Mom confession #003

You guys, I suck at crockpot cooking.

Seriously, HELP, how do you actually make something taste delicious that’s been cooked in the crockpot? What’s the secret?!

My dad, he’s a master crockpot chef. The internet, it makes us horrific crockpot chefs feel unworthy with it’s trendy recipe videos.

When I think of making meals in the crockpot, I think of fall and winter, cold weather and comfort food. But here, we’re still in the throes of summer, and turning on my oven or stove is just about the last thing I want to do when I get home at night to my unairconditioned home. So, I thought to myself, “Self, crockpots don’t require the oven, put out little heat, AND dinner will just be ready for you when you get home. Win/win/WIN!”

I’ve had bad luck in the past, but I thought I’d clear any previous negative thoughts I had about the crockpot out of my brain and start fresh. I thought about the last delicious meal I had from a crockpot and it was when my parents visited in March. My dad made a phenomenal, tender, flavorful pork roast. So, I did what any reasonable 25 year old does, and I called my dad and asked for help.

He gave me the recipe, I wrote down every detail, bought all the necessary ingredients, and combined with my cheery attitude I was ready to go. I even prepped EVERYTHING the night before so all I had to do was plug it in and turn it on in the morning.

I thought about the meal all day at work, I was so excited. It was going to be so delicious, I was going to have such great leftovers for days, even my three year old was going to LOVE it. And then I got home… to a dry, bland, uninspired meal. I was bummed but suffered through three days of leftovers so as to not let it go to waste.

Feeling bummed, I decided to forgo crockpot cooking for awhile and resume the usual recipes. And then just a few nights ago, one of those cute little “Tasty” recipe videos appeared on my Facebook feed for crockpot meatballs. It looked so easy and delicious, the recipe was right there, how could I ignore it?

I headed to the grocery store, I bought all of the ingredients (serious question: does anyone actually ever use an entire container of breadcrumbs before they go bad?!), I prepped everything last night, I turned everything on this morning, I thought about them all day (…anything sounding familiar here?), I got home AAAAAAAAND… some of the meatballs hadn’t cooked all the way through. There was too much grease on the top from the meat I’d used and my dinner that was supposed to be magically ready when I walked in the door now required much more work.

Fortunately, I was actually able to turn the meatballs situation around. I pulled out the frying pan (and my trusty meat thermometer, no thanks food poisoning) and cooked them all up until they were well down on the inside. They didn’t taste half bad. But, I definitely wouldn’t call that a success.

So, please, if you are a magical crockpot chef, TEACH ME THE WAYS. Or, just share your favorite (successful) crockpot recipes below.

crockpot

Confession 3.5: While I’ve been upholding some of my August goals really well, one I’ve clearly failed on is posting twice a week. I’ve missed it. I’m hoping to be back with more regularity moving forward!
Advertisements

Mom confession #002

I wasn’t planning on posting tonight, but I had to confess to someone, so here I am.

The good news: you guys, I ran a 5k today. I ran a 5k today without stopping once. I ran a 5k today without face planting on the treadmill. I DID IT.

Seriously, this is a huge deal for me. For actual runners I realize this is barely more than a warm up. But, I’ve never run this distance in my whole life.

excited1

The confession(s):

-I went shopping. Again. I put myself on a spending freeze and still have continued to do nothing but buy clothes & then more clothes & then even more clothes. TO BE FAIR, it was two pairs of work pants, which I genuinely need, AND they were on sale + I had an extra discount to apply + I used my RedCard. So, I ended up getting them over 50% off. But still, I did it.

-I’m watching The Secret Life of Pets, by myself, an hour and 11 minutes after my daughter went to bed, because we started it before bedtime and I thought it was hilarious and I wanted to see what happened.

Thursday night is upon us, we’re almost there. The weekend is SO close. You got this. Have a fabulous Friday, y’all and a wonderful weekend.

Side note: If you’re thinking about getting into running, I highly recommend the C25k (Couch to 5k) app. There’s no way I could have done this without it. I went from absolutely hating running and having no stamina what so ever, to running over 3 miles without stopping. The lovely creators of the app have no idea who I am or that I use their product, but seriously, check it out. It’s free!

 

 

Monthly Goals .001 – August

For the last 10ish days I’ve been leaving working feeling like all of my brain power is gone. I’m delighted to get to be involved in some new tasks and exciting changes, but, by the end of the day, I feel like I’ve run a mental marathon. With that, my energy to do anything more than keep myself and the mini human alive and fed is just nonexistent. BUT, I want to get out of that funk.

All day today I’ve seen reminders that it’s August 1st. I saw someone post about “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on social media and I had to look it up. Apparently, it’s good luck to say “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” as your very first words right when you wake up on the first of any month. Needless to say, I missed the memo there, but felt inspired none-the-less to utilize the date and set a few goals for myself, that don’t involve work, for the month of August. Since August is the 8th month, I’m going to set 8 simple(ish) goals for myself (full disclosure — this is a completely random decision that I just came up with). Here goes:

#1: Run 3.1 miles without stopping

Those who know me, know that this is a legitimate goal. I am NOT a runner.

#2: Sign up for a 5k taking place this year

Preferably one with free alcohol at the finish line.

#3: Continue going to the gym 3 times a week

#4: Try one new recipe for dinner per week (5 before September 1st)

Any recommendations for super easy recipes that a 3 year old and her mom will like?

#5: Plan & book a vacation

#6: Write & publish blog posts 2x per week

#7: Try a new restaurant

#7.5: Learn once and for all where the “u” goes in restaurant without having to spell check it

#8: Report back about this on September 1st with new goals

I’d love to have you join me! If eight is too many, set five or even just one goal to focus on for August. What are you going to do for yourself this month?

Mom confession: #001

I had grand plans for a blog post tonight, I was given a great idea that I felt inspired by. I thought about it for the afternoon & while I went on my run at the gym. And then life happened, you know what I mean?

Here’s how the evening transpired:

6:05 pm: Get home, unload car, attempt to walk up stairs

6:07 pm: Drop phone while walking up stairs, said phone lands exactly on top of my middle toes, cue the slur of profanities here (my child was not home)

6:10 pm: Recover from toe incident, start to prep dinner

6:11 pm: Realize the steak I’d planned for the fajitas was not good & couldn’t be used

6:12 pm: Seriously consider going to In-N-Out and gaining back the pound I’d been so excited about losing when I got on the scale this morning

6:13 pm: Remember that there’s chicken in the freezer, there’s hope for the fajitas yet!

6:14-6:20: Defrost chicken, chop veggies, make marinade, and add all to a bag and seal

6:21 pm: Realize the bag isn’t fully sealed when onions & marinade land all over me and my floor

6:22 pm: Take a few deep breaths, pull myself together, persist. These damn fajitas will be made.

6:23 pm – 7:20 pm: Cook, cook, cook. Daughter gets home, daughter has to go to the bathroom, Moana goes on, switch the laundry, daughter needs a cookie, daughter needs a tortilla, daughter needs fresh water, daughter needs Moana to start over because it didn’t start on the right part. Daughter tells me, “That dinner looks scusting!” (translation: disgusting).

7:21 pm: Eat fajitas (which were absolutely DELICIOUS by the way… thank you Pinterest for the recipe)

7:21 & 30 seconds: Daughter decides scusting dinner actually looks pretty good and dips her tortilla in the food on my plate

7:25-7:45 pm: Moana, Moana, Moana, more Moana

7:46 pm: Daughter tells me she’s “so frustrated!” because I’ve turned Moana off

7:47 – 8:05 pm: Bedtime routine: jammies, brush teeth, read stories, turn off lights, snuggle. Lastly: big hug, little hug, big kiss, little kiss, little tiny kiss x 3

8:06 pm: Sit down on couch with a big sigh, tell myself I’ll only sit there until 8:15 pm (I don’t, I stay there 12 extra minutes)

8:27 – 8:45 pm: Prep coffee, prep lunches, load dishwasher, close the window I’m afraid a murderer/robber will crawl through, stub THE SAME toe, curse silently, go downstairs

8:46 – 9:00 pm: Fold & put away all laundry

9:01 pm: Pick up computer, start here.

Are you still with me? I’m impressed. Are you tired just from reading this? Me, too. Did your night look anything like this? No? Just me? Okay.

So I gave you the play by play of my evening… you’ve come all this way… what’s my confession?

I listened to Moana’s “Where You Are” and danced around my kitchen the entire 20 minutes I spent getting everything prepped and/or cleaned. Yes, my daughter was asleep. I’ve also listened to it 8 times writing this post. You guys, I can not stop singing this song. It’s so damn catchy. Oh, and I haven’t washed my hair since Monday night, oops.

But seriously, it’s Thursday night. We’re ALMOST there. Friday is so close I can taste it. I hope you have an amazing night, day, and weekend.

Procrastination.

If procrastination was an Olympic sport, I’d take home the gold medal. In high school and then later in college I don’t think there was a single assignment that I did earlier than the night before it was due. Even while writing this post, I’ve opened up Instagram, checked Facebook, and watched Seinfeld. Clearly, I have yet to grow out of this habit.

I don’t know about you, but when I procrastinate, I also get anxious. Logically, you might think that I’d just stop procrastinating and end the vicious cycle. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy.

But, I read a post once where the blogger talked about things she did at night to help herself for the next day. And it made me ask myself, what can I do right now so that I don’t have to do it tomorrow? What can I do today to help myself this week? What can I do this week to help myself next month? And I found that by doing just a few things today I could alleviate so many stressors of tomorrow.

Like with anything new, the key was to start small. So, I set a goal for myself. Do three things that would take less than 10 minutes before bed to help my morning self. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Prep the coffee & set the timer
  2. Pick out my outfit & my daughter’s for the next day
  3. Pack lunches for myself & my daughter

Simple, right? But it’s amazing how different each of these tasks feel in the evening, when I’m not trying to get myself put together and get out the door on time with a toddler. And, I even get to hit snooze an extra time. I’ve incorporated this into my regular nighttime routine, but there are still times that I tell myself, “It’ll be fine, I can just do it in the morning.” And I regret it. Every. Single. Time. I inevitably end up trying on three outfits to decide on the first one, rushing my toddler through her morning routine, walking out the door 5 minutes late which puts me 10 minutes behind in traffic and then I’m late to work. Not the best way to start the day.

So, today I thought, how can I expand on this? What small things can I do to set myself up for success for the week? Here’s what I did:

  1. Take 15 minutes & plan dinners for the week (thank you Pinterest)
  2. Make a grocery list, go to the store immediately, and stick to it
  3. Do my laundry AND fold it/put it away on the same day (groundbreaking, I KNOW)

Again, simple, right? So simple it almost seems silly that I’d even have to think about it. But, I know I’m not the only one who swears up and down that I’ll fold the laundry and then finds themselves digging through the half clean, half dirty pile of clothes on the floor that I “just washed” looking for the sweater I wore two weeks ago. I also know I’m not the only one who decides to stop eating out, only to leave work starving and decide to stop at In-N-Out because there’s nothing in the refrigerator to eat at home. And more than anything, I know I’m not the only one to spend $50 at the grocery store on things I “need” only to walk out without anything I was supposed to buy.

It’s Sunday night, the beginning of the week is right around the corner. How are you going to set yourself up for success? I encourage you to pick just a handful of things to do tonight to help yourself tomorrow! Share your experience below 🙂

 

 

 

 

If not now, when?

I hadn’t even been allowed to legally buy alcohol for a full year when I found out I was pregnant. To say that my daughter was a surprise would be an understatement. I was young. I was terrified. I was growing a human.

One of the first people I told was my boss. I cried as I said the words out loud and there were a million thoughts running through my head — could I do this? What would people think? Wasn’t I supposed to have a husband first? What was my family going to say?

More than three years later I still remember the fear, the uncertainty, the anxiety, but more than anything else, I remember the advice she gave me.

“Kelly, there’s no such thing as the perfect time for something. There will always be a reason to wait another month, another year. And eventually, it’ll be too late. Or you’ll find yourself looking back and wishing you’d just done it already.”

For the first time I felt happiness about this upcoming life change. And I realized that no matter how hard you try to plan, life is going to happen the way it’s meant to happen.

So, what are you waiting on? Why? Thinking about starting that running program? Do it! Trying to figure out if you want to go back to school? Apply!

In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

If not now, when?