Strawberry bars recipe, pioneer woman

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As promised here is the recipe for the strawberry bars. I have to admit that I ate half of the 9x13 pan. I brought the rest into our moms group meeting this morning. Thankfully they ate them or I would have eaten the rest. I've made these before and have tried altering the recipe to cut some sugar and butter but, the taste was off so I wouldn't recommend making those changes. 
The only thing I do differently is use a low sugar jam and I use a bit less than the recipe calls for. You could try a different flavor too if strawberry isn't your favorite. 
They sure are good. 

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/02/strawberry-oatmeal-bars/



What I wore

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Nice surprise

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Mike came home from work tonight with steaks and cooked dinner. He usually works late during the week so it was a nice and tasty surprise for him to cook. After running errands and taking both kids to the doctors the relaxing evening was just what I needed. He even cleaned up afterwards. 









Meal planning Monday

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I love that I grocery shop on Sundays now. It's so much easier than trying to fit it in during the week. I usually take Evelyn so we have a little bit of girl time. She also loves going to the store. We always get ice cream or a donut while we shop. 
So this week we are having. 

Left over pork tenderloin tonight that we cooked yesterday. I'm going to make a different sauce to go with it and I'll make a salad. Oh Kraft had a big sale yesterday so I bought 8 new dressings. I try to make homemade dressings but it is nice to have bottled ones on hand. 
Chicken tacos with roasted tomato sauce
Sticky meatballs with garlic bread and Cesar salad
Santa Fe salad 
Freezer chicken chilli with cornbread 

I'm also going to make the Pioneer woman's breakfast bars this week for snacks. 

DIY painted heart leggings

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I've seen so many really cute leggings with different designs on them that I wanted to create a pair for Evelyn. I used fabric paint and a pair of plain white leggings I bought from old navy. It was really easy and they turned out really cute.

First I cut a piece of foam to make a heart. I taped it to the bottom of a cup to make like a stamp. 
Then I covered it with fabric paint. I used purple since it's her favorite color and I already have tons of purple shirts to match them with


Then I stamped them on the knees of both legs. I used a paint brush to fill in any big gaps. Then I layed them to dry overnight. 

Here they are on. This was right after swim class and Evelyn was excited to show them off. She picked out the skirt to wear with them. 


Cute, cute and easy. 

Not super mommy today

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I'm usually a go go mommy. We are up early and we play all day.  I fit in lots of cleaning in between painting, playdoh and toys. Our house is usually pretty clean and organized even though we are constantly doing projects and messing it up. 
Today though, today I am not feeling like my normal super mommy self. 
I have two little kids with colds today. The last few days have been rough but last night was the worst.
Jack was up almost the entire night. He just couldn't get comfortable. I nursed until the milk was completely gone. I'm sore and tired today and things still need to get done. 
I'm not feeling like super mom today. Hopefully everyone takes a good nap and I can get a rest in. 
I just finished mopping, folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen. I may even ask Mike to pick up dinner so we don't have to dirty it all again. 
Here's to a restful day. Hopefully. 

Snuggles for baby brother. 

Lots of down time while reading books. 


Oh that poor little nose of his. 

Kids clothing haul

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Evelyn was in need of some new clothes so I did a little shopping. A few of these outfits she got for her birthday too. I think she is set on clothes for a while but I have a hard time passing up super cute outfits. 
Jack got a few new things too. Oh and a few of the pics are sideways. I'll have to get on the actual computer to edit them later.  

Dresses from target.  Cute and perfect for summer or now with a cardigan and tights.  

A Ralph Lauren polo dress I picked up at the outlets. I love these. 


Jean skirt and matching too and tights from Gymboree. 

Cute black with a glitter toe ballet flat from old navy. And I couldn't pass up these glitter pumas. They are a little big but she will grow into them within a month I think. 

These are all from the gap. 3 dresses with a matching headband, tights and a cardigan. I am excited to see her in these dresses. 

Basics from target. Purple pants with a matching long sleeve t. Also, a pair of jeggings. These were on sale and since she already has 2 pairs I sized up on these for the fall. 

A few more long sleeve shirts from target and also a super cute chambray shirt. I am going to have her wear that with leggings. I might even put my matching outfit on and take a picture. Ha. 

And finally for Jack. A cute outfit from target. Matching pants, shirt and pullover. 

Also a few basic onesies from Carter's. I size up on these because he is a little long and I need a bit of extra lengthto fit over his nighttime cloth diaper. 










What I wore

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Believe me I really do get dressed everyday. I just forget to take pictures. Anyways, here's a few from the last week. 





Meal planning Monday

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I know todayis Tuesday but I was so busy with Evelyn's birthday yesterday I didn't have a chance to write this post.
This week is going to be a lot of soup. We love soup and I can make them earlier in the day when Jack is napping and they are ready to be heated up for dinner. 

Stacked open faced breakfast sandwiches
Toast, spicy mayo, avocado, bacon and a sunny side up egg.  We had these last night. Evelyn got to pick what she wanted for dinner and she choose green beans. Ha. So she had green beans, tator tots and eggs. 

For the rest of the week we are having:
Bean and bacon soup with Cuba paninis
Balsamic pork tenderloin with Parmesan and garlic spaghetti squash
Roasted red pepper soup and Cesar salad 
Broccoli soup with Italian salad 

I am planning on making double batches of the soup so I can freeze some. 

Happy birthday to my Evelyn Rose

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3 years ago today I was in labor. Enduring the most pain my body has ever felt. After 11 short hours I gave birth to my sweet baby girl, Evelyn Rose.
 I was in awe with her from the moment our eyes met. She made me a mommy. Until that day I didn't know that my calling in life was to be a parent. I have enjoyed each and everyday with her. I am so proud that she is my little girl. 
And on this day, we celebrate her. It's been an amazing 3 years and I look forward to watching her grow. 

I love you bugaboo. Happy birthday to you!!!


The prep begins

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Evelyn's birthday party is tomorrow. We are starting out at the toddler play area and then having everyone over for food , drinks and cake of course. 
So tonight is what we call, the chopping party. It's really a pre party for the actual party.
On the menu for tomorrow is
Gumbo
Muffulettas 
Cuban sandwiches
Buffalo chicken dip
Spicy cheese dip
Little weinies in BBQ sauce
Fruit
Vegetables with dip
Chicken nuggets with Mac n cheese for the kids
Cake, cheesecake, cupcakes and ice cream for dessert 
It's going to be a great party. I just can't believe Evelyn is turning 3. How crazy is that!



Baking, past and butter cream frosting recipe

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So like most first time moms I wanted to make Evelyn's first birthday extra special. That for me included making her a special princess birthday cake. I searched the internet and found a great recipe then I found an amazing decoration idea using fondant to make a crown.
I had never worked with fondant but according to the directions it looked pretty easy. So I went and bought all of the supplies and the night before her big 1st birthday party I began baking. 
Well to say the least, it did not turn out. It was an absolute mess. The fondant was so hard to work with and the sugar free, healthy cake I made her tasted terrible. I was so disappointed. We still ended up using the cake and it has has been a funny memory. 
For her 2nd birthday I bought a cake and it was so good and it was decorated perfectly. 
This year for her 3rd birthday I am going to attempt to bake again, we'll kind of. I'm going to be making cupcakes out of the box and make my moms homemade buttercream frosting. I'm leaving Evelyn's personal cake in the hands of professional bakers. She wants another princess cake and she has lots of ideas. I'm ordering it today so I'll update you on how it turns out. 
For memory's sake, let's take a look back at year 1's cake.
Year 2 I had it made. 

And this year I'm having a small personnel cake made and I'm baking cupcakes. The buttercream frosting is so good and easy to make. 

Here's the recipe 
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 stick butter (room temp)
A splash of milk 
A teaspoon of vanilla 
Powder sugar, 3 cups 
Gel food color of choice 

First, beat together cream cheese and butter until it's well combined. Then add in vanilla. Then start adding sugar a half cup at a time. I used about 3 cups maybe a bit more. Splash in some milk thin in it out. Then fold in the food coloring. 

I tested it on some cupcakes to make sure I could get the right color. It worked great. I used Wilton food gel. Pink. 

What I wore

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And this is how we get things done most days. :)



Easy homemade granola

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I have to admit that I am addicted to cereal. All kinds too. Healthy or not, I eat it at least twice a day. I needed to find an alternative that I could make at home and was not so processed but also tasted good.
After doing some experimenting I finally came up with a recipe that fits the bill.

Here goes

4 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shopped pecans
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 T melted butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup brown sugar

Melt butter, peanut butter, honey and brown sugar together. Mix with nuts and oatmeal. Lay on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. You have to watch it closely because it can get over cook and burn quickly. It must needs to toast a bit and get lightly brown.
Let it cool a bit and then toss it together with the cranberries.
I store it in mason jars but anything airtight will work.





A healthier way to enjoy my cereal addiction. I added some granola to a 1 ingredient, 100% whole wheat cereal. 

Meal planning Monday

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Evelyn's birthday party is this weekend so I have lots to get done this week.  Including baking 60 cupcakes.  So, its an easy meal planning week and the plan is to make extra to eat leftovers.

Chicken Parmesan Soup with a Garden salad
http://foxeslovelemons.com/2014/01/slow-cooker-chicken-parmesan-soup-sundaysupper.html

Bean and Bacon Soup with an Antipasto Salad
http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2013/01/23/creamy-white-bean-and-bacon-soup/

Breakfast sandwiches with Spicy Mayo

Turkey and Chorizo Taco's

Cream cheese and Strawberry Pancakes

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I woke up craving those cream cheese danishes.  You know the ones that are in the wrapper and are all gooey and loaded with fat and calories.  Aahhh, yum yum and yum.  Well in my attempt to eat cleaner and it being below zero temperatures and not wanting to leave the house, I needed to find a recipe to curve this craving.
I came up with these delicious pancakes.  I used a basic pancake recipe and then folded in 2 ounces of cream cheese and about a 1/4 cup of chopped up strawberries.
They made 12 small pancakes.  I ate about 8 of them.  No kidding they were really that good.
Below are the pictures and details of the recipe.


Cream cheese and strawberry Pancakes

3/4 Cup Buttermilk ( I used regular milk and added 1 T of vinegar in it and let it sit while I mixed the rest of the ingredients)
1 Cup Flour
2 T Brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 Egg
2 T melted butter
1/4 Cup chopped strawberries
2 T cream cheese cut up in small pieces

Mix all the wet ingredients and add in mixed dry ingredients.  Then fold in strawberries and cream cheese.  I used lots of butter to oil up the skillet and cooked until they were brown on both sides.  

That's it.  Not as delicious as the prepackaged gooey danishes but, a good healthier substitute.  

What I wore

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What I would call my typical style and beauty outfit. Chambray, leggings and an infinity scarf.
Hanging at home for the day. Citizens of humanity jeans, long sleeve t, old navy I think.
Running a couple errands. Mel jeans,mrandom target t with nursing tank underneath. 

Swim lessons. Another pair of Mel jeans and random jacket. I have at shirt and nursing tank on underneath. 

Spring cleaning in February

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I'm doing some major cleaning this week. Lots of deep cleaning and organizing. 
I just finished all the wood floors and all of the kitchen cabinets. It looks so good. I'm excited to have it all clean. 

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