Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa Baby

I've been an awfully good girl! I want a lot but really ...
In all reality though, Christmas lists are always a challenge for me. More than likely because I'm so impatient, if I see something I want I end up buying it for myself because there is no way in the world I can wait until Christmas for said item! That would require patience and well, we've already discussed that.

But, items I've been eyeballing that if I don't buy before Christmas include:


  1. Dot flannel puffer vest | Gap
  2. Yustina Bootie | Piperlime - Lucky Brand
  3. "Kencott" Patch Pocket Quilted Coat | Nordstrom - Burberry
  4. Tuscany Urn | Frontgate 
  5. Ashworth Jewelry Armoire - Rubbed Black | Pier One Imports
There you have it, some of my current Christmas wishes. Hope I've been nice and not naughty ;)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bright Eyes

My newest love: Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener
I use the Luminous 2 light/yellow and I am now OBSESSED. It gives my sometimes tired mommy eyes just a little bit of POP and makes me feel all ZINNNGGGG.

I put it in the corner of my eyes to give them a little somethin' and feel all purdy. If you're looking for a little somethin' extra for your eyes, I'd recommend giving this bad boy a shot!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gee, Thanks.

Thanks for this weekend. Thanks for beautiful weather to round out the holiday. Thanks for the bountiful amount of family time. Thanks for pounds of food that I have gluttonously consumed over the past few days. Thank you for the endless snuggle sessions with little man that hubs and I have squeezed into these extended days. Thanks for safe travels while visiting our family. Thanks for the adorable giggles, screams, coos and smiles that my baby boy is learning everyday. Thanks for my husband's tiger paws that perfectly envelop my tiny hands and keep them warm while walking along the blistery cold streets of Chicago. Thanks for my new Zara coat to keep me warm and sorta cute for the remainder of the winter. Thanks for my hundreds of tiny lights that adorn my new landscaping and Christmas tree to make the season extra merry and bright. Thanks for Italian sweet cream in my coffee. Thanks for shellac and the beauty it brings to dry pale hands in the winter. Thanks for a working furnace that keeps my babies warm. Thanks for food in my pantry. Thanks for letting me know what it feels like to be loved. Thanks for the opportunities I have been given. Thanks for my education. Thanks for my wiener puppy. Thanks for pretty shoes on my feet. Thanks for my parents and their wisdom. Thanks for in laws and extended family. Thanks for copious amounts of friends. Thanks for home decor and the delight it brings me. Thanks for strollers, without their existence I fear my arms would have fallen off. So, therefore, Thanks for my arms, and legs and other extremities. Thanks for clean water. Thanks for beautiful landscapes. Thanks for the four seasons (weather, not the hotel). Thanks for chapstick. Thanks for chocolate. Thanks for boots. Thanks for Kung Fu Girl. Thanks for entertainment. Thanks for laughter. Thank you for health. Thank You for family. Thanks for making me realize just now, that if I continue to list everything I am thankful for we may be here until next Thanksgiving (or perhaps Thanksgiving circa 2056). Gahh, Thank You, Thank You, Thank YOU.
The obligatory "I'm Thankful" post didn't make it up on Turkey day, but it needed to make it up. So Sunday night is going to have to do. Thanksgiving.  The one day of the year where those of us who are lucky enough gather with our loved ones and celebrate.  Celebrate family. Celebrate life, health and happiness. Simply celebrate a reason to celebrate.
I once read "It is not happy people that are thankful. It is thankful people that are happy", and I could not agree more. It is so easy, and I know I often get caught up in it. In all of it. That I forget to take a step back, gain a little perspective and realize just how much I honestly have to be thankful for. It's truthfully overwhelming when I take some quiet time and really think about everything I have to be thankful for. Golly Goodness. What a blessed life. Whew.  I'm grateful.  And tonight before I lay my head on my pillow, in my bed, in my cozy home, surrounded by my healthy family I will snuggle extra tight, I say thanks to Him for all of said items and so much more. Thank You Lord for all You have given me. More than any girl deserves.
Thank You.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Recipe Monday: Buffalo Chicken Dip

The age-old football party/tailgate favorite: Buffalo Chicken Dip. There are so many variations that can be made to this recipe, but in the end they all come out the same ... DEEEELISH!  Plus HUGE bonus ... when you eat it as a dip, you don't have to worry about anyone seeing your treacherous wing eating face, getting that delectable sauce allover your cheekies or having to wear gloves because you have a cut on your finger and the wing sauce makes it sting.  Not that Shane or I have any knowledge in any of these departments or anything ...
Oh heavens he is going to KILL me, so worth it though.  Hehehe, okay so we hosted a couples baby shower this weekend, and I knew the food better be boy friendly.  Therefore, I thought this would be a great addition to the menu.

Hubs and I are ranch people, opposed to the bleu cheese connoisseurs ... so my recipe includes ranch, but feel free to substitute or add both for that matter if you want some bleu cheese in your recipe. Additionally, any shredded cheese works ... so don't feel like you need to buy anything in particular. Just use whatever amazing cheesy concoction you can scrounge up from your fat mold cheese drawer.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (reduced fat or the regular super fat kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup wing hot sauce (I use Frank's)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing (I use Ken's, but any ranch will do, even a thicker veggie dip kind would be fine. This is also where you could use bleu cheese if it tickles you fancy)
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped chicken (I buy a fryer chicken from Kroger because it has tons of flavor and it's super easy ... I've also made it with chicken thighs [cooked anyway you prefer] ... I know you can also buy canned white chunk chicken and use that too, but quite frankly that freaks me out. Meat in a can just shouldn't be allowed. Ever.)
  • 2 cups cheese (I use the cheddar blend, but again, any will do)
  • Serve with celery and Frito scoops ... so they're not part of the ingredients, but you'll wanna snag em' on your grocery run :)

Directions

There are 2 ways to make this goodness. Layered or mixed. I do both, but I think I've recently decided I like it mixed for a couple of reasons. First and most importantly, its the easiest Second, it ensures you get all of the mixture on your serving utensil (celery or Frito). You know how sometimes you get those "scared to dip" type of people? The ones that just dip the tip of their chip only halfway down in the mixture.  I want to grab them by the shoulders, shake them violently and scream "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH CREAM CHEESE YOU JUST LEFT AT THE BOTTOM!?!?!" And for that very reason, I think we should just all agree to mix it all. Capisch?

HOWEVER - if you want to layer it do so like this:

  • Spread cream cheese evenly among the bottom of an ungreased 1 qt shallow baking dish
  • Top with layer of your NON-CANNED chicken
  • Mix ranch and hot sauce together - pour over chicken
  • Finish her off by topping with your cheesy goodness
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or until mixture is hot and bubbly and heated through)

But, I'd suggest the mix.  Pull chicken off the bone and chop into bite sized little pieces.
Next put all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Then stir them all together. Now plop em down in your 1 quart baking dish so they can get all warm and cozy together.
Finally, pop em in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with some baby celery/green onions/or extra cheese to give it a little prettiness.  Serve with celery and Frito's. Hello buffalo chicken heaven without sauce all over your hands and face. Sheer perfection!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bennett: 4 Months


Little man keeps growing! He's 4 months old as of October 28th Penny's Birthday. He still stellar, just in case you were wondering.

Little BUB, here's what is happening.

How big are you?

  • At your appointment Monday you were 19 weeks old. 
    • Height: 27.25 inches (95th percentile)
    • Weight: 14.5lbs 14oz (25th percentile)
    • Head: 42.5 inches (50th percentile)
  • Still Long and lean little bubba! Can you teach me how to be that way? :)

What's your temperament?
  • Still showing us all sorts of personality, and starting to become a bit more finicky about your likes and dislikes, including who's holding you.
  • Your loving to be held "like" is starting to change, and now you only like it because you love to be able to explore at a higher level and you only love to snuggle in the morning. Wah!
  • Continuing to find your voice, and Boy, OH BOY, do you make it known that you have one. You actually love to scream now, and we laugh hysterically. You've also learned how to cough, and we swear you do it just to get a rise out of people.
  • Your schedule is becoming more and more patterned. You 're starting to be ready for bed a little earlier and you're now going down between 8:45-9:30 and you're up and at em' between 7:00-7:30
  • Your smiles are still the best part of our day. And you continue to add giggling to the mix. Daddy and I are always trying to find new ways to make you laugh. And you're starting to be extremely ticklish under your ribs. We always have a laugh-fest after bath time. Your giggle is insanely awesome. It makes us laugh so hard.

How much are you eating?

  • Feeding amounts keep growing too!  We're now consistently at 6 oz (about every 2.5-3 hours) and ohhhh man .... we've added rice cereal!  It makes feeding time SO much more messy and infinitely more fun. And you absolutely love it!  You're starting to open up your mouth so wide, and airplane noises are your fave!
  • Still enjoying your 1oz freak out (even though now we're letting you have like 4 oz before even trying and you still FREAK). We still burp you after every ounce or two because you have the tendency to be a spitty baby, and this seems to help. However, you are NOT a happy camper. HATE TO BE BURPED. Your daddy and I refer to it as the First Ounce Freak Out. You still haven't learned we promise to give the bottle back, we're just trying to help?! :)
  • The doctor also switched your formula on Monday, we changed you from Similac advanced to Enfamil gentlease. We think this may help with your spitting and a little bit of reflux. Fingers crossed!

What are you sporting?

  • You're now rocking number 2 diapers, still Pampers people and they seem to keep you extra happy. Still a big fan of that blue line that let's us know if you're wet or not. And at nighttime you're sleeping in baby dry diapers. You have an uncanny ability to SOAK a diaper at night and the baby dry keep you extra comfy at nighttime so it doesn't wake you up because you feel so yucky
  • Avent paci's for the win. They're in every room of our house. We've thrown in some Nuk's too, because they're funny and have funny sayings on them or mustaches and such.
  • You're rocking some 3-6 months or 6 month attire. You've even worn a couple of 6-9 month items. 
  • We still love your kickee pants sleepers. They are the softest, bestest thing ever.
  • We also bought you your first pair of baby boots ... and they're Frye. OMG I couldn't help myself!

How are you sleeping?

  • Rockstar sleeper. ROCKSTAR.
  • Your naps are still somewhat unpredictable. Your two morning naps are for sure. You're up for about 45 minutes after each feeding and then back down. Other than that you take at least a little catnap between each feeding, but no set pattern.
    • Your best and longest nap is after your morning feeding - we can usually get at least an hour, sometimes 2 out of you.
    • Before this nap is also one of our favorite times with you. Right before daddy goes to work and after you've had your morning bottle you are the SWEETEST little munchkin in all the land.
    • You've had a little cold/sickness/nastiness for the last couple of weeks and therefore you've regressed a little bit and you're waking up once or twice a night (I think it's due to the congestion) but we just give you your paci and rock you real quick and you're back down.
  • Nighttime sleeper extraordinaire 
    • Still sleeping THROUGH THE NIGHT! 
    • You're loving your Halo Sleep Sack .. that way you feel somewhat swaddled, but your little arms are free.


Bennett Likes and Dislikes:


  • Likes:
    • Tummy time 
    • Your jungle gym
    • Mirrors! You love looking at yourself and watching you giggle and get excited in the mirror is hours of endless entertainment!
    • Baby Einstein YouTube videos
    • BATH TIME.  You LOVVVEE bath time. And your bath time toys! 
    • Anyone talking or singing to you, you're such a social little butterfly!
    • Being outside. You are enamored with trees.
    • Your bouncy chair and your jumperoo!
    • Toys, you're starting to really see and want to play with things and put them directly in your mouth :) too fun.
    • Grabbing hair {OUCH!} ... you always get handfuls.
    • Your hands, fists and FEET. They are constantly finding their way into your mouth ... can't keep em out!
    • The Baby Bjorn.  You LOVE to ride around.
  • Dislikes:
    • Being burped 
    • Being held like a baby. Ha, I know that sounds silly, but you want to be upright.
    • Your car seat, when you've been in there for too long you are NOT happy.
    • Shots.  Regardless of how good they are for you, they're stupid and they make both you and your mommy cry.
Fun moments, favorite notes, Bennett quirks & Milestones:
  • You're officially on watch at all times. You're rolling over from back to front and front to back like it's your job, so you can no longer be left unattended anywhere!
  • You experienced your first holiday, Halloween, as a little cowboy!
  • You were baptized! Such a fun day!
  • We went to the pumpkin patch!
  • Capturing your smiles via camera is still a personal challenge of mine and I get wayyy too excited when I get a good one - here's my favorite this month. I love it.
All in all, we're just soaking up every inch of you being a baby and needing us so very much, because as you continue to grow we know these days are fleeting. We are so excited to watch you grow, but ugh I wish time would slow down sometimes and we could live everyday like a Saturday when our whole family is holed up in the house and we just giggle and chill. You're the perfect munch!

You're our favorite little man. And we love our little family of three, you're the best addition!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jubilant Jammies

When I was pregnant people would always tell me, get as much sleep as you can now, because you won't get any once the baby is here. I used to get SO ANNOYED when people would say that ... like you can't "bank" sleep people. Gahhh ... new material PUHLEASE!

Yes, I do get less sleep now that little man is here. What were my routine weekend naps and occasional "I had a rough day" I'll just sleep it off after work catnaps are now basically non-existent.  And sleeping until 8:30am on a Saturday makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive.

Haha, it's really not that bad. And truth be told, Bennett is a ROCKSTAR sleeper, for realz.  But your routine does change. Anywhoodles, one day in the midst of a very sleepy eyed morning, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror ... HOLY HORROR. Hair matted to my head, leftover eyeliner running halfway down my face and my holey UK t-shirt I've had since 8th grade mixed with some over sized sweatpants and house slippers made for a real life Cinderella.  It was in that very moment, I decided it was time to invest in some real-life jammies.

Now that I am spending a generous amount of morning and evening hours awake with the wee one, I want to be comfortable.  My go-to was sweats and a tee. Now, don't get me wrong I will NEVER ever get rid of said attire, because there are certain days in life when that UK tee and my dad's old grey sweatpants are the only thing that can bring me comfort. However, for the mere sake of sparing my husbands eyes, I could probably try and spruce up the look when I am sporting my jammies for longer periods of time.

I purchased a couple of options from Target, but after I wore them once, they have remained in the drawers. I couldn't get into it. They weren't comfortable, or as comfortable as I wanted and I just couldn't make the switch from my beloved sleep tees.  But two weeks ago I ran into Vicky Secrets to redeem my free undies voucher I'd received in the mail, when my little hand happened to brush against PJ HEAVEN!
The Supersoft Sleepshirt - Body by Victoria Holy incredible. It embodied everything I was looking for: softness, cuteness, comfiness, perfect coverage, you name it - it had it. I am now OBSESSED and want more. It comes in 4 colors (I currently only have black) because $45 bone to spend on something I sleep in seemed steep. But I fully plan to request this for Christmas. And how cute would it be to add a little monogram as well? Gush.

Okay, I'm off to cuddle up in my bed, in my jubilant jammies and dream of a day that includes naps once again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lotion Potion

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of furrrrr. Tired kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purrrrr.

I have had that horribly awesome Big Bang Theory song stuck in my head all the live long day.  And I think it's because somewhere in my twisted head I have connected the song to my current obsession. The obsession began about a year ago and I just spent nearly 10 minutes trying to find where I've talked about it on my blog before to no avail, so sorry if the following is repetitive from my previous description {note to self .. start utilizing your tags and searches better Katie, GeeZe}.
Let me explain ... Penny and I randomly discovered this hand cream a year ago, and we've been avid users ever since. True Blue Shea Cashmere .. Amaze. The smell is positively heavenly. So much so, I have truly considered eating my hands.  Throwing it back to my obsession stage in which I would have literally eaten anything with peanut butter on it.  Or, just straight up taking a chunk out of my chubby little hands and legit biting my fingers, kind of like this little guy ... too much?  Probably.
Not only is the smell intoxicating, but the lotion itself makes your hands truly feel like cashmere. Just such a great great feeling. That being said, I was putting on said lotion this morning while singing Sheldon's kitty song and the line "soft kitty, warm kitty" kind of seemed fitting. Yes, I realize how incredibly weird and bizarre I sound right now, but I had to share. First, because I needed everyone to know how great the products are. Second, because I find some sick and twisted comfort in knowing maybe one of you may now have the song stuck in your head too. And third, because they've added new products to the line {or maybe I'm just discovering them}. Regardless, I just purchased the shampoo/conditioner and the body cream which I will be trying out ASAP. Excited is an understatement.

Okay the weirdest post ever is now complete. Carry on.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bennett's Baptized!

November 10, 2013 ... our little guy was wrapped in the an all white Christening sweater and we started him on his faith journey and vowed to bring him up in a Christian home. Such a great day!

One little personal problem, I was so wrapped up in all of the excitement I was a COMPLETE blogger failure when it came to picture taking and took ZERO pictures outside of the actual Baptism itself. UGH, and I had SO much I wanted to share. Ugh again. I was so sad when all of the excitement had finally died down, the last visitor left my home, I sat down on the couch to relish in how great the day had gone and it dawned on me ... I didn't take a SINGLE picture. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

I also failed to get a photo of him in his little Baptismal outfit ... GET IT TOGETHER KATIE ... but I got him in all white, right before we put him in it :)
And his little feetsies were adorned in these OH MY WORD adorable baby moxies I found on Etsy. Such a great little idea for gifts or any special occasion.
Luckily though, I did get some great photo ops from the actual Baptism (thanks baby bro), which really is the most important part. But, ALL of our family (extended included) was in town and there were so many great details I wanted to document and family photo ops that were missed, so I could show BUB one day ... since let's be real, the child had no idea it was even happening ... but nope, nothing to show for it. Not even a single selfie on my phone. Nada.  Alas, I must move on.
Bennett did great! No tears, just antsy feet and a tongue that never stopped moving (nothing new here).
 It was such a neat experience, and Father Steve also baptized Shane when he was a wee babe, so that made it extra special!
Nearly my ENTIRE family showed up and I was filled with warm fuzzies to think of how much support we have. What a testament to Bennett and how special he is. My cup runneth over.


So, now would be the portion where I dish the details of the after party with pictures to match, but we've already hashed that out ... After the baptism we invited the entire family to our house for a brunch (shout out to my momma and my momma in law for helping me prep the food the day before!) and just a fun get together to see everyone and celebrate the little guy.

Our menu included (yep, that would have been about 3 months full of recipe Monday's if I would have managed to take photos ... cool Katie):

  • Honey Baked Ham
  • Poppyseed Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • Apple Snickers Salad
  • Biscuits and Gravy
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Breakfast Egg Casseroles
  • Fruit Salad
  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Cheesy Grits
And the infamous Snickerdoodle cake by Ashlicious Cakes, that were in cupcake form and looked a little something like this with blue icing and Bennett's name & the baptism date included. It was a hit. She does SUCH a great job. Recommendations for days y'all!

We had such a great time, and it's always such a great feeling to have your entire family in the house. It's good to catch up with everyone and see all of the little ones. We've got babies on babies at family functions now and it makes everything infinitely more fun! Bonus! Even the Dykstra's made the trip down, and the twins are getting so big you guys .. not to mention Maebyn is over the top cute. Bahh! (real tears about the missed photo ops.)

And last, but certainly NOT least, I leave you with the greatest Godparents that ever did live: Chris and Laura. Bennett's such a lucky little guy to have these two in his life.
 And check out his sweet new threads. Ha. Hysterical. I love it.
I may or may not have ended both my Sunday and Monday with leftover cupcakes. I'll let you decide. Diet Shmiet. 
Proud of you BUB. And thank you so much to all of our family who made time to be a part of Bennett's special day. We love you so so much!