Last weekend we celebrated this big guy turning 3 years old! Our Cammie Cam!!

Every year for our kids’ birthday, Ben and I deck out the downstairs with ceiling decorations, a big Happy Birthday sign, and oversized balloon of whatever they’re into at the moment. Cam’s life revolves around trucks right now, and so I nearly jumped up and down in the party store when I spotted this giant dump truck balloon. It, along with his truck-topped cake, were a HIT!

To know Cam is to love him. He is equal parts total goofball, soul-crushingly sweet, and an absolute mad man. He keeps us on our toes, makes us laugh and cry (sometimes in the same breath,) and keeps life so very fun and interesting. I spend most of my days just staring at him because he’s so gosh darn hilarious. Happy Birthday, Cammie Cam – Mama is obsessed with you!!

Ben’s family came into town for the celebration this past weekend and so we’ve spent the week catching up and getting back into a routine. Our warm temperatures fled with the family and although we’ve got 40s and low 50s in the forecast for the foreseeable future, I’m determined to milk outdoor time with these two until the very end. Just thinking about the long, very cold winter that’s being predicted has me shaking in my boots!

Edited to add: Gwen’s light pink hat is from KicKee Pants and her coat is from Primary. The mittens are hand me downs from a friend with no tag!

Currently…

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Anyway, here’s what else is going on in this edition of Currently!

Time and Place: 7:37pm at the kitchen counter. I made my Signature Chili for dinner tonight and am trying not to scoop myself a third bowl from the leftovers cooling on the counter. Ugh so good.

Sharing: Lincoln’s Checklist. I’ve been meaning to share this idea for over a year! Last year, when Lincoln started half day Kindergarten, our mornings went from a leisurely, 9am preschool start time to needing to be out of the house by 7:20am. It was chaos and having to walk Lincoln through every step of getting ready made it feel even crazier because at the time Cam wasn’t even 2 and we also had a newborn! Thus, Lincoln’s Checklist was born. :) I made then printed this visual checklist and taped it to the door in our mudroom so he could guide himself through the steps it takes to get ready for school, and then updated it slightly for full day K this year. He feels very independent taking charge of his morning, and I’m able to be fairly hands off.

I made this in Photoshop but you could easily replicate in Microsoft Word using clipart. Or, you can click here to download our checklist if you’d like. I hope it helps someone’s mornings go a little smoother!

 

Sending: Weekly Meal Plan Email. I’ve been testing a new Weekly Meal Plan email over the past month and am officially adding it as a permanent “thing” here on IGE. Each week I send out an email with 20 dinner ideas PLUS one subscriber has a link to a $25 Amazon Gift Card disguised as a recipe link in their email. No one has found it yet and it’s killing me!! I still can’t decide if I want to send the email on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so let me know what you’d prefer in the comments below. You can sign up here!

 

Eating: I have a few new quick and easy meals in my life that I want to share:

  • Nacho Eggs: sounds less than appetizing but I’ve made this easy dish for breakfast almost every day since I stopped nursing Gwen (and can eat eggs again), and it is so delicious and filling. Crush a small handful of tortilla chips in a bowl then sprinkle on shredded cheddar cheese. Scramble two eggs then scoop on top of the cheese, which will melt from the heat of the eggs, and then top with salsa. KILLLLLLERRRRR.
  • Boat Wrap: this lunch idea reminds me of the boat wrap recipe I shared several lifetimes ago here on IGE. What I do is slather a Mission GF Spinach Wrap with Sabra Caramelized Onion Hummus then top with Applegate Farms Medium White Cheddar Cheese and roll. This SPECIFIC combo is so satisfying.
  • Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars. They’re baa-aaack!! I recently made these wholesome oatmeal bars for the first time this pumpkin season and had forgotten how heavenly they are! Cam and G have been eating for breakfast and I love that they get their day started with a super healthy meal.

Stack of Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

 

Sampling: I’m not one to stray too far from my staples at the grocery store each week but I’ve tried a few awesome products recently that I want to share:

  • Cheddar and Sour Cream PopChips: Think Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles in PopChip form. Will probably never buy again because they are just way too good.
  • Good Foods Chunky Guacamole: We had a walking taco bar for Cam’s party and I got this guacamole from Costco as a taco topper. Favorite store-bought guac to date!! It’s like a combination of guacamole and pico de gallo with juicy tomatoes and plenty of cilantro too. I may never make homemade again.
  • Boom Chicka Pop Cinnamon Roll Kettle Corn: My love for anything and everything cinnamon roll-flavored runs deep and so this speciality flavor of BoomChickaPop ended up in my cart the other day. It’s gluten free and tastes exactly like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Another purchase I will probably not make again because I have no self control and it is SO delicious!
  • Wonderful Pistachios Chili Roasted: I love adding pistachios to salads for protein and crunch and so I thought these chili roasted pistachios would be a fun flavor to try. OH MAN, they are incredible!!! Spicy and tangy. They make me crave salads, which is always a good thing.
  • Almond Breeze Unsweetened Chocolate Almondmilk – Like many Moms, I’m always trying to get my kids to drink more milk (we’ve always purchased almond milk because of Lincoln’s dairy allergy – which he successfully grew out of this past year…more on that sometime soon!) Anyway, I bought this unsweetened, sugar free, ARTIFICIAL SUGAR FREE (!!!) chocolate almondmilk recently and both boys are crazy for it! It’s like non sweet chocolate milk in a non terrible way. The first time I poured it for Cam I had to cut him off after 3 glasses, if that tells you anything.

 

Listening: Cedarmont Kids. I like to have music playing anytime we’re in the house. My Taylor Swift and “At the Beach” Spotify playlists have been recent staples, plus the Spice Girls station on Amazon Music #guiltypleasure, but many afternoons we have Alexa play songs by Cedarmont Kids. It’s a children’s choir singing classic nursery rhymes and is so very pleasant to listen to. This will make me sound like an awful person, but I find most trendy kid’s music sung by kids unbearable to listen to, but this music is super! Makes me almost want to give up pushing Raffi on my boys, whom they just can’t get into. Ugh! Love me some Raffi! Down by the bay…

 

Adoring. I found this via Be the Nice Kid on Instagram. Incredible message! Speaking of, Lincoln requests the “Be Kind” book I ordered awhile back every night – it’s been a great conversation starter for us. Please also check out Lindsay’s 75 Acts of Kindness for Kids!

 

Recounting: My weight loss journey. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was attempting to lose a few pounds and that I’d update you on how it went if I was successful. Happily, I was! I don’t think it serves anyone to share how many pounds I lost and/or my weight then and now. What might help others in a similar position is that the key to my weight loss was: PORTION CONTROL.

I am a busy Mom of three kids. From the time I felt my weight getting ahead of me, to the time that I took action, I hardly ever made myself an actual plate of food. Since our kids are so young and spill 1/2 their meals on the counter and floor, we eat together around the big counter in our kitchen vs seated at the dinner table. That said, it’s not a formal affair and after I get the kids’ and Ben’s plates dished up, I usually eat whatever’s left on the cutting board, in the pot, etc. This sounds slightly tragic but it’s not. Clearly, I was getting enough food. Too much food! While working to lose the weight I plated every single meal so I could visually see how much I was eating. 90% of my success was from making this small change. I didn’t even really change the types of food I was eating, just the amount.

A few other things that contributed to my weight loss:

  1. I (mostly) fasted after dinner. SkinnyPop – I just can’t quit you! Anyway, I learned through my experience with gestational diabetes that my blood sugar does NOT like evening snacks, and so this change not only resulted in consuming less, but I also woke up feeling so much lighter and brighter.
  2. I don’t eat a lot of sugar in the first place, but I cut out sweets like my beloved dried mango. Sugar is empty calories and always drives me to eat more.
  3. I started using our Peloton. Ben and I purchased him a Peloton many months ago and, after experiencing a bad spin class in my 20s — my butt was sore for WEEKS — I swore I would never clip into the dang thing. The convenience of having a killer workout right in our basement though, and drive to lose weight, won out and I took my first class a week into my journey. (Side note, I am hooked.) That’s when things really started to click. The weight was coming off by changing my diet alone, but it started to melt away once I added 3-5 workouts a week on the Peloton. Love you Cody and Robin!

Ok! I think that’s all I have to report on this topic but let me know if you have any questions. I am an open book. Oh and yes, I still drank wine (which I know can be high in sugar). In the spirit of portion control though, I only had a glass or a glass and a splash whenever I enjoyed. Next mission: keeping the weight off!

 

Drinking: Stainless Steel Wine Tumblers. White wine season is 12 months a year around here and I recently poured myself a glass into a stainless steel wine tumbler I found buried in my barware cupboard. It REALLY kept my drink cold. Current favorite white wine is Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, btw!

 

Side-eyeing: Google Photos. I recently synced my iPhone photos with Google Photos because I’m on a major photo clean up kick and it seems the majority of photo book websites have the Google Photos upload option. Anyway, Google Photos has been randomly making photo slideshows for me and the last one titled “Lullaby” was all photos of Gwen with her eyes closed. Uhhmm…stop being a total creep, Google Photos! Need to turn off my push notifications at the very least, and probably change some privacy settings too. Ack!

 

Offering: Water Paint. I like to invite the boys to color as an activity while I’m making dinner and not able to play, but markers are hit or miss with Cam (he won’t color with crayons anymore). Sometimes he colors himself up to his elbows and other times he happily stays on paper. That said, if things are getting dicy I offer him Water Wow booklets OR simply give him a few pieces of colored paper and a bowl of water with a paint brush. No paint or markers to deal with when the stove and oven are hot, and I don’t even mind when he inevitably dumps the water on the counter and starts finger painting. WHATEVER WORKS. It’s also fun that you can watch your “painting” eventually disappear, then do it all over again!

Alright friends! Pick a Currently category, then fill us in! Have a super weekend!