Sunday, September 28, 2014

Seven on Sunday: Week 17

Day 1: Sunday--Scott left for San Diego for a conference today, so I was on birthday party duty! Buddy had a great time at a park bday party with one of his besties. Look at these two!! Up to NO GOOD!! :)

Day 2: Monday--Sarah and I spent the morning shopping for a bday gift for a very special someone. I'm wondering if she'll ever just be able to smile without being a cheeseball???

Day 3: Tuesday--Waiting for Brookey to finish soccer practice. Definitely worse places I could be--gorgeous sunset!!

Day 4: Wednesday--Ok, it's been a long-ass, crappy week since Scott's been out of town. I blew out my hamstring (or SOMETHING) on Tuesday and could barely walk, almost fell down the stairs because I could barely walk down them, Sarah came down with a bad case of the sniffles and starting sneezing green snot...the list goes on...sometimes it's just a VENTI kind of day...or week!!!!

Day 5: Thursday-- Selfie Thursday with my girl who is always willing to smile!!

 Day 6: Friday--Thunderstorms and a downpour in September??!! We'll take it!!!

 Day 7: Saturday--We went to Napa and Calistoga to celebrate my mom's birthday!

Epic family pic at Sterling...of course, no one is looking :)

Selifie with my honey at Sterling :)

Cheers and hoping this week will go better than last week!!!

XO ~ Casey

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday Funday: Food Favorites!!

I didn't think Friday could come fast enough this week, people!!! So let's celebrate with some of my favorite foods and recipes!!!

#1: Soy Nut Butter...O.M.G!!!

In March of 2007 while vacationing in Florida, Brookey took a TINY bite of PB&J. This picture was taken from a Venica, FL Emergency Room...notice the swelled face and eyes---looked SO much worse in person!! Since then, we've stayed away from peanut butter. I've been so bummed because it's SOOO yummy and a great source of protein.

Until this week when I found this: Soy Nut Butter. It tastes as close to the real thing as I think you can get...all the same fiber and protein benefits, too! Amazing! The link is from Amazon, but I got ours at Target. Major score!!!

 #2: As the weather cools down (as hopefully it does, SOMEDAY!), I always crave a big bowl of pasta. My simple Spaghetti and Meatballs fits the bill!!

#3: I absolutely LOVE this stir fry recipe! It's great with broccoli, too!! Beef with Snow Peas:

#4: These Turkey Chimichangas have been a staple in my house for TEN YEARS! So easy and so good!!!

#5: You can't get through the fall without making this Pumpkin Gooey Goodness Cake! It's everything you want from a fall dessert and more!! :)

That's it for today!! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY FRIDAY and HAPPY EATING!! :)

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: 5 Days of Lunches

Last month I wrote about being nervous that I actually had to make lunch for my kiddos this year. Well, it's turning out to be better than I far :) I refer back to this post often and mix and match my main course + fruit/veggie + sides lists. So far, I've kept it pretty tame but hopefully in the coming months I can experiment with soups and other thermos-type items.  I also pack lunches with the kids, so they can give me input about what they want. I find they are much more likely to eat it if they have some sort of say in the process.

Here are a five of my recently packed lunches:

** Don't forget you can Pin all of the images to Pinterest and refer back to them later!

Day 1
Main Course: Tortilla chips with shredded cheese
Fruit/Veggie: Nectarine slices, juice (optional!)
Sides: Whole wheat cereal, Nutri Grain bar

Day 2
Main Course: Cheese Roll Up (made the night before)
Fruit/Veggie: Plum, Juice (optional)
Sides: Sun Chips, Yogurt

Day 3
Main Course: Jelly sandwich & turkey pepperoni and cheese kebab (Will was HUNGRY)
Fruit/Veggie: Grapes
Sides: Fiber One lemon bar (Yumm!!! Found them at Costo), Pirate's Booty

Day 4
Main Course: Waffles and Syrup
Fruit/Veggie: Apple slices (you can toss them in a little orange juice to keep them from browning)
Sides: Nutri Grain bar, Cheese stick, Danimals Smoothie

Day 5
Main Course: Ham and Swiss sandwich
Fruit/Veggie: Grapes
Sides: Fiber One lemon bar, Sun Chips

Happy lunch-packing!!!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seven on Sunday: Week 16

Day 1: Sunday--Ahhhh...perfect Sunday morning of church, Scott's homemade breakfast, coffee and People Style Watch! Heaven :)

Day 2: Monday--Clowning around at Target! Why in the world is this hat being sold in California??!

Day 3: Tuesday--Helping my baby pack for her first trip away from home!!! Seeing her so excited kept me from getting emotional! She's going to learn and grow so much on this trip--I am so happy and excited for her!

Day 4: Wednesday--Off to camp! Loving the outfit she picked...camos, a glitter tee and leopard earrings...she had on a bracelet and camo hat, too but I had to draw the fashion line.....she is going CAMPING!! She was so excited but then on the bus, got emotional and teary eyed. So blessed my friends are the female chaperones and took great care of her! She definitely wasn't the only "sad" one!! For most of these kiddos, it's their first time away from home. Really glad Scott is the chaperone for the boys! At least he's around even though they won't see each other that much.

Day 5: Thursday-What's for dinner when Daddy and Sissy are away? Mac and Cheese and french fries OF COURSE!!!
Day 6: Friday--MY BABY IS HOME!!! Wow-- she had a fantastic time at camp and learned so much! So did Scott!! Very blessed they could share this experience together. Maybe I will go with Buddy when he gets to 4th grade...I'm sure he'll LOVE that!! Ha!

Day 7: Saturday--Epic soccer day for the goal-scoring duo! Both kiddos scored goals in their games. Brookey's team played a HARD fought match and won 3-0. Her team is GOOD. Such a fun, competitive game to watch! The girls played their hearts out!

Have a super week!!!

XO ~ Casey

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Friday Fun Day: Five Favorites Under $10!

It's FRIDAY!!!!! Yay! My baby comes home from camp today and all will be right with the world again :) Today I'm linking up with a few awesome blogs and sharing 5 of my favorite things under $10!!

#5: The Wet Brush-$9.00 at Target. Apparently, I'm the only mom who didn't know about this thing! Wow-it works SOOOO well on Brookey's hair right out of the shower. No more complaining about tangles in her hair! Lifesaver.

#4: Gina Rispoli All Natural Marinara--$5.00 at Safeway. I've tried a zillion, and this one is the best! I use it in so many recipes as a shortcut for a homemade sauce. Here's the recipe from last Wednesday: Perfect Meat Sauce. I also use it for my Simple Spaghetti and Meatballs. As a side note, the checkout gal at Safeway sees me buying this EVERY SINGLE WEEK and I keep telling her to try it. The other day she said, "I finally tried your sauce and you were right--it really is the best!" Bam! :)

#3: NYC Lip Gloss. I don't leave the house without lip gloss. I love it, and I've tried a whole lot of brands--expensive and cheap. This one is awesome. It compares to my favorite Mac and Bobbi Brown glosses but a FRACTION of the price! $1.97, people!! $1.97??!!! I wear it alone and layer it over lipstick. My color is Rivington Rose. It's perfect :)

#2: THIS scarf from Nordstrom Juniors section. I bought it last spring on sale for $8. Eight dollars!! I seriously wear it alllllll the time--people are probably getting sick of seeing it, but it really goes with everything. Leopard is a neutral :) This one is sold out since it's from last season, but this year's version is cute too! If you don't own anything leopard, start here :)

BP Leopard Infinity Scarf: New Version $18

#1: This quote!! I ran across it and it's FREE, but I swear I want it on a T-shirt that I wear everyday, I want it on my classroom wall, I want it framed in my house....heck, I'll tattoo it to my forehead for everyone to see! LOL! Not really :) But it's something everyone should think about and take to heart--myself included! Patience is definitely not one of my strong points :)


~ XO

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Perfect Meat Sauce

You know I'm a HUGE fan of my crock pot.  Remember the best pulled pork?? Here's a super, super simple recipe but it delivers a huge amount of flavor. I've made this recipe a zillion times...for my family, for large gatherings, for's a hit every time. Double the recipe to feed a crowd!!

The key is chopping your veggies really finely. You can prepare the ingredients the night before, load them into the crock pot and just turn it on the next morning--that's what I usually do :)

 The Perfect Meat Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef (turkey works, too!)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 jar (or 3 cups) of marinara sauce--I only use Gina Rispoli (see below--it's the BEST!!)

1. In a large skillet with some olive oil, brown ground beef; add to crock pot.

2. In the same pan, add onions, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook until veggies are slightly soft; add to crock pot.

3. Add marinara sauce to crock pot; stir to combine.

4. Cook sauce on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

5. In the meantime, cook pasta (whatever kind you like!) according to package directions. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid.  If necessary, add some cooking liquid to the meat sauce to make it less thick. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Combine pasta and sauce and serve with lots of Parmesan (and lots of red wine) :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Seven on Sunday: Week 15

Day 1: Sunday-- It was a perfect evening so we all went for a walk/bike/scooter ride. Brookey kept trying to take a picture of Scott and me but SOMEONE was having too much fun trying to bomb every photo!!!

Day 2: Monday--It was a zillion errands on Monday but she was all smiles at Costco with her favorite cereal! Love my little shopping partner!

Day 3: Tuesday--Look how DIRTY his face is!! The picture doesn't even show half the amount of dirt on his face! He comes home looking like this every single day!! His teachers just tell me he's having a whole lot of fun. :) On non-PE days he wears white polo shirts...thank goodness for Oxi Clean!!

Day 4: Wednesday--Just when I'm ready to sip a pumpkin spice latte and break out my boots and scarves, THIS HAPPENS! I've been living in the Bay Area for over 15 years, you'd think I'd figure out that summer here starts in September! Somehow that always slips my mind. Look at the dust on my dash! Good lord!

Day 5: Thursday--Sarah's beloved potty. It's been a week with virtually no accidents, so I think I can pretty safely say she's POTTY TRAINED! Praise God and Hallelujah--I think I bought my last pack of diapers (she still wears one at night)!!!

Day 6: Friday--I had to go to Sonoma to pick up some wine club wine, so Sarah and I stopped by the park and fed the ducks :)

Day 7: Saturday--Early morning for soccer games today...Brookey rocked the house and won 6-1. Buddy is slowing but surely putting forth some kind of effort on the field. Watching Under 6 kids play soccer is just plain painful!!! Brookey said, "Are they really playing? Did the game actually start??" They use the word "play" very loosely.

These kids were STARVING so we went to In and Out!

Cheers to a great week!!!

XO ~ Casey

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Funday: Another Great Gameday Dip

It's no secret I love a good dip. The more hot and cheesy, the better. One of my faves for years has been my Swiss Bacon Dip, but I made this buffalo chicken dip last weekend and it might be my new favorite!! It was definitely a party hit!!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 faux grilled chicken breast (click here to see how I "grill" my chicken)
1 cup of buffalo wing sauce (i love Frank's Red Hot)
1 (16 oz) can of refried black beans
4 ounces (1/2 a block) of cream cheese
1 cup of shredded cheese (it's best with a combo of sharp cheddar and monterey jack)
**Toppings (optional, but highly recommended!): diced avocado, sour cream, scallions, cilantro

1. Shred grilled chicken breast into small pieces and combine with buffalo wing sauce; set aside.

2. Heat refried bean in saucepan, then spread into an even layer into a 8x8 baking dish.

3. Without stirring, top beans with cream cheese (i just place little dollops all over the beans)

4. Spread chicken mixture on top of the beans/cream cheese. Top with shredded cheese.

**At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or so until you are ready to serve it.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes until the dip is heated through and the cheese is nice and bubbly.

6. Top with all of your desired toppings and serve with nice, thick tortilla chips.

It's just plain DELICIOUS. Happy dipping :)

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Cheesy Baked Burritos

Here's another one of my yummy go-to recipes. When in doubt, I can always roll something into a tortilla and it's somehow tastes good :) This is just a BASIC recipe and you can add whatever ingredients you like!

Note...The Mexican tomato can be spicy, so if you don't like spice just use enchilada sauce.

Cheesy Baked Burritos
1 lb ground beef (turkey, chicken, whatever ground meat you like!)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small (7 oz) can of Mexican tomato sauce (on the Mexican aisle, I like the El Pato brand)
4-6 large "burrito size" tortillas
1 large can of enchilada sauce (green, red, whatever you like!)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, plus more to sprinkle on top
1 can refried beans
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
Scallions for topping

1. Brown meat in a large skillet; add onions, Mexican tomato sauce and taco seasoning-- simmer until onions are tender,

2. In the meantime, heat beans in a small saucepan with a splash of water. When beans are warm, stir in cheddar cheese; set aside.

3. Assemble burritos: add a good amount of bean/cheese mixture and meat to each tortilla; roll and repeat for 4-6 burritos.

4. Place burritos in a baking dish. Brush each burrito with a little olive oil, then top them with as much enchilada sauce as you like!

5. Top with a little more cheese and bake at 400 for about 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

6. Top with scallions and enjoy!!!

** Extra meat filling is great in tacos or for lunch the next day with some tortilla chips!

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