Friday, June 28, 2019

Storybrook Cafe

Hi Friends!
   I'm so excited to share with you today a mom's dream!

 Ok....picture the following:

-tons of toys--like buckets and baskets full
-play houses galore!
-Kiddie cars/shopping carts/rocking horses etc.
-a book nook with tons of giant stuffed animals
-a princess castle with lots of dress up options
-a toddler ball pit
-a theater room for movie parties
-a giant pirate ship-ahoy!
-a sensory room with art supplies

and for mamas---
-a quiet nursing room/baby sleeping area
-adorable decor
-fun baby boutique items for sale
-easy peasy fun birthday party packages
-comfy couches and a place to socialize with other moms while your kiddos have a blast?

This place is not just a mom's fantasy while she lies on the floor of her living room covered in messy toys and books while her toddler tries to ride on her sore back like a rodeo cowboy and her coffee is sitting in the keurig still getting cold....just me??

This Mom and Kid paradise is real and goes by the name Storybrook Cafe and while it's been a Salt Lake Valley institution for years, it's recently moved locations to further south in Sandy! (All the suburban moms say amen!)

Hank and I recently went to visit the new location with some pals last week and we had so much fun! The owners were chatting with me about how to spread the word about their new spot and I was all, "let me tell my blog friends!"

Honestly, this place is a mom (and kids'!) dream place. It's a magical wonderland of OTHER TOYS (Why are someone else's play things way more intriguing than their own??) and an adorable little spot for parents to chill, socialize, and sip some coffee. We went before their official grand opening, so the coffee bar wasn't up and running yet, but it will be soon.

And it wasn't until after we got there that I found out they do Parent Nights Out with 4 hours of fun and dinner provided for only $25. Umm, yes please. Speaking of cost, admission is $8.95 per child for a day pass. A small price to pay for hours of fun. Plus, it's fun for the kids to have playmates so you can grab some girlfriends and visit together, let your child play with new friends you meet there, or just chill and play with your cutie kiddo on your own.

I want to give a shoutout to the cute momtrepreneur owners of this place who saw a need for mamas and kiddos in the south end of the valley and made this dream a reality. Check out their website HERE or better yet, come see them in person at 688 E. Union Square in Sandy (in the strip mall across from the dollar movies on 7th E and 94th S).

See you at Storybrook Cafe!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June Reads

I love reading all the time but there is just something about SUMMER READS, am I right??
image from Ann Arbor District Library 

This month I read 4 books and listened to 1 on audio.  Let's get to it!

1. Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson: I liked this book but didn't love it. This is a story with a really odd premise: It's about a single mom who falls in love with a man she meets in a hostage situation. The woman's back story is sad and complicated. There's a twist at the end that I did not see coming. This one features really quirky characters and was basically a Lifetime movie in book form. That said, I really liked the writing in this one and thought the two main characters were really well fleshed out. This would be a good pool side read.

2. Dietland by Sarai Walker--OK----I have some THOUGHTS on this one. It is really hard to pin this one down, but here are some elements it features: feminism, violence, body positivity, sex, the beauty industry, eating disorders, the military, cults, diets, a charming protagonist, outrageous supporting characters. This was a great audio listen because it's pretty easy to follow. This is a book that begs to be discussed.....there's a lot to dissect here. This one has rave reviews so to sum it up, I'll share this one from Amazon: "Warning: this debut novel from a onetime writer for Seventeen and Mademoiselle is not what it might at first seem to be: a funny send-up of the beauty industry and the media that support it. Well, ok, it is that, at least for the first 50 pages or so, but it soon becomes one of the more intelligent, and not a little subversive, depictions of women in our society. Oh, drat: that makes it sound brainy and Feminism 101-y, which is not right, either. So... trying again. Read Dietland, the tale of a young, overweight woman who hides behind a skinny-girl persona to write an advice column for a women’s magazine – and is soon drawn into an underground community of women who forthrightly and fabulously reject that culture. Read it not only because it’s smart and timely (and shocking: it explicitly takes on the adult film culture as well), but because it’s heartbreaking and tragic and very very comic (as long as you like your laughs dark) and because it will guarantee that you never look at a lipstick or a pair of stilettos or a bathroom scale the same way again. Sarai Walker is some kind of twisted sister. And of course I mean that as the highest possible compliment. – Sara Nelson" 

3. The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth: I originally picked this one up because I was expecting a juicy thriller ala' The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors. The Mother in Law is similar to books in that vein, but it's also sort of sweet and surprising. I won't give too much away, but I really enjoyed this book. I think Sally Hepworth's "The Family Next Door" is much better, but this one kept my attention as it dives into the interesting relationships that form with non-blood related family.

4. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang: This was my May Book of the Month Club pick and I was honestly pretty disappointed with it. The set up? An overbearing mother visits Vietnam and pays a woman to move to America and marry her son with Aspergers. He is a nice guy but struggles to relate to people and his mom wants grandchildren like yesterday. It all takes place within the Vietnamese community of San Francisco. It seems like a cute storyline.....getting together for selfish reasons and ending up falling in love. Meh, it sort of fell short for me. I honestly felt bad for the female protagonist and I'm pretty sure the author didn't intend to make this cute romance about the crazy sacrifices a young woman must make to create a better life for herself but it read like that and I just felt icky about it. There are FAR better romance/beachy reads out there than this one.

5. Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler: Without a doubt, this was my favorite book of the month. I've read all of Chelsea's books and while hilarious, they can also be a bit....inappropriate to say the least. There's a lot of debauchery, but hey, that's Chelsea's whole shtick. This one still features her trademark politically incorrect humor, but it just has so much more heart than anything else she's written. After a year of political activism, Chelsea is devastated when Trump gets elected. She decides to take a year off, do some soul searching, work through some issues in therapy, and finally open up about the death of her brother at a young age and her struggles with her family. She is brutally honest, committed to changing for the better, and even if I knew nothing of Chelsea before this book I would have liked its take on grief and loss. But knowing Chelsea from her previous work just makes this book all the more impactful and well done in my opinion. It's not for everyone, but I appreciated the fresh take (so much so that I devoured this one in 48 hours).

I am on the waitlist for lots of books from the library and can't wait to dive into more summer 2019 reads!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Honey Citrus Chicken Bowls

Hi There,
   It's been a minute since I've done a recipe post here at This Sunday Kinda Love and I have a great summery dinner to share with you today. I got the inspiration for this recipe from Home Front magazine  a few months ago, made a few tweaks, and we've enjoyed it a few times already!

Honey Citrus Chicken Bowls

Cast of Characters:
-Brown Rice
-Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts diced in cubes
-salt and pepper
-2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
-Lemon slices and green onion to garnish (optional)

Honey Lemon Glaze--
-1/2 cup chicken broth
-1/2 cup pineapple juice (I just use the juice from a can of pineapple chunks)
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-the zest of 1/2 a lemon
-1/3 cup honey
-2 tbs. soy sauce
-1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic
-1 tsp. corn starch

1. Make your rice and set aside. I like the brown rice that boils in the bag.
2. Prepare your broccoli and set aside. I buy frozen and microwave it. Easy peasy.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to hot skillet coated with olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes until chicken cubes are cooked through. Set aside. I usually drain mine on paper towels.
4. Add all glaze ingredients to sauce pan, whisk together, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer until mixture thickens.
5. Pour glaze on the chicken and toss to coat.
6. To serve, put glazed chicken on top of rice and broccoli. Garnish with lemon slices and/or green onion.

This is a quick dish to put together and the leftovers store really nicely!
 I hope you enjoy this tasty, sweet and savory meal!
Savor Your Sparkle,

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Life Lately/ What I'm Loving Lately

Hi There,
  Today I decided to do a combo blog post....Life Lately and then some of What I'm Loving Lately!

We are savoring these June days! In a few weeks I start my summer course for my math endorsement and we are heading on our road trip in the later part of summer, so these are the wonderful at home summer days that I love! We have been having fun on outings to the zoo, farmers markets, the children's museum, the pool, the splash pad, the aquarium, library, parks, and walks.

I never really appreciated before all the wonderful things there are for kids to do in Utah! I've been reading a lot, getting in some good workouts, visiting new coffee shops, hanging with friends and family, and ya'll know I love a good summer nap.

For AJ's birthday this year I got us tickets to see Alabama in concert. AJ "schooled" me on vintage country to get ready and we had a great time.

What I'm Loving Lately---I've got a random assortment for you today.

Native Shoes: Ok, so I've been hearing about these shoes for a while and have been hesitant because the $35 price tag for toddler shoes. Umm, no. But when my in laws came to town, my mother in law said she wanted to buy Hank a pair. And you know what? Much like my Tieks, the price is oh so worth it. Hank wears these pretty much every single day. They are supportive like a sneaker, but no socks are needed and they just slip on. Game changer. These are a major "love it" item for this summer.

-Costco Protein Bars: Why oh why have I never had these before? They are delicious and are much more filling than an RX or Lara Bar. For busy days, these are a must have item in my purse. The cookie dough ones are my fave.

-Songland: AJ and I are really into this show on NBC. Basically contestants present songs they wrote to an artist and then with the help of professionals, the songs get tweaked and then the famous singer (Kelsey Ballerini, Jonas Bros were the last 2 episodes), records the song. It's a great summer competition show with really great tunes.

-Planting: So we decided not to plant a veggie patch (the space we have is much smaller than would constitute calling it a "garden") because a few summers ago the tomatoes we planted caused tons of bugs and ya'll know I can't deal with insects. Well....we were at Lowes the other day and I spotted some cucumber seeds, bought 'em, and planted them. I love cucumbers and buy them all the time, so maybe we'll have some of our own in a few weeks?
I saw these adorable pots on cute!

-Not working out at the crack of dawn: Toward the end of the school year i got really into early morning gym sessions. I still like to start my day with a workout but now I don't need to go to one of the first classes of the day. I can sleep in a little and still hit the gym in the morning. YES!

-Color Street Nails: Have you heard of these? These are like a much upgraded version of Jamberry nails. They are actual polish strips that you just adhere. They come in fun patterns and are easy peasy to apply. I still love a gel mani, but decided to let my nails "breathe" from gel for the month so these are a fun alternative. I had a lemon design last week and ordered fireworks ones too!

-This Crumbl Astrology chart: I texted this cute little chart from Crumbl's social media to my fam and just think it's fun. It's not my sign, but the sea salt nutella is definitely a fave of mine!

I hope everyone's having a fun summer and as Hank reminds us.....take time to stop and smell the flowers!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Monday, June 17, 2019

Hank: 18 months!

Our sweet Hank is officially a year and a half old! He's closer to 2 than 1! He's a little man! His baby features are disappearing! He's a KID now! I say this with every single phase, but here it comes again: I love this age! Toddlerhood is whole different ball game from the other phases----the level of exhaustion is on par with those newborn days in my opinion but it's just so much fun. Language is developing (hearing your baby say Mama?! Highlight of my life!), preferences are made known, outings and activities are fun and interactive, and so much more. It's so crazy to think about how different Hank is this summer compared to last summer! Here's some deets for memories sake on 18 month old Hank.

Hank Eats: Hank has a cup of whole milk morning and night. Although he's not too interested in his night milk lately. He typically has breakfast around 8:00 and it's usually one of the following: Eggo waffle, Life Cereal, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Peanut Butter Toast with banana slices. Lunch has been either before nap or right after. Hank enjoys: Dino nuggets, bananas, clementines, scrambled eggs, yogurt, green beans, Uncrustables, quesadillas, kidney beans, mac and cheese, blueberries, applesauce, avocado, and fruit cups. Sometimes when he's being picky (some days eggs are God's gift to the world and other days they go right over the side of his tray #toddlers), a gogurt, cheese slice, crackers and/or a baby food pouch are almost always hits. For dinner he usually has some form of what we're eating or some version of the lunch choices. For snacks he enjoys vanilla wafers, Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and Veggie Straws (but he leaves behind the green ones, lol).

Hanks Sleeps: Hank typically takes one nap a day now (two naps if he's super tired). He usually naps from about 10:00-12:00 or 12:00-2:00, it just sort of depends on what we're doing or if we're out and about. He can usually hang on until we are home. This past week we went to the zoo and he hung on until about 3:30 when he passed out in the car. Most days if we're home, he's ready for a nap by at least 11:00. He's been known to take a 4:00-5:00 nap if we've had a busy day walking or swimming. Hank goes to bed most nights between 7:30 and 8:00 and wakes up around 7:00. He has to have his pacis to sleep and most days there are about 5 in his crib! He's pretty good about leaving his pacis in his crib to use for sleeping only (Although I always have an emergency paci with me if need be). In the evenings, we watch about 30 minutes of a movie on the couch with his milk (we usually get through about 2 movies a week) and he goes to his crib drowsy but not asleep. When Hank's awake, he stands at his crib and makes noise to let his people know he's ready to roll! Haha.

Hank Plays: Three words come to mind when I think of Hank: On. The. Move. This boy is on the go and into everything. AJ and I joke that parenting a toddler really comes down to diving at things the baby shouldn't have. He has tons of toys but nothing seems to be quite as fun as: remotes, pots and pans, measuring cups, the trashcan....which we had to move to the guest bathroom with the door shut, cords, the broom, and rugs. Haha. I know parents of toddlers totally get this....especially BOYS. Hank does love books, bubbles, his water table, his bubble mower, Duplo blocks, his popper, and puzzles. And we all love a good park and splash pad too!

Hank Wears: Hank is wearing primarily 2T and 3T clothes now. I switched him recently to size 5 diapers and at night he wears TWO overnight diapers! He is wearing size 5 and 6 shoes. Most of his clothes are from Target, The Children's Place, Carters, Walmart, and Gap Kids. I think over half his wardrobe is Cat and Jack from Target.

Hank Loves:
-The "Ladybug Park"---This park has a little ride on ladybug and it's close enough to walk to it. When we approach it, Hank cheers and claps!
-Laying on his tummy to reads books. My mom does this so I think that's where he picked it up, but nothing makes my teacher/mama heart happy like seeing Hank on his belly looking at books on the floor.
-Cups with straws---I always get an extra ice water when I'm at Starbucks because Hank loves to drink from a straw! We recently got him a "crazy straw" cup and he loves it.
-Paw Patrol---We are very into "PaPa" around here and I never thought I'd know all the characters and the theme song by heart, yet here we are.
-Music--Hank loves to move and groove, he enjoys Kindermusic classes, and loves when daddy plays the guitar.
-Planes---Hank STILL loves to search the sky for planes and point out every one he sees. Living on the flight path has its advantages!
-Family--Hank adores his Grandparents, Uncle, and Aunt. He is super comfortable around family and we love that about him.
We adore this little man so much and can hardly believe he's been in our house and hearts for a year and half! We love you, Munchie! For more Hank highlights, click HERE

Savor Your Sparkle,