Yummy and Simple Coffee Cake Recipe!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

With the weekend coming up and Mother's Day just around the corner, I wanted to share a very simple and super yummy coffee cake recipe with you!  This recipe is one that my mom made while I was growing up and I still have very vivid memories of her pulling this coffee cake out of the oven and serving it while it was still slightly warm.  She made this a lot when we had company over- and it was always a hit!  Totally a tried and true, classic recipe! :)


Cherry Bisquick Coffee Cake

4 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 eggs
1 can cherry pie filling

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease bottom and sides of 1 (15x10x1-inch) pan or 2 (9-inch) square pans with shortening or cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients except the cherry pie filling in a mixing bowl.  Beat together thoroughly.
Spread 2/3 of batter in the pan.  Spread pie filling over batter.  Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto pie filling.  Bake until lightly brown- about 20 minutes.
Drizzle glaze over coffee cake while still warm.

**To make the glaze: beat 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 - 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth.

This is such an easy coffee cake to would be so nice to have this on a lazy Saturday morning with a big cup of coffee!  It would also be so lovely for Mother's Day brunch!  

I am linking up with Andrea for her monthly recipe club!

What's Up Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hi! We are half way through the week! YAY!

Today I am linking up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday Series!

What we're eating this week....this week is pretty simple for us as far as meals go!  I actually post my menu plan weekly!  Here is what is on the menu for this week!

What I am reminiscing about...I have been thinking A LOT about how one year ago we were packing our house up in Cleveland after having lived there for 4 1/2 years while my husband went to medical school.  I was VERY pregnant and we were so excited and anxious to move to our new city and house!  Just last week, we were playing outside in our front yard and I had a flash back of us pulling up in front of our house with the moving truck...ready to start our new adventure.  Can't believe it has already almost been a year since we moved!  We LOVE where we live and just feel so incredibly blessed for where we are in our lives right now!

This time last year...packing up our house...3 little girls, 1 super pregnant momma, 1 daddy and 1 moving truck.  Whew! :)

What I am husband has been on an incredibly DEMANDING rotation this past month...starting tomorrow he changes services and while he will still be super busy, he will have a tad bit more flexibility in his schedule AND he won't be working EVERY weekend!  So I am majorly LOVING that!

What we have been up to....we honestly haven't been up to much!  And that is just fine with me :)  I am not one who likes to have my kids involved in a bunch of activities...I much prefer an open schedule :)  Life with 4 kids and a husband who works all the time is busy enough as it is!  With the beautiful spring weather, we can pretty much always be found outside...either playing on the swing set, riding bikes, taking walks or playing at the park!!

What I am dreading...nothing really! :)

What I am working on...every year I make each one of my kids a photo book when they have a birthday...I am VERY, VERY behind with doing this!  I just finished my 2nd oldest daughter's book (her birthday was LAST AUGUST!)  Now, I am working on my oldest's daughter's book (her birthday was LAST NOVEMBER!)  I need to get her's done because my youngest daughter's birthday is in the middle of May and I need to start working on her's next so I don't get super behind again!!  It is a lot of work compiling all the pictures and making the book- but it is SO worth it!  The girls LOVE looking at pictures in their books!  I order two copies of the book- one for their "memory box" and one for them to keep out and look at whenever they want.  By getting two copies, I am not worried if a page gets torn or if the book gets "well loved" because I know I have a copy tucked away in their box for they are all grown up! 

What I am excited about....SUMMER BREAK!!!  
I can NOT wait for my girls to be out of school and not have to be on a "school" schedule.  We have a couple fun little trips we are going to take during the summer and a week long trip to the beach with all of my mom's extended family.  I love being able to go to the pool and park every day...summer time is my absolute favorite season and I can't wait for it!! :)  

What I am husband and I have four shows we like to watch...Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Blue Bloods.  We usually watch them a day or two after they have aired because we are super old and can't stay up past 10 pm...which is when all those shows air! HA!  I would say Blue Bloods and Chicago PD are our top two current favorite shows! (And I am still mad/sad they cancelled Parenthood!!!)

What I am listening girls are all about the dance parties- 
especially my oldest daughter :)  She has some SERIOUS moves! Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars is the current favorite in our house...that and Shake It Off by Miss Swift.  I tell you what- dance parties save us when we are experiencing pre-dinnertime craziness.  I either put on Pandora on our TV or I will pull up a play list on my computer and they dance in the kitchen while I am finishing up dinner.  It never matter who was crying or whining before the dance party...every one is all smiles once the tunes start playing!! 

What I am wearing...workout clothes...and then changing into an "outfit" after I work out.  I am trying really hard get dressed after I have worked out...even if I am not going any where.  Especially now with the weather being warmer, I am having fun wearing some of my brightly colored t-shirts and white jeans!  Also loving that I can wear my flip flops on a regular basis! My favorite brand of flip flops is Reef. And when I say favorite, I mean I have about 20 pairs of Reef flip flops.  They are SO SO comfortable and such high quality!! I have several pairs that are over 8 years old- and still look and feel great!! 
Here is a typical "look" for me lately :)

Jeans are from here, t-shirt from here and you can find my favorite flip flops here!

What I am doing this weekend...we do not have much planned for this weekend...and that is totally fine with me! :)  The weather is supposed to be gorgeous- so I know we will be taking lots of walks, going on bike rides and hitting up our local park.  I would love to sneak away for an hour or so and pick up some party supplies for my youngest daughter's birthday...fingers crossed my husband's pager doesn't go off right as I am walking out the door...HA!

What I am looking forward to next month...My husband taking a week off of work at the end of May!  We have a little trip to Southern Illinois planned to see my sister and my grandpa- but other than that- it will just be so nice to have him home for a week!!  I have a few projects that I am going to try and talk him into doing for me too ;)  

What else is new....I wish I could say something really fun or exciting here...but I got nothing :)  But that is okay with is pretty normal for us right now and I don't take that for granted for one second! :)

BONUS QUESTION: What am I giving or want to receive for Mother's Day...I really love doing theme gifts for my mom...and I am thinking about doing a "summertime" theme for her Mother's Day gift this year.  I think it would be fun to get her some of this spray sunscreen (smells SO good) for when she is outside working in the yard, a pretty (but functional tank top) like this and some fresh smelling bubble bath to use after a long day of gardening!  

Hope you have the best day! :)

Weekly Menu Plan!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hi! I usually post my menu plan for the week on Monday, but yesterday I linked up with Andrea and Erika for their super fun Favorite Things Link-Up.  
You can check out the post here
I am really loving posting my weekly menu is helping me be accountable in making sure I have our meals planned for the week and it has been encouraging me to not just keep making the same 5 meals over and over again ;)

So here is what we are eating this week....(one day late!) 

If you have read any of my menu plan posts, you know that I LOVE Aldi and that is where I do the majority of our grocery shopping.  I thought it would be fun to show you the products I get at Aldi that I use to make our meals!

Last night (Monday), we had pasta and turkey meatballs.  To make our meatballs, I combine 1 pound of ground turkey, with (approximately) 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 Italian dressing seasoning packet and a nice, big handful of shredded mozzarella cheese.  I form the mixture into small balls and bake them on a foil lined baking sheet (that I have sprayed with cooking spray).  While they are baking, I boil the pasta and then add our sauce.  I know making homemade spaghetti sauce is SO easy...but right now...the convenience of jarred sauce wins over...and we love Aldi's organic tomato basil pasta sauce and their marinara sauce!

It is an "easy" dinner night tonight because my husband is working late.  I am going to make my kids a box of Aldi's organic macaroni and cheese.  While the pasta is boiling, I am going to steam some frozen green peas in the microwave.  My girls love when I add the peas to their macaroni- so that is what I will do!  They love mandarin oranges and vanilla greek yogurt, so that will be on their plate too :) For fun, they will each get an applesauce cup! 

Wednesday night, we will have leftover pasta and meatballs.  I LOVE leftover is a night off of cooking- YAY! :)

On Thursday, my husband should be off a little before dinner time- so I am going to have him grill some hot dogs for dinner.  I am VERY picky about meat and the only hot dogs we buy are Hebrew National All Beef Hot dogs.  Aldi does not sell them, so we pick those up when we are at Wal Mart. On my menu plan, I had planned for us to have potato puffs AKA tater tots with our hot dogs....but when I was shopping this past Saturday at Aldi I saw these fun Galaxy Bites and had to get them! I know my kids will be SO excited to see these on their dinner plate!  Also- I think these are the perfect shape for my little baby to pick up and eat too!

Friday night is Pizza Picnic night at our house!  I make homemade pizza crust, pre-bake it for about 12 minutes at 450 degrees, then top it with some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Then it goes back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly :) I used to make my own pizza sauce, but we really like Aldi's pizza sauce! It is one less than I have to make...which I am all about is this busy season of life! :)

For Saturday's dinner we are going to have grilled chicken salads.  I get my chicken breasts from our local Kroger, only because they have the best price for them.  Sometimes Aldi will have a "special buy" on their chicken breasts and you can get them for 1.89/pound. I definitely pick some up when they run that sale!  ***I actually just checked Aldi's website and starting on 4/29 their "special buy" for the week is their chicken breasts for 1.89/pound...SCORE! :)  We LOVE the artisan salad mix from Aldi! I cut it up, clean it in our salad spinner and then put it in a Tupperware to use throughout the week.  For our salads, we keep it pretty simple...I add cut up carrots and cucumbers; and my husband likes shredded cheddar cheese on his salad.  We top our salad with sliced grilled chicken and add our favorite salad dressing!  SO easy and so delicious!  Our kids will have cut up pieces of grilled chicken, applesauce and green beans since they aren't the biggest fans of salad :)

Sunday's dinner is a tried and true one for us...grilled pork tenderloin.  I LOVE grilling pork tenderloin!! In Aldi's meat section, they have several different types of marinated pork tenderloin- we like the peppercorn marinade the best.  I usually make my own mashed potatoes, but lately Aldi has been carrying Bob Evans homemade mashed potatoes in their refrigerated section.  There are no artificial ingredients in them and they are delicious.  I am ALL about making as many things homemade as possible...but I am also all about recognizing when a short cut can really help out!  So for now- we are enjoying Bob Evans making our mashed potatoes for us! HA!  For our broccoli, I get Aldi's frozen broccoli florets (that are in a steamer bag).  We used to get away with only needing one bag of broccoli to feed our crew...but broccoli has become a favorite veggie with all of my kids; and my husband and I love it- so I get two bags now for us. They are only 1.09/bag, the broccoli steams perfectly in the bag and the broccoli florets are nice and big (not yucky, broken up, small pieces). 

Are you making any fun meals this week?  What are some "short cuts" you use to help you get dinner on the table? I am all ears!! :)

I am linking up with Laura for Menu Plan Monday! (A day late :)

Favorite Things Party- Talking Favorite Accessories!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hi! Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend!!

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Favorite Things is all about FAVORITE ACCESSORIES today!

On an everyday basis, I keep it pretty simple with my accessories.  I ALWAYS wear a pair of earrings, I wear a simple white gold necklace with my birthstone on it (never take it off), my wedding ring and a ring my parents had made me for when I graduated from college.  

Since I never take off my necklace and rings...I like to have some fun changing things up with my earrings.  Pre-kids- I would pretty much wear only dangly with a very curious 2 1/2 year old who likes to look (and pull) on mommy's "in-nings" and a 9 month old baby who loves to put anything shiny in his mouth- I stick to studs.  

Two years ago, for Christmas, I got this pair of earrings from my husband and they are hands down my FAVORITE "every day" earring to wear!!

I love that while they are a stud earring, they are very visible.  They are classy, unique and sparkly- perfect combination in my book! :)  I wore these earrings when I was in the hospital having my son and my doctor commented on how pretty they were...when I went to see her for my 6 week check up I gave her a pair for being ABSOLUTELY amazing during my entire labor and delivery! :)  

I also absolutely LOVE these earrings too and would not mind at all if they were added to my earring wardrobe in the near future!! :)

My other favorite accessory is my Michael Kors watch

I had been looking at this watch for over a year, but never could pull the trigger and buy it because it is definitely an investment piece.  Well...last summer, a couple days after we got home from the hospital after having a our 4th baby, my husband told me that James (my baby boy) and him had something to give me :)  I was TOTALLY surprised and SUPER excited to open up the box and see the watch I had been wanting!!  After having 4 babies in 5 years, moving 3 times and getting through medical school with my husband, he thought this watch was the perfect "Thank you/I love You" present :)  
It is definitely my other FAVORITE accessory!

Now you tell me, what is your favorite accessory?? Are you a necklace type of girl?  All about the shoes?  I know some people love to layer a bunch of bracelets!  
Accessories are so much fun! :)

Hope you have a GREAT day!

5 on Friday!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday is here! YAY! We have a busy, fun day ahead of us!  My daughter's school is having a Walk-A-Thon all morning long, so my 3 younger kiddos and I will be joining my oldest daughter at school for the morning!  This evening is my girls' school's Butterfly Ball AKA Daddy/Daughter there is a lot of excitement surrounding who will wear what princess dress and if we should curl their hair or not :)

Hope you have had a great week!! 
Here are my 5 FAVORITES from this past week!

In the past 6 weeks, I have realized that dairy products do not make my tummy feel very good.  This is a VERY recent discovery for me...but I attribute it to my body changing after having my 4th baby and just getting older (MEH!). This is especially sad for me as ice cream is one of my MOST favorite foods.  The good news is- I have come up with a concoction that tastes SO good and that totally satisfies my ice cream craving.  It is healthy and dairy free!! :)  The main ingredient is Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk.  I started using chocolate almond milk in place of my typical International Delight coffee creamer a couple months now it is something I always have in my refrigerator.  I was needing something (you know what I mean?!?) the other day- so I put some chocolate almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, a tiny scoop of Better N Peanut butter, a stevia packet and 3 ice cubes all together. I blended it up in our Ninja Blender- and the results were DELICIOUS!! A new FAVORITE for sure! Like a chocolate peanut butter milk shake!! For Weight Watcher is only 3 points! :)

Here is the exact recipe:

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Silk Almond Milk
1/2 tablespoon Better N Peanut Butter - I get mine at Trader Joes- (you could totally use regular peanut butter or almond just adds some more calories and fat)
1 stevia packet (or not if you don't like things super sweet)
1/2 FROZEN banana
3 ice cubes
Blend and be happy with your healthy, chocolate, dairy free shake! :)

My brother-in-law and his family came to visit us late last week/weekend and we took all of our kids to an indoor bounce house gym.  Admission for the parents was free...but we got to play!  We had a BLAST! There was a super high slide that I had so much fun going down!! Definitely a FAVORITE moment :)

Old Navy's pajama pants are a HUGE FAVORITE of mine.  During the cold weather months, I wear their flannel pajama pants.  Now that the weather is warming up, I have started wearing my cotton pajama pants from there.  They are so lightweight, majorly comfy and one of my favorite articles of clothing :)  I am loving this floral pattern they currently have...thinking these would be a great Mother's Day gift?!

When my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were visiting last week, we were all talking about how much we LOVE the show, Parenthood.  Then, my sister-in-law said one of my FAVORITE things ever- she said that my husband and I are JUST LIKE Adam and Christina.  Um. BEST COMPLIMENT EVER!! And seriously- it is so true- HA! And can I just say, again, how sad I am that Parenthood is over?!? UGH. I think I will just have to start at season 1 and watch it all over again :)

Snuggles with my baby boy....hands down are one of the best and most FAVORITE parts of my the day.  James is crawling, eating EVERYTHING (edible and non-edible- HA!), trying to act like Houdini during diaper changes and is basically growing up at lightening speed! I savor and cherish every precious, quiet minute I get with my sweet boy.  I smell him, feel his chest rise and fall and thank God he chose me to be this boy's momma. 

Hope you have had a wonderful week...and that your weekend is spent doing exactly what you want to be doing!  Maybe some gardening, going for a long run, or just spending some time doing "nothing" with your precious family...whatever it is - I hope it is GREAT! :)

 I am linking up with DarciApril, Natasha and Christina for Five on Friday!
 I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 Also, joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up!

Thoughts for Thursday!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hi! I don't know about you...but for me- it never fails- when Spring rolls around and everything is fresh and new- I get a major itch to redecorate my entire house. HA!
I get totally inspired by the warmer weather and longer days and just want to make all sorts of changes!  
In our living room, it is easy to change up the decor on our mantle and shelves that we have hanging up.  I love switching up our throw pillows on the couch to give our living room a "new" look too!  I found this awesome tutorial for easy envelope pillow covers and definitely plan to make some new slip covers for the pillows on our couch!

In our master bedroom, I am currently dreaming about new bedding.  I am kind of a bedding junkie :)  I LOVE getting new bedding!  It totally changes the look of the room and it makes everything feel so fresh and new.  We have had our current duvet cover for over 2 1/2 years I feel like it might be time to spruce things up a bit! Now if I could just convince my hubby we need new bedding....HA! are a few things that I am loving...

LOVE this comforter from Target!  It is by their Simply Shabby Chic line.  I am a huge fan of white bedding and just love the texture of the ruching!  I would add some colorful, patterned accent pillows to the mix- just for some pops of color.  I could totally see this on our bed!
 Um. Wow. How gorgeous is this bedroom?!? The huge windows!! The sitting area!! The built ins with a non-obtrusive spot for the TV!  Not a huge fan of the lighting fixture or the tray ceiling...but otherwise this bedroom is pretty on point for what I would love to have in my dream house!!

This comforter has a bit more of a modern look...which is what my husband is also from Target!  I really like the texture of still has a classic look to it...but the pinched pleats definitely give it that something "special." Does that make sense?!? :)

How fun and bright is this bedroom?!? I love how the headboard and footboard are totally traditionally- but then they are painted such an unexpected color!  And the light turquoise side table with that beautiful glass lamp?!  I think this would be the PERFECT guest bedroom!  

And just for fun...I had to share a couple comforters I found for little/big girls' rooms :)

I thought this comforter was absolutely adorable!! It is from Target (they really have some great bedding at reasonable prices!!)  I LOVE that the colors are different than the "typical" pink color scheme.  I also think this would be the perfect comforter for a tween/teen girl's room.  I am seeing a distressed, mint colored desk and a big, white comfy chair for reading...maybe the walls are even painted a very light, calming lilac color?!? Ok- I am so ready to redecorate my daughters' room!! HA! 
I had to include this comforter because it is just too SWEET! My two oldest daughters would freak out if they saw this on their beds....the ruffles are just TOO MUCH FUN!  

What is your bedroom style??  Are you in the middle of redecorating a room in your house? 
Favorite places for decor and bedding?? Share it all with me!

 I am linking up with Natalie and Annie today for Thoughts for Thursday!

Splurge Vs. Save: Tinted Moisturizer

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Let's talk tinted moisturizer today, shall we? :)

I love using tinted provides light coverage, a little bit of color to my face and I really like that it has SPF in it!  

I started using tinted moisturizer about 8 years ago...per recommendation of a friend- I got Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer.  LOVED it!  It provided the perfect amount of coverage and really did a great job of evening out my skin tone.  It is not cheap at $40 for 1.7 ounces...definitely a splurge in my book.  The price was not really an issue for me when I was using it because I was a single gal who bought whatever she wanted- when she wanted it :)  

Well...then I met my husband and he went back to school AND we started planning a wedding, THEN we got married and found out we were PREGNANT and then we MOVED across the country so he could go to medical school...all said events forced my budget to become A LOT tighter.  I had to say "bye-bye" to my beloved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and began the hunt for a budget friendly but equally lovely tinted moisturizer!

I stumbled upon the Elf line of makeup while shopping at Target one day and saw they had tinted moisturizer....I had just run out of my last bottle of Laura Mercier (I always asked for a new bottle for my birthday and then kind of hoarded them- HA!) 
and decided I would give it a try!

For $7.50- I really didn't feel like I had anything to lose in seeing how I liked it! I ended up loving it and it is now my "go-to" tinted moisturizer! I love that I can pick it up at either Wal Mart or Target- and the price can't be beat.  Others who have tried both the Laura Mercier and Elf tinted moisturizers might disagree- but for me personally- I feel like the Elf brand is a tad bit lighter and provides a little less coverage in comparison to the Laura Mercier moisturizer.  I am okay with that as my "daily face" is pretty casual and I am fortunate to have fairly good skin and don't need a ton of coverage from my makeup.  

I think there are products that are totally worth the splurge versus saving some money but getting a lesser quality product.  I also think there are SO many products out there- especially hair, makeup and facial care- that are really wonderful for a fraction of the cost of the higher end brands.  It is definitely all about personal preference and everyone is different about what they are willing to splurge on versus save on!  

Now it is your turn! I would LOVE to hear about some products you use- they can either be a "splurge" or a "save."  Talking about cosmetic products is one of my favorite topics! :)

Hope you have an awesome day!! :)

Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hi!  Hope your week is off to a great start!

One of the ministries I participate in at my church is preparing dishes for funeral lunches held at our church.  I usually like to bake a dessert....because I love baking desserts :)
When I went to sign up to bring a dish for an upcoming luncheon, all the desserts were covered, but there were plenty of "empty slots" for salads- so that is what I signed up to bring.  I started thinking about what I could make and decided I wanted to do something other than a pasta salad or potato salad.  I decided to make Copycat Olive Garden Salad!! 

Um. Please tell me you love Olive Garden's salad as much as I do?!? It is the only reason I ever want to go out to eat at Olive Garden :)  Anyway...there are a ton of recipes out there for the Olive Garden Salad.  

This one has GREAT reviews!

Here is another one...although this recipe uses more oil than I prefer to use.

This recipe is the one that I use and now my mom is using too! It is light and tastes very, very similar to the Olive Garden original recipe.  You can see this recipe uses 3/4 oil and 1/4 water, versus the recipe linked above which uses 3/4 canola oil and 1/4 olive oil. 

What I love about making this salad is that it is SO easy!  The dressing can be made ahead of time...I like to store mine in a mason jar with a lid so I can shake it up really well before I am ready to serve it.  Putting together the salad is a cinch- you just need the salad mix with shredded red cabbage and carrots, a can of black olives, a sliced roma tomato, some whole peppercinis (or sliced would be fine too!), thinly sliced red onion, and some croutons.  To make it super authentic- get some freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Toss all those ingredients in a salad bowl and mix with your dressing right before you serve it.  I always go lighter on the dressing and then put the rest on the that way people can add more if they want it.  I love serving this salad with pizza or any kind of pasta.  Also- I think it would be so delicious with some grilled chicken or shrimp on top for a light, summer entree!

I absolutely LOVE I would be so excited if you would share your favorite salad recipe with me!!  

Hope you have a great day!

Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hi!  Is it really Monday already?!?  How was your weekend??

We had an "early" weekend in the fact that my husband's brother, wife and daughter came to visit us this past Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday.  My husband had Thursday and Friday OFF (YAY!!), the weather was fantastic and we had such a great time!  We don't get to see Aaron's brother and his family nearly enough- so we soaked up every minute!  We went to a place called BounceU one morning so the kids could jump around and be crazy...well all the adults ended up having a blast too! We were going down all the slides and climbing with the was SO MUCH FUN!

Our company left on Saturday and the rest of the weekend was spent playing (my kids) and doing massive amounts of laundry (me).  My husband had to work both Saturday and Sunday- but he didn't get home super late- so it wasn't too bad!  
And now here we are...back to the beginning of the week!  Time for a new menu plan!  I am making a few dishes I don't make very often...but I was feeling like I needed to change things up a little bit or we were going to get in a dinner rut real quick! HA!

Here is what our family is eating this week!

For tonight's dinner, I am going to make baked chicken nuggets.  I don't follow a recipe for this...I just cut up boneless chicken breast in small pieces, lightly cover them in ranch dressing and then dredge them in panko bread crumbs.  The ranch dressing gives them really good flavor and keeps them moist.  I bake them at 425 only takes about 12 minutes because the chicken is cut up in such small pieces.  I am going to steam some zucchini for our vegetable and everyone will get some mashed potatoes too!  I know this will be a dinner that both my husband and kids will enjoy!

To make our chicken quesadillas for Tuesday night's dinner, I am going to put a couple large chicken breasts in the crock pot on Tuesday morning with some chicken broth and a can of fire roasted tomatoes (half drained).  By late afternoon, I will have delicious, shredded chicken ready to go!  I am going to save half of the chicken for Friday's dinner.  We make our quesadillas pretty simple around here....some shredded chicken and cheese.  I serve it with a side of shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa.  My husband LOVES when I make quesadillas!  

Wednesday night, my husband will be working really late at the hospital- so I am going to make my kids a simple supper of grilled cheese with shells and cheese and green peas.  They LOVE this dinner!  Whenever my husband is working late and not going to be home- I always plan a meal that I know my kids will eat without any complaints :)  

On Thursday, I thought I would get a little old school and make Salisbury steaks!  I have made them before and my husband really liked them!  They are basically little meatloaves made with onion and mushrooms and they simmer in a really yummy gravy like sauce.  I am going to make this recipe and substitute 93/7 ground turkey for the ground beef.  Steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes will make this meal complete!

Friday night, my husband is taking our two older daughters to the "Butterfly Ball" at their we need a quick, easy dinner.  I am going to make burritos with the portion of shredded chicken I froze from our Tuesday night dinner.  To make our burritos, I will use some chicken, some black beans, and cheese.  I like to warm them in up in the oven so the tortilla gets a little crispy around the edges.  I serve them up with some shredded lettuce and sour cream!

Saturday is homemade pizza night!  Our girls love to have a "pizza picnic" when it's pizza night.  We lay a quilt down in the living room, put on a movie and they eat their pizza while watching a movie.  My husband and I sit in the kitchen and it is kind of like a pseudo date- HA!   Check out this post if you want to see how I make my homemade pizza crust!

Sunday's dinner is going to be easy and delicious.  Grilled chicken, roasted cauliflower and some parmesan noodles.  I am hoping the weather is going to be gorgeous and that we will be spending most of our day outside playing.  Have you ever tried making roasted cauliflower?? It is so easy and super yummy! I just cut up a head of cauliflower and put it on a foil lined baking sheet (for easy clean up).  I spray it with olive oil cooking spray (or you can drizzle yours lightly with olive oil).  Then I sprinkle some salt, pepper, a little garlic powder and just a smidge of chili powder.  I bake it 475 degrees until it the edges of the cauliflower have started to get a little brown and crispy! SO yummy!

What do you have planned for your menu this week?? Anything extra yummy?? 

Hope you have a great day and a wonderful week!!

I am linking up with Laura for Menu Plan Monday!

5 on Friday!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday is here!! This past week has been packed and busy for us with Aaron working CrAzY hours and then having visitors the last few days.  It's been a great week- but I would be lying if I wasn't hoping for 30 minutes sometime this weekend where I could lounge in a lawn chair where I possibly dozed off :)  Not gonna happen with Aaron working AGAIN- but a girl can dream- right!?! HA!
How has your week been?  Anything fun or exciting happen?  

Here's my Friday 5 Favorites! 

Loving this happy corner in my kitchen!  
This highchair was my husband's and his siblings when they were babies!  When we were visiting Aaron's parents a couple years ago, we found the highchair in a storage area of his parents' house and I totally freaked out- in a good way :)  We brought it home with us and Aaron painted it this fun turquoise color!  We used it when Celine (our youngest daughter) was in a highchair and now James is sitting in it!  I just LOVE knowing my baby boy is sitting in the same highchair his daddy sat in as a baby!

Daddy Dodgeball!  Now that the weather has gotten nicer, we are spending every available minute kids are happier when they are running around in the fresh air!  My girls favorite thing to do when Aaron gets home from work is play Daddy Dodgeball.  Aaron does not mess around and really goes after them- and they LOVE it. Seeing my husband and girls having so much fun together is definitely one of my FAVORITE things to see from our kitchen window when I am getting our dinner ready!

I ordered these workout capri pants about a month ago- but have just started wearing them because of the warmer temperatures.  I LOVE them.  They are really flattering and they stay  PUT.  There is nothing I hate more than having to yank up my pants while I am working out or running!  Definitely my new FAVORITE piece of workout clothing I own!  They come in several patterns/colors and are only $11!!

My daughter Cora Maye has been working SO hard to learn how to ride her new bike without training wheels.  For the past couple of weeks, every afternoon she asks if her Daddy will be home in time to help her ride her bike and do her "practice laps."  There have definitely been a few tears and maybe even a couple screaming fits...but Cora AND Daddy (HA) have persevered :)  Totally one of my FAVORITE things to see the excitement on Cora's face when she realized she is able to ride ALL BY HERSELF! :)  

This really isn't a "favorite" but wanted to share anyway :)
This month my husband has been working the most demanding rotation since he started residency.  He has 3 days off TOTAL this month- no weekends off. He is gone before our kids wake up and most nights is getting home after they go to sleep.  We are both REAL tired.  But you know what- I am SO thankful he has a JOB.  He went to school for 7 years to get this job and we can take a couple hard months.  I am so thankful he is HOME with us and not deployed in Afghanistan.  I think about how many military wives are doing this "single mom" thing while their husbands are away for a YEAR and know I have NOTHING to complain about.  Perspective is everything.  I am THANKFUL!  

Hope you have the best weekend!!!

 I am linking up with DarciApril, Natasha and Christina for Five on Friday!

I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 Also, joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up!

Thoughts for Thursday!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today, I am joining up with Annie at House of Malones, for her Thoughts for Thursday Link Up!

Now that the warmer temperatures seem like they are here to stay, I am gearing up to change from girls' closets from their Fall/Winter clothes to their Spring/Summer clothes.  Definitely not one of my favorite tasks...but it has to be done and I am incredibly thankful my girls have so many cute clothes to wear!  

I know that my two younger daughters have PLENTY of clothes and need nothing.  My oldest daughter has grown exponentially since last summer, so she will need a few new things to add to her wardrobe.  Which brings me to what my "Thought for Thursday"- what is up with little girls' clothing looking SO mature?!?  My daughter is 6, but because she is so tall, she wears a size 7/8 (and even 10/12 if it runs small) and it just seems like everything either has Hello Kitty or Elsa on it, a hipster/rocker vibe or it is just NOT cute.  I want my girls to look and dress like little girls- because that is what they are!  Anyway- now that I am done complaining :) ....I have some done some searching around and found some really cute items that I think are age-appropriate and are very affordable!  Most of what I found are dresses- because that is what my oldest daughter prefers to wear 99% of the time :)
All of these items are from Wal is where I prefer to do most of my clothes shopping for the girls!  The prices can't be beat and believe or not- their clothes are made really well and wash and wear really nicely!

I thought this dress was so fun! Love the rainbow chevron and the fact it has a little cap sleeve!  I always make my daughters wear a pair of "biker" shorts under their dresses during the summer...they love to play in dresses- so we have to make sure nobody is getting flashed at the park! HA!
Isn't this dress SO cute?? I would totally wear this dress myself! I think this dress would be perfect for everyday wear or could totally be a "church" dress too!
I am absolutely in love with this dress! I just ordered one for each of my girls to wear to church during the summer! And get this- it is on sale for FIVE DOLLARS!! Loving the cap sleeves, the ruffles and that flower! I know my girls will feel so "fancy" in it too :)

LOVE this "scooter"! The Easter Bunny got my two older girls one of these and they love it.  It is really soft and the built in shorts are so great!  

This adorable outfit set doesn't come in "girls" sizes- but for those of you with younger little girls- it goes up to 5T.  I loved that you 3 get pieces- once being a totally cute tutu that you could pair with so many other tops!  Such a cute and easy outfit!  I am all about play clothes that still look put together! :)
And I just had to include this dress too!! It only comes in sizes up to 5T...which is totally killing me! I would LOVE to get all 3 of my girls one of these! I just think it is such a cute summer sundress! P.S. it is only $8!!

Another place I like to shop for my oldest daughter is Lands End.  It is definitely a higher price point- but their clothes are such high quality.  Since I know whatever I buy my oldest daughter will get worn by my two younger daughters, I am willing to pay more for a few, really high quality dresses.  
Totally loving this dress! This "legging top" would be perfect for my tall girl...we always have a hard time finding t-shirts that look cute with leggings- and not like crop tops :) 
And this dress is SO pretty!

One other place that I love to buy clothes for girls is Southern Tots.  Their clothing is SO age appropriate, absolutely adorable and they have awesome sales!  I basically would buy every dress they have on their website if my budget allowed it :)

Okay- now your turn- if you have "older" little girls, where do you like to shop?? 

Hope you have a wonderful day!!