Friday, December 19, 2014

5 on Friday!

Five on Friday!

In an effort to jot down a few things about our life right now, I'm going to record five things about our life over the past few weeks...

1. I love having a two year old. I am loving this stage of motherhood so much. Having a little person who I can actually talk and converse with is so much fun. We certainly have our hard days, but overall, 25 months is pretty darn awesome.

I think J would agree!

2. My sister broke her leg (pretty badly) last week and I made a very quick and last minute trip to see her in NYC and help take care of her until my mom could get up there to help her. I might post more, but seeing how my blogging has been going lately, that likely won't happen. #slackblogger

 3. We went to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia last weekend. While M had a ball and really enjoyed the animals, we ended up having to come home a little earlier than we had planned after I got hit with an awful migraine part way through the morning. I have never experienced anything like that and I hope it doesn't happen again. I told J at one point that I felt like I had something trying to crush the bridge in my nose. It was just terrible. Hopefully next time we go to the zoo, it'll be a little less traumatic for me...but with all that said, I'm glad we went because M really did have a great time!

Pre Migraine...

4. M's new phrase is "Ummmmm" and it is my favorite. Every answer to yes or no questions is "Ummm yes" or "Ummm no" and it cracks us up!

5. Making salt dough ornaments with some sweet friends last week! Today we're off on another fun Christmas adventure with them!

Okay, that's enough playing catch up for one week! Hope you have a great weekend! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Polka Dot Bake Shop Soft Brittle

One of my (many!) favorite local businesses in Charlotte is a local bakery called Polka Dot Bake Shop. They're a Charlotte based bakery that has been around since 2007. I have bought cupcakes from there for parties, for a quick "thank you" gift, and then just for us as a special treat! When they contacted me in November to see if I was interested in trying their new soft brittle, I immediately jumped on board!

Their soft brittle comes in three flavors, and they sent me the sampler pack so we could try all three. We got to enjoy them over Thanksgiving with my in-laws and then my own parents got to enjoy them the following week when they came to Charlotte. Everyone who sampled them, loved them, and I think we all had different favorites!

I loved the white chocolate macadamia nut the most. Very sweet, but the white chocolate made it almost melt in your mouth! Not at all hard like some other brittles. My mom's favorite was the cranberry spiced which was the perfect holiday sweet treat! It has a great spiced flavor to it. And the third flavor, the sweet and salty, is just that, a great blend of sweet and slaty flavors!

If you're local to Charlotte, stop by their shop off Park and Woodlawn and pick some up! It would make a great hostess gift or a fun treat to eat with your family on Christmas day. Heck, even Santa would like some on his plate of cookies! If you are NOT local, don't worry! They also ship and you can order here

*This post was sponsored by Polka Dot Bake Shop and they did provide me with the brittle to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! I truly loved it!*

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa! I know him!

I know, I know. I've already shared the pictures on the left before, but I'm a sucker for seeing a kid change and grow over the course of the year. Can we just talk about how HUGE my child looks all of the sudden? 

I really thought she might lose it on Santa this year, but she was totally cool about it. Not overly happy, but more like, "Sure, whatever. I'll sit here if it makes everyone happy!" She did tell Santa she wants "purple presents" this year. Not really sure what exactly that means...regardless, I just love this little girl to pieces! 

And because this one just kills me....

Monday, December 8, 2014

30 and 31

On November 28 J celebrated his big 30th birthday and two days later on the 30th I celebrated my 31st. Catch all that? 30 on November 28 for J and 31 on November 30 for me! 

On J's birthdays I actually started to feel really icky from my sinus infection, but that didn't stop us from some fun. M insisted days before that we make cupcakes for Daddy's birthday. So even though we still had three leftover pies from Thanksgiving the day before, we made 24 cupcakes!

As always, she was a big help!

We went out to a local Mexican place for dinner with J's parents who were still in town and then we came back to open presents and eat our cupcakes!

These two don't mess around with their cake!

On my birthday, J and M took me to Toast for brunch. They never disappoint and I think M would go to brunch every day of her life if it meant a big stack of pancakes for her.

After Toast we went to Freedom Park and played for a bit. It was a beautiful day. A little chilly but not COLD! We remembered when we got to Freedom that we actually went there last year on my birthday and everyone was bundled up so tight from the cold. I was thankful to have some nicer weather for my birthday this year. I still wasn't feeling great, but I thankfully had started my antibiotics by this point so I was slowly starting to feel like myself again.

Later that evening, we headed to pick out our Christmas tree, which might be my new favorite birthday tradition. At least on the years when Thanksgiving falls late in November like it has for the past two years! 

J made us dinner and (again) M helped me blow out my candles on my requested cookie cake! My cookie cake read, "Mama Firty-One" because that's what M has been saying about me for the past month. When J ordered this at our Harris Teeter they called to confirm that it wasn't a typo. I can't think of a better thing to have on my cake this year!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Like the rest of you, we stuffed our faces with great food last Thursday for Thanksgiving and enjoyed a rather lazy day with our family. This year J's parents and his sister and our new brother in law came to town to spend Thanksgiving with us. While hosting is a little bit of work, we actually really enjoy it and it's easier on M (and us) to not travel and have to sleep in a pack and play. Everyone is happier when she's sleeping in her own bed. Especially when she's been sick!

His parents came late Wednesday evening, and I made Half Baked Harvest's Sunday Sauce and we ate it over Arugula pasta from Pasta and Provisions here in Charlotte. Here's a friendly little PSA for all of you....MAKE THIS SAUCE FRIENDS! It's so so good and relatively easy and it's great for company! Later that evening my sister and brother in law got in, but I was already fast asleep. J stayed up for them! Here's my picture from when I made it earlier this fall over pappardelle....

On Thursday morning we had bagels and eggs and watched the parade. The parade is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving (well, after pecan pie), and I was so excited for M to watch it with me this year. She had fun watching all the balloons and floats with characters on them.

Midday we put out some snacks for everyone to munch on since our meal wasn't going to be till about 5 since I didn't want M to miss it during her nap.  We had a pumpkin dip, goat cheese and orange marmalade, these awesome ginger sausages my SIL brought, and some other cheeses and crackers. We also had some great brittle provided by a local bakery that I am going review next week. It was fabulous!

While I was prepping all of our sides for the day, J was busy outside smoking our turkey! This was our first year trying a turkey in the smoker, but oh my goodness, it was SO good. I don't ever want to go back to an over baked turkey. Turkey has always been one of my least favorite parts of the meal, but this year I went back for seconds. It was delicious!

Around 4 my good friend Sarah came over to spend some time with us. She stayed for the meal too and we were so happy she stayed in Charlotte this year and could join us!

When meal time rolled around, we all dug in, including this one who would only eat her turkey straight from the bone. My SIL got this picture of her. We were all dying.

Here's a look at our plates this year...

Smoked Turkey by J
Pecan Dressing from Texas Monthly (thanks to Kate for sharing this recipe!)
Sister Shubert Rolls
And Apple and Pumpkin Pie from my MIL

After dinner there was some dress up and time for playing...

And we also got to skype with my family in Virginia. After M went to bed we played a fun card game my BIL taught us called Hand and Foot. Confusing but fun!

Hope your family had a great turkey day! Until next year!