Wednesday, August 31, 2011

- when life gives you lemons -

A little lesson from Ellie...
when life gives you lemons, make a sour face, and then move on!

Monday, August 29, 2011

- quick recipe of the week -

Another week is upon us! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Courtney from The Mommy Matters.

(Image credit Courtney)

Courtney is a military wife and a SAHM turned business owner and entrepreneur. She is a self declared Photoshop addict (I love that!), Starbucks junkie, and lit loving tech geek. She could spend all day browsing Pinterest for beautiful photos and typography. You can find her ranting and raving about marriage, motherhood, and the emotions of being a WAHM at her blog. I absolutely love how real and honest Courtney is in her blog posts! It's definitely on my list of daily reads! You have to go check it out and get to know her. You can also view her latest design work at her professional site Amplified Designs.

Courtney grew up in the south, and she knows and loves BBQ! This recipe is a delicious home cooked BBQ chicken meal made super easy! This recipe literally takes five minutes to prepare! Best of all, you can start it in the morning, leave it cooking all day, and have it ready when you get home from work! Simple, easy, and delicious!

Quick and Easy Crockpot Chicken
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian dressing
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Put your frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot. In a separate bowl, mix the Italian dressing, BBQ sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper. Pour on top of your chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours. When it's done, take a fork and pull your chicken apart. Serve on a bun.

(Image Credit

Thank you Courtney!

Friday, August 26, 2011

- a little toddler update -

Here's a little update on toddler-hood around our house these days...

- We are very lucky...Ellie really is a pretty good toddler. She's learning tons of new things everyday, and she is quite the gabber (until of course, we get around other people, and then she won't say a word, and she makes us look like liars..ha ha).  It's pretty darn cute to hear her talking up a storm with that cute little voice! 

- She sleeps in the strangest positions that make us laugh!

Sleeping, with her legs crossed up on the side of her crib! And of course, the only picture we could get was through the monitor since we have the lightest sleeper in the world!

- Speaking of sleeping, she's been wonderful sleeping at night. She still sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. most days, and sometimes when we are very lucky, she'll last till 8:30 (that's the best when it happens on a weekend. Mommy and Daddy get to sleep in too). Naps around here are a different story. I know she is not ready to drop her one and only nap yet. She's not even 2! But there have been more and more days that she will refuse to nap. She'll roll around in her crib, talking to herself and her stuffed animals. Sometimes she'll bust out a song or two. Eventually, she'll pop up and start jumping in her crib, and soon after that she'll start calling out for us. We usually leave her in there for awhile in hopes that she will tire herself out. Sigh...take a nap child!

 Who needs naps Momma? It's much more fun to play outside!

- And speaking of naps...Ellie has never been able to nap outside of her crib. Every once in awhile, she will fall asleep in the car, but that is rare. Napping in the stroller is absolutely out of the question. She just won't do it. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we got her into this routine of napping at home. Honestly, after 5 months of constant crying, when she finally started napping well, we didn't want to mess with it, so we would plan our lives around her nap time and always make sure she was in her crib for naps. Now, of course, we've created such a routine monster, that when we try to stray from her normal routine, she just won't nap. The good news is, she doesn't really have terrible meltdowns when she doesn't nap, especially if we are out and about. So, there is this part of me that wants to start planning all day activities on the weekends and stop living around her nap time. Maybe if we start doing that more and more, she will eventually figure out that if she's tired, and in her stroller, she should just close her eyes and sleep! But then there is the part of me that knows she still really needs her nap, and if we are forcing her out of the house and skipping her naps, that really can't be good for her health and well being...

-  The potty training has begun! We've had the potty in the house for a little over a month now. She knows what it is, and is excited to use it. So far, only peeing, and only when we actually take her to the potty. She hasn't started letting us know ahead of time that she has to go. But, I still consider this progress. We aren't in any huge rush, and we are just hoping she will really catch on and start proactively telling us when she has to go. For now, she knows that she gets to wash her hands after she uses the potty (these are the little things she gets excited about), and she also gets a little treat. So that is enough to at least keep her interested in the potty!

No, we don't let her use the potty fully dressed like this so that she pees all over her dress! This was one of the first days we brought it in the house, and she was just realizing that she could sit on it. That was only step one!

- Oh, the joys of toddler-hood. I can't tell you how many times I hear "I do it myself" in one day. She says it to me ANY time I am doing anything that remotely involves her, even if she has no idea what I am doing. Little Miss Independent!

- And onto the subject of I said, Ellie is a pretty good toddler, especially when we are out in public (thank you God!). But, oh boy, she does know how to throw those tantrums and she does get easily frustrated just like every other toddler out there. I'm struggling with how to discipline her right now. I know we need to start disciplining her more. She definitely knows right from wrong, and she knows when she is misbehaving. But I don't really think she is ready for time outs or anything similar to that yet. There is no way we could get her to stay in a chair for any given amount of time, especially if she is upset. I struggle with this, because I know children need boundaries and discipline. I do not want a spoiled bratty kid as she grows up. But there are so many times that bribing her or giving in is just so much easier! I definitely need to get more disciplined about the disciplining around our house! Any suggestions on disciplining at this age?

It's so hard for me to discipline this cute little face!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

- how transparent are you -

I read the most amazing post the other day written by the lovely Arielle Elise. It struck a chord with me and I realized this was a topic I have thought about many times before, even long before I had started my own blog, back when I was just a mere blog stalker. Her post was about being real and honest while blogging, being transparent, and choosing to share the good as well as the bad on your blog. It's harder than it sounds.

You see, here's the thing about blogging...when you create a blog, it's your blog. Your creation. You can do whatever you want with it. That's the beauty of blogging. So if you, as a blogger, choose to only share your happy moments and your triumphs with the world, that is your prerogative. But if you don't choose to share some of your "harder" moments in life on your blog, why not? Are you just trying to "portray" a perfect life to others, or are you truly just utilizing your blog as a way to capture and remember those happy memories and share them with family and friends, and it's not any more complicated than that. And as Arielle mentions in her post, does this set others up for discontentment in their own life? And if so, is this even your problem, or theirs?

I can tell you personally that I have read some wonderful blogs written by the most beautiful and talented women. I have read about their outstanding marriages, watched their ridiculously cute children grow up, and seen some of the most awesome talent showcased on these blogs. And, admittedly, I have walked away from these blogs feeling inspired. But, I have also walked away feeling a little more insecure and inadequate about my own life and my own talents. I could never figure out how these women did it...their lives seemed so perfect. How is their photography so flawless, when I feel like mine is so sloppy all the time? How can they look so cute in all those outfits, when I more often than not reach for sweats, and have fallen into the bad habit of simply tying my hair up almost every day? I don't think for a minute that any of these woman had ever intended on making me, or anyone else feel that way. But it was just so hard for me not to compare myself, and wonder what in the world I was doing wrong.

It wasn't until I started writing my own blog that I realized how all of these other women "did it"... how they always had such a perfect and beautiful life...the answer, they didn't. That's the simple truth. But their blogs showcased their lives so flawlessly that it's easy to understand why one would think they lived a perfect life. And that's okay, if that's the direction they choose for their blog. After all, it is their blog. To be honest, that's kind of the direction my blog has taken so far. But here's the truth...I don't have a perfect life. And I am sorry if I have portrayed that and in any way made any of my readers feel inadequate.

That was truly not my intention.

Believe me, I am in no way perfect. I am really hard on myself. I don't have tons of self confidence. It's hard for me to see my own talents, and feel proud about those talents.

I don't have an absolutely perfect marriage. Who does? I have an amazing husband that I love with all my heart, but we've had, and still have, our ups and downs. We have our trials. We've actually been through a big trial this past year that has caused a large financial and emotional strain on both of us. It's been hard.

I have fallen off the workout bandwagon and I simply can.not.get.back.on. Because I can't do it all. I am not the perfect mother and the perfect housewife that can work full time, squeeze in a workout everyday, and have a gourmet meal on the table. I try, but more often than not, I fall very short.

My intention is not to turn my blog into an absolutely depressing memoir that harps on all of my imperfections. But I am also not going to purposefully portray my life as perfect. I do want to capture and remember the happy moments of my life. That's one main reason why I blog. But life has it's ups and downs, and how will I ever truly cherish the ups, without chronicling some of the downs as well?

I challenge you to do the same...make an effort to create a little more transparency when you blog. Share some of your disappointments with us. The blogging world is an awesome community, and you might be surprised how therapeutic it can actually be to read the encouraging words that your readers will post for you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

- quick recipe of the week -

Summer is slowly packing her bags...she hasn't quite left yet, but she's starting to prepare...why does summer always fly by so quickly?

Today I am so excited to feature this sweet blogging mommy! Amy from Amy Day to Day is a favorite blogger of mine!

Amy is a wife of five years and a mom to a beautiful 20-month-old girl. With those two roles, life can be a little busy, but she's a firm believer that we all need some thing, some time, or some space that is just for us. That's how her blog was born and she's having so much fun with it! Amy writes about her personal style, being a mom, and her every day life.

(Image credit Amy)
One thing that Amy loves to do is cook and this summer, she's found some amazing recipes via Pinterest. One of these is for Coconut Pancakes. She guarantees that your whole family will love them!

Coconut Pancakes
1 1/4 c. flour
2 tb sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. shredded, sweetened coconut
1 beaten egg
1/2 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 tb butter

Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately and then stir wet ingredients into dry. Stir until well-combined. Add the 1 tb melted butter to batter last. Heat pan or griddle to medium heat. Use a 1/3 c. measuring cup to spoon batter onto griddle. Flip when the top of the pancake is bubbling.

If you're going to make these pancakes, you MUST make this syrup to go along with them!

Buttermilk Syrup
1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter on low heat. Add sugar and stir well. Pour in buttermilk and sprinkle the soda evenly so it won't clump. Stir until hot, but don't boil. Take off the burner and add vanilla.

(Image credit Amy)

(Image credit Amy)

Thanks for sharing your yummy breakfast recipe Amy!

Make sure you go check out her blog! You'll love it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

- you asked...I answered -

I have been compiling a list of questions that my readers have been asking me over the last couple of months, and I've finally got around to posting them along with my answers. If you've ever wanted to get to know me even better, head on over to this page (or just click on my "you asked..." tab).

Happy Friday!
Have a sublime weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

- my little musican -

Maybe the next Jewel in the making? I hope so...because then she can support her mommy and daddy when she becomes a famous musician! ha ha ha!

There is nothing sweeter than watching her and Daddy play their guitars together. Well, Daddy plays his guitar, and Ellie fumbles a little bit with hers...but she's got plenty of time to learn!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

- sometimes -

Sometimes you should just be spontaneous rather than predictable and responsible.  Sometimes you should just be adventurous rather than safe. Sometimes you should try that exotic new cuisine rather than eating the same old boring meat and potatoes. Sometimes it's okay to have a little bit of unique character rather than being so cookie cutter. 

Or maybe not just sometimes...maybe it's okay more often than just sometimes!

 When is the last time you have broken out of your routine and tried something new and different? When is the last time you chose not to take the safe and easy route?

(Image credit

(Image credit

Monday, August 15, 2011

- quick recipe of the week -

Marked some things off of our summer bucket list. Yup, we had a "make your own pizza" night, finally finished a couple of crafty projects for Ellie's room (posts to come), and made our own popscicles (hubby's favorite activity of the entire weekend!) Pretty productive weekend!

Today I am featuring Michelle from Life with Dylan. Michelle is a 41 yr old single mother to Dylan who is 8 yrs old. She recently retired from the wedding industry as a freelance wedding makeup artist and she is the owner of Shel Cosmetics which is a cosmetic line that she branded in 2008. Aside from being a full-time mom and business owner, Michelle just graduated in May with her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She enjoys baking, cooking, the beach, and all things makeup! Most of all, she enjoys spending time with Dylan and watching him grow ... he amazes her every day with something new!

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
cinnamon and sugar

Prepare the cinnamon sugar mixture to taste in a small bowl or pie tin.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add 1 egg at a time and mix well. Blend all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly stir in with the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Roll into 1 " balls. If the dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated. Place 2 " apart and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes until the cookies appear puffy and slightly cracked on top. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

(Image credit Michelle F.)

Yummy! Thank you so much Michelle!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

- this little lady needs our prayers -

Update to my post, The Taylor Family lost baby Ruby Jane last night. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Heartbreaking story...a strong, beautiful, baby girl and her family need all the thoughts and prayers they can get right now. Please take a few minutes to read about little Ruby Jane. Say some prayers and keep her in your thoughts...and then hold your family and your little ones close today and BE GRATEFUL for them and their health!

Isn't she adorable?

Precious Ruby Jane is a such fighter!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

- when is #2 coming -

That's the question I have been hearing a lot lately. Well, actually, I have been hearing that question since the day Ellie was born! (seriously? I just gave birth to this one...let me catch my breath! ha ha!)

This might be a long post, so bear with me...

Let me start with a little bit of history...I have an older sister. Her and I are three years apart. Matt has a younger sister...they are almost four and a half years apart. So it's not like either of us were raised with siblings super close in age to us. But ever since we got pregnant with Ellie, I had always imagined having our kids close together. One and half to two years apart was ideal in my mind. I thought it would be even more desirable to have our kids close in age if they were the same sex (cause I can really control things like that right? ha ha!). I always imagined two little girls growing up to be the best of friends because they were so close in age.

Fast forward to today...Ellie turns 2 in November, and not only am I not pregnant with our second baby, we haven't even started trying yet. Why? Well, I have asked myself that a lot in the last couple of months, and I am finally at peace with the answer.

When Ellie was born, she had severe reflux, was in constant pain, and was an extremely high needs baby. I'm not exaggerating when I say that for the first month or two, she would cry at least 18 out of 24 hours of the day....everyday...without fail. She also had an intolerance to all dairy and soy. Once we got her reflux under control, and I stopped eating dairy and soy (I was BFing her), she was a much happier baby. But those first four to five months were hell. Lots of tears were shed by us (okay, mostly just me). I knew having a newborn was going to be hard, and I am one tough cookie. But Ellie was so much harder than most newborns. There were times I looked at Matt and seriously meant it when I asked him "why in the hell did we decide to do this?".  I knew immediately that my plan to have another baby in one and a half years was never going to happen! I was questioning even wanting another one at all after going through what we went through with Ellie... (this is where I have to enter a disclaimer...I, by no means, am trying to say Ellie's health problems were serious or life threatening. I know there are thousands of women out there that give birth to babies with very serious health problems or complications. Reflux and a dairy/soy intolerance are so low on the scale of seriousness compared to what some mom's are dealing with on a day to day basis. So please, please, please don't think I am trying to play the pity card for something as trivial as reflux. But understand that no mom wants to see their baby in pain and upset, so in the thick of it, dealing with it was very difficult for us as new parents)....

After Ellie hit toddler-hood, things weren't as hard with her anymore, and Matt and I started discussing trying for our second. The plan was to start trying in August or September of this year. That would put our kids about two and a half years apart, and I was okay with that...or I at least I thought I was. By the time July came around, I really started freaking out. I would think about it constantly, and just not feel right about it. I knew Matt was ready...I just didn't feel the same enthusiasm as he did. I started scouring the internet to find out what the "perfect" spacing for your children was. That was a joke....everyone out there has their own opinion, because in reality, it's what's best for your own family. I couldn't exactly place what was making me so uneasy, but I knew that I probably shouldn't be jumping into having our second child if I was this "unenthusiastic" about it.

After over a month of soul searching, I was finally able to say out loud to myself, "I'm just not ready yet". Once I finally admitted it to myself, I was able to admit it to Matt. Although I can't say he was thrilled to hear me say that, he supported me 100%.  It wasn't easy for me to admit this to myself. I mean, I'm a mom...I'm supposed to want another baby right away right? Maybe, but maybe not. All I know is that as soon as I was able to accept that I just wasn't ready yet, I immediately felt a huge weight come off of my shoulders.

I know many families out there that have kids less than two years apart, and they absolutely love it. I also know just as many families out there with kids three or four years apart and they wouldn't have it any other way. When Matt and I first got married, we intentionally waited six years before getting pregnant. We wanted to truly enjoy each other before starting a family. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying everyone should wait that long, but it worked for us, and more importantly, I don't regret I absolutely loved living those six years with just Matt, no kids, just us. And I sort of equate that to how I am feeling now. There will never be another time that Ellie will be our only child. That time is right now and I want to savor and enjoy a little bit more time with just her. And I don't think I will regret it this time around either. I am doing what is right for myself and what I think is right for Ellie. I somehow knew when it was time to start trying for our first baby, and I feel like I will just know when it is time to start trying for our second...

...(time to insert another disclaimer...I am very sensitive to those couples with fertility problems who would be appalled that I am being so "picky" about when to have my kids...please understand that I am sensitive to fertility troubles, and I know that being able to have kids is an amazing blessing that I can never take for granted).

Monday, August 8, 2011

- our weekend wrap up -

I had a minor freakout over the weekend when I started getting a warning message on my beloved MacBook Pro that my "start up disk is almost full". A little investigation and some help from the wonderful IT company we use at my work, led me to discover that my laptop has been running with less than 1GB of hard drive space for a few months now. This is scary because the programs that I run, especially Photoshop and some programs I use for work, technically should not be running when you have that little bit of hard drive space left. At any moment, my computer could have crashed, and my hard drive would have been fried...meaning nothing recoverable! While I do back up all of my pictures on both a CD and an external hard drive, I definitely don't do it on a weekly basis by any means, so "many a pictures" could have been gone! Needless to say, I backed EVERYTHING up this weekend, and ordered a new hard drive to be installed ASAP! I can't really work on my computer or use Photoshop until then though :-(

Besides that, we had a great weekend! Lots of sun, good food, good friends...ya know, the usual stuff that makes me smile!

Friday night our friends had a babysitter, which is rare, so we took advantage and met them for dinner and drinks. As always, we had a fabulous time!

Lisa and I, all dressed up for a night on the town!

Saturday we played at the park and then did the usual "housekeeping" chores while Ellie napped. After she woke up, we took her down by the water and had a picnic dinner. So much fun! I love family time when we can do things with just the three of us sometimes. I took a lot of pictures, but due to my scary computer warnings, I was only able to edit a few. They are my favorite though! I so rarely get pictures of myself and Ellie together, and these are just too precious! I can seriously hear her "I'm being tickled" belly laugh just by looking at these pictures!

Sunday we hit up one of the many farmer's markets we have around our town. I seriously don't know why we don't do this every weekend! Ellie had so much fun looking at everything, and the produce was so fresh, and super inexpensive! Matt and I decided that we MUST get to a farmer's market at least every other weekend while the weather is still so nice!

So many beautiful flower bouquets...unfortunately, we didn't grab any this time around.

 We did, however, take home some DELICIOUS heirloom tomatoes and some other fresh goodies!

 One of the stands at the market had a random collection of rubber duckies for sale. Of course, Ellie had to play with all of them! We finally caved and paid the $2.00 so she could actually take one with her...but the little one doesn't quite understand "only one" yet. There were a few tears shed when we had to take some of them out of her hands, but she did end up scoring one funky rubber ducky when all was said and done!

 She seriously had to touch them all!

The one she finally ended up keeping!

What a great morning at the farmers market...did I mention the "to die for" red velvet cookies we picked up...YUMMY!

Ellie examining some of our farmers market loot!

We wrapped up our weekend on Sunday evening with the most perfectly cooked filets topped with bleu cheese and onion crisps and some heavenly scalloped mashed potatoes (thank you again Dwayne and Lisa)...all totally low fat of course...yeah right! But we did add in a healthy tomato and cucumber salad, compliments of the farmers market earlier that morning!  Now I have to up the workout regimen this week, but it was totally worth it! All in all, another wonderful weekend!

- quick recipe of the week -

Happy Monday everyone! Today's recipe is another great summer recipe!

Today I am pleased to introduce Wendy, from Around My Family Table. Wendy married her high school sweetie over 13 yrs ago and she is now a SAHM. She has a 6 year old daughter who has some special needs and a rambunctious 2 year old son. Wendy has been cooking for as long as she can remember. Her mom taught her how to cook when she was younger and when she finally left home, she was able to prepare meals instead of boxed dinners or take out. That's probably what won her hubby’s heart. Wendy cooks mostly from scratch (kudos to her for that!) She grinds my own grains for breads, raises chickens for fresh eggs, and has a bunch of fruit trees. She always tries her best to feed her family the healthiest foods possible!

Caprese Salad on a Stick
fresh basil leaves
grape tomatoes
marinated mozzarella balls
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tb sugar

Feed the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella onto a skewer in a pattern, so that they look uniform and pretty.  Store in fridge until ready to use. Before serving, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a gentle boil and allow to reduce at least by half (maybe 10-15 minutes).  Stir frequently. Drizzle over the top of the skewers.  Enjoy!

(Image credit Wendy)

These are a HUGE hit around my house! Not so much for my picky little one who refuses to eat cheese (what child doesn't like cheese?...oh yeah, that's right, my child)...but my hubby and I love them! YUM!

Thanks Wendy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

- too many balls in the air -

I think I am trying to juggle too many balls right now....I have about 5 different projects in the works for this little cutie's room...

They are all projects I am super excited about, but I just can't get myself to actually finish any of them! I have all of the materials purchased...but I think I had too many ideas all at once, and now I can't sit down and get any of them finished!

One at a time, one at a time...I need to finish them one at a time. Hopefully I will make some big progress this weekend!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

- a little party planning in the works -

Okay, so Ellie's 2nd birthday is a little more than 3 months away....first of all...AGH! I'm going to have a 2 year old soon! Where did my little baby go? Secondly, 3 months away means I better start planning the party! Yes, I am a planner! I like to plan waaaaay in advance. Plus, I like love planning parties, especially children's parties. They are so much fun. I would love to plan parties as a side business...but wait, that would mean I would have to have some spare time...nope, last time I checked, I have none of that! But anyway, I am getting a head start on Ellie's party mostly because I am so excited and just couldn't wait any longer!

Since Ellie's best bud, Brayden, is only one month older than her, my wonderful friend, Lisa and I, decided to combine their parties this year into one bundle of fun. And because Lisa is so wonderful, she gave me the thumbs up to come up with the theme for the party. I knew I didn't want to do any sort of "character" theme (Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, etc), and I also knew it couldn't be girly at all since the party would be for Brayden too. I have been in love with one particular theme for awhile now, and it is totally gender neutral.

So here is what we will be going with...a Vintage Circus theme!

(Image credit Etsy)

Maybe not super original, but I am so excited and I have a lot of fun ideas already! Who knows how many of those ideas will actually materialize in 3 months, but that's why I am starting now! Here are just a few things that I have found so far that I am loving.

- cute favor bags -
(Image credit Etsy)
- fun banner -
(do I dare try to make one like this myself?)
(Image credit Etsy)

 - circus striped straws -

One of my friends/professional photographer who does all of Ellie's photo shoots will be there taking pictures for us, so I would love to set up some sort of "photo booth" area where she can take pictures of the guests wearing paper mustaches and other silly circus props. Hmmm, I could go on and on thinking of all of the fun ideas!

I'm sure I will post updates along the way, but stay tuned in November for the big "2nd Birthday Party" reveal post so you can see how it all turned out!

Have you guys seen any cute or original ideas for a Vintage Circus party? I would love to hear even more ideas!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

- looking for guest contributors -

I am currently looking for more guest recipe contributors who would like to be featured on my "quick recipe of the week" series! I have open slots starting in September. It's fun, it's easy, and it will help other busy parents find quick and easy recipes for their families (plus, you gain some blog exposure too...that's always a plus!)

If you are interested, please leave me a comment, or contact me through the contact form on my blog!

And have yourself a wonderful Wednesday!
(Image credit

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

- discovery and wonder -

I don't think I will ever get tired of watching Ellie discover new things. It is so much fun to watch her squeal in delight when she finds something new outside. And then when we tell her what it is that she just found, she'll repeat the word over and over again as if she is trying so hard to memorize it.

She found some snails in our front yard the other day. She named this one "Doo-doo". Don't ask me where she came up with that name, but it was the cutest thing to watch her follow it around saying "Hi Doo-doo"

She sat on the steps so patiently for such a long time, watching it move at it's slow snail pace...never getting bored or tired of it. She was just so proud that she had found a snail!

And then, I tried to get a shot of the two of us, because I never seem to have shots of just the two of us...sigh, of course, the little stinker wouldn't look at the camera!

Ah, I love that little girl so much! And I hope discovering new and wondrous things never gets old to her!

Monday, August 1, 2011

- quick recipe of the week -

Happy Monday! Hope you had as fabulous of a weekend as I did! Nothing better than a girl's night out with my favorite friend, followed by some great family time! Unfortunately, we did not get around to anything on our summer bucket list! That's definitely gotta be top priority next weekend!

Today's recipe would be exceptional for a weekend brunch, or even "breakfast for dinner". (My dad used to cook us "breakfast for dinner" every once in sister and I always loved it).

Mika, from Mika's Pantry shared this recipe with us today. Mika is a working mom with a wonderful husband and 3 fabulous kids. Mika and Jim have two biological boys, Tyler (20), and Tanner (18) who will both be going to Oklahoma State University in the Fall. They are all big O-State fans! They also have a daughter, Bay who was adopted from South Korea when she was only 4 months old.

Mika's passions are cooking, cookbooks, reading, knitting, her Papillon puppy, and being outdoors. She mainly blogs for fun, but she always hopes other people can enjoy it and find a recipe that they love from reading her blog. Thanks Mika, for sharing this recipe!

Potato Skin Eggs
2-4 potatoes cut in half, length-wise
one egg for each potato half
2 tbs granulated garlic
additional toppings if desired

Scoop out the flesh of the potato leaving a 1/4 shell and fill with cheese.  Crack your eggs, being careful not to break the yolk, and put one egg in each potato half. Top with a good amount of granulated garlic.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the egg is set.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, bacon, green onions or any additional toppings and enjoy!

(Image credit Mika)

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