Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Baby Meets Cake. Love At First Bite. (At Baby Girl's 1st birthday party)

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Body After Baby - Week 1


Well, my little baby girl turned 1 year old on Saturday! That milestone made me realize that I really need to get it in gear and lose the last little bit of this baby weight! And what better way to get motivated than to join a great group of people in the 8-week Body After Baby challenge hosted over at Mama Notes!

This week's challenge is to drink more water. GREAT goal! I've always told myself that I need to drink more water but never do. For me, one glass of water will equal one water bottle. I'm totally going to keep tabs of how much water I've been drinking on our new dry erase board that is up in the kitchen so I am always reminded to drink more. My other goal this week is to start an exercise routine. I have the 30 Day Shred video and really want to stick with it this time. The 20-minute program is perfect to do during Baby Girl's nap.

Currently, I am 121 pounds and on average wear a size 6. I don't have a goal of any certain weight or size. I used to be around 110 pounds and a size 2, but I know a woman's body changes after giving birth, so I'm not going to expect myself to look exactly the same. I just want to be healthier and feel better about myself. Wish me luck and good luck to everyone else taking this challenge!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - No Theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Welcome to a new week! A new week sometimes feels like a new year to me.... a chance to either start on new goals or try again on the tasks that you may have let slack the week before. And this week includes helping Baby Girl fine tune all the skills she has learned just in the past two days. She turned 1 on Saturday (how did that happen?) and it's like she knew she did because she just learned all sorts of new things since then. Anyway, I was excited when I first found out that this week's MTM theme was... well, it is a week with no theme! I was excited because I can use some leftover plates from Baby Girl's party. I will be posting some pics from her party soon. We were exhausted yesterday and just wanted to relax, so no blogging got done! So here is what we did today:

milk, carrot baby food, a piece of her smash cake, and chicken & carrot raviolis

Baby Girl was a little too sleepy/cranky and didn't want to eat so she went down for a nap instead. Hopefully she'll like it when she wakes up!

To see what others created for this week's MTM, please head over to Her Cup Overfloweth.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Happy Friday! We chose a special story for this week since Baby Girl turns 1 tomorrow! I absolutely LOVE Disney and Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorites. A long time ago I got The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh written by A.A. Milne.

There is a story in the book called Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents.

Eeyore happens to be one of my favorite Disney characters so I was excited to share this story with Baby Girl.

Sorry it's a short Book Fan Friday, but there is a pretty long list of stuff I still need to get done before Baby Girl's party tomorrow! I'll post pics of the party tomorrow night or Sunday.

Please visit my Amazon store to purchase this or any other books featured on Book Fan Friday! And if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If You Give a Baby a Muffin Tin

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Happy Monday everyone! This week's Muffin Tin Monday theme is Children's Literature. Very cool! I decided to base Baby Girl's muffin tin around the "If You Give" series (and a great big thank you to my handsome hubby for the title of this post... he is so creative!). Most specifically If You Give a Pig a Pancake. We got the book from the library on Friday so we are also going to be reading that after our muffin tin.

I made some Puffins again (thanks, Bakerella!) which are mini pancake muffins so that covered If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Our main book also talks about syrup, which is in the puffins (plus she is getting a bath later, just like the book! haha). She also got a side of mini teddy grahams and some formula/milk for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

And just in case you were wondering.... this is what happens when you give a baby a muffin tin...

To see what others created for MTM, please visit Her Cup Overfloweth.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Fan Friday

This coming Monday's Muffin Tin Monday theme is Children's Literature. So I wanted to pick out a good book that I could create a muffin tin around (come back on Monday to see what I did). I also was getting a request from my hubby to make Puffins again (surprise, surprise, yet another GREAT idea from Bakerella!). When I got this request I immediately thought of the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. A little while ago we had gotten If You Give a Pig a Party and really enjoyed it. Baby Girl just loves the illustrations.

Please visit my Amazon store to purchase this or any other books featured on Book Fan Friday!

I am so excited this week to put up a MckLinky for you to join in on Book Fan Friday! If you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Walking in Mommy's Footsteps

For more Wordless Wednesday, please visit 5 Minutes For Mom!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Fan Friday News

So thanks to a wonderful suggestion from my hubby (and support from my great friends), I am going to change up Book Fan Friday just a tad. Starting next week I am going to put up a MckLinky and would LOVE if you all would join in! If you've found a children's book, novel, or whatever that you really enjoy, please share it with us!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Apples

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Happy Monday! I missed last week's Muffin Tin Monday, but I'm back at it today! This week's theme is Apples.

Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, diced apples, Apple Cinnamon Nutri-Grain bar

I didn't do anything super cool like the Prezel and Broccoli Apple Tree that Michelle did (how creative is that?!), but I did make sure we had plenty of apple-flavored treats for Baby Girl. Plus I was able to add in a new food for her to try... Apple Cinnamon Nutri-Grain bars. She hasn't been eating much the past couple of days because, come to find out this morning, she has a fifth tooth poking through! She never eats well and her sleep schedule is all messed up while she's teething. But she did seem to like it. I'll try it again after a dose of Baby Orajel!

To see what others created for this week's MTM theme, please visit Her Cup Overfloweth.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stress-Free Christmas - Week 3

This week was pretty crazy around my house. My hubby's work schedule has changed numerous times. I was afraid we would have to reschedule Baby Girl's birthday party, but it looks like we won't have to!

This past week was Calendar and Creativity week over at Organized Christmas. I didn't exactly finish organizing my craft area, but I am still working on it! That area is also in the back closet I talked about last week. That closet is huge with lots of shelves so it can work as a space for a lot of different things.

I have been filling out all the paperwork and it's been a lot of fun. I am one of those that LOVE making lists! I already had a tear file, too, and have put a few of the Christmas ideas/articles into my household guide.

Moving on to week 3! This week is Me & Mine week. Here is the link for the checklist and papers to print out. I really need to declutter the Master Bedroom and that will include finishing off my craft area, so that'll be great! We don't have to worry about switching out seasonal clothes because, well, we live in the Caribbean and don't really have to worry about that! Which is awesome, but I do love super cute coats and miss being able to shop for them. :) I have also been meaning to make a Christmas card list (and really meant to last year) so this week will be the perfect time to do it!

If you've jumped in and decided to follow the Organized Christmas plan, I would love to see how you did on week 2! Feel free to leave a link to your post. If you haven't joined yet, feel free to do so now! I will have the MckLinky up all week. Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Picture Surprise

Happy Saturday! This week's picture is supposed to be from April 2007, picture # 17. Well, for some reason I don't have any pictures from that month! So I went to May 2007. I only had a few pictures of my cat, Ali, for that month. I really don't know why I didn't take many pictures around this time. Oh well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Book Fan Friday

**God Bless America, our military, police, firefighters, and everyone who was (and still is) affected by 9/11.**

Every time I go look for a book for Baby Girl, I always see Bee-Wigged by Cece Bell, but never chose it. I guess I didn't really feel drawn to a book about a giant bee when I saw books like Guess How Much I Love You and Are You My Mother? So this week I figured I might as well try it out! It ended up being a very sweet story about being yourself and how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Bee-Wigged definitely has a great message and goes about bringing it in a fun, unexpected way.

Please visit my Amazon store to purchase this or any other books featured on Book Fan Friday! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My hubby had someone clean and paint a conch shell for our daughter's 1st birthday. I LOVE it! And rumor has it we might get one next year (with red roses) for our wedding anniversary. :)

For more Wordless Wednesday, please visit 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I came across two great giveaways today on two of my favorite blogs.

Over at Kara's Party Ideas, she teamed up with Favor Affair and they are giving away a $25 gift certificate! Favor Affair has some great stuff and Kara always has great ideas. Her site always inspires me!

And over at Her Cup Overfloweth, Michelle has a new sponsor... Faith Baby Wear. I have already checked them out and their shirts are so cute! Well, they are giving away a onesie or t-shirt! How exciting!

Definitely check out these giveaways. And while you're there, check out Kara and Michelle's blogs because they are just plain awesome!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stress-Free Christmas - Week 2

To kick things off this week, let's take a look at how this past week went. It was Planning and Paperwork week over at Organized Christmas. Part of the week was to declutter the home office and create a filing system. We don't have a specific home office. We keep our files, stamps, etc. in the back closet of our master bedroom. Well, that closet was horrific! It was so messy and I had finally started organizing it. I made a specific spot for the files and letter-writing supplies.

I don't have a before picture because I wasn't thinking of this plan when I started organizing. But this looks so much better and everything can actually be found when we need it! We already have a filing system and we had gone through it lately, so that wasn't a big deal for us.

I also already had a household guide that I had started. It has recipes, household tips, and sections for each holiday. So I added the calendar, master gift list, etc. to the Christmas section. Unfortunately our color cartridge in our printer ran out so this week's list is in black and white, but that's okay! I plan on using red and green pens to make it more festive. :)

Now on to week 2, moving towards an organized, stress-free Christmas season! This week is all about calendars and creativity. Here is the link for the checklists and papers to print out. My space to store all my craft supplies is also in the back closet I mentioned before. I have not completely organized that section of the closet yet, so I'm glad that this will give me a renewed focus and a place to start when heading to the closet again. I work really well with lists, too, so I'm hoping looking at them from time to time will keep me motivated!

If you jumped in and decided to follow the Organized Christmas plan, I would love to see how you did on week 1! Feel free to leave a link to your post. If you haven't joined yet, feel free to do so now!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Picture Surprise

Happy Saturday everyone! This week's random picture is from July 2007, picture #17.

It just so happened to be a picture of my cat carrying around one of her babies... she has a stuffed pink puppy (pictured) and a little white cat that she carries around absolutely everywhere! It is so cute. She even takes them over to her food bowl every now and then because apparently they get hungry. :) Sorry about the weird glare in the picture. We had lost some pictures on our computer awhile back so we took a picture of this picture. haha

To see what others were taking pictures of in July 2007, please head on over to From Pigpen To Paradise.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Baby Girl decided to take an early nap today and slept through storytime. Well, to tell you the truth, I really didn't feel motivated enough to go just to get a new book. Lazy, I know, but I have been feeling worn out lately and wanted to just relax. Nothing wrong with that every now and then, right? Anyway, so I decided to pull out a book from our own little home library that we haven't read in awhile. I decided to pull out a classic... One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.

Can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss!! This was one of my favorite books growing up and my wonderful husband found it at a garage sale here shortly after Baby Girl was born. She loves all the colors in the book. It was a perfect choice for this lazy Friday. :)

Please visit my Amazon store to purchase this or any other books featured on Book Fan Friday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

My friend Jamie asked that I post my chicken pot pie recipe, so here it is! It is pretty easy and SO yummy! Along with the beef empanadas I posted about, this is one of my husband's favorite dishes. I believe I found it on Food Network, but I don't remember. This is the recipe as I found it. It says it makes 4 individual pot pies. We usually cut the recipe in half and make one big pot pie in our corningware. Half the recipe makes PLENTY for the two of us (Baby Girl gets little bites and she really enjoys it, too) with leftovers.

Chicken Pot Pie

- 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (we rarely use yellow onions in anything... we always get vadalia onions)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas ~ about 2 cups (we just use canned)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (we never put this in, actually)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
- Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, and cut chicken into a large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade (we use our stand mixer). Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water (not letting the ice fall in, of course); process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls (again, we just put it in corningware - 2 if we make the whole recipe). Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle (or as large as whatever you are putting it in). Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2 inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

It is delicious! And one great thing is that we always end up with extra dough so we make a quick pie filling and make pie pops with the extra. Easy and delicious... always a good combo!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Splashing away!

For more Wordless Wednesday, please visit 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beef Empanadas - Super Yummy!

Every week or so, hubby and I go through recipes and figure out what we want to make for the week and make a grocery list. A few weeks ago he came across a recipe from Food & Wine magazine for beef empanadas. We had just made a new recipe for chicken pot pie (PERFECT recipe, at least for us!) and were on a dough-making kick. I made them and they just disappeared! They were delicious and are one of hubby's favorite meals now. We made them again a few nights ago and I remembered (barely) to take pictures so I could share the recipe with all of you.

Beef Empanadas

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp. white vinegar

- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. achiote seeds (also called annatto seeds) **Note - we omit this because they don't
carry them here in GTMO, so I can't personally say if it makes a taste difference.
- 1/4 lb. ground beef
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 small onion, finely diced (I'm not a big fan of onions so I put in less)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper (hubby prefers a little less than this)
- 1/4 cup chopped, seeded tomato
- 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying

1. Make the dough. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. (We have a mini processor so we use our stand mixer.) Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat the eggs with the wine and vinegar and drizzle over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough just comes together. On a floured surface, gently knead the dough until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Prepare the filling. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the achiote seeds and cook over moderately high heat until the seeds darken and the oil is orange, about 1 minute (again, we omit the seeds and just heat the oil since our NEX doesn't carry achiote seeds). Discard the seeds. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper and cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, tomato paste and chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

3. On a generously floured work surface (and they mean generously! This dough is sticky), roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. With a 3-inch round biscuit cutter (we used a cup about the same size because we don't have biscuit cutters... yet), stamp out as many rounds as possible (you should have about 24). Reroll the dough scraps and stamp out additional rounds if possible. Brush the excess flour off the rounds. Working with 1 round at a time and keeping the rest covered in plastic wrap, form the empanadas: Spoon 2 tsp. of the filling on one side of the dough round. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Cover with plastic wrap while you form the rest of the empanadas.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil to 350 degrees. Fry 4 empanadas at a time, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to a baking sheet. When all of the empanadas have been fried, reheat them in the oven and serve.

DELICIOUS! Make a quick side of spanish rice and you're set! I totally suggest trying this out. Enjoy!