Thursday, October 31, 2013


1. Need some quick kids coloring pages? Check out Hippo Paint! Search any word to bring up all kinds of coloring/painting pages for the kiddos!

2. Simple recipes - we al love 'em. This site takes simple to a whole new level. Here are 34 two-ingrediant recipes. Here are two interesting ones:

3. I found my next crafting project. I must makes these awesome double wrapped bracelets when I find the time. I love how they use a hex nut as the closure. I want to make them in every color.

4. Ok, so this 'link to love' might be my favorite. We had an awesome intern in our fitness facility at work this past summer and she made us do this 8 minute arm exercise and it pretty much blew my mind. Yes, you look (and feel) super weird doing it, but man does it work! Seriously, try and let me know what you think. Eight minutes, it's all it takes!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I will always be the mom who bakes and decorates my children's birthday cakes and crafts them homemade Halloween costumes because I.LOVE.IT. These are the things that I was so excited about while I was pregnant. I couldn't wait for all of the holidays with her and I CANNOT wait for her to really understand Christmas and get excited about Santa! We are going to do it all --- the cookies for Santa, the reindeer food, Elf on the Shelf, cookie baking, etc. Oh boy! Just writing this makes me excited for Christmas! I am that person who listens to Christmas music from the moment is starts and legitimately gets upset when Christmas is over and it stops. I have been known to play the Glee holiday CD in my car on repeat for an extended period of time and even bring it out once in a while off season. :)

Anyways, let's hit the breaks b/c it's not Christmas yet. It's Halloween! Plan #1 for E's costume was Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty. My friend gave me this ADORABLE little vintage camo jacket and pants suit, but it ended up being way too big for her. I plan on using it next year possibly. It is seriously wayyy to cute to not use it at some point. So then I was on to plan B. I literally thought up this costume in my head on the way to Hobby Lobby last Friday. I seriously had so much fun making it that I have started to think of all the different costumes I could make in the future! Oh the possibilities are endless. Really, anything flies and they do not have to be fancy. I still remember the picture my mom has of my brother on Halloween when we were little. She must have been scrambling for a last minute costume b/c she put a brown sheet over him with a brown beanie hat and attached a sign that said snickers to the front of him. :) It may not have been fancy, but it is the one that I remember!

So here is what I came up with - Ellis the unicorn!
I made this costume one afternoon and it only took me a few hours.

Everything listed below (except the sweat suit) you can find at your local craft store.  The costume was pretty basic. The only two parts I included a tutorial on are the horn and ears. Beside that, I basically super glued or sewed things to the sweat suit. 

I sewed the cone onto the top of the hood with embroidery thread and then covered the bottom of the cone with the mane to hide the stitches. 

To create the mane, I braided several strands of the yarn together and hot glued it around the horn, onto the hood and down the back of the sweatshirt. 

I attached the tassel to the arms and legs with hot glue. Easy peasy! 

For the tail, I opened the seam in the back of the pants and inserted strands of tulle just like I attached the ears to the hood. (see tutorial below)

To finish off the look, I attached a piece of purple ribbon to the zipper as a pull and tacked on two ribbons for strings with my sewing machine. I wanted to be able to tie the hood tighter around her head in hopes that the cone would stand up straight and she wouldn't be able to pull off the hood.  

Did you craft an awesome homemade Halloween costume this year? If so, send me a picture of it!! I am thinking about doing Halloween wrap up post of DIY Halloween costumes and I would love to share all of your costumes!

Also, I am selling this costume after Halloween. Do you have a little one that is going to be 18-24 months next Halloween? This sweat suit is a 24 month size.

Email me at to send me your pictures or inquire about buying the costume!

Friday, October 25, 2013


The traditional Buell Za is a staple in our house. In fact, we had it last night. :) Here is a little twist on it that is SUPER yummy. The sauce is made of black beans and roasted red peppers! YUM!

For the Sauce:
1 cup back beans, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1 medium clove garlic, quartered
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Monterey jack cheese
Red bell pepper
Green onions
Black olives
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream

- Preheat the oven, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack, to 550 degrees F. Lightly dust a pizza peel with flour.
- Using one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust the dough with flour, and flatten with your hands. Continue to flatten with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Place the rolled out dough on the floured peel.
- To make the sauce: Place beans, peppers, garlic, chili powder and salt in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Spread the sauce over the pizza leaving about an inch around the edge.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top followed by the toppings of your choice (excluding the tortilla chips)
- Bake for about 12-15 min or until the edges start to brown.
- Take the pizza out of the oven and sprinkle on the crushed tortilla chips.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Some people think that vacation is for ditching the exercise routine and just letting loose. Call me crazy, but I don't agree...

The only problem is that I am slightly addicted to working out. Guilty as charged. I figured I could be addicted to a lot worse things though. Exercise isn't something I have hit on much in this blog because I, in no way, claim to be an expert on fitness or have some brilliant master plan on how to attain results at the gym. All I know is I LOVE it. OK, OK, I am obsessed with it. Working out isn't something I dread. It is something that makes me feel good, so why would I cut it out on vacation?!

If I were to give any advice to someone who has not, yet, hopped on the exercise band wagon it would be this: Join a class. Actually, join several classes. Switch it up. Get to know the people in your classes. Make it a priority. Make it part of your day. Just like you brush your teeth every day, work out every day.... well maybe not EVERY day. :)

For a long time I was in the routine that I feel so many people are in. I was either running on a treadmill or using an elliptical every day and hating my boring routine more and more every day. It was a chore. I dreaded it, but knew I had to get it done. blah! What a bad place to be.

One day at work, one of my co-workers asked me to join her in a fitness class at work. (I am extremely fortunate to work for a company with an amazing fitness facility and even more amazing instructors.) That class changed my outlook on working out completely. Six years later, I still attend that class and several others - spin, circuit training, body combat, and the list goes on. I still run, do not get me wrong, I LOVE to run, just not every day.

Over the years, I have gotten to know the other people in my classes and we are like a little family. Class is not just a work out, it is social hour and a much needed break from the work day. I leave class every day feeling fit, happy, and energized. I am more productive in the afternoon and I sleep like a baby. (When my own baby doesn't keep me up ;) We go out for happy hour, we celebrate our birthdays, and throw each other baby and wedding showers. Like I said, we are a little workout family. We push each other in class and send eachother healthy recipes and fitness articles every day. We, also, hassle each other, complain throughout our classes (how else you goin' to get through it some days), and laugh a lot!

Anyways, I could go on and on about my passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, but I will cut myself off here.

What I wanted to say is that I am "myself" when I get my workouts in - at home or on vacation. While Jodie and I were in Ohio we came up with a plan to get our workouts in and they all involved iPhone apps. It is sad to say, but half the time I do not know what I would do without my iPhone. It is my camera (most of the time), my GPS, my email, my phone (duh!), my music, and now my personal trainer! :) Technology can be bad, but it this case it is ohhhh so good! :) When they say "There's an app for that!" they ain't messin' around. ;)

Here are my top picks for 'healthy travel' apps: 

MAP MY RUN: It is the best way to track my miles that I have found. It uses GPS to show you where you are running and chimes in (pauses your music for a second) to tell you how many miles you have ran, your time, AND your split mile time. LOVE!

PANDORA: Yes, yes, we all know what Pandora is. It is the dance pop radio station that I am LOVING! I am telling you, they play my jams! Try it! Use Pandora AND Map My Run while running.

SWORK-IT: Yes, I really wanted to name this post 'swork-it' b/c let's all agree that that name rocks. "I was sworkin' it on my lunch hour!" "I got my swork on" I mean, c'mon! It's like twerking, but w/o the strange bear costume and all the inappropriateness. ;) Basically, it is like a little circuit trainer. You pick what intensity you want, what kind of workout you want, what area of the body you want to work (upper, lower, all over, abs), and it yells out different moves every minute. It shows a picture of the move and even has a little video if you are still unsure of how to do the move. Yes, I am a fan of sworkit! Jodie and I did this at a park right by Kate's house almost every day while we were in Ohio.

HEALTHY OUT: I am not a fan of fast food, but sometimes it is inescapable. Sometimes you are on the road and even though you think if you wait long enough, eventually one of those food road signs will read 'fit & fresh' or 'unprocessed real food' (let's pretend those are real restaurants), but they all just really says 'McDonalds' and 'KFC.' uggg. This app uses GPS to tell you what restaurants are near AND gives you the healthiest meal options on the menu. Hey, sometimes it's the best you can do. :)

Monday, October 21, 2013


A few weekends ago we decided to experience fall and all it's beauty in a giant (sea creature shaped) corn maze. :)  We went with some friends to the Treinen Farm Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Lodi, Wi. It was my first time doing a corn maze and the perfect opportunity to get in some camera practice. It was such a fun day!

Side Note: I am going to be posting a bit less these days. Life is busier than ever. Ellis has been sick with a fever and a terrible cough for the past five days, I have a few freelance projects coming at me and well, to be completely honest, I feel like my head is going to explode. I love blogging and hope to continue on, but just not quite as frequently. Happy Monday everyone. I am just hoping to survive this week after literally five nights with VERY little sleep. Send good thoughts our way so our little munchkin feels better soon.

Friday, October 18, 2013


BE FIT FOODS ON INSTAGRAM >> I recently started following 'be fit foods' on instagram and it is pure genius!!!  People instragram their easy, healthy meal/snack ideas and hashtag them #befitfoods for a chance to be featured. So next time you instagram that blueberry smoothie or quinoa salad, hashtag that baby and you might see your picture on the feed! When I see a picture of something I want to try, I screen shot it and pull it up later when I am meal planning or add it to my pinterest board.

Here are a few of my recent favorites:

45 LIFE LESSONS WRITTEN BY A 90 YEAR OLD >> It is a good, quick read. #40 is one of my all time favorite quotes. I even have have it framed in my kitchen. Looks like I am as wise as a 90 year old! ;)

SIMPLE ADDICTION: Need some cheap statement jewelry? This is the place! They have some super cute items at great prices and it is $2 shipping for your first item and only $1 more for each additional item! ummm... yes, please!

AMERICAN GIRL THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY: I just about died when I saw this. Obviously I will not be planning an American Girl themed b-day party any time soon seeing that Ellis is more interested in playing with my lunchbox ice pack than any real toy. The invites!!!! I die! I would like to give a big high-five to that creative mama!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


After I posted our family pictures, a few people asked me how I made and put on Ellis head wrap, so here it is! What better way to show it than with a short instagram video from my iphone?! Making and putting on this head wrap is seriously the easiest thing ever and you can wear it, too! I wear them all the time, especially in the summer and on the weekends when I do not do my hair. Who am I kidding... I never do my hair. i should probably just live in these.

Are you ready for this? Now pay close attention....
Go to the fabric store and buy a 1/2 yard of any kind of fabric you want. Yup, that's it. ;)
This head wrap cost me a whopping $3. I leave the edges raw, but you can finish them with a sewing machine if you want.

My only suggestion is that you make sure the fabric is relatively on the thinner side and not too slippery so it stays tied. If you buy thicker fabric it will not wrap nicely and the tie will be big and bulky.

Originally I had Logan take a video of me putting the wrap on Ellis' head and that was just a disaster. The video consists of her running away from me and screaming and me trying to tackle her and getting super frustrated. After take 3, I gave up and put the dang thing on my own head which took one take and less than a minute. Lesson learned. Thankfully, she was much more cooperative when we had our family pictures taken.

(Tuck the loose ends of the tie back into the wrap so they are not hanging out like a bow. I ran out of time on the instagram video, so I couldn't show that part.)

I am in love with head wraps on little girls. It is just so stinkin' sweet. Here is a little round up of inspirational pictures. 

image credits: T to B / L to R

If you do not already follow along with instagram, you can here

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I cannot even explain, in words, how much I loved my girls getaway to Columbus, Ohio with my two best friends in the entire world. If you have been reading this blog for a while now or know me personally, you know who Jodie and Kate are. If you are new here, WELCOME and they are AMAZING.

They are the two girls who know me better than anyone (Logan excluded, of course), the girls who never judge me, the girls who make me laugh so hard I practically pee my pants, the girls who I can tell anything to and the girls who I couldn't image life without. We met in College and were so fortune to all land in Madison soon after. We have been roommates, co-workers, and partners in crime. :)

Just recently, Kate, took a job in Columbus, Ohio and, well, Jodie and I cried. We cried a lot. We made a pact when Kate moved, that we would all spend our 30th birthdays together. Katie turned 30 and that is why Jodie and I roadtripped to Columbus, Ohio.

Our time there consisted of coffee, walks down the cobblestone streets in German Village, trying new restaurants, Badger tailgating, hiking, picnics, shopping, workouts in the park, ice cream tasting, nights out until 5am (therefore leading to more coffee), meeting the most amazing people, and lots and lots of alcohol. Oops! :)

Not only was it so good to have the three of us back together, but it was so nice to just be me. Not "me" the wife or "me" the mother ---- or employee, blogger, housekeeper, cook, and the list goes on. Now before I go any further, please do not think I do not LOVE being all of those things, because I do. It is just sometimes being all those things at once is hard, stressful, and completely overwhelming. It was like I had four entire days to just worry about having fun.

THANK YOU Jodie and Kate for such a fantastic time. There is just some special magic that happens when the three of us are together. It is like it pulls the best part of each one of us out.

Like I always say, it makes my heart smile. :)

And now for the the long version:


Jodie picked me up at 7am on Thursday morning and we arrived in Ohio around 3:30pm.  We got settled, grabbed some wine from the grocery store across the street and brought our solo cups for a walk in Schiller Park. We walked and talked and did a little ice cream sampling at Jeni's.  The salty caramel is where it's at!
DAY ONE TAKEAWAY: Eight hours in the car is really not bad when you have great company and wine waiting for you when you get there.


We slept in, Jodie and I got our workout in, we got our caffeine fix at Cup O Joe, and headed out to Hoking Hills State Park to hike the Old Man's Cave trail. It was beyond beautiful! We packed a picnic and then headed home to make dinner (Skinny Taste - Chicken Pesto Bake) and get ready to go out on the town. We started the night with wine and cocktails outside at Eleven in the Short North where we met BarryAlvarez, the former coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Even though I am not much of a football fan, it was still pretty cool to meet him. We, then, met another group of fun people (including two guys from L.A. that shoot Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise movies!  What?!!!!) and moved our party across the street to Bar 23. Needless to say, we went to bed at 5am that night. Oops!
DAY ONE TAKEAWAY: Sometimes you just need to get dressed up, put on some makeup and high heels, and let loose with your girlfriends. The next day might be rough, but it is worth it.

Ummm... we were tired. I wonder why. ;)  When we finally got our booties out of bed, we headed straight back to Cup O Joe for coffee and then walked to the German Village Coffee Shop. While we were waiting for our table, we met the coolest photographer. We met so many cool people during our stay in Columbus, but Mike just might have taken the cake. He even shared his bacon with us! :)  We then headed home. Jodie and Kate took a nap and I ran six miles. I know. I am nuts. I wasn't feeling fantastic (again, I wonder why ;) and a good workout always makes me feel better.  When I got back we all got ready in our Badger red and headed downtown to The Varsity Club to tailgate with some of Kate's co-workers. Turns out the tickets we thought we had fell through. Jodie and I were totally fine with that. We were so tired and hungry and honestly, I probably would have fallen asleep on the bleachers. We stopped at Arch City Tavern for some food (Lobster mac & cheese... YUM!) and watched some of the game on TV before headed home and crashing.
DAY THREE TAKEAWAY: Ohio State fans are CRAY.... and there are a lot of them. We were pretty safe seeing that Badger Red is pretty similar exactly the same as Ohio Crimson. No one really even realized we were Badger fans. (yes, poser, I know.) Oh, one more take away. Their mascot looks like the Hamburglar with a diaper. Sorry. I just had to say it.


Same old routine - coffee, workout, walk. We then ate breakfast at the Easy Street Cafe and did a little shopping at Easton Town Center. We got so many good deals! After shopping, we stopped home to drop off our stuff and headed downtown to meet Kate's co-worker at Bodega for trivia. The food was fantastic and they had a ton of different beers on tap. We then headed to The Pint House where we pretty much spent the rest of our night.
DAY FOUR TAKEAWAY: Girls vacations are more budget friendly when "shopping" isn't one of your travel attractions. Budget? What Budget?!

TRIP TAKEAWAY: Girls vacations are good for the soul. Plain and Simple.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I am saving the REALLY long version (instagram pics included) of how amazing my girls trip to Columbus was for tomorrow. Today, you get the skinny on the things to do and the places to go (in my opinion) if you make the trip to Columbus. It might not be a top travel destination, but I can tell you one thing, I LOVED every second of my stay there. It might have been the fact that I had the best company on the planet. Ok, one more travel tip: If you go, bring awesome friends. :)


Sunday, October 13, 2013


Like I said earlier in this post, I am so excited to be a contributor for Pretty Providence

HEAD ON OVER there today to see my first post and download 
your FREE thank you postcard! Happy Sunday y'all! :)