3.30.2015

The BlackLight Run + Other Weekend Happenings

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous and gave me every reason in the book to be elated for the warmer and sunnier days ahead.  Please make sure you quote me on saying this when I'm 9 months pregnant and complaining of the sweltering 100+ degree weather in July.
Thoughts of the spring and summer months with my sweet girls made me so excited - in hopes that every weekend would turn out just this way. 
Friday, daddy was at the fire station subbing in for another guy, so after almost 48 hours of not seeing him, the girls and I loaded up before lunch time and headed to the station for a visit.  The girls are at an age now that when I give the slightest mention of something that seems of interest to them- it is nonstop chatter until we do what I say we are going to do.  I made mention of fire trucks at breakfast that morning and 'Daddy station wook.. big trucks' was put on repeat like a broken record (times two..)  We arrive and they bee-line to the trucks to take a peek, like they have done every other time we've made a visit.  
The best part: assisting to pull out the hose to shoot some water.
The inspection never looked so cute.


 Parker is especially giddy about the entire idea of going to the fire station.  Jolie gets a little uneasy about the sounds of huge engine, but Parker is all smiles, all the time. 
 In their daddy's driver seat
 These glasses basically kill me.  I can't help but giggle if either of them look at me in all seriousness while wearing them. 
 Mid-visit Jordan got called on a run (he was driving the ambulance that day), so we watched as he pulled out - lights and sirens - and then headed on our way back towards the house.  By this point it was much later than normal for lunch time, but none of us had anything of substance since breakfast, so..what was originally a Sonic Happy Hour stop (we love some half-priced drinks!) turned into a late lunch on the patio with my girls.  When Parker started demanding "fries!!", I knew these girls were as hungry as I was.
 An hour later of the most fun you could ever have on a Sonic lunch date we loaded up in attempt to finish a few more errands.
We totally skipped nap that day - and the girls were major troopers. 
 The evening was way quiet and they both were down early for bed.  The intentions of our Friday was not to be gone all day the way we had - but it ended up being a really great time with my sweet girls.
I caught a glimpse of my 24 week belly as I was getting ready for bed and couldn't help but think what 39 weeks will look like.
#huge 
 s a t u r d a y
Jordan works on Saturday next weekend, (Easter weekend) so I searched and searched for things going on in the community that we could do as a family (i.e. egg hunts/festivities) in place of what we will miss with daddy next weekend.  
There was an egg hunt that started pretty early on Saturday morning at a nearby park - and we quickly realized that walking up 5 minutes late won't cut it for egg hunting next year. 
All the eggs were scooped up and the masses of kids running around had baskets filled with plastic color.
There were still other activities- face painting, bounce houses.. the Easter bunny (which I'm afraid is now in the same shunned boat as Santa, Chuck E Cheese, and the Chick-fil-A Cow).  As we walked through there were a few older kids that ran up and filled Parker and Jolie's empty baskets - I couldn't believe it.  It was the sweetest thing I had ever witnessed by strangers - young strangers.  One boy in particular had to be maybe just 5 or 6 years old and kept tossing in his hunted eggs so Parker and Jolie would have something to 'open'.
Regardless of missing the hunt - we literally had to peel them away from the bounce houses to make our way home for lunch and nap.
 There was NO way we could miss nap time today - we had a late night ahead of us.
A couple months back I got an email notification that the time to register for The Color Run 2015 was quickly approaching - and after last year's run being literally the time of their little lives (and ours, too!) I knew we had to do it again this year. 
See The Color Run 2014 (HERE)
We said over and over the Color Run 2014 was the start of a yearly family tradition.
...some friends of ours mentioned The Blacklight Run they were doing - same concept, just at night - and I was intrigued.   It happened to fall on the same weekend as our original plan for the day-time version of the run, so we had to make a decision. 
After the morning activities- the girls came home for a 4 hour nap - we had to wake them for dinner before heading out to Texas Motor Speedway for the race. 
Jolie was not impressed.
bow // tank // tutu // moccs
 It took her just a bit to warm up.. but eventually we got a few smiles about the whole thing.

 Uncle J was there (and the girls were ELATED to see him)
 ..and Auntie, too!
 It had been too long since we had seen our people - busy lives and this last month's work-travel schedule for both Ashley and myself have kept us from getting together longer than ever before.
But the ease of life just flowed right back to normal - like we'd seen them just the day before.
 I also hadn't seen this sweet little baby boy bump she's got going.
25 week Baby Boy Dunaway
 24 week Baby Girl Massey
If we play our cards right, we could have these 'twins' together come July.
 Time to load up for the starting line!
With 8,000+ people participating in the race.. we waited for our turn to start for a solid half hour
 Glow sticks saved the wait time from toddler demands of coming out of the stroller.
2 hours 
2 toddlers
2 preggo bellies
2 hubbies to man the stroller
4 stations of glow powder
4 broken-up toddler cat-fights
..and we were done.
They were wiped out.  I will say - probably not as fun as The Color Run we did last year.. only because you couldn't see all the color and crazy of the other runners because it was pitch dark until you came upon random backlights that were set up along the course.
 At the end of the race- the entire afterparty was under the largest display of backlights you have ever seen.  It was pretty insane and I halfway wished I had the energy to stick around and dance and be silly - but those days are long gone.

 We just about came straight home- showered off, and got those sleepy girls in bed.
s u n d a y
After a really late night on Saturday, we all slept in and stayed in our jammies while we watched church via podcast over the breakfast table.
We did have plans for a few errands after church- and these were your typical Costco/Sams run and then to Home Depot. 
The girls came to love these tutus that I got as a gift at one of their baby showers and basically haven't taken them off in three days.
So.. we let them dress themselves and went with it.
I have a feeling there will be many more days of dressing themselves in our future.
bow // tank
 After our errands- we were all still wiped out from the night before, so I laid down with the girls when we got home while Jordan went outside to mow the lawn.  
4 hours later he was waking us up to get ready for dinner.
The weather this weekend was amazing. We we headed outside to play while daddy grilled for dinner.
 I've mentioned it before, but our neighbors behind us have a pair of donkeys, and the girls LOVE them.  
They run as fast as their little legs will take them to the back corner of the fence just for the chance to see one or both.


 We opted for dinner on the patio - the first of many this season.
grilled chicken sausage - rice - grainy mustard brussels sprouts

 Jordan and I busied ourselves with a post-dinner clean up, while they opted for a tupperware mess.
I didn't realize how much we had crammed in over this weekend until I put it all in writing.  I am loving these memories with my girls.. just a few more months as a family of four.  
Soak it in, mama. 
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3.27.2015

WE EAT | Black Bean Veggie Burgers + Sriracha Mayo

Make no mistake- we love meat in this house.  Okay, really - the hubby loves the meat.  The girls and I could stand to eat 'vegetarian' at every meal.. but I do love a great steak every once and awhile.  Bean burgers are probably my most favorite meal to make sans the meat, for a few reasons.. 
ONE - it is so easy.  Easy isn't even the right word.  But really- its so easy.
TWO- its really cheap.  Beans are probably the cheapest protein in the grocery store, am I right?
THREE- they are healthy.  Just so long as we keep the Sriracha mayo to a minimum (I have a hard time with limiting the 'sauces'.  I always want extra!)
FOUR (because I feel like just three is limiting the amazing that are bean burgers) - you can put absolutely anything you want in them.  The versatility is endless.
This recipe, I can promise, even your household carnivores will enjoy.
Vegetarian (dietitian says go meatless at least once a week), high in fiber (we all need more fiber, yo), and if your diet requires it, gluten free by simply subbing out the panko breadcrumbs for gluten free oats (excluding the bun, too).
also..
Sriracha on er'thing.
Ingredients
BURGERS
adapted from eat, live, run 
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 egg (..or 2 if your mixture seems to be really dry and crumbly)
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds + ribs removed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
avocado, sliced thin
hamburger buns
SRIRACHA MAYO
adapted from Cooking Light
1/4 cup canola mayo
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar 
--
In a food processor, pulse together jalapeño, garlic, 1/2 of the black beans, salt, & pepper.  Remove bean mixture from the food processor and combine with remaining black beans, egg, panko, cilantro, tomato sauce, and thawed corn.  Fold in chili powder and paprika.
Form into 6 'burger' patties.
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat- cook burgers on each side for 4-6 minutes.  
Serve on hamburger buns with avocado slices and Sriracha mayo.
For the mayo: combine all ingredients - mix well.

This recipe is written so that I can make plenty to feed my family, but also to freeze some for later cooking.  To store them in your freezer, freeze them on wax paper until they set, about 2 hours, then transfer them into labeled containers or freezer safe bags.  I can't promise you'll have left overs to freeze.  They are good.  I've been craving this recipe since I made them.. We might have these burgers again very soon.  Just so I can eat the leftovers.
It was a crowd pleaser at this table.
I served these with baked fries (and ketchup!).. but they would be amazing up on top a bed of brown rice or quinoa with shredded jicama, peppers, avocado and a vinaigrette dressing for a healthy veggie bowl.  
 While dinner time isn't usually a huge mess anymore, we do still strip the girls of most of their clothing and always throw on a bib before setting them up in their highchairs at the table for meal times. We are bib-lovers of all kinds, and have been since they started solids at 4 months.  
While we have graduated from the 'pocket-bibs', we had the opportunity to try out these apron-style reversible bibs from Dabbling Duck Boutique.
 The 'food protection' of these bibs is pretty impressive. These bibs have arm holes for full coverage of the shoulders torso.. and while I just said my kids aren't super messy anymore, after this typically non-messy meal they somehow got ketchup on their shoulders, too.
Excitement on this face for veggie burgers.. and for the new colors on her bib.

Four bobby pins in that girl's hair doing nothing for her at the moment..
 Parker is a 'sauce dipper', like her mother, and no matter what sauce is on her plate, everything is dipped before it goes into her mouth (and everywhere else on her person). 
On this night we were covered for the mess.  Literally.
I tossed these messy bibs in the wash after dinner - and Parker was clean as a whistle.
Well.. her ketchup covered face sung a different tune, I'm afraid.


 She is the silliest.  The silliest and the most sassy.  Gives me a run for my money in every situation- but that smile captures it all into one sweet pot of sugar. 
..and there is also this face.  I have two sweet babes I share the table. 
These burgers.  Delectable and delicious.  Mix them up, throw them on a salad or eat them with a bun.  But don't forget the spicy mayo.  You won't be disappointed! 

mint arrows bibs c/o dabbling duck boutique
flex straw sippy cup c/o nuby 
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3.26.2015

Working Mom Bag | Lily Jade

Its no secret that I have been on the search for the perfect 'mom bag' transition from the traditional diaper bag.  Of course I have come across some amazing (and beautiful) bags - but I couldn't quiet pin point what it was that I just didn't like about using it.  
Most often it was the lack of space - or pockets.. or the simple complaint due to those two factors I usually ended up with spilled water or toddler snacks all over the bottom of the bag.
Truth: I am not a 'handbag' person, to say the least.  I'm the one that usually carries a good quality handbag until the handles fall off - so when I want to invest in a great bag, I can usually justify its purchase because it will get incredible use!
Truth: I am a working mom.  A working mom with a load of s t u f f.  A working mom that hates to worry if she has all the 'stuff' she needs in her work bag vs. her 'diaper bag'.  I have been looking for the ease of using ONE bag for everything and had just about given up on it, until my Lily Jade landed on my porch.  
I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now, and glad I waited too long, simply because I can now do justice to what a true 'mom bag' (in my opinion) actually is.
We first saw Lily (HERE) when I talked about the general details of this amazing diaper bag.. and how I used it when running errands and toting toddlers around.
What is also amazing is that I carry it around with me all day everyday for work requirements, too! 
Th 'baby bag' insert is easily removable (along with all the baby bag contents), and I have the perfect work bag- that holds a TON.
 The DETAILS
I carry a lot.  Truth: I use every single bit of what is in my bag.  My work files binder goes EVERYwhere with me.. simply because I do about 40% of my work from home.  It also helps to have copies of my client information when I am working from my cell phone (email) or need to reference something in a meeting.  It is my 3-ring work life
Notebooks.  My notebook collection has turned into something that resembles my lipgloss collection- I have to stay away from the 'school supply' section of the grocery store, or I'll end up coming home with one.  I had two different girlfriends give me notebooks for my birthday.. and the larger one in this picture with a quote on the front (one of my favorite notebooks) is my 'blogger' notebook.  I got that as a gift from one of my closest friends at Christmas.  My people know me.  
The essentials.. baby wipes and blow pops.  
I almost prefer the baby wipe over the Shout wipes any day.  It took me becoming a mom to figure out the amazing ability of the baby wipe.
Love these travel Honest brand wipes - 99 cents at Target for the pack.
 For the love of lipgloss.  They deserved their own spotlight.  Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush is my all time favorite- I've been wearing it for 10+ years and have just about every flavor.  It shocked me to only pull out four different options when I dumped my bag for these photos.  I keep a lot on hand all the time.. if ever stranded on a desert island.. 
I've also fallen in love with 'refresh oil' by Zoe Organics.  This month has kept me in the car traveling on short trips.. and on planes for longer distances, and this oil is the perfect blend of peppermint + ginger (and a few others) to help relieve anxiety, stress, and especially motion sickness.  I've never had to deal with nausea until being in the car as often as I have recently. 
My portable phone charger.  A necessity with how often I am checking emails, answering voicemails, and of course, checking instagram.  The hubby surprised me and got me this for carrying around in my bag after too many times of my phone dying while I was out during the day. 

 The most versatile bag I have every used - and I'll say it again- it is so gorgeous!  I have successfully completed my search for the perfect 'mom bag' - a bag I can wait to continue to use when baby girl number three arrives.  
My work days ('baby bag' removed)
My mom days

What is the must have in your bag??

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