Saturday, June 16, 2018

Maxwell Turns 3.

I'm used to throwing big parties, cookouts, and get-togethers for every birthday celebration, or holiday for that matter. Being here in Texas has kind of put a damper on those things. We don't know anyone here! Ha. So it's a little hard to do those things. We have toned down the birthdays and by doing so, we've realized that they are just as happy with little things. Little things that are really the big things. Like time together and experiences. We took Scarlett to swim with the dolphins for her birthday this year. Maxwell is still pretty young so we just made the weekend all about him. On Friday, I brought Paw Patrol cupcakes into his class and they sang to him and we celebrated by sharing some fun goodie bags filled with Paw Patrol stuff. Amazon is my saving grace for all things party related. Saturday morning we headed out to find the best pancakes around for Maxwell. In case you don't know anything about Maxwell, he is THEE biggest pancake and waffle lover there ever was. We went to the Magnolia Pancake Haus which was all sorts of deliciousness. Great coffee, pancakes tasted just like old fashion cakes and everything else was tasty as well. The wait there was really long but in Texas, you are always entertained. We went around the back where they served coffee, mimosas or beermosas (yes, a beer mimosa!) and had live music playing. We waited 40 minutes but it seemed like 10 with the relaxation and great atmosphere. The kids ran around finding "Rolie Polies" (not sure what the technical name for these little bugs that roll up are) and Scarlett taught Maxwell how to hold them.

Maxwell had been asking for a "big Batman robot" for weeks now.  I had to figure out what on earth he was talking about. I had no clue and so I just searched "Big Batman Robot" on Amazon and the first big batman robot-looking thing I saw, I bought. Ha ha.
We opened those at home and he was thrilled with that and a couple other things. The kids played with them all afternoon and then we went to the pool to swim. Maxwell's request, of course. It was a great weekend and it was nice to not be traveling for once. We have been doing a lot of that, which we do love. It just gets exhausting with no breaks in between. A relaxing and quiet weekend was in order and we all soaked it up like a sponge. My little baby boy is now 3!!!!! How!?
Happy Birthday my little handsome boy!! You are so loved!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Weekend Vibes: Rodeo & Roseanne

This post is from a couple of months ago but sometimes I just sit on them waiting for the right time to post. And with all that has happened with Roseanne lately, I just felt that it was a bad yet good time to post.
It's no secret that my posts as of lately may look a lot more country then before. It's not us. It's just Texas. And we love that. We went to our first Rodeo back a couple months ago.  I was told it was like a fair ground. I am used to the east coast's County Fairs. The Big E to be exact. And to be honest, I was a tiny bit disappointed by the Rodeo here. In all fairness, it's more about the actual rodeo than the other stuff but I am a sucker for fair fried foods, old rickety rides and lots of animals and shows. They did have that here, was not in a traditional field of nothing (fairground) like I am used to. It was on cement that gave it more of a non-country feel. I guess sometimes you just like what you grew up doing. And in this case, I had to give my points to the Big E back home. Still, we had fun watching a dog show, eating chicken waffle sticks, which we had never had, and watching the livestock.

So now onto Roseanne. Sigh. I have had so many people ask me what I think about this whole debacle and I honestly am just sad. Sad that a show I loved (and trust me when I say I rarely watch tv) and that I waited FOREVER to return to TV, is now gone. Just like that. I will say that no one ever knows the exact true story or reasons for things.  So I don't feel that I can really speak about it besides saying that I wish she hadn't said stupid things that ruined a great show for so many.

Back in March, Ty took me to see the Roseanne pop up in Austin. They recreated an old store into the Lunch Box and had some of the cast there for trivia, loose meat sandwiches, pie, Canogo beer and signed posters. I was living my dream here!! I won a chicken sweatshirt for knowing the answers to trivia questions and I got to talk and take a photo with DJ (Michael Fishman). It was a really cool experience for this Roseanne fan. I am a total nerd, I know. The funny thing is I did not grow up watching Roseanne. I was actually too young when it first aired and I wasn't allowed to watch it when I got older. I began watching it in my early 20's,  in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. I think it was Nick at Night or TV Land. I just got so hooked on this show. It was so real and I had never seen a show that just brought up the raw stuff that no one talked about. I got attached to it and it just never left me. I watch Roseanne every night before bed, and laugh no matter how many times I've seen an episode. I am really glad that I got the opportunity to go since, it looks like Roseanne won't be back. It was a fun experience.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

As I have been making my healthy snacks and posting clips of them on Instagram, a few of you have asked what I'm making or for the recipe. So I thought I would share this post that contains some of  my favorite go-to healthy snacks. AND the recipes. I eat these in between meals. (Everyone is different and depending on your goals, your eating should reflect that). For me, I eat 6 small meals a day. 3 of them are breakfast, lunch and dinner. The other 3 are usually some of the things you see below. If I don't work out, then sometimes I leave out a snack. If I work out harder than usual, then I might eat an extra snack. Here are some ideas for you all.

And don't forget to drink that H2o throughout the day too!!

Avocado, Hummus, Tomato Toast. This is one of my favorite healthy snacks. Sometimes I even eat it as a lunch. It's super simple and packed with goodness. I usually use Dave's Killer thin sliced bread which is 60 calories per slice. The other variation that I use is to sprinkle Pink Himalayan Salt, Pepper and Nutritional Yeast on top. But the basic recipe is HERE.

Frozen Greek Yogurt Bark. This is actually Scarlett's favorite snack but I've found myself grabbing it as well. The great thing is that you can add anything you want into the greek yogurt before freezing. I do this recipe HERE because Scarlett loves it, but you can leave out the dark chocolate chips and do all fruit if you like.

Tone It Up Protein Donuts. Can I just say that these taste too good to be true!! I have to really be intentional about only eating 1 of these at a time but it feels good knowing that I'm eating something healthy, clean while still being able to satisfy my cravings. You will NOT be disappointed by these. Try it HERE.

Apple slices with Drizzled Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate bits? Um...yes please. Try this if you are craving something sweet. HERE.

Protein Coffee Smoothie. I love the taste of coffee and this smoothie is perfect for summer. Sometimes I use this after a workout since it does have the protein in it. Try this recipe HERE.

Cottage Cheese on Toast. Simple, basic but still loaded with protein and I eat this weekly.

Acai Bowls & Smoothie Bowls. So these could be a meal really, but often I will make these for an post-workout snack. We often grab these when we are out and about and feeling hungry. It beats fast food and they are DELICIOUS! If you want to make your own, try this HERE.

I have experimented with so many different smoothies or smoothie bowls! These are my favs: Blueberry Coconut Smoothie BowlTropical Paleo Green Smoothie, Mermaid Smoothie Bowl

Energy Balls. Every time I make these and post them on Instagram, someone asks for the recipe so here are the ones I use most often. HERE. Know that there are SO many different ones you can make. I have a ton of them on my Pinterest.

Apple Boats This is a new one that I have been trying and really liking. Simple but different. Take a look HERE.

Frozen Greek Yogurt Covered Blueberries. I LOVE blueberries like no other so naturally this is a favorite of mine. I also never would have thought to use honey! Try this HERE.

Halo Top. No explanation needed. If you haven' tried it, I don't know why not. Lowest calories and it's even got protein in it. My fav flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip. HERE

Cheese, Nuts & Fruit. Sometimes you just need to keep it basic. So I will make a mini cheese/fruit board and that will be just as satisfying as any recipe I make.

Don't forget that all of these recipes and more are on my Pinterest @laurenrebecca101 or go HERE. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Scarlett Turned 7!!!

Scarlett turned 7 this month.  I pretty much had a mid-life crisis! You would think that would have happened when I turned 30 but nope, didn't bother me. My own age has never effected me. It's always been the kids getting older that kills me. But 7 hit me harder than ANY other age the kids or I have turned. I had a bit of a melt down but then pulled myself together to rejoice in the fact that I have a healthy, beautiful 7 year old.
We tossed around the idea of having a party and inviting her whole class but ultimately decided that we had done that for the past 6 years of her life and maybe an experience would be in order for this year. Scarlett is an animal lover if you haven't noticed. It was because of this that I decided to take her to swim with dolphins at Seaworld in San Antonio!
So her day went something like this:

I dropped her off at school on a Friday. It was story book character day and Scarlett dressed up like her favorite book, Uni the Unicorm. I came back at the end of the day and surprised them all with JUMBO sized Donuts from this cool donut shop I found in San Antonio called, The Art of Donut. She shared them with her friends. At school, I gave her a card that informed her that we would be swimming with dolphins the next day and she shared some mini stuffed dolphins with all of her friends. I found the cutest mini dolphins HERE. Amazon is the bomb.

The next day we went to Seaworld and got to swim with the dolphins! A magical day indeed. I wish I had gotten more photos but I got to experience it all with her and so that was even better. After that we went to her choice of dinner at Kona Grille for sushi rolls and ended the day at the bakery where the entire place chanted "Happy Birthday Scarlett". I got Scarlett a small bag of little goodies that she had asked for. A big box of Crayola crayons with a sharpener in the back, some kids make up and a few other odds and ends from Target. She was smitten with the small tokens that we got her.

If you have been reading a while, you would know that we tend to have big parties for the kids. But being here in Texas and experiencing all of these new places, it has given me a bit of perspective and I really enjoyed having an experience with her this year instead of a party. I'm sure next year she will have her say as to what we will do, but this year as she turned 7, we enjoyed the wonder of spending time together. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tree House Adventures in New Braunfels!


As we head off today for a little getaway in the country today, I thought I'd post about our last family trip a couple week's ago. Ty's family flew in from NY and MA to come see big ole' Texas...and us, of course. We stayed at the Tree houses on the Guadalupe River. It was the perfect family spot! We could see the river from our treehouse. We had this amazing log and net entrance that we could crawl up to get to our treehouse...or we could just take the stairs too ;) But the kids loved going up and down this. The treehouse itself was the definition of cool. There was literally a tree coming up through it. The pool and kids play area was right below us. 

The kids spent the nights catching fireflies and playing with the other kids staying in the other tree houses. The adults spent their time poolside. We had a BBQ and at night, we sat around the fire watching the kids catch fireflies. We also made our way into Gruene and listened to live music and ate at the Gristmill. It was one of those relaxing weekends where we didn't have a huge agenda. Just to soak up the sun by the pool and spend some quality time with family. 

If you ever want to stay someplace really different, look into the Guadalupe River Houses. We stayed in the "Redwood Treehouse".

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Welcome to the Family!!

I really do believe that there are right and wrong dogs for different families. When Scarlett was 3, we bought a French Bulldog. Mostly because we wanted her to have a companion. She has been an animal lover since she could first talk.
I pretty much listened to what the breeder was telling me (mostly all lies) and didn't really do any of my own homework. Let's just say that it was a horrible fit. I am a clean freak. It drove me insane the amount of fur that would gather...EVERYWHERE. They told me she would be a very calm dog. HA! Then she decided she wanted to pee on every. single. bed that we bought her. I think I went through about 25 (no exaggeration) and finally I just stopped buying them. She also peed on every single piece of furniture we had. She was extremely challenging to housebreak and she just wasn't the kind of dog that wanted to please us...ever. She would jump up on the couch to pee in the middle of it!!! I had never heard of a dog who wanted to pee were she slept! We brought her to the vet to see if she had anything medically wrong with her. Nada.

When I got pregnant with Maxwell, I spent the whole pregnancy trying to train her and prepare for when I wouldn't have much time to focus on her after the baby was born. When Maxwell arrived, I just couldn't do it anymore. The new baby was going to take so much energy and time and I was still dealing with the dog who wouldn't pee or poop outside and was acting up non-stop. I decided it was the right thing to do to find a family for her that could spend the time that it took to train and take care of this diva frenchie. Luckily for us, a family member had been dreaming of owning a Frenchie and so Ula found her happy place with them. She is thriving there now without any of the issues she used to have and even has a Boston Terrier sister who keeps her company.

Looking back, I wish we had researched a lot more before we had executed. But you live, you learn. I actually vowed to never get a dog again after the experience I had. And if I did, I wanted it to be an older dog.
Scarlett is older now and an even bigger animal lover!  She tells me that she is going to be an Animal Rescuer when she gets older and live on a Rescue Farm. I can see it. She has been begging us for a pet for SO long. I keep saying, once we settle down, we will get one. In the meantime, I had been researching breeds just to see if there could possibly be a dog that would fit our family. For me, it had to be a family type of dog. One that wasn't too hyper and one that wouldn't shed. Also, it had to be smart. That was my criteria. I came across some silly quiz online that I took. It told me our perfect dog would be a Golden Doodle. I had never heard of this type of dog but as I started asking around and researching more, I started to think that maybe this really was the perfect breed for us! The poodle in them makes them smart as a whip! The Golden Retriever in them makes them great family dogs. They also don't shed because they have hair and not fur. This is MY kinda dog! So I decided that one day, we would look into getting a Golden Doodle.

Well, one day came a little sooner than I anticipated. For Scarlett's birthday, we decided to bring her to the pet store just to pet animals and possibly get a small caged animal like a hamster or a lizard. Of course they had 2 adorable and irresistible Mini Golden Doodles just looking out the window at us. We decided to go into one of the booths to play with them. I fell HARD for this little fluff ball of a pup. He was playful but had a calm sense about him. He looked up at me with his teddy bear face and I could tell this was just a smart, sweet dog. If you know me, you know that I am not a dog person really. (Mostly because of the maintenance) but I looked up at Ty and said, I want him.  10 minutes later we were putting a deposit on him. We didn't tell Scarlett. We figured we would let the kids be surprised when we picked him up a couple days later. We went shopping for puppy stuff and Scarlett thought that we were buying it all so that her and Maxwell could play "Bumper", a very exciting game where Scarlett is the human and Maxwell is Bumper the dog. She walks him and feeds him and sets up cages for him. It's the funniest thing ever! She had literally NO idea that we were going to bring home a dog in just a few hours. When we went to pick him up, we went back into the petting booth to play with him one last time. There we told her that we were bringing him home. At first she didn't quite grasp that we were saying she COULD TAKE HIM HOME. But once she asked a couple questions and figured it out, she was jumping up and down and hugging the dog. She was over the moon happy!!

Then it came time to pick a name. Scarlett wanted Cubbie and Maxwell wanted Benny. We all know he's a Benny Goodman fan;) But we have a dog name Cubbie now so you can see who won that battle. Ha. We took a family vote and when it was 50/50 (Team Maxwell/Mama and Team Scarlett Daddy) We flipped a coin and Cubbie it is! It is suiting since he looks like the most adorable bear cub I've ever seen! We've had Cubbie for a week now and I am thrilled with him. I anticipated a hard first few weeks with the puppy. I remembered what it was like with the Frenchie. But honestly, this is the smartest pup! At 11 weeks old he goes outside on cue and has only had a handful of mistakes! We just purchased one of those bells that go on the door so that when they have to go pee, they ring it!!

Even though the timing was a little off with us renting here, and moving again soon, we are thrilled with our new family member. He is such a cute little fur ball and I can honestly see him growing old with our family. The kids can't leave him be. This dog sure is loved! My advice for anyone thinking about getting a dog/puppy. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don't get something that is not the right fit for your family. There is a family for every dog but I 100% believe everyone needs to find the perfect match before just buying.

I'm sharing the video here of the day we went back to pick him up below :D