Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rub-a-dub-dub...2 girls in a tub!

The girls took their first bath together a few nights ago.  Lucy was so sweet and helped get June nice and clean! June had a great time too!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meal Planning...

As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm working on becoming a better meal planner to help save time and money at the grocery store.  So, here's what's cooking at our house this week (click on recipe name to go to recipe)...

with white rice

Spinach & Black Bean Lasagna
with garlic bread
(recipe below)

with egg noodles and a veggie side

with seasoned rice and a veggie side

with our small group on Tuesday

Blue Ocean Take Out
probably chicken fried rice and California Rolls

I don't assign a day of the week to each meal (unless I know it has to happen on a particular day), because I need a little flexibility in my life with all this planning! :)  What's cooking at your house this week?

Spinach & Black Bean Lasagna 
Thank you Dot Gross for sharing this recipe with me - it's a staple in our house!

2 Large Eggs
1 (15oz) Ricotta Cheese
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach (cooked)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

2 (16oz) cans black beans (rinse, drained and mashed)
1 Large can Hunt's Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1 package NO bake lasagna noodles (no need to cook them before you use them)
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
2 cups Shredded Mexican Style Cheese

Mix A in a medium bowl.  Mix B in a large bowl.  In a 13X9 baking pan (sprayed with cooking spray) layer the following....

1/3 B
1/2 A
1 Cup Mexican Cheese
1/3 B
1/2 A
1 Cup Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/3 B

Cook for 1 hour covered with foil at 350.  After 1 hour, remove foil and sprinkle 1 cup of Mexican Cheese on top. Bake for 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.  Serves 8-10 people.  If it's just going to be me, Josh and Lucy eating it, I make this recipe in 2 smaller pans and freeze one of them for another makes a ton!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

January 2013 Insta-Dump

If I post a picture on Instagram, it's probably a favorite of I figured they should be on my blog too, for safe keeping!  You're welcome for all of the hashtags...they're fun, right?!

#notaninstagrampic #butilovethispic #bestfriends
#lucyatschool #iseeyou
#sittingup #sortof
#footblowout #afirstinourhouse
#feedme #now

Friday, February 22, 2013

Skippin' Rocks with Dad...

It's the simple things in life that mean the learning how to skip rocks with your dad.  Doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grocery Problems + New Recipes

One of my goals for 2013 is to meal plan better, cook more, use coupons...and thus SAVE MONEY at the grocery store.  First of all...I HATE THE GROCERY STORE and I know this is part of my problem of spending way too much money there...I tend to blow through the store throwing anything into my basket (not paying attention to prices/sales) so I can get the heck out of there!  And I'm horrible about taking weekly trips to the grocery store, spending $125-150 and coming home with no real meals to show for it.  What?!  So, January came and went...and we spent a ridiculous amount of money (again) on much for new year resolutions!  But I started fresh in February and so far things are (slowly) improving.  I'm carving time out of my schedule each week to browse Pinterest for new and easy recipes, making my shopping list (in order of the store), writing down our meals for the week (so I don't forget what I bought/have to cook), clipping coupons when convenient (I wish I was better at this)....AND...wait for it...wait for it...USING CASH ONLY at the grocery store.  This has helped tremendously, because it makes me actually pay attention to what is on sale and compare prices on things before I just throw it into my basket.  It's like a game now (that I'm playing with myself)...and I always love a good dose of competition in my life.  And the more money I save, the quicker we can buy a new this is motivating me as well!  I love my Tahoe...but I've been driving her for almost 11 she's getting tired.  Josh and I would love to have the cash to buy a new (well, gently used...but new to us!) car early next year, so it's CASH ONLY at the grocery store, for eating out and for any household/toiletry items purchased at places like Target/Walmart/Sams, etc. for at least a year.  Using cash really makes me more conscious of what I'm buying and how much I'm actually sure does add up quick...and quicker when I use a credit card for everything!  So, here goes nothing!  New better be worth it.

Looking for something new to cook??  I found these recipes on Pinterest that are new favorites in our house...

*I did not use jalapenos...and after the chicken/onions cooked, I dumped the mixture on a cutting board and chopped it up real fine before adding the other ingredients.  I did not make the cilantro cream sauce...dipping in ranch and salsa is delicious.  These are fabulous!

*I freeze half of the recipe (it makes 8 big enchiladas) for another night.  Yummy!

*I followed Sandra's directions to the tee...the soup is amazing for a cold day or when you're feeling crummy.

And 2 new cooking tips I've learned recently...

1.  For shredding chicken after it's cooked in the crockpot, use your KitchenAid mixer!!  Wow, it works perfectly and it's so quick!
2.  For cutting brownies, use a plastic knife in a sawing like a charm.  No more messy looking brownies!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

June Marie :: 6 Months

Happy 6 Months June Bug!!  Hard. To. Believe.  Fastest 6 months of my life!

Weight: 16 lbs, 13 oz (66%)
Height: 26.50" (76%)
Head Circumference: 43.50 cms (78%)

This past month can best be described as "transitional".  We've made some big changes to June's schedule.  A few days after she turned 5 months, we stretched her feeding schedule from every 3 hours to every 4 hours, which caused her to drop one day-time feeding and a nap.  And a few days after that, we dropped the 10:30pm dream feed.  So now she eats 4 times a day, typically around 7:30/8am 11:30am/12pm, 3:30/4pm and 7/7:30pm.  She's taking around 6-7oz per feeding, sometimes a little more during the evening feeding before bedtime.  Dropping the dream feed didn't even phase her...she slept straight through the night and woke up at her normal time.  And she did fine during the day going 4 hours between feedings.  But, transitioning from 3-1.5 hour naps to 2-2 hour naps was a bit rough!  I figured it would take several days to adjust, but it ended up taking about 2 weeks!  Her naps were pretty bad at first and it made the stretch after her 2nd nap until bedtime a little long for her...she would get crankier than normal in the evenings and fall asleep during her evening bottle.  But, we've worked through it and she's doing great now.  She typically wakes up in the mornings around 7:30/8am, nap #1 from 9:30/10am-11:30am/12pm, nap #2 from 1:30/2pm-3:30/4pm and down for bed around 7:30/8pm. She is still waking up most mornings around 5:30/6am, but she'll put herself back to sleep after a little fussing/talking to herself.  I've also seen her put the paci back in her mouth by herself a couple of times too, which is so helpful!  She is almost fully weaned from breast milk.  At this point, I'm pumping about every other day (when needed) so I should be completely done with nursing in the next week or so.  We gave June rice cereal for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't go over too well.  I gave her sweet potatoes the next day and we got the same results.  So, we're taking a break from solids and we'll give them another try soon.  I guess she's just not ready!

June has found her feet and they are definitely her new favorite toy (and chew toy)....she is mesmerized by them!  She loves playing in the ExerSaucer, especially in the morning time.  She'll stay in it for a good 20-30 minutes, which is wonderful for me so I can get a few things done around the house.  She is captivated by Lucy right now...she is constantly watching her and gives her the biggest smiles and cutest giggles!  Everything goes in her mouth and she is still a drool teeth yet though!      The weather has been mild lately so we've been going on lots of walks and trips to the park...she does great in the stroller and in the Ergo carrier.  June is wearing size 6-9 month clothes and size 2 diapers...although size 3 diapers are in the very near future.  She still is the happiest and most easy-going baby!

Happy 6 months June Marie...we are so in love with you sweet one!