Thursday, June 30, 2016

Will is Three!

Will turned THREE on June 9 and we have been celebrating ever since! He is totally into birthdays now, making the day extra special. Several days before the big day he woke up asking if it was his birthday yet- he was so excited! 

I cannot believe that little Will is 3. Two is still so little but're like a full blown KID. It seems like such a grown up age and he really has grown up so much in the past year. He is seriously so much fun and our best little friend. Conversations are hilarious and I want to write down all of the funny things that he is saying. I feel like his vocabulary multiplies daily! 

Will continues to be obsessed with ALL THE ANIMAL THINGS. He especially loves farm animals and he hums Old McDonald practically in his sleep! His animal collection is a little out of control and seems to grow by the week. He is also a big fan of Paw Patrol! His faithful sidekick still remains as (Curious) George and Real Lovie (his blue monkey lovie).

Will's energy is insane and he is just the happiest boy. He's starting to have his own sense of humor and loves to watch us respond to his crazy self. He is nonstop fun. He loves to run around the yard with Wrigley and could literally go for HOURS. He still loves his golf clubs, his soccer ball and his new bat and tee that he got for his birthday. Mark is already doing his job in raising Will as a little athlete! 

From the time Will was a teeny babe, we read so much to him and to this day reading is one of his favorite activities. We read a dozen books a day, and then some. His favorites rotate, but these days he's into his Thomas books and The Cow Loves Cookies. Surprise surprise. The Pout Pout Fish is a current fave and Little Blue Truck is an oldie that we always go back to. 

The biggest event in Will's third year was definitely the arrival of his baby sister! Maybe I had low expectations but Will's transition from being an only child was really so much easier than I expected. He loves little Kate so much and it's funny to imagine what he was like without her. Watching him grow as a big brother has been the best thing and each day is sweeter as we watch their relationship develop. I'm so proud of him and the way that he loves her. 

I could go on and on about my miniature mister. There is just so much to love.

His sweet soul and happy ways make our world shine bright. He is the best little boy ever and we love him so very much. 

Happy third birthday, little Will! We love you! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Faves

Summer days are my favorite. As each season rolls around I say "oh this is my favorite!", but I really mean it about Summer. Summer, I love you.

The great salad debate of Charlotte seems to be Chopt vs. Crisp. I had my first Crisp salad this week and I have to say, they have the superior salad.  I'm officially on their side. SO FREAKING GOOD. 

My favorite beach wrap towels from Pottery Barn Kids are on sale right now! I just scooped up this flamingo print for Kate.

La Croix's newest flavor, Tangerine, tastes like Summer in a can. 

Snapchat! I have embraced it fully and I LOVE it. Also, I want the flower crown filter in real life. 

This is the sweetest little children's book- one of my favorites that was given to Kate as a gift before she was born. 

Charlotte locals- if you ever see Wooden Robot's Good Morning Vietnam on tap, GET IT. It's a Coffee Vanilla Blonde Ale and it's one of the best beers I've ever had.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sausage + Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This is hardly a fancy dinner post and the photo doesn't do dish justice, but easy and healthy dinners are worth documenting- and sharing! I made these sausage + veggie stuffed sweet potatoes the night before I did a weekly grocery shopping haul so this dinner really came from nothing! I surveyed the kitchen to see what I had and this is what I came up with. Baking sweet potatoes and stuffing them with a protein and some veggies is a great way to use up your produce from the week. I almost always have some sort of sausage in the freezer so I pulled that out, too. A little cheese on top is a tasty addition when you place the stuffed potatoes under the broiler but you can leave that off to make this a Paleo/Whole 30 compliant meal! We loved this!

Sausage + Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 Sweet potatoes, baked
2 cups broccoli, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 links mild Italian sausage 
1/2 cup marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash potatoes, dry and poke holes all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1-1.5 hours, or until potatoes are soft. 

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil (a few swirls of the pan). Cook sausage and break apart while cooking. Once sausage is cooked, add garlic and onions and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add remaining veggies and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add marinara and stir to combine.

Cut potatoes down the middle and mash the inside with a fork. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with sausage and veggies and a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Shawarma- Spiced Grilled Chicken with Garlic Yogurt

I snapped this photo and posted it on Instagram the night I made it. I tagged Skinnytaste, hoping she would see it and what do you know...I was her regram of the day! Giada replied to a tweet once and you know what? This was just as great! A social media shining moment for sure and a fun way to connect with one of my favorite bloggers! That's the fun thing about social media.

Skinnytaste never fails me and is one of the very first food blogs that I ever started reading. Her recipes and fresh and mostly simple and perfect for weeknight dinners. This recipe is packed with TONS of flavor and the chicken marinade will be one of my new go-tos when we grill chicken. This would be the perfect chicken to grill a lot ahead of time and eat throughout the week on salads for lunches! 

I cannot express my love for this recipe enough. The spices are complex and great for Summertime grilling. I topped my chicken on a bed of chopped romaine, cucumbers and grape tomatoes and served baby roasted red potato wedges and grilled onions on the side, with a friendly helping of the garlic yogurt on top! 

Shawarma- Spiced Grilled Chicken with Garlic Yogurt
recipe from Skinnytaste

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Garlic Yogurt-
1 7oz. container of 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
chopped parsley, for garnish

Place chicken breasts in a ziploc bag.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices and pour into the bag with the chicken. Move the chicken around in the bag to coat it in the marinade. Refrigerate and marinate for 3 hours, up to overnight. 

Over medium- high heat, grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes after cooking before serving. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Faves: Baby Edition

I've had my eyes on these pom pom bins from Petit Pehr for months now and I finally gave one of them a home in Miss Kate's nursery. LOVE. 

Freshly Picked had one of two major sales of the year last week and I grabbed a gold pair for the little one. 

The mesh feeders are a pain to clean and I am excited to give this Kidsme one a try! 

Kate LOVES these Chewbeads. They stay clipped onto her carseat for on the go play. 

If you have a baby girl and love bows as much as we do, check out Little Poppy Co. for their monthly bow subscription! Three bows, every month, for $11.99!

I am loving all of the new patriotic designs from Honeybee Tees

My favorite online kids boutique, Sugar Bit, is offering FREE SHIPPING today only for National Donut Day! Use code: DONUT