Monday, January 26, 2015

Scenes from the weekend...

What a weekend. It was our first weekend back since our Texas road trip, and as tempted as we were to just veg, we were so productive. We did manage to have a little fun when we woke up Saturday morning to snow! Nothing much but for our bubs it was was everything. They loved playing in it and making snow angels and were pretty disappointed at how quickly it melted. The rest of the weekend was spent officially transitioning G's room into his big boy room. He could not have been more excited to help B put together all the furniture and lay out all the blankets and pillows. B and I rewarded ourselves with a movie date night Saturday and saw American Sniper. Wow. How amazing is Bradley Cooper?? Sunday night was G's first night in the big boy bed, and I am happy to report it went so much better than I ever could have anticipated. He went down like normal {"I gotta tell you the last thing," "tell me the last story," "I need the last sip of water"} which took a few minutes, but then he was out, and we did not hear from him until 7:30 this morning. He also never got out of the bed! Here's hoping this continues!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday

{ONE} Sugar Bit  End of Season Sale -- The boys and I were lucky enough to hit up the local Sugar Bit sale yesterday, and believe me, we stocked up on all sorts of goodies! Well you are in luck today because now you can too. The end of season sale is now online, and the deals are too good to pass up! I even got the boys each some Babiators for Vday. Head over to Sugar Bit's Instagram to see G rocking his. And then get to shopping!

{TWO} Valentine's Mimosa Brunch -- Obviously I won't be sipping on mimosas this year {maybe a LaCroix mocktail?} but how fun would this brunch be for some girlfriends? The fabulous TomKat Studio literally provides all you need to host this darling soiree. Check out all her fun printables.

{THREE} Suja Juice -- As much as I want to eat every donut in the picture above, I really am trying to be better with my eating habits. This juice is certainly helping! I did the cleanse last year but love just drinking them during the day {with food!} for an extra boost. The Lemon Love is my new favorite flavor. And loving that Target is now carrying them!

{FOUR} Greek Quinoa Salad -- I stuck to my meal planning and am happy to report that we tried all new recipes this week. The hit in my book was this Greek Quinoa Salad. Oh my goodness it was so good and even better the next day for lunch.

{FIVE} Texas Adventures -- We returned home this week from our Texas road trip. We were gone for 12 days! So much fun visiting family and friends and will share all the pics next week. This "Texas sized" donut was definitely the highlight for G!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

{ONE} Pantry Organization -- Ever since we moved last March, I have been dying to get my pantry in order. While in Dallas this week I hit up Ikea and stocked up on glass canisters and plastic bins. Cannot wait to get home and get my pantry looking good. Between G and J's big boys room and this, I'm going to be busy!

{TWO} Threshold Bowls -- My mom and I spotted these at Target last weekend, and she stocked up. They remind me so much of Anthropologie. I needed a little hostess gift for my friend in Austin who let us stay with her this week and knew these would be perfect. They have so many options and the serving uses are endless!

{THREE} Valentine Tattoos -- How fun are these custom temporary tattoos?? These gals are some of my favorites, and is this not such a unique Valentine? The boys would be all over these!

{FOUR} Gold Pinboard -- I keep seeing this fabulous little pinboard popping up all over blogs and Instagram, and I just love it. Thinking I need this for above the desk in our guest room.

{FIVE} Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad -- In an effort to cook more and try new recipes, this dish has been added to my must-make list. And the added kalamata olives? Yes please!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Little Adventurers: Big Boys Room Inspiration

No judgment please, but true confession. My now three year old little man is still in a crib. I have been debating moving him into a big boy bed for almost a year now. However considering he's never tried to get out and sleeps from 7:00pm to 8:00am, I've adopted the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra. I am so fearful once we do transition him we will suddenly have a 5:00am wake-up call. And believe me, this mama likes her sleep too much! Now with baby #3 on the way, I figure we might as well go for it so we have plenty of time for any adjustment prior to our new arrival {because that will be adjustment enough!}.

As soon as I found this bedding I immediately knew the boys needed it, and it would be the perfect centerpiece for what I'm calling their "Little Adventurers" room. For now it will be just G, but eventually Jude will join him, so we are putting in two twin beds. This room will have everything the boys love from the outdoors, camping and of course music. I have been collecting little knick knacks, pictures and finishing touches for almost a year now and cannot wait to put it all together!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Easy Dinner Party Menu

I love to entertain, but when it comes to dinner parties I tend to get overwhelmed with what to serve. I want to make sure it is something my guests will enjoy but also something that is not too ambitious. Oh and then timing everything out just right so we are eating hot food is always a priority. Ha! Luckily I think I found the perfect menu. It wowed our guests and didn't have me tied to the kitchen.

Appetizer: Baked Brie Bites -- These are amazing, but let's be honest. Isn't anything with Brie in it?? And you can't go wrong with fillo shell apps. They are my go-to! Note I used raspberry pepper jelly instead of cranberry sauce for an added kick.

Side Dish: Roasted Squash and Parsnips with Maple Syrup Glaze and Marcona Almonds -- So this is officially my new favorite dish. My aunt made it for Christmas dinner, and it was the hit of our feast. She is quite the foodie and chef extraordinaire, so I was little apprehensive to see this recipe for fear it would fall under my "too ambitious" category. Luckily, it is super easy! That is if you do like me and buy pre-chopped squash.

Main dish: Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin -- My mom made this the other night and said everyone just raved about how good it was. Decided to give it a try, and it was a hit with our friends as well. It could not have been easier to make! And B {who hates leftovers} actually made sliders the next day with what little was left.

The best part of this menu {aside from how amazing everything tastes!} is that it frees you up from having to work when your guests arrive. The appetizers were done right before they got there, and the meat and squash were already cooking. I threw some Brussels sprouts in a skillet and cooked for a few minutes before we were ready to eat, and our friends brought the salad and dessert. An effortless night of entertaining that was a huge success. Tasty food and even better conversation is always a success in my book! So do share, what is your go-to dinner party menu?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five on Friday

{ONE} BBQ Brussels Sprout Pizza - I have been absolutely salivating over this pizza ever since I saw it the other day. I don't know if it's the baby and some weird craving, but this combo sounds oh so tasty. It is officially on my must-make list!

{TWO} Blanket Scarf - And to hide all the added lbs from eating so much pizza, I'm so thankful for this fabulous and cozy blanket scarf my sister-in-law got me for Christmas. I have been wearing it on repeat, and love that it goes with everything.

{THREE} Waking up early - Hi, I'm Rachel and I like to snooze. I am embarrassed to admit when I actually end up getting out of bed each morning. I was chalking my snoozing up to the baby and needing extra rest, but now that the first trimester is over and I'm feeling better, no more excuses! I find that when I actually wake up a couple of hours before the boys, my day goes so much better and I get so much more done. So far I'm off to a good start. Here's hoping it lasts!

{FOUR} Valentine's Party - I absolutely love the day of love and so enjoy celebrating it! Loving this inspiration for a little Vday soiree. You can beat donuts, right? And how fun are those DIY candy rings?

{FIVE} Camp George - And speaking of parties, did you check out George's tent party? It was so much fun! This trail mix bar was such a hit with the kiddos. We are on a trail mix kick in our house. What is your favorite combo? Trying to stay away from just gummy bears and M&Ms!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Camp George - A Tent Party

My little man is all about some camping these days. He is obsessed with all things tents and flashlights, so I knew a "Camp George" theme would be perfect for his third birthday party. Having a December birthday, we couldn't exactly camp outside, but with a little furniture rearranging and tent DIYing, we were in luck.
I made these super easy invitations using my Cricut Explore and was able to incorporate the tent throughout. All December George would ask, "Is it time for my tent party?"
B and I are the least handy people you will ever meet but managed to make these DIY tents ourselves, and they were so easy! I took it one step easier and just stapled the fabric at the bottom instead of sewing. We were thrilled with how they turned out, and the kids had a ball playing in them!
As much as I wanted to roast s'mores outside, it was just too cold. And while I did entertain the thought of setting up a station inside, I figured open flames and toddlers just don't mix. So we set up a s'mores themed dessert table.
This s'mores dip is SO good and so easy. Almost as good as the real thing! 

Topped vanilla cupcakes with a graham cracker piece, Hershey's chocolate and a marshmallow for s'mores cupcakes.
And for one final s'mores touch, I just dipped marshmallows in melted chocolate bark and then rolled in crushed graham crackers.
George is all about trail mix these days, so I knew we had to add a trail mix bar. We offered raisins, cashews, peanuts, M&Ms, pretzels, gummy bears and granola along with little bags for everyone to make their own favorite combination.

For party favors we made a s'mores mix of Golden Grahams, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Each kid also got a flashlight {found at the Dollar Store I might add!}. I made these super easy campfires using paper towel rolls, tissue paper and tape. We put out the flashlights, camp toys and some marshmallows and popsicle sticks for kids to "roast" their own.

Since it was so late in the afternoon {and right after the holidays!} we decided to keep it simple with the food, offering just a few campfire favorites.
These pigs in a blanket were quite the hit!
As was this super tasty black-eyed pea dip. We also served Rotel queso with browned sausage but didn't manage to snap a picture.

This was by far my favorite party I have ever thrown! Not just because of all the fun details but because my little man had the best time playing and laughing {and eating!} with all his friends. Be sure and check out my Camp George Pinterest board for all the party inspiration!