Mom Stuff: Serial

Friday, March 25, 2016

I love my kids, they're pretty awesome.

But mama needs some mama time.

I've blogged countlessly about activities for the kiddos, favorite toys, favorite apps and the cutest outfits for little ones. It's adorable and sweet but sorry kids... Mom is front and center today!!!!!!

^^I keep picturing some lunatic dance mom shoving her kids out of the way on stage to take the spotlight... with throw up on her shirt and frazzled hair. I don't know... it's been a long week. The image keeps making me chuckle.


Ergo, my new series brilliantly entitled, "Mom Stuff".

The creative juices worked over time there, am I right?!

Sidenote: Bearing children is not required to enjoy these simple pleasures.

One of my latest favorite "escapes", if you will, is listening to a good podcast in the car.
When you spend most of your days surrounded by tiny people who are still learning how to communicate, it can be really nice to have an adult around. Even if they're just coming through your speaker to tell you a story that gets your wheels turning a little more than The Hungry Caterpillar and the fucking Wheels on the Bus. 

I never really understood the vast and wonderful world of podcasts until I met Josh and started listening to NPR with him. This American Life quickly became a favorite, so when they came out with Serial, it was only logical to see what all the hype was about.

And the hype was well deserved. I was hooked just a few minutes in.

The content can be a bit dark so be sure to take that into account with your little ones in the car, but for me, the talking usually knocks my kids out even faster than music does.

Season 1 focuses on a murder story that actually took place not too far from where we live... creeeeeepy.

I started listening to this just as we started watching Making a Murderer on Netflix as well so it was just a big murder mystery extravaganza. I was into it!!!!

Season 2 investigates Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban. He spent 5 years as a POW and through this podcast, you get to hear his own story as well as several of those involved both stateside and overseas. It's also been interesting to listen to as the 2016 election, or what I've started referring to in my head as doomsday, looms closer.

I don't want to give more than that away.. you just have to listen!

Do you have any favorite podcasts?

As a gal new to the podcast bandwagon, I need all your suggestions!!!!

Happy Friday sweetie pies & enjoy your Easter weekend!

Hippity hop hop,

Image source:

Breakfast Hash

Thursday, March 17, 2016

All I do is hash, hash, hash no matta WHAT.

Not like hash the pot kind of hash but like the breakfast kind of hash.... just to clarify.

If you follow me on Snapchat (@larrybeary88) then you've probably seen 97,626 breakfast pictures from me. I'm not sure when the exact moment was when I fell in love with breakfast, specifically breakfast hashes, but the love is strong and I can't get enough.

When I did the Whole30 last year after Nora was born, one thing that I started thinking about differently was the definition of "breakfast". Before Whole30, I would always think of your typical bacon and eggs, french toast, regular toast, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cereal, oatmeal... lots of sweet stuff and 99% of which was not allowed during the Whole30.

But when I started thinking about it as just another meal in my day, no matter what time it was, I was able to incorporate a lot more vegetables into my breakfast routine.

So what exactly constitutes a breakfast hash?

Honestly.. anything.

If you want to get real nerdy with it, and of course I do, haché in French means "to chop" so hash is derived from that. Breakfast hash traditionally is composed of some sort of meat, vegetables and potatoes, all chopped and cooked together with spices.

The glorious thing about making a hash is that you can use almost anything you have on hand.

Here are the base ingredients for some of my favorite flavor combinations...

Sweet potatoes
Sweet peppers

Sweet onions
Brussel Sprouts

Red onions
Green peppers

In addition to this, I like to add any steak, chicken, sausage, bacon or whatever else is already cooked or easy to throw in from the fridge. Or keep it vegetarian! Any time I omit meat I still feel just as full.

I typically sauté the vegetables and meat with olive oil in a pan, usually starting with the vegetables that take the longest to cook, like onions or potatoes. I like to put raw spinach or kale on the bottom of the plate and then the cooked vegetables and meat on top.

Then I'll cook up eggs to put on top and whatever topping(s) I'm feeling like.. avocado, tomatoes, chives, sprouts, hot sauce, basil, parsley, pico de gallo, cilantro, red pepper flakes, etc. If you're really feeling crazy, you can even grill up the avocado.. so yummy!

Side note: I'm embarrassed to admit this but I used to order the Turkey Tom from Jimmy Johns when I was in college withOUT sprouts. Every single time. I hated them. Really, I hated them without giving them a fair chance. 

I like to think my tastes have really matured since then. Because I fucking love sprouts!!!!!!

And another side note.... I know what you're thinking. That is one massive plate of food. But for someone like me who is nursing and hungry constantly, starting the day with a huge plate of vegetables and protein is a great way to feel fuller, longer. And another perk? If you cook this much, it's so easy to save a tupperware and use the rest for lunch or next day's breakfast.

The other fun parts about breakfast hash is you can do so many things with it.

You can cook it straight up in a cast iron skillet by cracking the eggs into the pan and sticking it in the oven or put all your vegetables in a hallowed out pepper, crack a few eggs inside and bake that all together.

You can cut your vegetables in chunks or slice them thinly for a different experience. Just today I tried cutting potatoes into thin-like chips and it gave the whole thing a different feel. For those of you who hate eating the same thing every day, this is the perfect meal to break up the monotony.

The sky is the limit!!!!!!

But here's a catch... I know when I was working a regular 9-5 job I would wake up at the last possible moment and grab a piece of toast on the way out the door or just skip breakfast all together. So what if you don't have the time for all this nonsense?

I suggest chopping everything the day before or even the Sunday before your week starts so you can easily throw everything in the pan while you're getting ready in the morning. The chopping is definitely the longest part of the process. Cooking the vegetables, left over meat (or even fresh) and eggs will only take you 15 minutes tops). If you really want to plan ahead, you can even cook everything but the eggs the night before and just microwave them and cook up a few eggs in 2 minutes the next morning.

Even though this might take some extra time in your morning or evening routine, I promise you'll feel so much more energetic throughout your work day because you started your day with a big helping of protein.

The cutest little sous chef in all the land :)

I hope this inspires you to hash it up a bit in your kitchen and crack a few (million) eggs.

Bon appetit!

DMV Feature: Watkins Regional Park

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Last week Spring shined her beautiful face and graced us with temperatures up in the 70s (even got to 80 at one point!!!) so me and the girls took advantage and explored a new park!

A local mom mentioned something about a brand new Wizard of Oz playground and I knew we had to check that out. 

Little did I know there was a nature center and farm there, too, so it was pretty awesome!

When you arrive at Watkins Regional Park, there is tons of parking right near the playground area. There are also bathrooms right in the parking lot and more closer to the playground, something I'm used to looking for immediately at new places now.

It's just not that fun running around in circles like a headless chicken when your two year old proclaims to the entire playground, "I gotta poo, Ma!!!!!"

There is a large pathway leading up to the playground, with a sparkly yellow brick road and colorful overhang that creates a sidewalk rainbow. 

The playground has several different features including lots of swings, red sparkly shoe slides, Dorothy's house, farm animal rocking horses, Oz's castle and more. The day we went it got up to 80 degrees and there was no awning right over the playground so it can definitely get hot!

Surrounding the playground are tons of trails in the woods, area for picnics and picnic tables with coverings. It's the perfect place to bring lunch and take a break in the shade.

Down the path past the playground is Watkins Nature Center.

The nature center was a really nice break from the heat that day, and the girls loved having such a close up view of so many critters!

They had TONS of turtles, which Hadley is still obsessed with since Hawaii, so that was really fun for her. They also had snakes, frogs, owls, hawks and one bearded dragon.

There was a puppet show stage for the kiddos, books and some cool tactile games for them to play. They also offer classes and activities that look fun for the wee ones.

Across the street from the playground were some more trails, an antique carousel, mini golf, train rides and a farm with the biggest pigs I've ever seen.

The golf, carousel and train are all closed until May so we'll definitely be heading back there to check those out! Hadley is also really obsessed with trains these days so I know she will love that!

^^Doesn't Hadley look like a giant in this picture?! WAH.

The Old Maryland Farm was down a walking path past the mini golf and carousel.

There we're so many gigantic animals there. The biggest bunny rabbits, pigs and turkey I had ever seen. There we're chickens, horses, a donkey, a sheep with new baby lambs, really cool looking peacocks, goats and llamas.

Everything we enjoyed that day, the playground, Nature Center and farm, we're all free. There was no charge for parking, either. I believe there are charges for the train, carousel and mini golf come Summer.

We had a really great time exploring this new area, and while it's a good 30 minute drive for us, I definitely think it will be worth making another day trip there when more of the fun stuff opens in the Summer months.

Big thanks to my Nextdoor Gals for telling us about this awesome place!


Hadley Says: Volume 1

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Now that our homegirl is fully comfortable using that little voice of hers, I think it's time to start documenting all the ridiculousness that comes out of her mouth.

And lately, it is sass, sass and more sass.

She's basically not living unless she's telling us what to do these days. Bossy is her new middle name and she is rockin' it hard.

Her latest demands....

"Don't touch pee, Roo!"

"Lay down, daddy."
"Go to sleep, daddy."

"Ma!!!! MA!!!! I hungry for food, Ma."

She's been calling me "Ma" a lot these days. I'm not sure why she made the switch.. I know I love to refer to myself as "Ma" a lot when I'm joking around so maybe she started to pick up on that? Either way, it cracks me up.

"I need to poop, Mama!" AKA.. come wipe my ass!

Me: Hadley, do you want some cucumbers?
Hadley: NOPE.

Hadley: This is daddy's bed!
Me: You know I sleep here, too....
Hadley: No, this is daddy's bed.

"My daddy!!!!! Get off him!!!"

We literally had a wrestling match one night because she didn't want me to cuddle with Josh. She's really taking the whole "daddy's girl" to another level. Back off homie, he was mine first!!! :-P

Daddy: Hadley, listen to your mama and help us clean up your room.
Hadley: No thanks, I'm okay.
Daddy: Help us clean now.
Hadley: Okay, fiiiiiiine (soooo exasperated).

"Put phone down, Ma!"

Me giving Hadley medicine...

Hadley: Yay! Medicine! For me?!
Me: Yes for you, Hadley.
She takes a lick of the medicine. Makes a face.
Hadley: You can give the rest to Roo.
Me: But you're the one who needs it, Roo isn't sick.
Hadley: Well, I feel better now.

"No, I sing, Ma!"
"Don't dance, Ma!"
It's a rare and wonderful day when she lets me sing with her in the car!!!!

"Turn the light off! I go to sleep now!"

She's been super girly these days, obsessing over my purses, make up, The Little Mermaid and her Minnie Mouse high heels. She loves having her nails painted and even lets me braid her hair every once in a while, which is big for a kid who is running around constantly.

I surprised her with an Ariel nightgown (on clearance at Target for like $3) and she wore it for 3 days straight. It's a struggle to get it off her and in the washing machine.. AKA Ariel's "bath". I'll definitely be picking up a bunch more of those next time I'm at Target! We need reinforcements!

The other day she told me she was mama and I was Hadley, which only lasted a few seconds because then she wanted to be the baby. She found some of Nora's old pacifiers and when I wasn't catching her with two in her mouth at once, she was telling me, "I need pacifier to sleep, Ma."

How does she remember sleeping with those?! It's been over a year!

While bossy is her current middle name, Hadley is still our sweet little angel.

Here are some of her latest sweet sayings...

"Hi mama, hi daddy, how did you sleep?"

We ask her this every morning when she wakes up so it is super sweet to hear her ask us when she comes in in the morning :) Warms my heart!

"How was your day, daddy?"

 "I'll take care of your booboo."

"I love you, ma, I missed you."

"I want to lay with you, mama."

She's also still really sweet with Nora. Now that Nora is walking and really asserting herself as a new force in the house, her and Hadley have been butting heads a little bit more. They're starting to fight over toys, which mostly consists of Hadley taking things from Nora and Nora losing her shit.

The other day Nora pushed Hadley down and we all couldn't help but giggle because (a) it was the first time that had ever happened and I kept telling Hadley she had it coming and (b) Nora was sooooo proud of herself.

But even amongst this new struggle.. these girls are just so sweet together.
Sweet sisters!

"I hold you, Roo!"

Every time I put Nora to sleep for her nap Hadley runs to me asking where she is. Then she bolts for the stairs and says, "I go see." She loves peeking in her room to see her asleep.

And in case you're a Sons of Anarchy fan.... I couldn't resist this photo edit when I saw this picture on Josh's phone.

Kills me every time! My little old ladies.

Hadley LuAnne, you are a little rascal these days!!!!
You don't listen to me for shit but I sure do love you!!!!!!!!! Even when I'm chasing you through dog poop to get you back in this house!!!!!

I love you, sugar pie.

Love, "Ma"

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