Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Great Gummy Bear Massacre

What started out to be a fun cooking time with the kids, ending in tears and heartache when bits and pieces of their hard-earned gummy bears were picked apart. This is why you should always read instructions twice. In my case, I should read them start to finish even one time.
Two of the three kids, love their supplement shots in the morning. Ten guesses which one has a differing opinion. I had pinned a recipe long ago when I was still lying to myself about being a Pinterest mom. I thought this would be such a great opportunity to share how great I am, as well as how versatile our Young Living stash can be.


I cleaned the kitchen, I didn't use the rusted over measuring spoons, and I even bathed should I happen to get the perfect Instagram snapshot.

I burned myself nearly immediately. Honey is a hot s.o.b. when melted over an open flame.

We melted our ingredients, and I carefully took the saucepan over to pour our liquid into the mold. There is now a line of solidified NingXia/honey/agar agar (fancy gelatin) on my floor because the heat in the sucky thing just made the stuff fly all over. Where's the wine?

I made the damn things, put the mold into the refrigerator, and waited one hour.
You can get your gummy bear mold HERE.

Nothing. Still liquid-ish.

Hour two. Sort of firm, but like he could use some gummy bear Cialis.

Hour three. Good enough.

Call the kids down, and we start to peel.
Well, that was a head. 

Shit, there goes a leg.

That one split right down the middle.

I'm killing it. Literally.

The kids are now angry and teary. I have murdered their bears.

I run to the computer to look at the recipe. Oh. I used 1 tsp of agar agar. I should have used 4 tsp.
I am over it. Suck the bears out of the mold for all I care. We'll try again tomorrow.

Read my instructions twice. Don't be an asshat like me.

1c NingXia Red
4tsp agar agar powder (gelatin)
2 tsp honey
optional: 2-3 drops Grapefruit and Lime EO

Bring to a boil, add your EOs, drop into your molds.

Refrigerate 1 hour. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Meal Prep Monday FAQ

First of all, you should know that I am eating pizza while I type this.

Without fail, I post my accountability salad-making for the week, and the intelligent questions roll in.
What are those round, red things in there?

I don't see any protein. Don't you know that you need protein with veggies?

What kind of lettuce is it?

Why would you eat chickpeas?

Is your lettuce flaccid?  << second favorite word in the English language

Guys, it's vegetables, chopped up in containers. I want to say that it's deeper and more complex than me turning on some dancing music, and chopping veggies for the week.

Sometimes it's organic, sometimes it's not. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for eating non-organic. Eat the salad, not the pizza.

Ready to be blown away?
The basics stay the same: romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and almond slivers. Clean it (if it's not organic), and chop it.

Grill up some thin cut steak and chicken.
These boxes are our jam and you can grab them HERE.

Yes, my husband eats them.

Sometimes the kids do.

Yes, I add the protein when I'm ready to eat the salad.

Sometimes, if I'm feeling crazy, I chop up hard-boiled eggs and throw those in. 

Go forth and meal prep.
Sunday, July 30, 2017

So, I Went Back to Church

...and I didn't get burned at the stake, or hit over the head with a Bible. I wasn't even asked to join a cult.

I just went.
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, child and outdoor
Driving back to a place I didn't think I'd ever go again, we pulled our car into the parking lot and I took a deep breath. The pit stains were well-formed, and not going away even after angling my arms just so in front of the vents as I drove.

"I'm doing it for them. I'm doing it for them. They need to know Jesus at an early age, and know what I know, but don't understand. 

Also, there is beer in the fridge."

The church doesn't even look like the church I went to many years ago. And truthfully, this one isn't really the problem.

The Baptist church. That's my problem.

Bible-thumping, fear-mongering, shaming, judging. Those are the emotions and feelings that envelope that building. The kids not knowing or understanding God, and being told, "God will give up on you one day because you will screw up too many times for Him to forgive you." Apology letters being written by teens, who made a bad choice and got pregnant, and being forced to read them aloud during assembly. "Why is she apologizing to me? She didn't have sex with me. Is this normal? Do all Christians shame other Christians? Shit. I'm screwed."

There were good things too. The football games, the parties, the underground dances, the friendships, a select group of teachers. But chapel? Chapel was when I suddenly had cramps. Forget P.E. Chapel scared me more than an old fart with a stopwatch.

And here I was: opening myself up to all the shame, the guilt, the inferiority, the fear, the anxiety. Oh, the anxiety. The kind that a Xanax can't touch. Church was the C word. I wouldn't darken those doors until I had to - maybe a funeral. Maybe I could stand outside while they sang Ave Maria.

I could drop my kids in service and head to Starbucks. It wasn't my worst idea. I know other people who do it all the time. They'd get Jesus, and I'd get? Well, I wouldn't get the shame or the guilt. I was showing up to church after an 8-month hiatus. Surely, God was going to pillar-of-salt me for that kind of shit. My Bible teacher told me: He'd give up on me one day. Walking away from church was probably one of the best reasons to give up on me.

I texted the pastor's wife because she's normal.

"I don't want to do this, but I have to. For them."

"Come a few minutes after service starts. It's dark in there - like a night club. You don't have to talk to anyone, and you can sit in the back. Easy escape."

My kids betrayed me that night. They ran (read: bolted) for their classrooms. I carried them in my body for 9 months, and they left me in the dust to sit with a bunch of Judgy McJudgersons. Alone.


I texted aforementioned pastor's wife the entire time.

"Something is weird about the music."

"What's wrong?"

"No one was rolling around on the ground, and I didn't see one flag being waved." 

"If you've never been hit by a flag during worship, then, you've never been to a charismatic church."

Ok, so, the worship wasn't terrifying, but we have yet to get into a sermon momentarily where, surely, I will be told I am a scum bag who is going to burn. Wait for it...

I waited.

The shame never came.

Maybe next week.

Week two, Maddie asked Jesus into her heart, and proudly told me that she had "bathtized" herself in our tub not too long ago.

Eight weeks later, and I feel no shame. I have never once been made to feel less than. Quite the opposite. Daughter-of-The-King-level opposite. In fact, I ditch the kids faster to be sure I don't miss something. That feels weird.

I even asked about serving in some capacity.

"I know oils, I take good photos, and I'm sarcastic. What's the position for those gifts?"

Jesus & I? He & I are tight. God? If we had a Facebook, our relationship status would read, "it's complicated."
(And yes, I know about the trinity. Keep up.)

So, maybe God & I need some couples counseling for a while. Maybe I can see that He's not going to backhand me when I screw up. He wouldn't do that to my babies, so why would He do that to me? I guess...I guess He wouldn't.

Stay tuned as Andrea + MJJ Go To Church continues. Maybe I'll get hit by a flag next week.

* * *

Also, Josh works for a church in another town on the weekends, so we don't go with him because of distance. Don't ask.

Also also, I am grateful for my education and the private school I went to, so please don't mistake this for being ungrateful. Just have some junk to work out that was put there by some buttholes who worked there.

Monday, July 24, 2017

My 5-Minute Face with Savvy Minerals

I have absolutely no training in applying make-up other than watching these fantastic YouTubers basically create magic on their faces. I love make-up because it makes me look less troll-like, and feeling pretty just makes you feel better all around.

You may have heard that Young Living now sells Savvy Minerals make-up. Likely, you were able to hear an entire stadium of rabid women in Salt Lake City when it was announced. I'm not going to say that I got teary, but I'm not going to say I didn't. When you love a company and they listen to your number need, you get a little soft.

Why we freaked out: a group of crunchy women, swapping out chemicals, toxins, and the things we can't pronounce is a big deal to us. Your skin is your largest organ and all kinds of junk seeps into those nasty pores, getting into your blood stream in something like 6 seconds. If I'm going to destroy my organs, it will be with pink bubbly #thankyouverymuch.

Without further ado, here is my spread. I'll post the entire line at the end for you all, but this is what I use on a daily basis.
Young Living's Savvy Minerals is my favorite! No talc, parabens, bismuth, cruelty, or gluten.

Foundation: Cool No. 2
All over powder: Crowned All Over
Contour: Summer Loved Bronzer
Blush: Smashing
Highlight: Veil
Brows & eyeliner: Multitasker
Brow bone eye shadow: Wanderlust
Lid shadow: Crushin'
Lips: Abundant Lip Gloss
Mascara: OTC

It sounds like a lot and like I'm high-maintenance, but it's a fast application as you will see in the video below!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Great Haircut of 2017

I did it. Blame Carrie Underwood if you need to. I saw her in concert, and thought that if I cut my hair like hers that her body would come along with the cut. That last part was a bit of a leap, but hey! I've been in the gym 6 days a week lately, so maybe there is something to this haircut.

A lot of people want to know how and if it's possible to have mermaid waves at this length. Yes, fear not. I may burn myself a little more, but it is entirely possible.

For your viewing pleasure, I created this time lapse video for you. I called it a "speeded-up video." Josh rolled his eyes.

Products used: 
-Hot Tools Rainbow Gold 1" Curling iron
-Kenra Platinum Dry Texture Spray 6

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rockabye Rockers

With adventurous and wild twin boys in the house, we are always on the hunt for toys that they will love and that will last. We are also a musical family, so a dragon and a moose that play music? Where do I sign up? Rockabye rockers have been one of our favorite additions to our toy collection. Quality, design, customization, fast shipping. Everything that moms are looking for for their little ones.

These rockers go room-to-room because the boys love them so much. We rock while we watch TV, we rock while we play, we rock our superheroes on them, and we rock when we're supposed to be sleeping. They are squishy, comfy, so cute, and beautifully made. Plus, there's no mistaking which rocker belongs to which twin because they are beautifully engraved with their names. We cannot sing Rockabye rockers praises enough.

The other thing that I love about these rockers is that feeling of nostalgia. Granted, I didn't have a plush, cozy customized animal and engraved name on mine, but I will never forget my first rocking horse. I loved it, and I am so glad that my boys have rockers that they can use and remember. And heck, how amazing would it be for them to keep these and pass them on to their kids?

If you are in need of fun, well-made rockers for your little ones, then, you need to head to Rockabye and search for the perfect one. You can follow Rockabye on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on new arrivals and sales.
Friday, June 23, 2017

We love to PLEY

If you have a little girl, you need a Disney Princess monthly box delivered to your house. Wouldn't you have killed for one as a kid? This is Maddie's newest obsession.

The exact moment she opened her box to see what was inside was the best! All she knew was that she had a pink box delivered to HER. That was enough to blow her mind!

Who is Pley?

We are Santa’s little helpers and love to see your child smile. We curate a monthly box of activities, stories and goodies that makes kids (…and their parents) happy.

With a mission statement like that, you cannot go wrong.

What's in a PLEY box? Well, you have some options. For the princess in your life, I highly recommend the Disney Princess box because each mystery box tells a story and includes 4-8 Princess figurines, accessories & goodies to keep. The National Geographic box is a monthly mission that explores our planet. Each box includes activities, toys & accessories including educational digital games. Either way, you can't go wrong! Oh, and then, you have a rental option called Pley Toy Library where you can rent the best toys from a library of 500+ educational toys. Select, Play and Return.

In our Belle box, we got all of the Beauty & The Beast characters, a tiara, Belle shirt, and the box turns into a castle that you can pop together, and your littles can color! She was pumped!

We love Pley because of the wonder and the sheer joy that we get with each box. It's such a fun way to surprise your little ones every two months with a surprise box! Stay up-to-date with the newest boxes by following Pley on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bows on Beauties

This sweet girl of mine has an affinity for hair bows, and these are some of our very favorites from our friends at Beau-ties & Beauties! This pink, faux leather bow is, obviously, the fan favorite right now. 

Ingrid is another bad-A stay-at-home mom of two, using her talents to build a business while staying home with her little ones. You know I love my mompreneurs! Her bows and bowties are handmade of the best quality, and affordable! Your kiddos need these in their lives.

Head to Ingrid's Facebook & Instagram to stay up-to-date on her newest additions and creations! You will not be disappointed! Let her know that I sent you too!

Thank you, Ingrid for the opportunity to work with you & showcase your beautiful products! We love them!
Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Blonde Cactus | Sonoran Sewing

Happy first official day of summer break! We all took a deep breath and said sayonara to May and hello to beaches, pools, shorts, flip flops, popsicles, and BBQ's. I don't know about you, but we were ready!

This girl is growing up so fast and is getting so big, but she'll gladly don a cute dress and play model for me. This dress by Sonoran Sewing has become one of her absolute favorites, and she has worn it at least once a day everyday since it arrived. 

It's made of the softest cotton and it's so breathable. She'll be living in it this summer. And plus, how darling are those cacti?! We had a lady hootin' and hollerin' in Kroger today over the dress and how amazing she looked in it!

So many of you sent me messages asking where we snagged this, and now you can snag one for your girls! And tell Tatiana that you want a matching Mommy/Daughter combo - really trying to convince her to add that to her shop! When you grab your clothing, let her know that I sent you! Head here to grab this dress!

Tatiana, thank you for letting me brag on your clothing! This dress was a perfect addition to her brother's Fiesta Birthday, and a great summer dress for all occasions.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Fiesta for Twins

We officially have three-year-old twins! It's crazy how it can seem like we just brought them home, but also like we've had them forever. This year was one of my favorites because we have so many friends with little ones who got to come and play with the boys for the afternoon. You know they're all in heaven when they are squealing and giggling for three solid hours.

As many of you know, I love me a good theme party. I need a goal to work towards, so I pick a theme and run. I lucked out with year with Fiesta + Cinco De Mayo! Plus, what is better to eat or cheaper than chips & salsa? PartyCity was our main party outfitter this year, and you should have heard the squeals between Maddie and I when we started throwing party decor into our cart! It was so fun!

Unlike before, I was way behind the 8-ball in planning this fiesta because #life. I had fully planned on phoning this party in, but a quick pep talk from my girlfriend and I had a complete tablescape planned, complete with cactus cupcakes! My dear friend, Chele, came over early with Starbucks and set to work on making these darling cupcakes for my boys! They look intricate, but a quick look on Pinterest proved that they are really quite easy. You can check out a simple walk through here!

And this banner. This was the inpsiration for it all! You guys know how I love womenpreneurs and when I found The Glitzy Craft, I knew immediately that I wanted to have a fiesta for the boys! The entire banner inspired their party!

The mustaches didn't necessarily go with the fiesta, but they are next to the fiesta section in Party City, so we went with it. Turned out to be a huge hit!

This girl. She is such a beauty inside and out, and was so excited to celebrate her brothers' this year! And yes, that dress is the best thing ever. Many of you have asked where I found it - Etsy! Always! More on her darling dress and how to snag one from Sonoran Sewing later this week!

Sophisticated, serious friends are must-have.

This year, they got the present thing. Not like, they acquired presents. Like, they totally oohed and ahhed over every bag, every present, every piece of tissue paper. It was such a riot watching these big boys get excited about trucks and water guns and Lincoln logs and everything in between. Watching their excitement is why I celebrate them every year. Their lives are so special and magical, and celebrating them is just the most fun because of their joy.

We cannot thanks our friends and family enough for coming to celebrate our boys! They are insane and wild and smelly and sweet and giggly and gross, and having you here to celebrate all that they are just made the day!

A huge thank you to The Glitzy Craft and Sonoran Sewing for being a part of our day and inspiring such a fun party!