Friday, September 27, 2013

Little Will- Three Months!

And, just like that, we have a THREE MONTH OLD! How is this possible. I know I say this every month, but the time is seriously flying by. I love Fall and the feeling of the Christmas season approaching, but I hope the time creeps by a bit slower this year because by the time December is here, Will will be a half of a year old. 

Will's third month was FULL of so much fun and some pretty big milestones. At around two and a half months, he started sleeping through the night! He has been consistent ever since and everyone in the Moore house is rested and happy. I cannot begin to express what a game changer this was. In addition to sleeping through the night, he is on a good little daily schedule. 

We thought the two month smiles were great, but the three month smiles are a whole different level. Little Will is just the happiest, smiliest baby! He still loves blowing those bubbles.

He has really started to recognize us and is smiling all the time. His head control is so good and he follows us across the room. It's crazy how much he changes on a day to day basis.

Along with the smiles, he's making so many sweet noises. At times he uses his entire little body to produce the tiniest noise. It's so funny to watch! He's especially talkative when he's laying on the changing table getting his diaper changed or putting his clothes on. I'm surprised he hasn't come close to wiggling off of the dresser yet!

This little boy is the BEST snuggler. He curls up his entire little body and he's in his happy place. 

Bath time might be my favorite time of day! I think little Will is learning to love it, too. (and he loves his hooded towel that I dried off with 28 years ago!)

At the end of August, my Godparents (who live in New York) surprised me with a visit to Charlotte to meet the little nugget. 

It was a wonderful visit and so special to share precious time with them. 

Will also finally got to meet my dear friend Crystal at the beginning of September. It was love at first sight. 

As always, we are loving this new normal and life as a little family. Will is such a little buddy!

William, you make our days so much brighter! Happy 3 months, little one!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chicken, Artichoke + Sundried Tomato Risotto

When the cupboards go bare in our house and a trip to the grocery store is desperately needed, I always seem to get a creative bone to work with what I have. It's like having my own top chef challenge with myself.

Last weekend, our kitchen was literally OUT of all fresh ingredients. After a day full of cleaning, house projects and a baby that requires A LOT of attention, a trip to the grocery store was last on our agenda. I scoured the pantry and freezer to see what we could make into a meal and my Chicken, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Risotto was born- all with staple items that are always in my kitchen.

 We don't eat much pasta or rice around here, but I always keep some arborio rice handy for times like these. Chicken broth is another pantry staple. I've been buying Trader Joe's frozen chicken breast tenders and make sure to always have a bag in my freezer. These little guys are great for stir fries, grilled atop a salad or turned into Giada's Crunchy Parmesan Chicken tenders. They thaw so quickly by just placing in a bowl of warm water from the kitchen faucet. Frozen artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes are the other two must have items in my kitchen- great for salads, tapenades and risotto of course!

Chicken, Artichoke + Sundried Tomato Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
1 large shallot, minced
1 lb. fresh or frozen chicken breast tenders, cut into large chunks
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or 1 can of quartered artichoke hearts)
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (plus more water if needed)
A few turns of the pan of olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Freshly grated parmesan 
Handful of fresh basil

Combine shallots and olive oil In a large French oven or saute pan. (drizzle oil until it just covers the entire bottom of the pan). Heat until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly add chicken broth, a little at a time. Do not let the rice dry out. This is a slow process, but well worth the time and love. The risotto will be nice and creamy when it's done. You may need more than 4 cups of chicken broth. Instead of adding more broth, I just use water, or keep watering down the broth that I'm using until the risotto is done. 

While the risotto is cooking, warm some more olive oil on medium-high heat in a medium saute pan. Add artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes and heat through, about 5 minutes. Remove and add chicken. Saute until chicken is fully cooked.

When the risotto is done, fold in chicken, artichoke- sundried tomato mixture and fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper and finish with grated parmesan.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chia Pudding

The chia seed might be one of my favorite food finds of 2013. I shared my love for chia seeds back in March and have enjoyed experimenting with them ever since! A reader left a comment on my original chia seed post telling me that her favorite way to eat the seeds was in chia pudding. It took me several months, but I finally put the chia pudding to the test and I am addicted. If you like tapioca pudding, there is a good chance you will like this! The texture is very similar. The great thing about this pudding is that it's healthy, filled with tons of nutrients and also satisfies a sweet craving when needed! I have been eating chia pudding for breakfast with fresh berries or in a small cup as an afternoon snack. It's delicious and satisfying!

After browsing several recipes, I determined that the ratio/recipe below seems to be the best and most commonly used. The best part about the pudding "base" is that you can play with flavors to mix it up. My favorite additions right now are cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin pie spice would be an excellent addition for a Fall flavored treat!

Chia Pudding

3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 cup almond coconut blend milk (or milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp. Grade A Dark Maple Syrup
Sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg

In a mason jar, add chia seeds, coconut milk, maple syrup and spices. Whisk to combine and screw the lid on tightly. Shake vigorously for 30-60 seconds. Set jar in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. 

For another natural source of sweetness, try stevia!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

It's Friday and I'm excited to finally link up with my very first Five on Friday post! I love reading through many of these each week and decided it was time that I join the fun. (Thank you for hosting April, Darci, Natasha and Christina!)

Here's what's on my mind this week.


As much as I love Fall and everything that comes with it, I'm a little sad that this Summer is coming to a close. Summer of 2013 will forever hold a special place in my heart since it was the summer that we brought our sweet baby Will into the world! We spent nine months in anticipation of this little lovie...getting our home and our hearts ready to meet this tiny person and this summer was ALL ABOUT HIM. I never want to forget the excitement we felt as we waited for our first baby. We love our little boy so much! As we transition into crisp weather and pumpkin flavored everything, we are looking forward as we continue making more memories with our little family!


Speaking of the little mister, I'm excited to report that he has been sleeping through the night consistently for two weeks now! Needless to say, everyone is smiling in the Moore house. 


You all know by now that I am a huge fan of healthy sides that are quick and easy for weeknight cooking. Skinny Taste wins again with this Skillet Mexican Zucchini! I made this last night and Mark and I both loved it. My friend Ashley suggested adding black beans- a great addition in my opinion! While the zucchini is still in season, make this! 


Our home renovation is FINALLY winding down. We have been under construction since April. April! If we have learned anything through this it's that these projects always, always take longer than anticipated. We are down to countertop and backsplash installation, and detail work like new crown moulding and painting cabinets. In our long quest to find the perfect slab of granite, we were recently introduced to quartz. If you have any experience with this material, or have it anywhere in your home, I would love to hear your thoughts! I love, love, love Carerra Marble but it is so impractical in a kitchen, especially in a kitchen where serious cooking takes place. Many of the quartz options provide the look of marble without the maintenance! I was going to go with a light, creamy granite, but the quartz is so tempting. A crisp white kitchen has always been my dream! I'm also on the hunt for the perfect grayish-taupe color to paint the island. 

{I cannot locate the original source of this photo}


If you are a do it yourself manicure person like me, a good top coat is a must. I used to swear by Essie Good to Go but I have found a new love. This Seche Vite is by far the best topcoat EVER. It goes on smooth, leaves a shiny finish and dries super fast. My nails stay for days. 

Enjoy the weekend everyone!