Author Archives: Katie

Chop it Up

I am all about my new knives! We have some high quality (and high dollar) knives in our kitchen, but because our knives tend to the more expensive side, we don’t always have enough to go around, especially when we are doing prep for an extended family meal or one of our parties.

Enter the Vremi Knife Set! These brightly colored knives serve a wide variety of purposes and have their own knife sheaths. That means we don’t need to buy a bigger knife block or worry about cutting ourselves when we go digging for one in a kitchen drawer.

As for performance, these knives have exceeded expectations. They cut well, even through tomato skins, and the grips are super comfortable for my hands! We went strawberry picking about a week after I opened the box and the work was made super simple by having more than one chopping knife on hand to prep them for the freezer.

I’m super happy with these knives and glad that I have something in my life to simplify meal prep. And now, for the really good news…

You can use my giveaway to get your very own set of these knives! Check out the link below!

Win the Vremi Coffee Grinder and Knife Set #2https://js.gleam.io/e.js

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Gardenite Garden Hose Nozzle

It’s officially spring even though the weather here in North Carolina keeps trying to make us return to winter. But, with the warmer weather comes yard work galore!

I have more than a few outdoor projects in mind (more on those projects later), but one thing I was seriously lacking in is of the hose sprayer variety. The one I have been using the last couple of years was one I grabbed at Target a few years ago and never really took care of, so I was thinking I was going to replace it with something nicer.

Just at the right time, I was given the opportunity to purchase the Gardenite Garden Hose Nozzle at a discount and I couldn’t have been happier!IMG_0496

The weight of the nozzle was impressive before I even took it out of the package. It gave the impression that it was made of high-quality materials and felt nice in my hand once it was out of the package.

Unlike cheap garden hose nozzles, this one threaded right onto my hose without an issue. Then, it came time to start the flow of the water and test it out.

For this trial, I used the jet stream to wash away some cobwebs from the exterior of my house, and the shower to settle some soil I used to fill some holes in my yard (that’s another post, too). I cycled through several of the other spray patterns and found that they will all be useful in some way as I work through my spring yardwork projects.

The thing that makes this hose nozzle unique is the mechanism used to turn the flow of water on and off. I like that it lets you control the flow of water much better than the “trigger” mechanism of most hose nozzles. When I was working the hose with two hands, it was easy to use. When I started to try to do something else with one hand, it became a little more difficult because of the size of my hands. However, I think it just takes some getting used to, because after a couple of trials, it was easy to manage.

Now, here comes the cool part.  You get a chance to win one of these awesome spray nozzles by entering the giveaway below! Check it out and be sure to enter!

Win a Gardenite Nozzle Hand Sprayer #3

Toddler Eats Chicken

We are lucky. Our girl loves to eat. And, for the most part, she loves to eat what we are eating. That being said, she isn’t big on combining foods. That makes plates with separate compartments ideal!

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We only have a few on hand because, let’s face it, we really don’t need a bunch of stuff cluttering up the already limited kitchen space we have. But, the little three compartment plates we have been using don’t always cut it as her appetite increases and when we have meals with more than 3 components. So, when we were given a chance to try the Din Din SMART Silicone Suction Divided Plate, I jumped at the chance!

The plate is heavy silicon and has one extra large suction cup on the back. It has five separate compartments for food, so it was ideal for serving one of our favorite warm-weather meals, grilled chicken and veggie bowls with black rice.

Grilled Chicken Bowl

As you can see, we pile everything into a bowl for the adults, but P being P, she doesn’t usually want everything all combined that well. Enter her new plate! We combined the zucchini, peppers and onions in one compartment, put chicken in the main compartment, black rice in one, a couple of slices of avocado in one, and grilled sweet potato in the other.

She spent about a third of her mealtime pointing out the foods in the various compartments and making sure everything stayed in its own space. In the end, when she started getting bored with eating, she started pulling on the plate and, unlike the rest of our suction cup plates, it stayed put! That alone makes it a great plate in my book! This one is in the rotation and won’t be going anywhere any time soon!

 

Nothing Like the Last Minute

About 10 days ago, one of the teachers at my school came to me and asked if she could pass off the planning for a mutual friend’s baby shower to me. She had some personal stuff going on and needed to take a leave of absence from work. Of course, I said yes. The next day, the reality of what I had committed to hit home. So, what does one do when a party, even a casual one, gets handed off with one week to go until said event? That’s right, call in the troops.

After sleeping on it, I called in the troops! Two other teachers from the grade level and two other teachers from our school’s support staff. Fortunately, this was just a casual after school event, so we were able to divvy up the work and responsibilities. One person took salty snacks, one person took drinks, and two people decided the bear the responsibility for the cake. I decided to take on decorations and paper products because I just love that stuff.

My friend has a space theme for her impending arrival’s nursery and really isn’t into “cutesy” stuff so I decided to avoid baby blue and see what I could do to include her space theme. I found a planets set on Cricut, designed my own rocket (thank you, cut, slice, and weld tools!), and created a banner with the baby’s name for the gift table. I went with dark blue and gray for the tables and paper products.

Finally, I set up a basket for wishes for the new baby. All in all, I think it looked great and everyone enjoyed it!

Wrap it Up

I was super excited to be selected for YouCopia’s campaign to review some new kitchen products. My kitchen cabinets and drawers are always a mess so it was exciting to get a chance to use something that could help me get organized.

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I chose the StoreMore WrapStand for all my rolls of wraps and boxes of baggies. When it arrived I immediately put it together and got it set up on my kitchen counter. Right now, that is where it is living because it is a little too tall in its conventional position for my upper kitchen cabinets.

I’m deciding now if I’m going to keep it on its side or use it in one of lower cabinets (which would require a little reorganization). But, for now, I’m really enjoying it. I even had enough slots to store by box of gallon bags on its side. It makes it super easy to grab one without having to wrestle with a box in the bottom drawer of my cabinets.

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Now, here is the best part. I didn’t just get to try one, I get to give away a YouCopia product so you can give it a try for yourself.

Enter below for your chance!

Win one Youcopia product of your choice #4

How do you tackle your disorganized kitchen? I would love to hear about what you do!

Training Update – 4 Weeks

Since today marks four weeks since I was officially cleared to resume running, it is time for another update.

I feel like things are going well so far. After 6 months off, I’ve lost a bit on my previously tortoise-like pace, but I know that will come back over time. In addition, my run/walk intervals have been going fairly well. Most of the time I don’t feel like I have to add in any extra walking, but some of the hills in my area definitely give me challenges at time. Finally, I’m starting to monitor my heart rate more closely. I was heart rate training before my pregnancy and I do want to resume that, but restoring base mileage to my legs is my big priority right now. Once I feel good about where I am with mileage, then I will look back at my heart rate data and go from there.

On Monday, I begin week 5 of this rebuilding journey. I’m planning to continue running by time and pushing my intervals in increments of one minute or less based on how I felt during the previous week. Here is my plan:

  • Monday – 35 minute run/walk
  • Wednesday – 45 minute run/walk
  • Friday – 30 minute continuous run
  • Saturday – 60 minute run/walk

I’m hoping to be able to keep up with this schedule now that my maternity leave is over. It means getting up and going out at 4:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays and just hoping the baby sleeps so that she isn’t crying to eat the majority of the time I’m gone. Fortunately, I’m on Fridays for the summer and can run a little later on Fridays and Saturdays.

I’m not really doing any strength work right now. I know I need to work it in, but again, I’m giving higher priority to getting back in the swing of things at work and spending time getting a few extra baby snuggles while I can. When my work schedule changes again in August, I will work on figuring that out.

So, overall I’m happy with how things are going! I know I have some areas for growth, but I’m prioritizing and moving forward with my goal of running a half in December!

Dorky Mom Moment

Just a quick pop-in to say today has felt like a success. I mean, it isn’t even 5 PM yet, so anything could happen, but today, I feel like we killed the eat, play, sleep cycle. We are still working on the whole self-soothing so I can put her down while she is sleepy and not sleeping, but I have a feeling we will get there eventually. 


Let’s hope this trend continues!