Yays for the Day

Wednesday, May 30

6am wakeup call greeted by my 2 soon-to-be 1 year olds smiling ear-to-ear as I walked in the nursery. “Gooooooood MOOORNIIING!” I said, arms outstretched with a gigantic smile.

Continue reading Yays for the Day

Henry & Emily: 9 Months!

The past 9 months have been a crazy beautiful whirlwind…but especially the past month. This whole mobile baby thing? And two at once? Wooooaaah, y’all. These two are keeping me & Sean on our toes and they’re not even walking yet! We’re in for a wild ride, but we’re loving it. Every minute. Like…crazy IN LOVE with these two!

Continue reading Henry & Emily: 9 Months!

My Blog’s 2017

Last week I wrote about my personal goals for 2017 in the post, My 2017. It felt so good to acknowledge what I want to work on, then write about it to help stay accountable this year. So, I thought I’d keep this goal-party goin’ strong by doing the same for my blog!

This blog is such a special place for me and I really hope for you too. As a “new mom”… “twin mom”… &”stay-at-home mom” this has been a much needed outlet for me to stay reflective…and sane ;). Time moves SO fast and this helps me keep a memory of all the good stuff in writing.

So…what’s next?! For my blog’s 2017, here are my 4 goals:

  1. yay-for-the-day-newlieMore: on choosing joy

    • My “Yay for the Day” posts are more for me than anything, but I’ve heard from many of you that you appreciate reading them too. I’m SO happy to hear that! This practice of keeping a log of only the joyful, yay-worthy things that happened each day is just plain good for the soul. So, my goal? I just wanna write more of these each month. MANY more. Simple as that. Life is too short! Choosing joy is a beautiful and important mentality, but it takes daily exercises like these to keep it up.
  2. img_5733New: product reviews

    • Bottles, strollers, diaper bags, clothes, formula, activity centers, high chairs, play yards….oh my gosh it never endsssss! I remember Sean and I walking into Buy Buy Baby for the first time. It was SO overwhelming. We just followed the nice sales person around the store like little lost puppies, overwhelmed in a scary new world. 478 different types of high chairs, 8,381 different types of bottles, etc. Crazy. But…we made it 7 months! Know that I know a thing or two about the newborn and early infant stage, I would love to review the products that any of you want advice on.
      • Any specific advice you need for the 0-6 month age? Let me know! I’ll add it to the que 😉
  3. img_7638New: excursion reviews

    • From date nights, to airplane rides, to those spur of the moment “get me the heck outta the house” excursions with the twins, I’d love to review and share my experiences. I’m strongly swayed by other people’s opinion of a place or experience before heading anywhere (thanks, Yelp!), and figure this is a good way to do the same for any of you who could benefit from it.
  4. New: videos

    • I’m cringing a little as I write this one. This is one of those things that I want to do…but I also don’t want to do. Know what I mean? I typically don’t like being filmed and totally freeze up when it comes to talking to a camera, but when I was pregnant and on bed rest, ALL I did was search for videos of product reviews, real life motherhood dilemmas and recommendations, and a big one: what it’s like to be a twin mom for a day. I owe it to myself and any mama friends out there who are searching for the same things and maybe need a friendly face (not just a post) to help them through it. Fun times ahead! 😉

 

Thank you for following along all these years, friends! It means the world. Stay tuned 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

Yay for the Day

2:30am awoke and thought it was time for a bottle feeding, but sweet Emmy was just babbling in her sleep. Smiled and went back to sleep to the sound of “ahhdududu. Blabuuuu. BBbbbbaaah….”

Emily was ready for a 5am bottle feeding so I woke up Henry (gotta keep them synced!) and sweet boy just nestled into my nook. Both H & E held a finger/arm of mine while feeding. Huge smiles mid-diaper change in the dim lit nursery. Slow danced as I snuggled with each. One last snuggle before back to bed. 6am – crawled back in bed…I ADORE crawling back in bed 🙂

7am – both are stirring and I love the confidence of knowing that bottles are ready in the fridge. 1st sip of coffee…”hmmmmm.” Hubby helps with H & E. Bottle feeding while watching the news. Some decent things. Focusing on the good: Veterans Day. Heartfelt gratitude. Teared up as they shared this:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/military-fathers-goodnight-kiss-promise-43464186

Have been off of Facebook and Instagram for 48 hours and counting. Loving the break.

Group-text check in with the besties: one has a sweet outfit for work, one’s on her way to a weekend wedding, one is sick but heading home for some needed rest.

Read books to H & E. Watched as they played in their walkers as I cleaned up and prepared more formula and bottles. Heart melted as I glanced over and saw them discovering things.

Henry’s new voice this week steals my attention. It’s stronger and louder than before. Emily gets licked in the face by Stella (our yellow lab). They adore each other.

Apples introduced! Henry’s thoughtful and adorably unsure about the pureed apples. Emily is in heaven! She even giggled and went “mmm!”. Heart melted. They briefly napped as I cooked up some seasoned chicken for the week.

Long afternoon stroller walk. Slight chill but balanced by the most beautiful sunshine. Stopped by a sweet older man who asked about the twins. He has a twin sister himself. Told me he was one of 10 kids. I praised his mother and he smiled. He told Stella she was a good looking dog. Thanked him. Told me to have a blessed day, and I wished him the same. Carried on our walk. Both babies asleep from the walk. Came back and tidied up until Henry awoke. Henry listened to a story while I held him. Emily slept for 15 more minutes. Love having one-on-one time with each of them.

Tummy time ambition. Snuggles after meltdowns. Tickling both in exchange for giggles.

Wrote long overdue thank you notes while they played and kicked in their pack & play. Back and forth babble.

Hubby watched both babies as I made dinner. I’m in love with making dinner uninterrupted. Poured a glass of red while dancing around the kitchen. Apple chicken sausage over seasoned, shredded brussel sprouts with sliced cherry tomatoes. Total hit.

Final feeding after 3 more books read. Where The Wild Things Are, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Emily listened beautifully. Henry tried 🙂

PJ’s and giggles. Family time in the nursery. I signed on to FB juuuust for a LuLaRoe live sale – couldn’t resist.

Great day.

 

 

 

Veggie Lentil Soup

It’s been a nice and easy weekend here in Oklahoma. I love weekends like this where there’s no agenda aside from cleaning a bit (but only “a bit”), guilt free laziness, and attempting to be healthy from time to time.

On that healthy note – I’ve heard lots of good things about lentils lately. So yesterday, when I was grocery shopping, I saw a bag of them sitting on the shelf just staring at me. Normally I’d just continue on my merry little way, but this time I checked the back and saw a good lookin’ recipe for lentil soup! It was a little dreary outside with rain due last night and all of today. “Hmmm……I can totally do this!” I thought. So I chucked it in my cart and off I went feeling all proud of myself 🙂

The back of the label was a recipe for Lentil Soup & Kielbasa. Since I was already planning a slow cooker heavy beef stew for tonight (Sunday), I just wanted to keep it veggies & lentils only; nice and light. I researched a few other recipes on the web and ultimately came up with this little number below. I hope you enjoy!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 4 Carrots (mine were on the smaller side), sliced
  • 4 stalks Celery, sliced
  • 5 small Red Potatoes, peeled + cubed (roughly the same length as your carrots)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed Sage
  • 1 can crushed Tomatoes OR 1.5 whole tomatoes chopped + crushed
  • 1 & 3/4 cups dry Lentils
  • 6 cups Water
  • 2 & 1/5 cups Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

STEP 1

In a large pot, heat the oil then add in the onion, carrots, and potatoes.

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Let it all heat up & soften for a couple of minutes, then add in your seasonings: garlic, oregano, bay leaf, basil, sage, salt, and pepper.

Stir & let it all together and let the seasonings snuggle up and say “heeyheeey!” to the veggies for a minute or two.

STEP 2

I didn’t have a can of crushed tomatoes at home like I thought I did (womp womp) but I DID have two tomatoes ready to be messed with! Score! I chopped them up and used a potato masher to lightly crush them up a little (not too much though – I still wanted some chucks of tomato still in tact). I used one and a half tomatoes for this and it was perfect!

Add those crushed lil’ “toms” to your soup mixture and stir it on in.

STEP 3

Right after adding the tomatoes, go ahead and add in the water, chicken broth, and lentils. Stir it all up, cover, and lower the temp to allow the soup to simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add salt to taste if needed, but remember that the taste of salt really comes out at the end after letting it simmer for a while…so don’t go crazy ;).
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Enjoy!

Remove the bay leaf, pour, and enjoy!

Well goodness gracious. This was just about the most delicious, wholesome, healthy, and simple homemade soup I’ve ever made! Want some?!

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If you prefer your soup to be more brothy, you may want to add in more chicken broth or water towards the end. The broth gets absorbed by the lentils & veggies as you continue to cook it, especially when it also sits overnight in the fridge.

Can’t wait to have more for lunch todaaaaay! 🙂 Lemme know if you give it a try!

 

 

Chocolate Chip Brownies

These are seriously delicious…made from scratch…chocolate chip-ie…cocoa-ie brownies. Out of this world, y’all!

Earlier today I decided to go for an afternoon run. Silly Katherine. There was a heat advisory today that quickly turned my run into a slow walk underneath the unrelenting Oklahoma sun. After the heat-wrenching work out, I proclaimed to the hubby that I deserved something chocolatey. Something homemade. I really wanted to bake and decided on brownies, but since most homemade recipes yields a lingering bitter taste of cocoa, I decided this recipe deserved a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to amp things up.

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Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (or less) semi-sweet MINI chocolate chips (mini chips are the best!)

STEP 1:

Pre-heat your oven to 350°

STEP 2:

In a medium size bowl, combine your sugar, butter, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt.

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STEP 3:

Temper the butter/cocoa/sugar mixture over a pot of lightly simmering water. Continuously stir until the mixture turns into a smooth consistency.

STEP 4:

Let the bowl cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then, stir in your vanilla extract, followed by both eggs, then the flour – stirring constantly.

STEP 5:

So…funny story: I had a ton of chocolate chips on stand by, not really knowing how much I’d actually use. I started to pour “just a few” chips in there before, “AaaaAAAAH! Ohhh shoot!” I basically overwhelmed the batter w/ chocolate chips. Trial and error is how the beautiful recipe (above) made just for you (and me…and hubby) became more accurate. I learned as I went along. The batter in the pic below has WAY more chips than I’d recommend adding. Stick to a 1/4 cup…MAX…or less or none at all is totally fine too. Do what feels right! …wwoooooo!

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STEP 6:

DSC05061I had only a 9 x 9 ” pan available, but 8 x 8 ” is even better to make these thicker if you have it. Line it up with parchment paper. It’s my new favorite thing! Among…like…4308591 other things of course. It makes clean up easy without needing to soak/wash/scrub your pan after all is done.

STEP 7:

Into the oven it goes! Keep it in there for about 20 minutes, but watch it. Originally I first tried this at 325° for 25 minutes but it was still pretty gooey in the center. 350° at 25 -30 min or so will do the trick, but be sure to watch it and check the center w/ a toothpick starting around 20 minutes or so. Every oven is slightly different, which is why I sound like a paranoid babysitter of baked goods 😉

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STEP 8:

ENJOY!!! We sure did. Better grab a glass of milk to go with it, or wine. It’s unbelievably delish. The richness of the cocoa, the sweetness of the semi-sweet chips, the subtlety of the cinnamon and vanilla altogether make these brownies stand out. I can’t wait to make them again. If you try out this recipe, let me know your thoughts!

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Happy baking 🙂