Friday, May 29, 2015

May's Favorite Finds

We're wrapping up a week at the beach with Matt's family.

As I write this, I'm sitting on the porch watching the waves and enjoying the ocean breeze as Ryan finishes up his second nap. Life is good. Can every day be a vacation day?!

 Elizabeth and I are back to share with y'all what we're loving this month. You can check our her favorite finds here. And be sure to leave us a comment and share with us what you're loving too!

Target Flip Flops
I like having a pair of basic flip flops to wear to the beach and pool in the summer. This year, I picked up this gold pair from Target that were exactly what I was looking for. They have tons of colors, and the best part is they're only $3.99! You can check them out here and here.

Balsamic Vinegar and Basil Triscuits
In my family, having an appetizer of cheese and crackers before dinner is as normal as drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. So we get a little excited when we find a new cracker to add to our stash. These new crackers by Triscuit are SO good!

What Alice Forgot
I shared a post about this book here, but it definitely needs to make my Favorite Finds list for this month. Even though I'm almost finished with another one of her books, I'm still thinking about the characters in this one. I loved this book!

Arm & Hammer Extreme Whitening Toothpaste
This is my new favorite toothpaste. With as much as I enjoy my coffee and red wine, I need a toothpaste that will help keep my teeth white, and this one is definitely the best one I have used. I saw a noticeable difference within a few days of using it. I did notice that my teeth were a little sensitive the first week or two of using it, but I have really sensitive teeth so you might not even notice a difference. It is worth trying for sure!

Ella's Garden Pouches

I bought these pouches for the first time before our trip to Turks & Caicos. I love that they're organic and that the ingredients list matches what is written on the front. Plus the veggies like rutabaga and parsnips are ones that I hadn't offered to Ryan yet so it was nice to have a simple way to let him try those. He loves these pouches!
"No Reply Blogger" Tutorial
Occasionally, I find out from other bloggers that my profile has reverted to a "No Reply" statues, which means that other bloggers can't respond to my comments if I ask a question. This happened whenever I switched to the Google+ profile, and while I can't quite figure out why it occasionally switches back, I have at least found a great post that gives a quick tutorial on how to switch it back. If you need to check your status or change it back so that bloggers can reply to your comments, click here to view the tutorial.

Okay, that's it for this month's favorite finds. What are YOU loving this month?! Leave a comment below and share your favorite finds!


Friday, May 22, 2015

#nelsendays weeks 19&20

What a great two weeks it has been! We are loving the warm, but not too warm, days with hardly any rain. We've gone outside to play or walk just about every day and I'm loving it! Hoping these Spring-like temps can hang on as long as possible!

Day 128:
Ryan and Tally have mastered the art of selfies... Matt's still working on it. ;) #overheredaddy

Day 129:
A morning walk, an early lunch, and a trip to Costco. I love Saturdays. And yes Tal came too. After being gone for a week he's jumping in the car every time we leave so we take him with us whenever we can. :)

Day 130:
Mother's Day. I love this boy so much. Being his mama is the best gift I've ever been given.

Day 131:
Our attempt at recreating our pool days from the week before with a mid-afternoon "swim." It wasn't quite the same, but I did enjoy the view. ;)

Day 132:
We have a pretty solid routine lately of walking at the park and then playing on the playground. These sunny days have been the best!

Day 133:
We love open gym! And Ryan says hey. The hand rarely goes down.

Day 134:
Look closely and you will see that Tally is sucking one of Ryan's pacifiers in the background. Tally, our golden retriever who has always acted more like a child than a dog, sometimes gets jealous during mealtime because all of the attention is on Ryan (you know, the actual child in our house). So he usually goes to find something of Ryan's that he knows he's not supposed to have and will peek his head around the corner and stare at me with whatever it is in his mouth. This is purely for affect because when he doesn't get the attention he wants, he drops whatever it is and dramatically plops on the floor with a sigh. This particular stare down lasted for 3-5 minutes during breakfast. Oh. Tal. You are one funny pup.

Day 135:
End of the year performances and presentations at Noah and Maddox's school! Love these boy so, so much!

Day 136:
Last Saturday evening we went to a Leukemia Awareness Fundraiser that Matt's boss organizes every year. Ryan got to experience his first taste of blue grass music and was super excited when he figured out he could clap while swinging. ;)

Day 137:
Last weekend we went to visit Matt's grandparents one last time on their blueberry farm before they move to a smaller home. We have so many memories at that house and farm and on that front porch! We will miss visiting them there!

Day 138:
Baby man boobs and crossed feet. :)

Day 139:
On Tuesday morning, we took a trip to the new Avalon development in Alpharetta where they had a kids' play area with characters and songs. Ryan got to meet Batman, play, eat... and when it was all said and done, he CRASHED. The bottom left picture was taken about two minutes after I put him in the stroller. Sweet boo. He transferred from the stroller to the car to the crib without waking up. I still can't believe it happened. Even his sweet little waving hand was exhausted. :)

Day 140:
Matt left work early on Wednesday of this week and surprised Ryan and Tally at the park. Tal's face pretty much sums up how they both felt when he showed up- haha!

Tomorrow morning we head out for a week at the beach with Matt's family. We can't wait!

Have a great weekend friends!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mexican Lasagna

My sister gets all the credit for this recipe. It is one of the many delicious recipes I have in the recipe book that she made me as a wedding gift. Yeah, she's pretty great. :)

This recipe is perfect for a crowd or for freezing leftovers for later.

And Ryan, at almost 10 months old, has eaten is twice now and loves it!

1lb. ground turkey or beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bag of tricolor peppers, chopped (I buy these)
olive oil
2tsp chili powder
1tsp cumin
2 cups salsa (I use Jack's from Costco)
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8- 8in whole wheat tortillas
1- 16oz container sour cream
4c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Pinch of sugar to taste

I'll be honest, I am not a chili powder or cumin fan, but I love this dish!

Brown meat and drain. Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil. Add meat to onions and peppers. 

Stir in chili powder, cumin, salsa, beans, corn, and sugar. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Spread a layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 13x9in baking dish. Top with 2 tortillas (side by side), 1/4 of the sour cream (spread across the top), and one cup of cheese. 

Repeat steps four times, until all ingredients are used.

Cover with foil and bake on 350 for 45 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes to allow cheese to brown slightly. 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: What Alice Forgot + Weekend Wrap-Up

One of my goals for May was to read What Alice Forgot.

I LOVED this book. I got so into the characters and the storyline. I even talked to Matt about the plot as if there was a chance we could experience the same circumstances. It really got me thinking!

The basic premise is that the main character, Alice, has an accident and can't remember the last ten years of her life. What she realizes though is that she is apparently a completely different person than she was ten years ago based on how everyone responds to her and acts around her. 

During the book she has to put the pieces of her life back together and figure out who she wants to be going forward.

I was wishing there was a sequel when I finished it. But I did start reading another one of Liane Moriarity's book The Husband's Secret and I'm loving it too!

Both books are apparently being made into movies, so if you like reading books and then seeing the film versions like I do, you should definitely check out both of these books!

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to read after The Husband's Secret so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

In other news, this weekend, we went to visit my family in Monroe and see Matt's grandparents at their house in Social Circle one last time before they move. 

As we were getting ready to leave, I told Ryan that we were going to Nonna and Papa's house, and when Tally heard me say "Nonna" he jumped up from his bed and flew into the car. Tally is crazy about my parents and they are crazy about him, but he's not allowed inside the main part of their house (where we would be) so he wasn't going to come along with us this time. The picture on the left is Tally thinking he's home free and coming along, the picture on the right is when he sees Matt coming to get him back out. hahah- poor Tal. 

I took this picture while I was sitting in the back with Ryan and talking to Matt about how Ryan's teeth are coming in. Sweet buddy has some big, gappy chompers on the top and two tiny little chicklets on the bottom- ha! And the whole time I was talking to Matt about his teeth he was just grinning at me from ear to ear. Love this little cheeser and his toothy smile!

Ryan with almost all of his cousins! We found out that my step brother and his wife are expecting a boy in November so there will be 5 boys and 5 girls on my side of the family for Ryan to play with!

After leaving my moms, we drove out to Social Circle to see Matt's grandparents and visit their house  and farm one last time before they move. They have lived in this house and operated the blueberry farm there for over 40 years. I still remember my first visit 14 years ago when Matt and I were dating.  So many sweet memories there!

They're not moving far away so we'll have lots more memories at their new place! And the new owners are going to keep running the farm so we'll be back to pick each summer. :)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

And don't forget to let me know if you have any good book recommendations! Thanks, friends!