Father's Day/ gift ideas

I am very blessed to have three great examples of what it means to be a great father in my life and Father's Day is a great day to stop and think about all the things your dad or father-like figure has done for you and all the great memories you've shared. It always helps to get a gift or two for them, but to me it is more about reflecting on their importance in you and your family's life! 

Growing up my dad was very hands on... especially when it came to sports! From him coaching me to playing in the backyard with me and my two older brothers, we have had plenty of great times. I appreciate him and all that he has done for our family growing up. He worked so hard for our family so that we could play the sports we wanted and get a good education. Adam's dad is another example of a great father who has always been a great role model for Adam to follow. He has worked so hard all his life to provide for Adam and his mom and siblings. Without him Adam would have never been able to play four sports in high school, do other things he wanted to do, or try out in the NFL! We are so grateful for both of them and all that they have done for us and continue to do! With two great examples already, it has been so much fun to see Adam as a father and how great of a dad he has been to Asher over the past year and a half. He truly is the best dad and is so hands on (like my dad!), wants to be around as much as he can, and provide as much as he can to Asher. You can tell he loves Asher so much and I love seeing them together. I can't wait to see all the new things Asher does with his dad over the years. 

Back to the gift idea! If you are looking for something for a special father or father figure, or if it's your husband who is a great dad to your children, I think you ought to get them something special this Fathers day. ;)  Hammer Made has so many great gift ideas to choose for your dad this Father's Day (I just stopped in last week to pick up a few things). We love Hammer Made, especially with it being founded here in Minnesota! Adam loves everything from their nice dress shirts to the funky socks! They offer a wide variety of items such as belts, ties, cotton t shirts, and cufflinks. The material is nice, comfortable, and appealing. Everything is at an affordable price for the quality material you get. 

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More importantly though...I think every son/ father needs a matching dress shirt! Hammer Made has the cutest father son shirt collection right now! This is what Adam and Asher are in to the right...how cute are they!!! Hammer Made also offers matching father-son socks, which is less then $20 bucks! 

Click this to shop the Hammer Made father son shirt collection and shop around online.

You still have time to stop into a Hammer Made before Sunday and pick something up for that special dad in your life! They have locations at the Galleria in Edina, MOA, Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, and the airport. I hope you all have a great weekend and Father's Day. Remember to thank your husbands/ dads in your life for all that they have done...you probably don't tell them enough and I'm sure it would mean the world to them!

xoxo,

 

MRS T  

 

 

Recipes-part 2

So many of you liked my first recipe post and are always asking for recipes from the food I post so I thought I would share some more of my favorites! Many of the recipes I try are off of Pinterest. I like to find ones on there that look good and make them for my fam! I hope you enjoy... and feel free to share with me any of your favorites or any questions you may have:)

Healthy Banana Bread

⅓ C melted coconut oil, ½ C honey or maple syrup, 2 eggs, about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas, ¼ C milk of choice or water, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1 ¾ C whole wheat flour, optional: ½ C mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk.
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with a little more cinnamon. 
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

 

Chocolate Banana Bread

  • 1 C all-purpose flour ( I used whole wheat and it turned out just fine)!, 1/2 C cocoa, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 3 large brown bananas, 1/4 C unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, 1/4 C melted coconut oil, 3/4 C packed light brown sugar, 1 large egg, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 C dark chocolate chips (or any other add ins you'd like)
  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas. Add the melted butter and oil and stir until combined. Stir in the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, don’t overmix. Stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the bread. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean. Check at 50 minutes, just to be safe.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Let the bread cool on the wire cooling rack until slightly warm.

 

Carrot- Banana Muffins - one of my all time favorites:) (recipe passed down from my momma)

2 C almond flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbs ground cinnamon, 1/2 C unsweetened shredded coconut, 3 large eggs,  3 bananas mashed, 1/2 C (8 tbs) unsalted butter, cubed and softened, 2 tbs honey, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 1/4 C pitted/ chopped dates, 2 medium carrots shredded (I usually just buy the shredded carrots and do a cup or two), 3/4 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper lines. In large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut. In another bowl, whisk eggs, bananas, butter, honey, and vinegar. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Fold in the dates, carrots, walnuts. Divide batter among tins and bake for 40 min until golden brown or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan or on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Yum, enjoy! 

 

Pecan Crusted Salmon

4 wild salmon fillets, 1/2 C toasted, very finely chopped pecans, 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 C olive oil, 1 tbs finely chopped parsley, 1 tbs butter, 1 large pinch of salt, 

Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add pecans, panko, parsley and salt and stir to combine. Set aside. Wash the salmon and remove scales from the skin. Make 3 small cuts across the skin side to prevent the skin from shrinking when it cooks. Dry salmon thoroughly. Season the skin with salt and pepper. Working with the salmon skin side down, mound the pecan mixture evenly across each piece. Drizzle olive oil over the pecan mixture on the salmon and press firmly on the mixture so that it has good contact with the salmon. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon, pecan crust side down. Cook for 2 minutes or until the pecan crust has browned. Flip the salmon over and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it light pink and flakes easily. Be careful not to overcook the salmon or it will become tough and chewy.

 

Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in foil

1 large salmon fillet (see note), salt and pepper, to taste, ½ C melted butter, juice of 2 limes (plus one lime, thinly sliced), 4 tbs honey, 3 tsp minced garlic, ⅓ C cilantro, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line and grease a large baking sheet with foil. Lay salmon on foil and season with salt and pepper on both sides to taste. Slip lime slices underneath the salmon.
  2. Stir together butter, lime juice, honey, and garlic. Pour mixture over salmon. Fold sides of foil up over the salmon (don't worry if it doesn't cover the salmon completely).
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Switch oven to broil and cook another 5 minutes. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve.

 

Sriracha Chicken Quesadillas- ( Such a quick and yummy meal)

2 C shredded rotisserie chicken ( I usually use canned chicken just because it's in my pantry most the time), 1/3 C Sriracha, 2 tbs sour cream ( I do half plain greek yogurt, half sour cream), plus more for dipping, 2 C shredded cheese, 4 tsp canola oil, 4 10-inch flour tortillas ( I use whole wheat), ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves ( if I don't have these I don't use them and they still taste great! 

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, sriracha, sour cream, and cheese. Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then lay a tortilla down in the skillet. Spoon ¼ of the chicken/cheese mixture on just half of the tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves on top, then fold the tortilla in half. Cook until the underside is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook until both sides are lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. To serve, cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with sour cream/ salsa, for dipping. 

 

4 Ingredient Chicken Marinade

4/5 chicken breasts. 1 C brown sugar, 1 C oil, ½ C soy sauce, ½ C vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or a ziplock bag. Place the boneless skinless chicken breasts in the marinade. Marinade chicken for at least 1 hour or overnight. Grill or pop in the oven at 425 for 20-23 min.

 

Taco Twist Soup

1 pound ground beef, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 3/4 C Campbell's® Condensed Chicken Broth, 1 C Pace Picante Sauce, 1 can  (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained, 1 C uncooked rotini (spiral) pasta, 1/4 C sour cream (optional)

Cook the beef, chili powder and cumin in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is well browned, stirring often to break up the meat. Pour off any fat. Add the broth, picante sauce and tomatoes. Heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally. Garnish with sour cream (greek yogurt), if desired. I like to add a little shredded cheese to the top too...and I dip chips in it!

 

Easy oven roasted potatoes

6 small red potatoes, 1/4 C olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Clean and cut the potatoes into 1/2"-1" cubes. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil and spices. Spray a shallow baking pan with cooking spray and place potatoes in the bottom. Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir the potatoes after about 15 minutes of baking so they brown on all sides. I sometimes broil them for a minute or two at the end to make them crispier. Serve and enjoy!

 

Best Brussels Sprouts (I have been making these like crazy lately. They are so yummy and such a perfect side dish for any meal)

1 lb Brussels sprouts, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey ( I really do just eyeball the amounts of mustard and honey, Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Over medium high heat, melt butter and olive oil in large nonstick pan. Add brussels sprouts, toss to mix and add a sprinkle of kosher salt. Cook and stir until brown and crisp-tender. Stir in mustard and honey until well combined and caramelized, a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

 

Greek yogurt dip

This dip is so simple and I actually got the recipe from my older brother (he's always playing around with different foods). I usually just eyeball this recipe. I mix a spoonful of plain greek yogurt (or more if you have people over for a get together) with a little bit of Franks hot sauce and TA DA! Super simple. I sometimes add a little sprinkle from the Hidden Valley Greek yogurt ranch packet too! It's such a simple dip that tastes amazing with pretzels, veggies, or crackers. 

 

xoxo,

 

MRS T

Day in the life (off season)

Many of you are always asking me what a typical day in my life looks like. And to be honest it probably looks a lot like many other stay at home moms. Yes, some days are busier than others and our life may look a little different than others (because of football) but overall we are just a typical family who does things just like yours. Most SAH moms have husbands who might work a typical work day with weekends off, or some of you SAH moms might have husbands in the army/military or just a husband who is gone often or traveling a lot. Sometimes during the football season I feel like I have a husband who's gone a lot as well...maybe not physically but mentally. In this post I'm going to focus on what our days look like during the offseason since we are still kind of in the offseason...but kind of not because OTA's already started a couple weeks ago (OTA's are scheduled workouts that NFL teams do together)! In a later post I will give you more details about our busy schedule during the football season and what our days might look like then.

Typical offseason schedule

A typical day starts off with Asher waking me up at 6:45. Adam typically leaves around 6:30 for workouts at ETS! We usually snuggle in bed for a bit and then head downstairs for his sippy cup of milk and breakfast. I let him watch Mickey Mouse while he's still waking up and eating breakfast! When Asher was taking two naps I would either take him to the gym with me around 8 or 12. I'd prefer to go at 8 because I like getting my workout done in the morning if possible. Our schedule has been a little different recently because of Asher switching from two to one nap a day...so we've been going to Lifetime from about 8:30-10! We then either do a quick errand or come back home to play for a bit. Asher has lunch around 11:30 and is put down for his one nap at 12:30. He sleeps for about two hours and then we have all afternoon to play outside/ do something fun.

I love the offseason because Adam's usually home a lot more. He gets his workout in anywhere from 7-11 and then we have the afternoon together as a family. Some days and weeks are busier than others during the off season months and sometimes Adam will have meetings in the afternoon or some sort of event. Their are still plenty of days that we can be together and do some fun things as a family. I am a huge fan of keeping busy and I don't like to stay in the house all day especially when it's just Asher and I. I like to have Asher in activities so once a week he does music class and once a week he has swim lessons. In the afternoons we will take Asher to indoor parks, the mall, outdoor parks, the zoo, Target etc. When Adam is home with us I also like to get things done...especially with 4 sets up hands to help chase little man. We will go run errands, go to Costco, or the grocery store. We also like to go to the park a lot (now that it's getting nicer out) and we (aka me) love to take family walks after dinner. 

Right after the season ends we try and do some traveling. It's nice to get away after a long and stressful football season. Adam and I like to take a trip just us two if we're able to unwind physically, emotionally, and mentally and get in touch with each other again. We also like to take a family trip if we can....to get Asher out of the cold. We like to get our traveling in the first month or so of the off season that way we can get home and Adam can workout at his gym here in MN. 

Below are a few of our fav spots in our home that you can find Asher and I at pretty much every day!

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For those always asking...yes we do have a mini sport court in our house. And we are extremely blessed to have it. It is so nice to have, especially in the long MN winters. Asher runs off so much energy down here and loves to play basketball, soccer, golf, and t ball. We spend a lot of our free time in the Court...mornings when we are not at the gym and post dinner when daddy is home. 

We spend a lot of our time here in the living room. We love to grab a snack in the kitchen and snuggle on the coach to eat it. I love our open concept kitchen into the living area and makes it easy for me to see Asher when I am cooking and he's playing. 

We love to read a couple books before nap time here in Asher's bedroom.

Once Asher is down for a nap I have free time for myself. If I am not cleaning, doing laundry, or baking I like to sit at the kitchen counter, and have a cup of tea. I usually start by reading scripture, then I will check emails, and work on my blog (or online shop;))! 

I am so grateful to be able to stay home with Asher and watch him grow and help him learn. I've realized motherhood is a very challenging job and their are always new challenged at each phase Asher goes through. I'm still learning to be patient and loving even when I just want to scream. As much as it is a blessing being home with him I definitely have realized I also need "me" time (for my own sanity;)). During the football season it is much harder to find that time for myself...and that's another reason I love offseason. Adam is so good about giving me some time each week to run errands, work on my blog, or get my nails done by myself or with a friend! Having that time for myself and doing things I like helps keep my stress level down and I feel just helps me become a better wife and mom because I feel more rejuvinated afterwards. 

Well you all got to see a glimpse into my life during the offseason and what a typical day can look like. Once the football season starts back up again (end of July) I will do another post about what our days and our family life consists of during the season. Have a great week ahead and don't forget to use the contact me page if you have any questions/comments:)

 

xoxo,

 

MRS T

10 tips for traveling with a toddler

Adam and I have traveled quite a bit this offseason and a few of those trips we brought little man with us. So I thought I would share what I learned from traveling with Mr Asher and offer a few tips for handling little ones on an airplane. The first thing I would say before I get to my 10 tips is to try and schedule your flight around nap time (if you can help it). I know it's sometimes difficult to do this so it's fine if you can't, but it's especially helpful  if they are an "on the clock" napper. It really will help you and your sanity if they sleep for even some of the flight.  

Here are my 10 tips below...

 

1.) Snack , snacks, snacks, and more snacks

Luckily Asher is a great eater...always has been and still is! So when he's acting fussy or can't seem to sit still we pull out his favorite snacks. Whether we are in church, in the car, or in an airplane snacks come in handy big time. Asher has many of his teeth now so he can eat pretty much anything. I usually bring his favorites which include goldfish, animal crackers, fruit, pb & J, and sometimes I'll get a greek yogurt before we board so he can snack on that for awhile too. If your child has a favorite snack I suggest bringing that:)  Eating can keep them busy for at least a little while...and sometimes I play a game with Asher and his snacks. (I like to put a goldfish in one hand and he tries to guess which one it's in) 

2.) Favorite show/ video game

Asher started watching shows when he turned one...obviously we don't let him watch too much tv but when you're on a three hour flight you let your kid watch 3 hours of Mickey Mouse if he's willing to sit still;)  Asher's favorite shows right now are Mickey Mouse and Elmo. I suggest bringing an iPad and downloading some of your child's favorite shows (if they have any). If they don't have any shows maybe download some that look fun or some with music... anything that you think will hold your child's attention. Asher will watch in  spurts... like 15 minutes watching Mickey and then he'll want to stand up or do something else. So we'd do something else and then eventually come back to the show at some point and he'd keep watching. Having a show or video game your child can watch for a while is very helpful. Asher also loved watching Adam and I compete on a basketball shooting iPad game. 

3.) Books

If your little one is into books then I'd at least bring a couple along on your trip. Asher loves books and will actually sit on my lap and listen to them! I usually bring two or three of his favorites in my backpack. Books are another great distraction. A good idea (I've never done) would be to get a new book that you think your little one would love and show it to them for the first time on the flight. It might hold their interest longer!

4.) Favorite stuffed animal/blankie

I know many kids usually have a favorite blankie, pillow, or stuffed animal that helps comfort them. It would be a great idea to bring that with on your trip. Asher doesn't really have one specific blankie he likes..he just loves balls and a bunch of random stuffed animals lol! I actually have brought a mini football on the plane for him because it's his favorite (although it's not the best idea to bring a ball on the plane because he just wanted to throw it the whole time.. whoops:)). 

5.) Pacifier/Nuki

Asher still loves his nuki! We usually only give it to him during naptime and bedtime. Being on a flight is a different story. We give it to him on airplanes or car rides when he's being extra fussy and loud. It really does help calm him down...plus when he is being whiny it usually means he's tired so the nuki helps put him to sleep. If your little one still takes a nuki I'd definitely recommend bringing a couple (and some wipes for when if it falls on the icky airport ground). 

6.) Milk

Asher drinks whole milk now days. So I usually either ask the flight attendant to heat up a little for us and then I pour it into his bottle or I buy some before we board. Milk is something that has always been soothing to Asher. When I was breastfeeding him it was so much easier and more convenient to do on the airplane and he would usually fall asleep right away. I suggest having some milk (whether whole milk/breastmilk) on the plane with you...especially if your little one loves it/ helps put them to sleep.

7.) Coloring/ Activity book

Asher has a couple activity books that he loves. Some activity books that could hold your child's attention might include sticker books, coloring books, or interactive books. Asher has one that I usually bring that has pictures that when he touches an object it says the word. If your child has a specific activity book they like I recommend bringing that (unless it's super big).

8.) Walk up and down the aisles

Adam and I have taken turns walking with Asher up and down the aisle just so he can let a little steam off. Especially if your toddler seems super wiggly and won't sit still to do anything else, it's ok to let them stand up and move (unless the pilot says to stay seated). If they are too young to stand and walk then carry them. I remember when Asher was about 6 months old he loved to look around and observe everything going on so I would get up from my seat and just stand in the aisle. It distracted him for awhile because he got to see what everyone else was up to.

9.) Change diaper before you board

Only one time have we made the mistake of not changing Asher before boarding the airplane. Halfway through the flight I turned to Adam and said, "I think Asher's pants are wet!" It was not smart of us to not change him before we left. Asher had peed out the side of his diaper onto his shirt a little and on his pants. It was not fun having to then change his soaking diaper and take his dirty pants off on the plane (and of course I didn't have a second change of clothes). Good thing the final destination was warm because he was just walking around, rocking his onesie with no pants. Change your baby before you board! Even if you just changed him before you got to the airport..it's better to be safe than sorry:) 

10.)  Ignore the haters

Ok so you know before you had kids and you would sit next to babies/toddlers on a flight and you would be like oh boy this could be a long flight. Yea, well that was me. Now that I have a child I know that the parent feels the same way. It is stressful enough bringing a child/children on a flight with you that you don't need the nasty looks and comments as well. I try and ignore people as much as I can when they look at us weirdly because we have our baby onboard with us. Most of those people doing that have never had kids so they have no clue what it's like. If your baby is acting out on the plane just try and take deep breaths, try anything you can to calm them down, and always remember...this too shall pass. 

Hopefully this list can help some of you who are looking to travel with little ones! Many of my tips may seem like common sense but it's nice to have these reminders. It is wonderful to take family trips and you get so many amazing memories out of it, but it IS stressful traveling with little ones..packing for them (and yourself), the traveling part, and just trying to keep on a schedule. If the traveling part doesn't go as smoothly as you wanted, thats ok...just remember it's happened to me and it happens to the best of us!

 

xoxo,

 

MRS T