Lettuce Wraps

You know another great thing about this house? The neighbors:

My brother, Laura and Owen walked over tonight and the kids had a blast running- er, driving- around the backyard. For now only Jack gets the wheel. Yesterday I looked outside to see Jack flat on the ground and Isla literally running OVER him in the Jeep. Sigh.

I’m so thrilled to be back in the kitchen. I love restaurants and I never thought I would say this, but I was pretty sick of eating out. Tonight I made these copycat PF Chang’s lettuce wraps from Damn Delicious. They were super quick and easy, too. The only issue was that I couldn’t find hoisin sauce at Super Target, so I substituted stir fry sauce and then added in a couple TBS of brown sugar for sweetness.

Wrapped in butter lettuce leaves.

On the side is a pretty random salad based on what we had in the fridge, but it was actually really good: a bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch, toasted almonds, diced avocado and Annie’s Gingerly dressing. I forgot how much I love that dressing. I used it constantly in college and must have just gotten sick of it. Definitely making this salad again, and next time I want to add dried cherries.

Jack really liked the lettuce wrap FILLING- he wouldn’t touch the lettuce itself but kept raving about how much he loved the chicken. Isla was offended that I dared to even put it on her plate- God forbid I try to feed her something other than nuggets or mac & cheese. Sigh. Again.

So I went to Target today for groceries and this was literally the last piece of Lilly left in the store. Obviously I bought it, haha.

I’m a little bummed that I wasn’t able to get there on Sunday and score some cute dresses for Isla, but oh well. Sleep was scarce last week and there was no way I was waking up early if I didn’t absolutely have to. So I’ll just hoard my little nail polish instead.

(But really- try the lettuce wraps! So good!)

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

I’m baaaaack! Hey guys! I missed y’all. As you know, we moved on Thursday, so: 1. Life has been cray, 2. We didn’t have internet. For dayyyyys. But now we do! And TV, too, which is basically the best news ever.

The move was, um, stressful? Despite having spent the past 2-3 weeks packing, we still had a LOT left to do up until the very last minute. And by “last minute” I mean that Brian and my parents were at the old house until 1AM Saturday cleaning, packing the garage and transporting crap to the dump before the new people took ownership… on Saturday morning.

My parents have been amazing. Brian couldn’t take any time off for the move, so my mom came over every single day- to pick up the kids, pack boxes, bring food, help direct the movers, etc. I would have gotten zero packing or unpacking done if she hadn’t taken the kids over to her house. Sadly I think the kids got a little too comfortable with it- yesterday morning Jack wandered up to me and asked, “Are Gia and Baba going to come entertain me today??” Haha.

My dad was a HUGE help with the move, too. He basically unloaded our entire attic on his own, helped me haul new furniture from World Market, helped Brian clean the garage, emptied the old refrigerator/freezer… it’s crazy. We owe them BIG.

But now we’re here! Still a lot to do, but I did get the kitchen unpacked (that alone took 2 days). I LOVE the new house. There is so much more space, and tonight I was cooking dinner and looked out to this:

Can I tell you how awesome it is that the kids can run out and play without me? In our old house, we had no visibility of the backyard from inside the house, so anytime the kids wanted to play I had to go sit out there with them and drag everyone inside if someone needed to use the bathroom or get a snack.

A few more pics to catch up…

This pretty much sums up last week. Both the insanity and the fact that I made 5 million trips to Target. (But no Lilly, dangit!)

Isla’s clothes. Just the ones from her CLOSET, not even the dresser. Omg.

“Unpacking” her new room:

We got a new bed/mattress. Brian ordered the mattress from Leesa, which I was super dubious about (mattress-in-a-box??) but so far so good. Jack & Chloe approve, obviously.

So there you have it! I even cooked dinner in our new kitchen tonight! Well, I heated up some TJ’s chicken asada, but STILL. Baby steps.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and I’m happy to be back!

Posted in April 2015 | 3 Comments

Happy Places

This morning Isla and I finally made it back to play group. Between traveling and all of this house stuff, I feel like we have been so anti-social- no playgroup, no MOPS, no book club. I hate being out of the loop and I REALLY missed my friends. That’s the thing I’ve learned about being a stay-at-home parent: you really need your mom tribe.

Plus I think Isla gets sick of hanging out with me all the time.

So playgroup was fun! After that we ran to Home Depot for yet more boxes and tape, then grabbed Chick Fil A for Isla on the way home. Last night we ran into Trader Joe’s for a few necessities and I snagged these for lunch this week:

Artichoke & hearts of palm salad (two of my absolute faves), plus balsamic grilled chicken.

I ended up having the salad for lunch today, topped with more hearts of palm and tomatoes. It was pretty skimpy on its own. The chicken came with just over two breasts, so I chopped one for the salad and saved one for later.

The salad came with raspberry dressing, but I ended up using some TJ’s champagne dressing that we had in the fridge instead.

Not bad, though I wish the chicken had a stronger balsamic flavor. I love the idea of keeping this chicken in the fridge for salads. I saw that they also carried roasted chicken, but it was sold out last night. Going to keep my eye out for that one.

Tonight we hauled a few more boxes over to the new house. Can I tell you how excited I am about my CLOSET??

It’s like 4x the size of my closet now. Actually it’s bigger than my current closet and bathroom combined. Can you say happy place?? And Brian even has his own closet in the master bath, which is good because I don’t know that our marriage would survive sharing one.

Speaking of happy place, I’m going to bed. We had bad storms last night and Chloe barked her head off starting at 1am. The kids sleep right through anything, but the damn dog sure doesn’t. Night!

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Go Time

Well, we’re in the thick of it now! We officially started moving boxes to the new house today. Eeek! So exciting, and all I really want to do now is start unpacking and getting settled… buuuuuut I still have so much left to pack here. Womp womp. I’m ready for the fun stuff.

Despite all of that packing business, we had a really fun weekend. I was so sick of the house being totally messy and chaotic, that on Friday I decided that I had to clean & organize the one area of my life that I can currently control: my car. So we took a little after-school trip to the Car Bath. Look at these two:

They had a little model train running around the ceiling, and Isla and Jack couldn’t get enough of it. They are so much fun.

I can’t even deal with this cute profile.

It was gorgeous all weekend. We had a park playdate on Friday afternoon, and then that night Brian and I headed to our Early Childhood PTA auction. On Saturday we met my parents and Owen for lunch before Jack’s soccer game. This kid is hi-lar-i-ous.

COVERED in ketchup, with french fries on his head. To be fair, I feel the same way about fries.

The rest of the weekend = soccer games (2), packing, meeting friends for dinner, packing, hauling boxes to the new house, packing some more. Thanks for bearing with me during this crazy time. I know the blog has been pretty much 0% food/cooking lately, but believe you me that is going to CHANGE when we finally get settled in the new house. The kitchen is so much bigger than our current set up and I can’t wait to get cooking. Um, literally.

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Confused Chloe

Hey! I’m still here, just packing away. Our living/dining room is slowly but surely filling up with boxes. Today I started packing up Jack’s room, and definitely got a little teary as I was pulling down the lanterns that I hung in his nursery before he was born. Sweet, sweet memories. I’m sure it’s not the last time I’ll get choked up before we’re out of here for good.

Poor Chloe doesn’t know what the hell is going on. She just follows me from room to room, giving me this confused look:

Or I guess she just looks like that all the time. But she does seem a little concerned.

All of our plates are packed up, so it’s paper from here on out. We haven’t packed pots & pans yet, though, so I managed to make myself an improvised lunch. It’s been a WHILE since I’ve cooked anything. We had some broccoli slaw and turkey burgers in the fridge, so I made a random little low-carb meal:

Just sprayed a skillet with non-stick spray, then sauteed the broccoli slaw & a little water until the slaw softened. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Poured on marinara and threw in some mushrooms, then heated through. Topped with a chopped turkey burger:

Not fancy but better than leftover pizza! I am SO READY to get moved in and back to cooking regular meals. Just having a normal routine again will be amazing.

Hey! It’s almost Friday! Hope everyone has a great weekend. We start moving stuff on Sunday so wish us luck!

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Food in Cars

Let’s just call today’s post “Food in Cars” because for some reason that’s where I snapped all of my pics. Weird. But good lighting!

After a few months of trying so hard to eat eggs for breakfast, I’m back to yogurt. I just really don’t love eggs, especially first thing in the AM. And yogurt is just a million times easier… and tastes better… especially when you top it with frozen cherries, toasted coconut chips (Costco- SO ADDICTIVE) and sliced almonds. I threw this together before rushing the kids out the door and ate it in the parking lot of Isla’s school like a creepster. Yes I did.

Our 2nd FIC (Food in Cars) pic is a new discovery from Target:

Suja Midday Thrive juice. This is a green juice that actually TASTES GOOD. I’ve tried green juices in the past that taste like lawn clippings (I’m looking at you, Trader Joe’s). Or they’re really thick and overly sweet. This one is light and just slightly sweet/lemon-y, plus no yuck aftertaste. With all of this packing and getting ready for the move, our meals have been quick and not necessarily veggie-packed, so I’m going to grab a few more of these to have on hand. I bought their Sunrise Probiotic juice too but haven’t tried it yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesdays are our crazy day. School, then ballet, then soccer. Soccer practice is at a local elementary school and the kids always want to play on the playground after. It was gorgeous today so we hung out there for a while before dinner. Isla was all about the swings:

Sweet girl. Her teacher texted me a pic today of Isla and some of her friends cruising in their play car. Apparently Isla informed her that they were, “Going to Target.” Haha, that’s my girl!

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Packed

So this is life right now:

Not going to lie, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. It seems like there is SO much to pack and I don’t even know where to start. I’m also trying to filter through and get rid of stuff as I go. I’d like to say that I’m learning from this experience and will keep the next house minimal and clutter free… buuuuuut, yeah. Famous last words.

I packed up all of our dishes today, so it’s paper plates and plastic utensils from here on out. We’re probably going to be eating out a lot for the next couple of weeks. I had a meeting tonight so the kids had pizza, but Brian grabbed sushi for us once I got home.

Both kids have school tomorrow so I’m hoping to knock out a good chunk of packing. Maybe some laundry. Don’t be jealous…

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter!! This weekend flew by, but we squeezed a LOT into the past few days. Brian’s parents were in town for Grandparents Day at Jack’s school on Thursday. Jack’s class presentation was adorable- they sang a few songs for the grandparents and then showed off their classrooms. On Friday I took the kids to our MOPS Easter egg hunt. So fun. Since Jack goes to school 5 days/week, I get really excited when he’s out of school and can actually attend activities with us. They both had a blast looking for eggs and playing on the playground after the hunt.

Okay, so Jack ended up giving away literally ALL of his eggs to other kids. Every single one. Completely on his own, and didn’t even complain on the way home about not having any eggs or candy. But then Isla shared hers with him, also totally her idea. THESE KIDS. They drive me crazy,  but geez they are good.

On Friday night Brian’s parents babysat the kids while Brian and I headed to my cousin Brandon’s wedding in Aubrey (outside of Dallas). It was beautiful and almost felt like you were in the Hill Country. Also I was a HUGE fan of the fact that they had a coffee truck parked outside. YES. Congrats to Brandon & Ashley!

Saturday we tried to take the in-laws to Pecan Lodge for BBQ, but there was some huge art festival going on in Deep Ellum… so that derailed our plans. Then we tried Babb Brother’s in Trinity Groves, but they were closed for good (moving locations?), so we ended up at Hofmann Hots. Someday I WILL try Pecan Lodge. Someday.

This morning the kids checked out their Easter bunny loot, then we headed to church. I was SHOCKED at how good Jack and Isla were during the service. We’ve been really bad about attending church since the kids were born, so it’s awesome to know that we can take them without any nuclear meltdowns (knock wood).

After church we grabbed brunch at Neighbor’s. It’s really close to our house and I’m a huge fan of their pulled pork eggs benedict with jalapeno hollandaise. Also $0.99 mimosas. Yes.

Cuties. How long will Isla allow me to dress her in smocked outfits?? Hopefully forever.

Then this afternoon we headed to my parents’ house to do Easter with them and celebrate my brother’s bday. WHEW. See?? Busy weekend. And NOW we need to really get down to business with packing up the house. We can “officially” start moving in on the 12th and have to be out of here on the 17th. So… that’s fast…

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Posted in April 2015 | 2 Comments

Little Sis

Hey! Is it sad when you have to look through pics on your phone to remember what you did today? Don’t answer that. This morning Isla and I ran a few errands after dropping Jack at school. Since most stores don’t open until 10 and Isla was complaining that she was hungry, we stopped by our neighborhood diner for a quick breakfast:

Ugh, meals are such a struggle right now. Prior to this, I made her breakfast at home- which she didn’t touch. Then we go to the diner and she wants pancakes. Literally takes ONE bite of them. And a piece of bacon. That’s it. Jack’s a really good eater, so I’m praying that this is just her being stubborn like me asserting her independence and that we’ll come out of this fun phase soon. Girlfriend needs some veggies. But really, how cute is she??

Jack’s class had their Easter egg hunt this afternoon, so Isla and I headed up to school to join the party. It’s so funny- Isla just assumes that she’s an honorary member of the class and just joins right in to whatever they’re doing. Like they all lined up on the playground to walk back inside, and she just hopped right in line with them and marched back into the classroom. Jack’s classmates are super sweet and they’re always so nice to her. Today they were handing her eggs and sharing their candy. Love.

Tomorrow is Grandparents Day at Jack’s school, so Brian’s parents flew in today to attend. I think he’s so excited to show off his school to all of 4 of his grandparents (or vice versa). Love all of these cute little school activities!!

Off to try to hack into our DirecTV account so that I can actually watch the season finale of Fixer Upper. Getting prettttty dang tired of no TV up in here. We’ve watched the same 5 recorded episodes of Olivia like 200 times and I’m pretty sure that Jack’s requested Wreck It Ralph every single day for the past week. No bueno.

Posted in April 2015 | Leave a comment

Run The Highlands

Well we did it- officially closed on both houses today. We were briefly homeless between the first closing at 10 and the second at noon, but luckily everything went smoothly on all sides and we are now technically “renters” until April 17th. So bittersweet, but also really excited to get in and get settled in the new house!

Not to change the subject, BUT… for anyone living in the Dallas area, I wanted to let you know about a really fun local run that’s coming up in April. I’m currently a member of the Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League, and our annual fundraiser, Run the Highlands, features a 5K, 1 mile family run/walk, and carnival to raise money for projects within the community. In the past we have funded a splash park at the local rec center, built an indoor play area, updated a park, installed a 1 mile trail loop and more. This year the race will be held on April 25th and I hope you’ll consider signing up!! For more information, click here… and to register, click here. If you do decide to register, on the 2nd page of the registration form you’ll see: “If you were referred to this event by a LHJWL member, please enter their name.” If you wouldn’t mind, PLEASE type in my name (Heather Baker) on the form. And obviously I’ll be there, so come say hi if you sign up!

Ok I promise not to keep bothering you about this… more than a few more times. But seriously, it’s so much fun and for a great cause, so please consider signing up! Or you can just donate and get a free t-shirt, haha. No judgment here!

Posted in March 2015 | Leave a comment