Saturday Six

Saturday Six

Another day, another trip to Target for a birthday card for my Dad where we leave spending $80. Just us? But, I mean, Cole really needs some shorts that actually fit…..And Evie needs new rubber bands….HAND SOAP! This is just how our brains work now. So here are the six things that are jumping out at us this week. Enjoy!

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1. It’s Hammock Time

The weather got NICE and the kids want to play outside all day long. But Mama is tired and wants to relax. So basically the best thing that ever happened to Christine is this hammock.  She grabbed it at Costco, but don’t worry, you can get it on Amazon! It is comfy enough that you can lay in the sun and read a book all afternoon (if the kids leave you alone) but it’s also sturdy and doesn’t sway so you know it’s not going to swing and hit your kid in the face if they’re playing with it. If they fall off they won’t hit the structure and it’s the safest hammock we’ve found for the littles to play on!

2. Korean Ground Beef 

We were totally twinning this week when we sent each other matching pictures of our Friday night meal prep. Since we were planning to feed this to five kids with different preferences it must be a crowd-pleaser overall. Want more family meal ideas? Don’t forget to check out our Family Meals and Recipes Board and follow us on Pinterest!

 

3. A Very Disney Movie Bracket

Our friend Becca is back in the bracket game, this time breaking down Disney movies (which, I think it’s safe to say, we have very strong opinions on!) Round one just ended, but voting for the Sweet Sixteen starts Monday! So for now, go check out who made it out of the first round and join the smack talking as you can campaign for why your favorite movie should go all the way. And if your favorite movie already got beat? Use the comments to bemoan the injustice of it all. They’re rad chicks and can handle it.

4. Christine’s New Phone Case

Christine’s old cell phone case started out a beautiful minty green blue, but has become grubby and dingy and minty green blue gray. But, being the cheapskate she is, couldn’t justify buying a new case just because the old one was ugly. So I guess she’s sort of thanking Izzie for throwing her phone across the room and cracking the case. Especially because this beautiful rose gold number is on the way!

5. Kids Eat Free

We love to go out to dinner, but a) it get’s expensive when you’re feeing a family of four or five and b) well, no, it’s really just a! So we are MASTERS at working the system at places where Kids Eat Free. Which is especially helpful when your kid wants to eat shrimp all the time (seriously, it adds up!). So off we go to Gladstone’s on Thursday nights so the kids can at least eat free. I mean, his face says, “I love shrimp” but trust me when I tell you that Mommy’s face says, “I love FREE shrimp!”

6. The Saturday Six is Moving!

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Saturday Six

Saturday Six

It’s been a great week in so many ways, but we’ve had about as much coffee as we’ve had sleep (strike that…WAY MORE COFFEE THAN SLEEP), so let’s get right to the good stuff. Here are the things we’re loving lately!

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1. Easy AF Chicken Pesto Pasta

You had me at “Easy AF,” Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe.  This recipe is SO yummy, SO easy, and can be made in a single pan in 20 or thirty minutes.  It transports and heats well, and even tastes delicious using Gluten-Free Pasta (see below). Perfect meal to take for new babies, or a friend that just needs a little extra help.

2. Take and Toss Products

We’ve been on the struggle bus with sippy cups for something like six months. All the cups are always dirty and the lids are unfindable. Since the kids like milk first thing in the morning, we were always confronted with this problem around 5:30 each morning, and we had had enough.

And then we remembered that Take and Toss products are like $3 for a set, and bought a mess of them. Saying it changed our lives is embarassing, but also an undertsatement. Sometimes you just have to throw some money at the problem (especially when it’s THREE DOLLARS) and make it go away.

3. The MiFold Booster Seat

We love to throw an extra kid into the mix on a regular basis.  Playdates can change your whole vibe, and having a friend tag along is the easiest way to turn a good day into a great one.  We keep extra carseats in our car in case we get the chance to bring another kiddo along with us, but it just takes up so.much.space.  Then we realized our kids are in the weight and age ranges for the MiFold Booster seat. This bad boy folds up to the size of a tablet so it’s crazy easy to store, and certified to keep your kids (and their friends!) safe.

4. Guest Post at KateTheAlmostGreat.Com

Jaymi has been going through some health struggles for the last six months or so. It was an endless barrage of symptoms and appointments and tests that came up normal.  Finally, Daniella recommended that she tried going Gluten Free, and to her delight and horror, her symptoms all disappeared.  So now she lives that GF life….which is hard for people to understand.  Check out her guest post over at Kate the Almost Great about the 6 Biggest Misconceptions she’s encountered since going Gluten-Free (and what’s annoyed her most about the lifestyle).

5. BFF Tattoos

Becca at WithLoveBecca.com let us know that you can get a temporary tattoo made of your BFF’s face. Which is either horrifying or amazing, depending on how creepy your relationship is with your bestie.

We’re ordering a whole batch for this summer, in case you were wondering.

6. Jellies & Saltwaters

Chrisitne rolled up to a Chick-fil-A lunchdate wearing adult-sized jelly shoes, and Jaymi just about lost her mind. First of all, because of the cuteness, but also because it’s SO nostaligc. The new version is way softer, but just as adorable. Grab a pair for yourself here.

Which got us to thinking- what other retro shoes are making a comeback? We quickly found that you can get some Saltwater Sandals for yourself (and a matching pair for your littles!) as well as a modernized version of Birkenstocks, all of which seem shockingly on trend for summer.  What would be your summer shoe of choice? Tell us in the comments below!

Saturday Six

Saturday Six

It’s Spring Break, which means we had all the kids and had to find a way to kill all the time. While we were trying to entertain The Bigs, the littlest Salty has decided that she LOVES to play from 1 to 3. In the morning. So while Christine walks around like a Mombie, she’s just looking for all the ways to make her life easier. Here are six ways we entertained the big kids and made our lives easier this week.

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1. Spring Break Bucket List

One of the things we like to do at the beginning of a school break is sit down with the kids to make our Break Bucket Lists. Sometimes we need to manage expectations, but sometimes the kids get it just right. Like this week, Lila’s list included: Frogg’s Bounce House (an affordable indoor bounce house place), ice cream, playing with the neighbor girl and a shopping spree. So Jaymi got to planning and knocked these out while Lila was living her dream. Literally.

Especially when she got to go shopping, “by herself,” with her own money at a cool accessories store where everything was $2 – buy 5, get 1 free! Bonus points for learning about budgeting and making hard shopping decisions!

2. Tumbling All Day, Everyday

Okay, not really, but whenever the gymnastics center was open for free play, we were there. Not sure why we weren’t normally living there, because the kids loved it. One hour where they ran, jumped, bounced and got hella tired. We will never turn down a place that leaves our kids nice and exhausted. Afterwards, the little ones took epic naps, the big ones did calm activities like coloring and watching TVs in a catatonic state.

The only complaint came from the Big Girls, who felt they desperately need proper gymnastics attire. Lila’s going to need one like this, with a subtle mermaid vibe, while Evie has requested anything with a skirt.

Well, and Christine complained about some Moms that maybe thought they didn’t need to supervise their kids, but we’ll save that for our upcoming sequel to Open Letters to the People That Make Us Salty. Because turns out, we weren’t done.

3. Frozen Yogurts

In our house, sacks wax and wane in popularity. Raisins will be the hot thing one minute, then we’ll buy a Costco sized bag of then and no one ever touches them again. One snack that disappeared from the rotation made it’s triumphant return this week. The kids wake up FREAKING OUT asking if they can have a “frozen yogurt” today. We squelch the gut reaction of “Nooooo, we are NOT going to go get frozen yogurt” and remember they’re talking about the sweet little treat in the fridge.

And look at that happy face!

4. Adding an Extra Kid

It may seem counterintuitive, but we swear by adding an extra kid to the mix to shake things up. Our kids’ sibling rivalry gets a little shakeup when we add a friend to our activities. So while Christine was dreading taking her three to the nature center this week, she was saved when Lila agreed to come with them. The kids were adorable, we all got some exercise and they got to spend a fun day with a friend.

5. Apple Peeler

Our kids love apples, but are finicky about the skin. So when the little gremlins start whining about how they need apples immediately, we die a little inside. They all want apples immediately and have zero patience for the fact that we need to peel three apples while they tug at our pants and whine “why aren’t the apples ready yet???” Add to it that they also decide at the same time that they need jugs of water to drink, and the baby needs to be held and someone needs help getting on the toilet.

So yeah, Christine buckled down and bought this potato peeler to do just a tiny bit of her job for her.

6. Game Night with Friends

The surest antidote to spending all that extra time with our kids is to also spend extra time with our friends. Preferably with a cocktail in our hands. This week was the perfect storm for a girls night: Spring break, Real Housewives of NY premiere, SO much leftover Easter candy, and got the game Kinderperfect! It’s like Cards Against Humanity, except designed for people that spend their entire day avoiding Calliou and dealing with poop.

So…..us. If you dig having a game night with the girls, you should definitely grab this one!

How did you survive spring break?

parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?

7 Things You NEVER Thought You Had to Teach Your Kids

Having kids is a big responsibility. You hold your tiny baby and think, “I’m going to teach you letters and numbers and colors, how to throw a ball and how to read” and it can feel overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. Kids are constantly learning and part of our job is to facilitate this amazing experience for them. And then they take off their pants in a Chick-fil-A and you realize you’ve been focusing on all the wrong things. And there’s a whole world out there of things you NEVER thought you’d actually have to teach your kids.

So here are seven things we learned the hard way that you absolutely MUST teach your kids.

#whattoteachyourkids #stuffkidssay #funnystuffkidssay #momlife #kidssaythedarndestthings #theysaidwhat #whattoteachkids #teachingkids #whatshoulditeachkids #whatdokidsneedtolearn

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MicroLuxuries, momlife, parenting, Saturday Six, The Salties

Saturday Six

Have you ever done that thing where you want to do ALL THE THINGS, so you tell everyone yes and you don’t tell anybody no, and then it looks so PRETTY in your color coded Bullet Journal, but then when it comes to actually living that plan, you are EXHAUSTED and wondering what the hell you were thinking?

No? Just us?

At any rate, it was a busy, fun, exhausting week, and in the end we wouldn’t change a thing.  Here are a few of our favorites.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our legal page. Thank you!

1. Impromptu Playdates

What do you do when you have leftover supplies from the preschool Easter Party, and are wondering what to do with all of those pudding cups? Invite over your besties and throw yourselves a party! We made these adorable handprint chickens (Ducks? Whatever. Birds.), ate pudding, and then the kids spent a surprisingly long time coloring these adorable Easter Egg Coloring Pages from Real Mom Recs. So if you’re looking for a last minute Easter activity, she’s got you covered! Just print, cut apart, and set them out for some kid-friendly fun that will (hopefully!) keep them occupied for a good, long time.

2. Being Prime Moms, Not Pinterest Moms

Okay, we take that back- we are a little of both. But Jaymi got so busy making cutesy projects (that she actually enjoyed making) for Abe’s upcoming second birthday that she couldn’t stomach the thought of one.more.project. So when it came time to decide what he’d wear to his party, she thought she’d check Amazon real quick and found out that they actually have a PERFECT shirt for a sports themed second birthday party. How amazing is this cute little tee? And it cost about the same as it would to make it yourself, and saves about 7 hours worth of work probably, so WINNING.

3. Gluten Free Cookies

Jaymi hasn’t had a ton of luck finding a Gluten Free flour substitute she loves, so she finally decided to google “flourless cookie recipe.” Which brought her to these AMAZING chocolate meringue cookies that somehow manage to have that real-cookie texture with none of that floury nonsense.  We’ve got more recipes (both GF and regular!) for you to check out on our Baked with Love Pinterest board.

4. Wandering Wednesday

We participate in a link up party over at Confessions of Parenting called “Wandering Wednesday.” Every week, bloggers drop their best posts on the page, and this week our post “Open Letters to the People that Make Us Salty” was chosen as the featured post.  The link up is open to new bloggers as well- you can find out how to contribute your own piece here.

5. Have You Had That Baby Yet?

We have a few close friends expecting babies soon- like, YESTERDAY kind of soon.  And yes, they are getting sick of hearing “have you had that baby yet?” and “any baby news?” We humbly suggest that they refer all inquiring parties to HaveYouHadThatBabyYet.Com.  Try it- it’s fun.

6. This Wine Glass

Because honestly, it’s been a week, and this wine glass makes us smile. Especially when it’s filled with our favorite white.

 

 

Married with Children

5 Times You Should Stop Correcting Your Partner

As a stay at home Mom, I’m a little set in my ways. I have a routine down with my kids and somewhere along the line I started to think that the only way things could be done was my way. I became increasingly frustrated with the way my husband was doing things, because frankly, I thought he was doing them wrong. He was getting annoyed and volunteering to do things less. He wasn’t as hands on as he had been in the past and I grew to resent that.

Eventually, I found myself asking, “Am I too hard on my husband?”

The answer was totally yes.

If you think you might be too hard on your partner, here are 5 ways that I lightened up.

#critical #parenting #dads #dadsparenting #amitoocritical #amitooharsh #howmyhusbandparents #amitoouptight #supportivewife #supportivemother #marriedlife #marriedwithchildren #happilymarried

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Bouncing Babies, Mama Mojo, Married with Children, momlife, Pregnancy

My REAL Feeling About Our “Surprise” Baby

Confession: Our third child was a big, fat, whoops.

Let me back up a minute. We wanted three kids. Heck, we are still planning to go for four. Five? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In a very much planned event, our first two kids are 18 months apart. In retrospect, getting pregnant when my first was nine months old – still SUCH a baby himself – was a little, uh, crazy. So, immediately after our daughter was born, I put the kibosh on all baby conversation. I’d only taken a nine month break the first time, but this time I was going to go BIG. I adamantly proclaimed to anyone that would listen that we were taking a WHOLE YEAR OFF this time. For a year we wouldn’t even TALK about that next baby.

During the year, we made our master game plan.

We’d enjoy our first two children. We’d get the swing of things. We’d find our groove. And then, when the kids were older, maybe in school, we’d decide that the time was right. We’d tuck in our kids – maybe 5 and 6 by now – and look at each other, both thinking about how we missed the sweet smell of a little baby, the weight of them in our arms. We’d go for #3 and then quickly after #4. We’d have two sets of two, our perfectly planned family.

But you know what they say about plans. I think I can still hear the heavens chuckling…..

Continue reading “My REAL Feeling About Our “Surprise” Baby”

Holidays, Kids' Art Projects, Recipes, Saturday Six, The Wonderful Ones, Why We're Salty

Saturday Six

Another Saturday, another week of Mothering under our belt, another Saturday Six. Enjoy!

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1. Crafts and Cabin Fever

We’ve been housebound a lot recently thanks to rain, ear infections, and the dreaded flu. When we get cabin fever, we like to bust something out of our secret craft stash! This week, we looked forward to a break from the rain with this Hide and Seek Rock Painting kit that we can take outside when the clouds part! And you can’t go wrong with ANY of the craft kits from ALEX Toys! (But this one’s on sale for 50% off right now!)

2. We LOVE Low Mess Meals

Have you ever noticed how many delicious “One Pan” dishes there are on Pinterest? But then they’re all “We SAID one pan, but that’s really only if you have a cast iron skillet, and if you don’t then you need to use a regular skillet and then transfer into a baking dish, and I realize this changes EVERYTHING because you were really planning on this dinner when you pinned it and we lied to you about that one dish thing?”

Yeah, we’ve noticed it too. So Christine finally bit the bullet and bought this cast iron skillet and now she’ll never get screwed by Pinterest again. Well, until she tries to do some “kid friendly craft” that proves to be anything but…..

3. National Puppy Day

Is it any coincidence that Chad sent Christine a picture of puppies on National Puppy Day and suggested that one join the family? Spoiler alert: She said No. Or, more accurately, “HELL NO!” I mean, they’re cute and all, but puppies? Stay tuned and she’ll fill everyone in on the ten reasons she gave him for absolutely, under to circumstances, adding another family member let alone one covered in fur that will never be potty trained.

4. Christine is Having MAJOR Problems with Co-Sleeping.

Mainly, her kids all want to and she doesn’t. It’s like having a newborn again with all the shuffling kids back to their beds all night long. Or they stay and rub their feet on her all night long, which is worse. Christine and Chad considered getting an obscenely giant bed like this one from The Ace Collection, but knows they’d still end up getting pushed off the edge somehow. The struggle is real.

5. Jaymi’s Not the Only One Going Gray!

If you loved reading about the way she embraced her gray – and then how she changed her mind and went down the rabbit hole of hair coloring, then you’ll totally dig our friend SewGeekMama’s fight with her husband over her gray silver hair.

And if you haven’t ready any of that, well, now you have something to do while you drink your coffee! Or wine. We don’t judge.

 

6. Tragedy at Jaymi’s House

We love Abram, we really do, but we were not loving the way he threw Little Blue Truck across the room when he was done reading it peacefully. And we especially did not love the tragedy that befell the TV screen when it happened.

Help Jaymi not feel alone! Comment with the biggest tragic accident that’s happened at your house! And have a great weekend!

momlife

Fifteen Useless Facts Taking Up Space in Our Mommy Brain

I have a bad case of Chronic Mommy Brain.

For three weeks in a row I came thisclose to forgetting my sons swim lesson. At the same date and time that it’s been for almost a year. I wish that was the only time that Mommy Brain reared it’s ugly head, but it’s not. At this point it’s chronic. I brew a cup of coffee that I forget to drink. It took me weeks to remember to make my kids their dentist appointment. My life is full of lists of things to do. It used to be because of the sense of accomplishment I’d feel crossing things off the list. Now it’s legitimately because I will not remember if I don’t write it down.

Why? WHY?? Surely it’s not because old age has begun to wreak havoc on my mind! I’m 35 – though if you ask me there’s a 97% chance I’ll say I’m 36 because I have FORGOTTEN MY OWN AGE. And I’m not pregnant – knock on wood – which has been my go-to excuse for the past 5 years. So what is it??

I realized it one morning during this conversation:

Continue reading “Fifteen Useless Facts Taking Up Space in Our Mommy Brain”

Kids' Activities, Kids' Art Projects, Saturday Six

Saturday Six

This week was the highest of highs (Universal Studios! Finally feeling well! Lots of drop-off playdates!) and some fairly low lows (No sleep! Overcooked dinners! All the shaving cream everywhere it shouldn’t be!). But in a week of chaos, here are six things that still managed to catch our eye.

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1. Our Favorite Wallet is Now Available in Black

We may own like six All About the Benjamin Wallets between us, but we most definitely need two more- because now it’s available in BLACK. This wallet has all the pockets and sections you’ll ever need- and if there happen to be any other Dave Ramsey enthusiasts out there, we HIGHLY recommend it for your envelope system.

2. We Were Featured in Two Amazing Round-Ups

The world agrees- The Salty Mamas write posts worth sharing. (Is that braggy? Pretty sure that’s braggy. But anyways. We’re gonna go ahead and brag.) Check out the post we are featured in at SuzanneHines.org , where she is giving out some amazing Spring Break travel tips (and sharing our flight and road trip posts). We were also flattered to make the cut for Friday Favorites over at Misadventures of Megan, where she’s asking her readers which of the 7 Types of Moms You’ll Meet at an Indoor Playground they are.

3. We Got The World’s Cutest Necklaces

Are these necklaces A.) Crazy Adorable B.) Super Punny C.) Made By a Crafty Mama we know IRL or D.) All of the Above? Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed D, and then go buy a “Donuts are My Love Language” necklace for yourself. She also takes custom orders if you’ve got something else in mind!

4. Jaymi is Getting a New Camera

After years of debate, Jaymi’s finally pulling the trigger on a DSLR. She’s thinking of getting a refurbished Canon Rebel T6 from Amazon, but you’ve got a few days left to dissuade her if you know of a better one. Also, you can look forward to crisper, cleaner images for upcoming blog posts, so woot!

5. Marbled Shaving Cream Shamrocks

We took our Marbled Shaving Cream Art concept to the kindergarten St. Patrick’s Day party, and it was actually not a nightmare. Yes, a 12:1 ratio is not the ideal ratio for shaving cream and paint laden projects, but we DID IT, and the kids totally loved it. As a bonus, the whole classroom now smells like squeaky-clean shaving cream instead of five year old toots and gluesticks, so we’re gonna call it a win.

6. Spring is Almost Sprung!

We’re more than ready to usher in spring, and we’ve only got a few more days to wait! We are so excited for our April plans- birthday celebrations, strawberry picking, and a staycation at Great Wolf Lodge are in the works- and we are just desperately hoping the weather catches the memo. We’re ready for sunny days and blue skies for our outdoor adventures!

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So now you know what we’re looking forward to this week, we want to hear from you- what are you most excited about in the coming days and weeks? Drop a comment below!