Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Granny Betty's Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Before THIS chicken salad sandwich, I would never eat them. Something about canned chicken, that smelled like tuna...I just couldn't. But this chicken salad of my top 5 favorite foods. It's that good. Nothing fancy. No grapes (wtf). Just yumminess.

My best friend's granny, Betty (hence the name), made this for her at her baby shower and I knew I had to re-create it. I asked Granny for her recipe and you can imagine my nervousness when she replied, "oh a little of this and a little of that directions." I need measurements people. I do well with measurements. So while this may not be her exact recipe, I tweaked a few things and I still think it's amazing. And you'll survive without exact measurements.

What You'll Need:
-1 whole rotisserie chicken. (This is key people)
-Miracle Whip (Do not be afraid if you don't like it. I don't, but it works in this recipe)
-Celery Seed
-Pecans or Walnuts
-Dollar sandwich rolls or Sweet Hawaiian Rolls

Start by shredding, then finely chopping the chicken. I only use the white meat, but use the whole darn thing if you want.

Place the chopped chicken in a bowl, then add equal parts mayo and miracle whip. No exact measurements on this, but you can handle it. Smart with small amounts and if you like your salad creamier, add more. I start with 1/4 c. of each to begin with then usually add more.

Throw in a handful of finely chopped pecans or walnuts, again-add more if you like it really nutty (TWSS), then add about 1/2 tsp celery seed.

You can eat this right away, but it's even better if you let it sit in the refrigerator a couple of hours. It's hard to wait though. Really hard. Serve on rolls and enjoy!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blessing Bags (Teaching Your Child to Give Back)

There are many things I wish for my children. Way too many things to list on this blog. But at the top of that list is my desire for them to be loving, compassionate, and kind. To understand that they are blessed beyond measure and that going through life thinking only about themselves is no way to live.

It's never too early to teach your children about giving back. When Ben started whining about Disney World and why we couldn't go back every year, I explained to him that some kids will never get the chance to go. And in his innocent, 4 year old little mind, he just couldn't comprehend that. And yet another teachable moment occurred. 

J and I are blessed. We both have great jobs, a wonderful home, loving family and friends, and 2 boys who we want to never take advantage of what they have. In an effort to teach Ben about giving back to those who have less or sometimes nothing at all, he and I created "blessing bags" one weekend.

I had a ton of sample and travel size toiletries that were just taking up space under the bathroom counter so I decided it was time to put them to use. (I may also want to teach my children not to be hoarders of all things mini size)

We started by separating the items into girl and boy piles (note the plate and blue Gatorade lip stain-making bags is hard work and requires snacks)

Then he labeled each bag accordingly

And put the items in the bag

To make it a little more personal, Ben colored pictures and signed his name before throwing them in the bags too

We also added some premade cracker packs and Capri Suns. In the end, I think we made 4 boy bags and 3 girl bags. 
We keep these bags in our car and if we see a homeless person or person needing help, we give them a bag. And unlike naive and innocent Ben, I realize not all those with a sign are without a home and some people do just want money. But I'm choosing to teach my child that we help and give, without judgement. Maybe they will just throw the bag away when he drive off, maybe they will eat the food and use the deodorant, or maybe they will see the hand drawn spiderman by a 4 year old and it will spark something in them-that's MY 4 year old naive innocence coming out. Ben will have his whole life to become jaded by the world and people around him, but for now, we just give.

*Note. We never get out of the car to give the bags out. I roll down the window and hand it to the person, but always in daylight and always in areas where there are lots of other cars around-usually when we are stopped at a traffic light. It's great to give, but safety should always be the first priority.
Friday, October 25, 2013

5 on Friday

I missed 5 on Friday last week and am so glad to be back!

I got my hair done last week and went darker and shorter. J loves it, I love it, and it is so much easier and faster to style. A win all around.

This picture makes me SO happy. Ben is such a great big brother!

A few weekends ago we went a local pumpkin patch and took the obligatory fall family photo. I can't wait to go again next year and see just how much the boys will have changed.

It doesn't get much better than a sleeping baby in footy pajamas.

I just can't deal with this. On my way to a client Wednesday, it started lightly sleeting for about 3 minutes. That better not happen again anytime soon.

We have a couple fun things going on this weekend including a basketball game, pumpkin carving, and my niece is in the Homecoming parade! SO proud of her and can't wait to see her marching down the street!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jack {4 months}

My sweet, sweet Jack. Monday you turned 4 months. Before I know it you will be 6 months and then a year. And then I'll be doing a big ugly cry in the corner.
This month brought with it your first little illness and sick visit to the doctor. You broke out in a rash/bumps on your body, but after a dose of antibiotics and a switch to Aveeno baby products your skin cleared right up! At the doctor's visit you weighed in at 13.4 lbs. up 3 lbs since your last weigh in! We will know your official 4 month weight at your well child check up next week.
You are in size 1 diapers during the day and size 2 at night-you were consistently leaking through the 1s. We still have a lot of size 1's left, but I'm thinking we may have to go ahead and move you up to the 2's. You wear 3 month, 3-6 month, and some 6 month clothing depending on the brand. There were A LOT of 3 month outfits that you never wore or only wore once before you outgrew them.
You continue to be the most smiley baby I have ever met. All I have to do is look at you and you grin from ear to ear. It melts my heart! For the most part you wake up in a great mood and just lay and talk to yourself in the crib until I come get you. When I look down at you in the crib you get the BIGGEST smile on your face. Your brother is usually right behind me greeting you as well if he hasn't already beat me to it.
You eat every 2.5-4 hours (on average every 3) and take 5 ounces at a time. Before bed you take a 6 ounce bottle. You were sleeping great and only waking up once in the night, but lately you have been getting up every couple hours. Although it could be worse, I hope you go back to sleeping all night. Lots of people say babies go through a 4 month sleep regression so hopefully this is short lived. I really can't complain though since you go to bed around 6:45 in the evening, wake up to eat and go right back to sleep. You usually sleep until 7:45 or 8:00 am or until big brother starts being extra noisy:)
Your naps very day to day. Sometimes you only take 30 minute cat naps, other days you nap for a couple of hours. When your meemaw watches you you seem to take better naps than you do on the two days a week you go to daycare.
The biggest accomplishment of all this month? You are sleeping in your own crib and you no longer have to be swaddled!!!! I prepared myself for several sleepless nights when we made the transition, but you took it like a champ and I think you are glad to be free from your baby straight jacket.
You still love bath time, but as soon as you get out you know that it's jammies, bottle, and bed. If I don't dry you off fast enough and get you all snuggly you get MAD. And fast. You also do this little half whine, half grunt sound in the middle of the night when you're hungry. It makes me laugh out loud.
This must be the month of new things because you suddenly decided you also love the pacifier. Only one specific brand-The Mam, but I'll go with it. Sometimes it's just what you need to calm down and I love rocking you and watching your little lips move. You've got the front to back roll down so well that every time I try to do tummy time with you you roll right on over. You're working on rolling from your back to your tummy and the other day you were all the way on your side and almost had it. You've also started sitting in your Bumbo seat for little bits of time.
You make all kinds of new sounds including the "mmmm" sound and I swear it sounds like mommy. I always knew you were a genius. But just in case that's not what you're saying, we'll keep working on it.
I love you more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Well hello.

Between work life, life life, and a short lived but nasty little cold that managed to hit everyone in our family but baby Jack (knock on wood), blogging has taken a back seat. But, I'm back and despite being busy, I managed to snap a few pictures along the way so I could be sure to document our memories. 

Until tomorrow, I'll leave you with these words...

These last two are my favorite:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Staples

I found this cute clothing checklist but can't seem to remember where. This is a great idea for anyone looking to build their wardrobe.

I have a lot of these essentials but still need a few things: trench coat, straw hat, colorful skinny belt, as well as some pearls. And a black bikini and cotton mini. But let's face it, 3 months after having a baby is not the time to be adding those to my closet.

What do you need to complete your classic essentials?
Friday, October 11, 2013

5 on Friday

This week was a crazy one for sure! The weekend will be a much needed break with nothing on our calendar except the pumpkin patch on Sunday. Linking up with Carolina Charm for this week's 5 on Friday.

1. Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! This awesome diffuser and earrings are up for grabs!

2. I went to a work dinner last night for an insurance company that we contract with. It was at a nice restaurant here in town and the food was awesome. We had a choice between the chicken, salmon, or filet, drinks, appetizers, and what we all agreed was one of the best cheesecakes ever. The best part? The insurance company payed the bill:)

3. Sweet Kate over at Seriously Kate nominated me for the Sunshine Award earlier this week. I will be answering her questions in a post next week. You all should check out her blog; she is one of the sweetest people and her posts always leave me saying, "I can totally relate!"

4. I-70 runs through our city and one of the biggest exits and intersections off of I-70 is closed for the next couple of days. This also happens to be the exit to our mall, my work, and the boy's daycare. I can't wait to join all the other thousand people or so this morning trying to find an alternate route.

"Did you say the government looks like they might finally be reaching a solution to the shutdown?"


Happy Friday!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Sleeping in his crib. Finally.

After 3 months of sleeping in his swing, I finally moved Jack to his crib this weekend. And guess what? It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. 

And before you get all safety police and judge-y, he was perfectly safe. Our swing is very deep and has the option to rock side to side which is what we used. He wasn't going anywhere.

The next thing we are going to tackle is the swaddle. I think it's time since this is what I'm waking up to. And ya'll, I wrap that sucker tight.

If you have any tips for getting your baby to sleep without the swaddle let me know!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Birthday Surprise

Apparently I turned 50 on my birthday. 
Too bad J is only 32. Looks like we won't be taking advantage of that free spouse/partner membership.

I think I look pretty good for 50.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catching Up & Our First Fall Festival

How was everyone's weekend?

Although ours was pretty productive, it still feels like I got nothing done when I looked at my to do list and could only cross off 3 things. Does this happen to anyone else? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Last week Ben had his well child check-up and they decided to go ahead and give him the shots he'll need for kindergarten as well as the flu shot. He was not happy. Along with the shots came a nice little fever that afternoon. 102.8 to be exact. He stayed home with J on Thursday and was back to his squirrelly, fever free self. Wouldn't you know I got a call from school Friday afternoon that he had a fever again. Despite the fever he seemed to be feeling fine so we made the decision to go ahead and go to our first fall festival of the season. I'm so glad we did because he never had any other symptoms and the fever never returned. Vaccines are just like women. Can't live with em, shouldn't live without em:)

Running the bases at the cake walk.

His favorite part!

It takes true talent to pick a pumpkin with one hand and hold a sucker in the other.

Jack doing what he does best. Sitting in the stroller, eating his hands.

Saturday was rainy and cold so we spent the day at home as a family. Ben tattled to daddy at least 5 times that I said we were staying home all day. Apparently the trip to the grocery and bank that morning didn't count. That kid loves to be busy. 

Sunday I took my poor, sheltered for a day 4 year old to Chuck E. Cheese. Yes, I'm awesome.

And after a gallon of sanitizer, a shower, and some dinner we all went to bed early.