Have you seen this trend going around the blog world of a Photo Per Hour? When I first saw it, it instantly reminded me of the new-ish app called BeReal. BeReal is the least “filtered” of the social media platforms because it’s all about no filters, no editing photos, no curating a feed that’s glamorous! The app notifies you at a random time during the day to post a photo of what you’re doing along with everyone else you’re friends with. I personally love it :)
To document my day through a photo per hour, I set an alarm to go off on my phone every 60 minutes from wake up to bedtime and capture what was going on in the moment. On this particular day, my husband was flying a “local” trip, which means he didn’t spend the night in a different city; he started and ended his trip in Boise on the same day….although he was still gone from 8:40am to 9:15pm.
Here we go!
We needed to be out of the house before 8:30 today, because we had some errands to accomplish before Brynnley’s first nap and my work. So even though I typically just let Brynnley wake me up, today I set my alarm for 7:30am and threw on a sundress and some 5-minute makeup. I recycled yesterday’s hair style and sipped on my (first) cup of coffee.
Brynnley and I are in Walmart for some necessities! This is the new pose she does when she wants me to hand her something and I love it. In this moment, she wanted me to hand her some scrunchies off the shelf….which I did and let her carry around until it was time to checkout haha.
I need to pause and make a mention – Walmarts in Utah & Idaho are very different than Walmarts in other areas. Growing up in Southern California, our local Walmart was very dirty and disheveled and not somewhere we would shop because it was just chaos. For whatever reason, Utah & Idaho treat their Walmarts like Targets. They are clean, organized, stocked well, and I personally don’t think they have the same “people of Walmart” stereotype of customers. If you’re from here, I think you’ll agree. And if you aren’t, you’ll have to check it out for yourself when you visit! 😅
It’s my mom’s birthday! Yes, that is my mother 🤪 She defies all laws of aging.
Brynnley and I surprised her and brought a little birthday goodie bag to her. Brynnley loved playing with the balloon at her Gigi’s desk!
We are home with about 30 minutes to kill before Brynnley’s first nap time! She plays with some toys and books while I start some laundry and fold the load in the dryer.
She’s asleep so now I get as much work done as I can! I am a part-time employee for an online company, and my title is Blog Manager and Copywriter. (It’s totally separate from Strong Like My Coffee which is just a hobby.) During my naptime hustle, I had a video call with the director of operations, and a couple of copywriting deadlines to meet. I also manage the company’s app and business Pinterest account so I worked on these as well!
I really wanted to squeeze in a run while Brynnley was snoozing so at 12:30 I hopped on the treadmill and turned on some music. I got in 2.5 miles and broke a good sweat! Then I logged back onto my laptop until Brynn woke up around 1pm.
I made Brynnley and I some smoothies for lunch – vanilla yogurt, banana, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate protein collagen powder and a splash of milk. So yummy! Brynnley sips hers in her high chair while I clean everything up and wrap up the copywriting task I was working on my laptop.
Time for some sunshine! We head outside for a 35 minute neighborhood walk. She loves to see any birds, dogs or cats along our route :)
We wind down before her second nap of the day. I usually put her down again around 4pm. Some days she crashes right away and other days she happily plays in her crib for half an hour before she falls asleep. I usually bust out another work session during this time!
The kitchen sink is nearly full from the days’ dishes and it’s not even dinner time yet! I decide to clear them out quickly for a clean slate at dinner time.
I throw together a salad with a bagged kit plus some extras we had in the fridge. This one came with a blueberry lemon vinaigrette! I made a batch of Mac n Cheese for Brynnley’s dinner which I’ll serve with some applesauce and black beans.
The BeReal. App notification went off just as we were starting a pre-dinner walk with our neighbor and friend Kat! She’s the one who introduced BeReal. to me. We walked and chatted until our bellies were growling and headed back to our homes for dinner time.
Dinner usually gets a little messy so we just go straight to the tub afterwards. Brynnley LOVES playing in the water and is always in the best mood!
The kitchen is clean again and I’ve prepped three bottles – one for her upcoming bedtime, one in case she wakes in the middle of the night and one for first thing in the morning to grab along with my cup of coffee. I usually put her to bed by 9pm, but I knew Zeb would be home from his flights at 9:15 so she stayed up with me a little later.
Baby’s in bed and I’m ready to relax for a moment! I had just a little bit left of this book left, which I really enjoyed! It was a gift from one of my book club friends & she picked well :) I sipped on a Peach Lemonade ICE water, which I have to buy in bulk at Costco because I love them so much.
And that’s a wrap! Not every day is the same so this was a fun little random glimpse into life currently :)
Last week I filmed and shared a little vlog on my YouTube channel that just followed a day in the life with Brynnley and I as Zeb was on a four-day trip. He’s a commercial pilot, so our lifestyle is unique in that he’s gone between 3-5 days a week. That means a whole lot of solo-parenting, and a lot of unique challenges to our family’s schedule. Which is something I thought I could share a little more about here as well!
Until I started dating Zeb, I actually had no idea that pilots spent many nights away from their home. I assumed they had a “route” that they flew back and forth and ended back at home each night. Nope! There’s nothing normal or regular about their schedule! They also do not have a designated “route.” Based on seniority, they can request certain criteria in their flight schedule but very rarely do they fly the same trip twice!
Zeb’s trips can start on any day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday. They can be 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days. Their layover and hotel can be in pretty much any city with a major airport. Sometimes he’s in Burbank, Salt Lake City, and Houston, and other times he’s in Nashville for three nights in a row! Some trips he flies from 5am-noon every day and other trips he’s hanging out in a hotel until 4pm and flying until midnight. It’s ALWAYS different.
One of the interesting aspects that many people don’t think about when it comes to a pilot (or flight attendant) schedule is packing meals and snacks for their trips that can be up to four days long. Most of the airplanes my husband flies actually don’t have microwaves to heat up his meals! He takes a rolling luggage bag and a large cooler bag on each trip. Many days he starts his trip as early as 5am and it might be 12 hours until he can transfer his food into a hotel mini fridge for the evening. So logistically, there are some restrictions to what kinds of food he can take along with him to avoid eating out for all four days. Eating airport and restaurant food is not the healthiest option but it also adds up to so much extra money spent on food!
I don’t mind meal prepping for him so that he has nutritious food to eat on his trip, but it’s taken a while to figure out what types of foods keep well for multiple days in a cooler bag and are something he will actually EAT and not bring back home to dump down the garbage disposal.
This post is only going to contain one recipe that was a hit for his last four-day trip, and I’ll continue to share more as I make them each week! I’ll have to start a new little page on this blog specifically for pilot meals, packing tips, and more about this bizarre lifestyle.
First thing to consider when picking a recipe to meal prep for his trip is that it has to taste good both hot and cold, in case he needs to eat it as lunch or dinner on the airplane and doesn’t have a way to heat it up.
On his most recent trip, I made a shredded chicken tamale casserole that was a hit!
Shredded Chicken Tamale Casserole
- 1 casserole dish , greased
- 1 box cornbread mix (plus ingredients on packaging)
- 4.5 oz diced green chiles
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup creamed corn
- 15 oz black beans
- 10 oz green enchilada sauce
- 1 Tbs garlic powder
- 1 Tbs cumin
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9×9 casserole dish.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cornbread mix and the ingredients listed on its packaging. Add diced green chiles, set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the shredded chicken and spices. Add black beans, creamed corn, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese, and green enchilada sauce.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the greased casserole dish and spread evenly.
- Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the top of the chicken mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Then add the remaining Monterey Jack and Mexican blend cheeses.
- Continue baking for another 15 minutes until the cheese begins to brown.
- Allow to cool and enjoy! Optional toppings: sour cream, cilanto, salsa, and avocado.
I divided up some big portions into three containers for Zeb to pack along with some Spanish rice, just in case he was extra hungry!
I had one container left at home for myself and can attest that it was yummy hot AND cold, if necessary!
Some snack staples that Zeb also usually packs along are beef jerky, almonds, and a few of my homemade “Cat balls” (peanut butter energy balls). He has unlimited airplane snacks, including whatever is offered to first class, which have actually come a long way from pretzels! Now there are fun options like pistachios, chocolate covered almonds, and Sun Chips. He brings me home some extras sometimes and I never want to eat another Biscoff cookie in my life haha.
Any other fellow spouses of an aviation crew member? Share your favorite meals to pack with me!
After finishing up the Bucket List in the final hours before my birthday, I clocked out and spent the entire weekend celebrating. I tried some new places in downtown Boise and some old favorites as well, so I’ll put together this little recap for anyone looking for Boise staycation ideas!
My birthday was on Sunday, February 12th which was also Super Bowl Sunday this year. My husband was working out of town Thursday-Sunday and wouldn’t be home until close to midnight on my birthday evening. Most of the large popular restaurants in the area were actually closed on Sunday anyways because of the big game. Initially I was a little bummed because I did want to celebrate my birthday with my family by going out somewhere and not just staying at home. But in the end I got the best of both worlds!
Saturday afternoon, I dropped Brynnley off for a little sleepover with her grandparents. I checked into the Inn at 500 in downtown Boise, a hotel I have never been to before. My room was a corner unit with two balconies and a fireplace in between. It was so spacious and beautiful! The hotel lobby also had a “butler’s pantry” with complementary snacks and soft drinks for any time of day. When I settled into my room, a hotel employee knocked on my door and let me know that Zeb had sent up a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a sweet card. I immediately texted my two girlfriends that I was meeting for dinner and told them to hurry up and come over so we could share a glass in my room before dinner.
After deciding which outfit to wear, I walked a few blocks over to Tupelo Honey. It’s a fun southern restaurant that was very popular that night because it was the Saturday before Valentine’s Day and it was also the high school winter formal night. Hayley, Kat and I each ordered a cocktail off the menu and had such a fun girls dinner. I initially ordered the grilled salmon and creamy quinoa, but the waiter informed me that it was “the worst thing on the menu, and they do every well except fish”……….thanks for the honesty? Haha! I quickly skimmed for a new option and settled on the bistro filet with potato cracklins and veggies and it was a delicious choice. :)
Kat and I hung out at the hotel for a little while and she taught me how to use the BeReal app. I love the concept! I like how unfiltered of a social media platform it is, and I wish more people I know use it. The only downside right now is that I only have two friends who also use their accounts so we’ll see if I can sway any of my other girlfriends over in the coming months.
I finished the evening with a fire in the fireplace, my current book (Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris) and a facemask that Kat gifted me. When I woke up in the morning, I took my time getting ready with a cup of coffee and a hotel robe because it is a very rare occasion that I’m not also juggling a baby in the mornings!
There is a local coffee shop that I first visited when I moved to the area in 2016. It’s called Alia’s Coffee House, and when I went on my 23rd birthday I ordered an Ooh La La Latte that I still remember to this day. I ordered it again on Sunday to start off my birthday morning along with a lox & cream cheese bagel. Both were amazing – however…..doesn’t it seem like “a given” that if you order a bagel with cream cheese that it would be toasted? I didn’t specify that I wanted a toasted bagel because I thought ordering one sliced with cream cheese automatically included that. I took my bagel to go and was a little disappointed when I had a cold soft bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
I walked back to the hotel, packed up my room and checked out. Time to pick up the little one! Brynnley and I headed back to our home for the afternoon so that she could get in a good nap, then we made a little trip to Starbucks to cash in my birthday freebie. Since I’d already enjoyed a fancy coffee, I ordered an iced venti passion tango tea with a splash of lemonade. Delicious! We went back to my parents house because they were making me a yummy and healthy birthday dinner while the Super Bowl played. We had cajun salmon and a sheet pan of roasted veggies – my favorites!
Brynnley thought we were all looking at HER during the halftime performance, which is fair because she is always the center of attention!
My mom gave me a super thoughtful and fun present – she bought the game Guess Who and replaced all of the cards and characters with faces of the cast of Gilmore Girls! How fun and creative! We played a couple of games and it was so clever.
The next day, I got to continue celebrating my birthday because Zeb was finally home. Rather than a gift, he scheduled a manicure, pedicure and massage for me. It was at a Boise day spa that I had not tried before called Perpetuity. I enjoyed a relaxing spa day and loved the new colors I picked out for my nails and toes, and especially the massage. I think this is only the third massage I’ve ever had and it was heavenly! I got home just in time though because while I was driving in full sunshine, all of a sudden snow was just dumping down for the next couple of hours! We couldn’t believe how much snow came down in such a short time, but none of it stuck to play with. It looked beautiful in the backyard though!
We met my parents at a new-to-me restaurant in downtown Boise called Coa de Jima. The interior is so unique and interesting, I’m really glad we tried it! The bar has a giant floor-to-ceiling metal tree sculpture right in it, and there’s one booth that looks like you’re in an enormous wall-papered egg. The door to the bathroom is hidden within a 9-foot picture frame.
Zeb and I shared a dinner platter for two with all of their different meats and fajita toppings – steak, chicken, prawns, lobster, and charred poblanos. I also got a spicy jalapeno pineapple margarita. Everything was so delicious! They brought a complimentary scoop of mocha almond fudge ice cream that we all shared but saved room for some pretty birthday cake my parents had picked up.
Brynnley showed off her brand new dance moves to cap off a great night. The milestone birthday I dreaded is come and gone, and we are onto another exciting birthday this week…….Brynnley’s FIRST! Tomorrow! 💗