LIFE + STYLE BLOG

Friday, March 28, 2014

5 on Friday


//one//
Last night we had our first big thunderstorm of the Spring season and with it came hail. Living in the midwest, hail is pretty common as evidenced by our ability to quickly move our patio table and umbrella to the covered part of our porch. But you guys, this was A LOT of hail. All of this fell within 2 minutes. Of course Ben and J were outside watching it fall and then collecting it when it stopped. Jack on the other hand was not a fan. Loud, frozen ice falling from the sky is apparently a little scary to a 9 month old. 

//two//
Last weekend we went to dinner and it was Jack's first time sitting in a big boy high chair at a restaurant. Normally we keep him in his car seat (he usually sleeps) but he's not having that anymore. This was the best picture I could get because he was so busy looking around at everyone and everything.

//three//
All my tumblers were in the dishwasher as I was heading out the door one morning so I did what any good mom would do and stole borrowed my 5 year old's Spiderman one.

//four//
Speaking of 5 year olds, this is how I found him playing Wii U the other night after his bath. Have you ever seen a cuter Lion playing Wii?

//five//
I am in a spring cleaning mood and want to tackle our entire house this weekend! Too much at once? Ok, maybe just the upstairs? Of course, Pinterest is full of ideas, tips, and tricks.
1234

Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope it's a great one!

Happy Friday!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No Fuss Creamy Potato Soup {With Bacon}

I've been on the search for that perfect Potato Soup recipe for several years now. I've tried a couple different recipes, but the soups always come out a little too watery. Other recipes have looked amazing, but they've had a huge list of ingredients and that just wasn't going to happen.

SO, you can imagine my excitement when I came across Jennifer's recipe for Potato Soup. I've tried some of her other recipes and have yet to be disappointed. After looking the recipe over, I decide to give it a few tweaks, while still maintaining Jennifer's foundation for a great and easy soup. I present to you...

What You'll Need:
-1/2 bag or 16oz Frozen Hashbrowns (tiny chopped pieces, not shredded) 
-2 cans Cream of Chicken
-2 1/2 soup cans full of milk
-8oz container of French Onion dip
-1/2 stick butter
-6 slices of bacon and the fat after cooking
-1 c cheddar cheese + extra for topping

One of the 2 big changes I made to the original recipe was to use chopped frozen hash browns vs shredded. By using chopped, you get little chunks of potatoes without all the work of chopping and peeling the real thing.

In a large pot or dutch oven, add butter. Once the butter is melted, add milk, cream of chicken, and container of french onion dip.

Once smooth and incorporated, add the hash browns and cheese. CHEESE. The other change I made to the recipe because every potato soup needs lots of cheese. Stir until melted.
While the cheese is melting, cook bacon until crispy, making sure to save the fat. Once the cheese is melted, crumble bacon and add it to the pot along with the leftover bacon fat. Bad for you yes, but it gives the soup a great smoky, bacon-y flavor.

Give it several good stirs, cover, and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes. 

Garnish with cheese, chives, bacon, or whatever else floats your boat. This soup's also great the next day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jack {9 Months}

This month marks the time that you've been with us on the outside for just about as long as you were on the inside of my belly:)

My oh my how much has changed in the past 9 months!
Let's start with all the big milestones. You are pulling up on everything...even our legs if we are standing still. You are also standing without holding on to anything for several seconds at a time. The biggest milestone perhaps is that you are walking behind your push lion toy. You crawl over to it, pull yourself up, and take off walking and pushing that thing around. You no longer army crawl and instead take off at lightening speed on all fours.
You're 2 big top teeth finally poked through a few days after you turned 8 months. They're still not all the way in, but those big choppers help you eat real food so much better.
You prefer table food over baby food and you'd much rather have real fruits and vegetables than the purred stuff, and I don't blame you! You're still obsessed with the Dole All Natural Mandarin Oranges fruit cups, but also like peaches, bananas, and strawberries. We usually go the mixed vegetable route, but carrots and green beans seem to be a favorite. You also tried turkey deli meat and like it pretty well. And just like your brother, you love cheese. You still take around 5, 6oz bottles per day, but I'm going to increase that to 7oz this month. You usually wake up twice in the middle of the night and take a bottle each time. Sometimes you eat it all and other times you only eat half. I know at this age you are fully capable of sleeping all night without eating, so night time weaning is coming.
Saturday night we began sleep training, but I'm still un-decided about the whole thing, which method to use, night time weaning, etc. Since you have been eating in the middle of the night, I want to make sure we don't just quit cold turkey. On Saturday night, you took an 8oz bottle, and went to bed at 8:30pm. You woke up around 11:30pm, cried for 8 minutes and then fell back asleep until 1:30am. From 1:30am until 2:30am you cried off and on, sometimes just whimpering, other times full fledged screaming. At 2:30am, I gave you a bottle since it had been 6 hours since your last one and I'm unsure what to do about the night time weaning. You took the entire thing, slept until 6:00am, had another small bottle, and then slept until 7:30am. I want to talk to your pediatrician before we decide to go full steam ahead with CIO, but if waking up twice a night is the worst thing you do, I can live with that!
Even though you're not sleeping through the night, naps are going very well. You still take 2 good naps during the day, and depending on how early in the afternoon your second nap was, you may take a third little cat nap in the car on the way home from preschool.
You've moved up to size 3 Pampers and wear 9m, 6-12m, and 12m clothes. You're pretty long so  pants, jammies, and one piece outfits usually require a size up.
You're a little jabber monster and talk and squeal all the time. Dada is still your favorite word to say, but you also say mama, uh-oh, and hi/hey. You also make several sounds including ya ya, ga ga, ba ba, and several where I have no idea what you're saying.
Although this month has been filled with lots of fun, it also marked you're first real sickness. Last month we battled a nasty little cold (thanks to the start of daycare), but this month brought a horrible cough, ear infection, fever, and that darn runny nose again. One night your fever got to 102.9 and you had barely had one wet diaper all day so we took you to the ER. They monitored you, gave you lots of Pedialite, and made sure you peed, then sent us on our way. I felt so bad for you, but even being sick you were a pretty darn good baby and extra cuddly, which of course I didn't mind.
And last but not least, this month has marked the beginning of some separation anxiety. We haven't really seen it at school yet, but definitely at home if I leave the room. If I'm doing dishes or putting laundry away, you follow me wherever I go like a little dog. I'm not gonna lie, I love that you love me so much, but I think it hurts daddy's feelings a little bit. You will often crawl around him or through his legs to get to me:)
I can't wait to see what this next month has in store for you little man. I love you so so much!
Friday, March 21, 2014

5 on Friday


Happy Friday Friends! Yesterday was the first day of Spring and it felt just like it! Something about warm, sunny weather seems to put everyone in a good mood. Here's this week's 5.

//one//
We had Ben's kindergarden registration last week and he was so excited to see the classroom and especially all the toys. He also wrapped up soccer lessons and he asks me almost everyday when he can do them again. When did my baby become so big?!?

//two//
Ever since re-pinning this recipe, I've been thinking about making this beef enchilada dip. Doesn't it look so good! The best part? You probably already have all the ingredients you need on hand.

//three//
Last week I posted about my new GroopDealz scarf and not long after it arrived my GroopDealz necklace was also waiting for me in a nice little package.

//four//
I've been obsessed with GAP's kids clothes lately. I've found some awesome deals for both boys. We're taking jeans for $7! They're having a Spring Break sale that ends today where select styles are up to 50% off. I'm loving all of these.
All images from GAP website

//five//
And last, but certainly not least. I can not stop thinking about and watching the news coverage on the missing Malaysian plane. The whole thing is heartbreaking. Even though the chances of anyone surviving whatever happened to that plane are slim, you know the families of the passengers are hanging on to that last little bit of hope that comes with the unknown. I pray that the families will get answers to their questions and find peace in whatever the outcome may be.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weekend Recap

I wish I could say our entire weekend was fantastic, but poor little Jack just cannot get over being sick. He still had a little bit of a fever yesterday so my mom watched him during the day as well as today just to make sure he was on the mend.

Friday night I went to trivia night for a no-kill animal shelter. It was a lot of fun and we did SO much better than last year coming in 3rd from last instead of 2nd from last. At least it's an improvement.

Saturday morning Jack went to the Dr. after running a fever all night and not sleeping. Turns out he has an ear infection and was put on some antibiotics. All day Saturday he was my little cuddle bug. 
After giving him lots of juice, Pediatlite, and tylenol all day, Saturday night at about 11:00 he had a 103 degree fever and was just miserable. He also had had barely one wet diaper in the past 12 hours. I decided to take him to the ER to make sure he wasn't dehydrated.
2 hours later after more Pedialite, a nurse who sucked the crap out of his nose, and a wet diaper we were allowed to go home. I was so relived he didn't need an IV.

Sunday we laid around in our jammies, and Ben and I went to a birthday party for one of the little girls in his class at school. It was a Frozen party at The Little Gym so Ben was in heaven.

We ended the weekend by installing the baby gate on the stairs now that Jack is a wild man and it was early bed times for everyone.

How was your weekend?

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Little Leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

5 on Friday


I know I complained about how February dragged on, but March needs to slow the heck down. I can't believe the month is almost half over already.

//one//
Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous with temps in the 80's. After making the kids stay inside Monday night since I'm still getting over this awful cold/cough/most annoying sickness ever/ I put on my girl panties Tuesday to enjoy the fluke, beautiful weather. Ben enjoyed some Orange Leaf and soccer outside, while Jack and I chilled on a blanket and watched. Both boys were in heaven.
And in true Missouri fashion, it snowed yesterday morning.

//two//
Natalie over at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers posted this adorable bathing suit. I don't know how I feel about paying $150 for a suit, but it might just be worth it. That bow!

And speaking out bathing suits... I'm sure you all have heard about the Target photoshopping disaster. If not, take a look.

This E! article is by far my favorite commentary about the whole debacle. My favorite quotes from the author include:
"The last question you should be asking yourself when you're cruising Target's website and looking at pictures of the models showcasing the clothes is: "Where is her vagina?"
and 
"Girl, there are spikes coming out of your skin! Get that checked out. What's the prognosis for jagged edges popping out of your body?"

//three//
A few weeks ago I posted about a scarf I ordered off Groop Dealz. Well it finally came, and although I wish it was a little thicker and chunkier, I love the color and the fact that it's an infinity scarf.

I also tried on this scarf my friend Julie got me. I love the colors and it just screams SPRING! (Picture me saying that in my best Oprah voice SPA-RI-IINNNGGGG)

//four//
Getting all the salt, grime, and snow of the car at the car wash feels awesome. Ben insisted it would be even more awesome with a slush. You know what's not awesome? The person in front of us who thought it was a good idea to go through the wash with a huge piece of equipment in his truck bed causing the line of 20 cars behind him to back up even more when it got tangled in the machine.

//five//
Tonight I am headed to a Trivia night for a local no kill animal shelter. Last year's was a blast even though I think we came in 2nd to last. I'm looking forward to having a few cocktails, trying not to adopt one of the ADORABLE puppies that are sure to be there, and sharing my knowledge of useless crap.

Happy Friday!
Thursday, March 13, 2014

Where We've Been & A St. Patty's Recipe LinkUp

Jack and I have been under the weather for the past week now. Last Friday I took him to the Dr. to rule out croup after he was up every hour Thursday night coughing and sounding like a barking dog when he cried. 

Thankfully it's just an upper respiratory virus and he's on the mend, but I'm still hacking away. I know I'm annoying everyone around me by coughing-heck, I'm annoying myself. I started a Z-pack on Monday so I'm hoping what I have is some sort of bacterial thing and will go away. I'm tired of having to take my nightly shot of NyQuil. (No really, we lost the measuring cup so I take it out of a shot glass). Cheers to the Quil!

The worst part of this cold is that I missed out on seeing my best friend and her sweet little nuggets this weekend:(

And even though I'm late on getting this posted, I'm participating in a little St. Patty's recipe link-up with Natasha. I found this SUPER easy recipe on Pinterest and plan to make these this weekend along with my blog partners recipe.



Friday, March 7, 2014

5 on Friday


Happy first 5 on Friday on the month!

//one//
I can't believe Daylight Savings is this weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love the extra daylight, but when you have kids DST is the devil. Obviously whoever had the brilliant idea to change our clocks twice a year didn't have to deal with getting children to sleep...or them waking up at the butt crack of dawn.

//two//
When Greek yogurt first became super popular several years ago I was definitely afraid to jump on the bandwagon. It didn't help that people compared the plain flavor to sour cream. Ew. After several recommendations, I started eating the Chobani brand-strawberry or pomegranate, but never plain and never another brand. Fast forward a few years and several commercials for this yogurt, and I'm hooked. It's not quite as thick as Chobani and who doesn't love cheesecake. And unlike other flavored yogurts, this once doesn't have a weird aftertaste.

//three//
I've started using mousse in Jack's hair and spiking it a little in the front. I love how cute he looks, but it also makes him look much more like a little man than a baby.

//four//
A month ago I bought a military style jacket, but just got around to wearing it last weekend. It's something I would normally shy away from wearing, but I'm proud of myself for stepping outside the box. And yes, I have GOT to find a better place to take pictures.

//five//
This weekend one of my besties, Meghan will be in town and I can't wait! It's been far too long! She has an adorable little boy who is 2 and a precious baby girl who is a few months younger than Jack. Ben is just as excited as I am to have them over and play. 
(Both knocked up at a friends wedding last April)


Have a wonderful weekend friends!