Wednesday, July 31, 2013

15 Amazingly Delicious Dessert Bars

15 Amazingly Delicious Dessert Bars
As you might remember, I'm doing the 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge, so I can't even eat any of these delicious looking bars right now! So I think you all should make some and eat an extra one for me. Don't they all look so yummy!? I don't even know which one I would make first...

 Gooey Lemon Cake Bars @ Shugury Sweets

 Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Brownie @ A Taste of Madness

 Snickerdoodle Bars @ She Turned Her Dreams Into Plans

Blueberry Pie Bars @ Life's Simple Measures

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars @ The Girl Who Ate Everything

 Twix Cheesecake Bars @ Annie's Noms

 Delicious M&M Cookie Bars @ She Turned Her Dreams Into Plans

 Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars @ Pizzazzerie

 Smores Bars @ Sugar Cooking

 Triple Chocolate M&M Brownies @ Cozy Country Living

 Mint Chocolate Freezer Brownies @ Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies @ Just a Taste

Reese's Butterfinger Cheesecake Bars @ Tastes of Lizzy T

 No Bake Reese's Fudge Bars @ Six Sister's Stuff

White Chocolate Blueberry Bars @ This Gal Cooks


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Green Chili Enchiladas

Green Chili Enchiladas

My favorite type of food is Mexican food! I think my love of spicy food has been passed on to my little man. So far he loves to eat everything that I like. Of course, I don't give him the really spicy stuff like hot sauce or anything, but knowing him, he would probably like it. We all love enchiladas, especially the kind with white sauce and these ones are certainly delicious. The recipe is adapted from the Once a Month Cooking cookbook. 

Green Chili Enchiladas
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Cups Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sour Cream
  • 4 Ounces Diced, Green Chilies
  • 8-12 Flour Tortillas
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2. Brown the ground beef and drain. Combine with chili powder, minced onion, salt and pepper.

3. Set aside one cup of cheese. Spoon enough meat mixture and cheese onto each tortilla to cover 1/3 of it. Roll tortilla beginning at the filled edge. Place seam down in the baking dish. 

4. Combine soup, sour cream and green chilies to make a sauce. Pour over the tortillas. 

5. Bake 20-25 minutes. The last 10 minutes sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

6. Enjoy your delicious and easy dinner!


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Exciting Events Every New Mommy Can Look Forward To!

Maybe exciting isn't the right word..."unexpected" might be better or even "disgusting" or "gross." Perhaps you don't like to talk about poop, I know I didn't. Ask my old roommates, I would avoid the subject at all costs! (To their great amusement). Once you have a baby, be prepared for it to become an everyday topic of conversation. Here are some of the delightful things that new babies will share with you:

1. Spit up everywhere. Coming out of their little noses. Spilling down the insides of your shirt. Most of the time they like to wait until you are unprepared for it. Like when you are at the store or visiting at someone's house. Don't worry if it comes out of their nose, it's completely normal. I recommend always burping the baby with some kind of protection under them!

2. Getting peed on. A lot. This one is mostly true if you have a baby boy, but I've changed a baby girl before and she peed on me, they just don't do it quite as often. This is what I've learned: open up their diaper and then close it again for a few seconds. It seems like the cool air creates lovely fountains of pee that get all over everything, but mostly on the baby's head. For some reason these two boys really like to get me on this one. I think with my first son, I got peed on maybe twice. That's it. These boys are only one month old and they do it practically every other diaper change!

3. Explosive poop. It sounds like a joke, but it's not! So far each of the boys have gotten me once. I'm changing their diapers and they have a little gas. At least that's what I thought it was...turns out it was much worse than just gas. How do they manage to shoot it so forcefully at me?! So yeah, both times I've had to change my shirt. I'm just glad I didn't have my face too close at the time. 

4. Speaking of poop...diaper blowouts is another lovely thing you can look forward to. You would think that the diaper would be able to hold everything in, but that is not always the case. This was especially true around 6 months old when my little man managed to get it all the way up his back every single day for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure why it was worse at that age, but be warned, it is a tricky process to try to take off a poop-filled onesie without getting it all over everything. 

All of these things would have horrified me before, but strangely enough, once I had kids they don't seem to bother me at all anymore. Now it is just a normal, everyday experience along with loads of extra laundry, and I wouldn't change it for anything!


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tiny Babies Use Sleep Deprivation to Torture Their Mothers

Well not really of course, but it sure feels like that sometimes! My babies are one month old this past week already and they love to take turns waking up all night long. I can't wait until they start sleeping a little better! I'm pretty sure this sleeplessness has caused my brain to temporarily shut I was typing this just now I had the hardest time trying to spell "little"...(I hope its just temporary at least.)

With the two babies waking up to eat a couple of times a night, plus pumping a couple of times and lately my 13 month old has been having a hard time sleeping as well, I feel like a walking zombie at times. We are all up by 6 am every morning! I've resorted to drinking one cup of coffee in the mornings and sometimes I have one in the afternoon if I can't stay awake. 

My older boy still takes two naps during the day, so that's great and you would think with all the sleeping that newborns do I would be able to take a nap sometimes too...but in reality this happens very rarely. I have found that I need to not even try to take a nap during the day. For one, it makes me even more tired afterwards and for two, it gets really frustrating if I am looking forward to it and then it doesn't happen. So instead, I just stay busy, do some easy work outs if I get really tired and try not to think about far it seems to be working. 

Good thing I'm one of those crazy morning people who can wake up instantly and be super cheerful right away! And like I keep telling these boys..."good thing you guys are so cute!" I love my boys to death though, and I wouldn't want it any other way...I just hope these next few weeks get easier! 

Tiny Babies Use Sleep Deprivation to Torture Their Mothers


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Post Baby Slim Down: 30 Days

Well it has been 30 days since I had the boys today! Seems like a lot longer than that for some reason. Probably because I've been so tired lately! It's also Day 5 of the 21 Day No Junk Food Challenge. The challenge is going great, it hasn't really been much of a challenge yet. I guess I don't eat as much junk food as I thought I did. 

Here's an update on how weight loss and getting back in shape is going:
My last weight before having the boys = 187
Pre-pregnancy weight = 140
Weight as of yesterday morning = 152 

I've been slowly starting to do a little bit as far as working out goes. We have been taking lots of walks as often as possible with all the boys. I've also been trying to remember to flex my abs as often as I can. I'm taking things easy though, since I had a c-section and I don't want to hurt myself by doing too much too soon. I have my check up next week though, so I'll see if my doctor says I can start doing more. 

I have been finally able to start wearing some of my normal jeans, which is awesome! Here's a look at my progress in the first 30 days. Also a front view where I look super happy, as you can see. Apparently I need to work on smiling for these pictures!


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

DIY Colorful Summer Wreath

DIY Colorful Summer Wreath
We don't have many holiday or seasonal decorations for our house yet. We've only been here one year so far and stuff like that just costs so much money! I guess it's the type of thing you have to gather over the years before you have a lot of it. 

Our front door needed something colorful on it for the summer. Of course, summer is almost over now but I haven't had a chance to get to making this project until now. I love how it turned out and the bright colors. I even saw a floor mat at Lowe's the other day that would match perfectly...I think we should buy it and put it out on our front entry to go with this colorful wreath!

Here is what I used to make my wreath:
  • Black picture frame
  • 2 colors of ribbon
  • 4 felt flowers
  • "Smile" wooden cutout
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2 picture hangers w/nails
  • Hammer
  • Ribbon to hang it
  • Paint for the wooden cutout
  • Paintbrush
DIY Colorful Summer WreathI wanted to put a different word instead of "smile" but I looked at two different stores and couldn't find anything else to work. Even the individual letters that would fit, didn't have all the right letters available. It always seems to work out that way! 

The felt flowers were pre-made and in the clearance aisle. If I hadn't found these I would have used normal silk flowers but I really like how these felt ones turned out! The back of the frame looked a little messy after I glued the ribbons on, so I covered it up by gluing a strip of the green ribbon around the entire back side, since my front door is glass and you would be able to see the back of it from the inside. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to hang it, it is rather heavy and I didn't want it to fall down. I finally decided to nail two picture hangers to the back, one on each corner and use those to tie the ribbon hanger to. So far it's been holding up nicely on our front door! 


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summertime Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Summertime Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

I love cookies! I made these delicious cookies last week and they didn't last long around here. I always seem to have problems when I try to make icebox cookies that you roll up and slice. I can never get them as perfect as I want them to be! These turned out okay, I thought they were going to be much worse. At least they still tasted great! 

I was trying to pick two summery colors and decided on orange and purple. You, of course, can pick any two colors you would like. These would be perfect for any holiday, just use holiday colors for them! I love the peppermint taste they have, but if you don't care for that you can also leave the peppermint out.

Summertime Pinwheel Icebox Cookies (adapted from Just a Taste)
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/ 2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/3 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • Food Coloring 
1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs plus the vanilla and peppermint extracts.

3. Add in the flour mixture and mix well.

4. Separate the dough into three equal pieces. Add food coloring to two of them to get your desired color. 

5. Shape each piece into a 4x4 inch square, wrap it in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half to form two rectangles. Place one half of each color back in the fridge for now. Place one color of dough in between two pieces of wax paper and roll out into a rectangle about 1/8 thick. Do the same with the other two colors.

7. Peel off one side of wax paper and place the three layers of color on top of each other. Roll lightly.

8. Starting at the short end, roll the dough as tightly as possible into a log. Repeat the rolling and stacking process with the other half of the dough you have in the fridge. Wrap both logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

9. Remove the logs and roll them on the counter so they don't develop a flat side. Refrigerate for 4 more hours. 

10. When you are ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice each log into 1/4 inch slices and bake 9 to 11 minutes. The cookies will expand slightly when baking, so place them about 2 inches apart. 

Hopefully yours turned out better than mine! Enjoy your summertime cookies!


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Monday, July 22, 2013

5 Favorite Children's Books

When I was younger I absolutely loved to read. My favorite place to go was to the public library. Good thing we lived only a couple of blocks away from it! Now I still love reading and sometimes can read an entire book in one day, but I don't have the time I had when I was little. I'm sure you all know how that goes!

Now that I have kids of my own, my mom gave us the children's books from long ago. They are all great books for kids to read, but here are five of my favorites that I loved when I was little.

1. The Sugar Mouse Cake
This is an awesome book! I loved the story and illustrations. It's about a cook's assistant who gets help from a little white mouse to bake the best cake in the kingdom so then he becomes the King's Chief Pastry Cook. Unfortunately this book is no longer available, so if you find a copy somewhere, make sure you pick it up! 

2. The Bashful Bear
We have a very old copy of this book it looks like. I also loved this story about a little bear who is embarrassed that he is so small. He is chased by a coyote and after that he feels big!

3. Harry the Dirty Dog
This is a classic, I'm sure almost everyone has read this one when they were younger. Harry doesn't like to take baths so he runs away and hides the scrub brush. When he returns home he is dirty and nobody recognizes him. He fixes this by bringing back the scrub brush so they can give him a bath.

4. Come and Have Fun
This is an easy reader for children just starting to read. It is a cute little story about a cat chasing a mouse and his little mouse house.

5. The Story of Ferdinand
Another classic children's story. I love the illustrations in this book! It is the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights.

Reading with your child is very important, even when they are brand new babies they can benefit from it! Some of my best memories from childhood are based on reading and being read to. I hope my children love to read as much as I do and hopefully reading to them every day from a young age will help them learn to love it. 

What are some of your favorite books from when you were young?


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The No Junk Food Challenge

The No Junk Food Challenge

I have decided to start a new challenge tomorrow! It's for 21 days, so it's not forever and to me that makes it easier to stick to. I've done the no junk food thing before, but recently I've been just eating whatever. I did really good my whole pregnancy with barely any soda, and the last couple of weeks I've been so tired I have had quite a bit of it. 

I have about 15 pounds left to go before getting back to pre-pregnancy weight, which isn't too bad. I think doing this challenge will really help get there, plus I've started taking walks every day and working out slowly. If you would like to see more tips I have for post partum weight loss, check out this post

So who wants to do the challenge with me!?

The No Junk Food Challenge


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)

A Day at the County Fair

Last week when the boys were still stuck in the hospital, we took little man to the county fair. I was very excited to go since I have lived here for over 10 years and have never been to it before. Of course it was really hot out and I had to sit and rest quite often. We didn't do any of the rides, little man is too young for that and we didn't buy anything...not quite as exciting as I was expecting. It probably doesn't help that I was comparing it to the Minnesota State Fair. 

 We saw lots of animals and little man loved that. He especially loved the cows. When he gets excited about something he kind of shrieks and talks loudly about it, which is what he was doing the entire walk through the cow barn. It was so cute! Let's see...we saw some plants and some 4-H stuff. That's about it. Still it was fun and I think little man enjoyed it. 

I can't believe he is 13 months old already! The boys were three weeks last week and will be one month old this Friday. Time sure is flying by. My little boy even took his first accidental steps in the last couple of weeks. I don't think he knew what he was doing. He is just about ready to start walking though! He has been a bit jealous of the babies, especially when I am holding one of them. When I am home by myself he tries to get into things he's not supposed to right when I'm feeding them. Otherwise he has been a very good boy as usual and he seems to be getting more used to having two new babies around. 

My three handsome boys!

As for the babies, they are doing great! Growing nicely as they should be and eating pumped breast milk. I've been working on breastfeeding but Connor won't latch at all and Hunter doesn't seem to eat very much when he does and ends up wanting to eat again an hour later. So I'm still pumping every 3-4 hours, but my supply is great - I get 7-10 ounces each time and our freezer is already overflowing because we don't have much room. A couple of days ago my horrible cat chewed up part of my pump, so now instead of a double one I have a single and it takes twice as long as it did before! I should get the parts in the mail sometime this week though. 

It's going to be hard to tell them apart in pictures

Last night Hunter only woke up once during the night to eat and Connor woke up twice! Which means Hunter slept almost 5 hours and Connor usually sleeps around 4 hours at a time. I think it will get better soon, this past week was pretty rough as far as sleep goes. It certainly makes a huge difference when I have help during the night instead of doing it all myself! I am really going to be looking forward to the weekends for awhile now...


(I might be linking to some of these lovely parties)


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