The Swan Life: July 2017

The Swan Life

Hello and happy summer to all you readers! I don’t know about you, but this summer has been hot for us in the south… east. I think we’re technically considered a southeastern city. Charlotte is such a transplant city that we might geographically be located in the south, but you don’t meet many people who have southern accents. Anyways, I digress… this is Lucy here popping in to tell you a little about our life in July. Not familiar with my Swan Life posts? Check out a few of the recent ones here.

Weddings Can Be Costly

July has usually been the month we plan a trip back to the Midwest to see family. Usually it coincides with the July 4th holiday (time on JW’s parents’ lake plus one less PTO day we have to use because of the holiday). This year, however, our trip was two week after the holiday because we had a special wedding to attend. My (only) girl cousin was getting married and she asked me to be a bridesmaid and my oldest son to be a ring bearer. We were honored and so excited!

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Our eldest during the wedding rehearsal!

Preparing for this trip and wedding meant a few purchases for our family. As a bridesmaid I had to send in my measurements to get the dress ordered. My aunt and uncle covered half of the dress (thank you!) and we covered the rest. Turned out to be about $140 which includes $30 for alterations. Bad timing because I was already 3 months pregnant when I needed to get the measurements and so it was a guessing game to see what size I would be post-birth. It all worked out great and the dress fit like a glove. I also opted to wear shoes I already had so that was great because it eliminated cost!

This trip was our second born’s first airplane ride. As you can imagine my personal bag was filled with items for the baby (diapers, wipes, spare clothes, nursing cover, etc.). That meant our oldest would need to carry his own toys… basically fend for himself. We decided it was the perfect time to purchase him a back pack. It turned out perfect not only for this trip, but it can be used for school (or daycare) too.

We searched Amazon and let him pick out which theme he wanted. Go figure, he picked the cars and trucks. You should have seen his face when it came in the mail and we told him it was his… pure joy! He asked if he could sleep with it that first night too. This has been a great purchase. He brings it with him to school every Friday filled with his towel and spare clothes because they have water play day in the summer.

Our eldest also needed new wedding attire. I say new because this is actually the third wedding he has been in as a ring bearer, but they grow so fast there has never been an opportunity to reuse the same outfit. The bride asked us to dress him in gray slacks and a white button down. She was going to provide the bow tie and suspenders (super cute by the way!) Easy enough… we turned to our good friend Amazon once again and ordered pants, a shirt and dress shoes.

Thank goodness for ordering early and for free returns. The first pair of pants we bought were way too big, slipped right off his little hips. But have  no fear, we got the new pair very quickly and they worked perfectly.

JW and I did enjoy a date night while visiting family. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for watching the kids… we got to go out for a quiet night out. Weird that’s how I chose to describe the night… but totally the truth. Love our kids, but sometimes you need a little adult time.

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Have You Ever Eaten Zoodles?

I have read so many times recently that making zucchini noodles at home was the next best thing, especially when it came to vegan diets. I have also been gifted multiple zucchinis from a coworker and had struggled with ideas of what to do with them (there are only so many zucchini muffins one can eat!).

Our first attempt at making the zucchini noodles was with a zoodle I purchased off Amazon. Let’s just say I regretted this purchase very quickly and the item didn’t last long in our house. It was a very manual process and I found it to be so much work, I wanted to upgrade (and spend $10 more) on the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Now this thing can spiral! We’ve experimented on a few veggies with this… zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumber!

Our favorite meal so far has been the sweet potato noodles which we boiled for about 8 minutes topped with JW’s homemade marinara sauce (found in June’s Swan Life post). So delicious and nutritious, even our 3 year old loved it!

Vegan Diet While On Work Travel

Last month I mentioned how I returned back to work after having our baby and how the transition happened smoothly. This month I jumped back into my work travel. My first trip away from my boys was a lengthy one… 4 days gone and all the way across the country. Not only was being away from family difficult, but following a vegan diet while on the road was difficult too. I had to pat myself on the back a bit after this trip though. I did my best to enjoy the local food while not overindulging.  I even documented a few meals to share with JW (and our blog readers too)!

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Veggie sandwich I grabbed in the airport… it was a long flight!
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Kale and beet salad
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Mushroom quinoa bowl with veggies
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Cauliflower platter with brussel sprouts

Robotic Lawn Mower

The next best way JW can embrace lifestyle inflation… the robotic lawnmower! We had a good laugh when I saw this article on a local news website shortly after purchasing our Roomba. Maybe one day we will get one of these as opposed to mowing ourselves or hiring a company. Check out the price on this though. I don’t think this will fit in our budget any time soon. One can dream, right???

Thanks for stopping by and letting me rant on a bit! It’s always fun to recap our month and to hear from all of you! We didn’t have to spend a fortune on the wedding this summer, but have you ever felt obligated to? Do you have any tips to stick with a healthy or vegan diet while traveling? Anyone saving up now to purchase a robotic lawnmower in the future?

– Lucy





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  1. I’m not currently saving up for a robotic lawn mower, but have recently started spending $15 a month to get groceries delivered from Amazon fresh. Same futuristic feeling? Eh I tried lol!

    I’m jealous you all have a lake to vacation on – sounds beautiful and relaxing!

    1. Also – 1 tip for vegan on travel -> Do you have amazon prime? You could look into prime now delivery or order some of the non perishables to the vacation spot ahead of time.

      If your going to be there for a month (first month is free for amazon fresh), and the amazon fresh service is offered there, then it may be worth looking into.

      It’s free delivery for orders > $40, and $15 a month for prime members or free the first.

      1. Great, thanks so much for the tip! We do have Amazon Prime so we’ll need to look into this as an option for when we travel as a family. And yes we totally enjoyed our time on the lake. We have one son that’s a fish and the other that will probably be someday! -Lucy

  2. I went the opposite way for a lawn mower. It’s one of those old fashioned reel ones…. the neighborhood kids are fascinated and always fight over who gets to try it out this time. I get my yard done for free so I don’t care! ha!

    1. Wow now that’s a good idea! I love the novelty of it and how that helps you get your lawn mowed for free. Well done! -Lucy

  3. Haha- I had no idea there was such a thing as a “robotic lawnmower” (?!?) And yes for weddings being expensive! It is great to be able to support those we love on their big day, but man, sometimes it can sure take a hit on the wallet to do so (especially if you are traveling and/or in the wedding)!

    1. Yea good thing is this wedding was for a special family member. We always have an easier time spending the money when it’s for someone you are close to and care so much about. I’m still looking back and pictures and remembering how much fun we had!! -Lucy

  4. highly recommend zucchini fritters from Smitten Kitchen’s blog to use up zucchini. We eat them with a fried egg, delicious! We also freeze bags of shredded zucchini for fritters all winter!

  5. Sounds good! We’re just starting to try freezing some veggies that we spiral. Seems like a great way to stock up on the veggies while in season (and cheap) and enjoy year round. We’ll check out the recipe! -Lucy

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