Sunday, November 24, 2013

Family pictures 2013

Hi friends!! I hope y'all are all having a lovely Sunday evening. The weather here has been frigid, so we've been snuggled up inside, with a fire roaring for the last 2 days, eating and drinking entirely too much. But hey- that's what the winter is for, right?! I can't believe Thanksgiving is in a few short days! Holy COW this year has flown by!

Speaking of FLYING BY- we took family pictures last week. How on EARTH did we take family pictures again?? It seems like just yesterday we took these pictures. Remember them? Look how little and sweet Jacob is. still my heart. He was 6 months old there, and probably at his chubbiest. I love his big cheeks and precious smile.
And I'm happy to report that his cheeks (which he most definitely got from moi) and smile are still just as perfect as ever.

Take a look at these amaaaaazing pictures, by the fabulously talented Heather King. I literally printed every single one of these, framed them, and re-arranged my entire gallery wall to showcase them all. Swoon.

And we got a few pictures of Josh and I in this photo shoot that I cannot wait to hang in our bedroom. I'm thinking of hanging them, similar to this room that I pinned a few days ago.

I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recipe - Betty Freeman Casserole

I originally got this recipe from Fancy Ashley, and y'all- its good. It's the perfect casserole to make for friends with new babies or a death in the family- it makes a TON, can easily be frozen and it's easy!!! And, you probably have the majority of these ingredients on-hand already.

2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans tomato soup
1 large can tomato sauce
1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
1) Boil your noodles in a large pot (you will eventually transfer everything into this pot, so it needs to be BIG).
2) While your noodles are boiling, chop your onion and brown your ground beef WITH the onion (in a separate pot, obviously...). You want your onion to be nice and soft.
3) After your meat is brown, your noodles will probably be ready. Drain them, and transfer your meat/onion mixture into the BIG pot with the noodles.
4) Pour in the tomato sauce and soup, and add in all the cheese. Mix it all around really good on low heat.
5) Let it simmer on the low heat for a bit to get nice and melty.
6) At this point, you can easily transfer it to a disposable lasagna pan and take it to your friend. If you're making it at home, transfer it to a 9x13 casserole dish and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350.You can even add a little more cheese on top (that's what we do). If you're giving it to a friend, they can eat it as-is, or you can instruct them to heat it in the oven- its your call!
I serve this with French bread and salad. Yum yum and yum!!!
Enjoy, y'all!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving style

Thanksgiving means two things- family and food. And being thankful. Make that three.

We're going to my mother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving and I'm so thrilled. I don't have to host this year! Wahoo! I do love hosting, because I don't have to leave the house, but it's such a pain in the arse with a kid. We'll be hosting Christmas this year, so I decided to let my MIL host Thanksgiving.

Since we typically eat our weight in turkey and sides (ohh...the personal fav), comfortable clothes are a must. And since an absurd amount of pictures will be taken, we gotta look cute!

I scooped up this adorable fair isle sweater from GAP for Jacob, and if the stars all aligned, we'll be buying these awesome TOMS for him today!

1 | 2 | 3

I will probably wear some stretchy jeggings and boots...and an oversized sweater. Haha...I'm all about the comfort level.

Josh has this obsession with "holiday jeans"...he always talks about how certain jeans are good "holiday jeans"...meaning they look nice yet are comfortable enough that he could potentially lay on the couch all day and watch football in them. So, I'm pretty sure Josh will whip out his "holiday jeans" and his go-to Old Navy quarter-zip pullover. Ha! So predictable.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday - printables I'm loving!

Hi friends!!! I hope you're all having a lovely Friday. Can you smell the weekend??? I sure can!!

We have a fun-filled weekend ahead of us, so I'm trying to soak up the peace of today as much as possible. Having calm days is nice every once in awhile!

If you follow me on Instagram (katesoko), you know Jacob and I went to a beautiful nature preserve close to our house this morning. I was scoping out spots for the family pictures we're taking next week, and I think I found some awesome options, no?


I wanted to link-up for Five on Friday today and share 5 printables I'm loving right now.


What do y'all have planned for this weekend?? Anything fun?! I sure hope so! Enjoy the day, it's a gorgeous one!!! 

Recipe - crockpot tomato basil soup

I am SO EXCITED about this recipe! I love love love tomato basil soup, especially from La Madeleine, but I hate hate hate that its mostly prepared with cream. I just can't bring myself to eat food with heavy creams! So, for that reason alone- I'm beyond thrilled to share this recipe with you! And its delish. That definitely "ups" the excitement.

There's nothing better than a warm hearty soup on a cold fall day, and this soup does not fall short on any of that. Yummy!!

3x 28oz cans whole peeled tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano tomatoes)
3 tbs olive oil
3 large carrots, diced
2 medium sweet onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs salt
1 quart chicken broth
10 basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan and additional basil leaves for garnish (if you want)

1) Combine all ingredients in your crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
2) Allow the soup to cool slightly, and then puree in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately, or transfer the soup back to the crockpot and keep on warm until your guests arrive.
3) Garnish with more fresh basil and some grated Parmesan cheese. ENJOY!

I served this tonight with sourdough grilled cheese, and let me tell you- even my husband who is a total veggie-hater LOVED this meal! Yay!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jacob - 17 months

I feel like the worlds worst mom. These mirthdays keep flying by and I hardly even flinch! Ugh! I realized it was his 17 month mirthday in the car around 4:30 yesterday, so I immediately snapped a picture when we got home because I was off to bootcamp. He obviously wasn't in the mood to take a picture, but I like this one because its a true resemblance of what he's like these days. Totally rambunctious and super FUN!
Age: 17 months
Height: (don't go back until 18 months)
Weight: (don't go back until 18 months)
Milestones: He's starting to learn animal sounds, even though he can't say "cow" he knows that THIS is a cow and it says "moo." His favorite animal right now is the elephant; he sees elephants EVERYWHERE! And immediately goes "brrrrr." It's sooo cute!! I bought him an elephant toy in the dollar spot yesterday and he literally trumpeted the entire trip. I'm constantly just naming things, basic things, EVERYTHING, shapes, colors, animals, sounds. I can tell he's catching on, so I think it's working. I worry a lot that we aren't teaching him the right stuff, so this is reassurance to me. He's also starting to climb on everything. I found him ON the coffee table the other day. What the heck?! He's also trying to jump, it's so cute...he never actually leaves the ground, but he bends his knees and bounces a little bit. I also put his stool in front of the bathroom sink and he loves getting up there and looking at himself in the mirror. I'm trying to make teeth brushing more fun (so far NOT his favorite thing), so I thought watching would be good. We'll see...
Sleep: It's funny how last month I was bragging about his awesome sleep, and then he goes through a Wonder Week (and the time changes- ugh) and now we're ALL over the place. He wasn't sleeping more than 10-11 hours for a while there, but he's finally back to sleeping 12 hours at night. Naps are generally around 1 and last 1.5 hours.
Eating: Mealtime is still my least favorite time of the day. I have to constantly change up what we eat, and how we eat it, otherwise he has no interest in eating.
Clothes size: 18-24mo in Old Navy and Gap, but otherwise he's in 24mo or 2T.
Diaper size: Size 5 Cruisers
Best Moment: we've done a lot of fun stuff this month. I'm really glad he got to spend a weekend alone with Josh and bond. I'm trying to do little things away from the house for them to bond more.
Worst Moment: I honestly can't think of one. Great month!
Favorite toy: This is getting harder and harder. He's really loving his slide in the backyard lately, and now that its actually cooler we've spent a lot of time outdoors. He loooves running around the backyard.
Teeth: 8 total, still no molars! Shoot me now!
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and starting to decorate for Christmas.. Holidays with kids are SO MUCH MORE FUN!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Jacob was a golfer this year, complete with the Payne Stewart vest, shorts and stockings. I bought the costume a month or so ago, and he totally outgrew it!! (I don't know why that surprises me?!?!) So I had to cut the feet out of the leggings and he couldn't wear the shoe covers. He looks crazy-cute anyways.

We started the day with a fun play date at the park with our Baby Buddies. Jacob wouldn't even stop playing to eat lunch! Crazy kid! All our friends were dressed up, too. Such a fun trip, and actually the 2nd Annual Halloween Lunch for our Baby Buddies.

We decided to take Jacob out for a little trick-or-treating, and I'd say it was SUCCESS! We met up with two of our neighbors who each have 4-year olds. They were seasoned trick-or-treaters, so poor Jacob was struggling to keep up. But he had a blast! It was so cute watching him run behind them from house to house. He would run up to the houses and knock and even tried going IN a few houses! Yikes! Haha!

We only out for 30 minutes or so, Jacob was whipped! But it was a blast! I can't wait until next year, he's totally going to be into it.

And with every holiday, I have to do a little year to year comparison. When will this stop completely blowing my mind?! How on earth do they grow so fast?!