Hello Fresh

This is our third time using Hello Fresh because we truthfully love this company. The meals are always so yummy and easy to prepare. Not to mention I'm not the best cook, I try but I'm not great, I love that Hello Fresh helps me get creative in the kitchen with fun and yummy ingredients. 

Finley has finally started to be interested in solid foods. He's not a fan of pureed food so we just share what's on our plates with him and during this lunch cooking session he was going crazy! Screaming, yelling, wanting all the food ha! I tried wearing him for a while thinking that would be the easiest way to cook (otherwise he's at my feet crying to be held) but nope! He loved sitting in his Bumbo helping me out ;)

For lunch I made these turkey burgers and they were so good! I've never been a huge fan of ground turkey but man, the seasonings in this were awesome! 

Hello Fresh is offering $35 off your first box by using discount code DARLING35. I think everyone needs to try it but be warned you will get hooked on how easy meals become after using it :)

Travel Tips & Tricks with Park Savers

Thank you to Park Savers for sponsoring this post.

I'm that person that is totally planning a vacation while I'm on vacation. Josh and I love to travel and wish we had the budget to allow us to do it more often and to more exotic locations. We aim for, at the very least, one trip a year depending on our budget but typically we end up saving enough to be able to go on 2-3 annually. This includes small getaways here and there just to get out and away, even if it's just for a weekend. 

Traveling helps my heart. It brings back that spontaneity that I lost a bit of when I became a mom. It helps me reconnect with my family and enjoy those memories in the making. 

Of course traveling has gotten loads more expensive since having kids but it just makes it that much more worth it to save up and take them along. To be able to experience it all through their wide and curious eyes is something so unforgettable. 

Thankfully there are some great options for traveling on a budget! One of our all time favorite getaways is Disneyland. Disney was my childhood when we lived in Southern California and it will always have my heart. Josh and I will always take our babies there and thankfully Park Savers has so many great deals and savings that helped us plan Finley's first visit to the happiest place on earth without breaking the bank! 

We are getting more and more excited as the days are being counted down until our trip. Copeland, being the best big brother ever, keeps telling us how he's going to show Finley the ins and outs of Disneyland. It's seriously the cutest! He's loved Mickey Mouse since he was about a year old. 

When we go on a big vacation like Disneyland I really love to talk it up to Copeland and even Josh (I'm sure he's SO sick of me asking "how excited are you". I just like to build that excitement up and plan a little something special for him (Copeland). 

This time I decided to make an airplane bag full of fun things to keep him busy on the plane and to also get that magic started in his heart. The night before our flight I gave him his backpack full of all these goodies. He was so excited and kept saying "Wow. I can't beweeve I got my own bag sore the airpane!" haha. He loved it and I love it because if he's busy on the plane that means I can easily care for Finn, our stubborn little turd. I can honestly say I was terrified for the hour and a half flight with Finn. Since he's been crawling and really working on walking he's not one for just sitting around and playing with a toy. He wants to be up and moving. 

But I'm going to give you my best advice for traveling with the little ones.

Let's start with the airplane bag and what I packed inside. 

1. Window Clings  (you can also get these at Target for $1!)

2. Magic Marker Book

3. Fruit Snacks

4. Apple Sauce

5. Small Toy

6. Dry Erase Board 

and when all else fails... bring out the iPad! haha

Some extra tips and tricks for smooth sailing or in our case flying ;)

1. Bring a wrap or baby sling. Seriously you guys these are life savers! Packing your luggage/carry-ons around the airport while trying to wrangle a toddler is hard enough. Add in a finicky baby and my stress levels are through the roof! A sling or wrap keeps the little one feeling secure while being so close to you but gives you the ease of having that extra hand. Not to mention takes a lot of pressure of your back. 

2. Make an airplane bag like I did for Copeland. Copeland loves watching out the window at the plane taking off and landing but it's that time in between that he can start to get restless. These homemade fun packs are just handy for if your toddler decides to throw a fit (been there) and will keep him busy. 

3. Bring snacks! I didn't know this for the longest time but you can totally take snacks past TSA for your children. It's so helpful to have their favorites on hand. Just make sure you let TSA know. They'll want to look at and make sure everything you're bringing in is sealed and unopened. Our favorite snacks are applesauce/fruit pouches, yogurt drops, fruit snacks, and crustables. 

4. I'm sure a lot of you mamas know this but If you're nursing/bottle feeding. Feed your baby during take off and landing. The sucking really helps little ones ears and usually they will fall asleep.

5. Try not stress. I notice when I ten to get anxious or stressed out my babies totally play off of that. If mommy is happy usually everyone is happy! 

And have the best trip ever! 

Thank you again to our sponsor Park Savers! 

Cleaning Up with Dyson

This weekend has flown by! As you may have saw in my last post we listed our house right before the weekend and we got three offers on it by Sunday. We accepted a full cash offer and are officially under contract. If all goes well we will be out by the beginning of February and break ground in March (after the snow clears). 

Once Christmas ended and we really had to get the house in tip top position and I knew that would be no easy task with two littles running around. Getting ready for showings scared the crap out of me! Every time I'd have one room clean and ready Copeland was in the next room spilling a glass of milk or dumping out a basket of toys I had just put away! The one thing that was the most frustrating was having to get my old vacuum and/or broom and dust pan out every thirty minutes to vacuum up the crumbs from anything that I gave to Copeland or Finn. At one point I just left our vacuum plugged in the family room right up until we had a showing and hurried the kids into the car and quickly vacuumed the rug, wound the cord around it and stashed the vacuum in the closet.   

Once I got our Cordless Dyson V8 Absolute, vacuuming the carpet and laminate floors was a dream! The suction is amazing and I really love that it picks up every little piece of dust on my hard floors. It's so compact that stashing it in the laundry room is easy and grabbing it without having to unwind and then wind back up a cord is so nice! Just being able to grab it and go is great with all the messes the boys make. I honestly can't say enough good things about this vacuum you guys!

Getting the house cleaned and ready to go for someone else is such a weird feeling. Packing up our bedrooms and going through old things I find has been so emotional but we are ready for this next adventure and next chapter in our lives. I'll be sharing more info after we meet with our architect so if you'd like you can subscribe to my blog through Bloglovin (click on the icon on the right!)

House Build: Part 1 - Jumping In

I've been going back and forth with the idea of sharing our home build on my blog. I've finally decided it would be a fun way to document the whole process and hopefully help anyone who is looking into the mess that is building a house ha! So let's jump right in.

Josh and I first decided we wanted to build sometime around the beginning of the year 2016. We started doing lots of research and getting our home ready to sell, etc. We found an amazing 1/2 acre lot, we had drawn up our plans, met with builders and were getting ready to meet with an architect. We even listed our house and had a few showings. But in the back of my head I just had this uneasy feeling to wait. When it really came down to it sometime in June/July I really started praying about whether or not this was the right thing to do. I got a pretty firm NO and as hard as it was to listen, we did. We took the house off the market and just sat on it. We took the escrow money that was holding our for us back and we waited. It sucked but I just knew we needed to wait.

In November we started toying with the idea again. We met with the bank for a second time, our builder and this time an architect. Everything was looking good and lining up perfectly! Our house even increased in price by $15,000! I'm so happy we were able to be patient and listen to the promptings that were telling us to wait. I started praying again and just felt this sense of now is the right time. I felt secure in our decision and so here we are. We put down the $3,000 back on our lot (It didn't end up selling in those months we waited!). We spent some money on our architect and have another meeting with him to finalize everything and we're planning on breaking ground in March, assuming our home sells by then and we can close on our lot in February/March.

We are extremely excited and so ready to get the process really started. And I'm so excited to start documenting everything here. I'm still trying to decide if I want to talk numbers on here. Is that something you guys would be interested in? I know while I was researching custom home builds I couldn't find anything anywhere that really put down what things cost and what goes into building a home finance wise. We're not building a tract home (Edge, Ivory, etc) We're using an architect and designing the home ourselves so there are a lot of design elements that I can't wait to share with you guys and talk about where to save money and cut costs and, in my opinion, where not to! So if that's something you guys are interested in I can definitely go into detail.

Josh and I are definitely going modest with our home. I mean who doesn't want to live in a mansion but that's just not smart for us. We don't want to be house poor and we definitely want to live within our means. We just want a nice modest home that we can grow into and that our boys will remember as their childhood home. Growing up my family always rented homes so putting down roots in our own home means so much to me. We are so so fortunate to be able to do this and I feel so blessed that we get to build our forever home.

I'll be getting more into the design process and everything else in the coming months but right now we are celebrating and getting our current house ready to list on Thursday!