Date Night At Home

Thank you Childs & Co. for sponsoring this post. Check out top-quality, handcrafted butcher blocks by Childs & Co. on Etsy. Made in California.

date night in childs & co butcher block

As you can probably imagine, date night is few and far between when you have a new baby. Even when you have someone offer to watch the baby, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is go out to dinner. What I WANT is pizza delivered and to clean up our living room/bedroom, etc. I want to get caught up on the laundry. I want to vacuum and pick up toys. I want to make our living space less chaotic so that when we have the baby back, we aren’t tripping over things or riffling through the clothing pile to find something clean. I know my husband and I are long overdue for a night on the town, but we’re pretty happy right here at home for now.

Childs and Co butcher block wood cheese spread

Over the holiday weekend we had some time to ourselves so we decided to clean off the coffee table — wow, it’s so pretty under all the stuff piled on it — and kick back and relax with some wine and snacks.

Childs & Co handmade wood butcher block

Let me just say, Trader Joe’s has the best cheeses and crackers. We brought popped a bottle of our Jacuzzi Prosecco leftover from our wedding and drank out of our beautiful Tiffany’s champagne glasses that were a wedding a gift from a coworker. We received this gorgeous handmade butcher block from our friends at Childs & Co. that I used as the platter. Made from walnut, maple and cherry woods, this butcher block was the perfect centerpiece for our at-home date night.

childs and co butcher block cheese spread

Bri and Connor Childs, the husband/wife duo behind Child’s & Co., started handcrafting cutting boards and butcher blocks as gifts before realizing they should open an Etsy shop and sell them. I love supporting small businesses, especially small businesses in California.

The family-owned and operated Child’s & Co. wooden blocks make the perfect gift for weddings, holidays, housewarmings, or for foodies. Don’t forget to order one for yourself here! Follow them on Instagram and see their newest projects @childs.co.

childs & co butcher blocks wood handmadecheese spread on Childs and Co butcher blockChilds and Co butcher blocks handmade of woodJacuzzi wine Childs & Co butcher blocks

Another thanks to Childs & Co. for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are absolutely my own.

Our Winter Toolkit + Family Snow Trip

I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias

The Johnson family in the snow winter 2016

This mama returned to work yesterday after three months of maternity leave taking care of my little girl, Kinsley. Even though we got out of the house a fair amount of time during my leave, my family and I didn’t get any of the fall bugs that were going around. We went to the doctor’s office multiple times for checkups. We went on walks outside, sometimes when it was wet out. We evn hung out with a 5-year old who was just starting to get sick. Still we all remained pretty healthy.

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5 Tips for Eating Healthy on the Go

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ElevateSalads #CollectiveBias
tips for eating healthy on the go

I am currently 26 weeks pregnant and always on the hunt for what is going to make my life easier, especially as the third trimester is inching closer. Over the holiday weekend, I did some gardening outside as the weather was nice. I’m not used to lugging around this extra weight and getting worn out so easily, though. After a few hours of yard work, I was beat and starving! Good thing we had elevAte Salads in the fridge from Costco, which make for the perfect healthy lunch.

elevate salad nutty cranberry from costco

elevAte Salads are made from natural ingredients that are full of flavor and deliver clean and functional nutrition in every bite, a meal a mom growing a baby in her belly really needs!

The prepackaged salads are perfect anytime, but especially when you’re on the go, don’t feel like doing dishes, or just want a healthy meal. The packages are portable and so convenient. They have everything you need: bowl (check), fork (check), tasty salad with delicious ingredients and yummy dressing (check).

elevate salad nutty cranberry

What really stands out to me about elevate salads is the quality of the ingredients. Oftentimes you buy a store brand prepackaged salad, only to find that that a majority of the lettuce went bad and you have to throw out half of it. It’s such a waste when that happens and I always regret my purchase. The quality of elevAte Salads beats out the prepackaged salads I’ve tried before. I picked up elevAte Salads‘ Organic Nutty Cranberry salad with organic spring mix lettuce, cranberries, creamy feta cheese, walnuts and almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. elevAte Salads are Non-GMO Project Verified, Organic or Gluten Free and they never use antibiotics in their chicken.

elevAte Salads superfood line-up has recipes featuring ingredients like ancient grains, plant-based proteins, nutrient-dense greens, nuts, legumes, and seeds that are rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and full of naturally occurring vitamins and antioxidants. A meal to feel good about eating or serving!

I can’t wait to try all 8 ready-to-eat superfood salads, which I plan to over the rest of my pregnancy and beyond. If I’m tired now, I can only imagine how life will be once our little one is here. Easy, portable elevAte Salads are now my go-to healthy meal choice. Get them at Costco in the Fresh Produce section.

5 Tips for Eating Healthy on the Go (or at Home)

  1. Meal plan. Now this is something I have yet to master, but I’m working on it! If you take an hour each Sunday night to plan out your meals for the week, you’ll save money and can use that time to plan meals for the week to eat while on the go.
  2. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to decide what to eat. Every time I do this, I end up eating unhealthy and crave fried food or sweets.
  3. Stay motivated. If you forgot your meal at home or didn’t have time to pack one, don’t cave in and run to the nearest fast food joint.
  4. Encourage your friend or co-worker to eat clean with you! When you’ve got someone else in the same boat, you can rely on the to keep you honest.
  5. Pack your meals ahead of time. elevAte Salads are ready-to-eat, portable meals that come with everything you need to enjoy it on the go. These are an obvious choice for lunchtime when you’re at work, but are great for any time you want to eat clean.

elevate salads in store at costco

elevAte salad at costco fresh produce aisle

Learn more about elevAte Salads on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

What are your tips for eating healthy while on-the-go, or just too tired to cook? This soon-to-be mama can use all the tips she can get!

DIY Wand Cat Toy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCatMyMuse #CollectiveBias

DIY cat toy wand easy directions

Barni, with an I, turned six a couple of months ago and I totally forgot to get him anything for his birthday! As a cat mom, I should remember these things. I also maybe thought he was turning four, but then Facebook alerted me to a post from six years ago when he was just a little kitten. Happy 6th birthday it is!

For his late birthday, I decided to spend a Saturday making him a cat wand. With Matt’s help, we knocked it out in two hours. It probably would have taken half the time, but he was trying to find the drill for and I was searching for a hole puncher. I opted for a pencil instead.

DIY cat toy wand playing

DIY Cat Wand Tutorial

Materials

  1. One 3/8″x48” wooden dowel (sawed in half)
  2. Foam sheets (I used fall colors – yellow and orange)
  3. Ribbons, Yarn, and/or Bakers twine
  4. Bells (optional)

Tools

  1. Dremel Micro 
  2. Scissors
  3. Pencil
  4. Wood glue

DIY cat toy wand materials1) Drill a hole about an inch down from the top to push yarn through. I used my Dremel Micro tool.

DIY cat toy wand materials string in wood hole

2) Cut your yarn double the length of the dowel and set aside. DIY cat toy wand materials string

3) Cut the foam sheets with scissors to make them resemble leaves. I cut three leaves for one cat wand.

DIY Cat Toy wand scissors cur leaves

4) Poke a hole through each of the leaves using a pencil, or if you have one, a mini hole-puncher.

DIY cat toy wand cut leaves hole

5) Using the yarn that you set aside, pull it through the holes in the leaves and tie a knot. Optional: You can tie a bell on at this point, but Barni didn’t like the loud noise it made so we took it off. You can also make a ball of yarn to attach, which we added on later after we removed the bell.

6) Pull the yarn through the hole in the dowel and tie a knot.

DIY cat toy wand glue

7) To make the end look pretty, use a thick ribbon or yarn to wrap around the top and secure with wood glue.

DIY cat toy wand wood glue

8) Let dry 20 minutes, then have some fun with your cat!

DIY cat toy wandsDIY cat wand instructions

I love Barni so of course I want him to eat a well-balanced diet. I was really excited to discover Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food because quality is important to me, as is taste for him. If he’s not going to eat it, I can’t feed it to him. That’s why Muse is such an easy choice! It’s a natural product and great tasting so you’ll feel good about giving it to him and he’ll enjoy eating it. Barni’s favorite varieties are the Natural Salmon Recipe and the Natural Chicken Recipe paté. You could say he’s a paté kind of guy.

Purina Muse Natural Cat Food PetSmart productPurina Muse Natural Cat Food PetSmart cannedpurina muse petsmart cat foodIf your cat is like mine, it’s like clockwork when it’s time to eat and he lets you know. Every afternoon, he will sit next to my computer as I’m working and paw at my wireless mouse until he knocks it off the table. I give in within a few minutes. Can you imagine if adults did that when they were hungry?

About Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food:

  • With Muse you don’t have to choose between natural nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse.
  • Natural has never been so delicious. Put Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee.
  • Muse wet recipes are available in Chowder, in Broth, with Toppers, in Gravy and Paté.
  • All recipes made with real fish or poultry.
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • 100% complete and balanced for adult cats.
  • Available in 30 delicious recipes.
  • 24 grain-free varieties.
  • Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food is exclusively available at PetSmart.

Purina Muse Natural Cat Food delicious

No photos mom! He scarfs down his food and licks his plate clean.
Purina Muse Natural Cat Food likesEmpty plate Purina Muse Natural Cat Food

Looking to try Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food for your furry friend? Get a coupon here. Stop by your local PetSmart to stock up!

purina muse cat food at petsmartBarni cat

How does your pet let you know when it’s time to eat?