Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friday Favorites {17}

It's Halloween weekend!!! Woohoo! I'm not sure about you, but I'm ready to eat candy until my stomach hurts. Bring. It. On.

To celebrate, we're trick or treating tomorrow night with some friends, and I'm really looking forward to it. I think it'll be the first year Callum actually gets it, and I can't wait to see how excited he gets. We're reusing his costume from last year, but it's a good one. I'll be back on Monday with plenty of pictures.

Per usual, here are a few of my favorites from this week.

1. First off, today is Matt's birthday. I'll keep this short and sweet: He's the best. Really, he is. I couldn't ask for a better husband, partner, friend, or cribbage partner.

Matt: Callum and I love you like crazy. My life would suck with out you. (Thank you, Kelly Clarkson.)

2. This article from Lauren at MKE Mom's Blog on why her family is a flu shot family. She hit the nail on the head.

3. SNNNNNAPPPPPCCCCCHHHHHHAATTTTT!!! You guys. For whatever reason, I was super late to the Snapchat game. It didn't make sense to me and I was too lazy to figure out how it actually worked. Well, it didn't go away, and I kept hearing about how awesome it was, and finally decided my FOMO was not going to let me miss out on the Snapchat craze. And, now, I'm totally hooked. 

Come follow me on Snapchat: meganjoyo. Send me a snap and I'll follow you back! Let's share all the mundane details of our daily lives with each other!

How fun are the Halloween filters?!?! Callum loves them.

4. On Tuesday, Callum and I went to a Mummy and Me painting event at Elm Grove Art. The event was hosted by MKE Moms Blog and was such a good time. Although he still has the attention span of a, well, toddler, he still really enjoyed the painting and it was fun to work on it together. It was also sooooo nice to do a messy craft in a place you don't have to clean up. Seriously. These sorts of activities can stress me out because I just think about the mess that's going to be made. So, that alone helped me enjoy the activity so much more than I usually would. I hung our masterpiece on the wall, and Callum points to it about 100 times a day. He's so proud.

Have a great Halloween weekend everyone, and don't forget to turn your clocks back!

Here are a few things happening in Milwaukee this weekend:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dealing with the mom guilt

This past weekend, my mom took Callum up north to visit Matt's parents. When the plans were made for this about a month ago, Matt and I were thrilled. A weekend without any kids! Sleeping in! No schedule! Eating out whenever we wanted to! Count us in. Way in.

As the time for his departure grew closer and closer, I started to second guess how great a weekend without Callum would be. I was worried he was going to miss us too much, and that I was going to miss him. Was it really fair of me to have a fun weekend with out him?

Then the day arrived. I was not excited at all. I wouldn't have been upset if they decided to cancel the whole trip, then my baby could stay home and snuggle with me all weekend. But, off they drove as I was almost in tears. Why wasn't I excited? I now had complete freedom, and could do whatever I wanted. Not what some toddler wanted me to do.

Why did I feel so guilty about it?

Before becoming a mother, I had no idea the amount of guilt moms feel on a daily basis. Whether I'm sending him away for the weekend, putting him in front of the television so I can take a shower, or forgetting to schedule his next doctor's visit, I end up feeling guilty about a decision I made.

It's so hard not to feel like there's always something I could be doing better. Enough is never enough. Throw in today's world of everyone posting their perfect little lives on every single social channel, and it can be impossible to feel adequate.

I know I'm not a bad mother. I love my son like nothing else in the world. I am there for his every need, almost every day and night. I feed him his vegetables and limit his screen time. So, why can it be so hard to convince myself that I'm doing a good job?

That day as my mom drove off with my son, I decided I would do my best to no longer feel bad about the mistakes I make as a mom. Because for every minuscule mistake I make, there are a million ways I am kicking this whole parenting thing in the butt.

So, last weekend, Matt and I soaked up every single kid-free minute. We went out to eat for almost every meal, slept in, and completed a few projects around the house. The time together was just what we needed. And, although I missed Callum like crazy, I was able to enjoy the weekend guilt-free.

I don't think there will ever be a time where I no longer experience mom guilt. But, I can do my best to remind myself that, as a mom, I am doing a job that is far to be ashamed of.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Favorite soup recipes

Can you guys believe there's only 10 days left in October? Where is the time going? The weather in  Milwaukee has just been so gorgeous these last few days, it's hard to believe winter will be here before we know it.

We've been doing our best to make the most of fall. Over the weekend, we picked out pumpkins and got to carving. I tried the whole carving with a drill technique. You guys: It was so easy. Like I was done carving in about 30 seconds. If you're looking to carve about 100 pumpkins in a sitting, this is the way to go.

I used the drill to make the pumpkin that says "Boo." As happy as I am with the end result, it wasn't nearly as exciting as carving.

One of my other favorite things to do in fall is bust out some of my favorite soup recipes. Soups are generally such an easy dinner option, and the varieties are endless. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers.

Check em out.

1. Pasta e Fagioli from Iowa Girl Eats

This is probably my favorite soup ever! I love making it on a Sunday night and having it for lunch throughout the week. It's easy. It's filling. It's perfect. I'll sometimes sub ground turkey for the ground beef to make it a little healthier. 

Iowa Girl Eats.

2. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Bisque from Yes, I Want Cake

First off, this soup is made in the crock pot. Need I say more? Just throw everything in and forget about it. It's also packed full of veggies, which is great for my picky kid. 

Yes, I Want Cake.

3. Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup from The Pioneer Woman

This is not a healthy soup, nor is it a super simple recipe. But, man, oh man, is it delicious. You must make this at least once this winter. You won't regret it.

The Pioneer Woman.

4. Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup from Cooking Classy

A little twist on the old classic. This is one of my favorite things to make when I have leftover chicken. Just throw the pantry staples together, and about 20 minutes later you have an amazing soup that everyone will love. Plus, this soup tastes even better the day after you make it.

Cooking Classy.

This is not a soup that Matt likes (he hates mushrooms and corn), and Callum won't eat it (because he's two), but I can't get enough. If you're looking for a veggie soup that is packed with flavor, this is it. Plus, coconut milk is the best thing on this planet.

Bev Cooks.

Now, get outta here and go make some soup! Tell me: What're your favorite soup recipes?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Friday Favorites {16}

You guys. It has been a week of weeks. I could not be happier to see Friday.

As you know, I was in jury duty on Monday and Tuesday. I never got called for a case. I did get pulled in to one jury pool and was questioned for like a bajillion hours, but ultimately wasn't selected for the jury. Whew. If I would've been selected, I would've been listening to the case for at least one more day. It was an interesting experience, but I'm not disappointed that I have to wait at least four years to do it again.

Also, Callum's been fighting a cold all week and it has been ruining our nights. He's been up three or four times the last few nights and is need of extra snuggles to get back to sleep. His naps have also sucked. You'd think he would nap longer since he hasn't been sleeping at night, but obviously it never works out that way. Why is that, mommas!?!?! WHY??

I'm so looking forward to getting our lives back to normal this weekend. My brother, Andy, and his fiancé, Anna, are coming in to town from Minneapolis, and we've got all kinds of fun family stuff planned for the weekend.

Game on, Weekend.

To kick things off, here we go with this week's favorites.

1. Pumpkin Carving with a Drill. We're planning on carving pumpkins this weekend, and I think I'm going to try using a drill to carve. I love the way these pumpkins look. I'll be sure to share how it turns out. I'm envisioning Callum highjacking my drill and ruining everything, but such is life with a twonanger.

2. Fit4Mom, the country's largest fitness program for moms, is coming to the Milwaukee area! You guys. This is awesome. It can be so difficult for moms to find the time to work out. At Fit4Mom, you can bring your kids with you. It's perfect. The grand opening for the Brookfield/Tosa location will be held on November 11. The festivities will include a free Stroller Strides class, swag bags for everyone who registers, and an activity for the kiddos after class.

From their website: Stroller Strides is a total body fitness program that moms can do with their babies. It includes jogging or power walking and intervals of strength and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller and the environment.

I will definitely be there. I hope you can join me! I'm sure Callum won't sit as still as the "kids" in the photo below, but I'm sure it'll be a great workout nonetheless.

3. Have you guys heard that all the weather geniuses are predicting a warmer, dryer winter for southern Wisconsin? Music to my ears. I very much dislike the cold, and I like the snow for about a week. Fingers crossed that the predictions are correct.

Winter 2014. Can't even handle the snowsuit.

4. If you missed my latest post on the MKE Moms Blog, check it out here. Callum and I went to check out Lindners Pumpkin Farm and had a blast.


Things to do in Milwaukee this weekend:
Have a spectacular weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dropping in

Hi there! Ho there! Just dropping in to share a few photos from the weekend. I'm currently checking in from .... jury duty!!

As much of an annoyance jury duty can be, I'm looking forward to hopefully being called for a panel. I'd rather do that than just sit for two days. Also, I can't complain about spending the day in this beautiful building.

On Friday, Callum, my mom, and I went to Lindner Pumpkin Farm for the day. We had an excellent time! Keep an eye out tomorrow for a post on it up on MKE Moms Blog.

Saturday, Matt was volunteering for a local walk/run, while I took Callum down to swim class. After swim, we went over to grab some coffee and a little breakfast with friends. The weather was perfect. We sat outside and the boys were able to watch traffic and run up and down the wheelchair ramp. Everyone was happy.

Saturday afternoon, a new foster pup arrived at our house. Meet Astro. He is the sweetest! And, he's such a tiny pup. It's hard to see in the pictures, but he is perfectly Callum-sized. We love him and hope he finds a good home soon!

We spent the rest of the weekend getting Astro settled in, watching football, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and spending some time with some cousins who are visiting.

Hope you had a great weekend! Now, on to a good week that includes only one day of jury duty. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Friday Favorites {15}

And ....... it's FRIDAY! Alright.

I hope you all had an amazing week. Once again, we had perfect weather here in Milwaukee all week. It was gorgeous. Dear Mother Nature: Could we just skip the snow and freezing temps this year, and keep the weather just like this until next June? Thanks!

The weekend looks like it's supposed to be beautiful, too. We're planning on doing a few things around the house, getting out to a pumpkin farm, and, of course, tuning in to the Packer game on Sunday. Should be another wonderful fall weekend.

If you're looking for something to do in Milwaukee this weekend, be sure to check out some things happening in the area at the bottom of this post. (Including free admission to the Zoo on Saturday. Yes, you heard me right: FREE!)

As usual, here are some things that are floatin' my boat this week.


You guys. My two plaid shirts have been on rotation these past few weeks. Throw on some leggings or jeans, and a pair of booties, and we're good to go. Plaid is definitely my fall uniform.

2. Continuing with the fall trend, I have a serious buttload of apples at my house. Like four bags full. I decided it was time to get abakin', and made an apple pie. Other than my sad attempt at a lattice crust, the pie turned out delicious. The recipe I used suggested brushing the edge of my crust with milk before baking to keep the edge from drying out. Worked like a charm!

Now, send me all your apple recipes!

3. For the next four weekends, Marcus Theatres is bringing back a classic Disney Movie to the big screen for their Enchanted Tales Film Series. Callum has never been to a movie theater, so I think we're going to take him to see one of these movies. I'm sort of leaning towards 101 Dalmatians, but Matt really wants to do the Jungle Book. I'll keep you posted.

4. Callum loves to help me in the kitchen. Whenever I am cooking, that kid is by my side. This week, my amazing mother-in-law made this awesome apron for Callum. He will not take it off. It just screams, "Callum." It has Thomas on one side, and a bunch of animals on the other. Also, the ties are attached to the neck strap, so when you pull the ties to close the apron, the neck hole gets smaller, too. It's genius. She said she found the pattern for it on Pinterest. Here's a similar one. (Don't worry. The knife he had in his hand was plastic. He was "helping" me cut lettuce.)

5. Last, but certainly not least, MKE Mom's Blog is giving away a new Baby Björn Carrier One over on their blog. Check it out!

Other things happening this weekend in Milwaukee:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Milwaukee Museum Free Days

Here! Here! Milwaukee mommas! If there's one page on this site to bookmark, this is it. Here are all of the free days for Milwaukee-area attractions. Mark your calendars and get out there. Our great city is full of stuff to do, so get out and experience it. Please note: The majority of these free days are for Milwaukee County residents only.

Did I miss one? Let me know and I can add it to the list.

Free Days at the Milwaukee County Zoo

December 25, 2015 (Christmas) through January 1, 2016 (New Year's Day)

Free Days at the Milwaukee Art Museum

The first Thursday of the month is always free at the Milwaukee Art Museum. For the next year, those dates are:
January 7, 2016
February 4, 2016
March 3, 2016
April 7, 2016
May 5, 2016
June 2, 2016
July 7, 2016
August, 4, 2016
September 1, 2016
October 6, 2016
November 3, 2016
December 1, 2016

Free Days at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Just like the Art Museum, the first Thursday of the month is always free at the Public Museum. Those dates are:
January 7, 2016
February 4, 2016
March 3, 2016
April 7, 2016
May 5, 2016
June 2, 2016
July 7, 2016
August, 4, 2016
September 1, 2016
October 6, 2016
November 3, 2016
December 1, 2016

Free Days at the Mitchell Park Domes

Every Monday from 9:00 AM - Noon (Excluding major holidays)

Free Days at Betty Brinn Children's Museum

Betty Brinn offers free admission on the third Thursday of every month from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Those dates are:
December 17, 2015
January 21, 2016
February 18, 2016
March 17, 2016
April 21, 2016
May 19, 2016
June 16, 2016
July 21, 2016
August 18, 2016
September 15, 2016
October 20, 2016
November 17, 2016
December 15, 2016

Free Days at the Boerner Botanical Gardens

Admission to the Gardens is free the first Tuesday of the month from May - September. For 2016, those dates are:
May 3, 2016
June 7, 2016
July 5, 2016
August 2, 2016
September 6, 2016

Milwaukee Museum Member Swap Day

On January 31, 2016, if you are a member at any of the following attractions, your membership card will get you free reciprocal admission to any of the other museum's listed below.
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum 
Charles Allis Art Museum 
Grohmann Museum 
Harley-Davidson Museum 
Milwaukee Art Museum 
Milwaukee Public Museum 
Pabst Mansion 
Villa Terrace Art Museum 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Friday Favorites {14}

Did anyone else's week fly by as fast as mine? Friday, I am sooooo happy to see ya!

What does eveyone have on tap for the weekend? Other than the regular swim class on Saturday morning, I'm not too sure yet. I do know that we wanted to make it to Oktoberfest, so I hope to get there at some point. I'm also really excited for an afternoon Packer game on Sunday. I can never make it up for the night ones. Yes, I know I'm lame.

You know what's not lame: all these these things I'm loving this week. How'd you like that segue? Pretty good, if I do say so myself.

{PSA: If you're looking for something to do this weekend in Milwaukee, scroll to the bottom of the post for some fun (and even free) things happening this weekend in Milwaukee. Check em out!}

1. Can we talk about how excited I am for October? Since it's now official, I'm busting out all of the Halloween decorations this weekend! The first day of October here in Milwaukee was just gorgeous, too: blue skies, a little chill in the air. Keep doin' you, October. I like it.

2. On Tuesday, we finally got to the Milwaukee County Zoo to see the newborn giraffe. At two weeks old, it already stood almost six feet tall! It was so adorable. Even though it was huge, it still seemed like a baby. If you haven't had a chance to go see the giraffe yet, go check him out. It was all Callum could talk about after our visit. He kept saying "baby giraffe, baby giraffe" over and over.

3. I made my first batch of soup this week, and it was everything. Seriously. Soups are probably one of the easiest dinners to make, plus it is such a great way to sneak some extra veggies in for Callum. I made this Crock Pot (High five for the Crock Pot!) Cauliflower Sweet Potato soup.

I think I'm going to post a round-up of kid-friendly soup recipes some time in the next few weeks. What are your favorite soup recipes to make for your kids? Bonus points if you can make them in the Crock Pot!

4. MKE Moms Blog announced it's first event for Milwaukee area Moms: Meet me at the Barre on October  15. I'm so looking forward to this! Hope to see you there!

5. Finally, I just have to give a big shout out to our Milwaukee Art Museum. Callum and I went on Thursday for their free day, and were initially disappointed to find the main exhibition area closed for remodeling. We started walking through the atrium, and came across a bunch of art packs that kids can check out for free while they visit the museum. We took this one that included a ton of blocks for kids to build their own Calatrava. There we sat on the floor of the museum, playing with blocks and watching Lake Michigan. It was so perfect! The next time you are at the MAM, be sure to check theses art packs out. They had a bunch for kids of all ages.

Other things happening in Milwaukee this weekend:
Have an excellent weekend!