June Frugal Fashionista Friday

Welcome to Frugal Fashionista Friday! With summer approaching at the end of the month, I’m embracing bright colors and sleeveless tops!

My hubby gifted me with a “Mommy Day Out” so I did a little shopping for the warm weather and here are a couple of my favorite finds…

This kelly green top with a knitted lace detailing.

H&M Kelly Green TopI love the color! Plus, its light-weight and comfy cotton feel make it perfect for the warm weather.

Then there’s this cute little necklace from H&M…

H&M Pineapple NecklaceLayla said to me with a big grin, “I like your necklace!”

To which I replied, “Thank you…what is it?”

And with a giggle and crinkled nose she said, “A pineapple!” Followed by more giggles. =)

I paired these new items with a couple of my oldies, but goodies.

My basic brown flats by Sonoma (okay, not so old)…

Sonoma Brown Flats

And one of my favorite pairs of jeans from New York & Company! Put it all together and voila…

H&M Top & Necklace

H&M Top backAs for the cost for my new items…

H&M Kelly Green Top $17.95

AND

H&M Pineapple Necklace $5.95 (Layla’s giggles made that $5.95 totally worth it!)

Well, there you have have it, Ladies.  Nothing too daring.  Just a comfortable, cheery top with a little playful necklace!

My fashion goal this time…to have a bright pop of color and add to my small, but growing accessory collection.  All while still being mommy-friendly for a day out with my family. =)

That’s it for me! If you have anything you’d like to share about your frugal finds, the link up is available (as always).  Or just leave a comment and share some of your frugal fashion secrets.  I could use ‘em! =)

I leave you with a couple pics of the girls enjoying “our” new necklace…

Kenley H&M Necklace



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Motherhood: A Life of Luxury

Last week I gave you one good reason why being a mom totally rocks, but today I share some of the finer luxuries motherhood has afforded me.

First…

My very own florists who provide me beautiful hand-picked arrangements.

A personal hairstylist…

And, of course, my in-home make-up artist…

Adding a touch of class and culture, there are our lovely resident artists…

Layla working in the medium of magnetic particles.

And Kenley displaying her mastery of watercolors…

Her black period, obviously.

Then there’s our magnificent chef…

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough to spoil me,

there are the endless hours of entertainment…

That’s right, Ladies and Gents, I’m livin’ the life!

Who knew motherhood could be so…luxurious?! ;)

P.S.  With our family’s schedule being a bit busier as we approach summer, I plan to post once during the week (maybe twice on occasion)! But it will not likely be on a consistent day.  If you want to know when there’s a post, please (with rainbow sprinkles and brownie bites on top) subscribe by email.  The box thingy is somewhere over there on the right hand side!

Thanks for reading & commenting.  It makes me smile all cheesy, giddy-like! =) (Just ask my husband.)

and  then, she {snapped}

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Being a Mom Totally Rocks

It’s 10:45…at night.

And do you know what I’m doing?

I’m sitting.

I’m relaxing.

And I’m eating this…

With my hands.

A piece of leftover CHOCOLATE. FROSTED. CHOCOLATE. CAKE…

from Mother’s Day.

Being a mom totally rocks!

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10 Ways to Make a Better Sandwich

As a SAHM, I eat a lot of lunches at home or at least I try to.  But admittedly, it’s easy to get the kiddos lunch and then use that time checking things off the to-do list.

4:30 rolls around and I start wondering why I’m stealing chocolate chips from my baking bin or why I’m eating half a box of Triscuits.  Then the duh moment hits, “Oh yeah…I never ate lunch!”

Rule #1 in Mommyhood:  Take care of Mommy so you can take care of everyone else!

So what happens?  Why on so many days do I forget to sit and eat?

I know part of the reason is my desire to get things done while the girls are occupied with their food, but another part and actually a rather BIG part is that I get bored with food.  After I make the girls lunch, this is usually what happens next…

Open pantry…scan, scan…close pantry. (Sigh)

Open frig…scan, scan…close frig. (Sigh)

Open pantry…grab a Triscuit…close pantry…eat said Triscuit.  Resign to eating later and start tackling housework!

Obviously, our bodies need food to function.  And honestly, I love food.  I even happen to love sandwiches, but just ham and cheese or turkey and cheese ain’t cuttin’ it these days.  I need a little more life…a little more flavor to get me excited about lunch at home.

So I started brainstorming and made a list of ways to transform ye ole ham and cheese sandwich.  But first, my one and only requirement…MUST. BE. EASY.

All that said, l give you…

10 Easy Ways to Make a Better Sandwich

1. Avocado slices- I absolutely love avocado and on a sandwich it adds a refreshing coolness and creamy texture.  Store the remaining avocado in the frig with the pit intact to help limit the amount of browning.

2. Bacon- Hey, I didn’t say my suggestions would be healthy.  And when is something not better with bacon?

3. Greens- Whether it’s iceberg, romaine, some baby spinach leaves, or even alfalfa sprouts (not my personally cup of tea), a little green can be great for some added color, as well as crunchy texture.  And yeah, I suppose it’s good for you.

4.  Tomato- I prefer Roma, homegrown, or “Ripe from the Vine”.  A nice, juicy slice of tomato not only tastes great on a sandwich, but also makes it more appetizing to look at.  And I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of a visual eater.  It’s not an absolute requirement, but I find I enjoy my food more when it looks good.

5.  Red Onion-  Okay, I know there may be a lot of onion-haters out there, but I am a total onion-lover!  A few thin slices of some red onion has a way of totally transforming the flavor of a sandwich.  Mmmm…love it!

6.  Bread choice-  Flat bread, ciabatta, potato rolls, croissants, kaiser roll, rye, honey wheat…the choices are seriously endless!  Forget the same old boring bread.  Go for something new…something different.   It’s the first thing your taste buds touch when you take a bite, so make it good!

7.  Freshly Sliced Deli Meats-  You might try going to the deli rather than buying pre-packaged deli meats.  Delis usually have a really good variety and some of the choices might be healthier than most  packaged meats (less fat, less sodium, no fillers, etc.)  Plus, if you want more variety, you can get a few different meats in very small quantities.  You can also get them sliced the way you want.  I like super thin!

8.  Cheeses-  Give the American cheese a break and try a little Sharp Cheddar, Havarti, Muenster, Monterrey Jack,  etc.  There are so many great cheeses out there and they can really alter the flavor of a sandwich.

9.  Cracked Pepper-  We’re big fans of freshly cracked pepper in our house.  Add a little over your tomato, avocado, or lettuce and it gives your sandwich a little extra kick.

10. Rethink Condiments- Honey, Dijon or even Horseradish mustard as oppose to yellow.  Maybe a little salad dressing.  A smidgen of Italian dressing is great with some Italian cold cuts, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion!  Or try a chipotle mayo or garlic aioli.  (Have to say, I have become a recent fan of Kraft’s chipotle mayo…super yum!)

There you have it!  Nothing complicated.  Just some ideas to liven up your at-home sandwiches.

When I have some of these items in my frig and pantry, I look forward to my lunches.  And as a result, I eat.

I eat lunch when lunch was intended to be eaten. And I don’t find myself grabbing fistfuls of chocolate chips mid-afternoon.

Plus, I’d much rather enjoy a meal with my girls than check a measly one or two items off my to-do list!

So grab an avocado and some chipotle mayo, Moms, and let’s reclaim lunch time…together!

Oooo, and don’t forget the pickle spear on the side! =)

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Frugal Fashionista Friday: May Edition

Welcome to Frugal Fashionista Friday!  And yay for warm weather!  I was excited to do my shopping this month.  I wanted to find something suitable for spring and summer and push my comfort zone a bit.

Like I told you last month, I’m a spunky gal, but my fashion rarely reflects that.  So I’m doing my best to express my personality more in what I wear.

You may have noticed that color is in this season.  Walking through the mall, it seems like every clothing store has bright, bold looks in their display windows.  And while I love the idea of bold color, I get a little scared of it.  So baby steps!

Colored jeans seem to be back as well and since I hadn’t worn them since my freshman year of high school, I’ve been hesitant to try any out.  That is until now!

I saw these in Marshalls…

I have a weakness for red.  So in an effort to give colored pants another try AND go with a bold hue, I took the plunge!

I also found this cute and comfy top.

As well as this chunky bracelet that the girls happen to love.  Fortunately, it’s durable since they’ve already worn it (and dropped it) several times!

Put it all together and here’s my Frugal Fashionista look for May…

I have to say, it’s a fun outfit to wear.  And red pants? I love ‘em.

Now, the numbers…

Shirt by Green Envelope Los Angeles from Marshalls $12.99

Red Pants by Blue Spice from Marshalls $16.99

&

Candies Bracelet from Kohl’s $10.71

Not too shabby, my friends!

And since Mommon Sense is always a family affair, picture-taking for FFF is no different. =)

For your viewing enjoyment…

Okay, your turn…

Share with me where you find your best fashion bargains!  Either leave a comment or link on up. And then link back to Mommon Sense. =)

For more about how Frugal Fashionista started, read here.

Thanks for stopping by!



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Catch of the Day!

When I go by the meat section, I’m grabbing the usual ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts…occasionally steak, pot roast, or corned beef.

But tonight in a rush to beat my husband home and get dinner on the table I thought about a little white flaky friend…fish!

A couple days ago, a dear pal of mine was mentioning how much she and her family enjoy fish and how quick and easy it is to fix.

I’ve never been one to cook a whole lot with it.  Not because I don’t like it….I’ll eat fish at restaurants.  But truth be told…I’m kind of intimidated when it comes to preparing any sort of seafood or freshwater creature!

But my friend insisted a little salt…pepper…and splash of lemon was all it took. So that’s what I did.

I cranked the oven up to 425 and in less than fifteen minutes, I had some tasty, flaky fish.  (Tilapia, if you were wondering.)

 

Ha!  Not bad.

(Don’t mind the super healthy mac n’ cheese…ahem.)

And the verdict…

Husband?  Two thumbs up!

Kenley?

LOVED it!

And well Layla…

She needed a little convincing…

ketchup

But in my house, we call that…

VICTORY!

P.S.  Hope you’ll join me later this week for Frugal Fahsionista Friday! =)

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In the Dog House!

It was one of those mornings…

Slow-roll out of bed.

Eyes half closed, feeling my way towards the bathroom.

The night had not exactly been a peaceful one.

Layla had woken more than a couple times (very unusual for her) and then stayed a bit…wedged between Sean and me.

A boney elbow here…a foot or two there!

Shocking the amount of space a little four year old girl can take!

Eventually she returns to her room…aaaah.

I sink into my pillow and cuddle the comforter around me.

In what seems like thirty seconds or so, the alarm sounds. Time to get up.

Ugh.

I make my way clumsily to the bathroom…the one chance during the day to pee privately (Moms, you know what I’m talking about!)

But before I get there, I hear, “Momma? Momma!” It’s Kenley.

What? Nooooo! You’re not supposed to be up for at LEAST another forty-five minutes! This is my chance to wake up…get dressed…slap on some make-up and caffeine! Get my game face on for the day!

Instead, a quick potty stop, followed by a mad dash to get Kenley before she wakes her sister. (It was one of those moments where you know you’re behind before you even start!) So I grab the little stinker who greets me with a hug and a “Momma…I eat!”

We head to the kitchen and the day officially begins…me still in my nightgown, bangs sticking straight up. A lovely sight, I promise.

It isn’t long before Layla joins our little breakfast bunch. We have quite the scary combination going on…a tired mommy, a tired big sister, and a tired little sister with molars coming in!

Oh, if you could have heard the morning’s soundtrack. By 9 am, my children had completely melted to pieces. No, wait…more accurately, Layla melted…Kenley just exploded. And all before I’d had my coffee!

But no rest for the weary.  We had dance class and the grocery store! So onward we pushed…VERY. SLOWLY.

We made it out of the house, everyone fed and clothed. But I think we all felt a bit defeated.

You see, shortly before our departure, this mommy…

Yes, me…

Raised my voice in a…

Well…

Not. So. Loving. Kind of way.

Definitely not a way I want to talk to my girls…OR how I want my girls to learn to talk to others.

Yeah, not my best mommy moment!

So as I snugly buckled each of my girls into the car, I made my apologies.

I rubbed Layla’s soft cheeks, pinched Kenley’s little nose, looked them in the eyes and told them how sorry I was for not speaking to them in a loving and kind way.

Layla graciously forgave me. Kenley showed she held no grudges with a smile and a giggle.

And I asked that if I speak like that again to please help remind me to use my words with love. (Dangerous, I know. But hey, sometimes Mommy needs the reminder too!)

Later that day we were outside playing and our neighbor’s dog was barking. Layla paused from her bike riding, cocked her head to one side as to hear better, and shouted…

“Mommy, that dog is raising its voice like you did this morning!”

And with a reluctant nod and slightly embarrassed grin, I replied, “Yep, Sweetheart…yep…it sure is!”

Aaah, out of the mouths of babes!

The trouble is…I was so focused on her words, I didn’t stop to notice the bark.

So now the question is, which of my neighbors’ dogs was it?

‘Cause either I sound like a loud, intimidating German Shepherd…

(YIKES!)

OR…

a yippy Lhasa Apso.

(Mean little sucker!)

Regardless, I don’t really want to sound like either one.

Especially to my family.

Proudly Linking Up…

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A First for Layla

 A few weeks ago, Layla asked if she could make her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

She did the whole thing herself from start to finish! And I must say I was quite the proud momma watching her meticulously spread strawberry preserves until EVERY speck of white bread was covered.

They really do grow up fast, don’t they?!

Proudly linking up…

(Linked here too!)

P.S.  Thank you for the kind words of support after yesterday’s post!  Hugs to you all!

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It’s My Blog and I’ll Cry If I Want To

I sat with Kenley in the waiting area as Layla finished her dance class. One of the moms commented that when I was away and my husband brought Layla for dance that Kenley wanted him to sit in a particular seat.  Sean couldn’t figure out her obsession with this one chair.

The other mom said it was a little humorous.  She realized it was where I always sit, but of course my husband was unaware of that fact.

Running my fingers through Kenley’s hair, I smiled and replied, “Yeah, she has *strong* opinions and desires.”

And the mom gave me a very knowing look and said,”That’s good. A strong will is good for girls…even if it isn’t good for moms.”

I thought about that throughout the day. See, motherhood has been hard lately.

Just. plain. hard.

My dear little four year old, Layla, and I have been struggling with communicating. And pretty much every interaction seems to be a battle.

Ugh.

Mommon Sense is supposed to be about “becoming a better mom one whoops at a time.” Well, right now I have pockets full of whoopses…and I can’t say I feel like a better mom.

I’m tired…frustrated…and struggling.

The mother’s words this morning didn’t suddenly shower me with all the answers to our current struggles, but they did give me a little perspective. They were a reminder…

I’m not here to break my daughter’s will.

I’m here to nurture it.

I’m here to help her learn how to assert herself, but in a way that’s considerate of others.

It’s by no means an easy challenge and lately my failures seem to greatly outnumber my successes.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to help an awesome little girl become an awesome woman. And I fully admit I don’t know exactly how to do that.

Time doesn’t suddenly stop for me to figure everything out.  It keeps on going.

So where does that leave me?…

I’m not entirely sure.

For now I’m going to take it one struggle…one prayer…one hug…one meal…one living room dance party…and one afternoon of bubble-blowing at a time.

I have noticed a few things that seem to help…more one on one time, private talks when things aren’t quite jiving, a good night’s sleep for her and for me…and coffee (for me, in case that wasn’t clear).

So today while Kenley napped and I should have been doing laundry, Layla and I sat…held hands…and enjoyed a Ni-Hao Kai-lan together.

Hopefully we can find more moments like this to connect…and just be mommy and daughter.

And the overall takeaway….achieving awesomeness as a mom? Ooph! Not easy.

But to have a daughter who is one day independent, strong, yet gentle…is well worth the labor.

So while I may shed some tears…

Question my every decision…

And find it hard to sometimes see the positive…

I’m not going to give up.

I’m going to get up each morning, (drink my coffee) and do what I can to nurture and love the heck out of these girls!

Because THAT’s how I roll…

Hugs to the rest of you, Mommies, who need ‘em like I do!

~Elizabeth

Proudly Linking Up…

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FYI: On Spring Break!

This announcement is a little late, but we’ve been enjoying Spring Break!

Mommon Sense will be back next week!

Hugs to you all…

Elizabeth =)

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