Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday!

Happy Friday! This weekend is going to be super busy - the little guy's birthday party is on Sunday!

In order to prepare for the craziness, the hubby, little guy and I set down to a comforting meal last night.....
Pasta!!
The little guy loves pasta almost as much as I do.  He refused to eat bites of his food until I gave him some pasta.  Smart kid, right?

So sorry this post is short - I've got a bunch of stuff to do before this day is over?

Question of the Day:
What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!!

One of the benefits of my job is that it's pretty laid back. If I need to run an errand, and I'm not busy, I am able to get away from my desk for a few minutes. One of my co-workers and I just ran to the bank and wouldn't you know that about three minutes into our walk, the skies opened up and it down poured. As soon as we came back, the skies were blue and there wasn't a rain drop to be found. Seriously, best luck ever.

Despite a little rain, there are still moments to be thankful for. Today, I'm thankful for the woman that watches my son.   The husband and I struggled while the little guy was in a day care center.  He seemed unhappy and was sick a lot.  When we found our current babysitter, we were more than ecstatic.  She has 4 children of her own (a set of 10 year old triplets and a 7 year old), so she has some experience under her belt. 

When me or my husband go to pick him up at the end of the day, he's smiling (when he's not sleeping) and happy as a clam.  He's in a caring environment where I know he is loved.  As a working mom, having the peace and security of knowing the little guy is okay is priceless.

I've always said that it isn't being a mom that's the hardest job in the world....it's being a working mom that's the hardest job in the world.
Source

Peace of mind.....it pretty much rocks.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just What Did You Do With That Huge Can of Tomatoes?

Happy Wednesday! I know the burning question on your mind is "just what the heck did she end up doing with that huge can of tomatoes?" You know....because clearly the only thing that you can thing about is my blog. I kid, I kid.

Seriously, though, I made a huge pot of sauce gravy with the ginormous can.  I don't have a true recipe, but I can tell you that in addition to the crushed tomatoes, I added diced garlic, basil, bay leaves, oregano and some sugar to cut the acidity.  Add seasonings to taste and you'll be good to go.


There's nothing like a pot of gravy simmering on the stove. I ended up freezing it in two large containers. I can't wait to use it!

In other news - a dear friend, Father Jack Donohie would have turned 72 today. He lost his life to cancer almost 10 years ago and there's not a day when I don't think about him.  Happy birthday, Father Jack!

Question of the Day:
Do you ever cook enough food to freeze or do you cook just enough for one meal?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hearty Italian Sandwiches aka Crockpot Cheesesteaks

Happy Tuesday!
One of my co-workers is just as obsessed passionate about healthy eating as I am.  We constantly e-mail each other recipes, cooking tips and other things we find interesting.  The funny thing about the e-mail exchange is that we literally sit right across the cubicle from one another.  I could reach out and give her a high-five - we're that close together. 

I've had this recipe saved for a long time and I finally decided to give it a try.  It makes a huge batch of goodness and it's incredibly easy to throw together.

Hearty Italian Sandwiches (7 Weight Watchers Points Plus (not including the roll))

2 lbs ground turkey
1 lb. ground beef
2 large onions, cubed
2 large green peppers, cubed
2 large sweet red peppers, cubed
3/8 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Shredded Pepper Jack cheese

Sandwich rolls

Directions

1.  In skillet, cook turkey and beef until no longer pink
2.  Place 1/3 of onions, green and red peppers into slow cooker
3.  Top with half of cooked meat mixture
4.  Sprinkle top of layer with 1/8 tsp. garlic powder & 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
5.  Repeat layers (total of two meat layers, three veggie layers) leave some vegetables to top
6.  In addition sprinkle the very last layer with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
7.  Cover and cook on low of 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop and serve about 1 cup of the slow cooked meat mix on to the rolls. Top each with cheese, if desired.

From what I was told, this tastes like a cheesesteak.  I opted to use 3 lbs of extra lean ground turkey instead of the ground beef.


It.Was.Awesome! If you're in the mood for a healthier version of cheesesteaks, make this ASAP!

Question of the Day:
Are you a fan of cheesesteaks?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Recap + Fun Eggs

Happy Monday!

Over the weekend, I stopped at Target to get the little guy his first pair of sneakers. We had plans of stopping at Linvilla Orchards on Sunday and I wanted him to be able to walk around. He doesn't walk on his own yet, but he loves holding my hands and walking around that way.

The little guy doesn't like anything on his feet. Even keeping socks on him in the winter is a challenge. I thought I had him outsmarted and bought a pair of velcro shoes. While we were driving, I heard a ripping sound and when I turned around, I saw the little guy happily un-velcroing his sneakers. This kid has outsmarted me already and he's not even a year old yet!

The apple festival at Linvilla was so much fun. We were greeted with a huge scarecrow when we first walked in.


As luck would have it, we saw Thomas the Tank Engine and were able to get our picture taken with him. I think the little guy was overwhelmed with all of the people, but he was such a good sport!


By the time we came home, it was close to dinner, and the husband was craving eggs.  I recently saw a great idea for eggs on Pinterest and decided to try it out.

Start by spraying a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.  Next take a dozen eggs and crack each egg into a muffin slot.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the yokes are set.  After they are done, you are left with 12 cooked fun eggs!


These eggs probably work best in egg sandwiches. The husband took what he wanted and I froze the rest for later use. It'll be convenient to pull out the cooked eggs for sandwiches whenever the mood strikes.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, September 23, 2011

Warehouse Clubs....Are They Worth The Money?

Good morning and happy Friday!

Last night the little guy and I ran some errands while the hubby was at work. I had to pick up some things at BJ's. Every year, the husband and I contemplate whether or not to renew our membership and we always come up with the same answer.....yes.

Warehouse clubs can be tricky. Getting huge containers of items for a great price is a great incentive. You can easily get sucked into the mentality of "I'll definitely use that" or "I need three extra large boxes of cereal." Yes, often the price of the items are cheaper than a typical grocery store, but you have to weigh your options.

I decided to purchase a membership shortly before I was pregnant. The sole reason of the membership was to buy a few items in bulk that I purchased every week at the grocery store. For example, the husband eats muffins like they are going out of style. Every week, I'd spend $4.00 for 6 muffins. Over a month, that's $16.00. BJ's has 12 gigantic muffins (the hubby eats one half of a muffin each day)for $6.49. The muffins will last an entire month.

Another money saver for us is chicken. I can buy a huge bag of frozen, individually wrapped chicken for around $16.00, which will also last a month in our house.

The biggest savings, though, has been on diapers and wipes for the little guy. It's no secret that having a baby can be super expensive, and purchasing 270 diapers for $30.00 is a huge savings compared to other store prices. This alone pays for our membership fee a few times over.

It's safe to say that deciding to purchase a membership to a warehouse club depends on how much you will actually save. You don't want a huge container of something going bad because it's impossible to eat it by the time it expires.

The husband and I make monthly trips to BJ's, and that's worked really well for us. Sometimes I think he should be with me at all shopping trips because once in awhile, I'll justify buying things like this.....

6 lbs of crushed tomatoes for $2.99?  Don't mind if I do!
I realize it's a ton of crushed tomatoes but here's my justification - one jar (one pound) of spaghetti sauce costs about $1.19.  I can easily make my own spaghetti sauce gravy and have enough left over that I can freeze.  It's a win in my book but I'm not sure the hubby agrees!

Question of the Day:
What are your thoughts about warehouse clubs?  Do you belong to one?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Last night I had a doctor's appointment. You know.....that kind of doctor's appointment.  The one that almost every women dreads (or maybe it's just me).

I was supposed to go back in January, but the weekly snowstorms kept me from driving around.  I promised I'd call back in the Spring, thinking that the nice weather would make it easier to get to the doctor's office.  Spring came and went, and then came summer.  Over the summer, my best friend called to tell  me that someone she knew was diagnosed with cervical cancer and wasn't sure how long she had to live.  This someone is 29 years old.....the very age I'll be in a few short months.  Hello wake up call, nice to meet you.

I knew the excuses needed to stop and I had to get checked out.  I owe it to myself, my family, but most importantly, I owe it to my son.  So I put my big girl pants on and made the appointment for last night. The last time I saw the doctor was almost a year ago when the little guy was born. 

As soon as I stepped into his office, I remembered how much I enjoy this doctor.  I love his personality, his bedside manner and his compassion.    Today, I'm thankful for good doctors, and I mean really, truly good doctors.


Source
In the end, it wasn't so bad and I don't know what I was nervous about anyway.

Make that appointment - go to that doctor - get checked out.  Don't waste another minute.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Simple Supper

Happy Wednesday!! I'm glad to finally be at the middle of the week. It's nice to know that there are only two more days until the weekend!

Last night when I came home from work, the hubby already had the little guy bathed and ready to be fed. Sometimes I wonder how single parents do it, and it makes my respect for them even greater. By the time I come home from work, get dinner ready and clean up, it's almost time for the little guy to go to bed. It's insane! Thankfully I have a husband that helps around the house and with the little guy.

Dinner was simple. I made a huge batch of sloppy joes and the husband and I shared a plate. I used lean ground beef and added peppers and onions to bulk up the meal a little bit.


While the hubby was putting the little guy to bed, I tried to catch the season premiere of Glee. I'm going to have to watch it again though - it was hard to pay attention while I was making lunches/getting my bags together for work. Did anyone else catch it?

I'm super excited for the premiere of Modern Family tonight. That show has me in stitches every episode!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite TV show?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finding the Comfort Foods

As summer draws to a close, I find myself grabbing for my jacket as I'm headed out the door. The cooler weather is a much welcomed change. For me and my family, it means trips to Linvilla Orchards, breezy walks outside and the return of the comforter to our bed. (Sidebar - sleeping with the comforter makes me happier than it probably should).
The chillier weather got me thinking of my favorite Fall/Winter Comfort foods. Here's some of my favorite comforting meals.....

Spaghetti with short cut "fresh" whole wheat rolls
Something about hot rolls makes this meal comforting to me.  Warm bread and pasta = carb city comfort. 

Pizza
I don't think pizza needs any explanation.  Anything hot and cheesy gets a vote of comfort in my book!


Eggs and potatoes
I was never really a breakfast person until I met the husband.  When I was prego, I craved eggs and potatoes a lot, and since the hubby loves breakfast, he was always up for this meal.  Fluffy eggs and cooked potatoes are where it's at!

After looking at the meals, it cracks me up that each meal is full of carbohydrates.  What is it about carbs that makes a meal so satisfying?!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite comfort food meal?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Buffalo BBQ Chicken

Dear Weekend,

I would love for you to come back.

Sincerely,
I enjoyed you too much.

How was your weekend? Mine was spectacular! It was one of those weekends that were both busy and relaxing. On Saturday, the hubby and I did some shopping at BJ's for the little guy's party. We went to check out the cakes and we had our cart (filled with stuff) behind us. After talking to the bakery lady, we turned around and our cart was gone! Seriously, who takes a cart full of groceries? We felt like stalkers for the rest of the trip because we tried to locate the mysterious cart-stealer.

While we were away, I had some chicken cooking in my crockpot. I found the recipe for slow cooker buffalo bbq chicken off of Pinterest (still obsessed with that website, by the way) and I couldn't wait to try it out.


Verdict?  Both the hubby and I loved it.  It was the right mixture of spicy and sweet.  I imagine this would go really well at a football watching party/tailgate.

In other news.....the pictures from the little guy's photo shoot are in!  We loved every single picture - it was so hard to pick the ones we wanted printed.  Here's our favorite though, mostly because of the little guy's cheesy grin.

I'm off to take a body pump class. I'm looking forward to it but at the same time I know I'm going to be sore afterwards!

Question of the Day:
Has anyone ever stolen your grocery cart?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, September 16, 2011

If I Had Only Known.....

Happy Friday!

Last night, while I was food shopping, I got some not so great news about two people in my life. While I'm thankful that things could be a whole lot worse, the news also made me stop and think about life....about the person I used to be, the person I want to be, and the person I am right now. I said a little prayer for those two people and when I came outside, I was greeted with the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen in my life. It's a shame I didn't have my camera on me but after searching for hours a few minutes on Google, I found something really close.

It looked very similar to this, minus the green landscape.  To me, the rainbow represented God saying that things will be okay and that He is in control, no matter how hard I try to take the control back from Him.

Source
When I got home, I kept thinking about the rainbow and having the thought "what would I tell my teenaged self if I could go back and revisit her?"  I decided to make some notes to my teenage self, and this is what I came up with:

1.  Learn to love yourself.  That extra weight you're carrying around?  You'll eventually lose it, and it won't define you anymore.  In fact, it should've never defined you in the first place.

2.  Life is short.  You'll see people your age pass away and you'll wonder why.  Instead of wondering, take the time to gossip less, hug tighter and laugh harder.

3.  That guy you used to spend all your time idolizing?  Knock it off.  Turns out he's gay and that won't work out anyway.

4.   Stop trying to please people.  It won't work and you'll frustrate yourself in the process.

5.  Be yourself.  Don't worry about what's trendy or what the popular crowd does.  Staying true to yourself is the best thing you can do.

6.  Enjoy life.  Stop stressing.  Take the time to make snow angels, roll down hills and enjoy the feeling of relaxation.  Your life is about to get super busy in the next few years.

7.  Sleep in.  You're gonna miss sleep by the time you're 28.

8.  Speak up.  Don't cower in the corner.  Stand firm in your convictions and do the right thing.

9.  Be present in each moment.  You'll want to remember most of the stuff that happened when you're older.

10. Spread love everywhere you go.

If I had only known then what I know now, those are the things I'd tell myself.  I don't think I'd ever want to revisit those teenage years though - some of them were rough!

Question of the Day:
What's one thing you would tell your teenaged self?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Since having the little guy, I've realized what's truly important in my life.  I've learned to laugh harder, hug tighter and smile more often.  I've learned that you can never give him too many kisses, too many high-fives or do too much to let him know he's loved.

He has taught me to laugh at the silly things and appreciate the little things.  To put it bluntly, I think my little guy is a comedian.  He has started making noises and gestures randomly, and if he sees that my husband and I laugh, he does it again and again to get another laugh.  It's pretty awesome.

I took this video below while he was tasting the cookies I made for him.



See what I mean? The first time I saw him make that little noise was when I was feeding him his nighttime bottle. He did it by accident in a half asleep/half awake haze, and once I started laughing, he immediately woke up and started making the noise over and over until he couldn't keep his eyes open.

I love moments like these, where I'm thankful for the silliest things he does.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Soreness of It All (+ Giveaway Winner Announced!)

Happy Wednesday! 

When I got home last night, I was completely exhausted.  I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, and I was really sore from taking Body Pump on Monday.  I love the feeling of soreness but at the same time, it really stinks!  Today it's even worse.  I've tried some stretching but nothing seems to be working.  I guess no pain means no gain, right? 

I literally plopped on the couch last night at 7:30 and took a two hour nap.  Is it just me or do long naps not work anymore?  Waking up from a two hour nap often leaves me exhausted and feeling worse that I did before I fell asleep.  I'm a fan of power naps, which for me means 20 minutes or less. 

Before all of the napping took place, I ate some dinner.  I'm not sure whether I wanted something different or I was just being lazy (most likely it's the lazy part), but I took two chicken breasts, two servings of quick cooking brown rice and a can of tomato soup to make a tasty, delicious meal. 

Put the chicken in a pan and cover with brown rice.  Next, add one can of tomato soup and a half a can of water.  Make sure that the rice is covered with the soup.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

I served it up with a side of asparagus.  I've been on such an asparagus kick lately!!

There's actually chicken under that mound of rice
See it?
The winner of the Betty Crocker giveaway is Biz! Biz, please send me an e-mail with your full name and address to abinns3142@aol.com. Congratulations!!

I'm hoping to stop at Bath and Body Works tonight to pick up some much needed lotion and some new candles. Fall is in the air!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite season?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Taco Bake

Happy Tuesday!

The little guy's first birthday party is coming up in the next few weeks and I really haven't done much in terms of party planning. The invitations are out and I have a general idea of what I'm serving, but that's pretty much it. Last night I thought it would be a good idea to get some decorations, so I packed the coach and the little guy up in the car and headed out. Turns out that the nearest party store closed, and the next closest one was about a half hour away. I ended up driving there and picked up some really cute decorations. Even though everyone keeps telling me that he'll never remember his birthday party, I still want to make it special. I mean really, you only turn 1 once, right?

Before I headed out of the house, I fueled up with a taco bake. I had seen this recipe so many years ago but for one reason or another I never made it. I was craving something different this week, so taco bake it was!

I made a few substitutions like swapping out kidney beans for pinto beans and used reduced fat cheese instead of fat free cheese.
Simmering in the pan

Ready to eat!
This dish left me feeling like I wanted to have a taco night. I think it's going to be in the works sometime soon!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't done so already!

Question of the Day:
Are you a taco fan?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cookie Time (and a Giveaway!)

Happy Monday!

This weekend was fantastic. On Saturday, the husband and I took the little guy to my grandmom's to have his first year portraits taken. It only took about an hour, and the photographer (my grandmom's neighbor) was great with the little guy.

Yesterday was our family day, and we took advantage of the beautiful weather by taking a long walk, making memories and smiling throughout the day. These family days are something the husband and I love, and it's the one day out of the week where we dedicate the entire day to being a family.

About a week ago, I received this in the mail.

The product, information and prize pack has been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.
I thought I'd provide you with the picture above because this is the one I took.


Can I tell you how excited I was about the spatula and the apron?  Wearing an apron while cooking is probably one of the best ideas ever.  I don't know why I didn't wear one before. 

I've never tried molasses cookies and I was excited to "doctor" these up a little bit to make them healthier and baby friendly (baby friendly = no eggs). I swapped out applesauce for the butter and half of a mashed banana. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for these cookies with the substitutions but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I liked that in 20 minutes I had warm cookies straight from the oven. As soon as the little guy saw these he practically jumped out my husband's arms.


I tasted a cookie and sure enough, they had a strong molasses flavor. At first I wasn't a fan (I'm used to chocolate chip and sugar cookies) but after I let them cool off, they really grew on me.  They tasted like the Fall.....does that even make any sense? 

The husband and the little guy? They couldn't keep their hands out of the bag!



I love how he's looking at me, complete with cookie on his face, as if to say "why are you taking my picture and not giving me more cookies?"

So, readers, here's your chance to win your own prize pack! *Cue game show music*

The prize pack includes: a Betty Crocker apron, non-stick baking pan, and mixing spoon.  All you have to do is answer the question of the day.  Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.
The winner will be chosen on Wednesday.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Not a Bird, It's Not a Plane, It's.....It's.....

Lasagna! (more on that in a bit)

Happy Friday! I'm super excited for this weekend. The little guy is supposed to have his one year photos taken tomorrow. Where did the year go?! Yeah, I'm not so sure myself. Even though he doesn't turn one until October, this weekend is the best one to get the pictures taken. We're heading over to my grandmom's house. Her neighbor takes pretty awesome photos, and we're more than exited for him to take pictures of the little guy. This neighbor doesn't do this professionally, but I think he should!

I have to mention that this week, I did not feature any chicken or spaghetti on the blog.  Doesn't that deserve some kind of award? 

Instead of spaghetti, I made something that I've eaten so many times I've lost count but have never made myself......lasagna!

I never wanted to make it because I thought it was complicated.  Boy was I wrong!!  After boiling the noodles and running cold water over them (to make them easier to handle), all I had to do was layer noodles, low fat ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and spaghetti sauce gravy.

I probably could've used more gravy, but other than that, it was awesome!




My favorite part about this was that it made enough for my hubby, myself and even the little guy to eat with pieces left over. The downside? It's not as good as my friend Ron's lasagna (it's extra cheesy and extra yummy), but it'll do for me...haha.

Question of the Day:
Is there anything you shied away from making because you thought it was too difficult?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Holy monsoon!! It has been raining all week!  I don't mind a good rain here and there but this is borderline ridiculous.  I'm supposed to go with the little guy tomorrow to a park in support of a friend who is performing.  If the ground hasn't dried up by tomorrow, there's no way I can go - I can't see me pushing the coach all over muddy ground.  Yuck!

Today, I'm thankful for the little guy actually understanding what I'm saying. (I mentioned this earlier in the week.)  Here's a video of him making his mom proud. Please ignore my annoying voice. I never realize how high pitched and annoying I can sound when I talk to him!



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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Can I Do? (A Book Review)

Happy Wednesday!! Have I mentioned how much I love short work weeks? They rock!

I know I don't usually talk about "heavy" subjects on the blog but this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I had the opportunity through Business2Blogger to review the book "Mental Illness and Your Town: 37 Ways for Communities to Help and Heal" by Larry Hayes for free.


I wanted to review this book because someone very close to me has bipolar disorder. For privacy purposes, I won't mention who the person is, but I will say that this person is someone I'm very close to. I'll call this person "Roland." Thankfully, the illness is under control. In fact, I've never seen Roland have a manic or depressed episode. His medicines are in check, and if you met him on the street, you'd never know he had an illness.

I started this book eager to learn more about mental illness in general and what I could do to help. Larry Hayes speaks from first-hand experience - his son suffers from a mental illness and he has also experienced depression in his lifetime. This book encourages everyone to take mental illness out of the emergency rooms and psychiatric wards and put it right into your home....your family, your friends, your community....mental illness is around you more than you may think. Larry rallies throughout the book about how you can take action, provide support and help those who struggle with an illness not to fall through the cracks.

One of my favorite parts of the book was expelling the myths of mental illness, for example - poor life decisions cause mental illness, people with mental illness aren't good workers and mental illness is just another name for mental retardation, just to name a few. Lifting the stigma on mental illness is crucial. We need to realize that mental illness does not define someone. It's not something to fear, whether you know someone with an illness or are dealing with an illness yourself.  Speaking firsthand, I know Roland doesn't tell many people about his illness because he doesn't want to be looked at or treated differently.

Despite it's slow start, I believe this book would be great for anyone wanting to answer the question "what can I do in my community to make a difference?"  To learn more about Larry, please visit his website at http://www.larryhayes.com/.


Question of the Day:
Read any good books lately?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

Happy Tuesday, and thanks so much for all of the anniversary wishes!  The hubby and I celebrated on Saturday night with dinner at a local restaurant followed by ice cream.  I think this was the first ice cream of the summer season - tragic, I know!

We spent yesterday nestled in our home hanging out with the little guy (who isn't very little anymore!)  We hung lots of pictures, filled photo albums and realized that the little guy understands what we're saying.  He has a book filled with first words and when I ask him where certain things are, he points right to them and gets super excited.  Quite frankly, I'm not sure who is more exited - me, the husband or the little guy.

All of this excitedness led to hunger (naturally!) so I made quick spinach pie. This time I added in some chopped onion, but it tastes just fine without it. 

For the first time in a long time I actually included a vegetable and a carb to round out the meal.

Brown rice and asparagus
It was truly a wonderful weekend. I wish we had more three day weekends!

Question of the Day:
What's something fun you did over the weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our 3rd Anniversary

Happy 3rd anniversary to my husband, Dan.

It doesn't seem like it's been three years since we said our vows and made our commitment to each other. The last three years have been full of fun times, sad times and everywhere in-between times.

So much has happened over the last three years, but I'm so happy that I've spent them with you.



Thank you for acting like a fool with me and for treating me with love when I've been the fool.


There is so much more I could write, so many more way to tell you that I love you but I think I can sum it all up with this - Thank you for giving me the best gift I could ever wish for.....


..... a son.

Here's to many more years together!

Love,
Anne Marie

Friday, September 2, 2011

Stewi!

Happy Friday and happy long weekend!  This weekend is going to be pretty busy (1st birthday party for John's friend, anniversary dinner and BBQ) but I can't wait!

You know what else I can't wait to do?  Share this recipe idea with you.  I made this as part of my hurricane food.  The best part of this recipe is that I didn't follow a recipe at all.  I threw together every vegetable that was going bad in my fridge what I thought would work.  Wouldn't you know it......it turned out to be one of the best things I've thrown together in a long time.  I'm calling this a Stewi because it was a hybrid of stew and chili.

In this dish I used:

2  zucchini
4  carrots
4  small sweet potatoes
1  onion
1  lb of chicken breast
1  jar of spaghetti sauce
2  15oz cans of diced tomatoes
1  packed of chili seasoning
garlic powder, basil and other spices to taste

Chop the veggies and chicken and throw it all in the crock pot on high for 5-6 hours.


It was a hearty Stewi and it would be awesome served over egg noodles or brown rice. I'll be making this in the winter for sure!

Some housekeeping matters - I recently switched comment services because IntenseDebate was giving me issues.  If this new one isn't working for you (or you are unable to comment), please e-mail me at abinns3142@aol.com.  I'm trying to get this all sorted out!

Question of the Day:
Any fun weekend plans?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Last night was much more relaxed than yesterday, which was a nice change of pace.  Now that it's offically September, I feel like things will start winding down.  Even though summer is a time of relaxing, there were multiple times over the last three months  where things were more than a little hectic.  Throw in an old fashioned hurricane for good measure and that's my summer in a nutshell.

One thing that bothers me is when I realize my fruit drawer is running low.  For me, running low means there isn't enough fruit for the hubby and I to eat over the course of a week.  I was annoyed when I realized I forgot to stop at the store and pick up some fruit, but I tried to make the most of the situation.  Either I could walk to the store with the little guy or I could drive.  Driving would've been more convenient, but I opted for the walk.  I'm so thankful I did. 

Walking with the little guy gave me time to spend with him instead of having him fall asleep on a drive.  We laughed, he fussed a few times and then went back to smiling.  It was a moment I'll treasure for sure. 

On our way home from the store, I was able to see a beautiful sunset.  It was the calm after the storm and I believe it was God's way of telling me that things will always be okay if I trust in Him and His plan.




So today, take the time to walk instead of drive. Enjoy each step, breathe in the air and cherish every little moment.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie