Long Day

Hey guys! I’m taking the night off… because it’s 9:30, Brian JUST got home from work, Isla took forever to get to sleep, Jack didn’t nap this afternoon, and I worked out at 10 this morning and still haven’t showered. Basically I feel like this:

I probably smell like her, too. Oh poor Chloe. She puts up with so much… don’t tell the kids this but she’s my favorite child.

Catch you guys tomorrow!

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment

Night & Day

This morning I dropped the kids off at school and then ran home to clean up the breakfast dishes… and then three hours later I was STILL home, still picking up all of the random crap scattered all over our house. It’s a downward spiral- I take a pile of folded laundry back to Jack’s room, then notice library books scattered all over the floor, then carry a bunch of his water cups to the kitchen and on my way back notice that the bathroom trash is overflowing. Good times. In other news, we live in a pit.

Anyyyyyway. We had a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on our counter yesterday, so Isla and I whipped up a batch of these flourless oatmeal banana muffins. I used to make them all the time- they’re awesome because you just throw all of the ingredients in the food processor and let it go, let it gooooo….

(Can you tell what we watch around here, all day err day?)

Then throw them in the oven for about 15 minutes. I altered the recipe a little by using 1/3 cup maple syrup instead of the sugar. The bananas are sweet enough that you don’t need ALL of that extra sugar. The only difference I noticed is that the muffins don’t get as brown, so don’t let that throw you when you open the oven and think that they’re underbaked. Oh and I included the chocolate chips, of course.

Tonight we grabbed dinner at Chip’s. This was our first visit to the Lakewood location and I was pleasantly surprised by the size of their menu. I had the burger salad topped with a turkey patty… their house dressing is pretty awesome (as is the bacon-jalapeno ketchup… yep).

So Miss Sass here has started calling me Heather. When I correct her, she then calls me “Mommy Heather”- which makes me feel like a Sister Wife or something. OH and then on the way home tonight I hear her little voice from the backseat… but realize that it’s RIGHT in my ear. Girlfriend has somehow climbed out of her carseat and is standing up in the seat, leaning over me like it’s totally normal. I almost had a heart attack.

And then we have sweet Jack. I took him to Sonic with me tonight and he goes, “Mommy, I’m going to cry. Not because I’m sad, but because JUST LOOK AT ALL THOSE COLORS OF MILKSHAKES!”

And then he asked for an ice water.

Oh I love those two.

Posted in April 2014 | 1 Comment

Zoodles

Tonight I broke out the ol’ veggie spiralizer again. I made a big batch of marinara sauce (and by “made” I mean poured 2 jars into a pot with ground turkey, mushrooms and basil), so the kids and Brian had that over pasta, while I made some zucchini noodles. There are a LOT of tutorials on internet for how to prepare veggie noodles. Most of them advise sprinkling the raw zucchini with salt and letting it “sweat” in a colander for a while. I just threw mine in a baking dish, microwaved them for about 2 minutes and drained. They were still pretty soggy so maybe next time I’ll try the salting technique? Any tips?

Not bad, though. And I definitely felt better about myself when I went back for a big plate of real spaghetti immediately after finishing this one. I have no willpower around pasta.

We had a bunch of kale wilting in the fridge so I made a big batch of kale chips to have with dinner. Jack will tear through those bad boys. I usually just top them with olive oil, some Bragg’s liquid aminos and kosher salt, but tonight I attempted a salt & vinegar version and drizzled them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (2 Tbs of each, whisked together) before roasting.

Um… next time I definitely will not be using the balsamic. It caramelized in the oven and gave the chips a really off-putting sweet taste. Just weird. Jack still liked them, though.

Ok, off to pillage the kids’ Easter candy. Damn creme eggs.

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!! We had such a great weekend. I know I say it all the time, but holidays just get more fun as the kids get older. It’s adorable to have this tiny, cute baby to pose for holiday pics, but it’s way more fun when they get excited about stuff like the Easter bunny and hunting eggs. Anyway, we had a jam-packed few days and a million pics to prove it, so I’ll try to keep this short!

On Friday we had our MOPS Easter egg hunt at Lakewood Park. It was gorgeous out and the kids had a blast. I helped Isla gather eggs and let Jack be a big boy and hunt on his own, but then he walks up to me with about 40 eggs crammed into his basket (they were supposed to take TWELVE). Oops.

On Saturday Brian took Jack to a birthday party while Isla and I took a walk and then had a little girl time at the park. That night our neighborhood had a picnic and Easter egg hunt at our local elementary, so we walked down there with friends. We’re in that very short period of time where being outside in TX is awesome, so we have taken full advantage. We literally spent ALL day outside on Saturday, and most of today too. This morning the big EB made a visit, of course (Brian was like, “I’m sorry, how many baskets are our kids getting??” Whatever. They’re awesome and shopping for them is my favorite.)

The big hits this year were Jack’s “Tornado Lab” (thanks, Marshalls- $10!) and Isla’s princess gear. Jack played with that tornado machine ALL DAY LONG. Every 5 minutes, “Watch mommy, this is an EF4… and now here’s an EF5, which destroys EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH.” I don’t even know. He’s officially surpassed me in knowledge of basically everything. I’m useless now.

My parents came over for brunch this morning. It was super casual- I made tater tot casserole (similar to recipe here but with turkey sausage and 6 eggs instead of 2), “donut cake”, bacon and fruit.

And mimosa bar, of course. OMG have we talked Deep Eddy Ruby Red? Best stuff ever. Maybe too good…?

Late this afternoon we finally got out of our PJ’s and headed over to my parents’ for dinner. I didn’t get any food pics but everything was delicious! And the kids loved hanging with Mr. Owen. This is just the sweetest:

Good times with the fam:

Oh, and happy birthday to my sweet dad!! We love you!

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment

Impulse Buy

Today I was wandering around Bed Bath & Beyond while the kids were at school (my life is so glam) when I stumbled across this vegetable spiralizer… and immediately knew that it HAD TO BE MINE.

The whole veggie-as-noodle concept has intrigued me for a while, but then I saw a thread on Facebook yesterday with a bunch of recipes for spiralized vegetables. Is that even a word? I say yes.

I tried it out tonight with zucchini and squash:

So yeah… this thing is awesome. That whole bowl took about 2 minutes to shred.

The recipe I tried tonight was an Asian Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad. You just shred 2 zucchini and 2 squash, then in a separate bowl, whisk together:

  • 3 Tbs soy sauce (I added a little more)
  • 2 Tbs seasoned rice wine vinegar (I did more like 4 Tbs)
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

I kind of tasted and played around with the dressing, adding more vinegar and sugar. Once it’s to your liking, just toss the dressing with the “noodles” and then allow to marinate for a few minutes. The original recipe also called for toasted sesame seeds, buuuuut I’m lazy and couldn’t find them in our disaster of a spice rack.

SO GOOD. It tastes a lot like regular sesame noodles and would be great with green onions, toasted almonds and chicken thrown in.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend! We have egg hunts #3-5 between now and Sunday. It’ll be a miracle if my children still have teeth after this weekend.

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment

Hoppy Easter

Hey! No food pics today- we were on the go most of the day and tonight we had dinner out with the in-laws. BUT we did take the kids today to get portraits taken with bunnies at Northpark. We did it with Jack when he was a baby (like 4 months old):

And now with Isla… we missed a few years in there but hopefully I can continue the tradition from now on. The kids loooooooooved the bunnies. At first Isla was like, “Don’t even think about putting that thing in my lap!”- but then Jack got his bunny and she wanted one, too.

How precious are they?? I’m not biased at all.

Both kids have Easter egg hunts at school tomorrow so I’m off to stuff eggs with “age-appropriate” fillings. Not the easiest task for the under-2 crowd.

Posted in April 2014 | 2 Comments

TV Time

I have been so down on TV lately. Every night I get all excited to throw on my stretchy pants (let’s be honest… I wear those all day) and cuddle up on the couch, but then everything on TV suuuuuuuucks so I just watch a Friends rerun and go to bed. I was borderline obsessed with My 600-lb Life, however now they’re just showing “supersized” (really?) versions of the original episodes. Womp. But then LAST night I noticed that 16 & Pregnant is back on!!! What! This makes me so happy.

And yes. I realize how sad that was.

I had big plans to go to Costco today, but then my car tune-up ended up taking foreverrrrr and I ran out of time, which left me scrambling for something to make for dinner. My mother-in-law was still staying with us, so like last night it need to be low-carb. I ran into Target to look for something and then remembered my old fave slow cooker pork tenderloin. I always alter the recipe a little to make it more of a “meal”… here’s the rundown:

In the crockpot, layer:

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 2 small pork tenderloins
  • 2 packages mushrooms

Then smear some minced garlic over the tenderloins. After that, sprinkle on a packet of dry onion soup mix, then pour in a cup of red wine, 3 Tbs soy sauce and 1 cup chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours, then remove the pork and slice. Serve over veggies with the “gravy” from the slow cooker. This is awesome over mashed potatoes, but we had ours with mashed cauliflower:

Not the most colorful meal ever, but there are a lot of veggies in there… and it’s good, I swear!

Off to pour myself a big glass of wine and claim my spot on the couch, although right now Brian and Chloe are stretched out across the whole thing and snoring away. Not cool, guys. Not cool.

Posted in April 2014 | 3 Comments

A Day In The Life

Today felt like Sunday because Brian actually took the day off of work. His mom is in town so she and Brian took the kids to the Walnut Hill rec center for open gym playtime while I hit up my boot camp class at the Y. After that we all grabbed lunch and then ran to Central Market for a few things. As we were walking back to the car, Brian mentioned how fun it was to get a glimpse at what our weekly routine is like. Um, NO. There are usually not THREE people manning the kids at the grocery store, and even today he was at the meat counter and didn’t witness me having to physically remove Isla from the cart for repeatedly slapping Jack in the face.

Anyhoo, it actually was a fun day, besides the whole toddler assault thing. Brian’s mom is eating low-carb right now so Brian ended up grilling some chipotle-lime chicken kabobs (from Central Market), chicken sausage and turkey dogs.

For the sides I made a batch of BBQ beans & kale and some roasted broccoli.

I also grabbed a container of the kale-cranberry-pepita salad from the CM deli case. Have I mentioned how obsessed I am with this salad? It’s ridiculous.

So yeah, a very green meal. Also a very summery meal, despite the fact that it was in the low 50′s here today. Boooooo.

Posted in April 2014 | 1 Comment

Mommy’s Little Helper

I feel like I always start Sunday night posts with, “We had such a busy weekend!”

But honestly, they’re ALL busy. Especially now that the weather is warming up. We have soccer every Saturday, plus birthday parties and (this weekend) Easter activities. On Friday we had MOPS and our speaker talked about getting organized. My closet has been such a crap hole for months- like to the point that I couldn’t even really walk inside. Embarrassing. So Friday afternoon I was all motivated to just jump in and tackle it… but then of course as soon as I drag everything out and get started, guess who wakes up from her nap??

Oh so helpful. Or not. But the good news is that the closet is like 90% clean! I just need to go through some shoes and then figure out a storage system for some annoyingly-sized built in shelves. I took a giant box to Goodwill… ahhhh, such a good feeling!

On Saturday we took the kids to a friend’s church for an Easter egg hunt after Jack’s soccer game. Obviously they both loved hunting for eggs, but Isla got really into the crafts, too. The girl is sticker obsessed!!

Jack boycotted all activities. No face painting, no crafting, no pictures. It’s a fun phase we’re in.

On Saturday night my parents babysat so that Brian and I could head to our area Exchange Club auction with friends. Two weekends of date nights- what! Despite Uber-ing to the wrong hotel at first (oops), we had a blast!! Possibly too much fun, as you can probably tell from the pic.

Yikes. More wine = more selfies… with props.

Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment

Sneaky Pasta

Our neighborhood elementary school hosts 3 “classes” per year so that pre-K students canĀ  get a feel for the BIG school before they start kindergarten. It’s very sweet, and though we’re still not sure where we plan to send the kids to school, it’s really helpful to get to get that small glimpse at the classrooms, teachers, students, etc. The subjects today were science and PE. The science teacher did a little experiment with them about spiders, and after that they got to go into the gym and try out different “stations”… can you guess Jack’s favorite?

They also played games with the parachute. Who doesn’t love the parachute??? Not going to lie, I kind of wanted to crawl under it.

Dinner tonight was one of those “clean out the fridge/pantry” meals:

I sauteed a bag of broccoli slaw in a Tbs of olive oil until soft:

Next I then threw in some chopped basil, 2 garlic cloves, 2 jars of marinara, approximately 1/4 cup red wine and some mushrooms and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes. Served over whole wheat pasta and topped with TJ’s pesto chicken sausage:

That Trader Joe’s tomato-basil marinara is SO good! A new fave for sure. The Giada stuff (from Target) is pretty good, too, but noticeably sweeter.

So- hallelujah!- Isla actually scarfed down the pasta WITH sauce. I gave her some noodles with just butter and some with the sauce and she definitely preferred the sauce. Sooooo I managed to sneak a few veggies in her tonight. Progress!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted in April 2014 | Leave a comment