Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

This week has been a busy week. I am in finals for school, and Baby A decided to start having a hard time sleeping and taking naps. I thought it was her teeth, but then last night she ran a low grade fever. We cuddled all night last night, and this morning she is perfectly fine and a happy little baby! I thought I would catch up for what is for dinner this week!

Chicken and Butternut Squash (Crockpot)
Beef and Bean Enchiladas
Southwestern Chicken
Risotto with Shrimp and Zucchini
Italian Meatballs (Crockpot)
Garlic and Lemon Chicken

On Monday night, we had the Italian Meatballs. I really loved them! Baby A did too. I normally have my standard way of making meatballs, but I did it a bit different. They came out perfectly round and delicious. We have a hard time getting Baby A to eat ground beef whenever we cook it, and this was the perfect way. She gobbled it down in no time.

Last night we did the Southwestern Chicken because it was a foil dish. Mr. Man could easily make it so I could cuddle the baby all afternoon, evening, and night. I love to do foil meals on weeks that we have a lot of random leftover produce. Well this time we did it with salsa, black beans, and corn. We tossed it over brown rice. It was delicious.

No telling what we will have tonight. I guess whatever I decide when it becomes time to take out the meat!

Here's to the rest of the week! Hopefully I can get a lot more done than I did on Monday and Tuesday!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Traditions: Easter

I have been thinking about what I want to do for Easter this year. It's hard to plan traditions with your children when you never know where you will be, whether the family will all be together, or if you will even have your own back yard. I have been thinking about fun foods, creative ways to dye eggs, and crafts that will entertain all of us. Here are some things that I have come across. I have pinned them all on pinterest... but most come from other family blogs.

My first thought was breakfast Easter morning. Easter is always on a Sunday, so of course we would be battling getting ready for church along with all the festivities. These I could prepare the night before and keep in the fridge then pop them into the oven the next morning. The first picture is cinnamon rolls and the second picture is biscuits.

From the time Mr. Man and I married, we dyed Easter eggs for ourselves. We never hid them, but we always made dishes with them. This year we knew we would dye eggs with Baby A, but we wanted to do something different, something special. I found that Kool-Aid is a great way to dye them! 

Next is what we would actually get her. Of course she is too young for all the candy and junk. We did not want to overwhelm her with toys either. So I found this cute idea to replace the large chocolate bunny that I always got as a child. One year she will get the chocolate bunny, but for now... it will be goldfish :) 

I love to have things hanging on our door for every holiday. I am hoping to make one for every month whenever we are in the states. This one is super cute for the spring time. 

I was looking for new traditions that are fun and exciting for children, especially toddlers. For Christmas, I found the Magic Reindeer Food/Dust. I wanted something similar for Easter. I found this cute idea. You plant some jelly beans in the yard. The next day for Easter blooms a lollipop. Of course, this only works the night of Easter. I also found a cute poem to explain the reasoning of Easter and Jesus Christ. 

When I was growing up, our grandparents always hid plastic eggs along with real eggs. I decided we would do the same. But then crossed my mind of what to put in the eggs. Remember the golden egg? We decided that we would put a couple with money in it. When/If we have more children, we will put their names on them so it is fair. Or we will do the real golden egg... who knows. But then what do you do with the leftover eggs? Here are some great ideas - Egg Characters and Egg Teacups! So cute! 

 I have all these pinned on pinterest. If you are interested, you can find me here.

What are your traditions? What do you plan to do with your little one(s) this year?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recipe: King Cake Knots

Several years ago, I found this recipe in one of my Louisiana cookbooks. It is one of those cookbooks that are sold for charity money or something similar. When we were in Texas, I made these every year for Mardi Gras because I never could get my hands on King Cake. Now, I can make King Cake - thanks to an awesome recipe! But I thought I would share this recipe because this one was my go to this year. I completely forgot that it was Mardi Gras, and I just happened to have all the ingredients needed to make this! I had this scheduled to post on Fat Tuesday, but I saw that it didn't post. I am sorry! But for those of you who just don't care if Mardi Gras has passed, you can make it anyday at anytime! 

King Cake Knots


1 loaf refrigerated french bread dough
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk (may need more to get right consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla

colored sugar - yellow, purple, green

Preheat oven to 350.  Unroll french bread dough into a large rectangle, about 16 by 12 inches. Brush the dough lightly with softened butter. Mix together sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over butter.  Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide.  Twist two stips together.  Tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary, and place on baking sheet about 2-inches apart. 

Bake for 25-28 minutes.  Cool.  Mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Dip each knot into icing and then sprinkle with colored sugar.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

This week we are keeping it basic, and fun.

Crockpot Italian Meatballs
Tuna and Tomato Pizza
Sausage Jambalaya
Orange Chicken in the Crockpot
Ravioli in the Crockpot
Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken
Honey Dijon Baked Chicken
Stuffed Bell Peppers

As you can see, I have 8 meals planned this week. I will sometimes have one meal roll over from the week before, which happened this week. It is the Stuffed Bell Peppers, but I wanted to still do 7 new meals in case I needed a back up quick meal for me and Baby A for lunch one day. I can not believe how much our bill has gone up just by feeding an extra mouth that is only 10 months old!

Which leads to our weekly bill at the moment. It has been around $100 a week. That was what I allowed for when it was just me and Mr. Man eating. Now Baby A is eating with us, so that means more snacks for her and a whole other plate for every meal. She can eat just as much as her Mommy and Daddy, so it's like having another adult in the house. Overall, I am learning where I can cut back costs and where I should spend more. It's like starting all over with meal budgeting, but we are getting there. And honestly, $100 a week is not bad at all considering they are home cooked meals every night, nice lunches every day. Cooked breakfasts on the weekends, and healthy snacks for us all.

I will do a break down of our favorite foods, what I feed Baby A for lunch, breakfast, and dinner and such. I have been having a few people mention it lately.

And also, I will do a post on our PCS coming up.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Favorite Toys: 0-3 Months

Baby A started to get interested in toys when she was just over two months old. By interested, I mean she began noticing lights, sounds, and movement. Here are the ones that always caught her attention, and the ones she would try and grab and/or stare at for a long time.

These are in no particular order.

1. This bus was purchased from Walmart. It was one of the first toys I pulled out for her whenever she started grabbing things because the shapes were perfect size for her. She still plays with this toy now and loves it just as much.

2. These bugs were places on her car seat almost immediately after she was born. I believe she was about 3 weeks old when I put them on her seat. Mr. Man was getting ready to leave, and I knew I wanted something to keep her preoccupied while I drove us wherever we needed to be. She still plays with these, and they have never fallen off of her seat! 

3. This panda was an immediate hit with her. She loves music, and each limb plays music. She loved to stare at it and always smiled when I made it play music. I think it was because it was black and white. This is another toy that she definitely still adores now.

4. Out of all the rattles we had, this one was her favorite. I really think it was because of the squiggly shape that the wires were. They were so easy to grab. This was the first rattle that she actually made rattle, too. She doesn't play with many rattles any more, but I do leave some in the diaper bag and car to occupy her when we are driving or out in public doing things. She does still play with them, but not inside the house. 

5. These little guys were also an immediate hit with her. She loved that she could grab them and they were soft too. They also rattle. She loved the blue elephant. It was one of her first toys that she really thought was just too awesome to let her eyes off of. It stayed connected to her playmat for a long while. She does still play with these toys, too. Again, mostly when we are out and about or in the car. 

We were blessed with the amount of gifts we received from our showers. We need not purchase any of these ourselves, but I know they are all available on Amazon. I am sure you could find them at Walmart and/or Target. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine's Day

Baby A's first Valentine's Day!! 
She LOVES that sing-a-ma-jig. 
And we went out to eat lunch with a friend while Mr. Man worked hard! 
On a happy note, Mr. Man did get home before 8pm. That was our gift! 
We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. This is only our second together - he's been gone for the others.
Maybe that's why? 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Snow Day (A week ago)

Last week we had a lot of snow come over. Well, not as much as Alaska, but enough for us to play in. It was Baby A's first snow here at the house, so we wanted to get out and enjoy it. Everything on base was shut down and they stopped people from driving on all the bases around us. We were stuck at home, so we decided to take Mr. Buttons out to the field to run around. Mr. Man also finally got the opportunity to fly his remote control airplane that he got for Christmas. It is pretty cool. It has a camera and such. We went out to the field and Baby A was so curious about the airplane. She watched it very closely. She loved being outside and in the snow. Of course, Mr. Buttons went running everywhere and got lost doing his own thing. Once Baby A started to get tired, we took her back home. I went inside and put her to bed and Mr. Man began working on the snowman. I wanted to build one to get some pictures with Baby A, which ended up not happening. Once I put the baby down for her nap, I went outside to help Mr. Man with the snowman. We made a very big one!! And of course, once that was finished, Mr. Man thought we needed to have a snowball fight. He also body slammed me into the snow. Well, it was fun. I'm not going to lie. But anyone who knows me, knows that I am not really excited about doing all of that in blue jeans. I learned my lesson 2 years ago when my whole body was snow burnt red from being cold... but I couldn't feel it? Anyway, this year I was safe and it was fun. Here's some pictures.

*Beware - loads of pictures.