Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What's for dinner? (April Edition)

I'm getting a late start, but here are some of our new dinner favorites!  April was super busy, but we managed to try some new recipes, which makes this foodie-mom super happy!  And even more, these recipes were super easy!  What new recipes did you try last month. . . share in the comments! 

Asian Lemon Chicken
This chicken was super yummy and not as much work as this orange chicken.  If you haven't cooked with cornstarch. . . it really is a life changer!  It also has pineapple juice. . . so don't forget to pick up a can when you head to the store.  I highly recommend adding a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce up, because it was runny side.

Baked Sesame Chicken
You might think we were on a chinese food kick, and you'd probably be right.  But, really, I am feeling way more comfortable in my Oriental food making than I used to.  It is so easy and equally yummy!  This recipe, came on a night towards the end of the month, where I was almost out of anything worthwhile.  We had chicken and rice and not a whole lot of anything.  It was also carnival week, and there was absolutely NO time to go grocery shopping.  My poor family suffered that week!  But, I found this recipe and I had all the ingredients!  That was a serious win!  So, I baked these guys up right in the skillet I browned the chicken in (yes, I was lazy and yes, it's a cast iron skillet, so it can do both. . . you should buy one if you don't).  My husband can't wait to have this one again! 

Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
I had originally bought the pork tenderloin sitting in my freezer for a different meal.  I will probably try that recipe a different day, but last month it was used for this.  We really liked it, and it was super simple.  I might even do the rub and slice it before freezing it and make a freezer meal with it.  That way the flavors have more time to marinate and make it super easy for a weeknight meal! 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Meanderings & Link Up

  I saw the beach this weekend.  I touched the sand with my own two feet.  My heart is happy.  My to do list is getting smaller, which means commitments are coming to a close and summer is near!  I may not be looking forward to the summer heat, but I am looking forward to sleeping in and quiet days and so are my boys!  3 and a half weeks and it will be here!  I've got lots of planning to do (I'm a planner, but you knew that. . . I think!).  

As the to-do list is getting shorter, I've been having time to read things. . . this post is the result of that. . .

My bff is awesome and even more so,because we have kids at similar ages and stages. This post said it all! 

I've been digging into 1 & 2 Thessalonians with a wonderful group of ladies and we are celebrating in the morning.  I made this.  I am going to have to make more, my husband was super sad that there wasn't any for him.  In fact, we may be seeing this a lot!  

Since, Children of the Day is over, I've gone back to doing the She Reads Truth study.  If you are in need of a good study, do this.  Go buy a notebook and some fun colored pens.  Get into the Bible.  Study.  Journal.  Grow.  

This post was so encouraging.  It seems like whatever way you turn there is mommy guilt from some blogger making you feel like you are not doing enough or doing to much or something.  I am anti-guilt.  This post rocked. 

This is heartbreaking.  Utterly heartbreaking.  

 And to end on a happy note, this.  Go watch the movie now.  You can't watch it too many times!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Teachers need Hugs (and a free printable!)

Teacher Appreciation Week is almost over (and I am just now getting to this post. . . craziness!).  We have been so busy spoiling our teachers that the week has flown by!  It is so much fun!  So, if you are looking for something quick and easy to do for tomorrow, I have one for you.  All you need to do is make sure your color ink is stocked up, that you have a sandwich or snack sized bags, and pick up a bag of hugs when you are at Target or the grocery store getting last minute groceries for tonight's dinner. 

Then, go print it out, cut it, and staple it to your bag full of hugs.  An instant gift that will definitely bring a smile to that special teacher in your life!

Also, if you don't really want spend even a small amount of money to say thank you to your teacher, please consider making a card for them and telling them they are valued.  A little bit of encouragement goes such a long way!  Another way to do little things, is to get involved in some capacity with your schools parent-teacher club.

Click here to get your printable. 

Please feel free to share how you used this, but please don't use it as your own.  Please link back to this post. . . it's the nice thing to do. 

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week Inspiration

Ahhh.   I am determined to get this post out today.  Things are a bit crazy around these parts. . .and crazy in an absolutely wonderful way.  The school carnival was Friday Night and it was amazing!  And, tomorrow starts Teacher Appreciation Week.  Excitement is high!

So, because Teacher Appreciation is coming up soon I thoughtit would be a good time to flashback to some previous posts that make great gifts for teachers.  These things really don't take that much time, or even much money, and a little bit goes a long way to make your child's teacher's day.  If you are new to this blog. . . encouraging teachers is something that I take very seriously.  As a former teacher, I know how much work they put into your child (whether you think so or not). I highly recommend taking the time to spoil that teacher in your life at least one day during teacher appreciation week. 

Muffin to do but appreciate you!

Bake some yummy muffins and click over to this link for a free printable to make the gift complete!

Last year's wrap up

A week's worth of inexpensive and fun gifts with links to print each one out. 

Movie Night

This as fun and super easy!  Check the post for all the details

Coffee Sleeve Love

You know me and coffee sleeves.

Check here for more on these. . . also, those dollar reusable cups they are promoting work awesome as a gift and so does filling it with a Starbucks card.  Awesomeness in a cup!

So, that's all for now.  If you need more inspiration, there's a ton on Pinterest.  Let me know what you're doing for the teacher's in your life?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teachers Rock!

Last week was my son's teacher's birthday.  In other words, it was another day to spoil her rotten!  I know I have mentioned it before, but I firmly believe that as parents, we need to love on our children's teachers.  They spend so much time and energy teaching our kids 5 days a week.  They also spend so much time outside the classroom working on ways to make their classroom better.  I have written more about why I think encouraging our teachers is important here, so I won't go into it again. 

Anyways,  I am currently in the midst of some top secret Teacher Appreciation projects for the entire school as well as for Ethan's teacher.  It is SO MUCH fun!  I can't wait to share it with you.  But here's an idea to get the wheels turning.  It doesn't cost much and is a super fun gift! 

We did a box of candy (Target has a really good section of movie theater candies), a Diet Coke, a package of popcorn, wrapped up with a cute tag I found on Pinterest with a movie code for a Redbox rental.  

I found this cute printable here.  

One thing I did learn from this that no other blog seemed to mention, was that Redbox only allows you to buy codes in bundles of 5.  Still not that bad.  You just buy them for yourself as the recipient and then you get an email with the codes.  It's also not very easy to find on their site, so feel free to click here for quick access.

Then with other rental codes, I found some great ideas on Pinterest!  Can't wait to try them out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts & Link Up

Today, I am going to just keep it real.  This week is one of those weeks that I am digging deep to find my joy.  My house is a disaster.  Everyone is exhausted (and cranky).  My to-do list is a mile long. My computer met a very untimely death.  And I can't seem to do much right (I know that's not true, but sometimes it just feels like that).  However, despite all my frustrations I am thankful for so many things!  So, maybe I don't have to dig that deep to find my joy. . . it just takes a little bit of effort some days.  I am reminded of the verse in James, where we are to consider it ALL joy! It's always easier to find my joy once I start listing things that I am grateful for (if you haven't read the book 1000 Gifts yet, I highly recommend it!). 

Here's my list from the last 24 hours: Sunshine and clear skies, blooming bottlebrush trees sprinkling color across my backyard, texts messages from a friend praying for me, a simple "I Love you" from my husband, beautiful community within my son's school, signs of creativity scattered all over my house reminding me how creative their little minds are (i.e. legos), late night talks with my 6 year old, and encouraging words to the Thessalonians (and to me!).

I could keep going.  Seriously, even as I type this I am feeling better.  You should try it. It is a great practice to do daily! 

So, that being said, here are some other things that have brought a smile to my face the past few days!

:: This video is AWESOME.  They had me at Zachary Levi. . . singing!  Now I think I will go have a Chuck marathon or find this movie somewhere.

:: I have some really fun memories watching The Princess Bride. . . It's a classic!  In fact, one of my favorite memories is a high school snow trip afterparty (things didn't go as planned due to a sudden snow storm) and watching it with some of my favorite high school friends.  This was just awesome!

:: I recently got a taste of this ice cream.  And now I am hooked!  Did I mention, it's dairy free and amazing flavors. 

:: I may be sleep deprived, but I LOVED this!  And even though we aren't in the newborn stage and my babies are really just kids, I think sleep deprivation is a normal part of motherhood. . .

It rained last week.  Seriously. . . we are in a drought!  But we saw a double rainbow!!!

I am loving last month's My paper pumpkin!  It even came with a diamond stamp. . . perfect for cards for a certain best friend! 

I want to make this for lunch tomorrow. . . I am a sucker for avacado and tomatoes!

And now my skillet is hot and ready to cook up some yummy dinner!  And the kids are starting to go bonkers.  Reality.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

What's for dinner? {March edition}

Spring Break is over!  Now to catch up!  We had so much fun exploring, sleeping in, crafting, baking, etc that this week has been quite the recovery week.  The house was a disaster (please tell me it's not just me!), and I am exhausted! 

I had all sorts of yummy pictures all ready to post for you, but then Easter came and my computer crashed, and everything. . . most likely gone!  My heart head kind of hurts just thinking about it.  So, it's a good thing that this post is coming up, because I don't need any of my pictures for it.

March was a yummy month!  I made some super yummy things via the wonderful world of Pinterest and some really great fellow bloggers!  What's cooking at your house?

Pesto Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Asparagus

This wasn't the first time I've made this one.  It's been made many times before, in fact, if you follow me of Facebook, I am sure you've seen me rant and rave about this one.  Seriously, it is so yummy and incredibly easy!  And right now, Asparagus is at it's peak. . . so you should make this now. . . Really!  It's quick, it's easy, and it's great for your meatless Monday line-up!

Lettuce Wraps
So, lettuce wraps are probably one of my most favorite foods.  I am known for just dropping by Dai Bai Dang and ordering some for take-out.  The combination of warm meat mixture with cold, crisp lettuce is like a party on your taste buds.  This recipe is super basic and simple, but super delicious!  It's a regular on our menu!

Thai Peanut Saute
(totally not the best picture!)

I absolutely love Noodles and Company and unfortunately we don't live super close to any.  The day they open one in town, I will celebrate!  When I was in San Francisco last November, I found that they stopped making my usual pasta combo, so I ordered their peanut saute.  It is so yummy!   I like to substitute shrimp instead of chicken. 

Spinach Salad
This spinach salad was so delicious and light!  It was a great hit.  But, my favorite thing about this recipe was the salad dressing. . . an orange poppy-seed vinaigrette. I really couldn't wait to eat the leftovers the next day! And as I am typing this I am wishing I had planned this for next week's menu.  

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