Weekend Recap

Hey hey! I always breathe a little sigh of relief once Monday is over. We have soccer practice until 7, meaning we eat at 7:30 and Jack is still doing his homework right now- at 8:30. It’s rush week at the gym too, so my workout was 90 minutes instead of the usual 50 this morning, and then I ran to Target to do our grocery shopping for the week. Basically I want to crawl into bed right. now.

Fun weekend! I met Brian for lunch at a new restaurant near our house, Cinco Taco Bar. It was so good! They have a TON of tacos to choose from- I ended up with one ribeye taco and one pork (can’t remember which pork taco but it had pineapple):

I also tried their skinny margarita- it was good but not sweet at all. Like straight tequila and lime juice. But it did taste really fresh (and I saw the bartender juicing a huge pile of limes). The drink menu was pretty impressive. I have my eye on the strawberry-jalapeno margarita for next time.

My dad worked his last day on Friday! After 40+ years at the same firm, he’s officially retired! We celebrated dad at Times Ten on Saturday… loved this photo of baby lawyer Ken (I’ve definitely seen Jack make this same face):

My cute parents…

We’re so proud of him!!

Ugh- so on a side note, our babysitter no-showed us on Saturday. Thank god for my awesome friend Lauren who totally saved the day and let the kids come hang out. We’re so spoiled having my parents live nearby- good sitters are HARD to find.

Ok I’m going to drag myself upstairs (so sore!!) and attempt to finish our book club book. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in April 2017 | Leave a comment

Laziest Dinner

By Thursday night I am so over the whole dinner thing. I was so so so tempted to just hit the Chick Fil A drive thru after ballet, but it was only 4:15… and even I can’t justify a 4pm dinner. I mean, I probably could but then I’d just have to feed them again in three hours, so what’s the point?

ANYWAY. The kids got mini corn dogs for dinner. Brian got home late and then the kids needed baths, so he and I didn’t eat until almost 9. I made another batch of that slow cooker Brunswick stew earlier this week, though this time I used chicken thighs instead of pork (I like the pork version better, for the record). We heated that up for our dinner, and alongside I had my newest weird creation:

Ok bear with me. I found this olive cream cheese at Target and got really excited:

So for snacks/easy meals, I spread the cream cheese on a low-carb tortilla, top with turkey and a spear of pickled asparagus (from Costco- I’m obsessed). Then roll up and slice. It’s SO GOOD. I also bought jalapeno cream cheese so I’m excited to try that too.

Also, for any other lovers-of-all-things-briny, these are great. They’re near the olives and pickles at Trader Joe’s:

Well that’s all I’ve got. Tortilla roll-ups and pickled things… on a paper plate. Because it’s been a long week.

Happy almost Friday!!

Posted in March 2017 | 1 Comment

Taco Tuesday

I read an article about meal planning recently that said you should plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and prep on Sunday. This is my new goal because lately I’ve been waiting until Sunday to even think about planning, can’t make it to the grocery store until Monday, and then it just all goes out the window once the week starts and we’re dealing with soccer practices, dance, homework, etc. I did manage to prep a few things after the gym today, including some chicken breasts (from frozen to shredded in less than an hour- thanks Instant Pot!) that I used for our dinner tonight.

I’ve seen the whole oven-baked taco technique pop up on several blogs, but this was the first time I actually tried it. I used this recipe for BBQ pineapple baked chicken tacos, mainly because I thought it sounded pretty kid-friendly (and red meat free for Brian). The recipe suggested Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, but that stuff is sooooo sweet. I ended up using my ol’ standby, Stubb’s, instead. It’s a *little* spicy but the pineapple juice mellows it out quite a bit.

Stand & Stuff shells filled with a mixture of shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, diced green onions and pineapple. Topped with Mexican blend cheese (because I don’t like swiss) and baked:

Pretty good! Definitely sweet but I love the technique- the shells are crunchy and you can churn out a whole batch of tacos at once. Next time I’m going to try it with ground turkey.

With my fave pickled veggie salad (Smitten Kitchen… I can make this in my sleep now):

This week has me so tired- probably because I keep staying up way too late reading. Our book club is reading Dark Matter this month and it’s giving me the WEIRDEST dreams.

Posted in March 2017 | 2 Comments

Weekend Recap

Jack ran into our room this morning really excited because he just pulled out another tooth! His first one on the top and he looks so cute with that gap-toothed smile:

We had a really fun and actually pretty relaxing weekend. Isla’s soccer practice was cancelled on Friday so the kids and I headed over to visit my mom after school. Brian ended up meeting us there and we just picked up Thai for dinner on the way home. Our only soccer game this weekend was Sunday evening, so we took advantage of a rare commitment-free Saturday. I cleaned the house Saturday morning while Brian and the kids took my car to be inspected. That afternoon we took the kids to see Beauty and the Beast at Alamo Drafthouse. I LOVED it- there were some scary/intense parts for the kids and Isla jumped in my lap several times, but they both seemed to love it too. Such a good movie!

Today we ran a few errands, headed to Jack’s soccer game this evening and then grabbed dinner after at Modern Market (can’t beat kids eat free on Sundays AND $2 glasses of wine). I had the half wintergreen salad and the half hot honey pizza. The pizza was really interesting- it was SPICY, weirdly from the hot honey drizzle on top. It was a little messy but I’d get it again. I love anything with goat cheese.

Ok I’m all geared up to watch Big Little Lies, but we’re supposed to have bad weather tonight so I’m praying our DirecTV doesn’t go out. #firstworldproblems

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Paleo Naan

Tonight I planned a low key dinner- leftover slow cooker Brunswick stew and salad. The kids ate their dinner early and then ran outside to play on the trampoline, so I took advantage of the few peaceful minutes and decided to try a new recipe that I’d stumbled across online: 3-ingredient paleo naan. It really is just three ingredients: canned coconut milk, tapioca flour and almond flour. Oh and I added a pinch of salt too.

Just whisk everything together. I had to whisk my coconut milk first because it came out of the can separated. Annoying.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, then once it’s hot drop batter by 1/4 cups onto the skillet. Cook for a few minutes per side. It’s a *little* tricky to gauge the time. I undercooked my first naan, and while the outside was crispy the inside was really raw and gooey. After the first one I got the hang of it. My batch made 6 pieces of naan.

SO GOOD. Seriously I’m so excited about this recipe. Isla was sitting on the counter while I cooked and asked if she could try one… and she ate the entire thing! For those of you who know her, you realize this is HUGE. The girl eats nothing. I just ate mine plain alongside my soup, but they would be awesome with butter or even Nutella. I love that it has a hint of coconut flavor.

I had to fast this morning because I had my 2 month fitness test at the gym at 9:00, then stayed for a class at 10, so by 11 I was starving and desperate for caffeine. I feel like I’ve been dragging all day- mama needs her morning coffee!! Ok that’s all I’ve got. Is it Friday yet?

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Spring Stew

Oh Monday. Not only was it the first day back after spring break, but it was soccer practice day too- meaning we didn’t get home until almost 7:30. Luckily I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge and all the makings of this slow cooker Brunswick stew, so I threw that together when I got home from the gym this morning = dinner on the table right after practice.

(I should mention that I bought all of the ingredients before Brian reminded me that he gave up red meat for Lent. Sigh. You could easily make this with chicken instead of pork, but I already had the tenderloin… and I really like the way it turned out.)

Ingredients:

I put everything except for the frozen veggies in the crock pot and cooked on high for 6 hours. Right before we left for practice, I shredded the pork and then added in the frozen vegetables. I ended up using an entire steam bag of corn/pea/carrot mix and about 3/4 of a bag of lima beans.

Also I think the BBQ sauce gives this stew most of its flavor, so pick a good one. You can’t go wrong with Stubb’s.

So good! I’ll definitely make this one again. It’s probably already too hot here for soup (TEXAS) but I don’t care. This is a very kid-friendly recipe, too- as long as your sauce isn’t too spicy.

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

Well spring break 2017 is officially over and I’m a little sad. We had such a fun week just hanging out and relaxing- I don’t think any of us are super excited to get back into the school routine tomorrow.

Busy weekend! On Friday night Isla had soccer practice and then we grabbed dinner at Mariano’s (which for once wasn’t packed- thank you St. Patrick’s Day!). I set my alarm for 6:30 Saturday morning because our first soccer game of the day was at 8. For some reason my alarm didn’t go off, but thank goodness Jack woke us up at 7:15… AND he was fully dressed in his uniform. That was unexpected. First game of the season and they won 4-1! After that we dropped Isla off at her friend’s cute tea party birthday party, grabbed breakfast with my parents, picked Isla up from the party (and changed her into her soccer uniform in the back of the car) and raced to her noon game.

The cutest little Lollipop!

It was REALLY hot and she *may* have asked to leave and go to the snack bar more than once during the game, but I do think she had fun…. though I think her favorite part was handing out lollipops to the opposing team after the game.

I’ve been watching The Fitness Marshall videos for probably a year now (look him up on YouTube!), so when I heard he was coming to Dallas I had to buy tickets. I don’t even really know how to explain it- his name is Caleb and he choreographs dances to popular songs, and they are HILARIOUS. And also a good workout. Anyway, he did a show at Gilley’s on Saturday and I went with a few friends. It was so much fun!! Apparently I’m not hardcore enough because I didn’t know a lot of the dances (and looked like a total spaz, I’m sure), but oh well… thankfully it was dark and crowded.

We bought meet and greet tickets so we were able to take pics with him after too.

I was drenched in sweat and looking pretty rough at that point. But again, so fun!

Today was low key- Costco run, another soccer game for Jack and then met friends for dinner at Shady’s.

Ok guess I better go get everything ready for school tomorrow. Womp womp. But at least there’s a new Big Little Lies!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Spring Break 2017

On Monday I loaded the kids (& Chloe) up and headed down to our lake house. I initially planned on coming home Wednesday, but we were having so much fun that we ended up spending another night. There’s just something about not having to grocery shop, meal plan, do laundry… and the kids are SO happy just to run around outside. Plus all of our friends were out of town, so it was pretty much a win-win.

Having a little kinetic sand fun on the porch:

My mom and I took them to the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler on Tuesday. I didn’t even know that Tyler, TX had a zoo! And it’s a really good one, too! It’s the perfect size for little kids. Not so huge that they’re exhausted walking around it, and it has all of the animals you want to see- lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, rhino, monkeys, lots of creepy snakes. Honestly though the kids favorite part was the parakeet exhibit. There are hundreds of little birds flying around this enclosure and you can walk inside and feed them. Both kids managed to get birds perched on their seed sticks (and Jack had one on his hand):

I don’t even like birds, but these were really cute.

The East TX azaleas are GORGEOUS right now:

On the way home we stopped at Miranda Lambert’s store, Pink Pistol, in Lindale (her home town). I honestly couldn’t tell you ONE Miranda Lambert song, but Isla was thrilled with the all-pink store.

Yesterday was pretty low-key. The kids played outside a lot, we took them on a golf cart ride, colored, went for a walk and just hung out. My dad and Brian came down after work and my dad grilled steaks while the kids watched Moana for the 50th time. Then today my mom and I took the kids on a quick trip to Canton and then headed home.

I’m really sad that spring break is almost over! It’s been so nice not having a schedule and I can tell the kids love having more time to play together. It seems like we have so little free time during the school week. But at least summer is coming soon…

We have a busy weekend ahead- 2 soccer games, birthday party, and I’m going to see The Fitness Marshall on Saturday afternoon (obsessed). Happy almost Friday!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Spring Breakers

Hey! Well we’re officially on spring break here! And by “here” I mean at our house, not Disneyworld or some fab ski vacation. But I mean we did go to IKEA last night, so there’s that…

We’ve had a fun, low-key weekend. Isla had soccer practice on Friday night and we grabbed dinner at La Calle Doce after. Perfect for our meat-free Fridays- I’ve said it before but they have the best ceviche in town. Then on Saturday we took the kids to brunch at Breadwinner’s and let the kids run around in the Northpark courtyard while we enjoyed our beverages- mimosa for me and this cinnamon toast milk punch (omg) for Brian:

He swore it tasted good, but I couldn’t deal with the idea of soggy cereal in my cocktail. Anyway, I’m so glad we took advantage of the patio weather because it the temps dropped like crazy on Saturday afternoon. It must have been close to 80 when we were eating brunch, and by Saturday night it was in the 40′s. Texas be crazy.

Tonight we had a little pizza picnic in the living room at watched The BFG. Jack just finished the book and has been dying to see the movie. We still have about 40 minutes left but so far they both seem to like it! I’m just excited that he’s into Roald Dahl books. They were always my favorite.

I’m planning to take the kids to the lake tomorrow and probably won’t be posting. The internet there is pretty spotty. But I’ll be back in a couple of days- hope everyone is having a fun spring break!!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Pork Ragu and Happy Early St. Patty’s Day

So tonight I finally got around to making the dinner I intended for Monday… and then Tuesday…

Skinnytaste Instant Pot pork ragu! It was really easy to throw together BUT it cooks for 45 minutes in the pressure cooker (longer for stove top or crock pot), and that doesn’t count the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure. And then at the end the recipe suggests a natural pressure release rather than a quick release, so that’s another 30-ish minutes. So in total I would say this “cooks” for an hour and a half, give or take. It’s a good one to start in the afternoon and then just let it hang out in the IP until dinner.

Ingredients:

Pork tenderloin, crushed tomatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, roasted red peppers and parsley.

You saute crushed garlic cloves in oil for a minute, then remove the garlic from the pot and brown both sides of the pork (I cut mine in half so it would fit better). Then add all of the ingredients- garlic included- to the pot and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes.

Brian gave up red meat for Lent and this wasn’t done in time to feed to Jack (I know better than to attempt to feed it to Isla), so I was the only one having this for dinner. I had it over butternut squash noodles:

So good!! The sauce is nice and thick. The roasted red pepper flavor is pretty strong, so keep that in mind if you make this. The taste actually reminds me a lot of chicken cacciatore, but with pulled pork instead of chicken. Next time I might throw in some mushrooms.

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ll leave you with this. Jack brought home a St. Patrick’s Day craft from school, and it’s a little disturbing. MORE disturbing is how Brian stuck it to my closet mirror at some point and scared the bejeezus out of me this morning.

I have so many questions. Why are his eyes red? And how did Jack know to draw those squiggly lines around them to make him look extra cracked out? I think our whole family is scarred by this guy. Isla keeps asking Alexa if leprechauns are real, haha.

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment