Gobble Gobble

Tomorrow is Isla’s “Thanksgiving Feast” at school. I  signed up to bring a dessert, because I’m pretty sure that the dessert is all that Isla will actually eat. I’ve never seen that child touch a bite of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans or corn. She may eat a roll.

Anyway, I found these cute, cute, CUTE Rice Krispie treat turkeys on Pinterest (where else?).

They’re pretty easy- I just made a batch of Rice Krispie treats, and then once they were cool I cut them into circles with a cookie cutter. Actually, it might be a biscuit cutter? Whatever, it’s a circle. You could use an upside-down drinking glass in a pinch. Then I applied the candy corn and chocolate melts (for the face), piping chocolate frosting on the back as “glue.” The candy eyes are from Target and the nose is just an orange M&M.

Seriously, they took all of 10 minutes. Holla. Those 2 year olds are going to be wiiiiiiiild.

Sorry, teachers.

Posted in November 2014 | 1 Comment

Attitude Problems

Jack has been having some “attitude issues” at school over the past couple of weeks. Like announcing to the entire class, “I HATE SCHOOL.”

Which then led to everyone chanting, “I HATE SCHOOL.”

So that’s awesome. The thing is- he LOVES school. He comes home every day raving about his teachers, what books he picked out at the library, what games they played during computer, who he ran around with on the playground, etc. I really think the new(ish) 5-day routine is wearing on him and he’s just plain exhausted. SO. For the past couple of nights we’ve made a very concerted effort to get him in bed right at 8. And I swear, today he was like a different child. So happy, excited to go to school, ate all of his breakfast (usually a daily battle) and came home with a good report.

Basically what I’m saying is that sleep is, apparently, really good for kids. Who knew?? I know y’all are all probably laughing at me right now. All of you good parents that put your kids to bed at 7. It’s just that we’ve been lucky up until this year to have a super flexible schedule, so we didn’t really *have* to have them in bed early… because they could always just sleep in the next day! But NOT ANYMORE. This is REAL school. Ugh, don’t even get me started on poor Isla’s naps… I’m constantly ripping her out of bed to go pick up her brother.

Well that was a lot of rambling. I think I’m just delirious- Brian worked late, Tuesdays are always crazy because we’re rushing to dance class after school, the kids were WILD during bathtime and my house looks like a bomb went off in it. A bomb made of princess dresses, sippy cups and legos. So, so very tired. Who needs the 8:00 bedtime now??

Earlier this week I made another batch of that amazing roasted apple and butternut squash soup. It really is my favorite right now… I could eat that for every meal. As before, I topped it with sour cream and a few Trader Joe’s pumpkin croutons. I need to stock up on those ASAP:

On the side- pickled veggie salad, some TJ’s apple-cinnamon goat cheese and a few Mary’s Gone Crackers.

And I ate it in peace in the dining room, by myself, while the kids ate pizza and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So that was nice.

One more true confession before I put myself to bed: I downloaded the new Taylor Swift album today in its entirety. And it is DELIGHTFUL.

Catch y’all tomorrow!

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A Little Trim

Isla and I had a busy morning. Weekly playgroup, then after that I took her to get her hair trimmed. It’s been looking a little ratty lately. I know that it’s so ridiculous to pay someone for a haircut that literally takes 5 minutes, but I’m way too nervous to trim it myself. Plus sweet Miss Ginger gave her a sassy little blow out, which Isla would NEVER let me do. I can barely get her to let me run a comb through it in the morning! Anyway, nothing drastic but at least the length is all even now and her bangs are out of her eyes.

(Can you guess what color sucker she chose??)

Okay so that Smitten Kitchen pickled vegetable salad that I posted about last night? Um. The bowl is now 2/3 empty. I had seconds at lunch AND dinner… and I kind of want more as a snack. It’s SO GOOD! And seriously, you could do worse than veggies, vinegar and a tiny bit of sugar, right?

If you’re not as vinegar-obsessed, you could probably make this a little milder by reducing the vinegar or substituting apple cider vinegar or seasoned rice wine vinegar (though that may be a little sweet so I would just do a partial substitution).

We also had leftover chicken enchiladas for dinner. I reheated the entire pan in the oven (350 for 30 minutes) and they tasted just as good as the first night!

I’m about 2 pages from the end of Big Little Lies. That’s the fastest I’ve finished a book in ages. It’s an easy read and I couldn’t put it down- if you liked The Husband’s Secret, you’ll love this one too.

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Date Night(s)

We had a pretty great weekend! Not one but TWO date nights. On Friday we grabbed dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Grape. I had the coffee-rubbed duck breast with cauliflower puree, brussels sprouts and apple compote. Amazing. OH and the pumpkin mascarpone cheesecake for dessert, which we took down in about 5 seconds. Brian raved about his veal, too. Never a bad meal!

On Saturday we attended our friend’s annual fried turkey party, then Brian and I took Jack to see Big Hero 6 while my mom sat with Isla. I really loved the movie- it was so sweet and funny. BUT it was also pretty intense with a few scary and sad parts. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but towards the end there’s a particularly emotional scene. Ultimately it has a happy ending, but Jack just LOST IT at the very end. He started sobbing and literally didn’t stop for about 20 minutes. He has NEVER done that with a movie before- I felt terrible, but I think the sad part just completely overwhelmed him. Poor guy! We got home and 5 minutes later he was acting out all of the karate moves, so I guess he recovered.

On Saturday night the kids spent the night with my parents, so we met friends for dinner at Cafe Izmir. We used to go there all the time before kids and I still think they have the best hummus in Dallas. Plus they pour like this:

Hey hey. Anyway, it was so good to get out and have some kid-free time. We definitely missed them but it was NICE to have an uninterrupted meal, adult conversation and to sleep past 7am. Plus the kids would much rather hang out with my parents than us, so everybody wins!

The other day I ran across this recipe for Pickled Cabbage Salad on Smitten Kitchen and have been obsessing about it ever since. Pickled veggies are my weakness (in case you haven’t noticed), and I’m always looking for something healthy to have for lunch or as a side. Sometimes green salads just seem like a pain to assemble (I know, I’m lazy), so I like that this can be made ahead and just marinate in the fridge all week. I bet it gets even better, too.

So… I finally threw together a batch tonight:

Pretty, pretty. I’m stirring it every hour or so, just so all of the vegetables get nice and vinegar-y. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

I’m also currently roasting some squash, apples and vegetables for another batch of this roasted butternut squash and apple soup. We’re supposed to get a few flurries tonight and this soup is pretty much the epitome of warm and cozy.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

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Enchilada Night

This morning I got to be the computer helper for Jack’s class and it was pretty much the cutest thing EVER. He was so excited to have me there- which was super sweet (and don’t worry, I know that won’t last for much longer). Anyway, they’re all little computer whizzes and totally didn’t need my help, but it was still fun to get to hang out with these little personalities that he talks about all the time.

It’s still really cold here- in the 20′s tonight!- so I’m pulling out all of the comfort food recipes. I also sweet-talked Brian into building a fire tonight, which is so awesome and cozy, but I didn’t realize how interested a certain 2 year old daredevil would be in the fireplace. Jack was (is) always such a cautious kid and she’s just an entirely different ballgame.

But about the comfort food. Tonight I made the chicken enchilada recipe on the Cookwell & Company Green Chile Stew jar (recipe here). I made it really easy on myself and used a Costco rotisserie chicken, which I “shredded” using the stand mixer. Then I just added the stew and sour cream to the chicken and used the mixer to combine it all.

In case you’re looking for it, this is what the green chile stew looks like. I got mine at Central Market:

All wrapped up in the corn tortillas:

Then you just pour the remaining stew over the top, sprinkle with cheese, and bake. Easy! Served topped with sour cream:

Perfect dinner, and I think the leftovers will be even better!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted in November 2014 | 1 Comment

Half Day

Jack had a half day at school today, which basically felt like I dropped him off then turned right around and picked him up again (he was there from 9-11:30). But we had a fun play date with a sweet little girl from his school this afternoon, and then EVERYBODY came home and passed out. Suh-weet. I told Jack that he had to cuddle with me for a few minutes, and he told me, “Okay but I am NOT going to sleep!!!”

And then literally 3 minutes later… lights out for Jack.

Our book club selection this month is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I’m pretty pumped about because I loved The Husband’s Secret AND I already bought the book a month or so ago. It’s been sitting in my giant “to read” pile ever since. Anyway, my plan was to read while the kids were sleeping, but then I guess the Zyrtec kicked in because the next thing I knew, it was an hour later and Chloe and I were spooning on my bed.  Whoops.

We met my parents for dinner tonight at Mariano’s. I branched out from my usual fajita lights and tried the spicy chicken verde:

Pretty good but waaaaaay too much food. Probably because I gorged on chips and tortillas beforehand? Their tortillas are amazing.

OK that’s all I’ve got for tonight. Hope everyone is staying warm!!

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Pumpkin Chili

Still feeling *not* awesome. Actually I just crawled into bed to “rest my eyes” while Brian was getting the kids in their PJ’s… and woke up 30 minutes later. It was only my deep love for you guys that kept me from just rolling over and going back to sleep. I’ve been doing the whole Airborne/vitamins/apple cider vinegar drink/sinus rinse/tomato tea routine, but looks like the voodoo is not working this time. Wah.

In other news, if anyone wonders what to get my kids for Christmas, try Costco:

JUST KIDDING. That was a joke, grandparents.

Tonight for dinner I made Pumpkin Turkey Chili. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but added a bottle of Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale too. Love all of the veggies- pumpkin, onions, sweet potato, peppers, tomatoes, garlic:

Served with TJ’s baked blue corn tortilla chips, and topped with sour cream and cheese.

Perfect meal for our cold front! Plus the kids thought it was gross, so lots of leftovers!

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Build A Bowl

This morning Isla and I hosted playgroup here, which is always crazy and fun. It’s basically just a tornado of princess dresses, sprinkle donuts, baby dolls, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Not a bad way to kick off the week!

We didn’t accomplish much else today. We’re supposed to get a huge cold front tomorrow AM, so I tried to let the kids squeeze in as much outside time as possible while the weather’s still gorgeous.

Tonight I had a Jr. Women’s League meeting, so dinner was pretty random- basically what I could throw together as quickly as possible. I had some brussels sprouts prepped in the fridge, so I tossed those in olive oil, balsamic, S&P and then threw them in the oven to roast. Then I grilled some chicken-apple sausages and heated up a bag of quinoa with kale (from Costco). I love the layered bowls at HG Sply Co., so I made my own sad little version: quinoa & kale (sprinkled with balsamic), brussels, sausage and crumbled goat cheese. Now I just need the recipe for their romesco sauce!

Sounds/looks weird, but it was really good! I like the idea of having various veggies and protein ready to go in the fridge so I can throw these together for a quick meal. And Jack ate 2 giant helpings of the brussels sprouts!! Love that.

I woke up with that “about to get sick” feeling (scratchy throat, sneezing, chills) and I sooooo don’t have time for that, so I’m going to down another Airborne and head to bed. Night!

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Trophy Time

It used to be that on Friday nights, I was SO ready to go out. Even when Jack was a baby, I couldn’t wait to get us out of the house, go out to dinner, meet up with friends, etc. Now Friday evening rolls around and all I want to do is order takeout and lounge on the couch. Going out to eat has turned into waaaaaaay more trouble than it’s worth, thanks to a certain two year old (I won’t name names), and I don’t even remember our last date night. Wow, that all sounds really sad- but honestly I think we’re all so tired from the week that staying in just sounds like the best option. So that’s what we did, pretty much both nights. On Friday we ordered Thai/sushi takeout from Zato, which has turned into a fave (try the Zato tower!) and watched Chef (it was ok- cute but didn’t blow me away). Then on Saturday my parents were babysitting my nephew, so we ran by there to say hi and then Brian and I picked up pho for dinner on the way home. So yeah, all in all pretty low key weekend.

Jack had his last soccer game on Saturday, followed by a team ice cream party at Braum’s. Sweet boy was so proud to collect his trophy:

Today we met my fam for brunch, I got a little Christmas shopping done while the kids rested, and then Jack had a birthday party this afternoon. I’m hosting playgroup in the AM so after taking down Halloween decor and straightening up the house, I was not about to mess up the kitchen (haha, like my excuses??). We ended up grabbing dinner at Liberty Burger instead. My Libertine- turkey burger with arugula, avocado and pickled cucumbers:

Hope everyone had a fun weekend! I’m off to address birthday invitations, vacuum and hopefully be in bed before midnight. Night!

Posted in November 2014 | Leave a comment

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of posting last night- we had book club and I got home late (same story every month, right? Haha, love me some book club). This month we read I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I still have about 70 pages to go, but I REALLY like it so far. I haven’t finished a book in lord knows how long, so I’m bound and determined to finish this one. I mean, it’s YA after all… I have no excuse.

I brought some paleo pumpkin-chocolate chips bars to book club. The recipe is from PaleOMG (here)- I actually had most of the ingredients on hand, which was a miracle: almond flour, tapioca flour (I know, weird), pumpkin, coconut sugar, coconut oil, eggs and spices.

They’re good but definitely gooey! I think they’re better served chilled, otherwise it’s pretty messy. Jack actually really likes them, which is fine by me because he could do a lot worse in the snack department (*cough* candy corn *cough*).

I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning because it was the first day of the big Sephora VIB sale… 20% off the entire store!!! What! With both kids in school, I wandered around for almost an hour, just playing and testing. I finally broke down and bought the Dior Addict Lip Glow, which I try on every time I’m in there. I also came home with an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, another jar of Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Sleeping Facial (love love LOVE it- it’s my 3rd jar and it makes your skin so amazingly glowy), and a tiny trial bottle of the Josie Maran Light Argan Oil. I love the original so we’ll see how this one measures up. So yes, early Christmas for me. Plus the Gap Friends & Family sale… it’s a dangerous weekend.

Speaking of, hope everyone has a fab weekend! Scandal time!

Posted in November 2014 | Leave a comment