...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.*

Congrats to Trudy and Nathan who would like to try the orange apple fruit chews and the pineapple coconut bar, respectively.

I’ve had requests to share what a typical day is like for me. The thing is, every day is different and not all that exciting. But I figured, what the heck!, and documented a random day earlier this week. Spoiler alert: it’s not as glamorous as you think. I’m just a normal mom trying my best to make it through these long days and short years without letting my health, sanity and passions fall by the wayside. Get ready for some very candid, very real photos. (It was a no makeup, no shower day. Not all that unusual actually.)

morning

midnight – 7:45 a.m. I’m up with Mabrey eight times during the night. I thought she had the “big kid” bed all figured out but I was wrong.

6:30 – 7:45 a.m. Steve gets the boys up and off to school so I can catch some zzzzz’s but, in reality, I just lie in bed replaying the night’s events on the back of my eyelids like a bad movie. I am exhausted before the day even starts. Mabrey throws open the door. Good morning! She is unfazed by the lack of sleep. I get up, wash my face, make the bed and plod to the kitchen for breakfast.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. We eat breakfast: fried uncured ham, toast with honey from one of Steve’s co-worker’s beehives (it’s the best honey I’ve ever had) and green juice that Steve made. Mabrey leans over several times while we’re eating to tell me secrets. I love you, she whispers. Suddenly last night doesn’t seem so awful in retrospect. Steve is working from home today. I thank him for the juice and for getting the boys off to school. I empty the dishwasher, load it back up with dirties and clean up the kitchen.

mabrey bath

cheetah

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. I attempt to edit some photos for a blog post while Mabrey plays with Play-doh but it’s nearly impossible. She wants me to play with her. I feel like I’m half-assing both tasks so I shut my laptop and try to keep her happy and quiet while Steve works nearby. After a while, Mabrey and I go to my room so I can get dressed. In the few minutes it takes me to dress, Mabrey sneaks into the bathroom and rubs big clumps of Steve’s hair gel into her own hair. I try combing it out but it’s useless. I give her a bath while Cheetah supervises.

naturebox snacks

tennis snack

we're off!

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Mabrey and I prepare to run errands. I have a tennis drilling session at noon but need to grab a few things from the store first. I make a list: toilet paper, paper towels, one of those childproof doorknob covers to prevent Mabrey from wandering the house at night. I pack Mabrey a NatureBox snack for the trip to the store: mango orange fruit chews + praline pumpkin seeds. I also pack her a lunch to eat in the nursery at tennis while I’m drilling. If I eat lunch before tennis, I’m sluggish. Instead, I pack NatureBox’s dark chocolate berry trail mix, a banana and my water bottle. We’re off! I feel like I’m forgetting something.

target

11:00 a.m. – noon Mabrey eats her snack while I grab a few things. We check out. As I’m loading up our purchases, I remember that I forgot to grab Mabrey’s lunch I had packed at home. (I knew I was forgetting something!) I tell her. She loses it. I drive back home, grab her lunch and drive to tennis. I scarf down my banana and a palmful of trail mix. I pull into the parking lot right at noon. Mabrey has fallen asleep in her car seat. I feel a twinge of guilt and wonder if I should skip tennis to take Mabrey home for a nap she most desperately needs. Mabrey wakes up excited for “school.”

noon – 2:00 p.m. I drill with a fun group of ladies. (I played tennis in high school and just picked up a racket again in October after an 18-year hiatus.) I play like crap but it feels good to sweat it out. I get a boost of energy. I pick Mabrey up from the nursery. Her “teacher” informs me that Mabrey was unusually tired. Mabrey falls asleep on the way home.

lunch

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. I put Mabrey down for a nap. She doesn’t fight me at all. I’m so hungry. I eat lunch: cajun stew leftover from the previous night’s dinner + an apple with peanut cookie butter. I unload the car & Mabrey’s lunch bag and clean up the kitchen. Again. I scoop Cheetah’s litter box. I need to shower but don’t have enough time.

everett home

everett snack

everett snack

steve snack

2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Everett gets off the bus and pretends to fall down in the driveway while all the kids on the bus watch. (He does this every day. The first time he did it his bus driver stopped the bus to make sure he was okay. Everett = drama.) I make him oatmeal with almond milk and top it with NatureBox’s french toast granola + strawberries. He eats every. single. bite. He does his homework. I offer Steve – who eats a mostly paleo diet – NatureBox’s coconut date energy bites. He strikes a corny pose for the camera then threatens to post a picture of me eating in my pajamas on the internet.

layne home

layne snack

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Layne is home from school. He brings in the day’s mail. He chooses a snack: carrot, apple, NatureBox’s praline pumpkin seeds. I sort the mail and parent-teacher communication. I’m reminded that I am chaperoning Layne’s field trip the next morning.

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. It’s too cold to play outside. Layne and Everett watch a movie while I edit photos (finally!) and attempt to wrangle my inbox. I am so behind. I really want to write a post but Mabrey wakes up from her nap. We cuddle for a while and I start contemplating dinner.

dinner help

everett color

layne reads

everett note

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Mabrey helps me prepare dinner while Everett colors and Layne reads. We listen to Nickel Creek on Cone. Everett gives a love note to Steve who is hiding in our bedroom finishing up work. He decides he’s done and joins us in the kitchen.

dinner

6:30 – 7:15 p.m. We eat dinner: bacon-wrapped pollack, asparagus cooked in sesame oil with lemon mayo. Plus white cheddar mac-n-cheese for the kids. Plus rosé for me. The boys whine about the asparagus but they eat it anyway and we talk about how everyone’s pee is going to stink later. Each kid gets a mini frozen coconut sandwich bar as a reward for finishing their dinner.

tetonic plates

packing lunches

7:15 – 7:45 p.m. It’s kitchen cleanup time. Again. The kids bring their dishes to the sink. Steve loads the dishwasher while I wipe down the counters and sweep the floor. The boys get their pajamas on and brush their teeth. Mabrey needs a little help with hers. Layne shows everyone his school project on tectonic plates. All three kids commence play-wrestling in the living room. I pretend not to hear the words “butt” and “poop.” Steve packs the boys’ lunches for the next day and gets a little help from Mabrey. I go to feed Cheetah but discover Mabrey has already fed her…a week’s worth of food…in her water bowl.

7:45 – 8:05 p.m. We meditate.

8:05 – 8:30 p.m. Bedtime stories for Everett and Mabrey. Hugs, kisses, lights out. I realize I forgot to buy a doorknob cover for Mabrey’s room earlier in the day. It was even on my list! Steve rushes off to buy one just in case we need it. I really hope Mabrey sleeps.

8:30 – 9:00 p.m. Layne reads then heads to bed. Steve is back with a 4-pack of doorknob covers. We decide to hold off on installing one until Mabrey is awake. Don’t wake a sleeping dragon!

9:00 – 10:00 p.m. Steve sits next to me in the living room while I edit MORE PHOTOS. At 10:00, he gives me a quick kiss and goes to bed.

cheetah

10:00 p.m. – 12:45 a.m. With Cheetah snoozing at my side, I finish editing photos, write a post and respond to the most pressing emails in my inbox. I throw in the towel. I need a shower still but I’m too tired. I’ll have to get up extra early the next morning to squeeze in a shower. I change into my pajamas, wash my face, brush my teeth, set my alarm and slide into bed. It’s frigid and I think about summer and warm sunshine and wonder why the hell I live in Ohio. But I’m grateful for our snug lil’ house, my healthy family and a full day. Cheetah curls up at my feet. I’m out within minutes.

**********************************************************************************************************************

Ground-breaking stuff, eh? Like I said, every day is different. On the days I don’t have tennis, I try to work out at home. Some nights I stay up until 2:00 a.m. cranking out a post just because that’s the only time I have to do it. Once a week, I get groceries. About once a week, Steve brings home dinner. We try to keep things pretty healthy most of the time but indulge every now and then.

NatureBox snacks are a great fit for our lifestyle. We pack them for school, work and on the go. I love that they are free of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats and artificial sweeteners / flavors / colors. The kids love the way they taste. Eaten on their own or paired with fresh produce, yogurt, oatmeal, etc., they are the perfect pick-me-up. With over 100 snacks to choose from, there’s something for everyone. (I was stoked to see many new options!) I like to keep them on hand for when our groceries are running low and I can’t make it to the store. The subscription service  allows me to choose new & healthy snacks each month. Are you interested in giving NatureBox a try? Keep reading for details on how to win a free 6-month subscription!

PRIZE: Two winners will each win a 6-month subscription to NatureBox.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. or Canada.

TO ENTER: Browse the ample snack selection here. Then leave a comment on this post sharing which snack you’d most like to try.

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 12th. Two random winners will be announced Friday, February 13th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Join NatureBox today and score a FREE sample box of their most popular snacks. Click here to get started. Free trial is available for new and U.S. & Canadian subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.

Good luck and healthy snacking!

*This post is sponsored in part by NatureBox. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog. Even if you don’t end up subscribing, I hope you enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at my everyday.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

575 Comments

05.February.2015

those snacks look delicious! i’d especially like to try the new jalapeno white cheddar popcorn and/or the mocha almond bar!! nom nom

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05.February.2015

blueberry almonds:)

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05.February.2015

Coconut Date Energy Bars!!!

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05.February.2015

The nom noms look fantastic (I’m dreaming of them with an afternoon cup of coffee) and I wonder if my kids would dig the figgy bars.

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05.February.2015

You had me at praline pumpkin seeds.

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05.February.2015

I would love to try the dark cocoa nom noms. They look delicious!

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05.February.2015

Coconut date energy bites! I love seeing your day to day. Makes me feel like my day isn’t so crazy.

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05.February.2015

Hmm, the french toast granola or the peanut butter nomnoms….or the blueberry almonds…

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05.February.2015

Roasted garlic pumpkin seeds :)

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05.February.2015

Guacamole scoops. They had me at guac!

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05.February.2015

Yum! These snacks look amazing. Toffee almond granola?! And, I’m glad we aren’t the only ones with late dinners :)

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05.February.2015

The figs look delicious to me, but I know my daughter would love the chocolate banana chips as a treat in the lunchbox.

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05.February.2015

My hubby would love the Chipotle Maple Almonds!

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05.February.2015

What a great post. I love Mabrey’s antics! My daughter is a little younger than her, so I can relate. I’d like to try the South Pacific Plantain chips! Yum.

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05.February.2015

I love snacks, it’s hard to pick one that looks great! Those coconut date energy balls or some jerky or tart and tangy fruit medley! Yum!

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05.February.2015

The Mango Almond bites look good!

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05.February.2015

It’s got to be the dark chocolate trail mix. I should pick a healthier one but I am gonna have to stick to that.

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05.February.2015

Peanut Butter Nom Noms :)

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05.February.2015

Mmmm Dark Chocolate Berry Trail Mix? I would love to be munching on it right now!

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05.February.2015

I love snacking–possibly too hard to choose one that sounds most interesting….although that PB and J granola needs to be tried :)

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I’m all over those praline pumpkin seeds!

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05.February.2015

All of them :) But the siracha cashews sound right up my alley or the peanut butter nom noms, because, peanut butter.

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05.February.2015

cinnamon almonds are my fave

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05.February.2015

MMMM the Chocolate Chai Granola looks yummy. Also I love this peek into your day. So very very typical for a SAHM. I think its so wonderful that you carve out time to do something that’s just for you. Its so easy for parents who stay home to lose that when our job is caring for the family and household. Making time for an activity or hobby is so important for overall wellbeing. I know it helps me be a better wife and mother. Also I peeped Steve’s Steelers wear and to that I say GO COWBOYS! ;)

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05.February.2015

Sriracha cashews sound interesting!

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05.February.2015

I would definitely need to try the dark chocolate berry trail mix and the coconut date energy bites…those look sooo good!

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05.February.2015

Oh goodness…how do you choose? I want to eat all of it right this second! (probably doesn’t help it is close to noon and I am looking at their website!) I would mix the cranberry medley with their roasted kettle kernels!! My husband would go jerky all the way and my girls would go for the toasted cheddar sticks !!!

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05.February.2015

These kinds of posts are some of my favorite… I love seeing the similarities and differences in how we all juggle home, kids and work :)
I’ve been thinking about joining Nature Box for a while… so many fun choices! My top pick would be the Pear Praline Crunch

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05.February.2015

That PB&J granola looks like a good one to try first… Though my boys might vote for the jalapeño cheddar popcorn!

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05.February.2015

fun post! would love to try the mocha almond bars!

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05.February.2015

Mmm…Cranberry Medley. Dried cranberries are the ish!

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05.February.2015

Dried California Peaches look yummy!

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05.February.2015

Peanut Butter Nom Noms! Loved seeing your day … sounds familiar to me. LONG days and short years.

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05.February.2015

Blueberry almond bites or the mango fruit chews!

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05.February.2015

Orange apple fruit chews would be a HIT with my kids, and the Dark Chocolate Berry Trail Mox would be a family-wide favorite, I’m certain.

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05.February.2015

The jalapeño cashews, Kung Pao Pretzels and sea salt sun crunch have my name written all over them.

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05.February.2015

I would love to try the coconut date energy bites, Yum!

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05.February.2015

They all look delicious! Original beef jerky

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05.February.2015

French Toast Granola or Dried Pears. It all looks yummy.

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05.February.2015

Salted caramel pretzel pops!

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05.February.2015

I’m always on the hunt for new, healthy snacks for our family. We live in the country, so our options are pretty limited to what is carried by the local grocery.

I’d love to try the Sriracha pop pops — I think my hubby would love them! Thanks!

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05.February.2015

I would love to try the Big Island Pineapple!

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05.February.2015

My husband and I follow a paleo diet and sometimes it can be such a challenge to find snacks that we can eat at the grocery store! We would love to try the coconut date energy bites, orange apple fruit chews, and the praline pumpkin seeds — yum!

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05.February.2015

I would love to try the PB & J granola and I know my kids would enjoy the dried mango.

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05.February.2015

The pistachio clusters sound great!

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05.February.2015

The coconut date energy bites sound delicious, but my kids would love the chocolate banana bites. Yum!

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05.February.2015

Mmm snacks!!! I would love to try the chocolate banana chips because I love bananas but it all sounds amazing!

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05.February.2015

Definitely the salted caramel pretzel pops!

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05.February.2015

A lot of the snacks look really good but the French Toast Granola caught my eye.

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05.February.2015

Sesame stix all the way!

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