Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recipe Club - July and a little catch up

Last got away from me a little bit as we had an impromptu road trip for a family funeral and then some catch up time with family.  So I have a favorite recipe for Andrea's monthly recipe club and few fun pictures to share.

First up I have my new favorite go-to dinner recipe.  Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos from Chef in Training.  These bad boys are delicious, easy to make and only require a few ingredients.  Plus nothing crazy unusual goes into them - I like this for easy grocery shopping!  The meat is cooked in the crockpot all day and then just assembled and broiled for 5 minutes before serving.  Great for a quick, delicious dinner.  Not to mention the left overs are great for lunch the next day!  :)

Second, I have to share a recipe that changed my life.  Seriously - change my life.  I'm not sure if I am the only one but I do not understand sugar cookies.  Especially hard sugar cookies...yuck.  Not wasting calories on a cookie that does not have chocolate in it.  No way!  So when I found Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe for Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies I thought they looked good enough to pin (and it had chewy in the title) but I didn't make them right away. 
Chewy and super-soft Brown Sugar Cookie recipe by No mixer required!
Then came 4th of July and I thought a chewy cinnamon sugar cookie would be a festive treat.  The cookies are rolled in sugar before baking and I had blue and red sugar on hand.  Cute, right?  Well, due to my history of not loving sugar cookies I knew I had to pre-make a batch in case I needed a Plan B. 

My Plan B ended up being a second batch since I devoured the first batch.  #oops

These cookies are so easy to make, ridiculously chewy and DELICIOUS!  Seriously I don't know if it is the brown sugar or cinnamon or something else entirely but these cookies are one of my new favorites to make.  I can just picture them rolled in green and red sugar for Christmas cookies! 

Hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Time to catch up on life lately...

My boys hanging at the pool
 Checking out the dam that is near our river property
Yes, that is a bowling ball she is using as a swing.  I didn't think much about it until someone made a Miley Cyrus reference.  #notawesome #parentingfail
But girlfriend sure thought it was fun!  :)

 I drove up to Wisconsin with my cousin and her little girls.  (Chase stayed home with Daddy and spent some quality time with Grandma Deb)
Natalie and Olivia are 6 months apart and had the best time together! 
 Spending some quality time meeting their extended family and learning about bocce ball.
 Natalie asked our waitress at breakfast for a bowl of Fruit Loops and this is what they brought her.  You know when you can tell when your waitress doesn't have kids?!?  Yeah, this would be one of those times.  ;) 
Lucky for us we didn't have any spills and she actually ate most of it!  Way to go Natalie!
 Since we were right by Lake Michigan in Milwaukee we decided to show the girls the riverfront and let them run off some energy before our 7 hour car ride home.
Love this picture of Natalie and my dad checking out the marina.
3 generations.
 She was a great little traveling buddy - especially when her grandpa spoiled her with ice cream!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Favorites - Zoo fun, Sale Shopping and Face Painting! WooHoo!

Today I am linking up with a couple of my favorite bloggers Andrea and Erika to share our Friday favorites!

One of my absolute favorite things is spending time with my bestie and enjoying 70 degree temps in July.  Yesterday, I convinced her to play hooky from work (yes, I am a bad influence.  ha!) and hang at the zoo with us.  We had the best day with our kiddos and catching up!


It was near impossible to get a picture of these two together!  They are just too quick and prefer not to stand still for long!

Another favorite thing, is making memories with my sweet girl.  She saw a little girl with her face painted at the zoo but I wasn't interested in paying $10 for it so I promised we could do some special face painting at home.  She was so excited that I could paint a butterfly for her!  Love her so much!
Natalie had to paint my face as well  :)

My last favorite shopping!!!  :)

Up until I started reading Shaeffer's amazing blog I rarely shopped at Nordstrom.  Not because I didn't like their stuff - cause I did - but because we only have 1 store in town and it isn't exactly close to our house.  Lucky for me (less lucky for my hubby), Shaeffer introduced me to their fabulous return policy so online shopping became doable. 

Per her recommendation, I have purchase 2 pairs of Vigoss jeans.  One pair of these and a distressed pair that they no longer sell.  Seriously, best recommendation ever as I have to force myself to include other jeans in the rotation.  She convinced me to buy my first pair of leggings and I'm so glad I did.  They are currently on sale for $23.50!  I also splurged a little and bought the best pair of contouring panties ever.  Again, on sale for $12.90 a pair!  This adorable jacket that is no longer available.  Boo!  I have also bought quite a few scarves she recommended as well.

So today I was up at 4:30am to shop the Anniversary sale.  I purchased the blardigan, a striped sweater with elbow patches and a tunic that Shaeffer named a must have.  I have been STRESSED about purchasing the blardigan since the sale has been live to cardholders (not me, sniff) for over a week and I had heard rumors that it had sold out.  Luckily, I was able to get the one below in my size this morning.  It has an estimated ship date of next week so let's all cross our fingers that it will be mine soon!

 Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Come on In ... Kid's Rooms! And a Kitchen update :)

Hi all!!!  It's time again to link up with Andrea at Momfessionals for her Come On In Series.  Today it is all about our Kid's Rooms!  I have a very special place in my heart for our kiddo's rooms as I put quite a bit of love and time into planning the "look" of each room.

When we brought Natalie home we were living in a different home and preparing to put the house on the market.  I knew I couldn't do an over the top nursery (thinking about resale!) nor did I really want to since we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl.  So when we moved to our new home I really wanted to make sure Natalie had a fun girl room.  We left Chase's room unpainted for about 8 months after we moved in.  At move in time I wasn't pregnant (though we would be soon after!) and I wanted to make the room either very girly or very boy for our new baby. 
Natalie's room on the day we moved in
Putting the Grandpas to work removing the wallpaper border
Working on the chevron wall with my dad.  Taping the lines took FOREVER but it was so worth it!
Don't paint the sections with the tape pieces!!!  ;)
The finished product!!!  I have no idea why it looks like I used 3 different paint colors (though it looks like that in person too depending on the light) but the dark stripe is the same color as the other 3 walls.
As it looks today with all Natalie's special touches.  ;)
Lots of purple, pink and princesses! 
Her reading nook.  Natalie loves to read and look at all her books. 
Makes my heart happy that she shares my love of reading.

Chase is right next door to Natalie.
Both kiddos have wreaths on their doors that were used at their birthday parties.

I don't have a before picture for Chase's room but it was almost identical to Natalie's...just without the wallpaper border!
I wanted a very 'boy' room and a good contrast to Natalie's girly room. 
Looking in from the door.  Very green, blue and sports!

His toy corner.
I spent quite a bit of time searching for ideas on Pinterest and fell in love with this HGTV room.

Back in May, I linked up for kitchens and dining rooms.  Since then we have changed out our appliances and added backsplash. 
If you missed the original post check it out here.

I forgot that I had this before picture from the very first time we saw the house.
Before the new appliances and backsplash
I love the new look!  Now I just need to figure out how (or if) I want to decorate the top cabinets.  Any suggestions?!?
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summer Bucket List

Now that Summer is well underway, I wanted to share our bucket list of activities we are hoping to accomplish before Natalie starts preschool.  I did some research for fun local activities, asked my mom friends what they liked to do over the summer and of course, checked out Pinterest for ideas too.

Some of these we have already done and some will be works in progress all summer long.  A couple are a little more of a stretch but hopefully we can still get them done.  If not?  No biggie.  We are having a summer full of fun, friends, family and ADVENTURE!!!
The bucket list so far...
Busch Stadium Tour

Zoo day with Daddy

Natalie was so excited she found Pascal from Tangled.  :)
Strawberry Picking
 We made the most delicious strawberry scones with our picks.  Check out the recipe here.

Splash pad in our clothes!  A 'yes, mom' moment for sure :)

Our 1st attempt at an outdoor movie in the park.
 Anna & Elsa even showed up to watch Frozen with us!

Our movie plans were foiled by a pop up thunderstorm.  We were absolutely drenched by the time we got to the car!!!  Definitely a fun memory ;)

 Cloud Dough 

 Grant's Farm with Grandpa Rob

Feeding the goats at Grant's Farm

 Sparklers before the fireworks started.
Some of our swimming fun

She loved the water slide!
We have also started our summer reading program at the library, visited lots of parks, played with sidewalk paint, had popsicles and ice cream on many occasions and done a few fun crafts!
Love summertime fun!