Meet the Sullivans: February 2013

February 28, 2013

How to Use Spaghetti Squash Instead of Pasta



One of the best ways to eat healthy while still enjoying yourself is to trick yourself into thinking you're still indulging in your favorite foods. We love to eat pasta in our house. It's easy and especially delicious when it's covered in cheese. 

To cut out all the carbs and all some extra vitamins and nutrients to our pasta dishes I've started using spaghetti squash in place of fettucini or spaghetti. It's really pretty easy to do, so why not, right? 

To cook the squash and get it to be spaghetti like:

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and pulp. 

 Place both halves face down in a 13x9 inch baking dish and pierce with a fork. Pour a little water into the bottom of the dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

When squash is fork tender let it cool for 5 minutes so it's easier to handle, then scrape the flesh of the squash with a fork from stem to stern to create long strands. 

Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
For a printer-friendly version click here.

Recipe adapted from Celebrations

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
1 package sliced mushrooms, sautéed.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plain Chobani 0% greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 spaghetti squash cooked and shredded

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan.

Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the squash. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Come back tomorrow next week to see my recipe for Sinless Banana Spilt!

A-tisket A-tasket a Cute Baby in a Basket

I don't have much for you today, but please make sure you've entered to win the Stella & Dot earrings I've giving away this week. Giveaway ends Monday. They're too cute to pass up! 

In the meantime I'd like to entertain you with a cute video of Owen trying to climb into the basket where we keep the dog's toys. How silly is my handsome boy? 

He brings us so much joy with his curiosity and enthusiasm for life!



I'm going to try to post a healthy recipe later today, so be sure to check back!

February 27, 2013

Family Day: Monterey Bay Aquarium

When I was little my parents would institute "family day", as a day when we pick pick something to do as a family, often on the weekend. It didn't need to include anything special, but it often did. We would go to see a movie we were all excited about, to the aquarium or just out shopping. As my sister and I got older we didn't do as many family days, but the memories still stick with me.

Right now we get to spend a lot of time alone together as a family, which I am so thankful for, but it is still nice to get out on special outings together. Keith had the day off on Friday, so we took Owen to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.



This is the view of the bay from the back of the aquarium. Isn't it gorgeous? We usually visit the sea otter exhibit first since it's our favorite, but it was closed for remodeling. We were so sad about this because we really wanted to introduce Owen to the exhibit. But he found some other exhibits he loved too.

What he wore: sweater (similar), pop-color pants (similar), shoes

 He was thrilled to see all of those big fish swimming around in the tanks. It was so entertaining to him! He loves animals and loves water, so this was a match made in heaven for him.








February 26, 2013

Playdate Nails


Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY I'm having this week for a pair of Stella & Dot earrings! 

I know I'm not speaking for only myself when I say how pulled together I feel with a fresh manicure. Alas, as much as I love treating myself to one I just don't have the time for it these days. I'm constantly washing dishes, fixing a meal or cleaning one up, so taking the time out to have a manicure just isn't logical--although I still throw caution to the wind every once in a while! 

Anyway, my point is that I've been playing around with painting my nails myself and have been having so much fun buying new fun colors to try out. I'm usually draw to the quality of OPI polishes, but when I saw Essie's "Play Date" at Target recently I was drawn in! 


I usually opt for pinks, red and oranges, but the pretty and bright Spring-y color of this polish convinced me to step outside my nail polish color comfort zone. 



 I decided that since I was trying something different with my color I might as well try a statement nail as well. I painted my nails with two coats and then sprinkled the glitter over the nail on my index finger. It was a bit messy, so I recommend doing this over your bathroom sink.

As you can see, the glitter wasn't exactly even. I blame that unfortunate little detail on the fact that I was rushing to get it done and dried during Nap Time Round 2. Next time I'll paint them when Keith is home and I can pay more attention to the details.
My favorite Spring Nail Trends for this year are pale nails, diagonal pops of color, metallic accents and dark greys and navys.

What are your favorite polish colors? Do you have a brand you stay loyal to?

February 25, 2013

I'd Like to Say Thanks! {giveaway}

Good Monday Morning, friends! A while back I decided that when I reached 100 followers (in the Google Friend Connect gadget thing in the side bar) I would host a little giveaway as a way to say "thank you" to my readers!

But first I'd like to thank you, from the bottom of my heart...


Thank you for reading! 
I started this blog over two years ago as a hobby and a way to keep track of recipes and our newly married life. I never ever thought people I didn't already know in real-life would be interested in reading our "story". According to my site meter this blog gets roughly 800+ page views a day, which just blows my mind! I'm so flattered that anyone has an interest in reading what I have to say on a daily basis and it warms my heart to know this little blog has grown over the years along with our family. 

Thank you for sharing! 
I love knowing other people are out there listening to what I'm sharing and in turn hearing what YOU think. Your comments are what makes this fun, and each time I get an email notification telling me someone has commented on a post it serious MAKES MY DAY! The community that is created here is so special to me and when you leave a comment I learn a little more about you and can hopefully start reading your blogs! And thank you for always being kind in what you say. I truly appreciate that. 

Now...onto the giveaway!



I love Stella and Dot jewelry. Most of my favorite pieces of jewelry are from their lines, so I thought, what better way to say thanks than to give one of YOU something I love? Really, I wish I could do more! 


The winner of the giveaway will be randomly drawn by Rafflecopter on Monday, March 4th at 12 AM. 

This giveaway is not sponsored by anyone but me, as a way to say Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

February 22, 2013

Diaper Bag Essentials from Little Miss Mommy!

Hi everyone!  My name is Stephanie, mommy to my sweet little 1 year old daughter, Leah.  Colleen was my inspiration and the reason why I started my blog,  Little Miss Mommy, so I was thrilled when she asked me to guest post about my diaper bag essentials!  


1- MJ Diaper Bag:  This bag was well worth the investment as I've used it every single day since Leah was born (cost per wear, right?)  I love that it has 5 pockets inside and 4 pockets outside to help keep me organized on the go.

2- Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes:  Leah loves this toy as much today as she did on our ride home from the hospital.  It used to calm her down when she was fussy, and now it just keeps her occupied when we run errands.

3- Boo:  When we can't take our little Pomeranian, Zoe, with us this Boo stuffed animal is the perfect, non-barking, replacement. 

4- B. Fun Keys:  When I saw little Owen playing with these keys, I bought them immediately on Amazon for Leah.  Now we can't leave home without them!

5- Gold Bond Ultimate Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer:  My hands are constantly dry from all the hand washing (and dish washing) so I was excited when I found this non-greasy but super moisturizing hand sanitizing lotion.

6- Klean Kanteen Water Bottle:  Keeps me hydrated when we're out and about.

7- Zo-li straw sippy:  And Leah needs to stay hydrated, too!

8- Horizon Organic single serve milk cartons:  I love that these are small (8 oz) and they only require refrigeration once they've been opened.  So they can stay in my diaper bag until Leah wants some milk.

9- ju-ju-be tokidoki diaper bag:  This cute little bag was given to me as a gift and it is a staple in my diaper bag.  I keep my diapering essentials inside, but it can also be used as a snack bag.

10- Munchkin snack catcher:  A less-messy way for Leah to feed herself on the go.  It's usually filled with Cheerios or Puffs.

11- Happy times snack packs:  I stash a couple of these individual packs in my diaper bag, just in case a little someone gets hungry.

12- Pink Sun Hat:  Now that it's warming up I've swapped Leah's little bunny beanie for this bright pink sun hat.  Gotta protect that little face from those UV rays!

13- Neutrogena baby SPF 60+ stick:  This tiny stick is easy to apply and doesn't leave too much white residue.

14- Yes to Baby Face and Nose Wipes:  These all natural wipes are a gentle way to cleanse Leah's face while also protecting and moisturizing.


And that's it!  I hope you've enjoyed taking a peak in my diaper bag.  Stop by my blog sometime to say hello!  :)

February 21, 2013

Diaper Bag Essentials from Julie of The Chirping Moms!

I'm so excited to be here today on Meet the Sullivans!  I'm Julie, co-writer of The Chirping Moms.  I'm due next month with my third baby, our first sweet baby girl.  I'm also the mom to two wild, but loving, little boys:  ages four and two.  


When Colleen was looking for bloggers to write a guest post about "diaper bag" essentials, I was so excited to share our list with you all!  We had it in our blog schedule, with a great feature about my new "favorite" diaper bag created by Wild Sprout Design.  If you head over to our featured post, you can enter our giveaway to win an awesome bag of your own from Wild Sprout Design through February 28th!  It's SUPER CUTE!!!!!  

This is my third diaper bag for my third baby and by far, my FAVORITE diaper bag I have ever had!!!!!!!!  Isn't it the most gorgeous diaper bag you have seen?!?!  And I love all the built in storage pockets to help keep the many baby supplies organized!


Now on to the diaper bag essentials...I am going to have get myself adjusted to life with a  sweet newborn, as I have been a "purse" mama with my two boys for the past year!  I am trying to keep it pretty simplistic as I have to keep the bag stocked for myself, a four year old, a two year old, and a newborn...so here is what I would call my diaper bag " baby essentials":


  • 2-3 Extra Diapers
  • Travel Wipe Case:  I have two shops that I recommend for some cute wipe cases:  Starr Designs (the one that I currently carry in my purse shown here) and Harper's House.
  • Portable Changing Pad:  Mine came with a previous diaper bag so I will be reusing!
  • Change of Clothes (or two!)
  • Extra Pacifiers: You just never know when you will need them.  And the one time you don't have them is when you will need them the most!
  • Feeding Essentials:  Nursing Cover, Bottle/Formula
  • Lovie/Small Toy:  Love our monogram taggie from That's Sew Lucy.  And a great coupon code for you...10% off all orders from That's Sew Lucy for the month of February using coupon code:  CHIRPINGMOMS2013.
  • Burp Cloth/Bibs:  Luna and Bean and Three Little Beans makes some adorable ones!
  • Small Blanket:  Great for playgroups or places where baby will be out of carrier for a longer amount of time or keep snuggled in the stroller on walks through town.

Here are my diaper bag "sibling essentials":
  • Snacks:  Some of our favorites include the Go Go Squeez applesauce, Individual sized bags of crackers/graham crackers, Dried fruit, and a few lollipops to survive those tough tantrums!
  • Small toys or books:  Usually a few trucks and books and my boys are good to go!
  • Extra diapers/underwear for older ones
  • Extra pacifiers

Here are my diaper bag "mom essentials":
  • Wallet:  Trust me, I have left my wallet at home many times!
  • iPhone:  Again, I have left my phone at home many times too!
  • Lotion/Hand Sanitizer:  For kids and myself!
  • Snacks for myself/Chewing Gum:  Don't worry, some meals just have to be on the go!
Hope you enjoyed our "diaper bag essentials" and thanks Colleen for sharing some space on your blog with us!  

Photobucket

Diaper Bag Essentials from Life of a Scott!


Hi everyone.  I’m Kit from Life of a Scott and mama to a spunky yet sweet little boy, Ellison.  

When Colleen announced that she would be putting together a “what’s in your diaper bag” series I knew that I wanted in. I love seeing what my fellow mothers have in their bags and comparing our diaper bag essentials. I became a mama 10 months ago so naturally my world revolves around this particular 10 month old now.  This is what is in Ellison’s “diaperbag” at any given time. 

{click on the images to see where you can get the products}

+His diaper bag is a L.L. Bean back pack.  It works great, is easy to carry, plus it was very inexpensive.  Once he gets a little older it can even be his bag to take to daycare.  It is the perfect size for a little boy. 

+Diapering essentials: I always have at least 5 diapers, wipes, butt paste, and disposable diaper bags.  Ellison is notorious for serious blowouts so these are a must!  We use Honest diapers and wipes now and we LOVE them!  I also have a changing pad (that rolls up) and a waterproof laundry bag for soiled clothes (that bag gets used almost daily).  Since soiling clothes is normal around these parts , a change of clothes (or three) are ALWAYS in the bag as well.

+out and about essentials: I keep a cart cover and portable high chair with our diaper bag as well. I am a slight germaphobe so it is only natural that I have carry our own cart cover and high chair around with us.  This high chair is AMAZING!!!  It is easy to hook to any restaurant table and the cloth part even comes off to be washed. 

+food and such: Ellison LOVES puffs and crèmes (baby foods not so much) so we always have those on hand.  Our favorite brands are Happy Baby and Plum organics. Ellison also started drinking water out of a sippy cup at 6 months so when we are out and about cold water is there for him.  He likes the Nuby sippy cups the best(we have tried them all).  We ALWAYS have a spare passy stored away in the diaper bag too…just in case we have a tired baby on our hands and the other passy is dirty.  Bibs are an obvious addition the essentials.   If you were wondering we use Dr. Brown’s bottles (and LOVE them) but usually try to give Ellison his bottles at home.  If we are out of the house I usually nurse him if he gets too hungry.

+toys:  we always have an assortment of toys for Ellison to play with (really chew on) in his diaper bag.  Of course our favorites are the 2 Sophies, the Nuby keys, and the Baby Einstein “iPod”. 

Those are the things that a 10 month Ellison requires to have at his disposal when he leaves the house or goes to daycare.  I hope that this helps all of the “newmoms” like myself.

Colleen thank you so much for having me!

February 20, 2013

What the Heck Did I Buy at Target?

Hi, my name is Colleen and I am a shopaholic. Is shopaholism hereditary? If so, I definitely got it from my mom.

Here is my little new series about buying too much at Target. We all know what that's like, right? Everyone knows that it's hard to leave good old Target without spending less than $100, and I often wonder what I bought and how I spent so much.

I'm a little worried about boring you with things like baby shampoo and BB cream, but we'll see how fun this turns out to be. Who knows, maybe you'll see something you've been searching for or something you never knew you needed.

Target 1

1. peplum / 2. side walk chalk / 3. armband / 4. pouches 
5.  magazine / 6. toddler tee / 7. almond butter / 8. jams

Here is where I justify my purchases to you like you're my husband: 

I've been trying my best to do some sort of exercise everyday, and music really makes that task more enjoyable. But alas I did not have a way to hold onto my iPhone 5 while working out, so I bought the arm band. For my health.

I've wanted a peplum top since last Spring, when I'm pretty sure I saw The Duchess of Cambridge wearing one in a People magazine. Searches ensued, but were unsuccessful, until this trip to Target.

This side walk chalk is a part of what will be Owen's Easter Basket goodies. Stay tuned for more on that.

The pouches are a weekly buy for Owen. I'm always trying new ones out to see if he'll like knew flavors or maybe even enjoy a vegetable.

The magazine is in the same category at the armband. For my health, so a necessity.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up and Owen Sullivan (like someone said to me last week, "Owen Sullivan? Can't get more Irish than that!") needs some St. Patty's gear.

Snacks for the hubs. Aren't these neat? I put them in his Christmas stocking this year. Great when you're on the go.

Jams, what baby doesn't always need a new cute pair of cozy pajamas? Or as I like to call the Pajama-jammy-jams.

Anyway, Goodnight friends!

Come back tomorrow for the third wonderfully organized mommy to share her diaper bag essentials! 

Around Here Lately


I hope you're enjoying my series of mommies sharing their diaper bag essentials! 

You can go back and see mine
Natasha of Hello! Happiness'
and Natasha of Schue Love's if you missed it. 

I have three more lovely mommas lined up for later this week and early next week, so stay tuned! 

Also, I'm (finally) getting close to having 100 followers in my Google Friend Connect thingy (in the side bar), so I'm planning a little giveaway for when that happens. I'm thinking Stella & Dot earrings, a cool new cookbook or some favorites. What would you like to see? Any suggestions?

If you're not an "official" follower, become on so we can get on with this fun giveaway! On to what's been happening here lately in the Sullivan household...

Keith's mom wanted to give Owen a water table for his first birthday and we finally made the time last weekend to pick one out. It took me a while to decide which one was the best one for him. We went with the Little Tikes Anchors Away Water Play Table. This will be a great activity to do outside when the weather is warmer, but for now we're playing with it in the family room.


 With almost every new season International Delight comes out with a new flavor. I love the Pumpkin Spice in the Fall, followed by the Coldstone Sweet Cream flavor (not seasonal, but whatever), then there were the Christmas flavors and now I'm in love with the Irish Cream flavor. You know, they even sell the little single-serving packets in case you want to take them to work or something. Sometimes I start craving my morning coffee at night before bed, anyone else experience that?

We've been going to the park a lot lately. We go to a few different ones near out house and on Saturday afternoon Owen and I went to a big one near my mom's. I love that Owen is walking so well--it's really opened up our options for activities. You can't see it here, but he is wearing his new Stride Right 'Dillan' Sandals for Spring and Summer. We just bought him some new navy blue TOMS on Zulily this morning too.

I was just telling my friend that Owen has been doing so well with his sleeping lately and has even been sleeping through the night a few times a week--and of course as soon as I say that he is up three times in one night and then is "up for the day" at 4:30am. Not cool, little dude, not cool. We were lucky that after about an hour plus of trying to get him to sleep we brought him into our bed, gave him another warm bottle of milk, turned on Barney and he fell asleep between us. That part is really sweet. I love cuddling up with both my guys, so it was all worth it.


Owen discovered his teddy yesterday. He was walking around hugging him and "talking" to him for about 10 minutes. It melted my heart--and still does. He loves him.

I made a variation of my granola recipe yesterday. The thing I like about making granola is that it is so easy, and it makes the house smell so sweet and yummy. I loosely followed my original recipe, just changing out the kinds of nuts and dried fruits. I also skipped the coconut this time. This version has 1 cup dried blueberries, 1 cup fruit bits, pecans, slice almonds and walnuts. I think I like this one even more than the original. 

Well, we're off to the gym and to run errands. Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends! 

February 17, 2013

Diaper Bag Essentials from Schue Love!




Hi Ladies!  I'm Natasha from Schue Love and mama to Ethan, our sweet little son.  I love this series that Colleen put together!  I don't know about you, but any posts that can help me navigate this new "mom role" is always helpful.  So I hope this helps some of you!

Ethan is almost 8 months old and the above is what can be found in his diaper bag.  First things first, my diaper bag is not a "real" diaper bag, but a gym bag from lululemon!  I was drawn to this particular bag because it's not overly feminine {read: my husband doesn't mind carrying it} and it's multifunctional.  Surprisingly, it has a lot of the same compartments as a traditional diaper bag...like bottle holders on each side, tons of compartments for organizing and it's weather/liquid resistant.  

The only thing our diaper bag lacks, is the built in diaper changing station.  The easy solution was buying this adorable pad from Skip Hop.  It's portable and includes additional compartments to stash diapers, diaper cream, and wipes!

As for the eating department...I swear by the food pouches, particularly the Ella's Kitchen brand.  They're great for on-the go!  Just squeeze them onto a spoon or right into your child's mouth, like Ethan prefers these days.  We also love the Aden + Anais bibs to keep our little guy clean and swear by the Dr. Brown's bottles

We always have a change of clothes {or 5!} on hand and make sure to include socks and a hat in case it gets cold out.  Or for warmer days, some sunscreen to protect that sweet skin.

Last, these days, we can't go anywhere without the trusty pacifier.  Ethan prefers the Avent brand...it seems to be the easiest to keep in his mouth.  And with cold season, Boogie Wipes are a must!  Seriously, these are the best!  They're super soft on the face and effective too!  Boogies have no chance against these things.  Oh and, lots of teethers and toys!  Ethan loves chewing on Sophie...she's been a great toy over the last several months.

So there you have it...our diaper bag in a nutshell!


Thanks to Colleen for having me today!  Come on by and say hello some time!

xo natasha

Diaper Bag Essentials from Hello! Happiness!

One of my fellow mommy bloggers, Colleen from Meet the Sullivans, asked me to participate in a fun series called "My Diaper Bag Essentials" and I thought it would be interesting to show ya'll the necessities we can't leave home without. Let's face it, I don't really carry a purse these days because I've already got an arm full with all of Caroline's gadgets and gizmos...so let's have a little show and tell.


Oh, and before I forget, I guess I should introduce myself! I'm Natasha from Hello! Happiness. In a nutshell, I'm a southern girl from Tennessee who loves to entertain, travel, workout, decorate, shop, and spend time with my friends and family. I am a stay-at-home mom to Miss Caroline (11 months) and now anticipating the arrival of our next daughter and bundle of joy (estimated arrival June 28th). I most always have a smile on my face and am the eternal optimist. Nice to meet yall ;)


First off, the bag itself. I splurged and bought the Kate Spade Stevie Bag and though it was an "investment", I am so glad I did. It's roomy with lots of compartments for storage, has a FANTASTIC mat for easy diaper changes on the go, doesn't scream "baby bag", and I kept it simple and opted for the black fabric to hide all the lovely things that get spilled on it along the way. (P.S. if you subscribe to Kate Spade, they send emails all the time for sales and such so you can get it on sale if you watch closely!) Attached to the bag is a personalized tag that has Caroline's name on it...perfect for when she is at the church/gym/MOPS nursery and they need to identify her belongings quickly. I bought it from Monogram Marketplace on Etsy.   

Ok, now onto the "stuff"...

First up, my Dilly Baby Change N Go set. I don't know what I would do without this lifesaver. It's a small bag where we put our travel wipe box, 2-3 diapers, A&D ointment, and baby powder. This is AMAZING...hands down one of my favorites! Especially great for when we're out at restaurants and I don't want to take the entire diaper bag in the restroom when I change a diaper. Plus, the Amy Butler fabric is feminine and cheerful!


In other compartments you'll find our medicinal items that we like to carry just in case someone isn't feeling well. This includes orajel for teething, motrin and/or ibuprofen for fever, hand sanitizer (for obvious reasons), and Johnson's cleansing towelettes.

As for snacks and such, we carry a few quintessential items. We never leave home without a Dr. Brown's bottle, a handy dandy small container filled with powder formula and an Enfamil pre-mixed liquid, some Plum Organics pouches, disposable place mats, our Beaba fork and spoon set, and my newest friend, the Innobaby Packin' Smart Storage System. This is WONDERFUL as we can put a few different snacks in each compartment and hit the road.


Now for the toys AKA time occupiers...B Fun set of keys, Little Einstein Take Along Tunes (Lord, how did we ever live without this thing??), her silver rattle, Sophie, Wubbanub pacifier, a fun book or two, and finally, a burp cloth and bib set, because let's face it, messes happen. My favorites come from The Posh Pea Boutique.

There you have it...it's amazing to me all of this fits in one bag...just call me Mary Poppins :).

February 15, 2013

Our Valentine's Day According to my iPhone + Heart-Shaped Egg-in-Hole Recipe

Heart-Shaped Egg-in-Hole for Breakfast

Ingredients:

2 slices brioche loaf, each about 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large eggs
Chives for garnish
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

Using a large (2.5- or 3-inch) heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a heart from the center of each slice of brioche. Or, use a paring knife to cut the heart shapes. Reserve slices and hearts.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the slices and the heart cutouts to the pan and cook until slightly toasted. Turn slices and cutouts; carefully break an egg into the center of each slice. Cover the skillet and cook until the egg white is just set and the yolk is cooked to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes.

Carefully transfer a slice and a cutout to each of 2 plates and snip some chives over the top. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately

After Owen's morning nap we took a trip to Costco for a few essentials: blueberries, whole milk and dinner. We picked up a couple non-essential things too like a new workout top for me, a bottle of our favorite wine and fro-yo bars for Daddy. 

I had a feeling Costco would come through with a few special things for Valentine's Day. We scooped up these delicious chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy after out dinner.

After heading home, feeding Owen lunch and unloading our loot from Costco we took a trip to our favorite park. I love taking Owen to the park now. He is walking so well and has such a fun time exploring the play area, meeting other kids his age and romping around the large grass field.

A few weeks ago he touched sand for the first time and thought it quite strange. He's warmed up to it thankfully and had some fun in the sandbox with a few young girls. One of them even tried to hold his hand!

The cherry blossom tree in the front yard is in bloom! I love when this tree blooms and wish it would last a little bit longer.

When Keith came home we sat down for dinner. I ditched my previous plan for dinner when I saw shrimp and roasted garlic stuffed cannoli at Costco. I couldn't pass it up and I'm glad I didn't because it was SO good. There are no leftovers, of course! I served a Caesar salad on the side with homemade parmesan crisps, which I will have to make again and share on the blog.

We also shared a bottle (we actually only drank half) of one of our favorite red wines, the Sonoma County Mantra Zinfandel.

Owen had a ball playing with the single red rose Keith gave me during dinner. We joked that he thought he was the Bachelor during the rose ceremony. Silly guy!

We gave Owen the second book in the Little Blue Truck book series. He loves to read the first one and I love reading it to him. It's a sweet book, with a great message.

Keith and I exchanged cards and little gifts, although we said we wouldn't :) Neither of us can ever keep the promise not to buy a gift!

We had such a great Valentine's Day this year! Owen really makes it all so fun for us and we love any opportunity to show each other some LOVE!