Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Food Lately

I'm sure you've all been dying to know what we've been eating around here lately.  Actually, I'm pretty certain you haven't, but I thought I would share anyway.  I've been trying out some new recipes and they've been pretty great.  

 This pasta recipe was given to me by a friend.  It was so good.  It's packed full of oven roasted tomatoes, garlic and asparagus.  Rosie ate two bowls! 

 This is Peach Cobbler with Almond Crunch.  It really hit the spot topped with vanilla ice cream.  I got the recipe here

For lunch today, we had spaghetti and homemade marinara sauce, sauteed spinach, kale chips and parmesan toast.  If you are looking for an easy, yet really great marinara sauce recipe, this is the one.  I popped it in the crock pot before I left for church and it was ready by the time we got home.  I added crushed red pepper, so it's a bit spicy, almost like an arribiata sauce.  You could always leave that out, if you aren't into spicy.  I found the recipe here

Tonight I made us a little snack that was so easy!  All you need is milk (I used almond milk), string cheese and bread crumbs.  I cut the string cheese into inch sized pieces.  I dunked them in the milk and then in bread crumbs.  I then baked them at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.  They were perfect paired with the homemade marinara.   

My Sweet Girls


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cracker Barrel, Anyone?

"Mom, let's go to Cracker Barrel!"  That's what I heard this morning while Rosie was eating her breakfast.  She's only been there once and it was a long time ago, so apparently it made quite an impact.  It was actually a very tempting proposal and it took everything in me not to skip Pilates and pack the girls up for some biscuits and shopping for nostalgic memorabilia.  Somehow, I was able to resist, although I'm pretty sure I'm going to dream about hash brown casserole tonight.  

While we are on the subject of Cracker Barrel, I would really like to know why more restaurants don't also have stores apart of them?!!!  It's a brilliant idea. Can you imagine all of the possibilities?!  My mind is going wild right now.      

In other news, Monroe is definitely my little mimic.  I heard her pretending to talk on the phone this afternoon and out of her mouth came, "Hey girl...sorry to bother you."  That's pretty much my opening line for most phone calls.  It's so funny to hear my little "mini" saying it, too!

It's been a good week so far.  Tuesday, I spent the day cleaning and organizing closets.  They had gotten OUT OF CONTROL, especially mine.  Mark had actually threatened (in a nice way) moving out of our closet last weekend because he was getting overwhelmed by my clutter, so I figured it was time.  Anyway, he's staying put and seems to be a much happier camper now.  That night we went on a little double date with the Nudd's.  It was so nice to get out of the house without our kiddos.  It had been so long since we had been able to do that.  What a treat!

On Wednesday, the Mother's Group at out Church had play group at the pool.  It was actually at the Nudd's neighborhood pool, the pool we are at about every other day!  We always have so much fun there, but it was extra fun with an even bigger group of friends.  Today, besides going to the gym, we've stuck pretty close to home.  It's so hot out!  I know it's nothing compared to some places, but it's the hottest it's been here!  It makes it hard to have energy to do anything.  Hopefully, the weekend will bring with it cooler weather.  TGI(almost)F!


Monday, June 25, 2012

No Way, Rosay!

Sorry I've been missing in action lately.  You'd think that since I haven't updated in awhile that I would have a ton of great stories to share...well, you'd be wrong.   Nothing too exciting has been happening over here.  There were a lot of visits to the pool.  We went to the mall, which I don't do too often, so that was pretty fun.  Other than that, same old, same old.

We did have a relaxing weekend.  Well, relaxing apart from Church.  I had to lead the praise songs and it was terrifying.   I didn't realize it was going to be just me and this other fellow, but that's how it turned out.  If you know me, you know that no matter how many times I've been up front, it never gets easy for me.  I'm glad it's over and I don't have to do it again for awhile.  Hopefully, a long while.

Monroe has really been trying to flex her decision making muscles lately.  She wants to be independent and gets so frustrated when I have to reign her in.  I'm pretty much over the tantrums, to put it mildly.  I may have mentioned before, but I may or may not have been the queen of tantrums as a child, so I guess I deserve it, a couple times over.  I'm trying to find ways to let her feel empowered by letting her make some minor decisions, but it's definitely a work in progress.  Any sage parenting advice is welcome!

I really can't complain because although she can be a holy terror some moments, for the most part, she is super-duper adorably sweet.  Last week, she came into my room with two granola bars and said, "Here mommy, I got one for you, too."   My favorite thing she says right now is, "No way, Rosay".  I say, "No way, Jose'" to her a lot and I guess she thinks I'm just saying her name a weird way.  It cracks me up.

Kiki is still a bundle of energy.  She's very into books right now and loves to say her version, "boop".  She kept wanting to take this one book with her into her bed when she would go down for naps and I always obliged.  I was excited that she was loving books so much.  Well, that is until I went to get the book out of the bed the other day and it fell open to reveal that she had eaten all of the insides out of it.  She loves to eat anything, and apparently she's developed a taste for book.  I also found her in the pantry this weekend chowing down on an onion!  Yes, an onion...just eating it like an apple.

Today was my hard workout day.  I had pilates this morning and Zumba and yoga tonight.  I'm pretty beat right now.  Beat, and ravenously hungry.  We went to the pool earlier today and the sun and not much food is not a good combo.  I think I'm going to go make myself a ginormous little snack.  Good night!  


Sunday, June 17, 2012


I've had two friends in the last week lose their dad to heart attacks and my heart absolutely breaks for them.  The thought of losing my dad (or my mom) is the most overwhelming thought to me.  I feel so blessed to have the most amazing parents ever.  My dad is the greatest.  I'm so proud to be his daughter!  

Happy Father's Day to my daddy.  I love you and can't put into words what you mean to me! 

Love always,


A Visit from the Motorcycle Gang

We had a motorcycle gang stay at our home this weekend.  Yes, we entertain all kinds here.  Actually, Mike, Jimmy, Jake and his brother, John, were on a bike trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains and made a stop here.  We were so excited to see them. 

I told Rosie that they would be coming Friday and she talked about them all day long.  It was pretty cute.  They came in a few hours later than planned, but we let her stay up to see them because she was sooo excited for her "friends" to come.  She was glued to Uncle Mike as soon as he came in the door.

We made something that was pretty great on Friday evening and I thought I would share.  You've probably had Mexican Corn before, but we hadn't and really fell in love.  I forgot to take pictures but it was really great.  I think there are some different variations on the recipe, but the one we used went a little something like this...

1) Grill corn.
2) While the corn is grilling mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup cilantro.
3) When corn is finished, smother corn in mixture.
4) Squeeze limes over the corn.
5) Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
6) Sprinkle with chili powder.
7) Eat so many that you get sick.

I also whipped up my new favorite sweet drink...Watermelon Limeades!   To make these, just place about 2-3 cups of watermelon in your blender or vitamix.  Blend until liquefied.  Add 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, about 4 cups of Sprite and 1/4 cup of sugar.   Blend until mixed.  Pour over ice and garnish with lime.  So refreshing!

If it's wrong for a girl to love her backyard, than I don't wanna be right.  Here is a little bouquet I put together from some of the flowers growing back there.  I just love them. 

My blueberry bushes are going nuts!  I have more blueberries than I know what to do with!  I know that's a pretty great problem to have.  They taste AMAZING!

I know this is out of nowhere, but I had mentioned a while back that I had done a few new things in the living room/kitchen area.  It's not much, but I thought I would share.

I added this little table and lamp between the laundry room and the pantry.  
I like it much better than the ugly old trash can! 

I enlarged a few pics of the girls and put them over the sofa with a photo shelf.    

Anyway, back to our weekend.  It was a good one.  We had a great time with the guys.  The male bonding that was going on was over the top.  It was pretty fun to watch.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Mark is going to try and convince me to let him get a motorcycle pretty soon so he can join in on next year's trip.  It will be hard to say no to, I have to admit.  The theme for the weekend was eating.  This group of men devoured more McFarlan's donuts than I knew was humanly possible.  I tried a few new recipes out, which is never a good idea with company.   What was I thinking?!  I made homemade marinara and alfredo sauces and bruschetta.  Luckily, they turned out pretty good.  I also made my old favorite, Pizookie, and it went over great!  

The only person that didn't really enjoy the weekend was poor Kiki.  She's still a little under the weather and was more on the cranky side.  She woke up so many times last night, it was unheard of.  Today was a bit better, so hopefully we are on our way out of that.  I hope so, cause Mama needs her sleep! 

Look at all of that bonding happening.
 The Gang (You gotta love Mark's bed head here)
 Heading out
Until Next Time 

I took a few pictures of the girls before church.  Well, I tried, but the only one that was cooperating was Rosie.  They, of course, were wearing matching dresses (yes, I'm that mom) so I was sad that Kiki wasn't interested.  Hopefully, I can get some cute ones the next time they wear them.  Mark took a few pictures of me, too.  Just so you know I actually exist, I thought I would show you one:)

My little model

The one and only shot of them together.
Just me.

Today has been a lovely Father's Day.  True to form, I couldn't contain my excitement and gave Mark his gift on Thursday.  We got him an ipad and he seems to really love it.  Today, we ate at Mark's favorite Indian restaurant and just spent some quality family time together.  I wanted to get some pictures of Mark with the girls, but when we got home everyone was exhausted and they didn't turn out.  It was worth the effort though, because I was able to capture Kiki's amazing hair day. 

After naps, the girls enjoyed some time coloring.  They play so well together.  I just love it!

He's wearing the shirt that he wore the day both girls were born.  
If you look carefully, you can see both girl's foot prints from right after they were born.  
Such an amazing daddy that guy! 

After a nice walk and baths, we put the girls to bed and are now watching Game Three in the NBA Finals.  I really "Thundered Up" tonight, so I'm counting on a big win!  

Fruit Fly Don't Bother Me!

Over the weekend we had a huge fruit fly invasion.  Those things drive me nuts and I finally got so frustrated that I scoured the internet looking for ways to rid our home of those nasty little creatures.  

There were quite a few interesting ideas and I couldn't decide on one.  There's a little part of me that has always loved a good Science Fair project.  In fact, I will often tell Mark things I've thought of that would make good projects.  I can't wait for the girls to get school age, so I can be like all good parents and do their projects for them.  Anyway, that part of me emerged and I decided to give three of those ideas a try and see which one worked the best.  In case you are suffering from the same problem, I thought I would tell you about them and their results.

1)  Fill a bowl with water, dishwasher soap and a few teaspoons of apples cider vinegar.  The flies are attracted to the vinegar, but get stuck in the soap suds.

2) Fill a glass/jar/cup with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and balsamic and place a small piece of fruit inside (I chose a banana).  Cover the top with plastic wrap and make a few tiny holes with a fork.  They have a hard time finding their way out and end up giving up. 

3) Fill a jar with apple cider vinegar and warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Create a cone/funnel with a small opening at the bottom out of paper and tape to jar to create a seal.  They get in, but aren't smart enough to get out.    

The results:  They all were successful!  The cone was probably the most successful, though.  Good luck!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy 400!

So, I just realized that this is my 400th post!  That's a lot of ramblings over the last few years.  Thanks for sticking with me dear reader.

I know I already posted today, but I wanted to ask you to pray for Kiki.  I took her temperature tonight and she has a fever of 102.5.  Poor little thing.  We gave her a lukewarm bath and are going back and forth with tylenol and advil.  She's still in great spirits and is eating well, so hopefully this will pass quickly.

I also feel compelled to tell you about the two weird things I saw tonight when we went for a little family drive.

1) An Albino Squirrel.  It was white and it looked like a squirrel.  I'm assuming it was an albino squirrel.  I feel like it was quite an honor to get the chance to see that. Most people probably go their whole lives without that privilege.

2) A man by the side of the road pulled his pants down and mooned us.  Lucky for me, I was the only one who saw.  A grown man's bare white bottom...not as big of an honor.

Well, I better run.  Mark is making me a smoothie to enjoy while we watch the NBA Finals.  Oh, and I really need to "thunder up" before it starts.  Good night!

Everyday I'm Shuffling

Yesterday we spent our morning at the pool.  It was so fun, but I have to admit, it's pretty tiring getting the girls all ready, lunch packed and everything else packed up to get there.  It's worth it, though! The girls had a blast and slowly but surely, Rosie is getting more and more comfortable in the water.  The girls sleep so well after a day at the pool.  They both napped for three hours in the afternoon!

When our hubbies got home from work, Maria, Jackie and I went to get manicures and pedicures and then we were off to book club.  I didn't read the book...oops.  I tried, ladies, I tried.  I love books that hook me from the start and this one didn't come close to doing that.  Our friend, Renae, hosted this month and she served some delightful food.  She made bruschetta, caprese salad, veggie wraps, fruit pizza and a lemonade cake.  The bruschetta was so good and I really want to make some.  I'm definitely going to need to get her recipe. (Update: She just texted me the recipe so this will be on our menu this weekend).  We set out on her back porch that she has made into the most amazing outdoor space.  It was beautiful and and the evening was full of laughs.

I went a little crazy with my toenail color.  Monroe thinks it's the coolest thing ever.  She keeps telling me how beautiful she thinks they are.

Our book for next month is a book I've read before, but one I really need to read again.  It's The Proper Care and Feeding Of Husbands by Dr. Laura.  It's kind of a controversial one.  You either love it or hate it, but it was a life changing book for me, so I'm excited to read it again.   I wish I had read it before I got married.

Today, I went to pilates and our normal teacher was out sick.  The loveliest lady filled in for her.  She didn't seem like she was going to be as hard, but boy I am feeling it now!  The teacher started the class with the most sincere prayer and talked about God subtly throughout the class.  It was actually really refreshing.  It reminded me that you don't have to do much to share God's love and brighten someone's day.  I really need to strive more to do that for others.

So, if you've been following my weight loss journey, I thought I would update you.  I'm still in the thick of it.  I'm excited to say that I've lost 14 pounds so far.  I really thought my body would look dramatically different after losing that much, and I do notice that it's changed, but I've still got a ways to go and that's a little frustrating.  I am starting to feel like exercising is becoming part of my lifestyle, which is a welcome change.  I feel a lot better about myself when I make time for it.  I know I could be a lot more thoughtful about what I eat, but I hate counting calories.  I try to eat smart most of the time, but sometimes, I just go nuts.  I have to be able to do that sometimes to keep my sanity.  So anyway, I'm sticking with it--not giving up.  If you are still in the midst of your journey, keep your head up.

I think Kiki is either sick or going through a growth spurt.  She slept from when I got home from Pilates at 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  When she woke up she was super clingy and I could hardly put her down.  She wasn't interested in solid food and nursed for at least 45 minutes.  She went back down a little after four.  Poor thing!  I hope she starts feeling better soon.  Here are a few pictures I took of her this morning.

Look at that hair!!!

About 5 months ago, my ipod shuffle disappeared.   I don't know if it was stolen or what, but it was nowhere to be found.  I was so disappointed because I used it when working out.  I really need music to keep me motivated while running.  So anyway, I decided to use my credit card rewards points to get a new one and it came today.  I'm really excited to start using it again.  The only reason I'm telling you this is because I want documentation for when my old one shows up.  I give it about a week for the other one to reappear.  What's your bet?  

 Exercise will now be fun again!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What a Gem!

So just a typical day...breakfast, showers, cleaning, gem mining, lunch, naps.  Say what?  Yes, I said gem mining.  The mother's group at our church set up a little outing at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine in Hendersonville and since all of our kiddos are big into finding "treasures" we decided to give it a go.  It ended up being pretty cool.  

Sifting buckets of sand for "treasures"!
These are Rosie's gems.  At the end she started stuffing her bag full of gravel, so I'm 
not completely sure she understood the significance of the gems, but what can you do? 

After the fun of mining, we decided to go to Papas and Beer for lunch.  It was great as always, but Rosie was not so great.  She has started throwing little tantrums for no reason that leave me feeling so overwhelmed.  I have the hardest time knowing how to respond in public situations.  The afternoon didn't shape up too well either, so by the end of today I was pretty exhausted.  Some days are like that, I guess.  Let's just say I'm REALLY enjoying the peace and quiet of the girls sleeping.  Sorry to complain!  I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with my girls!  

I'll move on.  So, Mark and I are weird (you may have figured that one out already).  We find something we like to eat and end up making it for almost every meal for awhile.  I created a sandwich the other day and we haven't stopped having it since.  It is so yummy and so easy, so I thought I would share it with you.  I like to call it my Italian Basil Burger.  

Italian Basil Burger
What you need:

MorningStar Farms Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger

Ciabatta Rolls
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Spinach
Fresh basil 

1)  Cook burger in either your microwave or in your toaster oven.  
2)  Toast the ciabatta roll.  I don't think you can beat a Ciabatta Roll.  They are so yummy!  When it's almost done toasting add a little shredded Mozzarella Cheese to one side of the roll.  
3) When done toasting, add butter to the other side of the roll (we aren't mayo people, but maybe you could add that instead).
4) Add remaining ingredients and enjoy.  
5)  Next time I think I might add pesto or marinara sauce.  That could really kick it up a notch! 

Hope you try it and enjoy it!    

Monday, June 11, 2012

Party Time

Another weekend, come and gone.  They sure fly by and they are always pretty great.  Saturday was really nice.  We went to church and for the first time in a long time, we made it all the way through with out one of the girls breaking down.  I'm really glad we were able to stick it out, because the sermon was so good.  What a blessing!  

After church, we came home, had lunch and then headed to nap.  Ahhh, I love a good nap.  We went on a walk in the afternoon and then one of Mark's friends, Logan and his girlfriend, Meredith, came over to watch the Heat/Celtics game.  

We made something that I fell in LOVE with...Watermelon Limeades!  They were incredible.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, but we ended up changing it completely.  The next time we make it I'll be sure to snap a picture.  If you like watermelon (and even if you don't), I recommend it.  I'll work on getting a recipe on here soon.

On Sunday we watched the French Open while eating French toast, I ran some errands, did a little craft, "tried" trimming Rosie's hair, went to Zumba and then in the evening, we went over to the Nudd's to celebrate Bryn's second birthday!  

Rosie after her haircut.  Haircutting is definitely not one of my talents.  

Bryn is such a sweet little lady and her birthday party was so fun.  I had a blast taking pictures of the party.  All of the kiddos are so special and are so full of life.  Here are a few shots...  

The Birthday Girl
Allie Girl! 
One of two amazing cakes!
The little Cake Thief 
Mitchell Man 
Sweet Blythe
It's official...She's TWO! 
Caught in the act...We look away for one second and she has a whole scoop of ice cream in her hand.  This is the second time this has happened.   
Someone had their way with the cake:) 
Mommy Time
Rosie's favorite thing...Lip Gloss
What a beauty! 
Don't let that innocent look fool you:) 

I ended up making one of my favorite things to help decorate for the party...ruffled crepe paper!  It's the easiest thing, but is just so cute!  All you need is a sewing machine, crepe paper and some time.  Remember when I made it for Rosie's party last year?

 Rosie's 2nd birthday party!  Can't believe she's almost three!

The colors for Bryn's party were purple and white.  Very cute!

The finished product!  Isn't it so cute?!  I think it's a must at any little girls' party.