Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Favorite Pinterest Recipes

Pinterest is my go-to for meal planning. I like to try new recipes and find creative and interesting ways to prepare healthy food for my family. Pinterest is teaming with recipes for every type of food and I've had really good luck with most of the recipes that I've tried (as in very few pinterest fails!). I wanted to share some of my favorites that we have collectively loved: 
Healthy Homemade Granola: I only made this last week but I can tell this is a snack that we will keep repeating - it's so simply to make and tastes amazing and I love that you can decide exactly what goes into your granola, unlike with store bought brands. 
Rainbow Peanut Noodles via gimme some oven: I've made this dish a few times and it's so flavorful and full of veggies- super tasty! 

Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls via Damn Delicious: My spring rolls didn't look quite so pretty but they tasted great! I also made the peanut sauce from the recipe above for a dipping sauce for these.

Quinoa Burger via Eating well living thin: I make these a couple times a month and we love them. They are really flavorful and filling. I usually make homemade Tzatziki for eating with them.

5 Ingredient Rice and Beans via Naturally Ella: This makes the best rice and beans and I like that it has spinach in it too. I add cilantro and extra lime juice when I make it. Hayden and I eat usually eat this weekly with lunch or dinner. 
{link to recipe}
Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs via Chocolate Broccoli: Another winner!
{link to recipe}
There are many more that we've tried and liked but these are the favorites! What are some of your favorite healthy recipes? Quick, I need some ideas for next week's dinners! ;)  


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hayden's Style Files

As I've heard other mommas to boys express, dressing a little boy is a lot more fun than expected. You may have to search a little harder to find the cute, trendy boys clothes than girls clothes, but the hunt is fun and I'm throughly enjoying dressing this little guy. My favorite places to buy him clothes are H&M, Old Navy, Baby Gap, Target, and through some speciality shops. Here are a few of my favorite outfits for Mr. H: 
Cardigan: Baby Gap
Onsie: Baby Gap
Yellow Pants: H&M

Sweater: Baby Gap
V-neck tee: Baby Gap
Green pants: Old Navy
Moccasins: Freshly Picked

Green Jacket: Target
T-shirt: Baby Gap
Skinny Jeans: Baby Gap
Shoes: Toms 

H tee: Baby Gap
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Toms 

Tee: Target
Pants: Old Navy
Moccasins: Freshly Picked

Shirt and Bow Tie: Baby Gap
Pants: Old Navy
Moccasins: Freshly Picked 

Trendy Tots

Monday, April 28, 2014

Traveling with a Toddler

Our recent trips to Charleston and Austin have given us a little experience with traveling with a toddler. When Hayden was a baby, we flew to Hawaii twice with him and each time the flight wasn't too bad. He slept for long portions, was nursing, and generally not so squirmy. Toddler Hayden is a whole different ball game and I spent a lot of time prepping for this trip. There's tons of posts out there from others who have done the same, but I thought I'd offer my two cents and maybe help another parent along in the future. Here are some of my tips:
Pack a separate backpack or bag for all the kid things. I brought our diaper bag and a skip hop backpack. I kept the diapering essentials, extra clothes, and some snacks in the diaper bag. Toys, books, snacks, and games were in Hayden's backpack. Here's a look at what was inside Hayden's backpack:
1. Skiphop Toddler Backpack : This adorable, high quality little backpack was the perfect size for all of Hayden's essentials.
2. Sippy cup: It can take a while for the beverage service to get going on the airplane, especially if you are preboarding. We found that bringing our own water cup was helpful when those insistent "water! water!" pleas started up. 
3. New puzzle: Hayden really likes puzzles and counting. So we bought this Melissa and Doug clock puzzle for him to enjoy. I had enough forethought to pack all the pieces in a plastic baggie. He really enjoyed taking the pieces out, counting, putting them in their spots, putting them in the baggie, shaking it up and doing it all over again. 
4. Stickers + Paper: I bought a book of stickers at Michaels for $2 and brought 3 sheets of construction paper with us. Nick and I would peel the stickers and stick them onto Hayden's hand or arm and then he would stick them to the paper. This simple activity could last up to 30 minutes. Hayden's really into animals and their sounds too so these stickers were a good conversation starter. 
5. Favorite Books: Hayden loves to read the same books over (and over and over and over)... I packed 2 of his favorites: Go Dog Go and Press Here. I knew that these two would get read multiple times throughout the flights. We especially love Press Here because it is interactive and Hayden loves to follow the directions - especially when Nick reads! 
6. New books: Since Hayden loves to read, I picked out 2 new books that he would enjoy. We actually got Chicka Chicka Boom Boom out from the library a couple months ago and he loved it so it was an easy choice to add to our collection. The other book is called My Truck is Stuck. Honestly, if we could have brought 20 books in our carry-on, I think our trip would have gone even more smoothly- this kid loves to read! 
7. Magna Doodle  A typical travel, toy but was effective at holding Mr. H's attention for a while. 
8. SNACKS! We brought tons of snacks since we were flying through many normal meal times and knew that a hungry toddler could turn into a hangry toddler in 5 seconds flat.  
I would say that this little backpack of tricks got us through 3/4s of the flying time without trouble. We also brought my iPad with a few new apps and an episode of Sesame Street downloaded onto it. However, I think Hayden spent more time with the toys and books that he did with the iPad. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

5 on Friday: Easter Recap

Five on Friday 
Easter was a busy weekend for us! It started on Saturday with dinner and a little egg hunt at my parent's house. Hayden was so funny lugging around a basket as big as him and saying "did it!" every time he put an egg in the basket.
Sunday morning we got up early for church. Nick and Hayden survived the first half before they went outside to walk around.We also gave Hayden his basket that morning. His Easter basket was a hit. He kept carrying it around all week and taking things out and putting them back in again.
We hosted brunch for Nick's family at our house after church and we had a great time celebrating with them!
This little guy went through 3 outfit changes on Easter as the day kept getting progressively warmer.
We ended the day with an Easter "lunch" with my extended family. Great food and company and plenty of warm sunshine!
Hayden and my cousin Phillip always end up twinning on major family holidays- this year in their mint green!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

counters and backsplash

 As I mentioned before our trip, our new backsplash was completed! As the installers were doing their thing, I was just so happy with the way the subway tile looked against the countertops. Our kitchen is in the middle of the house so it doesn't have any window. It's also pretty small- so we wanted to go really light in here to brighten things up. 
On of my favorite things is that the countertop extended back behind the stove. Previously there was just a gap there and I didn't even realize the plan to have the countertop back there. It looks so much more built-in now.

While we were on vacation, our faucet arrived! Nick installed it on Saturday and I love the brass. It's also one of those sinks that you can touch to turn on (a happy accident since I really just picked it out for it's looks!).
Even with the new countertops and backsplash, we are not calling this kitchen done yet. Our list includes repainting the cabinets (ugh!), changing all the switch plates to white, and finding new hardware for the cabinets that matches the brass of our faucet. We are a little disappointed that the effort we put into painting our cabinets hasn't held up. They look okay from a distance but there are quite a few chips in the paint. Also, we didn't paint the underside of the cabinets last time, but we will this time around since you can see the wood tone peaking out. Still, even with some more work ahead, I am so happy with our current kitchen- it's such a change from where we started:


Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Charleston Vacation

On Friday night we got back from a weeklong vacation in South Carolina. We spent the first weekend in Rock Hill to attend a friend's wedding and then headed to Charleston for the remainder of the time. We loved Charleston! I have been there before, back in high school but it was Nick and (obviously) Hayden's first time. The architecture is amazing and we were lucky to stay right downtown within walking distance of almost everything.
While we definitely had a great time, I will say that traveling with a toddler is more challenging than traveling with a baby. Hayden was also sick the first half of the trip so we were dealing with that. We did a lot more kid-friendly activities to keep Mr. H happy, but in the end we were just grateful for some family time and sleeping in! (We kept Hayden on West Coast time for the most part which meant we could go out to dinner a little later and he slept in until 9:30 - 10 each morning).
Prepare for an onslaught of pictures! We had a few days of yuck weather, so we ended up at the aquarium one day. Hayden LOVED the fish and turtle, but did not care for the sharks or jellyfish.
We went for a walk our first morning there and got caught in a rainstorm with no umbrella and a 15 minute walk back to our hotel.
We tried out the Charleston Children's Museum, briefly. It was a really cool place but packed to the gills because of the rain. We only stayed for about 45 minutes because the crowds were too much.
Our favorite experience was the carriage ride. It was an hour long and we got to learn so much about Charleston's history and see some amazing houses too. Hayden enjoyed the tour too and kept yelling "again" every time the driver would stop at a stop sign to urge him on.
We also visited Boone Hall Plantation, which was another great time. Nick and I both enjoy history and it was such an interesting place to visit.
Charleston had a really great food scene and we tried sampling different restaurants when our toddler would allow it.  He actually has pretty good restaurant manners for a one and a half year old, but also definitely has his limits!
On our last night there we made it to the beach on Sullivan's Island so that both my boys could see the Atlantic for the first time. We had thought we would spend more time at the beach this trip but the weather just wasn't quite there.
We really had a great time, though are so glad to be back home too! Thanks for having us, Charleston!  
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