Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Photo Dump Wednesday: Date night and fun times

We've been having pretty fun family weekends. And by fun, I mean weekends where we don't feel rushed to go from one place to another. We pretty much take things as they come. I love those.

Anyways, this week's Photo Dump Wednesday features some of the fun stuff from the last week.

Here is a picture of JOE after Church on Sunday. I love this little blessing of mine. Look at those lashes!

And a few nights ago, JOE decided to line up all of her toys on our bed. I mean, since when did our bed become Doc McStuffins clinic for stuffed animals and toys? Each of them have gotten MULTIPLE checkups! Better them than me though :-D.

Was trying to talk to JOE on Saturday but she was just too busy to look up since she was watching Sheriff Callie on the iPAD. Thank you Disney Jr.

Last Friday, I couldn't decide on what to have for dinner and I really hadn't eaten much throughout the day. Then suddenly, I had a craving for fried chicken. J was already in his PJs and was tired from the work day but this momma pulled the "but I am pregnant" card and my awesome hubby changed and went out to get me something to eat. Mind you, this was well past 8pm at night. I do love me some him :-D. I ate the chicken and the mashed potatoes and gravy. YUM! JOE on the other hand devoured the biscuit.

Last Wednesday, we took the opportunity to go out on date night ALONE without JOE. Yippee!!! We went to a local Afghani Kabob place.

Ummm...I must be pretty poor company because 25-minutes into our dinner, here's my hubby checking work emails.

I on the other hand took the opportunity to take a selfie. :-D.

And then he had to take a call...

There's his serious business face.

And then another email...Next date night, I am MAKING him leave his work phone AT HOME! No excuses!!! We did have an awesome time though. The emails and call only lasted about 10-minutes of our entire date night so not too too bad...

Hope you're having a good week so far. I am so ready for this weekend. We'll be putting up our Christmas tree and I know JOE is going to LOVE it! We have picked up some pretty cool ornaments for her that she is sure to say "momma, I love it! Thank you soooo much!!!" :-). 

The best part of the holiday season for me since becoming a mom is watching the look in my baby's eyes!

How about you? Have your feelings/view of the holidays changed since you became a parent? If so, do share how they've changed. I love reading that stuff.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bon Appetite Monday: Canned Chicken Patties

Since getting pregnant with #2, I have had no appetite. I often think I want something and once it arrives, I am indifferent. I am yet to gain a single pound with this pregnancy but that was the same thing with JOE so that doesn't really mean much. Heck, I could stand to lose a few instead :-).

Anyways, I digress. Back to last night. I wanted something easy that wouldn't take a ton of time and that JOE could help me with. I also wanted it to be something that I already had all the ingredients at home for. I wasn't interested in going to the grocery store.

While scrolling through Pinterest, I found a recipe for tuna patties. Score! It looked so easy and I figured would be a good protein dinner. So I brought out what I thought was my can of tuna and got to work. Well, upon opening the "tuna", I realized it smelled more like chicken. So I looked on the can and lo and behold, it was chicken!

Anyways, what was supposed to be a tuna melt dinner ended up being a chicken melt dinner and it tasted DELICIOUS!

12.5oz can of chunky chicken breast
1\3 cup shredded cheese. I used mozzarella cause it's what I had on hand
1\3 cup egg white
1\2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1\2 tsp seasoned salt
1\2 tsp ground black pepper
1\4 cup bread crumbs
1\3 cup chopped onions (I used the frozen kind so I heated it on the oven for one minute so it wouldn't taste raw)
Cooking spray

- Drain the canned chicken
- Add all ingredients to a bowl (increase or decrease spices as desired) - JOE helped me with this part. She loves to throw everything in the bowl. 
- Spray the frying pan and turn heat to medium/high
- Form balls or chunks of patties with your hands
- Place in pan and use a frying spatula to flatten the patties
- Let cook for 7 - 10 minutes or until brown
- Flip and cook on the other side for 5 to 10 minutes
- Serve on a bed of salad or on a bun or with steamed veggies or sides of your choice

Makes 5 delicious protein patties.

I had just the patties with some pepperdew peppers while J had his with BBQ sauce and oven baked sweet potato fries. 

I plan on trying this recipe with tuna next time. In the meantime, if you do make it, let me know how it turns out.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Photo Dump Wednesday: We're moving on up!!!

In numbers that is. I have been waiting to share this on the blog because I wanted to first find out the baby's gender.
If you follow me on Instagram, this is not news to you but for those who don't follow me, here's some information.

JOE will be a big sister next Spring. I am currently half way through my pregnancy. I am carrying the same way I carried JOE and am still in my regular clothes. I don't have a bump yet other than the occasional bloating I get after eating a big meal. Coupled with that, I have all of the same symptoms I had with JOE.

J & I decided recently that we will be doing a gender reveal celebration on Christmas eve. My very awesome sister in law will be organizing it and I am sure it'll be fabulous!

Anyways, here are some pictures. I promise to share a baby bump pic once I have one to share. Now, I know what they mean when they say second pregnancies are different. I started taking bump pics at 10-weeks with JOE's pregnancy. With this one, I am yet to take one.

Here's our first sonogram picture.

For my mother in law's birthday present, we organized a family photo shoot. We figured this would be a good time to tell them about the baby. Below is a picture we took right after we told them.

Our awesome photographer did a FABULOUS job taking these pictures. If you are in the DMV area, please check her out if you're looking for a good photog. You won't be disappointed. 

Check out our predictions in the video below and let me know your thoughts. 

Find out what we're having on Christmas day! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY Monday: Items from JOE'S 2nd birthday party is Monday. I know that's not often the reaction a lot of people have but I am happy because I woke up this morning and I have a lot to look forward to. 

Anyways, I posted last week about JOE's birthday. I did some DIY items for her birthday and thought its only fair that I share some of the items I made incase it inspires someone to do the same. 

Last year, I went all out and did a lot of things. This year however, I decided to tone it down a little. More on that in a later post. 
Anyways, I went looking on Pinterest to see some of the items I could do on my own that wouldn't require too much work. 

Since it is a kid's birthday, I decided to make cupcakes for the kids. We ordered one small round cake from Wegman's for the adults and then I made cupcakes for the kids. The birthday theme was Minnie Mouse so I wanted something that said "Minnie!".

This one was relatively easy. I got dark chocolate candy melts (not pictured) similar to the below. I melted it down and using the mold I ordered from Amazon, I made the bows to go on the cupcakes. 

The molds were really easy and came out with no effort. I also used store bought icing. It was all about making things easy this year.

I baked the cupcakes according to the instructions on the box and used the store bought icing as the topper. Then I added the bows and sprinkled on some white chocolate candy.

Finished product. Took next to no time at all and it tasted DELISH! JOE loved them :-D. Funny story...I made the cupcakes the night before and then put them in the fridge. The next morning when JOE got up, we headed to the kitchen for our Saturday morning breakfast. The first thing she exclaimed was "momma, where is the birthday cupcakes???" The look on her face was priceless. She wanted to make sure they weren't all gone :-).

I also made a bow to go with JOE's shirt. This one was another easy project. I used the circle I cut out of the skirt and basically traced out a square. Like my husband always says, nothing goes wasted in our household :-). 
Anyways, I cut the piece of material into a square.

Sewed it all around. 

Then flipped it inside out and used a black band tacked in the middle.

Next was Jordan's shoes. I just used a matching ribbon on her pair of converse.

Then to make some of the items that went in the gift bags. I used these handy items (keyboard dust remover and thread spool) to trace the Minnie Mouse ears.

Then I used my mock up to trace the rest of it on red and black paper. 

Then I cut it out using a pair of scissors. I used my day off to do this. Glad JOE wasn't around cause otherwise, I wouldn't have finished.

And here is a mock up.

And the finished product. I used M & Ms instead of Reeses :-). 

Below are the rest of the items that went into the gift bags. It wasn't all bad :-D.

Overall, it was an awesome birthday party and we all had a great time. The kids had fun and I am glad we got to celebrate JOE's second birthday with friends. I love celebrating birthdays. It is a reminder of God's goodness. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

JOE turns TWO! (Picture HEAVY!!!)

I can't even believe I am typing this. My baby turned 2 last week! Every time I look at her, I see the little baby I brought home not too long ago and now she is a blossoming young girl.
She is an absolute delight to be around. She smiles easily and is very friendly. She is also very inquisitive but always proceeds with caution. Oh and she is in full toddler mode! As in, her personality is starting to show itself. She asserts herself when she needs to. At her 2-year pediatrician appointment, she was a champ! She took her flu mist and follow up shot without even crying! Her check up went so well. J & I were  very proud of her.
Check out her progress over the years. Can't believe I am actually say "years" as opposed to months!

Anyways, here is a recap of her 2-day (almost 3-days) birthday celebration.

The night before her birthday, J put together the presents we got for her as well as the the ones that some of my siblings had already sent her in the mail.
J & I took the day of her birthday off to hang out with our baby girl. We figured it was a good way to reconnect as a family in the midst of all the craziness going on.

The morning of her birthday, we freshened up a bit then went downstairs to surprise JOE with her birthday presents.

Before we got out of bed though, I had to take a picture of my newly minted 2-year old baby girl. She woke up smiling. It's like she knew it was her special day.

JOE could not believe all the stuff she got. 

Her favorite so far is the Doc mobile. I mean, she can't stop playing with it.

And we couldn't decide so we got her 2-cards. One of Doc McStuffins (it plays the Doc McStuffins song) and another of Minnie Mouse (the watch plays the Minnie Mouse theme song).

The doc mobile comes fully equipped with everything she'll need to care for her toy patients.

After opening presents, I asked JOE what she wanted for breakfast. She said "crepes momma." Now, I was HOPING she would say pancakes since I had some blueberries in the fridge and I wanted pancakes. But oh no...she insisted on crepes. So nutella crepes it was. The birthday girl had spoken. And she did eat the half of one! Then she was done. Grrrrr!!! The life of a 2-year old. 

After breakfast, we took showers, got cleaned up and headed out to Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore. We wanted it to me a day dedicated to this little one.
Here she is getting some snuggle time with her momma. I love and cherish these moments.

At the museum, she had lots of fun.

I took this picture because the last time we wore tags with 11/7 on them, it was the day she was born! Still can't believe its been 2-years.

And here's my little golfer.

And our little chef. She had a fabulous time "cooking" for us :-). I mean, check out the fried egg (over easy) and pasta on white bread.

And here is JOE with Curious George. She just started getting into watching him on Amazon Prime so I am sure this was a confusing experience for her since he's not that big on the iPAD. 

There was a Curious George exhibit and JOE enjoyed playing around there as well.

Here she is introducing herself to George. It was so funny, I had to take a picture of it.

Then there was this room. They had raincoats for the kids in there but that didn't stop JOE from getting wet all over. So glad we travel with extra clothes for her because it was cold that day and the walk back to the car would have been pretty uncomfortable for her.

After the museum, we went home to eat some cake! I made a cake for JOE. I asked her what she wanted and she said "chocolate". But we didn't have any chocolate cake mix at home. We did have a marble cake mix so that's what she got :-). She didn't care though cause she was all about the sprinkles anyways. 

And here she is blowing out her candles. She did it too!

Day 2. On to JOE's party. We decided to have it at Gymboree's. I didn't even know they had play classes until a friend mentioned it. It was an AWESOME idea!
If you remember, I made the Minnie Mouse for JOE not too long ago. I love the way the outfit turned out. I realized at the last minute that I didn't have a red or black sweater for JOE so I figured this wouldn't be too much of a clash.
JOE asked for a necklace. I gave her a choice of a gold chain or pearls and she chose the pearls. Yes, they are real and a gift from my mom. I PRAYED she wouldn't mess them up. She didn't :-). I think it was a good choice too. I also made the hair bow a couple of days before her party. That took less than 30-minutes to make. I like the way it turned out.

I told her to smile and I can't even remember what she was saying but clearly, she didn't care for a smile right at that moment. She was all about watching the iPAD. Wanna guess what she was watching? Minnie Mouse!

Her hair with the bow.

And here is another Pinterest idea. The bows were pretty easy to make. I just ordered the mold from Amazon and used melted chocolate to make these.

And on to Gymboree. Here is JOE feeding the crocodile. She said "momma look, crocodile hungry...yum yum yum yum."

At the end of the day, we were all pooped! JOE had a great time. We got to spend time with friends and family and it was a memorable couple of days for JOE. 
On day 3, we opened her presents. She just LOVED all the items and was very grateful for them. I am trying to figure out a cute way to get her to "sign" her thank you cards. She did say "Thank you!" after everyone sang her the Happy Birthday song :-D.

If you're still reading this, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed re-living the experience. I'll be sure to do a blog post on the items that went in the goodie bags as well as how I made some of the DIY items later. 


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