Quinoa Egg Veggie Muffins Recipe

I’ve been trying to branch out with food for baby William lately.  This has its perks for me, as well.  After all, who do you think taste tests everything before letting the baby try it?  That would be me.  No shame.  These little muffins I’ve created are fantastic for me and him both.  They are easy to grab-and-go on busy mornings or take as a quick snack.  They’re loaded with protein and veggies and are super easy to make.  What more could you want in a muffin?

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Quinoa Egg Veggie Muffins Recipe

~makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen vegetable mix of choice
  • handful of fresh spinach, chopped

Directions:

  1. Sautee red pepper and yellow onion in coconut oil.  (I used coconut oil, but I’m sure olive oil would be fine.) Add in frozen vegetables until soft.
  2. Mix eggs and quinoa.  Stir all ingredients together.
  3. Pour in greased muffin tin.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until fully cooked.

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These muffins are super healthy.  There’s literally nothing bad in them.  And you can definitely modify based on the ingredients you have on hand.  No spinach?  Use kale.  No frozen veggies?  Use fresh.  Want to add cheese?  Go for it!  Perfect for babies, kids, and adults alike.

Linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons and Arman at The Big Man’s World for What I Ate Wednesday.

The quinoa egg veggie muffins have been lifesavers this week with the time change.  Who am I kidding?  Mornings are always crazy around here, but especially so this week.  It’s been nice to not have to think about breakfast and grab 2-3 muffins that are already made.  Protein is important to have at every meal, and this is a breakfast that includes protein, as well as veggies.  Win!

Lunch was a great salad I threw together with leftover butternut squash on the side.

lunch salad

In the mix: spinach, grilled chicken, red pepper, pumpkin seeds, honey goat cheese, avocado, and a drizzle of fig balsamic dressing.

My parents sent me with lots of leftovers that have served as my dinner for the past couple of nights.  I’m always grateful for already prepared food!

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Mashed potatoes, hamburger with ketchup, and sauteed vegetables with cheese.  My mom makes the best mashed potatoes.  When we were younger, we got to choose what we wanted my mom to cook for our birthday meal.  My only request was my mom’s mashed potatoes or her twice baked potatoes.  So good.

Last night for dessert, I had some cake batter, cheesecake, and strawberry shortcake frozen yogurt.  I love cake flavored fro yo, can you tell?  And I ate it before a picture could be taken.  I assure you it was delicious.

Are you more of a savory muffin or a sweet muffin lover? I like both, but sweet muffins don’t keep me full long enough!

11 month old baby William

11 month old baby William means that in one more month my little baby will be ONE YEAR OLD! WHAT?!?!?!  I seriously cannot believe that.  Baby William is growing up!

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Height & Weight: Not sure. Let’s just say BIG BOY for height and SO BIG for weight. :)

Eating: William still eats Earth’s Best oatmeal in the morning and sometimes in the evening depending on how much other food he eats.  In the morning with his breakfast, he also has a fruit or vegetable.  New foods he’s tried include raspberries and blackberries, and he’s liked both!  I’m still doing all organic for him.  William eats a snack in the afternoon.  Sometimes that means puffs, more vegetables, Stonyfield yobaby yogurt, or turkey or chicken which he really likes.  I get nervous about him choking, so I cut it into really small pieces.  Good thing his fine motor skills are great!  Favorites still include avocado and sweet potato.

Sleeping (naps): William has been napping a lot better! His naps usually last for an hour (at least two of them anyway), and he’s even had a couple of almost two-hour naps!  I think it was because he didn’t feel well over the weekend, but still, two-hours is a long time for him.  He woke up once, which I thought was his wake up for good, but after I nursed him he went back down for another 45 minutes.  I know he’s been sleeping more these last few days since he hasn’t felt well, but I’m glad he is getting his sleep since it’s obviously needed.

Sleeping (at night): Sleeping at night still includes a few wake ups.  Some nights are better than others and he’ll actually go a few hours.  When he was sick, he would be up for like an hour in the middle of the night just wanting me to snuggle him.  That’s not usually the norm for the middle of the night though, thank goodness.

Clothing: It’s so funny to me how different clothing can be for babies.  Some of William’s six month onesies still fit him, yet in other brands he’s in 12-18 months!  On average, he wears twelve month clothes.

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Standing opens up a whole new world for Baby William!  So much to see!

New this month: I think William is getting so close to walking.  He stands up all the time, and pulls up on everything.  Occasionally he’ll get really brave and let go of whatever he’s holding on to, so he’s standing by himself.  It doesn’t last long, but he’s definitely trying it out.  He’ll get a very serious look on his face at first, and then burst into a huge smile after!  It’s so cute.  I hope this is the extent of him being a daredevil…

William likes: Playing catch!  William has loved playing with all different types of balls (soccer, basketball, football, etc.) for weeks, and would normally just grab the ball and start clapping on it.  Probably because every time he “caught” it, I would clap.  Recently he started throwing the ball back.  Like, the ball wasn’t just accidentally rolling out of his hands.  He puts both arms over his head with the ball and THROWS! Future athlete!

William dislikes: Being with new people in new environments without me.  Separation has definitely started.  Luckily, if he knows the people and the place, William is just fine.  But what can I say?  William loves his momma!

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This picture is over a month old, I just never shared it on the blog yet.  I cannot believe how quickly William is growing and changing!  I see many differences between this picture and more recent pictures and they’re just a month apart! Crazy!

Mommas: when did your baby start walking?

two measly miles

The sun finally came out this weekend and temperatures were in the sixties!  It was glorious and now it actually feels like spring is around the corner.  On the downside, little baby ran a fever most of the weekend.

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We did go on walks both Saturday and Sunday because I figured the sunshine, warm air, cool breeze, and blue skies could only make him feel better.  It has been so long since we’ve been able to take walks!  I’m excited for warmer weather on a daily basis!  I’m also excited for William to feel better because, like any momma, I hate seeing him sick.  He’s been a trooper despite his low-grade fever and few bouts of vomiting.

Friday night was trivia night for the school where I teach, and my co-workers and I always have a blast.  (We didn’t come anywhere close to winning, but it was still fun!  And did you know that it takes about 350 squirts when milking a cow to fill a gallon?)

Afterwards, we went on stage to take jumping pictures because, anyone who knows me, knows that I love jumping pictures!  It was a hilarious site and jumping pictures turned into all sorts of silly behavior including me busting out dancer’s pose:

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Because why not?

Turns out I was really just stretching in preparation for my Sunday plans.  The sun was shining and I was finally, finally going to tackle my one and only fitness goal for 2015: running.  I was nervous and excited all at once.  After all, it’s been over three years since I last ran.  That’s a long time.

I laced up my sneakers.  Turned on my Garmin.  Left the music at home since I wanted to focus on the run.  My plan?  Run two miles.  Two measly miles.  But I wanted to do it without stopping.  And if I’m being honest, I wanted to hold a ten-minute pace.  When I used to run, a ten-minute pace was slow for me.  Not to say I was super crazy fast or anything.  At my best, I ran half marathons and averaged eight-minute miles.  Shorter distances I could go a little faster.  I digress.

Yesterday was a new day.  A new beginning.  I tried not to let my expectations overtake my mind.  My end goal was just to finish, hopefully without walking.

The first quarter-mile of my run is a steep uphill.  It was tough and my lungs were burning.  I’d run this route a million times.  I needed to make it to the stop sign at the top of my street.  That was a mile away.  After the turnaround, it’s always much easier since I can coast downhill.  I tried not to look at my Garmin too often.  The first time I did and saw 11-something was slightly discouraging, but I reminded myself this was just the beginning.  My legs would find their stride.  My muscles would find their memory.

Fast forward two miles later:

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I FINISHED!  I was huffing and puffing more than I care to admit, but I DID IT.  I ran those two measly miles without walking.  Not at my eight minute, or even ten minute pace, but I finished.  I went out there, started, and got it done.  New beginnings are always the scariest and the hardest, for running and for life.  But you know what?  In the end, it was ok.  Everything’s going to be ok.

I can’t wait to continue this journey in the new chapter of my life.

Maybe running is more like life than we once thought.  (Kind of like trees.)  Lesson learned?  Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.

Have you ever taken an extended break from something?  What was it?  How was it getting back into it?

// linking up with katie & erin //

Try ClassPass in St. Louis for just $10!

When I first learned about ClassPass, I was like, “Oh cool.”  Then I tried it.

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And I was hooked!  Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for ClassPass for $79 per month.
  2. Find a time that works for you or a studio/gym that you want to visit.
  3. Reserve your spot in the class.
  4. Workout!

(Commitment not your thing?  You can cancel anytime.)

Easy enough, eh?  It really is.  Since I have baby William, I always search by date and time when I knew someone could watch him.  I would look to see which classes were available.  ClassPass pushed me outside of my comfort zone.  The first time I looked for a class, there was a Bar Method class at exactly the time I needed.

I reserved my spot, attended the class, and LOVED it!  I ended up taking three Bar Method classes which is the maximum amount of times you can visit each studio or gym per month.

The next class I signed up for was hot yoga.

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LOVED!  I took two hot yoga classes through ClassPass, and will definitely be taking more.  But here’s the thing.  If it weren’t for ClassPass, I most likely wouldn’t have even tried Bar Method or hot yoga!  There are so many other studios and gyms that I want to visit.  You are not limited at all with ClassPass.  There is always a class at the time you want to take it, and tons and tons of studios and gyms.

St. Louis friends, guess what?  You get to try ClassPass for just $10!

classpass discount code

One week unlimited for just ten dollars.  That’s a steal!  Sign up HERE!

Normally you need an invite to get started with ClassPass.  You know I’ve got your back though.  Anyone can sign up with ClassPass HERE.

You get access to the best studios and gyms in your city.  ClassPass is available in New York, Los Angeles/Orange County, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Washington DC, Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Las Vegas, Raleigh Baltimore, Tampa, St. Louis, Orlando, Nashville, Kansas City, London, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Just some of the classes that ClassPass offers includes: cycling, yoga (many types!), Pilates, barre, strength training, bootcamp, dance, and tons more.  They’re constantly adding new studios and classes!

To make ClassPass even cooler, they have an awesome motto:

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Is ClassPass in your city?  What class would you want to try?

{this post contains affiliate links}

thinking out loud

Tomorrow is Friday! Tomorrow is Friday!  Yippee!  Let’s get through Thursday first, eh?  I’m doing a thinking out loud post today because I have lots of random things to share with you in the categories of Food, Beauty, Fitness, and Baby.  A little something for everyone.  Take a look:

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FOOD:

  • St. Louis just got its first Fresh Market.  William and I checked it out last weekend. It is a beautiful store with a lovely bakery, but honestly I was a bit disappointed. While they did have some good deals on sale items, overall it was more expensive (think: Whole Foods Market) than I anticipated.  I’ll be sticking to Trader Joe’s, but will definitely visit the Fresh Market on occasion (especially when I need a special treat from their bakery!).
  • Blake’s All Natural Foods just came out with several new meals.  For those of you unfamiliar, Blake’s makes frozen meals with REAL ingredients that taste great!  They’re not low-calorie or anything, but you don’t have to worry about funny chemicals being in there.  And while they’re not low-cal or low-fat, they are individually portioned and packaged, so it’s really not bad to eat once in a while.  Sometimes it sure beats cooking!  Their new meals include:
  • I tried to make my own banana soft serve last night.  It didn’t turn out.  I either didn’t do a good job or I left it in the freezer too long.  How do people get it so creamy? Mine was super icy.  Any recipes to share?
  • After reading Brittany’s Buckwheat, Millet, and Apple Breakfast Bake, I needed to make my own.  Mine included oats, apple, cinnamon, and raisins with a dollop of peanut butter on top.

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BEAUTY:

  • Did you know that Skoop makes a product called B-Lovely?  B-Lovely aids in muscle building, detoxify cells, repair collagen, and boost immunity, and provides relief on a cellular level through its many antioxidants and resveratrol.
  • A sweet reader named Danielle sent me some samples of Rodan + Fields.  She sent me a mini-facial which included:
    • ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste: Woah, this stuff was intense! It left my face a little red after, but that was short-lived.  My face was super soft from using it!
    • REDEFINE Night Renewing Serum: Used directly after the paste, this was a very soothing thick cream.
    • REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum: I’m picky about what I put on my lips, but this really moisturized them.
  • Danielle also sent me a week’s worth of the REDEFINE line.  The REDEFINE regimen consists of four products: Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment, and Overnight Restorative Cream.  Danielle said I probably wouldn’t see results in just a week, but I think I did. My face was a lot smoother and softer, and it seemed like my makeup went on better, too.  I like that the Triple Defense Treatment contains SPF 30; I would definitely use that on a daily basis.
  • If you’d like to learn more about which Rodan + Fields regimen is right for you, e-mail Danielle at: dviolard [at] gmail [dot] com.

redefine

FITNESS:

  • I’m really sad that my ClassPass month expired. I had so much fun trying out new-to-me studios and gyms.  Since right now the weekends are the only time I can actually attend classes, I’ll probably take a break for the time being.  In the summer, I may sign up again.  But good news for St. Louis folks!  You can sign-up for $10 for one-week of unlimited classes –> HERE!
  • RUNNERS: There is a new shoe out there worth looking into: Night Runner 270° Shoe Light. The light connects to your shoes, has bounce protection, shines for 30 meters, and includes a rear-facing red tail light so you are visible to vehicles.
    • They need to raise $38,000 for the first round of manufacturing. The Kickstarter Campaign just launched. The actual price for a unit will be $69.95, but you can pre-order via Kickstarter at the $50 donation level.

BABY:

  • I’m pretty sure baby William is teething (again), so I ordered him a Banana Brush to chew on.  He’s been loving it, and I think it’s been satisfying some of his chewing needs.
  • A couple of times, I’ve caught William putting his teeth on his crib rails, so I quickly ordered crib rail protectors.  Can’t wait for those to arrive!
  • Thanks to teething, William has been sleeping worse than normal.  On Tuesday night, he was up from 3 – 4 a.m. Ouch.
  • And since I threw William under the bus about his poor sleep habits, I’ll pull a redemption card and show you a super cute picture of him from last week’s Dr. Seuss day at school:

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His outfit isn’t technically Dr. Seuss, but I thought it looked pretty good for what we had!

Share something about one of the categories from today: FOOD, BEAUTY, FITNESS, or BABY!

simple meals

I’m busy.  You’re busy.  We’re all busy.  But guess what?  We still have to eat.  You.  Me.  Everybody eats.  So why not make some healthy choices and prepare simple meals for that eating thing.  Yes, I think so.  That’s what I try to do.  I don’t eat 100% healthy 100% of the time, but I do my best, and maybe today you can get some meal inspiration from these simple meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

After all, today is a What I Ate Wednesday party over at Peas and Crayons, so you can look around there, too, to get TONS of meal inspiration!  Without further ado:

morning drink: Skoop A-Game

Skoop A Game

My Skoop A-Game is a habit.  I take it as a drink or a mix it with my breakfast every morning.  I know I’m getting in 10 servings of vegetables, probiotics, 5 grams of fiber, antioxidants, and lots more.  (Read about ALL the benefits HERE.)  My favorite combination recently, as pictured, is Skoop A-Game in Chocofresh mixed with vanilla almond milk.  It’s like the healthiest chocolate milk ever!  If you want to try Skoop A-Game, you can order a sampler pack for just $10 – it comes with five days worth of Skoop A-Game samples, a shaker bottle, two samples of their protein powder, and free shipping!  Check it out HERE.  {affiliate link}

breakfast: oatmeal

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Oatmeal is always a healthy choice as it’s packed with whole grains and fiber.  There are a million ways to eat oatmeal (just be careful on the kinds that sneak in lots of extra sugar!).  Love Grown Foods makes hot oats that come in convenient single serving containers.  All you do is add water and microwave.  Delicious!  And Love Grown Foods is coming out with awesome new products… Stay tuned…

Lunch: hamburger salad

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Yep, nothing fancy here.  Just a salad topped with a leftover burger.  My salad contains power greens, honey goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, a burger, and fig balsamic dressing from Whole Foods.  Simple, pretty healthy, and tasty!

snacks: inner beans, fiber bars, sugar snap peas, and hummus

snacks

  • Inner Beans: These were a new-to-me find at Trader Joe’s, and oh my goodness, they rock.  They’re made out of baked black beans, they’re light, crunchy, and so good.  It’s hard to stop once the bag is open.
  • Fiber d’Lish bars: A blondie bar that’s healthy for you! All NuGo Fiber’s flavors are amazing, and obviously loaded with fiber.
  • Sugar Snap Peas: Probably my favorite raw vegetable.  Perfect to eat plain, steam, or dip in hummus.
  • Tomato & Basil Hummus:  Can’t go wrong with any of TJ’s hummus.

soup: butternut squash

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Ok, this isn’t necessarily “healthy” because there is a touch of cream in it, but I had to throw it in today’s post.  My dad made this butternut squash soup from scratch and it was absolutely incredible.  I don’t have the recipe to link to because it’s from a cooking class that my parents attended, but I assure you it was fantastic.  He topped it with green onions and three types of mushrooms.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have pre-made butternut squash soup again.

dinner: chicken, greens, butternut squash

dinner

Apparently butternut squash has been the thing to eat lately!  I found pre-cut bags at Trader Joe’s for just $1.99, so I picked up a couple.  Usually I’m a bigger fan of buying whole vegetables since it is more economical, but I couldn’t really beat the two dollar price tag on this.  I baked the chicken, topped it with some hemp seeds and fig balsamic, and called it dinner.  Nothing fancy, but healthy, indeed.

dessert: my baby

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Just kidding.  You know I had to throw in a picture of baby William, and at least it’s a picture of him eating, so it fits with the post, right?  Right.  And don’t worry, soon enough I’ll teach him to chew with his mouth closed.  At least he’s cute!

Are you more of a simple meal person or do you take a lot of time in preparing your food?  Any simple meal favorites?

hello naturally friendly toothpaste

Brushing your teeth is likely a habit that developed when you were just a wee one, has stuck ever since, and will probably continue for the rest of your life.  I mean, let’s hope so.  Nobody likes stanky breath.  Brushing your teeth is something everybody does; it’s something everybody should do.  Therefore basically making toothpaste a necessity of life.  What flavor is your toothpaste?  Plain ol’ mint?  Shocker.

Let me introduce you to hello naturally friendly toothpaste.

hello naturally friendly toothpaste

Peach Mango Mint.  Supermint.  Pink Grapefruit Mint.  Mojito Mint.

Flavors so good you could eat them.  Except not.  Because it’s toothpaste.  But they really do taste good.  And check out these stellar facts:

  • Free from preservatives, dyes, triclosan, microbeads, and artificial sweeteners
    • hence, “naturally friendly”
  • Sweetened with xylitol and stevia
  • Earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance
  • Clinically proven to prevent cavities and strengthen enamel
  • Safely polish teeth with a gentle silica
  • Freshen breath
  • Never tested on animals
  • Made in the USA
  • Taste great

Not that this is important when searching for a toothpaste, but the bright colors definitely spruce up my bathroom!  Such a fun pop of color!  I also like how the toothpaste stands up.  I don’t have the biggest bathroom, so saving space is always appreciated.

pink grapefruit mint toothpaste

The flavors really are good, too.  You may develop a crush on your brush – haha!

Even better yet, hello makes toothpaste for kids, too!  The fact that it’s “naturally friendly” is even more important to me, for kids.  The fact that it doesn’t have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or dyes is great since it obviously goes in kids’ mouths…

When I was a kid, I never liked the flavor mint.  At the dentist, I always asked for the strawberry flavored fluoride.  Hello makes fun flavors for kids:

hello kids naturally friendly toothpaste

Green Apple. Bubble gum.  Blue Raspberry.  Mmm!  I have three nieces and nephews, so these three tubes were perfect.  I wanted to test these flavors on unbiased kids.  First of all, they were so excited to each receive their own tube of toothpaste, and thought the toothpaste sounded good.  (I reminded them that toothpaste was not for eating, despite how good the flavors were!) They each picked a tube…

hello kids toothpaste

Green apple for Jacob.  Bubble gum for Audrey (though I’m pretty sure the pink was what drew her to it).  And blue raspberry for Jackson.  They couldn’t take out their toothbrushes fast enough!  We had a big ol’ tooth-brushin’ party with only a few, “Ew! He got his spit on me!” instances.

hello kids naturally friendly toothpaste brush

The verdict?  Two thumbs up from all!  And Aunt Lindsay became even cooler than she already was! :)

Hello toothpaste is available at Target, and is very reasonably priced at $3.49 for kids and $4.49 for adults.  I’ve found that naturally friendly products typically are more expensive – not the case with hello!

Another reason why I like hello is because they are encouraging people to choose one friendly initiative that will make the world a friendlier place. This is consistent with my post from last week talking about how we do need to make the world a kinder place.  One friendly initiative per day can help work towards hello’s mission to turn the world into a friendlier place, one smile at a time.  To showcase your efforts, snap a picture carrying out your friendly initiative and use the hashtag #choosefriendly!

I definitely don’t want to deprive you of baby William cuteness, so since we’re on the topic of brushing teeth, I thought I’d share a recent picture.  I just started brushing his teeth (with water), but of course he’s more interested in chewing on the toothbrush.  Hey, whatever starts those healthy habits!

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Someday he’ll get to try hello naturally friendly toothpaste.

Which flavor sounds best to you?  Peach Mango Mint.  Supermint.  Pink Grapefruit Mint.  Mojito Mint.  Green Apple. Bubble gum.  Blue Raspberry.

This post is sponsored by hello.

snowy weekend snapshots

Monday, again?  So soon?  Alright then, let’s do this week!  First, let’s recap the weekend which is always fun as it feels like we’re reliving it a bit.  St. Louis got a bunch of snow, so we were house-bound most of the weekend.  Some little man didn’t seem to mind…

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Happy as ever, laughing, squealing, babbling, making lots of noise!

The cold weather and snow made me crave hot yoga more than ever, so my brother and nephew came over to watch the baby so I could take a class thanks to ClassPass.

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It was just what I needed!  If I had the time to take it everyday, I would.  For now, I’ll enjoy it as the treat it is.  Such a good sweat, stretch, relaxation, and workout!

Since we were indoors for quite a long time, William found fun ways to entertain us both:

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Peekaboo!

He is everywhere these days.  Very active. Very mobile.  Very fun!

Sunday was my best friend’s baby’s baby naming (a Jewish tradition).  This was the first time William met baby Emily, and he was so sweet with her!

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Holding Emily brought back all the memories of when William was that small.  And now William looks / feels huge!

He got some loving from his girlfriend Carly:

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Everyone comments on William’s clothes since I never dress him in “real” clothes.  He does look pretty handsome though, right?  I texted these pictures to William and Carly’s teacher, and she said they looked like they were on a little date since they’re so dressy!

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William and Carly seriously love each other.  Rachel (Carly’s mom) and I are totally ok with that.  #futurecouple #babylove

Sunday evening we headed to my parents’ house.  My dad, brother, and nephew built an awesome igloo in the afternoon, so of course I took the opportunity to put William in it for a quick (oh so quick) photo opp:

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He looks like he can’t move.  He could, and he did…

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Not a fan of the snow.  Sad baby.  I ran us both inside after that!

Did you play in the snow this weekend?  Are you a hot yoga fan?

Linking up with Katie & Erin!

no one has the right to be cruel

Life is crazy sometimes.  I have a million and one thoughts swirling around in my head, and I’m not quite sure how to articulate them right now, but I came across a quote that struck a chord with me.

don't be cruel

I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry… but that never gives me the right to be cruel.

Amen.

That goes for everybody.  No one has the right to be cruel.  Ever.

If only it were that simple.  If only it were that easy.

Words can be cruel.  Actions can be cruel.

So what can we do when the cruelty of the world rears its ugly head?  Look within yourself and find love.  Surround yourself with the people who love you, the people who are kind to you, and the people who support you.  Find the strength within to be stronger than the cruelty on the outside.

find the strength within

I truly believe everything in life happens for a reason.  We may not always know what that reason is at the time, or ever, but I do think everything happens for a reason.

Case in point: Last night was a hard night for me for several reasons.  I posted a #throwbackthursday picture on Instagram of me and my great-grandparents from 1989.

Rose & Joe

I wrote, “My angels watching over me and William from above… Using and needing their strength and love today.”  My Great – Grandma Rose and Grandpa Joe have been my angels for over fifteen years now, but I still miss them dearly.  I take comfort in the fact that I know they are watching from above.  I take comfort in the fact that baby William gets to grow up with his great-grandparents and we get to spend so much time with them, listening, learning, and loving.

Around the same time I posted this picture, I received a notification that Annette had tagged me in one of Chelsey’s Instagram pictures.  It was a quote that read:

Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled.  They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.  -Sharon Jaynes

Good timing during a hard night.  Like I said, everything happens for a reason.

william 7months bath

William agrees.  He’s like, “Yeah, dude.”

Lessons learned from today’s post:

  • No one has the right to be cruel.
  • Find the strength within.
  • Never give up.
  • Be kind.

As we head into the weekend, maybe make an extra effort to be extra kind to everyone around you.  Those you know and strangers alike.  We all know the world can use more kindness, less cruelty, and lots more love.

Have a good weekend. Be kind. Show love. xo

How can you reverse the effects of cruelty?

What does the fox say?

Remember when my sister Stephanie turned William into a fox when he was just a tiny newborn baby?  Well that little fox isn’t so little anymore.

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His fox hat almost doesn’t fit!  Still cute as ever though.  Obviously.

Let’s do a quick #throwbackthursday photo and take a look at just how small he once was:

william fox

SQUEAL!  Or, wait… what does the fox say? ;-)

This week is/was Parent – Teacher conference week at school, so I’m pretty wiped.  I’ve got just two more today, and I’m finished.  Early mornings, late afternoons, and lots of talking.  Tomorrow is Friday, oh yes! Today we’re keeping things light and simple over here since that’s all my brain can handle right now.  A few photos from the week:

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

My sister watched William a few days ago, and of course the day began with pictures.  First, in his fox hat, then she put him in “real” clothes.  (Sometimes I just don’t see the point in changing babies out of their sleepers.  I mean, I’d stay in my pajamas all day if I could!)  But he does look darn cute and way too grown up (ok, older) in them:

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must.be.touching.baby.william.at.all.times.

Sometimes I wonder if Audrey is not sure whether she’s William’s mom, sister, or cousin as she plays all roles with him.

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It doesn’t matter what she is, really.  They’re family, and that’s what counts.

My other nephew, Jackson, slept over earlier in the week.

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I was proud to get us all up, fed, dressed, where we needed to go, and still make it to school in time for an 8:00 a.m. conference.

Despite all the busyness of life, there’s still time to smile.  There’s always time to smile and be happy.  Especially when I wake up to this face every morning:

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Are you close with your family?