Friday, May 19, 2017

Tips to Organize Sports Equipment



Yes, we're still here!! As you might have noticed, we've been busy doing all kinds of things other than posting on the blog. But I've been planning a bunch of new projects, including getting our house ready for summer break, so just stick with me. 

As I count down the last days of school (I think I'm more excited about it than my kids), I start making a mad dash to organize the house for full time kid occupancy. And no where needed it more than our sports equipment area. Head over to Honest to Nod to see my attempt at helping the kids keep track of the ever-growing gear! 

p.s. this is Penny's blog debut and she's doing exactly what she's good at: getting into things and looking adorable doing so. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Greek Chicken and Potatoes (One Pan) + 30 Days of Dinner!!


This set of dinners is basically us getting on and back off the Whole30 train (and like a whole week of eating out after the first night of Passover). I mentioned a few weeks ago that I've been having a hard time sticking with it this go around. So I decided to switch gears a little bit. I love eating Paleo and the Whole30 reset, but lately I just felt like I was vacillating between eating all the things and eating nothing.

If you've ever met anyone in our family, you know moderation isn't really our thing. Even with things that are good for you. We're a kind of all or nothing bunch. And that's one reason I love Whole30 so much -- I don't really have to deal with trying to eat certain things in moderation. I just can't have them. And what I can eat, the portions are not super strict (there are guidelines, but ....) But I'm trying to be an actual adult, so I decided to try eating mostly clean but with more strict portion control. So you'll continue seeing lots of Paleo-friendly recipes around here, but more just all-around healthy eats too. We'll see how it goes!!

My favorite recipe from this 30 days was easily adapted to Whole30, but even more delicious (and still healthy!) with the cheese. It's really bright, flavorful, and super easy for weeknights.

Greek Chicken and Potatoes (One Pan)
(slightly adapted from Cafe Delites

Ingredients
Marinade:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp salt
- cracked pepper to taste
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Tray Bake:
- 17 1/2 ounces potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 lemon, halved
- 4 tbsp pitted Kalamata olives
- 4 tbsp cubed Feta cheese

Directions
1. Combine marinade ingredients together and pour over chicken into a gallon bag. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, up to over night.
2. Preheat oven to 430 F. Spray a baking pan with cooking oil spray. Arrange chicken, potatoes, and onions on the pan. Drizzle the potatoes and onion with a small amount of olive oil and juice from half of the lemon. Season everything with a bit more of salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potatoes and onion in the oil to evenly coat. Slice the remaining lemon half into slices and arrange over the chicken.
3. Bake until the potatoes are golden/crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and the chicken is completely cooked through (about 30-35 minutes). Change oven setting to broil and cook another 5 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Add olives and cheese before serving (or leave cheese off for Whole30).

*                    *                    *

Day 1 (Sun) -- dinner out 

Day 2 (M) -- Grilled Chicken Tacos, cauliflower rice, salad 
Day 4 (W) -- brinner -- eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, salad 
Day 5 (Th) -- Balsamic Mustard Roast Beef (this was DELICIOUS!), green beans 
Day 6 (F) -- dinner out 
Day 8 (Sun) -- dinner out 

Day 9 (M) -- Passover: Slow Cooker Brisket and Onions (I made a huge brisket, so I did half in the slow cooker and half in the oven -- the oven batch was far better), Apple Walnut Charoset, Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Pesto, Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts
Day 10 (T) -- dinner out
Day 11 (W) -- dinner out
Day 12 (Th) -- brinner
Day 13 (F) -- dinner out
Day 14 (Sat) -- dinner out
Day 15 (Sun) -- Greek Chicken and Potatoes (One Pan)

Day 16 (M) -- Crockpot Paleo Chicken
Day 17 (T) -- Apple and Bacon Smothered Pork Chops
Day 18 (W) -- brinner
Day 19 (Th) -- Chicken Fajita Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (a family fave this month)
Day 20 (F) -- One Skillet Mediterranean Chicken 
Day 21 (Sat) -- dinner out
Day 22 (Sun) -- dinner out

Day 23 (M) -- Slow Cooker Short Rib Chili 
Day 24 (T) -- Grilled Chicken, Burst Tomato, and Artichoke Skewers with Goat Cheese Dip (no dip for Whole30), riced cauliflower
Day 25 (W) -- Carne Asada, Green Beans and Beets with Balsamic Reduction (no cheese for Whole30), Crispy Lemon Oven-Roasted Potatoes
Day 26 (Th) -- leftovers
Day 27 (F) -- dinner out
Day 28 (Sat) -- brinner
Day 29 (Sun) -- dinner out

Day 30 (M) -- One Pot Cheesy Taco Skillet (I used half ground turkey, half ground beef. Leave off the cheese for Whole30)

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Friday Five!!

I actually had several posts planned for this week and then several things just went off the rails. So ... here we are again at a Friday Five. And we're headed into a weekend of cold and rain. Ugh. I so needed this week to be capped off by a weekend of glorious weather. Oh well. Here's what we got in before the downpour started.

p.s. Happy Cinco de Mayo!!


Wanting -- I need some lighter wash skinnies for spring and I have my eye on these.

Cooking -- I almost forgot about my go-to easy chicken dinner, but thankfully pulled it out when I failed to start the slow cooker (AGAIN) one night this week. I just leave out the sugar.

Making -- Cam and I have been working on our spring manis and she has been loving these nail stickers (although some are totally bizarre).

Reading -- we are all enthralled with Wonder still, but I am also about to start Station Eleven.

Playing -- One of Cam's friends gave her this fabulous Djeco Paper Doll set --- there is such a great range of styles!

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Friday Five!!

Today is Cam's birthday and it is GLORIOUS outside, which is a great way to end what has been a pretty fabulous week already!! We spent a lot of this week continuing to get Penny Lane settled, including starting some doggy training. The trainer described Penny as very sweet, smart, stubborn, and in your face with all of her emotions from love to anxiety. I replied that she just described every other member of our nuclear family, so Penny was in the right place. Besides preparing for a weekend of celebrations and largely not blogging (sorry!), here's what else we were up to .....



Playing -- I'm officially a dorky dog training mom complete with treat bag and clicker. At least it's black to match my outfit. The kids are working on teaching Penny to come by playing puppy ping-pong back and forth between them. It's adorable.

Wanting -- I use my cast iron skillet for so, so many things. I want this lidded baby bad.

Making -- Cam has been on a kick of re-exploring a lot of our collage materials and she's been glitter mosaic'ing pretty much everything this week. I don't mind a bit.

Reading -- we've been on a stretch of entertaining audio books but I wanted to change things up a bit. So we just started Wonder -- it's already so, so good.

Cooking -- we started a new round of the Whole30 this week (fingers crossed!!) and I've been grilling up a storm. This Carne Asada is a huge family fave - so much flavor!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Birthday Party Ideas

We are just a few days away from Cami's seventh (SEVENTH!!) birthday so I've got birthday parties on my brain. Even though we aren't doing a big party for Cam this year, I love to virtually shop around for party ideas and celebratory inspiration. We've also been waiting for spring for a looooong time this year and while it's warmed up and things have started to bloom, it's been grey and rainy all week in D.C. So I've been particularly drawn to parties with pops of color. I pulled together by favorites below -- many are elaborate and over the top, which is personally how I often like to party. But even if you don't go crazy, there are some super cute ideas here to pull from. Party on!!


1 Tropical Tutti Frutti Party / this is right up Cam's alley. She thinks most things sugary are "too sweet" and often asks for fruit instead (I know, how can she be my child!?).

2 Neon Party / this particular party wasn't for a birthday, but I just love how they've used neon colors. Cam is obsessed with neon this season, but so many of the parties out there go 80s day glow. I love this take on the color palette.

3 Geometric Unicorn Party / Cami would take just about any unicorn birthday party, but I love the geometric angle of this one.

4 Stinky Cheese Party / so maybe no one would go to this except for my kids, but Kane loves stinky cheese more than sweets. The stinkier, the better. Now that I know you can make a candle out of cheese, I just might have to throw him a party all about it.

5 Pizza Party / I think this super fun cake completely updates the ol' standby pizza party. Sign me up.


6 Modern Minecraft Party / pretty much every elementary-aged kid is obsessed with Minecraft, including mine. This modern version makes me happy. Plus, free printables.

7 Watermelon Party / even if your kiddo doesn't heart all the fruits like Cam, everyone loves sweet watermelon.

8 Star Wars Party / Star Wars never goes out of style and this updated bash would be perfect way to amp kids up for the new release later this year.

9 Watercolor Party / the kids could totally help make this backdrop for an art party.

10 Bright Confetti Party / need I say more?

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Friday Five!!

This week has been dominated by our new pup Penny Lane! She is a super sweet girl we adopted last Sunday and we've spent most of the week getting her comfortable in her new home, teaching her our schedule, and just generally getting to know each other. She is a rockstar and the kids are obsessed! We're talking arguing over who can pick up her poop obsessed. I'll make sure to remind them of this next week when no one will take her outside.

Wanting -- I've had my current frames for a long time and I love them, but I'm in the mood for an additional pair to switch things up. These are the current top contenders.

Reading -- I'm having the hardest time getting back to Whole30 this spring (mostly, I can't up my wine in the evening), so I thought a little motivational reading might help. I read the basic books a few years ago, but just started Food Freedom Forever. Fingers crossed it kicks me in the right direction. The kids have been reading Penny all kinds of books for her "story time" and it is insanely adorable.

Cooking -- everyone loved these Chicken Fajita Stuffed Sweet Potatoes last night and they are a super easy weeknight meal.

Making -- Cam has moved on to designing clothes for Penny (of course), so she's been spending lots of time sketching doggie outfits in her creative journals.

Playing -- no big surprise that we've mostly been playing with Ms. Penny this week! She is a smart lady so I'm stocking up on some puzzle toys for her. I think this one's going to be a hit.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kids Creative Journals



As I'm guessing you saw yesterday, we recently set up a maker area for Cam in her room. To help keep her organized and her creativity flowing, we've been encouraging to try out different methods of creative journaling. Head over to the OOLY blog to see what she's been doing!