Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-The many faces of my little man

My baby little man big boy is growing up so fast. He is our last child and as much as I love seeing all of my children grow it simply is not fair that it happens so darn fast. Someone tell my kids to slow down and not grow so fast cause they sure aren't listening to me!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Weeds, trees & other things

I have been playing around with my Nikon trying to get it to work again. So far it seems to work if I have it set to take pictures in jpeg quality and not raw. Not what I would prefer but hey I will take what I can get. So what does one do when they are bored? Take pictures of weeds, trees and other randomness in their yard of course. 

Don't confuse this child attempting to climb the fence for a weed. He may grow like one but I assure he is not one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Arrrr Matey

Not sure if the caption should be "arrrr matey" or "Imma gonna get you" or "grrrrr". Either way this boy cracks me up every single day with his silly little faces & his giggles. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What do you dream?

That's right another great question from the amazing Jessica over at Kick in the Blog. This weeks question

"What's your dream? 
Is it for you? 
For your kids? 
Can it come true?
Do you even really want it to?"

I LOVE this question. Love love. You know why? Because not many people think about their dreams. Sure they have them but they may feel they are completely out of range and just give up. This questions asks you to stop and take the time to think about it. 

So here we go. For the longest time my dream was to have a home to raise my family in. Ever since I became a mom that's what it had been and you know what I am living that dream. Things were not always easy and believe me our rough times were rough but here we are, almost eight years after becoming a family and we finally have a home. A real home, not just a rental. A house that is ours, to raise our family, to make lasting memories in. That dream is here right now. 

So now since I/we are living that dream I want to talk about my other dream. Photography. I love photography but I want to learn all about it. I want to learn how to properly use a camera, all the settings, different lenses, how to use it to it's full potential. And when I accomplish that I want to take pictures of nature. Flowers, rain, lightening, tornado's, you name it I want to shoot it. I also want to travel around the country and capture as much as I can of all the different areas I visit. Including the people, the land, the food, the culture and well, everything about my experience while visiting. 

Is this dream for your kids? Well yes and no. Yes because I would love for my children to be traveling with me and getting all the same experiences that I would be getting. Can you imagine, living in a RV traveling the world and documenting everything that you come across. That would be truly amazing. I also say no because Photography is a passion/love of mine BUT it is a love that I also want to share with my children.

Can it come true? Well I know I can educated myself, it takes time and money. Both of which aren't always readily available but I know it just takes commitment and that I can do. The traveling I am not sure if it can come true. But I do live in an area with all different types of weather so I WILL make photographing nature!

Do I want it to come true? Absofreakinlutely!


If you could use some inspiration why not head over to Kick in the Blog and participate in this weeks prompt. Then link up so we can read about your dreams!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spiced chicken over a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette

You ever have one of those nights where you haven't planned anything for dinner and by five o'clock you're running around the kitchen desperately trying to find something to make? Last week I had one of those nights. I knew I had chicken but other then that I didn't know how I was going to prepare it, what side dish I would make, heck I didn't even know if I had anything for a side dish.
What was I to do in a pinch? I had no choice but to bust out the cooking books. The one's I have bought over the years that I rarely ever look at. Tonight I grabbed a Rachel Ray 30 minute meals cookbook and began to scour the pages for anything chicken related. After countless recipes being denied do to lack of ingredients I finally found one for an Israeli Rub. Aha, this could work. I don't have some of the seasonings in the form she calls for because I am not a big dried leafy person so I use ground spices but it could work. So here's what I did.

Chicken Rub
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons corriander 
1.5 oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl

Phew that was rough, need a break after all that hard work ;)

Too bad, moving right along now.

4-5 Chicken breasts, trimmed of fat. If they are very thick slice them in half. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour a little bit of olive oil over the chicken and mix. Then generously pour on the rub. Don't go overboard and use it all. Save some for the next time you make this dish. I still have about 1.5 tablespoons left and trust me, the chicken was not lacking in the flavor department.
Mix the chicken to make sure it's completely coated. I say mix because I just tossed it around with my spatula instead of sticking my hands in. Let sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

While your chicken in marinating prepare your salad. 

Approximately 3-4 cups of greens, any kind you like. I used a pre-mixed bag from the store with spinach & spring leaves. 
1-2 Hearts of palm (not the jars just 1-2 of the vegetable)
Red onion-thinly sliced 
Tomato-thinly sliced 
Totally up to you but I don't like having big pieces of lettuce in my salads so I chop everything. After you chop (or not) your lettuce mix with the hearts of palm, onions and tomato. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 cups of olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (if you have a garlic press now's the time to pull it out)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar (this is optional, if you are using a good quality balsamic it's not necessary but wont really hurt if you add it anyways, it will just thicken it up a bit)

Unless you like wilted lettuce I would not put the salad dressing on your salad until you are ready to serve it. Just place the dressing to the side and your salad in the fridge.

Back to the chicken. Pour about 1.5 teaspoons into a large pan and turn on to medium/medium high heat. Once warm cook chicken breasts for seven minutes on each side. Remember if your chicken is on the thicker side it may take a little bit longer to fully cook. If you have sliced them in half seven minutes should cook them perfectly. Always cut open a breast just to double check that it is in fact fully cooked.

Once your chicken is fully cook let it rest for a few minutes so the juices do not flow out which will dry your chicken out. Then you can either leave the chicken whole or thinly slice your chicken. Now you can mix your salad and the dressing together. To plate your meal I topped the salad with the chicken.

Since this is a light meal I wouldn't suggest serving with a heavy side such as potatoes or noodles, think more along the lines of healthy. I quickly cooked up some zucchini in butter and a dash of salt and served it along side the salad. To my surprise my kids actually mixed the zucchini in with the salad and ate it that way. Who knew kids loved vegetables!

The final result: 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunrise-Sunset Sunday

This week I am doing something slightly different. I am adding in a picture of a sunrise in addition to my sunset picture. Sunrises are equally magnificent as sunsets and so not celebrate them right along with a sunset.
A beginning and an end in one place. 

Since my computer and I are not seeing eye to eye this morning I am posting the only pictures I can access right now, and because of that they are of two different states.

The first picture is a sunrise over my old home in California. We had the perfect viewing area for sunrises because there was nothing but a huge field off to the east.

And this second picture is a sunset over Georgia. Ah, Georgia. You know we only spent a short time there but I really loved it there. We had a decent sized home but the amazing part was it was on over 3 acres. There was even a barn in the backyard. Granted we never went inside of it but still it was cool. And the greenery, so much greenery surrounding you, you couldn't help but feel relaxed in such beautiful scenery. And of course the backyard faced west, prime for sunsets.

Have a sunrise and/or sunset picture you want to share? I would love to see it. Please link up below so I can come and share the love.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-These kids sleep in the oddest places

Keeping with last weeks theme here is how I found my boys the other day.

Yes that would be my seven year old in my three year olds toddler bed. I assumed his brother kicked him out of his bed but he told me the next morning he wanted to sleep there so he did LOL

And where was little man? Why on the floor next to his big brothers bed wrapped up in the comforter and using his pillow. 

These kids crack me up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Macy's Classroom Makeover Sweepstakes


We all know that Macy's is known as being one of the most amazing department stores out there but did you also know they are very involved in giving back to the community. 

"A big part of Macy's unique heritage includes our special events - the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, flower shows, fashion extravaganzas, celebrity appearances and holiday traditions that range from the arrival of Santa Claus to tree lightings and festive window displays. But beyond our signature events, Macy's delivers magical moments every day through our shopping environment, service and merchandise - a great deal of which is sold exclusively through our stores. It's all part of the excitement we've been creating for 151 years...and it's all part of the magic of Macy's!"

In fact in 2010 they helped raise approximately $60 million dollars to different causes around the country and they donated more than 122,000 hours of their personal time for community service. I'm sorry but for a big corporation to have such a big heart like that is simply amazing and something I wish other big corporations would take a hint from them.

Right now Macy's is holding Classroom Makeover Sweepstakes, the prize, $25,000 to the school of your choice for an ultimate makeover. Schools are struggling more and more financially each year. Budgets are being cut left and right and who suffers from all these cutbacks? The students. Our children. 

The Classroom Makeover Sweepstakes is being held on their Facebook page until September 15, 2011. Anyone is free to enter, just follow these simple steps:
  1. Head to & like the page
  2. Click the Classroom Makeover Sweeps tab
  3. Fill out the entry form & submit
  4. Share the contest via Facebook & Twitter
SheSpeaks has teamed with Macy's to help spread the news of this amazing sweepstakes. SheSpeaks will be hosting a twitter party on September 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm EST where they will be discussing kids' back-to-school stories and of course about the Macy's Classroom Makeover. They will also be giving away Macy's gift cards so be sure to set your calendars so you don't miss it! Make sure you follow @shespeaksup and @macys and don't forget to use the #MacysB2S hashtag while at the party.

*I wrote this post while participating in the SheSpeaks Macy's Classroom Makeover Sweepstakes campaign.*

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunset Sunday-Colorado Sunsets

First let me start off by saying how much I appreciate all my bloggy friends helping me to spread the word on Sunset Sundays. I love you all!

This week I am using a couple of pictures from our time spent in Aurora Colorado. We lived in a three story condo with our bedroom on the third floor which looked out over the downtown area and the view was just spectacular. 

These are from two different nights but I couldn't help but share both. Both are of the downtown area yet each are so different. That's the beauty of life, every day a new beginning.

Have a picture you would like to share? I would love to see it so don't forget to link up!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Aetna Healthy Food Fight

Eating healthy is not always easy to do. With the cost of organic foods, finding time to cook healthy meals. getting picky eaters to eat said meals. Yeah it can be a struggle sometimes but it is still something may strive for. And for me personally I feel that it's worth the extra time, effort and money just to feed my family food that is good for them and not cave and order the occasional fast food. While it may be tasty and an "easy way out" it is not healthy for you.

Aetna has teamed up with She Speaks to help spread the word about the Healthy Food Fight campaign. The entire site is dedicated to making healthy food choices. There is even a recipe section and tips on how to get you to achieve a healthy lifestyle. To kick off the second year of the campaign they are hosting a Food Fight Challenge. 

Have a healthy recipe that you've created? Want to share that recipes with like minded people while entering a contest that may end you in the semi finals and have a cook off? I thought you might like the sound of that. You can either submit a healthy recipe and/or vote for a recipe here.  And if you are one of the four lucky finalists this will be an opportunity of a lifetime. You will get to compete in front of world renowned chef Bobby Flay and a few VIP judges. What's the prize you ask, the winner of the Final Cook-off will receive a grand prize of $10,000 worth of groceries (donated by It just keeps getting better and better doesn't it.

So what are you waiting for? Go enter! It's pretty simple really. Just select the region you would like to compete in, register at Healthy Food Fight and submit your recipe. There will be a Healthy Recipe Analyzer just to confirm that the recipe is in fact healthy (pretty neat if you ask my). After it's approved share your heart out about your submission! Submitting opened on August 22nd for the Pomona, CA region. The Dallas, TX region opened today, September 1st. Atlanta, GA submissions open on September 9th and the Philadelphia, PA submissions open on September 23rd.

I submitted Unstuffed Bell Peppers. A favorite of mine and since the kids aren't always gungho about a big bell pepper sitting in front of them I improvised and came up with this dish. If you want to try it out here's my submission . If you like it I would love if you would vote for me. Also if you submit a recipe please share so I can go vote for you!

To help spread even more awareness about this awesome campaign there will be a twitter party hosted by She Speaks on September 15th @ 8:00pm EST. They will be doing a recipe swap. Now I don't know about you but a twitter party involving recipes is a win win.  Be sure to follow @shespeaksup and the #SSFoodFight hashtag.  


*I wrote this post while participating in the SheSpeaks Aetna Healthy Food Fight campaign*