Memorial Day 2016

Happy Memorial Day! Hope y’all had a fun, relaxing weekend! We kicked ours off on Friday with Jack’s kindergarten graduation. It was pretty adorable. They did a little program with singing & dancing, then closed with the actual graduation “ceremony.”

They didn’t wear a cap & gown on Friday (probably a good thing or I would have been bawling), but his teacher did send this home last week.

If he could stop looking so old, that’d be great.

After graduation we headed out to the lake for the weekend. On Friday night my parents watched the kids so that Brian and I could have a belated b-day dinner at Four Winds. I had a filet and it was AMAZING. They also brought out a fun birthday dessert (creme brulee):

If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend checking it out. The restaurant is kind of hidden out in the country- it looks like a big cabin with a giant front porch. So pretty.

On Saturday we met up with friends at the Cedar Creek Brewery. We’d heard so many great things about this place and were excited to check it out. I’m not really a beer person BUT they have a great patio, good food, and lots of space (and games!) for the kids to play. Oh and they serve wine, too! The kids had a blast running around with their friends:

The rest of the weekend was pretty much a typical lake visit- fishing, swimming, golf cart rides, playing in the sprinklers, grilling, etc. So, awesome as usual.  The kids were NOT happy about leaving, but the good news is that it’s the very beginning of the summer so they’ll have lots of opportunity for more lake fun. And I’ll be pretty happy when that pool warms up. Brrr.

Our dinner last night- my dad grilled burgers, my mom made that corn & avocado salad, and I made my fave BBQ beans with kale:

So there’s our weekend!

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment

The Big 34

Quick post because we have a BIG day tomorrow. Kindergarten graduation (sob!!) and then attempting to pack us all up as fast as possible to get down to the lake. We haven’t been since Easter and I think we’re all itching to get down there… let’s just pray that the weather cooperates.

ANYWAY… today was my birthday! 34! So I guess I’m officially in my mid-30′s now, womp womp. Last night I went out to dinner with friends at Meso Maya downtown. My friend Leigh Ann’s birthday is the 25th, so we’ve done a joint bday night out for I think the past 4 years?? So fun.

Today was pretty low key. The kids both had school and I *planned* to catch up on laundry and pack us for the lake, but instead I drank coffee, watched the Today show, actually got dressed and put on makeup, talked to Chloe, did a sheet mask… you know, all productive things. I did meet Brian for a quick sushi lunch at Blue:

Picked up the kids from school (Isla’s last day!) and then we met friends for ice cream. Tonight we went over to my parents’ for dinner, which was fun and delicious. My dad grilled steaks and my mom made my favorite spinach salad. The kids had a blast and ran around like crazies. Jack only asked for the iPad once and kept the Pokemon conversation to a minimum (POKEMON IS THE LITERAL WORST). Isla ate pickles and peanut butter crackers for dinner, but she did sit nicely at the table- so I’ll call it a win.

Hope everyone has a fab Memorial Day weekend!!

Posted in May 2016 | 1 Comment

Bourbon Chicken

Brian’s been out of town for the past couple of days on a work trip (Vegas, poor guy). I was a little nervous about solo parenting but the kids were really good and all went smoothly. I mean, I was passed out in bed by 10:30 every night, but other than just general exhaustion it was great.

One of my friends recommended this recipe for sticky bourbon chicken from Pinch of Yum and it sounded right up Brian’s alley. He gets really excited when we go to malls that have those “Cajun” spots in the food court- you know, the ones handing out samples of bourbon chicken? Sadly Northpark does NOT have one. Anyway, Brian got back in this evening so I made a batch for dinner. SO GOOD. I marinated the chicken (boneless, skinless thighs) overnight, so all I had to do today was throw it in the oven. Also, the recipe says to broil it for 5-10 minutes at the end so the sauces caramelize on the chicken. If you do that, just make sure to put the chicken on a broiler-safe pan. I baked mine in Pyrex but then moved the chicken to a metal baking sheet (and drizzled with a little of the sauce) for broiling. Once they were browned, I put the chicken back in the Pyrex with the rest of the sauce until it was time to eat.

Served over jasmine rice, along with some random bagged broccoli salad kit from Central Market:

I’ve been waking up super sore lately. Is 34 the age where your body starts falling apart (PS- my birthday is Thursday!)? Because it sure seems like it. My hips and lower back are really achy, and don’t even get me started on plantar fasciitis. I am SO FUN! Anyway, I’ve been looking up yoga videos on YouTube and stretching seems to help a lot. Except that as soon as the yoga mat comes out I have to deal with this:

That photo is upside down, BTW. I literally took it while in downward dog. She loves that mat. Maybe I just need to get her her own? Because it’s really awkward trying to maneuver around a big ol’ lazy pug.

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Kale Yeah

Hey! Sorry for not posting last night- we had a REALLY busy day (3 birthday parties!) and all crashed as soon as we got home. I was in bed by 9:45 which never, ever happens. It was glorious. I watched a little TV, read some (just started The Nest) and it was lights out by 11… until Isla woke me up at 2am to go potty. And then Chloe scratched until I finally banished her to the kitchen at 3:30. Sigh.

Speaking of Chloe (kind of), you know what’s awesome? Amazon Prime Now. I realized last night that we were out of Chloe’s food, and then this morning it was storming and I didn’t want to drag Isla to the store in the rain. So I got on my Prime Now app at 7:30 and by 9:15 there was a bag of dog food on my porch. AWESOME. And no delivery fee!

I had a pretty decent convenience lunch today. Check out this kale bowl thing I found in the produce section of Super Target, near the bagged veggies and greens:

Interesting… you just open the bowl, add the sauce and cheese, mix and microwave:

Ok, not bad. Not something I would crave, but I topped it with some salsa verde chicken that I somehow had the foresight to throw in the crockpot this AM. Also added guac and sour cream.

Kind of like a healthier Chipotle bowl?? They had another flavor at Super T too, something with risotto. Oooh I just looked at the Mann’s facebook page and there’s a sesame sriracha flavor, too.

I’m gunning for another early night. Off to make lunches and wrestle kids into their PJ’s. Last week of school!

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment

Silence Is Golden

Can you believe that over a week later we STILL have fans blowing in our house to dry up the water from that teeny, pinhole-sized leak in the wall?? We still have 2 fans in the guest room, down from 6 fans and a giant dehumidifier- running nonstop and SO LOUD. Yesterday I spent the morning at home listening to all that noise, then headed up to Jack’s school to volunteer in the cafeteria, which is even louder. I need a (silent) vacation.

Luckily we can close the guest room door so it’s not nearly as loud as it was when we had fans going in the hallway too. So maybe I’ll gain back a leeeeeetle of my sanity?

Also, guess who I got to eat lunch with while on cafeteria duty??

Isla had ballet this morning, then we headed back here to wait on repairmen until it was time to go get Jack. I need a couple of things at Central Market, so I dragged them there after school. That actually ends up being a pretty decent outing for us. The kids love it there (samples, duh) and lord knows I could spend hours wandering the aisles. Of course I ended up with some randoms- watermelon-lime beer, cake slices (rustic apple and strawberry-lemon greek yogurt cake), a packet of Vega protein powder that I’ve been wanting to try, freaking CANDLES for God’s sake… that is a dangerous place.

I had planned on making chicken red curry for dinner tonight, but we went out for Thai last night after soccer practice… and I had chicken red curry. So instead I made spaghetti with my fave sauce:

Rao’s! So good. Way better than anything I could make on my own.

I just browned 3 turkey Italian sausage links in a pan, then sliced them and set aside. Poured a jar of Rao’s in the pan, along with some mushrooms. Heated through, then added the sliced Italian sausage back to the pan and simmered for a few minutes. Served over whole wheat spaghetti.

Not the fanciest dinner, but easy and good… and sometimes you just need pasta, right?

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment

Monday Monday

Apparently we should have moved Isla into the big girl bed sooner because she slept about 45 minutes later than usual this morning. Let’s hope that continues… I’d much rather see her precious angel face in the 7 o’clock hour!

Today was our pretty typical Monday. Isla and I headed to playgroup this AM, then one of her friends came home with us after for lunch and to play until it was time to go get Jack. I *may* have let my kids watch way too much TV this afternoon so I could read this month’s book club pick, Everything I Never Told You. It’s SO good, and I’m getting sad because it’s almost finished. I need to find a new one to start immediately… once I’m on a roll I’ll just keep on reading, otherwise it’ll be 3 months before I pick up another book.

We did a big Costco haul this weekend, and for the first time I picked up a package of frozen salmon filets. I’ve never really used frozen fish (other than the tortilla-crusted tilapia, also from Costco), but it makes sense to have it on hand to throw in the oven for quick dinners. I just thawed 2 filets in the fridge all day, then about an hour before dinnertime I put them in a freezer bag with some Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki to marinate. Baked at 400 for about 5 minutes per side, which was probably too long. They were a little overcooked (I broiled the tops for a couple of minutes at the end, too).

Served with jasmine rice, roasted broccoli and pickled veggies.

Off to catch some Real Housewives of Dallas. YEAH I’m watching it. No shame.

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty low key, which was just fine by me. Jack had his first field day at school on Friday, which he LOVED. We spent Friday afternoon just hanging in the backyard until Brian got home, then we all headed to Mariano’s for dinner (& margaritas for mom & dad).

Jack had a soccer game on Saturday AM, then we met my parents for lunch at the Maple Leaf Diner, a Canadian food restaurant that we’d heard great things about. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the food was really good! I had homemade pierogies with onions and banana peppers. Brian ordered the pizza burger and a side of fries with poutine:

Crazy, right?

After that we hit up Costco, then came home and cleaned out the fridge, freezer and pantry. I’d been putting that fun little chore off for a while, but it feels SO much better to have it done and actually know what we have.

Ha, that rogue pizza box down there is making me crazy. Totally ruining my fridge aesthetics.

Today was more soccer, birthday party, dinner and errands. We also finally moved Isla into a big girl bed, but I still have a lot of work to do on her room so I’m going to wait until all that’s done (whenever the heck that is… once everything in our house house stops breaking?) to post pics. Here she is hamming it up before we left for soccer.

Also, guess who lost another tooth????

Work stuff to catch up on tonight, so I’m off. Now that I actually know what’s in our fridge & freezer, I managed to meal plan for the week! What! So you may actually see some food posts!

Posted in May 2016 | 1 Comment

Our Little Project

Soooo this is what we’ve been dealing with this week. Guest room/office before:

Guest room/office after:

It’s like reverse Fixer Upper!

Oh and the hall too…

That tiny, pinhole leak in the wall pipe led to us having to hire a company to pry up half of the floorboards in the guest room and hall, knock out that giant chunk of wall and set up 6 huge industrial fans and a dehumidifier that run 24/7. The fans are called “The Typhoon” if that gives you an indication of how freaking LOUD they are. So now we are tasked with finding matching flooring- which may or may not be impossible- and finding someone to repair the drywall, repaint the room, and re-install the hardwoods. If we can’t find matching hardwoods, they will have to replace the flooring on the entire first floor.


Not going to lie, the past month has pretty much been a giant kick in the nuts. Things better start looking up because my birthday is in 2 weeks and this is just not acceptable.

Moving on!

Tonight for dinner I gave Brian the option of Trader Joe’s chicken tikka samosas (those are SO GOOD) or carnitas tacos. He chose the tacos. Alongside I made a big batch of cilantro-lime cauliflower rice:

No real recipe here, just sauteed the cauli crumbles in coconut oil with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Once the crumbles were tender, I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in a handful of chopped cilantro, the zest of one lime and a bunch of lime juice. Easy peasy.

For the tacos I used low carb tortillas topped with TJ’s carnitas, avocado, lime juice, cilantro and pickled cabbage slaw. They were good but a little dry. Next time I’ll add some salsa verde.

In other news, tomorrow is Friday! And now I’m going to pour myself that glass of wine and watch the Scandal finale.

Posted in May 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When It Rains

Well it’s never dull around here. After blogging on Sunday, I was sitting in our guest room/office and heard what sounded like a white noise machine. After doing some investigating, we realized that the sound was coming from the WALL and the floors were squishy. Sigh. So yeah, pipe leak in the wall… and now we have this:

We have a water damage mitigation company coming in tomorrow to rip up floors and dry everything out. GOOD TIMES!

(On the bright side, it’s not a slab leak- which was what the first plumber told us. So there’s that.)

For dinner tonight I attempted to find a recipe that didn’t require a trip to the store- voila crock pot balsamic chicken. I added a can of quartered artichoke hearts and 2 cans of mushroom. And ripped up parsley because I was too lazy to chop it:

Served over quinoa. I’ve made this before, and it’s one of those recipes that’s OK but doesn’t knock my socks off. It’s healthy and easy, and Brian said he liked it. I feel like it “needs” something, though not sure what. Olives? Cheese???

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Happy Mother’s Day! We had a busy weekend, though today was pretty low key. On Friday we had the memorial service for my sweet Grandma. It was a tough morning, but the service was beautiful and it was touching to be surrounded by so many friends and family. We brought both kids with us and they were really good for the most part. Isla did loudly announce at one point that the church, “smelled like tater tots.”

On Saturday my parents kept the kids so that we could have a date night to the Sturgill Simpson concert. Actually, they kept all THREE kids because Zach and Laura went to the concert, too. Look how excited we were to actually go out… it had been a while. Don’t we look so giddy and carefree??

We met up with friends for dinner at Filament in Deep Ellum before the show. It was SO good and I loved the space. My vodka cocktail (vodka, grapefruit, ginger, bitters…?) and entree (friend hot catfish with horseradish ranch). It WAS hot, too. I cried off all my eye makeup.

The concert was SO much fun. The music was amazing and it was just amazing to have an adult night out with our friends.

We may have had a little too much fun. We ended up at one of our neighborhood dive bars until 12:30. Brian was so excited to do some karaoke… but waited too late and they shut it down before he had a chance to perform. So he settled for playing tambourine back up. I don’t even know what’s going on here. I’m pretty sure all of our friends had left by this point, because they’re responsible adults.

This morning we met up with my family for brunch at Breadwinner’s. It was an EARLY morning after last night’s shenanigans, but the upside was that we got a table on the patio immediately- so the kids were able to run around in the courtyard and play while we waited on our food.

Pork belly, lettuce, tomato, avocado, fried egg and sriracha mayo on brioche. It was ok- the pork belly was wayyyyy too fatty for me (not crispy at all) so I just pulled it off.

The rest of the day was pretty chill. I escaped for a pedi while Brian helped clean up the house, then we grabbed Taco Joint for dinner.

Whew, so there you have it. Playgroup here tomorrow so we’re scrambling to get the house ready… catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in May 2016 | Leave a comment