Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love, and A Little Bit of Everything to share my Friday favorites!



1.  Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's
 
Oh my gosh.  I both love and hate my friend Stephanie for introducing me to these cookies from Trader Joe's.  Imagine an Oreo, except the white filling is peppermint flavored AND filled with pieces of candy cane.  Then, dip that Oreo in dark chocolate, and sprinkle MORE candy cane pieces on top.  Sooooooo good.  I refuse to look at the nutrition facts.  Get a box before they're gone for the season!
 

 2.  Baby Christmas PJs

 
Is there anything sweeter than a baby in footed Christmas PJs?  I think not!  C has velour Christmas PJs with Santas on the feet, similar to these (I think mine is last year's version - bought brand new at a resale store with the Carter's tags still on it!)  I can't wait to snuggle him on Christmas morning!
 

3.  Babies, babies, everywhere!


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I LOVE this season of life with babies being born, babies on the way, and baby playdates!  On Tuesday night, my first time moms group from church had a Christmas party with all the adorable babies AND some friends of ours welcomed their baby that night (and we found out it was a boy!! Another friend for C!!)  On Wednesday, C and I hung out with 3 friends and their littles, one of which has a 7-week-old I got to snuggle (was C ever that tiny??) and two of which are due with baby girls in early 2015.  Definitely made me miss being pregnant!!  AND yesterday I got a Christmas card from another sweet friend announcing that their second baby is on the way!  This year, and especially this Christmas, is the most fun!  I can't wait for the 6 babies (so far!) arriving in 2015!
 

4.  The Best Yes

 
Over the last month I've been reading Lysa TerKeurst's book "The Best Yes".  I'm not normally one for "self help" type books, but this one has been a great read, especially since I'm still new to balancing a baby and a job, and, now, the holiday season.. 
 
(From the author's website)
Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:
  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Buy This, Not That: Vitamin D Supplement Drops


If you have an exclusively breastfed child, your pediatrician will instruct you to give your child a Vitamin D supplement everyday, because apparently breastmilk doesn't provide sufficient Vitamin D.  It comes with an eyedropper, and I find it easiest to add to a bottle.  You can also administer it directly by mouth using the eyedropper, but that always results in C spitting it out.  Locally, you'll only find one brand option; however, it's worth it to check out another option available online!
Good: Enfamil D-Vi-Sol Vitamin D Supplement Drops

Enfamil is a well-known brand, and this is the only brand of Vitamin D drops you'll be able to find at your local grocery store or pharmacy (although it can be hard to find there - depending on the store, sometimes it's with the children's medications, sometimes with the vitamins).  A bottle has a month's worth of doses and runs about $10 at my Target.

Better: Carlson Super Daily D Vitamin D Drops

You most likely won't find this locally, but you can get it from Amazon.  This stuff is more concentrated than the D-Vi-Sol, so you only have to administer one drop a day to give the same dose.  This makes it way easier to administer directly by mouth, since the baby doesn't have to swallow a whole mouthful of supplement drops.  Also, a bottle of this is less than $10 and has AN ENTIRE YEAR'S worth of doses.  So, it is significantly less expensive on an annual basis than the D-Vi-Sol, plus you won't have to remember to go buy another bottle every month (and hunt for it on the pharmacy shelves).  

Monday, December 15, 2014

From the Kitchen: Stacked Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a quick dinner that I made up on the fly to use up some leftover chicken and corn tortillas that we had sitting around...and we ended up loving it.  You could easily make this into normal enchiladas but I think it is much faster to make it into a stacked enchilada casserole - combining the technique of a lasagna with the ingredients of enchiladas!


Stacked Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


Ingredients:

16 white corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
2 cans green enchilada sauce
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1 10-ounce package prepared pico de gallo (I used Kroger's black bean and corn pico de gallo, found in the produce section near the bagged salad)


Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9"x9" Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.

Place 4 corn tortillas in the bottom of the baking dish (they will overlap in the middle - that's OK).  Top the corn tortillas with 2/3 cup shredded chicken, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup pico de gallo, and 1/3 of a can of enchilada sauce.

Repeat another 2 times (making 3 layers total).  Top the 3rd layer with another 4 corn tortillas to form a "top" to the casserole.  Pour the 2nd can of green enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Add another 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on the top and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Friday Favorites

The blog has been put on the back burner lately....a month of sickness from daycare germs and the dreaded 4-month sleep regression have taken a toll on my sanity.  But I'm glad to have a few minutes to spare for the first time in way too long!


I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love, and A Little Bit of Everything to share my Friday favorites!



1.  Christmas party season!!

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I love Christmas parties!  (well, parties of any kind, really, but there tend to be a lot of them at Christmas time!)  I especially love that both my company and Blair's have kept the semi-formal dress code that gives me an excuse to break out the cocktail dresses, which sadly rarely see the outside of my closet these days! (same for heels)  I'm excited that schedules worked out so that my in-laws are available to babysit on both the night of my and Blair's work parties, and the rest of our Christmas parties are baby-friendly, so we'll be able to make an appearance at all of them!  Also excited that I'm not pregnant this year....at all of last year's Christmas parties I was 8 weeks pregnant and fake drinking the whole time.  I can't wait for a glass of bubbly this year!!

2.  Aromatique 'The Smell of Christmas'

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My college roommate got me hooked on Aromatique's 'The Smell of Christmas' scent....and now it doesn't feel like Christmas until my house smells like it!  I love breaking out these candles each year and burning them for the whole month of December!

3.  This Scarf

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This scarf from the junior's department at Nordstrom is much cuter in person than it is on this model with the awkward facial expression....I love the cream and the taupe colors, and it's currently on sale for only $12.90.  It makes the perfect inexpensive gift for a sister, coworker, or girlfriend!  Or, for the random gift that you buy and wrap to keep under the tree as an emergency backup just in case someone you weren't expecting to give you a gift ends up giving you one...am I the only one who does this every year?  And, since they are so inexpensive, I had to buy myself one too :)

4.  Anthropologie Monogram Mugs

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I'm not cool enough to shop for clothes at Anthropologie (and they're not really my style), but I love their mugs!  I bought several of these monogram mugs last week to give as gifts (and one for myself....there may be a pattern here...), and I love them!  The shape and design on the mugs is so unique, and they are slightly imperfect/irregular so they have that artsy/handmade feel to them.  They're also pretty thin so they're lighter than regular mugs, too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Buy This, Not That: Pajamas


Is there anything cuter than a baby in footed pajamas?!  They are sooooo snuggly!  My favorites are made by Carter's - they get softer with each wash!

Good: Zip-Up Sleep N Play Pajamas

I love one-piece pajamas; I feel like they keep C warm because the top can't ride up and expose his belly like it can with two-piece pajama sets.  We have a bunch of zip-up pajamas, which are nice because it's quick and easy to get them on and off.

Better: Snap-Up Sleep N Play Pajamas

However....we MUCH prefer snap-up pajamas to the zip-up variety.  Although this seems counter-intuitive (having to fasten all those snaps every time?!), the snap-up kind allow you to only un-fasten the snaps along the legs for middle-of-the-night diaper changes, leaving your baby's belly and arms nice and warm.  With the zip-up kind, you have to unzip the whole thing to change their diaper, which exposes their whole body to the cold air.  They're much more likely to wake up that way!  The snap-up kind makes it much, much easier to change a diaper without the baby fully waking up.  Also, you won't live in fear of catching your baby's delicate skin in the zipper!  Just make sure that you buy the kind that snaps up the FRONT - there are also footed pajamas that snap up the back, which are pretty much impossible to put on....and it also seems uncomfortable for the baby to have to lay with their body weight on the snaps.  


Monday, December 1, 2014

From the Kitchen: Honey Beer Bread

I can't think of anything I love more than warm, homemade bread.  I don't like beer, but a good beer bread is hard to beat!  It's thick, chewy, buttery, and just ever-so-slightly sweet.  I made this beer bread recently to go with soup and it was so, so good.



Honey Beer Bread

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Cook Time: 50 minutes


Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Shiner Light Blonde)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted


Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Use cooking spray to grease a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan.  

Measure the dry ingredients and mix together in a medium bowl.  Add the honey and beer, and stir into the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon until just combined (do not overmix).  

Pour 1/2 of the melted butter into the bottom of the loaf pan.  Spoon the bread dough into the pan, smoothing the top with the wooden spoon, and top with the remaining melted butter.  Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter.  Enjoy!