good luck!!

brother sister love

Farrah Love

Farrah Love


Farrah Love



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Update

The month of May is almost over & I have only written ONE blog post! ONE! I realize I am majorly slacking, but I have a good reason: life.

Life gets crazy sometimes. I love writing my blog and it is a priority for me, but my family is definitely higher up on the list. 7 weeks ago my husband ruptured his Achilles playing flag football and had to have surgery a week later (5 days before baby was born). He still has a boot on his foot and can't put any weight on it for one more week. 

And then our little baby girl decided to be born 9 days early (5 days after Scott's surgery)! She joined our family on April 13th at 7:33pm. She weighed in at exactly 8 pounds and was 20 inches long! Labor was so quick I couldn't believe it.


We also have had some family in town to meet her so our schedule has been hectic. On top of it all, I am recovering from an extremely annoying bout of mastitis. So I  haven't had much time to write, but I am hoping to change that now that our lives are slowly returning to normal.

Farrah will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, so maybe we'll just call it maternity leave and pretend I didn't go so long without posting ;)

Anyway, check back for some new posts every week, they will be here!  I'm also on instagram & twitter so be sure to follow me there as well @lexxi_lu


Friday, April 1, 2016

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

I've been a stay-at-home-mom for a little while now. I quit my job to stay with David full time when he was about 5 months old. It was a tough decision, but truthfully it was made for me. We needed to switch daycares and everything close had a waiting list for infants. So I quit my job and stayed with my baby boy.

confessions of a stay at home mom
(today- April 1, 2016)

confessions of a stay at home mom
(back when he was my baby =( July 2014)

I love every minute of our time together. I am truly grateful that I was "forced" to stay home with him. And now, with new baby about to arrive any day the thought of going back to work seems out of the question. Can you imagine the cost of two babies in daycare?! Insane! It just wouldn't be worth it for us financially.

confessions of a stay at home mom
(February 2016)

I know there are parents out there who would trade anything to be in my shoes. Believe me I know how fortunate I am to be able to stay with my babies and I don't want to seem ungrateful at all, but I must be honest-- about 95% of the time I love being a SAHM, but there is still a small part of me that misses working.

There is a small part of me that must confess that sometimes:

  • I don't feel as successful, fulfilled, or accomplished. 
  • I feel like others think I must not be very bright, otherwise I'd have a career.
  • I don't feel respected.
  • I feel frumpy.
  • I feel like no one understands me or why the house isn't always spotless.
  • I feel judged on everything from how I'm dressed to how my son is dressed or how clean my house is.
  • I feel like like people think I'm lazy for not working.
  • I feel like people think I'm on a never ending vacation.
  • I feel selfish for wanting a break.
  • I feel like a boring person.
  • I feel like the only thing interesting I can converse about is what my son did that day.
  • I feel like when people look at me, all they see is a mom.
  • I hate not being able to contribute financially.
  • I feel selfish when buying things for myself.
  • I miss having financial freedom.
  • I hate having to ask for money for the grocery store. 
  • I miss feeling independent.
  • I miss having utilities in my name.
  • I don't feel important.
  • I feel like my opinion doesn't hold as much weight.
  • I don't feel like I am living up to my full potential.
  • I feel like it doesn't matter that I went to college.
  • I feel unqualified for any career. (Job offers used to pour in, but now, I've been out of work for far too long.)
  • I feel like I've let myself go.
  • I am so sick of doing laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning up spills.

All of this is just me. No one does or says anything to make me feel this way. And truthfully, I feel happy a majority of the time. But sometimes, being a stay-at-home-mom gets to me.. I really hope I am not the only one who feels this way..

confessions of a stay at home mom

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bucket List for Married Couples

I'm a big fan of bucket lists, especially for summertime. It's the only way I can really ensure I make the most out of my time. Otherwise the entire summer could pass by and I all I did was sit on the couch.

For this reason, I decided to make a marriage bucket list as well. There are lots of things my husband and I talk about doing, but never get around to. But, having a list where we can physically check off items helps us!

Check out our list & make your own! It makes for a fun date night to dream up all sorts of adventures you want to have together!

ultimate marriage bucket list! tons of fun date ideas & things to do as a married couple!



  1. Couples Massage
  2. Go Skinny Dipping... in the ocean
  3. Kiss in the rain (done!)
  4. Kiss under water (tried & failed--I always laugh!)
  5. Watch the sunrise
  6. Role Play as strangers meeting for the first time
  7. Eat a romantic dinner on the roof of a building
  8. Take a cooking class together
  9. Wear matching Mr & Mrs Tshirts on a date
  10. Go Kayaking
  11. Visit the hot pots (natural hot springs)
  12. Spend the night in an over water bungalow
  13. Camp on the beach
  14. Take a carriage ride
  15. Go salsa dancing
  16. Do a sexy photo shoot
  17. Take a spontaneous road trip/getaway (check! when we were dating we were long distance for a couple months & couldn't stand it one day, so I drove my car from Utah & he rode his motorcycle from Texas & we met in this little ghost town in the middle [Tucumcari] & had the best 2 nights!)
  18. Have sex... everywhere (we have a separate bucket list for this!)
  19. Have a day of pictures. Take one picture every hour doing something different. (we don't take enough couples pictures)
  20. Make a video of how we met/our love story
  21. Cook dinner over a campfire
  22. Go on a honeymoon (unfortunately, eloping didn't really allow us time to plan one of these)
  23. Train & run a 5k (or race of some kind) together
  24. Do volunteer work together
  25. Read a book together
  26. Have a picnic (check!)
  27. Don't leave the bedroom all day (check [multiple times]! w/the exception of answering the door for the pizza man)
  28. Lead the other on a surprise date & blindfold them
  29. Join a co-ed sports team
  30. Make holiday cards
  31. Go shopping & pick out each other's date night outfit with no input from spouse
  32. Make cute babies together (check!)

I would love to put together a Couples Pictures Bucket List. Mainly because like I've said before, we hardly have ANY couples pictures. It's a bucket list I'd personally love to have completely checked off by summer. Would you be interested in reading something like that? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Keeping a clean house...with a TODDLER!

Honestly. David is 20 months old. This means I have had almost two years to figure out how to keep my house clean with this little munchkin, and somehow I've only just barely started to master it. The bummer is that just when I feel like I've figured this whole thing out life is going to throw another twist my way with a new baby in just a few weeks. Hopefully I've got this thing down enough, that we don't revert back to cluttered messy houses!

Anyway, without further ado, here are my best tips for keeping a clean house with a toddler:


best tips for keeping a house clean with a toddler, quickest & easiest way to clean!


  • Don't stress the little messes. Toddlers are messy. Period. Let your toddler get messy. Let the house get messy. I speed clean twice a day. Once before my husband comes home & once after David goes to bed. If I pulled out a wet wipe/paper towel every time David made a mess it'd take up my whole day & drive me crazy. Obviously if there's some crazy spill, address it immediately, but little messes can wait.
  • Teach your toddler to clean up after themselves. If David has trash I tell him to throw it away & he does. He loves it. He's at that helping stage. He even insists on throwing his dirty diaper away for me. If he spills his water, I hand him a paper towel to wipe it up himself & he actually thanks me for doing it! He wipes up his mess & then throws it away. Less work for me! (He is still 1, so sometimes he doesn't do the best wipe-up job, but he is learning & getting better every day & spilling less & less).
  • Have a toy bin. I have a bin for David's toys. I just throw them all in there. I don't organize it because my toddler doesn't care if his toys are organized. He's just going to dump them all over the ground when he wakes up the next day anyway. 
  • Establish cleaning priorities. I take care of any trash first (which is usually minimal) then I do the dishes & take care of any clutter before my husband comes home. Dirty dishes & cluttered kitchen counter tops make the whole house seem dirty. Usually while I do the dishes, David gets into everything else. But that's life. I don't even think about it. As long as he's doing his thing and letting me get those dishes done it's fine. Then I just toss all the toys he took out in his toy bin & call it good. 
  • Give your husband a job. Why should I be the only one who cleans? Scott vacuums our house everyday when he gets off work. It's his job. He knows it & it's one less thing for me to do. It's become a routine. David actually expects it & goes to get the vacuum for dad right after he comes home. Make sure his job is clearly defined; vaguely asking for "help" never gets me much.
  • When you do laundry, fold it immediately. Laundry seems to be never ending in our house. I don't mind throwing clothes in the wash, but for some reason putting them away is just the worst for me. I just have to remind myself to muscle through it & get it done otherwise it could literally sit in the dryer for up to a week before I do anything with it.
A lot of people suggest cleaning as you go. And I agree with this to a point. If I'm making a meal, I will put away the ingredients as I use them. If my son & I are working on a specific activity I will quickly put the supplies away when we are finished. But I can't do it with everything. It just doesn't work for us. Most likely, if I put something away when David is done with it, he will immediately want it again. It's frustrating. So like I mentioned in the first bullet point, I just leave it all out & speed clean right before my husband comes home from work & then again before bedtime. It takes seconds to throw toys in a bin & put them away.

If you are really pressed for time, you can also create a mail bin or a clutter basket to throw miscellaneous items in when you don't have time to put them in their proper spots. Just make sure you get to it by the end of the night otherwise it will just pile up =)

Good luck & happy cleaning!



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chicken Taco Boats

Lately we've been working on phasing out starchy & grain-based carbs from our dinners. It's surprising how little we miss them.

For dinner the other night we made chicken tacos. Honestly, I love corn tortillas, but they weren't even needed. And I didn't feel like I was being "healthy" if you know what I mean. It was the perfect little indulgent pick me up that didn't ruin our "diet."

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food


I actually used a new recipe I found on Pinterest from Repeat Crafter Me for Crock Pot Ranch Chicken. It's super easy, made in the crockpot & literally uses only 4 ingredients.

Check out their site that I linked for the super easy recipe.

After I had the chicken prepped, I just washed some hearts of Romaine lettuce, & doubled each lettuce leaf up for extra support. Then you just add your toppings. On ours I did homemade pinto beans, quesadilla cheese, shredded chicken, sour cream, & diced tomatoes.

After which, you just pick it up & eat it like you would a normal taco. Super simple!! We might try this for our normal ground beef taco recipes too!

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Things to clean before baby gets here

We are just weeks away from welcoming our baby girl. I can't believe it. This pregnancy really just FLEW by! I've got all sorts of mixed emotions right now and not feeling ready is one of those!

There just seems to be so much to do and so little time. Well. In all reality, there's probably plenty of time, but at this stage in the pregnancy game, all I want to do is nap, but I know I am going to want to rest a ton once baby is here too so I just need to step it up now & get things done--starting with deep cleaning!
list of things to clean before baby arrives


Here's a list of things to clean before baby gets here!


1. Bathrooms. Toilets, Showers, Floors, get those bathrooms cleaned & organized.

2. Laundry. I feel like I am ALWAYS doing laundry, it's the worst! But it's even worse to fall behind, especially once the new baby is here. So do your best to stay on top of it, and throw in any bed sheets, comforters, pillow cases, etc while you're at it!

3. Declutter. Anything you don't need, throw away. Things are about to get so much more crowded once baby's here so might as well clear out as much as possible now.

4. Carpet Stains. We have major carpet stains thanks to our toddler. I've been putting off cleaning them since it almost seems pointless because I know he will keep making them. But I know the in-laws will be bombarding us with "surprise" visits shortly & I really don't need to hear any comments. The day we came home from the hospital with David, my MIL looked at the ground and said "do you own a vacuum?" The carpets weren't even messy! Maybe she didn't mean it as rude as it sounded,  but there are a lot of hormones pumping through your body right after baby so it's definitely the last thing you need.

5. Wash couches. Again. Another thing I put off. Every time I clean them, there are stains the next day. Regardless of how heavily I enforce the "no food in the living room" rule. Usually, couch stains aren't my toddlers fault though lol (thanks Scott! jk)

6. Kitchen. Yes. The kitchen. I clean our kitchen on a daily basis, so it's really not that bad. But. I do feel like it was custom built for a giant sometimes. So I took the time this past weekend to reorganize the cabinets so they are easier for me to access. Also, a great time to stay on top of fridge organization, since hopefully someone else will be cooking meals for the first weeks after baby (i.e. your husband).

7. Walls. Most likely, not a big deal, unless you have a toddler who likes to color on them. But even if you don't, it is a smart idea to sanitize any door knobs & light fixtures (things you touch on a daily basis) so that it's as germ free as possible before baby arrives. 

There you have it! This is what my pre-baby cleaning checklist looks like! Hopefully it helps you as well! The best scenario would be to have all of this done a couple weeks before baby & just touch it up the week of as things get messy again.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Easter is right around the corner, and even though at this stage in my pregnancy I have been pretty much anti-sweets, I had to cave so I could give you guys this recipe on Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Carrot Cake is not really my thing. Truthfully, I am not even really a huge carrot fan in general. UNLESS they are super soft & you can hardly taste them, like in soup. But one day a girl from work made these (in bar form) and I gorged on like 10! Honestly, I had no idea it was Carrot Cake. It didn't taste overly carrot-y and it didn't have shreds of stringy carrot, like most cakes do. It was orange, and delicious, and she made it in the fall so I just assumed they were pumpkin bars that had very little pumpkin in them. My father-in-law loves carrot cake so when she told me that's what it was, I knew I needed the recipe.

These are so addicting, even if you don't like carrot cake (like me) and perfect for Easter. You can make them in bar form using a Jelly Roll Pan, or if you know you want to give a lot of them away (so you don't over indulge) you can do what I did & make them into cupcakes.

Enjoy!

I made these Carrot Cake Cupcakes last Easter! They are soo good! Very moist & the texture is great, no stringy carrot pieces!


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 ounces baby food carrots (pureed carrots)
Directions:

  1.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, & sugar until smooth.
  2. Mix in dry ingredients.
  3. Add pureed carrots.
  4. Once well combined, pour into cupcake liners. (made 25 cupcakes for us)
  5. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes (18 minutes was perfect for our oven)
  6. Let cool and top with cream cheese frosting (recipe here)

Best cupcake liners! Pattern Never Fades!

I love these Reynolds Staybrite Cupcake Baking Cups, they're lined with foil so the pattern never fades!

I made these Carrot Cake Cupcakes last Easter! They are soo good! Very moist & the texture is great, no stringy carrot pieces!

Yes, I always do the fork test lol 18 minutes at 350* was perfect in our oven.

I made these Carrot Cake Cupcakes last Easter! They are soo good! Very moist & the texture is great, no stringy carrot pieces!

If you're lucky like me & have a cupcake sneak in the house, you might want to keep them further from the edge! Or your cupcakes might end up like the one in the next pic with fingerfulls of frosting missing! lol

I made these Carrot Cake Cupcakes last Easter! They are soo good! Very moist & the texture is great, no stringy carrot pieces!

I made these Carrot Cake Cupcakes last Easter! They are soo good! Very moist & the texture is great, no stringy carrot pieces!

They even passed the Toddler Taste Test!