Friday, December 27, 2013

Baby Must Haves: Month Nine

Robby turned 9 months old on December 9! We have been having the most fun lately. I can see his little world opening up and he understands so much more now. I'm getting the best work out ever chasing him around the house. He crawls so fast. His favorite thing to do is look for cords to pull on. I am not sure what to do about this. Are we not supposed to have lamps? Sigh.

Childproofing the house kind of makes me cringe. I totally said I wouldn't change my house for kids (I love all things home decor), but I am slowly realizing that if I don't want to have to keep my eyes on him every second of every day, I am going to have to make some small changes. So basically a little childproofing = a lot more freedom for me. For now, I have only moved one glass side table out of the living room. Robby loves that glass table like he loves food. I may as well not buy him toys because he is a fan of glass tables, electrical cords and outlets, and kitchen utensils. Our pediatrician told us not to worry too much about outlets because your child would basically have to be standing in a puddle of water while sticking a metal fork into the outlet exactly right for something terrible to happen. I just love him. I did, however, still place outlet covers around the house. I have not, however, put up gates on our stairs yet.......#badmom  It's on the to-do list.

Here are our baby must haves for month nine!

California Baby Eczema Cream - This has been a lifesaver. About a month ago, Robby started getting the WORST dry skin. It turned into little red patches all over his back and tummy. I though he was dying of some rare disease (dramatic, much?).....turns out, it was Eczema. This cream is so awesome. It reduced the redness almost immediately and smells heavenly.

Baby Motrin - Robby cut two teeth a few days before he turned 9 months old. It was a brutal week. Motrin really helped him us get some sleep at night. Babies can't have Motrin until they are 6 months old, and it works so much better than Tylenol. It also lasts longer which usually equals more sleep. Yay! You know how I need my sleep...the hubs REALLY knows.

Graco Pack 'n Play - This truly is a must have these days. If I have to leave my kind-of-un-child-proofed living room for more than a minute, I stick Robby in his Pack 'n Play. He doesn't love it but I know he'll be safe in there. It's also great for taking a shower. Or for having to go into the kitchen to open a bottle of wine. Safety first!

Diaper Booster Pads - This one is weird but trust me, if you have what is known as a heavy wetter, you need these. I hear this is more of a problem with little boys than with little girls. Once Robby started sleeping all night, his diaper leaked sometimes. Then, if he woke up, he was pissed. Literally. I can't imagine it feels great to be laying on a cold, wet, sheet. I found these diaper pads on Amazon and they have worked SO well. You just stick them down the middle of the diaper and they create an extra absorbency layer. We only use them at night. They could probably come in handy if you know you won't be able to change a diaper in the daytime for a long period of time - maybe a road trip or something. Or maybe just if you're lazy. When Robby is older, I am sure his Dad is going to tell him he once wore women's maxi pads. Poor kid.

That's it for month nine!  I'll leave you with some nine-month photos and a little nine-month update on Mr. Robby for those who care.
As stated above, playing with electrical cords and kitchen utensils are favorite pastimes of Mr. R these days. Bath time is always fun, as is eating. Specifically, R still loves bananas. Puffs are also a fave, although half of them end up on the floor. Other yummy things R loves eating are shreds of chicken, applesauce, and sweet potatoes.

Robby wants to stand all the time now. He crawls all over the place looking for things he can pull up on. He took his first few steps with the assistance of his Fisher Price walker toy on Christmas Day. He crawled right up to it, grabbed the handle to stand up, and started walking. I feel like I may have an early walker on my hands! Yikes.

He is really busy. All.the.time. Is this all nine-month olds or just my baby?.....He has also become way more verbal than in the past. We hear lots of "Dada" and only sometimes "Mama" around here. Tear. Surely he will learn who is more important soon. ;)

Things that do NOT go over well at our house are diaper changes, rubbing R's face with Aquaphor, and taking things away from him. I wish I could reason with him and just explain why he can't chew on electrical cords. Why are they so much more inviting than his actual teethers? This brings an idea to mind....perhaps I should invent a teether that looks exactly like an electrical cord but would somehow be safe and not a strangulation hazard. Why are there so many hazards? Ugh. I'd buy almost anything to keep R busy so I can, you know, watch Real Housewives and shop on Amazon all day. Kidding. Kind of.

Hope everyone had a great holiday. Our Christmas recap and some yummy recipes are coming soon!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Around My House: A Winter Storm, Christmas Decorations, and Chicken Noodle Soup

It's been a winter wonderland here this past week! Only in Texas can it be 80 degrees one day and drop to 20 degrees the next. Seeing white outside my window has me feeling totally festive and craving all things terrible for me. Hot chocolate. Cookies. Rice Krispie treats. #imstarving Why does cold weather make one hungry? Oh, I know. Because you're stuck in your house and food cures boredom. Oh well. 'Tis the Season!

I've been busy decorating for Christmas. I still wouldn't say I'm done but I've accomplished a lot. Being iced in for three days really helped my wine intake production level.....Merry Merry!

We kicked off the winter storm warning with some homemade chicken noodle soup. The hubs made it home just as the sleet/ice/snow/stuff started falling. Isn't R's little bowl of soup adorable? Let's be honest, he spilled it everywhere and only ate two bites of very mashed up chicken but I simply needed to see this most cutest ever tiny bowl of soup. I had to do it. #whatamess

Our roads remained icy for most of three days, during which we stayed in our PJs, worked from home (kind of), went "sledding" with friends, and helped people get their cars unstuck in front of our house. This was some thick ice. The neighborhood was pretty much an ice-skating rink. It had me totally wishing I had a pair of ice skates in my closet. Would have been SO.FUN! My fourth-grade ice-skating lessons could have been put to good use at last.

When we weren't busy laying around working, I got out our Christmas stuff. Most of it is stuff from last year, plus some new plaid ribbon I found. I wish it was Christmas all year. The thought of having to take this down in January makes me sad already!

Hope you are loving your December! Here's the recipe for the soup I made - just a good, basic chicken noodle soup. Delicious on a cold day.

Chicken Noodle Soup


1 pound chicken breasts, uncooked
4 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt/pepper to taste
1 10-ounce bag frozen corn
2 cups egg noodles


Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and carrots for five minutes, or beginning to soften. Add garlic and saute a few minutes more. Add water, chicken stock, cream of chicken, chicken breasts, bay leaf, thyme, basil, salt & pepper, and corn to pot. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, shred, and add back to pot. Add egg noodles to simmering soup and cook for about 8 more minutes. *You may need to add some water after putting the noodles in. I had to add about one cup.* Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mommy Must Haves: December Favorites

Happy December! I'm sitting here inhaling the scent of my Winter candle from Bath and Body Works. The smell is DIVINE I tell you. It kinda creates that faux sensation that I'm relaxing in a cabin somewhere in Colorado watching the snow fall outside. But let's be clear. It's not just a cabin-y cabin. It's a cabin mansion with walls of windows and down feather comforters. And Nutella hot-chocolate. And Bailey's to go with said hot-chocolate. What a nice little escape. ;)

December is full of so many favorites that it was hard for me to narrow down the list. But I did it. Here are my December Mommy Must Haves!
Bath & Body Works White Barn Winter Candle - The smell is just divine. So wintery. So walk in the woods-y. So cabin in Colorado-y. Just get it. You'll love it! Christmas in a jar. MMMMM.

Land's End Flannel Tunics - These are Ah-MAZING. I was a little unsure when I ordered mine, but my love of Land's End shirts convinced me to go with it. I don't regret it. I'm thinking about getting the other colors and wearing them like every day. If you see me soon, I'll probably be wearing this. And I'm not apologizing for repeating.....Princess Kate repeats her favorite outfits, OK? Maybe not every day.

Boot Socks - SO much fun! These just add a touch of whimsy to your wardrobe. Great stocking stuffer idea. And I am really loving the product description they have for these on Amazon. PLEASE read it. Actually I'll just post it here for you. I think they consider these to be "leg warmers"......
     "A gorgeous soft leg warmer with classic cable knit design. Leg warmers used to be only used by dancers to keep their legs warm after stretching to prevent cramping. (HILARIOUS-do they really prevent cramping? I'm no dancer but I do get the occasional leg cramp....thank goodness I have these). Nowadays leg warmers are stylish and practical for anyone to use to keep warm. Girls can wear them over their stockings to keep warm on the way to school while business women can do the same on their way to work. It is easily removed and stored when you don't need it. Leg warmers have versatile functions and styles of use. You can use it as a leg warmer, pull up to thigh to keep it warm for slimmer adults or kids (bahaha! Someone please wear this as a thigh warmer and send me a pic), or even wear on arm as an arm warmer (WHAT?! EVEN better). For stylish looks you can push the leg warmer down to ankle for a scrunch sock look or over the top of your shoe and up your calf to create a boot look for your shoes, This is a great accessory to keep legs warm for girls and women of all ages during cool and cold weather. Available in various colors: White, Khaki, Gray and Black."

Please tell me you're laughing! I am. Order these at least on the premise of their creative description.

I am also LOVING these boot socks I found on Etsy. So cute with the ruffle detail.

Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask - Bring the spa to your own bathroom! This face mask really does improve your skin's appearance and texture. It feels crazy after you've had it on for a few minutes. And by crazy I mean like someone has very very very tightly wrapped your face in saran wrap. But I think that just means its working. Leave it on for the full 20 minutes - you won't be disappointed. I've been loving this for a few months now but wanted to be sure it produced good results before sharing. Now if only I could figure out how to inject this stuff into my face. It does have collagen in it's name...Kidding!

I'm ALMOST done with Christmas decorations and hope to share later this week. Hope your Monday is mah-velous and your day is full of comfort and joy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baby Must Haves: Month Eight

Robby turned eight months old on November 9! We are getting closer to the one-year mark and I'm kind of freaking out. What happened to my teeny tiny baby? It's one of those best/worst at the same time kind of things. Best because you get (a little) more sleep as they get older and their little personalities evolve. Worst because you realize how fast time passes. Tear.

Here are our baby must haves for month eight!

  • Nuby teething ring - Teething blows. This helps. Poor babies. Robby can be screaming bloody murder and this gets him calm immediately. He loves it! He also loves these that you can keep in the fridge.
  • Sophie the Giraffe - Still loving Sophie. Not sure what it is about this toy but it is like baby crack. It's been a must have since about three months.
  • Aden and Anais Security Blankets - We started letting Robby sleep with "lovies" when he was about 5 1/2 months old. He loves to rub these on his face while he sleeps. We put two in his crib, one at either end so he can always find one. They come in packs of two so it works out perfectly! Breathable, soft, hold up in the washer. Love them.
  • Peg Perego Convertible Car Seat - We originally got the Britax Marathon for my car, which gets rave reviews but just didn't work out as our main car seat. The sides of the Marathon came up a little high which made it a huge pain to get Robby in and out of, especially in the rear-facing position. *By the way, how long are most people doing this rear-facing situation? I realize its all for safety but I can't wait until R can face the front. I think he'll be happier. With all the car seat rules, I feel like he may be in a car seat when I am dropping him off at school in 7th grade. That'll definitely get him some friends. Ha. I guess if all the other kids are doing it too, then we'll be ok. Come to think of it, I believe I may qualify to ride in a car seat. There is one out there, the Diono Radian that is built for occupants up to 120 pounds. (We also tried out the Radian but returned it. It was a BEAST! And I don't drive a Suburban, so it had to go). OK back to the Peg Perego. VERY easy to get R in and out. (lower sides), comfy, and easy to install. Made in Italy. Sleek-looking. Love those Italians. Pricey but worth the investment, considering how long they have to ride in a car seat.
  • OXO Tot Sprout High Chair - We tried to get away with the Fisher-Price Space Saver chair and R hated it. He screamed every time I put him in it. This OXO chair is awesome. It looks modern and is a breeze to clean, which is always appreciated.
  • Bag Balm - If your baby has had a bad case of diaper rash, I feel your pain. This stuff was apparently originally made to use on cow udders...but now has a cult following for diaper rash. (And after a little research I discovered that it is also a phenomenal moisturizer ladies). Slather it on baby's tiny hiney (or in R's case, large hiney), and see the results almost immediately. We were able to find it at a local mom and pop pharmacy in town, but you can always get it on Amazon.
Robby Eight-month Update
 Our little guy loves yogurt and bananas, taking baths, being outside, crawling around the house, and anything involving not being still.  Playing with Tupperware is a new favorite game. I keep saying I am going to get into a solid work out routine but chasing and carrying around all 21.8 pounds of him has proven to be pretty good exercise.
R is not a fan of most table foods yet. Except for ice cream. Don't judge. He hates anything involving being still. Diaper changes are like a wrestling match up in here. He's also not a fan of strangers getting up in his face at the grocery store.....sorry little old ladies. By the way, what is it about people that makes them think it is ok to TOUCH someone's child in wonder we have been sick. Ugh. #alwayscarryhandsanitizerwipes #OCDprobs

He drinks around 4 bottles a day with "food" three times in between his bottles. On a fussy day, sometimes we have to have 5 bottles. Fine by me if it makes him happy. Take that BabyWhisperer book! (Just kidding - I do actually give some credit to the Eat, Play, Sleep Routine and this book for helping us get Robby sleeping through the night). Most days he takes two naps that vary in length from 45 minutes to two hours. Let me tell you how I love those two hour nap days. I love them. I never let him sleep longer than that for fear he won't sleep well at night. And we simply He dropped his third nap about a month ago.

That about sums up month eight! My little turkey hopes you are all having the best November.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November Around My House

I tend to go all out for Christmas decorating around my house. It takes so much energy (by energy I mean wine and chocolate) that I keep it simple for other holidays. I added a few touches to the house for some Thanksgiving flair this week.
I made a few mini-banners to hang and framed a Give Thanks chalkboard printable that I made (see above). I'm a sucker for a good printable. And my love of Photoshop....don't even. If you are interested in these printables, visit me on Etsy! This is TOTALLY a backseat project/hobby to my real job, so there's not a whole lot listed yet. I plan on adding more customizable gift tags, cards and labels.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I can't believe this time of year got here so fast. The holidays are so busy with all the parties, decorations, and baking that it seems like there's no time to even sleep. But who needs sleep? Ha. I answered that question myself after having a child. If I don't get at least 5 1/2 hours a night, you DON'T need to be around me. God Bless My Husband.

Happy mid-November and good luck with all your holiday decorating!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cold Weather Dinner: Easy Chicken and Dumplings

I'm loving this cold weather! The change in temperature has me craving soup. Last night I made Chicken and Dumplings. So yummy and so easy. I cheat and use refrigerated biscuit dough for the dumplings. Like the kind out of the can. Please forgive me. But if you have all kinds of time to make homemade dumplings from scratch, then by all means do it. And bring me some.

I've heard Cracker Barrel has the best Chicken and Dumplings. I've never been there but I am positive this recipe must compare. I have a feeling that they don't use biscuits out of a can though. And what beats canned biscuits? MAYBE Nutella.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings


1 pound chicken breasts, uncooked
1 32-ounce box chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough *I used a can of Grand's buttermilk biscuits.

  • In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Saute the carrots, celery, and onion about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, milk, and cream of chicken. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and chicken breasts.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and shred. Return to pot.
  • Drop in pieces of the biscuit dough to the simmering liquid. *I usually take each biscuit piece and divide it into three or four chunks. Cover pot, reduce heat, and let the dumplings cook for 12 minutes.
  • Remove lid, stir, and enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mommy Must Haves: November Favorites

We are all finally well in our household! Hallelujah! Now if we can just stay that way through the Holidays. November is one of my favorite months. The cooler weather has me feeling festive and I'm already thinking about Christmas. If you need a few more ideas for Santa, check out my Mommy Must Haves for November.

  • JOICO K-PAK Color Therapy Shampoo - After pregnancy, my hair was in terrible shape. My child sucked the life out of it. Hope it was delicious, Robby. It sure wasn't left looking delicious. I don't want to scare anyone but can we say shedding much? I cannot believe I'm not bald after the amount of hair I found on the floor, in the shower, and everywhere. #sick (This would fall into the "I don't have amnesia from that post-pregnancy issue yet" category). This shampoo is really gentle and helps add shine. Sometimes I can find the huge bottle of it at Marshall's on the cheap.
  • Indigo by Clarks Boots - I feel like riding boots go with anything and give you that effortlessly pulled together look. OK, I probably wouldn't wear them with a bikini. But I bet Princess Kate could pull that off. My faves are from a few years ago. They are made by a division of Clarks but I swear they don't look grandma-ish at all. And they're so comfy, who cares who makes them? AND they don't cost $1,000,000. Woohoo! More saved money for my babysitter/vacation bank. Because I am determined to go on a vacation soon. Even if I have to call in the British Super Nanny from that show on TV. I have an available room for Jo. Isn't her name Jo? Has anyone participated in one of those "au pair" exchange programs? I might be on to something....Actually, this just in - Marmi told me when she was here helping us during our week from hell to start calendar planning so she can block off some dates to keep little R. She has to coordinate with my sister Allison of course, now that she has baby James. Marmi is awesome at juggling two little grandbabies so close in age! She had twins so she is totally cut out for this.
  • Nutella snack packs - These just make me happy. If you don't like Nutella, I'm not sure if we can be friends. It can really turn your day around. Count me in for chocolate-hazelnut goodness paired with tiny little breadsticks. Carbs and chocolate. The end.
  • Dead Sea Spa Anti-Aging Night Cream - My little sister Caitlin introduced me to this face cream. It smells divine. It is really rich and moisturizing, and with such a good smell it must be doing something good for my face. I've only been using it for about a month but so far I love it. It's on the heavier side which is nice for the cooler weather. Get outta here fine lines!
  • OPI Nail Lacquer in Glitzerland - OK, I cheated on my girl Sally this month. OPI is NOT a quick dry polish like Sally Hansen, but I love this color so much that I can rationalize my cheating ways. I have been looking for a good shimmery gold polish for awhile and this one fits the bill. So festive!
Hope your November is going marvelously. My goal tonight is to add a few Thanksgiving touches to the house. I'm really having to restrain myself from getting started on Christmas decor. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Having a Baby: Pros and Cons

Well, this.has.been.a.week.for.the.record.books.

Robby has had a cold for about 14 days now. We thought he was on the upswing until Sunday night when he screamed bloody murder for three hours straight. We were at a total loss for what to do and assumed something must be really wrong. To the urgent care center we went at 2 am. Diagnosed with ear infection. Got antibiotics. No one slept a wink that night, or much at all the week leading up to this.

Enter Monday afternoon. Reinforcements are on the way. Marmi is coming to the rescue. About 30 minutes before she arrived, I start vomiting. Which if you read my blog, you know this is totally not ok at all ever. Hmm. First thought is that this is from sleep deprivation going on two weeks now. But the vomiting continues. Stomach bug strikes the Lombardi house. Enter Tuesday. Andy now has the bug too. Yet we are also all still recovering from a terrible cold. At the same time as the stomach bug. A series of events followed that can only be described as hell on Earth, or the makings of a Saturday Night Live skit. Baby has been awake every night for multiple hours. What happened to my good sleeper? I have now cleaned Robby's sh*t off of his favorite bouncer, the changing table, about four of his outfits, and the couch in our living room. The couch. #gross Not sure if this is him getting the stomach bug or a reaction to antibiotics. He also peed in Marmi's face multiple times and let's just say he isn't good at taking medication from a syringe. I feel like I have a newborn again. Leading me to my list of baby pros and cons.

This pic is from our family photo session with Sabrina Gebhardt (she takes amazing photos-check her out!) on Sunday, the day before the sh*t hit the fan. No wonder R didn't want to smile much.....he was on his way to being so sick. :(

Having a baby is the most fun ever! Except for the times that are the opposite of the most fun ever. I've been keeping a record of pros and cons in case baby fever strikes and I need a reality check. Although after this week I don't believe I'll be getting baby fever any time soon.

PRO: You can throw away your alarm clock. Or keep it, but never have to set it again. Yay! Kidding.
CON: Sleeping in is over. I don't even remember the last time I woke up and the first number on the clock was greater than a 7. And that's if its a good day. Most days the first number starts with a 6......and the past few weeks its been a 5. Sometimes things get crazy and you are looking at the clock from 2 am to 4 am. Thanks, baby cough and cold. Followed by ear infection. Followed by stomach bug. Are you there, God? It's me, Adrienne. Unless your spouse is willing to go in on taking turns snoozing late on Saturdays, you can kiss those days goodbye. I'm lucky and Andy lets me sleep in some Saturdays. (*He is actually the most giving, fun, thoughtful husband and dad! He changes diapers. He gets up early. He deals with cry-fests. He picks up bagels for breakfast and does laundry. Now that's hot.) But it takes planning. And you have to take your turns getting up early too or no one will want to return the favor. I'm still learning to be less selfish.

PRO: You become a planner and think about things ahead of time.
CON: Spontaneity is gone. Mostly. There's always that time you planned on the usual one-hour nap but were thrown for a loop when nap time was cut short by 30-minutes. Spontaneity at its best!

PRO: You are at home more often, so you can spend lots of time scoping out new vacation spots. Online, of course.
CON: You better hope you have someone calling you up to volunteer to keep baby overnight or you won't be vacationing anywhere. Heck, I'll even take someone calling and volunteering to keep my child for a few hours so we can have date nights. We have been lucky in the "keep my baby overnight so I can vacation" regard thanks to Marmi and Opa volunteering to keep R for a 5 night stint back in July. We are hoping to get away for a weekend again sometime soon! Hint, hint, hint...anyone?..."Buehler?.....Buehler?...." I think I am still hearing crickets. What about for just a few hours? I'll take anything at this point. (*Disclaimer: We DO use hired help from time to time but we've only got so many hundred dollar bills, y'all....) We intend to travel the world with little R but the more mobile he becomes, it just seems so.......hard. Like major amounts of effort difficult. I'm sure we could do it though. For now, we're reserving big trips for just the two of us. Whatevs. Looking at a digital beach sounds pretty good to me. I love making my own piña coladas too. Said no one ever. Oh well. This too shall pass. In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through the Travel Channel.

PRO: You learn patience. Buckets of patience.
CON: It's not necessarily in the ways you would like to learn patience....we're talking tolerating non-stop crying, waking at all hours of the night, and arguing with your spouse over who slept more the night before. I usually win this one. ;)

PRO: Your baby loves you no matter what.
CON: Your baby loves you no matter what.....especially when he is teething at 3:15 am. When he just sh*t his brains out and it's in the car seat. And when he cannot be put down or you will experience a scene from the movie Chucky in real life.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons for sure. Mostly because I don't want to die alone when I'm 98. Nope, I'd rather be surrounded by my kid(s) who I may have lost lots of sleep over, but who love me no matter what!

Oh, and just for your information, once again, Gus seems totally unaffected by this week's events. How nice for him.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Breakfast Pizza

I love breakfast foods. My friend Brie was kind enough to share her breakfast pizza recipe with me. Thanks, Brie! This is great for feeding a crowd. Or just yourself. I made one this past Sunday and it was gone by the end of the day. What can I say? It rained last weekend and rain makes me hungry.

There are endless variations of this recipe. You could use bacon, or make it vegetarian with tomatoes, mushrooms, or any veggies you like. But who doesn't love meat? Especially bacon. And breakfast sausage. I'm salivating.

Breakfast Pizza

1 1/2 cans of Crescent rolls for the crust
1 pound breakfast sausage, browned and crumbled
1 package Simply Potatoes shredded hash browns
2 cups shredded cheese *I used cheddar.
5 eggs, beaten with a splash of half and half, and salt & pepper to taste

  • Press your crescent rolls into the bottom of your greased pan.
  • Sprinkle breakfast sausage on top, followed by hash browns and all of the cheese.
  • Slowly pour eggs over the top.
  • Bake in 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Baking time may vary - watch for it to start to brown.

Happy Day-After Halloween!

Happy Day-After Halloween from Dr. Robby!
We had the best day. We kicked it off going to our morning music class with friends.
Then we watched Hocus Pocus, ate sugar cookies (Ok, just I ate cookies), and relaxed before our big pumpkin photo shoot with our friends Lia & George. Since I waited until the day of Halloween to take R to a pumpkin patch, everywhere was out of pumpkins. Bad mom. And note to self for next year. So, we had to make do with our own version in our friends' front yard. I think it turned out just perfect!

We ended the night at our neighborhood Halloween party with R's GrandBob and KK.
Hope you all had the BEST Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

R is finally getting over his cold. Thank you, Lord. We haven't been getting much sleep around here. Well, actually one of us has been. That would be Gus. My dog doesn't let much get in the way of his day-long snooze fests. At least someone is sleeping.
Some of our Halloween week plans got a little botched due to R's cold, but I wasn't about to let it stop me from making Halloween-themed sugar cookies. There's nothing like baking at midnight. I know, I know....I am absolutely incapable of "sleeping when the baby sleeps." After all, when am I supposed to shower, work, eat, and have the elusive me time? And bake cookies? Sigh. Oh well, that's what coffee is for! My coffee intake has increased greatly since little R's arrival.

This is by far my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I got it from Jenny Steffens Hobick. She has some great recipes and entertaining tips on her blog.

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg

  • In your Kitchen Aid mixer (with paddle attachment), whip together butter and powdered sugar.
  • Add flour, vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda, and egg.
  • On slow speed, stir ingredients together until just combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board or surface and wrap in plastic wrap. Let dough rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  • Unwrap dough and roll it out on a floured surface until it is around 1/4 inch thick. *Make sure you use plenty of flour on your rolling pin and on the surface you are working on or things will get very sticky.
  • Cut out your shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. If you are using a convection oven, lower your temp to 325 degrees and bake about 10-12 minutes. *Bake time can vary from oven to oven so take them out when the edges are just slightly starting to brown.
  • Let cookies cool before icing.
Royal Icing
*This is an icing recipe I found on the internet years ago so I am not sure where it came from!

3/4 cup warm water
5 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2.25 pounds powdered sugar

  • In mixer bowl, pour in warm water and meringue powder. Mix with a whisk by hand until frothy, about 30 seconds.
  • Add cream of tartar and mix 30 seconds more.
  • Pour in powdered sugar and place bowl on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on the lowest speed for a full 8 minutes. Icing will thicken.
  • For decorating, tint with food coloring. You will need to thin the icing with warm water to your desired consistency.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Gift Labels

I love baking for any occasion, but especially for holidays! Little R has made it a bit of a challenge to get in the kitchen as much as I used to, but I have still managed to carve out a little time each week. Naptime helps but unfortunately R's cold is really cramping my his style of good, long naps. Ugh. Robby has a cold. Babies with colds are the worst because they can't take any of the good drugs. #thegermsgotpastmysanitizerwipes Oh, the horror. We need another dose of Benadryl over here. Disclaimer: I don't condone giving extra Benadryl to a baby. Just saying...

Baking Halloween cookies got me thinking about how I needed some Halloween-themed gift labels. When I give treats away, I like adding a label to the treat bag or box. My favorite way to give cookies away is to put them in clear cellophane bags and stick on a cute label.

If you are in charge of Halloween gift bags this year or are giving treats to the neighbors, here are some Halloween-themed labels for your bags or boxes. They are meant to be printed onto Avery 5163 label paper or any other corresponding label paper. You could also print onto cardstock and cut to size, then use a hole punch and tie them to your treat bags.

Click the image below to access a PDF of the labels. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baby Must Haves: Months Six and Seven

Robby will turn eight months old on November 9. We are well past our swaddling days and on to new things! Here are our baby must haves for months six and seven.
  • Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper - Robby LOVES this jumper! We started putting him in it for short amounts of time when he was about five months old, but he didn't become a huge fan until six months. I can leave him in here for up to an hour. On a good day, of course. "HELLO, freedom! Remember me? It's been awhile." Want to take a shower? Put baby in the jumper. Want to make dinner? Put baby in the jumper. Want to search the internet aimlessly and online shop? Put baby in the jumper. You get the idea. This thing saves my sanity.
  • 1,000,000 Bibs - I have mentioned Robby's drooling problems before. These days, I keep a bib on him almost 24 hours a day. Holy teething mess. Bibs keep his clothes from getting soaking wet which can lead to a rash. And who wants a baby with a rash? So get 1,000,000 bibs. I'm not kidding. I think we probably have close to 30 and somehow they are all always in the laundry. Or on the floor of my car.
  • Chewbeads Teething Necklace - I got these as a gift before Robby was born and honestly wasn't really sure if they would be useful. A necklace for a boy? Oh, you bet. R will gnaw on these things till the cows come home. Hello, more freedom! I can sit him in his pack and play with these and actually get a few things done around here. They seem to soothe his teething pain and as a bonus are non-toxic. Hooray! Ain't nobody got time for the teething pain monster. These help.
  • BabyGanics Hand Sanitizing Wipes - As a self-diagnosed sufferer of germaphobia, these are my best friend. Robby loves to put his hands in his mouth after touching shopping carts, the floor, doors, the list goes on. I carry these little individually-wrapped wipes in my diaper bag. They are alcohol free, i.e. safe for wiping tiny hands. I know it's unrealistic to think I can prevent him from being exposed to all germs but I do what I can. No thank you, colds and flu. You're not welcome stomach bug. Oy! I am dreading the day R gets a stomach bug... #NOTokwithvomitatall
  • Plum Organics Food Pouches - These are great and so easy when you don't have time to make your own baby food. Insert sarcasm here. Actually, making your own baby food can be a lot of fun and really save you $ but let's get realistic, there's not always enough hours in the day. These food pouches are especially nice for when you are away from the house or have to send food to child care. They taste pretty good too!
  • Johnson's Baby Bedtime Bath - We made bath time a part of our bedtime routine when R was teeny tiny. I always add a little of this to his bath and it smells divine. It leaves him smelling like an angel even through the next day. I could just inhale it all day long. I can't believe I hadn't though of this until now but maybe I'll put some in my bath too.
There's a plethora of other cool baby items out there but these are what have really stood out for us during months six and seven. That's a wrap for baby must haves!

I'll leave you with this shot of R during nap time today. He is really starting to see his crib as a prison. This can't be good.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our October Weekend Recap

What a whirlwind of a weekend! Andy's grandparents and aunt came in town from New York and met Robby for the first time. It was so neat to see four generations all together. I have no living grandparents on my side of the family so it is really special that Andy has both sets of grandparents around. My Mimi was so dear to me and was a huge part of my life. I hope Robby will have this same special bond with his grandparents. I have lots of family pics to share but not on my own camera so I will update with those pics later!

We kicked Friday off with a trip to the grocery store. Robby loves coming with me and he rode in the cart like a champ. He managed to touch all the surfaces of the cart though which makes me want to throw up...I am a total germaphobe and his need to touch everything followed by putting his fingers in his mouth bothers me immensely. I need a support group. I'm the kind of germaphobe that doesn't even like eating things with my hands. What if I touched a doorknob covered in the germs of some serious illness and then I ate a pretzel? I'd probably end up dead. See what I mean. Sanitizer wipes are my best friend. #whoelsehastouchedthiscart #itscoldandfluseason OCD is hard sometimes. ;)

I did get some pretty yellow roses at the store to add some color to our entry table décor. Flowers make me smile, which helped me recover from my germaphobia episode. After our grocery trip, Robby napped, we played, and I did a little real work followed by some fun drawing a new chalkboard message. Andy's family came over for drinks and then we stayed in to gear up for a busy day on Saturday.
Good thing we rested Friday night because Saturday morning started bright and early. Like 5:15 early. For the first time in MONTHS, R woke up at 3:15 and 5:15...AM that is. Ugh. I'm an eight hour kind of girl and no sleep doesn't really work for me. I'm not actually sure how I managed during my child's first 8 weeks of life. Hey, miracles happen, and I'm so glad I have some amnesia about how terrible that sleep deprivation was. I'm hoping to get full blown amnesia soon so Robby will eventually have siblings.

Actually, we have been spoiled by Robby sleeping from about 7 PM to 7 AM, give or take, since he was 11 weeks old. I like to think it's because I was a Babywise and Baby Whisperer stickler but I'm sure his temperament had something to do with it. I still want credit for his sleep habits though. That baby schedule stuff is no joke. NO joke I tell you. But it's worth it when you get a blissful eight hours every night.

Where are your teeth child? I think his night awakening could be teething. Who knows. I've blamed everything on teething since three months of age. After our lousy night of sleep, we downed coffee and headed over to a friend's breakfast tailgate gathering. We ate delicious food and had fun catching some of the TCU game on TV. My friend Brie served some awesome breakfast pizzas, which has me looking for a breakfast pizza recipe now. #iatefivepieces
The rest of our Saturday consisted of napping and gearing up for an 80's 30th birthday bash that night. We had a fab time. We love little R but the value of nights out cannot be underestimated. I always come back feeling renewed and like I can do this whole mom/work/try to be awesome at life thing. We put our costumes together last minute and I think we looked super 80's!
Sunday consisted of a long walk in the beautiful weather, blueberry pancakes, and dinner with Andy's family before they left to go back to New York. It was a great end to a super busy but fun weekend.

Hope your weekend was great too!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Comfort Food Friday: Carne Guisada

Well, it's below 65 degrees outside. Scarf and boots on - check. Autumn Harvest candle lit - check. Mug of coffee (sans Bailey's at the moment - I'm a workin' girl at this hour) - check. Ahhhh, feels like Fall. Actually, I'd say more like Texas winter. I'll take it!

Cool weather = Comfort Food. Meals that sit on the stove (or in the crock pot) and fill the house with deliciousness all day make me happy. And this is a great one. Don't judge it by its name. Carne Guisada......I know it sounds strange. Let's just call it a shredded beef situation. It's basically beef that is slow-cooked with tomatoes. And wine. We must not forget the most important ingredient.

Carne Guisada (Shredded Beef Situation)

  • One 3-pound chuck roast
  • A few tablespoons of flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • One large onion, chopped
  • One 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes *I use Mexican style
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • Two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup red wine for the pot, rest of the bottle for you (to share with someone else, of course).
  • Tortillas and toppings *I like shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado and lettuce/tomato if I'm feeling guilty about not eating veggies. Then you get to call it a "salad."
  • Heat the vegetable oil in your Dutch oven on medium heat.
  • Cut roast into four or five large pieces. Coat pieces with flour, salt, and pepper. You don't have to be perfect, just sprinkle it on. Be generous with the salt and pepper.
  • Brown meat in the oil, and remove to a plate when pieces are browned on all sides.
  • Add the chopped onion to the drippings in the pot and sauté until tender.
  • Return the meat to the pot, and add in the tomatoes, kidney beans, green chiles, and wine. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for at least two hours (up to five hours), until meat is tender and shreds easily.
  • Shred the meat - I use two forks and just go to town while it's in the pot. Then leave the lid removed and let the beef mixture thicken for about 15 minutes or so.
  • Serve on tortillas with all your favorite toppings!
  • There are lots of ways you could eat this - we are going to make shredded beef nachos with the leftovers but I think you could also eat it on rice.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mommy Must Haves: October Favorites

I did a post a while ago on Baby Must Haves for the first 6 months. Lately I've been thinking about Mommy (or Anybody!) Must Haves. Here are a few things that made my Mommy Must Have List for October!

  • Pretty stationery. In this digital age, there is nothing better than receiving a hand-written note. Ok, that's a bold statement. We know wine and Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are better, but it's nice to see someone make the actual effort of writing you a note. When I was little, I hated how my mom made me write hundreds of thank you notes for even the smallest of things. But now, I am so glad she did. Being thoughtful is something lots of kids these days aren't taught. Thanks Marmi! My latest favorite place to order stationery is They are having a 40% off sale right now. Check it out!
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish in Gone Grey. I've tried lots of colors lately and this is a new fave. My last post mentioned this brand of polish and I can't say enough good things about it. Sally is my girl for nail polish. LOVE this stuff! It dries SUPER fast so it's great for those of us with limited time. The brush is wide too so it just takes a few strokes per nail. When I need to paint my nails, I line up my supplies at the kitchen table and the very second that R goes down for a nap, I paint my nails. Not one second later. Or they won't be dry when he wakes up. Usually I'm sweating bullets praying that this is not the nap where he fakes me out for 10 minutes then is screaming to get up again. "Have you heard of wet nails little baby? Oh, you still want me to pick you up?...."
  • Dr. Teal's Lavender Foaming Bath. I found this at Target last week. I love taking a scalding hot bath after Robby goes to bed. This bubble bath gets nice and foamy and smells like heaven. Lavender lovers, you will dig this. If you just close your eyes and inhale, you might be able to trick yourself into thinking that you are at a far away spa resort without your husband and kids. Open your eyes....and ugh, you're just in your own bathroom. #sometimesrealitybites. What am I saying? I LOVE being home to clean someone else's butt and wipe drool all day. I really do! Having a kid has been the most fun ever. After the first eight weeks.
  • Land's End monogrammed button-up shirts. These are so, so, so great. The last thing I want to do in the morning is spend a bazillion minutes picking out what to wear. I got these in three different colors/patterns and wear them all the time. They go with just about anything - jeans, colored denim, or even black leggings/pants. These awesome shirts make me look more pulled together than I really am. #appearancesaredeceiving. And monograms are fun.
That completes my October mommy must haves (for this week anyway). Anyone have a great new product I should know about? Do share!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Decorating and My October Bucket List

I love Halloween decorating. Really, decorating for any holiday makes me smile. So far I've kept it pretty simple for October but I'm sure I'll find something to add before Halloween arrives. Most of this can carry into November too, so that's a plus.

Here's my house in photos during October, followed by my October Bucket List. Happy mid-October!

Door wreath: Target
Metal pumpkin: First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas *If you haven't been to Canton you must go. They have the BEST holiday décor.
Owl in flower pot: Michael's
Pumpkin in flower pot: Michael's

Black lantern: Garden Ridge
Mini Pumpkins: Target
Glass containers: Marshall's
Succulent plants: Central Market

Glitter pumpkins on mantle: Michael's

Kitchen towels: Marshall's

Witch Sign: Target Dollar Section

Robby's outfit: Carter's

Gus is not amused by the fact that Robby has become more vocal and very busy....anyone want a dog with lots of...."personality".....? I kid....kind of.

October Bucket List
  • Bake Fall-themed sugar cookies. My inner Martha Stewart is ready to make her Fall appearance. I'm looking to settle on the perfect sugar cookie recipe and of course, the perfect icing. It's a real pickle. There are so many versions of a sugar cookie, and with Christmas coming, this must be resolved ASAP! Christmas isn't Christmas without the perfect sugar cookie. Or hot chocolate (with Bailey's, duh). And let's not forget about rum cake.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch. I have refused to make a plan to go if the high is over 80ish, so we haven't gone. Ugh. I think we are going to get our chance this weekend though! Shout out to the weather makers: Let's keep it real this Saturday with a high of 72. Word.
  • Robby's first Halloween costume photo shoot. Get excited! His costume is so, so, so adorable. Oh God, I just sounded like one of "those" moms!
  • Find a new favorite Fall nail polish. I'm tired of my typical Fall burgundies and maroons. By the way, I almost always paint my own nails. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish is where it's at. WHO has time for the slow stuff? I barely have time to eat, so not me.
  • Get a new car seat for R. Actually, I can check this off because we accomplished it last week. My little Robby's thunder thighs were having a difficult time fitting in the good ol' bucket seat. I don't care though. I love big babies and I cannot lie. He is absolutely squeezable. It's just not good on the ol' back though. Sometimes being 30 years old feels a little more like 75 after I carry him around. Let's hope he's an early walker. But then he's mobile. Ohhh. Kaaayyy. Another pickle.
I think we can manage to knock most of these out before November 1st. I'll keep you updated.