Monday, September 30, 2013

Another year older...times two.

September is a major birthday month in our family! We have five family birthdays within about two weeks. Both Daniel and I have birthdays in September and they're only three days apart. It's always fun to celebrate together...and we pretty much rationalize anything we want during the entire month. It IS our birthday month, after all. ;)

I have always been terrible about taking pictures of our birthday celebrations anything, and that's one of major reasons I started this blog. I want to have pictures to go along with our memories!

Daniel was lucky this year because his birthday fell on a Saturday. I guess that's where his luck stopped, though, because he had been sick that week and ended up having to go to the doctor...on his birthday! Thankfully, they gave him a steroid shot and he felt better after a few hours {and hardly slept thanks to those steroids!}. We hung out around the house most of the day and headed out for an early dinner at Jim & Nick's.

The Alabama game started at 6:00, so we had to be home in time! :)

I ordered a hamburger, ate two bites and couldn't eat any more. Then I cried because I felt like I ruined his birthday dinner out. I'm telling you, pregnancy makes you crazy!

After dinner, we headed home for dessert and presents. I got him one of his favorites...cookie cake. And yes, that's camouflage wrapping paper. I was trying to find a bow to put on it, and then I thought, "Does camouflage wrapping paper really require a bow?" I decided no.

I made Daniel a homemade cookie cake last year, and it was okay, but just not as good as the real thing. Oh, and do you see my mistake?

Yep, his cake said "Happy Birthay, Sweetheart!" last year. I'm a good speller. I have no idea what happened. Good news, though...everything was spelled correctly on his cake this year! :)

Being married to someone who loves technology and whose career is in technology, I've resigned myself to buying gifts that are pretty much nerdy always related to technology in some way. This year, he wanted these special glasses to wear while he works on the computer {which he does pretty much all day}. They're supposed to reduce eye strain and fatigue and other stuff like that. I can't believe I bought them for him, but he loves them and claims that they work wonders.

I'm so glad this guy was born 29 years ago, and I'm so thankful for another year with him.

Just three days after Daniel's birthday, we celebrated my birthday. It just so happened to be the same day as parent orientation at my school so I had to work until 6:45 that night! Happy birthday to me! :-\ It was still a good day at school, though. My kids were super sweet all day and brought me all of my favorite treats - Cheez-Its, Oreos, peanut M&Ms, and Cherry Coke. Daniel came to school to have lunch with me, too. I love that he got to experience eating lunch in a room with 200 kids and having to scarf down his food in 20 minutes or less! It's quite an experience. Later that afternoon, one of my sweet friends from church and her daughter surprised me at school with a birthday balloon and all my latest pregnancy cravings.

After parent orientation was over, I came home and Daniel and I headed straight to Chuy's for my birthday dinner.

We cannot get enough of their chips, salsa, and creamy jalapeno dip!! And their deluxe chicken quesadillas! SO good!

After dinner, it was time for birthday cake and Daniel surprised me with ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. I used to get one every year for my birthday but hadn't had one in years, so I was excited!! I can't get enough of those fudgy cookie crumbles in the center! {They really could work on their penmanship, though. I know...I'm such a teacher.} Oh, and we almost had an ice cream cake casualty removing it from the freezer which is why it's all messed up on the side. It was close, y'all.

I finally got to open the present that I'd been wondering about for almost a week. I asked for the Naked2 eyeshadow, but the present was a pretty big box that was super heavy. I was worried I was getting a cookbook or something. {I love cookbooks, just not for my birthday. Or from my husband.}

No cookbooks, though. Just two PowerAdes to throw me off.

I got my eyeshadow! I have no idea how to blend all the colors, though. Good thing there are lots of tutorials on YouTube. :)

I can't imagine how different our birthdays will be next year with a 6-month-old baby!! We really can't wait, though!! :)

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 Weeks

How Far Along: 15 weeks and 1 day

Size of Baby: According to The Bump, the baby is the size of an orange and is about 4 inches long.

Total Weight Gain: +1.5 pounds, same as last week

Gender: We find out on October 17th! :) Only 3 more weeks to wait!

Maternity Clothes: I'm still able to wear a lot of my regular clothes. I'm thankful for this because I know I'll get tired of the maternity clothes!

Wedding Rings On/Off: On

Stretch Marks: None yet

Sleep: It's been terrible this week! I wake up every night and have the hardest time going back to sleep!

Cravings/Aversions: I'm still loving the veggies with ranch dip!! I also bought some cinnamon applesauce this week and had to stop myself from drinking it straight out of the little cup right there in Publix. Gala apples with caramel dip have been a hit with me this week, too. Oh, and baked potatoes. I could eat one every. single. day.

Symptoms: I've still been really tired. My stomach has started to get itchy, too. I'm thinking this is probably because my skin is starting to stretch.

Mood: I've been pretty happy this week!! Daniel and I both had birthdays, so it's been a fun week!

What I Miss: Sleeping all the way through the night!

Looking Forward To: Feeling the baby move for the first time. From what I've read, I might be able to feel those first flutters in a few weeks.

Best Moment This Week: Celebrating our birthdays and talking about how next year we'll have a six-month-old baby in our lives for his birthday! It's crazy to think about!!

You can see my other weekly pregnancy update posts by clicking here.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Bucket List {Free Printable!}

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season. When I became a teacher, summer gave fall a run for it's money, but there are still so many things about fall that just win. Beautiful weather, crisp air, pumpkins, football, yummy treats, apple cider, trick or treating...I could go on and on. This weekend, we watched football, I brought out the pumpkin candles, and we snacked on apples with caramel dip {maybe it's the pregnancy, but apples with caramel dip have never tasted so good!}. It was the perfect start to fall.

I made a summer to do list at the beginning of summer, and even though we didn't get to everything on the list, it was still so nice to have a whole list of ideas when we were trying to come up with something to do. And, let's be honest, I'll lay awake at night frantically trying to remember all the things I want to make sure we do this fall {must make pumpkin bread!!}, so it's just better for everyone if I make a list! :) Here's what our list looks like for this fall:

And here's a blank one if you want to make one of your own. You can download a PDF if you just want to write down your list, or you can download the JPEG, insert it into Word or Publisher, add some text boxes, and you're all set!

Happy fall!! :)

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

14 Weeks

How Far Along: 14 weeks and 1 day

Size of Baby: According to The Bump, the baby is the size of a lemon and is about 3.4 inches long. One of my pregnancy apps also said that the baby is probably starting to suck its thumb. The cuteness of that is just too much!

Total Weight Gain: +1.5 pounds - I lost another pound this week. This is a mystery to me. I wish I could always lose weight without trying! I guess it might have something to do with my completely out of character cravings this week!!

Gender: We find out on October 17th! :) Daniel is convinced it's a girl and calls the baby "her" most of the time.

Maternity Clothes: Still a lot of regular clothes + the belly band with a few maternity things

Wedding Rings On/Off: On

Stretch Marks: None yet, but I did buy some cocoa butter lotion this week and have been using it every night. Who knows if it actually works but I'm willing to try!

Sleep: I've been sleeping pretty well this week. I've only been waking up a couple of times at night and I can usually go back to sleep.

Cravings/Aversions: This has been a big week for cravings, and I know it's a true pregnancy craving because it is so totally opposite of what I usually want! One night I told Daniel that I wished I had a huge vegetable tray with ranch what you would serve at a party. Considering my pre-pregnancy snacks of choice included anything with sugar, he was shocked! {So was I!} It was too late to go to the store, but the craving didn't go away. I went to Publix the next night and stocked up on carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery. I've been eating a big plate every day and usually another one right before I go to bed! I know, I can't believe it either! :)

Symptoms: I've been really tired, but not as bad as the first trimester. I've gotten more headaches this week, too. I don't think I had a single headache during the first trimester, but from what I've read, it's pretty normal to get more during the second trimester.

Mood: I've been pretty happy this week!! :)

What I Miss: Sleeping all the way through the night!

Looking Forward To: Our 15 week appointment next week

Best Moment This Week: All of the veggies. Yes. Seriously. :)

You can see my other weekly pregnancy update posts by clicking here.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies

I absolutely love having a reason to bake! Last night, the girls in my community group got together for a Pinterest party. We were all supposed to bring a recipe that we had pinned, but never made. This was perfect for me because I pin like crazy...especially to my desserts board! When I'm supposed to make something for an event, I almost never even consider making anything but dessert. Dessert is my favorite {at least before I was pregnant!}. Even though I haven't been eating as many sweets lately, desserts are still my favorite thing to make.

I didn't have to scroll down far on my desserts board before these layered peanut butter brownies from Six Sisters' Stuff caught my eye. With the layers of marshmallow frosting and peanut butter, these brownies are super fudgy, perfectly peanut buttery, and ultra rich. Just the way a brownie should be. :) I mean, check out this peanut butter layer. There's just something I love about melted peanut butter.

Seriously, just look at those peanut butter and chocolate layers! It's almost like a layer of fudge on top of a brownie.

The original recipe called for homemade brownies, but I took the easy way out and used a box mix. I certainly wouldn't hold it against you if you have a favorite homemade brownie recipe you want to use, though. ;) Either way, you'll definitely want to have someone to share these brownies with!

Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies
Makes 24 1-inch brownies
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Boxed brownie mix + ingredients to make brownies
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

3 T. milk
2 T. cocoa
1/4 cup butter
5 large marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare brownies according to package directions (I used an 8x8 pan). Allow brownies to cool for 30 minutes. It's okay if they're still warm. Melt peanut butter in the microwave until it's smooth. I microwaved it for 1 minute and it was just right. Spread the peanut butter over the brownies. Refrigerate until the peanut butter layer sets up (30 minutes to an hour).

Once the peanut butter layer is set up, make the frosting. Over medium heat, combine the milk, cocoa, butter, and marshmallows and stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Once the frosting is smooth, spread it over the peanut butter layer and refrigerate until set.

Recipe slightly adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

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Friday, September 13, 2013

{Five on Friday} September 13, 2013

TGIF!! Fridays are seriously my favorite. For some reason, Fridays mean that it's totally acceptable for me to go to Sonic on my way to work and get a junior breakfast burrito and a Route 44 strawberry limeade {like every week}. I make all kinds of rationalizations like that on Fridays. I mean, I need some fuel to get through a crazy Friday with 20 eight-year-olds, right? :)

So I haven't done one of these posts in a while...that might have something to do with the fact that I've been going to bed around 8:30 every night here lately. I think I might finally be getting a little of my energy back, though. Maybe I can start making it to 9:00. :) Anyway, here's my Five on Friday for this week.

Daniel went on a business trip to New York City at the beginning of this week. I was super jealous because I *really* want to go to New York City. I seriously hate it when he's gone. I worry way too much. For example, he got to his hotel the first night around 11:30 and hadn't even had dinner yet. He told me that he and his boss were going to walk a few blocks to go to this burger place for dinner. My response: "Honey, be careful. I hate the thought of you walking around at midnight on dark streets." Clearly, I've never been to New York City. He assured me that the streets weren't dark and sent me this picture. I mean, I knew that the streets wouldn't be completely deserted, but I did not think it would be like this at midnight! I guess it really is the city that never sleeps.

September is a *major* birthday month in our family. Within two weeks, both of my parents have birthdays and both Daniel and I have birthdays. There are so many birthday meals and birthday treats in our future! Yay! :) Daniel asked me what I wanted and I finally came up with this Urban Decay Naked2 eyeshadow palette. I've heard so much about it on other blogs! By the way, does anyone else have a hard time coming up with things you want the older you get?! It seems like it gets harder for me every year.

I am determined to add some sort of festive cheer to our front porch for fall this year. Every year, I have the best intentions. Then September turns into November and I decide that it's not even worth it at that point. Oh, and just to prove how indecisive I am, we went to Hobby Lobby last week and bought everything I needed to make this moss covered monogram for the front door. Aaaannnd, I'm heading back to Hobby Lobby tomorrow to return it all. I just kept thinking about how mad I would be if I spent the money to make it and it ended up looking horrible. So, I think I'll just exchange it for a wreath that's already made. At least then I *know* I'll like it. :) Oh, and if you want some front porch inspiration, check out this post from Six Sisters' Stuff. It just makes me want to go on a hayride, carve a pumpkin, and cozy up with a big mug of apple cider!

We love a good game night around here every once in a while...Phase 10 is one of our favorites. Well, our Saturday night last weekend consisted of junk food and a new game. I've been hearing about this game called Farkle and decided to order it when I needed to add a little more to my Amazon cart to get the free shipping. At first we thought the scoring was going to be complicated, but it ended up being really easy to catch on to once you played a couple of rounds. Oh, and I won. :)

I love it when I have a reason to bake something. The girls in our community group at church are having a Pinterest party on Sunday night. Everyone is supposed to bring something they've pinned but never made. We're also going to make some kind of craft. I'm super excited about it! Now, I just have to figure out what I'm going to make. My dessert board on Pinterest definitely gets the most attention. I have 558 dessert pins! These peanut butter brownie buddies look pretty yummy...and perfectly poppable! Decisions, decisions...

Well, whatever you end up doing this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful one! :)

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

13 Weeks

How Far Along: 13 weeks and 1 day

Size of Baby: According to The Bump, the baby is the size of a peach and is about 2.9 inches long. I can't believe that it grew a whole inch in just a week!

Total Weight Gain: I lost 1.5 pounds this week, so now I've only gained 2.5. At first this worried me, but my doctor said it's pretty normal.

Gender: We find out on October 17th! :)

Maternity Clothes: I'm still wearing mostly regular clothes with the belly band. I can still wear some things without the belly band, but not a whole lot {at least not comfortably!}. The outfit I'm wearing in the picture is maternity, though. I will say that maternity clothes are super comfy!

Wedding Rings On/Off: On

Stretch Marks: None yet

Sleep: I'm still waking up a few times a night and got sick in the middle of the night the other night. I was really surprised because I only got sick a few times during my first trimester. My sister didn't really get sick much until her second trimester, so I'm really hoping that's not happening to me!

Cravings/Aversions: I wanted macaroni and cheese and ice cream sandwiches this week. I'm still dealing with not many things sounding good at all.

Symptoms: I got what I thought was a bad case of allergies and it turned into a major cold. It was awful and apparently very normal during this stage of pregnancy. I'm over the worst now, but it was not a fun week.

Mood: Since I was sick so much, my mood was not the best! It's been better these last couple of days, though.

What I Miss: I still miss food sounding and tasting good. Even when there's something that actually sounds good, it still doesn't taste as good as I'm hoping.

Looking Forward To: Starting to plan our gender reveal for my family!

Best Moment This Week: Waking up being able to breathe again!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

One of my favorite things about fall is the food. I'm a fan of any kind of comfort food and fall seems to lend itself to so many of my favorites...two of which being soup and anything with pumpkin! I can hardly wait to make my first batch of pumpkin bread! But this post is about one of our new favorite soups.

I found this recipe last year {Pinterest, of course!} and made it several times throughout fall and winter. I've actually never even had a real jalapeno popper, but something about the recipe just made me want to make it! The flavors in this soup are just so warm and cozy. {Can flavors be cozy? I'm thinking yes.} The spiciness of the jalapeno peppers, the slight crunch of the corn, and the richness of the cream cheese are a delicious combination.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
Makes 6 servings
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Olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 jalapeno peppers, diced, seeds removed (leave the seeds if you want more heat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-1/4 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes with juices
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (reduce or omit if you want a thicker soup)
1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans
1 (14 oz.) can corn
8 ounces cream cheese
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips (optional)


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat and saute onion, jalapeno peppers, and garlic until soft and tender.
  2. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (if needed) with the chicken and lightly brown chicken on all sides. Season with chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  3. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Taste and season as needed.
  4. Add cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Add toppings to soup as desired. Enjoy!

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