Friday, April 28, 2017

five on friday

 {1} This $17 sandbox has been a HUGE hit the past few days. The kids can't get enough of it and I am still super excited about the price tag.

{2} Honey Hut! Our local Honey Hut closes for the winter because Ohio, but it is open and we got to enjoy it in the van last night!

 {3} Every day Edith grows more independent and it has me all kinds of happy. Edith will start preschool in the fall of 2018 and even though it's more than a year away she talks about it often.

{4} Siding replacement. As of yesterday, all the siding was removed from the front and chimney sides of the house and halfway off the other side of the house. I'm hoping tomorrow we will be able to see what it looks like with some of the new siding up but in the meantime the house looks dramatically different.


{5} Make sure to come back on Tuesday to join Mackensey and me for our second Tuesday Outtakes link-up!

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

thoughts on relationships

I love my Timehop app because it reminds me of a lot of adorable things the kids did/said on that day in previous years and gives me pictures of my cherubic children--a departure from their present twonager and fournager selves. I also loathe Timehop with every fiber of my being because I read a lot of my Facebook statuses from when I was in my late teens/very early twenties and I cringe a thousand cringes. 
Jon and I started dating when I was 18 and he was 19. Beacons of maturity! Adults! Except now that I'm rounding third base on my twenties I see the crap I posted and I realize that I was just a child (I bet Jon's and my parents are collectively agreeing with me), as evidenced by my super emo Facebook statuses whenever there was trouble in paradise. Also, here's a fun scientific fact for you: new studies have shown the brain doesn't reach full maturity until somewhere around age 25. You bet your face I've placed that little nugget of knowledge straight into the memory bank to be beckoned when my own children attempt to assert their 'adulthood.' You are both welcomed and encouraged to do likewise with your spawns.

Jon and started dating (unofficially) in late November/early December 2006. We made it official in February 2007. In March, Jon moved to Arizona for an audio engineering program, where he remained through November. That August, I moved to Chicago for college. Super long distance relationship + newish relationship + both of us in new cities hanging out with people the other doesn't know + youngish couple + both in first serious relationship and new at adulting does not a happy relationship make. There were a whole lot of ups but way more downs. There were breaks along the way (does anyone else hear Ross Gellar yelling "we were on a break!" when they read about relationship breaks? No? Just me?) and at one point I think we were both pretty sure we weren't going to end up together. We managed to work through it all and decided we were worth fighting for, and in June 2010 we promised to fight for one another for the rest of our lives. It's all been rainbows and unicorns ever since.
Our first major marital fight happened as we crossed the threshold into our apartment from our honeymoon. The first year challenged us in ways I never could have dreamed of. Some pretty big issues (more here and here) have plagued us throughout our nearly 7-year marriage. As time has passed, we have either a) become so worn down by our children that we've lost all will to fight, b) grown and matured further and figured out how to fight fair, c) figured out how to communicate more effectively, d) found a place of unequivocal comfort with one another (not in a bad way!) and/or e) all of the above. We don't fight nearly as frequently as we used to, and generally speaking, when we do fight now it isn't anywhere near as explosive as it was during our relationship infancy. I'm pretty confident saying that Jon and I are comfortable, but still really happy with one another. It is far from easy--relationships take so much work, energy, and patience--but I would have said "I do" all over again if I went back in time. Jon is a partner in the truest sense--he contributes to the household equally (if not more since he's the stay at home parent) and he parents equally. When Etta is up all night, Jon is up half the night (again, sometimes more) with her. My only hesitation regarding leaving the kids with Jon so I can do something fun is that I think it's wildly unfair to him since he never really gets a break from his 'job.' 

If you are single and looking for a serious relationship, my advice to you would be this:
-find someone who you know will be equally committed to helping with housework and parenting - these are huge and I am absolutely floored by the number of married women I know who are basically flying this aspect of their lives solo.
-talk about all the really big important stuff (religion, whether you want children or to get married, how you plan to raise/discipline your children, how you plan on sharing holidays between your families, etc.) and do not count on one another changing dramatically on their stance - if there are fundamental differences that you cannot work out now you will not be able to magically work it out once you get married.
-find someone who is truly in it for the long haul. Trust takes a crazy long time to develop. One of the reasons I think our fights have gotten less explosive now is I have finally reached a point where I trust Jon to not leave me at the drop of a hat (not that he ever would before, I just have a lot of trust issues so I needed to work this out on my own) so I am less inclined to push those buttons and test his limits (again, a me issue). When Jon told me he loved me for the first time and I questioned him on it, he explained love as more of an action than a feeling--when he told me he loved me he told me he was committing to loving me and only me. If you think a relationship isn't meant to be merely because you have to put some work into it, you will never find a long-term relationship.

Linking up with Annie.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

what's up wednesday

Linking up with JessiMelSheaffer, and Shay!


What we're eating this week:

Since I'm currently dairy-free we have not been eating cheese and I have the sads. This stir fry is helping to ease the pain:

Our all-time favorite stir fry

We also made this recipe yesterday for dinner and it was great.

Hoping to make this lo mein (modified to be vegetarian) tonight.

What I'm reminiscing about:

I can't believe how much Edith has changed in a year. It's rocking my world in a big way.

What I'm loving:

This special buy from Aldi.
The weather!

What we've been up to:

Our house is being re-sided starting today! We also replaced the front window and got a new window treatment for it:

What I'm dreading:

The only thing I don't enjoy about gardening is trying to keep up with the weeds and fighting things like Japanese beetles. I'm hoping to stay on top of it this summer so it doesn't get too out of hand, but with three young kids I'm not hedging my bets.

What I'm working on:
This parenting hack for a $20 sandbox.

What I'm excited about:

Our big neighborhood yard sale is in May and I can't wait to purge so many things from our house. We already have piles of sales items all over the place and they get larger every day. I want to feel like I can breathe again!

What I'm watching/reading:

We started Bill Nye Saves the World last night. I admittedly only half watched it so it may not have been as captivating as I had hoped...

What I'm listening to:


What I'm wearing:

Skinny jeans, Toms or Chucks, and t-shirts.

What I'm doing:

Honestly? Running on survival mode. I cut out dairy and we switched Etta to Alimentum, but she went on a formula strike and was refusing it. I took her back to the pediatrician yesterday to see if he had any insight (saw our regular ped this time) and he said Alimentum tastes horrible. He recommended dialing it back to a non-hypoallergenic one for a few weeks to see what happens. The good news is she took the new formula no problem. The bad news is she wakes up every 45-60 minutes at night because of it.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Consistent sleep (I hope).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

parenting hack: DIY covered sandbox for less than $20

When we first moved into our house I made a sand table out of some pressure treated wood and a covered plastic bin. The sand table was easily one of the most played with toys and treasured by both big kids. Sadly, the sand table met its demise when Elden leaned against it and it broke. We had been scouring the internet for a replacement sandbox but everything we liked was over $100. Since the plastic storage bin worked so well we figured why not make a sandbox out of the same thing?

We have plans to dig out a spot in the ground to make these "in-ground" sandboxes with pavers placed around them. For now these were a HUGE hit and for the price tag you couldn't beat it. In case you were curious, I used these storage bins and this sand.

Monday, April 24, 2017

picture window replacement

The front of our house had a large picture bay window when we moved in. We loved the light it let in, but unfortunately each pane was just comprised of two sheets of glass. This meant we couldn't open any of them on cooler summer nights to let a breeze in (and was a huge contributing factor in adding our storm door late last year). Also, the far left pane had moisture enter it so it was perpetually foggy. We knew we eventually wanted to replace the bay window with one that was flush with the wall because we also dream of eventually expanding our front porch across the entire front of the house. When we found out we would be getting all of the siding replaced, we decided now was the best time to replace our window. Over the weekend our contractor came out to do it and I am so happy!

Before:
*valence came with the house and we just hadn't ever gotten around to removing it
forgive the low res image I stole off the internet

After:

We are removing all the shutters on the house and our contractor is framing the windows out with a thick moulding. He is scheduled to start the re-siding process tomorrow and I am SO excited! We also have big plans to finally update the family room so once that's complete I'll make sure to share much better before/after images. We're trying to find a good balance on the family room makeover because there are some things we'd really like to do (such as replacing the carpet with hard floors) but that would likely open a can of worms with the way the kitchen, foyer, dining room and family room are all connected. We will likely just put a new coat of paint up and add new curtains for the time being due to budgetary constraints. 

dairy-free brussels sprouts stir fry


Ingredients:
Tofu
1 block of extra firm tofu
cooking oil (we used olive)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cilantro
1/2 tsp. pepper

Stir Fry
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and sliced thinly vertically
1 1/2 c. matchstick carrots
salt
pepper
cooking oil (we used olive)
Teriyaki sauce (we got ours from Aldi)

Directions: 
To prepare the tofu, press all water out (we usually place it on a baker's drying rack with paper towels on both sides; a bowl underneath to catch the water and something heavy like a glass mixing bowl on top to press the water out), which usually takes about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Once the tofu has been drained, cut into bite sized cubes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cilantro. Fry in as little oil as possible until brown on all sides. Place browned tofu in oven at 425 degrees for ten minutes.

To prepare the stir fry, add the Brussels sprouts and carrots to the same pan used to brown the tofu, once again using as little cooking oil as possible over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables are tender (but not mushy). Add the tofu to the pan once it is finished in the oven and drizzle teriyaki sauce to taste over the top.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

dairy-free green pea falafel

As adapted from Green Chef
Ingredients:
1.5 c. green peas
1 tsp. diced scallion
2 cloves diced garlic
1 tbsp. diced fresh parsley
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cooking oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peas in a bowl and mash into a chunky puree. Add scallions, garlic and parsley; mix. Add flour, coriander, salt, cumin, pepper, baking powder and olive oil until combined. If mixture seems dry, add about 1 tablespoon of water. When you are ready to form the falafel, slightly wet your hands with water. Do not pull a Danielle and attempt to skip this step as it will make your life infinitely more challenging. Form into six 0.5" thick patties and refrigerate for five minutes. Heat cooking oil over medium heat and transfer the patties to the hot pan for 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Serve with hummus or in dairy-free pita.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

dairy-free greek quinoa salad


As adapted from Peas and Crayons
Ingredients:
1 c. quinoa
1.5 c. water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. While quinoa cooks, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. When the quinoa is cooked, transfer to a bowl. Add black beans, cucumber, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper dress with the vinegar and oil dressing. Serve warm or place in the fridge for later to serve cold. This goes great with pita and hummus. Hummus should always be dairy-free (we go with Sabra roasted pine nut) and you may or may not be able to find dairy-free pita in the store. If you can't find it, here is a great dairy-free pita recipe!

Friday, April 21, 2017

five on friday

{1} The kids recently rediscovered a magnifying glass they had received as a gift and we had a lot of fun with it. It began with Edith examining Etta and promptly declaring "that's a BIG Etta head!" Indeed it is, my child.

{2} The baby finches on our porch have all hatched and we creep on them on the reg. My first thought was how ugly they were but I have to admit they're growing on me. The only clearly distinguishable feature at any given time is a beak or two. Otherwise it is pink scraggle fuzz city.

{3} Elden got this book in his Easter basket from my parents. We were reading it the other day when Edith exclaimed, "that's poop! That looks like meatballs!" I don't know which I'm more upset about--the fact that she thinks my cooking looks like poop or the fact that she's right.

{4} Did you catch my post where I discussed going dairy-free as a breastfeeding mom on Wednesday? While I wrote it with breastfeeding moms in mind, it is really great for anyone who is trying to go dairy-free or who is preparing a meal for someone who is. I also posted a dairy-free recipe here.

{5} The Nest thermostat. I don't know how much of this can be attributed to the weather or the fact that we got a new insulated garage door over the winter, but we are definitely saving money on heating since we installed our Nest. I love being able to see how long our furnace was on for and changing the temperature from the comfort of my bed isn't bad either!

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

edith at 2.5

Tomorrow is our first baby girl's two and a half birthday. Edith Jane is full of spunk, passion and sass. Her favorite things are dresses and baby dolls. She loves everyone deeply so whenever we have someone over or we go to their house the second we leave their presence she exasperatedly claims "I miss XYZ!"
 For as much as you might think Edith is a "girly girl," she also loves playing with worms and in the dirt. She is fearless and Jon often says he thinks she's going to be a stunt double when she grows up because she quite literally throws herself into everything she wants to try. As her mother, it is terrifying.
 Edith's biggest struggle right now is sharing me. If Elden gets hurt and I go to hold him she has a big meltdown. If I have to nurse Etta but she wants my attention she will gently hit me (we are working on it) to display her frustration. Edith has also learned some less than amusing behaviors (yelling at us, stomping her foot at us) from her beloved brother but compared to the same behaviors on him, hers are child's play.
 Edith is very intelligent and verbal. She can count to 12. She has gotten a lot easier to understand in the past few months. Edith knows what she wants and she will persist until she is able to adequately communicate it (though sometimes if we still can't figure out what she's talking about after much explaining she'll say, "I don't know what else to say it" in defeat... it's heartbreaking).
Edith's favorite food is salami. Her vegetable of choice is carrot and she likes almost all fruit. She is a little nurturer and cuddler. Edith loves to sing and dance. She also loves to play hide and seek, restaurant, and picnic. Edith loves Elden but also grows tired of him at times. It is next to impossible to get an intentional natural smile from Edith if your camera is out. She is constantly cracking us up and we are so glad she's ours.

dairy-free avocado chickpea mashed sandwiches


I had posted about these sandwiches before, but I modified Ally's recipe to account for being dairy-free and thought I would share here.

Ingredients:
1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 avocado
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. white vinegar
3 tbsp. mayonnaise 
salt and pepper to taste
dairy-free bread (we like Nature's Own 12 grain)
lettuce
sprouts
bacon (optional)

Directions:
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, flesh from the avocado, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. If you want to add onion, garlic, or shallot to the mash, you can do so. Add salt and pepper to taste and run the food processor until the ingredients are combined. Place the mash on your bread along with lettuce, sprouts and bacon (if you so desire).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

a guide to going dairy-free for the breastfeeding mom

So the good news is that we finally think we figured out Etta's sleep issues. The bad news is we think Etta's sleep issues are directly related to dairy, which means I have to cut my most beloved thing (cheese! The humanity!) out of my diet.

With both Elden and Edith, I thought dairy might be causing them discomfort and therefore I attempted to cut it out of my diet. With both of those kiddos it proved to be futile so after 3-4 weeks I reintroduced it. As such, when Jon first suggested cutting it out again around Etta's 2-month birthday I pretty much waved the idea aside because dairy sensitivity in kids is less common than most believe. Even if Etta is sensitive to dairy, I don't necessarily believe it is a legitimate allergy because she is growing, had no blood in her stool, etc. In fact, she was mostly happy during the day, she's just never consistently slept more than 2-3 hours at a time at night (and that is on a rare good night). I had mentioned this to a friend whose daughter has a dairy allergy and she said that's exactly how her daughter's symptoms manifested. This revelation coupled with the fact that the two days we supplemented with milk-based formula resulted in the worst nights ever (complete with inconsolable screaming for a few hours, something that had never happened before), followed by two days without supplementing and okayish nights, followed up by one last day with formula/an awful night...I'm going to give it a shot. We also decided to try this formula for supplementation because the milk proteins are already 'digested' so if Etta is sensitive to them she should be able to break them down much easier as the process has already started.

I digress. The point of this post is to help other new moms who may be in my shoes. When I first cut dairy out with Elden, I think I cried for days. Not necessarily because I missed cheese (real talk though, I totally did and that was totally a contributing factor) but because the whole process was so overwhelming. In case you've never really looked, dairy is in nearly every single off-the-shelf food item you can buy. We even found it in vegetable broth once! That means you basically have to cook every meal from scratch (which, when you are a totally exhausted, hormonal, stressed-out new mom... hashtag meltdown) and my experience (granted, this was over 4 years ago) with Elden was that dairy-free recipes all seemed too involved and it was all just too much. Luckily for me, I had a friend whose son had an intense dairy allergy (the anaphylactic kind) and I was able to reach out to her about how to do this thing. She made it all feel much lighter and gave me tips that I have held onto. As such, this transition with Etta didn't stress me out at all.

What if I told you going dairy-free could be easy? That you can keep using the same recipes you always used with some simple substitutions? Because it is that easy!

Just a few notes to keep in mind:
-You can use any non-dairy milk (coconut, soy, almond, hemp, etc.). Sometimes I use different types based on the recipe I'm making (sweet vs. savory). A lot of non-dairy milk is shelf stable so you can buy a small box or can for your pantry for different recipes, which is nice.
-Tofutti and Daiya are both vegan-friendly brands. That's another tip I have - if you find something that is vegan then you know it does not contain cow's milk! Our big box grocery store carries both of these brands in a small section by the dairy products, but if you are unsure whether yours carries them you can always call the store to ask.
-Yogurt and ice cream are other areas that are growing in the non-dairy field. These are made with non-dairy milk and there are a variety of options by different brands.
-Milk chocolate is obviously not dairy-free. A lot of high quality dark chocolates are, and you can also find vegan chocolates like these.
-There are several off-the-shelf dairy-free frosting brands if you want to buy it. Just read the labels and you will know if it is safe!
-As always, make sure you read labels on everything you buy. Dairy has a way of sneaking in there, even if it isn't a direct ingredient (i.e. may be produced in a facility that also produces dairy products, etc.). Dairy can take up to three weeks to fully leave your system so exercise patience and caution when grocery shopping.

I am working on compiling a list of some naturally dairy-free recipes for a follow-up post that are quick, simple, and delicious. If you have any questions about anything related to this topic at all I am an open book!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

etta (22 weeks old)

At 22 weeks old, Etta is an ounce shy of 16 pounds. We know that because we took her to the pediatrician on Friday morning since she spent the majority of Thursday night screaming her head off. Curiously enough, despite her incredible lack of sleep, Etta is pretty happy most of the day. She loves to smile and roll and is working on that core strength so she can master sitting on her own. We have begun supplementing with formula because my supply isn't keeping up and we are wondering if that is contributing to her sleeplessness (possible dairy sensitivity). Etta still has blocked tear ducts so her eyes are perpetually goobery but they don't seem to bother her. She is wearing mostly 6-12 month clothes now and we can hardly keep up with her growth!

Monday, April 17, 2017

easter weekend and running on empty

The weather in Ohio was absolutely gorgeous for Easter weekend so we were able to spend the majority of it outside. The freedom to leave the confines of our home was more important than I can even explain. The past two weeks have been rough. Etta was not sleeping. As in, one (or two, if we were lucky) 45-minute naps per day, and wake ups about every hour at night. We tried everything we could possibly think of and on both Wednesday and Thursday nights I had pretty massive emotional breakdowns. We were exhausted, being particularly short with Elden and Edith due to said exhaustion, and I was seriously ready to run away from my life and hibernate for a few years. We even took Etta to the pediatrician on Friday morning because surely she had an ear infection or some other obvious and treatable reason for her lack of sleep. I bet you see where this is going. Etta is healthy! Which, of course, is absolutely wonderful, but I can honestly say I had never hoped my kid had an ear infection more than I did that morning.

Thankfully, Etta had a relatively respectable night on Saturday night (hooray for only waking up every 2.5-3 hours!) so I felt a small sense of rejuvenation, but that proved to be short-lived in the sense that I think my body finally realized what it had been missing for the past two weeks and now it is trying to binge sleep. This season is truly not my favorite of parenthood; between the lack of sleep, the insane amount of laundry (which - our dryer decided to go on the fritz two loads in yesterday, too!), the toys everywhere (especially under my feet), and the terrible twos/fournager, I end my days feeling mostly defeated. I want to be everything to every person in my family and with expectations like that I'm setting myself up for failure. I've really had to work to try to change my perfectionist tendencies to avoid a full-blown meltdown. I'm not really sure why I felt the urge to spill my heart on a post that's focused on one of the more cheerful events (Easter! New life! Hope!) in human history, but in the interest of full disclosure that's kind of where I am at. I know this is a season and won't last, but with the way my days have been bleeding into one another it certainly feels like I am in the throes of forever.

Onwards!

My mom took Elden and Edith for the day on Friday so Jon could have a bit of a break. My company let us leave early in anticipation of the holiday weekend so I got out an hour sooner than normal. Jon and I met at my parent's house and had dinner there which was lovely.
Saturday we celebrated Easter with Jon's family. There was such wonderful food and company. In their baskets from Jon's parents, the kids got balloons/a pump like this which can blow up balloons with air OR water and I'm pretty sure it is the greatest invention ever. Seriously, these were a hit and Elden spent part of yesterday filling balloons himself with water. 10/10, totally recommend it as a gift.
both the girls' dresses and Etta's bonnet were mine when I was little

On Sunday our church had breakfast which meant eating with friends - always a blast. In the afternoon we went to my sister's house to celebrate with my family and had more delicious food and fellowship. The kids were once again spoiled and I can definitely say Easter ranks right up there with Christmas in their world.
Sleep issues aside, this weekend was definitely one of my favorite in recent memory. It fills me with boatloads of hope for a summer that will be spent outside and hopefully a whole lot more sleep.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

winc wine subscription box review

Since we hopped on the meal delivery subscription review bandwagon, I figured why not jump on the wine subscription one as well?!
I don't drink much/often, but when I do, my drink of choice is wine. I typically get moscato with this being my moscato of choice. As such, I tend towards very sweet wines (have I told you how dope plum wine is? If you like the candy equivalent of wine, try a glass of plum next time you get Thai food). I've been wanting to branch out a bit on my tastes and try new things, but I am far from a wine connoisseur and I am overwhelmed by the selection when I go to the store.
Enter Winc. You answer some questions and they develop an initial wine profile for you and make suggestions of wines to try. You also rate the wine you receive so Winc can better hone its recommendations for your taste buds. When the order came, it came with a handy journal that had descriptions and suggestions of what to eat with your wine!
Even though they make recommendations, you can select specific wines for each box you receive if you want to try something else or don't think you'd like the recommendation. If you get 4 bottles, shipping is free. You can also skip a box at any time if you're like me and won't drink four bottles in a month.

In my first box, this is what I received:
At small group on Thursday I tried the Brethren of the Road and Loves Me Not. I preferred Brethren of the Road but Loves Me Not wasn't bad either! I am waiting to try the sauv and the cider, but I have yet to meet a cider I dislike and the sauv got pretty great reviews so I doubt I'll be disappointed!
If you use my referral link, you will receive one bottle of wine for free on your order. You can order as many or as few wines as you'd like, so if you want to try just one you just need to pay for shipping with that link. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

five on friday

me too, elden. meeee too.
{1} So our sleep just keeps deteriorating. We're to the point where I'm wondering whether we should make a peds appointment to make sure Etta isn't sick or something, but she has no symptoms of being sick, is generally happy during the day, etc. She just doesn't sleep. Unless it's 6 am and she's been up most of the night and we all have to get ready for the day. Then Etta takes a power nap. A friend recommended this book and I should be receiving and promptly desperate-binge-reading it today. 

{2} Green Chef. We finished our last of three meals on Wednesday and we still think it was the best value. Check out my comparison between Green Chef, Blue Apron and Hello* Fresh here.

{3} Diono Radian RXT. I've talked about our love affair with these car seats before, but I want to take you by the face to tell you that I am all-in. Our van was in the shop this week so we were left wondering how to work out Elden's preschool drop off/pick up. I have a Hyundai Sonata so we decided to see if we could truly fit three across while I used the shop's courtesy car to get to work. Car seats that are really safe, FAA approved, AND compact enough to fit in a sedan? Cannot recommend these more.

{4} We took inventory of our seeds this week and organized them by planting season. I'm most excited for edamame, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and the different carrot varieties we have. We also have some plants coming from Stark Brothers (these, these and these) and I reallllly hope our garden doesn't disappoint this year.

{5} One day Edith and I were both wearing dresses and she was so excited that we matched. Elden was upset he and I didn't have anything that matched. I explored Mommy and Me clothing but it was mostly for moms and girls / really expensive. I found shirts for all of us on sale (I got baseball tees from H&M for Etta and me and from Gap for Elden and Edith), bought the images from Etsy, and my mom used her Cricut to put the images on the shirts! The kids were so excited to match and I love how they turned out. Thanks, mom!

*in my sleep deprived state I originally mistyped this as "Hell Fresh" and I think that could be a unique new subscription service of sorts.

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!