My Everyday Style | 06.12.14

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When T.J. Maxx asked if I wanted to be part a of blogger challenge about how you “dress your best self”, I couldn’t wait to participate! 1. I love T.J.Maxx and 2. my style has evolved so much since the beginning of this blog. I wrote about it in a recent post actually. Anyway, thinking more about it, I decided that “my best self” as far as style goes is laid back, chic, comfy, and something I can be adventurous with my kids in. Like this designer jumpsuit! I have worn this thing more than I would like to admit since I got it. It was the perfect travel day outfit for rushing around 2 airports with 2 kids and lots of luggage. I was comfortable yet felt put together at the same time. I feel my best self though no matter what I am wearing when I am with Kev, the girls and we are out doing something all together as a family. Creating new memories and experiencing new things (wearing something awesome is a bonus though). I just love them so much!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Striped jumpsuit: T.J.Maxx
Denim Jacket: J.Crew
Sandals: T.J.Maxx
Clear Glasses: c/o Costal Contact

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Watch the T.J.Maxx Dress Your Best Video! to find out more about this campaign.
T.J.Maxx provided a gift card for items purchased in this post. All opinions are my own.

The Start Of Vacation.

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Well, we hopped a plane (twice actually) and headed to Florida for 2 weeks. We had a bumpy start getting here. It took us 2 tries and 2 days to make the short little 3 hours flight. Plane mechanics were not on our side, but we are here and we couldn’t be happier. My parents house in Florida feels like our much warmer, way more cool home away from home. In the 24 hours that we’ve been here we’ve already gone to the beach, gone to the zoo, taken naps, gotten smoothies, seen 4 manatees (2 of which were mommy and baby nursing!!) and had way too much fun with the GoPro at my Aunt and Uncle’s pool. Kev asked for one for Christmas last year and he’s been pretty excited to use it for the very first time in the water. Why are underwater pictures so awesome? Everyone always looks sort of crazy but I just keep wanting to take more. I know this goes without saying but vacation is the best. Not because you may end up somewhere cool to explore or warmer, or whatever but because you are all together. There really is nothing better than extended time all together as a family.

and yes. I think this is the best picture ever…

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My Everyday Style | 06.02.14

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Let’s talk about Lou & Grey again shall we? I shared thoughts on my evolving fashion and self in the last post. Who knew a romper could make me feel so reflective? Today let’s just talk about being comfy. I think my new goal in life is to wear clothes that feel like pajamas but are not. Does this make me lazy? hahahah. These pants! Ohmy! The are about the softest, most comfortable thing I own (and they are 50% off right now!!). The lace design on the outside keeps them feeling less lounge pant, more everyday. I wore this outfit on Saturday. We went to the farmers market, Buy Buy Baby, Trader Joes, and to a friends bbq. I feel like it was fitting for all of it. As the night cooled off, I just switched out the denim vest for my actual denim jacket.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Lace Pants: c/o Lou & Grey via LOFT
Striped Tank: c/o Lou & Grey via LOFT
Vest: Old Madewell (this year’s version)
Birkenstocks: Nordstorm
Necklace: Handmade (One of my new spring colors- coming soon!)

Clean Eating for Kids

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the girls and eating lately. So here goes… When Kev and I started eating clean, I wasn’t quite sure how it would play out with the girls. I don’t give them a lot of junk, but they do eat their fair share of cheddar bunnies, animal crackers, annie’s mac and cheese, etc. You know, the childhood staples. Organic or not even those items are processed and have quite a few ingredients. At first I thought I wasn’t going to worry about them as much. I was just going to feed them what was easy. Then I started feeling really convicted over it. If I didn’t want to eat processed food, why would I not care what they ate as well? All of a sudden “being easy” didn’t seem like a justifiable excuse anymore.

It’s been a slow road transitioning the girls, but I don’t think you should ever feel like it isn’t doable. Over the past 2 months I’ve slowly phased out all processed snacks from our house. It wasn’t a drastic change but as things got eaten, I just didn’t replace them. We ditched the eggos (even the vans ones), most cereal, those veggie sticks, pop chips (we make real popcorn), most crackers and carby snacks (brown rice cakes instead), etc… Actually, this change sort of started unintentionally about 6 months ago. Anyone have a kid that every 20 mins is asking for a snack? That is Rowan. I had decided that whenever she would ask for a snack, I would only give her options of fruit and veggies. If she wanted a snack that is what she could have. Sometimes she would say “yes” and sometimes it would be “no” but it was her choice.

Making that small change as far as snacks go helped set the tone for the rest of their meals. She loves almost all raw fruits and veggies and has no complaints when that’s what is offered to her. It’s what she asks for now. Honestly, my kids are picky too. I don’t have super kids by any means. So please don’t think “my kids would never eat like that”. It does take time, consistency and being a little strict at the beginning. I don’t make separate meals for them, I don’t let them choose something else to eat if they don’t like what I made for a meal. There are plenty of times during the day that I ask for their opinions over what food they eat. So at dinner I don’t feel bad about saying “this is it”. If they don’t eat it, they don’t eat it. It will be left out on the counter and later if they say they are hungry, their dinner is what they get. I don’t give in and give them snacks instead. I do take into consideration each kid though. I know Rowan doesn’t love when all her food is mixed. Say I was making a stir fry, I would just grab some of the veggies out and put them on the side next to the quinoa instead of mixing them up like I do for Kev and I.

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I am not above bribery either. If she eats all her dinner she can have dessert afterwards. Which is usually a popsicle, sorbet, or something else we have made from scratch. Popsicles are great. I blend a whole bunch of fruit, flax or chia seeds and freeze in these push pop tubes. They girls love them. I have the Oh She Glows cookbook and I love the almond butter cookies in there. We make those on special nights.

Some days the girls eat like champs and some days it’s frustrating for sure. My saving grace is smoothies. The girls LOVE them. I blend all kinds of fruits, veggies (mostly shredded carrots or beets), hemp seeds, flax, chia seeds, loads of greens and they slurp them right up. Sometimes I want to point and yell “gotcha!”. Finley especially. That girl can not get enough smoothie. A good trick to remember is citrus cuts the taste of greens. Zest or/and juice limes or oranges into your smoothies.

Breakfast favorites:
Homemade whole wheat waffles- we love this recipe! (make a ton and freeze in individual portions)
Scramble eggs with spinach and cheese
Rolled oats with grade b maple syrup, cinnamon and fruit
Yogurt with, raw honey, rhubarb chia jam

Lunch favorites:
Apple and PB sandwiches
cut up fruit
veggies and hummus (hummus is so easy to make yourself!)
beans
grilled cheese- we get loaf bread from a local bakery and cheese from the farmers market

Dinner favorites:
sweet potatoes
quesadillas (cheese and spinach)
quinoa
stir fry

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Note: When we are out at friends I am more lenient with what they eat. I would never be disrespectful and turn something away. The girls may eat what is being served. We do go out for ice cream and they get mac and cheese every wednesday night when our babysitter comes over for our foster care class. Soooo don’t worry that they aren’t getting treats. There is always a birthday, special holiday or something that involves sugary treats.

Even small changes are great! Maybe just start being more mindful about the number of ingredients (and what ingredients) are in what you’re buying. Follow along on instagram for lots of ideas! @jenloveskev #jenloveskeveats

Over The Weekend

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This past weekend was full of everything and nothing all at the same time. Those kinds of weekends are pretty awesome aren’t they? I feel like most weekends are full of plans, outings and errands. This weekend we didn’t really go anywhere far or have any set plans. It was fun to just go with the flow of each day. As I mentioned in yesterdays post there was the carnival, there was also our regular trip to the farmers market, a Mommy daughter date with Rowan, good music, gardening, washing the car, a visit from Kev’s parents, and a bbq with friends.

I planted my first legit vegetable garden this weekend. My tiny container garden did ok last year, but I wanted something bigger. I dug out one of our garden beds on the side of the house that gets the most sun. I reworked all the soil and spent way too much time tilling it all up. Gardening is a lot of work! It really is rewarding though. I am starting to see why people love it so much. I got all organic starter plants from the farmers market. I was so nervous!! Everyone does it so different it seems like and there always seems to be this crazy science between peat moss, manure, soil, etc… It can feel overwhelming to someone who does not garden (me). Finally I decided to get over my fear and just go for it. It won’t grow any better if it isn’t planted. Might as well just plant and see what happens. Rowan and Finley had a lot of fun helping as well. We have crazy little critters in our yard so I had to fence it all and stake the fence to the ground. We ended up planting cucumbers, brussels sprouts, 2 kinds of cherry tomatoes, swiss chard, 2 kinds of kale, zucchini, sugar snap peas and green beans. My fingers are crossed something grows.

Anyone have any tips for a first time gardener like me?

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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