Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rainbow Grilled Cheese

 Well hello there! I have been on a little blogging hiatus for the last few months...with the baby being born (I will post all about that soon!) and moving and everything in between I figured a break from posting would be a smart thing for my sanity's sake haha.

But we are back in action and I wanted to share this fun colorful grilled cheese recipe that my mother in law did with my kids when she was visiting! 

I loved watching them mix the colors, and make their sandwiches. They gobbled them right up. 

bread of choice
shredded mozzarella
food coloring

butter one side of each slice of bread. Divide your cheese into separate bowls depending on how many colors you want to use...and then dye each bowl of cheese a different color. Warm up your pan and lay once slice of bread butter side down and lay each cheese color in a line (to make a rainbow so to say)...then put the other bread slice on top, butter side up. Flip over once the bread starts browning.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

I thought it was PUPPS

I debated on whether or not I should share this... simply because, well, it isn't pretty and it's just flat out unattractive and gross.

My first two pregnancies were, dare I say, easy.

You see, I never got morning sickness, didn't get stretch marks or varicose veins, I slept well, never felt sore or uncomfortable...I actually didn't feel much different then when I wasn't pregnant. I know, it isn't fair. I know, I hate myself even just typing this because there are those whose pregnancies are one of the hardest things they have ever gone through (my sister in law is one of those people and my gosh I would never wish that on anyone!)

HOWEVER, this third pregnancy of mine has been completely opposite of all those things. Sickness took a harsh toll the first trimester, those dreaded varicose veins made their debut in all the wrong places during the second trimester, sleepless nights and waddling from unwanted pressure has become an every day occurence, and the weight was packed on quickly which caused many-a-stretch marks.

Needless to say, this time around has made me realize so many things about myself. I've learned to sympathize with those who struggle with pregnancy. I have learned to put my trust in that higher power, knowing that things will get better. I have learned to rely on true, meaningful prayer when times get unbearable and there isn't anything else you can do but pray with all your heart and soul.

I know that sometimes those who have difficult pregnancies keep it to themselves because they don't want those who have never been pregnant, or who have a difficult time getting pregnant, to accuse them of being ungrateful. I think that is silly.

It's not being ungrateful, it's just for some people pregnancy is so very, very hard. If anything going through nine months of some amazingly difficult things has caused me to reflect on just how lucky I am, and just how fortunate I am to have a body that can do something so amazing as this.
^^^this was a pic I took at about 26 weeks...see, not pretty...not pretty at all^^^

With that said, I will spare you all the details but there is one thing I wanted to talk about and that is something called PUPPP also known as Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy; which is a chronic hives-like rash that strikes some women during pregnancy.

I started getting this itchy rash on my arms around 20 weeks and progressively got worse until it covered my entire stomach, chest and back. It gradually moved down to my legs and feet.  The itchiness was almost unbearable. Sleep was almost impossible and feeling comfortable while doing anything was non existent. I would itch all the time, and I'd wake up to find blood spots all over my sheets (TMI?!). Let's just say I was going slightly insane.

I sought help from many doctors. I tried about every over the counter anti-itching cream you can imagine. I researched day and night what to do and how to get rid of this crazy rash that was putting me into a state of desperation. 

Finally, at around week 32 I went to a dermatologist who told me that there is no such thing as PUPPP because there is no remedy for that and he said there is ALWAYS a remedy for everything! That was like music to my ears...I thought OH my gosh maybe there IS HOPE! He then prescribed me Clobetasol cream and it helped so much! The itching lessened and eventually it slowly started going away. It was like a miracle. I cannot even tell you how grateful I was to find relief. 

So for those who think they have this rash called "PUPPP" there IS HOPE and there IS light at the end of the tunnel and I hope and pray that maybe this post helps you! 

I also put together a list of things that helped the itching temporarily...
1. Peppermint oil (I would mix this with #2 and rub it all over to cool my skin and relieve the itching)
2. Gold Bond anti-itch lotion was the best I could find out of all the anti itching creams
3. Grandpas Tar soap worked great b/c it dried my skin out and eventhough it smelt like bacon I found it helped a bit with the constant itch
4. I would freeze these ice packs and have them ready during the night for temporary relief. Things that were cold would reduce the inflammation and itch. 
5. Benadryll was my favorite thing towards the end because it would knock me out at least for a little so I could sleep, and YES it is safe to take while pregnant!
6. Clobetasol cream was a life changer for me  which you can only get from a doctor
7. Downy free and gently detergent and softener. This was a HUGE factor in my detergent, deodorant, shampoo, soap, lotion, etc. Buy products that are free from all scent!After I did that I noticed the rash gradually go away. 
Lastly, know that it does eventually go away and try NOT to itch it like crazy because it was like adding fuel to the fire when I would just scratch! I know that doesn't help to hear when you're in the thick of it but I promise it does!  

So there you have it...all you ever wanted to know and didn't want to know about my itchy escapade! Hopefully it helps someone out there! xoxoxo
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter White Chocolate Popcorn

I know Easter has come and gone, but I needed to post this because everyone needs this in their life! It's simple, and delicious and I love the colors!

All you need is:
-popcorn kernels
-Ghirardelli white chocolate morsels
-1 TBS vegetable oil
-m&m's (in this case I got the Easter colored ones)
-a little salt to sprinkle at the end

directions: pop about six to seven cups of popcorn. set aside. melt your morsels over the stove on low and add vegetable oil to keep it from clumping. Stir consistently until it's all melted and then pour over your popcorn. Carefully toss it all together to make sure each one is coated with chocolate (because wouldn't that be a bummer to eat one that didn't have chocolate lol). Then add your m&m's (I used the whole bag) and lay on a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Before it hardens, make sure you sprinkle the top with a little sea salt to give it that "sweet and salty" thing that everyone loves...or is that just me?!

Once it's cooled and hardened, break it up and put it in a bowl for people to munch on. It was an Easter hit at my house!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Popcorn adds the perfect punch (or should I say crunch?!)

I know I throw the word love out there like it's nothin' but I do LOVE soup...just like I love a lot of things. But, then again this blog is all about things I love so it just makes sense that this little recipe should be shared (not sure you can call it a recipe but still)

For my second day of Poppin' fun, I like to use popcorn in place of croutons because they're easier to chew and they have a certain crunch that croutons just don't have.

I like to put it in my salads and my soups. Currently I am really loving (yes, yes, loving) the simply balanced soups that are straight from the container. The tomato one is delicious as well as this one which is the butternut squash (I just add a few spices to it like salt, pepper and a little garlic salt...sometimes I'll throw in a little sour cream if I'm feeling really crazy).

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Popcorn Popping

So, ironically, about nine months ago I started having this daily craving for popcorn. I blame the pregnancy. However, in reality I love popcorn whether Im pregnant or not.

But, since it was the first day of spring yesterday, and there are blossoms that are finally showing up on the trees (which always makes me think of that primary song my kids love to sing Popcorn Popping)...and since I literally feel like I am going to POP if this baby doesn't make her debut just seemed fitting to do a few posts of my favorite POPCORN recipes!

This very simple and quick go-to is when I'm craving something sweet and salty (I guess that is going to be like most of the posts because what's popcorn without a little sweetness?!)

2 TBS. butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag 10 oz. mini marshmallows
1/4 tsp. salt
***melt over stove until smooth, take off heat and fold in:
8 cups of plain popcorn
1/2 cup semi sweet
***pour in 9x13 greased pan and let cool for about 15 minutes

So there ya have it. We like to just go at it with forks like ravenous cave people :-)
^^^ a little marshmallow mishap ^^^
^^^ my lil' baker in the making ^^^

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Everyday MOMents

Since it has been warmer outside (oh sun how I do love you!) we have been enjoying daily park visits and picnics. During that time, as the girls go off and play, I bring with me a magazine or book.

With that said, I have been reading this beautiful book titled "Everyday MOMents" by a sweet friend of mine Jessica Poe. It has been an eye opening experience as I read her outlook on life as a full time mother and care giver. Her perspective on the every day things and the way she describes it in her book has literally made me change my thought process on so many things...even as far to say that folding laundry has become a "love letter" to my family rather then a mundane task that I slightly loathe.

I once heard some woman say that anyone can be a mother, but not everyone can be a good mother. I often think of that when I feel like I want to blow a fuse and hide in my closet as my little ones throw yet another tantrum over who got to push the elevator button first, or who got the purple sucker instead of the red...or maybe even who gets to sit on my left knee instead of my right (okay I might be over exaggerating a bit but you get the gist).

This book has reminded me that in between those moments of despair and frustration there are SO, SO many MORE moments of joy, love and complete happiness for my role as these little ones mother. It's a beautiful and ordained calling to be their nurturer and I have loved reading this book to just reiterate the importance of it all!

So in other words, go read it. It's a good one.
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Monday, March 7, 2016

What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You

What does your favorite color say about you? I honestly love stuff like this. I love horoscopes, and personality test, fortune telling shenanigans and palm know things that are so vague and tell you that you're a super natural go-getter with a beautiful, bright future! 

I am such a sucker for those types of things, and I think it makes my husband question my intelligence. I am not saying I completely believe what they all say, but it really is entertaining.

However, these color statistics are actually backed up by evidence from reliable sources available at the College Match Up which makes this ten times more interesting and a hundred times easier to accept and take into serious consideration when it comes to YOU and who you are! 

I read this book called The Secret and it's all about positive affirmations to achieve what you want in life. A lot of people think it's bogus, but I'm actually a firm believer that if you think it hard enough and put out "good vibes" to the'll happen. Okay now that you are probably thinking I'm a complete weirdo...take a peek at this awesome diagram and see where you land on the color scale! Such interesting stuff I tell ya!

What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You?

Black: You strive for power and control in life, but are often artistic and intuitive and do not share things well with others.
White: You are organized and very independent, and you rely on logic to solve every problem.
Gray: You are cool and composed and a very reliable person who tends to conform to keep the peace.
Red: You have drive and determination, and you prefer action and risk-taking behaviors. Your biggest need is for physical fulfillment and fitness.
Purple: You are a perfectionist who requires emotional security in life, and you are a good humanitarian who helps others in need.
Pink: All you want in life is unconditional love and to be accepted for who you are by your peers.
Orange: You love to be with people and socialize with them, as you want to be accepted and respected as a part of a group.
Blue: You want to find inner peace and absolute truth, and you always make an effort to think of others and their needs.
Green: You are loyal and very frank with others, and you consider your reputation a very important part of your life.
Yellow: You enjoy learning and sharing knowledge with others, and you feel a need to always express your individuality.
Brown: You are a great friend, and you value a stable and simple life over material things.


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Valentines Day Kool-Aid Candy Button Hearts

Okay you guys, one of my favorite holidays is just around the corner. How is that possible?! I know, I know...I asked myself the same thing.

So I thought I'd share a little DIY tutorial on these candy button's a twist on a favorite childhood candy of mine, candy buttons (except these ones are made with Kool-Aid powder, and they have way more flavor then the original button candies)

This would be such a cute idea to give out as Valentines for your kids class, or to your very own friends...I mean lets be honest the possibilities are endless haha.

What you need:
-- powder sugar
-- Kool-Aid powder packets (I bought four different flavors)
-- egg (use only egg white)
-- wax paper
-- small ziploc bags

Cut your wax paper in about 2-3 inch strips. Tape it to a white card stock strip the same size. Then, mix egg white and 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (if it seems runny just add a little more powdered sugar). Divide mixture into the amount of packets you have. I had four so I divided it into four different bowls. Then I added about 1/2 tsp. of kool-aid mixture, stirred it up, and put in ziploc bag. Cut the corner (the tinier the hole the better the hearts come out) and start makin' your hearts on the wax paper!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Hello. It's Me.

Hello there my friends. It's been a while. We have been traveling and moving, the holidays were crazy and I've been a little under the weather with this pregnancy. It has been much, much different than my first a sort of "pregnancy is super hard" type of way. We are incredibly grateful to add another little girl to our family, and I have to admit, I am just as excited for this pregnancy to be over and to have her safe and sound in my arms!

I was organizing things on my computer the other night and came across this little journal entry I wrote right after I had Cozette. It brought back so many memories and I teared  up reading it because I realized just how fleeting time is. Look how little my Sage is in this photo?! 

Since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic I thought I'd share it on this blog, for all you moms who feel tired and overwhelmed...this too shall pass and then you'll be on to the next baby ready to start it all over again! haha.

Mother of Two:
"One morning I woke up and suddenly I was a mother of two! Where did the time go?!  It was like all my life I dreamt of the day I would have two little girls, close together, sisters for life. They would be the best of friends, entertain one another for hours on end playing dolls and “house”, library and school. They would have that bond that I had with my four sisters (yes lots of estrogen in my home!) A bond that was like nothing you could compare.

Now that I have two precious daughters, it’s almost surreal.  I went through moments of “what did I get myself into”. Moments of doubting myself as a mother. Moments of feeling utterly overwhelmed and unworthy of such perfect little babies that God had blessed me with. I started feeling sorry for myself. One day my husband came home after work with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers, and I just burst into tears. It was just one of those days…hormones, and being inside all day long, changing diapers, and leaking from every hole in my body (oh, is that tmi?!) just sent me a wee bit over the edge.

That night, I watched a video titled “Motherhood: an Eternal Partnership with God” by Jeffrey R. Holland. It was a message that I needed to hear. My eyes swelled with tears, no longer caused by my little pity party, but instead tears of utter gratitude. The video ended, and I sat there. I could see my reflection in the now black computer screen. I looked tired. My hair was in a high bun for the third day in a row (buns are just so convenient), and makeup, well who has time for that,right?! Suddenly, I realized, this reflection of a “I just want one good nights sleep” mama became someone who I admired. I am a mother. I am a teacher to these little girls of mine. I am an example of goodness. I am a leader and a motivator. I am a maid, a chef, and a nurse to these little munchkins.  And this my friends is when I had an “ah-ha” moment. All these things will end. My girls will grow up, and the bags under my eyes from sleepless nights will disappear (hopefully?!). The endless toy pick up and diaper changing will be that of the past. So enjoy it. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I went to bed that night, sliding my ever so exhausted body into my nice clean sheets excited to get a little shut eye. Suddenly, the cry of hunger came from the basinet, and I thought, “Thank you Heavenly Father, for that sweet cry.”

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You're the POME to my GRANATE

Hey y'all! We are back from our month long adventure in Kentucky, which was so much fun and exactly what I had imagined. I will share pictures once I get all my stuff together! The Blue Grass state is
such a beautiful part of the country during the Fall! Right before we left all the leaves looked like they were on fire. It's like a breath of fresh air...seeing the leaves change. I came to realize that seasons are sort of my favorite thing ever, which is weird because I didn't really grow up with them. Maybe that is why I love them so much?!

Anyways in the meantime I wanted to post a little something. We got back to California just for a bit, to spend Halloween with family, then we make our trek to our final "spot". My parents had a huge Tupperware of  pomegranate seeds from their tree. I sat and ate about three bowl fulls. Since this pregnancy (oh you didn't know? Yes, we are pregnant with baby girl #3!! I announced it on my instagram...we are just so excited)! But anyways, more of that later, now back to pomegranates ;-). I crave them! Not sure if it's the texture, the taste, the way they pop in my mouth and are sweet then bitter. But I could eat them all day.

So I rounded up my most favorite things to eat with pomegranate seeds...OH and in case you didn't know (because I didn't until my old pops had to show me) how to seed a pomegranate check out this video.

10 of my favorite pomegranate recipes (some are perfect to try for Thanksgiving!!!)
1. Butternut Kale Pomegranate Pizza  (I don't even like Kale so this was a shocker)
2. Pomegranate Cauliflower Feta Fritters (Smitten Kitchen is my go to for anything delicious)
3. Sweet Potato Bake with Pomegranates 
4. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate syrup (so easy and so, so good!)
5. PB&P sandwich (don't judge til you've tried it)
6. Pears with Poms and Goat Cheese (a great little appetizer or snack)
7. Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Chutney 
8. No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
9. Harvest Salad (I had these at a dinner party last year and haven't stopped craving them since)
10. Muesli with Poms and Almonds (my latest morning obsession)

***if you try any of these let me know how you liked it...or if you have any other good Pomegranate recipes please send them my way! I am always up for a good recipe!

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