Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe - clean jambalaya

My husband loves, double loves jambalaya. I usually just make the boxed Zatarain's stuff. It's pretty good, but it's definitely not clean. Ever since wrapping up my latest cleanse, I've been trying to eat cleaner. That means no boxed jambalaya in this house, and let me just tell you- my husband is cranky.

So, I went on the hunt for a "clean" jambalaya. Considering jambalaya has sausage in it, it's very hard to make this truly clean.

I found this awesome Gracious Pantry recipe, but I didn't like how meat-heavy it was and it didn't seem to have enough heat for our family. So I modified it (per usual). (side note: The Gracious Pantry is a wonderful resource for clean-eating recipes- I frequent her website often!)

Here is my recipe. This was so good, but pretty spicy. Consider that your warning. :)

1 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 celery stalks, diced
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tsp. thyme
3 tsp. EVOO
1 lb. sausage (I used this turkey kielbasa, which is obviously not clean. I believe you can get clean sausage at a local butcher, and I think Applegate Farms makes a clean-ish sausage.)
8oz tomato sauce (no salt/sugar added)
2 cups rice
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)

1) sautée your veggies in the EVOO for a few minutes until they get nice and tender
2) slice your sausage and put that in the pot with the veggies
3) add all the seasonings and stir it all around. Let it simmer for a few minutes with the seasonings. 
4) add in the remaining ingredients and cook until all the broth has been absorbed. I bought the 5 min rice and it worked just fine!

I hope y'all love thi as much as we did. I'm pretty sure it's officially made it's way into our regular rotation. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Valentine's Day Idea for Boys

Since Jacob doesn't go to school yet, I thought it would be fun to host a little play date with some neighbors and their kiddos, to celebrate Valentine's Day together. Plus I love any excuse to drink Sofia in the middle of the day.

In the spirit of the holiday, I decided Jacob has to hand out valentines. That was always my favorite thing about Valentine's Day! However, putting together cute, festive, fun, MASCULINE valentines for boys is kinda tough!

While perusing the Tiny Prints valentines selection this year, I stumbled upon this adorable dinosaur option and instantly knew what I wanted to do.

LOOK at this valentine goodie bag. So cute, huh??!

I made the dino crayons using this silicone mold and pieces of crayons. Unwrap a TON of crayons, like 48. Break them into small pieces and fill up each dinosaur. Place mold on a cookie sheet, and bake on 250 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Bam. So easy!

I also included these mini dinosaur coloring books. They are cheap, and honestly- it kinda shows. But they fit perfectly in ziploc bags. So it works for me!

I stapled these adorable valentines to the ziploc bag and boom! That's it! Big thanks to Tiny Prints for helping me pull this whole look together.

What do y'all think?? Wanna come to our party?! ;)

I'll be back after Valentine's Day with a full recap! Don't you worry! ;)

To see the rest of Tiny Prints Valentine's Day cards, click here. Cheers!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Valentine's Day Festiveness

I know what you're thinking...seriously, Valentine's Day?! I'm totally with you. I cannot believe its already time to start thinking about (and decorating for) Valentine's Day! I feel like I just recovered from Christmas!

But, the planner inside of me is always looking forward to the next holiday. Hell, when I was a workin' gal, I literally LIVED in the next year for half the year before! (does that even make sense?)

Anywayssss.....one super fun (and easy) way to celebrate a holiday is with festive clothes. I try to buy a few items for Jacob for each holiday, including PJs. Because nothing is cuter than festive jams.

I've gathered my favorite items from around the world wide web for you today...

I'm not really into lots of hearts, but one or two is ok! And I luuuurve a festive stripe. Plus you can get away with a few of these into spring!
What are y'all loving this season?? Any must-have items I missed??

Thursday, January 16, 2014

San Francisco Recap

Hi everyone!! I can't believe it's Thursday already! This week has been  f l y i n g  by! Probably because I've been playing catch up from our California getaway last week. I still catch myself daydreaming about the San Francisco Bay, and the delicious bottle of wine we drank while watching the seals swim by. Sigh...
I thought I'd do a little recap. This is mostly a photo dump, but I'll try to give you a play by play, as well as some recommendations!
First, we start off with a view from our hotel. We stayed at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square, and it was the perfect location! Right in the middle of all the great shopping and restaurants. Although most days we trekked across town to get closer to the water, it was nice to be close to restaurants at night!

On our first full day, we walked literally from Union Square to the Fisherman's Wharf. Talk about a LOT of hills. Holy shiz! But it was perfect, because we worked up quite the appetite for a delicious lunch.
This was when we stumbled into China Town. Talk about feeling out of place. But it was gorgeous and so interesting! All the little street-side markets and fresh fish. It was wild!
We took a little break on Washington Square in Little Italy before tackling Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower.
We fell in love with this gorgeous church on Washington Square. Ahhh...the weather was just so amazing!

Coit Tower is in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood, and you literally have to walk 135° uphill for about 200 yards. This Texas girl is definitely NOT used to that!

We made it! And of course, we had to commemorate it!

That hike was so worth it. LOOK at this view!!! You can see the city, the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. So awesome!

After stumbling back down the hill, we ate lunch at Tony's Pizza Napoletano. Best.Pizza.Ever. Literally this place is amazing. They have all different types of pizzas and cooking types/temperatures. We had the Margarita and the New Yorker. Both delicious and I'd highly recommend them!

After lunch (and 3 glasses of wine for moi), we kept walking down to the Fisherman's Wharf. And we, of course, had to visit the seals. This whole phenomenon is hysterical and strange to me. Like a train wreck, you can't stop watching. Haha!

We dipped our toes (or Wellies) into the Bay. The water was chiiiiiilllllllly!!!
And then we stopped into The Franciscan, and enjoyed a delicious bottle of wine and the beautiful view.

They even had binoculars! How perfect for the inner Peeping Tom in us all.

After walking around the wharf some more, and visiting Ghirardelli Square, we decided to take a cable car home. Mommy had too much wine to walk back that whole way! Sorry I'm not sorry.

After cleaning up and a quick nap, we headed out for dinner and more drinks. We decided to go to Cheesecake Factory on Union Square because it was super close and they have an awesome rooftop dining room. What a great view, huh?!

On our last full day, we decided to take a ferry out to Alcatraz and walk around for awhile. I could literally post 561,324 pictures from the island, but I'll just show you a few of my favorites.

One thing I learned while on the island is that most of the officers and their families actually lived on the island. Just below the cellhouse is where their apartments/duplexes were and the playground area for all the kids. Can you imagine playing that close to one of the most dangerous penitentiaries ever?! How insane!

There was a fire on the island in 1970, so a lot of the buildings were destroyed. But the buildings still standing were still stunning, especially with the city in the background.

One of my favorite parts of San Francisco was all the gorgeous flowers and plants! Everything thrives in that climate. This was my favorite succulent on the wharf.

After Alcatraz, we ate one last meal on the wharf. And this time it was right on top of the seals. I couldn't have asked for a better "last meal."

We ate a Swiss Louis on Pier 39 and I finally got my clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. So worth the wait! Definitely recommend this place for clam chowder, and the view obviously.

And one last picture. The morning we left it was sooo foggy, and was supposed to rain later that day. Good thing we left when we did!

Can we go back????

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Being a BOY MOM

Hi friends! Happy Tuesday!!! I'm guest blogging over at Chasin' Mason today, and sharing a little bit about why I love being a BOY MOM. Go check it out!!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Jacob - 19 months

Another month, come and gone. I commented to Josh how looking back, a year and a half is really nothing. Look how much he's grown and changed! It's almost hard to remember those sleepless nights. Almost. ;)

Let's get on with it. 

Age: 19 months
Height: we don't go back until he's 2!
Weight: we don't go back until he's 2!
Milestones: Jacob is a full-blown KID now. He's running, climbing, throwing, etc. He just goes, goes, goes. His newest trick is dragging his playtable chairs into the kitchen to "help" me cook. In reality, he's just forced me to babyproof my counters. Ack! He's talking better, but still not a lot and definitely not in sentences or even 3-word phrases. He KNOWS a lot of words though, because he can point to all his body parts, point out animals in books, point out all his food, etc. I'm expecting him to just start talking one day, and never stop. And for that reason alone, I'm ok with his current communication status.
Sleep: His sleep has kinda been all over the place. Well, his nighttime sleep is still very consistent. He goes to bed around 7:45pm and sleeps until 8am, sometimes 9am. Naptime is a different situation. When Josh is home, like on the weekends, he normally takes 2 naps. I honestly don't understand this. Maybe with 2 people playing with him, he gets tired faster? No clue. During the week, though, he usually takes 1 afternoon nap, anywhere from 1-2 hours.
Eating: I still haaaaate mealtime. He eats 3 meals and 1 snack, but lately I've been letting him graze throughout the day and its not quite as stressful.
Clothes size: 2T
Diaper size: Size 5 Cruisers
Teeth: 11 total
Best Moment: Christmas. Hands-down the best holiday ever! We had sooo much fun! I'm already getting excited about next Christmas because it will be even better.
Worst Moment: Can't really think of anything??
Favorite toy: Now that we have all new toys, he's playing with new stuff. He looooves his kitchen and all the pots/pans. He just moves them all around and pretends to "cook" stuff. It's super cute. He also loves his Thomas from his Coco, and his basketball hoop. He really likes playing with it all. He also really loves his toy Fire Truck and Dump Truck.
Looking forward to: Our baby-free vacation coming up. Is that bad? :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five on Friday - Resolutions

I really hate that word. Resolutions. It's so...final. Like, this is what I promise to do. End of story. If it was that easy, we'd all be perfect, right?!

I like to use the word GOALS because at the end of the day, that's what they are, right? GOALS we hope to achieve.

I've decided to make 5 GOALS for myself this year. And since it's Friday, I'll link-up with some fabulous gals (Darci, April, Christina and Natasha) and do FIVE ON FRIDAY!
So here we go. 

Eat healthier and workout more. This is such a lame one, I know. But as I get older, and now that I've had a kid, the only solid way for me to keep the lbs off is through my diet. And lifting weights. Both things I haaaaaate. So, my goal is simply to workout more, and eat cleaner and focus on portion control.

Cut down on my spending. Every month Josh gets on my ass about spending, and everything month I'm like "whaaaaat????" I seriously don't know HOW I spend money, but I do. So I'm going to make it a conscious thing.

Cut back on social media. This is going to be really hard for me. It's become almost a habit to check all my social media every hour or so. And WHY?! It's so dumb! And I'm missing so much stuff here. In the present. Where it matters. 

Take 1 fun family field trip each month. Whether it's the zoo, museum, splash park, etc. Once per month. All 3 of us. 

Start going to church more regularly. Now that we've successfully left Jacob in the nursery, there's no excuse. It is important to me, so I will make it a priority. 

That's it! Phew! I'm exhausted! Haha! So what about you? Have you set any goals for yourself?? Have any fun family field trip ideas for us??? :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Recipe - chicken spaghetti with spaghetti squash

Alright, I got another Advocare-friendly and Paleo and clean-eating recipe for ya! This is guaranteed to knock your socks off. I say that because Josh actually ate this, and enjoyed it. So I know you will too!

2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 white onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 medium-large spaghetti squash
28oz tomato sauce (I use this purée and love it)
Italian seasoning

1) you want to start with your chicken. Clean it up, boil it for 30-45 minutes and shred it. Set aside. 
2) toss onion and garlic in a large sauce pot with a tablespoon or so of EVOO. Cook until onions are clear and garlic flowers. 
3) while your onion/garlic is cooking, cook your spaghetti squash. Cut it in half length-wise and gut it. Place face down in microwave safe dish with an inch or so of water. Microwave for 8-9 minutes. 
4) once onion/garlic is ready, add the tomato sauce/purée, shredded chicken and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning (I didn't measure this, so I'll guess a teaspoon or 2)
5) once your squash is done, start carving it. Use a fork and scrape the inside. It should just peel right out, and resemble spaghetti noddles. Place the "noodles" in the pot and stir it all around. 
6) bring to a boil and let simmer for 25 minutes. 

That's it! This recipe should feed 4. Enjoy, y'all!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years, from our family to yours!

May the new year bring you everything you hope for and more. 

We're vegging around today.  Went for a nice walk with the dogs and I'm making  yummy chicken spaghetti for dinner. And bonus- I'm finally feeling better!

Cheers to 2014!!!