Meet the Sullivans: April 2013

April 30, 2013

Slow-Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Happy Tuesday, Friends! Here is a favorite slow cooker recipe of mine that is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or an easy dinner on any night of the week! I'm a huge fan of using my slow cooker whenever possible. [You can see the rest of my slow cooker recipes here in my Recipe Index] I love being able to throw dinner together early in the day and not worry about it until it's time to eat. AND this leave plenty of time for reading books and playing with trains!


INGREDIENTS
1 lb frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (about four breasts)
1 12oz jar salsa verde
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
6 small flour tortillas
toppings: avocado, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, cilantro, black beans, etc.

  

Begin by placing your frozen chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the entire jar of salsa, red onion and crushed garlic.

Side note: I always use frozen chicken breasts when making something in the slow cooker than I want to shred. I read somewhere that it shreds easier if you cook from frozen--but I think that only applies to slow cooking, and not regular cooking.


Put the lid on your slow cooker and set it on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4. I recommend cooking it on LOW, as it always seems to turn out more moist when done this way. Now go enjoy the rest of your day and don't worry about dinner until dinnertime!


About 30 minutes before it's time to serve remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place in a large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken and then put it back in the slow cooker for 20 minutes on HIGH so it soaks up all the extra salsa and juices. I added a few teaspoons of Chia Seeds this time to too help with the extra liquid and to give it an extra healthy "kick".

While the chicken gets it's last 20 minutes of slow cooking you can prep the rest of your ingredients. Heat the tortillas in a pan over medium heat with no cooking oil or spray to make them warm and crispy.

Once the 20 minutes is up top the tortilla with chicken and any toppings you desire!

Another little side note / tip: I like to use 0% Plain Greek-style yogurt mixed with a bit of taco seasoning instead of sour cream. Don't get me wrong, I looove sour cream, but this is the guilt-free way of still enjoying!


I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as we do and that you'll add it to your arsenal of easy dinners! 

Come back tomorrow to see what I'll be guest blogging about over at Girl in the Red Shoes!

April 29, 2013

Weekly Bites + Our Fiesta Party Inspiration


Good Monday Morning to you all! We've had a great weekend full of friends and family, and now we're looking forward to a mellow Monday. We're hanging out at home today catching up on laundry, getting out workouts in, enjoying a visit from my Grandpa and hangin' with our little cutie. 

I wanted to share a few of the dinners I made for us last week. I was quite impressed with all three of them--all include fresh ingredients and were easy to prepare.

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos
What I love about this easy dinner is that I usually have all of the ingredients for it on hand, so if I think to make it earlier in the day it is a real life saver when I don't know what to make. And of course, Mexican food is our my favorite kind of food, so it is always a crowd pleaser!
I'll be sharing this go to recipe tomorrow on the blog, so stay tuned! 

Mediterranean Quinoa with Barbeque Chicken
This is a SkinnyTaste recipe I pinned recently and also my first experience with quinoa. All was a success and we really liked the quinoa. I'm planning another quinoa recipe for this week too.  

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken with stir-fry veggies
Another great slow cooker recipe to add to my arsenal. This was a great alternative to ordering out Chinese food, which is so greasy and fattening. I served it with stir-fry veggies (the kind they sell at Trader Joe's that you just open up and dump in a pan) and on top of a bed of Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice with Garlic.


Now, onto our plans for our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! 

Like I said at the beginning of this post, Mexican food is my favorite kind of food, so I love celebrating Cinco de Mayo! We're just having a few other families over next Saturday night for a little taco night, but of course I have to take the opportunity to jazz it up a bit. We love to entertain!

We're going keep the food simple with individual seven-layer dips, chips and mango salsa and a Make Your Own Taco bar. And of course the drinks are just as important. I'll be mixing up Water Mellon Agua Fresca and Blue Moon Beergaritas.
I've been given an adorable party package from Minted, which will (fingers crossed!!!) make it here in time for the part. I already own the blow glass margarita glasses, and plan to purchase a few more fun things to make the party complete!

Will you be celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Have you tried any new recipe lately that you've liked? Clue me in in the comments below so I can give them a try too! Happy Monday, friends!



April 26, 2013

Five Things for Friday

Here are five things I'm thinking about today...

Owen's love of reading. The number one way to distract him from something and keep him happy when he's cranky is to read to him. He is always game for some reading time. You say the word "book" and it gets his attention and many times a day he brings me a book to read to him. He'll cry if I don't sit down to read right away. I love what this says about him as a learner. I'm not saying this makes him a genius in the making (but maybe it does!), because I know lots of toddlers love books, but it shows he's curious and an early love of books can equal a life long interest in reading. It also makes me feel like I'm really doing something right with this mothering gig.


Blog posts that spoke to me this week. I felt like these bloggers knew exactly what I've been thinking about lately. Loves of Life On Becoming a Gym Junkie, Running from the Law Score Keeping and A Wedding Story So We Started Juicing, Power of Moms Joy or Just Wait? Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers Living Within Your Means. I wish I kept score less, spent less, got started juicing and went to the gym more. Some things to work on for next week.

Cash envelopes and keeping our budget in check. Speaking of living within one's means...Who likes that word, budget? Not me. Never have, never will. To me it's synonymous with deprivation. We're trying to be better about our spending and saving habits. It just doesn't come easy, so we've made a plan. We're doing a Cash Envelope method to control our extra spending each week. This will likely be easier for Keith than it will for me since I'm out and about most days, so my opportunity for spending is greater. And I do most of our shopping (gifts, random home necessities, stamps, etc.). But really though I'm excited about being more mindful. I often overspend on things that are totally not a "need" (ahem, Target, ahem).

The weekend. We've got a good one ahead of us! Owen and I are headed to visit friends today who are visiting from NY. The drive to see them is about 45 minutes from us each way, so wish me luck that O is a happy traveler this morning / afternoon. Tomorrow we're celebrating our niece and nephew's birthdays and spending time with family that will be staying with us. Nothing is on the agenda for Sunday or Monday but I'm sure we'll fill it with something fun and exciting!

Next week. I'll be guest blogging over at Girl in the Red Shoes, sharing my inspiration for a Cinco De Mayo fiesta we're going to throw, sharing another great slow-cooker recipe and then there's real life too! Owen's first swim lesson is next Friday!

Have a happy weekend, friends!

Gifts for YOUR Mom + an Exclusive Discount from Minted

I was not compensated for this post, but I have used affiliate links for the products featured here today. 

Like I pointed out earlier in the week, Mother's Day is right around the corner, and I know we're all dying to shower our lovely mother's with love (and gifts!)! Hang in there through the end of the post to get your discount code!

I don't know about you, but I always think a personalized gift shows so much thought and effort. And there's just something so important about paper goods imprinted with one's own name. 

As always, Minted has some fabulous gifts just right for the season. I've got my eye on a few things for my own mom for this Mother's Day! 
In my opinion a family tree is a must on any gallery wall. This print would be beautiful framed in one of Minted's custom frames.
I am in love with this print. The photos in it will be your own photos of four generations of your family. What an amazingly personal gift! 



Apothecary jars a great piece for entertaining and decorating because they are so versatile. I own one similar to this one and I style it differently for each holiday--shiny ornaments at Christmas, delicate eggs during Easter and filled with candy for on ANY occasion!



Journals like this are perfect for keeping track of your gift log, to do lists or favorite bible verses. You can add a custom interior to include photos and a detailed message too. And Each journal comes with your choice of 40 lined, unlined or graph paper interior pages.


I've been a huge fan of Minted ever since we ordered our wedding save-the-date cards from them back in 2009!

AND as a treat for all of YOU Minted has offered to give Meet the Sullivans readers a special 10% off discount on all of their Mother's Day gifts + free shipping! Just ENTER: MTS10SHIP at checkout. The code is valid 4/26-5/8 and will only be valid for Mother’s day gifts that we are offering!

Happy shopping, friends! 

April 24, 2013

A Day in the Life

It has been nearly 9 months since my last day in the life style post. I know this isn't very interesting to most of you, unless you're like me and love seeing how other people spend their days. I'd like to do one every so often so that someday I can look back and see what our days were like at any given age, 'cause I know me and I'll love being able to do that.

So here is what yesterday, Wednesday April 24th 2013, looked like for us.

6:00am We hear Owen on the monitor. He's fussing a little, which means he's waking up. Keith skipped his workout this morning, so he goes to get Owen and I head downstairs to get a baba and coffees for us. The three of us lay in bed together drinking our morning beverages and watching Barney. I also check Instagram, Twitter and Feedly on my phone.

6:30am We play "parachute" with the duvet with Owen. He loves burrowing down under the blankets. 

7:00am I make the bed, straighten up our rooms and get dressed for the gym while Keith plays with Owen.

7:30am Keith goes to shower and get ready for work while I take Owen downstairs for breakfast. The housekeepers are coming this afternoon, while Owen eats breakfast (a green smoothie and apple cinnamon puffs and a few yogurt melts) I run around putting things back in their place so they can clean.
8:00am We play out in the backyard for a little while and half-watch a cartoon while also playing with cars and trains.

8:30am We say bye to Keith and head out the door for the gym. I drop Owen off at the childcare and he cries as I leave him. That will never get easier for me. I hate leaving him when he's upset.

I do a quick workout on the Arch Trainer and some body weight exercises and stretch. I watched Kelly & Michael while I did cardio and it really made the time go by quickly. They're so funny and I think they have great chemistry. Kelly is in such great shape (although maybe too thin?)--she's an inspiration.

9:45am I go to pick Owen up and see he is outside in the play area eating a graham cracker snack with the rest of the kids. He looks like he's having a ball, so my guilt from earlier melts away.

10:00am Owen falls asleep in the car on the way home, so I (successfully!!!) transfer him to his crib. While he sleeps I empty + load the dishwasher, prep dinner in the slow cooker, shower and answer emails.

10:50am Owen wakes up from his nap, it was pretty short at only 40 minutes. We read a books in his room for about a half hour before we head downstairs.


11:30am I prepare our lunch while Owen plays on his own for a bit. I also take advantage of the lovely natural light in the kitchen and spend a minute photographing the quinoa I made the night before.

12pm I had leftovers for lunch and Owen had a cheese quesadilla + avocado + apple. He really only ate the quesadilla and a tiny bit of apple. At least I tried, right? After lunch we play and read more books and I get us packed up to leave the house.

1:00pm The housekeepers arrive right as we are leaving for the bank and our Gymboree class. Perfect timing! This means I won't have to avoid coming home for too long.

1:30pm We have a blast at Gymboree--we haven't been in a few weeks. It's so nice to see our teacher and some of our friends. Owen is in his element here. There are safe structures to climb, music, other babies and fun galore! I'm reminded why we fork over $70 each month.

2:30pm We leave Gymboree and head to Old Navy. I need to find a bathing suit that's appropriate for our swim class (read: not a bikini) that we'll be starting next week. I have no luck finding something I like, so we stop by Barnes & Noble to play with the train table.


3:30pm Owen would have stayed there all day. He was just quietly playing, and so happy, but I had to tear him away since it was past nap time, which resulted in a meltdown. I'm the meanest mommy ever, apparently.

4:00pm We arrive home and see my sister-in-law Kelly and niece Natalie have stopped by! We hang with them for a while playing and catching up. We always enjoy their company and it was really nice to see them.

5:00pm It looks like Owen won't be going down for an afternoon nap after all, so I do my best to keep him entertained until Keith gets home. In between laying in the kitchen floor coloring in a giant coloring book, playing with magnets, going "beep, beeeeep" with cars and reading some more books I prep the toppings for our taco dinner.

6:00pm Keith gets home from work and whisks Owen upstairs with him while he changes. I get dinner on the table and we eat.

6:30pm After dinner Owen and Keith read some more while I clean up.

7:00pm Since Owen skipped his second nap he is so so ready to go to bed early. We bring him up, change his diaper, put him in jammies and a sleep sack and Keith rocks him while he drinks his final baba for the night.

He fell asleep really quickly, so Keith and I have the night to ourselves. I blog, catch up on reading blogs and check my emails. Keith watches basketball and plays some video games. We love vegging out after a long day!

10:00pm I got sucked into the movie Keith turned on (Zombieland) even though I've seen it many times. We head up to bed way past my bed time. Good night!

April 23, 2013

Mother's Day is Right Around the Corner...

So I thought I would give just a little reminder to the men in my life! Just a few little hints as to what might make the middle of the night bottles, piles of laundry and dirty dishes a little more enjoyable for Mommy. Hint, hint, hint.

Mother's Day 2013

clockwise

[Superfood Kitchen cookbook by Julie Morris]
I just saw someone on Instagram posting about this cookbook and it really caught my interest. From the amazon description: "entirely composed of plant-based, nutrient-dense, and whole foods that energize, nourish, and taste delicious. Each recipe artfully combines natural ingredients that deliver amazing amounts of antioxidants, essential fatty acids (like omega-3), minerals, vitamins, and more."

[Gold Pearl Monogram Bracelet from Crystal Faye]
It's just so very pretty! I don't think I own a single thing with my married monogram besides the thank you notes I used after our wedding. My monogram is cSp just in case anyone is wondering. 

[Homegrown Monogram Mug from Anthropologie]
My favorite time of day is when Owen wakes up in the morning and we have baba's and coffee in bed together while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. A pretty new mug really does make the coffee taste better--that is a scientific fact.

[Kate Spade Le Pavillion Laptop Sleeve] 
Can you believe I don't have a sleeve for my MacBook Pro? It's only a wee bit older than Owen yet I haven't even thought to buy it some protection. Honestly, we'd just be protecting our investment, right? 
 
[Philosophy 'Amazing Grace' Fine Perfume]
My signature perfume that I've been wearing for as long as I can remember. I love it, and my current bottle is almost dry.

Obviously it would be nice to have any of these things, but what I really want for Mother's Day is to spend the afternoon playing somewhere, preferably outside, with these two stud muffins. 


After all, I wouldn't be a mommy if it weren't for them!

Lions and Tigers and Bears

...oh my!

Yesterday we took Owen on his first trip to the San Francisco Zoo. We had all a blast, and I have to say this was the most fun I've ever had at a zoo.

Owen napped on the 30 minute ride from home to the zoo. I think he was pleasantly surprised to wake up somewhere so fun and interesting!

It had been years since either Keith or I had been to the San Francisco.The last time I went was a few years ago when I was working at St. Pius and Keith couldn't remember the last time he went. We had fun reminiscing about all of our memories of going as kids. Anyone remember the elephant keys? The elephant exhibit? Those awful animal-shaped plastic containers of "juice", which was likely some version of Kool-Aid?

Our first stop was the giraffe / zebra sanctuary. It's amazing to see the giant, tall as a house so close up. I wonder if this guy reminded Owen of his Sophie?

After that we booked it across the zoo to see the Grizzly Bears for their 11:30 feeding. It was so crowded outside their "Grizzly Gulch" that we didn't really get to see them eating. Maybe a good thing though, right? Might have been traumatic. Anyway, we were able to watch them run around (they were really active after eating and with all the attention) and one ran right up to the window where we were watching. It stood there on all fours before standing all the way up on its hind legs.

Owen would have gladly crawled right into the polar bears den. I'm sure he thought he was a big cuddle lab like the one he has at home!

The seal's pool was being refilled with water and the seals were having a ball sliding around their habitat as though it were a water park.

Owen was going "Weeeee! Weeeee!" as we watched them slip and slide!

I wish we would have prioritized riding the train during our visit, because I know Owen would have loved it. He waved so excitedly to all the passengers as it zoomed past us. We'll make sure to ride it next time!

The gorillas are so cute and their habitat is really green and pretty! We saw the silver back gorilla rush another gorilla as it was trying to eat some celery the zoo keeper was tossing in. We all jumped back a bit. He was really really aggressive.

On a semi-unrelated note, I've been having so much fun with my camera and getting used to shooting in manual mode. I'm finally figuring out the whole f-stop / shutter speed thing--although don't ask me to explain in any technical terms. My explanation would likely include terms like "thingy" and "the button near the thingy".

The little man would prefer to push the stroller rather than ride in it. This is how we spent much of the day walking around.

There is a beautiful grass field full of yellow flowers (daisies?) that we loved playing on. Toward the end of the day we just let Owen lead the way. He was getting fussy and didn't want to be carried or redirected at all, so we just followed him--and this is where he wanted to be.

Spinning in circles and saying "Whoooa! Whoooa! Whoooa!" is one of his favorite things to do. It's even funnier when Daddy does it too!

Stopping to smell the flowers. I'm glad he pauses to enjoy the little things!

You'd think Owen was hired for the day as part of the Zoo's Welcoming Committee because he took it upon himself to greet many other zoo goers. He walked over to the man in the top picture, who was watching his daughter play, sat down and started to "chat". He high fived the older men as they walked past and then started following them as they walked in the opposite direction. I can foresee I am going to have a lot of stranger danger talks with my young man.

Owen's reaction to the baby elephant sculpture was too cute. I think he though it was alive! He was putting his hand around the trunk trying to get it to walk with him and then he just stood there staring at it. Eventually he gave up and moved on.

By the time we made it to the Children's Zoo area Owen was spent. It was a lot of walking for him--which he loved!--and he was just saying "Baa, baa, baa", which means he wants his bottle of milk. He surrendered to being put in the stroller and just mellowed out while we walked back to the car.

This was one our most fun family outings! Now that Owen is steady enough to walk on his own for periods of time he has so much fun exploring. The zoo is generally a safe place for him to look around and explore so long as one of us is on his tail at all times. He's also able to appreciate what is going on around him and is intrigued by all of the animals.

Our tickets were half price because we have a CuriOdyssey membership. The food / drinks aren't too over priced, but there is really only one place to eat. I think next time we'll pick up sandwiches on our way. The train and some other rides like the carousel are a few extra dollars if you want to ride them.

I think you can tell from this full on Closed Eye Belly Laugh that Owen had a blast! Pretty soon he'll be begging to go everyday!

April 19, 2013

Owen is 15 Months!

Dear Owen,
This week you turned fifteen months old! You sure are looking and acting like a Big Boy these days. We are having so much fun together playing outside and reading books that our days go by in the blink of an eye! You sure are fun! 


Stats - 24 lbs 4 oz (72nd percentile) and 32 inches tall (80th percentile). You are currently wearing a size 6 1/2 shoe. All proof you're not only acting like a Big Boy, but you're looking like one too!

Health - Happy to report you've had no colds, etc this month! Your pediatrician is very happy with your growth and says you're in excellent health!


Sleep - You're still doing pretty well with your sleep, although you're not sleeping through the night as much as you were last month, you go back to sleep easily when you do wake up.

Naps have become a bit of an issue. If you go down too late for your morning nap it is not likely that you'll take an afternoon nap. You seem to do okay without taking the afternoon nap on the days when you skip it, so as long as you're happy then I'm happy. I just wish that if you really were going to drop a nap that it would be the morning one. I'd love for us to be able to get out of the house early to get errands done, etc. and then head home in time for you to have your lunch and then go down for an afternoon nap (one of those glorious 3 hour ones other mommies speak of).

I read that if I try to keep you from taking your morning nap later and later (maybe by 30minutes a day) it will eventually become your afternoon nap and will force you to drop your morning one. While this seems like a great idea, I don't want to force you into only taking one nap.

I really can't complain too much though, because you surprised me with a 2 1/2 hour nap yesterday from 12:30-3pm!


Verbal - You are saying LOTS of words with meaning these days! "Baba" for bottle "Beeeeep Beeeeep" when you're playing with your cars (and sometimes your trains), "neigh" for a hose, "moo" for a cow and SO many more.

Also, when asked to identify your eyes, nose, ears, belly button or feet you point to the correct body part, and sometimes you'll identify it on me or daddy instead. You also like to point to almost any animal with four legs and call it a "dog". You like to find a nose and eyes on just about anything.


Food - Your appetite when it comes to solids has been a point of concern for me in the last week. You are a picky eater, there is no denying that, but in last week you've been eating like a bird. You've even refused your favorites (tortillas and cheese). The doctor said to keep offering the fruits and veggies and that eventually you'll probably decide on some that you like. He isn't too concerned though, since you're growing so strong and so big! 


Monkey, I am so happy to spend all day home with you--I wouldn't trade our one-on-one time for anything in the world. You are so sweet, passionate and friendly. You are the most important thing in the world to me! You are our biggest blessing! 

xoxo, 
Mommy

April 18, 2013

A Headboard Makes All the Difference

Our headboard is in! And, friends? I'm in love! It makes all the difference in our room for so many reasons.


You know when you make a purchase on the fly and you worry if it's going to be a good decision? Well this one was totally a great one! Last month I told you all how I was searching for a headboard that wouldn't be too much for our small bedroom. I was lusting after this one from Target, but it was (and still is) not available for purchase. Well, one day I was on Instagram and saw one someone else had that is almost identical to the one from Target. I asked where it was from and found it was from Amazon. Why didn't I think to look there earlier? I buy everything on Amazon. Anyway I quickly clicked that thing into my virtual shopping cart and hit the "buy now with one-click" button. And it was done! My Coaster Nailhead Trim Design Queen Size Tan Microfiber Headboard was on its way!

The headboard came within the week and my wonderful husband lugged it upstairs (it is so heavy!) to our room and installed it the same day! I'm so beyond happy with it. I have been going to bed earlier each night just to read in bed, which is so much easier now that we have a head board. No more piling up the pillows so I don't fall through the shutters our bed rests against. Not to mention it pulls the whole room together!


Our plan was to move the bed to a different wall, but we ended up keeping it as is. The room is small, so when we tried to rearrange everything the flow wasn't right, so we moved it all back. Can't have everything. Anyway, I'm so smitten with the thing. Who knew a headboard could make all the difference in a room?

April 17, 2013

Tools for Feeding My Picky Little Eater

I never thought I would be the mom of a picky eater.

Owen is just a few months over a year old, so maybe it's too early to deem him "picky", but it sure does seem that way--especially when I see / hear of other babies his age happily and willingly eating fruits and vegetables at each meal.

Meal time can be super stressful. When it comes around to breakfast, lunch or dinner time I don't have much time to waste thinking of what to give him or how to cook it up, so along the way I've discovered some ways to help me prep fresh food for Owen quickly.

With Owen I need to get food in front of him quick before he melts down. He does not like to be contained in his chair if he doesn't need to be, so I usually put his food on a plate before I even put him in there. This means he needs to be occupied for at least a few minute while I scramble to prepare his meal.

I love all of the recipes in the baby cookbooks I've read, but the time put into them is never worth it for me. I slave in the kitchen making a nutritious meal for Owen only to have him stick his nose up at it. Whatever food I prepare for him needs to be nutritious, delicious and FAST!

As the mom of a picky eater I want to share what is working for us and some little tools of the trade we've been using to make sure Owen gets as much nutritious food as possible.



The Cast of Characters

Smoothies, Pouches or the Little Green Pouch - Like I said, Owen is just not into eating fruits and veggies. He does, on the other hand, like fruit and veggie smoothies and pouches. To get Owen to eat a balanced meal I often resort to either making him a Green Smoothie to accompany his meal or offer him a pouch. So when it comes to eating fruit and veggies plain, maybe it's the texture? Use the code PARENTSMAG for 10% off your Little Green Pouch order.


Box Grater - This is something I only discovered recently, and I wish I had thought of it earlier. I've been using the box grater to grate up practically everything for Owen. I no longer have to bake apples before serving them to him (just because I offer them doesn't mean he's eating 'em. He still refuses most of the time). You can really use this method for any sort of fruit or veggie. It saves you from having to pre-cook or chop things into teeny tiny pieces. The box grater grates pieces thing and short, which is perfect for kids. 

Immersion Blender - I'm a huge fan of this kitchen tool for all kinds of cooking tasks and I also love using it to prep my baby's food. I use this to smooth out a chunky stew so Owen can easily self feed. It's also handy when I want to make him a single serving smoothie and don't want to dirty up our giant blender. It's faster than lugging the blender out of the cabinet and because I can just immerse it in whatever glass I'm using there aren't as many dishes to clean up once I'm all done.  Also, you can use it to puree vegetables to sneak into sauces and soups!

Wavy Knife - The wavy knife is a wonderful tool to have on hand when feeding a toddler. The little curves and crevices it creates help Owen get a good grip on the slippery fruits and veggies. Melon is one of the fruits I have had the most success feeding Owen, but it can be so slippery when I try to chop it up for him. When I use the wavy knife I can makes small, thin, french fry bits for him that he can easily handle. It makes them look a lot more fun too! 

Kitchen Sheers - Using sheers is so much easier than chopping up all of his food into tiny pieces. I mainly use these on things I can't really grate, like tortillas or meat.

Do you have any tricks you use in the kitchen with your kids? I'm all for new easy and simple ways to make life flow more smoothly!


April 16, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up / iPhone Dump


Saturday was gorgeous and only a little cool, but the sun was shinning! My mom, sister, Owen and I went to lunch at The Melt and did a little shopping around Stanford Shopping Center. The best part of that place is that it's outdoors and in the Spring the flowers are so pretty. Owen has been big into smelling all of the flowers he comes across lately. So sweet!

Sunday morning I made whole wheat blueberry pancake for us all to enjoy. I don't know why, but previous to this experience I have never been able to make an acceptable pancake. I think I had the consistency too thick because mine would never cook all the way through. I seriously wish I could tell you that Owen loved this (because wouldn't you think he would?), but he didn't. Boo.

Sunday afternoon we got together with a bunch of our good friends because Nicole and Brian and their family are visiting from New York! We all went to high school together and have been close friends ever since, and it is so awesome that we all have sons around the same age! I can't believe it has been a year since we've seen them and been able to get the boys together.

Owen and Dean had a ball dancing to the Hot Dog song and eating tortilla chips! Owen was seriously in his element. He has the greatest time!

AND we all got to meet Nicole and Brian's new baby girl, the beautiful Miss Eva! She is the sweetest baby and she was so mellow. A complete angel. I don't remember Owen being so easy going in those first months--maybe it's a girl thing?

I'm so glad we managed to get a photo of us girls together before everyone had to head home for naps!

This little magnetic white board is one of my favorite recent Target finds, and it was only $1. How awesome is that? I like being able to see what's for dinner at glance. It helps me remember if I need to defrost something or prep something, etc. I hope it will keep me accountable with this whole meal planning thing.

Anyway, happy Monday friends!