Memorial Recap

Summer came in hot (literally) this weekend. 

We started the weekend off with Leo's end-of-the-year party. 


In typical Leo fashion, he talked about going to the petting zoo all week - and then once we got there was super over all of the animals. Can't blame him. 

And his sister didn't last much longer, so after about an hour and a half, we booted out of there.  

Friday after naps, Leo had his first swim lesson.

He cried pretty much the entire lesson, but he really started to get the hang of "kicking and scooping". He's going to take two, thirty minute private lessons all summer long, so I really, really hope we see some major skills developed.

Friday night my girlfriend Jenna came over, we grilled turkey burgers, went to the Freeze for ice cream, and then fell asleep on the couch after watching Ali Wong on Netflix.

Image result for alison wong comedian 

Saturday morning we got in a family run, and then after a few errands, Joel and I headed into the city for a Cubs game.

We ended up parking at our friends place, so we got to enjoy happy hour with Sara and Sean who are only a few weeks away from having their first baby.  


We took an Uber to the game and had just the best time. Our seats were perfect, the weather was perfect, we got to totally enjoy our beer and hot dog....it was such a fun evening.  


 Sunday morning I took the kids over to my parents because my sister came in from the city, and we took everyone out on our first boat ride of the season.



We spent the rest of the day at my parents and then walked over to our neighbors for a BBQ that night. 

Joel took the kids home a little early so I could stay and have another glass of wine which was an awfully nice treat.

 Monday we got in a long walk and then headed to my parents country club for their Memorial Day party.

Drew loved the water....Leo was a little nervous at first that it was going to turn into a swim lesson...but everyone ended up having a great time spending the afternoon in the pool. 

We had an early dinner at the club, got home really early, stuck everyone in a bath, and ended the weekend on a perfect note - with the premier for the Bachelorette ;)


Drew - Month 5


Weight: My guess would be around 12lbs
Clothes: Still rocking mostly 3-6 months, and some 6 month dresses. Size 2 diapers still too.
Nicknames: Drewbie, Drew Drew, Sloopy, Princess
Sleep:  Another amazing month of night time sleep. Thank you for being so good to us in this department. You are consistently asleep from 6:30/6:45pm-6:30/6:45am.
Schedule: I am SO much more lax with you than I was with Leo. It's honestly just impossible for us to have a strict morning schedule, and I'm just ok with that for this round.

6:30am- Feed, up and I also pump after this feeding for 10 minutes
 8:30am- cat nap in the swing normally or if we are walking
10:30am- Feed
10:30-1:00pm - play/cat naps while we are out and about
12:30/1:00pm - Feed
1:30pm-3:30pm -Nap
3:45pm- Feed/play/bath
5:00pm-5:45pm- Cat nap 50% of the time
6:45pm-Feed and bed by 7:00pm
Health:  We are SO thankful for your perfect health
Crying:  You are LOUD. You go from zero to sixty fast, but for the most part, are easy to please.
Feeding: Well, even though you don't love taking bottles from other people - when I left you and Leo for 4 days in California, you got used to it. Basically, the trick is - you have to be hungry enough to take a bottle, and then you'll do it. Typically when I'm nursing, you eat 5 times a day, but while I was gone, you were getting 4, 8ounce bottles. 

In order to maintain my supply while I was in California, I pumped (on the plane, in the seat, no less). It was kind of a hassle but, was worth it. I froze the milk that I pumped while I was in California, brought an ice pack, and carried it home with me frozen.
Likes: You are a happy, happy girl. You love people, love Leo and Roscoe, like to chew on anything, love sucking your thumb (which is so cute), love baths, sitting in your bumbo, and have recently been liking your activity gym too.
You're truly a delight and just love life. 
Dislikes: You don't love your carseat.
Milestones:  You started rolling back to tummy about 3 weeks ago and now will roll and roll and roll back and forth and basically get across the room. You are trying to sit, but I think you still have a few more weeks until you're there. 

Your laugh has gotten SO much sweeter this month, you mimic us when we blow our lips, and you love to sing songs too.
Places You’ve Gone:  You didn't get to join, but I escaped for three nights for my birthday. A quick visit to California was much needed and I was so happy that you and Leo did so great with all of our helpers.  
Postpartum: My workouts are getting better and I'm getting back to my old endurance. I did two Yoga Sculpt classes while I was in California, did some Orange Theory, and am trying to get back up to running 4 miles. The scale isn't really budging, but it's on my mind.
Leo: I stand by the fact that watching the two of you together is one of my life's greatest joys. My favorite moment of the day is when you're laying on the ground, typically after breakfast time, and Leo will be just playing around the house. Some mornings I'll catch him coming up to you, holding your hand, talking in this sweet baby voice, and just loving on you. It's absolutely heart wrenching and I'm so excited to see you two grow up together. 


Weekend Recap

Per usual, we packed a ton into a short weekend, but it was fun from start to finish. 

Friday was Leo's last official day of school - I cannot believe how much bigger and more grown up he looks in just 9 months. 

After school, we headed over to my moms to sit outside and just relax. It was a beautiful day, I enjoyed a cup of coffee outside, Drew fell asleep on my mom, Leo couldn't have been more entertained - it was just blissful.


After naps, I bathed the babies and then quickly ran out of the house as soon as Joel walked in.

My "mommy group" sees each other almost every single week - sometimes more - but we always have a ton of kids and never seem to complete conversations, so to go out to dinner with these girls - have zero inturrptions and wine was such a treat. We literally could have sat and talked for the entire night .... and of course we failed to take any pictures. 

Saturday morning started a little slow, but after coffee in bed, I took the kids for a walk so Joel could mulch a bit.

We then switched spots and I headed to Orange Theory with my cousins for a workout.

I really like orange theory - it's a great (and fun) workout, but it's expensive. It's something I plan to drop in to once or twice a month, but that's probably it. 

I ran a few errands while I was out, and after I got home and showered, Joel and I decided to take the kids over to Crystal Lake Brewery for happy hour. 

We grabbed a pizza on the way home, had a little too much wine on Saturday night, binged a few episodes of Schitts Creek and went to bed.

Sunday morning, Joel went for a long morning run, so I had the kids for the first half of the morning. I snuck away for 30 minutes to run on the treadmill, and then we showered and loaded the car to head to Elmhurst to spend the day with all of my cousins.

We were home by 5, decided to grill out, listen to music, and just relax which was the perfect way to close out the weekend. 


Easy Weeknight Salads

aka #losethebabyweight

Either way, I'm trying hard to keep as many carb-free meals in our lives as I possibly can.

I can see the scale budge in the right direction when I keep salads on the menu so in an effort to not hate life, I'm trying to find really yummy recipes and keep it interesting. These two fit the bill for easy, delicious and carb free so I thought I'd share.

Salmon Kale Ceaser


Not going to lie - for as much cooking as I do - I had to google "how to cook salmon". I used this recipe to bake it and seasoned it with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and The Spice House's lemon pepper blend.

The base of the salad is:
  • kale
  • chopped romaine
  • chopped pecans
  • shredded Parmesan
  • cherry tomatoes
  • avocado
  • hard boiled egg
For the dressing, I make my own and don't follow any recipe but like it to be pretty mustard heavy. My concoction includes:  Dijon mustard, mayo, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Greek Chicken Salad

I often make these as pitas, but they are equally - if not better- as salads.

The Salad Goods include:
  • Arugula
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Diced Cucumber
  • Feta Cheese
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Avocado
  • Boiled Egg
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Green Pepper (optional) 
I bake chicken breast similar to the salmon - olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a Spice House blend and then top the salads and toss with this yummy dressing.

Briannas Home Style Real French Vinaigrette Dressing - 12oz - image 1 of 1


Cali Getaway

Getting prepped to leave Leo and Drew for a long weekend deserved a vacation in itself! It ain't easy, but it was totally worth it.

I'm still nursing Drew, so I had been pumping everyday to prepare for this trip. She had tons of extra milk, so that helped me feel ok about leaving. Plus, my parents, in laws, and Joel know the routine as well as I do, so I truly was able to leave and relax.

Thursday morning, I hit the road with a full ipad full of shows and movies, a few new magazines, ordered a drink on the plane and had a perfect flight into Los Angeles.

My best friend Shelby picked me up at the airport and we headed straight for lunch at The Strand in Manhattan Beach. 


We split a bottle of Rose and a burger, and then decided to do a little shopping before heading home to freshen up.

Our first night out was with my two other best girlfriends - Erin and Dawn. The mall I used to live by in LA got a hugggge overhaul, so I was eager to see it. We ended up having an awesome dinner at Javier's and I couldn't recommend it more.  


We had a long dinner, a few drinks and then took all of our mom butts home before 9pm so that we could get a good nights sleep. My how things have changed ;)

Friday morning Shelby and I got up and went to yoga sculpt at Core Power. We used to take the class together every Friday morning so it was so bittersweet to do it again a year later.

After yoga we hit up Marshalls - because it's literally the best Marshall's I've ever been to, and we got a bunch of house stuff for Shelby. 

We stopped in all of our sweaty clothes for my favorite salad ever at Napa Valley Grille, sat outside, and just enjoyed a leisurely lunch.  


After lunch, we decorated Shelby's place with all of the fun stuff we found and then went to a foot spa just a few blocks away from where I used to live. It was the most heavenly hour - just perfect.

After our massages, we went home, showered, and then met Dawn and Erin for dinner at Katsuya in Brentwood. 

We had such a fun girls dinner - and I feel so lucky that we can all pick up right where we left off.  

Saturday morning we had planned to do the Santa Monica stairs, but the weather in California was cruddy the entire time, so we decided to go back to CorePower and do another yoga sculpt class. I'm still soooo sore but it felt so good to get in a couple great workouts while I was away indulging in all of the food and booze. 

After yoga, we went to Coral Tree Cafe for brunch with my cousin, his new son, and my aunt and uncle who happened to be in town visiting too. 

After a long brunch, we made a quick pit stop back at Marshalls for just a few more things and then showered up so we could meet my darling girlfriend Ami at the new Waldorf Astoria for drinks.


The Waldorf had been under construction for probably the last 2 years that we were living in LA, and its now done and seriously spectacular. The rooftop is a must-see if you are in LA. The three of us split a bottle of champagne, caught up, laughed, and had a pretty amazing time people watching (including spotting Dr. Phil and his wife).

After happy hour, we raced back home, and ordered pizza with Dawn and Erin's babies and husbands - which was the perfect way to cap off my weekend in LA.


These people in LA (and one of my best friends was out of town, so Beth - if you're reading this - it wasn't the same without you) are truly my family and it was so fun, relaxing, amazing, sad, fun, and perfect to be with all of them. 

I took a 6:30am flight home so that I could be reunited with my babies by lunchtime and I'm so glad I did. 


We celebrated Mother's Day very causally with my parents and sisters - grilled out at my parents house - and then got home and relaxed - it couldn't have been a more perfect weekend and I'm so, so thankful for it. 

neon signs | Julie de la Playa


The Dirty Thirty

It's my birthday!

Thirty feels like a pretty big change. It's weird to think my twenties have come and gone, and now I'm entering an entirely new decade.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it, but I'm very, very thankful for what I have walking into it. I'm exactly where I want to be, and feel incredibly blessed to be living the life that I am. 

Image may contain: 2 people, baby

This blog has taken quite a little hit - and I'm never really sure if anyone is really even checking in - but it's still a space I want to develop and not leave behind....so if you're still here - thank you for keeping tabs on me and my pretty boring whereabouts. 

I figured I'd try and share 30 random things you may or may not know about me in honor of the big 3-0.

1. I'm the oldest of three girls - and by far fit the bill of a the classic "oldest" child. I'm pretty sure my parents would tell you that I have been the most mature of the family since the time I was about 3 years old....and for better or for worse (probably more worse than better), liked to have everyone follow my rules. When I was 12, if my parents told me they would be home at 10pm, if they weren't home by 10:02, I was calling the hostess of the restaurant they were dining at to check in on them .

2. Joel and I have been together for going on 12 years! 

3. My kids will go to all of the same schools that I went to - and will likely have a lot of the same teachers I had too. 

4. I do not like potatoes. I will sometimes go for french fries, but I don't love them. 

5. I could drink coffee all day long, and pretty much feel like the real life version of this mug. 

Image result for I drink coffee until it's time to drink wine 

6. I have a weird thing with textures. As as kid, if my mom forced me to wear tights, I would cry and freak out, and as soon as the event was over, would peel them off my legs as fast as I could. Still to this day I CANNOT stand velvet, fleece, wool, cashmere, nylon, silk, and a slew of other materials. I would much prefer to live in an only cotton world. 

7. I have to sleep with a sound machine and sleep mask.

8. I have bad anxiety (and OCD) - and have since I was a kid. Sometimes it's worse than others, but it can, and has been very crippling.   

9. I went to school (at the University of Iowa) for Elementary Education, and plan to someday use my degree in a pre-school classroom

10.  I am an early to bed, early to rise kinda girl. I like to be asleep by 9:30, and am awake most mornings around 6am.

11. I cannot stand things messy or out of place. I literally have to be really sick in order to leave the house with an unmade bed. I remember hearing somewhere that if your physical space is orderly than it's easier for your mental space to be orderly, and I find that it rings very true for me.

12. I see my Mom 6 out of 7 days, and talk to her at least once a day.

13. I don't take many showers. Maybe....1 every two weeks? I much prefer to take a bath and normally do so at night or during nap time when I can sneak away for 30 minutes. 

14. I'm a super fast reader, and read a lot of books, but I really only tend to read books that are pleasant. I'm the same way with movies and TV shows. I don't like to watch or read things that make me sad or scared.

15. This winter I got majorly into puzzles. I was inside so much with a newborn and I didn't love having so much idle time on my hands, so having puzzles to sit with turned into a lovely hobby for me. It is so relaxing and seriously addicting.

16. My coffee order always is a Grande Hot Latte and while I love coffee, I HATE iced coffee. 

17. I'm pretty sure we only want two kids. Joel's always only wanted two, and I've jokingly said that I wanted 2.5. Now that we have a boy and a girl, I'm sort of coming around with the idea that we may be done.

18. I actually like running, and ran a half marathon in 2014 right before I got pregnant with Leo.

19. My biggest pet peeve is being late. I can't stand when I am late, or when anyone else is. 

20. I love watching sports. I love the romance and fun of college football in the fall, I like summer baseball, and I like filling out my bracket for March Madness....but I can't stand Soccer. Joel loves it, and I find it to be nails on a chalkboard. 

21. I'm not a huge fan of flying

22. I'm 100% an extrovert and absolutely get energy from being around people. I always joke that I am a really bad stay at home mom because I hate staying at home.

23. If I could go back to school and change my degree, I think I would have gone into interior design. I think it would be an ideal job that you could try and manage with a family, and as I've gotten older, I've gotten more and more intrigued with it.

24. My least favorite house chore is putting clothes away. 

25. I have really bad TMJ and my jaw clicks all the time when I talk and chew. 

26. I drive a white volkswagon tiguan, which I love, but I'm in need of a bigger car. I'd like to have a car with a bigger trunk and third row, so we've started to browse around here and there. I've always driven volkswagon's so I'm thinking I'm going to stay loyal and trade my car in for the Atlas. 

27. I am so happy to be back home living in Chicago, but I am SO glad that Joel and I started our life in California together. It's a really fun chapter of our lives that brought us some of our best friends and best memories.

28. My favorite dessert is key lime pie 

29. I'm writing this, and asking Joel for help, and he thinks you should know that I pretend to know a lot of lyrics to songs that I actually don't.

30. I'm a very good bullshitter. 

79 Great Inspirational Quotes Motivational Quotes With Images To Inspire 28