Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Daily Dish; Green Chicken Enchilada

I am a big fan of Mexican food, but in my experience the delicious Mexican food from authentic restaurants are greasy. So with that thought in mind, I decided to try out a (relatively) grease-less recipe. It was very simple and delicious!

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 2, 8 ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1, 19 ounce can green enchilada sauce
  1. In a pot with enough water to cover, boil the chicken for 25 minutes
  2. Drain, cool, and shred.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish. 
  4. Fill each tortilla with equal amounts of chicken and cheese, keeping 1/2 cup cheese out for topping. Roll tortillas to form enchiladas. Arrange enchiladas in the prepared baking dish. Cover with the enchilada sauce.
  5. Bake enchiladas 30 minutes in preheated oven. Top with reserved cheese, and continue baking 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. 
  6. Enjoy :)
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet is the memory of past troubles.

Marcus Tullius Cicero once said "Sweet is the memory of past troubles." I have found this to be of the utmost truth. I have come to the point where I look back and see so many wonderful memories then realize that I haven't enjoyed them as much as I could. Here's to reminiscing.

My old Bible Study group used to go camping every year in the Fall. All the kids would bring their bikes and we would ride over these two huge ditches for hours. It was like our own personal roller coaster, but without the safety harness. The second ditch had a tree growing at the top of the riding path. It had huge roots that would send you flying, if you hit them the wrong way.  It was so scary but so invigorating. Next time I go back, I will be taking my bike. If I fall on my face at least it's with good memories. 

Then there was my best friend, Leah. There are so many memories with this girl it is hard to pick just one. Master Hill. Master Hill was Leah's dog. Not really, that's just what we told people when they asked who it was. Really Master Hill was a boy we thought was ridiculously cute and had a crazy crush on.  We had to have a code name, or our childhood wouldn't have been complete!

Leah and I took Clogging lessons together. That's right, clogging. Every Wednesday night our group (including my young at heart mama and sister) would meet at Ms. Nancy's house and dance the night away. We did shows too! We wore these adorable, large blue skirts with bright pink petticoats underneath! Ms. Nancy was brilliant and always kept everything together. Once my mom even got featured in a news article. She was kicking and her leg was above her head. Every year my sister and I would enter the county fair talent show. We actually won a couple times. Once, dancing to Mama Mia by Abba. 

My dad used to 'kidnap' us on Sunday's and make us take these long boring rides as a family. My sister and I always hated it so much. It felt like he was forcing us to give up our child hood. In reality, they were only about a half hour long and were supposed to be nice. My sister and I would always complain and end up being punished with silence.

Olivia and Caitlin used to have the best sleep overs. We could stay up until whenever we wanted and we always played practical jokes on each other. At Caitlin's house we would stay on the trampoline eating unlimited amounts of candy from the candy drawer and playing truth or dare. Once, they were chasing me around the house trying to tickle me, but I had to go to the bathroom so bad that when they caught me, I wet myself. I'll refrain from telling the many other 'pee' stories as to save their reputation. Two memories for them though, "McDonalds" and "Hose". 

Then I got  job. I was working as a lifeguard at the local pool. I was SO awkward. Between my huge frizzy hair and my not-so-social skills I somehow managed to have a fun summer working with some wacky people. That's the summer I learned what a gyro was, the summer I started listening to rock music, the summer I started liking boys. I am pleased to say that since then I have learned to (mostly) tame my hair and socialize normally. 


Ah, boys. Boys are bad. If you are under 15, boys are bad. Somehow, my sister and I were invited to go to a Trace Adkins concert with a group of friends. I wasn't close to any of them at the time, and I don't remember my sister being close to them either. Alas, we went. When I got there, I was cold. So a boy gave me his jacket. I don't know why, but when a boy gives you his jacket, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! 

Fast forward a couple years and I am meeting 'a boy' who lives three hours away. He and his sister met me half way just so we could have lunch. He brought me flowers, my first flowers! Now lets go back to that warm, fuzzy feeling and multiply it by 50. :) I'm proud to say that boy is now my husband.

Memories are sweet. It's nice to dig them up and smile about them every now and again. So Now it's your turn. I challenge you to give me a memory of your childhood. Comment below and reminisce. Don't forget, "Sweet is the memory of past troubles." Pin It Now!

4 month Growth Picture

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Saturday, January 28, 2012


I can't believe Lily has grown so much since this picture was taken. This is when we couldn't get more than two hours at a time. Now she is sleeping around 12 hours at a time. We are so fortunate!

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Learning to say 'No'

The moment Lily greeted the world, I changed my ways, thoughts and plans... concerning food of course! Before I became pregnant I was losing weight like a mad lady. Watching everything I ate, working out 3-5 times a week, saying 'No'. At about 21 weeks pregnant, I changed. I welcomed all foods, I dropped my gym membership and I decided THIS is the time to indulge. I gained a total of 23 lbs while pregnant, which is in the healthy range. I do, however, regret changing my thoughts. I no longer had motivation to work out, I didn't feel well. Could it be that not working out made me feel worse? I think so. Through a combination of 'Couch Potato Sydrome' and 'I Can Eat However Much I Want syndrome', I lost my self control. I now struggle, with many others, to say 'No'.

What am I saying 'No' to? An excess of anything. I don't care if I eat a cupcake or a cookie every now and then. A little sugar is good for the soul! My point is, everything in moderation.  Since I have had Lily, I constantly work on staying on track. If I'm tired, I still get up and go for a walk. If I have the sitter, I will go for a run. If there is a package of Newmans Own Cookies (My favorite at the moment), I will eat one or two; Not indulge, leaving only crumbs. I need to stay healthy for my little girl and show her how to life a healthy lifestyle.

What helps me to do this?

First, I use a family organizer Cozi. Cozi is a family planner with a calendar, list tool, meal planner, recipes and articles with tips for the home. It helps me to plan my dinners for the week. I can easily make a grocery list from the recipes I choose, I can easily choose healthy recipes. This planner helps our family to eat healthy dinners daily.

Second, I use My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal is an online community of people who aspire to lose weight, get fit or maintain their current course and a food journal. It is easy to get motivated when reading through the forums. There is never a lack of encouragement when you need it. The food journal is my favorite part. Keeping track of what and how much you eat is the best way to realize exactly what you need to do. Sometimes we undershoot how much we are actually consuming. Sometimes we aren't eating enough. This breaks down the protein, sugar, fat, calories, etc of everything you eat so you can see the true nutritional information of your intake.

For those of you who have a weight loss or fitness goal, I would recommend these two web sites. For myself, I will sum up my fitness path.
  • Eat maintenance calories daily
  • Continue to run, as often as possible
  • Start lifting heavy
  • Say 'No' to indulging in every food I see
  • Encourage those around me to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Teach (by example) my daughter moderation and an active lifestyle
The biggest thing of all is to be happy with who you are.It is not always easy to feel confident with the way you look, but it is important to believe that you are beautiful. Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lily's First Snow Day

It may be cold outside, but it's warm in here!

All bundled up!

Playing catch with Mama and Daddy

Lily's First Snow Angel
She then froze in that position for the rest of the night...

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Daily Dish: Chicken Penne Pasta with Asparagus and Banana Bread

Tonight we had Chicken penne with asparagus and banana bread. It was delicious and easy to make. We scarfed it down before I could catch a picture (what can we say, we're hungry people!).

Chicken Penne Pasta with Asparagus
16 ounces penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
12 ounces asparagus cut into bite size pieces
4 minced cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch flax seed
shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook Pasta for about 8 minutes in boiling water, drain and place in bowl

2. Saute chicken in 1 tbsp olive oil until brown. Remove from pan. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, asparagus, red pepper flakes and cook until asparagus is tender. Add chicken, cook for two minutes to combine flavor. Sprinkle flax seed over meal.

3. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss pasta and chicken/asparagus mix together.

VOILA! Tasty, healthy and easy to make meal!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
 1 cup sugar
 2 eggs
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 medium bananas, sliced

1/2 tsp milled flax

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda milled flax and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the applesauce, walnuts (optional) and bananas. Spread evenly into the pan.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

HINT: The best type of banana for banana bread is one that has equal parts of yellow and black on the peel! Toss in the freezer for a bit to harden so it may be easier to work with! Pin It Now!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Night Out...

It was my in laws 37th anniversary last week! We went to a crab house that was delicious. We had huge crabs and shrimp with onions.I had the most delicious burger I have ever had. Barry had a decent fish sandwich and beer. My in laws opened presents then we had some tasty cake :) It was a good night! Pin It Now!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Daily Dose of Lily

(because we all know YOU cant live without it!)

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Cloth Diapers- Types

Part 2:
Those of you that have started your research know, there is an unlimited amount of information on cloth diapers out there. I’m sure you are starting to pull your hair out, ready to give up because of the overwhelming amount of information. So let’s break it down.
There are many types of cloth diapers. It is best to try out a few types and pick what works for you best.

OS (One size)- This is a diaper that is multiple sizes in one. These usually work from about 9 pounds-30 pounds. They snap down to change sizes easily so you do not have to buy multiple sizes (small ,medium, large) with these. Often, these do not fit newborns or large toddlers.
AIO (All in one)- This is the closest you can get to a disposable. The outer layer is waterproof and the inner layers are absorbent. You do not have to add any thing, unless you want more absorbency. In that case you can use a booster or doubler (inserts you lay inside diaper). These usually have velcro or snap closures. They usually have longer drying times and can be a bit pricey than other options.
AI2 (All in 2)- These are often referred to as hybrid diapers. AI2’s have a cover/shell and an insert. These systems are great for on the go. Often, you only have to change the insert. The cover/shell is waterproof. You lay the insert inside of the shell and put on baby. Often, these systems have available disposable inserts that are more eco friendly than disposable diapers. AI2’s can be a bit more pricey than other options.
Pockets- Pocket diapers could easily be the most popular cloth diaper type. These diapers have a waterproof outside and a stuff-able inside. You must “stuff” inserts into the pocket area to have absorbency. You can customize absorbency but stuffing different material (hemp, bamboo, microfiber) or more insets into the pocket. You can often find cheap pockets or more expensive ones depending on what you are looking for.
Fitteds- Fitted diapers require a wrap or cover. These are very absorbent and are great for a night time diaper. Paired with a hemp insert, these will work with even the heaviest wetter!These can also be a bit pricey.
Prefolds/Flats- Prefold and flat diapers are probably the kind of diaper you remember hearing about. You must fold these or wrap these on your baby and then use a cover. You know longer have to use diaper pins however, with this amazing invention called the snappi. This is the cheapest/most economical option out there. We like to trifold our prefolds into a cover for a quick diaper change.
WAHM (work at home mom’s)- Many WAHM’s make diapers and sell them. These are usually made in the United States and have great prices and can be customizable. You can often find these diapers on Etsy, hyenacart or diaperswappers.
Wool- This is a natural fiber cover. The best of the best :) Price ranging from cheap to expensive.
There are a few other things to consider. Do you want leg gussets? Do you prefer natural fibers? Is your baby chunky/skinny? Would you mind using preowned diapers?
Leg Gussets- Leg gussets are an extra bit of fabric around the thigh that insures no poo can escape! This helps especially with exclusive breast fed poo.
Natural Fibers- Many diapers come in natural fibers but some are made with microfiber/microfleece. Is this important to you? Make you you pay attention to what your diapers are made of.
Skinny/Chunky babies- Different diapers fit different babies differently. That said, imagine going shopping with your best friend and buying the same dress. It will fit you both differently, even if you are the same size. The best thing to do is try them out before you commit to a certain brand. Many stores have ‘trial packs’. Or you could go on diaperswapper.com and find a pre-used/pre-owned diaper for a steal! Also, there are many buy/sell/trade boards on facebook. Often you can find locals to help you out!

This is the fun part. Finding what works for you.
AIO’s- Grovia, BumGenius, Thirsties, Swaddlebees, Rumparooz
AI2’s- Grovia, Flip, G Diapers
Pockets- BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Kawaii, AlvaBaby, Happy Heinys, Blueberry, Thirsties
Fitteds- Kissaluvs, Thirsties, Sustainablebabyish, Kiwi Pie, Blueberry, Eco Posh,
Prefolds- Thirsties, Bummies, Swaddlebees, Babykicks, Econobum
WAHM’S- Wylie Clothworks, CC Bums, Curwhibbles

Note-There are MANY other brands out there, these are just a few.

There are many options out there and cloth diapering can get overwhelming. A word of advice, keep it simple. This can be as complicated as you make it! Pin It Now!

Cloth Diapering- Myths Exposed!

So many people have been interested in starting cloth lately :) I thought I would make a reference post in case any was interested! I am always available to talk and answer questions too! hehe

Part 1:
Common misconceptions:
1. Cloth diapers DO keep your baby dry. Diaper rash is rare with cloth diapering. Disposables use gel that keep your baby ‘dry’. Really this gel is just allowing you to go longer in between changes, leaving your baby sitting in pee. In my personal routine, we change every 2-3 hours or when lily poops. She is always dry and has never had a diaper rash!
2. Cloth diapers and diaper pails don’t have to smell. Many people feel like using cloth diapers will make their home smell. I wash about every 3 days and have never had any smell issues. When Lily poops, it actually contains the smell too! Smell is rarely an issue with cloth diapers, unlike smelly disposables.
3. Cloth diapering is not more difficult than using disposables. I do an extra 2 loads of laundry a week. That is the extent of ‘difficulty’. Using cloth diapers can be just as easy as putting on a diaper, throwing the old one in a diaper pail. My husband actually prefers cloth over sposies.
4. cloth diapers ARE cheaper than disposables. On average, families that use disposable diapers spend around $1000-$2000 on each child. Families that use cloth diapers spend around $150-$300 dollars and can use the diapers on subsequent children. Now THAT is savings!! Not to mention, children who are cloth diaper often potty train a year earlier than those who use disposables.
5. With cloth diapers you rarely have to touch poo. Many people think that with cloth diapering comes getting down and dirty with your diapers. This is not the case. With exclusively breast fed poo, you can throw the diaper straight into the washer! When solids are starting there are two options. You can either:
  • Use diaper liners and just shake the diaper over the toilet.
  • Use a diaper sprayer (mini power washer for diapers) and spray into the toilet.
We used disposable diapers for about a month when Lily was a newborn. She had so many poop explosions, ruining clothes that I came to hate disposables. When we turned to cloth, no more explosions!! I am proud to say that I have not had to touch poop in three months (as long as she has been in cloth).
Cloth diapers really are quite easy to use and very fashionable. They are eco friendly, easy on the wallet and better for babies bum. Give it a shot, I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thirsties Fab Fitted and Duo Wrap Review

Let me just say, our little chunk is a bit of a heavy wetter. She eats a lot therefore she pees, a lot. Weighing in at about 13 lbs at 3 months, 3 weeks Lily goes through diapers like a pregnant lady goes through Tums. We were using our Grovia's for night time diapering, but every morning she was waking up soaking wet. After changing her sleeper, onesie, swaddle AND the sheet every night for about a week I was determined to find something that worked. Enters Thirsties Fab Fitted.

Overlapping Aplix Tabs make it an amazing fit!

Very Trim Diapers, and they come in so many cute prints/colors.

Thirsties Fab Fitted are very trim. When it's time to fit into those almost too small pants this is the diaper to grab! They are very absorbent and last 12+ hours for us. The sizing snaps are strong enough that they don't pop open every time we change her, like other diapers have for us. They are very easy, even for sitters or clueless daddies. The system is very economical with only 2 sizes from birth to potty training. The aplix is strong, but the laundering tabs seem to be a little less sticky. Every now and then I will pull out a diaper chain, frustrated. Overall Thirsties Fab Fitteds have proven to be a keeper!

Very strong sizing snaps make for easy diaper changes!

This print is my favorie, Alice Brights.

Thirsties Duo Wraps are not my favorite. For diaper covers, they are good. They never leak, have amazing leg gussets and are very trim. I am not a big fan of the plastic-feeling though. Also, my 13 pound 3 month old is already in a size two!! At about 10 lbs the size one cover fully unsnapped started to dig into her belly. It would leave red marks that wouldn't go away for a few hours. These size 1 covers are supposed to fit until around 18 lbs. Overall, the Thirsties Duo Wrap did the job, but I would rather use a Grovia AI2 Shell or a Kawaii One Size Cover.

This combination for night time diapering has done wonders to my laundry routine. No more wet jammies! I would recommend for you to try Thirsties products yourself :)- Pin It Now!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Day In A Nut Shell

We ate dinner with Aunt Tara then went shopping!

When we got home mama and me relaxed on the couch.

Then she put me in this new thing Aunt Dana got me, it's so cool I got crazy eyes!

Then I got excited. My feet don't really reach the floor yet though so mama and daddy had to put my feet on a box.

Whew! It was a long day, time to sleep the night away!

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Saturday, January 7, 2012


Grandparents are those awesome little gems that don't get any credit.

They raise us up, stand by as we make mistakes then watch (scared) as we raise our own. Sometimes with a little bit of help, sometimes with a little bit of guidance.

Grandparents are always there for their babies and grand babies. We all need to tell them how good they are and give them a huge big thank you! (hugs)

Thank you grandma's, grandpa/poppop and great grandma!

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