***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Recipe for Relaxation

How did we get to the end of March already?! It's my favorite month and here it is already almost over! I think this year I'm a little panicky about time passing too fast because I know what's knocking at the door...baby #2 and the reality of 2 boys under 2 years old. EEEK! Don't get me wrong, I'm over the moon with the impending arrival of my precious boy but I'm also not in denial about what a life changer it's going to be. Fortunately for me, I got to celebrate a birthday this past weekend and instead of obsessing over baby details I got to just relax and be pampered by some really fab girlfriends. I'm not sure who was more excited for brunch and spa time- the birthday girl or the other ladies who had a great reason to leave the kids with the hubbies and treat themselves to some quality girl time. Let me just paint you a little picture of what exactly I'm talking about...

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Baked French Toast
Brunch is the most important meal of the weekend, wouldn't you say?! Especially a weekend that includes a birthday! Here is a super easy Cinnamon French Toast bake that can be made the night before and quickly cooked up the next morning.

Sunshine Dazzler  -- Great as a pitcher drink for brunch
What brunch is complete without a fresh juice drink? Sadly, mine was sans alcohol, but the "Sunshine Dazzler" has lots of other yummy ingredients that are sure to please.

Wondering how to make paper bags pretty?  Well, here are 9 ways you can embellish a paper sack and turn it into an inexpensive and quick treat bag for as a party favor or gift wrapping idea. #Bag #Craft #Favor #Gift
Maybe it's the Southerner in me, but I love a good gift bag- giving one, getting one, seeing one...whatever. They just make me smile. In mine this weekend, I got lots of good girly treats- a candle, nail polish, lip gloss, a nail file...you know, the essentials! Check out this website for lots of cute, simple ideas for making your own gift bags.

Cucumber, Lemon & Mint-infused water. I did this last weekend; I put lemons, limes, & cucumbers in the pitcher; I could not keep it filled up! It was a hit and delicious.
The only thing better than an actual spa treatment is the fruit infused water. Can I get an Amen?! That stuff is so good! My question is, why don't I ever just make it at home? It could not be easier and more refreshing on a warm day. Granted it probably tastes so good because you're in a dim room, wrapped in a robe, with nature sounds surrounding you. But still...

Pinned Image
I had the good fortune to use Molton Brown products while at the spa and, oh dear, it's good stuff. A bit on the pricey side for shower gel and lotion. But if you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else, this is a must!

So there's a little snapshot into the glorious birthday morning I got to share with some of my best girls. Honestly, we could have hit up McDonald's and the library and I would have been happy to just spend time talking (while actually finishing a sentence) and catching up (without stories that included the latest tantrum) and I would have been thrilled. But brunch and a spa day were perfectly over the top for this birthday girl. I know we aren't all lucky enough to be able to pamper and treat ourselves every day, but these little shortcuts and inspirations should help us get through until then. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinning your way to simplicity

Oh life. It just gets me sometimes. Just when I think I've found my stride... boom! Something comes out of left field and I'm like a deer in headlights- frozen and trying to figure out what to do. Ok, this sounds a little dramatic. These are not big things (usually) that are thrown my way. But on a day when I'm feeling very hormonal, pregnant, and/or just completely off my game, that's usually when I find myself most unprepared for the unexpected. And by "unexpected" I mean, blow out diaper with no wipes, dinner nearly prepared minus that one key ingredient, or pants that I swear fit yesterday but will take an act of God to get on today. These are the little things that can just push me over the edge some days. I know, I know. These are not life changers. But tell that to the 7 months pregnant, hormonal disaster that is myself some days. Here we have people fighting a war or disease and I can't seem to handle life's curve balls. But, hey, I'm just being honest. Some days surviving 24 hours with a toddler is my own personal war. Here are some oh-so-helpful links I've found recently on Pinterest that just make it all feel a little easier.

Obviously, we know to toss it when there's an animal growing on it. But here's a quick link for those less obvious occasions.

Leg workout
Quick and simple leg work out. If finding the motivation to do it were as simple as reading the directions, I'd be all set.

healthy homemade dressings
I know, I talk about simplifying things and then I expect you to make your own dressing, right? Well, these easy recipes call for what you almost always have on hand already and it sure beats using the kids Ranch dressing on your beautiful summer salad.

First Day of School every year and then make it into a Graduation Book.
Such a cute, smart, and efficient way to create keepsakes for your kids as they grow. I struggled with a simple "first year" scrapbook, so I can imagine about how well I'll do as the kiddos grow up. But this I could do.

I hope you like these little time savers and that they'll help you out in a pinch. We're all in this thing together so why not help a mama out when you can?! And let me know if you have a time saver that you use when you're stuck. I'm always up for trying new things, especially if they get me through a rough day.

Happy Pinning!

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Two Cents: How to Get Into the Store with Kids...

So last week I shared my tips on how to get out of the house with kids but what happens when you reach your destination??  All of that hard work and planning to get out of the house won't do you a lot of good if you can't get yourself into the store.  Having spent the last two years running errands with two young children, I have learned some things.  Here is what works and what doesn't...

1.  Always park near the cart corral.  I used to think parking near the front doors was the most important thing but I have learned it is much better to be near the cart return.  That way you can grab a cart and return it quickly all while the kids sit safely strapped in their seats.  Otherwise you will have to juggle your kids and your bags while you try to steer the cart with one hand.  

2.   Tell your kids the game plan before you enter the store.  I try to let my kids know the general plan and what my expectations are before we head inside.  I tell them things like, "We are here to get 5 things and while I am shopping I need you to sit down in the cart."  I let them know up front what the consequence will be if they do not follow directions and even more importantly I tell them the incentive for behaving: a cookie after we pay or a treat from the dollar bin once I have gotten everything I need.

3.  Get them involved.  This works great for toddlers and above.  I ask them to help me find things (I spy...) or let them toss non-fragile things into the cart ( a favorite of my boys).  I also ask them to help me make decisions on what we are buying: "Do we want grape juice or apple juice?"  Usually this keeps them entertained long enough for me to get through at least part of my shopping.

4.  Utilize the buckles.  If your children are saints and will walk obediently by your side I give you kudos. If your kids are anything like mine and make a simple shopping trip a full on cardio routine, then you are already well-aware of buckles.  Whether its your stroller or the grocery cart save yourself some drama by buckling your kids in as soon as they get in the cart.  Make sure that at the very least they are strapped in tight when it comes time to check out.  The cash register is where my kids usually break down so I tighten that strap and pull out the holy grail (cookie) at that point.  At least if my child is screaming bloody murder I know that they can't jump out as I enter my pin number.

The only other tricks I can offer is to come prepared...bring their sippy cup, pack a small snack, distract them with stickers, and always carry wipes.  And once again I will preach the power of organization.  Having a list and being clear on what you need is crucial to making it to your destinations as well as through the store quickly!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Breaking the Momsie Way

You might have already heard me yelling it from the rooftops, but I'm going on my first kid-free vacation this week!! My oh-so-thoughtful husband surprised me at Christmas with a March trip to our former home of San Diego in celebration of our 5 year anniversary this year as well as our first (and probably last for a while) kid-free vacation before baby #2 arrives in June. I have literally been counting down to this since the moment I found out on Christmas. Add to it the fact that this is about the time of year when I start to hit my breaking point with cold, wet weather here in Seattle. Now, although this is a 5 day vacation sans toddler it won't be completely fuss free. Let's not forget that I'm carrying around quite a load in my midsection along with ankles that are sure to swell into the "cankle" category after a 3 hour flight. Not a good look when you hit the beach or, more appropriately, beach yourself. No, this is not the spring break of days past when you pack all the tiny bikinis, shorts, and skirts you can find and only worry about what kind of fruity drinks you'll order from the bar. This is more about days without a schedule, tantrum, or naptime; fuss-free meals; and complete selfishness. Basically all of the things you give up when you become a mama. It's not to say there isn't a serious case of nerves on my part when thinking about leaving my boy for 5 days. BUT, he's definitely helping ease my anxiety with his recent meltdowns over such logical things as not being able to play with a hot iron, suck on a medicine bottle, or uproot the outdoor pathway lights. These, my dears, are the things that I will not miss while soaking up the sun.
As I do with all things, I headed to Pinterest for a little vacation inspiration and here are the highlights for the moms and moms-to-be who are taking a little get away...
mini  messenger bag
I have taken an oath to carry nothing bigger than this for the duration of my time away. This mini messenger can be found at Old Navy in a variety of bright colors.
the peach flip - peaches, lemonade, vodka & sprite.
I may not be able to have a cocktail but that doesn't mean I can't still treat myself! The "Peach Flip" is a combo of peaches, lemonade, and sprite. Sure beats another boring glass of water!
Women's Xhilaration® Teresa Espadrille Wedge - Assorted Colors
Go on and wear a shoe you can't get away with while on mom-duty! For once I can just dress myself without consideration of whether or not it's kid-proof.
San Diego
Don't be jealous. On second thought, yes, please do.
What am I looking forward to most, you ask? Being Lauren and not mom. Not having to constantly think about what's next, being prepared, or making something a learning experience. I treasure all (or mostly all) of what being a mom is all about but for the first time in 2 years I get to remember what it's like to just be me! If you've been on a "babymoon" or gotten to enjoy a vacation with just the hubby, let me know what you think! Any advice or tips for making the best of the trip? Let me know because this isn't sure to come around again any time soon! Happy pinning!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Two Cents: How to Get Out The Door With Kids...

Some of my best friends are just welcoming their first children.  I love watching them make the transition into motherhood as it is such a special time but lets be real here, all of us veteran mothers love to see some newbies struggle like we did.  There is something oddly satisfying about watching your footloose and fancy-free (and in great shape) friend go down in flames just as you did.

One reason I am able to say the above is because I know, that just like me, they are going to come out on the other side just fine.  It's just nice to know that NOW they will understand why you became an un-showered, jiggly bellied, dazed out mess who didn't care about anything but sleep.  Now. they. know.

Watching them maneuver these first months has reminded me of some of those alarming discoveries I had to make the first time around.  Like, how your day revolves around your breasts.  There is not a single moment you are not thinking about your boobs.  Ever!!  Or how you suddenly have major stranger anxiety...who is this person looking at my baby??!  Are they going to touch her?!?!  Have they washed their hands at least 77 times today?!!?  The whole world changes in an instant and you start wondering how none of your friends mentioned any of this to you.  But, we did!  Your friends told you every horror story they encountered, it's just that you didn't have kids so they just sounded like a rambling, sleep-deprived complainer.  

One of my new-mommy friends called the other day all flustered and said how long does it take to get out of the damn house with a baby?!  I laughed and told her that she can plan on giving herself an extra 2-hours but to still plan to be late everywhere she goes.  Obviously my wonderful optimistic advice really lessened her stress level.  So to be fair I am going to give you my best tips of the trade for new moms or old ones that have yet to get a handle on things...oh wait that would be all of us!  Anyways here's my two cents for this week.  Stay tuned for my two cents next week too!

How to Get Out of the House With Kids

There are only three options on how to get out of the house with everyone dressed...

1.  You get up well before your kids and shower and dress yourself.  This is the only way to peacefully get dressed without having to run around your house in bra and underwear fetching juice cups.  Set an alarm and enjoy the peace and quiet.

2.  You dress your kids first.  If you are like me you hate the sound of an alarm clock.  If you choose to sleep in with your kids then plan to have them dressed and ready before you start on yourself.  This way there are no last minute searches for shoes and you won't get in the car only to realize you didn't brush your child's hair.  

3.  Baseball hats.  You need to own either one that looks cute like you borrowed it from your hubby or one that looks sporty so it can pass for your workout gear.  Whether or not you are going to the gym is beside the point.

Everything before:

Pack the diaper bag, your purse, lunch boxes, and your to-do list the night before.  If you need extreme help as I do, learn to prepare everything the night before!  My husband may think I look like a first grader laying out my clothes the night before but it is one less thing for me to think about in the morning.  Plus it saves me countless last-minute snafus that can potentially make me late, like a wrinkly shirt, a missing shoe, or the all-out melt down when my closet seems to be barren.

Add Minutes to Your Clock

If you know that on average it takes you 1 hour to get up and out, plan on 1 hour and a half from now on!  Kids are notorious for having a last minute dump or a magically disappearing blanket.  No matter how prepared you may be they will always find a way to slow things down so factor in an additional 30 minutes for the delays and you will still have a chance at being on time.  


If that word makes you cringe you better learn to love it and fast!  Being organized is one of the only things you can do to feel some control in this new world of motherhood.  The other day my son asked where we were headed to which I responded, "a couple of places."  He said, "Oh, do you have your list?"  He knows his momma well!  I always have a list: what to not forget, where I need to go, who I need to call, and what we need at the grocery store.  The next time you hit Target, grab a pack of index cards.  Keep them in your purse, the car, and at home and start making it a habit to write yourself helpful notes.  You cannot expect your memory to serve you the same way it did pre-baby!

So, there's my two cents on getting out the door with kids.  I hope it helps!  Next week I will tackle a new dilemma for mothers!

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