Thursday, March 29, 2012

- funk -

I'm in a bit of a blogging funk right now... I just don't have much to say...
but stick around...I'm sure I will find my way out of this funk soon enough...

until then, I leave you with these picture of my little photographer in training...

(Image credit Nina S.)
(Image credit Nina S)

Monday, March 26, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Ah, the start of another week...I am definitely loving this daylight savings time! Light out until almost 7:00 p.m...but more importantly, it means summer is on it's way. Woo hoo!!! My absolute favorite season!

Now, onto today's I am featuring Katie from Keep Calm & Carry On. Katie is a lover of all things happy and positive! She enjoys many things including fashion, photography, wine, the Ohio State Buckeyes, health, fitness, the beach, and meeting new people.  She has a wonderful hubby named Billy, and a fur baby named Rocky. And she has an amazing vegetarian recipe to share with us today!

(Image credit Katie)
Roasted Chickpea Tacos
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs water
15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 bell peppers, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one large lime
1/3 cup cilantro
taco shells
diced tomatoes
avocado slices
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

To roast the chickpeas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, lime, and water. Stir in the chickpeas. Place the seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once during cooking, until chickpeas are slightly crispy.

While the chickpeas are roasting, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the roasted chickpeas and cilantro.

Spoon roasted chickpea and vegetable mixture evenly in the taco shells. Top with diced tomatoes, avocado, greek yogurt, or sour cream, and any other garnishes.

(Image credit Katie)

Thank you so much Katie! These definitely look good (and nice and healthy). Now I just have to convince my hubby to eat chickpeas in place of meat in his tacos! Be sure to go visit Katie, peruse her super cute blog, and thank her for this delicious recipe.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

- the word that hurts -

A sweet friend of mine recently found out her little boy, Cooper, has Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition that is characterized by medical problems, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. Because of this, these children are sometimes labeled or called, "retarded". While technically that is a correct "medical" term, is that really how most people use that word? It's normally a word that is used very inappropriately and can hurt the self esteem and feelings of millions of people. It's a word that is used way too flippantly these days. We all know that it is not the most politically correct way to address people with learning disabilities, but what about the fact that people use the word "retarded" to describe a lot of different things. I understand that most people aren't saying the word "retarded" to purposefully hurt anyone, but it's something we all need to be a lot more conscious about.

From a mom battling against the misuse of this word...
"That movie you saw? It was boring, dumb, or a waste of time...not retarded! The coffee maker isn't working? It's broken...not retarded! You made a wrong turn and got lost? You made a are not retarded! My son? He is NOT boring, dumb, a waste of time, broken or a mistake...he is, medically speaking, retarded. He WILL be fighting this word his entire life because as long as people see him that way, they will think of him no differently then they see a dumb movie, broken coffee pot or a wrong turn. Be better then that and help him fight one less battle in life. Find a different word and stop using the word retarded, not JUST when you are around people with learning disabilities, but all the time."

 For more information on the battle against the hurtful misuse of this word, please visit My friend, as well as millions of others will thank you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

- totally made my day -

This short but amazingly sweet conversation totally, absolutely made my day yesterday...

daddy: ellie, do you want to play with your friend keyla again sometime?

ellie: no, i just want to play with mommy. mommy's the best girl ever!

ahhh, kiddo, you just scored major mommy points with that one! I love you so much little one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

We had a blustery, cold, wintery weekend and we should have just stayed in the house...but we just aren't homebodies on the weekend, so instead we braved the weather and spent the weekend playing with friends, and enjoying good company! It was great fun, but now it's Monday, and it's back to the weekly grind.

On a happy note, I have a wonderful gal to introduce you to! Meet Libby from ELF: A Family Blog. Libby is a wife to a chef in training, a mother to a fun loving boy, keeper of two spunky dogs, and a teacher to many rambunctious high schoolers. She's a bargain shopper, coupon cutter, and a price matching fool. She's a lover of junk food, and appreciates a cheap bottle of Moscato wine!

(Image credit Libby)

Libby is sharing with us a recipe for a super duper easy chicken casserole. She promises that you can't screw this recipe up. This ooey gooey mess of a dinner is comfort food at it's finest!

Chicken Casserole
5 cups of cooked egg noodles
4-6 oz Velveeta cheese
5 oz canned Hormel chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup (or so) of milk
garlic salt (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Casserole topping
5 slices of bread, cut into squares (about the size of a crouton)
2-3 Tbs melted butter

Mix the casserole ingredients together and place in a baking dish. Make sure you add enough milk to make the mixture runny. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until your cheese is melted and everything is blended together.

While the casserole is baking, put the cut up bread in a bowl, and cover with the melted butter.

Once your casserole is baked and mixed well, cover with the bread crumbs. Bake for 10 additional minutes or until your bread crumbs are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(Image credit Libby)

(Image credit Libby)

(Image credit Libby)

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us Libby! Be sure you stop on over at her blog to say hello!

Now, for one final piece of business... the winner of the giveaway from last week's post is...


Congratulations Elisha! Please shoot me an email and we will get you set up!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

- things my 2 year old says -

(as she's putting 5 different rings on my pinky finger)
ellie: momma, these rings fit your outfit perfectly!

(as we are trying to get her to eat corn and peas that had pepper and seasoning on it)
ellie: noooo, i just want the clean corn

(when i am trying to get her to do just about anything she doesn't want to do)
ellie: no momma, that's not a great idea

(when referring to my car)
ellie: no momma, it's not a's an SUV! 

(when she is trying to get out of going to bed)
ellie: i wanna make a deal....let's make a deal!

(when I sat her and her friend, Brayden, down at the table to eat lunch)
ellie: so, how was your day?

(as my mom is telling her she has to go home for the evening)
ellie: but you ARE home lola! (she seriously thinks my mom lives with us, and just goes to work every night when we get home work)

(after she is done singing any song)
ellie: do you like that song?

(when she wants to play on my iPad)
ellie: where's my pad? I want my pad! (um, child...I'm pretty sure it's not YOUR iPad...I'm pretty sure it's momma's)

(as my camera is out and I am trying to take my daily picture of her for this blog)
ellie: momma, are you picturing me?

(when she is counting)
ellie: one, two, flee (melts my heart every time I hear her say her version of three)

(all the time)
ellie: when I get older, I can have a bub (we have NO idea what a bub is, but she says this all the time. we have tried to figure it out by asking her what you do with a you eat it? do you wear it? we still can't figure it out!)

P.S.- Giveaway, giveaway!! Don't forget to enter here!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

- potty training and a little photo shoot -

So, this past weekend happened to be a rare weekend we had no plans, plus Ellie had a little bit of a cold (again! sigh), so we got the crazy idea to stay home and attempt potty training. She hasn't shown any interest recently, but we figured...why not...let's give it a try anyway. On Friday evening I went out and bought her Disney princess panties and we explained to her that she wasn't going to wear diapers anymore. She was sooooo excited to put on her big girl underwear. Not much progress that evening...she didn't have to go at all before bedtime since by the time I got home with her underwear it was pretty late. Saturday we buckled down and stayed home all was a LONG day at home. She had quite a few accidents in the morning, but right around lunchtime, she finally made it to the potty in time! Hooray! Success! The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. She didn't have any more accidents the rest of the day, but that was mostly because we were putting her on the potty every hour or so. She never actually told us she had to go, but to be fair, we weren't really letting her tell us. We were just plopping her on the potty. Night time was in pull ups (which she kept calling diapers...ugh, why do they have to make those things look and feel so much like diapers?), and she unfortunately did not successfully keep those dry.

Sunday was another long day, but she did much better. She actually figured out how to hold it while we ran to the potty, and she stayed dry all day!

Yesterday she also had a great day, staying dry all day except once! I'm really hoping she's getting this down. It's definitely way too early to say that she is "officially" potty trained, especially because she has yet to go #2 in the potty. She keeps saving that for her pull ups at nap time or bed time. She told me yesterday that she is too scared to go #2 on the potty.  I know that's very, very normal but I have absolutely no idea how to help her get over that fear of #2 on the big potty! Any advice mommas?

We are definitely making progress, and I can only hope that we continue moving forward with it. And if for some reason we don't...well, that's okay too. She's still fairly young and she has plenty of time (although I'm not going to lie...I will probably be fairly frustrated if we have to do this all over again).

And totally unrelated to potty training (but related to the title post at least), I've been meaning to post these pictures for awhile now...a little photo shoot with my little girl! My mom came over to help me out. Usually I can't get her to look at the camera, let alone smile...but with my mom there, I was able to get a ton of shots with her big blue eyes looking straight at my lens along with some super cute smiles!

linking up with...

 then, she {snapped}

P.S.- Giveaway, giveaway!! Don't forget to enter here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone had a stupendous weekend! We had an "interesting" weekend...we got a crazy idea to attempt to potty train Ellie this weekend. Yup, the idea just came out of the blue...she hasn't even really been showing us signs that she was ready and willing or anything. It was as simple as this...we had no plans, so we decided to just bite the bullet and give it a whirl! We kept her at home in her "big girl princess panties" and figured we would see how it goes. I'll give everyone an update tomorrow on how it went (or is still going)!

For now, I would like you to meet Jamie who blogs over at a little blog called Awesomely Awkward (how great is that for a blog name?!) Okay, so it's not really a "little"'s a pretty impressive, totally cool blog that I absolutely love! Jamie is a wife, a hard worker, and a online jewelry shop owner. She writes about her husband, her cat (whose furry marshmallow body is taking over her life), and all of life's awkward moments. She also throws in some fashion, recipes, and tutorials as well! She's sharing a crockpot recipe with us today and she's also got an amazing giveaway for you!

(Image credit Jamie)
Easy Cheesy Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can nacho cheese soup
1 cup chicken broth
garlic powder
salt and pepper
optional: frozen broccoli or other vegetables

Place chicken soup, cheese soup, and chicken broth in crockpot.  Place chicken in the crockpot and season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. If using frozen vegetables, put them on top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over rice or pasta.

(Image credit Jamie)
Now that's a great weekday recipe! Super easy with just a few ingredients. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us Jamie!

Now onto the giveaway! As I mentioned, Jamie owns an awesome online jewelry shop. She makes some really pretty designs...

She's graciously giving away a $15 shop credit to one of you lovely readers!

Here's how to enter:
1. Follow my blog and Jamie's blog, and leave a comment telling me you did so.

Want another few entries??
1. Follow Jamie on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2. Follow me on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.
3. Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog and leave a comment telling me you did so.

This giveaway will close on Saturday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m. EST and the winner will be announced next Monday on my -quick recipe of the week- post, so stay tuned and thank you Jamie for this awesome giveaway! Be sure to check out Jamie's other designs here!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

- routine -

I love routine...and I hate routine. It's a conflict I've always had. One part of me loves the stability of routine. I'm pretty insecure about change, and a routine grounds me. But the other part of me can get so completely bored and unsatisfied with a day to day routine. So what gives?

Our weekdays are as routine as they come. We all wake up at the same time every morning, trudge into work, frantically try to get everything done, rush home, rush through cooking dinner, eating dinner, play time and usually bath time. We follow the same bed time routine for Ellie, and then, once she's down, slip into our normal late night routine of vegging in front of the TV or the computer until we can barely keep our eyes open and then we crawl into bed. It's not a terrible routine...and we do have a lot of fun together along the way, but it is still routine..and I have to admit, it can get very monotonous at times.

Our weekends are a different story. We usually mix it up every weekend and never stick to one routine. We go out, try new things, get together with friends and family, and spend lots of quality time together. And I absolutely love our weekends! 

Weeknights are hard though. By the time we get home from work, it's hard to mix things up and throw in new and different things when we have a toddler's bath time and bed time to consider. But sometimes I just need a break from the weeknight liven things up a bit!

(Image credit

So, how do you mix things up when you need a break from that dreaded routine?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

- don't ya want to follow me -

Hey friends...don't ya want to follow me on Instagram? If you aren't following me, this is what you've been missing in the last couple of weeks...

I promise my cooking isn't that bad kiddo!

My love....

My girly girl!

She's has my heart...

Yes, she's THAT cute!

He loves her SO much!

Playground time!

Self portrait

Hubby had to get in on the Elmo & Cookie Monster action!

Bed head!!

Running fail...Thank you neighborhood dog for scaring the crap out of me causing me to "not so gracefully" eat it!

Follow me here online, or on the Instagram app by searching for kynad.

Monday, March 5, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

It's Monday again (boy, they just keep coming huh, these Mondays...) We had a great weekend celebrating a good friend's birthday and spending some time with my in-laws. The weather was just amazing and it was good to spend some time outside in the sunshine.

Today's recipe comes to us from Heather, at Made Famous By...  Heather is a self proclaimed recipe hoarder and she loves to share the recipes that her and her friends are famous for! On her blog, she celebrates the "every day cook". She truly believes that ordinary people can make extraordinary recipes! Heather has three kids and she feels so lucky to be their mom.

(Image credit Heather)
Heather loves Ellen and Oprah, and dreams of one day taping an episode of Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten! She loves to spend warm days with her family at the beach, which is actually where she was just this past Saturday...discovering sea cucumbers with her son!

In honor of St. Patrick's day, which is quickly approaching, here is Heather's recipe for St. Patty's Day Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.

St. Patty's Day Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
1/2-1 lb chocolate almond bark
15 strawberries
1 jar of St. Patty's day sprinkles (or any green sprinkles will do)
green popsicle sticks

Melt to almond bark per the directions on the package. Put the popsicle stick in the bottom of the strawberries and then dip the strawberries in the melted almond bark. Cover with sprinkles and allow to cool.

(Image credit Heather)

Super easy, festive, and so cute, huh? Yeah, I knew you would love them! Now if that's not worth pinning on Pinterest, I don't know what is! Lol! Thank you Heather for sharing such a cute recipe with us. We'll definitely be making these at our house!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

- favorite things -

These Disney Princesses have quickly become Ellie's favorite things. She knows every one of them by name and she loves them all. She plays with them everywhere! They keep her busy at restaurants so that mommy and daddy can enjoy a peaceful meal (hallelujah), and she usually insists on all ten of them being in bed with her at night (not my favorite thing...I'm pretty sure her rolling over them a couple times a night perpetuates the middle of the night wakings, but oh well...gotta pick my battles).

I heard that Disney was no longer making Princess movies, to be more "gender friendly". I understand the reasoning behind their decision, but it is kind of sad knowing that Rapunzel from Tangled was their last princess. Either way, my kiddo is happy...she has ten of them and they truly are her favorite things right now!

I'm linking up with the Finagle a Foto Challenge with the my favorite bloggy gal, the very amazing Melanie from, Happy Jax and The ArtsyGirl Connection.

The ArtsyGirl Connection

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