Pillsbury Baking Challenge!! Pillsbury Baking Challenge!!
Family Photos! Family Photos!

Hi, friends!

I wanted to pop in and share with you some of our family photos that we just got back YESTERDAY! {I’m pretty excited about them}. We haven’t had family photos taken since Blake was 18 months old, so we were long overdue.

So, after we got *mostly* settled into our new Boise home, I started looking for photographers on Instagram. After searching Jessica’s Instagram account, I knew I found the photographer I wanted! I loved her style and how she captures the beautiful sunsets within several of her photographs. That’s what I asked for specifically and that’s exactly what she gave us.

Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we do!! I am sort of head over heels in love with them all.

All photos were taken by Jessica Demers Photography.

Fun News! Fun News!

TWO THINGS:

{1} Because it’s Friday and because I love ya, I’m giving away 3 $100 Amazon gift cards! Yippee! See widget below to enter.

and {2} Because so many of you love seeing Eddie, Blake and Brooke online, we have started to document our days onto youtube for you all to see! We figured it was much easier than posting family updates to Facebook where only a few of you would see it {because Facebook hates me.} So, for now, we’re going to be doing some daily videos! We’d love for you to follow along!

Have a great weekend 🙂

Edward at 7 Months Edward at 7 Months

Hello from my sometimes red-headed boy! In certain light, Eddie looks like he’s got the strawberry blonde thing going on but in other light he has dirty blonde hair. So weird, but fun!! I’ve never had a red headed little guy before. He’s so dreamy!! I love this kid so so much! Here’s the latest and greatest on my sweet Edward John.

Eating

Eddie is still guzzling bottles! He loves formula and has even been able to hold his own bottles to feed himself. It’s hilarious and cute.

As for pureed foods, he loves rice cereal, mashed banana with a little cinnamon, mango, prunes, sweet potato, sometimes avocado, sometimes butternut squash. I haven’t tried much else, but the more I feed him, the more hungry he seems to become. Typically boy, right? Starving all the live-long day.

We’ll be making some green juice and giving him a taste. When Blake was a baby, he guzzled green juice and loved it so much! So I want to give Ed some in a sippy cup to see how he likes it.
For a fun video of Eddie trying sweet potato, click through here.

Eddie on Solids Eddie on Solids

This love bug is starting in on solids! I roasted some sweet potatoes and after he got used to the new flavor, he was loving life!! So of course I had the camera out and took some fun video to remember him at this stage and age. I tell ya, if he slept better, I’d be popping these adorable blue-eyed babies out like crazy. But, REALITY CHECK: this boy is still waking up 2 times a night. Mama’s engines don’t run on 6 hours of interrupted sleep very well. So, we’re holding steady with 2 kids and 1 baby. Ha!

Anyways, I know you all love seeing this boy grow, so enjoy this fun video 🙂

I’ll have a new recipe for you on Wednesday.

Weight Loss Update Weight Loss Update

Here we go–back at it again!

I didn’t take very many photos of myself this past month and apparently when I did, it was when I was holding a giant cookie. This isn’t indicative of how this past month went with my weight loss progress, but I will say that Swig sugar cookie was well worth the calories.

So! This month was filled with swim lessons for our kids, not a lot of gym time, my husband finishing up some assignments for his Master’s and a 5 day trip to Utah. It had its ups and downs, and we were {and continue to be} so busy, but that’s ok! Here’s how my weight loss has been going:

Edward at 6 months! Edward at 6 months!

So, my Eddie-boy is already 6 months old! Here’s the latest and greatest:

Eating:

At about 5 1/2 months, we started Eddie on a little rice cereal because he was reaching for any and all food we were eating. Of course he loved it! Since he’s turned 6 months officially, we’ve migrated towards other foods like banana, avocado and squash. LOVES banana, but really struggles to like the avocado and squash. I’m going to roast and puree a little sweet potato later this week to see how he likes that as soon as we get back to Idaho.

But the biggest news of all is probably that this social boy has completely weaned himself off his mama’s milk. I was starting to worry about his lightweight status after he only gained 4 ounces from month 4 to month 5 and then I realized he wasn’t nursing enough/not wanting to nurse because he’d rather be looking out at the world that in at my shirt. So I initially started supplementing with formula to make up the difference, but now even if I offer to nurse, he wants nothing to do with me and refuses. Such a rascal! So my milk shop is out of service. Haha!

Happy Birthday Gordon!! Happy Birthday Gordon!!

One year older and wiser too!

Gordon had a birthday this past week so we had a little party to celebrate this sweet husband of mine! We opened presents in the morning at breakfast and then had birthday pie after dinner.

If you watch the birthday video above, you can see just how much our children love their Daddy by the way they look at him. They truly truly love him like crazy. {Eddie was down for a nap when I shot this.} And might I add, he loves them right back just as much.

Anyways, these are a few photos taken from the day. After knowing this man 13 {!!!!} years, I can truly say he gets better and sweeter and kinder and more wonderful year after year. {See last year’s post for more info}

Happy Birthday, Gordon. You make 31 look good. 🙂

Let’s Chat! Let’s Chat!

Oh hey you guys, what’s up?

I’ve wrangled my husband into one of these Let’s Chat videos because…well…it’s always more fun to have someone to talk to 🙂

More details you might want from the video:

His Favorite Home Cooked Meal: Bang Bang Chicken which is a knock off recipe from The Cheesecake Factory.

My Favorite Home Cooked Meal: Steak Skewers {from this marinade post} but honestly, my favorite dinner is always changing because I keep developing more recipes!

His Favorite Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

My favorite dessert: Anything LEMON!! This was the last lemony dessert I died over.

Let’s Chat! Let’s Chat!

Is it just me or do I look psycho in that video screen shot above? YIKES.

ANYWAYS! Instead of Beauty Tuesday, I’ve switched things up and have started doing a ‘let’s chat’ video! I’ll still cover some beauty products, but I’ll also be talking about different food products and recent family developments. I mentioned that Eddie loves his new Exersaucer!! I am so in love with this boy!

Hope you all are having a great Tuesday 🙂

Weight Loss Update! Weight Loss Update!

Slowly but surely I’m getting down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Very very slowly. Ha! This is a long term goal I have that I wish was more short term. I’m actually going to be cracking down for the next month because lately we’ve been doing some traveling and had some crazy things we committed to {what else is new?}, but now, we are mostly settled and no more family travel for a long time! Hallelujah! I was hoping to be down to my goal weight by the time Eddie reached 6 months, and I’m super close!! But I’m not confident I’m going to make it, which is fine, but kind of not because Ireallyreallyreallywantedtogetthere!! But alas, LIFE.

So here’s where I’m at:

Eating

Should I tell you I made a delicious batch of chocolate chip cookies tonight? And made them extra large? And had lots of dough? And then lots of baked cookies?

You’re right, I’ll keep that to myself.

I’d say 70% of the time, I am super great and reaching for all the healthy things.

I’m getting back into having my green juices and am experimenting with different recipes. My kids LOVE green juice and I really love it too :). So, I’ll have that with a piece of toast and a protein drink for breakfast. Lunch and the afternoon snacking situation is where I fail miserably.

Dinner is usually low carb. And let me be clear, this is Lauren’s version of low carb, so it’s like I eat half the pasta I normally would {3/4 cup…ish} and double up on salad. I will never give up my carbs. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!!!

This weekend, I made the cookies I mentioned above. Sunday’s are the day I bake and make a treat. My husband loves his chocolate chip cookies {classic} so I obliged and made him a few large cookies 🙂

I was visiting my sister and her family over the 4th of July in Arizona and our food consumption was not the best so I’m pretty much happy with the weight I did lose this month with all things considered. {Thank you, breastfeeding.}

Edward at 5 Months Edward at 5 Months

Well, this cutie-pie continues to grow! Here’s another update. Can’t believe he’s 5 months old already!

Eating

We’ve introduced rice cereal to this little munchkin and he is IN LOVE with it. After just a few feedings, he is a pro at opening his mouth and swallowing all his food. I knew he would love it because of how longingly he looks at me eating my food and how active he gets in trying to reach for my fork. We will feed him a small amount of rice cereal once a day, usually around dinner time. We will most likely introduce some vegetables in the near future. My two other kids always loved sweet potato and butternut squash.

Nursing-wise, he is still eating every 3-4 hours. The pediatrician wants me to throw in an extra feeding because he is on the smaller side, but I mostly just nurse on demand, and figure if he’s still hungry, he will let me know. I think the additional cereal and fruits and veggies we’ll add in will all help the cause.

Edward at 4 Months Edward at 4 Months

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.20.38 PM
Hey, friends! I thought I’d publish an update on the old baby-sugar before he turns 5 months! Yikes. Between Hawaii and moving, this mama is BEHIND! I promise I’ll get my act together and post more recipes this week! But in the mean time, this little guy has stolen my heart…AGAIN. Read on:

Eating

Eddie is still loving his nursing time and he still eats every 3-4 hours and seems ravenous. Hello, growth spurt. Our pediatrician said he was on the small side, weight and height-wise, but Gordon and I are not huge people, so we’re not too concerned. Blake was a little bigger at 4 months, so maybe this boy will be shorter than his brother? Who knows. But he loves to eat and stares longingly at us when we eat and tries with all his might to grab my fork. With my first two, I started giving them rice cereal at 4 months, but now the recommendation has changed to 6 months. I sort of think it’s stupid, but don’t want to throw that advice out completely, so at 5 months I’ll start with rice cereal. He will be thrilled to get his own spoonful of cereal, I’m sure of it!

Weight loss Update Weight loss Update

Hi Friends! Happy Monday 🙂

My family and I made it back from Hawaii very early this morning after a 6 hour plane ride, and dealing with a dead car battery at the long term parking lot at the airport. NOT something we wanted to come home to at 11:30 pm. But, we got things up and running and had kids in their beds by 12:30. Yawn.

So, regarding this post….I probably should have written it before I ate all.the.things in Hawaii. But, before we went to Hawaii, I was doing stellar with the weight loss thing. So, I’m going to focus on that and then the crazy week to come {we’re finally moving this week…like officially!}

Happy Birthday Blake! Happy Birthday Blake!

Blake turned 3 a few weeks ago and oh my heavens is he cuter than ever!! We love him so so much! He can be a bit of a rascal, but generally he is a joy. Here’s the latest and greatest with Blake:

Likes

This boy is such a typical BOY. He loves cars, trucks, cranes, excavators, diggers, planes, anything with wheels, Batman, digging in the dirt with his trucks, jumping in puddles, going to the park, stuffed animals, going outside, pizza, cereal, milk, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, most fruit.

Dislikes

Getting his head/ears wet, green vegetables, getting his hair cut with clippers and taking a nap. Ha! That’s basically it.

Backyard BBQ Backyard BBQ

A few weeks ago, my friend Jessica helped me throw a BBQ in our backyard for some friends to help celebrate Blake’s birthday slash help load our first U-haul of stuff to take to our new house in Boise! These are some of the photos from that day 🙂 Oh what fun it is to have talented friends to make your work look cuter than it actually is! {Thanks, Jess! What am I going to do without you?}

It was an overcast day {oh, Portland} and rain threatened to ruin our evening, but alas, we stayed dry.

We’re Moving! We’re Moving!

That’s right, you crazy kids! Come summer, the Brennan Family will be MOVING to….wait for it….Boise, Idaho!

We’ve had to explain our reasons behind this move to lots of people who don’t understand the whys so hopefully this will give you a little insight as to WHY we are heading to Idaho of all places.
Why are you moving?

We have quite a few reasons why we felt this was the right decision for our family. The main reason was actually because of this wee little blog that has blossomed and grown into our full time jobs! Paying for this blog in a state that is really unkind {tax-wise} to small businesses was our biggest reason. We’ve done everything we could to maximize our deductions personally and for a small business with the help of our accountant. Though that has helped, this last tax season really was the last straw to break the camel’s back. Comparing how much we pay in Oregon to the four other states we were thinking of moving to, it was literally painful to do a few quick calculations to see how much money we could have saved if we lived there instead of here. We’re talking thousands, people. Do you know how many outfits I could buy with that?

Another big reason to move was to get all the sweat equity out of our small 1400 square foot home that we’ve put into it over the last 3+ years of living here. With the housing market going CRAZY in Portland, we’d be foolish not to. Crunching a few numbers and selling our house meant that we could pay off ALL of our debts, get my husband a newer car {he was driving a janky, rusty old honda!} and have more money in the bank for retirement and stock up our emergency fund. Another pragmatic reason to leave.
I suppose another reason could be it just felt right. We love Oregon and it kills us to leave some of our wonderful friends that we’ve made here, but we felt it was time to move on, get a bigger home {one that we wouldn’t have to move out of for a long long time} and make the switch now, before Brooke got older, into those higher school grades.

Edward at 3 months Edward at 3 months

Well, this rascal keeps growing! And his personality keeps getting bigger too. Sometimes we think a little too big for his teeny body, but whatever. We love him just the same 🙂

Here’s the latest and greatest on our Eddie-boy:

Eating

Still loving his mama’s milk. I try to nurse him every 3 hours or so, but sometimes we can go for longer stretches {4+ hours} and sometimes they are much shorter. But generally, this little guy is growing and getting all the nutrition he needs. Sometimes I wish he would suck out more fat from my body, but at this point I’ll take anything I can get.

Sleeping

Eddie is a champion night sleeper and a sucky nap taker. He will typically go down for the night between 7 and 9 pm {though sometimes a little earlier or a little later} and can sleep 8 solid hours. Generally he’s up between 4 and 6 am for a feeding, but then he goes right back down for a few more hours. Last month, there were a few days where I saw the light…meaning he was just starting to give me a taste of those longer stretches with zero consistency night to night. But the older he’s gotten the more consistent he’s been. So thank heavens for that.

Brooke and Blakeisms Brooke and Blakeisms

These two older kiddos of mine are quite the characters. Between the silliness they’ve inherited from their Dad and their incredible intellect from me {HA! not.}, we are pleasantly surprised by what they tell us every single day. So here lies the first of probably many Brooke and Blakeisms posts. Our children are the light of our lives and I suspect that this post will be one of the ones I cherish the most.

Enjoy! Have a great day!

Losing that Baby Weight, Part I Losing that Baby Weight, Part I

Well, howdy friends! TGIF for sure. This has been a loooooong week. So many lose ends to take care of! So many recipes to test! So many calls to make! So many children to tend to! So little sleep to get! So many husbands to cook for! Waaaaaait. **Husband. NOT plural.

ANYWAYS, this business is my life right now so I’m not completely convinced I should even be writing a weight loss post because getting rid of the chub is quite the slow process the third time around and I am clearly no expert {and I love pie} but alas, here we are.

So, before you all jump down my throat, let it be known that I’m not doing anything drastic, crazy or insane that would mess up my milk supply. I worked hard at getting that beast up and running, so I refuse to do anything that would change it in any way. Also, it’s never too early in my opinion to start eating healthier and getting more active, not that I’ve been diligent about either one these past few weeks.

I was pretty dead to the world for the first 6 weeks after I had Eddie, but after that I’ve been trying to stay on top of my weight loss as best as a working, business running, recipe developing, stay at home mother of 3 can do.

Overall, I’m slowly getting back to where I once was. I’m hoping by July I’ll be at my goal weight.

Bassinest Giveaway! Bassinest Giveaway!
Edward at 2 months Edward at 2 months

Well, incase you’re wondering, time is not standing still. Sometimes I wish it would and other times {usually right around the 3 am feeding} I wish it would hurry up! But generally, I’m being really good at savoring the quiet and not so quiet moments with sweet Edward.

Eddie is such a wonderful blessing, even though his pregnancy was my hardest and his sleep habits are basically non existent. Time is fleeting when they’re this little so I’m doing my best to enjoy his sweet face and personality.

My Kiddos! My Kiddos!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post talking about my lovely children. A handful they are, but man oh man do I love them like crazy. I’ve talked a whole bunch about the baby because he’s the latest and greatest ’round these parts, but Brooke and Blake are learning and growing by leaps and bounds too.

Brooke

Brooke continues to thrive at school in first grade. Most days, she LOVES heading out the door to school. She loves her teachers and has a small group of friends that she tells me all about when she gets home. Her favorite parts of school mostly revolve around being social: lunch time, recess, being on the bus with her friends, music class and then library & technology. Her reading level is at end of year second grade level and we fully expect her to be at a third grade level by the time she finishes school in June. She loves to read Diaries of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants and Fairy Princess books.

Brooke still enjoys her ballet class, but likes dressing up for ballet more.

She just recently got her hair cut short and LOVES it short. I loved it long because it was easier to pull back out of her face, but her strong will prevailed. Hopefully it will grow quickly so I can pull it into a bun for her end of year ballet performance.

Birth Announcements! Birth Announcements!

Happy Friday 🙂

I finally got around to printing birth announcements of sweet Eddie! It took me a hot second to get them ordered and printed, but hallelujah, they’re here!! I’m behind my original schedule of when I wanted to send these suckers out, but I do have three kids and one of them, like, never sleeps. So, I’m giving myself a break. Haha!

ANYWAYS, thanks to Minted, I was able to find an adorable foil-stamped birth announcement that I fell in love with and get them printed asap. I love love love how they turned out! It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the ‘hello’ is a shiny gold foil and the writing underneath is just printed color. With this black and white photo of Ed, I think they turned out beautifully 🙂