5 Ways I Practice Self-Care

I feel like ‘self-care’ is a term that is thrown around as a blanketed heading for any and all excuses to do something for yourself. I hear people doing things in the name of self-care – when honestly they are just exercising selfishness or trying to draw attention to themselves for unnecessary reasons. But the truth is, that self-care should be something that you are intentionally doing in order to take care of yourself on a day to day basis. It should be things that take care of you mentally, physically, and emotionally. It should be about YOU and YOU alone.

“Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.”

Oftentimes we are too focused on how we can/should take care of those around us. As Mothers, we too often put our children’s or partner’s needs before our own. And while that is a way to show love to the ones we love – you can’t live your life doing that all the time. The best analogy I’ve ever heard is relating self care vs caring for others to how airplane safety speeches always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before you put one on your child’s or whoever else is seated near you that you want to assist. It’s really simple when you think of it that way: you can’t adequately or effectively take care of someone else if you haven’t first taken care of yourself. If you can’t breathe, how can you possibly help someone else?

We’re big on self-care around here at Rage Against the MOMachine. We’re big on not losing ourselves in this thing we call parenthood. So I thought, it would perfectly poignant to share with you guys some of the ways I practice self-care on a daily basis.

  1. BATHS. Do you follow us on Snapchat? (ashley.sumrall & theboymom) Well if you did, you’d know we love a nice scalding bath. We each take one every single day. Why? We need that downtime. That me time. We often take a drink with us to the bath too. You’re killing two birds with one stone too: getting physically clean, and getting mentally/emotionally cleansed from the day. Shut the bathroom door and immerse yourself in hot water and let your mind and body relax.
  2. GETTING READY FIRST. My kids know that Mommy has to get ready first before we can go anywhere or do anything. I make sure that I allot myself time to stand in front of my mirror and apply as little or as much makeup that I deem necessary for the day. I fix my hair and put on my clothes before I tend to my children. It’s important for my psyche that I get myself set and ready to face the day. It makes me a better me and a much better mom. It makes me feel good about myself which in turn affects how I treat others.
  3. SAYING ‘NO’ WHEN I FEEL OVERWHELMED. Now for some people this may just be second nature. But I’m a super people pleaser. It is incredibly hard for me to say no, especially if I feel like I’m inconveniencing someone else..or possibly disappointing someone else. So, I have to intentionally take a step back and realize my own limitations and make sure that I say ‘no’ before I set myself up for failure.
  4. GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE. Now, I’m an extreme introvert – but that does not mean that I prefer the hermit lifestyle. The idea of spending an entire day at home and not ever leaving, sounds pretty dismal to me. I don’t mind being out and about where the people are – doesn’t mean I want to interact with them…I just need to be among them sometimes to do things like go to Target or Starbucks or Old Navy or the park or the splash pad or the beach…and so on and so on and so on. If I have my kids, I of course have to bargain with them…let’s go do THIS thing for Mommy, and then I’ll do THIS thing for you. Or sometimes my need to escape the house is satisfied by a purely kid driven trip. Either way: I’m out of the house for a bit.
  5. SLEEP IN. Man, I love sleeping, and when I get the chance to sleep until my little heart’s content – I take full advantage. If I don’t have my kids, or if their dad is there to take care of them…I sleep sleep sleep until I’m ready to get up. I usually have things to do or things I want to do (like getting out of the house by a decent hour so I can retreat back to my house for that introvert healing time) – so 10 am is the latest I usually sleep in now. But hey, it’s better than my typical 5:30 am wake up call. Sleep is important for physical health – for anyone. But getting enough and quality sleep is important for MY emotional health as well. It’s literally a necessity, but I need to take it past the necessity line and indulge a little in order to reap alll the benefits it offers to me. 😉

A lot of times we are doing things like I mentioned without too much extra thought. Sometimes, you’ve been doing something in the name of self-care for so long that it has just become habit for you. That’s fantastic. However, sometimes we need to find new ways to practice self-care…or find any way at all to give yourself that extra care you need in order to function. I always like hearing how others practice self-care, and I hope that maybe I’ve helped one of you recognize an important way that they can and should be taking care of yourself!

Tell me, what are ways that you guys practice self-care?

Life Lately

Hey hey…happy Monday – and welcome to our Life Lately post wherein we give you guys a little update on as to what has been going on in our lives!

Ashley –

We usually space these posts out in two week increments, but last Monday was a holiday – so here we are with three weeks of things to share with you! What have WE been up to? Well, last Monday was Memorial Day, so the family came over to our house for some grilling and chilling. I had plans to attempt using the charcoal grill all by myself… BUT thankfully my Dad swooped in and saved the day to be the grill master. 😉

We have been to the Library a couple times since Coop got out of school. I want them to participate in the Summer Reading Program that happens every Wednesday, and we also just go to get them excited about reading. 🙂 So far, we’ve really been enjoying it. Except for when we get in trouble for jumping on a bean bag in an attempt to make the perfect boomarang for Instagram. oops

Cooper finished school a little over a week ago, and he’s been enjoying having a break from that. It has been nice not having to worry about taking him and picking him up from a place different than Sophie. Having the past couple of Wednesdays not be dictated by what time school drop off and pick up is – was really nice and freeing. Sophie and I went to the Hattiesburg Zoo which was fun…and tiring. I’ve been working with Coop everyday doing learning activities to keep his mind active and ready for Kindergarten. Obviously, there has been some shopping mixed in with all of that. Old Navy recently opened in D’Iberville – sooo I’ve been there several times. This past weekend they were having amazing sales that I talked about on our IG Stories (@rageagainstthemomachine).

Anddd – honestly that’s about all that comes to mind. LOL What about you Rhonda? What’s been going on in Texas?

Rhonda –

I feel like we have been so busy, but like…. doing what exactly?  Hmm.

My hairstylist flew in for a couple of days, to do my hair and that of some of my girlfriends.  I got a fiery new ‘do and the kids got some flair too.

The kids and I have enjoyed the backyard a lot, with me getting super crazy tan!  Stuart has of course grilled a lot.  Over Memorial Day weekend, we enjoyed the pool and grilling for 3 straight days.  It was amazing and indulgent.

We went to another baseball game and that was fun as always.  We are kind of obsessed with them.

We had a wave of stomach bug sweep through our house and that was obviously a blast.  It caused us to have to push back Harper’s birthday party.  I was fine with that since it meant more time to prepare (or procrastinate).  We had a nice time with our closest friends.

I was pleased to discover a couple days ago that I had reached one of my goals in weight loss.  While I am still not at the point where I want to be, I am in a dress I wasn’t able to button in February.  I can’t be mad about that!

My other best friend, Nicole, came to visit.  We have been really enjoying our time together and it’s only half over!  We went to a concert, stayed the night in a schmancy hotel, and spent the the day after drinking by a rooftop pool.  Doesn’t get much better than that!

What have y’all been up to?

Movin’ Up – Cooper finished PreK 4!

On Tuesday, Cooper’s school held their Pre K and Kindergarten ‘Moving Up’ ceremony, and I planned to just make a short Facebook Post – per usual – on my personal page and throw up the videos and pictures from the ceremony. However, as I tried to plan what I wanted to say – I realized I had way too many words spilling out of my mind for a little Facebook Post. And also, those of you who are regular have followed along a bit with us as I’ve documented our journey to and through PreK on the blog. I feel like you deserve some closure. 😉 

So, here we are on the blog. I didn’t cry during the ceremony, but I’m pretty sure there’s a reservoir behind my eyes that is going to spill over onto my face as I write out all these emotions.

I know. I know. It’s just a Pre K ‘graduation’. I know I sound like one of those ridiculous moms making a big deal out of something minor. But the thing is. It’s a big deal to us. It’s a big deal to me as Cooper’s mom. He had some struggles this year which really compounded the importance of this event, but even if we were just another normal kid who walked into PreK 4 like it was NBD, I’d still be emotional about it.

Turning five and preparing to enter Kindergarten is a big change in your child’s life. I really feel like now when I Iook at him, he has lost all traces of my baby boy. He’s becoming such a big kid. He looks more and more like a little carbon copy of his dad to me every day. They also share a ton of personality traits that Cooper is exhibiting more profoundly with every passing day.  He’s just becoming such a little man. He’s way more independent and capable of doing things on his own. It makes me super happy and incredibly sad all at once. It’s that bittersweet part of being a parent : excitedly watching our babies grow but missing the little ones that they used to be.

And so there we sat, in the gym of his school, watching him and his class perform songs complete with little hand motions that they’d learned over the year. It was super cute. He did really well. He stood up there with confidence, and had only one minor mishap when another little boy got overzealous with his swaying side to side and almost knocked Coop off the riser they both stood on. Coop promptly called out to his teacher to report this incident. Of course. Because not a minute goes by at home without him first yelling, “MOMMY Soso did this thing to meeee.” Instead of confronting Sophie about the issue first. It’s something we are working on. 😉

There was a reception after the performance where each kid got some treats and I got to look through his classroom journal. He came to PreK 4 with zero knowledge of how to write letters much less his own name. He can now write his name with ease which is just a huge milestone. We still have some challenges ahead of us academically with Coop – but I feel like he will be fine and some of that is overdue pressure for kids to know so much before they even enter kindergarten.

Socially and emotionally? Well, he’s excelling. For those of you who aren’t regular blog readers or are new or don’t know us in real life – Coop had major separation anxiety issues. I’ve written about it in depth here . It was really rough for a while, but by the time we made it to Christmas break and came back in the New Year – Coop was a new kid. The only time he ever hesitated about having to go to school was on Friday when there is church. Because really? Don’t most little kids dread that time of having to sit still and be quiet? 😉

We are just so proud of his accomplishments. We are so thankful for our school and all of the people who work there who have helped Cooper to feel loved and appreciated and welcomed and supported and most of all : safe. It’s just really an amazing community. We are indebted to his teachers who worked with him every single day. They made accommodations and were able to give him the one on one attention that he needed. They never ever let what happen each morning at drop off determine how they treated him the rest of the day. That’s a huge deal, because we had experienced the complete opposite.

So, here’s to you Coop. 🙂 Congratulations bud! 

 

10 Inspiring and/or Pretty IG Accounts You Need to Follow

Well hi, hello! If you’re anything like us – Instagram is a part of your daily life. I really value a variety in what comes across my IG feed. I like things with solid content, but I always really appreciate an account that is overall visually pleasing. Sometimes…you can get both those things rolled up into one account. I feel like I’ve accumulated quite a few that fit that bill so I thought I hop on today and share with you 10 of my favorite inspiring and/or pretty IG accounts to follow. 🙂

Let’s get to it shall we?

 

laybabylay

elsielarson

northwoodsupply

wordporn

cwpoet

abeautifulmess

ilove.coffee

emmaredvelvet

grumpyandgeeky

thataylaa

There you have it! 10 IG accounts that will either fill your eyes with something pretty to look with or fill your mind with inspiration…and most likely all ten will do BOTH.

Let me know if you would add anything to this list!

10 Funny & Entertaining IG Accounts You Need to Follow

Hey hey party peeps! I was scrolling through my IG the other day…ok prolly also like two minutes ago…and laughing at something I came across when it occurred to me that it would be fun to share with you guys my top ten FAVE funny and entertaining IG accounts to follow are.

So yeah. Buckle up, and get ready to click some links and hit that follow button. 🙂

These are in no particular order. I’m just listing them as they came to me. They are all equally funny and entertaining IG accounts.

friendofbae

betches

thebasicbitchlife

 

teamnobadnames

9gag

thedad

averageparentproblems

capgenius

talkthirtytome

brosbeingbasic

Anddd that is it you guys. Do y’all already follow any of these? Do follow an account that you follow and think it’s hilarious? Please share!!

“I’m a gypsy and you’re the captain now – Of our own shipwrecks”

If you know either one of us independently in real life, or if you know us as a friend couple in real life – then you know that we fell in love with a little band from Pennsylvania called ‘Gas Station Disco’.

Rhonda and I were actually recently talking about them, and how becoming fans of this band  was an integral part of the reforming and the solidifying of the deep friendship that now exists between the two of us. We stumbled upon this band one night when she and I and my sister and our friend Michael all decided to go out to the Chill Bar and Lounge in the IP Casino here in Biloxi, MS.

I honestly cannot remember how we all decided to hang out that night. At that point, it was not a typical thing that we (Rhonda & I) did. I do know that Rhonda and I were just talking again after a long break. We were in a good place, but we weren’t the besties that we are today.  It was literally from that night forward that we started to become super close. It’s literally thanks to that night that here we are writing a blog together.

Why is that you ask? Well, something about them just clicked with us. We liked them. We enjoyed listening to them. We may or may not have thought the lead singer was cute. You know. Normal things. 😉

First time – Aug 2014

They are based in Pennsylvania, but they made frequent trips down to the  Mississippi coast to perform at the Chill. So, as any good groupie would do – we started going to see them anytime they were down. These outings – going to see GSD – this one on one time together where we could just be friends. Not moms. Not women with responsibilities. We were just two gals hanging out and falling in love with each other as we obsessed over a band together. That time together is what made us the pair that we are today.

And since this blog formed because of our friendship – we thought it would be fun and crazy relevant to tell that story for you guys.

Sept 2014

We have had so many deep and superficial conversations as we sat in the bar chairs at The Chill. We have met so many people. We have chair danced like there’s no tomorrow. We have come up with business plans and ideas for things we wanted to accomplish together.  We just enjoyed each other, and the company we kept. We realized – again and over and over – that we just GOT each other. We understood each other.

Those outings to see GSD spawned other outings for the two of us. We enjoyed that time together..so we sought out more. We had this fun thing in common that solidified us.  The same could be said for my sister and Michael. We dragged those two along with us as often as they would allow. 😉 Grace and I are sisters – and we were already close…pretty much since she stopped annoying me around age 10 or 11. Michael and I worked together and had become close because of that. They were and are my people. Rhonda became my person because of our time together that started with seeing GSD.

How long ago was that you may be wondering? I had to dig back through my pictures to figure it out myself, but it was four years ago. Sometime in August of 2014 to be exact. 🙂 And not only did we religiously go see our band when they were in town, we have  both since established personal connections with  the guys. They became our friends.

Dec 2014

Obviously, things don’t stay the same. The band has changed members and evolved since when we first saw them. Today, none of the guys that are in Gas Station Disco were members when we first saw them. And actually the band that is GSD today – also go by a different name which is confusing. But whatever. You do you dudes. The original members have all migrated to starting or joining different bands and we always support them indiscriminately.

They are all really a talented group of guys. We are forever indebted to the way they shaped our friendship, and we are glad that we can call them our friends.

At this point, Rhonda and I do and have done so many different things together. We hang out wherever and whenever. You guys know – we even resorted to hanging out online every Wednesday night in front of a live audience to get our fix for each other satiated. However, some of our favorite times have been together at The Chill listening to those boys.

Jan 2015

With the distance between us now, since Rhonda lives in Fort Worth, TX – and band breakups and booking drama…it has actually been a long time that we have gotten to go together to listen to them in any of the new bands they are a part of now. Hopefully, we can change that soon.

We both keep up with them through social media. I’ve gotten to see their ‘spin off bands’ fairly often since I’m still here on the coast and they come back here every now and then. I recently saw Light Up The Moon in Destin, FL. LUTM consists of a few former GSD guys as members.

DUMM, another spin off/new startup, still come to play at The Chill, and I’ve seen them a few times since they’ve been back.

Fall 2015

DUMM is the new band that Jason, former lead singer of the GSD we knew, started – and his crew will be in town again in late June to play at The Chill. I need my girl to be there. So let’s all convince Stuart (Rhonda’s boo and betrothed) that she needs to be there that weekend. 😉 Start a petition. Message him on Facebook. Leave your approval here in the comments. Whatever works for you. 😉

Music is just so important. Big bands and little bands – when their music changes your life in some way…you don’t forget that.

As always, thank y’all so incredibly much for reading and listening to the thoughts inside our head as we pour them out onto a computer screen. We sincerely appreciate it.

Tell us, what are some of your favorite moments/things to do with your besties? We love hearing from you!

 

Currently We Are…

Ashley –

Inspired by:

This answer is also going to answer the ‘reading’ one a little lower in the list, but that’s life eh? I read through This Charming Life which is a lifestyle blog written by a lady named Kaelah. Her blog started in 2009. Yah. I read about 9 years of content in two days. I also thoroughly stalked her IG. It’s whatever. ANYWAY – to the inspiration thing. Reading through her early days …. And honestly even up to her current posts – I was just truly inspired by the way she just literally wrote and shared what was on her mind. She had themes and such..but she didn’t let that always dictate her blog. It made me feel inspired to not be controlled by self imposed expectations of feeling so much pressure to put out THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING EVER whenever I try to come up with a blog post. I want to try to be continually authentic and not afraid to say or post what I want to post without thinking “does this have mass appeal?” or “will this become the next viral post?”. Because the truth is we don’t have a HUGE audience, but we love those of you who are here and are interested in what we have to say. Even when your blog space is just a tiny corner of the internet, you still feel pressure to do what everyone else is doing which is the opposite of what we ever intended to do around here. Sometimes you just need a reminder of that. 🙂

Watching:

I am currently binge watching IZombie on Netflix. So good.

Reading:

**see inspired by** 😉

Thinking About:

Oh gosh. So many things. My sister and I are doing a 30 day plank/squat challenge with each other. All the things happening with Coop and the end of school. How I need to make an eye appointment because I’m on my last pair of contacts and my prescription is expired. Alllll the things I want to do this summer and how in the heck I’m going to make that happen with work/mom responsibilities.

Listening To:

For the past two or three days I’ve been all up in the new Post Malone Album. It’s literally been on repeat in my car. I’ve listened to nothing else.

Dream Life:

I had a TERRIBLE dream…well I guess really it was a nightmare… on Saturday night. I was on vacation by myself, but ran into my parents who insisted on taking me home RIGHT THAT SECOND. I kept telling my dad that I’d rather take my own car, but he wouldn’t listen and made me come with them. We were driving on this elevated road/land bridge and all of a sudden this power plant that was just ahead of us exploded and we were all engulfed in flames. Then silence and darkness. It was terrifying and so realistic.  

Eating:

All day Sunday, I ate this sausage and green bean conoction I made. I cooked the green beans and sausage in butter and bacon grease with tons of garlic salt, chili flakes, and pepper. It was so good.

 

Drinking:

I am OBSESSING over these new Ozarka Sparkling waters that Rhonda found and suggested to me. Their Raspberry Lime flavor is LIFE. I can’t find the ones that say Ozarka…but here’s a link to some Nestle Sparkling water on Amazon – cause it’s the same thing.

 

Rhonda –

Inspired by:

Timehop.  Yep, the app that shows you what you have posted on this day previous years is inspiring me.  That’s because every year around this time, my BFF Nicole and I are at the beach for our annual girls’ trip.  We had to skip it this year and we have been supremely sad about it.  The good news it, It inspired me to do my best at recreating that blissful beach feeling here at home.  I have been sipping frozen cocktails in my bikini in my backyard, blasting some music, and just closing my eyes and taking it all in.

Watching:

Errthang?  Southern Charm, Real Housewives of Everything, Dateline…. I’m a reality junkie.  I am sure there is something non-reality on my DVR, but I am way behind!

Reading:

Um.  Facebook?  Ha, but really…. I haven’t read anything in awhile.  I have so many responsibilities and that’s just not one of my me-time priorities.

Thinking About:

My house.  We have been decorating and redecorating and organizing and things like that.  It has been completely exhausting but has totally been worth it!  The backyard is in the middle of quite a makeover and we did a lot of stuff in the house too.  So fun, but it’s nonstop on my mind.

Listening To:

Bebe Rexha.  I listen to a few other things, but all things Bebe are on heavy rotation right now.  At home, in the car, lyrics up in my Snaps.

Dream Life:

I don’t know if it’s the booze, the late nights, medications, or what….but I have been having crazy dreams for a couple of weeks now!  Most recently, I’ve dreamed about road trips, beaches, Stuart trying to kill me, falling out of a 10th-story window, and all sorts of fun stuff like that.  I’ve woken up feeling completely unsettled most mornings.

Eating:

Meat, all the meat.  I have been focusing on eating meat and damn, it’s been amazing.  Forkfuls of pulled pork and roast…piles of bacon cheeseburgers…god, bacon…steak.  I ain’t mad.

Drinking:

I am currently obsessing over making and drinking Frosè.  Lemon juice, a bottle of frozen rosè, a handful of frozen fruit (I have been doing pineapple), and a couple shots of Tito’s.  Blend!  So damn refreshing when I’m lying in the sun!

Essentials for an Easy Peasy Beach Trip

Hey there! Happy Thursday 🙂 🙂 aka Friday Jr! And welcome back to our little blog.

The other day I was cleaning out, going through, and replacing some things that are in my ‘beach trip kit’, and I thought, ‘hey! this would be a good thing to share with everyone on the blog!’ Sooo. Here I am – sharing with you guys some things that, if you keep them on hand, you can have quick and easy peasy beach trips on the regular!

Now, first of all keep in mind that I live in Ocean Springs, MS. My house is about a 10 ish minute drive to the beach. I can literally scoop up the kids, jump in the car, and be settled in the sand in 15-20 minutes from the time we step out the door. I say all that to say, that what I’m sharing today does not apply to like an all day event at the beach. I’m not talking about bringing drinks and snacks and supplies for the long haul in the sun. I’m talking about spontaneously deciding on a Wednesday morning that it’s a beautiful day, and that it would be an even more beautiful day if we spent a couple hours on the beach then make it back home in time for an early afternoon nap. 🙂

These things live in my car. Sometimes we even just start out at the park, but we end up on the beach. So, it’s just crazy convenient to have my ‘beach kit’ in the trunk – ready at a moment’s notice.

Ok! Enough with the blabbing…let’s get to the goods shall we?

These two bags hold alllll the essentials. The one on the right is filled with an assortment of sand toys. There are some actual beach/sand toys and then just some random trucks and figures from the kid’s toybox that have found their way to the bag. 🙂

What’s in the striped bag? Ohhh all the important things:

  • Two large towels (these towels never get wet on purpose – they are for dusting off sand)
  • A sheet and small blanket for laying on the sand to sit on while I watch the kids play
  • A bottle of water
  • Bubbles (essential and easy kid entertainment!)
  • Dry bag for my phone
  • Draw string bags to hold wet, dirty, sticky, etc things that I don’t want touching other stuff in the bag when we leave (like a leaky bubble gun)

And that is it. It’s really that easy. I can easily hold both of these bags plus grab the hands of my littles while we cross the street to the beach.

If we plan on actually getting wet at the beach, I’ll grab two t-shirts for the kids and two extra towels. The extra towels are for drying off. I just take their bathing suits off right outside the car, wipe them down, and then pull on the dry t-shirt for the quick ride home. I don’t like getting the towels I keep in my bag wet, because I like to be able to just let them live in the bag with minimal wash times.

Before I was a parent, I always always said that I’d take my kids to the beach as much as possible. The sun and sand are good for your soul, and its FREE and ENDLESS entertainment for me and my littles.

A few more beach trip tips?

  • Don’t get caught up in worrying about sand in your car. Take your car to the car wash the next day and suck it out. Just live in the moment and embrace the mess and joy that is sand between your toes and in your  car carpet. 😉
  • Apply sunscreen BEFORE you leave the house. Especially on the kids. Cause when they get to the beach they are not going to have any time for your to make them stand still while meticulously applying sunscreen.
  • Go to the beach as often as you can. 😉

Thanks so much for reading along today! What are some of your essential items to take to the beach?

 

Eat Happy: Mango Salsa

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

When I realized I was going to be making mango salsa, I gotta tell you – I was not excited and made a face for sure.  I don’t love mango.  Okay, I actually can’t stand mango.  I like mango flavored cocktails and stuff, but biting into a chunk of mango?  Naw.

I definitely wasn’t about to peel and cut up a mango, so I took the lazy and more expensive route and skipped that step.

This recipe is seriously as simple as cut up some shit and toss it into a blender.  I mean, it really doesn’t get any easier than that, especially when you’re lazy and buy as much stuff pre-chopped as possible.

It took me probably 10 minutes to make this, including setting up the blender and chopping the ingredients.  It really smelled and looked good, so I had high hopes that it would also taste good.

I am pleased to say, it is DELICIOUS and I did not feel like I was going to gag on a mango!  YAY!

Such a light and refreshing treat for these warm Texas days.  I had some of it on pork rinds then turned it into a lunch by rolling some into turkey and cheese.

This also made a huge jar of salsa and I am looking forward to enjoying a little of it here and there and mostly seeing Stuart enjoy it, since I typically don’t eat fruit and tomatoes anymore.

Do you like mango?  Do you make homemade salsas?  This is a great variety!

Life Lately

Happy Monday, party people!  It’s time for a check in, where we fill you in on the last couple of weeks in our lives and you tell us what’s new with you!

Rhonda –

It has been an amazing couple of weeks over at my house.  Holy moly, what a busy month.  And to think, Stuart and I thought April was going to be boring and quiet.  HA!  We don’t know how to do boring; that’s for damn sure.

We hosted a 30th birthday party for our friend Jenn.  It was a nice laid-back cookout with friends and I think she really enjoyed herself, which is all we wanted.

We dined out a couple of times.  We don’t do that often, but make sure to do take them out as much as we can.  It’s important to me that my kids don’t grow up the way I did, afraid to even order from a server.  We make them order themselves and teach them to be patient waiting for their food to arrive.  They definitely still need practice.  Lawd.

We also are working on decorating and upgrading some furnishings in the house.  We hit up IKEA and loaded as much stuff into the Flex as possible.  What you’re looking at is a bookshelf, a dresser, a dining table, six chairs, and a sideboard!  Holy moly.  I’ll be so glad when we are done putting it all together.  We have been so busy doing other stuff, that we haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to assembly.  We will get there though!

As usual, we have spent a lot of time outdoors and Harper, Quentin, and I all got new bikes!  I was completely surprised by mine and I am also surprised by how much I enjoy riding it!

We wrapped up this past weekend by taking the kids to their first professional baseball game.  The Rangers defeated the Mariners and we had a great family time!

Ashley –

Gosh. I feel the same as Rhonda…seems like so much has happened over the past couple of weeks.

Obviously the usual of work and school took place. We’ve been having hit and miss Spring weather (like most everywhere…) so whenever we can we are outside enjoying the sunny days.

The weekend before last we had my Papa’s funeral which was super sad but it was also really nice to get to see family that I don’t get to see often. My cousin has a son who is only a month younger than Sophie, so it’s always really cute to see the two of them interact in person. We do a lot of snapchatting to each other about the two of them. 🙂 Sophie is SO tall though. She’s a good five inches taller than Krystal’s son and weighs 12 pounds more!

That Saturday after the funeral, I hopped in my car and headed to Destin, Fl to see friends of mine who are in the band, Light Up the Moon, play at Aj’s in Destin. It was so much fun. They aren’t local – they’re based in PA – so it was really nice to get to see them again!

Cooper got this bubble gun for his birthday from his Aunt Marie and her crew, and it has just been a huge hit around here. I went out and got a similar one for Sophie to use in order to curb and fights over whose turn it is to use it, BUT we are just loving playing with them. We’ve taken them to the park a couple of times and all the other children really enjoy it too. So, if you’re looking for an easy and relatively cheap form of entertainment, go to Walmart and get a bubble gun…or two! We’ve always played with bubble…but having this little battery powered bubble blower has made the whole experience even more enjoyable AND less messy. Those are two major wins in my book.

And then this past weekend the weather was beautiful. Things were back to routine after three weekends of dealing with deaths and funerals. The kids got to go stay with Grammy and Ppop on Friday night. And Saturday night I got to hang out with some of my fave adults, my sister – her husband – and our friend Michael. We did dinner and drinks followed by a night at the Chill Bar at the IP Casino. 🙂 A wee bit too much wine was consumed, but it was lots of fun. 🙂

Anddd that’s about it! What have you guys been up to?