Weekly meal plan

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Last week went pretty smooth with the couple new recipes I tried. The pork turned out great. It wasn't too hard and we liked it so much we are it two days in a row. That's a pretty big compliment because I'm not a big pork eater and Mike doesn't usually eat left overs.
This week I'm trying a new crock pot soup and using a new Campbell's sauce pack. I'll let you know how they turned out. So this weeks menu looks like:
Chef salad with homemade dressing, cheesy bread
Marsala chicken, brocolli and rice
Crock pot taco soup, Caesar salad
Grilled chicken with bacon and cheese, side salad
Bunless burgers with sweet potato tots

Doctors appointment update and Evelyn is an artist

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The littles had their doctors appointments this week.  Both are growing well and I feel relieved hearing that.  Eating is a daily battle for Evelyn.  I am always trying to find new things for her to try because she is just not a big eater.  Thankfully she loves milk so I know she is getting something.
So, Evelyn was at the 93% for height, 71% for weight and Jack is getting big as well.  He was at the 91% for height and 73% for weight.  We also did a survey to see where Evelyn rates for milestones for her age.  She passed everything but it did make me aware of somethings we can work on.  She has never really liked toys.  She just doesn't sit down and play with things like that but, what she does love is art.  She will paint and color everyday for hours.  She loves it.
We have had a lot of fun with different art projects.  I hope her creativity continues.  I love watching her discover new things.
This week we are going to make ornaments with pipe cleaners and buttons.  I think that will help with her hand, eye coordination.  I am also going to draw numbers and have her use bingo stampers to trace them.  She can count to 10 so we are working on what the numbers look like now.





Ornaments from Pinterest

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I've seen this project on a couple different Pinterest pins so I thought I'd give it a try. 

All I did was make a shape out of pipe cleaners. Then I made a mixture in a mason jar of boiling water and 1/4 cup of borax. I then hung the pipe cleaner by a string in the mason jar and left it overnight. In the morning I took it out and let it dry. 
I think they came out cute. I'm planning on making more and attaching them to gifts as part of the wrapping decoration. 


Quick treat

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Since being pregnant I have developed a craving for sweets. After I had Jack other moms told me chocolate helps with your milk supply while nursing. I took that as advice that I should eat lots of chocolate daily. Mike helped and would bring me home candy bars all the time. He really is so sweet. Well my milk is in and I might even have an over supply. I needed to find a healthier snack to help with my chocolate cravings. 
So,
 I came up with this quick and easy chocolate treat. 
I smash up a half of banana, add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and a little honey. Then I heat that up just a bit to make it smooth. Then I add in quick oats maybe a half cup and some cocoa powder. Stir it all up and enjoy. 



Whats for dinner

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I am going to try a few different new recipes this week.  We don't have too much going on so I thought I might have more time to cook.  We will see.  I might be being over ambitious.  Oh well, if it doesn't work out we always have eggs.

Monday: Chicken smothered with cheese and bacon, steamed broccoli and baked potatoes
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday
Wednesday: Spaghetti squash, sauce with turkey meatballs
Thursday: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/amy-thielen/peppered-pork-and-parmesan-flatbread-sandwiches-recipe/index.html, side salad
Friday: Small plates- homemade mozzarella sticks, lettuce cups, homemade onion dip with chips


Fall must haves

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For Fall I am going to update my wardrobe.  I am pretty simple when it comes to style.  Since I am playing with a toddler and feeding an during the day, I try to keep my clothes easy and carefree.  In the fall/winter I usually wear skinny jeans, boots, tanks and some type of sweater or cardigan.  I usually am wearing uggs for my boots.  I know, I know they are not really considered fashion forward but, I love the comfy warm feeling.  I have a brown short pair, the classic tall ones and I just bought a pair of tall black ones.  I am also considering getting a new pair of cognac tall riding boots.  Mine are a couple of years old and are looking pretty worn.

Follow my fashion board on Pinterest.  http://www.pinterest.com/xtina1134/fashion/

I have tons of great inspiration outfits.

I have bought a few new pieces for the colder weather already.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/bobeau-asymmetrical-fleece-wrap-cardigan-regular-petite/3113609?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=bobeau_asymmetrical_fleece_wrap_cardigan_(regular_&_petite):312574&cm_pla=tops:women:sweater&cm_ven=pricegrabber&mr:referralID=d86de0cf-2387-11e3-bae4-001b2166c2c0

This is my favorite sweater that I bought so far.

And I am considering these boots.

http://www.zappos.com/not-rated-the-royal-tan?zfcTest=fcl%3A3

I think I have lots more shopping to do though.  Considering my body is so different after having 2 littles.  I am almost back to my pre baby playing weight so once I get there I will go through my closet and figure out what is going to be kept and what I need to get rid of.  No sense keeping a bunch of clothes that I can't wear.



Wasting away moments

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I've been reading a new blog, www.handsfreemama.com and I've been meaning to write about it because it has inspired me to change my life a bit.
I love to read blogs and different forums so, whenever I have a chance I am on my phone playing online.
I do it while the kids are napping or after they go to bed or while we are eating lunch or when Evelyn is content playing by herself for a minute.  Now, don't get me wrong we are busy busy during the day.  I think Evelyn wakes up vibrating.  She is a go go girl and now add Jack to the equation and I don't have a lot of down time but, I always seem to be reading about something.
Well, the blog hands free mama talks about how we are missing these small and really fun moments in our lives because we are attached to electronic devices.  It gives some examples of how to know if we are a bit addicted to technology and reading them actually made me really sad.  One of the examples is that if you leave your phone in another room, your little one will bring it to you like it is a life saving device.  Evelyn is always aware when she see's my phone and will bring it to me.
I realize that my little ones are only going to be little for so long.  I want to enjoy these times with them and stop worrying about everything that is going on in the cyber world.  I need to find different times to blog and to catch up on my celebrity gossip and my style and beauty forums.
All that can wait.  It is time to play and enjoy my life as it is happening now.
So, I put my phone away during the day.  I stopped checking emails every half hour.  I stopped worrying about who is pinning what on Pinterest and who is asking crazy questions on the forums I read.
For the past week, I have lived in the moment and enjoyed the special time that I have with my crazy active daughter and my for now quiet son.  And you know what, I have loved every minute of it.  I am going to continue to work on being a hands free mama and live in the moment because these moments go by way to fast.

Saturday

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It's early Saturday morning. It was a fun filled week jam packed with activities. We did story time, the zoo, grocery shopping, and play dates. We worked on our numbers, painted, glued and decorated t shirts.
Now on to the weekend :). 



Enjoying the zoo

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The weather is cooling down so we are trying up enjoy the outdoors as much as we can. 
Today we went to the zoo. We all had a great time. 




Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

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Thanks to Kristi over at- www.ishouldbemopping.com for this recipe.  I am always looking for easy ways to make out lunch time more exciting.  It is a great alternative to sandwiches.  YUM! Is all I can really say.  
Evelyn loves to help and I notice that when she helps she is more likely to eat it.  

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup mini pepperoni (I like the Hormel kind)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
1½ cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375ºF.


Line two standard size muffin pans with liners or spray with cooking spray (I usually do this...less waste that way). Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano and sugar in a large bowl. Fold in green onions, pepperoni and one cup cheese. In a medium bowl, combine egg and oil and then whisk in buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture to the mixture and stir until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups about half full. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining cheese. 

Bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

After muffins cool, individually wrap in plastic and freeze in a large container (I use a tupperware container, but a freezer-style zip-loc bag would work, too). Place one or two muffins in a lunchbox and they will thaw and be ready for a hungry first grader by lunchtime. Makes 20 muffins.





Big Helper in the kitchen



And the finished product.  They were really good.  I dipped them in Ranch with crushed red pepper and Evelyn tore hers apart to eat it. 

Tailgating

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Last weekend we took the littles to there first tailgate of the season.  We are all decked out in our Michigan gear.  I should have gotten a better picture of Jack.  He had a really cute Michigan romper on.  
We had a great time.  I ate a ton and then took the kids home while Mike enjoyed the night game.  
















Today we are enjoying the game from home.  We are having stuffed jalapeno's,  buffalo chicken dip and grilling burgers later.  Oh and of course a few beers.



Cloth diapering a newborn- Update

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Cloth diapering a newborn is different because they are so small, for the most part the one size diapers just are too big for that tiny stage.  Now I know that they claim to fit and I guess in a way they do but, they are just so bulky that I wouldn't feel comfortable with my little guy wearing them.
So, I decided to get a set of newborn diapers until I felt like the one size diapers fit him appropriately.
Well, I have to admit that I was kind of lazy with using them 100% of the time.  I started when he was just over a week old.  The rumperooz fit really nice with a osocozy size 1 prefold under it. He at 8 weeks can still wear them but they are getting a bit snug. The thirsties duo size 1 cover with either a osocozy prefold or green mountain size small prefold fit really well too. 
Surprisingly lately my favorites have been the all in ones and the size small fuzzibunz. 
Below are some pictures of Jack modeling a few of the diapers I talked about. 

Imagine all in one, one size. He is just not happy, it has nothing to do with the diaper :)

Charlie banana one size set to small

Thirstie all in one, size 2

Thirstie duo wrap, size one with a green mountain small (yellow edge) Prefold underneath 

I ordered a few more imagine one size all in ones and a couple thirsties size 2 all in one. I think the size 1 thirsties would fit better but the size 2 fits a little big now and will last longer. 

Lastly, here is a picture of the entire cloth diaper stash. Minus the few that I just ordered and the handful that were in the laundry. I believe I have an addiction. 


Salad for dinner, again

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We have salad for dinner probably 4 out of 5 nights. Mike and I just enjoy them and it is fun coming up with new combinations. 
The salad below was one of my favorites. 
It consisted of ground turkey with taco seasoning, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese, fritos and then topped with taco sauce and sour cream.
It might not be the healthiest but it was really good and it looked pretty too. 

In other news, I ran for the first time last night. I only went about a half mile, just around our block but it felt great. I'm a bit sore today but I am excited to get back into my running routine. 

Healthy frozen dessert

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I love dessert and since Jack has come along I have been trying to get a handle on these sweet cravings. I am not sure if they are cravings as much as I was just to used to being able to eat whatever because, hey I was pregnant, I was supposed to gain weight.
This recipe is easy and much healthier than a traditional ice cream sandwich.
All you do is take a half of container of cool whip and mix in a yogurt.  I used greek yogurt because it is what we eat at our house.
Then you cut up some fruit and mix it in.  I used strawberries.  I cut them small and used about 6 of them.
Then you layer it between gram crackers and put them in the freezer.  They don't take too long to set up.
Everyone loved them.  I think next time I will use chocolate gram crackers and maybe add some bananas.



Meals for the week

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Usually I grocery shop on Sunday but, being a holiday weekend we hung out yesterday and I didn't make it to the store.  So today is the day.

This week we are having:

Marinated Chicken and Salad
Philly Stuffed Peppers
Sante Fe Taco Salad
Chicken Teriyaki
Cobb Salad

I met with a trainer this week and he talked about the importance of changing up your diet so your body gets the benefits of lots of different foods.  This is one thing that I have not been great at lately.  In the summer we do a lot of grilling so it is easy to marinate chicken and make a salad.  I still want to eat lots of salads because it is one thing that both Mike and I really enjoy but, I want to add some variety to them.




iPhone weekend pics

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