Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Freezer Cooking Update and a Recipe

Happy Tuesday ladies! I hope you are all having a great week. I know I'm late to the party, but I have to say that I LOVE freezer cooking! Meal planning in general is something that I've been working on and it is keeping me so much saner.  I used to love to just pick what we would be eating for dinner in the morning based on what I was in the mood for.  But between unpredictable nap schedules and sick and/or cranky babies, that was sometimes leaving us without a dinner!

Enter meal planning and now freezer cooking!  I don't know that I'm ready to convert to a once a month (or even once a week) cook, but I am totally on board with the idea.  Last week, a friend and I got together and made a quick freezer meal (it actually made two dinners of the same recipe) while our kids played.  It literally took 15 minutes.  I then popped it in the crockpot one day this weekend and we had an easy and mess free dinner (recipe below)!

Also, I typically cut recipes down as I've found that they make too much for us, but a couple of times in the last week, rather than doing that, I've just made the full recipe and split it into two pans.  Same amount of work, twice the dinners!  Like I said, I know so many others are already doing this, but I don't know why I was really hesitant before.

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
Recipe adapted and photo from Over the Big Moon
*Makes 2 meals that serve 4 easily with leftovers

6-8 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 
4 Tbs Olive Oil
2+ Limes, juiced (I like a little more lime then the recipe calls for)
2 Cups Cilantro
1 large bag of Frozen Corn (or two smaller bags)
4 minced Garlic Cloves
1 finely Chopped Red Onion
2 cans of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp Cumin or Chipotle powder
Salt an Pepper to taste (I salted when I put it in the bag, and salted again in the crockpot after shredding)
Take ingredients and split everything into two containers.
Mix bag by shaking, seal, label and put in the freezer.

Cooking instructions: Cook in Crockpot on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts and shred (I used the kitchenaid). Return to crockpot and salt to taste. Heat for a few more minutes on warm.  Serve with hot tortillas and dress with sour cream, guacamole, and/or cheese.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motherhood Monday: Natalie is Seven Months Old!

Natalie... you are seven months old (a few days ago, but Mommy is a bad blogger)!!!

You weigh 15 lbs and 4 oz, not sure about length!
You are officially in 9 month clothes and wear a size 3 diaper.
You breastfeed about 7 times per day and have solids once or twice a day. Your favorite foods are broccoli, chicken, and rice cereal.
You sleep about 12 hours a night and take 2 naps. You have been sleeping straight through or waking just once for a little while now so here's hoping that continues!
You are a happy little girl as long as you are being held. Although, you can sit well and even army crawl, you mostly just want to hang out on Mommy's hip!
You've added "mamama," "dadada," and "gagaga" to your vocabulary :)
As I said before you sit really well now and you're on the verge of crawling. You seldom practice though because you STILL hate being on the floor.
You are starting to be such a little grabber. I have to be very careful because if I'm not paying attention you will seriously snatch anything right out of my hand. You are beyond OBSESSED with my keys.
You and I have gotten to spend a little more one on one time together now that big brother is in school and it has been a lot of fun. We are definitely starting to see your little personality come out. You are a high maintenance princess for sure, but you are also quick to kiss and have the sweetest giggles.
Love, love, love you baby girl!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fashion Friday:I'm Back

Well I sure have been neglecting this little blog of mine, but the truth is I just needed a break. Things have been going really well around here, but I've been strangely exhausted! Like, I don't get to sit down for 5 minutes straight each day until bedtime and by then I feel like I might faint.

So, what little spare time I have had has been spent relaxing if I can.  BUT, like I said things are really good.  Two big things:  Natalie has slept through the night every night for a week straight!!!  She turned seven months old on Monday and poor girl still hasn't had her monthly photo shoot.  I'll be getting on that tomorrow morning when Brian is here to help out. 

The second big thing is that Phillip started his new mother's day out and he absolutely LOVES it!  I don't know if I prepped him well or I just happen to have the most outgoing kid on earth but I dropped him off on Tuesday and he seriously did not blink an eye.  Just, see ya mom!  We started reading the book, Llama Llama I Miss My Mama, which is all about starting school and I think it really helped.  He was even reciting parts of the book as we went to his first day.  We also visited the school twice so he could see it and so he was familiar it.  He led me into his classroom on that first day and he was just so ready.  I have to tell y'all I was so nervous the night before and it's really been weighing on my heart whether or not it was the right time for him but I can undoubtedly say now, that it was!

We've also been doing some huge things around the house that I can't wait to share.  First, Phillip's big boy room is pretty much complete.   This weekend,I'll be hanging the last thing on the wall and hopefully snapping some pictures to share next week.  We also just finished building a big outside deck and pergola in our yard (or at least what passes for a yard in our urban neighborhood, haha!).  We could not be more thrilled with how it turned out, and I'd love y'alls input on "decorating" the space.

And now, onto the OOTD's! 

Shirt JCrew Factory Striped Corsage Tee (old, but similar here), Leggings Forever 21 Ankle Length Leggings in Navy, Jack Rogers Navajo Sandals in Platinum (great color btw, goes with silver and gold!), Tiffany&Co Twist Knot Earrings in sterling silver

Gap Luxe Jersey Split V Tee in hot pink (old, but still in new pink here), 7ForAllMankind Roxanne Skinny Jeans, J Crew Puffer vest in purple (old, but similar here in pink), Cole Haan Bria Mary Jane Flats in Quilted Gold (old, but similar here), also rocking my new Kate Spade All Wrapped Up Bow Studs, see below for close up!

Cute, right?!?!

J Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt, Forever 21 Ankle Length Leggings, in Navy, Sperry Topsiders in Rose Gold (can't seem to find them anymore but similar here)

J Crew Factory Charley Sweater in Wild Cat (old), J Crew Ankle Toothpick Cord in Hot Pink (old), Tory Burch Reva Flats in Brown, J Crew Marakesh Enamel bangle... don't mind my frizzy hair!

J Crew Factory Scoopneck Vintage Tee in Peppermint (on sale now here for $10!)), J Crew Matchstick jeans in Kelly (on sale here for $29.99!), Steve Madden Leopard Flats (old), J Crew Factory Brass Plated Crystal Necklace (on sale now for $49.50 here).

I seriously can't believe how many cute things there are at J Crew Factory right now and all new arrivals are 30% off right now!  I'm pretty cheap though, so I'm waiting for the things I love to go on sale, but in case you can't wait, here are a few of my fave pieces:

Happy Weekend and Happy National Margarita Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy Peasy Toddler Valentines

I apologize because this may be a bit too last minute for some of you out there, but I wanted to share some Valentines that Phillip and I made together. The good news is that I was able to put them together entirely with things that I already had in the craft bin so we spent no money! I packaged them up with some of our Valentine's Day Popcorn Mix and he is going to give them to a couple of friends tomorrow.

Valentine... you make my heart clap!

Valentine... I love you THIS MUCH!

We did the front using a toilet paper roll stamp.

Wednesday Whereabouts and a Recipe!

Here's just a little of what we've been up to lately:

Snuggling in bed...

Lots and lots of home decorating...

Making the move to the crib... finally!

Enjoying my new Kate Spade Bow Earrings!!!

Rocking puppies to sleep... heart. melts.

Oh and btw, this boy will be starting SCHOOL next week.  Yikes.  We had been planning on him starting in the fall, but a place opened up at a school that I love and he's going to start on Tuesday.  I've been running around like a crazy person getting forms from his doctor, getting him a little lunch box, procuring a nap mat, and having it all monogrammed of course!

Amidst all the craziness, I did manage to whip up a fun little Valentine's Day snack though.  Tomorrow we will be having some friends over for a playdate and I wanted something fun, festive, and most important - easy for us to snack on.  This sweet popcorn treat is a combo of several ideas I've seen floating around, but can most recently be credited to Amanda at Dixie Delights, who always has the best ideas.

This isn't truly cake  batter flavored, but I like the richer vanilla flavor that adding cake mix gives to treats like this and rice krispie treats.  Hope y'all enjoy it as much as we have!

Valentine's Day Candy Popcorn
*Makes 8 Servings

1 bag popped popcorn
About 6 ounces melted almond bark
2 Tablespoons yellow cake mix (I used betty crocker gluten free)
1 tablespoon vegetable (or canola) oil
Red food coloring
About 1/2 bag of Valentines M&M's

Pour popcorn in a large bowl.  Melt almond bark and add just enough red food coloring to turn it pink.  Stir in the cake mix and about a tablespoon of oil to thin it a bit.  Pour over the popcorn and stir stir stir! I just took off my jewelry and used my hands.  Then pour in the m&ms and toss it together.  Pour out over wax paper to harden a bit and then store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

When he tasted this, Phillip kept saying "wow, wow, wow Mommy!  This is a good dinner!" :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fashion Friday: Jewelry Steal and OOTD's

TGIFF! That's thank goodness it's Fashion Friday, ha!I really wanted to participate in the Show Us Your Life link up over at Kelly's Korner, but the topic is DIY and alas I have nothing to share! It's not that I have literally never done a DIY project, I just don't really have anything worthy of showing up. Still, you should head over because there are some really cute ideas!

 Now onto the topic of the day!  I have been seeing these gorgeous pave link bracelets all over the place and really wanting one, but I don't love to spend that much money on costume jewelry so I just couldn't justify any of them.  Here's what I'm talking about:

J. Crew - $125

Bauble Bar - $78
I almost bit the bullet on the Bauble Bar one a couple of times, considering their $10 off your first purchase promotion, but I just couldn't justify it.  Then imagine my surprise when I got an email announcing 25% off all jewelry at J. Crew Factory today... and so I hopped on to see that they had just added this new beauty!

J. Crew Factory - regularly $36.50, but on sale for $27

Now it doesn't have quite the same heft as the other two versions, but at $27 on sale, I'll take it!

They also have some really great prices on cute earrings.  I love these and these:

Regularly $16.50, on sale for $12.00

Regularly $29.50, on sale for $22

OOTD's!!  I forgot to snap yesterday's outfit (the sweater and shorts combo, haha!) but here ya go!  The last one is in my new full length mirror that is a tad less ghetto than the one I had leaning against my window, but (call me crazy here I know you will!) I'm convinced that it makes me look ever so slightly bigger than I am, so I'm not in love with it.

Target Mossimo Boyfriend Tee in Grey (best t-shirts ever!!!), J Crew Factory Toothpick Jean in Flame (old, but similar here), Nordstrom Navajo Style sweater (old, but similar here), coral bubble necklace from Ebay!, Tory Burch Reva Flats in Brown

Ralph Lauren Aqua Striped Oxford (old, but similar here), J Crew Toothpick Cord in Neon Fuschia, Steve Madden leopard print flats (old, but similar here).

Forever 21 Essential Striped Slub Knit Top, 7formankind Roxanne Skinny Jeans, Tory Burch Reva Flats in Island Turquoise, Kendra Scott Carly Stud Earrings in Turquoise.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

This has just been such a crazy week y'all, mostly due to the fact that I spent the last two days with a non-stop headache. I'm so thankful that I'm feeling normal again today! Also, Phillip officially made the move into his new room. I still have some finishing touches like art work and styling the book shelves, but the main parts are in place and he loves it!!

Natalie has been doing so much better lately!  The last week she has been eating well and sleeping well and just been such a joyful little girl.  I think her new medicine must really be helping.  She is also sitting in the highchair at dinner now and having so much fun.  I'm not sure how much food actually makes it into her tummy but she's loving it!  So far, broccoli has been her fave :)

I'll be back tomorrow with Fashion Friday and some OOTD's, but I have to be honest, I've been in a weird style rut lately.  The weather says spring but it's February and I really still want to be wearing my winter stuff! Case in point, I really wanted to wear a sweater today that I've only gotten to wear once this winter, so I paired it with neon shorts, ha!  I guess I may just have to take this as a sign it's time to start shopping for spring :)

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