Exploring With The Family...

We happen to live in the beautiful NW. This weekend we visited Multnomah Falls and it was breath taking. I haven't been here in years, and I don't know why. The kids were amazed at the beautiful falls. Little Nico (3 years old) was running up the path and kept giving me little heart attacks, There is no controlling that little guy. He seriously needs one of those leashes for his own safety, Ha Ha! (You know I actually bought one of those backpacks with a leash for him about a year ago-- yeah he hated it and we have never used it since.)

Anyways, it was nice to get out and breath the fresh air and be amazed of God's wonderful creation all around us. It is so peaceful and beautiful. 






Thanks for visiting,


Burning Calories... Polar FT4 Review


Have you ever wondered how much calories you burn doing your every day actives? And I am not talking about just working out, since most machines have heart rate monitors on them.

 Weight loss has been on my mind lately. Like every morning when I try to fit into my pre pregnancy clothes. I have been loosing weight slowly, but "impatient Rita" wants to loose all the baby weight at the snap of her fingers. 

 I am certainly not dieting ( nursing) ,  But I know from my previous "calorie counting" days before this baby, that I ate about 1700-2000 calories a day.  I eat what I want, when I want. I definitely don't eat fast food every day, and we eat very healthy at home. Although I do indulge in chocolate- its my weakness. 

I read that in order to "loose weight" one must burn more calories then they eat. I thought this was crazy! Because after working my but off on the elliptical for 45 minutes, I would only burn around 400 calories- or so the elliptical machine told me. So I have always wondered how much calories I burn during the day.

Have you seen those watches that monitor your heart rate and can tell you how much calories you burn? Well I got one for Mothers Day: The Polar FT 4. I thought it would the perfect gift for me since I want to eventually loose all this baby weight. 

The Polar Watch comes with 2 parts, the chest strap (heart rate sensor) and the training computer (watch). The sensor is the little black box that gets attached to the strap with electrodes that is worn around your chest. 

The chest strap is not uncomfortable at all, in fact I completely forgot I was wearing. If you are used to your bra strap, then this is exactly how it feels.

When you are finished working out, you just unclip the sensor and rinse the strap. (It is machine washable)

Next we have the training computer, which is the watch. I got to set the gender, height, weight, using the buttons on the sides. One you set all the necessary information, you are ready to work out! Just press the train button and you will see your heart rate. While you wear the watch and strap, it transmits information like heart rate, calories burned and how long you have worked out. 
You can also pause the watch if you take a break and don't want the time to keep going. 

In my case, I wanted to see how much calories I burned on a typical day doing regular things. 
I got my watch on Tuesday, and decided to wear it on Wednesday. I will tell you that I was blown away with the results!


In almost 8 hours I burned 2059 calories! And this wasn't even my full day! I took off the watch and strap when I went to take a shower before dinner. 

Here is what I did that day:

Wake up at 7:30am
Get dressed, put heart rate monitor on. 
Brush teeth, make beds. 
Get kids dressed.
Make breakfast/wash dishes
Do Homeschool
Clean house (I clean my house every wednesday)
Laundry (I do 2 loads every day: darks and whites)
Make lunch
Prep dinner
I mowed the lawn since it was nice out, trimmed a few dead flowers. 
and that its! Then I took a shower at 3 or 4 pm!

I am sure I burned a ton more calories after that, I finished getting dinner ready, we ate dinner, I cleaned the kitchen and we all went to Target and out for jamba. 

Oh, and lets not forget nursing, since that burns calories too. :)

I have to say I am pretty impressed, No wonder the weight has been slowly coming off without much effort. I still want to work out to get stronger and build muscle, but "working out" is not going to be on my mind all the time now. I guess this showed me that I can do something productive like clean the house and burn calories at the same time. I am planning on wearing the watch on a full day next time, I will let you know how that goes. 

Thanks for visiting,



4 Month Old Update



Remember when you were a kid and  your days seemed to drag on?  I remember that very well, well now my days fly by, and I don't understand how since there are the same amount of hours in the day.
But we have been busy, busy busy! (hence why this update is a week late)
Anyone who has met Baby William, remarks at what a happy baby he is, and they are right, about 90% of the time he is very happy, smiling to anyone around him, cooing, laughing and sucking on his fists.

I am still not sure what color his eyes are, one day they look blue, the next day they look hazel. I guess we will wait and see.

He loves his brother and sister and they love him. He has also mastered grabbing things: toys, blankies, hair. Anything he can get his hands on and it all goes in his mouth.

The big news is that William got his first 2 teeth! He cut them at 3 1/2 months, which I think is so early. My daughter got her first 2 teeth at 8 months and my 2nd son was 5 months.


Weight/Length:  He is a healthy big boy. At his 4 month check up, he was 20 lbs and 27 inches long. That puts him in the 100th percentile in both hight and weight. Definitely my biggest baby yet. Doctor says that I must have very good milk, But I don't know, I think it is genetic. My babies are big, my mom's babies were big too. 
Sleep: He is my first baby to sleep so well during the night! Goes down anywhere from 9pm-10:30pm and sleeps till 6:30-7:30 in the morning. We co sleep, so as soon as I hear him moving around, and starting to wake up, I nurse him and he continues to sleep. He doesn't poop at night, so I don't change his diaper till he wakes up in the morning. He also sleeps really well in a stroller when we go on walks, or the outside swing.
If he is fussy during the day, I swaddle him and give him a binky and rock him, he instantly falls asleep. I notice that motion is his secret. Anything moving puts him to sleep. 
Eating: He is such a great nurser now. He nurses from one side at a time every 1 1/2- 2 hours. I am just so glad I stuck to nursing/pumping. (see my struggles here)
I love that my milk nourishes him and helps him grow. Our struggle now is him biting! Now that he got his 2 teeth, he will occasionally bite me. It doesn't happen all the time, but it certainly is not pleasant!

Eshakti Dress Review





eShakti recently contacted me asking me to pick a dress and do a review, I jumped at the opportunity since I Love dresses and I have already bought 2 items from them myself. 


I really like that you can customize your dress/skirt/shirt. You get to choose the length, what kind of sleeves you want and the measurements. There have been so many times when I have seen a dress and thought, "I wish it had sleeves" or I wish it was a tad bit longer, well with eShaki, you can customize your dress/skirt. They ask for your  height and you get to select weather you want a dress to hit you above, bellow or knee length. No tailoring needed! You also get to select if you want sleeves and the length of them. 




I have always wanted a chambray dress for summer, I just never found one I liked- They were either to short, didn't have sleeves, or the sleeves were 3/4 (too hot for summer). Well I found the perfect chambray dress!

For this dress, I entered my height in the order form and chose a standard size based on measurements I took of my bust, waist, and hips. I wanted an above the knee length dress and the length and size were spot on.  I was really happy with the fit of the dress I received.  I chose cap sleeves and absolutely love them!





 This particular dress is made of a nice cotton and I think I will be able to wear it for a long time. I can dress it up or dress it down. I love that it has pockets and the cute little cap sleeves. 

Right now, eShakti is having a special, Buy 2 get one free. 

Here are a few of my favorites for the warmer days:








Thanks for visiting, 


Birchbox May 2014




I am always eagerly awaiting my monthly birchbox. It's like a little present for me every month.

Let me tell you what birch box is, just in case you are not familiar with it.
It's a monthly subscription service which is $10.00 a month where you get sent 4-5 high-end samples each month. First you take a little survey so they can find out more about your skin, make up likes and dislikes so they know what to send you.

You then get to try out the products and review them on birchbox.com. For each review you get 10 points. Every 100 points equals $10 you can use in the shop. So if you review your 5 samples each month, thats $5 going back to you to use in the shop. So technically each box costs $5! Now, you can't beat a $5 little present for yourself, now can you? :)

With the birch box, I can try high end products without having to buy full size products. If I love the product, then I can go buy it :)

If you are interested in checking it out, go to Birch Box

Lets see what I got this month:

CoTZ Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 (Full Size $20)

What BirchBirch Says:  Free of harsh chemicals, oils, and fragrances, CoTZ FACE Natural Skin Tone deflects damaging UVA-UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin. Best for medium skin tones, the complexion-matching formula blends in seamlessly and masks minor flaws. 

What I Say: I have to say, I was a bit skeptical when I saw how dark this was. I am fairly light. However, it blended nicely and had a matte powdery feeling finish which lasted for hours. It really has no coverage, it just gives you a nice over all finish. So this is great with a bit of concealer for the trouble spots on a hot summer day. 
 I really liked it. You know when you put sunblock on, it tends to have that white cast, well because this one is tinted, it did not have that. I am putting this on my to buy list for summer. 



Balsamic Mushrooms


I love all roasted vegetables, especially mushrooms. This recipe is my absolute favorite. 
So simple and so good. 


Ingredients

2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1/3 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 TB balsamic vinegar


Instructions 

Preheat oven to 350.

Clean and slice mushrooms into halves or quarters. 
Place mushrooms in large bowl along with olive oil, garlic, salt pepper (to your taste), chopped herbs and balsamic vinegar.

Roast for 15 minutes or until reached your desired texture.

If you have too much water/liquid just use a slotted spoon to spoon mushrooms into a serving bowl. 
Enjoy,







Happy Mother's Day!



I just want to take a minute and wish all you mamas a Happy Mothers Day! I hope you got to spend your day with your favorite people, like we did.


I feel so blessed to be the mommy of these little kidos. 
They make my life loud, crazy and chaotic, but they also make my life very wonderful.

I love my kids more then I ever thought possible to love someone. They teach me how to be patient, loving, caring and grateful. 

 I wouldn't trade being their mom for anything in the world. 





Thanks for stopping by,







Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Ravioli


We love to dine out, and have always eaten out with our kids, however, I have to admit it is a lot harder now with a little baby. So far baby William has yet to "sleep thru" dinner. 
He is fine at first while we are ordering and waiting for the food, but by the time the food finally arrives, he gets tired and cranky. So we end up shoveling the food in as fast as we can, and ask for the check before we are even done. 


Not exactly the best dining experience, now is it? I guess we kind of hope that the next time will go better, and I am sure it will once he can eat food and gets interested with the i phone. 





Any ways,  there is a tiny little Italian restaurant about 45 minutes away from us. They have the most amazing butternut squash ravioli, 
I have been craving some their ravioli for a few weeks now. But the drive, then the wait would really tire the little guy out.  So instead of making the trip down to the little restaurant, I decided to try out the Trader Joes Butternut Squash Ravioli and I fell in love.

I cook it as directed, and then brown some butter with sage and toss the ravioli before serving, It is amazing! Like mouth watering amazing!

In fact, I went and bought more to keep on hand when ever my craving strikes again, because it literally takes minutes to make. 







So I guess the moral of this post is that sometimes it is just easier to bring the food to you instead of going out. Once William gets a little older and can sit in a high chair, I am planning on going back to the Little Italian Restaurant, but for now, I will just enjoy my store bought butter nut squash ravioli.

Thanks for visiting,



Mixed Berry Tart




One of my all time favorite spring and summer desserts is a fruit tart. It is so simple to make and so delicious. I have tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite. 


Ingredients:

Crust:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

Filling:

1 package cream cheese, at room temperature

6 oz of lemon curd

Mixed Berries for topping

Powdered sugar


Directions

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine powdered sugar, flour, and butter in the bowl of a food processor, processing until

mixture forms a ball (you can combine dough by hand, if desired). With your fingers, press 

dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push crust into 

indentations in tart pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until very lightly 

browned. Let cool completely before filling.

Filling: In a large beat the softened cream cheese with the lemon curd. 
Spoon the

mixture into the cooled pie shell and spread evenly. 

Top it with fresh berries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar is desired. 




Enjoy!



April Memories

April went by so fast, it is hard to believe that it is already May.
 We had some beautiful days this month, I tried to grab the camera and capture as much memories as I could. 

Kids are certainly growing so fast. William will be 4 months old this month!
 Just the other day, I got a time hop alert, where we bought Nico a tricycle exactly a year ago and this month we upgraded him to a bike with training wheels. Em grew a whole inch since January! That would explain all of the short pants, lol.