Embroidery Night with Sophie

Last weekend Sophie invited me over and we had a great night crafting! It was seriously so fun.  We put on a movie and set to work embroidering burp clothes and blankets.  Sophie was a great teacher and had me going in no time.


In the end I embroidered five burp clothes and six blankets. I am seriously so excited!! I wanted to embroider EVERYTHING, but I had to have some self control.  Since we want another baby sometime in the future I thought it might be best if not everything literally had Enolia’s name on it.

Next craft night I think I’ll embroider her special towel and robe.  It’s going to be so fun!!

Chocolate Covered Stawberries 

Recently I decided to make chocolate covered strawberries for the first time in years. It was so much simpler than I expected! It literally called for two ingredients. And took me less than 10 minutes to do. They turned out great and were so easy!

 
To start I washed the strawberries. They were on sale at Publix for $2.50 for an entire carton! After washing I dried them and then picked out the prettiest to use. The rest I packed for Michael’s lunch for the next day.  


Next I got the chocolate ready. I ended up using the Ghirardelli white choclate melting chips. (Less than four dollars after tax). I loved them and it was so simple. Literally I poured them into a glass bowl and microwaved it for thirty seconds. Then stirred it. Then microwaved again for another thirty seconds and it was ready! 

 
From there it’s a simple matter of dipping the strawberries in the chocolate. (You just hold the greenery in your fingers and rotate the strawberry for even coating). Then I laid them to dry on a sheet of aluminum foil- I was out of wax paper but the foil worked just fine! 


Lastly, you just leave them to cool so that the chocolate hardens. Literally less than ten dollars and ten minutes to complete. I also had a bunch of leftover chocolate so I made chocolate covered pretzels too. It was so simple.  

 
I was thrilled with how it turned out. Michael was so impressed (he’s about to read how easy it was though!) I also couldn’t help but get excited when I realized this is going to be the perfect activity to do with the baby when she is older! It’s simple and a fun treat! 

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Last week I decided to search Pinterest for some new dinner ideas. Michael didn’t have any requests, so when I stumbled on a recipe from a blogger, Sweet Dash of Sass, I decided to try her recipe for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells. (Now that’s a long title).
Her recipe called for the following ingredients:

  • 1 jar (16 oz) alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (or mozzaerlla) cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • 21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
  • 1½ – 2 cups spaghetti sauce (optional, but I love the combination of alfredo with tomato sauce!)
  • Salt/Pepper to season (if needed)

 

Here is what I used:

  • Kroger brand Alfredo starter mix
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Barilla Jumble Shells
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Half a head of broccoli
  • Chicken- cooked & shredded (I just eyed how much I thought Michael and I would eat)
  • Three Cheese Spaghetti Sauce (Just enough to line the pan)

I honestly didn’t really look at her directions, but upon further reflection they were easy to follow. However, if you are super unfamiliar with cooking maybe confusing. Here is a breakdown of how I prepared them. (AKA here is where I started to just do what I wanted).

First, I trimmed the fat off of the chicken while I boiled water in a larger pan. When the chicken was prepped and the water was boiling I put the chicken in the pan to boil it. 

While the chicken boiled, I chopped the broccoli and washed it. Then I put it in my rice cooker. It has an option for steaming that makes preparing our veggies super easy! While they steamed (there is a timer that turns it off when they are done) I made the Alfredo sauce. 


Right as the sauce finished the chicken was done boiling.  I put the sauce on a back burner and turned off the heat. Then I strained the chicken and put it in a mixing bowl. I refilled the pot and began boiling the water for the noodles.  

As the noodles boiled I used two forks to shred the chicken.  Then I put the broccoli  and the Alfredo sauce in the bowl, along with the cheddar cheese. I mixed it all together.  


When the noodles were done I drained them and let them cool for a few minutes.  While I waited I poured spaghetti sauce along the bottom of a glass pan.  Then I took the shells and stuffed them with the chicken mixture.  I lined them up along the spaghetti sauce lined pan.  Then baked them for like five minutes on 350 degrees.  

After that they were ready to serve! I like mine plain, but I soooned the spaghetti sauce on top of Michael’s. I put together a fruit salad and dinner was done! It was delicious. We both absolutely loved it.  This is definitely going to become a regular meal.  

Side note: can we talk about how cute my Kate Spade pots & cutting board are?? I also have the pan set & muffin tins.  I’m so obsessed 😍plus, the color almost perfectly matches my Kitchen Aid set.  

Corned Beef Brisket 

This was literally two weeks ago, but I am so excited to finally have the time to share this recipe with y’all!! For Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special. I love going out to eat, but honestly the thought of dealing with an overwhelmed waitstaff, hungry crowds, and bad parking was not appealing to me. So I decided to cook Michael dinner. At first I was at a loss for what to make. I wanted it to be special, not just another night of me cooking. Then I remembered that a few months ago I had asked his Great Grandmother for some of her favorite recipes. I knew Michael hadn’t had them in at least a dozen years, if not more.
Everyone who knows me, knows I am the pickiest eater. However, I pushed that aside for one night and began my adventure of trying to make my first corned beef brisket. It was very intimidating. If we ever eat red meat Michael usually goes and buys it. I hate looking at it, it makes me super squeamish. But I went to the store and one of the employees helped me find what I was looking for!
Here is what you will need:

  • 3-4 lbs corned beef brisket
  • 2 onions quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 turnips (diced)
  • Potatos (diced)
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage (optional)

The recipe starts by putting the meat in a Dutch oven or large pan and then adding enough water until it is submerged. (Note that I halved the recipe listed above)! I added in the bay leaf and the corn beef seasoning that came with the meat and the garlic. Next you bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil you turn it down until it is just simmering.

(Featuring my gorgeous Kate Spade glass cutting board)
From there I let the meat cook for about thirty minutes. Then I added in the potatoes, turnip, and carrots. (All diced). I covered it again and just let it simmer!


In the end it took much googling and a few frantic phone calls but I had everything going!! When Michael got home the first thing he said was how great it smelt! (Ironically I had all the windows open because I felt like it smelt bad!) he was so surprised and crazy excited. It was such a sweet Valentine’s Day surprise!

We sat down to eat and I was so happy to hear that it turned out perfect! Michael gobbled it down. (And took the leftovers for lunch and ate them all). That made me feel like a real winner! I’m so happy that he was happy.

 

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the brisket. The texture of the meat is odd to me. However, I ate a ton of the veggies. The best part is that the smallest piece of meat I could get was over three and a half pounds. It was HUGE for two people! So I cut it in half before starting… the bigger half is in the freezer now. I’ll have to make it again! The gift that keeps on giving haha. I hope you guys try it and let me know if you are with Michael and love it!

Honest Company Prenatal Vitamins

Two weeks ago I switched prenatal vitamins. I decided to try a brand that I absolutely LOVE for everything else.  I started using the Honest Company’s all organic prenatal vitamin. My old ones made me unbearably nauseous. Plus, once I saw the brand I was very excited. If you read my blog you know how much I love the Honest Company (click here to read about their free sample and here to see my dedication to their diapers). I’ve been taking these every night, sometimes with dinner sometimes later, and I haven’t been sick at all. I am so impressed.  The only possible downside would be if you have a hard time swallowing pills… these are GIANT.


One thing I LOVE about this prenatal is that it has folate (vitamin B9).  So to clarify, when you’re pregnant the doctors constantly remind you to get your folic acid in.  Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.  (Which, some people suggest is causing cancer). Folate is naturally found in foods like say spinach or liver (ew to both). So I’m over the moon that this is a better version!

Here is the list of daily values of the different components of the vitamin, based on the recommended amounts for pregnant and lactating women.

  • Vitamin A – 50%
  • Vitamin C – 100%
  • Vitamin D – 350%
  • Vitamin E – 100%
  • Vitamin K – NA, daily value not established Thiamin – 100%
  • Riboflavin – 100%
  • Nacinamide – 100%
  • Vitamin B6 – 1200%
  • Folate – 81%
  • Vitamin B12 – 100%
  • Biotin – 100%
  • Pantothenic – 100%
  • Calcium – 15%
  • Iron – 150%
  • Iodine – 133%
  • Magnesium – 11%
  • Zinc – 100%
  • Selenium – NA, daily value not established
  • Copper – 50%
  • Manganese – NA, daily value not established
  • Chromium – NA, daily value not established
  • Molybdenum – NA, daily value not established

The pills also include their Prenatal Wellness Blend that consists of the following:

  • Organic ginger powder extract
  • Organic spirulina (whole plant) powder
  • Marshmallow (root) powder
  • Plum (fruit) powder

If you’re not impressed then i’m shocked!! I love that these are so chalked full of goodness.  (In comparison, my old prenatal only contained ten of the things listed above). 

You can buy these several different places.  They are available at Target, Amazon, the Honest website, and a dozen other locations.
 

 I am so excited that I decided to try these!(: 

 

Publix’s Baby Club

A few weeks ago I was walking around Publix. In the baby aisle there was a little stack of mail in forms to subscribe to Publix’s Baby Club. I decided to grab one and after forgetting for a few weeks, I finally mailed it in. Probably eight weeks later I ws pleasantly surprised to receive a package in the mail! It was suprisingly heavy. WhenI opened it there were a few things inside. 

  
There was a welcome letter that provided my membership number, as well as explained that members will periodically receive coupons until baby’s second birthday. Also, it informed me that I would receive a newsletter every three months. ( My first news letter was included in the package). There was also a copy of The Complete and Authoritative Guide: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child (Birth to Age 5) by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has ……. pages of….

  
There were also 17 different coupons included inside. Here are a few examples: 
$3 off any one Gerber Good Start Formula 
$1 off any two Gerber items 
free hand sanitizer
free stay Free pads 
Buy one pampers cruiser diapers, get one pampers wipes free

Nursery Accent DIY

We are having a total blast decorating the nursery! While I still have an abundance of energy I am trying to finish some Pinterest craft ideas up. This project was for a wall decoration in the baby’s room! It was an hour project that cost less than $20 to make.

I started by going to Joann’s and picking out a giant cardboard letter. Originally I was going to buy the wooden letters, however I realized that this would be much easier to hang and lighter- in case sometime in the future it got knocked down. (Listen, this kid is half Michael’s. I’m expecting more rough housing and injuries per this one child than all three of my siblings and I combined.)

 

When I got home I took out that handy can of gold spray paint that we used for our DIY gold frames and for the dresser handles. Michael gave it one good coat and we left it to dry.

 

Once it was dry I gathered up the remaining flowers from my DIY mirror project. I cut off a few buds and leaves, plugged in the hot glue gun, and here we are!

This was an incredibly easy project and I think it turned out wonderfully. I’m 100% happy with it. Michael has it hanging up now and I am in love.