Monday, December 31, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone!! I hope everyone has some exciting plans tonight and everyone stays safe! We have spent every New Year's Eve since Ellie was born in the comfort of our own home. It's the one night of the entire year, that we really don't have a babysitter available to us, and actually, it's not really such a bad thing. Gone are the days of clubbing, ringing in the new year at fancy restaurants, and staying out till 2 a.m. Nowadays, we get into comfortable clothes, sometimes invite friends over to join us, and just hunker down at home to watch the count down on tv. We haven't ever kept Ellie up till midnight, and don't plan to this year. That little girl already has enough sleeping issues...I don't want to create another one by allowing her to stay up that late...even if it's a special occasion!

I do plan to get back to more regular blog posts once the craziness of the holidays end. Until then, here's a super simple easy New Year's drink recipe for you! Enjoy!

Cotton Candy Champagne
cotton candy
champagne (or sprite/sparkling water)

Fill the glass with a handful of cotton candy. Pour champagne over the cotton candy. Serve immediately and enjoy!

(Image credit Smarty had a Party)

Have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve! Here's to 2013!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

- our christmas in pictures -

This will be a {mostly} wordless post (because I am too lazy to write up a blog post today...ha ha) are some of my favorite pictures of our Christmas this was, as always, a wonderful day!

 Christmas eve...mommy fail! We had no chocolate chip cookies or carrots! We made do with thin wafer cookies and wilted lettuce! (and yes...she wears a skirt over her pajamas EVERY NIGHT....silly little girl!)

 The baby doll was a hit! And she named it after herself! Yup, she named her "Baby Ellie"! lol!

 She LOVES arts and crafts! My dad and stepmom bought this for her, and she loved it!

Monday, December 24, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Merry Christmas Eve to you all! This post is going to be short and sweet today...I'm sending you over to Tiffany's amazing blog for today's quick recipe of the week!

Enjoy (and thanks Tiff, for letting me take an easy way out today! Love ya hon!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

- in the end...does it really matter -

in the end, does it really matter?

does it matter that your child wants to wear the same pajamas four nights in a row or is the pickiest eater ever?

does it matter that you just can't do you skip that workout, or you order take out for dinner?

does it really matter that things didn't go perfectly as you had planned...that you were late to that football game...or that you have to plan your life around nap schedules still, so you just have to miss out on some things?

does it really matter that you let your child come into your room and sleep next to you just because she wants to be close to you and that's the reason she just can't sleep through the night...are you really creating a "non breakable" habit...or are you just being there for you child when they are young, and need you the most?

does it really matter if your house just isn't laden with Christmas decorations because you just haven't had the time to create that "perfect" Christmas look...does it mean that it's cold and un-festive, or is it actually the people in a house that create the love and warmth, rather than the decorations?

does it really matter if your car is dirty, the laundry is piling up, gifts need to be wrapped, and yet you choose to bring your child to see Santa instead of staying home to do the housework?

in light of the horrific tragedy that happened in Connecticut last Friday, the answer to all of these questions is a big, resounding no! these are not the important things in life...these are not the things that should be causing you stress or anger. yet, these are all things we have been battling with in our house over the past couple of weeks. these are the things that we have thought were important. these are the trivial things that we have bickered about under our roof, or raised our voices about. we are not a perfect family, and we never will be. but I can tell you, Friday opened my eyes and made me see so much more clearly...and made me realize that we need to work on becoming a family that tries to live every day to the fullest.

what if this was your last day with your loved ones...before you fight, raise your voices, or stress out over something, ask yourself...what if this was your last day with your loved the end, does it really matter?

Monday, December 17, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Wow, what a heart wrenching past couple of days we have had, huh? I'll leave my thoughts and feelings for another post, but my heart is breaking for everyone touched by the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Every time I so much even think about it, the tears start flowing. It's so, so devastating and horrific...

Whew...(pause while I collect myself once again)...

Okay, today I am recycling an old recipe I have posted before...because it is an absolute must for the holidays, and it's also something fun the kids can help you make. Quality time with their kids should be everyone's number one priority after what happened on Friday, and this is definitely something that is very toddler friendly!

Puppy Chow
9 cups Chex cereal
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or baking chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1.5-2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a pot over the stove, or in the microwave. Add the vanilla to the mixture. Pour Chex cereal into a large mixing bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over the Chex. Mix gently until cereal is fully coated with chocolate. Pour powdered sugar into a large ziploc bag. Spoon the Chex in to the bag and shake until coated with powdered sugar. Cool and enjoy!

(Image credit

*Hint, the part that is so much fun for the kids to help out with is the "shaking in the bag" step...although, you might want to double bag your mixture if your kid is an especially strong "shaker"...ha ha!

You'll love to have bowls of this around your house this holiday season...but be's addicting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

- i'm still alive! -

Yeah, so, it looks like I missed Monday's Quick Recipe of the Week post huh?...I am still alive and kicking... but you know how it goes this time of year...the holidays are quickly approaching and I have not done ONE thing as far as Christmas preparation goes. No, seriously, I'm not kidding...not one gift wrapped, the holiday dinner we are hosting at our house on Christmas eve with a bunch of our friends has not even been planned yet, the majority of our Christmas gifts have not been purchased even yet...sigh.

And, as usual, the little one has not been all. The melatonin seems to be a fail after a 2 week trial. So, I have a grouchy, tired toddler, and I can barely keep my eyes open some alas, Monday's post was skipped (were those good enough excuses?? Hope so! ha ha!)

On a positive note...we got a little help with the yard work...thanks Ellie! Keep up the good work...such a useful child we have! :-)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

- vacation post, part 1 -

So I brought home a little head cold from Mexico that is kicking my butt right now, so when I sat down to download and edit our vacation pictures, it all got a little overwhelming! Hopefully I'll have some more to post once I am feeling this is just a little teaser!

Our trip was absolutely amazing! We stayed in a private villa in Puerto Vallarta, complete with a private infinity swimming pool, rooftop deck, outdoor living room and bar, and (drum roll please...this was the best part) a personal cook/housekeeper that cooked our meals, cleaned the villa, and even went shopping for us so that the place was stocked with our favorite foods before we got there. It was pure heaven! We've been to Mexico many times before, but we've always stayed at a resort (not a bad thing either). This was such a neat experience though because everything was personalized for us. Home cooked, authentic Mexican meals were cooked and served to us wherever we preferred to eat, homemade guacamole and margaritas were always in the fridge, and our awesome cook/housekeeper even went out to buy special food for Ellie since she is so darn particular about what she eats. It was amazing!

Here are some pictures of the villa, courtesy of the owner's website...

The living room had huge floor to ceiling glass doors that could be opened completely to create an open air living room

Rooftop deck

Outdoor bar and outdoor living area...we had most of our meals out here

The huge master bedroom

 As much as we were planning to go into the main town, and explore, we actually only ended up leaving the villa once. It was just too tempting to relax and lay by the pool every day! Without my laptop, and with very spotty wifi in the villa, I found myself forced to do other things besides play around on my take naps, and read! (I never seem to have time to read when I am at home!). We all got a lot of sleep, and a lot of relaxation in! And of course, Ellie absolutely loved every minute of it. She is such a dream to travel with. She is always so good on the plane, and does so well in hotels or other houses when we are on vacation. All in all, it was a wonderful, much needed trip! We are already planning a trip back for next year!

Here are just a few pictures from the 300+ that I downloaded...I'll share some more with you once I am feeling better and have more energy to sort through them and edit them!

Ellie was in awe of the view from our villa. She kept telling us how beautiful the city down below was!

One happy toddler...(don't worry, the edge was much wider than it looks in the pictures. She was perfectly safe in the pool and was never in there alone). 

Even when she wasn't swimming she was so content and happy up on the rooftop deck. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

We had an amazing and very relaxing time on vacation! A post will follow soon with pictures, and details...after I finish unpacking, settling back in to reality...oh, and kicking this cold I seem to have picked up some where between Puerto Vallarta and home. Ugh!

Today's recipe will be a hit at your next holiday party or potluck! Enjoy!

Pizza Dip
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded/grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons black olives, sliced

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the cheese cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Dip or use as a spread on slices of baguettes or other breads/crackers.

(Image and recipe credit

Looks good, doesn't it? It's definitely as good as it looks, I promise. Maybe not very low fat, but that's why you can just save it for your holiday get togethers when everyone is supposed to indulge!

Now I'm off to download the millions of vacation pictures I have sitting on my camera...I'll be back soon with my vacation post!

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