Friday, August 29, 2014

A Kid's Eats

Toddlers may be the pickiest eaters ever known to man. Some obviously pickier than others. I’ve been lucky with both my girls so far in the sense that 1. They’re just perfect little human beings and  2. They eat pretty much anything.

This has somehow become our "dining room" table. Thanks girls..

Sophia is 3 years old and while she has her junky favorites like chicken nuggets, French fries, macaroni & cheese, cake frosting, ice cream (This just so happens to also be my husband’s favorite food list), she’ll also eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and other proteins as long as we call them all “chicken”.

Nelpe is almost 10 months old and loves everything about food. Her favorites right now are sweet potatoes, carrots, avocado, and watermelon. She can’t get enough of those. She used to be relaly into bananas and blueberry, but turns her head to them now. She screams at us if we’re eating greek yogurt, ice cream, froyo, or anything that resembles yogurt. Screaming as in “give me some NOW!”

It’s easy to feed them at home or at a restaurant with so many options, and so many different ways of preparing/heating them. What isn’t so easy is sending Sophia to school with a packed lunch. I bought THIS bento box style lunch box for her so I didn’t have to send her to school with 3-4 different containers of stuff. Everything fits in one box and it’s glorious. Sophia loves it and was so excited to show me her new lunch box after school on the 1st day. (Hello kid, I was just as excited as you when I bought it 3 months before school started!)

Sophia’s lunch sides vary from week to week depending on what we have in the fridge. She always wants her turkey sandwich or chicken though!

Turkey&Cheese sandwich on Honey Wheat Bread, Stonyfield yogurt, grapes, watermelon, and a Earth'sBest snack bar 

Turkey&Cheese sandwich on Honey Wheat Bread (Heart shaped), Stonyfield yogurt, grapes and strawberries, and carrots

Her box usually comes home empty :)


TGIFriday Finds

Happy Friday y'all!

You know it’s going to be a good day when it starts with an office delivery of Chic-fila chicken biscuits from a shipping rep. Thumbs up to you Susan!

With school starting this week, this week has flown by! I’m looking forward to this 3 day weekend, even though it’s supposed to rain the entire weekend. That’s Floirda for ya!
Next week is already looking bright with Monday off! All weeks are better when Mondays are off right? But then Tuesday is more like a Monday and it screws you all up. What can ya do?!

Let’s bring the week to an end with some TGIFriday finds…

Pittsburg Steeler’s Brett Keisel fishes with kids. This little boy's excitement melts my heart!

We’re still in August with 1000 degree weather, but Starbucks blew the pumpkin can wide open already with the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin every where!!

Have a great weekend & make something pumpkin peeps!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tampa Weekend Plans: Labor Day 2014

Weekend Funsies – Tampa

Labor Day Weekend is upon us! Time to stop wearing white (is that still a thing?) and break out the fall décor! Summer is officially coming to an end!!  Who’s ready for some cooler temps?! (Raises hand!) Unfortunately we don’t really get cooler temps here in FL for a couple more months…sad face.

If you’re looking for fun stuff to do around Tampa, here are a few things to get you out of the house. But who wants to get out of the house in this heat?! Daring peeps, these are for you!

1.       Gecko Fest in Gulfport celebrates the end of summer with live entertainment, costume contest, food vendors, and a parade. Fun stuff from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m on Saturday!

2.       If you’re a doggie lover and celebrated National Dog Day this week, head over to Royal Pets Market and Resort in Tampa for a Dog Day Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday.  They’ll have free hot dogs for owners, photos, paw painting, on site adoptions, and more! Donations are welcome! 16010 Mapledale Drive, Tampa.

3.       Labor Day Celebration in the Channelside district with a lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks on Sunday. Entertainment starts at 6 p.m. and lighted boat parade starts at 8 p.m.  Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive

4.       Shephard’s on Clearwater Beach always has a big Labor Day party with Djs playing throughout the weekend starting Saturday. 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. 

5.       Tampa Bay Rays are in town all weekend with games Friday and Saturday night, and “Family Fun Day” on Sunday! Go Rays! (Bonus: the Trop field is indoors!) 

6.       Keep cool, out of the heat, and celebrate the Ghostbusters turning 30!!! This classic film featuring Bill Murray returns to theaters for one week! Find a theater and showtimes here

The Veggetti & Simple Pasta Sauce Recipe

Zucchini Noodles! Are these not awesome or what?
What I did here:
I spiralized 2 zucchinis then sautéed them in some EVOO for a couple minutes so they still had a little crunch to them. I topped the noodles with artichoke hearts and a simple tomato sauce.  

I'm like SUPER excited about this new kitchen gadget! I bought it off Amazon for $13. Found HERE

There’s certain things in life that make you think “Ok, I’m getting old…” This is one of them.
I literally squealed and asked Angelo to take of picture of the amazingness that was happening.

Veggetti tips:
Since peeled zucchini are super slippery, leave skin on for spiralizing.
The cap didn’t work for me for when the zucchini got too short towards the end. It basically just started shredding the end.
The blades are no joke sharp so watch out while trying to clean it.
Go spiralize some veggies! Zucchini, squash, carrots, cucumbers, etc.

I almost never buy jarred pasta sauce anymore so I leave you with my super simple pasta sauce.Enjoy! 

Simple pasta sauce:

What you need:
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 tsp minced garlic
28oz can of peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp salt or to taste
2-3 basil leaves

What you do:
In a large sauce pan, heat the EVOO with minced garlic.
While that’s heating, puree the canned tomatoes in a blender.
Pour tomato sauce in sauce pan, stir in sugar, salt, and basil leaves; and bring to boil
Once boiling, turn down heat to low, cover pan, and let simmer for up to 1 hour.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIAW -- What I Ate Wednesday

These are a few of my recent eats.

2 eggs on top of Flourless Sprouted Grain Bread and an almond milk latte
A bed of kale & Arugula salad topped with a veggie burger with avocado & tzatziki 

 Banana filled with PB fluff (2 tbsp greek yogurt + 1 tbsp PB2) and raisins

Kale, brussell sprout, and broccoli salad (mix at Costco) topped with craisins, pumpkin seeds, chopped zucchini and green pepper. Garlic balsamic baked chicken on the side.


With anything in life, it’s really easy to get stuck in a routine, especially with young kids.  Routines aren’t bad, but sometimes you gotta skip the other direction for some fun.

This Monday started a new routine. Sophia’s school year is back in session! I think I was more nervous than she was driving to school. She was preoccupied with this curious monkey named George while I’m thinking to myself “I hope she doesn't cry because then I’ll cry!”

She did fine and went right into play mode when she entered the classroom. She didn’t even notice I left. The day went great! I FOR SURE thought Day 2 or 3 would involve tears, but once again, she ran right into her class and sat down at a puzzle with a friend. Jeez Sophia break my heart why don’t ya!? I kid..I’d much rather have her excited to enter the classroom than feel overwhelmed or sad about it. I just don’t want her to grow up sometimes ya know?! (TEARS!!)

Now, it’s just me and Nelpe during school hours. The house is a lot quieter and without Sophia constantly tickling her toes or trying to brush her hair, Nelpe takes a much longer late morning nap. This all means I get so much more work done! I’ve checked more work to-dos off my list in the past 3 days than I would have in 2 weeks during the summer!  I went to the UPS store, post office, and Walgreens in like record time today! Having to take 2 kids in and out of a car numerous times in one outing is no joke, so when I have both kids I’m basically a hermit and going anywhere makes my eye twitch a little. When you have little ones you DREAM of everything having a drive thru. Why doesn’t the grocery store have an express line drive thru? Come on Publix, I just need some ground turkey for dinner tonight.

Going into Publix for “just” ground turkey with 2 kids or more usually goes something like this:

-Park the car
-Get informed by Sophia that her Curious George is not over yet.
-Turn off the car anyways and hear groans along with “aww man”.
-Open Sophia’s door & notice her shoes are kicked off and on opposite side of car.
-Unbuckle her seatbelt and convince her that the grocery store is fun so she gets out.
-Open Nelpe’s door and get greeted with a smile and squeal of happiness…
-Get Sophias shoes and put on Sophia
-Hope to God there is a 2 seater big green cart thing available.
-Get 2 seater cart (fist pump!)
-Sophia immediately asks “Am I getting a cookie?!”
-Go to bakery and ask for cookie
-Nelpe started grabbing at Sophia’s cookie and Sophia starts yelling at Nelpe to stop
-Sophia notifies me of this Instant deathly thirst she has going on now
-Grab water out of the cooler in the deli area.
-Make my way towards other side of store for my ground turkey.  Pick up speed (basically running) so Sophia doesn't ask and whine for something else.
-Get ground turkey! (I can see the light!)
Get in checkout line.
-Sophia sees all the glorious candy and asks for “cupcake chocolate” aka Reeses bite size
-Get them for her because…why not?
-Pay for the chocolate candy, water bottle, and ground turkey.
-Get back to car.
-Let Sophia get into car and buckle up Nelpe.
-Sophia likes to play at this point and not go in her seat. (This is where chocolate comes in) “Sophia sit in your seat and I’ll give you a piece of your chocolate”
-She sits, I buckle her up.
-Get into my seat and blast a/c because I’m sweating profusely (its 100 degrees with 90% humidity)
The END.

As I’m typing this I realize I need eggs for breakfast tomorrow... It’s almost time to pick Sophia up from school so it looks like there will be trip to Publix with 2 kids this afternoon. Wish me luck!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Nutty Salty Caramel Weekend

Weekend Recap…

Does anyone else HAVE to have a certain kind of food on a certain day? For some reason, Angelo thinks we absolutely HAVE to have pizza on Fridays. WHYYYY?! It gets old, but whatever...gotta keep your man happy right? HA! He’s too easy.  We switch the restaurant up so it’s do-able.

Friday night we went over to Old Towne Pizzeria with family. Deep dish pizza and their famous strawberry salad were on our table and smiles were on our faces. 

Saturday Angelo went scalloping with my brother & some friends, while I took Sophia to her friend’s birthday party. There was a bouncy house, pool, water toys, chickens, and cake! Sophia’s heaven.
She only eats the frosting, then leaves the cake looking at me telling me to eat it. (I resisted on that day)

Saturday's dinner was left over pizza. I had a pizza salad in San Francisco a couple years ago and have loved them ever since. Any time I eat leftover pizza at home, I dump salad on top.
Remember: There's a piece of pizza under there so don't be thinking I ate like a rabbit for dinner. 

Sunday was a day of rest and chores around the house. We stopped over to my brother’s house to help them eat the 20 teeny tiny baby scallops they caught Saturday. I'm serious, these scallops were the size of Cheerios.  We cooked the scallops with garlic, onions, and kale; mixed in some marinara sauce, and poured it over black bean spaghetti. Served with some Cuban garlic bread…nomnomnom. We ended the night early (school started this morning -__-) with Menchies froyo. **Do yourself a favor and either go to Baskin Robins and try their Salted Caramel Oreo ice cream OR go to Menchies and mix their Salted Caramel & Cookies n Cream froyo together. RIGHT NOW! Baskin Robins will only carry that flavor until August 31st..soooo it's pretty urgent you go now! 

Hope everyone is having a good Monday morning! Fresh week!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Banana Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins

Hey! How was everyone’s week?

This week was officially the last week before school starts for my little preschooler on Monday. It’s been a LONG summer and I’m so happy for her to get back into school with her friends and learn learn learn! YAY! J (I guess I’m a little bit too excited?)

In all honesty, this summer has been a blast and I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve been able to spend with my two girls. I say that like it’s been all smiles and puppy dog kisses, and some of you just read that and tilted your head like, “Really? Psh!” LOL! There have definitely been those days when I just want to crawl into bed, pull the sheets over my head, and become invisible for an hour or two. But overall, it’s been a fun filled summer.

We started it off with a trip to Miami for a summer kickoff vaca and the Miami Heat game (FYI: We’re no longer Miami Heat fans but that’s another post! HAHA It’s a husband thing…). 
We’ve done numerous play dates with our bffs at the aquarium, mall, Tampa Playgrounds, museum, and some lunch joints.  We’ve done the beach thing, Disney thing, boat thing, baseball game thing. I think we’ve completed our summer bucket list this year.

Tomorrow the summer will come to an end with a day of relaxation (Yeah right) I’m always down to church & brunch it up and sit on the couch the rest of the day, but the girls usually have other plans.  

So, in the spirit of school starting Monday, I wanted to post this muffin recipe. It’s been my go-to muffin recipe for the past couple of months because 1. They’re healthy and 2. Sophia eats them. Muffins are perfect for manic mornings, which I see in my future.
**This recipe has been adapted from a recipe I found on Pinterest…Original recipe can be found HERE**

Banana Blueberry Oat Protein Muffins
For 12 muffins

-2 c. old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick kind)
-1/4 cup JP+ Complete vanilla powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp cinnamon 
- 2 ripe bananas
-1 egg
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
-1/2 cup Earth Balance Coconut & peanut spread (any nut butter will do)
-1 cup fresh blueberries

-Preheat oven to 350.
-In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Mix gently.
-In another medium bowl mix together mashed bananas, egg, and nut butter, Add in milk and yogurt. Whisk until smooth. 
-Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until completely combined. Gently fold in the blueberries, reserving some to place on top of the muffins if you'd like.  
-Spray a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups, filling about 3/4 way. Top each muffin with a few of the reserved blueberries.
-Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back At It --- No quitting!

A lot and I mean A LOT of us have things we really would like to do, but never do them. And we never do them for absolutely no reason. There are 3 things I would really like to do in life right now. While 2 of them are big expensive projects, 1 is simple: blogging. 

I started blogging when I was pregnant with my 1st daughter in 2011. I started because I wanted to document my pregnancy after reading so many other pregnancy blogs.

It’s now 3 years later and I've started multiple blogs (I can think of 5), but always walked away a couple months later, leaving them lonely and dusty! As you can see below, the last post I wrote was 06/22/2012.

The past couple of months I find myself telling my husband more and more about these blogs. I’ll say things like “this one girl who I read her blog does this...or that...” and “I wish I kept up with my blogging, who knows where it would be today if I kept at it”.

Last week while driving to Orlando and having one of those conversations with babe, he finally said, “I've heard you say this so many times! You need to start blogging again and challenge yourself! Stick with it for a year and see where it goes.”

So here I am folks, blogging again!! Hope you stick with me and become part of my life adventures. Day 1 :)

This is my family now. We've added another +1 in November 2013. Us and 2 girls...drama!