Before 9 am

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Evelyn has been sick the past week. She is finally feeling better and is back to her active self. This was all before 9:00 am. 
Painting her nails orange for Halloween. 

Painting with Nana. 

A few recent iPhone pics of the littles

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Low carb loaded potato soup

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We love soup at our house and I try to experiment with a new recipe each week.  I think this one is going to be an easy go to one for us.

It is really simple.

ingredients
1 head cauliflower
2 left over baked potatoes, peeled and chopped (if you don't have any you could microwave a couple or bake a couple and let them cool)
1.5 cups both or stock, I used homemade chicken broth
1.5 cups milk, I used 2% but any kind would work
1/2 cup sour cream
salt, pepper
1 Tablespoon dried basil

For toppings:
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
green onions, chopped
bacon, cooked and chopped (I used 5 slices but we really like bacon so you could use less) or try turkey bacon

Steam the cauliflower until it is tender.  Add that to a pot with the potatoes, broth and milk.  Let it come to a simmer then use and immersion blender to blend it all up.  Add the sour cream and simmer until it is all warm again. Maybe 15 minutes.  Add in basil and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and add the toppings, as much as you would like.




That's it.  Pretty simple, right?

Hope you like it.  

Breakfast time

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Evelyn was up last night with a fever and Jack was up to eat 3 times. So no one had a goodnights sleep. 
This called for lots of coffee and baked eggs for breakfast. 

For the eggs I chopped up left over bacon, tomatoes, green onion and sharp cheddar cheese. I sprayed muffin tins and added a little of everything in each tin. Then I mixed up 10 eggs with half and half and seasoned them with some pepper. 
I baked them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 
They turned out great. I are a few and will keep the rest in the refridgerator for tomorrow. 


Easy chicken salad recipe

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Mike has been asking me to make a cold chicken salad for dinner.  I read a few recipes and did some experimenting and I think I found something that we both really like.
First I saute chicken in bacon grease.  Yum already, I know.  I season it with pepper, seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder.



After it is cooked and cooled I chop it up into a little smaller than bite size pieces.

Then I add Mayo, celery, grape tomatoes and green onions.  Grapes are a good add in too.  

You just have to eye ball the amounts until it suits your tastes.  Mike likes it a bit heavy on the mayo.  I then serve them in lettuce cups.  This is a nice option if you want to make it ahead of time and just keep it in the refrigerator and take it out when you are ready to eat it.  

Here it is all in the bowl ready to be mixed up.  

Saturday fun!

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Today was a busy but really fun day. We left the house early today and took the two little ones to see Disney on ice. They had a great time Evelyn was all dressed up in her princess gown.
After the show we stopped by somerset mall. Mike tried on jeans but couldn't decide what he liked so he didn't end up getting any. Then we headed to a friends house to celebrate their daughters 2nd birthday party. 
 They had a big theme and a guy from rhe pet shop came with a bunch of animals. The kids were able to see them all and pet them. Evelyn's favorite was the bunny. I was pretty impressed with the hedge hog and the alligator. He also had a boa constrictor and all the kids lined up and held it. It was really neat. 
Evelyn had such a great time. She played and played and then fell asleep as soon as she got in the car. 



My age has caught up to me

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While celebrating my moms birthday, we started talking about if you feel older each year mentally.  I have to say that I really don't.  When I am out with both of the kids I actually think that other people probably look at me and think I am there babysitter because, I just don't feel old enough to have 2 children.
Well, obviously I am and about a month ago if finally caught up to me.  
With little ones at home I have a hard time shopping so, I buy a lot online.  Last time I ordered a few things from Forever 21 they didn't end up working out.  I thought I would stop by the store and do a quick exchange.  
When I got to the mall both kids were calm and sitting in the stroller, which by the way rarely happens. It was the perfect opportunity to go to Forever 21 and actually look around.  
When I walked in I immediately realized that the store is not set up for double strollers.  I had to maneuver around the racks and hope I wouldn't knock anything down.  I grabbed a few things and headed to the dressing room.  As I was standing in line the sales girl looked right past me and asked the girl behind me if she needed a room.  My first thought was, well that was rude.  Then it hit me.
She thought I was one of the other moms standing out of the dressing room waiting for my teenage daughter to come out and show me what she had tried on.  
I didn't even know what to say.  I was kind of embarrassed and kind of insulted.  Either way, I felt like I needed to get out of there.  I brought all my stuff to the register, paid, walked out of the store and vowed to shop online for now on.
Then I got to thinking, I am not that old.  I mean I know the store is called Forever 21 but that doesn't mean that I have to be 21 to shop there, right?  Maybe it's a thought process of always feeling 21.  I still fit in the clothes and if you take your time you can find some really great pieces.  Yes, some of the clothes are super trendy and well, really I shouldn't wear them but, I have found some great staples for my wardrobe.
Back to the point though, I really still feel very young and I hope that my mindset is always like that.  Obviously I know I am getting older and I know that I have aged but, I feel young and am enjoying life each day.
No I am not 21 and maybe I don't actually look 21 but, it is all in how you feel and I really feel great!
Here's to always feeling 21 and not letting a number decide it for you.  

Jacks baptism invitation pictures

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Jack is going to be baptized next month so, I took some pictures at home to add one to the invitation.  I got some really cute shots. 

My little man. He looks so grown up here. 

Look at those cheeks. 

Just getting some sister love. 




Really.... Can he get any cuter?! 

This is the one we decided to put on the invites. I hope they turn out good. 

Weekly meal plan

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I'm trying a few new recipes this week. Mikes working late a few nights so Evelyn and I will have pasta.
So this is what is planned. 
Chicken salad in lettuce cups with mock baked potato soup 
Mexican salad with cauliflower cakes
Chicken wraps with baked beans
Corned beef and sauerkraut 
I'll add the links to the recipes later when I'm on the computer. 

Happy Monday!

As promised here are the links to the new recipes.

Soup- http://www.ziplist.com/recipes/205182-Baked_Potato_Soup
Cauliflower cakes- http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/13832160/cheesy-cauliflower-cakes/

Game day!

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Yesterday was Michigan football and Tigers baseball.
I tried a few new appetizers. 

First sweet snd spicy bacon wrapped chicken. 
This was really easy and really delicious. 
You cut the chicken in 1 inch pieces. I uses breasts but tenderloins would work too. Then cut the bacon slices into thirds. Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of bacon and hold it together with a toothpick then dredge it in the spice mix. 
2/3 cup brown sugar 
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoons cumin

I baked them on a broiler so the grease would drip away. Any pan with some type of tray will work. You just don't want the chicken that is wrapped sitting in all the grease. 
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. 

These turned out really good. We dipped them in BBQ sauce. 

Next up is stuffed jalapeños. 
First slice the jalapeño long ways and take the seeds out. 

For the filling I used 
6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 pound cooked crumbled sausage 
Mix well and stuff the jalapeños. 
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. We cook these all the time and they are akwYs a big hit. 


Lastly I made a loaded potato dip. 

16 ounces sour cream
8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion
Mix it all together and serve with plain potato chips. I'd get a wavy or ridges one. It's a thick dip so you need a sturdy chip. 

The Tigers game was great. Michigan game, ah not so much. But, at least our bellys were full. 

Celebrating mom aka grandma

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It's my moms birthday weekend and they came over to have dinner and celebrate. I think the girls had more fun than anyone. They rushed through dinner and was so excited to have cake. My sister in law made an amazing pumpkin cake with cool whip cream cheese frosting. 
She said it was heathy but I'm not so sure. It was way to tasty to be healthy. Everyone loved it. 
The girls even got to help grandma blow out the candles.
 It was a really great day. 
Happy birthday mom! We love you!



Game day dinner

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Go tigers! To watch the game Mike made us nachos. Yum yum.

A day at the zoo

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The weather is getting cooler and we've been trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Soon it will be too cold to go out and we will be doing our playing in doors. We went to the zoo this week. My sister in law and niece met us there. We all had a great time. 









This day

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I read this the other day and I thought I would share it.

You will never have this day
with your children again
tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today
this day is a gift
breathe and notice
smell and touch them
study their faces and little feet
and pay attention
relish the charms of the present
enjoy today, mama
it will be over before you know it

~jen hatmaker

Weekly Meal Plan

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Mike is working late Monday and Tuesday so I won't be making a full meal.  Evelyn and I will probably just make some pasta or something easy like eggs.

The rest of the week I will be cooking up some new recipes.

Wednesday- Pasta Free Lasagna ( I am going to use zucchini and squash instead of noodles), garden salad, homemade greek dressing
Thursday- French Onion topped burgers, sweet potato french fries
Friday- Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup- http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Chicken-Tortilla-Soup/Detail.aspx, Caesar salad



Swaddlebees Simplex One Size AIO Review

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I am going to be starting to do a review a week on the different types of cloth diapers that I use.

This week is the Swaddlebees Simplex All In one.


I went to the diaper store a few weeks ago to get detergent.  I know I could stock up and buy a couple at a time but, I like getting just one at a time so I can pick up other cloth diaper accessories to try.  This time I bought a Swaddlebees Simplex One Size All in One diaper.  I decided on the one size design because it has a stay dry liner if you don't stuff it and just lay the liner on the top.  I am not a fan of pockets but this one has it attached so I don't have to stuff and un stuff.

I really like my all in one's and was excited to try this.

I have read about this diaper and everyone seems to really like it.  I have had a chance to use it on both my 2 year old for night time and my 2 month old for daytime.  Well, I have to be honest.  I am not overly impressed.  It is a really nice diaper but, it is pretty expensive for the quality in my opinion.  Now don't get me wrong, I do like it but $26 is not cheap.  I do like the fit.  It isn't too bulky on Jack and fully expanded and extra stuffed with a hemp insert it fits Evelyn too.

As far as absorbency goes, I haven't had any leaks.  I used it for daytime as is for Jack and it was fine.  He doesn't usually leak during the day.  I have used it for nighttime with both littles and added a hemp insert.  Neither have leaked.

I have washed this diaper a dozen times and it has held up really well.  No stains and the drying time isn't too bad.  It takes longer to dry than my pre folds or other stay dry inserts but it is faster to dry than my Thirstie all in ones.

The designs are really cute.  I decided to go with the swirls because it is pretty neutral but there are some really cute prints for both boys and girls.

Overall I do like this diaper but I am not sure I would convert all of my diapers to this one just yet.  I like having a lot of diapers and I also enjoy using different brands but I would consider having more than a couple in my rotation.


Early morning

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I am not sure what happened today but both little ones were up at 4:30 am.  Yes, I said AM!  It is 3:00 and it feels like the longest day ever.  Jack has been sleeping for 3 hours and Evelyn is cuddled up on the couch watching cartoons.  Hopefully Mike doesn't have a late day.  I could use a beer and an early bed time.  Cheers :)

Taco soup recipe

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We had taco soup for dinner tonight. It was an easy recipe so I thought I would post it.
I've seen different variations of this recipe so I changed things up to suit our tastes.
1/2 lb ground beef
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can corn
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 T tomato paste
1 packet ranch mix
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T pepper


I browned the meat and drained and rinsed all of the beans. I used low sodium cans of beans and I used homemade chicken broth.
Add everything into a crockpot and cook on low for 5-7 hours.
We added crushed chips, sour cream, shredded cheese and hot sauce when we ate it. It was pretty good. I'll will make it again.
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