Double Dare Live!

Last Tuesday, Jay, Zach, Alex, and I joined our friends Elena, Chad, and Katie at the Double Dare Live tour. It was so awesome! Jay and I watched the new season of Double Dare and the old seasons of Family Double Dare with Zach over the summer, so we jumped at the opportunity to see it when the show toured in our area.

Marc freaking Summers was there! And he kept coming into the audience so at one point, he was like 5 feet away from us. It was SO COOL.

Here’s how it went down. For the first 45 minutes, they took volunteers from the audience to do the different challenges on stage. Sometimes it was paired up kids against grown-ups, sometimes it was a grown-up and a kid, sometimes it was kids against kids, other times grown-ups against grown-ups. Every single adult there was super enthusiastic and answered their own version of “Hell yeah!” when asked if they had been a fan of the show as a kid. It was like Millennials go to Nickelodeon heaven.

Marc getting contestants from the audience.

Marc getting contestants from the audience.

There was a 15-minute intermission after the challenges were done. When the show resumed, they had families compete to widdle it down to a final two that then competed a la the actual game show. That part was especially a blast. They did questions, physical challenges, and the winners got to do the obstacle course! We were so envious of the woman who got to pick the nose to find the flag. Jay and I have watched so much Double Date that we have strategies and plans if we ever get to be on it!

Family Double Dare competition.

I hope this is still around 10 years from now so we can compete with the boys. It really was just a super fun night. Even Alex, who desperately wanted to go to sleep because he has a pretty strict 7 p.m. bedtime (and the show started at 7 p.m.), was well-behaved because there was enough stimulation around him to keep him interested in between yawns and snuggles. Jay and Zach had a great time, too. They left the obstacle course up after the show was finished and they went up to the edge of the stage and got to touch the nose!

Double Dare live gets a big thumbs up from us. If it ever comes to your area, definitely check it out. The only downside is that it is somewhat pricey ($50/ticket). I would not recommend doing the VIP tickets. Jay has a friend who did that and said that they really weren’t that worth the extra money.  Finally, a big shout out to their customer service department. We bought 3 t-shirts and I washed them when I got home. I followed the instructions and did tumble dry low and the logo on Jay’s got a bit melted on the inside. They replaced it for me without any trouble at all, to which I was grateful, as the shirts were also a bit expensive ($25/shirt).  Thanks, DD customer service!

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Pumpkin Carving in the 919: 2018 Edition

Woo-hoo! It’s been three four years since I’ve done a “Pumpkin Carving in the 919” post, which is funny because we’ve done so much Halloween-ing since then. Missed opportunities for blog posts. Schucks.

Anyways, this year was Alex’s first year carving a pumpkin and the poor kid is so accustomed to his 7 p.m. bedtime that he was practically turning into a pumpkin while we were carving them, haha. It was also Zach’s first year designing and “carving” his own pumpkin. He was a bit grossed out by the “guts” inside and I ended up doing most of that work, but…the intention was there? Alex, on the other hand, loved feeling around inside of the pumpkin and touching the guts. Too funny.

We gave Zoe a pass this year since she was such a good sport at my and Zach’s Halloween party this past weekend. But, she won’t escape dressing up for Halloween today…

Here’s some of our evening in pictures. Click to enlarge, if you are so inclined:

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The Broadcast Ep. 3.16 “I Got a Man Crush”

In honor of Halloween, this week’s episode of The Broadcast featured spooky, “real-life,” ghost stories. We also chat about Halloween parties, bill-paying (cause we’re cool like that), and much more. I hope you’ll consider giving us a listen!

Buy our super fun mug: https://teespring.com/team-universe-science#pid=522&cid=101870&sid=front

You can listen to the latest episode below or via jayandjack.comiTunesSpreakerStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

Listen to “The Broadcast Ep. 3.16 "I Got a Man Crush"” on Spreaker.

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The Broadcast Ep. 3.10 “Party Like It’s Our 100th Birthday”

The Broadcast turned 100 this past week! We had a live show on Thursday to celebrate. It was a bit different than our usual episodes, but we had a lot of fun. I hope you’ll give it a shot and enjoy it as much as we did recording it.

Buy our super fun mug: https://teespring.com/team-universe-science#pid=522&cid=101870&sid=front

You can listen to the latest episode below or via jayandjack.comiTunesSpreakerStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

Listen to “The Broadcast Ep. 3.10 “Party Like It’s Our 100th Birthday”” on Spreaker.

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The Broadcast Ep. 3.8 “The Inclusive Cool Kids Table”

After a week off, The Broadcast is back! On this episode, we find out that Amanda’s mom does her social media postings for her and that Shandy willingly did trivia. I talk about a bunch of stuff, including how Dream Colleen has a better memory than Real Life Colleen. We also go on a tangent to learn about blood types, determine who would be “The Fifth of Broad,” and much, much, much more. Plus, WE NOW HAVE MUGS IN THE STORE!!!!

Here’s the link to the mugs: https://teespring.com/team-universe-science#pid=522&cid=101870&sid=front

You can listen to the latest episode via jayandjack.comiTunesSpreakerStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

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DIY Grandparents’ Picture Frames

Like six months ago, I posted about a picture frame that I had made for Zachary before his brother was born. During that same time period, I also made picture frames for the baby’s grandparents and aunts.

I went to Michaels and bought their $1 frames, paint, letter decals, and heart stickers. I wanted to get a similar gray color to the theme of Alex’s room, so that’s what I went with. I also made frames for the aunts (see below). Each frame got a coat (or two) of Mod Podge to protect them from damage. You have to use Mod Podge. They’ll look gnarly while it’s drying, but it’s so worth it in the end for the overall quality and long-term use.

Here they are:

I also made frames for all four of his aunts. I know, I am super dorky. I just love my kids, I love my family, and I love arts & crafts. It seemed like a win/win, even if it’s super dorky.

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Balsamic Chicken and Veggie Pan Bake

Since Jay and I have been trying to eat healthier, we’ve been making a more conscious effort to eat at home more often. We eat a lot of eggs/egg whites for breakfast and a lot of tuna for lunch, which has led me to discover the gloriousness of putting hot sauce on everything (yeah, it’s even awesome in tuna!).  Our weeknight dinners tend to be the Costco salmon with spinach salad and some form of either chicken or shrimp with veggies or a whole grain quinoa/rice mixture we get from Target’s Simply Balanced line. We’ve also done turkey sausage and peppers and we still make the Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers (Zach’s favorite!!), only with less cheese on Jay’s, since cheese has a lot of Weight Watcher’s points and Jay gets a lot fewer points than I do (because I’m nursing). I’ve saved a bunch of the better recipes to make posts about them, so stay tuned.

Anyways (ding), we’re constantly on the lookout for healthy meals that are low in Weight Watchers points. Big shout out to Mandi for sending me a link to a website that has some great recipes. I also turned to Pinterest and found this recipe for a balsamic chicken pan bake that looked intriguing. I modified it a bit to fit our family’s tastes, but I’d still put it at around 6-7 Weight Watchers points in total, and that’s honestly overshooting it. The only thing in this meal that has points is the balsamic dressing and the extra virgin olive oil. Another plus is that this is gluten-free and dairy-free.

Jay told me that it’s his favorite thing I’ve made so far. I made four pieces of chicken. Jay and Zach liked it so much that they split the last piece. I regret not making more so there would be leftovers.

Here’s the way that I made it:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Chopped broccoli
  • 3 peeled medium carrots, cut into sticks
  • Green beans
  • Sliced red/yellow/orange peppers
  • 1 small red onion, diced* (I bought the onion but totally forgot to cut it. I’m going to use it next time!)
  • Minced garlic (to taste)
  • 3-4 tbsp. of finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme (1/2 tsp. dried)
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400℉. 
  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, EVOO, garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Whisk to make a sauce.
  3. Place chicken in zip-lock bag with 2 spoonfuls of the balsamic sauce. Toss and move chicken breast around to coat. Set in fridge to marinate for however long you want it to (I did 2 hours).
  4. Chop veggies.
  5. Place veggies on the sheet pan. Pour remaining balsamic sauce over veggies and toss veggies to coat.
  6. Remove chicken from the zip-lock bag. Put chicken on the same pan as the veggies.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from oven toss veggies. Place back into the oven.
  8. Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the chicken and your oven.
  9. Remove from oven and enjoy!

 

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Obligatory 8-1-8-1-8 Post

Well, take three. I started this post on 8/1, then went back to it to post on 8/11, and now it’s 8/18. Oops. I’m the worst. Still works, though! I love the fun numbers days. I love when the dates make a palindrome or pattern of some sort. I’ve been a bad blogger over the last few months and need to get back into it. I think it’s a sign that it’s 8/1/18 8/11/18 8/18/18, hehe.

So what have I been up to over the summer so far? San Diego Comic-Con, Long Island for my niece’s first birthday, lots of movies with Jay. I’ve also been walking/hiking a lot in Umstead State Park and am one trail away from hiking the entire thing. I know every route I could possibly take to get home from work if I ever had to walk home, haha. My office is close to one of the park entrances on the opposite end of the one I live close to. I don’t know, I think it’s cool to know every trail and how it connects to other trails. I am my father’s daughter.

Kids! Alex is already 6-months-old, which is insane to me and Jay’s 3-month paternity leave ended two weeks ago, so he’s in daycare full-time now. Zachary starts Pre-K in September. My niece, Evangeline, turned one on August 1. Eva was just over 6 months when Alex was born, and now Alex is the same age that she was when he was born. Crazy. I became an aunt again last Thursday when my sister-in-law gave birth to her first baby, a lovely little girl named Ava. All in all, things are great on the family front.

What else is going on? The Broadcast is still going strong. Last Friday, I made my first-ever donation to the Wake Med Mother’s Milk Bank with a grand total of 131 ounces of breast milk. I also donated blood for the first time in years last Thursday. Jay and I have been doing Weight Watchers. He’s had more luck than I have had with it because he is waaaaay more disciplined than I am (and he also doesn’t like beer, hahaha). I have lost 4 of the 9lbs that plagued me postpartum, though. That’s been nice because I gained an extra 10lbs last spring when I was on Sertraline (generic Zoloft) and was hopeful that I’d lose it after Alex was born thanks to nursing and go back to my “normal” weight. When I stopped losing weight with an extra 9 of those 10lbs, I figured this was my new normal because I’m in my mid-30s now and I’d never get to wear some of my old clothing again. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I can get rid of the last 5lbs.

What lies ahead for me? I’m still working on my 2017 scrapbook, haha. I want to finish that and then work on some other arts & crafts stuff. I’m still all into my “bullet” journaling. I say that in quotes because I’ve somewhat modified it because while I like being organized and keeping track of stuff, I hate drawing things so I don’t have cute little drawings. I do, however, have clean-looking, organized calendar, list, and chart printouts to keep track of things like money stuffz, birthdays, exercising, overall health, etc. I am also going to read the Saga graphic novel series this week, thanks go Jay’s recommendation. I’ll have to do a review on it here once I am finished.

Speaking of, I would definitely like to blog more. I was in a good rhythm for a while but fell off once I was able to exercise again. I have a few ideas for weekly topcs and what not. Even though I’ve been a bad blogger over the last few years, I’ve still taken pictures and had intentions to post about different things. I should go back and get those off of my phone and do whichever ones are still timely, haha. I don’t know. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading!

Here’s a cute picture of my boys “playing” together this morning. We just set that up for Alex yesterday and he’s obsessed with it.

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The Broadcast Ep. 3.7 “Airbnb for Booty Calls”

It’s been several months since I’ve made a post about my podcast, but The Broadcast is still going strong. We’re seven episodes into season 3 already. The most recent episode, which was released this past Friday, is called “Airbnb for Booty Calls.”

On this episode, at the urging of a friend and listener, we watch and give a review of the movie, “The Apartment.” While drinking Fresh Bong Water, Shandy laments about how small jean pockets are for women (it’s a conspiracy!), I ask for recommendations about a good fitness waist trainer to help stabilize my abs while working out, and Amanda reflects on the high cost of living and ownership vs. renting depending on where you live. We also talk about the Kickstarter for the feminist horror anthology “Betty Bites Back” and get a little too serious when asked to share some of our pet peeves.

You can listen to the latest episode via jayandjack.comiTunes, SpreakerStitcherGoogle Play/Android, etc. Happy Listening and thanks for listening.

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Happiness.

I found this graphic two years ago after one of the absolute worst days of my life, and even then, it took me another several months to really understand and appreciate its lesson. I’ve held onto it on my desktop as a reminder that only I am responsible for my reactions to things and my own happiness. It was a powerful realization for me to figure this out. I think it’s made me a better person to view life from this perspective. If you’re out there and life is difficult right now, I hope this is a gentle reminder and inspiration for you too. It always gets better.


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