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I’ve moved! Please update your bookmarks!
See you there!
When I was pregnant, I was one of those moms who knew she would feed her kids healthy, wholesome food. I haven’t always been very “clean” about what I eat, but I wanted to do better with them. Tons of fruits and veg, healthy snacks, etc.
Well…then I had a baby. And worked 50 hour weeks. And didn’t have a housekeeper. OK, so those are really excuses, but still.
I have been somewhat sucked into the world of convenience kid foods. You know: goldfish crackers, graham crackers, veggie straws, animal crackers. Tons of starch and carbs. The kid seems to be hungry 24/7 and, yes, I do understand there’s a reason for the phrase “he’s a growing boy” but DANG!
PS…these Penguins are from Walgreens and they are delicious. So much better than goldfish! They are crisper and more cheesy tasting. Just a shameless work plug…
I’m good with BLDs (you know, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners), but it’s the in betweens that get me. I try to have lots of fruits available. His favorites are strawberries and blueberries, though he is quite a fan of canned pears and peaches (in juice only please!). He also likes applesauce pouches.
As for veg…he’s kinda iffy about most veg. He loves corn, but is eh on potatoes. Any time I put anything green on his plate he kind of pushes it around. He loves avocado, but that’s technically a fruit, right?
Yogurt is a great option for him as is cheese. Jeff seems to think a piece of bread is a good snack and I only somewhat agree. We gave Jake peanut butter the other night though and he liked it, so I’m not opposed to a piece of toast with PB. At least he’d be getting a little protein.
So, friends, I need some suggestions.
What do you give your kids to munch on for snack?
I’ll be the first to admit that traveling with Jake makes me, well, nervous. The farthest we’ve ever gone away from home is Cleveland and that was when he was just a few months old. I wish I could tell you I was all gung ho about taking him away on a trip this summer, but that’d only be partly true.
You see, I’m not worried about him being away from home because I’m pretty sure we can get on a similar schedule he has here and be just fine. It’s the getting there part that makes me cringe. How will he do flying, driving, on a boat?
Deciding where to go has gone through several phases. First, I wanted to try South Carolina. Get a beach house somewhere and just chill.
Then, I asked around and got Destin as the consensus for places to take your kids. I looked at the pictures and it was just lovely. Hurricane season limited us a bit on when to take a trip, though, so it was quietly marked off the list.
Chicago was mentioned a few times, but I’m a beach person at heart plus I wanted a quiet, relaxing trip, not a go, go, go sightseeing trip, so it too was nixed.
Of course Hawaii was mentioned, but…no. No funds, long flight, just no. Not quite yet, my dear Jacob. In time.
Finally, we settled on Texas. My mom lives near San Antonio, so we talked about coming to visit her and then Jeff and I bumming around SA for a few days. Then she asked me “What about South Padre Island?” She went there a few years ago and loved it. I’d always heard people talk about it when I was in college as a fun Spring Break place. It’s just a couple hours from her home, so I said, “Sure!”
We are planning to rent a condo for a few days and just chill. Maybe take in a sight or two, but the main purpose of the trip is to recharge our batteries. I strongly believe that I need a vacation to really get back to where I need to be. I haven’t been myself 100% in the last year and a half and I miss me. Plus I’m unspeakably excited to get to share the beach with Jake!
Good thing I get a discount on sunblock.
What tips do you have for traveling (especially flying) with kids? Jake will be 21 months at the time of the trip.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably see the title of this blog post a lot recently. We’ve had some pretty decent weather lately. What’s my favorite thing to do when the weather gets warmer? Roll those windows down, crank the music up, and drive. I seriously could drive around listening to music for my job and not get bored.
Recently a very good friend of mine introduced me to an app that has changed my life. Not even kidding. Has anyone heard of Spotify? No? OK, well buckle up.
Spotify is kinda like Pandora, iTunes, and your entire music library rolled into one. They have three different plans to choose from: free, unlimited, and premium.
Free: works pretty much just like Pandora. You can create radio stations based on songs or artists you like, but you have to listen to ads in between some songs.
Unlimited ($4.99): They do you one better by removing the ads, but you still just have access to the radio.
Premium ($9.99): They pull out all the stops. You have all the benefits of the other plans BUT you can also search for and play any song in their entire library whenever you want. You can listen to whole albums, make playlists, and turn on “offline” listening, meaning you have access to those playlists even when you don’t want to use wifi or data. It’s kind of like having the entire iTunes catalog at your fingertips for $10/month.
I know what you’re thinking…why would I pay for music when I could listen to it for free? I thought the same thing. But once I tried it, I never looked back. Being able to pick and choose what music you want to listen to whenever you want, download those songs to your phone or computer, and be able to play them back wherever you are is priceless to me.
I figure I spend at least $10/month in the iTunes store. So now, instead of spending that money in iTunes, I just spend it on my Spotify account. If you’re a music lover like me, you definitely have to check it out.
One of my favorite things about Spotify is finding new artists. I create radio stations based on artists I like and then when a song comes on I enjoy, I switch over to that artist’s album. By doing this I have come to realize one of my favorite bands on the planet is Seether. I especially like their “Holding on to Strings Better Left to Fray” album.
I also remembered how much I like Fall Out Boy! I don’t know why I always forget this…
Sharing music is fun too. You can find friends on Facebook and follow them. One of my friends created a 90s r&b/rap playlist, which I started listening to and all these memories from high school came flooding back! It was awesome! (Don’t you just love how music evokes memories? LOVE!!)
One thing I wish Spotify would change is the ability to search for other users. Maybe I’m just missing it, but there are people I’m not friends with on Facebook that I’d like to be able to follow. Maybe in the future…
This is seriously the best money I’ve spent in a loooooooong time. If you’re a big fan of music like me, you should definitely check it out. You won’t regret it. Bonus? They have a free 30 day trial. Love that.
What’s your favorite genre of music? Have you ever been surprised to find you like something you otherwise didn’t think you would?
*Disclaimer: all thoughts and opinions are my own. Spotify DID NOT pay me to write this. I just really love music.
Remember last week when I posted about having a pet adoption at my store? Well…it went GREAT! I am so thankful for all my co-workers who pulled together to support me and the cause.
I got to the store around 9a to set everything up. I had to get the table situated, put all the signs I made in frames, put the baked goods out, get the beverages out of the cooler, etc. It didn’t take too long and before I knew it, I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for the animals to arrive.
They showed up around 11:30a and we got to work selling the baked goodies and raffle tickets. My manager, Kristy, and another store manager from our community, Pete, were helping me hawk the goods.
We had so many delicious treats available! My co-workers were amazing and made brownies, chocolate chip cookies, Reese’s cup cookies, Rice Krispie treats, poppy seed bread, and 7 layer cookies (aka “magic bars”). I also had a co-worker buy Chick-fil-a brownies and cookies for the event.
My favorite part? The poppy seed bread baker (Carrie) said she “ruined” a loaf of the poppy seed bread and thought I’d like it. Well, if you insist…
We also had a couple generous donations! 7-UP donated 6 cases of mini sodas. They are promoting the new “TEN” beverages, so it was a win/win! The Cake Shop, a local bakery right across the street from my store, donated 24 cupcakes as well. They were a BIG hit and so delicious. If you’re in the Creek area and looking for a bakery for your next event (Graduation anyone?), seriously consider The Cake Shop. They are moist, delicious, and obviously generous! I sure loved my cupcake…
Speaking of donations, let me tell you about the raffle prizes.
First up was City BBQ. They were able to provide us with a $50 gift card and three bottles of sauce!
The Dayton Dragons ended up giving us a pretty snazzy prize pack and, thanks to another co-worker’s connections, I was able to include a voucher for two free tickets!
Edible Arrangements participated by giving us a $50 gift card. They are a great way to send someone a little love plus healthy eating! Love that!
Finally, a local dog groomer, Groomingdales, tossed in a $35 gift card. Love that I was able to include something pet based!
It was a wonderful event, even though it was only 50º that day. Yes, we froze our tushies off!
I wasn’t too cold aside from my hands. Playing with Sebastian the dog and Scout the cat made it all worth it though.
Thanks to all our sponsors, my co-workers, and of course the customers, we raised over $250 for SICSA! I’d call that a success.
One of the perks of being a blogger is the fabulous events you get invited to. Recently, Heather (from What Does She Do All Day), her husband John, and I were able to attend an event I was uber excited about. Anyone who knows me knows my favorite meal in the entire world is a cheeseburger. (Yes, I know people think I’m crazy but I’m OK with that.) Well, when I had the opportunity to attend an event at Smashburger, I squealed. Literally.
SmashBurger, “a fast-casual restaurant designed to be every city’s favorite place for burgers”, was started by Tom Ryan in Denver Colorado.
Tom had the vision to provide a delicious burger experience that the general public could afford. They pride themselves on using fresh, never frozen beef as well as a myriad of toppings. They also try to add a little local flare to some of their burgers when possible. For example, the BBQ sauce on the BBQ Bacon and Cheddar burger (my personal favorite) varies region to region. In Tennessee, they use a Memphis style BBQ sauce. In Texas and Oklahoma, they pull from the local resources there. In North Carolina? You guessed it. Local, local, local. Jake did lots of research into their claims.
For this event, it was the same deal. Instead of BBQ sauce, though, they were discussing something a little more…adult. Beer, people. It was a burger and BEER event! Sweet! OK, so I’m not a huge beer drinker, but who would pass up the opportunity to sample free burgers and free booze? Not this girl!
Smashburger has always served alcohol at their restaurants, but they’ve decided to up their game a little. They are pairing up with local microbreweries and really delving into the flavors that compliment each other. For Ohio, the team chose…who else…Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC)! As a Cleveland-born lady, I was all about this. I love supporting local companies in any way I can.
To start the event, we were brought nearly every side dish Smashburger has to offer. My favorite (aside from the Smash Sweet Potato Fries) were the Fried Banana Peppers! Who knew?
Tom spent a little time talking about starting the company. Then he introduced Brew Master Luke Purcell from GLBC. They talked about how they spent a great deal of time really trying to pick the flavors that worked the best together. It was interesting to me to hear how they did it, especially since most beer tastes the same to me.
We began the evening with the classic Smash paired with the most versatile beer, Dortmunder Gold. Next up, the Mushroom Swiss burger along with Eliot Ness.
Then, my favorite burger, the BBQ Bacon and Cheddar with Edmund Fitzgerald.
After that, we had the Buckeye Burger and Burning River (named for when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire in the 1960s…a bit of trivia for ya). They kind of threw us a curve ball after that with the Spicy (for real, yo) Black Bean Burger and Commodore Perry. Adding to the non-beef options, we had the Classic Chicken sammie with the Dortmunder again. Rounding things out, we sampled the Avocado Club chicken sammie with the Eliot Ness.
I was an equal opportunity sampler, but my heart sang when I tried the BBQ Bacon burger. I knew it would though. I’ve eaten at Smashburger several times, and I almost always go with this burger. It is made up of several of my favorite items: BBQ sauce, bacon, beef, cheddar, bacon, onion straws, and…oh…did I mention bacon? Next time I go, I’m adding avocado to it. PERFECTION on a bun! Geez, my mouth is watering at 8:30am…
Perhaps the most fun of the evening, however, was when we got to go back into the kitchen and smash burgers with Tom. Here’s a little back story about Bethany. When I was in college, I worked at a restaurant at UK called K-Lair Grill. We had all kinds of “diner” type food, but we sold burgers far more than anything else. I was one of the grill cooks that worked there. And let me tell you…I could cook and assemble burgers better than anyone. In fact, I didn’t even have to ask where my managers wanted me when I got to work. I was immediately put on the grill. Yep, I was that good. (So I’m being a little cocky. And I’m OK with that! lol)
Well, when Tom said we could go smash burgers, visions of college flashed through my head. I was all over it. My friend Katie did me the favor of filming me “in my college element”. So much fun!
After smashing burgers, we were able to sample a couple milkshakes for dessert. We tasted the Cookies and Cream as well as the Strawberry. I am a huge fan of the Cookies and Cream now and it will be hard for me to resist ordering one when I’m in there!
This event was really fun and I simply can’t wait for the next one. Thanks to Katie at Domestic Debacle for setting it up for all of us!
Disclaimer: Though I was provided the food and beverages for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Many of you know I work for a retail chain. As part of my job, I am encouraged to participate in community events. For one, this gets our name in the community and helps people connect to us not just on a business level but hopefully on a personal level as well. It’s also a way to give back to the community that has supported us over the years. Finally, it’s FUN!
My manager and I were discussing community events a few months ago and I decided it was time I hosted one. She mentioned a few she’d heard talk of at a meeting she’d attended and one in particular stuck out. Apparently a store in Cincinnati did a pet adoption fair that was highly successful. I love dogs, so this one was perfect for me!
I began the process of putting the fair together. I called the store manager that had had success with the event, talked to several vendors about donating various items, and of course called SICSA to get some animals out to our store. Once I got in the swing of things, I found I thoroughly enjoyed it!
“Why are you telling us this, Bethany?” you might be asking. Well, I’m glad you asked. To make this event successful, I need the community to come out and support it! It’s a community event, after all. ☺
So, if you’re in the Beavercreek, OH area on Saturday, May 11th, please stop by the Beavercreek Walgreens. Obviously there will be pets to adopt, but in addition we have some really great prizes to raffle off. We are also going to have a bake sale. All proceeds from the raffle and bake sale will go directly to SICSA.
It’s supposed to be a gorgeous day. What better way to celebrate May than to support your local community!
As we say here at Walgreens…be well!
**Sorry for the lack of posts for a while. I am trying to move my blog to a self-hosted site and am having severe difficulty. I have had this blog post drafted for a while waiting for my other blog site to be up and running. As it seems I’m never going to figure the other site out, I wanted to post this here before it was just irrelevant. Enjoy!**
I have always been a fan of seafood. My personal favorite is crab, but I’m really not picky. When Red Lobster contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining them for a blogger event, I jumped at the chance! A date night with the husband sans le bebe? Yes, please!
On April 2, Jeff and I ventured north of town to one of the Red Lobster restaurants in our area. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were not disappointed! When we walked in, we were greeted by the hosts of the event, who immediately offered us cocktails. Not a bad way to start the evening.
Now, most of you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I’m relatively shy and have some social anxiety. It’s gotten much better since college, but I still get nervous if I have to do something out of my comfort zone. Well, I’m not sure who exactly went to this event, but it wasn’t Bethany! I walked right up to a group of girls sitting at the table and said, “Hi! I’m Bethany from One Girl’s Taste on Life. Nice to meet you!” So not like me. Usually I stand there and wait for someone to come up to me. Ha. Guess I’m comfortable around other bloggers?
Two of the three girls sitting there were bloggers: Katie from Domestic Debacle and Bridgett, who writes for Savings Lifestyle. We quickly got to talking about all kinds of fun things. Turns out these two started a Facebook group for local bloggers and Katie was trying to find me to add! Fun!
The other two bloggers at the event were Lisa from Dayton MostMetro and Steve from Food Adventures with Superfry and the Big Ragu. I was sitting at opposite ends of the table from them, so I wasn’t able to chat with them as much as I would have liked, though I did spend a little time with Steve at the end of the dinner. Great guy!
Anyhow, back to the event. First off, Heidi started talking to us about the different changes Red Lobster has been making lately. To start, they’ve realized Red Lobster needs to be less niche-y and offer more “land” options, so that’s what they did. Instead of having a couple choices for those land lubbers, they’ve upped their game and offer more than twelve options that aren’t seafood based!
They’ve also introduced their Maine Stays, which are 15 entrees under $15 so you can afford to take the whole family out for a night on the town. And if Mom is like me and trying to shed some pounds, she doesn’t have to skip out on dinner. She can peruse the Lighthouse menu, which lists the calorie content of each individual item and helps you put together a yummy but still healthy meal!
After Heidi finished talking, the great wait staff brought around some apps for us to try. I sampled the southwest chicken pizza, the spicy buffalo chicken bites, the sweet chili shrimp, the coconut shrimp, and a lobster and crab stuffed mushroom. Everything was delicious, but I think my favorite was the sweet chili shrimp. Scrumptious!
For dinner I had the Bay Harbor Bake (I think that’s what it was called). It was a mix of lobster, shrimp, scallops, and mussles over a lightly sauced linguine. I wasn’t sure if I liked scallops or mussles, so I thought this was a great way to try them out…you know…on someone else’s dime. Turns out I like both!
Jeff opted for the parmesan crusted chicken alfredo, which was delicious!
After we were finished eating, the sneaky staff started bringing out desserts. Like…a lot of them. I was stuffed, but there was no way I wasn’t going to try the warm chocolate chip lava cookie. (Apparently I was too excited about this one to keep the camera steady.)
Or the chocolate wave.
Or the warm apple crostada.
Oh, yeah. Or the caramel cheesecake. #fatty
They were so generous. Heidi told us to order desserts to take home! We got some cheesecake for Jeff’s mom, who was watching the baby, and some chocolate cake for her husband. We were very popular that night!
I had a really fun time at this event and look forward to having more meetups with local bloggers. I can’t wait to make more “blends”! (For those of you not familiar with that term, it means blog friends.)
I want to say a special thank you to Red Lobster for putting on the event that night. It was very generous and I really appreciate it!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a free meal as well as some gift cards by Red Lobster, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hi, guys! You miss me? I’m not going to make excuses for not posting much in the past few months. I have a life. I was living it. The end.
Regardless, I wanted to share some of the latest pictures in our life. Jake has been growing so much. He’s actually becoming more like a little boy instead of a baby. He’s gotten a lot more independent, often playing for long stretches of time on his own. He loves attention, though, and makes it a point to get lots of hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy.
He’s saying tons of words now, specifically Mommy, Daddy, Nana (banana), soos (shoes), cra-ka (cracker), bubby (blueberries), etc. He knows where his head, belly, hands, and feet are. I think he’s starting to get ears and eyes too. He can blow kisses and leans in to give Mommy a kiss when she leaves for work. He will pick things up and give them to us when asked and he’s even managed to throw some things in the trash on command. He’s getting a lot better at following directions. He’s also getting a lot worse at following directions. We will ask him to do something and he will throw a holy tantrum. Other times, he does it just fine. He definitely tests his boundaries.
One of his tricks he’s been doing for a while is throwing food. He’ll do just fine for a bit and then all of a sudden he will pick up some food and throw it on the floor. I’ve started removing his tray and/or taking him away from the situation, which helps for a bit, but hasn’t had a long term effect yet. The last time it happened, I put him in his play pen and we continued to eat dinner, which he absolutely hated. When I took him back out, he finished his meal like a little angel. Last night for dinner, we actually set him up in his little table and chairs my mom bought for him for Christmas and he did better.
He’s transitioning into the next room at daycare, which means no more high chairs (all their meals are at baby tables) and transitioning to a cot instead of a crib at 18 months. Jeff and I agree he’s growing up too fast! He has a toy train that he pushes around all over the place now. It makes noise and sings to him, which he loves. It’s the cutest thing.
In the spirit of the NCAA tournament, we have started teaching him how to play basketball. The kid is smart. Now all he needs is a UK jersey!
He’s the sweetest, best little boy. If all children were like Jake, I would have a million of them!
Thank goodness for iPhones, right?
I’m excited to be off this weekend. All weekend long. What I’m not excited about is this:
I’m supposed to do a 5k on Saturday morning with my work. No big deal because I can get all bundled up if need be. However, we are also supposed to take the little man to hunt for Easter eggs that afternoon! It’s going to be 43º. It could be worse, but doing an egg hunt in the warm, sunny, 60º weather of my dreams would be so much better!
Guess we’ll just buckle down and deal with it. It’s not like the weather will be changing for the better any time soon. Apparently. Stupid groundhog.