Thursday, June 4, 2015

For Entertainment Purposes

If you know me, I'm about as OCD with cleanliness as it may get, my car would disagree at the moment, but hey I didn't say I was perfect. I'm just one of those moms that likes to feed the baby/toddler to avoid any messes. And by messes I mean applesauce on the floor, walls, windows, and under the booster seat that's hidden for weeks until you decide "oh hey maybe I should check under there" ...I would just rather avoid "those messes". But against - what I like to think is - my better judgement, I decided to let my 16 month old feed himself these last few days for the sake of, well, being a kid! Ha. It was surprisingly less messy than I expected, but then again he just kept the mess all in one place... his face/body. 

Photos to elaborate...

Day 1: ApplesauceI was sadly unprepared for this new "wear my food" stage. So this is all I was able to capture.
Day 2: YogurtLucked out on this one! I just so happened to catch almost every second of his experiment with this new freedom. 
Who needs a spoon?
Well that was fun.

Day 3: Mac & Cheese. I'm still a little confused by this one. But it still made the cut, because really? How does one manage this?

And then that "let's wear the placemat on my face until that gets boring, and just throw it on the floor" moment. 
My anxiety may have been on hiatus during each one of these moments, but I shall learn to just let my kids be kids because every moment of this was hilarious and priceless.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sweet Potato Chips

Well it's been awhile since I've been here!! Missed my "2 Year blog-anniversary" and all. Life's been just shy of a little crazy ------ tired of that excuse yet?? My apologies. While it was on my mind I hadn't posted in awhile, I dove into a new recipe and thought to share the glory! Ha. 

I'm not a huge chip fan and can usually go without them on any occasion, but THIS was fun for the fam and great when you just want a little crunch on the menu. And let me just tell you the celebration I had when discovering they were much simpler than expected! *happy dance* ....these are also easier with a mandolin if you have one, but if you don't you'll manage! Just get them as evenly thin as possible. 

Sweet Potato Chips
1 Sweet Potato, peeled
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Rosemary leaves, diced
dash of sea salt

Preheat over 425 degrees.

Cut sweet potato into 1/8 in thick. Place the slices on a foiled baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil, add Rosemary and salt. 
Bake for 15-18 mins! Yes that time is random, but those last two or three minutes were crucial in my own oven. Just keep an eye on them after 15 mins, because it won't take too long for them to burn ..... let them cool before serving. They'll become a little crisp after they cool down! 

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ticket for Two

Since my husband's demanding work schedule crashed our daughter's spring break week, we decided to "crash" his work week! Two plane tickets later, we were on our way to Miami!! {disclaimer: the baby was not left home alone. He stayed with Gigi & Pop!}
Long traveling day + walking + 5 year old + 11pm arrival = complete and utter exhaustion! And if you've ever been to MIA airport, you may be familiar with the long haul from the terminal to the car rental side. So this was our solution. Whatever works!
Nonetheless, we got our beauty sleep and was ready to take on the week!! Let the activities and mommy/daughter bonding begin! Silly breakfasts, quiet poolsides... couldn't ask for anything more. 
That was until my good friend, Daniel, came through and completely changed the game! ;) Here's a look book to how the rest of the week took off!! A day at the beach, seaside lunchin', shopping, patio dining, you name it. 
We even spotted a children's museum! So on Chris' day off, we took complete advantage!
And then there was the food; deserving of its own look book. 
And not to leave out any details of the week, one of her favorite things to do - every time we arrived back to the hotel - was riding up and down the escalator because it was "so pretty". Really? :) 
From what would have been a lonely week without dad, I would deem this a true success. Although we missed our little man, this was a nice exclusive trip for big sister! She's such a trooper when it comes to sacrificing because "baby needs to nap; needs to eat; needs to... you name it." I believe siblings are blessed to have one another (this coming from an only child) but it's still very important - as parents - to acknowledge their individuality and significance. :)

Spring Break 2015, in the books!

Monday, March 16, 2015

{{guilt free}} Chocolate Cake

Last week we celebrated "My Special Day", which is like a second birthday, so bring on the treat meals and desserts!! ;) Howeeeevvveeerrr, because I've been doing my newest program - 21 Day Fix Extreme - with an accountability group I wanted to stick to my guns and try my best to stay on track!! ....yea yea, I know. But a friend of mine shared this recipe, so  no worries, I still had my chocolate!! And today I wanted to share it with you!
Original Ingredients: 
3/4 scoop Chocolate Shakeoloy 
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp coco powder
1/4c milk
Handful chocolate chips
1 tbsp peanut butter

Alternate ingredients:
3/4 scoopChocolate Shakeology
2 tbsp oat flour
1 tsp coco powder
1/4 unsweetened cashew/almond milk 
1 tbsp chocolate chips
1 tbsp PB2 

Mix all ingredients together in a coffee mug or small round dish (similar to mug size). Microwave for 1 min 30 secs! ...but wait! While it's cooking, mix together your  PB2 as directed - or have the regular peanut butter set aside - and dollop that goodness right on top of the cake, right out of the microwave. 

Whether you try the original or alternative, it's a healthier alternative to the high calorie/fatty/sugary/carby (<--??) chocolate cake. ;)

You're welcome! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

CLEAN Turkey Chili

We have been on a big turkey kick lately - from turkey balls to turkey chili - and I'm telling you I could live off this stuff for days!! It felt a bit selfish not to share, so I thought I'd do the kind thing and... well share. Here's one of our latest favorites!


1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion 
3 cloves of garlic
1 bell pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (for taste)
2 cans (15oz) black beans
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes

{note: genius here did not have black beans, so I substituted by pouring the turkey chili atop brown rice}. 


Heat oil. Throw in turkey meat, garlic, onion and bell pepper. Cook until turkey meat is no longer pink. Add cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 min. 
Add tomatoes (with liquid) and beans (without liquid). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low until thickened.
Final product should look something this {below} ...but with beans. Ha! Like I said, brown rice was a good enough substitute. So although it was a fail, it was a DECLICIOUS fail, nonetheless. ;)
Bon apetite! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chicken Salsa Bake

This dish is so easy the kids could even make it themselves, other than the fact that it involves a knife, raw chicken, and an oven. Every ingredient I use for this recipe is usually on hand at all times, so this can become an easy go-to meal. 

3 whole chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tsp crack pepper
1 1/2c salsa
3c spring mix leaves

Butterfly your chicken, which will leave you with 6 pieces {they should fit snugly in a 9x11 pan}. First, I like to season the chicken with the olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. I keep it simple since we'll be adding additional ingredients into the pan. 
Foil your pan, then place the chicken {as shown above}. Top it with the salsa, saving some salsa juice on the side. Add spring mix. Then use the salsa juice to drizzle over top. This helps keep them from drying up. 
Bake uncovered at 375, for 30-35 minutes. Finished product should look something like this.
Plate the chicken, topping it with some of the excess ingredients in the pan. Add some brown rice, and green beans to complete a nice hearty meal. Boom! {I like to season my green beans with a little sesame oil and sesame seeds. So good.} 

Bon apetite! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lovers Weekend

After this eventful weekend I quickly remembered why I began blogging {two year anniversary in April} ... but then that realization also reminded me that I've slacked tremendously in these last 6 months. I would post, but not a lot of context. As if my photos did justice to any of our adventures. Granted there isn't a photo/post/entry that could ever do justice to the experience, but they were just photo memories. I wasn't making time to sit down and put these photos into words. THIS trip however, I must. There are very few trips we take that spoil us rotten, and this was one of them. Often times my husband gets to attend events, which allows him to travel the US, or even jet set to Europe. But he's gone solo on most of them. This time he was chosen to accompany some others on a long weekend stay in Naples, FL, and being that it was a couples getaway, I was lucky enough to tag along! Hehe. Thanks to mom and dad, the kiddos had a comfy place to reside for the weekend and we were able to enjoy this amazing Valentine weekend together.

Upon arriving to the hotel we were greeted with some bubbles, which is most certainly the way I would expect to be greeted on a lovers weekend getaway, right? ;) Lovely. Then we headed up to the room - so chic - dropped off the bags and headed back down to the lobby. No unpacking, we were starving. Food first, my friends. No hangry moments accepted on this trip! 
We met some friends down in one of the restaurants to get the evening started, and oh boy... I was in heaven. Sushi! Between that and pasta, it's a toss up to which has my heart most. Immediately, I knew this was going to be a good night.
It was, until I indulged more than I could handle and went off to bed in a food coma. True story. But the morning was greeted with room service, a nice cup of jo with this view, and a massage awaiting us in just a few hours.... you could say I was feeling less miserable. 
Although it was a relaxing weekend, we made time to squeeze in the gym. I know that sounds crazy to some people, but when something's important to you it doesn't take a back seat. With that over and done with, I went ahead and jumped into my robe ready for this massage! And yes, I took a frightful selfie, but mainly because I was sharing my Shakeology the spa cafe hooked up for me! {{angels singing}} 
This right here became my safe haven for the weekend. The "relaxation room". 
Next on the list... lunch. Like I said, food... always. With the desire to soak in all the beachy-ness we could, we tried this seaside place off the dock of the hotel. But with the weather being mid 60s with strong ocean winds, the idea was more ideal than realistic!
Inevitably, a very nice waiter ended up offering me a towel to put over my shoulders. I was visibly that cold. 
{below: turkey burger topped with brie and apple butter}
Considering I was still thawing out from lunch, I bought this cute jersey-style shirt and tried taking a selfie to share, but it actually just looks like an everyday shirt so it was a fail ... but what was NOT a fail, was Chris doing some kind of booty poppin' in the background? Ha! Not sure what he was doing, and still don't know to this day. But it was a good laugh for the moment. 
This entry should have been titled "Food Weekend" considering the overload of these delicious luxuries. Since it'd been awhile from some of my more detailed blog posts, I forgot how uncomfortably annoying it is to whip out the phone during every meal, along with the looks people give you when you have them pause before touching one single thing.... yea. 

So this was my afternoon munch. Arugula, candied pecans, dried apricots, tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette. A pretty rainbow of yumminess.  
One thing I enjoy on a weekend getaway, is being able to dress up and wear heels! Chasing two kids around usually requires bare feet or tennis shoes... so this is always a fun change up. 
Friday's dinner was set in the lobby of the hotel. Couches, comfy chairs, and tapas... couldn't have been more perfect. 
{below: sweet potato spread; adult fries; pumpkin carrot cake} <- yes you heard that right.
And then it was Lover's Day! <3 <3 <3 although the men had an early tee time, the women were set up with spa appointments. Chris even arranged room service for when I woke up, accompanied by a sweet card! :) 
Spent the morning relaxed, with no rush to get out of bed. Headed on down to the gym around 9am, and then sat in the relaxation room until it was time for my appointment. Talk about a zenful kind of morning! ..... wooo-saaaa.  
And then... you guessed it... lunch time! This amazing ceasar was to die for. Soooo good. I'm salivating just looking at this photo.
With the weather picking up a bit, we decided to head back up to the spa rooftop and enjoy some sunshine. Although it was a bit chilly for full on sunbathing, I was against bad tan lines {golfers tan? no thank you}, so I changed into my bathing suit bottoms. Half was good.   
Since it was a lovers weekend, I couldn't forget about my two little lovers at home. We FaceTimed each day, and I even sported the necklace my sweet girl made for me. She had one, and I had one. I told her I would wear it ALL day, and I did. Even with my evening outfit. ;) It matched my pants, so it totally worked out. Haha.
Well we are coming to a close, and what better way to end this food weekend post, than with this beauty. Yes, we started the weekend with sushi and ended it that way, too. ;)
We ended up with a full table {4 couples} and lots and lots of laughs. Couldn't have ended the night any better. We are so thankful for opportunities like these, and for the people who consider us to be a part of them. THANK YOU. We are so, so grateful.