Wife Mommy Me
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's Up Wednesday V2

Happy Wednesday friends! It's time for What's Up Wednesday where I provide answers to prompts. I love this take on a currently style post. So what's been going on in Casa de Cox this month. 

What we are eating this week...
I shared on Monday some of our favorite "busy day" meals and a few of those are on this week's rotation as well. Along with that, we are still enjoying the Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake with Buttercream Icing from this weekend. The recipe for that can be found here. If I'm being honest, I could really benefit with less carbs and more veggies. 

What I'm reminiscing about...
How fast this year as came and gone. We are inching closer and closer to 2017 and I feel like we just rang in the 2016 New Year. Time truly does fly and my younger self didn't realize how much so. Because of that I've been really trying to disconnect from social media on the evenings and weekends and just soak in this phase of life with my guys. 

What I'm loving...
The cooler temps we are having. Finally it feels like Fall. Rain included. Rain and snow doesn't bother me. Humid, sweaty days piss me off on a deep deep level. I would take rain and snow over humidity. For those of you who've never experienced an Ohio summer this may sound all too extreme but when you've spent Summer after Summer "walking through soup" you come to hate the heat.

What we've been up to...

I made a point to slow down this month because last month was stupid busy and I have to say my efforts have been well worth it. We've hang out at home more, had more down time and it's been really refreshing. I've slept more this month than I have in the last 3 months and that's been nice. A rested Stephanie does the whole family good. 

What I'm dreading...
Thursday swim class. While Connor is doing awesome with the lessons, on Thursdays that's the only thing have to do and it's at 5:05PM. So while we get to spend all day at home or doing whatever, we have to stop, head to swim and then deal with rush hour traffic to get back home and start dinner and such. It's just not the best time for lessons but it's the only time the class is offered.

What I'm working on...
I am trying to blog ahead so that when C is out of school for the holidays I don't have to be on my laptop as much. We are doing some home projects too and that's been fun because it's the last pieces to complete rooms of the house. I shared a photo on Instagram of a Thankful craft that I completed along with some of my favorite IG photos and I couldn't be happier to have that project finished. I love the end results.

What I'm excited about... 
Connor's birthday on Sunday. He is at the age where where is totally aware of the preparations for his birthday and has been asking each day how many more more day till his special day. I am trying something new this year and I hope it goes over okay: I'm not having C open his presents during his party. We only have the venue for 3 hours and that includes set-up, the party and tear down. We plan to let him open his gifts at home afterwards. 

What I'm watching/reading...

I love the new show "American Housewife". I haven't laughed that hard at a TV show in a long time. I'm still obsessed with "This is Us". Reading wise I'm lovin' Colleen Hoover's "November 9". When I find a new author that I like, I usually read everything and all I can by them and this is the second novel of her's I've read in the last 3 months. I also have Jojo Moyes' new book "Paris for One" on request from the library.

What I'm listening to...

Connor and James are painting as I type this and as usual Connor is bossing James around. He just asked Papa to paint something particular and is now critiquing his work. He is totally an only child and full of sass and bossiness.

What I'm wearing...
Layers finally!! We now are officially living with Fall weather and with highs in the mid-60's I can finally wear layers -- boots, scarves and jackets -- without sweating. We had family photos on Saturday and it was nice and chilly so I didn't have to worry about being a hot sweaty mess in photos.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Friday I need to do some birthday party prep and run some errands while C is in school. Saturday we are babysitting Macie for the day and then Saturday it's birthday festivities for Connor all day.

What I'm looking forward to next month...

Thanksgiving, watching the reboot of Gilmore Girls, Macie's 6th birthday and putting up my Christmas decorations. I won't tell you when I have planned to decorate but I can promise you, you would roll your eyes at me if you knew how early I planned to put up our decor and Christmas tree. Santa Stephanie is coming to town friends!

What else is new...
Not a whole lot. Life is starting to get busy thanks to birthdays and holidays, which I enjoy so no complaints there. I've been starting to think about 2017 and the goals we want to achieve as a family. 2017 brings with it big milestones so I will be sharing those as we get closer to the end of the year.

Happy Hump Day, friends! 
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Harvest Party Goodie Bags

When I dropped Connor off at school yesterday there was a sign-up sheet for their Fall Harvest party. This is the first year Connor is in school for Halloween and I wanted to celebrate the occasion so I snatched up the chance to bring in treat bags for the classroom. His school is a nut free environment so I had to be creative with what I added to the kiddos bags but I'm happy to say thanks to Target I was able to find some cute things to put in their party goodie bags.

With 23 kids in his class, I need to be smart with my picks as to not spend too much. While I love the idea of celebrating the holiday with his classmates, I wasn't looking to spend a ton on treats when Halloween is just days after their party. My first stop was the Dollar Spot where I grabbed pencils, erasers, stickers and band-aids. I then went to the back of the store where they seasonal aisle are where I found my pumpkin bags, tubes of bubbles and some Mott's fruit snacks in trick-or-treat themed bags. 

Connor and I put them together and are ready to share them on Friday with his friends. The kids get to wear their costumes to school and go trick-or-treating through the church during school. Connor is so excite to wear his costume and if I'm being honest, I'm eager to snap some photos of him in it before we head out on Monday for Halloween. 

This wraps up our All Things Pumpkin Party. We had such a blast finding new ways to share pumpkin with you. From recipes to decor to goodie bags, this link-up has had it all. Here is a recap of our pumpkin and Halloween themed posts from this month.

Now it's your turn. You can link up your All Things Pumpkin post to both our ATP party and to our weekly Tuesday Talk. I can't wait to see what you come up with. 'Tis the season for all things pumpkin! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

October's "Busy Days" Menu + Weekly Menu Printable

Late afternoons and evenings have gotten a bit hectic in our home. 2 days a week Connor has swim lessons and we don't get home till close to 6:15. The other days, I've been trying to soak up the last bit of warm weather so I've been taking Connor to the park or to play with friends. In addition, James has been doing some traveling for work leaving Connor and I to have dinner for 2 a few nights a week. This last month I've gotten a bit creative with our meals. Nothing fancy but totally time saving kind of meals because when you walk in the door at 6:15 and bedtime is 8:30, you don't have a lot of time to waste in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite "busy days" menu options.

This is one of my favorite go-to crock pot meals. Toss diced ham and potatoes in with 2 cans of green beans, 4 cups of chicken broth and a bit of garlic and black pepper and let the meal cook for 6-8 hours. When we got home from swim lessons I whipped up the biscuits courtesy of a box and BAM! Dinner was complete. We had enough for leftovers so the next evening we had this with grilled cheese. Nothing fancy whatsoever but it worked for us. 

Someone on Facebook shared a video of a goulash dish and it's something I've never made before so I figured what the heck, let's give it a shot. I used this recipe from Pinterest. It was a bit too tomato-y for my liking. I think I will cut the tomato paste from the recipe if I were to make it again. I'm not a fan of tomato paste so to me it's a bit too much. But overall, it's a really hearty dish that is perfect for chilly night indoors. 

When cooking for just Connor and I, I don't do much. I could have cereal for dinner and be fine but Connor needs all the extra choices if we are are going to keep finding new foods he likes. These pinwheels are super easy. I flatten out pizza dough, added the ingredients, rolled and sliced it into serving sizes and baked it according to the dough package and dinner was served.

Our family has spaghetti and meatballs often thanks to Connor's love of the pasta dish. To switch it up a bit I gave baked spaghetti a try and we are huge fans. While this isn't something I could make on our busy afternoons, it's perfect for Sunday dinner. It's a pretty simple dish but in case you need some direction, here is a great pin that details the ingredients and baking instructions.

One way I survive busy evenings (days and weeks even) is the help of meal planning. Winging it come dinner time never ends well for us. Not only do I plan our meals out when grocery shopping, but I display a week's worth of meals at a time on the fridge so I know what to lay out or prep the day or evening before. For example, tomorrow we are sliders so I know I need to lay out the hamburger on Monday evening so the meat has time to thaw out before it's time to start dinner prep.

For a copy of this printable along with ones I've designed for Winter, Spring and Summer, complete this Google document form and I'll email them to you. If you want just the Fall one seen above, just right click, save and print. Meal prepping is something that takes some time to conquer but with a printable menu it's easy to tackle weeknights when you've planned your meals Monday through Sunday.

Be sure to visit Whitney and Whitney to see what meals they made this month for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These girls always provide me with some fresh ideas for mealtime with my family.