Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Chicken in the Slow Cooker

As you know, I love a good crock-pot meal! I got the idea for this one from this pin. It turned out well and the pineapple was the best part. (Is there anything better than warm pineapple? I want to try grilling it sometime!)

We ate this over white rice, which was great for soaking up the flavor. If it were just for me, I would leave out the chicken and eat it with quinoa for protein instead. It's easy for me to eat around the chicken (not the biggest meat person) in exchange for a meal we both enjoy.

It made great leftovers for lunches too (one of the best reasons to cook!).

I put all of these in the crock-pot on low for about 7 hours (modified from the recipe from Pinterest):

1 can of black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies
2 chicken breasts
1 cup of frozen corn
A few shakes of Tabasco sauce
A few shakes of garlic powder

When we were ready to eat it, I made some white rice to go with the chicken mixture. You can add more hot sauce if you want it extra spicy.

Enjoy and happy Thursday!

Monday, January 26, 2015

8 Months!

It's official, Eden turned 8 months old yesterday. They're right, it does go fast, but it keeps getting better. Since last month, she can now roll from her stomach onto her back. I've seen her go from back to belly a couple times too, but it's not as easy for her. I think it's mostly that she prefers to be on her back or sitting up instead of on her belly. She can kind of scoot around on all fours (kind of an army crawl) but mostly stays stationary. 

She still loves to sit up and play with her toys (or other items like empty water bottles). It's nice that she can entertain herself with her own toys now, but she still much prefers to be in someone's company (or held). She's the most patient in the mornings when she first wakes up (so actually, more like noon). A lot of times, I will put her little activity center in the kitchen (Gram got her this one for Christmas) and she will play in that for 20 minutes or so while I make lunch, etc. She doesn't like to play in it if Reed or I aren't in the same room as her, she likes to maintain a visual of mom or dad. 

She loves to sit in her high chair and feed herself finger foods like Cheerios. So far, Cheerios are pretty much the only thing she'll eat herself with any consistency. I always give her things like steamed carrots, peas, mandarin oranges or avocado with the Cheerios. She will always try the other things, but mostly still goes for the Cheerios and I have to help her with the other stuff. I think they are still hard for her to pick up by herself. But she can pick up the Cheerios and it's adorable. The food is mostly for fun and motor skill practice, most her nutrition still comes from breastfeeding. We are supplementing with formula even more now as my milk supply has been down even more (she's about 75% breastfed and 25% formula fed). 

We're thinking about taking her to Florida next month. I always said I would never want to take a baby on a plane, but it would basically be a free trip other than the flights, as my dad purchased a home there. Still going back and forth on it! It's so hard to plan anything in advance because she could be totally different, you just never know. She could be crawling all over the place, boycotting sleep or getting more teeth (yikes). 

Hope you have a great start to your week!

Previous Monthly Updates:

Seven months
Six months
Five months
Four months
Three months

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Living Room Inspiration

Whenever I'm working on a decorating project, I put together a little inspiration board so I can get an idea of how the colors and room elements work alongside one another. We're in the midst of a living room transition that started a few months ago with a new (dark gray) couch. Since 2009, we've had a big, brown accent chair in our various living rooms (in 4 different dwelling places!). We both love the chair, but we're thinking that two, smaller accent chairs in that corner would be better. 

Here is my first inspiration board:

Here's the 2nd inspiration board factoring in some of Reed's opinions and possible decisions. We already have the goldenrod curtains, which we both really like in the space. We would just pick of the pillows as an extra accent, and maybe get two of them to put on each chair. 

So those are some of our ideas. The planning stage is so full of possibilities isn't it?

Here are the links to the items shown above:

Gray Area Rug
Ivory Area Rug
Triangle Geometric Pillow
Light Gray Chair
Throw Blanket
Other pillows from Society 6

Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Things (Life Lately)

1. Last weekend, we went out grocery shopping and Eden sat in the front of the cart for the first time. For some reason, it seemed like something we needed to document with a picture. It just seemed like such a 'big girl' thing to do - she's growing up! She loved it. She thought it was a special ride just for her. I don't have one of those cart cover things, but we wiped it down with purell wipes (always have them on me) and then wiped her hands down with another one when we were leaving. I'm not a big time germaphobe mom, but the last thing I want is a sick baby on my hands!

2. For Christmas, my dad and stepmom gave me a generous gift certificate for a salon & spa. On Saturday, I used it for a spa pedicure that was simply perfect. I have a stack of magazines I need to catch up on, and getting some time to do that while my feet were soaking in soapy goodness was just what I needed.

3. A few months ago, R & I started a weekly tradition called "Good Breakfast Mondays".. just for fun and to help ease into the week. (Do we really need to ease into the week when I don't work on Mondays and he works from home almost every day? Sure, why not?) We mostly picked Mondays because often times we have other plans during the weekends, and you need one splurge day, right?

Have a great start to the week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waffle Iron Apple and Muenster Panini

I can't remember whether I saw this idea on Pinterest, Instagram or a random blog.. but at some point recently, I read about someone using a waffle iron to make a panini sandwich. Brilliant!

The beauty of the panini is that it's both a hot meal and a simple sandwich. Not to mention, you can throw together whatever you have on hand and make it work. When I made this one, we were out of turkey, the usual sandwich staple around here. I did have some muenster cheese slices and apples on hand, which made for a delicious combination!

I sliced the apples and layered them in between some cheese slices. I didn't butter the bread but it would have been even better if I had! I just used a little bit of cooking spray on the iron.

Our waffle iron doesn't cover all the bread when it closes, so you just have to turn the bread after a few minutes. I can't wait to try more flavor combinations. Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mom Thoughts: Everything in Color

Being around a baby (as a parent, aunt, etc.), you have the unique opportunity of viewing the world through the eyes of a little one again. You take the time to notice things you haven't taken the time to notice in years. You find yourself thinking about how to explain things like the wind, the sky, and why there are so many different types of noodles.

I know Eden is only 7 months old, but she already loves when we show her things and explain things to her. I can only imagine how many questions she will have when she's a toddler and more aware (How do flowers grow out of bulbs? Why do birds have feathers instead of fur? What is that sound daddy makes when he sleeps?)

It's fun to think that we will be learning (and in some cases re-learning) things right along with her. It's also an amazing opportunity to appreciate the "little things" that we no longer think twice about. Things like how absolutely beautiful nature is, and not just the obvious things like flowers or changing leaves in the fall.. but the "ordinary" things too.

Watching a child see things for the first time is magical.

I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to experience the "firsts" again, even as an observer. The excitement of Christmas morning or the first time she sees and understands snow and catches a snowflake.

I want to be the kind of parent who takes the time to teach my child about and admire the "little things". Easier said than done in our modern world, but I want to do my best to not be a "hurry up" type of mom.

Because even though I've seen all the ordinary things enough times that I've stopped noticing them, I now have the opportunity to see everything as new. And now that she's here, it's like I'm seeing everything in color for the first time.. and how wonderful that really is.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Love List

1These adorable, crochet baby shoes from the Crochet Cuddlers Etsy Shop.

2. Loving this poncho look that Marlen styled.

3. Can't get enough of this beautiful layering by The Suburb Experiment

4. How pretty is this faux fur vest from ZARA? It's on sale for $35.99!

5. Can't stop playing this song!

6. Obsessed with Sarah's gorgeous holiday look.

Happy Wednesday and Happy New Year's Eve!!