About Me

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I am a Mom of two young lads, a fitness fanatic and wife to a die-hard Packers/Brewers fan. I worked in corporate america for 12 years. Now I am on a new adventure - raising my sons and working part-time in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. I hope you stop by and read my updates- family, fitness, or life related!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January Pinterest Picks!

Now that the holidays are over and it's chilly out (hello sub zero temps), I have spent some time on Pinterest. Not only looking around and "pinning" favorites but also implementing a few good finds. It's so easy to "pin", but we need a little motivation to actually refer back to our favorites and give them a try. January in Minnesota is a great time to try new recipes, or do-it-yourself tricks around the house.

Many people are on Pinterest, but just don't have time to use it. Or some people "pin" things to their boards but don't have time to go back in and actually do anything with them. Or some people may be too intimidated by Pinterest and have no idea how it works so they just stay away. Well, each month I will pick my top 3-5 favorite Pinterest picks and will post them here. They will all be things that I have tried on my own and like. I figure it might save others the time, and it also forces me to go in and check-off some on my list.

Here are my picks for January:

1. Magic Shower Cleaner
Instructions: Keep one in the shower filled with a mixture of half vinegar and half Dawn dish soap. Use it to wipe down the shower while you are in there and your shower will always be clean.

Keep one in the shower filled with a mixture of half vinegar and half Dawn dishsoap. Use it to wipe down the shower while you are in there and your shower will always be clean.     I keep hearing that this is the magic formula!
My comments: This is amazing. I saved this on my Pin board, but hadn't done it until my sister said how awesome it was. The next day I had to try it. It took away any hard water stains in our shower. This is one of those, "I wish I knew about this a long time ago" tricks that you come across. I keep it in the shower and do a quick swipe each time I am done showering.
2. Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken/Porkchops
Instructions: 4 - 6 chicken breasts, Hawaiian style BBQ sauce, can of crushed pineapple into a slow cooker for 6 hours on low.
Pinned Image
My comments: I am always looking for something different to cook in the crockpot. I used porkchops instead of chicken. This was so easy, and yummy. I love anything that takes only 3 ingredients, easy to remember at the grocery store!
3.   Baked Ravioli
Instructions: Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom and sides of a 9×13 rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce in baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with ravioli. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in the center. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Baked Ravioli - a regular in my weeknight dinner rotation. So good. And literally took us 3 minutes to put together. This recipe rocks.

My comments: This was another easy recipe. I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen with two little kids running around while I am trying to prep. I am not a huge pasta fan, but I like it once in a while and ravioli is probably my favorite pasta dish. This even felt like lasagna with the layers.

Gotta get my Pinterest fill before the weather is nice again and I put it away for a few months. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Liam: 16 months

Our littlest dude turned 16 months at the end of December (yes, I'm still behind in blogging). Liam is not only a toddler, but a toddler on wheels! He is fast. If you open a door for one second he is outside before you can even catch him. Not only is Liam fast, but he is one funny little guy.

What is Liam up to at 16 months (besides running in the opposite direction)? He is catching up to big brother more and more each day. He wants to play and do everything that Braden does whether it's racing cars, chasing each other around the house or playing trains. Liam is talking more too. His latest words are up, down, off, on, Braden (this one sometimes sounds like Bray-en), ouch, hot, water, teddy. He can say Grandpa and Bapa too. He signs "more" during meal times. He understands everything you say by shaking his head yes or no, or saying yes or no out loud. He came down with pink eye this week so when I say it's time for eye drops, he will point to his eyes and come lay down on my lap. It's so fun to see how he develops more and more each day and understands so many things. His latest obsession is toothbrushes and sitting on chairs. The past two weeks we've had a lot of fun- Children's Museum, swimming lessons and jumping at SkyZone. Liam is able to do so much right now, so I am really enjoying taking both guys out to fun places and watching them explore, learn and have fun.

Liam is full of life and energy. He loves to run in circles until he gets dizzy and then fall and laugh. He doesn't sit still for a minute. He loves to be silly by taking his socks off constantly, kicking his pants off when you are trying to put them off and running the opposite direction when you are trying to leave or get him to come to you. Liam loves to dance and he absolutely loves dogs. He is getting a little more independent, playing on his own before he goes searching for me yelling "Mommy" throughout the house. He and Braden play pretty good, but of course will fight over toys as all siblings do. Liam is a joy to be around and when he is mad he will let you know. You will never have to guess what Liam is feeling, he will let you know. Liam's smile and laugh bring us so much joy. He is our precious little baby, although he no longer seems like a baby as I packed up all his baby clothes!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Braden: 3 years + 3 months

January is passing us by, and I still haven't done my December update on the little dudes. Here it goes!

Braden is continuing to turn into a little man more and more each month. What is Braden up to lately? He is still loving his one day of preschool. As you can see from the picture above, he has also learned quickly how to maneuver the Ipad. Lately, he has been asking to play a lot of games. Good thing he got a couple of them for Christmas to keep him busy. He loves books too. I will read him a book one time, and he'll take it and try reading it on his own- basically memorizing what I said and he can repeat a lot of it back to me by just looking at the pages. He has a much better memory than his Mom, and one similar to his Dad's. I am in big trouble, between Joe and Braden they will not miss a single detail from here on out. Braden is still my social guy. He has made some good friends at school who we have had play dates with and see at the YMCA. He gets so excited to see his little friends. It is exciting to see all the things that Braden can do now and what things interest him. Some of his other interests now are building things, playing pretend, forts, Lego's, sledding and the list goes on. He is still so excited for any activity that we do.

Braden had a bad ear infection this week, so he is on the mend from that and the cold that came along with it. He is a trooper when he is sick, not complaining at all but maybe a slight mention that his ear hurts or he can't hear. I can just tell he is not himself so I always know when something is up.

He continues to be a big brother. Of course there is the shove here and there and the stealing of toys, but he does enjoy Liam and they spend a lot of the day chasing eachother around, laughing and racing cars or doing something together. It's so fun to watch these two grow on their own, yet together!

I adore the fact that Braden wants to try everything, he isn't scared off by many things (although he doesn't love parking ramps, skyways or elevators). I also appreciate that he has opinions already- "This is how much my door must be cracked open at night" and "Here is where I think I should go to school next year", etc.. There are so many things I love about Braden, but what sticks out right now is his determination and willingness to try new things at such a young age and his passion. The passion he eludes truly make me appreciate the little things in life like Christmas lights, snow, learning to dress himself with a "Mom I did it", or eating something yummy like Cherry Berry. We are so blessed to have Braden in our family of four. It makes my heart melt when I see him smiling at me across the room and hear a "Mom, I really love you!" No day can be bad when I hear that!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome to 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with your families and friends. Our 2012 Christmas was great. We were in Wisconsin for a couple of days. We got to spend quality time with the Hammond side. We returned mid-week and had some down time as a family while Joe was off work. We then celebrated with some of the Sullivan's over the post-Christmas weekend. For New Year's Eve, a few friends and their kids came over...so what week of celebrations and fun. The boys just loved being a part of all the action and being surrounded with people! The fun doesn't stop just yet, as this coming weekend we celebrate with both of our college pals.

So along with the new year, we all get asked if we have any resolutions. I like to think of them not as resolutions, but as goals for the year. Some of mine include: eating more veggies and fish, taking vitamins, having more date nights, doing a few house projects, a few fitness and personal goals, more family adventures and travel and more dancing. What?? Yes, I said dancing. I believe it does so many good things to have more dancing in your life. I am glad the boys think so too. Today was their first (non-forced) dance together, totally initiated by Braden. Oh, and when they got dizzy and hit the cabinets at the end nobody got hurt but I had to stop the camera quick to make sure. ;)

Here's to more dancing in 2013 for everyone. It's good for your body and soul. What other goals do you have for 2013? I always focus on things I want to get done, or to better me as a person- not change me. Anything that focuses on family, health and happiness are always good goals. I wish I could make a more peaceful world to live in, but for now I will focus on the things that I can do to make the Hammonds happier and staying healthy in 2013!