Highlights from our week

Friday, September 23, 2016

I don't have some incredible post prepared for today, it's just been one of those weeks.
Sick baby, very little sleep, needy toddler, ahhhhh.
We were originally supposed to be headed out of town today for a wedding over the weekend, but with Annabelle sick it just isn't going to happen. Sadly, we're headed to the doctor to instead. 
So instead of complaining about what's been going on around here, I thought I would post about the highlights of our week!

The first day of Fall // I think this time of year might be my favorite, and the fact that we live somewhere now that actually has seasons gets me all kinds of excited. I wanted to do a little something out of the norm with the kids yesterday to celebrate. So yesterday morning I made pumpkin spice pancakes, broke out the fun Halloween tableware, and we watched Curious George "Boofest" (streaming on Netflix!). I chatted with Jacob about Halloween and he is now SUPER excited and says "Hollwaweeeeeeeen!" Every time he see's pumpkin/ghost/bat paraphernalia.



Matching jammies // The kiddos have matching Halloween jammies this year and the cuteness kills me. Jacob is also quick to point out anything that matches, so he was extra excited to see that he and his sissy had coordinating pj's. Oh, and Annabelle also skipped drinking from a traditional "sippy cup" and went right to the Miracle Cup that her brother uses. I'm sure she thought I was an idiot for constantly giving her little sippy cups that she hated, when all she wanted was what her brother had. Go figure.   


Halloween Costume // Last year we literally moved from Florida to Oregon ON October 31st. Annabelle was 4 weeks old, when we arrived in Portland it was raining, and no costume/trick or treating happened for Jacob. I've been feeling guilty ever since.
Well, this week we picked up Jacob's Halloween costume and he already asked to wear it 3 times in the 24 hours that we've had it. He runs through the house yelling "BATMAN" and I think he will surely get his wear out of it by the time Halloween comes around. 
FYI: It's impossible to take a picture of Batman that isn't blurry. Once in costume, Batman cannot stop moving.



Almond milk at Starbucks // You guys, I am obsessed with almond milk. My mother in law turned me on to it and I've never looked back. It gives my coffee just enough flavor without adding any sugar and I love it. Most of the little independent coffee shops around here offer it, and don't get me wrong I love those little coffee shops. But when your shopping with your kids at Target and there's a Starbucks inside, that's just where you go. Well, imagine my excitement when we walked into Target the other day and I saw this sign! 
SCORE!



1st Birthday Planning // I'm in the middle of planning Annabelle's first birthday, which is in just a week! I'm insanely emotional about her turning one, and I was not that way with Jacob at all. I guess the second time around time goes that much faster? I'm super excited that I am able to pay for her entire birthday (party, gifts, birthday girl outfit- everything) with money I made as a Beachbody coach. Less than a month ago I was bringing in $0 a month (Classic Dot is doing well, but with a new company like that it's best to keep reinvesting in the business), and now after only a few weeks, I am able to pay for my baby girls birthday. That's pretty amazing. I'm going to share more about being a Beachbody coach next week, but if you are interested in learning more please reach out and send me an email! nicolecravinho@gmail.com 

That's our week, in all of it's exciting glory.
I'm hoping that Annabelle gets better over the weekend, so we will most likely be spending most of our time at home to make sure she gets all the rest she needs. 
I hope that you all have a much more eventful weekend! 

Sincerely,
Nicole

Cheers! My favorite toddler approved green smoothie

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I'm pretty sure that I've posted about my green smoothies before.
I used to make them for myself well before kids, but now my toddler is obsessed with them.
Whenever I make myself my daily superfood shake (aka Shakeology) he requests his "Jacob smoothie" as well and I gladly oblige.


Ingredients:
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1 cup of spinach
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/4 cup orange juice 

Throw it all in a blender (or use a handheld immersion blender like I've been doing now that my fancy blender bit the dust) and your done!
Jacob probably has one of these about four times a week, so at least I know that he's getting some good stuff in his diet even if the rest of the day is a fail.
I haven't offered one of these to Annabelle yet, but I'm sure when I do she'll love them too.

Cheers!

Sincerely,
Nicole


21 Day Fix Week 1 Progress + Weekend Whereabouts

Monday, September 19, 2016

The first time I attempted the 21 day fix I didn't really document my journey or my progress, but this time around I definitely want to share!
It's been 1 full week on the 21 day fix and I can already see (and feel) a difference.


I can actually see a little definition in my abs, something that I haven't seen since well before I had my kiddos.
My energy level has dramatically increased, which is super important right now because I'm currently solo parenting while Jake is gone on a TDY. 
Annabelle slept horribly all week but I was still in a good mood and able to keep up with the kids, which I know is a direct result of drinking my superfoods, eating clean, and daily workouts.
Want to learn more about the 21 day fix? Click here

Not only did I make it through my first week of the 21 day fix, but the three of us also made it through our first week on our own.
The first half of the week was difficult, but then we had a few awesome days in a row so I'm hoping everything will be looking up from here!
We stayed busy during the week and weekend with trips to the park and fun fall outings.




We're still trying to find our new routine but I'm sure it will only get easier. We have quite a few more weeks to go, but lots of fun things planned to pass the time!

Sincerely,
Nicole


Black Bean and Spinach Soup {How I do dinnertime}

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm starting a new series to share how I tackle dinner time in our home!
Both my husband and I are all about healthy eating, and I love it when I can find meals that my toddlers enjoy as well. We prefer to sit down to dinner as a family, a tradition that I think is SO important to start early.

For some reason a lot of people think that if you are eating clean or on a program like the 21 day fix that you can't make meals everyone will enjoy- that's just not true!
Every week I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite super easy, clean eating, kid friendly dinners that I like to make for my family.

All of these meals are 21 day fix approved, or they can easily be tweaked to meet those requirements. Interested in starting your own journey to a healthy lifestyle, or want to know more about the 21 day fix? Click here!

Today I have one of my all time favorite recipes to share with you:


This black bean and spinach soup is always a staple in our home during the fall and winter months.
It is SO simple to make- there is nothing I love more than tossing everything into one pot and then walking away.
The beans help to make this a heartier soup, perfect for dinner time.
We often serve it with quesadillas (great for dipping!), or sometimes add shredded chicken to the soup once it's finished.
If your kiddos aren't huge soup fans, just give them the quesadillas and call it a day!

Ingredients 

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced) 
1 yellow onion 
1/2 red bell pepper (cubed) 
32oz vegetable broth
3 cups baby spinach
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 bay leaf
salt + pepper to taste 

Directions

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in large pot. Add minced garlic and onion, mix around until it starts to soften (about 4 minutes). Add red bell pepper, satay until softened (another 4 minutes). Things should be smelling good about now!

Pour in vegetable broth, add spinach, beans, bay leaf and salt + pepper. Bring soup to a slight boil, then turn down to simmer. Let simmer for at 20 minutes.

Use immersion blender to puree soup. 
Enjoy!

If you're on the 21 day fix I would count this soup as 1 green container and 1 yellow container. Don't forget to count a red container if you decide to add chicken to the soup!

Sincerely,
Nicole

Playroom Peeks {featuring SillyOllie + The Pretty Printcess}

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Can I just tell you how thankful I am that we have a playroom?
Most of the time it looks like a bomb went off, but as long as it's all contained to this space I really can't complain.


One of the selling points of this house for us was the 4th bedroom, which was advertised as an "office." 
Being a mama of two littles that of course immediately translated to "playroom." 
Having a place that is specifically dedicated to toys and my childrens crazy antics helps keep me somewhat sane. 
The decorating process has been a slow one. It was almost summertime when we finally moved into our home, and honestly who really wants to sit inside worrying about that stuff in the summer? 
The playroom is far from being done, but I wanted to share a few peeks of it with you all now! 

banner c/o SillyOllie
This sweet "Wild + Free" banner is from a super cute Etsy shop called SillyOllie. They have tons of different awesome banners and wall art, and I always love to support a mama run shop!



I love to make comfy little "reading corners" for the kids. They each have one in their bedrooms, and I wanted a little space like that in their playroom too. We have SO many books that I've started using different types of cute bins (along with bookshelves) to store them.
Even though we have a ton, I believe that you can never have too many books (and so far I've already gotten a few for Annabelle's birthday, eek!).


I used twine and small clothespins to make a fun spot to display artwork. Both the kids love to sit at this little table, so I'd say it's a definitely must-have from Ikea.

prints c/o The Pretty Printcess
I am OBSESSED with these superhero prints from The Pretty Printcess. She makes all types of affordable custom prints, and when I spied these superhero ones I just had to have them for the playroom!


That wicker chest was my first ever thrifted item- $5!
If you were to remove the lid (which is rarely ever on) you would find all sorts of random toys. That's my secret for a quick cleanup, throw everything in the toy chest.

I'm still on the hunt for some more fun pieces to fill the walls of this space, so I'm sure it'll be an ongoing work in progress.
Now if you'll excuse us, we have some playing to do.


Sincerely,
Nicole

Breakfast the easy way {My morning oats}

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A month or two ago I shared a picture of my morning oats on Instagram, and received a bunch of requests for a recipe.  
Unfortunately, I have no actual recipe but I wanted to share with you how I do oats for the family and give you a few ideas of what we like to add to ours!

The whole family enjoys oatmeal so I like to make a big batch to store in the fridge for the week.
We alternate between rolled oats and steel cut oats, just to keep things interesting. 
I follow the directions on the bag and make the oats plain with water. We add whatever toppings we desire to our individual bowls of oats instead of the whole batch.

Jacob loves a little brown sugar (VERY little) and dried cranberries. He calls the cranberries "treats" which is fine with me. These days he thinks every meal should come with a treat. God help us.
Annabelle eats the oats plain, but it can get insanely messy. Sometime's we just skip her and let her eat something else because I don't always want to be cleaning oats out of her hair, the carpet, my shirt... you get the point.
I usually add a little cinnamon to mine, but I love slivered almonds and dried cranberries on occasion. 
I also like to add a little unsweetened vanilla almond milk to everyones oatmeal when reheating it because oatmeal can loose some of its moisture when it's been stored in the fridge. Bonus- it adds some nice flavor too!
We also get a little fancy sometimes and add some fresh berries, apples, bananas, just whatever we happen to have on hand at the moment.
In the picture above I've added apples with cinnamon and a little almond milk.

Anytime I can make a big batch of something that the whole family can eat I consider it a win!

ALSO if you are doing the 21 day fix, oats count as 1 yellow container but be mindful of what you are adding to them! Are you interested in joining my challenge group? Click here for more info!

Sincerely,
Nicole

Get Fit for Fall + My Story

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

If you follow me on social media then I'm sure you've seen various posts related to getting healthy and fit this month.


I have a challenge group starting in just a few weeks (Sept 19th!) and would love for anyone who is looking to improve their health and fitness to join me! You can learn more about that here.

Now I want to give you a little background about what has brought me to where I'm at today.

Living a healthy lifestyle is something that is super important to me. I want to be able to provide my family with the best nutrition that I can, and I can't do that if I'm not practicing what I preach. 

I also can't be at my personal best when I'm not eating right. When I make poor diet choices I can see the impact right away- I'm sluggish, tired, and have zero energy. This results in me losing my patience with the kids, lacking motivation, and then feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. 
If I feel this way, I KNOW that I can't be the only one. 

After I had my second baby, Annabelle, life felt extremely chaotic. The fact that we moved clear across the country when she was only 4 weeks help didn't help, but even after being settled in for months I still felt like I couldn't get my bearings. 
I was carrying around a bunch of leftover "baby weight," and eating terribly. Lots of sugary treats, unnecessary snacking, and extra calories from alcohol. 
I was overwhelmed having two littles 20 months a part, and I felt like I just could not get with the program. 
After the holidays I knew I needed to take action. My mom and I both decided to give the 21 day fix a try. 
Being able to workout from home was a game changer.
The nutrition plan put be back on track with clean eating and portion control. 

I'll be completely honest with you, I didn't stick with the program 100% the first time. Some days I'd eat something not so great. Sometimes I would skip a workout. But let me tell you, it got me back on the right track. I continued to do the workouts every week, even if I missed a day or two. 
I lost weight. I was slowly able to fit back into some of my pre-baby clothes. 
My mom? She lots over 20 lbs. 


I felt so passionately about the 21 day fix program that I decided to become a Beachbody coach so that I could help others too. 
I'm now at my pre-baby weight, but I still have a ways to go in my journey. I have new health and fitness goals, which is why I'm gearing up to do another round of the 21 day fix on September 19th with anyone else who wants to join me. 

I plan on staying focused for the entire 3 weeks, and I cannot wait to see the results. 
If this sounds like something you might be up for or if you just want some more information, please fill out the form here
If forms aren't really your thing, feel free to contact me on social media as well!

Sincerely,
Nicole