my favorite on-the-go meal

Tuesday, November 29

I don't know about you, but feeding myself is hard. Not like physically hard. I like eating. I like having a large plate of food in front of me, ready to eat. But taking the time to first, create that plate of food in my head, and then cook it, and then eat it, THREE WHOLE TIMES A DAY, most often feels like a giant pain in the arse. So recently, to save me from myself, I jumped on board the overnight oats train. Now I know these are technically supposed to be eaten on the go in the morning, but I just make a bunch and have been grabbing them at any ol' time of the day. A LOT of 10 pm meals over here haha. Some days just get too busy.
So! My favorite recipe BY FAR has been this really chocolatey version. Because duh, it tastes amazing, but overnight oats in general helps me consume a hearty portion of good carbs and fats which is great for building muscle of any kind. Which I will be working on soon... any day now. Probably January. In the MEAN TIME though haha, it's a slow burn and keeps me full for a really good chunk of time.
Here's what I use!
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (heaping) rolled oats
2/3 cup fairlife chocolate milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
handful of dark chocolate chips
handful of walnuts

Throw it all in a mason jar and mix it up! Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
Most recipes for overnight oats call for almond milk, but I love using fairlife because in terms of protein, it's much more nutritionally dense (2 grams vs a whopping 13 grams), and it has 50% less sugars than regular chocolate milk. Which ... I don't know how they manage that, but props, because this stuff tastes like dessert. It is liquid gold in our house, and requires an emergency run to the grocery store when we're out. I'm also always picking up their little single serving bottles at the gas station on road trips. TRY IT.
I wish they sold overnight oats at gas stations as well but alas, SOME forethought must be thrown into my meals.
So. If you're like me and A) approach chocolate with a bit of religious fervor, and/or B) tend to approach your meal prep with a serious helping of lazy, then give this one a whirl.
Comes in handy when you're suddenly starving at almost midnight.
This post has been in partnership with fairlife, a company that we use and love in our home daily.

sweet and kid-friendly homemade christmas ornaments

Monday, November 28

I'm sure pinterest and/or our own childhood has informed us all by now of the science-y magic of milk + food coloring + dish soap. However, as of this week, I had yet to demonstrate this magic to my own children. This year Everett has expressed very strong feelings about our approach to Christmas decor. The bigger the better, the brighter the better, and if we could find him an ornament that looks exactly like Wink, that would be super. The other day, he found a neighborhood home that was strung corner to corner with yellow and blue lights, so the next day we made a 30-day Christmas countdown chain out of blue and yellow paper. This was of course after I had suggested that we make the countdown chain green and red, to which he replied incredulously, with "What? Mama those are NOT Christmas colors."
It was very important to him this year that he make his very own Christmas ornaments, so I decided to science it up while we were at it. They ended up turning out quite subtle and charming and are the perfect addition around the house and on the tree.
If you, like me, have never broken out this particular craft before, I assure you it was incredibly easy and shockingly mess free.  Here's what we used:
Watercolor paper cut into stars or whatever shape (I've heard cardstock also works well)
Shallow pan
Food Coloring
Seventh Generation dish soap
Q-tips for stirring
String for hanging
The kids took turns dropping their chosen colors around various parts of the pan
Then I dipped each of their Q-tips in Seventh Generation dish soap and they swirled the colors into each other. I've been using Seventh Generation in my home for years and love that all while being 95% biobased, with essential oil fragrances and no dyes, it works for literally everything I need it to.
They took turns dunking each of their stars and gasped every time we pulled the results out of the mixture.

We let them dry and then ran some string through the top. They were so proud, I can't wait to see them on our tree for year and years (or as long as they survive haha).
Happy Decorating one and all!!

This post has been in partnership with Seventh Generation, a company we've loved and trusted in our family for years.

Happy Halloween from Wink, Purple, and Rey too

Friday, October 28

I am really not the type to make a homemade costume. I am not particularly crafty, I really don't enjoy DIY unless it's exceptionally baller, and if the pop-up halloween shops are there, I figure it's my duty to utilize them fully. So my original plan this year was to buy two little matching Firefighter costumes. That was until last week when Everett came to me with the idea to dress up as his beloved Winky. AND I COULD NOT SAY NO. Maybe because he and Wink are going five years strong and I don't know how much longer the friendship will fully last. Maybe another year or two, maybe longer. But knowing that these two will be turning five together this week, tugged on that nostalgia string juuuuuust right. And I went ahead and DIY'd the shiz outta him. My hands are still fully spray painted green.
He was so sweet, running around the whole day, sneaking peeks of himself in the mirror and dancing around with Wink. I dare say it was even a little fulfilling to see the whole thing come together so nicely, and the painting was .... fun. It was worth it, ok? I ADMIT IT.
And for Isla's costume ... when I asked her what she wanted to be, she just said that she wanted to be purple. At lunch time when I ask her if she wants a red apple or a green apple, she says that she'd like a purple apple. If you ask her what color her eyes are, she'll tell you that they're purple. And if you ask any other kid in the room what his/her favorite color is, she'll pipe up in the background with, "ME PURPLE!"

So here she is, living her dreams.
My sister Caytlyn is the creative one of our gang, but I think you probably already knew this, based on the 800 weaves, costumes and headdresses she's thrown out onto the internet in the past month or so as if it's nothing. She's very disappointed in my penchant for store bought costumes.
Here you can see just one of the costumes she made for Roo this year. A perfectly executed Rey from Star Wars.

These next few pictures light up my world, since we were taking these right after Isla had woken from a nap, and so she was still a little somber. Until ...
... she got a few leaves in her bucket. And was then pleased enough to bestow upon us this complimentary smile, almost as if to say, these leaves are totally useless to me but your donation is appreciated.
Now if it feels like there's too many pictures of kids being adorable in leaves, just let me know.
Cause I can stop anytime.
So you just tell me when.
Alright, I'll call it. 


an october hike

Friday, October 14

We went to Montana last week (post coming as soon as I can get my kids to fall asleep at a reasonable hour) and it was BEAUTIFUL but rainy and cold the entire time. So driving back into town this last weekend, and seeing the sun shining and the last of the truly perfect October temperatures sticking around, my sister and I decided to take advantage and head outside for a hike with the kids.
Not pictured, but important to mention, is that the number one advantage of hiking with young children is that even though you're walking at a relatively slow pace, and may feel a little like you're herding cats, your kids will eventually get warm and start shedding their layers, which falls upon you to carry. And then they may get tired, and ask to be carried, which also falls upon you. And then eventually you will get warm and start shedding your layers, which again, falls upon you to carry. And  soon, you find yourself walking up a large hill, draped like a pack horse, and you're pretty sure you're in the middle of an Ironman. It's a wonderful workout!
Before all that happens though, it's important to do some light stretching.
Also important for everyone to carry rocks and/or sticks and/or mini Totoro's for improved balance and circulation.

After we got home, and naps were had, I whipped up one of the kid's favorite smoothies.

2 bananas
1 cup of Fairlife milk
A handful of ice
1/4 cup of peanut butter (or a large scoop)
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of vanilla greek yogurt (I like the kind with the extra protein)

I truly love using Fairlife, knowing that it's lactose free, and has 50% more protein (13g!), and 50% less sugar than regular milk, and also just because it's stinking delicious. Because IT IS.
Here's Isla with her post nap cheeks looking longingly into the face of her smoothie.
And Everett and his still beloved Wink, enjoying theirs.
 OCTOBER YOU ARE THE BOMB DIGGITY. But you already know this.

This post has been in partnership with Fairlife, a company that we use and love in our home daily.
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