Friday, August 31, 2012

- our weekend recap -

We had a pretty awesome and special weekend last weekend because I got to meet Tiffany and her adorable family, in real life! Tiffany and I are lucky enough to not only live in the same state, but to only live about 5 hours from each other. So we decided a few months ago that a road trip was in order to get us and our families together. We picked a place halfway in between us (okay, okay, not really halfway...we definitely had the shorter distance to drive than they did...sorry Tiffany!)

I was never nervous about meeting Tiffany...just plain excited. I felt like we definitely knew each other pretty well through our blogs, Instagram, and emails, and I knew we would hit it off. But I'd be lying if I said Matt wasn't a little nervous about the whole thing. He kept asking me "What if we have nothing to talk about?" It was cute...and pretty darn funny, considering Matt can get a long with pretty much anyone and is never lacking things to talk about (my hubby loves to talk! :-) Love ya babe!). I did wonder how Ellie would do around Tiffany's daughter Hadley, who is just a little older than Ellie, but at the end of the day, I knew I would love Tiffany, and that's all that mattered!

And right I was! Tiffany is an awesome gal that I just adore. We had so much fun talking and hanging out. And the guys (my hubs and Tiffany's fiance, Lloyd) hit it off instantly (and they were never at a loss of what to talk Ellie warmed up to Hadley pretty fast (well, her version of "warming up"), and more importantly, Hadley warmed up to me quite nicely! She's an adorable little girl and I loved playing with her!. Tiffany's youngest, Henry, was usually in and out of his pack n play, so while we didn't see him much, he was just as adorable as his older sister!

We talked about blogging, we talked about work, we talked about kids, we talked about life. It was great, and I am so glad we decided to jump in and plan the "meet up" getaway! We already decided though, that our next trip would be sans fun as it was to get them together, a trip is never truly relaxing with toddlers around...and Tiffany and Lloyd had two toddlers to entertain!

 It's so wonderful knowing that Tiffany is now not only a fabulous blogging friend...but a stupendous real life friend as well!! She's awesome and I love her!!!

The girls!

The mini girls...can you please look at Ellie's cheesy, fake smile??

Oh Lloyd... :-)

Beautiful gal and her munchkin!

The whole gang...well hello Henry! Nice to see your adorable face out of your pack n Oh, and there's Ellie's cheesy, fake smile again! And please excuse the horrible picture camera stayed on automatic pretty much the entire weekend and I definitely captured a lot of blurry, grainy pictures!

 So glad I got to meet this fun and beautiful gal!

Can't wait to do it again, Tiffany!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

- blog redesign -

I'm thinking I need a blog refresh/redesign...while I want to keep my blog design simple like it currently is...I think it needs some little changes here and there...can anyone recommend someone who will do a blog redesign very afford-ably but professionally?

Monday, August 27, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

One word to sum up this past weekend...hmmm...AMAZING! Yup! It was pretty darn good! We got to hang out with Tiffany, my blogger friend real life friend. and her family. It was great getting to meet her finally, and we all had a great time! More to come on that later this week...

But for now, I'd like you to meet Danavee, from The Vintage Grove. I just recently found Danavee when I pinned one of her delicious recipes on Pinterest, and then started wandering around her blog getting to know her. I love her blog and I'm so excited to feature her today!

(Image credit Danavee)

Danavee lives in Missouri with her two loves, the Mister and their mutt, Sir Chester. She is a fourth grade teacher that dreams of owning an antique shop devoted to home decor and design. But since she currently still teaches, she gets her antique shop fix by having a small booth at a local antique mall. She is an avid thrifter with a love for all things shabby and vintage. Danavee and The Mister enjoy sprucing up their little fixer upper one room at a time, attempting to DIY as many projects as possible. This Vintage Grove is a way for her to record and share their home improvement efforts, with a ton of other stuff thrown in the mix. Recipes, her attempts at being fashionable, thrifting finds, home decor, and other randomness. She loves meeting new people and would love it if you stopped by her blog to say hello!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup of cilantro
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 teas. dried onions
1/2 cup of water

Add every single ingredient to the crockpot. This could be cooked on low all day, or you could set the crockpot to high and cook for four(ish) hours. Once the chicken is cooked, use a fork to shred it, and stir well. Spoon chicken into soft taco tortillas. Top with cheese, sour cream, salsa, and tomatoes. Garnish with a few lime wedges.

(Image credit Danavee)

Delicious! These look so easy, and yummy! They will definitely be made regularly in my house! I absolutely love quick and easy crockpot recipes!! Thank you so much Danavee! This sounds like an excellent recipe!

Friday, August 24, 2012

- giveaway -

I'll be relaxing poolside this weekend with my babe, and my hubby....oh, yeah, and the super cool Tiff and her family! I can't wait!
While I'm's some exciting news...

Giveaway! Hosted by blabbering thoughts!

There will be 17 different winners.. PLUS one of the lucky 17 will win a SURPRISE gift from blabbering thoughts .

Good luck!!!!!!!!

OPI Nail Polish and Manicure Set

Medium Ad Space

300x300 Ad

Chelsea @ Yours Truly
A set of 6 custom made social media buttons

Large Ad Space
Meghan @ Shine On
 $5 to Starbucks + an Essie polish

$10 Forever 21 Gift Card

Melissa @ Forever & a Day
Large Ad Space

Ellen @ This Hive
$15 Starbucks Gift Card

$10 via pay pal

Blog Banner + button design

Nikki @ Make Up Her
30 Day Ad Space

set of handmade cards

XL sponsor spot

Deluxe Ad Space

3 months of medium ad space

Tall Blog Ad 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

- since I haven't been around much, here's where else you can find me -

Okay, okay...I know I've been using the "busy" excuse since May...but in my defense, the end of April/beginning of May was when my assistant left work on personal leave...and she is still not back. Too put it lightly, it's been HELL at work, causing a snowball effect in the rest of my life. Thus my blogging has been pretty hit or miss for the past 3 months.

But, I have found lately that it has been so much easier to stay in touch with people through other forms of social media, especially the ones that are easy to update via my essential iPhone. So, if you aren't already following me on instagram (kynad), or on Facebook, please find me and follow me there. Sometimes it's just so much easier for me to log onto either of those sites and quickly update or chat with people rather than sit down in front of my laptop and write a whole post.

Oh, and don't worry, I am still catching up on all of your blogs through Google Reader on my phone. Also much easier to do these days rather than reading everything on my computer...But if any of you guys have used Google Reader on your phone, you know it's not the easiest thing to do to comment on blogs you are reading.So I apologize I haven't been leaving lovely comments lately. I am reading though, I promise! I can't stand not catching up on all of my favorite blogs!

P.S- You should definitely enter this giveaway! 17 different prizes (one of them being provided by yours truly!)

P.P.S- I get to meet the lovely lady that is hosting that giveaway...this real life! Yup! I'm very excited for our meet up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

- beauty box swap -

I had the pleasure of participating in such a fun beauty box swap recently! I have always wanted to participate in a blog swap (how fun to get a cute package of surprises in the mail!). So when the awesomeness that I call Tiffany recently posted a beauty box swap, I was so excited to participate!

It was fun going out and buying little beauty goodies for the person that I had...and I was doubly excited when I received my fun little beauty package in the mail! 

Jacinta from My Beauty Boxes had me, and she sent me such a fun box!

(I do have to apologize, if a few things are not pictured...the little thing in my house that I call my kid happened to grab a few things and run away before I was able to snap the picture. I think ended up finding all the items that went missing...but unfortunately they didn't make it into the picture)

I received some awesome eye shadows and eye liners, fun lip gloss and lip stick, some super cute nail polish, and some great facial creams! My favorite thing, hands down is the Bremenn Miracle Cream. It's awesome!

Thank you so much, Jacinta! I love all of my goodies!

Monday, August 20, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hi folks...sorry for the late post today. The busier I get, the more and more my blog seems to take a back seat. Sad, I know...but true! We had such a busy weekend and I just could not muster enough energy to write this post last night. So alas, here it is...another dessert. But so simple, and so good!

I have an obsession for's so yummy! The other day my friend Lisa texted me telling me how she had finally bought Nutella...then, a few minutes later, she texted me to tell me she was so surprised that Nutella wasn't all that healthy for you!! I giggled out loud, and asked her why in the world she would ever think anything that ever tasted so good would be healthy? lol... Her response..."Well, because you love it and eat it so much, so I figured it had to be healthy!" Awe, Lisa, that's sweet of you to say, but contrary to what I want to believe and what everyone else thinks, I am definitely not a perfect, healthy eater! Nutella just tastes way too good to be good for you...and I can never pass up Nutella!

Nutella Cookies
1 cup Nutella
1 whole egg
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar

Blend all ingedients together well. Form into 1″ balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Press down firmly with the bottom of a glass. Bake 7-8 minutes or until set. Cool.

(Image credit

I'm not gonna lie...these aren't the prettiest cookies to look at once they are baked (mine looked nothing like the picture). But they are so yummy, so it's pretty easy to overlook how funny they ended up looking! Enjoy!

p.s- I am looking for more recipe contributors starting next Monday, August 27th. If you're interested, I'd love to feature you! Contact me through my blog with your email address and I will get you on the schedule!

Friday, August 17, 2012

- omg, way too funny! -

A long while back, I posted this post because it rang so true...and was seriously so darn funny! I recently found another one that had me laughing so hard...

For some of you with that toddler that just loves to sleep, and doesn't even budge from the position he falls asleep, in all night long, this might be a foreign concept to you. (good for you...kudos...enjoy your wonderful, undisturbed sleep...I am green with envy...and I might also be a little annoyed with how many of you are out there with this idyllic situation!) However, for those of you that have been blessed with a crappy sleeper like my child...this is all too familiar. At least we can get a good laugh about it!

An "Honest Toddler" letter...

I'm Sorry -
Look mom. I can tell from the way you haven't looked me in the eye since fetching me from my crib well before dawn that you're upset about last night. Waking up every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours isn't easy for me either.

In my defense, my blanket really did keep coming off, I was thirsty, and... I can't remember the other reasons, but I'm sure they were equally valid.

There was at least one nightmare. I was in a strange house. I knew it wasn't ours because the dishes were washed and your hair wasn't everywhere.

I do want to thank you for bringing back the 3 a.m. milk that you worked so hard to get me off of. It was delicious and instrumental in helping me wake up soaked in urine at around 4. Can't wait to have it again forever.

You seem tired and short tempered this morning which is why I felt more comfortable writing this than having a face-to-face. Can I get you anything? A cup of coffee? While you're up please bring me a sippy cup of juice and some unbroken crackers. Oh that's right. We don't have crackers... I recall you saying that around 1:15 a.m. That's OK. Why keep the house stocked with my favorite foods? I'm sure we have two kinds of wine though. But that's fine.

Anyway I wanted to thank you for changing my pajamas and throwing that towel down on my pee pee sheets. I noticed you didn't open your eyes once (weird). It's also OK that you didn't actually change my sheets. I find the faint smell of ammonia comforting. Love means doing things halfway.

I mean, I know another mother or a grandma might have removed the soiled sheets and replaced them with freshly laundered ones... but you just do you.

There is something I did want to discuss now that I have your attention. It's none of my business what goes on between you and father after I go to bed but if you could just throw on a robe before coming into my room, that'd be awesome. I think you should definitely rock what you've got, but angry nude lumbering zombie isn't your best look. I want to be honest.

This seems like as good a time as any to bring up the possibility of reintroducing cosleeping. I can't promise I won't judo kick you to the face like I used to but at least one of us will get a good night's sleep and isn't that what matters?

Anyway. I hope this note brings you some comfort. You really do look awful. Maybe you'd feel better if you made us some breakfast?

love and hugs,
your Honest Toddler

Oh boy, do we know those sleepless nights all too well. I never thought I would still be up at all hours of the night with a 2.5 year old.  But this letter at least made me laugh about it...well, until tonight, when we are doing it all over again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

- vegas baby -

We went, we saw, we conquered...Vegas baby! I had a blast with my amazing sister-in-law and all of her awesome friends! Definitely a great group of girls to spend the weekend with.
 Our agenda for the weekend looked a little like this:

Lounge by the pool
Get dressed to the nines
Drink some more
Wake up as late as we pleased
Lounge by the pool in style...private cabana
Get dressed to the nines again
Eat again
Drink again
Wake up
Leave for the airport way too early
Arrive home exhausted, but happy

At the airport...waiting to leave!

 Toasting the bachelorette...please excuse my squinting eyes!

The girls!

My amazing sister in law...such a fun, spirited girl!

Good looking group, huh? 

Private pool, private cabana...yeah, I could get used to this!

As much fun as I had, I was definitely missing my hubby, my munchkin, and my bed by Sunday morning. 
Hands down, the best part of the entire weekend...seeing this little face waiting for me at baggage claim! 

Matt brought her into the airport with the cutest little sign, to welcome me home. She took her job of holding the sign so seriously, it was the cutest thing ever.  SO much better than him just picking me up curbside in the car.  

Overall, amazing weekend...beautiful bachelorette, fun girls, and an awesome homecoming!

Monday, August 13, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

I'm alive...I survived Vegas! And I had a great, but exhausting time! I feel like I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend! A bachelorette party in Vegas really takes it out of you (and folks, we were really mellow compared to most bachelorette parties!!).

I'll check in tomorrow or Wednesday to share a few pictures from the weekend. But for now, I want you to meet Meg, from henning love. Meg is seriously cute as can be! She always has fun recipes and fashion posts up on her blog...and have I mentioned just how darn cute she is???

(Image credit Meg)
Meg loves to blog about life as a wife, mom to two cute and adorable Jack Russell Terriers and her baking adventures. Each morning you will find a pair of running shoes on her feet and a cup of coffee in hand, ready to face the day. You definitely have to check her blog out. She looks forward to finding new favorite blogs and meeting the person behind their blog!

Key Lime Coconut Bars

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs,
2 tablespoons sugar,
1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes,
1/2 cup melted butter,
3 cans of sweetened condensed milk,
3/4 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed is best),
1/2 cup sour cream,
1 tablespoon lime zest.

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. In your square 8X8 pan, line it with parchment paper and leave the ends out. Or if you are using a non-stick pan, you are good to go. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and coconut flakes. Add in the melted butter and combine the ingredients until it is the consistency of wet sand. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. Once the crust is baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool and leave the oven on.
In your mixing bowl, add the 3 cans of sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Turn your mixer to get the ingredients a good mix. Pour the contents over the cooled graham cracker crust. Then bake the lime bars into the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is set. Remove the bars out of the oven, let it cool and once cooled, put them in the refrigerator to chill. When the bars are chilled, slice up them into squares, make some homemade whipped cream, put a dollop on the square and sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top of the whipped cream.
*To toast coconut flakes, you can do this while the crust or filling is baking, spread some coconut flakes on a baking sheet, pop it in the oven for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden brown. Put the flakes out, let them cool and garnish your key lime coconut squares with them.

(Image credit Meg)

Mmmm, another delicious summer friendly dessert recipe! It sounds delicious Meg! Thank you so much for sharing! Make sure you go visit Meg to say hi!

Friday, August 10, 2012

- and i'm off -

And I'm Vegas...wish me luck folks! Girls weekend to celebrate my awesome sister in law. Complete with tropical drinks by the pool all day, and good food (and yes, more cocktails) at night...perfect ingredients for a bachelorette party, right?

(oh, and btw...the dresses that made the cut from this post ?? Number 1 and 4!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

- a little dress dilemma -

Yeah, so this weekend is the weekend....going to Vegas for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party! And as much as I am excited and probably really need this short getaway, I'm not gonna lie when I say a bachelorette party sounds kind of exhausting right about now! I seriously don't know if I can hang with the rest of these girls! I've been so stressed out and exhausted lately, that I have a feeling one drink is going to put me right to sleep! (don't worry, I'll be sure to be back next week to report on how I did!)

A week or two ago, I casually mentioned in this post that I seriously did not have any Vegas appropriate attire. This momma just doesn't buy that kind of stuff anymore...I never have a need for it! Well, my sweet hubby came home that night after reading my blog, and told me we would go shopping for some dresses for me (yup, told you he's a keeper!) However, we both got busy (story of our lives!), and while we did squeeze in one quick shopping trip, it was in the evening, and with Ellie's bedtime quickly approaching, we only hit up one store. I found nothing! (come on Forever did you fail me? You've always provided me with inexpensive, cute, "clubbing appropriate" attire).

Alas this past weekend, I finally decided I had to do something about this. So I whipped out my computer and did some online browsing late Sunday night.

After hitting up every possible website I have ever shopped on, I finally came up with these prospects. I needed choices, so I made sure I ordered all 4 of them, with the intentions of only keeping one. Yes, I spent an exorbitant amount of money on express shipping, but they were all on sale! So those two things just about canceled each other out.

I have yet to get any of them...nothing like having to make a last minute decision, huh? I am keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of them will be perfect and ready to wear straight out of the box! If not, well folks, I may just be living it up in a Vegas club in my super comfortable, but so not clubbing appropriate maxi dress!

Monday, August 6, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Oh Mondays...How I have begun to loathe you when you roll around. It's not that you're always all that's just that you always follow Saturday and Sunday, and I love those days so much, that the natural reaction to you is not a very pleasant one. My deepest apologies...but next week, I'm sure it will be much of the same!

But Mondays do always mean a new recipe, so today, I'd like to introduce you to Sharla, from The House at Bluebird Lane. What first drew me to Sharla's blog was all of her gluten free recipes. And while I don't follow a gluten free diet, I know a lot of people who do, so I thought her blog would be great to feature. And then when I perused her blog further, I found some of the cutest home decorating projects...many that I have already pinned! You definitely should go check her out!

(Image credit Sharla)
Sharla is a Texas girl who lives in the country. (And yes, she does really live on Bluebird Lane). She's been married to my military man for the past 17 years. They have two children, a daughter and a son. They are an animal loving family and their current menagerie includes: horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and a frog.

Sharla has celiac disease, hence all of the gluten free recipes on her blog. She has been eating gluten-free for the past 30+ years.

She's a do-it-yourself kind of girl and loves making over and re-purposing items for her home, particularly thrift store finds! She's fairly new to photography but loves taking pictures, especially of nature.

Easy Summer Chicken Kale
1 medium onion - chopped
8-10 stalks of fresh kale
1-2 cups of grilled chicken - sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Wash kale and remove leaves from stems and tear into pieces. Add kale and chicken to sautéed onions and cover with lid.  Cook 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated. Season to taste.

(Image credit Sharla)

This is a great recipe even if you aren't on a gluten free diet! And if you've never tried kale, don't be afraid of it! I promise you, it's easy to cook, and super tasty (oh, and very healthy for you too)! Thank you Sharla, for this quick, easy, and healthy recipe!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

- finagle a foto -

If you haven't met Melanie yet, you definitely need to. This gal is awesome! If we lived closer, we would be absolutely inseparable...I just know it! She's definitely a true soul mate...a friend meant to be!

She asked me to guest host her weekly Finagle a Foto challenge, and I gladly obliged!

Happy Jax

Take a trip over to her blog and check out this awesome photo challenge that I am guest hosting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

- trying to find balance in the midst of chaos -

Okay, so I wouldn't say my life is complete chaos lately, but it's close! And trying to find that balance in my life has been really hard lately.

I work full time
I have a family that needs me
I try to make sure we eat good by cooking healthy meals
I like to blog, to journal and record my life
I like (and need) a clean organized house
I love photography and I love styling and planning photo shoots
I have friends that I enjoy talking to and hanging out with
I need to...and sort of enjoy working out
I like crafting
I like to read other blogs, and meet new bloggers, and connect with them
I like to travel, take weekend getaways, plan adventures
I have a husband that wants (and definitely deserves) quality time with me
I like to go shopping, sometimes at places other than online
I enjoy reading books, and watching movies
I love being outdoors
I like to try new things, do things I've never done before
 I have a need for occasional alone time, to just be with myself

A good friend of mine, Nina, recently said "Balance is hard"...
...yes, it certainly is. Those 3 simple words are so, so true.

I am struggling right now to find balance
I am going through some stressful times at work, which is disrupting this balance even more
Something always seem to be left behind...there is always something I just can't get to.
I know this is normal for a working, married woman with a toddler.
But it doesn't matter if it's completely normal.
That still doesn't make me feel any better when I want to do it all
I HAVE to do some of those things on that list, and I WANT to do the others.
But it always seems like the "want to" things are the ones that get left undone.

There are a handful of things on that list above that I can't remember the last time I had time to do.
And that makes me sad sometimes...and stressed other times.
And wishing I had more "time in the day" all the time.
 "Balance is hard"...
...let's hope I can find some soon

(Image credit

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