Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Happy Tuesday!  I've been MIA for the last week or so hanging out with Noah and Jeff and getting ready for the awesome bachelorette party my sister in law and I hosted this weekend that I never made it in to say hi!  Our weekend was fun filled and I'm still trying to recover from attempting to party like I was in college. I'm finally back at work and I thought I would share a quick and easy breakfast recipe.  They took no effort to make and minimal dirty dishes which is always a win in my book. The best part and that you can put in whatever toppings your family likes in case anyone is a picky eater.  Enjoy!

6 Eggs
1/2 Cooked Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 Cup Mini Pepperoni
1 Handfull of Chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all your ingredients in a bowl.
3. Spray the bottom of your muffin pan and add your egg mix in being careful to make sure all the toppings make it into all the muffins.   Fill about two thirds full.
4. Bake 25 minutes until egg is cooked through.  You can tell when you poke a knife in the middle and it comes out clear.

If you have extras you can freeze them and save them until you need them again.  Defrost overnight when you're ready to eat and pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Office Reveal

We had a great couple of days off this weekend. Jeff and I were home alone while Aunt Molly brought Noah up to Grandma and Grandpas to celebrate fathers day and so we could celebrate our five year anniversary!  What a difference it makes to be alone in a house.  There was peace and quiet and lots of relaxing.  So many things can be accomplished without kids I tell ya! We put up a lot of pictures around the house and did some furniture shopping.  We had a couch delivered that we ordered a couple months ago and things are really falling into place around the house.  What we did in a day would have taken us weeks with Noah around.  But the best part was just getting to spend time together, completely uninterrupted.  Parents really need to do that more.

One of the things we did over the weekend was install a picture rail system for Noah's art work and put up some diplomas and such in the office.  I'm happy to say that room is almost completely done and decorated.  Even though our house is mostly blues and greys I wanted to bring something a little different white still keeping it light and aery feeling.  Plus everything needed to be durable and function well with Noah running around.  The kelly green looks great with the light blue.  When I found the boxes at Ikea I went right for them and I think it was a great move!

Hop on over here to see the Latt Childrens Table Makeover post.

Things in this room:
Tobias Chairs
Expedit Shelving (old) Now Kallax
Kallax -Two Drawer Insert
Expedit Desk (old) Now Kallax but similar, not the same
TJENA boxes
DIGNITET curtain wire (used for picture rail)
RIKTIG clips
LATT Childrens Table and Chairs
MERETE Curtains

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

5 Tips for Spectating Triathlons With Kids

It's no surprise if you've read my blog for a while that although my husband wishes I was a triathlete,  I am just a triathlon spectator and I refuse to join in on the fun.  I've been watching him compete in triathlons since we were dating, (yikes, like eight years now?)  from small sprints to a couple of half ironmans and even a full.  I'm very proud of my husband, and sometimes a little annoyed, for spending so much time training for such grueling events.  And even though I'm not saying that being a spectator even compares to doing an actual triathlon, it's not the easiest of sports to support on the sideline, and especially not easy once you do it with your kids.

I quickly learned after a couple of races how prepared a spectator needs to be to enjoy watching your triathlete. Now that Triathlon season is in full gear it's the perfect time to share some tips.

1. Pack your Tri Gear:  Just like your triathlete, you also have gear to pack. Here are some of my musts for race day.
  • Small blanket: It's the most versatile item you will carry and a must for sure. If you're watching a long race, there may come a time when you want to sit and relax.  Especially during the bike.  If you have kids, this is perfect for playing or eating lunch and snacks.  If it happens to get cold as it does most mornings in the early tri seasons, you'll want to cover up and get warm. Saddle up, tri days are long.
  • Water:  Chances are that you'll be able to find someone to sell you water at the bigger races.  Some of the smaller local ones don't.  You really don't want to get stuck without water when it's hot and you're running around.  
  • Milk: Water is nice for kids, but young kids or babies like milk.  Instead of bringing just one sippy full which will never be enough, get an empty gatorate bottle or two and fill them up.  They fit nicely inside your bag.  They are heavy which sucks, but the longer you're there, the more they drink.  The more they drink, the less you have to carry. 
  • Snacks: This goes without saying, but maybe it doesn't.  You will get hungry.  Bring snacks.  Even for a sprint.  If you're spectating anything longer, think about lunch.  A couple sandwiches and a bag of goldfish are easy to carry around.  If you have toddlers even consider getting snack containers so things don't fall out.
  • Fully charged phone.  If you have a nice one with a camera, skip the camera.  It's not worth it unless you're a professional and that's your jam.  You're already carrying enough.  If you think you can't make it all day on one charged phone, pick up a portable charger.  That should do the trick and they are really small so you wont even notice you have it.
  • Make sure you're diaper bag is stocked with diapers and wipes before you leave.  You don't want to get stuck with a diaper full of poop.  Enough said.  If you decided not to bring your diaper bag, which I think is totally fine depending on the age just don't forget to throw those items in your tri bag.  Overstock the wipes too!  They're not just good for poop.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches get pretty messy when you're eating them on the go.
2. Wear Proper Clothing: You're going to a sporting event.  Please dress like it.  I kid you not I have seen people in sun dresses and heels. I cannot imagine if you want to support your triathlete properly by moving around triathlon locations, you will want to do that in heels.  Sometimes there are hills and long distances that you will have to walk.  Wear comfortable shoes. Dress in comfortable layers and...

3. Check the Weather:  This will impact not only your clothing choices but maybe even your activities and also what other "special" items you bring with you on race day.  Do you need an umbrella? How about a rain coat or rain cover?  If it's super hot, maybe a hat or sunscreen.  Will you need more water?

4. Plan your day ahead:  Check in with your triathlete before the race.  Not just a half hour before but like the day before or even two.  Ask them for their bib number and especially race times.  You want a time range, not what they think they will complete.  For example, a swim time from 16 minutes on the best day to 22 on the worst. Do the same for the bike and run.  That way you can get there early and not miss them since you'll really only get a couple of chances.

5. Bring a stroller:  Unless you have older kids, you'll want a stroller.  I bring my jogger and I love it.  It has a ton of storage on the bottom which is where I keep either the diaper bag or a triathlon bag depending on how much stuff I need for the length of the day. If you're anything like me you'll be running around dodging people and weaving in an out of crowds.  Running through gaps in fences and jumping puddles.  Bring your rugged stroller if you have one.  The little ones just don't cut it.

One last final tip: Go with the flow.  It's so much harder to do than say.  I'm a notorious worrier when it comes to Noah.  I want everything to happen like it does at home but it just doesn't happen on tri day.  Most of the time you're waking up way early and Noah naps whenever.  I hate it.  It's just the way it is.  Learn to let go.  If they nap on the go, that's ok.  If you need to bribe them with goldfish to sit in their jogger.  Do it.  If you're the mom changing poop in the middle of a crowd and you're getting weird stares... who cares, I've done it.  I don't have time, nor want to go back to the car, and I'm not missing my husband pass by for those ten seconds. Enjoy the day.  Spend time with your kids and run around like a mad man.  Oh, and don't forget to cheer!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jeff's Half - Weekend Update

I couldn't wait to get out of work on Friday that I snuck out a little earlier than usual to see my boys.  Work is so slow and I can't help but just want to be home hanging out with them. We've been spending so much time outside especially playing with Noah's new birthday toys.  He insists on wearing his helmet on any riding toy which is so funny.  He picked the habit up at daycare. They sure do teach him a lot of things there.  I'm grateful that Noah's much happier now than he was when he started.  Last week the didn't even want to go home and was really upset when I made him get in the car.

For most of the day Saturday we relaxed around the house and took a nice long nap.  Both Noah and I.  Although I'm bummed Noah has been waking up much earlier than I'd like, I really do enjoy these long naps in the middle of the day.  I get things done around the house and by bed time I don't feel the need to pass out. If only we could take naps at work life would be complete. Jeff was packing most of the day Saturday for the Half Ironman and Noah of course couldn't help himself and got into everything that was setting out.  He needed to try on all the gear and test it out. The house was a total mess as Noah moved through all the piles and scattered random tri gear around the house.

Lucky for Noah and I we chose to skip the beginning of the race and came more towards the end.  The heavy rain was kind of a downer as everything was soaked but I was pretty proud of myself because I was super prepared with extra clothes, snacks and such for the whole day.  By the time the race was done Noah was dry and clean in the car and the kid fell asleep right before I pulled out of the parking lot.  I transferred him to bed when we got home and he slept for another two hours.  Mom was happy.

During the race Noah was so good.  What a difference a year makes.  He was cheering and ringing the cow bell.  He sat nice in the stroller when it was time to move and really was super excited to cheer for dad.  Even picking him out of a crowd much better than last year.  Noah crossed the finish line with Jeff and we had a quick celebration before we headed back home.

The rest of the day was spent recovering either on the couch, or bed.  Both for Jeff and I.  Noah was super crazy and rambunctious but super funny the rest of the evening and really wore both of us out even more.  Certainly in the last month Noah's energy has seemed to spike.  He's so hilarious and always laughing.  I'm really having a hard time keeping up with him.  I don't know how moms with multiple kids to do it but for now I'm glad Noah's all I have to worry about. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Noah Turns Two - Birthday Festivities

I meantioned earlier last week we were just going to have a little gathering for Noah's birthday.  I always forget that even when were inviting "just family" it's never little.  We're lucky to have so many people that care and love Noah.

We had a great turn out and a way spoiled child with so many gifts.  We grilled out with burgers and brats and had cupcakes for dessert.  Noah got a lot of Doc Mcstuffins gifts which is just so funny for me but he loved all of them.  Especially the signing birthday card which I really hope the battery will die soon since he's been carrying that around the house since Sunday.

The nice thing about having a smaller low key party is that I feel like we really got to hang out and enjoy the day.  And, I mean, it was my birthday too so it was nice not to have to work too hard.  Another year down with this kid and we couldn't love him more if we tried. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

IKEA Hack - Childrens Latt Table

I seriously love IKEA.  They never fail to have great simple pieces that you can dress up and are at a really good price.  Unfortunately for me the closest one is three hours away so we always have to plan ahead of time and then hope everything fits just right in the car.  Fortunately for Target they get the business Ikea deserves.  We stopped by about a month ago to pick up a couple of new things for the house and one of the things on my list was the IKEA Latt Childrens' Table and Chairs.  For only twenty some dollars you really can't go wrong. My plan was to do a classic IKEA hack and match the colors of our office so Noah can hang out in there while we do things on the computer.

I'll give some broad steps for anyone who's wondering how I did it but honestly, there are so many DIY's online I'm sure someone wrote a better one than me.

I took everything apart and painted it white.  It only took one sample size of paint to do the job so that was nice. Once everything was dry we put a clear coat on top to make it shiny.  Good idea but lesson learned for next time, make sure it's really thin because it has a slight yellow tint otherwise.  We sanded down some of the yellowish part and then re did it no problem.

For the top of the table I bought some wrapping paper and attached it with a spray adhesive and then on top of that some contact paper. You can find it anywhere really. I bought mine at Target.  That's of course after spending at least a good 40 minutes walking up and down the craft isles looking with no luck.  It was in the kitchen area next to the liners.  ...just FYI.  Dangit. #willnevergetthattimeback

For the seats, I bought some one inch foam pads and covered them in fabric with hot glue and then attached them to the seats.  You'll need some nice matching ribbon on the sides to cover up and weird folds but it took about thirty minutes and this project in general wasn't all that hard.

When all your pieces are ready just re-assemble!  That really does sound much easier then it was though.  I spent at least an hour muscling pieces in.  The little amount of paper, fabric or paint on the pieces made it pretty difficult to put back together.  I suppose the bright side of that was that was really the worst part of the whole project. 

Noah loves it and that's all that matters. Ok, and it matches the office. That makes me happy so that's really what's important. =)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Noah, You're Two!

Can you believe it!?   I can.  This year went so much faster than the first and can I also say how much more fun?  This kid is a riot.  He's so funny and laughing all the time.  He does anything that he thinks other people will laugh at too.  Even though Noah's birthday is on Monday, we will be celebrating today.  (On my birthday. :/) I should get used to it right?  Anyway, we'll be having some family from in town around for a little cookout and cupcakes and hanging out on the deck enjoying the nice weather.  Much more low key than last year and also much less stressful.

I think this will be it for updates other than every couple of months here and there... but he's a kid and he'll keep learning and growing and honestly I think I've documented enough information to be pretty covered for the next so I think we'll call it a job well done.

  • Stats: Size 6 Diapers | 2T-3T clothing
  • Size: 35 lbs
  • Random Notes: His speech is slowly getting better.  He's jabbering and singing all the time and at least says some words we ask him to say.  Progress is being made but I could use some speech soon.  I'm tired of waiting.  His sleep is on and off, specially depending on how daycare goes and how much he naps there.  Now that he's getting over all his daycare sikkies and back in almost good health, he's back to the kid I know eating everything in sight which makes me feel much better. 
  • Mom Check-In: Things are good.  Life is good.  The house is coming together nicely.  Things are more relaxed now that it's summer and I'm just trying to soak everything up while we can. 
I'm looking forward to another great year with this little family of ours.  I'm sure people are wondering when number two will be on it's way and for anyone that doesn't know, which I'm sure it's a lot of you, we've been back trying again. Like last time, we're not having much success.  So wish us luck as we try the fertility medicine once again and hopefully another pregnancy sometime soon. In the meantime, Noah will keep getting all of our love and attention and most likely getting a little spoiled.

 Happy Birthday Noah Bear!  You're the BEST!

Friday, June 5, 2015

GVSU Enrichment Dinner 2015

What a fun year this was.  This was our fifth year attending and we did it up by surprising our friends with a limo. They also surprised me by managing to get us all seated at the same table.  Even better.   Not that I don't still enjoy the night talking to strangers during dinner, but always nice when you can hang out with your friends.

The enrichment dinner is put on to highlight some of the big donors and volunteers of Grand Valley and get motivated for another year of giving.  Also, really to thank everyone for giving back.  We love that we get to dress up and have a good time with our friends.  It's really like a grown up prom but classier.  And the food is always amazing so you really can't pass that up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sausage and Onion Tartlets

Anyone have one of those weeks without any motivation?  Ya, this is one for me.  I have a case of summeritis and laziness is calling my name.  I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and our annual GVSU Enrichment dinner.  The dress has come in and it fits! Woop!  I'm always a little nervous around this time since I rent a new dress every year and hoping that the size I ordered fits just right.  You can see posts from our previous years here, here and here, but you'll have to wait till next week for pictures from tomorrow!  Or you can follow me on instagram at Ccristinat because I'm sure they'll be lots of posting going on.

In the meantime, you can make yourself some Sausage and Onion Tartlets because they are super easy and perfect for way low motivation when it comes to dinner time. Oh ya, and they're kid approved.

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6

2 8oz can of refrigerated crescent rolls.  (They make ones without the perforations now so they are flat sheets.  Those are the best in my opinion so don't have to squish them together to make little squares. 
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 package of sausage links (or 1/2 lb of ground sausage, really any type of sausage works just make sure it's in little pieces.
Pizza Sauce
1 Cup of Shredded Cheese
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook onion until translucent. Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook sausage links until cooked through and depending on the type of sausage cut into small chunks.  I use a spatula as I'm cooking my ground sausage.
3. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Open crescent rolls and lay out flat.  Lay the seams on top of each other and press together to make one big sheet.  (or use the non perforated ones, much easier)  Roll out the dough a little so it's as square as possible.  Make two cuts for four squares.  Do the same on the second can of rolls.
4. Lay the squares on the cookie sheet and add a dollop of pizza sauce.  Add a spoonful of onion and another of sausage. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover sides and bring over a little to make a little package.  The squares will not cover themselves.  You just need enough to essentially make a barrier so the items don't fall out.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.  Serve with a side of pizza sauce to dip.  (Or ranch if your name is Noah or Cristina) (Or if you're awesome and each ranch with everything)