Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe this is the last Friday in June. How is that possible? Anyway, let’s get to it…

o n e

On Sunday night, over 50,000 people stood together around Lake Eola to remember and honor the victims of the tragedy. We weren’t able to go, but we watched the recap on the news following the NBA Finals Game 7 (which was insane, by the way!). The vigil was the best way to close a horrific week in our city. Monday was a new day and a new week and we welcomed it with open arms. On Wednesday, Keep Dancing Orlando was born and it brought a smile and a few tears to my face. Watch, smile, and keep dancing Orlando.

t w o

Can I share with you what has been our saving grace lately? This

The favorite thing to do in our house right now is jump on the couch, which results in us telling asking the kids to stop jumping on the couch no less than ten times a day. Now, we just tell them to jump on the trampoline instead and has made everyone so happy!

t h r e e

I came across a couple good articles this week for working moms and working women everywhere.

The ugly secret of working moms

Sheryl Sandberg of the Myth of the Catty Woman

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Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Don’t forget to head over to see what the other ladies are loving this month. We will also be taking a short hiatus from the link-up for the summer. We will be back in full force after Labor Day!

Have a great weekend!

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! Head over and check out what these ladies are loving:

Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica // and welcome to Ashley!

o n e

Recently, the Bentgo Kids lunchbox was on a lightning deal on Amazon. We snagged a couple and already love them! They are excellent for packing lunches and are a great size. I don’t fill the compartments all the way to the top yet, so there is still room to grow with them. I’ve already started making a list of healthy items to pack in the kids’ lunches for a quick reference once school starts back up again in the fall.

t w o

Greg is an avid ice coffee drinker, so he got a Contigo Shake & Go tumbler for Father’s Day last weekend. Since he was out of town this week, I confiscated it. It’s pretty sweet. You can shake up your coffee then pop the straw in. I would imagine this is also good for smoothies and shakes too!

t h r e e

I finally ordered Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg for my Kindle (which ended up being free thanks to my Amazon credits!) and I am excited to start reading it (you know, in all my free time). While I was learning more about the book, I came across Sheryl’s TED talk: Why we have too few women leaders from 2010… yes, I realize I’m a little behind the times. If you’re so inclined, listen to it. It has me very excited to read the book!

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Your turn! Tell us what you’re loving in the comments or link back to your own post, we’d love to see!

Happy Friday!

*this post contains affiliate links

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! Head over and check out what these ladies are loving:

Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura // Aileen // Jessica

o n e

Taylor does it again. Her latest music video has an all-star cast and it’s pretty much amazing.

t w o

My current favorite oil blend is the “wake up” blend. It is perfect for the afternoon when I could really go for a coffee to help make it through the rest of the day.

Untitled

12 drops of orange
12 drops of peppermint
2/3 full of grape seed oil

This combo is also amazing in the diffuser. Try it!

t h r e e

New Study Reveals Kids Actually Benefit From Having Working Moms

Boom.

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Your turn! What are you loving this week?

Have a great long weekend!

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday!

o n e

I love photography. If there was more time in the day, I would definitely learn more about it and practice more often. One of my absolute favorite bloggers is Ashley Ann (I know I’ve mentioned this before) and I really loved this post this week. It captures the small things that could easily have been overlooked on a busy Easter Sunday.

t w o

Are you tired of the mommy articles yet? I kind of am, but I do need to share these… 10 Things Working Mothers Don’t Want To Hear and 10 Things People Say That Drive Working Moms Crazy. Please take note.

t h r e e

Baseball is back and we are excited in the Gilbertson household. This week I stumbled upon Bleacher Creatures, specifically the Matt Harvey Bleacher Creature. How adorable? I definitely think C-man needs one of these.

// source //

f o u r

You know it’s the little things when you get excited about organic fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil does not harden like regular coconut oil does and I’m so excited to use it as a carrier oil with my essential oils. I’m going to be mixing up some concoctions this weekend.

young living essential oils fractionated coconut oil

Your turn! What are you loving?

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Don’t forget to check out what these ladies are loving too!

Misha // Mary Beth // Amanda // Laura and welcome to Aileen who is joining in!

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Have a great weekend!

Slow Cooker Meals

I taught a class for six weeks this summer which meant I was putting in almost 11 hour days at work four days a week. Meanwhile, Greg was playing super daddy at home and holding down the fort. The last thing I wanted him to worry about was making dinner each night before I got home. To alleviate that, I made a slow cooker meal for almost every night I was teaching. I prepared the meal the night before and Greg turned it on before he left the house for the day. We have the Cuisinart Programmable Slow Cooker which goes to warm after the cook time is complete, so we didn’t have to worry about it being on all day. We still play around with the cook times on recipes because I think it still continues to cook a little bit even on warm.

crock pot slow cooker meals

Here is the list of recipes & my thoughts on each.

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces – Moroccan Spiced Stew with Green Olives and Lemon
This is my least favorite of the sauces. It was pretty spicy.

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Porkloin
I make this often. Apple, cinnamon and honey rank high in my book.

Pineapple chicken
This is hit or miss. My chicken in the slow cooker tends to be dry.

Potato Bacon Soup
We don’t normally eat a lot of soups, but this one was good.

Babyback Ribs
This is one of the favorites in our house. We get the Hormel ribs from Target and add the rub.
They are so so good!

Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti
This has potential, but it didn’t cook all the way through since I couldn’t stir it after three hours. I wouldn’t recommend making it if you’re going to be gone all day.

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces – Apple Bourbon BBQ with Sweet Peppers and Brown Sugar
We did this one with chicken over rice and it was great.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
These were great, but there was a lot of liquid in there after cooking. I will definitely cut down on the water next time.

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces – Sweet Korean BBQ with Roasted Ginger and Sesame
These sauces are as easy as you can get and this flavor was good.

Swiss Chicken
I will definitely be making this again.

Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
I’ll be making this again as well.

Lasagna
The best thing about the lasagna is that you can put the noodles in uncooked. We make this often.

Crock Pot Chili
This was good, but a tad spicy. I’m determined to find a go-to chili recipe!

Pizza Casserole
Good, but very rich. I probably won’t make this one again.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
This is great for sandwiches!

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces – Tavern Style Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic
This one is my favorite of the Campbell’s sauces. It’s so good!

Root Beer Pulled Pork
This was my first time using liquid smoke (I have never even heard of such a thing) and it was really good.

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All of these recipes and a few others are on my slow cooker Pinterest board. I am always looking for new recipes and I feel like I keep seeing the same ones on Pinterest. If you have one that you love, please share! My hope is to use our slow cooker a couple times a week once school starts again this month.

Eleven Weeks

eleven weeks

This was another big week for our little man.
He has officially been in daycare for a week and is doing well!
We are getting into a routine and I think I can safely say that he is sleeping through the night!
The first time he slept through the night was New Year’s Eve, but it’s been hit or miss since.
By the third day of daycare, he was sleeping 8:00pm – 7:00am.
We are still working on a schedule that works for both of us.
Depending on how late he goes to bed, I have been getting up in the middle of the night to pump.
I know we’ll get there eventually, but I am thrilled that all of his feedings are during the daytime now!

Crosby is definitely learning more about his hands… they are now gravitating to his mouth quite often.
If his paci isn’t in there, his hands are!

The transition back to work was much easier this time around.
As I was reading Kenley’s eleven week post, I remembered that it took me a while to get into the swing of things.
This time, I am at a different job and not commuting an hour each way.
I work closer to home and to the kids’ school and I’m working normal hours, all of which are so much better for us.
Crosby has the same teachers as Kenley did, so I am beyond thrilled about that.
Overall, this week went better than I had thought. It was exhausting, but still good!

hello 2013

As we rang in the new year, I found myself revisiting my New Year goals from this time last year.
I decided then that they were goals, because I don’t like resolutions.
I quickly realized what a different place we are in and how much has changed in just one short year.
The memories of returning to work after maternity leave flooded back to me,
and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that in this new year, I don’t feel that stress.
The year wasn’t always easy, but to see where we are now, I can safely say, we survived.
A year ago we were still in uncharted territory learning to be Kenley’s parents,
to understand what it means to be working parents, and yet, still be a married couple.

The reason I wanted to look back was to see just how we did with our new year goals.
as well as look forward to 2013 to see what we want to accomplish.

For a quick look back:

(1.) I have gotten back to my pre-pregnancy body (and then some) by running a half marathon,
and mostly by breastfeeding for over 11 months.
I didn’t share much about that journey because I wasn’t sure how to do that (maybe next time?),
but one of the biggest goals of last year was to have Kenley on breast milk for at least a year,
and we most definitely succeeded and it was most definitely a family effort.

(2.) We have also grown our blog over the past year.
I say we because, even though I may do most of the updating, it is really a family effort.
There are many, many nights that Greg was on dinner & dishes duty (for example) so I could sit down to write.
A lot of people ask, how do you do it all? and the answer is that I don’t! Not by any sense of the word.
We have a great system down and I couldn’t do 99% of the stuff I do without his support.
We’ve done a good job of documenting Kenley through her first year & beyond
and our goal is continue to do that, as well as keep friends & family up to speed on our ever-changing girl.
It is definitely fun looking back through posts of the last year and seeing what all we did!

(3.) We did a lot of great updates and projects in our old home,
and I don’t think either of us would have thought that we would be living in a completely different house
at the start of this new year, but we feel really good about how we left our first home,
Kenley’s first home (tear), for the new owners.
And we actually completed some Pinterest projects! Always a good thing.

(4.) I still feel that our church-going habits are a work-in-progress.
There are ups and downs through the year. We will get on a roll with attending,
then have a couple busy weekends in a row and not be able to go.
Finding our place in our church will continue to be a goal for us this coming year.

(5.) I think I deserve a huge pat on the back really learning to let things go.
Having a child has totally helped me be more “go with the flow”
and really not stress out over things that are out of our control.

Looking forward:

(1. ) First and foremost, this year, there will be more Greg and Kendra time.
I’m not sure how that is going to look yet, but it is a priority.
It may just be ‘no technology Tuesdays’ or date nights in, or even date nights out (gasp!),
but something’s going to give. We love being Kenley’s parents more than anything in the world,
but we need to pay more attention to intentionally being husband and wife.

(2.) Now that we have found our house, we need to transform it into our home.
I am very excited about the (forever long) to-do list that we have,
but it will be fun slowly making this new house our own.
Sort of along those lines, I want to also learn more about sewing.
I got a new sewing machine for Christmas (!!) so I am determined to use it properly.
I am planning to make (at least) a quilt this year.

(3.) I need to stop relying on my iPhone to take all my photos this year.
I’ve become way too dependent on it and I have a nice camera that I need to use.
I also have a new lens that I need to learn to use, so there is no time like the present.
Remember (over six months ago) when I gave you Michael & Karolina’s sneak peek?
Yes, I realize, I still need to blog about their session and how much fun it was.
Hopefully, I’ll have a few more to share this year, who knows?
At the very least, I need to start using my camera more,
and while I’m at it, I could stand to get in a few more pictures too.

(4.) Church will still be a goal for us this year.
I understand there will be Sundays that we just don’t make it to church,
but I would like to take advantage of our church podcast service
and still worship, even if it’s not in person.
I don’t want this to be a cop out. I want it to be a secondary option for worshiping.

(5.) Have fun!
Life is short and it’s moving very quickly.
We’re going to enjoy the ride.

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What are your new year goals?

How will your 2013 look?