Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Little This A Little That

Since Lindsey has been born there has not been one stage I have been anxious to get through. I didnt mind being up every three hours nursing, I didnt mind her having days and nights confused and I loved her starting to talk. I never pushed her to crawl, walk, roll, sleep through the night, etc. However, I am SO OVER this teething nonsense. AH! It hits like a tidal wave and suddenly shes up all night and doesnt want to eat.

I posted all about how I survive teething here but I have to say, I have stopped using the Hylands teething tablets after seeing them being recalled for causing seizures. Scary! We have been up all night for the past 4 nights, and lets just say this momma is tired! I am soo thankful for my family. My mom has been really great and getting up with her in the wee hours so I can get in a quick 2 hours and my grandma has been watching her in the afternoon so I can take a cat nap. I dont know what I would do without them especially since I am in summer school.

She is super precious though and I wouldnt trade her for anything. Even a full 6 hours of sleep.

In other news: our family bought a new Toyota Rav 4!! Yay us!! We traded in my moms truck for this baby. Itll be so great when we get to NC and have to drive in snow.

I have been wanting a quick an delicious lunch and egg salad has been first on my mind. This version has no mayonnaise and I skipped the bread and used pretzel chips instead. Delish and healthy and completely Dukan!

Healthy Egg Salad
Serves 4
- 8 hardboiled eggs 
- 3 TBSP plain non fat greek yogurt
- 1 TBSP spicy brown mustard
- Salt and pepper
- dash of paprika

I throw the eggs in a pot and cover with water. I then add a dash of salt, this will tell me if there are any bad eggs because they will float to the top. Then I stick them on the stove and crank the heat to high. I set the timer for 20 minutes and leave them alone. Once they are done, I run them under cold water and stick them in the fridge to cool. Once cooled, I peel them all, slice them in half and place them in a large bowl. I add the yogurt, mustard and spices and adjust accordingly. Remember, you can always add more but cannot take out! Then I dig in with a handful of pretzel chips! Yuuummm :)

I leave you with this thought: You will never know what God can do in your life unless you give him the chance to lead it.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 5:3

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Night time Skin Care Routine

I have recently found a skin care routine that has been working really well for my skin! I was having a terrible time with breakouts. Seriously my face thought it was 15 again. Terrible terrible time! But I have been using these products for a while now and all that acne is finally starting to clear up! Yay!! I also do a face mask once a week that I will do a whole other post on. I should include that I have sensitive/dry/acne prone skin. These products work for me, but I am not a dermatologist so they might not work perfectly for your skin type. It has been alot of trial and error for me. 

Night time skin care

I swear by this stuff! Literally it is my holy grail of eye makeup removers. I have tried quite a few and none seemed to do the job like this stuff. It melts my mascara and eyeliner without making my eyes burn. It also has a cooling sensation that feels great on my tired eyes. I just put a little on a cotton ball and gentle lift my eye makeup away. 

After I remove my eye makeup, I remove the rest of my makeup. I have found that this step is imperative in making sure my face is thoroughly cleaned. It does a great job of removing the makeup without being harsh and irritating my skin and removes the remainder of my eye makeup with out the burn. 

I love love loveee this face wash! I have super sensitive skin and have had a really hard time finding acne products that are gentle enough to use on a regular basis. This one is amazing. I love how clean my face feels after using it and how it has really helped clear up my pimples. I will def be repurchasing this!

I have been using this brush for a few weeks now so I feel like I can give it a proper review. I really like it! I was lusting after the Clarisonic Mia forever but as a single mom I cannot justify spending $150 on a cleaning brush. I use this 3-4 times a week with my neutrogena cleanser. It makes my skin really soft and super clean without being too harsh. I plan on doing a full review soon.

I use this toner second to last just to make sure every bit of dirt and makeup is off my skin. It is designed for sensitive skin and is really refreshing. It is not drying at all since it is alcohol free. I want to try more products by this brand. 

I love this night cream. I was using a thicker cream but since it is summer, my skin needs something a little lighter. I have tried a few products from this brand and they have all been really kind to my sensitive skin. It is not too heavy but hydrates my thristy skin, especially after all that cleaning! It has vitamin e and pro-vitamin b5 without any harsh chemicals or dye. Love it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

From the Heart

I love cooking for my family. It is something that gives me such joy and purpose in life. Watching their eyes light up and their mouths begin to water makes all the work I put into it worth it. This meal did all those things and more. It is so nice to cook for those you love and actually feel appreciated. Such a wonderful feeling. I do not cook every night. Luckily my mom in an excellent cook and she enjoys it just as much as I do! It is a big help because there are days where I am much too exhausted from doing school work, house work and not to mention a mom all day, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking. But alas, some days I look forward to that meal I will be preparing. And I am known to go all out :) These shells are so delicious they would make any pasta-hater change their mind. The filling is cheesy but light and complimented by a wonderful array of italian herbs. The sauce is hearty and meaty and balances out the light shells.

Three Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells in a Hearty Meat Sauce
Serves 6-8
- 16 ox box of Jumbo Shells
- 2 24 oz jars of tomato pasta sauce (I use Prego)
- 2 16 ox packages of italian sausage (could use breakfast sausage)
- 30 oz skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed with the excess water squeezed out
- 4 TBSP dried basil, divided
- 3 TBSP dried garlic powder, divided
- 3 TBSP italian seasoning, divided
- 2 TBSP onion powder
- 2 tsp chili flake
- 8-10 slices fresh mozzarella
- salt and pepper

Heat a large pot of water over high heat and season well with salt. This is the only chance you have to season your shells. While that is heating, cook your sausage over medium high heat then drain the excess oil from the pan. Return to pan and add the 2 jars of tomato sauce as well as half the basil, garlic powder and italian seasoning and all of the onion and chili flake. Season well with salt and pepper, give a stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the shells to the boiling water and cook only half the time directed on the box. You want these very al dente because they will finish in the oven. Heat your oven to 350 and mix the 3 cheeses (minus the sliced mozzarella), egg, remaining spices and spinach. Once your shells are cooked, drain and rinse with cool water. They will be very hot and may need a minute to cool before filling. Spoon enough sauce in a 13X9 pan to cover the bottom. Spoon a small amount of the filling into the shell and place seam side down in the pan. Try not to over fill your shells. Once your pan is full of stuffed shells, spoon the rest of the sauce on top of the shells and cover with the fresh mozzarella slices. You could use shredded or grated parmesan as well but the fresh mozz is soo good. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until cheese is nice and bubbly!

We enjoyed these amazing shells with a simple spinach salad with craisins, almonds and hardboiled egg.

I adore when food looks pretty!

We finished the evening with dessert and Grease. 

These boston cream pie cupcakes are to die for! They are insanely decadent and incredibly delicious. They are quite time consuming though so I think next time I will try my hand at a whole cake :)

I adore family time <3

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Birthday!

My best friend Brooke celebrated her 23rd birthday this week! A group of us girls plus the baby went out to dinner then after i dropped off the baby out for drinks. We has so much fun :) Me and Brooke have been friends for a few years now and she is such an awesome person. Our friendship is so hard to even describe. We connect on a different level than many people and our friendship is so strong. She loves life and is beginning to love God as well. She comes every week to my house with a few other girls for bible study and I really can see the word of God just breathing life into her. Its an amazing sight and I am so excited for her!

Lindsey just ADORES her auntie brooke :)

Some of my very best friends. I will so heart broken to say goodbye to them.

I love you best friend <3

Me and the princess doing our birthday shopping. She is my favorite shopping partner. 

Hope everyone is having an amazing week!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Lets get light

Heres a piece of exciting news: Our family will be moving to North Carolina this August! Woohoo! My brother was accepted into a music conservatory and I will be reentering the University world after attending community college for far too long. The choices were between New York, Indiana, Michigan and Detroit. After many prayers and waiting we decided North Carolina would be the best choice over all for everyone in the family. We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives!

Isn't that gorgeous!! Ah I can hardly wait! 

Anyway back to what we all love: FOOD!

I love making one day out of the week completely meatless. Usually its monday because the weekends are generally splurge city. My step dad was traveling and my brother was housesitting so this meal was perfect for just me and my mom. Especially since they would have hated that I replaced the meat with a mushroom. But take heart you meat eaters! You will NOT miss the meat! The portobello mushroom gives the perfect amount of meatyness (I make up words as I go) without the fat and grease that accompanies a real burger. The pesto and roasted red pepper add perfect touches of smoky and fresh taste. Oh and the side? TO DIE FOR! I have never had savory roasted sweet potatoes but my oh my I may never go back! The sweet potatoes are fresh and slightly sweet that the rosemary and garlic roast together in perfect harmony. I beg you to try this dish! Your taste buds will be dancing a happy dance :)

Portobello Burgers with Pesto and Roasted Red Peppers
Serves 4
- 4 portobello caps with the brown scales inside cleaned out and the caps cleaned with a damp paper towel
- 2 roasted red peppers cut in half (I just use a jar from Trader Joes)
- Jar of premade basil pesto
- 4 whole wheat buns
- sea salt and pepper
- olive oil

Heat a grill pan to high. Give your mushroom caps a nice rub down with olive oil and sea salt. Once your grill is hot add the caps. Then DO NOT TOUCH! They will take about 4 minutes a side depending on the size. Trust me when I say they will let you know when they are ready. They will release when ready to flip so don't try and pull them off. You will be sad. Heat your buns anyway you like. I put them in the oven at 400 for a few minutes to get them lightly toasted. Now assemble! Bun, mushroom, red pepper, basil pesto on top bun. THATS ALL! Healthy can be fast I promise :)

Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary, Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Serves 4
- 3 Large sweet potatoes peeled and diced about an inch thick
- 2 TBSP dried rosemary
- 2 TBSP dried garlic powder
- sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. Prep your potatoes and throw in a gallon freezer bag. This will make sure all the spices and oil are evenly distributed. Easiest way I swear! Add oil and spices and give a good shake. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Now this is when I go in and add a little more of all the spices just to make sure all the potatoes are seasoned. Bake for 30-40 min. I like mine a bit crunchy so I leave them in for a little longer. You just want them to be fork tender. About the last 5 minutes or so give them a nice sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Scrumptious!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Children's Museum Day

My friend Tara invited me and baby Lindsey to the Children's Museum last week with her friend and her friend's baby. The Children's Museum is an awesome place for kids 6months and up! It is filled with educational rooms that teach science and allow kids to explore all different things. We took Lindsey last October but at only 8 months she couldnt quite enjoy it as much as she did this time. The pictures will speak for themselves :)

She must have thought it was real food :)

Not too happy to share her throne ;)

Me and my little muffin

Overall it was such a fun day! If you live in the Tucson area, I highly suggest going! We will definitely be making one more trip before our big move this August to North Carolina :)