Tuesday, December 20, 2016

10 favorite recipes I tried in 2016...

It's that time of year! Who doesn't love a good year end recap? In the past I've done a picture round up, book round up (still hope to do this in early January, despite how few books I read this year!), travel round up, but today is one I think we can all use....a favorite (new to us) recipe round up!

I try to document most of our new favorites on instagram (visit my page here). Here's 10 of our favorites we tried from the past year, in no particular order! If you're looking to spice up your meal plan, give one (or a few) of these a try!

1. Sweet Potato Hash from the cookbook Eating in the Middle by Andie Mitchell. Get this cookbook if you don't already have it! I tried a few of her recipes this year and loved them all!

2. White Bean Caprese from Skinnytaste...a delicious side at anytime of the year!

3. Rosemary Chicken Salad with Bacon from Skinnytaste...of all my meals I've listed here, this was the one I was most skeptical about, but was the biggest pleaser! J and I both loved this filling salad. I added chickpeas because we had some leftover from another meal, and they made a nice addition.

4. The Kitchn's Skillet Gnocchi...this wins as my most popular new meal from 2016. I make this alllll the time because it's so easy, cheap, and my family devours it.

5. Southern Living's Steak with Charred Tomato Relish...my friend Katie shared this with me, and it was a summer favorite when we were grilling regularly. I prefer it with flank steak.

6. Skinnytaste White Bean and Chicken Enchiladas....another meal I find myself making all the time! Also have made it a few times for new mamas!

7. I know I've shared this on the blog before, and I almost feel like I'm cheating including it on here, but this meal right here is one of my most favorite finds form 2016. And the only prep work required is chopping two peppers and an onion. The steak is the herbed sirloin with chimichurri sauce from Trader Joe's, and the rice is the Peruvian Rice from Trader Joe's (it's in the frozen section and amaaazing!)

8. How Sweet Eat's Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak with Cherry Tomato Caprese Salsa...this is as delicious as it sounds and looks. I like it over arugula.

9. This cauliflower salad wasn't new to us (but it's definitely a favorite!), but these Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers were a new one for us, and they were delicious. A great summer time dinner!

 10. And last but not least! Slower Cooker Creamy Chicken and Biscuits. We just tried this one last week and it was the perfect winter time comfort meal. And it was an EASY crock pot meal. Also, I cheated and made pillsbury biscuits. Makes dinner time even easier, which I am all about when I have a 14 month old hanging on my leg and crying at 5pm, and a four year old singing her head off five feet behind me.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Fall Family Pictures

Back in mid-September, we had some family pictures taken by my wonderful friend Tara from Tara Marie Photography on a hot and sunny afternoon. She did T's newborn pictures last October, so it was fun to meet up with her again almost a year later for another session. It was hot for September in Charlotte, but we all survived and she got some wonderful pictures. T was just learning to walk at the time and wanted to GO! So any pictures where he's being held, he was less than thrilled!

Thank you again, Tara!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Four weeks later...

Long time no post. That is seeming to be a habit around these parts lately. I go into each week with good intentions and wanting to pick blogging back up, but life is just busy right now, and when I get a spare, free moment in my day, I find myself gravitating toward a chore that needs to be done, or scrolling snapchat, or even just sitting in in my living room with the lights off and listen to a few minutes of a podcast. And then before I know it, four weeks have passed and it's been radio silence over here.

So, in typical bad blogger fashion, I'm gonna do a quick little list of some recent favorites from our family lately. And this list is all over the place. That's your fair warning!

  • Do you have little ones and Amazon Prime? If so, I can't highly recommend the show Creative Galaxy enough! It's for free to stream through Prime (we watch through our Fire TV) and it's so so cute (not something I say about all kid's shows)! It's from the same creators of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood so it feels and sounds a lot like it, but instead of enforcing social skills and other cute lessons, it's all about art and being creative. My little left handed artist is obsessed! She requests an episode almost daily after her rest time.
  • While we're on the topic of M and her likes, I have another recommendation for you! I honestly don't remember where this recommendation came from, but M and I have been LOVING listening to the Stories Podcast in my car lately. It's a podcast for kids and it's exactly what it sounds like...stories! Some she knows (Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk) and some we've never heard. They're all told by a wonderful narrator who uses funny voices. M will sit silently in my car and just listen and laugh. I can't recommend enough if you have a child close in age to her!

  • I tried the Skinnytaste Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup last week. It's a keeper and an easy one to prep the night before and then pop into the crock pot in the morning. Make this on a chilly day. I toasted some corn tortillas that I brushed with some olive oil and salt and served them on top. YUM!
  • I can't even believe I'm going to list this...but my friends, I have become completely obsessed with fantasy football this fall. I spend all day Sunday refreshing the scores on my phone. My only regret is not playing before this year. J told me recently that I am not the woman he married. And I'd have to agree. I don't know who I am anymore when it comes to NFL football. It's weird. And I love it.
  • Last weekend M and I went with a friend to see Moana, and we LOVED it. For starters, it was just beautiful. All of the art work, the story, the music, it was all beautiful. And what I loved the most was how empowering it is to little girls. I know Disney gets a lot of heat for some older movies which don't really show women in a powerful way, but this one does the opposite. And again, the music! We came home and immediately downloaded the soundtrack. I can't stop singing and humming "How Far I'll Go." It is a tad scary for little ones in parts, but M did okay with a few reminders that Moana would be just fine and nothing bad would happen to her.
  • I've been a long time fan of Thred Up, and I recently scored a couple of cute things for T and myself for practically nothing! If you've never used Thred Up, I highly recommend for some great second hand stuff! Here's what I picked up for me....a JCREW Factory Dress. I think it'll pair nicely with some navy tights and some riding boots or booties
And I got T these two sweaters....

Adorable, right? Here he is the other day in the striped one. A baby boy in a sweater might just be the best part of winter.

If you use my referral link, you can get a $10 credit to Thred Up!

That's all I've got for now, but I really do hope to pop in here more in the coming weeks. Maybe with some recipes, maybe with some tales about our every days...we'll see! I'm not making promises but I'm going to try!