Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have a glass of red wine in hand, if we are being honest, it's the second. ;)

I am enjoying a few minutes of relative silence right now and taking a few minutes to just reflect on the day. Nothing extraordinary..... just simply normal and that is how I am liking it these days. I said I am trying to slow down and appreciate all the little things and I find that when I am not stressing so much about "getting it all done" I am happier. Yes, I still have a long list of things to do, but I will get to them eventually.

We have been trying new recipes (and when I say we, I really mean the hubby ). He cooks them and I eat them! :)

We recently renewed our library card and rediscovered some nearby parks. We have planted more plants and been making trips to the local farmer's market. I feel like we are slowing down the pace of our lives and I enjoy it so much more than I thought I would.

I used to love to go go go and get a million things done. I only felt truly accomplished if I could list off ten things I had done that day and if I was exhausted by the time I came in the door.  These days I feel accomplished if I actually get the laundry put away and we have made a trip to the park. It feels good because I know in just a few short months Jaxson will be starting preschool and I can't believe it! Yes, it is just a few hours, a few days but it just cements in my mind that he is growing up so fast and it won't be long that we won't have all of this time.

I guess in a way I have been simplifying my life before I even realized that that is what I needed and wanted. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tough choices, dissapointments and simplifying

I am not entirely sure where this post is headed because my mind is in about a million different places right now. There are things I want to say but not sure I should and there are things I am going to say and be glad that I did!

I feel like right now in my life, more so than ever, I have been faced with difficult and uncomfortable situations. Sometimes, being an adult just plain sucks! I know we can all attest to that.

All around me I feel like tragedy is touching people's lives..... lives of people I know well, and some not so well.

It hurts my heart so much to know that people I love are struggling and there is not much I can do about it. I hate the feeling of feeling helpless.

I have been thinking a lot about life in general lately, and have come to some realizations.  Amidst all of this tragedy my resolve has kicked in. Maybe I can't help everyone or take the pain away but there are things I can do, even if  they are little things. There are things I can do to improve my own life too  I feel as if I have put too much emphasis on certain things when it comes to me, personally, and I feel like it is time to simplify things a bit.

By simplifying I mean every aspect of my life. I want to spend more time at home, scale back on eating out and try cooking more from scratch. I need to refocus on getting back into better shape and start tackling some of those projects that have been put off. Most importantly, though, I want to work on strengthening all of the relationships in my life (marriage, friendships, family). I feel like my wants are far outweighing my needs and that should change. We want to cut out our debt and build up our savings more. That means I need to start saying no to things that I really want to do, but know in my heart that I shouldn't.

My life is far from perfect ( no one has  a perfect life) but I am constantly trying to remember how blessed I really am when I start to feel down about things. I need to remember that although I can't do it all, I can do a little.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I confess........we have had our kitchen aid mixer since our wedding (five years ago) and I still don't know how to use it.  I have to ask Brandon for help.

I confess.......I am so terrible at saving money. I can somehow justify to myself that I can spend money on anything! Terrible, terrible habit.

I confess..... I am so horribly insecure. So insecure that if someone doesn't return my texts or phone calls in a timely manner I am convinced they are mad at me and not speaking to me.

I confess...... I never thought I would be a stay at home mom, now I couldn't imagine it any other way.

I confess...... I really want a third child but, sadly, it is not in the cards for us.

I confess...... I think mixing cottage cheese with fruit is really disgusting. :)

I confess...... every time I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom I pull back the shower curtain for fear of someone hiding behind it! Ha! I have seen one too many scary movies.

I confess...... I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, mostly under control now. :) (another post on that come at some other time)

I confess......  I avoid watching the news and in turn I feel very uniformed, but honestly it upsets me more than anything.

I confess..... my kids eat sandwiches almost every single day for lunch! It is all they want and they are easy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mexican Casserole

This is my mother's recipes and it is one my "go-tos" . I generally always have all the ingredients on hand and it is an easy, tasty meal.


- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 lb. hamburger
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz shredded cheese
- 1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
- 2 cans kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- taco seasoning
- one can of corn
- a little bit of chopped garlic


-Brown your hamburger with onions, garlic and taco seasoning.

- Place into a large mixing bowl and add in stewed tomatoes, kidney beans(drained), corn (drained) and cream of chicken soup.

- Mix everything together really well

- Line the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan with corn tortillas cut into wedges.

 - Place a layer of meat mixture on top

- Put another layer of tortillas and cheese on top of that

- Bake @ 325 for 45mins - 1 hour

All that is left to do is eat it and enjoy! I like to top mine with sour cream.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe and menu for the week

I am happy to report that we stuck to our menu plan for all but one dinner last week! The only reason that we didn't stick to Saturday's is that we decided to have a date night and that is so much better, isn't it?!

Here is what is on the menu for this week (I know, it's already Wednesday!).

Grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup. (yummy)

Dijon breaded rosemary porkchops with green beans and spinach and feta salad
(scroll down for recipe)

Mexican Casserole (recipe tomorrow) and cornbread

Leftovers as I am going out of town with some friends for a few days!!

Turkey and cheese pesto paninis

Crockpot Turkey Chili (recipe here)

Grilled Asian Sesame Chicken

Breaded Dijon Rosemary PorkChops


Pork chops (of course)
Dijon Mustard
Rosmary, leaves only, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
about 1/2 cup bread crumbs (more or less depending on your taste)
Olive oil for browning the pork chops


-Preheat oven to 400
-Slather the dijon mustard over the porkchops. I am quite liberal when it comes to this
-Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.

- Coat your chops on both sides with breadcrumbs. I like to press more rosemary onto the chops at this point. 

- Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Place a drizzle of olive oil into skillet. Brown the chops for a few minutes on each side to seal in the moisture. I browned mine a little too long. Oops!

- Place chops in oven and cook for 30 mins. My porkchops were really thick so we ended up cooking them for almost double the time.  I just aim for them to reach a minimum internal temp of 160.

That is it! Serve and enjoy! I didn't get a picture of them all done because I gobbled them right up! Seriously, I was so hungry!


Monday, May 21, 2012


Hello everyone! I have been making an effort to step away from the computer on the weekends so I can really focus on family and fun!

Friday night we laid low and were in bed pretty early. I woke up Saturday morning and on a whim I thought it would be fun to head out and hit some garage sales. I called up my mom and we were off!

The sun was shining and I actually was very happy with my haul.

I got a brand new outdoor light fixture, a folding princess chair, 8 books, 3 pairs of jammies, one sweatshirt, four tank tops, one t-shirt, one pair of pants and two capris all for ten dollars!My kind of deals and all were things that I was truly looking for.

The sun was shining when I came home and Jaxson and I got to working on some fun projects.

We worked on soaking up the last of the sun (it's back to rain again) and made sidewalk chalk paint for the first time! That was very easy and lots of fun.

We played with food coloring in the water table too.

Saturday evening the hubby and I headed out for a quick dinner date. We went to a new local taco/tequila bar that we had kept hearing good things about. We were not disappointed. After much debate I ordered a cucumber margarita. I was a bit hesitant because while I like cucumbers and I like margaritas I wasn't sure I would like them together. Glad I ordered it because it was very good, super refreshing and under 100 calories! The food was really tasty and the tacos were only $2.00 during happy hour. Score!

Sunday morning I met a good friend for an early showing of What To Expect When You're Expecting. I thought the movie was really good, but once again they tried to cram too many story lines into one movie that it felt you couldn't get really invested in any one story line too much. However, there were moments when I teared up and moments I was laughing really hard. It's worth seeing. :)

Sunday afternoon we had birthday party to go to for one of Jaxson and Kendra's little friends.

Kendra kept shoving her whole face in the cupcake, but sadly I did not catch that on camera. It was pretty darn cute, though. What was not cute was when Jaxson went into full on toddler meltdown and after multiple attempts to get him to listen we had to leave. :( I didn't want to but it was the right thing to do. He needs to learn that that behavior won't go unnoticed or unpunished.

I finished off Sunday night with a few glasses of red wine at a friend's new house. She moved right down the block! It literally takes three minutes to walk there, at the most. I am so excited for this! Scary movie marathons here we come.

How was everyone elses' weekends?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Getting Organized- My spice cupboard

I figured it was time for another post updating some of the organizing I have been doing.

I have very limited cupboard space in my kitchen and one of the largest cupboards I have is a bit awkward because it consists of a big lazy susan. It doesn't just hold my ,it holds a lot of boxed things and baking goods too. I feel like no matter how many times I organize it it just gets chaotic again. Here's hoping that this time it actually sticks. I also reorganized my very small pantry (which is actually just two large side by side cupboards) but failed to take before photos. :(

As you can see it wasn't pretty! It is also so hard for me to get into because I am vertically challenged so I have to drag over a chair and teeter precariously on the counter.

Well, it looks as good as it is going to get! I tried to somewhat arrange it by like items and I went through the spices and seasonings and combined some of the duplicates and tossed out the expired items. I also picked a few containers from the dollar store to hold all my taco, chili and gravy packets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The other morning at my MOPS group our mentor mom was leading our morning devotions. She was reading an excerpt from a book and this one happened to be about spending time with our children.

A lot of the things she said were things I already knew or had had on my heart, but for some reason it really struck a chord and I had to fight back the tears.

Yes, I know that these years, days and moments are fleeting, but lately I have felt it even more. I know I have our whole lives ahead of us but who really knows how long our lives will be?

It is hard to believe that Jaxson will be starting preschool in the fall. It is difficult to fathom that that time has almost come. It feels like just yesterday I heard his first cry.

While I welcome every new stage and age I can't help but think of it as being bittersweet too. I want to savor every minute of every day with them. I have always said that when my kids look back on their younger years that they don't remember a sparkling clean house and a mom who was always saying NO...... I want them remembering that I had the time for them. I had time to build tents, run through the sprinkler, blow bubbles and make cookies.

To be perfectly honest I sometimes kind of suck at this. I get so wrapped up in all the day to day things(which are important too) that I forget that the days are flying by.

It was such a welcome and important reminder for me. I have had a lot weighing heavily on my mind the last month and feel like I need to get back to the basics of things. 

When I think back to my childhood I remember one of my parents was always home with us. They both worked hard and hardly had days off together, but they were home when I was little and I cherish those memories.

I know that there are days that I want to rip my hair out and that I have to take a moment (or five) to have a little cry, but at the end of the day I know how blessed I am. I am truly thankful that I have been given the opportunity to  be their mother.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Menu Planning.....

A few weeks ago I told you that I was trying to be better about the execution part of my meal planning. Well, I did manage to do a bit better just not as good as I was hoping. :(

I did, however, go out and get this handy dandy planner and I am loving it!

It is actually two separate magnetic planners I purchased from Target.

The top is a day by day breakdown of each person's schedule. It is nice because I can keep up on Brandon's shift changes and Brandon will stop asking me a million times what we have planned for the weekend.

This is a great meal planner for me, because as things arise or my mood changes I can switch around what we are having each day. Sometimes I am just not feeling it, you know?!

I have decided that I need to attempt to start planning our lunches because we are seriously lacking variety around here when it comes to our lunches. The kids would be content to have a sandwich everyday! I am not.

Here is what is on the menu this week:


Lunch: leftover pasta salad with sliced turkey pepperoni
Dinner: hot dog crescent rolls with cheese and potato salad


Lunch: turkey and cheese sandwich with sliced fruit
Dinner: @ Mom's


Lunch: Mac & Cheese with grapes and peas and carrots
Dinner: Rosemary Dijon breaded porkchops with a green salad


Lunch: Scrambled eggs and toast
Dinner: Meatloaf,potatoes and green beans


Lunch: Mini pizzas
Dinner: Tuna melts and a veggie?


Lunch: grilled ham and cheese
Dinner: Hamburgers and fries


Lunch: I don't know! 
Dinner: BBQ

I would love some easy go to lunch suggestions.     


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you fantastic mothers! I hope you have a day filled with things you love and that you are doted on by your families. :)

I plan on sleeping in, hoping to have breakfast in bed, and then my mom and I are off to the movies and getting a pedicure.  I hope to lounge around the rest of the day reading my book and soaking up the sun!

We are having our moms over for a bbq in the evening and  my hubby promised to clean the house and do all the cooking. All in all, sounds like a great day. :)

What are your plans?!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm The Mom Who...........

I 'm the mom who............... let's her son fall asleep on the couch next to her every night and then carries him to his bed.

I'm the mom who......... buys her kids a cake pop at Starbucks (almost) every time I get a drink. If I am getting a treat, why can't they?

I'm the mom who......... more often than not laughs at her child when they are throwing a tantrum. I, mean, it is pretty ridiculous most of the time. Maybe not the best thing to do but generally they snap out of it pretty fast and sometimes all I can do is laugh, otherwise I would be crying!

I'm the mom who......... watches Toy Story over and over and over (along with about five other movies in the rotation).

I'm the mom who.......on occasion has let bad words slip out around my kids. I am not proud of this and do not condone it but I am human and it has happened!

I'm the mom who.......thought I would have a hard time with discipline but I am the "rule enforcer" in this house. :)

I'm the mom who...... used to be way too anal about having my house clean. Talk about unrealistic expectations! I am so much better with this one now. Although, when I think my house is messy other people look at me like I am crazy because really it's not too bad. :)

I'm the mom who..... is having the hardest time potty training my three year old!! Seriously folks, this potty training stuff is hard work!

I'm the mom who..... tries to make "dates" with each of my children a regular thing. Even if it's just going grocery shopping with each one individually.

I'm the mom who..... still checks on my kids every single night and likes to lay my hand on their chest to feel the heartbeat and the rhythm of their chests going up and down. :)

I'm the mom who...... gets really antsy sitting at home day in and day out so we try to schedule lots of activities and play dates. But, now with gas being so expensive we are going to have to scale back.

I'm the mom who..... let's the laundry pile up because there is always something much more fun to be doing.

I'm the mom who..... can't resist the dollar section at Target! I am really starting a bad habit by getting them something almost all the time. I can't help it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Top Ten Instagram Photos

I love Instagram because all I have is my cell phone to take pictures with now. My old point and shoot digital camera broke down on me a few months ago. I would love to get a new, nice camera but, the budget won't accommodate that, so for now I am stuck with the cell phone.
That is why I like instagram so much.... my pictures actually look somewhat decent now! If I could just figure out how to get the photos off my phone and printed out.

Jaxson's monster cake
Holding hands watching the elephants at the zoo
My little monster
I said smile so this is what he did........

Jaxson having such fun!

Somebody getting caught sneaking cake!
Sharing one sleeping bag 
Having a conversation with the kids at the daycare next door.....through the holes in the fence
I hope the love she has for music lasts throughout her life
Picking mommy some flowers

There you have it, my ten favorite instagram photos!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Recap

 We had a really full and wonderful weekend!

Saturday morning Jaxson and I headed out for brunch with my family and did a little shopping at our local outlet mall. There is a chocolate factory there and I thought it would be fun to have Jaxson pick out a treat we could share. He stared at the caramel apples for some time before he decided on a pretzel stick dipped in caramel, swirled in chocolate and then covered with mini m&ms. I was a bit surprised by his choice but it was sooo good!!

We ended up coming home empty handed other than a few groceries for our BBQ the next day.

That evening Brandon and I headed to a local Mexican Restaurant for some dinner and alone time.

How come I never knew there were coconut margaritas?! It was so delicious and since it was happy hour it was an even better price. I almost considered having two, but I figured I better not overdo it. We had such speedy service and some time to kill so we headed to Gap to do a little shopping. I ended up with a black shirt from the clearance rack. I keep saying I need more color but I always end up with black or brown!

On Sunday a very good friend of mine came into town and we got together some of us girls from middle and high school  and had a BBQ. It was the first time all the kids were together in one spot. All 7 of them! They were all three and under also. Such fun! By this time next year there will even be two more (and no, not from me!).

The kids had such fun playing and it ended up being the perfect weather! Kudos to my husband for doing all the grilling and playing with the kids, he really is such a great daddy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday's Letters

Phew... this week seemed to drag on and on. This was partly due to the fact that Brandon had to work 60 hours this week and had meetings every night too. Also, Kendra had something that upset her tummy and poor baby woke up sick in the middle of the night. She had no fever and seemed fine otherwise, but she didn't want momma out of her sight. So, I slept on the floor next to her crib. I think I got maybe three hours of sleep and they weren't consecutive. :( I did learn a fun fact, though. She can crawl out of her crib now. Oh no! I am sensing many more sleepless nights to come!

Dear Kendra,

I am so happy that whatever made you sick only seemed to affect your for a few hours. You were back to your spunky, sassy self the next morning. I am so thankful I was there to hold and comfort you. It really brings about a new appreciation for all the times my mom comforted me as a child.

Daddy and I know we have our hands full with you! You are all girl through and through. You have a love for shoes, clothes and purses. I caught you just yesterday rifling through my purse and whispering to yourself. I was trying to hear what you were saying and then you said it clear as day; "where did all the money go?" Oh my word, Lord help me now. You aren't even two yet!

Dear Chronic tiredness,
I am really starting to wonder about you. I guess it could be because I have been staying up way too late reading the Hunger Games trilogy and then getting woken up early by the kids!  However, my body just aches.... I guess it is time to scale it back a bit and not get too overloaded!

Dear weekend,
As long as I can get caught up on sleep and the weather cooperates, we have big plans!! One of my closest friends from middle school is coming to town to visit! She is bringing her almost ten month old who I have only seen once! I am so excited to have time to catch up and let the kids play together.

Dear Starbucks,
You just had to bring back your coconut flavoring, didn't you? It is a weakness of mine and I can already see the money leaving my wallet before it's there. Wait, maybe that was Kendra?!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Seven Questions

 I am participating again in this fun link up with Gentri Lee. Last time I did it I didn't realize I was supposed to post an awkward/funny photo to share. So, here ya go!

okay, so not too awkward but I just love the look on my face and the fact that I would not swallow the tequila! Yuck!

1. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
I would have to say Saturday. I know we have the whole day together as a family and we usually use it do something fun or productive but I know that I still have Sunday to be lazy and relax. :)

2. If you decided to change your name, what would you change it to?
Hmm... I have always loved  the names Bianca and Bridgit.

3. What is one product you use (it can be for anything) that you feel is a miracle worker?
Aveeno's Intense Relief Hand Creme. It's pretty spendy and a little bottle but this works wonders on my dry cracked hands. My hands get so bad that any movement causes them to crack open and bleed. This can usually clear that up in two days, tops!

4. High heels, flats, sneakers, or boots?
Boots! Since it rains here ALL the time boots are a good, stylish, yet comfortable thing to wear. Plus, I am 5 ft tall so I can use a little height too.

5. You see your favorite celebrity (it can be any kid of celebrity- movie star, singer, writer, political leader, blogger) walking down the street, what do you do?
I would probably be frozen in place; palms sweaty, just staring at them. In all honesty, I am not sure what I would do. I would like to think I would have enough confidence to ask for a picture or autograph but I think I would be too shy.

6. If you could pick one item to never have to pay for again, what would it be?
This is kind of a tough one. I think I would pick food, though. I would never have to worry about my family going hungry and I could help so many people too. :)

7. what was your favorite tv show or movie growing up?
You all are going to think I am weird but I loved Charlie's Angels and Matlock. Looking back, I am not even sure I should have been watching those shows, but I did. For the longest time I wanted to be a lawyer. Still think I would kick butt at it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Menu Planning on a Tuesday!

So, in an effort to get more organized I came up with my recipe binder.
If you remember I try to come up with a two week menu plan and shop accordingly. Well, I am very good at coming up with said plan.... just not so good at the execution part!

In trying to hold myself a bit more accountable I thought I would list it all out for you, then maybe I would be more apt to stick to it. Hey, I said maybe....

Pot pie, green salad, cottage cheese and bread with butter. ( I am out of garlic bread!)

Crockpot Italian Chicken (recipe to come soon)
Asparagus and cheese crescent rolls    

Spinach and artichoke quiche with hasbrowns

Dinner at my moms
I usually do this once a week on the nights that my husband works late.

Spaghetti squash pasta primavera (this is a new one to me and my hubby suggested it so I said  he can make it!)


Baked black bean and cheese burritos with enchilada sauce and Spanish rice in celebration of Cinco De Mayo.

My easy pasta salad (recipe to come later, also) and turkey burgers.
Hoping to have a bbq if it is nice enough.

 I usually try to have one or two standby meals for the week, as well, that way if something just doesn't sound good or I am pinched for time then I have another choice.
 This week I have pesto tortellini and  veggie burgers for alternates.

I don't generally plan my breakfasts or lunch.... since it seems like we alternate between the same few things every few days.