Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Smothered Chicken

I eat a lot of chicken. It's pretty much my go to meat. So, I found a recipe a few months ago for smothered chicken and I was so excited because it combines several of my favorite foods; chicken, cheese, and mushrooms...Yum!

This is a super easy meal and can be spiced up by adding different veggies.

Smothered Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
half an onion chopped
1 small can mushrooms
1 green bell pepper chopped
2 T olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
half cup colby jack cheese shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet. Brown chicken breasts in skillet about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set to the side. Add onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet and cook until onions are translucent.
Place chicken back in skillet.Cover the chicken with cheese and then place a lid on the skillet. Reduce heat and keep covered until cheese is melted. I usually leave it for about 5-10 minutes.So good! Last time I made this I added some black beans and tomatoes in and it was really good. This time I added some spinach leaves. Serve with rice or potatoes. You can really change this up to your liking. Yumm!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today I was "That Mom"

Today I was "that mom." You know, the one with a baby on her hip and the toddler running around like crazy. The mom with the kid that's crying for food or a toy. The mom with two kids that are just screaming their lungs off. The mom that looks beaten down by life and is just trying to keep it together. The mom that bribes her kids with juice and food so, they'll give her a minute of peace.

Today that was me.

First, we had to drive over an hour to get to a doctor's appointment that I had. When we got there C was going nuts. He ran around the office and was drawing on everything he could, including the poster on the wall. Luckily, the staff was super nice but, I could tell by the end of the visit it was getting to them. I tried redirection, I tried talking calmly, I tried holding him. I tried everything I could think of without bribing him. Finally, I broke down and gave him some crackers. That held him for 5 minutes. Then we moved on to raisins. After that, he just kept crying until I gave him more crackers.

And of course he didn't eat his lunch an hour later.

Luckily, after we got home and took a nap he got to run around outside and burn off some energy. But, it started all over at dinner time. He refused to eat his dinner and sat at the table and cried. This time I explained to him that if he didn't eat his dinner he wasn't going to get any other food. He was fine with that and went to play.

What has happened to my sweet little boy?!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dirty 30

In two days I'll be turning 30. I've been a little freaked out that I'm leaving my 20's behind because although I'm married and have two kids, I'm still not quite ready to admit I'm a responsible adult. So, in honor of my 30th birthday I will give you the 10 most memorable events of my 20's...
  1. Turning 21 and doing as many shots as humanly possible at The University Pub at TCU...that was awesome
  2. Graduating from TCU at 23
  3. Walking down the aisle with my dad and marrying my college sweetheart at 24
  4. Going out of the country for the first time to Jamaica for our honeymoon at 24
  5. Buying our first house at 25, and then buying our second two years later at 27...I don't recommend moving twice in two years
  6. Buying my first car by myself at 25
  7. Walking 60 miles in three days for the Breast Cancer 3Day at 25
  8. Losing my dad at 25
  9. Becoming a mom to C at 27
  10. Becoming a mom to K at 29
Hopefully my 30's will be even more memorable than my 20's.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Before C was born I worked a LOT. During grad school I had started working for Pier 1 and found that I really enjoyed retail. I know it sounds weird but, it was fun because you never had the same day twice. Every day was different. I was always busy. It burned a lot of calories! After 3 years of moving up from associate to assistant manager, I became a store manager with my own store. At the time it was cool because my husband was a musician and worked odd hours. It worked for us.

Retail has its down sides though. Crazy hours, working at 6am the day after Thanksgiving or staying until midnight because you have a visit the next day from the VP. Shoppers that assume you're uneducated because you work in a retail store. Shoppers that treat you like you're their servant. People that come in and seem to feel like they are entitled to something more than every one else. Or that person that wants to take their bad day out on every one else.

Despite these things I loved working in retail. I loved the visual aspects of it, moving displays and changing products for the appropriate seasons. I liked helping customers find what they were looking for and more. I even liked unloading trucks. So, when I became a stay at home mom it was a hard change.

Days began to feel like weeks when C would just sleep for hours and hours. I didn't know what to do with myself. Gradually, I adjusted and begin to love my new career as Mommy. When K came along I couldn't imagine myself working outside the home, at least until both kids were in school. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out like we think.

When it was decided that I had to return to work part-time the first thing I thought of was retail. It's what I know and what I enjoy doing. It's also flexible with those crazy hours. I ended up getting a job at The Container Store which is not only and awesome place to shop, it's an awesome place to work.

But, I find myself feeling guilty for liking my job so much. When the ice storm hit a few weeks ago and I wasn't able to get to work for two days I found myself feeling sad that I was missing work. Some times it seems as if my job is actually a break from my life as Mom. I love C and K more than the world but, it's nice to have some time to breathe and not have a small person hanging off your leg. I know there are moms out there that feel guilty for having to work but, do they feel guilty that they like to work?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday 2/16

It's Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday again over at The Unexpected Mother. Today we're talking about the Cry It Out method and sleeping.

Oh, sleep how I have missed it!

When C was born I was an attachment parent from the start, or as much as I could be from the outside of a box in the NICU. When C came home we had a co-sleeper attached to the bed but most of the time he was actually in the bed with us. I was so afraid that he would stop breathing I just needed him next to me. But, when he started growing and squirming around in the bed and FINALLY slept through the night around 5-6 months it was time for him to go to his own room.

One thing that was in our favor was that he was already sleeping through the night. He wasn't waking up for feedings or changing which was nice. We started putting him down for naps in his crib around 4 months and the first time it happened he cried like crazy. My mom was there and she told me he would just cry himself out. It was so hard but, I let him do it and he only cried for 10 minutes. The next day he cried for 5-10 minutes and after that he would go down easy. So, when we transitioned him to the crib it was actually no problem. I was so happy I almost through myself a party! Now, every now and then we do have some crying at bed time and if it persists more than half an hour I make sure to check and make sure there isn't something wrong.

K is 7 months and a totally different story. I've been co-sleeping with her since she came home as well. Around 4 months I started putting her to bed in the co-sleeper by herself a little while after C went to bed. I have been so ready for her to move into her room because I am just so tired. But, the kids share a room so, I have been super reluctant to transition her to the crib using the cry it out method. I think the cry it out method does work but, not when you have two kids in the same room.

During K's morning nap she sleeps in her crib but, during her afternoon nap she still sleeps in the co-sleeper. In the last week I've actually been able to put her down in the crib for the night without her crying but, she still wakes up crying at 2 am. Ugh! I guess the whole point of the cry it out method is to let her actually cry it out. But, what do you do when there's another child in the room?? Right now, C is the only one in the house getting a full night's sleep!

Be sure to stop by The Unexpected Mother for Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Can Use Power Tools!

When we sell elfa closet solutions at The Container Store, where I work, we design them to the specifications of the customer. This means that every customer's closet or pantry or desk solution is different and that's what is so freaking cool about it. Not only do they get a space designed exactly for them that no one else has but, they can change it later on because of the versatility of the product! Okay, enough of my elfa rant(for those of you that don't live close to a Container Store you must check them out online and check out their elfa closet section!).

Anyway, because we design to meet the customer's specifications we have to cut certain metal shelves or posts. That means using a heavy duty saw or bolt cutters. And you have tobe trained in order to do that so you don't cut your fingers off.

Guess who can cut through metal things??

That's right, yours truly! Back in December I was trained to use the heavy duty tools. It's pretty sweet to get back there and just saw through a piece of metal. Today, I got to cut several different things for a closet solution and I have to say that it was very satisfying!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a Surprise!

I've been given an award by one of my favorite bloggers! Monica from Organized Chaos!! awarded me with theHow fun! To accept the award, I'm supposed to share 7 facts about myself and then pass the award on to other Stylish Bloggers. So, here goes...

  1. I recently gave up coke or for you northerners pop or soda. It was a very sad day but, I was drinking way too much!
  2. Fall is my favorite season, I love when the air gets cooler. Of course, in Texas that means the 70's!
  3. I have an irrational fear of fish...eek I'm afraid of them touching me...it makes me shudder just thinking about it!
  4. I played the flute from 2nd grade all the way through college, which is how I met my husband.
  5. I'm totally jealous of people that can sew.
  6. I make all of my own baby food and I love it!
  7. I love, love, love the show Parenthood.
I hope you enjoyed learning more silly things about me!

I'll be passing this award on to...

Babbs at Babbs Place even though I think she already got this award but, she's just so darn Stylish!!


Mommyfriend Lori over at Mommyfriend.

Be sure to check them out a well as Monica over at Organized Chaos!! because they are awesome ladies!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday

It's Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday over at The Unexpected Mom and today's prompt is what would you say in a letter to your pre-kiddo self...

Dear pre-kiddo self,

You will hate being pregnant. You will worry that there is something wrong with you because you hate it so much.

Your OBGYN for your first child will be a horrible person but, you will find a wonderful doctor mid-pregnancy who will deliver you at 29 weeks.

It will be very scary and you will spend 47 days by your son's side in the NICU.

You will realize that you are a thousand times stronger than you think you are.

You won't lose your pregnancy weight after your first child.

You will get pregnant with your second child before you are ready and you will hate being pregnant AGAIN.

You will realize the symptoms of pre-eclampsia earlier than your first pregnancy and will spend 2 weeks on bed rest.

You will lose your pregnancy weight after your second child...yay!

You will love your children more than you can ever imagine and they will amaze you every day.

You will throw yourself a private party when your husband volunteers to get a vasectomy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day Chicken Chili

We had a snow day here today which only happens in Texas because no one knows how to drive when that white stuff starts coming down. It was really fun having Mark home with me and the kids and also a nice break for me.

When I first saw this Chicken Chili recipe over at The Cutting Back Kitchen I wanted to make it right away. But, last week it was 70 degrees and no one wants to eat chili when it's 70 outside. I knew it was supposed to be crazy cold this week so I decided I would make it today. This turned out so well, it's definitely a keeper. One weird/cool thing is that the black beans turned the chicken purple. So, this would be great for all of my TCU tailgating friends! I adapted this recipe from Katie at The Cutting Back Kitchen, if you want to see her original recipe click here.

Chicken Chili

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and cubed
3 cans (or one bag dry) black beans
32 oz chicken broth
16 oz jar of salsa
8 oz shredded Colby jack cheese
2 tsp cumin
1 small can green chilies ( I have awesome in-laws that bring us real green chilies from New Mexico so I used these)

This is so easy! Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for 2 more hours. Scoop into bowl and add some shredded cheddar or sour cream. I served it with tortilla chips.

If you use a bag of dry black beans be sure to sort and soak them over night and then put them in the slow cooker on high by themselves for 2-3 hours before you put the rest of the ingredients in.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Makers of Jeans

Dear Makers of Jeans,

Just because I have big hips does not mean I have a big waist and thighs. Just because my backside is small does not mean that I want it to look like I have a flat back side. It doesn't make sense that my jeans give me muffin top but I still have to pull them up. Although I am in my 20's I don't want my butt to hang out the back of low rise jeans. Even though I am a mom, I don't want to wear mom jeans. Please make a pair of jeans that fits a normal person.

Thank you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Organizational Fail

So, this week my plan was to reorganize the kids drawers. Right now, the dresser/changer holds all of C's clothes and there is a dresser in the closet that holds K's clothes as well as a bunch that are hung up. I wanted to go through and pack up all of the clothes that they had outgrown and make more space in the dresser/changer.

Once I packed up all the old clothes I was hoping to have some extra space to pull some of K's clothes into the dresser/changer so they are at hand when I'm changing her instead of across the room.

Well, this week was not the week to get this done. K spiked a 103 fever on Sunday through Monday night and the week went downhill from there. So, the new plan is to get this project done next week and if I can get some vacuuming done before Sunday I'll be a happy person. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Two Scariest Words Ever... Potty Training

Eeek! C is now 2 and getting bigger by the day. Changing his diaper has become an exercise in torture with the kicking and screaming. One of my non-resolutions for this year is to have him potty trained. I wanted to start right after Christmas but, I'm procrastinating because although I hate changing his diapers, I'm afraid of all the work were going to have to do as a family to get this done.

A lot of my friends are about to jump on the potty training band wagon as well. So, we've all been researching and reading and updating our facebook pages with where we are in the process. And everyone has a different approach. With all of the information out there I've heard about "Oh Crap Potty Training" more than once. Jaime, the author, tells it like it is with a sense of humor which I really like because for those of you who know me outside of bloggyland, I'm pretty straight and to the point. So, I'm pretty interested in this e-book.

Shannon over at Milk & Cuddles has been using it and considers it 1 of her 4 tools for "Potty Training Success" and she's doing a giveaway right now for one lucky reader to win this book and a 1-hour consultation with Jaime! This is an awesome prize for all us scaredy cat potty training mommas. So hop on over and enter to win!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just Had to Share

Something I've been waiting for for the last two years finally happened today. When I walked in the door C called me "Mama." I almost cried.

Many of you know that C was born 10.5 weeks early and spent several weeks in the hospital before he could come home. We were told that he could experience developmental delays and we were thrilled when he caught up to his peers more quickly than anticipated. But, there was one area that we have had major delays and that's speech.

At 1 year C didn't have any words. He was "talking" like crazy but, in his own language. I wasn't really worried about it knowing that eventually he would catch up. At 18 months he had maybe 5 words, neither of them were "Mama" or "Dada." It was starting to get a little bit frustrating. At his 18 month developmental appointment we learned his speech skills were categorized at around 12 months. Our doctors had us get his hearing tested and we started working with Early Childhood Intervention.

All this time we kept hearing people say he'd have a breakthrough and that their children just started talking one day, or he'd talk when he was ready. I'd been pretty patient with not hearing "Mama" from my child but, deep down that's what I really wanted.

C turned 2 last month and still wasn't using more than 5-10 words but, over the last two weeks he has started saying more and more things. I almost fell out of my chair when he said "please" for more milk. And today was the best day ever for me as a mom when I walked in the door and he looked at me and said "Mama." I almost hugged him to death!

I know we still have more progress to make but, I'm just so excited about this accomplishment I can go back to being patient again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

When someone first mentioned this to me I thought "that's crazy! what can work like store bought baby wipes??" But, with going down to one income for C's first two years and Baby K coming along and having to go back to work we needed to save some money. So, one day I was out of wipes and I thought, "okay I'll give this a try and maybe I'll save some money. How hard could it be?"

Actually, not hard at all, and it does save you money. I've been doing this for almost a year now and I thought I would share it with you.

There are a ton of "recipes" for home made baby wipes around the internet but, this is the one I use that works for me.

1 jumbo roll Bounty paper towels (these are really thick and won't disintegrate)

1 1/2 cups hot water (if you use a regular size roll of paper towels you'll need less water)

1 Tbs baby wash (I have used Johnson & Johnson and also generic Target brand baby sensitive)

1 Tbs baby oil (whichever you prefer)

You will also need a container to keep them in. I use an old ice cream tub that has a handle on it.


1. Cut your paper towel roll in half and remove cardboard cylinder. You can save one half for your next batch.

2. Heat your water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Place your halved paper towels cut side down in your container.

3. Add baby wash and baby oil to water and stir gently to not create bubbles.

4. Pour mixture over paper towel roll. Put lid on container and flip upside down for 5 minutes to let mixture get all the way through.

5. Use wipes!

Easy! This usually lasts me a week or so depending on how messy the kids' diapers are, if you only have one child in diapers it would probably lasts 2-3 weeks. And you still have the other paper towel half for the next batch. This is also a great idea for babies with skin allergies because you can use whichever baby wash and oils your baby is able to tolerate. And if you're really creative you can decorate the container and give these as a shower gift with the recipe attached.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kid's Room Clean Up

I was so excited about getting organized I hopped right in with something I've been wanting to do for a while. I forgot to take a before picture so, just pretend that the huge brown bookcase is next to the dresser/changer combo you see in picture 3.

Over the summer my brother-in-law moved in with us to help take care of the kids so that I could work part-time. In order to do this we had to put both kids in one room. It's been driving me crazy to have all the clutter and stuff in that room! The big brown bookcase was full of stuff...


I originally thought the brown bookcase would be great because we use cloth diapers for our daughter and we needed a place to put them along with the disposables we're still using for C. But, it's just so massive it made the room feel smaller and blocked the window. Also, C really likes to rock in the rocking chair that is a family heirloom and he knocks it into the bookcase constantly damaging both.

Once I moved the monster bookcase out of the room, I brought in a shelf unit that we've been dragging around since college. It's sturdy and can take a beating.

I brought in a basket we were using for C's books in the living room cabinet to put all of the cloth diaper stuff in to keep it organized. I also put a lamp on top for our night time book reading. Then I put all of C's books on the shelf below that.

The last thing I did and the only thing I actually bought was to put some baskets on the bottom two shelves to hold toys and small board books.

I love it! It really opens up the room and I can see the window when I walk into the room(the window is to the right of the rocking chair). I love that C no longer climbs on the rocking chair to reach his books too.

Next week's project... figuring out what to do with the monster bookcase.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Organization is My New Middle Name

Browsing through blogs today I came across I'm an Organizing Junkie's 52 week organization challenge. I thought to myself, "this is awesome!"

When I got my part-time job in October it was at The Container Store, the guru of organization. I love The Container Store, I've shopped there since college. Unfortunately, I am not a guru of organization. I'm more of an organized mess. I feel like a hypocrite some days working there helping people organize their lives when I can't even organize my own. I will say though, that I have started to organize more of my stuff and look for more creative ways to do so since I started there. There are just so many cool ways to store and organize your things.

I've been trying to figure out how to organize myself and my family better. My husband is constantly trying to get me to put my things away and they just pile up on my dresser. I would love to buy a ton of elfa products from The Container Store but, until I've saved enough for that I'll be content to reorganize(or organize for the first time) what I have. This is where Org Junkie's 52 week challenge comes in. Each week you do something little so you don't feel overwhelmed by it all. I love that!

This is the first week and the topic is "Where will you start?" Each week Laura will post a few questions about the week's projects on Friday for everyone to discuss. I'm just so excited about it!! I found out about this at the end of the week but, I already have tons of ideas brewing. So, this week's questions are...

1. Do you have your list written? (if you missed it, you can find the pdf here)

I'm still working on my list but, among the things on it are...February do the kids closet, March the kitchen, April master bedroom closet, May master bathroom, I need to work on each individual week.

2. What is the first thing on it that you hope to accomplish this week?

I actually had a goal before I saw this challenge to clean out my glass and tupperware cabinet and I did it on Tuesday. I was so excited!

3. How are you going to make it happen?

I love to cross things off of a list that's a huge motivation but, I'm also counting on my husband and readers to hold me accountable.

This should be fun. I'll take pictures of each project I'm tackling and do a post each Friday. Are you in??

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year a Non Resolution

I've been thinking about New Year's resolutions along with the rest of the world for the past week. Every year I try to think of a creative resolution, like in 2006 I resolved to do something different that I hadn't done before. That year I raised $2300 and walked 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3Day. I think that was about the coolest resolution I've had and actually followed through on.
Last year my resolution was to be a good mom. It's not a creative or unique resolution, it's not even measurable. But, I think I achieved it. I've been away from the blog a while, pretty much since baby K was born in July. During that time I was fulfilling my resolution to be a good mom, not that I wasn't before then, I just had a little more time! In June and July I spent several weeks on bed rest before baby K was born and in October I went back to work for the first time in two years so I could help pay for baby K and C. Kiddos are expensive! Those are just two big things in between the loving my new baby girl and her big brother, changing diapers, midnight feedings, working, changing diapers, 3am feedings, playing, and did I mention changing diapers?
So, this year I had a hard time thinking of a resolution. Of course I still want to be a good mom but, I wanted a new resolution. And no using the "I want to lose weight or diet and exercise." That's a cop out resolution. Every one wants to lose weight! So, I decided this year no resolutions for me just a list of things I would like to do this year. Here are my non resolutions for 2011...
  1. Potty train C...eek!
  2. Write on this blog twice a week and actually keep it up the whole year.
  3. Read blogs again, I really miss all my blog peeps.
  4. Stop getting caught up in what I don't have and enjoy what I do have.
  5. Go on a date with my husband
  6. Go on a date with my husband and not regret leaving the kids at home.
  7. Take the kids to the zoo.
  8. Keep up with the house cleaning...ugh
Here we go 2011. Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Please Excuse the Mess

Since it's been 5 months since my last post some things will be changing around here. Please excuse the roughness while I change some things around.

Happy New Year!