Encouragement For Women

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Experience

The aroma fills the house as the coffee fills my cup. And it is good. My favorite is a simple breakfast blend, but the past few days I've been drinking an autumn blend. This is our morning routine:
Steve usually gets up with the boys, changing them out of their Jammie's and getting them dressed for the day. I get to sleep in a little longer while they watch a show. They all come in and wake me up. Yesterday it was with nerf guns. Steve and Aiden on the attack and Carter grinning over the side of the bed at me.
I brew my k-cup while we get breakfast ready, and we all sit down to a nice breakfast. 
Maybe this is crazy, but it makes me so happy when I use a pretty cup for my coffee. I love the shorter fat ones. (They also fit in my single cup keurig the best.) I have two by The Pampered Chef that I love, but I just needed more. We do Sunday breakfast with my husbands family. There are 6 adults and 3 children. Four of us drink coffee. (In all fairness, I can remove the bottom of the machine to use a taller glass but I don't want to go through the hassle. I'll save the taller glasses for my leaf teas and mulled cider.) I happened to stop by Starbucks the other day and saw these two beautiful cups for around $10 each. I loved them right away. I bought them. She then told me about a beautiful blue one they had, but when she went to show me they were gone. She made it sound so pretty that I was actually sad when I couldn't have it. Naturally, I went online to see what I was missing out on and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will own this some day. It is so pretty. The ones I bought are from the artisan collection. The other is the anniversary siren. I'm really glad I went in that day instead of using one with a drive-through.

*this is not a sponsored post. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

A letter to walmart

Dear Walmart, 
I must admit, you  irritate me sometimes. You're always moving groceries around. It's frustrating, I dislike grocery shopping as it is, and having to search for a product I use adds to the aggravation. Let's just say what everyone says already anyway: Get some more registers opened. And take out those dang self checkouts. Self checkouts are one of the stupidest inventions. Ever. Not only does it take away jobs, it doesn't give you a discount for the paycheck they don't have to write. Loss all around. Personally, I'd rather they actually employ someone. Feed a family. 
On the positive side, you always have a donation going and you let children raise money outside the doors. I love that it keeps me mindful of giving and that I can do it right there. Sending wipes and protein bars to our troops, giving a bag of school supplies to children, and supporting the children's cancer foundation make me happy. It feels good to help and I'm grateful for the opportunity. 
Walmart, you have recently impressed me to a great level. (So much so that I had to write you a letter to express my happiness.) Because of you, I am now the proud owner of two Harry Potter tshirts. Oh yeah! Harry Potter is my favorite book and series. Of. All. Time. (Insert big dramatic voice right there.) 
The only negative thing I can say about them is that they're only carried in juniors. My generation is the HP lovers. We need woman sizes. I'm a little bitter that my usual medium size status changed to extra large in juniors. �� I'm not a junior, so I'm not too bummed. However, the plus sized woman checking me out loved them and was very disappointed that I got the biggest size they had. Back to the positive. I love them! I love them! I love them! Thank you, Walmart! 

P.S. What is fall without football? I needed something to support my team. I look downright sexy in a hat, too. GO BEARS!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fall style

I'm in the process of minimizing my closet. I wear the same stuff over and over anyway. I see no reason to keep the stuff I don't use. I'm also organizing into seasons instead of having everything mixed together. I'll get a couple of small bins for summer (tanks, shorts) and winter (sweaters) but spring and fall will most likely stay throughout the year as layering pieces. I'm also figuring out my style as I do this. I'm loving it. Instead of feeling uncomfortable in something I'm just trying to wear so I don't have to get rid of it (because it looked so cute on the model or manequin), I'm confident in everything I put on. I'm hanging on to a few form fitting things that I plan to wear when I lose these last 10 lbs, but in a bin so they don't take up my closet space when I can't wear them. This makes choosing outfits easier and I don't feel guilty that I'm not as small as I was before I had Carter. 
Inspired by my younger sister,Lilli, I had to have this green jacket. I had the boots already (Payless) and have never worn them, but I knew they had great potential. The tshirt she had didn't fit me right, so I didn't buy it. It was hard since it was so adorable on her. But let's face it, I don't have the body of a 14 year old - and it saved me $25. So I got a rose tank top for underneath. The plum bag completes the outfit. I got a pair of skinny jeans* and  used those along with my favorite jeans (The Buckle) as the base for my fall wardrobe.
A bright orange tank under a camouflage jacket and black sneakers. I wanted camo sneakers with this, but they didn't have them and I didn't want to hunt them down. I think the black looks good with this outfit. 
A casual gray sheer top layered over a black tank turned dressier with a black heel (Anne Michelle). 
Inspired by Bridesmaids. I love that movie! A striped shirt (Gap) and sunglasses (JLo prescription Walmart). 
I love the gray striped shirt (old navy) and the jean button down. I plan on pairing the button down with my black maxi skirt. I got a tshirt to layer underneath it that says "be happy, be beautiful, be you". I love that. 

(Anything not specified is from Maurice's.)

*Lilli said I needed a pair of skinny jeans in my wardrobe. I had been avoiding them because they didn't seem very "Casie". Now I have them, and honestly I'm still not sold. The bottom bunches, I got short length to avoid this but it still bunches. I think the overall look of my legs is better in classic bootcut or flair. I feel like the perception when people see me in skinny jeans is that I'm trying to be a teenager instead of a stylish woman. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Overnight oatmeal

I hate mornings. I want to be cozy and lazy and sleep in the morning. But there is reality. Two children jumping around, a dog that wants to go outside, and a list of things to be done. So I must get up. As we all do. (Except teenagers. They still have the luxury of sleeping in until 8 or 12!? o'clock). 
Breakfast. Ahh breakfast. That thing I must put together upon waking...or must I? Maybe there is another way. Someone, somewhere, (some genius) had the brilliant idea to make a healthy and filling breakfast the night before. And I love that person. 
Making my oatmeal the night before has made this weeks mornings easier for me. I tend to start things when I see they need doing. I get sidetracked easily. I will be getting orange juice for Aiden and see a dirty handtowel on the counter. After handing over the liquid gold, I'll start a load of laundry. I'll step on a toy and start tidying up. I'm usually thinking, "my husband is having breakfast with the kids. He has this covered. I can get some stuff done before he leaves for work. Yay." But then I get grumpy. Why am I so grumpy all of a sudden? Oh yeah. I forgot to eat. This week I grab my breakfast from the fridge as soon as I'm up, and eat while the kids are playing. And that makes me happy. 
I started with a recipe I found on Pinterest. I didn't care for it much. So I modified it. This is the recipe I like best so far. (Basic recipe plus coconut and chocolate)

Update: After making this almost every day for at least a month, I still love my basic recipe. I have found that I don't need as much coconut and chocolate chips as I first thought. I use about half of what I started using and it still tastes great. 

*the picture shows Chobani Greek yogurt. I don't really care for that brand. My favorite is Oikos. My sons love it also, Oikos goes fast in our home!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crying babies and toddler tantrums

I do not believe in letting a baby cry it out. I think it's horrible to let your baby cry for you and give up because they realize mommy doesn't care. My heart brakes when my baby cries and I can't get to him right away. Here are two excerpts:

12 Things your Crying Baby Wants you to Know

1. I am not crying to make your life more difficult. I am crying because something is wrong. Even if it does not seem like it.

2. I am brand new. I do not have control of my nervous system. I am disorganized. Being with you; hearing your heartbeat, smelling your scent… it calms me. It helps me.

3. The fact that I cannot stop crying is not your fault. I know your are doing your best. We are just getting to know each other. We will get there- please stick with me.

4. You are my world. You are my everything. You are all that I know. I do not have anybody else that can provide for me what you can.

5. I do not need to cry. It does not exercise my lungs, or provide any other benefit.

6. The stress chemicals that are released when I cry (that stay with me my whole life) are lessened when you hold me while I cry.

7. Please nurse me. No matter how much I ask for it. Forget the time or how tired you are. If nursing helps me to stop crying, please nurse me.

8. Do not listen to anybody else- not your neighbor, not your aunt. Forget the book that you read which talked about helping me to learn to self soothe. Just listen to me. And you. Forget the world outside of ours.

9. I cannot self soothe. It is not possible. If I stop crying when you leave me alone, it is because I have given up hope that you will comfort me.

10. If you are at your breaking point ask for help; with the dishes, the laundry and preparing meals. If I am content with somebody else, please use that time to shower or change or have a cup of tea.

11. I know this stuff is hard to hear. We live in a world that promotes political correctness at the expense of others. My needs are real, and I really need you; even when this means eating one handed and with dirty hair. I am your baby. You are my mother.

12. This will not last forever. It feels like it now because we are in this time warp of newbornhood. If you comfort me now, I will be calmer sooner. We will be closer. This time will end- this is not the rest of your life. While you may never long for the crying, your wiser self will be grateful to know that you trusted me, and yourself, from the very beginning.

Most importantly, I love you Mom. Thank you for trying so hard and taking such good care of me. -from an unknown article

...what if you were unable to move, feed yourself, change your clothes when you pee or poop, adjust your tempature, unable to speak English and to have Saran Wrap wrapped around yours eyes? -from an unknown article
That's what it feels like to be a baby. They are 100% dependent on you. 

A toddler is a different story. Toddlers have tantrums. Babies do not. When my son doesn't get his way, sometimes he throws a tantrum. It's frustrating but it's also his way if dealing with his emotions right now. Children need to be taught how to deal with emotions at the proper age. When my son throws a tantrum, he can either stop and calm down or go sit by himself until he can calm down. Then he will tell me he's all done and we will figure out what emotion he's feeling and why. I will then explain why he has to feel that emotion at the time. (impatient and frustrated, because cookies need time to bake before you can eat them. It doesn't mean you won't get a cookie, it just means you have to wait a little bit first. Or. Sad because he wants to stay up later, your body needs rest to grow and stay healthy. We will play more tomorrow. Then we make a list on his fingers of 3-5 things he wants to do the next day.) 
We have found this really helps him to realize that he will have more fun later. 

Kids are wonderful. They're the best gift I could ever have received. I'm so thankful for them. Sometimes mommys have to remind themselves that their little ones are not an inconvenience. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's the last day of December. I'm sitting on my couch, feeding my newest son, my oldest son sleeping quietly next to me; and watching out my window the slowly falling snow. (During the commercials of Friends.) I'm realizing how beautiful the snow is for the first time since childhood. You see, I have nowhere to go, and when you don't have to drive in the snow fearing for your life, the snow is pretty.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tropical chicken

Easiest recipe ever. Put some frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour a large can of tropical fruit with juice over it. Even it out so fruit isn't all in one spot (this is what stage the picture is at). I baked it at 350 for half an hour, then covered it loosely with foil and baked at 420 for another half hour. (because I also made tator tots and that's the cooking temp and time for them.) this is just something I thought of one day and its so yummy. The chicken takes on a slight pineapple taste. It's good with the ketchup the gets smeared from the tots too. :)