Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Channeling Zooey

Posted by Devin

I have a little confession to make. I adore Zooey Deschanel. But honestly, who doesn't adore her?!! You'd be crazy not to. And she is the only celebrity about whose clothes I have ever said "Oh I love that! I MUST go find that!" She is totally my celebrity fashion crush. I've even been known to visit the website wwzdw.com (What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear -.com) quite frequently. Most of the things she wears are modest and quirky and cute and fun... I love it!

One of Zooey's signature looks is the knee-length dress with a cardigan, belt, and flats in bright and fun colors and patterns. So today I am showing my version of that look!

All I need now is to dye my hair brown and get some bangs, right? ;)
What I Wore:
Dress - Old Navy
Cardigan - Target
Necklace - Charming Charlie's
Flats - Payless
Belt - Vintage Hand-Me-Down


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Path of Motherhood

Posted by Tara

Recently a few friends and family members have had new babies. I'm so excited for them and their new journey on the path of Motherhood. As I visit with them about their new experiences it reminds me of what I was like when I came home with my first. I'll skip the labor and delivery story and jump into my life with a 4 week old baby. My breast milk never came in, so I didn't have the opportunity to breast feed. I think most first time moms want to give a shot at breast feeding. I wanted to, but apparently my body didn't. Anyways, after about a month or so, I hit the "Baby Blues" and for the first six months struggled with Postpartum. I know everyone's experience is different, but mine was heavily involved with it. I wouldn't get dressed and would just sit in this recliner in my bedroom and sob ALL. DAY. LONG. I remember not understanding how I was so excited just weeks before to have this new little one and now I wished he would go back into my belly. My poor husband was called way too many times a day at work from a hysterical wife. I think he caught on that I needed some help to get through that time after my pregnancy and called people to come sit with me and visit with me so I wouldn't get down. Life was so hard at that time.

Fast forward 8 years. I have 5 kids now. I had my first in 2005, second in 2006, third in 2007, fourth in 2009, and fifth in 2011. This last baby (Baby #5) I was a totally different mom coming home. It was like night and day. I felt like I was on top of things like the baby, dinners, and the other kids. I actually got dressed and did stuff during the day. Don't get me wrong, having 5 kids is very overwhelming but this time I had older kids to help. Still, bringing baby number 5 home was not EASY, I just did better adjusting this time. Its an exhausting and never ending job that I signed up for 8 years ago. Glad I did. I feel like I have evolved into a different mom each year, learning more and more about parenting and patience. I know every year that passes I am a different mom than I was 2-3 years ago. And that is what is supposed to happen. I always hear how the little ones are like sponges, but I feel like us mothers are too. After leaving my toothbrush on the counter in my bathroom and finding my two year old playing with it in my toilet, I quickly put it in my mind not to leave it there again. See, we do grow and become better parents! :) I hope that as your little ones grow, you will grow too. You probably will and won't realize it until you remember how it was bringing home your first born. That's how it was for me. I feel like Motherhood just keeps getting better and better on this journey! Good luck to all those new mommies out there! Snuggle those little babies, they grow fast!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

6 Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Posted by Devin

Last week this mama went to the beach for seven glorious days. It. Was. Awesome. Unfortunately for me, that means I am now back in the real world and Halloween is a week away... Did I get costumes figured out for my boys before I left? No I did not. So yesterday we began pulling out our old costumes and putting some things together. And today I thought I'd share some of the easier costumes I have made to help out any other mamas who may be in my same predicament this year. ;) All of these costumes are inexpensive and made with items we already had on hand or that are carried in most stores with Halloween costumes (like Party City or the Halloween Super Store).

The Vampire

What You Need: Black Cape, Vampire Teeth, Face Paint, Large Medallion Necklace, Button-Down Shirt, Black Pants, Black Shoes
This has to be the easiest costume to put together. A quick trip to the costume store and you are ready to go! It's inexpensive and super easy. I was relieved when Connor said he wanted to be a vampire this year. We already had everything on hand except the teeth. Phew! One boy ready to go...
The Mummy

What You Need: Black Long-Sleeved Turtle Neck, Black Stretchy Pants, White Sheet, Face Paint
This is a costume I made a few years ago for my oldest boy and thankfully Cash is excited to wear it this year! We had to try on EVERY costume in the storage container, but we finally found a winner. Yes! A mummy costume can be super simple by dressing your child in the black shirt and pants and then draping the strips of white sheet around them and you are done! I wanted mine to be really durable so I actually sewed the strips to the shirt and pants, leaving a few ends hanging off, and then draped one loose strip around his head and neck. The little bit of extra work has been worth it for me since I do not have to worry about the strips falling everywhere while he wears the costume AND I simply pull it out of the box every year and it is ready for another child to wear it! Cash does not have his face paint on in this picture, but we will probably be adding a white face and black-ringed eyes to complete the look come Halloween. I wish you all could see his little baby mummy walk he does... It's classic!
The Boxer

What You Need: Boxing Gloves, Athletic Shorts, Large Hoodie, Belt, Cardboard or Poster Board, Black Face Paint, Socks & Shoes
A few weeks ago Caden got a black eye when his baby brother's head hit him on the slide at the park. We joked with Caden that it was too bad it wasn't Halloween yet so he could go as a boxer. Well the idea seemed to stick because when I asked him what he would like to be for Halloween he immediately said, "A boxer!" I looked on the Internet to see what was available out there and found that there is basically ONE Everlast costume for boys and it runs around $40. So I went to our local Walmart and found real boxing gloves in the sporting goods section for just under $13. This sounded a lot better than $40 to me so I decided we would take the cheaper route for this costume (and now I have gloves if I ever decide to take up boxing, bonus!). He's wearing his dad's hoodie and all his own clothes so our only purchase was the gloves. I made the "Champ" belt buckle with poster board and simply cut slits in the board that his regular belt could go through. As you can see Caden is bare-chested here, but he will probably wear a white tee for Trick-Or-Treating. It's really not cold here yet, but a bare-chest can get a little chilly at night. And we don't want him intimidating anyone with all of those muscles. ;)
The Wizard

What You Need: Black Cloak, Gold Material, Iron-On Adhesive (Heat N' Bond), Wizard Hat, Beard, Large Stick or Scepter or Wand
I originally made this costume for Connor who requested to be a wizard for Halloween two years ago. I couldn't find any wizard costumes locally, but the Halloween Super Store had a wizard hat, a beard, and a plain black cloak. So I purchased some gold fabric and some iron-on adhesive and voila! The cutest little wizard costume ever! It's amazing what a few gold stars can do. Connor used a large knotty stick as his wizard wand, but here Chase is holding the scepter we use for the King costume (shown at bottom). I frequently repurpose bits and pieces from other costumes to make new ones. It makes it a whole lot easier AND cheaper than starting from scratch. 
The Superhero
What You Need: Cape, Leggings, Red Underwear, White T-Shirt, Iron-On Adhesive, Small Amount of Fabric, Mask, Boots, Gloves

Speaking of recycling old costumes to make new ones, this costume is the perfect example of that. Every year Chase wants to be "Super Chase." This year he is still deciding between this costume and the King costume below. He just loves loves loves being his own original superhero and he can't bear to pass up the opportunity to be Super Chase again when Halloween rolls around. We'll see next week if he ends up going with this again. To make this costume I used bits and pieces of other costumes I already had. The leggings and red underwear are from a Nacho Libre costume I made, the red cape is a hand-me-down from Jake's mom (he and his brothers used to wear it), and the mask, gloves, and boots are from a Mr. Incredible costume we purchased awhile back. So the only thing I had to make for this was the "C" shirt using the iron-on adhesive and material I already had. Look through your old costumes and use what you have in new and creative ways to make fun, original costumes. And if you happen to have a boy or two, chances are you already have a few superhero costumes and capes from Halloweens past. It doesn't take too much work to recycle it and make your child their own superhero.
The King
What You Need: King Hat, White Furry Material, Red Material, One Shoelace, Iron-On Adhesive, Medallion Necklace, White Tights, Dress Shirt, Blue or Black Shorts, Dress Shoes, Scepter
You may have noticed that none of these costumes I have shown so far require any sewing. This one has a slight exception: I sewed the cape together. All I did to sew it was measured my fabric to the dimensions I wanted, hemmed the edges, and folded the top over and sewed it to make a place to string a shoelace through to give it a drawstring tie around the neck. If you can find an already-made red cape, you can skip the sewing step. To give the cape the furry edges, I measured and cut strips of the fur fabric and used the iron-on adhesive to attach them. For the furry collar, I simply cut another piece of the fur fabric to the shape I wanted and pinned it together in the front with a safety pin. It's really not very much work for a super cute King costume.
And that's it! I wish I had some girl costumes to share, but unfortunately that is not my department. ;) Good luck to all of you costume-creating mamas out there! Happy Halloween!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mama Vox Box

Posted by Tara

Doesn't everyone love happy mail!? Well I recently got some from Influenster and love the products I received! Here is a breakdown of what I got: Ponds BB Cream, Annie's White Mac and Cheese, Dr. Scholls foot inserts for heels, Belvita Soft Baked Cookie. 

It's so easy to make these cups of Macaroni and Cheese. Neela was begging for something different than her brothers (which is a common occurrence). I popped this in the microwave and its done in 2 minutes. She loved it and ate every last bite!

The Belvita Soft Baked Cookie is great for the kids in the morning. It's something they can eat mid-day for a snack that will fill them up! They tasted great and I enjoyed eating it as well. Also has a lot of your daily fiber in one cookie. 

Pond's has outdone themselves on this BB Cream. I have been extremely happy with this product. Love everything about it: the color, texture, light coverage. Here is pictures of me before, during, and after. No filter was used in these photos. I love how it smooths everything out and gives me such a fresh look!

One reason I think that the BB Cream does such a great job is because of the texture. I have used two other brands of BB Cream before using Ponds and their BB Cream was like watery lotion. Pond's BB Cream is like whipped butter. Seriously so creamy. That's probably my favorite part about it.

The Dr. Scholl's inserts work great when you know you are going to be in heels a long time. I wore them when I went to church (3 hours in heels) and I felt like it made a big difference. They are very comfy and leave plenty of room in the shoe for your foot. My kids like to take them out of my heels and try putting them in their shoes. :) These would be great for photographers or business women. They fit in heels and flats.

****Please remember that I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Date Night Outfit

Posted by Tara

Seth and I recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary. I still can't believe it has been 10 years. Time has flown by and we have had so many great things happen. We have had 5 kids, owned 3 houses, Seth has changed jobs 3 times, and who knows what the next 10 years will bring! We are so blessed with such a great family.

We decided that since we went to Hawaii earlier this year, we would do a simple date the day of. We grabbed a quick bite at Smash Burger (yum) and headed to the movies. Saw Captain Phillips (which I highly recommend).

Before we ate I had Seth snap a few photos of my outfit. I feel like as our weather cools down I am a little sad to put away those bright colored tops and skinnies. This is my last post with my brights, but look forward to all the warm colors fall brings. 

What I Wore: 
Navy Blazer: Forever 21
Floral Top: Forever 21
Orange Skinnies: Rue 21
Bubble Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Nude Wedges: Target

Linking up with: Style Elixir, All Things Pretty, Pleated Poppy, Real Girl Glam


Monday, October 21, 2013

Gable Family Salsa

Posted by Devin

Back in May on my Gable Family Beans post, I had said that I would share my family's salsa recipe with all of you. I have recently been reminded by a few people that I have yet to fulfill that promise. So without further ado, here it finally is!

2 cans sliced stewed tomatoes (or Mexican stewed tomatoes)
1/2 bunch green onions
2 pickled jalapenos
1 small can diced green chiles
1/4 c. fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 pinch basil
3 shakes ground cumin
2 pinches dried oregano
3 shakes powdered oregano
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
salt & pepper 

Step 1. Dice the green onions, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro. As you can see, I did not have any cilantro on hand so I simply omitted it. Some people like cilantro, some people don't, so it's up to you if you want to use it. We love cilantro but this salsa is still great without it.

Step 2. Put everything in the blender and blend! Only blend until mixed through (maybe 5-10 seconds), don't over do it.

That's it! Enjoy!


Friday, October 18, 2013

5 Favorite Fall Soups

Posted by Tara

I love what fall brings. To me it brings more baking, pumpkin and spice, and soups. I am a huge fan of soup. There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup. So I thought today I would share my top favorite soups for this fall!

Tortellini Sausage Soup- from Our Best Bites

This is a family favorite. My kids aren't huge fans of tortellini by itself, but they gobble it up in this soup. I tell people this soup is like Spaghetti in a bowl. So yummy!

Pork Chili Verde- from Heather Christo

This soup is one of my favorite finds. It's super easy and delicious! I've even used this recipe to make carnitas for dinner. Their Green Salsa is literally the BOMB. Love it.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup- from AllRecipes.com

This soup really is a great tasting crock pot recipe! It was given to me from a friend years ago and I love the way it tastes every time. My family loves tortilla soup and crushing the tortilla chips on top! This is a keeper in our meal rotation.

Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana Soup- Food.com

So I have to confess that I have never made this soup for my family. But one day when I was sick, my dear friend Devin brought me some of this soup. It is divine. I also hear how amazing it is from other households all the time. This is one to add to your menu this fall!

Mushroom Soup- Google

So every fall I make mushroom soup. It is heaven to me. I google a recipe and then slightly change it to make it my own every time. I love sauteed mushroom, so I always saute mine first before blending them with the cream. Find a recipe that works for you and your family. I never have wines on hand so I google ones that don't call for it in the recipe. This is creamy goodness you don't want to miss out on!

Linking up with: Linky Party Palooza, Shabby Nest, Fluster's Creative Muster

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scarves & Skinnies

Posted by Devin

There are two things I plan on wearing a lot of this Fall: scarves & skinny jeans. I love the look of both this year and can't wait to wear them on a regular basis. Last Thursday we had our first "chilly" day of the season, rainy with a high of 75. Brrrr! Lol! Anyways, it felt chilly to us Arizonians, so I decided to start things off with a bang and busted out my new scarf and light denim skinny jeans. (Along with my boots, of course. Gotta have boots. As Tara said in her fashion post last week: It's All About the Boots.) 

Light-weight scarves are the BEST for us Arizona girls in the Fall. They provide a little warmth and protection from cool breezes without frying us under the always-present sun. Love them.

Oh boots. How do I love thee? I currently have knee-highs in black and light brown (shown), shorter dark brown ones, and the essential for desert-denizens: my cowgirl boots. You would think that's enough, but I am totally plotting my next boot purchase. I just can't get enough!

What I Wore:
Lightly Distressed Skinny Jeans - Old Navy (Clearance)
Blouse - Old Navy
Boots - Gift
Scarf - Old Navy
Rose & White Gold Cuff - JC Penney
Sunglasses - Target
Linking up with: Style Elixir, The Pleated Poppy, Trend Spin Linkup 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Potty Training: The Stinky Truth

We would like to introduce ourselves! We are Devin and Tara from Salt and Pepper Moms. We have been blogging for almost a year and really love it! Our blog is a lifestyle blog that includes Fitness, DIY, Fashion, Homelife, Recipes and well... just about everything you would need in a blog! We hope you enjoy our post on Potty Training and come check out our blog!

Well guys, I did it. I survived potty training my fourth boy! And it only took 4 months! (Are you sensing the sarcasm?)
So here's the thing about potty training. I hate it. There is nothing (so far...) that makes me feel more like a failure as a mother than trying to potty train one of my boys. It takes so long and I truly begin to believe it will NEVER happen. Visions of grown men in business suits with diapers poking out the back of their pants start to haunt me. Shudder... But despite the fact that I am pretty sure I am the world's worst potty trainer, I am going to impart some words of wisdom to you all on this subject. (Feel free to disregard all of it.)

* Potty Training Stinks. Often times, literally. I hear stories about magical babies potty training themselves at 12 months old, but that is NOT a reality in my house. When I first start potty training my guys they will be standing there naked and will start peeing on the floor without even realizing they are peeing until the splash starts to hit them. I mean, they don't have a clue what's going on down there. So getting from this point to "potty trained" is a long process. I always start thinking "I'm sure we can do this in two weeks, max." Hasn't happened yet. Prepare yourselves. It could be a long haul.

* Bribery Seems To Work Best. I have yet to find a more effective method to train my kiddos than good old fashioned bribery. Here's the up-side: toddlers are super easy to bribe. We mostly used candy and stickers, both of which seemed like Olympic Gold Medals to our little man. Cheap and easy and pretty effective, along with a lot of verbal praise. We may or may not have gotten desperate and also bought him a giant bag of plastic monster trucks for prizes... But they really didn't end up working any better than the candy and stickers did. And finding an effective way to entice Cash to use the potty was really not my problem. We'll get to that next. Bribery. Use it.

* It's Probably Going To Get Embarrassing. Ok, so I'm pretty sure the reason it took me FOUR MONTHS to potty train Cash is because I was so scared to take him out into public without a diaper on and risk an embarrassing mess. But I have four kids and a busy schedule so that means we are not home a lot. Going back and forth between underpants at home and diapers in town is really confusing for these poor little peeps! The best advice I can give on this is to bite the bullet and stick to the underpants. Does that mean that you might be in the middle of the world's longest check out line at the grocery store when they suddenly get real still with that look on their face (you know the one) and you realize you are witnessing poop in progress? Yep. It happens. It happened. And then Cash proceeded to start waddling like a duck while yelling "I pooped, mama! I pooped! It's stinky!" It's horribly embarrassing. Just know that other moms have been there and get the heck out of there as fast as you can. And don't feel guilty chucking those underpants in the trash can instead of hauling them home. I. Refuse.

* Be Prepared for Poopy Pants. With that being said, you will probably have to deal with a messy pants situation at some point. I started equipping Cash with his own backpack supplied with wet wipes and a change of shorts and underpants. Every where he went, that backpack went. Dealing with a public disaster is much easier if you are prepared to deal with it quickly. If you look at the pictures below you can see that Cash really didn't mind hauling his little backpack around. It didn't weigh very much and I think it made him feel cool like his backpack-toting older brothers.

* You Are Not A Failure. I told you that you could disregard all of my advice, but this is one you should all listen to. Just because your child may not be taking to potty training as easily as you thought he or she might, that does not mean that you are failing as a mother. Some of you may have those magical self-training babies I have heard about in Mommy-lore, but for those of you like myself who do not, don't despair! They WILL NOT go to kindergarten in diapers, they WILL eventually figure it out, and you WILL NOT spend the rest of your life terrified to leave your home with your sweet little mess-making kiddo. All I can say is hang in there ladies and keep up the good fight! You are good mommies and you rock for loving your babies enough to survive potty training!

Posted by Devin

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Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Ingredient Crockpot Meatballs

Posted by Devin

I was talking to my girlfriend Nicole the other day and she was telling me how yummy she thinks our recipes always look here on our blog. However, she is a working mom and she informed me that if the recipe calls for more than 5 ingredients, she probably wasn't going to attempt it. Most of our recipes are fairly simple, but this one is SUPER simple and it stays below the "ingredients limit." So this one's for you Nicole!
1 bag frozen meatballs
1 bottle chili sauce
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. ketchup
Bake meatballs for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and lay on paper towels to soak up the grease. Put remaining ingredients into a saucepan or crockpot and mix well. Add the meatballs. If using a saucepan, simply heat until warm. If using a crockpot, keep on warm for as long as needed.
That's it folks! I like to serve with rice and a vegetable, but the meatballs are also yummy on a soft roll with cheese or with noodles. This one is a huge hit with my guys, everyone eats it up and asks for seconds. And it's so great for nights that we are getting home late from practices and I can have it waiting and warm in the crockpot. Enjoy!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

It's All About the Boots

Posted by Tara

So I have been thinking about this outfit for the last week and was excited to wear it for today's fashion post.  One thing I love about fall is getting to dress more casual. 

This outfit brings back memories of my college days.  I loved wearing sweaters and hoodies. Flash forward 10 years and 5 kids and I am far from my college days!  

Can I just tell you how much I love my Hello Apparel Sweatshirt! I have a few items from them and always look forward to opportunities to wear them. I highly recommend their clothing!
We recently did a fall fashion post and I got rave reviews on my boots so I thought I would showcase them again.  

This fall I feel like your outfit always needs some sort of boot.  Can't wait till it really cools down and I can wear all my boots regularly. 

What I Wore: 
Star Chambray Shirt: Forever 21
Hello Sweatshirt: Hello Apparel
Mustard Corduroy: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Boots: Gift from Mother-in-law

Linking up with: Transatlantic Blonde, The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, Real Girl Glam, All things Pretty, Walking in Memphis in High Heels, Because Shanna Said So

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