Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Thank you for all of your support about the new direction of the blog.  It's awesome to know that you are on board with me.  You guys are awesome!

Today, I'm thankful for the reminder to be calm. Sometimes I'm reminded there's usually no reason to stress out or get anxious and that everything works out in the end.  This week I was reminded of this when I took a look back at the vacation pictures.





I love taking pictures of the sky and the ocean.  It's in looking at them again that I realize what a beautiful and calm place this world can be.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A New Direction

Happy Wednesday!

After some thought, I've decided to take my blog in a new direction.  Lately I've been posting more and more about my life and less and less about the food I'm eating or new recipes.  And you know what?  I kind of like it.I mean really, is anyone else getting tired of the same old food pictures of pizza, chicken cutlet and meatloaf?  I know it's getting boring to write about, that's for sure!




So my blog?  Well, it'll probably have less of a food focus for now and I hope you're okay with that.  I'll still be posting recipes here and there, but right now, I'm finding it more enjoyable to talk about other things. 

Take, for example, the recent trip we took to the Philadelphia Zoo.  The little guy wanted to hug the gorilla statue and the hubby got the moment on film.

As the little guy gets older and older, he's getting more and more fun to hang out with.  He notices so much, and I love watching him interact with his world. 

Wearing 3-D glasses upside down
Oh, and before I forget - we're starting to potty train the little guy, but we're taking it very, very slowly.  I sit him on his potty seat in the morning and at night before he goes to bed.  He gets a sticker each time he does his business and when he hits five stickers, he gets a book. 

The hubby had this set up the first time the little guy used the potty.

I mean really, how cute is that?  It's all of the little guys' "buddies" along with some mini muffins and a candle.  The hubby told the little guy that the buddies were there to congratulate him for using the potty.

I know I'll look back on these photos some day and laugh. 

Question of the Day:
What's something you've celebrated recently?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to Life.....

....back to reality!

Today I have this song in my head because I'm back from my vacation. 



We had such a blast being away for a week.  On Monday we packed up our bags and headed to North Wildwood, New Jersey.  Good friends of ours allowed us to stay at their house right on the bay.  The view was beautiful, the weather was amazing and we had a fantastic time.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?  It took us roughly two hours to get to the house.  We left our house right around 9:00, because the little guy takes his nap around that time.  We figured he'd sleep the majority of the ride and we were right.

Asleep on the ride down.
On our first day we decided to skip the beach and head to the boardwalk instead.  The last time we went to the beach, the little guy was a little bit too little, so he wasn't able to enjoy the rides, the ocean, etc.   It was really cool to see his transition over the past year from a baby to a toddler.  As soon as the little guy saw this car with Kermit the Frog on it, he immediately wanted out of his coach and into the car.  


He thought it was pretty great to drive with "Kermie." 

There was excitement in the air and I don't think any of us could stop smiling, so the little guy and I posed for a picture mid-boardwalk.




The next thing that caught the little guy's eye was the train.  This kid loves trains like I love chocolate.  I wasn't sure how he'd do with a "bigger" ride, but he was a champ.  I have a video of him and the hubby riding on the train, and all you can hear is the little guy saying "choo choo!"


We spent the next day at the beach exploring the ocean and the sand.  I wasn't sure how he'd do with the ocean - he was so scared of it last year - but the little guy loved it and couldn't get enough of playing in the water and digging in the sand.


A trip to the shore wouldn't be complete without a visit to Kohr Brother's Ice Cream.  They have the best soft-serve ice cream I've ever tasted.  The little guy enjoyed it so much that we had one every night we were there. Sugar high anyone?


I didn't take too many pictures of the house where we stayed, but I thought it was only appropriate to capture the mug I drank coffee out of every morning.  I'm nowhere close to being Irish, but I want to get my hands on this mug.  It made me smile every time I looked at it, and I made sure the hubby took note of the saying.

I can't end this post without sharing the beautiful view we had during our week.  The house was right on the bay, and every night at sunset pretty much looked like this.

 
 
One of the highlights of the trip was getting up early with the little guy almost every day.  I let the hubby sleep in on most days and I truly cherished the few hours the little guy and I had to ourselves.  We watched the sun come up, we played with Legos and we shared laughs.  It was the best!

The little guy and I during sunrise!



We had such a beautiful and relaxing week and I'm not ready to be back to work just yet!  

Question of the Day:
What do you prefer - sunrises or sunsets?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful that I'm getting ready to head out on vacation.  The hubby, little guy and I are headed out for our first family vacation and we couldn't be more excited!

Of course, this song has been playing over and over in my head.



It'll be nice to get away for a little bit, relax and enjoy the time with my family.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Manly" Meaty Quesadilla

Happy Wednesday!

I hope you are all enjoying your week! Mine has been a little bit hectic with the start of Orientation. It's been so busy that I've been thinking about wearing my pedometer to see how many steps I'm taking.  Of course, when I wake up at 5:00 a.m., the last thing I'm thinking about is finding said pedometer.

I talk about the hubby a lot on the blog, but something you might not know about him is that he needs to gain weight.  He's been thin his entire life, but when I started cooking healthier, he naturally lost weight with me.  (Sidebar - why do guys have it easier in the weight loss department?)  Anyway, I try to keep full-fat things in the house specifically for him - milk, ice cream, peanut butter...you get the idea.  

On Saturday, quesadillas were on the menu and while mine was on the light side, I made up a "manly" one for the hubby.

In his quesadilla was some meatloaf, extra cheese, pepperoni and a veggie burger tossed in for good measure.


The hubby loved it and was stuffed to the brim.  He even ate the side of vegetables to round out the meal.


Question of the Day:
Quesadillas - yay or nay?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life's a Pepper

Today is the first day of Orientation for students, so for me that means my summer is unofficially over. It's back to the daily grind of work.  Yipee!  It's times like these when I'm reminded how lucky I am over the summer.  I still have to work, but most of the time I'm looking for things to do because it's so slow.

On Saturday I was finally able to get a pedicure.  My mom gave me a gift certificate for Mother's Day that I have been itching to use.  In typical little guy fashion, he tried to grab the camera from me (he's so interested in seeing himself on the screen now) so I left this picture unedited because it's funnier that way.


Last week, my friend brought me in some peppers and tomatoes from her garden and I couldn't wait to dig into them! I'm not sure what type they are, but they aren't as spicy as hot peppers but still have a subtle kick to them. 



I kept it simple and had a sandwich thin with Laughing Cow Cheese with the chopped peppers on top.

Delicious, crunchy and perfect for a summer lunch.

Question of the Day:
What's a vegetable you love but don't eat often enough?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday - things were crazy busy at work and by the time I got home, I just needed to unplug. 

Today, I'm thankful to be at home, enjoying a date day with the hubby.  Even though we love the little guy so much, it's nice to have a day that we can spend together.

The hubby and I on our honeymoon
 Sometimes it's nice to sit back and relax with the one you love.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 6, 2012

Peach Pickin'

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Mine was great! On Saturday, a local orchard was having their annual Peach Festival so we took the little guy on a peach-picking adventure.

Since it was a festival, they had lots of activities for kids to enjoy. The highlight for the little guy was meeting his favorite purple dinosaur.



I can't even begin to tell you about his obsession with everything Barney.  I tried so hard to steer him away from all things Barney but I had no such luck.  He doesn't look to excited in this picture, but that's because I told him to stop touching Barney and look at the camera.

After Barney, the hubby and I decided to head on over to pick peaches.  It was already scorching hot and it was only 11:00 a.m.!  In order to get to the peaches we had to take a 5 minute hayride across the orchard.  The little guy freaked out....really freaked out as in "yeah, that's my child throwing a temper tantrum" freaked out.  Funny how he's not afraid of a massive purple dinosaur but is terrified of the hayride.  Go figure.

Once we got to the peach trees, he really started getting into the whole process.  I had to tell him a few times not to pick the rotten peaches off of the ground. 

He was so proud of himself once he pulled the peach off of the tree.

After all was said and done, we came home with thirteen delicious, juicy peaches.  If it wasn't so hot, we would've stayed to pick some vegetables too....but there's always  next time!


Question of the Day:
Have you ever been fruit or vegetable picking?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

This is going to be a picture-heavy post - you've been warned!

Today, I'm thankful for the gift of life.  On Sunday I got a phone call that one of our friend's sons passed away.  He was only 24 years old.  After I got off of the phone, I looked down at the little guy and realized how thankful I am for the life I have.  It's so easy for me to focus on the negative things, but after hearing about the tragedy, it's not so hard for me to see the good in my life and how truly blessed I am.

Here are a few lessons I've learned along the way.....

Hug often.  Hugs have been proven to reduce stress levels, they are calorie free and make you feel down right good.


My nephew hugging my little guy
Don't forget your family.  They are an important link to your past and will stick by you in the future.  Maintain relationships with them even when it's difficult. 

Mom, Kevin, Eric and me
Don't be afraid to act silly.  If you can get it on film, even better.  You'll look back on those silly photos and have a laugh, even if it's at the expense of your favorite aunt.

My brother and my aunt
Take family photos, even when it's a pain in the neck to get everyone in the same picture.  You'll treasure these photos someday.

The ladies of the family with my Uncle Joe and nephew
Take the opportunity to act like a kid again.  Sure, you may not have the energy that you used to but it's fun anyway.

My brothers and I reenacting how we acted when we were younger
Take embarrassing photos.  This kind of goes along with don't be afraid to act silly.  Sure, you may look like a complete weirdo, but that's the fun of it!

My cousins and I last Christmas
Give smooches to your loved ones.  Show them you love them, tell them you care and hold onto them tight.
The little guy and hubby

Me, my grandmom and my cousin
Laugh hard and laugh often.  It's the best kind of medicine.

Me, my grandmom and my cousin
And, above all......be thankful.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oldie But Goodie

Happy Wednesday!

Woo hoo to being halfway through the work week!

When I was deciding on what to make for the week, my mind immediately went to something I haven't had in a long time....bubble up pizza. See what I mean about being on a pizza kick lately? I've made it a few different ways in the past, but the main objective was to keep it relatively simple because it increases the chances that the little guy will eat it.

To make bubble up pizza, you'll need:

1 15oz can of reduced fat biscuits, quartered
1 lb of extra lean ground turkey/beef/chicken (optional)
1 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
1 15oz jar of pizza sauce
Pizza toppings (peppers, onions, olives, pepperoni....it's up to you!

Start by browning the meat in a pot. Once it's cooked through, add your veggies until cooked. I used some chopped red peppers to make it easier for the little guy to stomach. Next add in the pizza sauce and quartered biscuits. Mix to combine. Once everything is all coated, pour it into a 9x13 pan that has been coated with cooking spray.

Top with cheese and throw it into a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. 

Let cool and serve.


I may or may not have added more than the recommended amount of cheese.

The little guy loved picking out the turkey pepperoni and peppers.  It's a great way for kids to get their veggies in so it works for me!

Question of the Day:
Do you sneak veggies into your meals?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie