4.29.2016

Friday Favorites

this made me laugh really hard.  mostly a nervous laugh because- WHO noticed?!  and also because it is 95% true.  if I didn't wash my hair yesterday morning this would be accurate. 
my FAVORITE dry shampoo..?  
living proof.  hands down.
gives my hair a little extra volume without weighing it down.. and I only apply it once- the day after a wash. 
Kate agrees with me, too  
my hair in this photo was 5 days dirty. 
speaking of THIS photo!  early this week I got a chance to meet up with one of my favorite twin mama's to style her clothing line, Winter Lennon for Zulily.  she makes the most amazing boho dresses (THIS ONE is amazing!) tops and she's most known and loved for her skirt extenders and slips- which is what I am actually wearing in this picture with the lace crop top.

Other news!!  
its spring in Dallas which means the weather is absolutely craaaaazy one day - tornados and softball size hail crazy.  and the next day its absolutely beautiful.  our area didn't get any damage (thankfully!) from the storms this week and many prayers a support sent to those that did suffer from the aftermath tornados brought.. the weather is supposed to get angry again this evening and praying for the safety of everyone!  

we are so excited for the warmer weather on the way..and with the warmer weather comes all the warm weather accessories!  these summer sunnies are a partnership with Artists for Peace + Babiators and we love them!  they've become a part of the standard toddler dress and for a good cause- 20% of the Babiators sales benefit the Artist for Peace organization allowing their continued work in Haiti.
this colorful tee + tutus in every single color and we've got ourselves big sister girl attire.
we've been spending a TON of time outside (in between the rain spells) and pulled out the water table one afternoon and let the babes go nuts!  Baker has no idea how much fun this summer will be and I for one cannot wait to get her little self into a teeny bikini.  
this child has 4 bathing suits.  four.  I cant stop- I just have a thing for little bitty swimwear. 
this floral one piece is amazing and oh em gee the rainbow stripes on this DARLING halter.. 
ANDDDD I can just imagine Baker's tubby belly in this fruity two piece.   
some one plant me a money tree.  so i can buy all the tiny suits.
while we are talking summer comfort- these onesies are no stranger to this blog and it is their ONE YEAR anniversary!  we wore these every day last summer and they were perfect for the Texas heat.  these gals are doing a ton of fun giveaway's over on the gram and offering free shipping using code ONEYEAR at checkout.. AND because they are amazing.. use code BAKERSFAVS for 15% off your purchase! 
yea girls.  and boys.  because boys need all the muscle tanks.
 her face.
!!!!
Baker and her daddy were spraying Jolie Grace and she thought all the screaming was hilarious! and she's such a water baby. 
 I got dinner on the table almost every night this week!   
I made and everyone loved these cheesy chicken melts (if you have tried the ham version, its even better!) I also made this asian noodle bowl from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!  I need more of these kind of meals in my life.  

my favorite.  and I'm still loving my hair.  I was in need of that blondie update:)
finally.. I had to share this picture I snapped this week while I was at work.
Parker was going on and on the other morning as I was trying to get out the door for work and I couldnt for the life of me follow what in the world what she was talking about.  
until it was time to pump. I texted this picture to Jordan and all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place- she was telling Jordan the same story the entire drive to school.  she was just trying to tell me that I needed a few friends of hers to take along to work.. 
everybody could use the companionship, I suppose.  

...and lastly, since we are talking about my weirdo(s), a little hashtag action c/o Jimmy Fallon.  I have THE BIGGEST celebrity crush on that funny Jimmy and I have no idea why- and I never watch his show.  ever.  BUT I find myself on youtube at all hours watching every clip I can find.  its quite backwards now that I am typing it out.. anyway,  you can thank me later after you watch every hashtag youtube clip listed.  its my addiction.

happy friday, friends!  cheers to the weekend!!    

4.27.2016

one in eight


 I am one in eight. 
1 in 8 couples are affected by infertility. 
thats 7.4 million men and women.
1/3 of infertility is attributed to the female partner.
1/3 of infertility is attributed to the male partner. 
and..
1/3 is caused by a combination of both.  
..not a single story of infertility is alike.

if you have read this blog over the last four years, or somehow stumbled upon the about section or landed here to read our story via web search for PCOS, you are familiar with our version of infertility.
our version of the story?  it might seem as though our struggles were small.  we did end up with three kids in three years, after all.  right?
leading up to twins were four long, heartbreaking, and most of all confusing years of our lives.  
one roadblock in front of the other.  

struggling with infertility is like going through the five stages of grief every single month.
you deny, bargain, get angry, cry, and accept. 
then you pick yourself up off and do it all over again.

after three years of struggle, tears, pokes, prods, tests, lab work, sonograms.. 
we finally had a diagnosis. 
PCOS + male infertility.
another year goes by before we were physically ready to be able to try. 
we found ourselves in that last piece of the pie that fell into the combination factor of infertility.  
in the 10 months leading up to our second pregnancy, we were faced with not only secondary infertility, but the loss of two babies, as well.  I dream about those sweet angels.  when I was the most skeptical of all about His good and faithful Grace I saw those two solid blue lines.  pregnant. 
I will forever be in debt to one of my most favorite people on the planet.  I cannot express how thankful I am for her knowledge, patience and guidance in the last eight years.  my OB is one of a kind.

it was four years ago this week that we found out we were pregnant.
I took a test at three in the morning because I couldn't stand to wait any longer.
postive.
that one single positive outweighed the hundreds of negative before it.

not a single story of infertility is alike.
do not be ashamed of this journey. do not let anyone belittle your feelings of defeat.  your feelings of loss.  your feelings of hopelessness.  don't let anyone try to tell your story for you.   
the upmost beauty of it all is that we are not alone.
we stand together.

April 24-30

4.25.2016

this is how we weekend.

this weekend went by so fast.. yet Friday seemed like it was weeks ago.  Jordan was home all weekend, which means he was at the fire station on Friday- leaving me and the girls home to ourselves.  We laid around all morning and eventually made our way outside for the rest of the afternoon.  when Jordan is at work I always find myself staying up way too late doing absolutely nothing.. on this night it was a root beer float + surfing pinterest for spring inspiration to try my hand to.  ever since we painted the laundry room and pantry door with chalkboard paint I've been practicing the art.
because it is 100% an art.    
Saturdays are always made for fancy breakfasts.  and if anyone can make the BEST breakfast its Jordan.  after a hair + nail + makeup party with dad in the playroom we all took a nap before heading out to meet auntie + uncle J for the Art in the Square.
live music + face painting + street food + craft beer and sangria.. and well of course ART.  
the weather was beautiful and the music was fun- we found a place to park the stollers and danced and acted silly!  the kids love to spend time together and we have to be careful when we mention seeing Grayson or meeting up with auntie and uncle J.  the big girls do not stop talking about it until the time finally comes!  baby G is pretty much our favorite on the planet.  this mama adores his sweet little cheeks, too!
Sunday was the usual agenda.
coffee + church + food + nap + food + grocery store + food
on Sunday's we basically graze through the day. 


  






..and then its Monday again.  I'm not totally and completely convinced I'm ready to adult this week- but there is always wine.
and leftovers. 
here's to it!

4.22.2016

swim styles for mama

this post brought to you by nap time, my third cup of coffee and daydreams of the beach and smells of coconut.  praying that the neighbor next door doesn't stir the littlest with his monstrously loud lawn mower.  why are they always SO much louder when you want it to be quiet? 
the mister and I leave in just a few short weeks for an adults-only vacation to Cabo (omgggg, I'm mega excited). I started to browse my favorite places for suits about a month ago and have come up with some really great pieces for this post-baby bod.  its been a couple years since I bought a new bathing suit.. last year I was 8 months pregnant when I donned my bathing suit for the first time that summer, and I had little desire to buy anything new with a baby on the way to keep me busy and out of the pool- nothing to complain about:)
t h i s year I was excited to find some that fit well and kept my confidence up!  


T O P S
I am not very well endowed.  never have been and probably never will be- but to be honest it was breastfeeding the twin babes that really did me in on that department.  after they weaned I had nothing, nada, zilch left.  and it never came back.  not even while I've been breastfeeding Baker.
all that being said.. these tops work well for me on my body.  however, I think that if you get the right size (and know your right size for that matter) it makes a huge difference!
Victoria has been styling my poolside wear for basically my entire adult life.  I love their styles and the versatility of their fit.  I have the hardest time finding something in store- but after being fitted and wearing VS for years I know the right size.  this year was a little different.  I wasn't sure what size I needed because my shape has changed quite a bit in the last three years.  I ordered a couple things and then had to return and reorder, but I have a suit that I really love.  they now offer in-store exchanges- making my life a million times easier.  
traditionally I have found that the bralette is my favorite.  I do size up from my regular because they tend to run on the smaller size.  this one from VS and this one from target are equally amazing.  I prefer these to the triangle tops.  I wore a flounce top similar to this through the tail end of pregnancy and it was modest enough without going the whole traditional maternity bathing suit tent route.  
it also accentuated my tiny tatas.
I'm telling you.. I got nothin.
the getaway halter is my favorite (I have it in white!) because it gives me shape and a little push with the underwire+halter action.  same for the flirt bandeau option.  I like these because they come in actual cup sizes- allowing me to choose the best fit to hold everything in!  

B O T T O M S  
I'm really picky about what covers my rear.  my favorite bottoms ever have always been these knockout bikini bottoms.. I almost have them in every color after purchasing them over the years.  after my c-section with Baker I was left with a smaller and less noticeable scar (yippee!) but at my 6 week post-op it was confirmed that my skin had retracted on one side.. so and I have this puffy place that sticks out.. and on the right day you can even see it through my pants.  thankfully after working out pretty consistently over the last few months that puffy thing has significantly become less noticeable, but its definitely still there!  
this year I am trying something new.  the heavenly bikini is a much higher rise than the knockout version and although the knockout covers my c-section scar, I feel more confident in the full coverage option this foldover bottom offers.
something else I'm trying?  the classic highwaist bikini.  I love the look of this vintage style bottom- and my favorite suit is actually ON SALE right now- yea, girls.  
what you want to make sure of with the high waisted bottoms is that it comes above your belly button to prevent that muffin-top we love to hate.

T H E O N E - P I E C E
(+ one-ish)
I've never bought a one piece suit before, but if ever was the right time, this is the year to do it. the options are amazing!!  I never thought I would want to wear a one piece, but having one in my summer swim collection is really pretty fun!  I fell in love with this black suit with lace detail.  and the halter option makes it trendy.. and the plunging neckline and delicate lace detail keeps keeps the focus up here rather than around that puffy place I mentioned before:)  and then theres the tankini.  giving a little more coverage but not putting it all out there the way some of the two-piece suit options are these days.  plus- if you are pregnant in the summer, these are the perfect go-to! plus, plus a two-piece tankini makes it a breeze to go to the bathroom.

forget trying to find the right suit  for your the body-type because these days there is no such thing!
its all about finding the right fit and what you ultimately feel comfortable and beautiful in.
perfect swim suit? check.
floppy hat? check.
cheap sunnies? check.

now.. someone bring me a margarita. 
anyone?

4.21.2016

a dietitian's food journal | that mama life

I did one of these 'food journals' a year ago, give or take a couple days.
I was 6 months pregnant with Baker Bree and feeling the need to switch up my day to day because I was eating the same food stuffs over and over.  
right now, in this new stage of life with a 9 month old and two very busy three year olds, I am looking for not only convenience but also foods that give me energy and are healthy to feed my entire family.  right now our days and evenings are really full- making meal times occasionally on the go and a random hodgepodge of food thrown together.  I know I'm not the only one in this boat.

b r e a k f a s t 
I am a creature of habit.  I've been eating the same breakfast rotation for the last three years (at least!) and I don't see the end in site.  I'm a breakfast+brunch person- easily making this my favorite meal of the day and I would eat am omelet or roasted breakfast potatoes every.single.day if time permitted.

overnight oats!  
type in those two words in your search box or pinterest and hundreds of recipes will be at your disposal.  I just pinned this recipe post about overnight oats and it explains it perfectly!
greek yogurt + oats + almond butter + skim milk + chia seeds 
 I got hooked on pb+banana toast when I was pregnant with with twins and my love has yet to cease.  
I have been known to eat this twice a day.  
I also drink 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning (half-caf) with creamer.  I use a little measuring cup to measure out my creamer because I can really go overboard!  its a habit I instilled in Jordan a couple years ago and we just stuck with it. we also heat up our creamer in the microwave in this little measuring cup so it doesn't make the coffee cold.
 my coffee is brewed into a 12 ounce cup and I have figured out that 3 tablespoons of regular coffee creamer is just the right amount to make it perfect.
 l u n c h 
lunch is where it gets a little wonky.  I always eat lunch.. but sometimes its at 11am and sometimes its at 2pm. it depends on my meetings for work or if the babes nap at the same time or if I am in the middle of a project and would rather finish than eat.  
salad is often my go-to if I am at home.  we buy these mini salad bags from SAMS that I can add in a little chicken breast or fish and I'm good to go!
other lunchtime favorites:
cheese + fruit + nuts
deli sandwich with fruit
greek yogurt chicken salad or this kale pesto egg salad (OMG its so delicious!) with whole grain crackers (wheat thins or something similar) 
veggie + grain salads.  I will make a random compilation of veggies and grains (usually quinoa) and drizzle it with balsamic and olive oil.  feta or goat cheese usually makes it way in there, too!  this salad will keep in the fridge for 3 days or so.  
this greek farro salad is one of our favs!
 s n a c k s
I am notoriously a snacker.  often times the first thing I do when I come home from a meeting or a full work day the first place you can find me is in the pantry.. looking for something to snack on to carry me over to the dinner meal.  snacks are SO important in my diet- gets me through to the next meal time, but eating on a regular basis keeps my energy up, my metabolism moving and allows me to be ready to make it through witching hour with three baby girls. 
witching hour is real.  SOS. 
carb + protein = the perfect snack combination 
our body runs on glucose (carbs).. so when you eat a carbohydrate by itself your body (particularly your brain) uses it up really quickly.  
have you ever eaten an apple by itself?  thinking- hey.  its an apple.  its really healthy.  and should keep me full.
not.
I eat an apple and 30 minutes later I'm searching for something else.  but pair it with a string cheese or a tablespoon of peanut butter and the protein/healthy fat will slow down digestion and keeps those carbs in your tummy a little longer than it would if eaten solo. 
there. your biochemistry lesson for the day. 
some of my favorite snacks?
I love goldfish.  more than my toddlers, probably.  there are all those pinterest recipes for homemade cheese crackers.. organic something or other- but you guys.  there is nothing like the original.  I also will eat greek yogurt or fruit and dry roasted almonds.  stick with protein bars that are less than 200 calories and 5-6 grams of fat (no saturated fats!) occasionally - okay probably more often than not I repeat breakfast.. peanut butter toast.  I cannot get enough.  
notice my protein/fat + carbohydrate combos?
its also important to keep your portion control in check.  depending upon your specific calorie needs snacks should stay between 150-250 calories.   
 post-workout protein
over the last couple months we have really been making an effort to get outside and move almost everyday.  we live in a really large neighborhood with hiking trails and ponds with large side walks to where we can push two strollers with ease. in the evenings we walk 4-5 miles - and according to my fitbit thats usually 8000+ steps!  the twins love it and an evening walk really helps get their energy out before dinner. 
if schedules work out and we are able to go in the morning we will often times drink a protein shake for lunch- or have a smaller one for a mid-day snack.

2/3 cup almond milk + 1 banana + 1 scoop of vanilla protein + 1-2 tablespoon of almond butter 
its banana pudding in a glass! 
you can use regular milk (we drink organic skim milk) and its just as delicious, but since Baker was born if I have too much dairy I'm regretting it later.  so I opt for the plain almond milk while Jordan drinks the regular.  there are about a million options for protein powder on the market.  personally I stick to the whey protein and look for something that is lower in carbohydrates because I'm usually adding in milk or fruit to get my carb fix.  right now we are using optimum nutrition gold standard whey- we got it from costco for a great price on sale.  and it tastes delicious!
I've also used isopure zero-carb and like it well enough, but has a little more of a protein taste than the gold standard.     
 d i n n e r
I cook about three or four days a week.  Jordan is usually at the fire station about 2 of the other days.   definitely one night a week we just 'fend for ourselves' which usually looks like a salad or cereal or breakfast for dinner.  I take to pinterest or my favorite blogs for inspiration because its rare that I write my own recipes these days.  there was a time in my life when creating recipes was my favorite hobby on the planet, but three kids later thats just not the case for our life stage anymore.  
often we eat separate.  big girls and Baker will eat dinner first- mainly because Baker is still at the age when I am up helping her over and over, so sitting down together just isn't happening right now.  and then we eat after everyone is in bed between 7:30-8pm.  I know we will eventually get back to eating all together as a family, but just not right now.
for dinner its always 
protein + carbohydrate + vegetable
I grew up eating dinner like this.  so it carried over to how I prepare things for my family.  we always have to have a veggie!  
a salad (mostly when we are eating pasta) brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, squash, + potatoes  

this is what dinner looked like this week 
+ I added quinoa 
Baker ate the leftover quinoa and butternut squash the next day for dinner.
+ I added pinto beans and white cheddar cheese.
its like a Mexican frito pie!  definitely will be added to the rotation.  so good!
I also reminds me of my go-to make ahead Mexican chicken casserole.  I make this all the time!  and if you just had a baby and I'm bringing you a meal- thats what you get. 
the crock pot, no matter what time of year it is, is always my go to.  I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to my slow cooker:)
we also ate these oven baked chicken tacos.. chicken was on sale last weekend when I made my grocery list, so I stretched the dollar on our protein this week!  I cooked the chicken in the crock pot on LOW for 5 hours, seasoned with salt and pepper.  
the twin gobbled these up!

so there it is!  its not perfect.  its far from fancy.
but its relatively balanced and for the effort it takes, its working for our family! 
what are your go-to meals or favorite recipes?  I am always looking for delicious variety!

4.20.2016

we eat: 9 months | nuby giveaway

feeding your infant table food can be one of those really fun things and really stressful things simultaneously happening at the same time.  I mentioned a little about out mealtime routine in Baker's 9 month update.  
she is such a hot mess. as much that gets to her mouth goes into her hair, too.  
which means that bathtime is required every night!
at nine months Baker's most favorite meal is probably nut butter toast + sliced banana.  her mama eats this breakfast every single morning and she will all but tackle me for a bite!  last summer the american academy of pediatrics endorsed that it was acceptable and even recommended that the introduction of peanuts be done sooner rather than later in infants (ages 4-11 months).  SO- that being said, Baker has indeed had peanut butter as well almond butter.  
definitely talk to your pediatrician and use your own parental judgement! 
the only food we really steer clear from is honey.

I'm not a huge meat eater and neither are my big girls.  they will eat grilled chicken and of course chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs, but other than that they stick to the veggie and legume proteins. this habit has spilled over into Baker's mealtime, too!  lots of vegetable and grain proteins- chickpeas, lentils, beans, quinoa, brown rice.
she's got a texture thing with avocado, but I continue to offer it several times every week in hopes she will eventually accept it- we are making progress!  babies and even big kids (ahem, adults, too!) can show aversion to a food for up to 10 times before they finally decide that yes I like it!
she LOVES chicken meatballs (I buy them at Target) and I've made black bean cakes and homemade turkey meatballs a time or two.  the best part about that is the big girls eat, too!  so I am not always prepping three different dinners for everyone in this house.  
Baker loves most veggies and fruit!
broccoli + brussels sprouts + asparagus + green beans + butternut squash + sweet potato
strawberries + watermelon + grapes + bananas + blueberries + mandarin oranges + apples + honeydew melon + cantaloupe 
whole milk yogurt mixed with a couple tablespoons of almond butter is on the menu at least once a day.  I usually buy the large 32oz containers of whole milk greek yogurt - again I get this at Target.  I do usually keep the individual baby yogurts on hand just for ease of taking it on the go or when her BB or a sitter is feeding her.

feeding essentials 
the chair.  we love our boon highchair!  we bought a couple of graco highchairs for the twins- we liked them okay but my one complaint was that they got SO messy.  smooshed food in all crevices.. and we basically disassembled the chair to clean it.. and I'm embarrassed to say that the effort to clean it was far outweighed by 'just cleaning it up after breakfast tomorrow' 
which turned into lunch.  then dinner.
you get the point.  it was a nasty mess of a cycle and I'm so glad we don't have to deal with it this time around. 
the bibs.  we wear a bib about half the time.  sometimes its just easier to let her just make a huge mess.  maybe its third child problems but I think I bought like two or three new bibs for Baker and I can count on one hand how many times she's worn them.  
table wear.  following a loosely termed baby-led-weaning routine we don't use utensils except when I am feeding Baker yogurt.  everything else she uses her hands or sucks down purees from a food 
pouch. I love these spoons and I have had a set of these bowls since the twins were tiny.
we were so excited to try out nuby's most recent addition to their tremendous line of baby and toddler feeding tools.  I mentioned this mat in our 9 month favorites post, and it is true. the nuby sure grip miracle mat has quickly become our favorite at meal times.    
 chicken meatballs + avocado + watermelon
 quinoa + roasted butternut squash with cumin 
 the mat suctions to the tray so that is doesnt move around or is easy for Baker to just pick up and toss her entire plate of food to the ground.  
oh, but that doesnt stop her from trying.

I've teamed up with one of my favorite baby brands to offer not just one but TWO lucky winners a chance to win their every own nuby sure grip miracle mat before its even available in stores and online!  these mats will be available at babies r us in June and on Amazon in July. I'm always on the lookout to making the lives of fellow mama friends a little easier:)

Enter for your chance to win in the rafflecopter giveaway below.
giveaway runs from Wednesday April 20th through Saturday April 23rd.  Winner will be selected Monday morning!
GOOD LUCK:)
contest open to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

4.18.2016

our weekend | life's a zoo

this weekend started with our first trip to the zoo as a family of five!  we have been trying to go for weeks and couldn't make it work- but finally we made time and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.  the big girls had a blast seeing all the animals we talk about everyday.  we made one mention as a joke in the car about alligators and Parker wouldn't let it go until we saw one.  we also got to feed the little birdies and see a big 'ol black bear eat apple slices for her afternoon snack.  they got brave and touched a starfish and watched a mama gorilla nurse her new baby (that was amazing!  it nearly brought tears to my eyes.)  Jolie was pretty frightened of seeing the real life monkeys and gorillas- there is something to be said about the fascination of your babes seeing these animals for the first time.. I mean we have been to the zoo before several times, but this time they will never forget!  Baker was awesome- the weather was perfect so she was content in the stroller.  give the girls some snacks and she's good to go.  we stopped for a picnic lunch and made the switch up of the babes and the stroller and Baker snoozed in the solly for the rest of the afternoon.
that night we met up with some friends for dinner on the patio with gallons of salsa and a handful of chips and then made the first, albeit chilly, splash in the fountains before we ended the night with two scoops of ben and jerry's.  Baker was OBSESSED with the water and wouldn't keep her little hiney out of it!  she was trying to keep up with her sisters and literally took four steps towards the shooting water.  
this summer is going to be SO.much.fun.
saturday it was just me and the girls while daddy was at the fire station- we made a much needed run to the grocery store and took advantage of the weekend sales to stock up on warm weather attire.  our week ended with a chill in the air and rainy weather for the entire sunday.  long afternoon naps and pjs all day were the only thing on the agenda.  
another busy week ahead but I'm feeling refreshed after a great weekend with the fam.
I hope you all had a great one! 
XO!









 moccs c/o / dot wrap c/o




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