Dancing Cats

So I realized today that we are exactly ONE MONTH from the end of the school year. How???? I’m so excited for summer but also really sad that we’re almost done with first and third grade. First grade especially is one of my favorites. The kids still seems so little and precious. I swear, we’re already getting glimpses of the pre-teen attitude from sweet Jack.

Our weekend freed up considerably once the City of Dallas decided to shut down the soccer fields. The weekend was gorgeous (for a change) but apparently our fields were still a mess. So we had a pretty low-key Saturday. It was actually perfect because Sunday was ballet allllllll day. Isla had her Big Top Circus recital- she was a “performing feline” (don’t make the same mistake I did and call her a dancing cat).

Managed to sneak a pic during dress rehearsal:

Fan club!

Super cute. I was a backstage mom this time and didn’t get to see much of the recital, though I did get to watch Isla’s dance from the wings. She had a blast. I don’t know where she got her love of being onstage but it sure wasn’t from me! Brian…??

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

All The Things

Ugh, y’all… THIS WEEK. Makeup soccer games, projects, social studies test (that I thought was tomorrow but was actually today, whoops), spelling tests, reading test, something called “reader’s theater.” There is SO MUCH crammed into this short week. Also Isla has her dance rehearsal and recital on Sunday.

The projects are a beating- but have you ever seen a cuter Andy Warhol??

Tonight I made a super simple dinner (just for the grownups- remember, it’s Subway Day lol):

I planned on browning some ground turkey, but Sprouts had a much better deal on ground chicken breasts (why is their turkey so expensive??). So I just cooked a pound of chicken, then added three minced garlic cloves, some Italian seasoning, a can of drained mushrooms and a jar of Rao’s tomato basil. We had it over Banza chickpea pasta- which the kids hate but I think is pretty good! Lots of protein, too.

Not terribly exciting, but given the amount of homework/studying on the agenda tonight, simple was better.

Kids are finally in bed so I’m hoping to catch up on my book. Currently reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and it’s fascinating! I don’t read a ton of nonfiction but this one is really good.

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Easter 2019

Happy Easter! We had such a fun weekend. Brian was actually off on Friday, for maybe the first time ever? We spent the day running a few errands, then taking Isla to her last swim lesson. On Saturday Jack had a soccer game (Brian is the assistant coach, so he went with him), and Isla and I headed to Tupps Brewery in McKinney for my aunt’s 60th birthday. It was so much fun! The weather was perfect and Isla had a blast hanging out with her cousins and dancing:

On Sunday we went to mass and then over to my brother’s for lunch. We got to spill the beans to the kids that they’re getting a new cousin this fall! Zach and Laura did a gender reveal while we were there and they’re having another girl! Jack and Isla are SO excited.

All dressed up. Jack looks like such a dude.

Easter bunny goodies:

Fun cousin time!

Easter fell on my dad’s birthday this year, so of course we celebrated him too!

I woke up in the middle of the night with the WORST sore throat. I was 100% convinced it was strep… but apparently it’s just allergies and/or some type of virus. Ugh. So the doctor just told me to add Zyrtec on top of the Flonase that I’m taking every single night. So annoying. I’m not ready for the summer heat BUT I am ready for these spring allergies to go away.

Heading to bed early(ish). Night!

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Never A Dull Moment

Sorry for not posting yesterday; we had a little bit of drama (what else is new??). Isla was playing goalie before Jack’s soccer practice last night and took a ball to the wrist.  She’s generally a pretty tough cookie, so when she didn’t stop crying for a good 30 minutes- and her wrist was swelling- I was concerned she had a fracture. We ended up taking her to a pediatric urgent care for x-rays. The on call doctor didn’t see a break but sent the pics to the radiologist just to be safe, and since we wouldn’t get a report until today, she was sent home in a splint (which she was VERY excited about).

We received word today that there’s no break- likely just a sprain or some bruising! Which is great because OF COURSE this is also the week she’s taking swimming lessons:

Anyway, that’s what we’ve been up to. The kids have a half day Thursday and are off Friday and Monday- ready for the break!

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Confession Time

Slacker mom confession: My kids eat Subway for dinner every Wednesday night. And sadly I’m pretty sure it’s their favorite meal of the week. There’s a Subway a few doors down from Isla’s ballet studio, so every week after class they sprint down there. Honestly, it’s kind of win-win; they’re happy and fed by 5:30, and I can make something for dinner without worrying if they’ll actually eat it.

(Let’s not discuss Isla’s “bread, cheese and pickle” sandwich…)

This vegan pesto from Trader Joe’s had been on my to-try list for a while. I ended up using it tonight to make a shrimp and artichoke gnocchi dish that I came up with a while back.

Ingredients:

(Also garlic and white wine)

I roasted the gnocchi in the oven- my new favorite method. Then I heated olive oil in a skillet, and once it was hot I threw in the thawed shrimp. Cooked until the shrimp was pink, then added a clove of minced garlic and sauteed for another minute. Added a few glugs of white wine and let that reduce a little. Then I stirred in maybe 1/4 cup of pesto, artichoke hearts, and the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Heated through, then mixed in the cooked gnocchi.

It’s really simple but so good. Jack walked by, looked in the skillet, and told me it looked/smelled gross. Whatever- enjoy your crappy sandwich, kid.

As far as the pesto goes, I think I’m going to stick with my Costco pesto from now on. It was just a little too “green” tasting and lacked richness. I guess fine if you’re trying to avoid dairy? I love how pesto thickens up a sauce, but this one didn’t at all.

I’ll leave you with this photo of our little “performing feline” (recital is in a few weeks):

She’s REALLY excited to be a cat.

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Winner Dinner

Happy Monday! We’re continuing our streak of gorgeous weekdays and rainy weekends. Why is this the trend every single year?? Or at least every soccer season.

Jack had an early soccer game on Saturday, and they finished just as it started to pour. Isla’s noon game was cancelled, but she had a birthday party that afternoon so she wasn’t too bummed about it. Other than that our weekend was pretty low-key. My parents hosted a birthday dinner for my brother on Friday night, then on Saturday we were lazy and took turns napping- though we did rally for Tex-Mex Saturday night. On Sunday we spent most of the morning cleaning out the kids closets and dressers, then Brian took the kids to another birthday party while I got stuff done around here.

I know, right?? So exciting!

My parents sent us home with leftover steaks on Friday, so tonight I reheated them using this method from Cook’s Illustrated. Basically you bring them up to about 110 degrees in the oven (set at 250), sear them for a minute in a hot skillet, then allow to rest for 5 minutes before eating.

I left them in the oven a little too long (tried to time it with Brian and Jack getting home from soccer practice), but they were still really good! Served with mashed cauliflower, a leftover potato medallion, and a really simple salad made with arugula/spring greens, tomato, avocado, shaved parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil.

A lot fancier than our usual Monday night dinners.

I’ve done a few runs in the past week and I am FEELING IT. Crossing my fingers that it gets easier (or maybe I’m just too old????) but going up and down the stairs today was a struggle. Also it’s 9pm and I can’t wait to get in bed. So yeah, probably just old.

Posted in April 2019, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Old Faithful

This afternoon it was 80 degrees here in Dallas! We had dentist appointments right after school, and the kids were dying to get out of there and play outside. I even managed to sneak out for a run once Brian got home. Loving this weather and that it stays light so late!

I didn’t get home until almost 8, so dinner was a super fast OLD favorite: Moroccan chickpeas & eggs. Do y’all remember how I used to make this all. the. time?? I found the recipe years ago in a Food Network magazine. I just heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet, then add a can of drained chickpeas, cumin and smoked paprika. Saute the chickpeas for a few minutes, then pour a jar of marinara over the top. Heat through, then crack 4-6 eggs over the top. Place in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes and serve:

(Sorry for the terrible lighting)

It’s just so good and filling!! We had it with these cute mini naan’s that I found at Aldi.

Trader Joe’s has even started selling a frozen version of this dish (shakshuka starter) that you can make in the microwave. I bought a box but haven’t tried it yet. It’s just so easy to make from scratch, and I like being able to use my favorite marinara.

Random, but we bought these little cactus plant kits from the dollar spot at Target a while back. One of ours didn’t sprout at all, but the other one did and now we have these cute baby cacti!! They’re even starting to get their little spikes.

I’m so excited. Now if I can somehow not kill them…

Busy weekend ahead- 2 soccer games, 2 birthday parties, and a birthday dinner for my brother. Hopefully the rain holds off so Jack will actually get to play! His games keep getting cancelled.

Also, anyone watching The Act on Hulu? I’m hooked. It’s insane but that case has fascinated me for YEARS.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Salsa Chicken, Round 2

Last Thursday I was really struggling to come up with something for dinner. We had a ton of leftover salsa verde chicken in the fridge, but I wasn’t feeling tacos again. I ended up throwing together this random enchilada casserole that was actually REALLY good! And it was super quick since we already had the chicken on hand. I loosely based it on this recipe on Emily Bites, but altered it a little based on what we had at home. To me, chicken works a lot better with green enchilada sauce so that’s what I used.

Here’s what I used:

Sprayed a 9×13 dish with nonstick spray, then poured a little of that green enchilada sauce on top. Then I topped that with a single layer of tortillas- 3 whole tortillas and 3 halves. In a large bowl I mixed the salsa verde chicken, a (drained) can of fire-roasted corn, a (drained/rinsed) can of black beans, and the remaining green enchilada sauce. Layered half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, then topped that with half a bag of shredded Mexican-blend cheese. Then another layer of tortillas, chicken and then the rest of the cheese.

Tortilla layer:

Baked at 350 for about 35-40 minutes:

So good! I was kind of meh on the chicken the first night, but this made it so much better. I topped mine with plain Greek yogurt- but you could use sour cream, avocado, jalapenos, etc.

(I mean, not the prettiest but it tasted good!)

This weekend was CRAZY. We did Disney on Ice on Friday night, Jack had an academic competition (7th place in math- which is huge considering he came out of the test literally in tears, swearing that he bombed it) and Isla had a birthday party on Saturday, then on Sunday Isla had a soccer game, we took the kids to a play, and I went to dinner with Jack’s old playgroup mamas. I feel like I need another weekend to recover!!

I finished our April book club book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, on Saturday. It was SO GOOD. What an amazing (true!) story. I know there are a lot of popular WW2 books right now, but this one is a quick read and definitely worth picking up.

Posted in April 2019 | Leave a comment

Home Edit

I had a fun little outing today- my friend Leeanne and I headed to Serena & Lily to a book signing for The Home Edit gals:

Love that (unintentional?) swatch rainbow!

I’m a big fan of Joanne and Clea and their organizational aesthetic. Everything they do is so tidy and put-together, but still manages to look fun. The new book is fab and even comes with cute fridge labels! And they hit the NY Times bestseller list today!

Jack had soccer practice until 7 on Monday, and we also had to make it out to the Toyota dealership to sign papers for Brian’s new car. I figured that a crock pot meal would be easiest since we would all be eating at different times, so I threw together a batch of zesty lime chicken tacos (recipe on Instagram @glutensnob). Unfortunately Target was out of the zesty lime dressing so I had to use this crappy imposter cilantro-lime vinaigrette:

So yeah, not nearly as good as when I’ve used the Kraft Zesty Lime dressing. Hopefully it hasn’t been discontinued because this is one of my fave recipes! I had mine on La Tortilla Factory low carb tortillas with spinach, shredded cheese and Greek yogurt. On the side is a quick black bean and corn salad (1 can of drained/rinsed black beans, 1 can drained corn, quartered grape tomatoes, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cumin).

I finished Daisy Jones & The Six yesterday and loved it! The interview format took a minute to get into, but then the story sucked me in. Last night I started our April book club pick, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Of course the subject matter makes it a heavy read, but I’m tearing through it already. It’s so interesting and well written.

Posted in March 2019, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gnocchi Hack

Happy Monday! Ugh, this weekend went too fast. We hit up the KC Fish Fry on Friday like the good Catholics we are. Isla had a 9am soccer game on Saturday, so we were all up early. Her team won AND she got a goal! Sadly Jack’s game was called due to weather just before they were scheduled to play at 11:45. Since we had an unexpected free afternoon, Brian and Isla went to look at cars, while Jack and I relaxed at home (okay, I took a nap) and then visited my parents.

Brian ended up coming home with a truck- which is exciting, but I was a tiny bit sad to say goodbye to our little Prius. It was the first car we bought together, how we brought both kids home from the hospital, etc. It was definitely time to trade it in… but she was a good car while we had her!

We spent most of Sunday cleaning out the garage. That’s always a total beat down but at least now we can fit both cars in there. I’m honestly not sure that’s ever happened before! And just in time too because the area got some pretty major weather last night (like baseball-sized hail). Thankfully we just had thunderstorms at our house, but we’re ready just in case. Or until we trash the garage again.

Okay, so not to be dramatic- but this is LIFE CHANGING. I love, love, love the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and probably have 5 bags of it in our freezer right now. My only issue with it is that it can be tricky to cook. The instructions on the bag are garbage unless you like little gummy cauliflower balls, and I tend to burn the outside when I saute them in a skillet.

YOU CAN BAKE THEM.

Before:

After:

I’m not sure why I’m just figuring this out, but you can literally just throw them on a sheet pan and roast them in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or so (stirring after about 10 minutes). The outside gets a little browned and the inside stays soft. They are PERFECT. I think I cooked mine for more like 25 minutes.

This was our super quick dinner last Thursday:

The Rao’s Arrabiata is my favorite, but it’s a little spicy for the kids so I went with the marinara this time. I just sliced and browned the chicken sausage in a skillet, then added the sauce and mushrooms. Jack and Isla had penne and Brian and I had the cauli gnocchi.

So easy. And honestly just as fast as cooking them in the skillet (without having to babysit the pan). I roasted that big pan of asparagus at the same time.

We have an early, early meeting at school tomorrow so I’m off to bed. Night!

Posted in March 2019 | Leave a comment