Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sauteed squash

Apparently, I'm really loving the vegetables lately. Recently, I've been sharing lots of veggie love, such as Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Heavenly Creamy Corn. You can never have enough veggies.

How about we have some Sauteed Summer Squash?! It's simple, quick and delicious... perfect for any meal!

You'll need:
--summer squash (2 or 3 squashes)
--2-5 cloves of garlic, depending on taste preference
--2 tbsp butter
--salt and pepper

I used a yellow squash and a zucchini, but you could use one or the other if that's what you prefer.
I sliced the squash and then halved the little slices.
You'll also need to mince some garlic cloves. Mmmmm, garlic!

Melt butter over medium heat in a sautee pan. Add the garlic and cook til fragrant.

Add the sliced squash.

Cook over medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Toss / stir the squash every few minutes.
Optionally, you can turn up the heat to brown the squash a bit. I like mine browned, but don't feel like you have to let yours go that long.

The garlic really adds a great flavor, and squash is especially delicious this time of year too.
I could definitely see adding some chicken and a few other veggies and turning this into a stir fry!
Get cooking!

What's your favorite summertime food? 
I don't think there's anything that says summertime more that WATERMELON!

p.s.: I posted up a storm today! Check out my What I Wore post and my What I'm Loving post too! You'll even find a giveaway!  

Making time, finding balance

Hi everyone! Happy summertime :)

Although I know summer doesn't officially start until June 21 or something like that, for any parent, summer has actually started. Everyone knows that the end of school is the start of summer.

And while I'm excited to have my oldest home with me, I'm also trying to figure out how our days will flow and what we will spend our time doing. I'm lucky that Kaylee is very independent and is happy spending time on her own watching movies, reading books, or playing with toys, but I think she needs (and I want!) to spend a lot of our time interacting with each other.

Not only am I trying to find ways for Kaylee to constructively fill her time, I'm trying to figure that out for me too. While Kaylee was in school, there were days that I could spend the entire two hours of Isabelle's nap time in blog world. Writing posts, responding to emails, reading other blogs, leaving comments. And while it may not have been conducive to getting chores done, I enjoyed spending my time this way.
Unfortunately (and obviously!) I don't feel like I'm being a good mother if I'm absorbed in my blogs instead of engaging in quality time with Kaylee. Isabelle's nap time is the only time I have an opportunity for one on one time with Kaylee. But it's also my time to blog without a grabby baby in my lap or in her seat yelling for my attention. And Kaylee is unquestionably more important than blogging and blog reading....but I still want to have some time for writing my blog and reading yours!

Anyway, I guess this is just a long drawn out way of saying that I may not be around as often as I usually am, and I may be behind on reading your blogs, but hopefully I'll find a way to balance time with my kiddos and time for blogs.

What are your suggestions for maintaining balance in your life??

Things I Can't Say

Monday, May 30, 2011

Three Hip Chicks Review

 Three Hip Chicks.

Have y'all heard of them?

If not, I'm delighted to be the one to let you in on this amazing online boutique! You can share your thanks in the comment section below :)

Three Hip Chicks is the boutique to shop for unique and unusual gifts for all occasions. Their gift ideas include personalized wedding gifts, Christmas gifts, engraved birthday gifts, and monogrammed corporate gifts. Their monogrammed sterling silver jewelry makes a perfect anniversary for for a special gal or guy or a graduation gift for a son or daughter on the way to college. Mother's Day or Father's Day gifts are easy to choose and fun to give. Three Hip Chicks can create an elegant and trendy mommy necklace, a chunky family cluster necklace or a simple sterling silver charm necklace on a ball chain that will suit your style.

Lately, I've been LOVING hand-stamped jewelry. I think it's fabulous.
And the amazing chicks at Three Hip Chicks sent me a personalized hand-stamped necklace that I love.
It came packaged with an elegant little bow. But the best part was on the inside.

Obviously, it's gorgeous. There's no denying that. The silver is so shiny, and the disk is flawless.
And the craftsmanship? So much better than I even expected. A lot of the hand-stamped stuff I've seen online is pretty messy, and not so well done. But this, from Three Hip Chicks, was perfect. The letters were so clear and crisp. And I love the symmetrical spacing of the names. 

Trust me, these ladies know what they're doing. They've got hand-stamped jewelry down to a fine art!  

Unique, gorgeous, pretty, practical, meaningful, fun, perfect.

Looking around their site, I found so many other beautiful things.

Three Hip Chicks also has two sister sites. 

Kate's Plates is the place for personalized preppy plates. Just look at this gorgeousness!

And The Prepie Techie has all the accessories you could ever need for your cell phones, ipads, laptops and more!

Now, go take a look around! I think you'll like what you see at Three hip chicks!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Girl's day

Sooo, I was going to link up to Saturday Morning Scene today, but it appears that SMS is on hiatus for the memorial day weekend.
Kaylee and I are getting ready to go out for a few hours of girls day out fun.

First stop, Gymboree.
Did y'all know about this??
Pretty sweet, yeah? It's not a good deal for cheaper items like plain tees or onesies, but for things like dresses, I'll pay $12.99. You know I'll be back to show you what we find.

Also, mamas gettin her hair cut today! It has been over 9 months since the last time. YIKES!
Here's my before shots:

And yes, I'll be back later with afters. It won't be anything too exciting. My hair has looked the same for at least the last 10 years or so.... With the exception of one way too short stage.

(but look at my sweet little Kaylee's pigtails! She won't let mama do that anymore wahhhhhh)

Anyway, that's my Saturday.

What are you doing today??

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nine months old! + winner

Exactly nine months ago (yesterday), my sweet little Isabelle was born.

So much has happened in nine months. So much growth. So much changing.

Isabelle, just a few days old.

Anddddd I actually haven't taken her nine month picture yet, so I don't have that to show. But I have something much better. Just wait.

At nine months, Isabelle:

--weighs 20 pounds, 2 ounces and is 27 inches long. 

--has long since perfected sitting up, and is very steady.

--rolls all over the place. Tummy to back, back to tummy, forwards, backwards, and sideways.

--will put weight on her legs and try to "stand" when we hold her up in our laps.

--is able to pull up using the railings of her crib.

--does not crawl, but seems to be very close.

--is working on her fifth tooth! She has two bottom teeth, two top teeth and a third coming up from the bottom.

--still breastfeeds on a three hour schedule. Even at night. Yes, STILL.

--eats a wide variety of solid foods. Purees, baby foods, puffs, happy melts, and teeny bites and pieces of whatever mommy's having. The girl loves to eat.

--has pretty good fine motor development and uses a pincer grasp to pick up food. She can feed herself finger foods like puffs.

--has no idea what to do with the sippy cup. Thinks it just a toy to play with and shake up.

--babbles and baby talks all the time. Nonstop!

--has the cutest smile and is generally always very happy...until she doesn't get as much attention as she thinks she needs.

Nine months old! 

That gorgeous tutu was made by the talented Suze and is available at her etsy shop. I was fortunate enough to have won it in a giveaway, but I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a tutu for their little girl. And every girl needs a tutu!

The winner from the Aerobie giveaway:

Congratulations basebell6! I'll be sending you an email!

What are you doing for the Memorial Day weekend??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heavenly creamy corn

My sweet Isabelle is 9 months old today! We're off to the doctor this morning for her nine month check up. I'm excited to see what her stats are now. 

Friends, this is seriously the BEST corn I've ever eaten. EVER. I've made it three times this month already!

Prior to now, my favorite corn has always been Green Giant Niblets
or your basic roasted corn on the cob
But this!
This is like a combination of the two, but even BETTER.
(and let me interject here, it is nothing like creamed corn. NO NO NO. Megan doesn't do creamed corn.) 

Let's get started!

You'll need:
- 4 ears of corn
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- a sprinkle of pepper
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp butter

Take your corn cobs and use a sharp knife to cut off the kernels into a bowl.

Use a butter knife or a spoon to scrape them again, getting out all the little pieces and juicy stuff. You'll know you've gotten it all when your ear looks....empty?

But be careful! It's messy! My counter looked like the scene of a corn war afterwards.

In a bowl, mix together:
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- a sprinkle of pepper

Stir a cup of water into the flour mixture.

In the meantime, melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large flat pan or skillet. Set the temperature to medium-ish. Maybe medium low.

Add the corn and the flour-y water to the skillet.

Simmer for 45 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. At the beginning, your corn will look pretty watery, but don't give up. After 45 minutes, you'll have the most delicious corn you can imagine!

Don't try to rush the 45 minutes. It needs that time to simmer and get all thick and amazing. It's worth the wait!

Trust me, you need to make this TODAY. Your husband/boyfriend/kids will thank you for it. And then you can come thank me. Ready...GO!

Any guesses on Isabelle's weight, at 9 months? 

What's your favorite vegetable?  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spinach Smoothie, for the win!

So, if you read of those crazy healthy living blogs, I'm sure you've seen mention of "green monster" smoothies. These are smoothies that contain spinach.

Wait a minute.

Smoothies........spinach? Huh?

Fruit? Yes!
Yogurt? Yes!
Milk? Yes!
Juice? Yes!
Spinach? Come again?

Everyone swears you can't taste the spinach and that it's totally delicious, but I was skeptical.

No, let's find a stronger word than that.

I straight up didn't believe them. Spinach did not belong in my smoothie.

Or so I thought.

After months (years?) of hearing about them, I decided to put on my big girl pants and give them a try.

My smoothie ingredients included, from top: spinach, pineapple and papaya in juice, strawberries, blackberries, and banana. With milk, for my liquid.

With fear in my stomach, I threw all the ingredients into the blender.

And here's my finished product. I used enough colorful berries that I didn't end up with a green smoothie
Ignore the fact that it's in an ugly tupperware container instead of a nice glass. I actually like to freeze my smoothies for awhile to thicken then up before I eat them. It makes it more dessert-like to me.

Survey says:
It was delicious! It really didn't taste any different than any other smoothie. In fact, I couldn't tell there was spinach mixed in. The spinach imparted literally NO flavor at all.

The moral of the story is: add some spinach!

In other news, I'm a What I Wore failure for this week. The whole point of the What I Wore link up is to get out of your sweats and get a little dressy every day, even if you don't have any special occasion to do so.

Well, my friends, I did not get a little dressy at all this last week. Everyday was some variation of this:
An old ratty tshirt, shorts made out of sweats material, and tennis shoes. Fail. At least my hair wasn't thrown into a haphazard ponytail.

However, I did think it was fitting to include this picture in my What I Wore post.
Because, yes, as a matter of fact, I do wear Isabelle on a regular basis :)

I'm loving...that Coach is so kind to me, and sent me this sweet card.
It says:
Use this card for $100 off your purchase of $300 or more.

You can't deny that $100 off a Coach purse is an awesome deal..........but you also can't really justify spending $200+ when you weren't intending on doing so. However, their sneaky marketing trick worked...I'll be visiting the store soon.....just to look. Right? Looking is free. It never leads to purchases...

(my husband told me I should stand outside the store and try to sell it to someone for $20)

I'm loving...that Kaylee is so excited about summer time. For over an hour last night, Kaylee kept making trips from her bedroom to the kitchen, telling us she was getting a surprise ready, and we weren't allowed to look in either room for the duration of her preparation time. Here was her finished product:
This was her "Happy Summer" party, complete with fancy drinks in champagne glasses and decorations made by Kaylee. Too cute!

I'm loving...attempting to get organized for this summer with Kaylee. While I know summertime is "free" time, I do want us to have some sort of a schedule. And we will definitely be working on basic academic skills too.

I'm loving...these delicious no bake cookies. Can you believe I'd never made no-bake cookies before? I'll share a recipe soon!

(I also owe y'all a recipe for my delicious corn!)

I'm loving...playing outside with our Aerobie...don't forget to enter for your chance to win!

What are you loving today? 

And also, could you suggest some good summer chores for my almost 8 year old? 

Embrace the Camera, hosted this week at http://buggieandjellybean.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aerobie review and giveaway

I'm pretty sure I've made it very clear that I love summertime and sunshine and spending time outside.

If I haven't made that clear, or if you're new around here, then allow me to clarify for you.

I love summertime. I love sunshine. I love spending time outside.

Kaylee does too. And she's one of the most active 7 year olds in the whole world. (It's true. I conducted a very scientific study.)

Anyway, I was really thrilled when Aerobie contacted me about doing a review and giveaway. And I was honest with them from the beginning...I didn't need anything to review...I already knew Aerobie was awesome. I grew up playing with my own Aerobie! And of course, Kaylee already owned one too!

Aerobie markets itself as "The World's Best Flying Ring!" and it's TRUE! This is better than any other frisbee I've ever played with. 

Aerobie was kind enough to send us the Aerobie Sprint flying ring, and it's just as great as we already knew it was. Aerobie has been around since 1984 and is famous for their high performance standards.

Obviously, the science and aerodynamics are way beyond me, but whatever Aerobie did, they did well. The ring is easy to throw and easy to catch. And it really does soar! It's a bit weightier than your cheapo plastic frisbee, so there's not as much interference by the wind.

Kaylee was thrilled when the Aerobie showed up, and we immediately had to take it out and play!

Check out my little Aerobie throwing professional!

Our little two year old neighbor kid couldn't resist the allure of the Aerobie! He hasn't quite figured out the throwing and catching skills, but he sure did have a good time!

And of course, we had to get Isabelle's stamp of approval! She likes Aerobie too :)

Besides the fact that the Aerobie is a great product, I also appreciate that they are part of a Let's Move campaign, which is all about getting kids to engage in physical activity every day. Physical activity is so important for our kiddos!

If you've never tried an Aerobie, I'd highly recommend them. They really are better than other frisbees, and you'll notice and appreciate the difference immediately.
Aerobie is sold nationwide, at many retailers such as Target and Walmart.

In addition, one lucky reader of Loving the Little Things is going to receive their very own Aerobie sport ring, courtesy of the great people at Aerobie!

Here's how to enter:
--leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite outdoor childhood activity. Tag? Jump rope? Hopscotch? Kickball?

For an extra entry, you can Like Aerobie on Facebook. Let them know that loving the little things sent you, and leave an additional comment to let me know.

Giveaway closes Friday, May 27 at 9:00 am CST.
A winner will be chosen via random.org and announced on the blog and notified by email on Friday, May 27. Good luck!

In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with the previously mentioned Aerobie Sprint Ring from Aerobie. I received no compensation for my review, and my thoughts are entirely my own. 


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