aruba {four words a picture}


PDX red eye flight.


Hyatt hotel pool paradise.


View from our room.


Love for my man.


These sunsets every night.


Birthday dinner.  Tiramisu yum.


You lead.  I’ll follow.


The squirrels of Aruba.


Black swans.  Koi fish.


Catamaran cruise.  All smiles.


DPSG welcome reception dinner.


Turned dance party craze.


I heart Aruba. Truth.


Catamaran for snorkel exploration.


Lighthouse dinner.  Dreamy views.


Didn’t yoga.  Did windsurf.

IMG_6829Spa aloe wraps.  Crispy.


Cleaned up and relaxed.


Winner’s circle farewell dinner.


Three mile beach run.


The roof flower garden.


Our favorite breakfast spot.


Final night beach stroll.


Pier bars and restaurants.


Warm salty clear water.


Sand in toes dinner.


Chocolate him.  Custard hers.


Randomly found dance performance.


Big breakfast.  Travel day.


Until next time Aruba.


Seriously missed.  Happy return.


mother’s day gift guide for the expecting mama


I don’t know about you, but I have such a tough time figuring out gifts for my mom and dad.  Whenever birthdays, Christmas and mother’s/father’s day rolls around I’m usually left scratching my head on what to gift.  I like to give thoughtful gifts… sometimes handmade items or I’ll get the kids involved too.  It’s never an easy task.  With mother’s day rolling around I thought it would be fun to put together a fun little gift guide, but not the kind of gifts I’d give to my mama (you can give me ideas for that one 😉 ).  This guide is geared towards what to gift the expecting mama.  Even if you are still growing that sweet first baby in your belly, celebrate being a mama, because you are one!

Here are some favorite items I loved during my first and second pregnancy.  All items I will gladly accept during the next one too… which is not now.  No baby belly growing here just yet.

For Two Fitness®


Comfortable and cute workout clothes are a must in my opinion.  When you’re pregnant and everything grows and clothes get a little (or a lot) tighter, it’s just so nice to feel cute and super comfortable.  I loved my For Two Fitness® tanks so much during my second pregnancy (wish I would have had them during my first one too!).  I have the Sweating for Two® and Yoga for Two® tops and can’t wait to rock them again.   The quality is great and after tons of use they both still look great.


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As a For Two Fitness® ambassador I am excited to partner with them to share about their amazing clothes for my Mother’s Day gift guide.  As a bonus for you guys now through Mother’s Day, get 25% off your order plus free shipping with code MOMSDAY25, only at

Comfy socks

As the belly and body grows, feet get beat up a bit in the process.  They carry you around and get sore, tired and even sometimes swell up.  I loved comfy fuzzy socks.  I usually have cold feet too so the warmth and extra cushion felt so nice.

UGG boots

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If you are pregnant during cold weather (a norm here in Washington) UGG boots are another treat for the feet.  A favorite outfit was a longer shirt, leggings and my UGGs.  My feet were kept warm and they’re so soft and nobody thinks you are wearing slippers at the store, even though it feels like it.



I pretty much live in leggings and long shirts/dresses when I’m pregnant.  Thick leggings are nice when your top isn’t very long, but even the inexpensive ones from Forever 21 work, especially if your top is long enough to cover your backside.


At a certain point in pregnancy women can no longer lay on their stomachs or on their backs flat for long periods of time. That makes massage a bit difficult, but if you can find a pregnancy massage (basically where they have a big pillow you lay face down on with a space for belly and boobs) it’s quite heavenly.  I try and get them as much as I can, especially near the end of my pregnancies.

Lavender scented items

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This one is probably specific to me, but before having babies lavender wasn’t my favorite smell.  Once I became pregnant with Hunter I could not get enough of the scent and it’s continued on ever since.  Ask what smell your pregnant lady likes because pregnancy can change what they like/dislike.

Membership to a pool


I love staying active all pregnancy long, but those last few months everything does get a bit harder.  The body moves a little slower and moving takes a bit more effort.  Being in water is a pregnant ladies best friend.  The water makes you feel light and if you have swelling going on the water helps to make that feel more comfortable too.  Water aerobics classes and swimming laps were my preference when in the pool, but even just floating around is luxurious.

No cooking/dishes/cleaning day

Gifts aren’t always needed.  Just a day when a little bit is taken off of your pregnant ladies plate can be a gift on its own.  That will give her the chance to relax and de-stress.  Also great for non pregnant ladies. :)


If you follow me on social media you probably saw pictures from our Aruba trip.  It was amazing!  I’m planning to share many more pictures and about our adventure soon, but first I’ve got to soak in more time with my kiddos.  I missed them like crazy!

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What item would you add to this list?


Thanks to For Two Fitness® for sponsoring this campaign.  I absolutely love their products and am always excited to share my love for them whenever I can.

what we ate: apr 12-22


Today I’m coming at you with not one week, not two weeks, but a week and a half of meals!  I won’t be cooking dinners for a little bit so I thought I’d share what we’ve been eating recently.  This week was all about using up food so dinners were not the most exciting, but still tasty!  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

April 12-18

Sunday * – pork ragu (third time making this, it is AMAZING!) + papardelle + brussel sprouts with bacon


Monday – leftover tomatillo beef on whole wheat toast with feta + mushrooms + clementines

Tuesday * – loaded baked potatoes with spicy beef sauce, cheese, sour cream and avocado + peas

Wednesday – baked halibut rice bowls with cucumber + avocado

Thursday – blueberry whole wheat pancakes + beef bacon

Friday – * pizza night – homemade whole wheat pizza crust topped with leftover ground beef + marinara sauce + cheddar + green bell pepper + mushrooms


Saturday – wood oven sausage pizza + roasted brussel sprouts + salmon crostini {dinner at our favorite restaurant the hearth}

April 19-22

Sunday – herb crusted steak + roasted red and sweet potatoes + kale chips


Monday – salmon + kale salad with avocado, grated carrot and poppyseed dressing + sauted zucchini and onion + pear {dinner at my mamas}

Tuesday – creamy tomato pasta with steak, asparagus and feta {using up leftover items in the fridge}


Wednesday – potato bacon hash + fried eggs + avocado + mango


We celebrated earth day (unintentionally) outside doing a little gardening and pulling weeds.  If it’s not rainy, the kids and I love being outside whenever we can!  Aren’t they just the cutest?

IMG_6786Did you get outside yesterday? 


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 1-14, 2015

March 15-28, 2015

March 29-April 4, 2015

my first fabletics outfit + how to save even more


I am totally late to the fabletics party, but now that I’m here I don’t want to leave! Have you heard of fabletics? It’s an active wear company with super cute workout gear.  Kate Hudson is the big name a co-founder and if you’ve seen their ads it’s always ‘get your first complete outfit for $25’.  Well I’m going to tell you how to get it for just $17.


I signed up and paid for this with my own money.  Fabletics doesn’t even know I’m writing it.  All to say opinions are completely my own.


What’s the catch?

To get the great $25 (or $17) deal you have to sign up for their VIP membership.  First I didn’t want to.  There’s no way I’d happily pay the $50 every month for a new outfit, but since there is the option to skip the month as many times as you want, I felt good about signing up.  I’d pay that much for 3 good pieces of workout gear occasionally, but not every month.  Plus you can cancel any time for free.


What I picked

I selected the Amreli outfit.  It was a 3 piece outfit (capri, tank and sports bra).  The stock photos were taken from their site.

Lima capri in cobalt

If the only thing I had received was this single piece, I would have been completely happy.  These capris are so insanely comfortable.  They have great compression and are nice and thick (a great thing for teaching yoga) plus the bright blue cobalt is fun. I’ve been wanting some more exciting capris and these definitely hit that criteria.

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Oula tank in black

I was a bit disappointed with this tank for two reasons.  The fabric feel wasn’t my favorite because it was totally static-y and it also was a bit big.  The fabric is super stretchy and I’ll wear, but I think I’ll love it for when I have a pregnant belly going on.  It definitely has a lot of room for stretch in the belly area.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 6.01.20 AMDoon sports bra in heather grey

The sports bra fit well.  It doesn’t have any type of padding to it so I’ve been wearing it with my handful pads (a must for me).  I like the heather grey color and it works well under other tanks I have too.

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One thing I didn’t like to much with fabletics was that so many outfits or color combos were out of stock in my size.  I ended up finding something that I’m happy with (especially those capris!), but if all the awesome prints for capris and leggings were available in my size, there would likely be more purchases going on.  Restock fabletics!!


Want to join and get a $17 outfit?

Here’s how I saved even more on my first outfit.  When you initially give them your email address when browsing on their website, you’ll get some kind of welcome email and an offer for a $25 outfit.  Ignore it.  You’ll get another saying the offer runs out on a certain day.  Ignore it.  Then you’ll get an email with 70% off.  That’s the deal you want to use.  There won’t be any other better deals after that one.

If you end up trying out fabletics I would love it if you used my personal link!  I get credits if someone signs up using it which means more workout clothes for me… always needed and I totally NEED more of those lima capris in my life.

For fun a little outtake of what wasn’t my most graceful descent…


Have you heard of or tried fabletics before?  What do you think about their clothes?  Any favorites I need to check out?


10 foods I eat every day


What are your eating habits like? What foods do you eat daily? I like to think I have a pretty good diet. I stay away from most overly processed foods, keep sweets for special occasions (which has been a big improvement lately) and eat lots of healthy nutritious foods.  But I am definitely a creature of habit.  I know that eating a variety of foods will give you a broader scope of vitamins and minerals, but honestly it can be tough, even for someone like me who loves to cook and meal plan. Back in June I took on the 40 plant foods challenge and within that week it was tough to get to 40 different plant foods.  I only included that much variety in my diet because of the conscious effort I made to reach the goal (I hit 37/40 for it).  Then the challenge was over and I went back to my normal ways.  My normal ways are good!  Just not insanely varied.

I think having indulgences is 100% okay in the diet.  If I could never have chocolate again it would be a really sad day.  That said, what I eat daily and what makes up a lot of my diet, that’s what makes a difference for my health, how I feel and how I look.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at my top 10 foods I eat daily.  Then I want to hear about your top 10 foods you eat daily!  I had to sit and think for quite some time while running through the past few days remembering my meals.  Here they are in no particular order, except for the first two.  I can’t imagine a day without the first two.

Half and half

Every single day I add large amounts of (usually organic) half and half to my coffee.  I totally had to include it because it’s not like a use a couple teaspoons, there’s a good inch or two going into each cup.  Coffee is half included with this one as well since I wouldn’t be having the half and half if I didn’t have my 2-3 cups of coffee a day.

Why I like it: high fat content for longer satiety… and it makes me oh so happy which is really the best reason



One of my very favorite proteins.  I love them scrambled, fried, cooked into items, baked and pretty much any way you can think of, I love them.  I have between 2-4 eggs a day.

Why I like it: every egg has 6 grams of protein, plus when eating the whole egg you’ll get vitamins and minerals like riboflavin, folate, vitamins B6, B12, D, and E, iron, phosphorus, and zinc


Quick and easy to grab for an energizing snack.  A lot of the time I use bananas to sweeten up other foods – my favorite being custard oats.

Why I like it: they taste good (as long as they are green!), travel well and are packed with potassium


Almonds/almond butter

Almonds or almond butter make it into my daily diet.  I like the fat content to keep me more full and they are just plain delicious.  Either for a munchable snack or spreadable goodness on pancakes, breads or bananas. {contender for this spot: peanut butter}

Why I like it: again, the satiety factor I like, plus almonds are loaded with vitamin E, which is good for the skin


One of my favorite veggies.  I wish I could say some kind of dark leafy green vegetable made it in this list, but they’re more like an every other day thing.  Cucumbers are the bomb though.  I can easily munch on an entire cucumber in one sitting.

Why I like it: they are vitamin packed, loaded with water and refreshingly delicious

Whole plain yogurt

Plain yogurt with blueberries, jam or homemade granola is my go to post workout snack.  I opt for plain yogurt but like to add some form of sweetness in.  The tart flavor of plain yogurt isn’t my favorite on its own, but I don’t really want the added extra sugar from the sweetened varieties.  I also love making my own crockpot yogurt (also check out how to make your homemade yogurt super thick){contender for this spot: cheese}

Why I like it: it’s a good mix of protein and carbs, plus the live cultures are good for my belly



Blueberries top the list here, but strawberries and raspberries come in second and third.  Berries usually go with breakfast, a snack or after dinner treat.

Why I like it: berries pack a naturally sweet punch and they are filled with an array of vitamins and also fiber



The majority of our dinners tend to be beef in one form or another.  On the evenings we aren’t eating beef (like tonight we’ve having halibut) I usually will have leftovers for lunch which tend to be beef.

Why I like it: major iron and zinc content and beef is just so flavorful

Rolled oats

Rolled oat aren’t only for oatmeal, I love them in pancakes as binder and also in things like meatloaf and meat balls.

Why I like it: check out this whole post on why



When I was younger I did not like avocados at all.  Crazy me! Avocados are my favorite spread on bread, topping for salads or rice bowls, or just an accompaniment to a meal.

Why I like it: vitamins, fat, fiber and fullness

There are tons of other foods I eat quite often, but as far as daily it’s rare when these 10 foods don’t make it into my belly.

What do you think about my list?  Any surprises? Any foods I shared that you eat daily? What are your top 10 foods… ready, set, GO!


huevos rancheros


Breakfast for dinner is always in our meal plan rotation.  Thursdays roll around and it just sounds so comforting and hits the spot every time.  Normally I lean more towards pancakes or omelets, but for this BFD (that we ate on a Saturday – double BFD dose that week!) we mixed it up with huevos rancheros!


I picked huevos rancheros for my Secret Recipe Club reveal from Cookin’ Mimi.  Micha writes the blog and has a serious love for cooking.  Her recipe collection is massive.  Great if you need inspiration, but dang it was hard to pick what I wanted to make!  After browsing through her breakfast recipes I settled on huevos rancheros.  I’ve had it once or twice in my life and had never made it at home.  No better time than now to change that, right?  I even had an extra taste tester to share the recipe with!


Jacob’s brother came into town and spent the weekend with us.  We spent a morning at the zoo, then later that evening had these for dinner.  And they were perfection!

The dinner came together in a snap.  As the chorizo was cooking away I prepped all the toppings, warmed the refried beans and tortillas, then 5 minutes before we were going to eat I fried up the eggs.  My little kitchen helper was eagerly learning how to make huevos rancheros as well. Totally.


I love sharing meals with people.  And it’s just so fun to have a big spread at the table for dinner time.  Everyone adds what they want on their plate.  I opted for everything on my huevos rancheros – tortilla, refried beans, egg, chorizo, cheese, salsa, avocados, and then at the last minute added sour cream.  A great choice.

IMG_8818In case you wanted to know the english to spanish translation for huevos rancheros, it means rancher’s eggs (so the internet says :-) ).  Now go make some!


Huevos Rancheros

recipe slightly adapted from here

Serves around 4


  • 12 ounces chorizo
  • 15 ounce can refried beans or 2 cups homemade
  • 1 14 ounce can salsa style or Tex-Mex fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4-8 corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • optional toppings: avocado, sour cream


  1. Begin by browning the chorizo in a medium pan until fully cooked through.  Keep warm on low.
  2. Warm refried beans on low in a small pan until warmed through.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and fry the eggs (I cooked 2 per adult, 1 per kid).
  4. Prepare all other toppings: diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar, salsa and warm tortillas.
  5. When everything is ready top a tortilla with a thin layer of refried beans, add the fried egg, a spoonful of chorizo, salsa, cheese, avocado and sour cream.  I ate it with a fork, the guys ate it taco style.  We all really enjoyed it!

Have you ever had or made huevos rancheros?  What toppings would YOU pick?  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


roasted tomatillo salsa beef {crockpot recipe}


Do you use tomatillos often?  I actually just really got into them a couple of years ago.  Before that I know I’ve had them in store bought salsa or when someone else cooked for me, but they weren’t something I bought very often.  If you aren’t familiar with them, meet them!  Tomatillos are in the same family as tomatoes (but more closely related to the cape gooseberry – thanks wikipedia) and are a firm green fruit covered in a thin paper like husk.  You peel off the husk before using them.  Tomatillos have a slight lemon taste to me.  They are pretty mild and make a great base for salsas and sauces… which is what I like to use mine for!

I actually started a bunch of tomatillo seeds a month ago and hope to grow my own!  So far they are still living, but we’ll see.  I am not that great of a gardener, but I really hope they thrive so I can can a ton of tomatillo salsa.  Fingers crossed!


Back in February I made this crockpot dinner.  I had only jotted down the ingredients I used, but not really the measurements.  Roasted tomatillo salsa beef is just amazing so I knew I had to recreate it not only for my recipe arsenal but for you too!  The dish is super simple to make, but tastes like you put a lot of effort into it.  The most work comes with roasting the tomatillos and onions, then blending it, but really that it’s bad at all.  If you have your oven already on for another meal a day or so before you’re planning this one, prep the sauce then you’ll have it waiting in the fridge to use for a super simple morning crockpot start.

I’ve served it with homemade whole wheat naan and also over rice.  Both are fabulous.  Don’t forget the feta to crumble on top.  Such a tasty addition!


Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Beef

serves about 6


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
  • 1 large onion, large diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 lb beef stew meat (if you can’t find stew meat just cube a roast into pieces)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp sriracha (depending on how much heat you like)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss the tomatillos and onion in olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast for 30-35 minutes.  You want all the tomatillos to be soft and beginning to slightly brown around a few edges.  Remove from oven when done, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Scrape the tomatillos, onions and any liquid from the pan into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the sauce in the crockpot.  Place the beef on top.  Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and sriracha, then stir to combine everything together.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Serve with rice or pita bread + crumbled feta.

If you aren’t into beef, I highly recommend trying it with a pork roast that you’ve cubed up.  Pork and tomatillo salsa go wonderfully together.

What’s been cooking in your crockpot lately?


what we ate: mar 29 – apr 4



Easter weekend was so much fun.  We saw both sides of the family, the kids enjoyed their first Easter egg hunt with their cousins and we got to think about the real reason for Easter (Jesus is risen!).  Although all the bunny stuff is fun, I’ll admit. :)

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I am totally one of those moms that doesn’t want my kids devouring tons of candy.  Thankfully my mom obliged and put other treats in the eggs.  She also put together a bunny BINGO game and Hunter loved it!

IMG_8729IMG_8726   IMG_8727IMG_6567

Here’s a look at what we ate last week.

Sunday – taco salad


Monday – creamy tomato pasta with bell peppers, sausage, feta and avocado


Tuesday – crockpot bbq pulled pork sandwiches on whole wheat buns + steamed broccoli

Wednesday * – ground lamb + naan + feta + tzaziki +cucumbers + tomatoes


Thursday – leftover BBQ pork sandwiches + broccoli salad

Friday – beefalo burgers + sweet potato fries + roasted asparagus

Satuday – enchiladas + tacos {dinner at in-laws}

How was your Easter weekend?  Did you do any special activities, gatherings or crafts?


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 1-14, 2015

March 15-28, 2015

pin it party – DIY it


Today my bud Lindsay is hosting a pin it party over at the lean green bean. I adore Pinterest (follow me here!) so I’ve just got to join! Here are 5 of my posts that if you missed you’ll want to check out.  All 5 are a little crafty or DIY-ish.  The first is especially a favorite right now since it’s just about gardening season!

DIY seed starters from egg shells

DIYseedstartershomemade water table

IMG_6963-764x1024DIY cork board

DIYcorkboardbaby’s first year wall art

IMG_6504-764x1024DIY rope baskets

IMG_8588-1024x992And I just have to mention, I’m selling adorable rope baskets over here on instragram too. :)

Those are my crafty pins for the day!  Check out the pin it party for tons of other great pins.  You can never be inspired too much, am I right?

Do you love DIY project on Pinterest?  What do you normally search for on there?


what we ate: mar 15-28


Sometimes I feel like I’m getting into a bit of a dinner rut, then I look through these posts (link to all past ones at the end) and get some ideas for myself.  I hope you enjoy seeing what we eat for dinner.  Here’s two weeks worth of meals.  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

March 15-21

Sunday * – pork ragu + whole wheat pasta + sautéd kale with apples


Monday – pork chops + sautéd brussel sprouts + sautéd mushrooms + roasted potatoes + quinoa (dinner at my mamas)

Tuesday – pineapple beef meatballs + jasmine rice + roasted green beans


Wednesday – chicken noodle and kale soup

Thursday – BFD beef breakfast sausage + sweet potato and zucchini hash + eggs


Friday * – steak with compound butter + brussel sprout mac n cheese

Saturday – papa murphy’s Hawaiian pizza + kale salad with poppyseed dressing


March 22-28

Sunday – lamb shepherds pie (subbed lamb for beef)

Monday – whole wheat spaghetti + tomato beef sauce + brussel sprouts with bacon


Tuesday – curry chicken salad (chicken breast, celery, grapes, mayo, seasonings) on whole wheat bread + cucumber sticks + cheddar cheese slices


Wednesday – pasta tossed in jalapeño ranch topped with sautéd kale + bacon + roasted cherry tomatoes + avocado


Thursday – BFD beef breakfast sausage + super egg scramble (sweet potato, kale, mushrooms, onions, egg, cheddar)

Friday – baked chicken thighs + roasted curry sweet potatoes

Saturday – dinner at auction for Jacobs work

I can’t wait for the temps to heat up just a little more so we can keep the grill out.  Actually, we just need to get through the rain that’s on it’s way, then the grill can stay out for a long summer of grilling.  Grilled meals are just so amazing!  And so is being outside playing when the food is cooking up.  Everyone gets a little bit happier when we can be outside.


When you get in a dinner rut, where do you go for inspiration?  Pinterest is usually my go to source (check out my recipes to try board for some ideas).  Every blue moon I’ll bring out my stack of clean eating magazines I just can’t get rid of.  There are so many yummy recipes and such great pictures.


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 1-14, 2015