Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Recap & Recipes

Friday afternoon, we took the boys to the park to get out all their energy so they'd sleep good for the babysitter. She got to the house about 7:00, after the boys were asleep and we left. I was a little nervous at first, but I knew the boys were in good hands. We went to T.G.I.Fridays for dinner and drinks. Afterwards, we went to Target to pick up a couple of things before going home. It was so nice to sit and enjoy a meal without having to worry about anything and then to walk casually through Target and take our time looking at the stuff we wanted to look at. We really enjoyed our date night and plan to start doing it more often. The boys were fine while we were gone.

Greg playing Words With Friends while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to order. He put his phone away after I finally figured out what I wanted. (I got the Korean Steak Tacos, they were delish!)
 Mmm....strawberry daquari on the rocks.

Saturday morning, we went to the mall and let the boys play in the play area while I ran into a couple of stores. We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A at the mall and came home and put the boys down for a nap. When they woke up, I worked on dinner while Greg and the boys went to the gym.

Evan in his room before Carter woke up. He's always into something.

After the boys went to bed, we had dinner. I made Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa. I had to put the pork in the crock pot Friday night because it takes 18 hours to cook. I made homemade pico de gallo, homemade tomatillo dressing and homemade guacamole to go with it. We had "barbacoa bowls" with shredded lettuce, rice, beans, cheese, tortilla strips, pico, guac, sour cream and the tomatillo dressing. It was all so good. It was definitely worth the 18 hours it has to cook, and we'll be having it again. Greg said the pico de gallo was "as good as we get in a restaurant" :) There is nothing that I make that is as good as you can get in a restaurant, but it still made me feel really good. He really liked everything last night, but he had it for lunch today leftover and said it was even better. He said this pork was his favorite thing I've ever made. You have to try it! It's actually really easy, it just has to cook a long time in the crock pot. The pico de gallo, dressing, and guacamole only took me half an hour to make all of them. It's easy, it just takes time to cut everything up and put it together.

I tried to get the time on the coffee pot in the picture. This was 10:30 on Friday night before I went to bed, when I put the pork on.

The finished product. There was a lot of liquid because the recipe calls for a 5-6lb pork and the biggest they had at Kroger was 3.8lb.

The creamy tomatillo dressing. I love tomatillos but have never bought one or cooked with them, so I was excited to finally use them in a recipe.

My homemade pico de gallo. I've never made pico de gallo before. I don't know why, but now that I've discovered how easy it is, I'll be making it a lot more often.
I found the original recipe on Pinterest and it's from this website. The pork ends up having a sweet flavor. It's not hot AT all!! You can spice it up if you want, but if you don't like hot things, don't worry, this recipe isn't hot at all!

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

5-6 lb. pork roast

21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
6-ish oz. red taco sauce (I used hot)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 12 hours. (I started my Pork Adventure at midnight and everything worked out perfectly for Sunday dinner at 6:00 pm.) After 12 hours, drain pork (retain liquid if you want sauce for burritos, simply mix with a can of verde enchilada sauce and away you go).

Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. I didn’t keep the actual chilies, I dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then I tossed them.
Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours.

Take out roast and shred, add back into sauce and cook for 2 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.

Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
juice from 1 lime

Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in air-tight container

Easy Pico-de-Gallo

3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
1 section of green pepper, minced--I skipped the green pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/3-1/2 cup vinegar (use your best judgement)
salt and pepper

Mix it up really well and refrigerate.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Laid Back Week and New Train Table

This week has been pretty laid back. Not a whole lot going on. Thursday a couple of moms from MOPS came over for a playdate. It was the perfect day for an indoor playdate because it was rainy and nasty outside. Other than that, we haven't been doing a whole lot around here. We're taking the boys to the park this afternoon to wear them out so they sleep good for the babysitter tonight. Tonight's datenight and the first time we're leaving the boys with somebody other than family. Here's some pictures I've taken this week.

The boys come outside with me when we go somewhere and one stays on the porch while I take the other one and load them in the car. The other day, Carter got into my pots on the porch and started playing with the dirt, so I've been taking him to the car first. I turned around one day and Evan was trying to lock himself between the screen door and the front door.

I wish I would have got some pictures of him with his face smooshed against the glass, he was trying so hard to latch that screen door.

The other day, Evan took a 3.5 hour nap. It was so nice, except that Carter only took a 2 hour nap. I could tell he was still tired when I went and got him, but he wouldn't go back to sleep, so we went downstairs and hung out until Evan woke up. Carter just wanted to snuggle up and watch tv.

I taught the boys to put both arms in the air when I say "touchdown". It's really cute.
Where's Evan?

 There he is! haha, they love hiding. I'll say "where's Evan or where's carter" and they'll laugh so hard while I'm walking over to the chair. It's so cute.

Taking advantage of the nice weather and eating dinner that Greg grilled out on the deck. The boys love the freedom of eating at their picnic table and love getting up a million times to hand us stuff, pick stuff up, etc.

 I made a list of stuff I wanted to get the boys eventually, so we could keep an eye out on Craigslist, consignment sales, etc. and if we find a good deal, we can go ahead and get it. Greg checked the bulletin board at work and found this train table and all the train stuff that came with it for $10.00!!! Can you believe that?! $10.00!!!!! I was so excited. The boys really like it and it's something that they can grow with.

I'm in the process of figuring out how I want the basement playroom and front room playroom organized. I'm also going to be switching their bedrooms out upstairs, so I'm trying to figure out where all their toys are going to go, which ones they've outgrown and how to set everything up.

This week for lunch I've been having the best salad. It's spinach, with strawberries, croutons (nuts would be good too) and goat cheese. I put Newman's Own Lite Raspberry & Walnut Vinegarette on it. It's so good! I love the strawberries in it. I never thought I'd like fruit in my salad, but I'm definitely a fan now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Tuesday was a little chilly and we didn't have any playgroups or anything planned, so we just hung around the house a played and ran a few errands before naptime. When Greg got home, we went to the gym. Nothing exciting, but I did get some pictures.

I'm so glad the boys are actually playing with this. I have an entire board on Pinterest full of fun ideas to do with the boys, although most of them are for when they're a little bit older. I can't wait to try out some more of the ideas that I've found.

We ran to Target and then needed just a couple of things from the grocery store. I didn't want to take everything out of the car that I bought at Target, get out the stroller, put all the stuff back and load the boys up just to have to do it all again after running in for 5 minutes. So, I walked the boys up to the grocery store hoping that they had the fun double carts (with the steering wheels) for them to ride in. They didn't, so I let the boys push the "customer in training" carts. I have NO idea what I was thinking. It was a miracle that they didn't run into anybody or knock over any displays. They were like wild animals set free in there, they were running as fast as they could and just squealing and laughing. Of course, if anybody acknowledged the boys, they stopped and turned on the charm, smiling, waving, and saying "hi" and then it was back to running down the aisle. They had no interest in listening to me. I tried putting the milk in one of their carts hoping it'd be heavy and slow them down. Nope. Then they thought that they needed to grab items and put them in the carts. You may notice that we are in the magazines and deoderant section in this picture. It is nowhere near anything that we needed. They decided that we needed to go that way and there was no stopping them. Checking out was a nightmare, I was trying to scan my stuff, bag it, and keep them from taking every single item off the candy shelf. There was also a display of bananas right at check out (I have no idea why!) so they were trying to put those in their cart as well. I was worn out when we left there. Lesson learned, it is much less work to get the stroller out than it is to try and keep up with these two running loose. Although, if I'm not able to make it to the gym on day, I could always try this again--it was quite a workout chasing those two.

I picked up a couple Sesame Street items from the dollar section at Target. I got them some flash cards, I got a couple different packs and put them away for later and since they were only a dollar, I decided to give them one pack now and see how they did with them. They're not the most gentle with things, so I figured they'd all be ripped and crumbled in seconds, but they didn't do too bad.

I also got two packs of stickers in the dollar sections. Each of these came with 4 sheets! I thought that was a great deal. The boys love the big stickers they get at the doctor's office or from the nice cashier's at Target or Kroger, so I thought I'd see how they did with some smaller ones. I gave them a piece of paper and let them decorate it with stickers and then put a couple on their shirts for them to take off and put back on. It entertained them while I got their lunch ready.

The boys have been spending a lot more time upstairs lately. When they wake up, I get them out of their cribs and let them come down the stairs themselves, a lot of times they'll want to stay in their rooms and play awhile. They used to only have their pacifiers for sleeping and car rides, but they know where they are and they get them and use them anytime they're upstairs. I think this may be a good time to break the pacifier habit before they get too attached. I'm not looking forward to this, it's not going to be fun. They're sleeping so good at night and taking such good naps. I know taking away the pacifiers is going to mess with that.

Yesterday was our anniversary. We've been together for 13 years, married for 6! Isn't that crazy? We exhanged gifts, made our favorite dinner, and enjoyed a glass of wine. We actually finally bit the bullet and got a babysitter. She's coming over Friday night so we can go out. It'll be the first time the boys have been left with anybody but family while we're not under the same roof (church, gym, etc). I'm a little nervous, but I know they'll be in good hands.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spicy Sausage Pasta and Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

This weekend I tried a couple new recipes that I wanted to share. The first one is Spicy Sausage Pasta that I pinned from Kevin and Amanda's Blog awhile back because it looked delicious and I knew Greg would like it. I finally got around to trying it last night and it was delicious!! It calls for 8oz of penne pasta, but there was so much extra liquid, that next time I'll use a whole box of pasta. We just used a slotted spoon to serve it up and it was so delicous. I also used "hot" rotel tomatoes instead of mild--we like it spicy. ;)

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

The second recipe was one of my favorite recipes of all time, Melt In Your Mouth Chicken. I loved this recipe so much! It was so good. It's made with mayonaise, so it's not the healthiest, but I saw another version that uses Greek yogurt instead, so I'm going to try that and see if it's any good. I'm also going to try it with reduced fat mayo also and see how that works. This was such an easy recipe, I see us having this a lot!
Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper

spread mix over chicken breasts
bake at 375 45 mins

Can you believe it's that easy?!

Weekend Recap

This weekend was Greg's 3 day weekend. I look forward to these and normal two day weekends just seem too short to me now. We didn't do anything too exciting, but here's some pictures from our weekend. It's so hard to get pictures that aren't blurry, but I'd rather have a blurry picture than no picture, I guess.

Carter really thinks he's something getting up on his pushing toy to reach the door knob and trying to reach the light switch.

After the gym, we come home and one of us takes a shower while the other one feeds the boys and does the dishes and then the switch off so we're both showered before the boys go to bed. I came down after my shower and found the boys had brought their blankets into the kitchen and were playing in the floor behind Greg. Too cute!

All of a sudden, they don't look like babies to me anymore. Evan looks like a kid with no pants, not a baby with just a shirt. That probably doesn't make any sense to anybody, but they just seem to be getting so big so fast.

So cute!! They love playing with blankets now. I guess because it's been so rainy and dreary, it's fun to just cuddle up with a blanket.

The boys ended up loving their play rug that I got them off Craigslist. yay!

Friday, we took Carter to his follow up for his allergies. Everything the doctor's told us to do have really been helping. They love playing in the waiting room.

Evan loved the fish. He knew what they were, as soon as we walked in he said "fish".

Sunday was really rainy, so I spend the day mostly cleaning. But, we did get a couple of fun projects done that I wanted to do. I worked on my menu planning board. I'll do a more detailed post on it when I'm completely done, but here it is. I've discovered magnetic paper and it's amazing. I don't know how I lived without it before. It's what I used to print out the names of recipes that we will be having and I put it on the day we're planning on having it.

Like I said, I'll do another post on this with more details later.

We got an oil drip pan from Walmart, cleaned it off and then hung it on the wall in the basement for the boys to use for their magnets. I don't like the writing on the pan, but it was so inexpensive and we hung it with 3mm, so it's super easy to take down and didn't require any holes in the wall. If we ever see a nicer one, I'll get it. I've also seen on Pinterest where people have painted these, so I might do that too. It's not cute, but it's a great thing for the boys to have for their magnets.

I'm lumping Monday in with our weekend recap. Carter woke up before Evan today, which usually doesn't happen. Here he is in our bed reading books.

We had our moms of multiples playdate today. We went to another great house. It was perfect for playdates, with tons of toys and just the right amount of baby proofing. I swear, moms of multiples have the best playdate houses, they always have the best toys and tons of them!! The host even made homemade waffles for the kids to have as a snack. Carter was a little waffle bandit and ate any that was given to him, or left on anybody's plate. He was not messing around! He loved them!!

A sign of a good playdate. The boys sleeping on the way home because they wore themselves out playing.

More blankets and couch time. The only nap was in the car, so the boys were worn out this afternoon.

But, not too worn out for playing in the ball pit. :)
 I got this picture off Greg's camera. It was taken sometime this weekend, but I thought it was cute that Evan was actually looking at the camera.

This weekend, we did some shopping, ran errands, went to the gym, went to the park before it started raining on Saturday, and got a ton done around the house. It was a nice weekend, but I'm definitely looking forward to warm and sunny weekends that we can get out more. I also tried a few new recipes, so I'll do a seperate post on that. I hope everybody had a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rainy Day

This morning, we had a MOPs playdate scheduled for 10:00. While I was getting ready, I got a message that it was cancelled due to one of the kids being sick. My first thought was "NOOOOOO!!!!!, what are we going to do this morning!?"(and I felt bad for the sick kiddo and his mama) The boys had been really, really good up to that point, but I could tell they were starting to get a little stir crazy. It was raining, so I didn't want to go out and do something just for the sake of getting out (like running to Target to look around). So, we had to be creative.

I got some mail that I was going to throw away and gave it to the boys. They love empty boxes, mail, empty paper towel rolls, plastic cups, etc. So, when I can tell they're getting bored, I let them play with that kind of stuff before I throw it away. All the toys they own and they are entertained by "trash".

It was dreary and a little cold, so we got out a ton of blankets and the boys spent a long time playing with them. They love covering up and rolling around.

We spent most of the morning upstairs playing. We don't spend much time up here, maybe 10 minutes a day or so while I get the boys dressed and ready for the day. The boys had a lot of fun.

I was sitting in the chair in Evan's room and they were running in and out of the his room and going into Carter's and playing in the hallway. I heard laughter and a couple of thumps and then hysterical laughter. It turns out that they were throwing toys through the slots in the banister and pushing the big ones down the stairs.

I picked up Evan's room last night before he went to bed. Everything was neat and in order. This was about 15 minutes into playing.

The toys they managed to push down the stairs. It was frustrating that they did that, but it was hard to stay mad because they thought it was so funny. They laughed and laughed, it was so cute how excited they were, but still, they can't be doing things like that.

We finally made it to lunch time and then it was time for their nap. After Greg got home, we met somebody from Craigslist to buy this play rug for the boys. Then, we went to the gym.
This is the picture from Craigslist.

Going to other people's houses for playdates and seeing how they have their playrooms set up, and Pinterest, have made me want to get organized and finally do some decorating, organizing, etc around our house. I want to switch the boys rooms, set up the playroom in the basement (they have toys down there but it's not decorated or set up cute at all) and there's a few more projects on my to do list.

One of the first things on my to do list is to make this menu planner I saw on a blog today.

It's amazing. It's a magnetic month board and the girl printed out labels on magnetic paper and plans her menus out a month in advance. You'd have to look at the blog to see all the details and pictures, but I love it and definitely want to do this. Our weeks go so much smoother when I plan a menu for the week, but sometimes it's hard, doing it for a month would take longer than planning it for the week, but it'd save us time and money in the long run. Greg is out getting dinner as I write this because we didn't menu plan this week and couldn't decide what to have. I can't wait to do this project.

Tonight we're watching Survivor. It's one of the few shows we watch live (not on dvd) and I can't wait to see who goes home tonight. I hope everybody is having a good week. Tomorrow is our "Friday" and then Greg has a 3 day weekend and I'm defnitely looking forward to it.