Sippin with Moms

Hooray

We are back with our new series (you can check out our first post here) and this month we are featuring one of our favorite Moms.

Beth Repta

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(let’s not even get started on how gorgeous she looks in this picture!)

  • How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

    • 2 Kids – Ava age 8 & Mason age 6
    • MYBAB Comments: We became friends with Beth through our kids being at school together and we are so grateful for that
  • What is your 9 to 5?

    • My 24/7 is Founder of Repta Realty Group w/Keller Williams
    • MYBAB Comments: We don’t think we have seen a harder working Mom out there, she is awesome at what she does, so those of you in the market to buy or sell, definitely check her out. It is so refreshing to meet people who love what they do and Beth definitely is one of those people. 
  • Describe motherhood in three words

    • Rewarding. Exhausting. Exhausting.
    • MYBAB Comments: Agree, Agree, Agree
  • Picture this – you’re home alone, what series are you binge watching?

    • Ozarks
    • MYBAB Comments: Jen here, is this a show I need to start binging?
  • Speaking of TV, which TV/movie mom do you relate to the most?

    • Peg Bundy
  • We love discovering new beauty products, which are your favorites?

    • Monat for my Hair, I LOVE Makeup Forever Foundation, Nars Eye Shadows, Dior Show for Mascara, Rodan & Fields for all things skincare, St Tropez for Sunless Tanning, I could go on and on….
    • MYBAB Comments: We also could go on and on about our favorite products, check out our favorites here
  • Where is your happy place?

    • Simple -A Beach with a Rumrunner
    • MYBAB Comments: A rumrunner sounds amazing right now
  • What is your most loved item in your closet right now?

    • When I mom – It’s my Green Utility Vest & Adidas and when I’m not momming – Gucci Bag & Knee High Suede Boots
    • MYBAB Comments: Jen here again, I can attest that every time I see Beth in the green utility vest I am jealous and want it for myself
  • What is your drink of choice?

    • Pinot Noir
  • We know mom time is precious, what do you like to do when you have some me time?

    • What is this “Me Time” you speak of??
  • Money is no object, what is one thing you want?

    • A house overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
    • MYBAB Comments: Please let us come visit
  • Since we focus on Chicagoland – kids activities, family fun, and date nights, what are your go-to places for each?

    • For the kids – Tubing at Wilmot Mountain or Pinstripes, Three Oaks Rec Beach is our family spot, & dates for us would be a Cubs game or dinner in the city.

 

To learn more about Beth and all of her fun adventures or if you are interested in Monat or real estate, you can find her here on Facebook.

What we are Amazon Priming

MyBAB

I recently saw that Erika from A Little Bit of Everything blog, was doing this series where she will let you know all of the things she is ordering from her Amazon Prime account. Partly because it is fun and partly because who doesn’t love being a little nosy and seeing what other people buy. I thought it was a great idea, so I decided to get in on the fun. Here are the things I have been priming in the last month.

Beamo Flying Frisbee

AP 1

Between the two kids we get invited to birthday parties all the time. I do not have time to shop for presents (and the older kids get gift cards) so I tend to Amazon Prime presents. Brooke got one of these frisbee’s for her birthday back in March and LOVED it (for like the two days it was nice outside and she could use it) therefore this is now my go-to gift for kids. It gets them outside and is way better than a silly toy.

Tinkle Eyebrow Razor

AP 2

Ok, so this is something that I have been using for like a year and half now. These eyebrow razors are awesome. I use them to shave my face. Yep, you heard that right. It is a great way to get rid of the peach fuzz and exfoliate your skin. I saw a youtube video awhile back from Michelle Money and finally took the plunge and haven’t looked back since. Does your hair come back darker or more coarse? NO! You simply dry shave with these amazing little razors a few times a month for super smooth skin. I have never gotten cut from this nor have I broken out. I will say if you are considering this, make sure you buy the specific razors in my link as there are imitation razors out there for this brand that I have heard bad things about.

Australian Gold Sunscreen

AP 3

We are going to Disney World and on a Disney cruise in less than a month so I had to stock up on sunscreen. I love how Australian Gold smells. I ordered SPF 30 but also plan to buy at least 45 or 50 for me and the kids because we are so pale!!

Cover Girl Eyebrow Mascara

AP 4

I had been using Benefit Eyebrow Gel and I really loved it but it was a bit pricey so I was looking for a more affordable option. I have to say, I don’t really like this one. The wand is the same size as an eyelash mascara brush (which is way too big for me) and it is really dark. In the spirit of keeping it real, this was a fail for me.

Pirate Shirts for the Kids

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As I mentioned, we are going on a Disney Cruise and one night is Pirate themed so I ordered these shirts for the kids to wear.

Coleman Oversized Folding Chair

AP 6

I saw these on an Amazon flash deal (darn those flash sale FB posts, they get me every time!!) and knew I had to get them. We had been needing new folding chairs for awhile. Most of ours are torn apart. The kids have already decided these ones are for them and Mommy and Daddy get the old ones.

 

So there ya have it, what I have been priming in the last month. If you have any good Amazon finds please comment and share them with us! – Jen

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MYBAB Answers: Beauty Questions

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We are linking up with The Blended Blog in March to talk about our beauty routine. We love reading about this on other blogs because lets be honest it is way better to get recommendations from real people. Plus, as product junkies it is just fun to fuel our addiction!!

Eyelash Curler Yes or No?

Jen: Yes, Yes, Yes. I use Rodan and Fields Lash Boost and my lashes have gotten longer so I feel like this is a must. It opens up your eyes and makes my mascara look pretty.

Wen: Sometimes. It’s not part of my daily routine like it should be and I don’t know why! Like Jen said it opens up your eyes, so I need to use it.

Favorite Nail Shade?

Jen: My current favorite is Sally Hansen Color Therapy in Haute Stone. I do need to find a new spring/summer color.

Wen: I’m extremely boring when it comes to nail colors and only have a few. Right now I grab essie cocktail bling (which if you know me, the name suits me well).

Blow Dry or Air Dry your hair?

Jen: Blow dry. I wash my hair every day. Maybe twice a month I don’t and use dry shampoo. I blow dry because if I don’t my hair gets frizzy and goes it own way (and not in a cute beachy look way but in a what the heck is that way).

Wen: Blow dry. My hair is a hot mess as is, air-drying makes it look frizzy and unruly. Though I do want to figure out how to make air drying work for me.

Artificial Nails Yes or No?

Jen: No. Now in full confession I did have fake nails at my wedding (8 years ago!) but I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I like my nails short and manicured but I don’t like fake nails and the maintenance/cost related it to isn’t cool.

Wen: No. I don’t even like doing the no-chip manicures.

Foundation Yes or No?

Jen: Yes and No. My daily makeup routine I do not wear foundation. I wear BB cream/SPF and some pressed powder. I love using the Coola BB cream/SPF everyday and I really like it. If I am going out or want to amp up my look I will use a little bit of foundation. I always get hesitant to use it a lot because I don’t want it to look “caked on”.

Wen: Not everyday. Daily, I use Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer or Kiehl’s BB cream. It’s light but provides the coverage I’m looking for. I’ll use Make Up Forever Foundation if I’m going out.
(note: I’m not a Beautycounter consultant, links provided are to my consultants page)

Hair Up or Down?

Jen: Down! I will wear my hair up working out or around with the kids but 99% of the time when you see me my hair is down. I feel like I don’t look like “me” with my hair up. Plus, I am not good at doing my hair so I stick with it being down.

Wen: Both. I am a dry shampoo-er and wash my hair every two to three days. The first few days of no washing I can wear it down, after that, up it goes.

Bar Soap or Body Wash?

Jen: Bar soap. I love Dove. I don’t use any other brand of bar soap. I am a big fan of the Dove Gentle Exfoliating bar. In the winter I might use Dove body wash as well for extra moisture.

Wen: Both. I alternate every other day between the Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Beautycounter Body Wash.

Bath or Shower?

Jen: Shower. I have a bathtub that I think I have used twice. I would like to take more baths because they are so relaxing but with two kids and work etc I don’t have time for that.

Wen: Shower. I do indulge in a hot relaxing bath with a glass of wine and a candle buring about once a month though.

Favorite Body Lotion?

Jen: With the harsh and dry winters, I really like using a combination. I use St. Ives in the morning and then at night put on CeraVe.

Wen: Right now I’ve been using Yes to Carrots body butter. It’s creamy, not greasy, and has a nice scent.

Do you wear perfume? If so, what is your favorite scent?

Jen: Yes, I like perfume but I am really sensitive to smell. A lot of perfumes give me headaches. After awhile I get immune to the smell so I tend to rotate. My go to favorites are: Amazing Grace by Philosophy and Juliette Has a Gun not a Perfume. I also just got a sample of YSL Mon Paris and I really like that one too.

Wen: Yes, but I prefer roller-ball to spray, so it doesn’t feel overpowering. My favorite at the moment is Marc Jacobs Decadence Eau So Decadent.

Do you shave your legs every day?

Jen: Is this a serious question? Who the heck shaves their legs every day? Haha. I am just glad I live in the Midwest and can wear pants most of the year!

Wen: Hahano

Favorite Lip Balm?

Jen: I use Aquaphor on my lips every night and during the day as my preferred lip balm. I also rarely wear lipstick. I just never think about it and don’t like to reapply.

Wen:Dior Addict Lip Glow is about the only thing I wear on my lips. The price is high, but the tube lasts awhile and I use it till the very end.

How old were you when you first starting wearing makeup?

Jen: Um, I can’t remember exactly but I think I was allowed to wear eye shadow and mascara with lip gloss in like 7th grade.

Wen: Probably in 6th or 7th grade.

Please leave comments with any products or things you would recommend, we love trying out new beauty items and routines!!

MY BAB GOALS FOR 2018

goals_2018

JEN’s GOALS

Ok, it is now my turn to share my goals for 2018. I am hoping by writing them down and sharing out in the virtual atmosphere I will be more accountable. Heck, maybe I will even have goal check in posts!

  1. The first goal is really to spend more time on this piece of the world wide web that Wendy and I share with you. I will admit that most of the heavy lifting of this blog comes from Wendy. My goal is to try and get more fun IG content and posts and make it more interactive and fun!!
  2. Exercise… isn’t this a goal that all of us have every year. This year I wanted to do something different. I work full time, have two kids and the list goes on and on and I feel like I never have time to dedicate to exercise. I get frustrated when I “fall off the exercise wagon” and struggle to get back on. I will also admit that I already wake up at 5:30 am (yep, Wendy you read that right!!) so getting up earlier ain’t happening. I also like my sleep since I don’t drink coffee so staying up late to workout also ain’t happening!! I saw an ad on IG for this app called “7 Minute Workout Challenge” and I thought, I can squeeze 7 minutes into my day. It is the only app I have ever paid for and let me tell you I am kind of addicted now. I have done it 26 days straight– yep you read that correctly and am already starting to see results. I have never stayed committed to an exercise routine that long, ever!! None of the exercises are complex (think: jumping jacks, push ups, etc) but they do enough to boost my exercise confidence and I actually look forward to it everyday. I now find myself wanting to do more than one cycle and keep going. Swimsuit season is just around the corner so this is great motivation!! And no, this is not a paid or sponsored portion of our post this is truly just me finding something and loving it!
  3. Quality time with my husband. I feel like every year I say this and every year it continues to be true. Often times after work, the kids, the house, and doing dumb grown up things (i.e. pay bills) we barely can keep our eyes open let alone spend quality time together. I want to try and make a big effort to get more date nights
  4. Less is More. The day after Christmas we went through a massive purge of toys and stuff to donate to Goodwill. My goal for 2018 is to be more mindful of what we bring into our house and teach the kids more about how you don’t “need” as much.
  5. Monthly Me Time. I always put everyone else first and it is my goal to do things alone, just me to get some breathing room. Fingers crossed I can make this happen!

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Weekday meals that are quick, easy, with a touch of healthy – that everyone eats

MYBAB COOKS (1)

 

As working moms with busy kids, we struggle to find meals that are quick and easy, throw in you want it to be healthy and something everyone eats and you’re asking for a lot. To be honest, we don’t really cook much and we do not have Instant Pots, so when all else fails, there is take out. But here are a few meals we got from Pinterest, cookbooks, and cooking blogs to come up with meals to fit our criteria and the bubbles we drink with them.

Jen

Hi, my name is Jen and I hate cooking. As in I do not enjoy it in any way. Maybe if I was just cooking for myself and had all the time in the world and a glass of wine in my hand I would like it but when nights are busy and I am tired and the kids are hungry cereal sounds like a great meal. My kids are super picky and of course like different things and I try very hard to not be a short order cook (heck I am barely a “cook”) so here are some tried and true common dinner staples that are not longer than 30 minutes. And don’t require complex recipe following!

  • Fish, veggies and pasta: My kids loved the baked tilapia from Costco (all praise Costco!) and it is a great way for them to get introduced to seafood because it doesn’t have a “seafood” taste. I always pair it with a veggie (my daughter LOVES steamed broccoli, corn for my son) and then a light alfredo type pasta.
    • Bubbles: Pinot Grigio
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce: Again, thanks to Costco I always have ground beef or ground turkey on hand. I brown that up and add can pasta sauce to let it simmer. Then I cook up the noodles and usually garlic bread and veggie sides. While my kids eat it in different ways (one doesn’t want the sauce on top of the noodles…) they at least all agree it is yummy.
    • Bubbles: Red Blend or Cab
  • Taco night! I buy the little taco boat shells and all of the sudden my kids think dinner is fun. My daughter also is obsessed with guac and salsa (who could blame her) so I have that as fun toppings and sides and the kids can make their own.
    • Bubbles: Margaritas or Prosecco
  • Breakfast for Dinner: There are two things that my husband is in charge of when it comes to cooking grill and breakfast. The kids love eating eggs, bacon, sausage and bagels. So when we are in a real hurry we scramble (pun intended, hehe) up some dinner.
    • Bubbles: Mimosa’s
  • Crockpot Meals: My favorites are chili and beef stew, they are super easy, just require me to dump a bunch of stuff in and turn on.
    • Bubbles: Whatever you want, you aren’t cooking!!

My other secret, I don’t even have time to look on Pinterest for recipes. I head to one place: Mix and Match Mama’s website. I have one of her cookbooks and if you want no stress or effort, she does it all for you with weekly meal planning.

Wen

A few years ago we started to cook more and eat out less (can we stop for a minute and talk about how expensive eating out has become?). I have tried Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Hello Fresh – all had pros and cons, but they’re subscriptions and on the weeks that we were unable to use, I would forget to skip the week, so I was spending the money, and in the end cancelled.

Now, on the weekdays we cook Monday-Thursday, Friday’s are moms night off, which tends to be our pizza night. I too, am not a good cook by any means, but meal planning is one thing that I do and try to incorporate something new or different every once in a while.

  • Skillet lasagna: this is my go-to meal since it’s quick, low mess, and we all enjoy it. I make a variation of this recipe from Damn Delicious and serve with salad and garlic bread.
    • Bubbles: Meiomi Pinot Noir
  • Italian Pork Chops: I LOVE one pan meals – easy clean up and boneless pork chops cook up quickly. Sear the pork chops, remove for a few minutes, add garlic, cherry tomatoes (canned work too), and some spices – oregano, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook that for a few minutes, then add the chops back in along with fresh spinach and a splash of the white wine you’re drinking. Cook it all up until the spinach gets a little wilted, add a touch of fresh parmesan cheese and you’re done. Plate the spinach, add the pork chop, top with the tomato mixture, and garnish with Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze.
    •  Bubbles: Any white wine will do, but I prefer Pinot Grigio with pork chops
  • Chicken Parm Meatballs: these are so easy and freeze well too, so I tend to have them on hand for easy nights. The recipe is from Dinner: A Love Story and once mixed up, take about 20 minutes to bake. I’ve served with a side of green veggies or pasta.
    • Bubbles: Red Blend
  • Pasta e Fagioli soup: this pasta and bean soup is a fall/winter favorite that can be made with or without meat. I like to cook this up on a Sunday, enjoy for leftovers, and freeze to have on hand.
    • Bubbles: Cab or Merlot

  • Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables: sheet pan dinners are the rage right now – quick, easy, healthy, and almost no clean up – winning! I do make my own teriyaki glaze, but you can buy one to make this meal even easier. We use broccoli, carrots, edamame, and I’ll cook up some rice for this one. Pinterest has a lot of sheet pan ideas – I make one a week they’re that easy.
    • Bubbles:  Sauvignon Blanc

 

Happy Cooking, Eating, and Drinking!

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My BAB Goals for 2018

goals_2018

We’re halfway through the first month of 2018 – can you believe it? Time seriously flies.

We thought we would share some of our personal goals for this year. Some are little things that we hope will make a difference in our day to day, some are projects that will take some time, but we’re looking forward to accomplishing these goals this year!

Wen’s Goals

1. Declutter like a Mother – I started this challenge on January 1 and am loving it. I’m being ruthless and honest about every item I come across. It was slightly embarrassing to realize I was using makeup from 5-6 years ago (so not okay!). I plan to continue decluttering and making monthly trips to the consignment and donation stores to get the stuff out of my house.

2. Curb the “no thought spending” – this is a big one as it’s way too easy to click and ship or to hand over that gold card at Starbucks and not think about the real cost. It’s easy to order a tube of toothpaste online, but it wasn’t that cheap and the overall packaging is wasteful. The other day, I asked my husband as we paid for our drinks in the Starbucks drive thru – would you have paid $8.xx in cash for that? His answer – probably not. We’re also guilty of seeing *sale* and think we need it, when we do fine without it. (Tip – this is also a good time to go over monthly expenses to see what can be cut or subscriptions you can cancel.) Spending in check.

3. Return to self-care Sunday’s – I used to take a few hours to myself on Sundays to do a face mask, take a bath, sip a glass of wine, read a book, shop alone, get in some spin or Pilates classes and I miss it so. I had major surgery in December 2016, and I’m still recovering and fell out of routine, but I need that me time.

4. Get fit and healthy – I started an ab and squat challenge at the beginning of the year and have found it manageable with my busy schedule. I found some challenges and videos online that I can squeeze in with my limited free time. Also in this is taking my vitamins and drinking more water. My goal is to lose a few lbs but overall I want to feel better, gain more muscle, increase my energy, and have my clothes fit well. Which brings me to…

5. Incorporate real food into meals – I’ve been doing pretty well with planning out our meals but now I’m ready to eat more real, more whole, more plant based, and less processed. I have been ordering grass-fed meats from a butcher for awhile and love hitting the farmers markets in the summer. The off-months take more effort. It will take some time to prep but I think we’ll all feel better in the end.

6. Make time to be present – as I was writing this my daughter said “mom, I want you to see this amazing thing I made” and it could have been so easy for me to say “in a minute” but I didn’t. Seeing her excited over her mess creation was worth it, that I would have been mad at myself for saying “later”.

7. Get to know the sports parents – we sit on the sidelines, cheer for each other’s kids, and barely know each other’s names. We’re not into the traveling team sports yet so we only see each other once a week, but I would like to be able get to know them instead of feeling like “hi…you”.

8. Reconnect with friends – we have a good group of preschool families we are so happy to have found, but we have felt bad about letting some of our old good friends take a back seat. i.e. We had plans with one couple to have dinner over the summer and it never happened. One reason or another, it wasn’t a priority, but it should have been.

9. Tackle home projects – we’ve got a move coming up and need to do some updates that are long overdue. I’ve been waiting on my husband to do a few things and well, I’m tired of waiting. I’ve added “call the handyman” to my to do list and am scheduling my brother-in-law to come over and get them done.

10. Get up earlier – this is going to be my biggest challenge. I don’t sleep well, so I don’t like getting up earlier than necessary. (I’m working on a bedtime routine for myself too.) My daughter is and always has been a good sleeper, which I’m so thankful for, but then I don’t have her waking me up or requiring me to get up any earlier than I really need to. But, since our nights are so busy, I need to make time in the morning for some little things – drink my coffee, empty the dishwasher, pack lunches, workout…If I’m really ambitious, I’ll work towards getting ready before my husband and daughter are up but I don’t see me getting up at 5:30 am anytime soon.

We hope your year is off to a great start! We’d love to hear your goals, comment below or on our instagram post!

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