Half Marathon Training

Around the time that Henry & Emily began taking their first steps, I realized it was time to tackle a few new steps of my own. That was both the plan and promise I made to myself after delivering my two cutiepies; “Baby steps, before Babies’ Steps“. So once it was time to take “The Next Step” for my fitness goals I registered for the 2017 Route 66 Half-Marathon!

Continue reading Half Marathon Training

Early to Rise 

It wasn’t going well; the whole – wake up to the sound of my twins on the monitor then hit the ground running – thing. I’d been thinking about about waking up earlier for a while to sneak in some me-time/prep-time, but it’s not easy when you have twin toddlers and you just.want.your.sleeeeep. Right?!

Continue reading Early to Rise 

Happy Birthday, Henry & Emily!

Exactly one year ago today, Sean and I set our alarm clocks for a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. I was being induced for labor that day! I was 37.5 weeks along, officially “past due” (37 weeks is considered full term for twins), and the babies were both estimated to be healthy weights + facing head-down.

Continue reading Happy Birthday, Henry & Emily!

The Next Step

The days of my two little bugs walking independently, running, and cartwheeling through life are seemingly minutes away. Both Henry and Emily surprise me and Sean daily at how quickly their balance improves, how fearless they are, and how joyful they become with every new discovery. It’s truly an honor to watch these two souls grow.

Continue reading The Next Step

Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

So remember when I told y’all about that 12 week remote fit camp that I signed up for in Feb? Here’s that original post: Fit Camp! {from home}. Well…I DID IT! I completely loved it, needed it, and desperately want it back in my life again. It was the first time in far too long that I felt like I got my strength back, and then some.

Continue reading Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

Henry & Emily: 10 Months

We’re in DOUBLE DIGIT months now! I can’t believe that in 8-ish weeks they’ll turn one year old. I put together another fun Flipgram of the past month! Wanna see?! Here’s their 9 month recap:

Continue reading Henry & Emily: 10 Months

Review: LuLaRoe w/ Sarah Crook

Here’s my average morning: It’s 6 a.m. and one of my…..no wait…ahhh…now both of my babies are awake. I now have about 90 seconds to get myself together for the day before one of them starts crying.

While Sean gets ready for work I quickly brush my teeth, wash my face, throw my hair in a messy bun, and change into something. Daaahhh what do I wear? Has to be comfy enough for crawling on the floor + being crawled on by two 9½ month old twins, handling a double stroller + a yellow lab on a walk, and making a public appearance with the twins while running errands where at least 5 strangers will stop me for a conversation about twins. 😐

Especially for running errands, I usually look for an outfit that doesn’t scream: “Help me.” or “I haven’t showered in 2 days.” or “What day is it?” I’d at least like to give off an illusion of looking decent without having to put much effort in. Is that too much to ask?

Luckily, there’s always LuLaRoe in my closet. Actually, jk…it’s most likely in that gigantic pile of clean laundry that I haven’t folded in days. But regardless – it’s clean, adorable and comfy. It’s PERFECT!

I’m running out of time as Emily’s precious baby babble goes from cute to authoritative, so I grab my LuLaRoe leggings (chosen for me by the lovely LLR consultant, Sarah Crook) and matching LLR “Perfect T”.

It’s a new mama miracle. I suddenly feel ready for the day!

I was super excited to write this honest review because I look to my LLR clothes for just about everything. I’m stay at home mom of twins. I desperately need versatile clothes for any occasion. What has given me the most joy from these clothes has been how undeniably comfortable they are. It doesn’t hurt that I get to also support a friend’s business, and that I’m purchasing products that I know she personally admires. LLR has been a major breath of fresh air for ladies like me who want a trusted one-stop-shop for all things cute and comfy. And when you’ve given birth to a baby or two within the past year…trust me…you too want cute and comfy, and you want it immediately.

The consultant that I follow the most, and am reviewing in this post, is the fabulous Sarah Crook. She is an amazing consultant, y’all. Check her out.

Sarah Crook - LLR Review

https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah 

Her genuine enthusiasm and attention to detail in her role as a LLR consultant makes being her customer reassuring and totally exciting. The majority of her pieces are showcased through Facebook Live sales on her private group page where you can tune in, message her with questions, and choose from her constantly refreshed inventory. She’s quick to say “Hey!!” to you as you join the video so that you don’t feel silly tuning in live to watch someone you don’t know. She’s also good about re-caping the details on how each piece (shirts, dresses, leggings, etc.) will fit various sizes.

I love her LLR live sales because they often take place mid-week, they’re usually right after Sean and I have put the twins to sleep, and when I’m in the mood to shop I just pour a glass of wine and tune in with my feet up from a long day of babies being babies. It has truly become my new favorite way to shop. If I’m not feelin’ any outfits, no biggie! I just tune out whenever I want. But that rarely happens 😉 She also posts photos of adooooorable outfit pairings throughout the week and adds ideas on how she accessorizes each of them.

To give you a sample of some of my latest 4 LLR pieces that Sarah sent me, check out a little photo shoot of yours truly below. Be sure to look at each caption to see what style I’m wearing:

Perfect T + matching Leggings – Perfect for being crawled on & snuggled with.

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Perfect T + matching Leggings – On the move! Cute crawling twins not included.

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Amelia Dress – Super serious faces aside, this dress might just be my favorite:

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Amelia Dress – Just a different angle. Pockets! Wine and belt not included 😉

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Cassie Skirt – Oh hey, working world! When I start working again, I’m bringing THIS outfit with me. That cup of tea can come too.

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I love love looove them! Every single piece. Not pictured: lots of other LLR outfits that I own, but I can only wear so many outfits before a baby starts hollerin ;).

What’s your fav? I wear the Perfect T and leggings ALL.THE.TIME. But I’m kinda head over heals for the Amelia dress for a date night. And I adore that Cassie skirt for something fun mid-day this spring. Heheee!

When Sarah sent me my order, here’s how it came:

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Pretty darn adorable if you ask me! If you’re new to shopping LLR, you can rest easy knowing that she has a 14 day return policy for LLR credit. You can message her details on what you want differently and she’ll steer you in the right direction for other pieces to consider. She personalizes it which, in today’s automated world, is so refreshing.

To sum up: I’m a big fan 🙂

If you have questions, want to join her group, or want more deets, check our her page and connect with her here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/QueenCityLuLaRoewithSarah

Big hugs!

Katherine

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!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Ohhhh I just adore you, chicken noodle soup! A few weeks ago I really wanted some homemade soup. I NEEDED homemade soup. Ya know that feeling? I really didn’t want to hear the awful “fffffflllooppp” sound as the goopy room temperature soup emptied out of its aluminum can and plopped into a sauce pan for re-heating.

No ma’am. Not this time. I wanted to hand cut the veggies, cook the chicken myself, personally choose the noodle type, and taste test the broth before bringing it all together. I figured that can’t be all that hard…right? A little time consuming, sure, but not awful.

Cooking anything “homemade” can be intimidating, but I channel my inner rock star of a mama and just do it. I know she’s in there somewhere! Sometimes she just needs coffee. I also just have strategize when’s the best time to prep and cook. Also, I buy the broth and noodles. I’m not gonna lie, one day I’d love to be that mother of twins who makes her own noodles and chicken broth AND soups. One day. But for now I think I’m doing just fine 😉

I also consulted one of my favorites to follow on All Recipes: Chef John. He has easy video tutorials, uncomplicated recipes, and a reassuring voice. I altered it just a bit, and below is how I bring to life this timeless classic.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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1 cupChopped Onion

1 cupChopped Carrots

1 cupChopped Celery

2 tablespoonsButter, salted

1 teaspoonSalt

1 teaspoonThyme

8½ cupsChicken Broth (Gold star if you make your own! Chef John’s got a recipe for that, too: Roasted Chicken Broth)

1 cupEgg or Dumpling Noodles 

1 pound (approx) – Boiled Chicken (I boil it at medium high heat in 2 cups chicken broth/stock, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt)

Step 1

Coarsely chop your onions, carrots, and celery.

Step 2

In a large stock pot start by melting the butter at medium heat, then add your onions, carrots, and celery to sautee together. Also add the salt and thyme.

Step 3

Once the onions start to get translucent, add all 8 cups of your chicken stock and stir together.

Step 4

Add in your noodles and chicken, stir, and let simmer in the broth for about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Give it all a taste! More time? More….thyme? Haah! More salt? You be the judge. And the cook. And the rockstar who get’s a high five from me for cookin yourself some homemade soup.

You did it! So proud of you! Here’s mine:

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Oh I almost forgot! I love me some oyster crackers in my soup.

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Ahhhh yes. There it is. Homemade heaven in a bowl. It always makes me happy. Sean loves it too! One day, I imagine also serving this to Henry & Emily as they come barreling in from a fun day outside in the snow. One day 😉

Enjoy!

Big hugs,

Katherine

Yay for the Day

5:00 a.m. feeding then back to sleep for 2 more hours…and the same for mama :). Already felt I was winning and the day barely started! Henry woke up first (he usually does) at 7:20 a.m. Cute cute cuuuuute ‘lil sleepy smile as I peaked over the crib to say good morning. Took him over to Emily’s crib and we peaked over. I said “Your sissy’s sleepin!” He looked at her sleeping, then looked at me, then looked at her and smiled. Kept him on my hip as we went down to the kitchen for mama’s magical first cup of coffee. He loves to watch the Keurig do it’s thing. Switched him to my left hip cause he’s getting so heavy, which reminded me of how good it is to be starting fit camp from home on Monday! As the coffee poured into the cup, Henry stared with his classic open mouthed amazement. I put him into his walker while I got bottles ready. Laughed as I saw him smiling and giggling at Stella (our lab) chomping on her dog food.

Watched the monitor and listened as sweet Emmy slowly stirred, as did her “dadadadadagugugah” sounds. As I climbed the stairs to get her, I remembered wanting this moment for years. That moment when I walk in, my child beams with joy, and I get to welcome them to the greatest new day. My messy house, those years of waiting, my tired feet, or my sore muscles just melt away when I see her or her brother smile. Overwhelmed with gratitude as I held her close and smooched her squishy cheeks.

Bottles were guzzled down plus a pureed oatmeal + fruit mix started off their day. Coffee and their smiles kicked off mine 🙂

Sean woke up as we were playing on the floor in the living room and he crawled down to play with us. We all adored the hilarious voices he made imitating stuffed animals. Then he made bacon. High five, hubby. 😉

Opened up the windows to see what the ice storm had done. It looked so gorgeous. Lots of floor play time upstairs and downstairs. We all worked on saying “Hi!” while waving our hands and arms. Henry was more observant for that little lesson than ever before.

Watched HGTV while feeding Henry & Emily bottles and pureed butternut squash. Plantation style, partially renovated town home for the win! Worked out on our old stationary spinning bike for 20 min while they napped.

Tag-teamed baby duty with Sean for a bit in the afternoon. Browsed a few other blogs and read some articles. That bit of “me time” to clear my head was so helpful. Heard him playing songs on the ukulele for them. Made my heart happy. We both tried entertaining them in the last 20 min before their final bottle & bedtime. Decided to see how long it took for all four of us to look out every single window in the house…haha, it was cute. Sean took the last feeding. Bed time changes and snuggles.

Glass of red wine. Feet up. Blogged a bit while Sean watched a game on T.V.

Great day :).

 

 

 

 

 

My 2017

Well hello there, 2017. You sound so fancy! “Twentyyy…seventeeeeen

I love facing a new year filled with goals. As this little blog of mine is all about my new adventures, I’m pretty stoked to share my goals for the year with you. So, in no particular order, here they are:

  1. Sit Up.

    • I mean it. My posture has always been inconsistent over the years unless I’m exercising or posing for a picture. And lately, twin-motherhood has brought my “slouch status” down to a whole new level as I slump down to play with and talk to my sweeties. Sean lights up when I have good posture. He’s told me that both my confidence and joy radiate when I simply remember to sit up straight. It’s both a reminder and incentive to stay poised not just for him, but for myself! Bring on the poise, 2017 😉
  2. Seven Workouts.

    • Whether it’s cycling, running, walking, going to the Studio for a workout, or carrying my twins around the house as they increasingly grow and become mobile babies…I must keep up my fitness consistently for my own good. My health and energy levels depend on it. As I’ve said before in other posts: I am my best self when I make exercise a priority. With that in mind, I’ve listed my favorite ways to exercise below. I could care less when I do which activity, or how often I do each one…I’ve just gotta keep moving and stay consistent.
      • SPINNING (we have an old stationary spinning bike at home…now I just need a good app to keep me motivated. Any recs for a good spinning app?!
      • RUNNING
      • WALKING
      • 1 class @ StudiOne Tulsa
    • My goal is to fit in a total of SEVEN 30+ minute workouts each week. It’s TOTALLY doable in 20-30 minute intervals, and I can even do 6 of them with my babies nearby or in their double stroller! No excuses. If I could fit in those workouts in Henry & Emily’s first 6 months, I can absolutely do this in the next 12! Let’s do this.
  3. Declutter.

    • It’s true what they say about how too much stuff adds to your stress level. I feel like I am constantly thinking, “We have too much stuff.” I find myself shifting things from one area to the next rather than taking the time to look at that item and say, “Do we as a family need this? Will we truly benefit from this? Could someone else find joy from this?” Time to start paying attention, re-organizing, and heading in a decluttered direction for our sweet little home. I’m also eager to watch this documentary that my sister recently shared. Apparently it’s hot on the que these days for lots of aspiring minimalists: http://minimalismfilm.com. In no ways do I see our family being complete minimalists, but I adore the de-cluttered direction it could lead us in.
  4. Speak Up.

    • “Do you need any help?” – I’ve been asked this more times over the past 7 months than I could ever recall. Now, pre-mama Kath would have smiled and said, “Oh no thank you!”, and carried on my merry little way. But if ever there was a time to quiet my pride and look up to whomever offers help when I desperately need it…motherhood is that time. That awful silent perfectionist in me is learning to shut it down and let others help. This is a journey. It took me a long time to simply acknowledge how hard this can be, but I’m getting there! It helps me let people in, take a deep breath, and build my trust stronger than ever. I’m learning to speak up and ask for help when I truly need it. Is it just me…or is this hard for lots of us?
  5. Give Back.

    • Visit a nursing home. Donate items from my decluttered home. Help a community recover from a natural disaster (plenty of them out here in Oklahoma during tornado season, unfortunately). Those are just a few examples, but I look forward to keeping more of an open mind this year and notice how I can help. I feel so fortunate to have all that I do, and I know in my heart that the best way to say “thank you” for my many blessings is to give back.

So there we have it: My 2017. It’s written down…therefore I’m officially accountable, right?! 😉

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When I can, I’ll be sure to update y’all on my progress on these 5 things. Meanwhile…what are your resolutions?! Are any of my 5 ones that you’ve added to your list too? Any advice? Comment below!

Happy New Year, friends! I’m SO excited for what this year will hold!

Big hugs,

Katherine

Cheers, 2016!

It’s crazy that a brand new year is almost here. This has truly been the wildest year of my life. The most beautiful, mentally exhausting, physically demanding, emotionally draining year…but also, hands down the happiest year of my life.

Funny how that works. A year of challenges unlike any others you’ve faced…all to bring you to a place of happiness you’ve never known before.

I’ve re-learned how to trust, how much my mind and body are capable of, how unbelievably powerful faith is, how to remain patient, and how much good there is in the world.

I couldn’t be happier to celebrate 2016 and welcome 2017 at home with my hubby, our sleeping babies, a glass (or more…) of wine, chinese takeout, t.v. movies, and text updates from my family and my besties.

And yes…Sean is absolutely wearing Henry’s tuxedo bib in this picture. You’re welcome. 😉

To our sweet Henry & Emily who are sleeping away upstairs: we only hope that we make you as happy every day as you make us.

2017 – you’re up 😉

Big hugs,

Katherine

Easy Shepard’s Pie

I was having one of those evenings where the babies were see-sawing between mildly entertained and fussy, but I also really wanted to cook something yummy. I had ground beef and carrots in the fridge, onions and seasonings in the pantry. I didn’t feel like pasta, especially because my homemade Alfredo sauce the night before was an epic fail. But suddenly, I looked in one of my cabinets and spotted this handsome devil to the right.

Now, before you get all judgy, I’ll have you know that instant mashed potatoes are freakin delicious. They give you that whipped texture without all the added work. For a mom of twins who doesn’t have very much free time for cooking – that’s everything.

I took a glance at a few recipe combinations before making it my own. I knew that Shepard’s Pie with ground beef would be pretty straight forward, but the gravy-like mixture needed to be good. Rachel Ray has a great base for this (Rachel Ray’s Shepard’s Pie), but I made lots of changes and ultimately created…THIS:

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (ish) – Ground Beef
  • 1 – medium/large Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 – medium Carrots, diced
  • 1 cup – Frozen Peas
  • ½ teaspoon – Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 cloves – Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons – Butter
  • “a pinch” – Celery Salt
  • “to taste” – Regular Salt
  • 2 tablespoons – All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup – Beef Broth
  • 2 ½ teaspoons – Worcestershire Sauce

…and for the Mashed Potatoes :

  • one 8 oz “Family Size” package – Instant Mashed Potatoes (quick & easy for the win! I ADORE the garlic kind)
    • OR two of the normal sized 4 oz packages will do just fine
  • 4 cups of water

Step 1

Brown the ground beef in a pan. Drain the excess fat, then return it to the pan.

Step 2

Add in your chopped onions, diced carrots, peas, red pepper flakes, pinch of celery salt, regular salt (to taste) and minced garlic to the cooked ground beef and stir together. Cover and let it all heat together at medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Meanwhile…gotta get yo gravy goin’! In a separate pan, whisk together the beef broth, flour,Worcestershire sauce and butter over medium high heat. Bring just to a boil while stirring continuously, then remove it from the heat and add the gravy to your ground beef mixture. Let this sit without heat while you jump into step 4. Also – now’s a good time to turn on your oven’s broiler to low heat.

Step 4

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the 8 oz package (or the two 4 oz packages) of powdered mashed potatoes and quickly stir it all together until it’s smooth. Within seconds you have gorgeous delicious garlicky mashed potatoes. Sooooooo easyyyy!

Step 5

In a casserole dish, layer the ground beef mixture first, then top it off with the mashed potatoes. Be sure to cover the ground beef completely with the mashed potatoes so that the ground beef mixture won’t bubble over and ruin the pristine potatoey topping. Pop that dish in the oven and broil it on low until it’s juuuust golden brown on the top. Let it cool a bit before serving, garnish with a little parsley on top, then serve it up!

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This dish is a total hit since the first night I made it. Some nights I made it without carrots, sometimes without peas. It’s super adjustable depending on what you have in stock. Hope y’all enjoy a slice, or 3, on an upcoming cold winter night! Be sure to comment/share if you give it a try. I’d love to see pics of your “pie”!

Big hugs,

Katherine

 

 

Henry & Emily: 6 months

Six months?! It feels like just a few days ago we were bringing them home from the hospital. Then – they were too tiny to hold up their preciously fragile heads and still reeling from their wild new surroundings. Now – they’re babbling, giggling, wiggling, smiling, verge-of mobile little people!

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Sean and I are truly amazed by their growth, development, and contagious joy. This morning I took them to their 6 month pediatrician check up and they’re growing beautifully!

Henry (right) is at the 90th percentile for his height! He’s now rockin 28 inches tall and 18 pounds. Our super tall “little man” is SO STRONG, y’all. He’s also quick as lightning in his walker, and desperate to finally figure out how to crawl, walk, and let’s be real…he wants to RUN RUN RUN as soon as he can! He has his daddy’s engineer brain for sure. Give him a toy and he’ll study it for ever. His joy is everything; all I need to get through a day, a week, a year. I am completely in awe of how genuinely joyful Henry is. One head turn and a wide-open, toothless grin from him and your day will be made. Guaranteed.

Emily (left) rings in right on cue at the 40th percentile for her height. She’s 26 inches tall and 16 pounds. Way to go, little angel! This beautiful girl was super underweight for her very first week-old check up but has completely soared since that day. She is the cutest ‘lil chatty-mac-chatterson these days. “Emmy” loves to study our faces as we talk to her, then babble on her own…then squeal to the highest heavens. She loves a good toy, but she’s her mama’s daughter for sure when it comes to being more interested in people; a true people watcher. She’s more careful when she shows off her smile (which I kinda love about her too), but when you do make her smile….wooooo your heart will melt!

This has been the fastest, most joyful 6 months of my life. As we enter the “mobile babies” phase in the 2nd half of the year, I’m gonna hold on tight and get ready for that wild ride!

Big hugs,

Katherine

Stay thankful.

After a long day of nonstop newness, Henry & Emily had just drifted off to sleep in their roll-able hotel room cribs. I finally crawled onto the bed knowing that our traveling escapades from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. were over. It felt like our little family of 4 had just completed a herculean task.

Sean ordered drinks and dinner to go from the restaurant downstairs. We were starving. A glass of white wine, a burger, and garlic fries for me! I sat in bed, took a sip of my wine, looked at our babies and then my sweet hubby, and we both sighed with relief. The journey was done.

It would be easy to feel defeated and even entitled to negativity after 2 tiring flights with our infant twins and over packed luggage. Henry’s wailing cries in the dark rental car garage mixed with that seemingly endless airport shuffle was all enough to drive a new parent mad. But suddenly there they were, sleeping peacefully as I sipped my wine and remembered that I am one very lucky lady. I also saw pure joy spread across Sean’s face as he took in the precious sight of his son & daughter. It was enough gratitude to bring a new mama to tears.

We made it.

In so many ways, we made it.

The hours and days that followed were everything that we had wished for. We were reunited with both of our families and close friends. We watched as they met, snuggled, and adored Henry & Emily for the first time. We got to see their own beautiful kiddos, catch up on life, and most importantly – laugh :).

10 days flew by. Suddenly it was time to return home to Oklahoma. Just two more flights.

On our way home our double stroller had to be checked at the gate and bypass our connecting flight, but our carriers were accidentally packed and checked too…

…awesome.

Luckily many kind strangers, one taxi ride through the Dallas airport, and two resilient babies later…we made it! If ever there was a time to trust humanity, it’s when you desperately need another pair of arms to hold your child. We were so thankful for the sweet strangers who offered to hold our bags and even our babies while we desperately tried to do it all. We let them!

Family, friends, strangers, and most of all – sweet Henry & Emily…

…thank you a million times.

We truly could not be more thankful for all that we have in our lives. After all, the journey (not the destination) is what keeps us thankful, isn’t it?

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, friends. Stay thankful, always.

Big hugs,

Katherine