Easy Oatmeal Bar


Is breakfast time a struggle in your house? It is in ours. For some reason our meal times have stretched to nearly an hour, which is inconvenient when I have lots of things to do and occasionally places to go in the morning. I want our kids to have a healthy but filling meal that will give them energy to sustain them (until they need a snack in 45 minutes), so I need a go-to meal that will fill them up quick! 

On days I need a surefire solid and fast breakfast, I’ll make an oatmeal breakfast bar. The kids love the ability to choose their own toppings, and are much more focused on their meal. And, it’s healthy! Win – win. 


I’ll start by making a pot of oatmeal (boil 3.5 cups water, add 2 cups old fashioned oats, a sprinkle of salt, cinnamon, and vanilla, and simmer). I can do this before the kids wake so they just dress it up and eat! Some toppings I use are: 

Quartered Bananas

Chopped apples (add to the oatmeal while it cooks so they soften) 

Slivered almonds

Peanut butter

Brown sugar 

Raisins 

Chia seeds 

Honey 

Chocolate chips 
Set up in little dishes and let them create their own bowls. It may be a bit messy, but they will love it! Be creative. Enjoy! 


Flatware

Kids’ Bowls

White Bowls

Plant

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Settling

It happened! We finally bought our new home.

Thank you for your patience while we get unpacked and settled into our new place. We are so thrilled where we are and couldn’t be happier. We took a much needed break to relax and enjoy our new space. It isn’t finished by any means, but I don’t have any more boxes to unpack. (That’s a victory in itself!)Pictures still need to go on the walls and nearly every wall needs to be painted, but we have time for that, right?

I mentioned how this home was an answer to prayer, and I guess now is as good a time as any to explain what exactly happened. This was a long process for us. We originally decided back in July 2015 that we would need to prepare for our next home. We decided that once we paid off all our debt and saved enough money for a down payment, we would list our current home in Connecticut. So fast forward to April 2016, all of the above were completed. We prepped our house for sale, got it listed, and waited. And waited. And waited.

Hundred of showings. Dozens of open houses. One lowball offer. And so our house stayed on the market for what seemed like a lifetime. Not to mention, we had our third baby at the end of May, so our life was a little crazy. Now that I look back on this past year, I don’t know how we did it. Our life was so up in the air, with a newborn, and it was hard to plan anything. We knew God had a plan and were completely content in that. However, how long would this be? How long would we need to wait?

The interesting thing about moving is we originally weren’t planning on relocating to New Hampshire. My husband got a promotion this past August, but was offered it back in March. The timing worked out well (and completely divine) because we knew that when we listed our home, we would no longer buy in Connecticut but relocate. Connecticut had been so good for our family (friends and church), but we were looking for a place closer to family, a little slower pace, better cost of living, and better schools. I grew up in Southern NH, so we knew it was a good move for our family. Plus it would be closer to my husband’s corporate office and more central to all the branches in his company and close to airports. 

So back to the waiting. We listed our home on April 15 and didn’t get under contract until December 5. It was long. It was painful. But we grew. We knew God had us staying where we were for some reason. But even though we knew that, it was still hard to be joyful through the entire process. I wish I could say we were happy and content through it all, but I would be lying. But ultimately we were confident in Him and are thrilled where we ended up! 

We put an offer on a home at the end of December, but it didn’t go through. What at first was very discouraging at a time where nothing was going to plan, it turned out that  And was another God thing too. We wouldn’t be where we are now if we bought that place. We ended up closing on our home in Connecticut on January 21, and the entire earth heard a sigh of relief. Our family packed up and moved into my parent’s house in New Hampshire.

I am so thankful we had a familiar landing pad, because our poor kids had been in a state of limbo for so long. Even though as parents we put on a brave face, kids can read through that. The first couple weeks were tough for Levi (age 2), but it was an awesome transition in general. Even considering the whole dynamic- my dad and husband work together, from home, and my mom works from home. We have three kids under four, so that brings a certain level of noise… I am so thankful my parents graciously opened their home to us and all of the activity that comes with us! We had such a wonderful few months with them. In Connecticut we were 2.5 hours away, so there’s only so many weekend trips you can do. This was such a great time to spend with the grandparents, making memories and enjoying time together.

We waited (im)patiently while living at my parent’s for homes to come on the market. The unfortunate part about moving in January is that there isn’t much to choose from. But then finally, FINALLY, on March 28 (my birthday! Best present ever!) we went under contract with our new home. And then time FLEW. Before we knew it we were closed, e packing up the truck and moving in, rain and all. We were so desperate to put down our roots again!

It was a year. We listed our last home on April 15, and closed on the new one on April 21. One year of waiting. One year of limbo. A year of lessons and stretching. But we are even more grateful now than if we didn’t have to wait! 

Shout out to my amazing husband who has been my rock and strength through it all. He’s done more unpacking, organizing, cleaning, and building than I have, on top of his full time (plus!) job and traveling. I am so thankful for him.

So please forgive me as we find our new normal. As the house comes together I am slowly finding my motivation to blog again. If you want to see more details of our day, go check us out on Instagram and my Instastories. I am also so excited to add in another passion of mineto the blog- interior design- now that we have a home again! Stay tuned for updates on our place and what we’ve done so far, including our current project of finishing the basement!

 

 

Golden

I celebrated my golden birthday last month (28 on the 28th). My husband asked me my thoughts about getting older, and I have been pondering it for a bit now. While I am not afraid of aging, I am actually OK with getting older. In a culture that fears age for vain reasons, I am looking forward to who I am becoming. Not only am I getting older, but I am getting better. I am a better mom. I am a better wife. I am a better friend. I am kinder to myself. Age has a way of teaching you things, even when you aren’t realizing it, and I feel like I am becoming who I am supposed to be.

The number keeps getting higher, but it’s only a number. That old adage that says you are only as old as you feel is so true for me. I don’t feel old, nor is 28 even considered old (just depends who is looking at it).  I have made fitness a priority in my life, so my body has treated me well. While my diet may not be the best or cleanest, I am strong. I have muscles. And you know what? My thighs touch. But you know what that means? I have strong legs to bounce my kids on and run to keep up with them. Fitness is a part of my life and will be forever. I don’t want to feel old because of how my body feels. I want to feel young. I want to get older.

I want to perfect that balance of taking care of myself and taking care of others. It is a delicate combination, because if I spend too much time caring for others and forsaking my own health, that isn’t good. If I spend too much time focusing on myself then I become selfish and vain, and can’t sufficiently care for others. Does that even make any sense? That is why I work out. I run, I lift weights, and I get enough sleep, I eat and drink in moderation. So there is a balance that I am trying to figure out, but it is important. Everything I do affects my body either negatively or positively, and I am in control.

I also am learning to be kinder to myself. My body has gone through a lot in the past five years, so I should be in awe of what my body has done instead of frustrated that I still haven’t lost that last bit of belly flub. I will never be the person who is proud of my stretch marks (thanks, Levi), but I won’t obsess over them. Do I want that flat stomach? Yes. I should probably eat less ice cream. Progress over perfection. I just really like ice cream 😉

I have more wrinkles this year, but that means that I have smiled and experienced more. I want the kind of friends where your heart warms just thinking about that person. I want less relationships, and the ones I have to be more genuine. I want to surround myself with people who will inspire me, support me, and make me better. I have pulled away from those relationships that were more draining and negative because I don’t need that in my life. I would rather have a few close friends than a bunch of mediocre ones. The phase of life I am in is very busy and demanding, so I have to choose how I spend my time wisely. I don’t want to spend my time with someone who isn’t making me a better version of myself.

If I have the privilege of getting older, that means I have more time to spend with my amazing husband. And that means I have more time to practice loving him and making him happy. I was blessed to find my partner early in life, and I am so thankful for that. We are approaching ten years as a couple, which I can’t quite wrap my head around how it has been that long! Ten years with a man as awesome and selfless as him, and I am just beginning to learn how to love and appreciate him the way he deserves. I am a lucky girl, and I don’t want to take him for granted.

I am learning to care less about what people think of me. For someone who is very sensitive by nature, this has been a big one for me. I can’t control what people think. I can’t make everyone like me, nor should I try. I can’t make everyone happy. I will stand up for what is right, but I won’t go out of my way to try and help someone who doesn’t want to change. If I am doing my best and loving others, then that is where I accept reality and move on.

Growing up also means pushing myself out of my comfort zone. That’s where the growth happens! I need to think less about what others will think and more about my goals in life and what I need to do to get me there. The reality is that I am my own harshest critic, and more than likely other people may not care as much as I think they will. A big part of that is this blog and forcing myself to be in front of the camera. I am not comfortable in front of the camera, and I’m not sure I ever will be. I am learning to share my voice and ideas, as awkward as I may feel. I am proving to myself that I can do things outside my comfort zone, and that is how I can make myself better.

 

I am learning not to make excuses, but also to know when to give myself a break. It really comes down to choices and priorities. I am the kind of person that needs to be busy. I went through a phase where I had so much planned, and now looking back I don’t think it was healthy for me or the kids. While a lot of what was on the schedule was kid-centered activities and playdates, there was too much structure. I am learning to relax. I am learning to prioritize what really needs to be done. Needs come before wants. Chores come before play. As a mom I am realizing how important it is to teach these theories to my kids, and I am learning just how much my kids learn from example. That means not being on my phone all day long, checking social medias and texts. That means teaching my kids to serve others before you serve yourself. It means always using your manners, and loving someone even when they are unlovable. The value of an apology goes a long way, and I am seeing that with my kids. I mess up, and I want my kids to see that I am human and make mistakes, and can swallow my pride and apologize when I need to. That is the whole picture of Jesus, right?

I want to embrace getting older. Every year I earn means I am acquiring more wisdom, understanding, and love. Age isn’t scary. I don’t want to look back on my life and be disappointed in who I was. I want to live a life that I am proud of and appreciate who I am becoming. I want to inspire others to do the same: be a better person. I want to set those goals. To take the risk. Be diligent. Don’t make excuses for myself. I know by God’s grace I am capable of whatever I set my mind to!

 

One Dress, Two Ways

I am always looking for ways to maximize my wardrobe. I loooove to shop, but the reality is that I don’t shop that often. PinkBlush reached out to me and I was beyond excited! Have you heard of PinkBlush? PinkBlush is a trendy online boutique with so many cute and classic options to choose from. I was beyond impressed with their selection online. Not only do they have regular women’s clothes, but they have an extensive maternity clothes selection as well. I chose this gorgeous slate blue ruched dress and I couldn’t be more happy with my selection. Keep scrolling and you’ll see why! This dress was super comfortable and easy to wear. (And you can wear it while pregnant. No, I am not pregnant nor do I plan to any time soon!).

**Head on over to Instagram for a $50 PinkBlush giveaway! www.instagram.com/nicole.warner. Details, instructions, and exclusions are listed over there. Head on over to enter! Good luck!

Ok. Onto the clothes. I am so obsessed with this dress. The long sleeves allow it to transition through many seasons, but the lightweight material allows for easy non-bulky layering.

To start I put together a little date night look. Leather jacket, cute dress, and wedges. Simple, easy to wear, but still sexy enough for a night out.

 

Can we just comment on the sunshine right here? And the fact that I have bare legs? I am appreciating it while I can. And still in denial that we are supposed to get snow today and tomorrow. And it is almost April. Moving on.

 

The ruching is very flattering. For someone who is thicker on bottom (#squats) the angle of the hem is so great!

 

 

 

Here’s the next look. Taking a more casual approach, I paired the dress with simple sandals and accessories and added a utility vest. Because I love my utility vests. And I inserted a little girl for added cuteness.

Also, you know when you need warm weather if you still look crazy pale, even after an application of self tanner. Just saying.

I’m not cocky but I totally feel #prettyinpinkblush.

 

 

 

 

Are you familiar with PinkBlush? Go check out their website at www.shoppinkblush.com and browse their selection. I know you’ll be impressed! As a stay at home mom with three under four, online shopping is where it’s at.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway over on Instagram! 

www.instagram.com/nicole.warner

 

Date Night Look

dress  c/o PinkBlush / shoes / necklace / similar jacket / similar ring

Casual Look

dress c/o PinkBlush / shoes / necklace / similar vest / similar ring / sunglasses

Scarlett’s Look

similar sweater  / skirt / leggings / moccasins c/o Freshly Picked

Affiliate links used. There is no increased cost to you, only a small percentage paid to me. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

 

Image is shoppable! Just click on the dress above.

Children’s Toy Roundup

Here are some things I have had my eye on for my kids! Click the link to be brought to the item.

We have the original (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site) and we LOVE it! Gorgeous artwork and fun rhetoric.) If the original was as good as it was, Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site has to be great!

Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel is another sequel that I can’t WAIT for. The first book is one of my favorites to read my kids (seriously, it is hilarious and doesn’t get old!). And I love tacos, so there’s that.

Moana is a new favorite in our home (have you heard the soundtrack? I’ve been singing it to myself all. week. long. Love it!) The kids would love to play with these figurines!

An indoor kids park we went to a couple weeks ago had a kids rollercoaster and I couldn’t keep my kids off of it! Such fun, and would be a great outdoor toy once the weather warms up.

Buuuuut since it looks like it will be some time before we can really play outside, I am sure Levi would appreciate another RC car to add to his collection/car graveyard. Let’s see if he can keep this one alive for more than a day…

Eloise is getting to the age where she could benefit with stacking/educational toys. Now if only all my baby toys weren’t packed away…. I have my eye on these cute wooden stacking bowls!

If you’ve watched my Instastories you’ve probably seen my kids riding their Strider bikes. At two and almost four, they can effortlessly glide and balance all the way down my parents’ long driveway! So yes, we already own these, but if you don’t have them for your kids you need them. Promise they are worth it!

We let our kids use my iPad for their educational games (and, ok, movies too. Survival, remember?). Well I made the mistake of not having a child-proof case on it. And now I have two giant cracks through the screen. Insert sad face. I guess I am not meant to have all my screens crack free at one time #chronicscreenbreaker. So you bet I will be investing in one of these babies.

Hope you saw something that you found interesting or useful for your kid or for a gift! Let me know what you think, or if you would like to see more gift roundups. Thanks for reading!

 

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