Friday, July 11, 2014

House Framing is UP!!!

Last night after we taught class at the gym, we decided to head over to see our house (since they were supposed to start framing), and we were so excited the progress that had already been made!! Walls were starting to go up, framing for other walls was done and laying down. SO exciting to see your little house come to life!
July 10, 2014
July 10, 2014 - 28 Weeks Pregnant!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

We are doing the Paleo-ish challenge again at the gym, and although I am pregnant and NEED my toast, I am trying to participate as much as possible. My mom, dad and Stephen are all doing it, so I am helping support them and cook some meals throughout the week! This one turned out really yummy. I made a TON, or what I thought was a ton, and there was some left over for us to all have for lunch the next day. I kind of made this up as I went, so I tried to estimate the amounts of everything I used. Definitely one we would all eat again! This recipe is great because you could keep the seasonings the same and add different veggies that you have in your fridge. It has an "asian" like taste.

4 lbs ground turkey
1 yellow pepper, diced small
about 20 baby carrots, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/4 cup liquid aminos
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons chili powder (it might have even been closer to 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon coconut flour (to thicken)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
butter leaf lettuce
red peppers, sliced
avocado
2-3 green onions
arugula 




Directions: 
  • Add meat, onion, yellow pepper, mushrooms, and seasonings to the pan and brown the meat, about 15-20 minutes. 
  • If you have a lot of liquid at the bottom of the pan, drain the meat. 
  • Add the liquid aminos and red wine vinegar.
  • Add the coconut flour and stir to start to thicken the sauce. 
  • When you are about 5 minutes away from the meat being done, add the carrots, you want them to have a slight crunch. 
  • Serve in a butter leaf lettuce cup and top with some avocado, red peppers, green onions and arugula!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Journey of Building our Home

2014 has definitely been an insane year so far. I hit my 6 year anniversary at my current job, our business reaches its first anniversary, new baby on the way, sold our very first home, moved in with my parents and now working on building our second home... the first home our new baby girl will know! Today, they poured the foundation of the house, ironically, they poured it on the exact same day that my mom went into labor with me 28 years ago! Apparently 6/26 is a pretty special day!!

6/26/14 - Foundation poured!
5/31/14 - Seeing the layout as it gets ready for cement & radiant heating to be done!
4/14/14 - Stopping by and visiting our new lot!
4/14/14 - Visiting our lot! 16 weeks pregnant!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blog Post I Love

10 Things I want to Tell My Kids Before They're Too Cool To Listen
Kate Bartolotta

I came across this blog post today and really fell in love with it. Not only do I find all the items so important to tell  your kids, but honestly, I related to them now as an adult. Thought you would all love this read.

This week, my daughter turns 10, and two things occurred to me about this:

  • How the hell do I have a 10-year-old? Is a real adult going to show up and help out with this sometime soon?
  • There are so many things I want to tell her -- now, before she is in the onslaught of middle school and too cool to listen.

So, here are 10 things I'd like to tell her and her younger brother, before I suddenly go from Mommy, who knows everything, to Mom, who couldn't possibly understand.
1. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.”
I truly believe what John Lennon said with all my heart. We've had some tough times, and you'll have a lot of tough times on your own--but it's worth it. It builds character and teaches you compassion. I can trace some of the best stuff in my life right now to things that were really hard when I was going through them. So when things seem like they are impossible, or you're never going to feel better, just know you'll eventually look back at them in amazement. It's going to be okay.
2. The whole drugs and alcohol thing isn't really about drugs and alcohol.
You're going to try stuff; I'm okay with that. Most of us do, whether it's bumming a cigarette from a friend you think is cooler than you, getting drunk at a party or smoking pot because it feels like everyone else but you has. But here's the thing: all of that stuff is just another way not to be present. Being present, being aware of what's actually happening is pretty awesome. And when you try and push away those feelings of being uncool with alcohol or drugs (or food, or shopping, or anything) they don't really go away. Eventually you're going to have to deal with them, and life gets exponentially better when you do. (And on a side note, if things get out of hand and aren't sure what to do, call me. And if you're too embarrassed to call me, call your uncle Charles.)
3. Figure out what you love and own it completely.
If you spend your life trying to define yourself by what someone else loves, you're going to be miserable. Try things, try everything. See what makes you hear music inside and what makes your heart swell and then go do it. Find out everything you can about it. Find other people who love it too. If you waste time pretending to like something because other people you think are cool like it, you're going to end up with the wrong people in your life. Love what you love and be yourself. You end up with people who genuinely fit that way.
4. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
I always loved the Neil Gaiman quote:
"If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world."
We can't make anything valuable without making mistakes. Not a painting, not a relationship, not a career -- not a life. If you wait until you have it all figured out to try, you will be waiting forever. I still don't have it all figured out, but I keep at it. The mistakes aren't failures; they're how we learn.
5. You deserve respect.
You deserve it from me, from your dad, your friends, your teachers -- from everyone in your life. The best way to receive respect from others is to begin by respecting yourself. Speak clearly and keep your head up. Stand up for what you believe. Make choices that you feel good about. And if someone in your life is being disrespectful‚ call them on it. If it doesn't change, limit the amount of time and influence they have in your life. We need people in our lives who challenge us and disagree with us, so we can learn new perspectives. We don't need to be constantly torn down by people who don't respect us.
6. The first person who catches your eye isn't "The One."
And probably not the second, third or fourth either. You know why? It's because youare the one. Love isn't something out there somewhere that someone else can give to you. It's already inside you. It's that golden part of each of us that makes us alive. And some of the best moments in life are when we truly connect with someone else and share the love we have inside with them. But don't ever forget to love yourself, first. When you start by loving and respecting yourself, it makes giving that to other people infinitely better. You're going to meet so many amazing people in your life, and I hope that at least once you meet someone to share that love with and truly find partnership. Before you do, fall in love with your own life, because no one else can do that for you.
7. Romance is great and it isn't the same thing as love.
Sex with someone you love is a wonderful thing. It also isn't the only thing. You're going to have first kisses you feel all the way down to your toes and think "OMG, I love him," but really... you loved the kiss. You are going to see someone and feel something that feels like movie love, but is actually just phenomenal chemistry. You are going to explore this part of your life with people who aren't in it for the long haul -- and that isn't a bad thing. Life is a series of stories and the way our stories intersect is fascinating. Sometimes people are in our lives for the whole story. Sometimes they are just a chapter. It takes a brave person to know when that chapter is over and let go gracefully.
8. Kindness is always an appropriate response.
When you get to be an adult, you'll forget a lot of the stuff that seemed so important in high school and college. You won't remember what your GPA was. You will look at your old classmates on Facebook and wonder why you ever had a crush on that guy. You will look at your old yearbooks and wonder what the hell you were thinking with that haircut. But you will never forget the people who were genuinely kind, who helped when you were hurt, who loved you, even when you felt unlovable. Be that person to your friends.
9. I don't have all the answers, but I'm always here to listen.
Right now, you guys think I have all the answers. I know that time is going to come to a close pretty quickly here, but in a way, I'm glad. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me wasn't their wisdom, but setting the example that adults aren't static: they keep growing. They keep learning. When they find one way doesn't work, they get up and try another one. Real maturity is letting go of what doesn't work and being open to try something else. You're going to make your own mistakes and find your own answers, and while you're sorting it out, I am always here to listen.
10. It's never too late to live a life that makes you proud.
If you don't learn anything else from me, learn that. We get one shot at this. There's no age limit on changing your course, and to settle in and be stuck in a life that isn't authentic is a tragic waste. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best:
For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.







I love you. Go make brilliant mistakes and fall in love with your life.

Leftover Pancake Batter Muffins

I am sure many are wondering what "leftover pancake batter" is :) In my house, somehow we always make extra that we simply can't force down. For Father's Day, my mom and I made yummy bacon pancakes... the ones where you cook some bacon then put the delicious pancake batter over them (picture below). We had about 1 cup of batter left over so Stephen had the idea to make some muffins out of them. I had been saying I wanted to have a quick go to bar or something I could have before my 5:15 am workouts because these days I have been STARVING. These little creations were actually incredibly delicious. I stored them in the fridge and just put them in the toaster oven when I wanted to eat them.  Honestly, I didn't really measure the extra stuff I put in them (what I have below are estimates), but I don't think it matters, just do whatever you want and you can be creative with your additions too!

Approx 1 - 1 1/2 cups pancake batter
1 cup coconut flakes
 2 tablespoons flax seed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 fresh peach, chopped
1 banana, mashed
4 pieces dried peach, chopped
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon



Bacon Pancakes!!
Directions: 
  • Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. 
  • Fill up cupcake liners in a muffin tin (they don't rise a lot so you can fill them pretty full)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. You want them to be firm and cooked, but not overdone and dry. They don't get very brown on the top. 
  • Store in the fridge or the freezer and take them out as you wish!! This recipe made about 20 muffins.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers

We had a track end of the year BBQ to go to last week and I was tasked with bringing an appetizer! The theme was kind of mexican-ish, so I wanted to make something easy, but with a little kick! I found these poppers online and changed up a couple of the ingredients. They were seriously delicious and were devoured SO fast. I will definitely be making these again, if not for their amazingness, but for the compliments alone :)  !!

1 package of Marie Callendars Corn Bread Mix
1 cup water
1 can creamed corn
1 cup cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 small can green chilies 
30 Jalapenos



Directions: 
  • Cut the jalapenos in half and remove seeds and ribs, place on a baking sheet. 
  • In a bowl, mix corn bread mix, 1 cup water, creamed corn, 1 cup cheddar cheese and green chilis. Stir until well combined. 
  • Spoon the corn bread into the jalapenos, careful not to make them too full.
  • Sprinkle all the jalapenos with the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. 
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Until top is slightly brown and the corn bread is slightly firm to the touch. Careful not to overcook, you want the cornbread to be soft.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Avocado Nests

I found this recipe online and quickly discovered that it was WAY harder than it sounded. I cursed the avocados as they let the eggs slide right off them like the little hole the pit once occupied did not even exist. With a few of the avocados I had to create a little bit larger of a well to hold the eggs in them and then had to prop the avocados next to each other so they didn't fall over. Needless to say, this was a messy job. Next time I make them, (there will be a next time because everyone thought the final product was really good), I will think of a little bit different way to do them. I showed a picture I was sure was going to be a "fail" picture below, however when I turned them over, the presentation side actually did look pretty good!

Avocados
Eggs
Bacon
Pepper


This is when I almost started crying - what a mess!

Directions: 
  • Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and peel them. Then make the holes that the pits created a little larger. 
  • Break open an egg (the easiest way I found to do this was just to break it open in my hand) and split the egg in half. Putting 1 half in 1 avocado half and the other in the other avocado half. 
  • Season with pepper (original recipe called for salt too, but I think the bacon adds plenty of salt)
  • Gently pick up the avocado and wrap in bacon. 
  • Put in the oven at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. 
  • Turn on the broiler and cook about 5 minutes, then flip the nests over and broil another 5 minutes to get the bacon all crispy. 
  • Eat!