Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm linking up with Jennifer again for Thursday Thoughts. I guess I really have one thought/rant but here goes:

For a while now I've been trying to write a post about motherhood about how hard it is. Every few days I go back and reread and change it depending on my mood. This morning I had an experience that allowed me to finish it.

My son and I went to the grocery store to get a few things I need for this afternoon. As we went down the baby aisle (might as well get some more puffs while I'm there), I see two moms in the aisle having a conversation. When I get closer I can hear what they are talking about. These two women were talking horribly about another mother's decision to start giving her son formula at night! This really bothered me and got me to wondering why more mom's can't be supportive of each other. I chose to breast fed my son, not because I felt it makes me superior than formula feeding mothers but because it was the right choice for us. If formula is the right choice for you and your baby then that's what you should do. I was a formula fed baby and I turned out just fine in my opinion. Breast feeding is hard and takes a lot of time. If I had gone back to work I don't know if I would have been able to stick with it. It is definitely not the right choice for everyone. I would never talk bad about someone who made a different decision.  The same thing plays out on a mommy message board I'm apart of with various topics. I see mom's all the time giving others a hard time about their choices concerning food, sleep, diapering, ect. I give my son some of our food, I make some of his food, and I buy some of his food. It really depends on what we're/he's eating. I hate green beans but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have them. So I buy the little Gerber packages of them. When we travel, it is so much easier. This is horrible according to certain moms and just fine according to others. It leads to judgement on both sides. Again, we are all trying to do what is best for our baby and us in our current situation. I use disposable diapers because that is what works best for us. If you are willing to do cloth diapers, good for you. You are doing a great thing for the environment but it is not right for all of us. It is not right for many people for various reasons and should not be a reason for you to put another mom down. The endless debates over cry it out vs not seem to come up all the time. I can't listen to my little guy cry too much so cry it out is not right for me. Luckily, he sleeps pretty well so we didn't have to deal with that. For other people it is the right decision. We all are better parents on a good nights sleep. Who am I to judge anyone for how they get there??

I guess my point is that we all are just trying to do what's best for our children in our own unique situation. We, mothers, should support each other without judgement as best as we can. Motherhood is hard. Babies don't come with a manual and none of us are the supermoms Pinterest and other social media try to make us. It is just not possible. One of the reasons I started my blog was to connect with other mothers and get advice/support. There are a lot of those people out there and I am grateful. For those who aren't, consider how much better it would be if we all gave it a try?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

8 months old!

This past Sunday my little guy turned 8 months old. I can't believe it! It really does seem like yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital. He was really hamming it up during his photo shoot.
  • Weight: 21-22 lbs (We need a new scale)
  • Height: 29 inches
  • Clothes: 9 and 12 months. Most shirts/onesies are 9 months; most pants are 12 months. He's a tall fellow!
  • Two teeth are currently all the way in. Two more are about half way in. Two more are just barely visible under the surface. Soon he's going to have a whole mouth full!
  • Favorite things: all the usual toys--Sophie, Rattle Ball, blocks, the jumper, teethers and new favorite his dad's toy airplane
  •  He is eating every type of food we try. Favorites are still squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and apples. This month he's also really into pears and bananas!
  •  Sleeping--going great!! He is sleeping 11-12 hours at night. We still have to nurse to sleep for his 2 naps but night time sleep is great! Hopefully, nap time will soon be fixed!
  • He has started trying to wave to people. It is so cute!

So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying So What if:
  • I took a little blog vacation.
  • I didn't get the job I applied for even though I thought it was the perfect job for me. Guess it means I'm meant to be at home with my little guy. Although, "we hired someone with more experience" isn't something I can change or work on for next time.
  • Our Easter plans are still uncertain. My dad and step mom were supposed to come here but now she has a new job and may have to work. So we might drive 5 hours to B's parent's house but I can't pack because I don't know! AHHHH! It's driving me crazy!
  • I am so far behind on my trash TV shows. I don't think I've seen more than only 1 episode of Teen Mom this season.
  • I seriously considered eating roasted chicken for breakfast this morning! I made a roasted chicken last night and it was the best one I've ever made. I seriously looked at it for 5 minutes this morning before settling on mini-wheats.
  • (Speaking of breakfast) I can't start my morning without orange juice. I mean I'm addicted to it like others are to coffee.
  • I'm crazy excited to watch my plants come back up from last year. I check on my hydrangeas almost daily to make sure they still have new leaves. I am literally stalking the plants in my backyard. I am soooo ready for spring!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Madness

Well I filled out a bracket for March Madness. I have never done this before. I've always watched games and enjoy the tournament but never filled out the bracket. Naturally, I'm just not that competitive; however, this bracket has really made me want to win. I entered into Ramblings of a Suburban Mom's March Madness contest. It would be nice to win . She is giving away a prize that but that's not my main goal. I just realized I don't even know what the prize is!! What I really want to do is to beat my husband. I don't know why I'm want to beat him so bad but I think it's because he is super competitive especially where sports are concerned. He knows all about the teams and I've never heard of some of them. I have no idea where a lot of them are even from. I basically guessed my way through my picks. I still think it would be great the be able to beat him. The bragging rights would be crazy. I think he would be impressed if I just came close to his score. I know it's a long shot. I don't even know how it's scored. As of today, he has gotten all his picks right and I've missed a couple. Hopefully, things will start getting better for me! Everyone cheer for Louisville to win because I picked them and my husband picked Georgetown (I think)!

Cooking with Pinterest

First off I signed up for Bloglovin like everyone else it seems. I am sad that google reader is leaving. I loved how easy it was. I will continue to use it until July!

Moving on...

Earlier this week I made Crock pot French Dip Sandwiches. This was actually the second time I've made this recipe. I did make a few changes and overall we liked it better than the first time, which was also good by the way!

What you'll need (original recipe):
2-3 lb oven roast
2 cans beef broth (about 4 cups)
2 pkgs Lipton Onion Soup Mix    ** see note**
Sub Rolls
provolone cheese slices

Put oven roast in crock pot. Add beef broth and soup mix. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Shred roast with a fork, and return shredded beef to crock pot for a few more minutes. Slice open bread, and place a good amount of beef on one side, top beef with cheese slices. Broil open sandwich in oven for a few minutes, until the cheese gets melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, and serve with a ladle of au-jus left in crock pot.

The above is the original recipe. Here's what I changed and why. First of all, 2 packs of onion soup mix made it really salty to me so I used one the second time I made it. Next, I chopped a small onion and added it directly to the crockpot. I also added some minced garlic, some dried italian seasoning, and a couple dashes of worcheshire sauce. All of these seemed to give it really good flavor and like I said before the juice wasn't crazy salty like it was before. My husband really likes this and so did a friend of ours how was over the day we had the leftovers. Any  recipe that tastes better or as good on leftover day is pretty good in my book!

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm linking up with Jennifer for Thursday Thoughts. Here's what's on my mind today!
  • Yesterday I made brownies (after watching Food Network). I had to cut them all into squares and plate them before my husband got home. Why? I didn't want him to know I ate 3 of them after they were done! So couldn't leave them in the pan I baked them in. Also, I definitely did not enter those delicious bites into my My Fitness Pal app. So it was not correct about me having 200 calories left for the day!
  • I wonder why our Congressmen/women and our Senators still get paid when a lot of people, my husband included, are getting their pay cut because the government can't get their act together and pass a budget. This does not seem fair to me at all. If the rest of us don't do our jobs, we don't get paid so why should they.
  • I got my DVD in the mail yesterday from Netflix. It is Wreck It Ralph. I am so excited!! I don't know why I really want to see it but I can't wait to watch it. I was a little sad I couldn't watch it last night after the baby went to bed but we had company so I didn't want to be rude and watch TV instead of hanging out. Tonight--Wreck it Ralph!
  • The quest for a sippy cup my son will actually drink from continues. Sometimes I feel like we are trying to break a world record for how many cups we can have at one time. This is ridiculous. There should be some sort of try it out before you buy it program for these things. I have bought like 8 on recommendations of people who say their child wouldn't drink from any cup but loved this random one. Not my little guy. Any more recommendations?? Seriously, we will try any cup at this point.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday

It's Wednesday again so that means I'm linking up with Shannon over at Life after I Dew for So What! Wednesday. Here's what I'm saying So What to this week:
  • So what if my living room looks like a toy store exploded in it. The baby needs A LOT of toys to play with...apparently.
  • I told myself I was going to vacuum and mop the floors while the baby napped. He is currently asleep while I'm typing this.
  • I am sad that I finished Gone Girl last week. It was awesome! I've picked up a couple of other books I thought about reading in the past couple of days but I don't feel like either are going to be as good so I just put them back down.
  • The weather is driving me crazy. Last weekend it was near 80 here; tomorrow snow is in the forecast.
  • I watched Dancing with the stars for the first time ever this week! I know I'm way behind but it was pretty good. I'll probably watch it again. Although I do feel like the Bachelor is seriously trying to drag out his 15 minutes of reality show fame!
  • I have over 800 photos on my iPhone!
  • I filled out an NCAA basketball bracket for the first time ever! I secretly want it to do better than my husband's bracket since I don't follow college basketball and he does! Go Louisville!
  • I still haven't seen Les Miserables but I really want to...come on netflix.
  • Speaking of netflix, when is Pretty Little Liars season 3 going to show up on there?? It seems to take a long time for some shows. Others are available the week after they wrap--of course these are not the shows I want to watch.
That's all I've got for this week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cooking with Pinterest

Once again I am sharing a recipe I've tried from Pinterest. This one is lasagna roll-ups. I really, really, really love lasagna but it is a pain to make. This recipe promised to be easier and just as good. It didn't really seem to take any less time but it did taste pretty good. Serving it was easier in my opinion.

What you'll need:
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I used a jar of Classico Tomato Basil sauce instead. It was on sale at Publix)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (aka Italian Parsley, its about 1 small handful), chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup freshly, finely grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Romano Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
What to do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add one tablespoon olive oil into a large non-stick fry pan. Heat over medium high heat, crumble ground beef over oil, add chopped onions and cook mixture stirring occasionally and breaking up meat, until browned. Drain fat from beef. Pour beef mixture into a food processor and pulse for about 5 seconds until it is ground into fine pieces. Pour beef mixture back into fry pan and add crushed tomatoes (I poured in my jarred sauce), minced garlic, basil, oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste then cover with a lid and simmer over low heat while preparing pasta and cheese mixture.
Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Once noodles are cooked, drain and immediately line noodles in a single layer on waxed paper.  
Prepare cheese mixture (I did this while pasta is cooking) stir together ricotta cheese, egg, salt and pepper with a fork in a large mixing bowl until well combine. Stir in chopped fresh parsley. Add grated Mozzarella Cheese,  Parmesan Cheese and  Romano Cheese, stir mixture until well combine.
Stir meat sauce and spread 1/3 cup evenly into a 13x9 inch baking dish by tilting pan back and forth. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto each cooked lasagna noodle, then spread 1 heaping tablespoon meat sauce along the top of the cheese. Roll noodles up jellyroll style and arrange seam side down in baking dish. Cover rolled noodles with remaining meat sauce then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese evenly over roll ups. Tent lasagna roll ups with foil (don't allow foil to rest on cheese or it will stick you just want to loosely tent to prevent the cheese from browning) and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven.
It was delicious! I see us making this again in the future. We added a salad and garlic bread  for a complete meal. I probablly will try making the actual sauce next time instead of using a jar but the jar was so easy! As I said earlier, serving was really easy. You can see exactly where each noodle is.
Tonight, I'm trying crock pot french dip sandwiches so that will probably be my next review.

Photo Bomb!!

This weekend we went to the Huntsville Botanic Garden after my photography workshop there. I couldn't resist taking some photos of my little man. Here are my favorites!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cooking with Pinterest!

So I keep trying to do better about blogging about my recipe experiences with Pinterest! This week was my husband's birthday. A couple of months ago I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting. I instantly knew this was perfect for Bill's birthday so this week I tried it!

What you need (per the original recipe):
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
    With a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. I slowly added my flour a little at a time. I think it keeps it from going everywhere. Add the milk gradually until desired consistency is reached. The original recipe calls for about 4 tbsp of milk; however, it was really thick to me after this and I ended up about about twice that much so I could spread it on the cupcakes without tearing them. Gently fold in chocolate chips. The recipe says 1 cup but I just kept adding until it looked like the right amount to me. I used probably 1 1/3 cups of chips overall. Frost cooled cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.
    My husband loved these. I am not a big icing fan and even I liked them. I sent one batch to Bill's office and my cupcake plate was returned to me at lunch empty so it seems like engineers like cupcakes a lot! Overall, this recipe was a success!
    Here are some photos I took with my phone.

    Thursday Thoughts

    Thursday Thoughts

    Linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts again! Here's what's on my mind right now!
    • Sickness seems to finally have left our house...hurray! Things can finally get back to normal!
    • I am so looking forward to the warm up expected here this coming week. I am so ready for spring/summer. I definitely need to move to some place tropical. My cold tolerance is low!
      • Also, if it doesn't get warm enough by Easter I'm going to have to get my baby a new Easter outfit. The one I got is this cute little short overall, but if it's too cold we will have to go back shopping!
    • I am taking a flower photography class this weekend at the Huntsville Botanic Gardens. I am so excited about this! Two of my favorite things: my camera and flowers! My husband is super wonderful for finding this for me.
    • Last night I stayed up way to late trying to finish my book club book Gone Girl. My nook died with 60 pages left. I can't wait to find out what happens.

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Random Thursday Thoughts

    Thursday Thoughts

    Today I've decided to in a brand new link up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts.

    -Using my Fitness Pal is kind of giving me anxiety. Every time I approach my calorie goal (which I think is too low by the way) I start to get nervous! Thinking about ditching it.
    -Yesterday I turned my son's diaper box into a toy box. He needed one and it was too cold to go get one. So I got out some green wrapping paper--his room is a blue and green sea theme--and wrapped the box. Viola! Instant toy box. And it was free!
    -My husband's birthday is Monday and I still don't really know what to get him. He is an airplane nerd but it's really hard to find things related to that. I'll probably end up getting him flight last year! At least I know he will like it.
    -I need/want a vacation somewhere warm.
    -I want a new haircut but have no idea what to do or where to get it done.
    -Here are some random cute baby pics since I haven't put any up in a while


    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    So What Wednesday!

    So What Wednesday

    Today I'm linking up with Shannon for another So What Wednesday! So here's what I'm saying So What to this week:
    • My husband's birthday is next week and I still haven't gotten his gift. He is soooo hard to shop for
    • I spent 10 minutes outside my son's room this morning listening to him snore. It was so cute--the laundry can wait!
    • I'm obsessed with Pinterest on my phone. While I'm nursing the baby, I look for cool stuff to pin!
    • I recently started watching the Bachelor on my on demand section on my cable box. I know it's almost over but I don't care. I can watch 2 episodes while the baby sleeps!
    • My in-laws are coming this weekend--I have done zero cleaning!
    • I forgot to feed the fish yesterday and this morning until like 2 minutes ago. Ooops!
    • I have a job interview on Tuesday and I'm super nervous! I don't know why but I mean like more nervous than I remember ever being for an interview. Does that mean I really want this job or that I'm nervous about going back to work??
    So what are you saying so what to this week?

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Cooking with Pinterest!

    Ever since I got my pinterest phone app, I have been obsessed! I love trying new recipes and have recently been trying a lot of my pinned recipes! I just keep forgetting to write about them. I'm going to have to do better about that!

    Last night I tried Chicken Parmesan Casserole...oh my gosh! This is so good and easy!

    What you will need:
    -Chicken breasts
    -olive oil
    -red pepper flakes
    -marinara sauce
    -mozzarella cheese
    -parmesan cheese

    Notice how there are no real measurements, that's because it's kind of up to you! The original recipe calls for 6 chicken breasts but they come in packs of 3 so I used 3. We had plenty with leftovers. I diced my chicken (you can leave them whole if you prefer) and then salted and peppered them. Next, I put enough olive oil in the bottom of an 8x8 casserole dish to cover it. Then, add minced garlic and red pepper flakes to the bottom of the dish. Use as much as you like. I had a good amount of garlic, probably 1 tablespoon spread out if I had to guess. I probably used a couple teaspoons of red pepper flakes--it was not hot at all to me. I will probably use more next time. Next, layer in the chicken! On top to the chicken, I spooned the marinara sauce on top. I used Gia Russa because it was on sale at Publix this week so I had picked up a jar. I probably added about 2/3 of the jar, but you could do more or less depending on your tastes. Or  you could make your own! Then, a layer of mozzarella to parmesan in a 2:1 ratio. I used 1 cup mozzarella to 1/2 cup of parm mainly because it was easy to measure. Next, add the layer of croutons. I didn't have croutons so I used Italian bread crumbs from Kroger and it worked out great! Next, another layer of 2:1 mozzarella to parmesan. There was plenty of cheese on it so next time I might use a little less in each layer(imagine that) because I was worried about overflowing my dish! Then, bake for 35 minutes at 350. After that I turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown my cheese.

    This recipe was great! My husband had 2 full servings worth and I had a little extra myself. He told me that this should go in our regular rotation. This from a Chicken Parmesan lover--he orders it at restaurants all the time. As I said before, this was really easy to do. I love easy and delicious recipes! The only negative is I forgot to take a picture. Here is a link to the original pin and they have some pictures.

    Enjoy and happy pinning!