Wednesday, August 23, 2017

my experience with swap.com

I recently stumbled upon an online consignment site called Swap. They were having a half off everything sale so I decided to give it a shot. Based on the pictures of the items, I honestly had low expectations. However, I filtered out everything except new with tags / like new clothing and figured I'd probably be okay. The shipping was fast, the clothes were way cheaper than Thredup, free shipping $10+, and I was honestly blown away by the quality for the price.
 This peacock costume for Etta was new with tags for $10.
 This bumblebee costume was for Etta (but Elden commandeered it) and was like new for $5.
 The skirt Edith is wearing was new with tags for $2.50.
 Another shot of the bumblebee.
The skirt Edith is wearing in this photo was also new with tags for $2.50.

I'm seriously a believer. Right now they are having a 40% off sale using the promo AUGUSTGET40. I believe if you use my referral link you will get an extra 20% off. I will be getting the majority of the clothes for our kids from this site now. I highly recommend it!

elden's first robot

Elden was given a Barnes and Noble gift card for his birthday. On Sunday, we headed over after church so he could pick something out. I thought for sure he was going to get a book because he recently used his birthday money to buy a Disney princess book and has been taking it everywhere with him.

Once we got up the escalator he immediately spotted the toys. He initially picked out a magic kit and a slingshot but then we stumbled upon a table filled with items that were 50% off the lowest ticketed price. When we saw this robot for the exact amount he had on his gift card it felt like fate. He walked out a very happy kid and has been playing with it every day since.

If you're in the market for a robot for your child, we definitely recommend it. It is very easy for Elden to operate and it's actually really high quality for the price. It also comes with different games and accessories, which is a nice touch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

buffalo cauliflower tacos

Yesterday Jon texted me that he was going to make lentil tacos for dinner and asked if I'd eat them. While I totally appreciated the gesture, lentils are the bane of my existence. I've tried them on a few different occasions (prepared differently) and each time I wanted to hork. 

Anyway, I was left racking my brain and then it occurred to me that we had a head of cauliflower in the fridge that probably wouldn't last much longer. Since tacos were on the menu, I figured I would go the buffalo cauliflower route and they did not disappoint.


Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a large bowl. Lightly toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender. Place in a taco shell with cheddar cheese, lettuce, ranch (or blue cheese) dressing, avocado and/or black beans and drizzle with hot sauce.

You guys, this was seriously the bomb. The best part is since I didn't add the hot sauce until the taco was prepared, Etta was able to enjoy the roasted cauliflower also and she absolutely devoured it. In terms of prep, this was one of the easier dinners we've made and it was so satisfying. I will definitely be making these more often.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

first big screen movie

Cleveland is home to the second largest theater district outside of NYC. While we can't afford to take the kids often, we really want to expose them to different forms of art as we are able.

We also haven't taken the kids to the movie theater yet. Jon and I aren't huge movie buffs (the last theater experience we had was for Ender's Game...so 4 years ago) so it isn't high on our priority list, but we also weren't sure whether the kids could really sit still. Elden also struggles with loud noises sometimes so we weren't certain he would enjoy it.

Last weekend, a friend invited us to Cinema at the Square to see Charlotte's Web. She had free tickets so I figured it was a great way to get our feet wet and see if the kids could handle it.
Elden did great. He fidgeted a lot in his seat, but he remained seated the entire time. He did periodically cover his ears, but it was without drama.

Edith did okay. About halfway through the movie she crawled into my lap where she remained the duration of the movie. She kept saying she wanted it to be over and to go home, but when it actually ended and was time to leave she cried her head off because she wanted to stay. I'm not sure whether she's just a bit too young for a movie or if it was because we skipped nap time to go, but I probably wouldn't take her again for a little while. There is a My Little Pony movie coming out in October that we will probably take them to.

The most interesting part of the experience? Probably when Edith silently handed me something and I inquired what it was. "A booger!" - thanks, kid.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

the things we do for our children


I need to talk about this. 

I continue to take the kids fishing. Over the weekend, Jon's parents came over to visit. They brought Edith her own fishing pole and got a tackle box for Elden so naturally they wanted to go to the pond that night. I cut up hot dog (because I still can't bring myself to sacrifice worms) and off we went.

Last trip, it was the swallowed hook incident that left me unsettled. 

This trip, it was the ole hook through the eye socket incident.

CAN WE NOT HAVE A FISHING TRIP WITHOUT INCIDENT? IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?

I'm not going to lie: I hate everything about this. Jon keeps telling me he thinks I should be vegan because when he tries to discuss the awful reality of the meat and dairy industry I immediately shut down and yell at him to shut up. The problem with me being vegan is that I greatly enjoy meat and dairy. More so dairy than meet (I would probably willingly join a cult whose entire religious existence revolved around cheese where I would quickly rise through the ranks to be the Queen Cheese due to my sheer devotion to that moldy goodness), but I just don't have the willpower to avoid it all together. That took a weird turn, but my point is that I feel immensely guilty that we are hurting these fish in the name of sport.

But my children greatly enjoy it and I greatly enjoy seeing my children happy, so I do it.

But it sucks. More for the fish than for me, but still.

I hate it. Why can't my children enjoy crocheting? Knitting? Anything that doesn't involve piercing flesh when done properly? How can I atone to the fish for my sins against them? 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

tried and true chick-fil-a copycat recipes

This blog post is dedicated to the driver sitting hopelessly in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru line on Sunday. Because we've all been there:

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Over the weekend, I decided to try a couple of Chick-Fil-A copycat recipes I had found: one for the nuggets and one for the honey roasted BBQ sauce. I'm here to report that they were delicious!


In my humble opinion, the nuggets were basically identical to the real thing. The sauce wasn't 100% spot on, but I'm guessing a lot of it had to do with the barbecue sauce I used. In any case, they weren't difficult recipes at all and will certainly meet any craving you might have. The biggest thing to remember is the chicken needs to marinate for half an hour so make sure you give yourself enough time!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

quarter life crisis

Over the weekend, I decided I wanted to dye my hair a super light pink. I guess I was feeling ~edgy~ so I hit up a Sally Beauty and bought this stuff. Naturally, the kids caught me in the act and wanted in on the action. Since I've always viewed hair dye (especially demi-permanent) as a form of expression, I wasn't about to say no.

This is what the color was supposed to look like:
This was the color (along with the purple next to it) on the kids' hair:
Aaaand this is what it looked like once we waited the recommended time and washed it out:
Naturally, we were all totally bummed. So then I went and busted this out. 

Let's just say my days of being a remarkably skilled hair dye novice are fin.
So the first time I used the Splat, I tooootally missed the entire back of my hair. I ended up having to do a second round the next day. Even then, it was horrible. Not uniform, just looked a hot mess. The kids loved theirs though:
So after less than 24 hours I had the "what was I thinking?" and "I am not 19 anymore" realization. Saturday night, I ran to Walgreens to buy some dark brown to cover it up:
Jon asked me if it was fun while it lasted, the response to which was a resounding no. I used to love playing around with hair dye but I forgot what a pain in the butt it is to remain committed to the color. I'm hoping to avoid having to dye it again but I may have to do a light brown once my blonde roots start to come in. I told Jon I think I was having a quarter life crisis or something because the whole thing was SO impulsive.

If hair dye is the worst life crisis I have, I guess I have it pretty good.