Friday, November 28, 2014


How is everyone feeling today? Still stuffed from yesterday's food events?
I'm feeling a little stuffy but not with food. My nose is stuffed up and my voice sounds like I'm a veteran smoker. Besides that, Thanksgiving was wonderful! Spent time with family, both immediate and extended, eating food and just enjoying each other's company. The girls had a blast playing with their cousins and the weather was chilly and holiday perfect. 

We started off the day with a 5k Turkey Trot
then headed home to cook and get ready for the big dinner event at my mom's house. 

At my mom's, the turkeys were cooked (one fried and one baked)
and then carved. 
After eating turkey, mac-n-cheese, sweet potato casserole, many different vegetable casseroles, brussel sprouts, stuffing, salad, and rolls, we washed all that down with cake, pie, cookies, and caramel popcorn (all homemade). Goodness :) 

After all food was devoured, we spent some time outside by the fire, going through the Black Friday ads (Sophia showed Grammy EVERYTHING she wanted) and watching the kids play outside. 

The perfect Thanksgiving....

I hope everyone enjoyed time with their family and/or friends! If you were working or did not get to spend Thanksgiving with family, I hope you had a great day anyways!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie & Thanksgiving Menus

Last night was the beginning of our Thanksgiving festivities. Katie (brother's wife/sister-in-law) made a delicious homemade Chicken Pot Pie for us! When she asked if we wanted to come over for some Chicken Pot Pie, I thought about the last time I actually ate a chicken pot pie. (I like saying "chicken pot pie"!) I believe the last chicken pot pie I had was more than 10 years ago and it was a frozen Marie Challender. Sorry Marie, but you've got serious competition. Katie's chicken pot pie was beyond good and I will not go another 10 years without Chicken Pot Pie. I will now demand Katie's chicken pot pie a numerous times a year!

So today is Thanksgiving might as well be called Black Wednesday for grocery stores. A day when grocery store parking lots are jammed packed, all the cans of sweet potatoes and chicken broth are sold out, and you have to park all the way in the back and actually walk more than 100 feet to the store. Goodness...

It's still early in the morning right now and I'm already making my strategic plan for grocery shopping today. I have officially waited until the last minute to get my supplies for our Thanksgiving menu. My excuse is that school is out and grocery shipping with two youngin's is one of the furthest things down the list of fun. But it's come to the day that I can no longer avoid it. 

My responsibilities for Thanksgiving this year are the Macaroni & Cheese and a vegetable side dish.
When I told my husband I was making the mac-n-cheese, he told me to find the fattiest recipe I could find because it would be the best! (Sticks of butter makes everything better) Since it's Thanksgiving and we're all setting our scales back 10 pounds anyways, I'm going to go ahead and just make the ultimate cheesiest mac n cheese I possibly can. But, to even out the playing fields, I'm also going to bring a brussel sprout side dish. ;)

These are the two recipes I'll be making for Thanksgiving this year:

Creamy Gruyere, White Cheddar, and Parmesan Macaroni and Cheese by Solid Gold Eats

Pan Seared Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans from Rachel Schultz

I can't wait to eat tomorrow!!! 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Adopting New Thanksgiving Traditions

Hey guys!! How is your week starting off? 

If you're working, the good news is that it's a short week since Thanksgiving is Thursday...unless you work in retail. If you do, then this week just might be your biggest nightmare {screams of horror just thinking about Black Friday}.

I want to know about Thanksgiving family traditions. Because I'm looking to start some :)

The traditions we have in my family is everyone coming to my mom's house to eat food, food, and more food. We usually do 2-3 turkeys! One fried, one baked, and one smoked. Good stuff all around.

So I guess our only "real" Thanksgiving traditions are what's put on the table and who comes to gather around the table. We've gone back and forth throughout the years on different ways to some how go around the table and say what we're thankful for. Whether we write them down on a piece of paper or just go around the table one by one. Nothing has really stuck. The times are changing in my family since my siblings and I are growing our own little families and I think this is a good time to start some new traditions.  

Of course I took to Pinterest to look at what other people do on Thanksgiving (besides cook and eat delicious food) and found some awesome ideas! 

Five Kernels of Corn - just from my preliminary findings there are many different ways to do this.

Thankful Tree - Starting at the beginning of November, ask the kids what they are thankful for. Write each on a different leaf and glue, tape, hang with string, etc onto a tree of choice. 

Blessing Jar - This is very similar to the Thankful tree in that it can be started earlier than Thanksgiving (or just on Thanksgiving day). Everyone in the family writes down things they are thankful for through the year or month. The pieces of paper are read out loud during Thanksgiving dinner. 

Thanksgiving Tablecloth - Start with a plain white tablecloth and set out a pair of permanent markers for family and friends to write down what they are thankful for along with the year. Use the same table cloth every year and watch the blessings grow!

I think I may be starting some new traditions this year! Check back Friday to see which one we adopted!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Conversations with Sophia

Last night as my husband and Sophia finally got into bed around 11 p.m., I asked what they had been doing. His response was "Oh you know... Sophia just being a handful". His definition of a handful at that hour was Sophia asking for thing after thing, not letting him "enjoy" the Sunday night football game. (It's comical for him to actually think he would be able to sit down and enjoy an entire football game in this house)

Sophia’s usual 9 p.m. requests are blueberry yogurt (no other flavor is accepted), pretzels, water, and to read her 134 bedtime books.

My response to my husband was, "yeah that's what my entire week looks like". 
This morning marks the start of an entire week of no school for Sophia. It's not bad if I don't have any errands to run and entirely push my to-do list aside. I know little “work” will be accomplished this week and I’m ok with that. I have to be ok with that or I’ll have an anxiety attack.

So this morning, when Sophia woke up at 9 a.m. I asked her what she wanted to do today. She told me she wanted to do the following three things:

1. Paint a picture of a rhino
2. Paint her bucket the color orange
3. Play on the playground.

Sounds like an easy day, right?! Jokes on me…

These requests made me laugh with wonder. I always have the best conversations with Sophia. They make me smile. Kids are so fun to talk to at this age because half the things they say come from somewhere, but I don't know where.

This is a little segment I like to call: Conversations with Sophia

The Bunny we don’t have
S: We need to put Bella and Rome outside.
Me: Why?
S: So they don't eat our new bunny!
Me: What bunny?
S: We're getting a bunny and Bella and Rome need to go outside!
Me: Oooh Ok, but Bella is going to be sad!
S: Of course she is going to be sad because she loves the inside but they will eat the bunny so have to go outside.
(We have no bunny and don't plan on getting one)

S: Mommmmaaa! Are you on my iPad?
Me: Yes
S: You can't be on MY iPad!
Me: What?! Why not?!
S: Well because you don't let me use your computer!
Me: Haha you're totally right Sophia! But this is the family’s ipad so I’m going to use it…. J

The Green & Orange Fruit

S: I ate all my snack and lunch today!
Me: Alright! Good job!
S: But not the green and orange, just the yellow. I don't like green and orange ones. They aren't my favorite. (She's talking about melon and cantaloupe)
Me: Ok I'll tell dada not to put them in your lunch anymore.
S: Well…well maybe I can tell him? Please?


Weekend Recap: First Official Christmas Event of 2014

Monday has come!! I'm saying that with a smile. :) After a fun weekend of events, this Monday came with a welcoming hug, blanket, cup of coffee, and no alarm clock.  It's officially Thanksgiving Break over here for Sophia so the usual morning hustle and bustle was exchanged for a nice hour of silence while the girls slept in. 

This weekend, as most weekends, was spent with family and friends and included the first Christmas event of 2014!

Friday night we bribed my family with pizza to come over and help Angelo hang new blinds and install a new light in our bathroom. The pizza worked and all those to-dos were marked off our list.

Saturday we went to the Hyde Park Village Tree Lighting. The kids had a blast dancing to music, meeting Santa (only Sophia enjoyed that), and just running around being kids while us parents chased them around while also trying to enjoy a cold craft beer. Insert grandparents and things became a lot easier for us while we waited an hour for the tree lighting. The waiting isn't so bad when you have grandparents, kettle corn, and mini donuts that melt in your mouth. 

(It's really hard to get 4 kids to pose in a picture together.)

Sunday morning we woke up early to head to Orlando to celebrate our nephew's 2nd birthday! 
 CakePops By Lu always steals the show with her Cakepop and Oreo creations!
They hired a balloon artist who was also a hit! This guy was seriously talented. 

We got home last night around 7 p.m., took showers, sat on the couch, and watched the AMAs. 
Did you watch them? They were entertaining.

Hope you're weekend was a good one!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Massage Appointment with KALE

Happy happy Friday!! 

I wish I had a massage appointment with a masseuse, but with a 1 year old attached to my hip, that's sadly only for special occasions (like once every 3 years). Oh the struggles...

Anyways, I found a new love in the kitchen and it's name is Massaged Kale. If you're like me, you never really hopped on the "KALE IS THE BEST THING EVER!" train. Don't shoot me but I think kale chips are gross crunchy leaves. I've homemade them and bought them and both were discarded. 

The only things I make with kale that I truly enjoy are smoothies, soups, and salads using the Sweet Kale salad mix (pictured below). It also happens to be one of the only salad mixes that my husband actually asks for! When my husband actually asks me to make a specific salad, you better believe I made that salad ALL.THE.TIME.
It is a broccoli, brussel sprout, cabbage, and kale mix that comes with a packet of craisins, pumpkin seeds, and a light poppy seed dressing to top. I always add tomato, avocado, balsamic vinegar, and whatever else I have at the moment. 

This week we've been on a massaged kale kick and to my surprise, the husband devours it without me having to remind him to eat that green stuff on his plate. Yes, that happens.

If you want a kale salad that my green-dodging husband approves of, make this salad!

Massaged Kale Autumn Salad
What you’ll need:
1 bunch of kale (about 4-5 cups)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
2 tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 diced apple (I like honeycrisp)
¼ cup craisins

What you do:
Wash kale and pat dry. Strip the leaves off the stems and discard stems. Tear kale leaves into bite size pieces and put into large bowl.
Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
With your hands, firmly squeeze and massage the oil mixture into kale leaves for about 30 seconds.
Add in diced apple and craisins.
Give a little toss and sprinkle with freshly grated cheese.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Weekend Funsies (Nov 20th - 23nd)

Happy Thursday! How is your week going so far? It feels like the days/weeks start speeding up once the holidays are in view.  So much to do and so little time!! 
I don’t know how to possibly squeeze anymore stuff onto our weekend calendars! The calendar struggles are REAL during the holidays. With so much going on around town, PLUS family/friend/work holiday parties…I mean...I.can’t.even. ;)

Any who (enough panic), here is what’s going on around the Tampa Bay area this weekend and beyond.

NovemberFest - This is a family fun carnival that comes every year to Brandon! Gates open tonight and carnival runs until Monday.  Ride Armbands are $23 and Food tickets are sold starting at $10. There is no admission or parking fees. MORE INFO 

Tampa’s Downtown on ICE – Enjoy ice skating under palm trees in this beautiful Florida weather! Cost is $10.00 per person and that includes skate rental and 90 minutes of skating. Check out their hours and MORE INFO HERE

Sanding Ovations on Treasure Island – This is the 6th year of this Master Cup Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival!  Sounds amazing and totally worth the drive! Food, drinks, arts and crafts! This weather is perfect for hanging out at the beach and playing in the sand, and listening to great music, without getting heat stroke! MORE INFO 

Hyde Park Tree Lighting & Street Parade – Holiday activities kick off in Hyde Park Village at noon on Saturday. There will be train rides, food trucks, pet area, live entertainment, and SANTA! (Santa will be at Pottery Barn Kids at 5 p.m) The tree will be lite at 8p.m. FREE for all people & pets!

Sarasota Medieval Fair – Knights, belly dancers, sword swingers, joust tournaments, and more! Ride rides, play games, and feast on turkey legs! Sounds like a bunch of fun! Fair starts Saturday at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds Ringling Woods. Cost is $16.95 for adults. MORE INFO 

Santa’s Holiday Workshop - The Center Place in Brandon is hosting a fun filled day of cookie decorating and crafts! Cost is $10 per child (lunch included). Santa helps the kids make gifts for the entire family! Event is Saturday at 11 a.m. Tickets are not sold at the door, so stop by The Center Place before Saturday to buy a ticket! MORE INFO 

Symphony in Lights at Wiregrass - This is an amazing holiday light show, choreographed to music! The Center Court at Wiregrass is turned into a winter wonderland with snow flurries! Light shows start at 6 p.m. nightly until Dec 31st. MORE INFO 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Parent University

We all know there are no classes,books, or pod-casts that can get you ready for parenthood. You may know at what age babies should start eating solids, or what to do when they have a diaper rash, but NOTHING prepares you for life with kids (except experience, and even that fails us sometimes). What works for one, may not work for the other. What your first child likes might make your second scream uncontrollably. I mean, we make these humans out of our own cells and blood, why would it be so hard to raise them? Shouldn't we be able to control them with our minds?! That'd make everything so simple, but sorry, aint happenin', unless you somehow hypnotize them into listening to every word you speak (that may not be good either). Since our kids aren't singing "Momma Dadda Momma, can't you see, sometimes your words just hypontize me", we need to go about it in more creative ways. There's one thing we can all agree on; parenting is truly the hardest job in the world. 

Insert "Parent University", where classes offered are actually useful in the real world of parenting. 
Classes Offered at Parent University 

Cooking - How to cook breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner while holding a baby. First lesson: how to crack on egg in a pan (without any shells falling in) while holding your baby. Second lesson: How to get an entire meal cooked with two kids running around and playing at your feet.  

Ninja moves - How to get out of a bed with a sleeping child without waking them up. First lesson: shifting your body weight without making one side of the bed dip too far down, thus waking up baby.  

Magic tricks-  How to open anything without making noises. First lesson: Silently opening a bag of chips. Second lesson: How do silently EAT the chips. Third lesson: Making no movements while punching a straw through a juice box for another child. 

Driver's Ed - How to drive a car, pick up dropped sippy cups, hand food to the back seat, and listen to the same song 1500 times without "turning this car around and going home!!!" 

Cleaning - How to clean a house that will then be destroyed exactly 9 seconds later without having a nervous breakdown. This takes practice but before you know it, these messes will no longer bother you (unless you get a call that a friend is stopping by...then you become the Cat In The Hat and clean the house spotless in record time) 

Human Anatomy - Never knew you had eyes in the back of your head did you? Your body goes through miraculous changes when becoming a parent. First lesson: How to use the eyes in the back of your head. 

Physical Education for the Brain - How to expand your brain and store information on where all toys, stuffed animals, and sippy cups are at all times. First Lesson: Memory Expansion to ensure you don't forget any birthday, any school event, and any extra curricular activity on the calendar.  

Physical Education - How to hold two babies in your arms AND hold the hand of your oldest child while walking through a parking lot. First lesson: How to hold 50 lbs worth of little humans but not be able to do push-ups. 

If you are interested in enrolling in any of the above courses, please feel free to make babies.


Monday, November 17, 2014

10 things I Love about November

Now that we're halfway through November (ALREADY?!?!), it's time to talk about everything I love about this glorious month! 

10 Things I Love About November 

Weather – November in Florida means 70-80 degree weather…almost to perfection. Yesterday it was sunny and hot (at 80 degrees), but today it's been rainy and cold (68 degrees). Best of both worlds.

Boots – November gives us a reason to wear anything other than flip flops. Bring out the boots and warm fuzzy socks! From combat, ankle, to knee high boots. They're all so wonderful! 
Shop Boots at DSW

Leftover Halloween Candy on the cheap - this candy might already be gone off the shelves by now, but last week I picked up 2 bags of chocolate for a little over a dollar. This same bag was well over $10 a couple weeks ago. Suckers.

Movies – November always brings the good movies out. Dumb & Dumber To and the MockingJay Part 1 are two big ones this month!

Facebook Thankful posts – while we should most definitely be thankful all year round, these thankful posts are a nice break from people bitchin' about traffic, drama, baby not sleeping, and work. 
How many people actually do all 30?

Jackets & scarves– I love a good jacket and a scarf is such a fun accessory to keep us warm. They actually may be my two favorite clothing items. Probably because we only get to wear them for a short time.
I love this lady! (The HoneyBee)

Thanksgiving – Bring on the food, friends, family, and football! I’m thankful for being able to go into food coma every year.

Shopping – Christmas shopping officially starts! I've vowed to do most my Christmas shopping from independent shops this year! A fun way to give back to small businesses and the community. 

Starbucks Holiday Drinks – We were one of the counties that got to “test” Chestnut Praline Lattes last year. It’s so good, you almost want to take a picture of the red cup they put it in…but I think enough people are doing that, so please restrain yourself.
But they're so pretty! <3

No Shave November/Movember – the month where men vow not to shave in order to raise awareness about men's health issues and look good doing it! Whether you have a beard or mustache, there are official rules for that facial hair! Movember Rules // Noshember Rules 


The Trendy Acai Bowl

Food trends are giving fashion trends a run for their money. I love that organic, locally sourced foods, vegetables, and all around healthier foods are "trending" right now, but my ultimate favorite food trends are the "mash ups" because they're fun and sometimes will make you say "umm what?!" Most famous of these mash ups are the cronut (crossiant-donut), the hamburger with a donut as the bun, and the hamburger served on a griddled ramen noodle bun. 

Also in the food trend group, is the Acai bowl. My sister-in-law introduced me to them a couple years ago at the Fit2Run Cafe in Tampa, and I've been hooked every since. I also used to get them at TheJuiceSpot in Miami, you know, the one Lebron's wife opened...the only reason my husband HAD to go there. 

So what is an Acai Bowl and what is acai? How do you even say acai? All questions I had at first.
Acai (pronounced ah-sign-ee) is considered a "superfood" from Brazil. It's a dark purple, berrylike fruit. 

An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie made from acai puree, topped with various toppings like granola, shredded coconut, and fruit. Very easy to make your own at home! :) 
This is the frozen puree I use. Look for it in your grocery store's frozen fruit aisle. 

Acai Bowl
What you’ll need:
1 package of frozen acai puree
1 frozen banana
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup almond milk (or coconut)
1 tbsp honey
½ cup frozen berries

What you do:
Place everything in blender and give it a whirl!
Top with whatever your heart desires!
I topped mine with BackToNature Almond Vanilla Granola, unsweetened shredded coconut, and chopped strawberries.


Trots, Birthdays, and Ribs: A look at our weekend

Monday has come...and after such a fun weekend, it was not welcome. :) All I wanted to do was stay in bed and tell Sophia that school was cancelled. 

Here's a glimpse into what our weekend was like:
Friday night was the calm before the storm. We stayed home and rented a movie (that I didn't get to really watch). Million Dollar Arm...have you seen it?

Saturday morning we were up early to go to a Tot Trot for the High Risk Hope foundation. From their website: High Risk Hope is a for purpose organization that provides support, encouragement, information and resources to women and families who are experiencing a high risk pregnancy resulting in hospital bed rest, potential premature birth and neonatal intensive care after delivery. 
They had a Baby/Toddler area, put on by Fit4Mom and The Mommy Spot , that we spent most the time in playing with bubbles, hula hoops, and bean bag games. For the trot, the girls started out in the stroller, then Sophia did a run to the finish line to get her medal, then a mad dash to the PDQ line to get her celebratory chicken fingers and apples. (If you haven't tried their apple slices with Toffee dip...just and get some.And if you don't have a PDQ anywhere near you...I'm sorry) 

We, of course, were sporting our WeTheYoung apparel! 

After the event, we hurried home to take showers and naps and get ready for a little boy's birthday party! We had so much fun and this donut game was hilarious!! Some of the guys played after the kids and it was pure entertainment. 

After that party, we again hurried home to feed the pups and then headed to my sister-in-laws house to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday! 
We finally got home around 11 p.m. and everyone was completely exhausted!

Sunday morning was supposed to be a time of rest before we headed out to RibFest to celebrate my best friend's birthday. But that rest quickly disappeared when Nelpe decided to throw all our breakfast off the table, spilling my beloved coffee. Another coffee was made and it was time to get ready for Ribfest!

If you've never been to Ribfest, it's a pretty good time! They have everything you would expect to be at a "Rib Fest". Country music, beer, kid's activities, all kinds of vendors, BBQ food galore, and of course RIBS! Completley American! ;) I didn't eat any ribs, but had some amazing Mac-n-Cheese with pulled BBQ chicken on top. "Outlaw Mac" was it's name. The kids had a blast running around giving all the adults a work out. It was a perfect day, and my dirt covered feet were evidence. 

I hope you all had fabulous weekends,whether it was spent relaxing, or going to event after event!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Funsies (Nov 14th - 16th)

Have you planned your weekend yet?! Our weekend is booked solid (seems like every weekend will be until the new year)! 

Here's whats going on around Tampa Bay this weekend.

Dumb and Dumber To! After years and years of waiting, the sequel to one of the funniest movies ever comes to theaters! Check your local movie times

RibFest!! This event runs all weekend with the best BBQ food you’ll ever taste and entertainment from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Daughtry and Thomas Rhett! Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday – Sunday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.  Info Here 

Mother of All Baby Showers! This event is for all growing families! It includes educational sessions, a dad area, giveaways, swag bags, and spa treatments. Event is Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Glazer Children’s Museum. Tickets are $15 or $25 for two. Info Here

D…M...X…is in town! Performing at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Friday! Info Here

India Festival.  Celebrate the fashion, food, art, and jewelry of India. Think Bollywood! There will be tons of vendors! Info Here

Tampa Bay Auto Show at the Tampa Convention Center. Cars, cars, and more cars! This may be something your husband would LOVE to go to! Info Here 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Balsamic Mushrooms (Steak's BFF)

Oh Happy Thursday! How is your week going so far? Can I get a "hip hip hooray" that it's almost the weekend?!

I've somehow managed to get myself so busy this week that I was up late, after I put the kids to sleep, working! WHAT?! I don't do that...often. I always tell myself and my husband that I'll be working late and then "accidentally" fall sleep. My priorities at 5 p.m. are totally different than my priorities at 9 p.m.

5:00 P.M. Priorities: Cook dinner, tell husband how exhausted I am but have so much to do that I'll stay up working to play catch up.

9:00 P.M. Priorities: Get kids bathed and in bed. Lay head on pillow and all that caring about work goes out the window. Sleep and catching up on Nashville & Scandal are now #1

Funny how that works.

Anyways, dinner last night was perfection! Angelo wanted steaks so I swung by the grocery store and got some good ones! I'm talking organic, grass-fed, big ol' Porterhouse steaks! 

If you're anything like me, mushrooms are a steak's best friend. If you're anything like my husband (and kids), mac-n-cheese is a steak's best friend. So I made both. The mushrooms totally kicked the mac-n-cheese's butt! (In a make believe fight between the two.)

Balsamic Mushrooms
What you’ll need:
2 (8 oz) cartons of baby bell mushrooms, cleaned & quartered
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water

What you do:
Clean & cut mushrooms into quarters. Set out to dry completely before going further with recipe.
In a small dish, stir together vinegar, water, and brown sugar until dissolved.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp EVOO over medium high heat.
When melted, add mushrooms & salt and stir until all mushrooms are completely coated.
Let the mushrooms cook, stirring infrequently, until mushrooms are shrunken and a deep brown color. (7-9 minutes)
Turn the heat to low and add garlic and remaining 1 tbsp of butter. Stir until butter is melted.
Add balsamic vinegar mixture to skillet and stir. Let sit for about 1 minute, then transferred mushrooms and sauce to plate or serving bowl.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Honey Mustard Chicken

If you're a fellow Pinner on Pinterest, you've probably seen a chicken recipe that says "BEST CHICKEN RECIPE ON PINTEREST!"

I'm highly skeptical of such allegations, because I have ended up with a lot of "Pinterest Fails" on my hands. I don't post about them because I only post recipes that actually work for me and are good!

While I don't think this chicken is the "best chicken recipe ever", it was good and everyone in my family ate it! 

I paired it with roasted sweet potatoes and a simple Avocado Tomato salad.
(2 Avocados, 2 tomatoes, lemon juice, salt & pepper).

Honey Mustard Chicken

What you’ll need:
2 chicken breasts (cut lengthwise to create 4 thin filets)
Salt & pepper
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar

What you do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Lay 4 chicken filets into baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar.
Pour mustard mixture over chicken breast, making sure each is covered.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Cozy Pajama Hunt

I'm a fan of cold weather...and when I say cold weather, I'm talking like no colder than 40 degrees. Florida winters are my thing.

Lately, the weather has been perfect and creates this magnetic field between me and my couch. All I want to go is curl up with good movie on (that I can hardly hear) or a book open (for me to read the same page 9 times), while my kids are going crazy running around the house and asking for ridiculous stuff at such an hour.  Sounds comfy and cozy right?! Well it all really is and you know what my secret is? Comfy Pajamas!

There's something magical about a good pajama set, especially if they're Christmas themed. They kind of go hand-in-hand here in Florida because we don't have nice Pajama sets on the shelves until it gets into the holidays. But, you also want a season-less pair of pajamas that are your go-to when you're doing some comfy lounging around the house in the evening any time of the year.

Pajama sets are also good to wear when you have guests staying at your house. What you usually wear to bed might not be entirely appropriate when guests are at the house. So, without looking super sexy around your in-laws and without having your husband shake his head at the site of you in grammy jammies, a good pajama set is in need.

If you've ever been on the hunt for a pajama set, you know they can get pretty pricey.  The one time I did go on an extensive comfy PJ hunt, was when I was pregnant with Nelpe and wanted a good pair for the hospital. Then I got stuck in the hospital NICU for 3 days when she was 10 days old with RSV and those 3 days were lived in those pajamas. I may not have made it through that without those pajamas... So trust me, splurge on those good pajamas at least once. You will not regret it.

Best Pajamas for a good night's sleep
(and to make you feel like you're not in the hospital's NICU, not a grandma, and not trying to put on a show for in-laws)

Kensie Sleepwear

Gilligan & O'Malley 

J.Crew Vintage Pajama Set


VS Mayfair Tee-Jama


Monday, November 10, 2014

Penelope Turns ONE

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Ours was full of family, friends, and love. The perfect weekend. I mean really, nothing makes me happier than a house full of friends and family. That's the good stuff in life...

On Saturday we celebrated our baby turning the big ONE!
"I woke up like this"

We did a Fall Fair theme...
with a lot of pumpkins and pictures of Nelps throughout the house
Activities included sitting around eating popcorn,
playing with bubbles,
"Pony" rides,
and Potato sack races (This DID NOT disappoint. I haven't laughed that hard in a while)
We ate lots of food... (I'm really mad I didn't get a picture of my Chili bar!)
 and ate cake pops! Cake Pops by Lu
We sang Happy Birthday to this little love
And let her dive head first into her "smash" cake.

It was a beautiful day to celebrate our beautiful baby girl.
I still can't believe it's been a year since we gained another precious girl in our family. It's been an exciting year of challenges and many blessings!  The amount of love and joy Nelpe has brought into our life is immeasurable. My hands may be full, but my heart is fuller! Cheers to another year of precious memories.