Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Weekly Eats: Week of August 22, 2016

Popping in today to share our weekly menu since I haven't in awhile! I've been trying to make one new recipe a week to keep it fresh and add more favorites to the list! It's so easy to get in a rut so I usually keep a running list of recipes I want to try on my phone so that it's easy to access when I sit down to meal plan for the week. Keeping it fresh and healthy this week! 

Grilled Skirt Steak  + Avocado Chimichurri and Roasted Veggies

Quinoa Taco Bowls 

Zoodles and Sauce

The Pizza Spaghetti Pie is my new recipe for the week and I'm anxious to try it! Quinoa tacos bowls couldn't be easier! I just start with a pile of chopped romaine and a few heaping spoonfuls of quinoa. I layer on tomatoes, sauteed onions, avocado, lean ground beef seasoned with Joe's Stuff and any other fresh veggies I have on hand. Finish with the squeeze of a lime- it's so tasty! The sauce from Rachel Ray's Gran'pa Emmanuel's Macaroni with Sausage and Cannelini is such an old favorite. I love it with Zoodles and it's easy to make on a weeknight.

Any new healthy recipes you have to share!? I'd love to try! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday Faves


I can't believe the Olympics are coming to an end this weekend. That was a fast two weeks! We really have been watching around the clock and I might go into a little funk when they're over. The stories and the athletes have been so inspiring and Michael Phelps's last interview totally made me tear up. 

I'm totally not into casseroles but this Pizza Spaghetti Pie has been highly recommended and is on our menu for next week! 

So is this Loaded Greek Quinoa Salad. (and I'm totally into quinoa salads)

Smoothies and Protein Shakes have been my go to breakfast all Summer and this Brownie Batter Protein Shake is next.

More playroom dreams. I can't wait to make this space a reality!

This desk space is dreamy

Thinking of checking out a brewery or two this weekend! Free Range is on my list and supposedly super kid friendly! 

Only a few weekends left of Sweet Summertime. Enjoy them! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Favorite Apps for Baby + Toddler

As much as I hate to admit, there are snippets of technology that just make my life as a mom easier. I love hearing what apps other moms love, so I'm here today to share mine. What did our parents do when we were young!? How did our moms track feedings or know when we should nap. And did they even know what a "leap" was!?

The Wonder Weeks ($1.99)- I swear this app made it seem like there was a hidden camera in my house! It was recommended to me by several friends after Will was born and I've loved having it to reference again with Kate. This app tracks the mental leaps that babies make and the information is so, so helpful. Baby's age is calculated in the app based on his/her due date. Whenever something would seem "off" with Will or Kate, this was my first reference. The "leap alarms" seemed to always come when I feel like I'm about to lose all patience. By far one of my most favorite baby apps! 

Moms on Call Scheduler ($3.99)- This app is a great guideline for getting your baby on a schedule. I didn't follow it to a "t", but I was pretty close. It has great sample schedules and basic information like how many ounces baby should be taking, number of naps, etc. I loved this app for a quick reference, especially during the first 6 months when you are just trying to figure it all out. The Moms on Call book was also extremely helpful.  

Johnson & Johnson Bedtime (FREE)- I downloaded this app on a fluke, but it houses Will's favorite version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and it's now Kate's. This is really all that I use it for (the lullabies), but there is also a build in sound machine and a sleep tracking feature. 

iBaby Feed Timer ($4.99)- THE BEST! Another lifesaver when baby is eating ALL. THE. TIME. and your life revolves around tracking feedings. I guess our moms survived without something like this but I'm thankful I didn't have to find out what that was like! The timer is my favorite feature, as well as being able to note which side to start on next if you're nursing. You can also track sleep and diapers.

The Bump (FREE)- This is more a pregnancy app, but also useful after the baby is born. It sends weekly alerts with basic info on baby's milestones and what they may be doing that week. I loved getting weekly updates when I was pregnant and love getting them now as Kate grows up! 

PBS Kids Video (FREE)- This is Will's favorite and easy for him to navigate! I save this for long car rides when necessary. Curious George, Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street...the gang's all here on this one!

Elmo Calls ($1.99)- This one doesn't need to be hooked into wifi and is so fun for kids! Everyone loves Elmo.

YouTube Kids (FREE)- YouTube is my go to for Baby Einstein! Will is also now smart enough to navigate these things on his own and YouTube Kids is a censored version of YouTube that ensures anything he clicks on is kid friendly! 

Reindeer Cam ($0.99)- Because when Christmas rolls around, we like to see what's going on in the North Pole. Seriously though, Will LOVED this last Christmas and I know that he will have even more fun with it this year. 

For educational technology, Will has a LeapFrog epic that he got for Christmas. It's a little advanced for him but there are a few activities on it that he understands and they all teach him something. Additionally, here's a great list of Toddler apps from Parents.com. I'm definitely going to be checking some of these out! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

We are addicted to snack bites in this house. I'm always on the hunt for new recipes to add to our list- we just can't get enough. Perfect for a grab and go breakfast, or an after dinner treat when you need to curb your sweet tooth. I almost always have a batch of some kind of snack bite in our freezer. And Will loves them as much as we do! 

I posted this snack recipe on our gym Facebook and Instagram pages yesterday, but I couldn't leave it off of here! These protein bites are seriously addicting and pack a punch when you're craving something sweet! Any protein powder will work, but using chocolate just makes them extra delicious. Next time, I'm doubling the recipe. Thanks to my friend Allie for inspiring me!  

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bites
recipe from Peanut Butter Fingers

1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup organic old fashioned oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
water, as needed, to soften the mixture

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water by the teaspoon to soften the mixture if needed. Form into balls (about a Tablespoon each), and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Friday Faves (on Saturday)

Who has been watching the Olympics this week!? I just cannot get enough. Swimming, gymnastics, track...I love it all! And can we all agree that Nicole Johnson has the best hair in Rio? #hairgoals. Boomer is pretty cute, too. 

LOVING how Kate's baby book is turning out! I chose the Emily Ley Baby Book for its simple, clean and classic design. 

This Office/Playroom design is really inspiring me as I try to reconfigure some of the spaces in our house! 

Baby purees with meat used to gross me out but my little girlfriend needs her protein and she's been loving chicken with veggies lately! Baby Foodie has been my go to for recipes! 

In case you don't think it's too early for pumpkin beer, and if you're local to Charlotte, Noda now has Gordgeous on tap and it's pretty much my favorite pumpkin beer EVER. 

Chocolate- Tahini Butter. A rare bite I need to try! 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Chopped BLT + Roasted Corn Salad

One of our local breweries already has their pumpkin beer on tap and I am just not ready for that. I love Fall and everything that comes with it, but we have plenty of Summer left and I intend to enjoy it fully. I can't even really get on board with pumpkin madness until the month of October hits. We all want Fall to hurry up so that we can cozy up in our blanket scarves and drink pumpkin spice lattes and cheer on our favorite football teams but we rush it so much that once it's actually here, it rushes by us at an even faster pace. 

If I have learned anything from having kids, it's to savor every moment, big and small and focus on being present. Not wishing for the next holiday, the next event, the next big thing, but rather sitting back, being mindful and just enjoying where you are right now. 

And right now, I'm savoring Summer. I love the hot lazy days with my kids, relaxing at the pool, playground dates and iced coffee in the afternoon. 

This is the ultimate Summer salad and so perfect to whip up on a hot night! I love the addition of roasted corn and this basil vinaigrette tied it all together nicely. And Speaking of roasted corn, did you know that you can roast your corn on the cob, right in the husks in the oven!? Neither did I until this Summer and it's my new favorite way to make it. I don't think it adds any crazy extra flavor, but it's just so easy! Radishes are a new favorite around here and we are loving the extra crunch in our salads. With so many veggies in season right now, you can really add anything you want! I made this salad for lunch today and swapped out the corn for creamy avocado. I didn't hate it.


Chopped BLT + Roasted Corn Salad 

2 ears corn, roasted and cut off the cobb
Chopped romaine hearts
Cherry tomatoes, chopped
English cucumber, chopped
Radishes, chopped
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Basil vinaigrette, recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prep the corn by simply peeling back the husk without removing it, removing the silks, then pulling it back up over the corn. Place cobbs in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes after cooking before removing the husks. Cut the kernels off the the cobb.

While the corn is cooking, cook your bacon and chop up the salad ingredients. Pile them high in your salad bowls! Add corn and top with basil vinaigrette. 

Basil Vinaigrette
recipe from Against All Grain

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and and process/blend until combined.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Spinach, Leek + Mint Greek Pizza

Today, I'm throwing it back to several months ago when this pizza first made its appearance at our weekly Friday night pizza party. I have had this recipe in the que to share with you all for awhile and I'm finally getting around to it! Friday is two days away people...start prepping! 

We don't do homemade pizza every Friday, but when we do, we really try to mix up our topping choices. We have our staples, but it's fun to try new things and find new favorites. 

I saw Giada make this during the foggy newborn days with Kate and made a note to add it to my list of recipes to try. I could not get over the unique combo of flavors and trust me- they work here! The mint is so unexpected and really adds something extra. I love the way everything comes together when you saute it all before topping it on the pizza and popping it in the oven.

Fresh baby spinach is the key here to keeping the pizza from getting soggy while cooking. And there is something better about buying a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself rather than buying it pre-crumbled. Trust me on this one (it's also often times cheaper!). I have yet to try dusting my pizza crust with corn meal, but I think that's on the list for the next time we make homemade pizza. 

Spinach, Leek + Mint Greek Pizza
recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

Pizza dough (half my recipe here, or grab a 1 lb. ball from your local pizza place!)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, pale green and white parts only, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
1 (4oz.) chunk feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup chopped mint
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees.

To prep the topping, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, while stirring frequently, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach in batches, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the feta and mint and gently toss to combine. 

Roll out dough to desired pizza size. Pull pizza stone out of the oven and place dough on top. 

Using the tines of a fork, prick your pizza dough all over. Spread the spinach mixture evenly atop the dough. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.