Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sorry to be MIA yesterday.  When I went to pick up the little guy from daycare on Tuesday, I was informed that he had gotten sick.  He'd only been at the center for two days.  It's ridiculous.  After many bouts of him getting sick after we left the daycare, I called the pediatrician who promptly informed me that the little guy most likely  had some form of an intestinal virus.  It.freaked.me.out.  Majorly.  I know babies get sick, but this is insane!  Thankfully, he's doing a little bit better than he was yesterday and the day before.

Today, I'm so, so, so thankful for my family.  They are amazing people, but in these last few days especially, they have been rockstar amazing.  I'm incredibly lucky that they are always there for me at the drop of a hat. 

I love you guys!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Icing

Since yesterday was the hubby's birthday, I wanted to make him a cake.   I've been making him the same butterfinger cake since we started dating but this year was a little different.  Somehow time snuck up on me and I wasn't able to get all of the ingredients I needed to make it.  I did a little improv and made a plain vanilla cake with peanut butter icing.

I emptied a container of whipped cream into a bowl and combined it with a few tablespoons of peanut butter.



*Fun tidbit - we go through so much peanut butter at our house.  We buy two 40oz jars and they last about 3-4 weeks.  It's INSANE!

After the peanut butter and the whipped cream were combined, I stuck it in the freezer to harden just a little bit.  I had completely forgotten that whipped cream melts. I blame it on my new mommy brain. I should've used cool whip, which would have held up much better in the situation.

Once the icing was harder, I iced the cake and cut a slice for the hubby and I to enjoy.






I loved the cake and peanut butter combination.  Even though I like the butterfinger cake better, this was a nice change. 

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite kind of icing?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, March 28, 2011

Something Simple

On Friday I told you that the hubby and I took the little one to daycare for a test run.  Today was the official start day for him, and neither the husband nor I dealt with the whole transition of home care to daycare well.  Truth be told, we really like the place where we are sending the little one, but I don't think that sending him there for 5 days a week is going to be the best thing for our family.  The husband and I will be making some changes, and even though it may be difficult, we will get through it.  I'll keep you posted!

While doing the budget and figuring out some things, the husband and I decided to have a simple meal.  We looked through our freezer and noticed that we had some leftover bean soup that needed to be eaten.


It was a delicious, simple and hearty meal that we enjoyed.

Today is the hubby's birthday - happy birthday, sweetheart!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's That Time

I'm off from work today because it's that time - the time I thought would never arrive.  The little one starts daycare on Monday and today, the husband and I are taking him there as a "test drive".  We're going to drop off his stuff and see how he does with the teachers.  It's a sad day for us because we never wanted to go the daycare route.  From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but for now, that's not in the cards. 

Please wish us luck! From what we've been told from other parents, the little guy will be fine - it'll be the hubby and I that are upset!

When I was at my mom's house a few days ago, she made one of my favorite dishes - Chicken and Broccoli.  I don't have an exact recipe for it, but this recipe is the closest I can come to it.  The only difference is that she doesn't use stuffing mix.  Instead, she puts croutons on top before baking.  It is out of this world amazing.


Cheese, chicken and broccoli? Yes, please!
I'm hoping to get out and enjoy the weekend with the family.  Saturday night the hubby and I are celebrating his birthday and Sunday is our traditional family day.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Question of the Day:
Any fun weekend plans?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I can't believe that we're at another Thankful Thursday.  Time is going by too fast!
Today marks me and the husband's six year dating anniversary.  Yes, we are that dorky couple.  I'm thankful that I've known this guy for six years. 

When I think back on it, I can't believe that in six short years we've gotten married, watched my best friend tie the knot, and had a baby.  Over the six years, there were lots of smiles and tears, but through it all, I've had the best friend any girl could ask for.


At my best friend's wedding

We were doing the fisherman dance.  We thought it was funny :)
(c) Lewis Rinaman Photography



As a family

On a side note, today I'm also thankful for my Uncle Joe.  I saw him at a party last week and he gave me an awesome food find....but you'll have to stay tuned next week to see what it was!  Thanks for being so thoughtful, Uncle Joe!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let the Sun Shine In

I'm hoping that the title of this post will convince the sun to start shining again.  It's been rainy and dreary the last two days and it's downright depressing!

When I came home from work last night, I knew I wanted the pork I had made over the weekend.  (I poured some Lite Ceasar dressing on top and baked it for 20 minutes or so).  I joked with the husband that tonight's dinner wasn't going to feature a salad.  He was shocked - we have salads with dinner practically every night!

Instead of making a salad, I microwaved some edamamme for myself and heated up the leftover pasta for him.  I served it with the leftover rolls  and called it a meal.




I love leftovers, especially when I can turn them into another dish or use them as a side in my meals. 

Question of the Day:
Do you like leftovers?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Secret Ingredient

Happy Tuesday!

After yesterday's post of rolls and pasta, I knew I wanted to keep the Italian theme going by making some meatballs.

I've made meatballs before using ground turkey, oatmeal, egg whites and spices, but I stuck with the traditional route this time.  I used one egg, ground turkey, breadcrumbs, spices and a secret ingredient - fresh grated romano cheese.  My mom has always put cheese in her meatballs but this was a first for me. 

The result was a delicious meatball that had that cheesy flavor I can't get enough of.  I'll definitely be making my meatballs with freshly grated cheese from now on!


See the hole in the meatballs?  The husband was up to his usual tricks again!

I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Question of the Day:
What's a secret ingredient that you use in recipes?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shortcut "Fresh" Whole Wheat Rolls

 Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  Mine went by too fast, but all in all it was quiet and relaxing.

I've been seeing a lot of homemade bread on blogs lately.  I am a sucker for all things homemade, especially when it comes to bread, but let's be realistic, time is short.  I did the next best thing that I could think of to make my own whole wheat rolls. 

I defrosted some whole wheat pizza dough that needed to be used up.


Next, I sprayed a 8x8 pan with non stick spray, cut the dough into quarters and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.


I ended up using my oven timer and it actually worked! In 20 short minutes I had delicious, piping hot rolls calling my name.


As soon as the rolls were done, so was my dinner.
Pasta and a roll?  Yes, please!
Simple Sunday meals make me happy.  What more could a girl ask for?

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite kind of bread?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Poor Chicken

Well hello, Friday!  A beautiful day with temps in the 70's?  Yes, please! It seems that Spring is in the air today, and you better bet that I'll be outside enjoying it as much as possible.

Last night the hubs and I took the little guy out for a walk without his coach.  I held him the entire time and he loved the wind blowing in his hair.  We even put some sunglasses on him, which he kept on for longer than I expected him to.

When we came home, the husband said that he would put dinner in the microwave while I spent time with the baby.  Chicken cutlet was on the menu, and I was pretty excited.  The thing with the husband is that he's never sure when something is completely heated through in the microwave.  He opens the door a lot to check on the food, but when it comes down to it, his tried and true method is to butcher the heck out of the food until he can see steam coming out.  Case in point.....

Now this picture may not look that bad to you, but keep in mind that I reconstructed it to make it look somewhat decent.

Tonight, the family is headed to my aunt's house to celebrate my cousin's 20th birthday.  I seriously cannot believe that he's 20 already.  It seems like just yesterday he was dancing around with my brother to my dance recital songs and now, he's turned into this amazing young man.  I'm telling you, time is flying!

Question of the Day:
How do you tell when something is done in the microwave?

Have a great weekend!

~Anne Marie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Something that you may not know about me is that I'm a worrier.  I worry if the train is going to be late, I worry whether or not the husband is okay at home with the little one.  I worry when I've made a choice and wonder if I'll regret it later.  Heck, I think I worry if I have nothing to worry about!  It's ridiculous, and I know that it is, but I haven't found a way to stop the constant worry over the tiniest little things.  Last night, after the hubby and I came home from church, I felt peace.  It was amazing. 

Today, I'm thankful for that peaceful feeling.  I'm thankful that there's no worrying right now, and I'm holding onto it for as long as possible.

Ahhhh.....the feeling of peace....

This reminds me of that peaceful feeling.  Taken
at Ocean Isle Beach, NC on our honeymoon

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do You Coupon?

Happy middle of the week!  Even though it's raining out, the hopes of reaching temperatures in the 70's by Friday is keeping me optimistic.

I'm always on the lookout for good deals.  I love buying things on sale and especially with the cost of the baby, saving money on groceries and household items is really important to me.  I never really got into the whole "couponing thing" of clipping tons of coupons and shopping at a bunch of different stores because  I thought I didn't have time for it.  Now I'm rethinking my position.  Why not get the best deals wherever and whenever I can?  Even if it means a little extra leg work, I'm willing to put in a little bit of time to see where this gets me.

There are tons of coupon blogs if you are interested in starting.  I certainly don't have the time or patience to go through store fliers matching the sales with my coupons, so I let the coupon blogs do the work for me!  The best one I've found to date is The Krazy Coupon Lady.  She is pretty much the Queen Bee of coupons, in my opinion.

I've been asking my mom to save the coupons from the Sunday paper for me (the hubby and I don't subscribe) and I've been printing off some coupons online (from here, here and here) While I'm not quite ready to make my coupon binder and subscribe to multiple Sunday papers, I think I'm off to a good start. 

Question of the Day:
Do you coupon?  Give me your best money saving tip!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Power of Reply

If you commented on my blog post yesterday, you may have noticed that it looks a little bit different.  I've been wanting a way to connect with you, my awesome readers, and by installing IntenseDebate, I'll be able to reply to your comments directly.  This makes me incredibly happy because now I'll have a way to answer questions!  The power of a reply is tremendous :)

Yesterday the hubby and I took advantage of the extra daylight and took the baby out for a walk when I came home from work.  It was fantastic.  Besides the nicer temps, one of the things I'm looking forward to is replacing my breakfast. 

It's no secret that I love oatmeal and coffee.  The combination keeps me satisfied until lunch, which is a very hard thing for me!   Love it though I may, in the Spring/Summer, the hot breakfast combo doesn't sit very well with me.

Oatmeal and coffee

Once Spring officially hits, I'll be replacing my hot breakfast with this goodness..... 


Green Monster!

I love, love, love green monsters!  They are nutrient rich and a great way for me to get in my milk, fruit and veggie servings.  I typically make mine with 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of milk and a few handfuls of spinach.  It hits the spot every time.

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite 'cold' breakfast?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to Make a Stromboli

Happy first Monday of Daylight Savings Time! I can't wait for the warmer temperatures, evening walks and general awesomeness that comes with gaining an extra hour of sunlight.

Yesterday, while the husband was busy with house projects, I decided to make some dinner.  I was going to make some pasta but ended up making a stromboli because I thought you would be tired of seeing another dish with pasta on the blog.  I love stromboli's because they are so customizable and so easy to make.  I took leftover ham and cheese and turned it into a delicious meal.

How to Make a Stromboli

1.  Make sure your dough is defrosted.  I forgot this step and had to defrost my dough in the microwave.  The microwave thought I was defrosting chicken.  You win some, you lose some.

2.  Enlist a helper.  Cooking is more fun if you have help.



3.  Roll out your dough onto a cookie sheet.  I lined mine with tin foil for less cleanup.

4.  Start filling the stromboli.


5.  After you are done adding your fillings, put some cheese and spices on top.


6.  Check on your helper.  He may have gotten distracted.


7.  Bake it in the oven until the dough is cooked through and the cheese has melted.

8.  Slice it and enjoy!

Hello, natural light!
I heated up some marinara sauce on the side.  It was delicious!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, March 11, 2011

Raiding the Cabinets

Happy Friday!  Thank you all for your sweet comments about the video yesterday

Today is going to be a fun day.  The hubby, baby and I are headed to my mom's house after work for a sleepover.  Both the husband and I have stuff going on close to mom's house tomorrow morning and it's a lot easier to leave from mom's house than it is to leave from ours.  Gotta love sleepovers!

What do you do when you need to go food shopping and have limited food supplies in the fridge?  For me, I raid the cabinets and freezer to see if I can come up with some semblance of a meal.

Lo and behold, what did I find?  Tuna and broccoli.  Time for a tuna melt with broccoli on the side.



Not the most appetizing picture but it tasted comforting and yummy nonetheless.

Question of the Day
What are the staples in your pantry?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!!

Today I am thankful for watching this little guy develop.  It's so fun to see him experience new things like rolling over, trying oatmeal for the first time and "talking." 



I know it's not  exactly his first word, but it sounds good to me! haha

Question of the day
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  Last night, the hubby and I took advantage of the nicer weather and took a walk after I got home from work.  I can't wait for Spring!  Walking after work is a nice way to ease into the evening with the family.

Following Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday - a day where you are supposed to fast and abstain from meat.  The abstaining from meat occurs every Friday from now until Easter.  The opportunity to make something vegetarian is a welcome challenge in my home.  Tonight, I could make fish or a vegetable dish, but in reality, wanna know what I'm having?


Pizza
Cheese, sauce and doughy goodness.  Can't beat it!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite meatless dish?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

All or Nothing

Today is officially Fat Tuesday, which marks the day before Ash Wednesday.  According to custom, you are supposed to eat rich and fatty foods before the fasting season of Lent kicks in.  When I was younger, I thought every day was Fat Tuesday! haha.

Growing up, I had an all or nothing mentality.  When I would try to lose weight, I would eat salads for lunch and dinner, not give in to any cravings and try to restrict myself.  After many years of yo-yo dieting, I've realized that having an all or nothing mentality is a recipe for disaster.  I would become frustrated and eat a whole lot of junk because I wouldn't let myself have a treat now and then.

This mindset makes me annoyed at the concept of Fat Tuesday.  If you eat a balanced diet, there's no need to eat tons and tons of junk just because you are giving it up for a while.  Don't get me wrong, it's a fun 'holiday' and I'm not against celebrating, but thinking about the concept of Fat Tuesday made me reflect on some things!

Last night, the hubby and I dined on some chicken parmesan.  I could seriously eat this stuff every day.




Today my friend and I are going to get sushi.  I haven't had it in so long - I'm super excited!

Question of the Day:
Are you celebrating Fat Tuesday?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  I definitely took advantage of the nicer weather on Saturday.  The hubby, little guy and I took an hour walk around the neighborhood.  It was completely refreshing.

When we came home, I was craving something chicken related, so I made something that I haven't made in quite a long time....


BBQ chicken!

If you look back on earlier blog posts, the hubby and I would have this meal at least once a week. Somewhere in between baby and a hectic life, I haven't made this in quite some time.  I served this with some veggies and bread.  It made for a delicious, comforting, home cooked meal. 

Right now, I'm headed off to Zumba.  Hope you all have a fantastic day!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite form of exercise?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

This morning was one heck of a morning - I just hope the rest of the day is much more calm!  The hubby is working tonight which means that he's dropping the little one off at my mom's house later in the afternoon.  Since I'll be picking him up after work, I drove down to my mom's house to take the train into work.....except that today there was a power outage which canceled all of the trains going into the city. 

I drove from the train station to the bus stop but it took an hour and a half to get into work!  I was an hour late and exhausted by the time I arrived, but at least I made it! 

In spite of the craziness this morning, I do have something to be thankful for.....sore muscles!

Yesterday I went to a circuit training class at the gym.  It's basically like Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred but without a Jillian-like instructor screaming in your face.  It's a half hour class but boy do you feel it afterwards!

Last week my abs were hurting for 3 days straight.  The soreness is a bittersweet feeling for me.  I know it hurts but I also know that whatever I did is working!


Source
 I love the feeling of knowing you had a good workout.

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ABC's

Happy Wednesday!  I've been seeing a lot of these ABC surveys going on on various blogs so I thought that I'd participate.  It's nice to take a break from the standard post and do something out of the ordinary once in a while.

A. Age: 28...yikes...when did that happen?

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you dislike: All of them?  I especially hate cleaning the bathroom, but that's the one chore that I'm adamant about!

D. Dogs: When I was a little girl, I had a dog named Pepper.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee.....even though it's decaf.

F. Favorite color: Blue and pink.
G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’4″
I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano

J. Job title: Administrative Assistant.

K. Kids: One so far.  He's the best!


L. Live: Suburb of Philly.  It's not so bad.
M. Mom’s name: Adele.
N. Nicknames: Bee Bee and Re Re, (both names my younger brother used to call me because he couldn't say Anne Marie).  In fact, my nephew calls me aunt Re Re because Aunt Anne Marie is way too much!

O. Overnight hospital stays: Having the baby.  Best reason to be in the hospital, in my opinion.
P. Pet peeve: people who chew with their mouths open.  It drives me nuts! 
Q. Quote from a movie: "Um he's sick.  My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.  I guess it's pretty serious."  from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: older and younger brother.  I'm stuck right in the middle.
T. Time you wake up: depends on the baby's schedule, but anywhere from 5-6 a.m.
U. Underwear: what about it?
V. Vegetables you don’t like: I'm not a huge fan of brussel sprouts
W. What makes you run late: I used to be ridiculously on time all the time....until the baby was born.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: dental
Y. Yummy food you make: chicken, homemade pasta and peanut butter cake
Z. Zoo animal favorite: I've always loved the monkeys.

I'll be back with a regular post tomorrow.  I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Question of the Day:
Answer one of these questions! I love learning about you!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sides

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pretty lazy cook.  A lazy cook with a food blog....now there's a match!  I love simple meals of a main dish and salad, but every once in a while, I crave a side dish.  Sometimes it's veggies and other times it's a starch.  It's not that I don't enjoy a nice well-rounded meal, but sides take time and time isn't something I have a lot of at the moment. 

The other night,  I had some pork cutlets for dinner and it felt like it was missing something.  While the hubby was out with the little guy, I made my favorite side dish.....pasta!

Whole wheat pasta, to be exact!
Although I would much prefer pasta as a main dish, having a little bit with my side of pork did the trick.

Sorry for the extra short post today...work calls!

Question of the Day:
What kind of pasta do you prefer?  Whole wheat, white or something else?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie