Monday, July 30, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hello, and welcome to another edition of my "quick recipe of the week" series! Today I am featuring Amy from We're In for It. I just recently found Amy's blog, and I am just getting to know her. But I have loved reading her posts and I'm excited to learn even more about her and her adorable family!

(Image credit Amy)
 Amy is a 31 year old momma of 1... (2 in just 8 weeks). She lives in the the Northern Virginia area but grew up at the beach and she misses it terribly. She's a special education teacher 10 months of the year and a SAHM the other 2, and she wouldn't have it any other way. Amy is married to a fantastic man who's also the best Daddy! She currently blogs about her family, her kid(s) and life in general! She loves the Bachelorette, Big Brother and Breaking Bad. In addition to blogging, Amy loves to eat, read, and spend time with friends and family.

Kahlua Cake
1 package of Devils Food Cake mix
1 package of french vanilla pudding (3 oz.)
2 eggs
16 oz. sour cream (secret ingredient)
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup oil
12 oz. choc chips

In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients at medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Pour into well greased bundt pan. Bake for 45 mins-1 hour at 350 degrees.

(Image credit Amy)

Yummy! This looks amazing! Drizzle some frosting over this and you have yourself a perfect dessert! Thank you so much Amy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

- thought dump -

Hey folks...I know it's been awhile since I have written a "substantial" post here. Like I said a couple days ago, blame it on my friend, summer! My favorite time of the year ever!

But what better way to get back at it than with a "thought dump" post?? I know everyone loves these random posts that I do, right? No theme, no rhyme, no reason. Just my thoughts...plain and simple. So here's what's going on in my head at this exact moment:

- Tonight I just finished a fun and easy Pinterest project for our to come, I promise!!

- Is it seriously almost August already?? Where does time go?? Holy cow!

-I know I want to raise a strong daughter that is not afraid to express her opinion, but right now, at 2.5 years old, I think she has a little too much opinion! My kiddo is so picky about what she wears every day, it's just plain ridiculous! I have literally resorted to asking her to show me dresses (because that is all she will wear, btw) she likes online before I buy them. Yes, my 2.5 year old shops for her own clothes! It's out of control! But I learned that there is no sense buying her things that she is going to refuse to wear. And while I put my foot down about some things, like what she eats, and when she sleeps (or is supposed to be sleeping), her daily outfit is a battle I just choose not to fight. So, alas, I let her pick out her own clothes, and meanwhile look longingly at all the other outfits in the store that I would put her in if I had my choice.

- There is nothing worse than ruining your freshly manicured toes...(okay, okay, there are a lot of things that are worse, but come on...they were so pretty, and now they need touch ups already!)

- It's Friday!!! And although I usually get to stay at home with my kiddo on Fridays to have "Momma & Ellie" day, I had to say goodbye to her this morning and go into work. Ugh! I've been working a lot of Fridays lately, and I am not thrilled about it!

- I've had an intense craving for fast food lately!! And I usually don't eat a lot of fast food! What gives? Luckily for me, I haven't given in...yet. There is a weekend coming up. And who knows what will happen on the weekend!

- I am going to Vegas in a couple of weekends for my sister in law's bachelorette party. (For the record, my auto correct doesn't recognize the word bachelorette and keeps trying to replace it with the word bachelor! How sexist!). Anyway, I don't even know what I am going to do with myself in Vegas for a bachelorette party! I feel so removed from that stage in my life! I seriously don't even own any Vegas worthy dresses. And that is not me just not liking my current wardrobe...that is the truth...I think I would be laughed at if I wore some of my dresses to a nightclub in Vegas. I mean, come on, there is nothing sexier than wearing a summer maxi dress to the hottest, latest club, right?  Totally clubbing worthy, right? Hey, at least it's black! lol! Luckily I am rooming with Matt's cousins, who are around my age, and both have kids as if we all tire out and trudge up to our room at 11:00 p.m., I won't feel so bad!

- Okay, I have a lot more thoughts swirling around in my head right now, but I have to keep this post a decent length otherwise I feel like I will lose half of you reading this half way through it. But as usual, no post is complete without pictures. And whose is my absolute favorite person to take pictures of?? Why, yes, it's Miss Ellie herself! Here are a few shots from our latest "mini photo shoot" in our backyard.

She thought hiding from the camera behind her bear was the FUNNIEST thing! And this lead to me catching the best shots of her! They make me smile every time I look at them!

Stay tuned for some awesome upcoming blog posts including my DIY Pinterest project I just completed, an update to my summer bucket list, and pictures from our annual lake trip over the 4th of July holiday (oh wait...that was a long time ago huh? I'm really lagging here! Sorry!)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

- don't miss this -

I've been slacking here lately...haven't written a "real" post in awhile now...I can only blame summer and all that summer entails! I just can't sit down in front of the computer to write when it's so warm and sunny outside! (That's also my excuse for being so far behind on reading of all of your lovely blogs. I'll visit each and every one of you soon. I promise!)

But I did have a little public service announcement to share with you today. You don't want to miss out on this awesome blogger swap! It's almost like a little Birch Box swap with some amazing bloggers. It's gonna be pretty amazing, especially for those of us that are obsessed with beauty products (like yours truly)!

Today is the last day to get signed up folks! Don't miss it!

Blabbering Thoughts

Monday, July 23, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I hope you are facing this new week with a smile on your I am trying to do!! (Ugh, Mondays are always so hard!)

Today I'd like to introduce you to an amazing gal! Meet Michelle, from The Momma Bird. I just recently stumbled across Michelle's blog and I've been loving getting to know her! Michelle is a former elementary teacher turned SAHM when the Air Force moved her fabulous husband & their little family to England, October 2010. She has 2 energetic boys - Cohen (3yrs) & Lucas (2yrs) - they keep her insanely busy! If that wasn't enough, they found out they were expecting another bundle October 2012! But get this...At their 22wk gender scan, they found out they weren't expecting 1 bundle, but 2 identical twin GIRLS! She's got her work cut out for her this fall. When Michelle's not busy being a mom or a wife she's usually spending time with her friends, blogging about life or designing blogs for people.

(Image credit Michelle)
Raspberry & Blueberry Pie
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 Cup raspberry-flavor gelatin
whipped cream (for topping - optional)
    Stir together cream cheese, milk, and 1 Tbsp. sugar in small bowl. Spread cream cheese mixture over bottom of cooled piecrust. Combine raspberries and blueberries and pour into piecrust, on top of cream cheese mixture. Combine the 3/4 Cup sugar, cornstarch, dash of salt, and 1 Cup water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Once it's bubbly, cook it for 2 more minutes. Stir gelatin into the bubbly liquid. Cool mixture - slightly. Pour gelatin mixture over the berries in the pie. Cover & refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with whipped cream if desired!
    (Image credit Michelle)

      Thank you Michelle, for sharing this delicious dessert recipe with us! Be sure to check her blog out here !

      Thursday, July 19, 2012

      - come visit me -

      Hey lovely readers...come visit me over here today, where the wonderful, hilarious, awesome and amazing Tiffany, is featuring me.

      And while you're over Tiffany some love. If you aren't already following her, you need to start following her right away because you have no idea what you're missing! Tiffany is that kind of girl that everyone loves...she's friendly, sweet, adventurous, and of course an amazing momma and wife (soon to be).

      Tiffany is also hosting a Beauty Box Swap that I am so excited about.You still have some time to join in! Check it out!

      Wednesday, July 18, 2012

      - broadway here we come -

      My little Broadway star at her finest!

      She absolutely kills me...such a performer! But only in the safety of her own home...get her in front of people she doesn't know and she clams right up! Some people who have only met her once or twice are blown away when they see videos like this of her "out of her shell". But you know what, I love my girl exactly as she is...she's so unique and amazing in so many ways!

      Monday, July 16, 2012

      - quick recipe of the week -

      Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a stellar weekend. 

      Today's recipe comes from yours truly (yup, that's me!)

      It's a recipe I have been cooking for quite awhile now. I realize it might be a little but heavy for a hot summer evening. If so, just file this recipe away for the colder months, because it's delicious
      and you do not want to miss out on it!

      Artichoke Chicken
      1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
      3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      3/4 cup mayonnaise
      1 pinch garlic pepper
      4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic pepper. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.

      I promise you'll think it's to die for, and there are definitely ways to make it healthier if the 3/4 cup of mayonnaise and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese scares you! I've used yogurt in place of the mayo, and it still tastes delish!

      Thursday, July 12, 2012

      - strawberry fields forever -

      We've been making some progress on our summer bucket list! Just a few things have been crossed off the list so far, but it's been fun, and I can't wait to tackle a few more!

      The homemade sangria was kind of an easy one to cross off the list! I mean, who couldn't resist homemade sangria on a hot summer day? And the farmer's market and hiking were both pretty easy to get to, and very fun! I am sure we will frequent the farmer's market quite a bit in the next few months! It's become one of our favorite things to do on a Sunday morning in the summer time!

      And the strawberry picking was awesome! I am so glad we managed to squeeze it in last week because the strawberry fields were pretty close to closing for the season. Turns out most of the strawberries were sour and not ripe because we got the last of the crop...but it was all about the experience anyway. And Ellie loved it! She kept calling it our "adventure"...

      We went home with a gigantic container of "mostly sour" strawberries, very dirty shoes, a tired, happy, strawberry stained toddler, and a great summer memory!

      Tuesday, July 10, 2012

      - i'm an aunt again -

      My sister had her second baby boy yesterday! 
      Ethan Douglas, 6lbs 13oz and so cute...

      His big brother, Carter is so proud!

      I can't wait to meet him!

      Monday, July 9, 2012

      - quick recipe of the week -

      I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July last week! I've been missing from blogland for the past week because we were celebrating the 4th up at the lake...a fun family tradition that we started when I was still pregnant with Ellie. We had an awesome, relaxing time, and I wish were were still there! I think Ellie enjoyed it a lot more this year now that she is a little older. We actually got her out on a floatie in the lake this year!

      So now it's back to work and back to reality! I'll share pictures of our trip in a few days...once I catch up reading all of your lovely blogs!! :-)

      I am so excited for the recipe today, because I absolutely love any sort of pasta recipe! Gina, from Contemplating Beauty , posted pictures of this pasta dish on Instagram, and I just knew I had to share the recipe with you guys.

      But first, let's meet Gina! Gina lives in St.Paul, Minnesota with her husband of 10 years, her two teenage daughters, and her little apricot bichon-poo, Nells. She is a writer, and will be starting classes to become a Lay Counselor this Fall. In her free time she adores spending time with family, friends, her pooch, volunteering, and finding thrifted treasures. She is an amazing woman whom I have already learned so much from just from following her blog!

      (Image credit Gina)
      Gina's Linguine
      4 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped fine)
      1/4 cup of olive oil (extra virgin or regular is fine)
      2 Tbs of butter
      1/2 cup of shredded or grated Parmesan
      1 tomato
      1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper
      About 8 or so fresh leaves of basil, chopped
      Salt and pepper

      Cook your linguine al dente, drain, and rinse with cold water.  Place the linguine back into the pot, and mix in all the other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep it on the stove on low for 10-15 minutes and then serve.

      (Image credit Gina)
      (Image credit Gina)
      (Image credit Gina)

      This sounds like a perfect quick and easy summer recipe! This will definitely be one of my favorite pasta recipes! Don't forget to go visit Gina and her blog and tell her how good her recipe sounds! Once you're there, take some time to get to know her! You won't regret it!'s another special treat for you today. If you haven't tried out my Crockpot Chicken yet, head over to Cropped Stories. I'm taking over Elena's blog today and sharing another delicious, quick, and easy recipe over there!

      Wednesday, July 4, 2012

      - happy 4th -

      Happy 4th of July!

      Ellie's first two Independence Day's up at the lake were filled with smiles all day! 
      And she's is definitely enjoying her third year up here even more!
      I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!

      Her first year at the lake...

      Year number two...I love her squishy face!

      Monday, July 2, 2012

      - quick recipe of the week -

      I hope everyone had a great weekend! Although it's Monday, I only have a one day work week...we are leaving on our annual 4th of July trip to the lake, and I can not wait! Rest, relaxation, and fun! I plan on doing absolutely nothing except lounging on a floaty all day with a drink in my hand, and a happy husband and toddler enjoying the lake! Just what the Dr. ordered huh?

      Today I am so excited for you to meet Michelle, from You're my favorite today. Michelle is seriously a breath of fresh air in the blogging world! She's hilarious...and real! It's always so nice to read her posts! Michelle is a wife and momma to 2 girls (whom she lovingly refers to as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" on her blog). She loves her family with everything she has and takes such good care of all three of them. Her favorite thing to do is spending time and making memories at her happy place. And who could blame her? It looks like a marvelous and so family orientated!

      (Image credit Michelle)

      Today she is sharing one of her and her hubby's favorite recipes! Enjoy!

      Bruschetta Chicken
      4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      1/2 cup KRAFT Sun Dried Tomato dressing, divided
      1 small carton of grape tomatoes, cut in half
      1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
      1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil leaves

      Marinate chicken breasts in 1/4 of cup dressing for about 30 minutes. Broil chicken for about 20 minutes. While chicken is broiling, cut tomatoes and mix with basil and cheese and the other 1/4 cup dressing. After about 20 minutes, take chicken out and top with tomato mixture. Continue cooking an additional 8-10 minutes.

      (Image credit Michelle)
      (Image credit Michelle)

      Thank you Michelle! That recipe look so easy and tasty. Definitely a weekday must do! Make sure you go over to Michelle's blog. You will love her witty, funny and "real" writing style. She's just plain awesome! Simple as that! As for me, I am off to pack up our car and hit the road for a little bit of family fun! I may or may not post from the lake...(okay, who am I kidding? Writing a blog post is probably one of the last things I'll be doing when I'm up there). But don't worry, I'll be back before you know it!

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