Friday, January 30, 2015

#OurProject52: Blue

I had a hard time coming up with something for this week's photo challenge. We've been enjoying the nice weather outside everyday and I wanted to capture that but I didn't like any of the photos I shot.

While cleaning the baby's room I looked at a picture his sister painted for him before he was born. I love it. The majority of the picture is blue with splashes of other primary colors. I remember being so proud of her. She was already being such a good big sister.

We decided to hang the picture in his room. It's a symbol of her love for him and the playfulness they share. 

To see more interpretations of the word "Blue" or to join #OurProject52 visit Mimi at Lipgloss & Binky or LaShawn at Everyday Eyecandy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monthly Meal Planning: February 2015

It's almost February which means it's almost MY BIRTHDAY!!! (screamed like Oprah)

Since so many of you said you would attempt planning out your meals for the month starting in February I decided to go ahead and share our meal plan early in hopes of encouraging you to stick with it. Remember, you don't have to grocery shop for the entire month like I do but you can plan your meals.

February Meal Plan

Having a meal plan for the month frees up so much more of my time during the week. I don't have to spend time thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner. All budgets and families are different but if you are a weekly or bi-weekly shopper I encourage you to still give this a shot. Even if you keep your same shopping schedule I bet you'll experience a sense of relief knowing that you've already selected your meals for that month.

So who's still planning to try this for February? Feel free to share your meal plan with me on Instagram using the hashtag #ChicFEBMeals. Don't forget to tag me as well, @chicsahm!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Recap: 1/26/15

Happy Monday.

By the time Friday came and went I was so beat down tired. I didn't have any energy or motivation left to try to make this past weekend a great one. Luckily, our scheduled dinner out was Saturday. It could not have come at a better time because I certainly did not feel like cooking.

Before heading to the restaurant we went shopping for new cell phones. We both were still you using the iPhone 4S. They were slowly dying on us after all these years. After checking out phones we headed to eat. I was happy to sit and be served.

Savannah and I had a fun little selfie session while we waited for our food to come out. Little Mike surprisingly ate everything he was offered. He never does that at home. At home, all of his food ends up on the floor. I don't know how he survives.

Sunday morning I did lots of sanitizing after Little Mike coughed so hard that he threw up. I hate the smell of milk regurgitated. Eh. That afternoon we had an appointment to get all set up with our new phones. I am loving my new gold iPhone 6. She's pretty. And the pictures that she makes...oh my gosh. Why didn't anyone tell me about how much better everything looks on a phone made within the last four years?! 

I am no longer dealing with blurry and fuzzy selfies. My videos are clear and the fact that this phone has iMovie is exciting to me on another level. I am happy. Sad that my old phone has been reduced to an iPod but happy all the same. 

Later Sunday afternoon I took the kids on a walk. Savannah wanted to ride her back. She rides that thing at a snail's pace. Super slow. She only knows two speeds. Super fast and super slow. Today she felt like riding slow so we strolled our street until she was over it.

This week is a busy one. I'll finally be getting my hair braided, working on some projects and getting back on top of my cleaning schedule. How was your weekend? What are you excited about this week?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Makeup Bag Must Haves For Busy Moms

I certainly do not wear makeup everyday. I normally work out in the mornings after dropping Savannah off at school and before starting on my cleaning for the day and neither one of those activities call for a face that's beat.

But when I do have errands to run or places to be I like to put on real clothes and a little makeup. Since I don't have much time to myself in the mornings I do what I like to call a two minute face.

Makeup Bag Must haves

Makeup Bag Must haves by thechicsahm featuring a mac cosmetics lipstick

My makeup look is a little concealer (or more if my skin is trippin'), a little foundation and a little blush. I give my eyebrows some color and depending on the day I might put on some eye shadow. I toss my lipstick or lipgloss in my purse and boom - I'm ready. So easy. So fast.

I think the key for me is to look polished but not "done" or "beat". This quick face works for me. What's in your makeup bag? Are you rocking a fresh face most days?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#OurProject52: Guilty Pleasure

I think I indulge myself with many guilty pleasures. I love fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and sushi. I could also eat Chinese food every day without getting sick of it. Don't even get me started on my love for rap music and reality tv (The Alaskan Bush People - a must see!).

No matter what guilty pleasure I'm partaking in I also wash it down with a glass of wine. After the kids go to sleep I love to pop open a bottle and enjoy some peace and quiet.

We live on a military base and our kitchen is a decent size but we don't have a wet bar or a special place for adult beverages. I created this little space on my counter for my glasses. The WINE sign collects all of my old corks. I imagine that one day I'll have enough to make a DIY cork board.

Both photos were taken with my Nikon COOLPIX L100 and edited in iPhoto.

To join Our Project 52 visit Mimi at Lipgloss & Binky or LaShawn at Everyday Eyecandy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I'm Doing This Mom Thing All Wrong...

Today I accepted the fact that I'll never be the perfect Mother. Never. My house was a mess and the kids were playing a game that looked like a mix of hide-and-seek with peek-a-boo.

I was getting the kitchen cleared for dinner. My toddler likes to pull everything out of all the cabinets while I'm working on something in the other room. Another mess to add to my long to-do list. Then somehow I remembered a conversation I had with a Mom today at preschool pickup where I admitted to not knowing how to braid.

I wish I could've seen the eyes behind her sunglasses because her head tilt definitely revoked my black card. Yep. I'm a sista who can't braid. I've tried Youtube. I've practiced. It's not happening and I don't want my baby going to school with "practice cornrows" that even an inmate wouldn't be caught dead with.

motherhood quote

That got me thinking about all of the other things I'm not necessarily doing right. I'll share them all with you here because I don't have a therapist and even if I did it's cheaper for me to vent here. So, let me impress you with all the ways I might be ruining (i'm kidding) these kids...

I don't know how to braid Savannah's hair. 
Sometimes her ponytail parts are crooked.
And sometimes I send her to school with Color Purple twists.

Little Mike is still breastfeeding. 
Mainly because I like sleeping at night.
He's showing signs of being ready to potty train but I don't even feel like entering that arena yet.
That's selfish, right?

I have yet to figure out how to balance education time and TV time.
I feel like I let them watch too much TV.
I also feel like so much of their time is so scheduled with activities, crafts and books.
How do you say no to TV when they've  been in "school" all day?

I threaten a lot without always following through.
I might be too soft on them.
Then there are days when I mean everything I say and I'm positive that they think I'm the meanest person in the world.
That's got to be confusing for a child.

I find myself checking my email too much during the day.
And saying, "Just give Mommy one more minute."
I find myself stuck somewhere between, "I need to actively pursue my goals."
And "I need to be present for every single moment because I'll never get this time with them again."

These are just a few of the scenarios that I play in my head over and over again. I need to be a lot easier on myself. We all do.

If you need a little free therapy share some of your Mommy issues or frustrations with me in the comments. Can anyone else relate to this?

Weekend Recap: 1/20/15

This weekend was a pretty good one. Very laid back. The weather was beautiful. On Friday I headed over to the mall to pick up some proactiv and lipgloss. After getting to the mall I learned that proactiv  is less expensive when you buy it online. That sucked because I really wanted it Friday.

Needless to say I decided to go with the new Mary Kay acne system for adults. I'm a former Mary Kay rep (I like to refer to myself as a Mary Kay drop out) and I had no idea they had a new skincare line. Looking forward to trying that out.

Anyway, once proactiv let me down I strolled over to the MAC store to get my lipgloss. I love me some lusterglass. I can never go in there without getting something extra. I had been eyeing dark purple lipsticks for a while. I tried this one in the store and fell in love. It's very dark. These pics don't do it justice.

Little Mike is looking at me like, "How many selfies does it take to get a good one?" LOL!

MAC Cyber Lipstick

On Saturday I took the kids to the park for a play date. Savannah had so much fun and Little Mike slept the entire time. I had a chance to catch up with one of my girlfriends. Since the weather was beautiful on Sunday too we took the kids for a walk and to the playground in our neighborhood. I'll have to do better about getting pics of our Saturdays and Sundays.

Since my husband was off on Monday I took some time to myself and went to the gym for a work out. I started with the track and the outdoor equipment before heading inside to do a couple machines. I haven't had a workout that good in a while.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Video Tribute

Last year you might remember I shared a MLK tribute video that Savannah had the opportunity to be a part of. Tomorrow I'll share a MLK craft idea that we have made a family tradition. Enjoy the video!

264th Medical Battalion Equal Opportunity MLK Observance 2014 from JOE MUSTANG on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#OurProject52: Morning

The time between six-thirty and eight o' clock goes by so fast. One minute I'm in bed scrolling down my IG timeline and the next minute I'm walking out of Savannah's school. The start to each day is truly all about her.

taken with my Nikon CoolPix L100

I learned pretty quickly that it works best for us if we get dressed before eating breakfast. So as soon as she wakes up I help her get dressed. There's always a discussion about which bracelets she plans to wear that day and then I do her hair before we go downstairs for breakfast.

By the time she's done eating it's time to jet across the street for school. We normally walk to school but if it's raining or really cold I drive. I feel like so much gets done in that hour and a half. As soon as Little Mike and I get back home I make myself breakfast before starting my to-do list.

Visit LaShawn at Everyday Eyecandy and Mimi at Lipgloss & Binky to learn more about the #OurProject52 photo challenge. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How I Plan a Month of Meals

The monthly meal planning post got a nice response. Thank you to everyone that commented here and on IG. The feedback was great and I enjoyed hearing everyone's responses. A few of the main comments were:
  • "I could never do a monthly plan."
  • "Do you really do this?"
  • "It seems like a lot of work."
The answers to these questions are:
  • Yes, you can.
  • Yes, I do.
  • It kind of is but not really. I'll share how I do my planning and maybe it will help you. 
This is our January dinner meal plan. I do not normally type it up and make it look all fancy. That should make someone out there feel better. On the last day of every month I sit down with the previous month(s) plan and I begin to create a new month of meals.

Step One -Make a Calendar/Chart

The first step in my planning process is to draw a calendar on a piece of notebook paper. If I run out of space I flip the page over and put the last few days on the back. Normally my squares are always too big. I'm pretty sure that someone more artistically inclined can make a better looking chart.


Once my chart is made I label the days to reflect the calendar for that month. Easy, right?

The "X" means we've already eaten that meal.

Step Two - Fill in the meals

The next thing I do is fill in all of the Sundays. Sunday meals are important to me so I square those away first. Next I think of any days that will be busy for us. If I know in advance that we have long days of errands or appointments I automatically plug-in a crockpot meal on those days.

 Then I look at my previous plans to see what meals my family really enjoyed and what meals they didn't like as much. I always take into consideration that on Fridays I don't really ever feel like cooking so I try to put my "easy" or "fun" meals there.

After that it's just a matter of using some of the meals they enjoyed from the previous month(s) and finding new recipes to try on Pinterest. I also really love AllRecipes and the Food Network.

Don't forget to throw in a couple "Eat Out" days or days where you can expect leftovers.

Step Three (Optional)

Transfer your meal plan to a prettier calendar if you'd like. Make your grocery list based on the meals you've planned. I also make a weekly produce list at this time too. I put the weekly list in my purse so I always have it when I'm ready to stop at the store.

This whole process might take me about two hours. It really depends on how often I get asked to make a cup of milk or a snack while I'm trying to get it done. I haven't gotten to that point in my life where I save things like this until after they've gone to bed so I do this during the day.

So. It's not that much work and yes we really do follow the plan. As you can see we skipped Prime Rib night but we'll be having it one day this week. The plan always seems to work itself out even if you have leftovers you weren't expecting or if you skip meals due to your taste for that day.

I hope this answers a lot of your questions. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything. I always respond to the comments.

Do you feel like you could try this out now? Oh. And by all means give yourself more breaks than I do. We're just not eating out much these days to save money. Gotta love a saving season!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

EBook Progress

It's looking pretty brand new around here, right? Apparently I have been blogging for almost three years. Since no one should have the same look that long I figured my blog was long overdue for a little sprucing. I wanted something a bit cleaner. I'm very happy with the new look and will probably continue to play around with it over the next week.

What do you think? Are you feeling this new look?

January is already almost half way over. Can't believe it. Time waits for no woman. Keeping my 2015 goals in sight I am happy to share that I am almost done with the eBook I've been working on. I only have three chapters left to create.

Once it's done I'll send it off to be read for edits and content feedback before submitting it for a copyright number. If you would have told me I'd finally be a published author this year I may have only slightly believed you.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy this quote from the book. Feel free to pin it, share it and pass it around like a hot potato. Also, if you haven't already go here to subscribe to my mailing list to receive a copy of the book for free when it's released. 

Are you actively pursuing your 2015 goals yet? Let's get it!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thought Bubbles...

I still can't believe 2014 is over...

Right now I'm watching The Real. It's the only daytime show that I watch...

But I DVR it and watch it a day behind...

It's freezing in San Antonio today...

My son is cute and he's an expert at hide and seek...

He hides himself and everything in his reach...

I wore denim on denim the other day and loved it...

I am in the brainstorming phase of a new hair 'do. I need to cut it all off and start over...

I have been pinning cuts similar to some I've had in the past. I've got that haircut itch so bad...

I also have an itch to leave #teamnatural but I'm holding out. For now...

I'm participating in the #OurProject52 photo challenge. Go to Lipgloss & Binky or Everyday Eyecandy for details. Here is my photo for "Who Are You?"... It's a selfie because I hardly ever have time to use my real camera. I capture mostly all of our moments on my iPhone. Many of those moments are usies with my babies. This is who I am the majority of the time. A kisser of boo boo's, bad days and happy moments. Recovering soda addict, fitness enthusiast, budding author, dreamer, wife, mother, sister, daughter, girl's girl...

Next week my goal is to shoot with my real camera...

Never mind that almost wardrobe malfunction...

Tomorrow is show n' share at school. Sav wants to take Elsa. I'm so sick of Elsa and her sister...

I want to read The Andy Cohen Diaries...

I turn 31 in 29 days...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pole Fitness Experience

In an effort to keep getting fit fun I tried out a pole fitness class last night. I had heard great things about these dance classes so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try them out. There's only one pole studio here in San Antonio and that's how I ended up at Soft Sensuous Moves.

The reviews for the studio online were great. My expectations were really high and SSM did not disappoint.  Before class we all had to choose a name for our alter ego. I chose the name Caramel. It was the only thing I could come up with on the spot. I kinda wish I had known we'd have to pick names before hand. I'm one of those crazy girl's that actually cares about what my fake stripper name is. I think I picked a good one though.

My instructor was Victoria Contortia. I wish I had taken a pic with her. Her teaching style was so direct but fun. She made everyone in the class feel very comfortable. During the "Try Me Out Pole" class we learned a lot; more than I was expecting in an intro class. The fact that all of the women in class were doing spins by the end of class speaks to the talent of the instructor. All of the women in my class were completely different. We were all at different stages in our fitness journeys.

Soft Sensuous Moves San Antonio
After this class I have to say that I have a whole new level of respect for strippers, exotic dancers (because I'm not sure if those are two different job titles) and all other women of the pole. You have to be in some serious shape to do this for a living. Dancers definitely earn their dollars. 

Have you tried a pole fitness class? Do you plan to try anything new to change up your workouts?

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. I paid for my own class. This review is based on my own experience with Soft Sensuous Moves.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Vision Board 2015

If I haven't said it already on the blog - Happy New Year! Better late than never, right? Anyway it's technically still new so...

I thought I'd share my vision board for 2015. I haven't made a vision board since 2010. The last time I did it everything on it came to pass. So on NYE I thought I'd go for it. This time my vision for the year is to be rich in life (and a few extra dollars would be awesome too), goal oriented and the fun girl I know I am.

What I found to be incredibly crazy is that all of these graphics came from magazines in my house. That was a good sign. I knew I wanted to include my dreams of writing a book and becoming a personal trainer on my board. I am passionate about creating a business for myself that allows me to be a fantastic Mom and wife at the same time.

I also wanted to include quotes that spoke to the way I feel about myself and life in general. They serve as reminders to stay focused on what is truly important to me, being authentic and being in tune with who I am as a person.

The 10s represent the wedding anniversary we'll be celebrating this year. Every anniversary is important but I think there is something to be said for making it that dime piece. Go us.

For me, 2015 will be all about completion and finishing what I start. I want to live my life with a Can-Do attitude and not allow my fears to keep me from trying and achieving.

I wish you all the best that 2015 has to offer. Have the guts to dream big and go after what you want. Love your kids and family enough to let them see you happy and living a full life. You deserve it.

Have you made a vision board? It's never too late to make a good decision. :-)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Monthly Meal Planning

Back in December I decided that I was tired of making multiple trips to the grocery store. It seemed like every visit resulted in us getting things we had no intentions of buying prior to our trip. Which means that we ended up spending more than we intended too.

Then eventually at some point during the month I would wonder, "Where did all of our money go?". I know where it went. Right to all those extra little things I felt like we needed. Impulse buys.

In an effort to save money and stop spending so much of our extra money I started making a meal plan and shopping once a month. I still go to the grocery store once a week for milk and fresh produce. The difference is now I go by myself with a very short list. There's no one with me asking for Oreos or "tiger chips" (Cheetos).

So on the the last day of every month I sit down and make a menu for the entire month. I only plan dinners. My husband takes leftovers for lunch and the kids and I will have something here. We'll either eat leftovers from dinner, a salad or something else quick and kid friendly like sandwiches. 

What I love about meal planning is it takes the guess work out of what we're eating everyday. What I dislike about meal planning is that I literally cook everyday except for the one or two days I schedule a dinner out or eating leftovers. Pushing through my exhaustion and laziness did help in a big way in December. We only ate out twice in the entire month of December. Once for our wedding anniversary and we drove through Chick-Fil-A one day while we were hanging out. To give you an idea of how much we use to eat out -- On any given week we would probably visit Chick-Fil-A for lunch at least 2-3 times. Resulting in about $15-$20 per trip and that would be on the low end. Whenever I get a salad it's more than that.

Needless to say that was about $60 a week that we were spending on eating out. Not good. Creating a meal plan helps me to see what we're eating too. I cook everything from scratch. Everyday. (the black beans do come from a can. Sue me.) I try to create a mix of the soul food my husband loves with healthier options that I need and fun foods that the kids like.

I'm still working on getting it down to a science. The relief that monthly meal planning has given me is life changing. No more random grocery store trips. 

Do you plan your family dinners for the month? Have any tips for me?