Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites: Etsy Items I'm Coveting

This week was a real cluster, let me tell ya.

A sick kiddo + a husband out of town + loads of work that needs to get done but you don't nearly get enough done because you are dealing with the sick kiddo = a bit of a frustrating week all around.

Except that I did get a lot of time to cuddle with Cruz. And I do love to cuddle. So hey, my week wasn't all that bad.

And now the fact that it's Friday and that I get to justify wearing workout clothes today while passing it off as a Halloween costume makes me downright giddy.

And maybe, just maybe, if all goes well, C and I will tackle an Auntie Annie pretzel at the mall this weekend. That may not be on my Eat Clean meal plan, so I guess instead I can just watch Cruz enjoy one, because we will be at the mall. That's about a given.

Nike two-piece (sold out / similar)

I digress...

You know what else makes me happy on this Friday?  People who have the talent to create goods that lots of other people want to buy. Which brings me to the point of my post today - my fave Etsy shops of the moment.

Without further adieu...

The Heirloom Bear Blanket from the Roxy Marj shop. Seriously, I die. How freakin' cute is this blanket? I think Cruz needs this like right now. Can you imagine it peeking out of his black & white stripe Land of Nod teepee?

And this one is a collab between Roxy Marj and Candy Kirby Designs (if you haven't checked out CKD, do it it all!) which is being released soon. I can't decide which one I love more.

The Roman Numeral bar necklace from Cherished Sentiments. I just bought this one for my bestie with her wedding date on it in roman numerals and then on the other side her new last name...and I loved it. So much so that I'm thinking I might need one for myself.

I mean, Cruz just needs this shirt, right? I love the saying on this raglan from Sweet Kiddo Co.

We are finally getting Cruz's room repainted (oh, and the toy room, I'm sneaking that in on the request for the painter...shhh) and we will be getting one of the below decals from Urban Walls. I obviously love the first best, but as you recall Nick doesn't for some reason (and I still totally don't understand why he doesn't), but I also love the crosses and triangles.

Super Hero Mask
Plus Sign

Greeting cards....I LOVE greeting cards and especially finding some with awesome sayings. Speaking of greeting cards, I do have to note that Target's greeting card section has really improved lately...but it still has nothing on some of my faves from Etsy.

Like this one. I love every single one from Julie Ann Art. Sarcastic. Funny. Just plain awesome.
Julie Ann Art

And I love these with song lyrics - 1) because Iris was our wedding song and 2) because music obviously plays an important role in my life, so I love tying special times to songs I love.
Song Lines Letterpress

This one could be interchanged with pizza in my opinion and it would be just as fun.
The Little Illustrator Cards

And, of course, those that are humorous enough for your husband who has just as weird a sense of humor and dirty mind as you do. Extra points when it says "bow chica wow wow" because I may or may not end some of our texts that way on the daily...
Row House 14

I seriously could go on....and on....and on... I love Etsy and finding unique goods there. Plus, just seeing how creative and fun people can be always blows my mind.

So what are some of your fave Etsy shops?

Bonus points if you have your own. I want to have my own someday. Now I just need to figure out what I'm good at to sell in that shop.

As always linking up with my gals - KarliAmyAmanda and Natasha.

Monday, October 27, 2014

An Austin Wedding

We just got back from a pretty fantastic wedding weekend in Austin. The weather was gorgeous, I got to spend time not only with my little fam, but also my mama and, of course, some uninterrupted time with my girl Angie. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the wedding was and how amazing she hopefully some of these pics will.

We flew out Thursday morning and I have to say it continues to get easier each time with this guy. It doesn't hurt that he doesn't need a stroller and all of that other junk that you have to bring along with babies.

When we got to Austin we immediately drove to Buda, TX where we were staying, unpacked and headed to the Wimberley hills for dinner, where Angie's family had a pretty kick ass rental home for their entire family. On the way, we had Siri giving us directions because it truly was up in the hills in the middle of no where and at one point, she told us "up ahead, park your vehicle and prepare to walk the remaining distance." Seriously. If it hadn't happened to us, I wouldn't believe it either. Fortunately we realized that we had taken a wrong turn and didn't, in fact, have to walk. Because I have seen the movie 'The Hills Have Eyes' and I wasn't about to do that.

Freshly Picked Moccs (here)  //  LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra (here)

Friday morning was nice and easy, thankfully my girl isn't a bridezilla and because Cruz had been up sick all night (ended up all weekend for that matter, but you won't be able to tell because this kid is a trooper I tell you. Sick all night, smiles and partying all day), so that was needed for sure. We ran some welcome gifts to the hotels for the wedding party, hit up Starbucks, picked up some champagne for the next day and then it was time to get ready for the rehearsal.

The Duchman Family Winery was absolutely beautiful - we had been here before as a part of our bachelorette party wine tour, but didn't have a chance to really check it out. Made for a nice background for these handsome guys and about a billion other pictures. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. And dinner, an Italian restaurant at the vineyard with plate after plate of delicious family-style food and bottle after bottle of delicious wine.  Who knew Texas knew wine?!

Converse Leather Sneaks (here)

After dinner, I had a date with the bride and we headed to the house she rented for us to get ready in on Saturday and for her wedding night (bow chicka wow wow). At the house, we decided to take advantage of the hot tub to relax a bit. It was so nice catching up with her, just having her to myself for a bit. There is a reason this girl has been in my life since 1992.

Saturday was perfect...she had hired a team from Houston to come out for hair and make-up at the house, so we all got to spend the day getting to know each other, drinking champagne and getting fancy. Fake eyelashes were a must.

And Angie was gorgeous. She always is, but I couldn't believe how amazing she looked. Just see for yourself. =)

As for the harem of ladies I got to hang out with, you can see us to the right of the picture. All of us in a different hue of blue...Angie's favorite color.

And those arms. Seriously, no one should have arms that perfect. And what good is it having a best friend who is a personal trainer who lives miles and miles away? No good, that's what.

The kiddos were just too much. So adorable. And if you are in the market for the cutest little outfits for a little guy, check out this Etsy shop. I couldn't get over at how perfectly it fit Cruzer and was very well made!

And the wedding was just absolutely perfect. Angie was the most gorgeous thing, Austin was handsome as all get out and the weather couldn't have been better.  And Cruz was a dancing machine. Before the music started he told me, "mama, I'm going to dance with Montanna first and then when we get done I will come back and dance with you." Already second fiddle....

And just like that, we were back on a plane headed to Omaha. And now this boy is sick with a sinus infection, so we have that going for us. Fortunately he is still his sweet, little self.

Hope you all have a great week!

Linking up with my girl B from B Loved Boston

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Go-To Meals

So most people who know me, know I'm no whiz in the kitchen.

Let me preface this post with the fact that just the other night I burnt eggs. Eggs.

Ok, so I should probably tell you that the eggs I burnt? They were hard boiled. Have you ever burned hard boiled eggs? Me neither...well, until that night.  I actually didn't know it was possible.

We were sitting down to dinner so I threw in some eggs to hard boil for breakfast the rest of the week. Of course water was spattering all over (remember this, it isn't a first-time occurrence) and Nick was b*tching at me telling me sternly that I was going to ruin the stove top and I wasn't listening. Then we finished dinner and all went outside to work on Cruz's hitting (baseball, not actual hitting), then came back into the house, Cruz & I colored a page in his new coloring book, put on PJs/got ready for bed, went downstairs to get some books to read before bed, read three books in his teepee  AND THEN I heard a pop...and another. I had no idea what it was.

Then it clicked. I hadn't taken the eggs - that I started at dinner time roughly 1 1/2 hours ago - off the stove. I walk over, there was no water, eggs exploded everywhere, and they were completely burnt brown on the bottom.

See, I burnt eggs.

It's no wonder Nick always tells me I could "eff up a lettuce sandwich," because it's true. Obviously.

Anyway, if my utter and complete failure in the kitchen trying to boil eggs isn't something that attracts you to read a post about my fave recipes, then I don't know what will. Am I right?

The following are staples in our household for our weekly breakfasts, lunches and dinners. In that order...

And Cruz is the absolute best helper in the kitchen and always wants to be in there when I am - which isn't often - but if I have to be in there, it's nice to have the company.

Breakfast Smoothies
  • Handful frozen Peaches
  • Handful frozen Blueberries
  • Handful frozen Pineapple
  • Handful spinach leaves
  • 1 or 2 fresh Bananas
  • Cup of Orange Juice - we use Simply Orange Pulp-Free
  • 1/2 cup Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or however many spoonfuls Cruz tosses in)
  • Scoop V-Core Vantage Orange Creamsicle Protein Powder (it's Nick's & it's delicious)
  • Ice
Throw all of the ingredients in the blender, blend until a smooth consistency, serve in your cutest smoothie jug.

We would generally include strawberries, except the Boss - aka Cruz - is allergic, so I only throw them in if I make separate batches.

John Deere Camo PJs (here)

Crock Pot Chicken

  • Three large, boneless chicken breasts - we use Smart Chicken
  • One packet Ortega low sodium taco seasoning
  • One jar of salsa - we use World Classics Corn & Black Bean Salsa (delish!)

Throw the defrosted chicken breasts into your crock pot, cover with salsa and taco seasoning packet. Stir taco seasoning and salsa together, then make sure the chicken is covered with salsa/seasoning mixture. Cook on low heat for 6 hours - give or take. You can stir randomly throughout, but it's not necessary. After six hours, the chicken will start to shred. Put contents of crock pot into a strainer to get rid of the juice and voila. Chicken for daaaays.

We use this shredded chicken many ways.
  • On top of a bed of rice or quinoa
  • Over salads
  • Inside quesadillas, tacos, & burritos 
  • Or eat by itself (I generally just throw it into a tupperware container and take to work)
It's literally so easy and so delicious.

Sam Sam's Chicken, Red Onions & Rice

  • Three large, boneless chicken breasts - we use Smart Chicken
  • Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Sauce - you could use a teriyaki of your choice
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, sliced (we prefer bigger chunks, but you could dice it)
  • 3 cups rice of choice - we use Uncle Ben's Brown & Wild Rice

Defrost the chicken breasts and cut into chunks. Cut your onion. Heat the wok to medium and toss in the chicken and onions, top with the sauce (don't go crazy with it) and stir until chicken is fully cooked through. Cook the rice according to the directions, top the rice with your chicken & onions. Serve and enjoy!

We eat this roughly three times a week. It's so good. We also add other veggies sometimes, just steam them in the wok in the same sauce we use on the chicken (not while you are cooking the chicken), but I really prefer just the onions.

Side Note: The other day I was at Cruz's school and his teachers must've asked the kids their favorite food - I saw a bunch of pizzas, chicken nuggets, and candy written next to the other kid's names - and then there was Cruz's response. "Chicken and Rice." Don't get me wrong, he loves all that other stuff but he really loves chicken and rice.

So this is a look into the Mango's weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner staples. What are some of your go-tos? And, just to clear things up, I only cook what's easy and quick, so no multiple step recipes please. =)

Fortunately this guy has always loved my cooking.  I mean, if that isn't a convincing face, I don't know what is...

Make My Day Bib (here) // Bumbo w/ tray (here)
Both are major faves of ours and guaranteed gifts to friends expecting babies

Linking up with Ashley and Jess.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Weekend

Hard to believe another weekend has come and gone...and that we are now past the middle of October. How can that be?!  This year is just flying by.

We had a great weekend around here. Low key, but also happened to get just busy enough to keep us on the move.

Friday night was pretty laid back after work. Nick played poker late so Cruz and I rented the newer Tarzan movie. It went a little something like this...

It was exactly what you picture a toddler acting like with a question every.single.minute. It is also amazing for me to watch him soak everything in and just realize he is learning so much right now, hence the 1,537 questions.  Why? Why? Mama? Why?

I was mid-thread with two of my SILs so they got to share in the fun.

After TRX on Saturday, we talked daddy into heading to Vala's Pumpkin Patch with us before football started. Which means we had just over an hour to cram as much in as we could. I mean, seriously, you could spend all day here. It's amazing to me what a business this family has built up. They kill it for two months of the year and the spend the rest of the year just growing some pumpkins.

Sam Edelman Rain Boots (sold out, similar here)

On the way home, we called in our breakfast order to what has quickly become one of my favorite spots - Over Easy - and brought it home to eat, so Nick could set up his big day of football watching. And so Cruz could eat some ketchup. Obviously.

After Cruz's nap, we needed to hit up the grocery store so I could stock up on items for the Eat Green Challenge (here), but first swung by the Millard West Craft Fair, where my SIL Joey was showing the gorgeous scarves from her shop Joey Mac Designs. Seriously this girl is so talented. Oftentimes, she will be wearing a gorgeous maxi dress and when we ask where she got it, she will be like, 'oh, I made it this morning.' Seriously. Could you imagine how awesome that would be?!

Since I had a pass last weekend for a girl's night, Saturday night was Nick's chance. Which meant Cruz and I were left to our own shenanigans. There may have been some laundry, there may have been some packing for our trip, there was definitely a lot of clothes. And trying on. Just look at him...he was enjoying it as much as I was.

On Sunday morning, Morgan and I met up at Sweat Cycle & Soul for their Pedal for the Cure breast cancer ride - Kelli definitely worked us out - and then we went to Starbucks for a coffee and to catch up. It was nice. Actually sitting down to enjoy a coffee and not having to talk in toddler speak. I could've sat there all day!

But there wasn't time for that. My photo assistant, Cruz, and I had to head downtown to shoot some pics of my sister's gorgeous family.  Do not judge the pic below. This was a last second one with my brother-in-laws iPhone before saying goodbye to Blake, so he could head back to college (wow, college, still hard to believe). 

I think we got some really great ones, but how could you not with a family this perfect?

Of course since the kiddos were sooo good through the pics, we took them to Ted & Wally's for some ice cream - I have to say I was disappointed in their selection of flavors, unless you're a fan of cayenne chocolate, which I most definitely was not. Regardless, I still ate every last bit of my vanilla waffle cone. Obviously.  

We said our goodbyes and then as Cruz and I were driving out of the Old Market, I spotted an available horse & carriage and a parking spot - both which are near impossible to come by, so I figured it was meant to be and we took a carriage ride around downtown. It was a beautiful night and Cruz was just so giddy. Remember those questions from Friday night - multiply them by 1,000 and that was basically the conversation during our ride.

"Mama, why does the horse go so slow?"

"Mama, why is the horse peeing right now?"

"Mama why is the horse running?"

"Mama, let's lay down and pretend we're sleeping."

"Mama, who are those people?"

"Mama, why are they waving?"

"Mama, where does the horse go poop?"


It was the absolute best.

See? We definitely had a great weekend. Looking forward to a short work week and a trip to Austin with my fam later this week!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hello lovely to see you.

My best gal's wedding is next weekend. Wow! I feel like we've been planning for this day forever! Cruz and I are in the wedding and obviously Nick is coming down to be the eye candy =) but even better, my mom is coming as well, not only to be there for Angie's big day but to help us with Cruz man so we can celebrate all night. And, of course, I'm staying with Ang the night before the wedding so Nick and mom will have to work together to wrangle the toddler tornado for me.

On other wedding news (not so great news), I picked up my MOH dress last week and I'm not loving it. Yeah, I know that a lot of people complain about their dresses, but this is bad. Bad because I GOT TO PICK OUT MY OWN DRESS.

You heard that right - I was given a color swatch and told to stick with satin/silk fabric but was let loose to choose short or long, straps/no straps. And I'm not loving it.

I was going for this.
Not to spoil the surprise, but I don't look like that in my dress. Damn. Total buyer's remorse.

So this weekend I'm going to look around and see if I can find anything else, otherwise I'm sure I will make do.

Let's move onto better news... I just signed up for the Sweat Cycle Soul Eat Green Challenge. Kelli had this the same time last year and I foolishly didn't do it, so I'm happy to be a part of it this time around and even better my sister, Tessa is doing it with me. I love when I have someone else to hold me accountable. Lord knows I need that. The best part is that it will be a great kick start into the holiday season! Here is what she has to say:

"ENERGIZE your life with our Fall Eat Green Challenge! October 20-November 21. This easy to follow five week plan is all about eating real food in order to feel more energized. 

Everyone wants to look and feel their best, but it's important that the food you eat leaves you feeling energized and not starving. Heavy on veggies and complete plant based proteins, join us for this realistic, five week detox program! 

Each week you will be emailed meal plans, recipes and exact portions to eat at each meal. 

Make your way in to the holiday season feeling and looking your best!"

The best part? It's all online/via email so anyone - not only those of us in Omaha - can participate! If you are interested, let me know and I can tell you how to sign up or check it out for yourself - sign up today at under the"workshops" tab or by emailing

Ok, so the actual best part? You get to eat REAL food. I've done cleanses and mush in the past and it didn't work. I'm thinking this will be right up my alley.

I would love to have more Eat Green buddies - let me know if you are thinking about doing it too!


Did you all know there is a high heel exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, appropriately called "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe"? Is it bad that I want to plan a trip to NYC just to see it before it's gone in February? I love everything shoe related, especially heels, so this is right up my alley.

If you live in the NYC area, please please please go check this exhibit out for me!

I've been eyeing this UA duffle (in gray) for a hot minute but it keeps popping up EVERYWHERE. And I'm not talking strategic ad placement on my sidebar, I'm talking an email from UA showcasing just this. In my search for some UA tights on Norstrom. Everywhere. Is it a sign that I should get it? I think so. =)

Ok so I've fallen in love with this new app I found called Imoji. It takes your pics and you can make your own emoticons with them! Seriously, I've overused the two below, so I think I need to have Cruz pose with a thumbs up, crying face, big laugh face, muscles, you name it. Just like all of the emojis I love to use these days.

On that note...have the best weekend!

As always linking up with my gals - KarliAmyAmanda and Natasha