The Incredibles 2


The Incredibles 2 picks up with The Parr Family right where we left with them at the end of The Incredibles. The storyline was consistent with the first, and the characters stayed true to the original. I liked the plot, but the stakes weren’t as high as the first. The score felt a little off at times. I felt it had too much percussion and felt a little spy-ish. The scoring for the original felt perfect, and fit the movie and the setting just right. This movie made me laugh, pulled at my heartstrings, and even scared me a little. In a scene when Elastigirl goes to confront the villain Screenslaver, I was torn between covering my eyes and watching the movie. This time around, I connected with the Incredibles in a different way. When the original movie came out, it fit my family perfectly. We were a family of five, with kids the same age, and were going through some of the same family struggles at the time, so we related to The Parrs heavily. Now, 14 years later, I’m a mother to a just turned 1 year old, and I related with the characters in a different way. My daughter is definitely a Jack Jack, and I related to Bob’s struggle as the homemaker. I used to “be” Violet, and now I look at her story with nostalgia, knowing that now I “am” Helen. The original was definitely better, but this is a must see.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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One Bowl Easy Guacamole


As a nursing mom, I’m always hungry. So even though dinner was about an hour from being done, I needed something healthy, quick, and light to snack on since I accidentally skipped lunch. Thankfully, my avocados were ripe, and I found some pita crackers in the pantry. I didn’t want to just put mashed avocado on my pita since I wanted something a little more flavorful, but I also didn’t want to create something that would take a lot of time or clean up. Hence, my one bowl guacamole:

1 avocado, ripe, pitted, and halved

1/2 tsp garlic powder

A dash of salt

A dash of pepper

A smidge of cilantro paste

5 drops of lime juice

I started by scooping the avocado into the bowl, then I put the rest of my ingredients in there too. I mixed it all together with a fork, then used Toll House Sea Salt Pita Crackers to scoop it out and eat it with!

My partner happened to get home from work right as I was sitting down to eat it, so we finished off the bowl together. It was so easy to make, and we both really liked it.

I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.

Hugs,

Ally

Local Activities for Babies (and Parents)


A fellow new Mom reached out to me to see if I had found any activities around that she could do with her newborn. I thought I’d share my response with you all. I’ve kept out her name for privacy purposes. The specific suggestions are local to Howard County in Maryland, but there is probably the same thing or something similar close to you. I hope this gives you all some ideas of what to do with your little one!

Hi ******,

Thank you for reaching out to me. Congratulations on your bundle of joy. Is he your first?

I found one free baby group had met at Whole Foods weekly through a Facebook group, but I haven’t seen any events come through for it in a long time. I was actually thinking of maybe starting my own. I’ve found motherhood to be sort of isolating as well. I’m one of the first of my friends to settle down and have a child, so that makes it difficult as well.

As for classes, the library system is fantastic. They have so many different things set up for the little ones to do, and there’s so many locations, so it’s easy to pick and choose.

This summer we went to the park a lot, or took walks, but now that it’s so cold, I’ve definitely been struggling with finding things for my daughter and I to do. I’m a stay at home mom, at least for now, and our outings lately have consisted of errands and the gym. We go to the Dancel Y, so they have a child care that I take her to while I work out. I definitely recommend it, if that’s your sort of thing. I’ve heard of a place called Storyville that’s in Woodlawn. It’s a baby playground that has different areas for different stages from 0 to preschool age. And it’s free. I haven’t been yet, but I’m hoping to go soon.

My daughter really enjoys running errands with me, so that’s a way for us to get out too.

The Yoga Center of Columbia (right over by Howard HS) has a couple free infant classes this week, if you want to try it out.

There’s an app called Meetup that has several different local parent groups. There’s PATH parents at home (they are membership based, and also have a Facebook page) and HoCo POLO howard county parents of little ones, (free, and that’s the one that had the Whole Foods meet up, also has a Facebook page) and a couple more. I joined HoCo POLO. If you’re religious, there might be a Mom group through your place of worship. I go to OLPH and they have a Catholic Moms Group that has events every once and a while.

Also, I highly recommend getting the Peanut app. It’s like Tinder, but for moms. You set up a profile, and based on your location, you can swipe up or down on a local Mom. It’s based off of the bio you write, many kids you have, how old, what you do (or did), hometown, languages you speak, parenting style, etc. It’s great.

I hope this helps. And who knows, maybe we’ll end up meeting up one day! Let me know if there’s anything you find.

Apricot Chicken


What’s for dinner? It’s a phrase that is echoed across homes every day around 5 or 6 every evening. Tonight’s answer: Apricot Chicken. I was originally going to make the recipe that I got off Half Baked Harvest that I’ve made before (total hit!!), but as I began to make it I realized I didn’t have a bottle of Russian dressing, nor the ingredients to make Russian dressing from scratch. I had already poured the apricot preserves over the boneless, skinless, chicken breast and I needed a new idea. As I scoured the internet for ideas, I found an alternative recipe that sounded promising and I adjusted it to make it my own.

My recipe follows;

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 jar apricot preserves

1/4 cup ketchup

1 clove garlic

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Place chicken breast in a 9×13 Pyrex pan.

Pour coconut aminos, apricot preserves, garlic, and ketchup in a bowl and mix. When thoroughly mixed, pour over chicken. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

I served it with white rice and sweet potatoes and spooned the extra sauce overtop the rice.

So good. So sweet. So easy. It’s like a dinner dessert. I’m definitely making it again.

Let me know if you try it and how it is!!

Fourth Trimester, done


Maggie turned 3 months old yesterday and it’s breaking my heart. I’ve been prepping all week by getting her 3-6 month clothing ready and washed. She’s been dealing with a bout of pesky cradle cap, but per my mom’s suggestion, I slathered some coconut oil on her head yesterday around noon and when I changed her diaper this morning after she woke up around 6:30, we swung by her toiletries and I took the fine tooth baby comb that the hospital gave us, and combed it right out! It definitely helped.

I tried Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino


If you haven’t heard already, Starbucks released a new, limited time, blended crème Frap inspired by the world’s favorite mythological creature – unicorns. It’s a magical twist on Starbucks’ already wildly popular concept – The Frappuccino.

If you’re lucky enough to have snagged one of these drinks before they were sold out, you know that the drink is a caffeine-free, pink and blue swirled wonderland that changes from sugary sweet and becomes this sour candied gem. It’s absolutely beautiful and it’ll be hitting up your Insta feed so try it out so you can be on trend too.

Exquisite Styles for Special Occasions


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Enchanted evenings, whimsical weddings, afternoon soirees — if your fall is filling up fast with fancy occasions, you’ll surely swoon for ModCloth‘s array of special occasion styles! From ballroom-ready gowns to flirtatious cocktail frocks, ModCloth has the sophisticated dresses you’ve been dreaming about. And did we mention their stunning shoes and accessories? Shop all the sophisticated splendor now, over at ModCloth!

Fall in Love with Layers


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ModCloth’s all wrapped up in the latest fall look — layers! Layering is more than just slipping on a sweater. It’s about mixing and matching patterns, playing with silhouettes, and cozying up in a fresh autumn aesthetic. ModCloth has culled a gorgeous collection of jackets, tights, cardis, and eye-catching third-pieces, plus style staples to build your outfit upon. The outfit possibilities are endless — what layered looks will YOU create?

Landing Page: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/fall-trends

Get up to 50% Off Summer Sizzlers!


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Who says there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues? Not ModCloth! They have the must-have summer styles your closet craves — and right now, you can get those sunny staples at up to up to 50% off! For a short time, you can nab stylish seasonal essentials for a fantastic deal. Hurry over to ModCloth, and catch the hottest deals under the sun!

Cocktail Ideas to Make Your July 4th Sparkle


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Oh say, can you see…how delightful these Fourth of July party ideas are? ModCloth‘s blog is packed with adorable ideas for making your celebration shine, including a cocktail recipe that sparkles! Serve up the Key Lime Fizz — a fun, refreshing drink with a retro twist. Or, try our DIY watermelon keg to give your tablescape some festive flair. These party picks will start your day off with a bang!

Key Lime Fizz Recipe: http://blog.modcloth.com/2015/07/01/fireworks-worthy-cocktails/
DIY Watermelon Keg: http://blog.modcloth.com/2015/06/26/diy-watermelon-keg/