Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Recap and a Recipe

We had a wonderful Saturday. In the morning, we took the boys to the mall to run off some energy and then we went by Kohl's to do a little shopping. We picked up lunch from Subway on the way home. After the boys nap, we swung by McDonald's and got a cup of ice cream and took the boys to the park. We had their snack there of ice cream and grapes and they loved it. It was really hot, so we decided to come home and let the boys play in the water outside. Greg grilled chicken out for a recipe I wanted to try, and after we put the boys to bed, we had dinner and watched Modern Family on DVD. I've been wanting to see this show for awhile and we finally got it and it is hilarious. It was a great Saturday. Here's the pictures I took from today.

The boys are getting a little tall for their 18 month clothes, so we put them in the 24 month shirts that Aunt B (Brandi) got them for Christmas. They're cute matching shirts that say "double trouble". I remember when they got them, I couldn't imagine them ever fitting into them. :( The boys hit a growth spurt recently. We had to get some 24 month clothes for them as well as some new shoes today. Here they are at the mall. They seem to do more and more every time we go there, they're much more social with the other kids and love trying new things, like climbing or jumping from something new.
We took the boys to the park after their nap and had snack time there. They loved the ice cream!

There was nobody at the park. It was pretty hot and humid.

The boys had a blast playing outside. Carter helped Daddy fill the pools with water.

Daddy's little helper.

I love checking my garden when I'm watering it to see if any of my veggies are coming in. We planted it a little late this year, so I didn't expect anything for awhile, but we're already getting things. One of my okra plants has a few okra on it that are really big! I have several tomatoes (roma and cherry) and I have a tiny little pepper. I'm so excited!
The boys loved getting sprayed with the hose today. They would run and hide and I'd spray them and they'd laugh. They went upstairs on the deck and I would spray them and they would laugh and yell "more, more". They were exhausted when we finally went in. They snuggled up on the couch and covered up with blankets.
I tried a new recipe tonight. It was something we had all the ingredients for, so I figured I'd give it a try. It turned out so good. We'll definitely have it again. We had it with one of our all time favorite side dishes- Rachel Ray's Orzo with Feta and Tomatoes. We both love this side dish so much, that sometimes, it's all we fix and we'll just eat a bowl of it. It's so good!

With this chicken recipe, you marinate it for about 30 minutes, grill it and then top it with the cheese, bacon and bbq sauce and bake it until the cheese melts. The marinade is actually so good that you could just eat it right off the grill without the toppings.
Monterey Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce
4 slices of bacon, crumbled
1  c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (our favorite seasoning!)

Marinate chicken breasts in oil, soy sauce and Montreal Steak Seasoning for at least 1/2 an hour. Grill chicken until no longer pink. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Top each chicken breast with bbq sauce, cheese, and bacon. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

**The original recipe called for a can of Rotel on top of the chicken before baking, but I actually forgot that part. I didn't even notice until I was typing it up for this blog post, it was good the way we had it tonight. Although, next time, I'll have it with the Rotel to see how it tastes**

Friday, June 22, 2012

Some Recipes

I've tried several new recipes this week and they've all turned out really good. We're trying to a little better around here and cut down on the amount of processed food we eat.
The first recipe was for Breakfast Cookies. I thought these would be perfect for the boys to snack on and it was easy to make.

Breakfast Cookies
1.5 cups of oats
2-3 super rippened bananas
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
handful of craisins to taste (I used raisins)
just throw everything together, mix it up well, throw it on a baking sheet at 350 for about 35 minutes

The second recipe was No Bake Energy Bites. These are perfect if you just want a little something. I think they taste like a cross between a granola bar and cookie dough.

No-Bake Energy Bites
  • 1 cup dry old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used sunflower butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used sugar free chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

The next recipe I tried this week was Overnight Oats. I had two big bags of oats that I bought at Yoder's and tried to find recipes that I wanted to try and didn't have to buy a whole lot of ingredients.

Overnight Oats Adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes

1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 medium banana, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
4-5 drops honey
pinch cinnamon

Place all the ingredient in a jar, shake, cover and refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite crunchy toppings such as nuts, granola, etc and enjoy the next day. (I ate mine plain)

The last recipe I tried this week was Banana Blueberry Bread with Greek Yogurt. We always have bananas on hand and I'm also always buying the boys fun, flavored breads at the store, so I decided to try and make my own. There's another version of this where you add strawberries instead of blueberries and I plan to try that next week. Everybody really liked this bread, the flavor was really good and it was so moist. I was a little nervous about the greek yogurt because I'm not really a big fan, but you couldn't even taste it.

Greek Yogurt Banana Blueberry Bread

1 1⁄2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1⁄2 cup Brown Sugar
3 Large ripe bananas
2 Eggs
6 ounces Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.(I used my Kitchin Aid stand mixer to mix the bananas and all the wet ingredients.
Add eggs and sugar… mix thoroughly.
Add greek yogurt
Whisk until everything is well combined and there are no lumps.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. At this point, fold in the fresh Blueberries!
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
Put into the oven and bake for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer to a cooling rack and (try to) let the bread cool for at least ten minutes before slicing

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend Recap

I'm exhausted. I got in the mood to clean, so I've spent the last two hours cleaning the house. I did want to do a quick update though and post some pictures.

We had a great weekend. Saturday morning, I had my hair colored and cut--finally. My roots were out of control. Then in the afternoon, we ran a couple of errands and let the boys play in their pool while Greg grilled out. We got several things done around the house and it was a very productive day. Greg took the boys to the gym while I was at the salon and they had to come get him because Carter bit Evan. Apparently, Evan pushed Carter, so Carter bit him. When he got to the Kidzone, Evan was with the nurse and she was icing his arm. She called today to check on him to make sure he was ok. It's not funny that Carter bit Evan, but the whole situation made me and Greg laugh. The fact that they were icing his arm--that's way better treatment than he gets at home! We're always like "You're fine"! They've been a lot better about biting lately, and Evan was fine. Greg couldn't even see where he was bit when he got him. I'm glad to see how they handle things there and that they were so nice and quick to get us, but it's still funny that they were icing it.

  I totally dropped the ball on Father's day. I thought it was a week away. I didn't realize it was this weekend until we were driving home from our date night. I had planned on getting a card and doing a craft with the boys for my dad and Greg. I'm sad that I wasn't more organized on this. :( But, we did have a nice Father's Day and I did manage to get my dad and Greg something small--luckily I bought those things far in advance so at least they got some sort of recognition.

Today, we had our weekly multiples playdate. It was raining and nasty out, so we played inside. I'm glad we had a playdate scheduled because the boys and I would have been bored at home on such a nasty day. The boys had a blast. Plus, I got some ideas for the boys rooms and a recipe from the playdate! We are already talking about our next wine tour in the fall. We had so much fun at our last one, that we've started planning the next one. :) I'm definitely looking forward to it.

  Here's the pictures from our weekend. They are random and all were taken on my iphone.

We gave the boys chocolate chip cookies from Subway and one of them was a little messier than the other.

Saturday, they weren't going to be outside for very long, so we didn't even both with bathing suits, we just put them in swimming diapers and threw some sunscreen on them.

Evan loved filling up his bucket and coming to dump it on us. I had to ask him to pour it on my feet or else I would have been soaked.

Evan found the remote. They LOVE playing with the tv remote.

Sunday, we let the boys play outside in the pool also. They enjoyed some icy pops and strawberries for a snack. They sat really well at their table and ate, I thought they'd be running all over the place.

At our playgroup today. They were playing so cute so I grabbed my phone and got one picture, and it didn't turn out that great.

Before dinner, the boys were playing in their rooms and Evan wanted to wear his scarf from Aunt Brandi. He looked so cute wearing it.

I'm exhausted, it's been a long day and it's way past my bedtime. We have some plans for this week and the weather is supposed to be sunny and hot, so I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time outside and I'm looking forward to it. I love going to bed exhausted from a full day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Fun & Date Night

Greg only had to work a half day today and the boys and I had a great start to our weekend. The weather was nice, so we spent some time outside and ended the day with a date night.

The boys love their train table. They still play with it as much as the day we brought it home.
Playing together.

The boys & I went for a walk around the neighborhood. I try and point out things like trees, houses, trucks, etc and then ask them to show me those things.

When we got home, the boys played with sidewalk chalk and I watered my vegetable garden.

This isn't the best picture--but how cute is Evan's outfit?! I got it at Target this week for $3.00!!! I was so excited.
Greg got home at 12:00, and we all took naps. It was so nice. After we all woke up, we took the boys to Yoder's. This was the first time Greg's gone with us in a LONG time. We met a nice guy there with his son and they were both so sweet to the boys. They had brought their own corn and shared with the boys and taught them how to let the chickens eat it straight out of their hands. (the boys normally just throw it at the chickens)

I still remember when Carter was so scared of the animals and now he has no fear. He stuck his fingers in the turkey cage and one of the younger ones nipped at it some and he thought it was the funniest thing.

Greg pushing the boys on the "big boy" swings. They had such a blast. Evan kept saying "more" when he wanted to go higher.

My friend and neighbor came over right after we put the boys down to listen out for them while Greg and I went out to dinner and Target. We decided to switch off babysitting each other's kids. It makes date night so much cheaper when you don't have to pay a babysitter and her girls are so cute and it's fun getting to watch them.

Greg and I went to T.G.I. Fridays. There was no wait at all and they were so fast with our food, we were able to have a couple of drinks, eat dinner and also go to Target for a few things. It was so nice.

Greg took a picture and put it on Facebook and I had to take a couple of pictures too for the blog, but then we put our phones away and talked. I promise. :)

Such a great start to our weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Park and Frozen Yogurt Bites

Today, I took the boys to the park near out house. We haven't been there in awhile, but it's a really nice park and it's only a couple of miles from our house. The park is gated and it's a great park to take the boys when I'm alone with them and it's usually not very busy. We got there about 8:45 and they played for an hour and a half! They were worn out when we got home. Our friends joined us after we got there, so the boys got to get some playing in and I got some nice adult conversation. A win-win. :)

There's two different playgrounds set up, one for toddlers (about the boys age) and one for big kids. The age on the sign says 5 and up. The last time we were there, the boys kept wanting to get on that equipment. Greg gave in and we let them check it out since we were the only ones there. Of course, as soon as we get there, they both run over to the big kid playground like that's the one they've always played on. They went up the stairs and down the slides without any hesitation.

This is a view of the older kid playground.

I kinda expect that from Evan, but Carter is usually more cautious. Not today! He was the one who went over there first and went down the spiral slide like he'd been down it a million times.

Here's the toddler area. Oh, I remember when the boys were so small and we had to coax them down the slides, holding their hands and reassuring them it was ok.

This enormous slide is like 12 feet high. The boys went down this thing too without any problems.

And of course, snack time was a very important part of the morning.

Both boys can climb up on this bike thing all by themselves!

Evan looks as excited as I was about these twist lid plastic container things I found that are perfect for carrying snacks in the diaper bag.

During the boys snack, I decided to try out an idea I saw on Pinterest. You take a regular size container of yogurt, scoop it into a plastic bag, cut off the end, and squirt out little blobs of yogurt on a baking sheet and then freeze them. When the boys got up, they had homemade, frozen yogurt bites for a snack. They loved them, it was neater than giving them a container of yogurt and it was so easy to make. I think we'll have this a lot this summer.