Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blazer Ready For Both

Let me just say, I love a good blazer. Hence the name of this blog. The best part of most blazers is they can do double duty. This blazer is on my wish list. Perfectly suited to wear to the office with black slacks and a cami or super cute with denim shorts on a summer day since it is linen. For a summer date night, spruce it up with white pants and white lace top. Ideally, I would have this in Pink Paradise, Cloudburst and White... at the price... maybe I will! 

Fancy Popcorn (ssshhh... it's healthy too!)

Do you like popcorn as much as me?

Here is a simple way to make your popcorn "fancy" and add some nutritional goodness! My friend, Sarah, taught me about these super health foods that easily transform regular popcorn (and other meals). 

Fancy (and Healthy) Popcorn 
  • Popped popcorn (microwave or stove... whatever you like) 
  • About 4 sprays of the Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • About 3 teaspoons of Nutritional Yeast Flakes 
  • Mix together with your hands. Add more of either if you want. 
This popcorn tastes a bit salty, cheesy and a hint of nutty flavor... pretty great. 

Info on the healthy stuff... 

The Nutritional Yeast Flakes may seam strange... and well, they sort of are, but they are great! You can buy them at most health food stores. I found this container (smallest they had) at Whole Foods. The product is this flaky yellow stuff that kind of looks like fish food. The amzaing part is it has a lot of protein in just a little sprinkle of it. The taste is a mixture of cheesy and nutty. Interesting, right? 

The Bragg Liquid Aminos is also pretty interesting. It is basically like a soy sauce. Super salty tasting and loaded with lots of amino acids that are great for you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Harrison's B-day Cupcakes!

I would love to say I made amazing homemade cupcakes for Harrison's 3rd birthday... but let's be real. I didn't have time for the full homemade batter and the amazing real chocolate butter cream frosting. So here's what I did to make cupcakes while Mikey put the big kids to bed last night... 

Shopping List
24 cupcake liners 
1 box chocolate cake mix (requires: water, oil and eggs) 
1 container of "whipped" chocolate frosting

Step By Step 
  1. Follow box directions for cake batter and spoon into cupcake liners. If you want to do the real home made cake... go for it but in my experience the Betty Crocker box stuff is better and so much easier. Personally, I like her "SuperMoist Chocolate Fudge".
  2. Prep the "whipped" frosting by scooping the entire can into a gallon size bag. Cut the tip of the bag to create a super simple, easy to clean pastry bag. If you don't use "whipped" frosting, this technique will be more difficult. 
    • Note: If you want to be fancy... this is the opportunity. Make the real chocolate butter cream frosting from Ina Garten's recipe collection. It is worth the extra time and effort if you have the energy. So amazing!! 
  3. Once cupcakes are done, let cool (while you drink a glass of wine!). 
  4. Squeeze the frosting in a circle, starting from the outside edge working your way to the center. They look best when they aren't perfect.
  5. Sprinkles and viola... done! 
Last night, I realized I didn't have a good way to store all my super cute cupcakes. Bummer. Good thing I have great neighbors and someone let me borrow their cupcake storage container. Good friends are worth millions!! 

So first thing this morning, I ordered this cupcake/cake carrier. Looks awesome to me. It can hold two cakes, one super tall cake or 24 cupcakes. I like the versatility! 

PS: Thanks Mikey for always being a rockstar dad and helping with the kiddos. You make it possible for me to bake cupcakes. I also appreciated you taste testing 2 of those bad boys... I guess they pass the test! 

Adventure Countdown... Famliy Trip to Belize in 4 Days

Belize in 4 days! Hooray! So excited. So scared.

In five days, Mikey and I are taking our whole crew (Hadley 4.5; Harrison 3; Hannah 2.5 months) to Belize!!
Island we will be visiting - Hatchet Caye
We are going to Belize for Mikey's little sister's wedding. It will be a small wedding with family and very close friends. We are all staying at an private island/resort that will take three planes and a boat ride (yep 3 planes and a boat ride!!) to get to.... yikes! We will have lots of family support on the planes to help with our 3 under 5 crew... but wow. I really need to prepare.

In hope for making it through the trip, here is my plan. But if anyone has any suggestions on how to manage all these kids on this incredible adventure, I am all ears!!

Plane Ride Strategy
  • Wear Hannah in my Ergo Carrier. It is way more supportive than the other carriers I have tried. Also, with the new airport rules about carriers, this one is easy to slip off the shoulder straps while Hannah stays relaxed for take off and landing. 
  • iPad loaded with big kids favorite movies which are currently, Frozen, Planes and Despicble Me 2 
    • KEY: My hubby was brilliant enough to have foresight and purchase this great splitter that allows 6 people to listen to the same movie through the iPad. He is amazing!!
  • Snacks... of course we must have snacks. I am making the kids new favorite thing.... "Fancy Popcorn" which is yummy and healthy! I am also bringing the following: 
    • Apple sauce squeeze packs... these things are the best 
    • Fruit leather strips 
    • Protein bars 
    • Protein shakes
  •  A friend suggested wrapping the toys for the plane ride so it is a big deal to get something new. Awesome idea. I plan to do this with the coloring books, play dough and books. 
Any other ideas??? 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Awesome Career Motivation!!

Recently I heard Molly Fletcher give a presentation and she was so motivating!! For those of you who don't know who she is, she has been nick named the "female Jerry Maguire." She is a high end sports agent who has had phenomenal career success. She was speaking at a women's networking breakfast and honestly, she was spot on. 

Some of the big take always I learned from Ms. Fletcher follow:

  • A key question to ask ourselves: "Who deserves our energy?"
  • "To me, balance is a by product of clarity. If we can say yes and no the result is balance."
  • "I believe our ability to connect and cultivate allows us the opportunity to drive our personal and professional loved forward." 
I loved her message. I really identified with her concept of saying no is actually saying yes to something else. This is a key area I need to work on. 

Anyone else say yes too often? Any good examples of how you politely say no??? 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The New Normal...

Life is in session” is my all-time favorite quote and happens to be from my Dad, Paul Drury. Really, that phrase applies to it all. Sunshine and daises and 2 am wake up calls from toddlers.

Every time I have had a baby there has been this big adjustment to a new “normal.” Well, baby #3 is no exception. This adjustment has actually been the hardest one for me. Not because of the kids or the baby. Because of me. Each baby, I have changed. Evolved.

Work started back a few weeks ago when Hannah hit 8 weeks. It threw me for a loop. Getting all dressed up in clothes that don’t fit 100%. Sure the zippers go up, but nothing (I mean nothing) is in the right place. I knew on this first day back to the office the full time working mom gig was coming back. I’m lucky that my career allows me a slow transition from maternity leave to part-time to full-time but it is still hard. Everytime. But this time was really hard.

How will I do it? All three need love. Dinner still needs to be made. My hubby and I still need to like each other and hopefully love each other!  I have done it in the past, but it feels different this time. I wonder why.

So in hopes to calm my own spirit… I wrote a list of ways to pull it off: 
  •       Priorities. What’s most important right now? Focus on that.
  •       Breathe. When there is a moment to breathe, do it. Enjoy it.
  •       Focus. Be exactly where I am all the time. There is no use in thinking about home/work when I’m not able to actually do anything about it. Just focus on exactly where I am and it will all be okay.
  •       One Thing. My one thing is an espresso every morning. Someone else might need pretty nails or chocolate or wine. Whatever it is, make sure you get it! Actually… maybe I need all four of those things… espresso, nails, chocolate and wine!!
  •       Food. So complicated… so keep it simple and happy. Make a meal the kids like and eat it too. Simple food is good. Be happy about food and the kids will be too.
  •       Strict Schedule. Know what it is for everyone and make sure everyone knows it. So much easier if I’m not at the center of it all.
  •       Dependable Help. Career moms need help to depend on completely. Trust it. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Inspiration from those before me... 

For a few years I have been thinking about starting a blog. But that’s crazy talk. I’m crazy busy with my kids, my hubby, my career, my friends, etc. Aren’t we all too busy to blog???  Well, I guess not.
My favorite blogs to follow have all been wonderful inspirations to me and all of these women find time to blog! Rock on. So as one of my first posts, I want to shout out to those favorites of mine who continue to push forward and share for my benefit. Thank you.

Amazing. Rebecca Wolf is just amazing. Her writing is so real, raw and absolutely honest. She blogs about her family of six in glamorous LA without holding back about marriage, mommyhood and other tid bits. Plus she is absolutely gorgeous!
So light and fun. Wonderful to peruse for a few moments each day. Always a balance of splurge and practical;  exactly how life should be.
Creative. Pure creativity geared for little people. The ideas are simple and always related to the season. The inspiration is really exciting to check out and easy to dig into.
Wonderful resource about parenting. So organized and great posts on some of the unspoken areas of the mommy world, like nannies. Really great blog.

All of these blogs are perfect for exactly what they are. My hope with Babies & Blazers, is to focus a bit more on the crazy life of a career mom who is trying to be a “good” mom too. So here, I plan to share my tips through lessons I have learned about how to get through the crazy.
Topics I’m thinking about are…
  •       Blazing Career
  •       Raising Babies
  •       Dual Purpose Fashion
  •       Food for Families
  •       Travel Adventures
What else? I’m sure I’m missing a million topics but I hope a few people will chime in and help feed the discussion. Wish me luck!