Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Photo Challenge :: #WMMsummerfun

This is Connor's last summer before starting school. I don't know how that's possible but before he starts on his academic journey, I plan to have the summer of a lifetime. I want to enjoy every last minute with him, while he is still home with me. In doing so, I plan to photograph our summer and share it on IG and WMM with a summer themed photo challenge.

I wanted to extend an invite to you to join us. Maybe your little one starts or heads back to school in the Fall, maybe you have a summer packed full of sharable fun or maybe you love photography. Whatever reason, I would love for you to join Connor and I as we tackle Summer 2015!
Are you imagining what you can do or use to photograph each of these? I was when I made my list and still am today. Each day, I will post a my photo on Instagram using the hash tag #WMMsummerfun. Then on July 16th and August 3rd I will post a collection of the photos I've taken so that those of who you don't use Instagram can see what we've been up to this summer.

If you would like to join in on the fun, please grab the button above and join us on Instagram and again on July 16th and August 3rd. And if you aren't a blogger, just a wonderful Wife Mommy Me reader, feel free to participate as well. The more the merrier!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Get Fired Up :: Texas Style BBQ Ribs

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media®  Smithfield® and Farmland®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #GetUpandGrill #GetFiredUpGrilling http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

When living in Texas, we quickly learned the difference between Texas style ribs and St. Louis ribs. While I'm a fan of St. Louis style (saucy), James appreciates Texas style (drier and smoked). More than once since being back in Ohio, James has mentioned how much he messes Texas BBQ. What better time to treat him to such than with a Texas BBQ Father's Day dinner.

Making these delicious Smithfield ribs is oh so easy. Trust me when I say anyone can make tasty ribs with this easy recipe. Like I've said before, I'm no cook so if I'm able to pull of ribs, so can you! Everything you need, from the ribs to the spices, can be picked up at Wal-Mart. Here is what you'll need for Texas Style BBQ Ribs:

3-4 pounds Smithfield Extra Tender Fresh Pork Ribs
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup local honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1, 4 ounce can of green chilies
1 teaspoon of minced dry garlic
1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard

1. Trim fat from ribs. For rub, stir together the salt and black pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly onto both sides of the ribs; rub into surface.
2. In a grill with a cover arrange preheated coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place the ribs on the grill rack directly over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until the ribs are tender. Add more coals as needed.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan stir together the onion, honey, ketchup, chili peppers, chili powder, garlic, and dry mustard. Cook and stir over low heat for 10 minutes. About 10 minutes before the ribs are finished grilling, brush sauce generously over ribs. Continue grilling until glazed.

James was impressed with these sweet and spicy pork ribs. As was I. I'm not usually a fan of Texas styled ribs but thanks to juicy tender meat from Smithfield and tasty sides, my belly was plenty full and happy on Father's Day. Not only was our appetites satisfied but we are now on the hunt for more tasty grilling recipes. If you are too, be sure to visit and enter the Get Fired Up Grilling website/sweepstakes at www.getfiredupgrilling.com for additional recipes and tips for BBQ Pitmasters Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone. Also enter to win a trip to the American Royal BBQ contest and other great prizes.

Happy Grillin' Friends!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The TGIF Blog & Instagram Hop

Fridays in the blogging world means the chance to recap all the fun of your week and to kick off a weekend filled with memory making and relaxation! It also means, it's time for a linkups and this week, I'm the co-host of the week at TGIF Hop. Check out it out and be sure to linkup! This is a great way to earn a bit more blog exposure. 

Celebrate Friday!

The TGIF Blog & Instagram Hop is a Friday friendly hop where we hope you can blossom, meet and greet new bloggers. We enjoy having you. 

Each Friday we will feature our most favorite post from the previous week. It could be you! We also have a weekly Cohost spotlight, that is great to gain your blog some extra notice (enter here). 
The rules of the TGIF Blog and Instagram Hop Are simple!
1. Link-up any post or posts (no specifics) and your Instagram.
2. Grab a button and display it on your blog, in a post or somewhere visible to help us get notice for the Hop. Also helps us better feature your blog.
3.Be social. Comment and follow at least one blog you enjoy. 
4. Tweet out the TGIF hop. 
Tweet: Link up at the #TGIFhop with @kaitlynmarie003 @desireephillips @silviearmas @ryderbunch @scggirl #instagramhop #bloghop http://ctt.ec/8oM2V+

Meet This Weeks Co-host

Wife Mommy Me
Wife Mommy Me is a place for moms to let down their guard, share the craziness that is motherhood while remembering to laugh at the nonsense. We share our favorite finds, books, toddler activities and so much more. Leave your worries at the door and come chat with me for a bit! 

This Weeks Blog Feature
Paper & Stitch
Turns 6! Times For Ice Cream
Photo Credit: Paper & Stitch 

Want to be our next Cohost with a special spotlight?! Co-host Form HERE.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Coffee for Two || June

Thank you for joining me for Coffee for Two this month. I loved hearing from each of you last month. Part of the perk of joining us for a little girl talk is one lucky blogger is treated to free coffee from Courtney and I. May's Starbucks gift card winner is Lindsay of Fashionistas Travels. Lindsay took our idea of a coffee date with friends exactly how we intended it. Girlfriends getting together, over a cup of coffee, sharing life's highs and lows, milestones and memories. Check our Lindsay's post HERE. Thank you Lindsay for grabbing coffee with us!

In a couple months, a handful of Ohio and Pennsylvania bloggers are going to get together for a blogger meetup. I've been brainstorming some ideas to get the everyone comfortable, get the energy flowing and I starting thinking of ice breaker questions. Which made me think of what I would share with people given the following prompts:

I am a total Momma Bear... even to those that I'm not a Momma too. I guess that motherly instinct folks talk about finally kicked in.
I keep a really clean house but a messy bathroom. I hate cleaning the bathroom.
I wish I could figure out what the secret formula to getting your kid to sleep all night is. Not only would I be well rested but I'd be filthy rich, too!
I sing horribly but that doesn't stop me from singing like it's my J-O-B!
I dance at least once a day when any of the following cartoon are on: Micky Mouse, Bubble Guppies and Doc McStuffins.
I think I'm going to crush my goal of 60 miles by September 30th. I'm at 10 as of this morning and I just started on Monday. BOOYA!
I really spend an entire day in bed, reading and napping. I don't even need to be fed. Just let me rest.
I need to remember that Connor won't always be this attached. One day he won't think twice about me being right. by. his. side. I need to savor every minute of it.
I should look for the balance I want in life a bit harder. There has to be a way to do it all and not feel like you are stretch to your breaking point day after day.
I can always count on my girl BreAnn to say something ridiculous funny or honest or crude right when I need it most.
I like running. Much more than I ever imagined I would.
I love the idea of us building a home somewhere but the dislike the idea of having to pay more of a mortgage.
I make the most amazing "Hulk Smash Smoothies". Just ask Connor. Toddlers are brutally honest when it comes to their food
I always struggle sleeping when James is gone when in fact I should be able to get more sleep since it's just me once C goes to bed. 
Now it' your turn! Not only is Lindsay walking away with free coffee but so can you! Pick any 4 of these "getting to know you" prompts, share your answer in the comments below and you could win free coffee, too! Last months winner was Becky. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's The Little Things :: Mommy + Me Photos

One thing I'm not good at it is getting in front of the camera. Sure I take silly selfies with Connor because who doesn't love seeing this sweet guys face all over the inter webs, you know?

But selfies aren't usually printable quality. Or good photos if we're being honest. So when James asked me for a photo of myself or a photo of Connor and I for his office, he was left empty handed. Other than the photos shared on IG and Facebook, I didn't have a quality photo to give him. That's when I got the idea that for Father's Day, I would get photos of Connor and I taken as a gift to James. Little did I know that these photos would soon become favorites.

While these photos were meant as a gift for James for Father's Day, in the process I was given the gift of having a handful of photos of my little guy and I. One day he won't be able to fit in my arms or my lap but I'll have these shots to remind me of a time when he was my tiniest little love.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MTT :: Summertime Outings

Confession: I don't do heat. At all. It's a shock I survived Texas, really. I hate to sweating just by walking outdoors. Ohio's humidity is abusive, making bad hair a summer time accessory. I've never been a fan of hot weather so when Summer rolls around, you can best beat that I will do everything in my power to find fun indoor or cool activities for the family to enjoy together.

+ Visit the library to pick out new books to read. Stick around for story time. Visit your local library's online site for times. You'll be surprised what's offered in your area.

+ Got some shopping to do? Instead of doing it online, head to the mall. Shop, let the little one play at the indoor playground and then grab some lunch from the food court before heading home.

+ Find a local park that offers both shade and water play. Splish splash for a bit then sit beneath the shade for a picnic lunch.

+ Splash pads are this Momma's jam. Find one that fits your little ones needs and head off when the temperatures get to rising later this summer. Don't forget the sunscreen!

+ Checkout your local children's museum. Nothing keeps you cooler than a indoor day of fun. 

+ Splurge a bit and take your little one skating, to a movie or even bowling. Not only are these indoor activities fun, they make for great first time experiences.

+ Our YMCA has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. After your morning workout, head to the pool to cool off and enjoy some water fun with your little one(s).

We love being outdoors and visiting new parks along with our trusty go tos so often times, we will head there bright and early or in the evening after dinner. Staying home can be just as fun when you put any of these indoor activities to use.

I would love to hear how you beat the summer heat with your little one! Share your fun with me so that I can add it to your schedule.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Bucket List :: Toddler, Momma & Family

I don't know what it is about me and bucket list but a) they are fun to create b) push me to get things accomplished and c) provide a ton of opportunity for memory making and fun for our family. I've been making bucket lists since last Fall and I don't see myself stopping any time soon! Summer officially started yesterday so what better time to share our Summer bucket list.

Connor's List
Tackle a glitter project/craft
Complete 3 random acts of kindness
Run through sprinklers
Visit 3 new splash pads
Listen to music at the park

Momma's List
Run 60 miles from June 21 to September 30
Take a day trip to Grove City
Treat myself to a mani/pedi
Enjoy a LFFL date with Dean
Read 4 new books 

Family List
Visit the Columbus Zoo
Spend the day at The Heights pool
Host a BBQ
Go to a baseball game
End summer with a trip to the Beach Water Park

What's on your agenda for this Summer? While I'm not a fan of the hot temperatures, I plan to make the very must of our first summer home as a family of 3.

Friday, June 19, 2015

#ETHANproject | Enjoy FLAVOR

I've admitted that I'm not a good cook. I'm not very domestic when it comes to all things kitchen. I just don't care enough to gain new skills. Horrible but true. I know my limits. I can keep your house clean, organize like no one's business and enjoy ironing but please, don't ask me to cook dinner for you. When I read these week's #ETHANproject prompt, the first thing I thought was "Oh Hell, here we go!" Since I'm not much of a cook and don't really see myself as someone y'all would want food suggestions from, I thought I would take the prompt and use it to challenge myself in the kitchen. To spread my wings a bit.

In preparation of this post, I set a goal for myself: to make 5 new foods this week when making my grocery list. While this doesn't sound like much, keep in mind, I'm not a chef nor do I ever think I could be. I gave myself one simple plan of action this week: add foods that intimidate me to prepare myself to our menu. Here is the "FLAVOR" I added to our menu this week:

Now it's time for a food confessional ... {1} I've never made pancakes at home until Monday. Go ahead and laugh, I know you are! I just never realized how easy they are. Add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla and you've got yourself a tasty breakfast carb. {2} I'm the mean Mom who won't let Connor help me in the kitchen because the mess "isn't worth it". I let him make pizza on Tuesday and it was a blast! Check out his reaction in this Instagram photo. {3} Our go to pasta is always spaghetti and meatballs. This week I switched it up by preparing chicken tortellini instead. We were in cheesy pasta Heaven. {4} Holy guacamole! I didn't get an after shot of this but I can promise you it was delicious. Hence the lack of after photo. I will be making this again! {5} I have everything I need to make Texas Style Ribs for James for Father's Day. He misses TX BBQ and this is my simple attempt at fulfilling his craving. I'll let you know how it goes!

My challenge to you is to head into the kitchen with a new goal: try a new recipe, make something from scratch or put your own spin on a simple dish. Just get in the kitchen and add FLAVOR back into your menu. While I didn't do anything over the top, I'm totally impressed that I have the skills and desire to make new things for the guys and I to enjoy together! Share your recipes with us over at Grounded & Surrounded.

Happy Friday & Happy Father's Day weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge :: Check-in #1

Although Summer hasn't officially started - that happens Sunday - we've been busy discovering new books and reading as much as possible for our Summer Reading Challenge. Today, Liz, Courtney and some of my favorite bloggers are going to share what our little ones have been reading this Summer. A few weeks ago when we announced the challenge, we gave each participate a list of themes to work with. I'm happy to announce that Connor has made an impressive dent in this themed reading list along with his toddler list. 

When picking books that fit with the themes listed, my goal is share books that Connor has never been read before. Those seem to keep his interest longest. They also can't be too wordy. Unfortunately, he lacks patience still but that's something we are working on. Using the themes listed above as a guide, we've read these books for the first time and loved each of them:

LMNO Peas by Keith Barker {alphabet}
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton {transportation}
The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug by Brian Cleary {bugs}
Gerald McBoing Boing by Dr. Seuss {Seuss}
Unicorn Thinks He's Really Great by Bob Shea {Disney}
I'm a T. Rex by Denis Shealy {Little Golden Book}

While checking out at the library, my librarian shared with me that LMNO Peas has a short video to go along with the book. This gave me the perfect tool to use for a book plus activity. Once we finished the book, we watched the movie and then worked on rescuing our letters from the "bean pit". 

Connor had got a bit rusty on letter recognition so this was perfect practice and it was fun enough to keep him busy for 20 minutes or so. If you have an alphabet puzzle handy, give this simple activity a shot. We also read a handful of books from our toddler Summer reading list. These books included:

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert || I Stink! by Kate McMullan

There are approximately 20 more books I'd like to read to Connor before the end of August. That seems doable. I have some fun activities planned around a handful that I've picked out and I can't wait to share them with him and you!

Join Liz, Courtney and I as we celebrate our love of reading. Linkup your summer reading themed posts. Remember, there is a giveaway at the end of the challenge so every linkup counts! Grab our button and spread the summer reading fun!

Wife Mommy Me