Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Post

Well not my last blog post but my last tasty blog post involving pumpkin for this year.  I've been in love with pumpkin baked goods for the last 3 weeks now but it is finally getting to be a bit old.  Even my son wouldn't eat any more sweets yesterday because he's tired of the pumpkin flavor...I made these Cream cheese Pumpkin Roll bars on Saturday and I must confess that I could have eaten the whole pan of them if my family had let me.



6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

1/4 cup water

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and water until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin/butter mixture and combine until well blended. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the pumpkin batter. Dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese batter and spread out as evenly as possible. Use a table knife to swirl together the cream cheese and top layer of pumpkin batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the pumpkin batter springs back when touched. Cool completely in pan, then cut into bars.*One thing that I like about pumpkin roll is that it is served cold, so we put these bars in the fridge and ate them cold- they were delicious! You could eat them at room temperature too. I also thought that they were yummier on the second day (if they last that long!).

Recipe from: Let's Dish
Tween giving her thumbs up seal of approval.  Of course the dog was trying to be a part of the taste test as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where did the Weekend Go?

Really it's Tuesday??  I would really like to know where my five days off went...and Monday just vanished... Good side to that is we leave for Vegas on Saturday and I'm taking Friday off to spend with the kiddos.  It's going to be our first weekend away without them.  First weekend away from our little bug ever...I'm feeling really sad but I'm also excited to get to spend some much needed alone time with hubby.  We are also running the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  This is also a first for both of us.  I"m nervous since I haven't trained like I should but I'll run/walk my butt across the finish line just to mark that off my bucket list.

I'm excited to say that I did not have to look to blogs or Pinterest for weekend outfit inspirations.  I was able to dress myself quite well all on my own.  Without further ado as you all sit on the edge of your seats wondering what I wore over the weekend....

We celebrated our Thanksgiving on Wednesday.  Since we were traveling as well as preparing the entire dinner I didn't want to be to uncomfortable...
Top - Kohls
Jeggings - JC Penny's
Boots - Target last year (similar)

My little tween wanted in on the picture taking action:
Sweater, Pink skinnies - Kohls
Shoes - Vans

Saturday we had our son's godparents over for dinner.  Again I was cooking and cleaning so I wanted to remain cool but casual

T-shirt - Forever 21
Tank and ballet flats - Target
Jeggings - JC Penny

Sunday we went to 8:30 mass.  I used to get all dressed up to go to church but noticed no one else did so now I go a bit more casual

All from Kohls

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meal Planning Sunday

Super proud of myself for keeping to my meal plan as best I could last week.  I have to stick to my plan this week until Friday.  Hubby are taking our first trip away in what feels like forever.  We are going to Las Vegas Saturday - Monday.  We will also be running our first half marathon on Sunday.  I am sure it will be a great weekend but I just know I'll miss my little bug since we have never been away from him overnight before.

Sunday - Chicken Salad

Monday - Doc's Chili and a baked potato

Tuesday - Grilled chicken, white beans, & steamed broccoli

Wednesday - Bubble Up Enchiladas - Weight Watcher recipe

Thursday - Turkey, Bacon, Avocado Rolls

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - VEGAS BABY!

Thursday, November 24, 2011



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meet Franky

We adopted a little friend this holiday season that I am hoping will become a family tradition.  I've loved seeing all the Elf on the Shelf ideas on Pinterest that I just had to buy one for my kiddos.  We took him out of the box last night and read the story.  We also named him and went to to adopt and register our little Franky.  The sight is fun and interactive and the kids can send messages to Santa and write their letters.  We are also going to be able to upload pictures of the adventures of Franky into a scrap book.  I'm not sure who is more excited about this me or the kids.  Even hubby is starting to come up with ideas of what we can do with Franky for the kids to find. 

Meet Franky

Last night we put him on the mantle

The first morning the kids found him on the wall candle holder

Look forward to future adventures of Franky

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfulness and Another Tasty Treat

This week is all about being thankful and looking back and reflecting on how blessed my life is.  I have so many things to be thankful for I don't even know where to start.

* I'm thankful for my renewed faith.  I have not gone to church in almost 10 years.  I was angry at God for so many things that happened in my early 20's that I just couldn't see myself going back or being around people who went.  My faith had been shattered and it's taken this long to realize that being angry at God and the church isn't going to give me peace and understanding.  Instead it has just made feel bitter and resentful and in my heart I knew harboring those feelings were not going to make me a good wife or mother.  I've been going to a new church we found for about 3 months now and have been touched by the priest's messages each week that it keeps drawing me back.

* My husband.  I have an amazing husband and I am sure I don't tell him enough how lucky I am to have him in my life.  He is my best friend, my lover, my soul mate.  He is the one that often times brings me back to reality as I have a tendency to live in my own head.  I love him with all my heart and soul and am so grateful he is mine.

* My children.  I have two of the funniest kids I know.  There is not a day that goes by where they can not spark a smile in my heart and my face.  My 12 year old has lived with some of my hardest struggles but she still continues to come to me for advice, love, hugs and snuggles.  I couldn't imagine a life where these two kids weren't in my world.

* Through these national economic struggles I am thankful for my job.  Unlike a lot of people I like my job and what I do.  I like my boss and my co-workers.  There was a time a few years ago that my husband was laid off and we had to rely on my job as the main source of income.  It was stressful but we got through it and are stronger for it as a family and as individuals.

Lastly I'm thankful that I have found so many yummy recipes to try.  This weekend I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They were amazing!  My husband laughed at me when I took them to do some tailgating for a local college football game.  He wasn't making fun of me when all the college kids around our tailgate were coming up asking for some of the yummy cookies.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe courtesy George Duran

.Prep Time:15 minInactive Prep Time:2 minCook Time:15 minLevel:


60 cookies.Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Picture taking fail

The one time my husband compliments an outfit and tells me I look trendy I totally forgot to get a picture...what are the odds???  I've been trying to get my weekend outfits from inspirations I see through blogs and on pinterest.  So far I have been doing pretty good and dressing better if I do say so myself.  Saturday we went to a college football game and the skies threatened rain so I tried to dress warm.  Sunday we went to church and then the park.  Here's what I gleaned from the wonderful world wide web...

Sweatshirt - (similar)
Jacket - NY&Company (long time ago)
Jeans - Kohls
Shoes - Toms
(Was afraid it would rain and didn't want to wear my moccasins)

Sweater - Kohls last year
Tank - Target
Scarf - Old Navy
Skinnies - Kohls last spring
Black Booties - Old Navy
 This was my inspiration for church on Sunday and the outfit that my hubby complimented. Can't believe I forgot to get a picture

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meal Planning Sunday

I'm not really sure why I'm planning out my week seeing as we will be extremely busy with traveling and such but I will try my best to keep to some type of schedule this week.

Sunday - Meatloaf, mashed potatos and green beans - I had this on my menu for yesterday but I totally forgot that we had plans to go to San Diego State University vs Boise State football game and had already planned on tailgating.
Monday - Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup
Tuesday - Pizza - we are trying to decide if we want to make the 3 hour trip to my in laws after work or save it for early Wednesday morning...anyhow I plan on making this an easy clean up night
Wednesday - Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner - We are having our Thanksgiving dinner a day early since so much of the family has other obligations on Thursday
Thursday - Traditional Thanksgiving leftovers
Friday - Spaghetti, Garlic bread and salad
Saturday - Prime Rib, twice baked potatoes and steamed broccoli - We are having our son's Godparents over for dinner and wanted to prepare something special

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

That Time of the Month

No not that time of the month but the time where I get a fun little gift to myself in the mail.  I've been subscribing to Birchbox since March and absolutely love it.  For $10 a month I get a cute box filled with 5-6 high end beauty samples and sometimes some fun little samples.  I've even used a few of the boxes that it comes in to organize my makeup drawer.

Each box comes packaged in a cute pink box.  Items inside are wrapped in very nice pink tissue paper (which I've been known to reuse on other gifts)  I've gotten some really good samples in the past that I fell in love with and went out and bought to continue using.  (Smashbox primer, Philosophy facial cleanser to name a few)  I have the option of buying full size products from the website but it usually isn't any cheaper then going to Macy's or Sephora.

This month I received:
Anastasia Beverly Hills - HydraFull Gloss in Sugar Pink - I actually put this on today instead of my normal gloss and really liked the shade and shine.
Guerlain - Shalimar Parfum Initial - A new take on Guerlain's iconic floral scent, with notes of rose, jasmine and iris
Keratase - Elixir Ultime - A glam addition to your hair regimen, this conditioning oil hydrates, smooths and sleekifies strands
Thymes - Eucalyptus Body Lotion - Skin saving botanical and shea butter combine in a luxurious lotion
Treat - Two Paper Dolls - Ampersand Coasters

Another month of fun stuff.  My 12 year old daughter loves when I get perfume and lotion samples because I usually end up giving those to her and it makes her feel like a little diva to have scents that none of her friends have.  Can't wait to see what comes in my Christmas birchbox!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for the holidays

I'm so glad that the holidays are upon us.  The last two years I just havn't felt that jolly or cheerful.  Two years ago i was about 14 weeks pregnant and sick all the time.  Last year I had a newborn and was exhasted all of the time.  This year is different and I have so much energy and am so excited to have a great holiday season with my family.  So I baked cookies this weekend.  I am not a very domesticated person so my baking usually consists of a box or can.  This year though I am going to do things from scratch.  I made Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies (found here) this weekend and they are amazing!

The only thing I forgot to take a picture of is the finished product perfectly plated before we put them in our cookie jar.  But that did not change their taste or make them any less yummy.  Little bug was quite happy with the finished product.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies


For the cookies:

3¾ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

Dash of allspice


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend. Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball. Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly. Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container.

Source: slightly adapted from Recipe Girl, originally from dlyn

Monday, November 14, 2011

Washed out Weekend

I had so many things I wanted to get done this weekend but it rained.  Granted it only rains here in beautiful San Diego a few times a year but there does seem to be a habit of it happening on the weekend.  We had a park trip planned as well as family pictures on the beach that were canceled due to the rain.  Saturday consisted on braving the rain instead to go buy new running shoes and going to Costco to buy a new Crock pot.  They have a 7 qt one on sale for $24.  I could not resist.  Sunday we went to church and then I baked most of the day while little bug ran around chasing after the dog and hubby watched football.

Saturday - A day of rainy errands.

                                                                    Jeans, Cardigan & t-shirt - Target
                                                     Shoes - Toms
                                                                         Watch -
                                                                                         Pearl earrings and necklace - gift
Sunday - Please excuse the mess in the background.  No sooner do I have my house put together then a tornado in the form of a 15 month old boy hits the area as demonstrated by a partial picture of him rolling around.  Also our golden Nika wanted in on the action as well.

                                                                Sweater and tank - Target
                                                           Rose cords - JC Penny
                                                                         Wedge boots - Old Navy (similar)
                                                                         Necklace - (here)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meal Planning Sunday

Last week I took it pretty easy and only tried one new recipe.  This week I am going to try and get at least 3 new recipes in since I just bought a new Crock Pot.  I've had the same 3.5 quart one for at least 13 years now.  I've noticed though that it has been a little off and doesn't cook veggies and potatoes all the way even after being in for 6-8 hours.  So luckily for me Costco sent out their coupon mailer and inside was a beautiful coupon for $10 off.  I was able to get a 7 quart Crock Pot for $30!  Big Score!

Sunday  - Crock Pot Whole Turkey - I'm going to try this a few weeks before Thanksgiving to see if I like it.  We will have limited space for cooking at my in-laws and if this turns our well I may end up doing this for Thanksgiving.
Monday - Taco Pizza - Hubby hates when I try stuff like this but I just have to do it.  (He can always eat leftover turkey if it bothers him that much.)
Tuesday - Smoky Country Style Ribs, mac & cheese, steamed broccoli - This will make up for last night's dinner if hubby didn't like it
Wednesday - Turkey Avocado Wraps - I'm sure I need to do something with that left over turkey
Thursday - Pizza Night
Friday - Leftovers - I'm sure we will have plenty
SaturdayMeatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans

Friday, November 11, 2011


I don't know about you but I am so glad it's Friday!  It has been a long week and I am ready to relax and enjoy the weekend with my funny family.  I decided I would try taking a picture this morning of my work outfit and I was actually happy with the outcome.  For work my outfits are usually very bland and boring but this morning I decided that since it was Friday I would take a tiny risk.  Normally I would never venture out and match two different prints and colors but what the heck it's almost the weekend and I'm tired of always playing it safe. (Please don't laugh...I'm taking baby steps here)

Gingham button up - Old Navy Similar
Sweater - Old Navy Similar
Pants - JC Penny Here
Shoes - I didn't actually wear the ones shown but actually wore these . I usually don't put on my shoes until I get to work.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wish List Wednesday

I love to daydream...and thanks to Pinterest they are making it so easy for me to remember the things I'm daydreaming about.  And like so many others I've caught quite an addiction to Pinterest.  The good side of that is it's taking me away from the Facebook obsession. ( I have to have something to do at work right?)  Here is a sample of some of the pinnings I'm daydreaming about....




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tastes Good Tuesday

A favorite dish that we all seem to order when we go out to a Mexican resturant is Tortilla Soup.  It's hard for us to find one that we like.  Last night I tried a Crockpot recipe that I came across on Pinterest and was surprised at how good it came out.  There was some agreement at the dinner table that the next time I make it we are going to tweak it just a bit to meet our taste bud likings but all the same it was a good base to work off of.


4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies, drained (hot or mild, depending on preference)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, including juice

1/2 - 1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

Kosher salt and pepper

4 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4 inch strips

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 avocado diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning

1 lime, cut into wedges


Place chicken in Crock-Pot® slow cooker.

In a separate bowl, combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes, 1/2 c chicken broth and cumin. Blend and pour over chicken.

Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. When chicken is tender, use the tines of 2 forks to shred. Adjust seasoning and add additional chicken broth if necessary.

Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro to Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve in soup bowls, topping each with shredded cheese, diced avocado and a squeeze of lime.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tired of the same old....

It's Monday and I've been feeling inspired and tired of the same old rut I've been in for about 7 yrs now.  Every weekend it seems I wear the same old stuff...jeans, t-shirt and flip flops.  Very boring if I do say so myself.  I've decided that since there is so much inspirations in the blogs that I read and on Pinterest I'm going to start dressing better and sharing how I look (big step for me since I don't like taking pictures).  This weekend is when I started unfortunatly I did not get any pictures because I was to embarrassed to ask hubby to take them for me.  Starting next weekend I will kick my fear and embarrassement aside and have hubby take pictures.  I want to feel good about the way I'm dressed and not stay in my comfortable rut.  I won't bore you with my weekday attire since I have  to dress business and it usually consists on some variation of dress pants and sweater or dress shirt.  Here is what I was inspired to attempt this weekend and I will say I was quite happy with the turnout even without pictures.

Saturday's Inspiration:
Top - Target on clearance for $9
Sweater - Target bought last year
Skinny jeans - JCPenny's similar
Shoes - Old Navy similar

Sunday's Inspiration:
Top - Target similar
Tank - Target
Jeans - JCPenny similar
Boots - Target similar

There you have it my weekend outfit inspirations.  I just wish now I'd had the guts to take pictures and post.  Well no point in stressing about it now...on to next weekend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Planning Sunday

I was a little off last wait I was a lot off last week so I didn't really plan out my meals.  Surprisingly I did very well with our dinner options and we didn't have to eat out once...  But I'm back into my groove and back to planning out my families meals for the week though I am making some pretty easy recipes.

* Sunday - Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli
* Monday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
* Tuesday - Taco Tuesday - Always a favorite in our house
* Wednesday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Soup
* Thursday - Chicken Quesadillas and black beans
* Friday - Turkey Burgers and Sweet potato fries
* Saturday - Pizza night!  Not sure if we will order or make our own