Native Texan Livin': August 2015

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Monday, August 31, 2015

I'm Old(ish) Now

My birthday was yesterday & I'm feeling old...or oldish...or more like an adult or something.  I'm not in the next "tens" yet but am heading there & it's kinda freaking me out.

We had my birthday dinner here at the house Saturday night & requested my usual birthday meal of boiled crab legs!  Then yesterday, Bo & the girls gave me breakfast in bed and later we went shopping & had lunch with my mom.

I don't know if the age thing is bothering me or all the sadness I keep hearing about lately, but I felt really emotional all weekend.

SOOOOOOO, instead of focusing on all of that (or the fact that no one thought enough to want to take a picture with me all weekend & the only picture I do have is of me blowing out the candles & I look terrible) I will focus on how cool I was as a kid!  Hope you enjoy!


15 months old


"Lauren (18 mos) with her beloved french bread"
This is seriously what my mom wrote on the back of this pic!
I didn't realize my love for french bread was so deep! :-)


2 years old
(I think I heard this cake had so much frosting that it 
gave everyone diarrhea!  The only cake part is 
Big Bird's beak! LOL Just kidding!)


3 years old
Parties at McDonald's were the coolest!



4 years old
I definitely look like I'm up to something here!


May 1983...I'm 4 1/2 years old!  
Clearly I'm too old to be in this highchair...
and that bottle in the background was probably mine! ;-)
(I want that wallpaper!!!)


  Not just anybody can pull off a New Braunfels crop top shirt!



I have no words...really.
Although, according to Maggie, I look like my 
nephew Luke in this pic!  What do you think Val?!?! 
(don't show him this, it'll make him cry!)


 Always the jokester!  Wonder where Maggie gets it?!?!


6 years old
And in 1984, you weren't cool unless you were wearing a house coat!!!


No mom, I'm not making fun of you, our house or the way we dressed!  We were cool (according to us) and that's all that matters!


Happy birthday to me!  
Thanks to everyone who made my day special!



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to School Prep With Ziploc® Brand

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ZiplocBackToSchool #CollectiveBias





Well, it’s the end of August. Not sure how that happened, but summer has packed her proverbial backpack and the school bell is ringing. I hope the kids enjoyed their summer because the name of the game around here has been PREP! 


I went to Kroger to purchase the new Ziploc® brandbags with Easy Open Tabs. For my needs, I picked them up in snack, sandwich, storage and freezer sizes and Ziploc® brand containerswith One Press Seal, which are perfect for on-the-go travel.
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With Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs on hand, we were about to tackle the trifecta of prep!

#1 SCHOOL PREP
Our schools participate in the Box Tops for Education Program which is AMAZING! I collect the box tops all year long so we can turn them in multiple times throughout the school year. Did you know Box Tops are available on the Ziploc® brand boxes? Holla! Bonus!


I let the girls decorate their own Ziploc® brand Storage bag with Easy Open Tabs to collect Box Tops in and we put them on the fridge for easy access. Now, once we clip a Box Top out, we can store it right away!
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#2 DINNER PREP

We have five people in the house and a lot of the time, it's more cost-effective to buy a large package of meat and split it up. It’s nice to have weekly dinners planned out so I can prep the meat on Sunday, freezing what I’ll use at a later time in the Ziploc® brand Freezer bags with Easy Open Tabs.
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#3 SNACK PREP

It's always easier to let the kids just grab a healthy snack when they want one versus having to prepare it for them at that moment. We like to keep individual Ziploc® brand Snack bags with Easy Open Tabs in the fridge ready for them to pull one out when the mood strikes.
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I'm always looking for easy recipes that can be prepped ahead of time and put together quickly for dinner. These chicken kabobs are super easy and can be adapted with different flavors for different people.

CHICKEN KABOBS


Cube chicken
Add chicken to Ziploc® Storage bags with Easy Open Tabs
Add 3 cloves garlic; minced
Add marinade
Chill in fridge for 4 hours
Thread chicken & veggies onto a skewers
Grill about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through







Cooking and crafting with Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs was so easy. My five year old loves how she doesn’t have to struggle to open the bags anymore! And, there are so many cute ideas on the Ziploc® brand Back toSchool website so you should definitely check that out!

Want even better news?!?! There’s special pricing going on RIGHT NOW!
Check it out…
  • 8/9 to 8/30: $0.50 off regular retail price on:
    • Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 40ct
    • Ziploc® brand Sandwich bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct
    • Ziploc® brand Snack bags with Easy Open Tabs 90ct

I think I can say we are ready for the school year! What are your ideas for getting prepped with Ziploc® brand?



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm Not a Regular Mom, I'm a Cool Mom ~ My Night Out With Mean Girls at Alamo Drafthouse #AlamoHouIsSoFetch

Sometimes I just love my job...or 2nd job...or whatever you want to call this amazeballs thing called Blogging. :-)


This past Saturday, about 10 bloggers & I got invited by Jenny at Integrate to a Blogger Girls Night out at Alamo Drafthouse to watch a "quote along" screening of Mean Girls.  Hello?!?!  Yes please...and let me just say, it was so fetch!  ;-)

We all met up at the Integrate office & had some pre-movie champagne sips before hopping on The Wave party bus that took us to the Alamo Drafthouse in Katy.  I met a lot of new faces...and some I had been following for a while.  Everyone had a blast chatting/posting/streaming/dancing all the way to Katy!


Once we got into the cinema, we had hot pink goody bags waiting for us in our reserved seats. (It was a packed house so make sure to get your tix early to events like this!)  Our bags had props to go along with the movie experience...A tiara (for prom), ugly teeth (for Halloween), a candy cane (for Jingle Bell Rock) & a popper for us all to POP when Ms. Regina George gets taken out by a bus!

Meg, Katie & I tied for Prom Queen! ;-)


Alamo Drafthouse participates in Houston Restaurant Weeks & our group was treated to Alamo's Houston Restaurant Weeks menu.  For my 1st course, I chose the Bottomless Popcorn because it's Vegan.
Just kidding.
Not because it's vegan.
I'm not vegan.
I got it because it was a bottomless bowl of popcorn!
And there was SO MUCH POPCORN in the bowl that this is what was left of my popcorn at the end of the movie!  I know...shameful!  Especially with that herb parmesan goodness sitting in that little bowl!  But add this along with the Torch Burger I got as my entree & cookies for my dessert...I was stuffed!  I should've brought a to-go bag with me! ;-)  (I'm only semi-joking!...actually, I'm not joking at all...I wish I had brought a to-go bag!) :-)


I had never been to a Quote-Along before & it was pretty neat.  There are some fun ones coming up at Alamo Drafhouse...like Spaceballs Quote-Along and Boy Band Sing-Along!!!  You should definitely go check out Alamo's calendar!


Back on The Wave to head home, the lights had been switched over to a glowy-blue.  Here are our "If we had taken these pics with our eyeballs, this is what they would look like" pics.  Just kidding...it was the bus moving! :-)



Thanks to Jenny at Integrate for inviting us to this amazing event!  Can't wait to join yall again soon!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Goodbye Summer, Hello School Year




I think it's safe to say our kids have had a good summer.  2 rounds of VBS, a week in Destin, trips to the beach, multiple playdates, lots of swimming, visiting family & friends in town & out...& otherwise hanging out with me. :-)  But, all good things must come to an end & today their new adventures start.


I wrote {this post} 3 years ago when Izzy was going into Kindergarten & Bec was going to be a Freshman.  For reals...where has the time gone?!?!


My baby is starting Kindergarten today.  Maggie is so excited to be going to school with Izzy this year!  She met her teacher (again, since it's the same one Izzy had a few years ago), got her lunch all packed up & sat in her assigned seat ready to get her learn on!  I got a little sad last night as I was telling her how she'll actually be sitting at a "big kids" table in the lunch room versus sitting at the parent table when we'd go eat with Izzy.  Just thinking about her sitting at the lunch table with her little friends made me sad...what's up with that?!?!


My baby is starting 3rd grade.  That's the other side of the school...that's big time baby!  Izzy was really excited about the 3rd grade, really excited for her teachers & that Maggie's in the same school now.  She even wanted Maggie to wear the same outfit as her, but Mags was having no part of it.  Izzy said, "Why don't you want to be twins with me Maggie?"  Maggie replied, "Because I want to wear a pretty skirt."  Izzy's just the sweetest...my old soul. :-)


My baby's a Senior.  A SENIOR!!!  She got her cap & gown pictures and her Senior yearbook pictures taken last week and it was pretty surreal to see those.  Wasn't she just graduating Kinder?  And now she's gonna be graduating for real in just over 9 months?!?!  OK, getting ahead of myself here.  I'm hoping Bec has a great Senior year with her friends & can truly appreciate what she has as a "kid" before entering the real world.  To quote Billy Madison, "Stay here. Stay as long as you can.  For the love of God, CHERISH IT!"



I have a lot of feelings about all of this right now... excited, scared, happy, anxious...but most of all proud!  Our girls are amazing & I know they'll be amazing today & all year!







I'm thinking I should've walked with Bec to one of her classes to take a pic like this!



HAPPY FIRST DAY EVERYONE!!!
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to School Stock Up with Kellogg's

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Back2SchoolStockUp #CollectiveBias


School's starting next week & along with school comes the return of all of their after school activities.  Which means snacks.  Lots & lots of snacks.  I'm always on the search for something filling & something the girls will actually enjoy.


We went to Sam's Club this past weekend on a hunt for some yummy after school snacks & we hit the jackpot!  I love going to Sam's Club...you can stock up for school...and get some delicious samples in the process!  One of the stations we stopped at was offering samples of Kellogg's fruity snacks & Keebler Fudge Stripes mini cookies.  The kids gobbled those up in about 1.4 seconds, so we decided we HAD to get some of those cookies.
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Did you know if you buy specially marked packages of Kellogg's products at Sam's you can can get 2 free, full length Scholastic books?  Our demo lady was so informative on the process & she even handed us a little pamphlet showing us exactly how to redeem the books.  Looking for a demo near you?  Check out this list of Sam's Clubs with demos to find one on 8/22/15 & 8/23/15.
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Kellogg's offer for Scholastic books is really a win-win.  Your kids want snacks.  You want your kids to read because books are so powerful for their young minds.  You get to donate a book to a school in need, in hopes to reach a child & inspire them.  I guess that's a win-win-win! :-)
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Redeeming the Scholastic books offered by Kellogg's was so easy.

Just click on {this link} to take you to the book redemption site.  Log in to the site & search for a book for yourself & the 2nd book is automatically donated to a pre-selected, local school in need.  There are over 80 titles to choose from in English & Spanish...& ebooks are available too!  The books are mailed out free of charge & may take about 8 weeks to arrive.
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So.....the books are ordered & now we're hungry!  One thing my kids love at snack time is a banana smoothie.  Wanting to do something a little creative with our cookies, I decided to make a Banana Cookie Smoothie!  We normally keep it pretty simple...milk, a banana & ice.  Blend.  This time, they're gonna get a sweet surprise inside...Fudge stripes mini cookies!

BANANA COOKIE SMOOTHIE
1 cup of milk
1 banana, cut up
1/2 cup of ice
1 bag of Keebler Fudge stripe mini cookies
All all ingredients into a blender &.....
BLEND

The little chunks of fudgy cookie goodness you get with each sip is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
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We are a week away from the first day of school folks!   What else do you have on your back-to-school-to-do list & how can Sam's Club & Kellogg's help you?


Don't have a Sam's Club card yet?  Bring this invitation printed out to the Member Services Desk at your local Sam's Club for a pass to shop for the day. A 10% service fee applies on all non-member purchases when shopping with this One-Day Pass (not applicable in CA, SC or Elmsford, NY). The 10% service fee does not apply if the non-member decides to join the Club at the time of purchase.


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