January 26, 2015

Pillow Fort Fun and Popcorn Munchie Snack Mix

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Hudson's favorite snack lately has been popcorn! Or "corn" as he calls it! The other day we decided to use our teepee and build a fort and munch on some popcorn.....my little camper had the best time!

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He's too focused on eating that big ol' bowl of Pop Secret popcorn to smile for mommy. 
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We also decided to use our popcorn to make our new favorite treat...popcorn munchie snack mix! You can basically use whatever you have on hand to make this mix. We used Pop Secret popcorn, pretzel sticks, chex cereal, and m&ms.

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This is basically the easiest recipe ever. Combine all of your snack mix ingredients on some wax paper and then drizzle white chocolate on top.

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My assistant snuck a few pieces while I was melting the chocolate. Little stinker.

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Then, just let everything harden for 20 minutes or so....and enjoy! Super easy and sooooo yummy.

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Then, I divided out some snack mix in to mason jars and decorated them with a little ribbon. 

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I plan on making these again to give to Hudson's teachers as Valentine's day gifts! Aren't they cute? We snacked on this mix all weekend and it was so good!

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 Visit Pop Secret for a $1 off coupon and a customizable flag to claim your pillow fort! Then, submit photos of your pillow forts to the Pop Secret Facebook page using hashtag #PopSecretForts and you could be eligible to receive a host of mystery prizes and rewards (while supplies last). 

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Popping the perfect bowl of Pop Secret popcorn was a delicious addition to our fort camp-out and perfect base for our yummy recipe!

Today's post is sponsored by Pop Secret but our love for popcorn and fort making is all our own!

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January 23, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

Finally Friday!!!!! 

{one} My sweet husband bought me a new Macbook Pro because I almost threw our old one out the window on several occasions....and I LOVE it. But can someone please come over and make all my apple devices talk to each other? Because....NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THE CLOUD. Name that movie. But for real...I totally don't get it. 

{two} My one and only Valentine's Day decoration. And it will probably be gone by this weekend...because I can't resist the candy hearts.

{three} I'm getting my hair cut today and I can't wait! I've had to cancel a few appointments due to sickness, morning sickness, and snow....so I'm way past due. I'm sure an instagram photo will be in the works later today!

{four} I went to Target last night by myself (heaven!) and a ton of the maternity stuff was 50% off, plus and additional 20% off with cartwheel app. The selection was pretty picked over but I found a few cute sweaters. I'm all about stripes during pregnancy!

{five} You all know I'm a big fan of breastfeeding....but I'm an even bigger fan of moms. Everyone has to do what's best for them and their baby, no matter what that may be. We are all fighting a hard battle. This video is spot on. 

Happy weekend my friends!

And now the link ups....

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!


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January 22, 2015

Poncho Love and Keeping My Colors Bright

 Can I please wear a poncho every day? It's like wearing a blanket but it's still socially acceptable. You can find my poncho here. It's been so dark and gloomy lately so it was hard to capture a photo of it...but it's black with Marsala colored stripes. Marsala is Pantone's color of the year for 2015! 

Isn't it pretty? I need to find a nail polish that is Marsala....if you know of a good one let me know!

 I want to wear this color all day, every day. 

At first I was nervous about washing a delicate, dark colored item. I recently discovered Clorox® Darks & Denim and I have to say I was impressed. It really lived up to the hipe and kept the colors of my poncho vibrant. 

Do you have trouble with your darks fading? Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim is formulated with 2 times the color boosting power and removes 4 times more stains than are removed with pre-treating, and won’t cause fading. Here are some great tips from Clorox!

Treating Tough Stains on Marsala and other dark-colored clothes:
  • For tough stains, like wine coffee and grass, be sure to pre-treat. First, remove the garment: do not treat clothing while wearing it.
  • Remove all loose dirt from the fabric and blot wet stains with a clean absorbent cloth.
  • Apply liquid Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim and rub it in.
  • Wait several minutes – don’t let it dry – then wash with like colors.

Got Specific Stains?

  • Got a tough deodorant stain? Apply liquid Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim directly to the deodorant stain and rub in. Wait 3-5 minutes (don't let it dry on the fabric), then wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and additional Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim based on your load size.
  • Spilled coffee during the commute? Rinse the stain from the back with cold water – it prevents it from sinking deeper into the fabric. When you’re home, pre-treat with Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim. Let the garment soak in cool water for a few minutes then launder with regular detergent on the hottest recommended water setting.Whether in this season’s hottest shade of Marsala or another amazing shade – lipstick can spell disaster for clothes. Some people swear by hairspray to prevent it from setting on the go. When you get home put a clean, dry cloth on the stain. Dab (don’t rub) the back of the stain with dish soap on a damp cloth. Be careful not to transfer the lipstick back onto the garment. Wash on the hottest recommended water setting with regular detergent and Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim.
  • It’s the holiday season, which means that while you’re getting festive, you may encounter a liquor or red wine spill. Before washing, pre-treat with Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim. Wash on the hottest recommended water setting with regular detergent and Clorox® 2 Darks & Denim.

How do I launder stained clothing?

  • For wine stains, launder on the hottest recommended water setting
  • For coffee stains, soak in cool water for a few minutes after pretreating. Then launder as usual on the hottest recommended water setting
  • For grass stains, launder on the hottest recommended water setting
  • Make sure the stain is gone before machine drying, as drying could cause the stain to further set

Thank you to Clorox for sponsoring today's post. All opinions are my own.

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January 21, 2015

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Emma from Harper & Will

The Breastfeeding Diaries are back! Email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail if you want to share your story!

Hello! I'm Emma and I blog at Harper & Will. I started blogging in 2013 as a way to document my life as a working mama of two little ones. My blog is full of pictures of my children, Will, age four, and Harper, age two and our adventures together. Along with daily happenings, I also blog about new Pinterest projects I've attempted and recipes I make. I'm an intervention specialist at an elementary school and enjoy being a stay at home mama in the summertime.

I breastfed my son for eighteen months and my daughter for twenty months.
My breastfeeding journey started on May 1, 2010 when my son was born. My water broke early in the morning on May 1st and by later that evening, I still wasn't progressing. My midwife gave me Pitocin and the contractions immediately starting hitting me hard. I was adamant about having no epidural but it was so difficult. At one point, I was in so much pain and asked what I could be given.  They gave me Stadol but that only made me feel even worse. After laboring for several hours, my son was born at 10:34pm, weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Will's heart rate was dropping and he wasn't progressing any more, so I ended up having an episiotomy. He was born with the cord wrapped around his neck. It was so scary and I was never more relieved to hear him scream after he was born. As a result of his heart rate being so low, he was quickly whisked away and monitored for what seemed like a few hours. I wasn't able to have the immediate skin-to-skin contact but was relieved that he was okay. Once he was placed in my arms, I was filled with such great joy and happiness (and exhaustion! It was early in the morning of the next day). He latched right away, which was wonderful. I had a good breastfeeding experience in the hospital and was thankful for the nurses who helped ensure that he was latching correctly.

Going home and breasfeeding without the assistance of a professional was a little scary. We did okay the first few days and I was lucky to have my husband at home to help. However, he went back to work and things became more difficult. Will was a very fussy baby who cried and cried unless he was being held. He constantly wanted to nurse and I often thought of myself during those first few months as a human pacifier for him. He didn't like any of the pacifiers we gave him...just mama! 

No one told me how painful breastfeeding would be. I didn't really prepare much for breastfeeding beyond the birthing classes we took through the hospital and a few books I glanced at prior to Will's birth. Anything I read about breastfeeding said that if it hurts, you must be doing it wrong. Um, no, that's totally wrong. I was doing everything right and it still hurt so, so bad. I ended up going to visit the lactation consultant the second week to see what I was doing wrong...it hurt so bad. I was amazed at how difficult something that seems so natural was, at least for me. This whole breastfeeding thing was difficult, and I thought about giving up more than once along the way. However, I stuck with it and I'm very glad I did (but I can see how women become discouraged and decide to stop). The lactation consultant said that I wasn't doing anything wrong...I just needed to give it more time.  Lots of Lanolin cream! I got mastitis about six weeks in, which was another downer. My husband was very supportive and always encouraging me to keep at it.  

I was never around other women who breasted when Will was a baby but more and more of my friends were breastfeeding when Harper was born. It's amazing how beneficial it is to see other people going through the same breastfeeding challenges and successes at the same time you are.  

I ended up breastfeeding Will until he was eighteen months old and I was five months pregnant with Harper. At that point, it was becoming uncomfortable to nurse him with my ever growing belly, so I decided to wean him. He would have kept going for who knows how long! He's such a mama's boy. 

When Harper was born, I was hoping nursing would be even easier than it was with Will. She was born early in the morning on March 20, 2012 after I labored at home all evening. My husband and I headed to the hospital around 4am after I couldn't take any more contractions at home. We arrived at the hospital close to 4:30am and Harper was born at 7:22am! It was a fairly fast delivery and a much easier birth than Will's. This time, I stayed in the jacuzzi as long as possible. Soon after I got out of the tub, Harper was born! Once again, I had to have an episiotomy, which is something my midwife does not like to do. However, Harper was not progressing and I was not tearing on my own, so my midwife had no choice. Boy, was that painful with no epidural! Once Harper was born, she was immediately placed on my chest and latched on. Nursing picked up right where I left off with my son.  This time around, it was not painful at all. Maybe that was because there was only a four month time span from when I stopped nursing my son and started nursing my daughter. I'm not sure, but whatever the case, the second time around was SO MUCH easier! We didn't have any problems with her latching, no mastitis, everything went better. 

I ended my nursing journey with my daughter in November 2013 when she was over a year and a half old. It was her decision to stop...I would have kept going for a while. However, she just decided one day that she was done. It was hard for me at first, especially since she's my last kiddo. I truly enjoyed my breastfeeding experience with both kids and the bonding that we shared through all those hours of nursing. In looking back at my journey, I was either pregnant or nursing from August 2009 through November 2013, so it was kind of nice to have my body back to myself after over four years! 

The biggest difficulty with Harper was her refusal to take a bottle when I went back to work. Since she was born in March, I only had to go back to work for two weeks before school was out for the summer. She was so accustomed to nursing that she rejected a bottle at Nana's, the babysitter.  Finally, after lots of tears and trying a zillion styles of bottles, we finally got her to take the pumped milk from a bottle. Speaking of pumping, my LEAST favorite thing about nursing was pumping at work. I pumped for two years at work (one for Will and one for Harper), which was not fun. I barely squeaked by with enough pumped milk for both kiddos, and fortunately, I had some stored in the freezer from before I went back to work. My work schedule (as an intervention specialist) was more flexible than general education teachers, for which I was fortunate. I pumped twice a day at work and nursed as soon as I picked up the kiddos from Nana's. I eventually got into a rhythm and pumping at work just seemed like a part of the day, though it was very nice when I didn't have to haul that lovely black bag back and forth to work and wash all those pump parts (thanks, hubby, since he did the majority of pump part cleaning).

Whether you nurse or formula feed your baby, you know what is best for you and your family. I was very fortunate to have good experiences breastfeeding with only slight hiccups along the way.  If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, Julie's breastfeeding diaries series is very helpful:) Best of luck!

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar.

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