Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday Funday: Fall Favorites


Halloween on a Friday! Finally! :) Now, Halloween is probably one of my LEAST favorite holidays, however I love fall and I'm really liking the change from Indian Summer here in California to slightly cooler temps.

Here's a hot mess of some of my favorite Fall things:

* This pic-- A friend texted this pic to me randomly this week and it almost brought tears to my eyes. Brooke went to daycare with this little girl, Sophia, forever, but they have since lost touch. This pic touched my heart...this was when my baby was still a baby :)

* Plaid--Yep, I'm on the bandwagon...I'm mad for plaid this fall., especially with scarves. I'm loving this Charlotte Russe one right now because it's lightweight for our lovely Indian Summer :) Truth be told, I bought this for a friend and loved it so much I got it for myself, too :)

Plaid and Floral Infinity Scarf

* Ankle Boots -- I bought these boots last year but wasn't really ready to jump on the ankle boot bandwagon just yet. I'm on board this year--100%. I think I wear these boots 5 times a week! The little dip and small heel make ankle boots work for short gals like myself! It's REALLY HARD to find these booties with the little dip, but these exact ones are on eBay now! Just search for the boot name for sellers with additional sizes.

Carlos Santana "Brooky" Boot

* This recipe: Crockpot Meat Sauce. So comforting, so delicious, so easy! Fall perfection in a crockpot.

...and OF COURSE...THIS!!! I am definitely a fair weather Giants fan (and there's been LOTS of fair weather these days!), but it's great to see a major underdog, wild card team bring it home (Royals were in the same boat,  but I had to cheer for the home team!). They are the team that never quits. My favorite part of the entire game was the exchange between Posey and Bumgarner during the last 10 seconds of the game--Posey's facial expression was priceless. I'm a chick, I notice stuff like this :)

 That's my random list of "fall" faves! I'm working on a "beauty products" Friday Favorites, so stay tuned. Have a great weekend and cheers to lots of treats and not so many tricks :)

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Bacon & Corn Pasta

This is my current favorite pasta dish! It's the perfect summer/fall transition have the sweet corn to remind you of summer, and then the creaminess and the bacon that is ALL FALL! It's just a big plate of deliciousness!!

Oh, and I forgot to post Seven on Sunday on Facebook this week, so if you missed it, here it is: Seven on Sunday: Week 21.

Bacon & Corn Pasta
1 lb of pasta (I like to use linguine)
6-8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels OR 1 can of corn
1 can cream style corn
1/2 Parmesean cheese, grated
1/2 cup chicken stock OR 1/2 cup of pasta water (water you cooked the pasta in)
1/4 cup half and half (optional)

1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions (reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, if using)
2. In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
3. Add onion to the pan and saute for  few minutes, until soft.
4. Add garlic and frozen corn and cook for a few more minutes.
5. Add in creamed corn and reserved bacon and heat through.
6. Stir in chicken stock or pasta water, along with the Parmesan cheese and cook a minute or so until the sauce starts to thicken a bit.
7. Stir in half and half, if using. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Toss pasta in the sauce and serve!

SO, SO YUMMY!!!! Enjoy :)

XO ~ Casey

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seven on Sunday: Week 21

Happy Sunday!! Today is the day I recap our week in (about) 7 pictures. I have a few more than seven today :)

Day 1: Sunday--Over the weekend we headed to Fresno for a birthday party for my BBF's son, Andrew. It was held at the Fresno Zoo and so much fun!!! Here are the kiddos petting an armadillo.

Brookey and Ashley :)
Crazy girl...
Day 2: Monday--Kindergarten field trip to the Pumpkin Patch!!! Buddy and his bestie, Cian.

Day 3: Tuesday--Family workout time!! So we always tease Buddy that he has skinny "Sponge Bob" arms, but this kid can do PUSH UPS!! He can do more push ups than I can and with good form!! Crazy!

Day 4: Wednesday--Buddy came home with a picture of the California flag. When I questioned his "bear" he said: "Yeah, the bear was boring, so I made into a stegosaurus." Okaaaay, then :)

Day 5: Thursday--It was Brookey's turn for a field trip! I think it was one of her all-time favorites, learning about California history at the former capitol of California...Benicia!!! It's amazing how much history there is right on our own backyard :)]

Day 6: Friday--Friday Night Lights with my loves at the St. Pat's game. Probably the worst high school football game I have ever been to, but I think the kids had a good time :) Sarah WILL be a cheerleader someday. You heard it here first. She is seriously a natural! LOL!

Day 7: Saturday--What a day! How often do you get to go to a priest's ordination and rainy, soccer games in the same morning??! I had quite a hard time figuring out what to wear, that's for sure! HA! All jokes aside, it was an awesome day--to see someone literally "lay down their life" for God (picture below) and then to see my baby girl win the soccer game for them with the game's only goal. Awesome day all around :)

Have a super week!!!

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Ham and Swiss "Cuban" Paninis

We LOVE paninis at our house! When we do paninis, we customize them based on everyone's meat, extra cheese, more ham...etc. Everyone is happy!!! :) Of course, you can put whatever you want in a panini...if you put a combo of meat and cheese on some good bread and get it nice and melty, you really can't go wrong, can you?  These are perfect to serve alongside soup as a cozy fall/winter meal.

I hesitate to even put the word "Cuban" in this recipe because this is certainly not an authentic version of a Cuban sandwich (no roasted pork, just ham). However, the addition of the pickles/dijon/mayo make it more special than just a plain grilled ham and cheese.

We don't own a panini press, so I use my counter top griddle. If you don't have a griddle, it's just as easy to use a grill pan or large skillet. I just love my griddle because I can cook 4-5 paninis at once (not to mention, it's awesome for pancakes, too!). Definitely think about having "panini night" at your's always at hit at ours!!

Ham & Swiss "Cubans"

- Ham Slices
- Swiss Cheese Slices
- "Sandwich" dill pickles (the ones that are thinly sliced)
- Dijon mustard
- Mayo
- Good sliced bread (we've found that Sourdough or Cracked Wheat works the best and makes the crispiest sandwich)

1. Heat griddle to 350 or heat skillet

2. Spread each slice of bread with mayo and dijon.

3. Layer sandwich fillings on one slice of bread: 1) Swiss 2) 1-2 slices of ham 3) Pickles 4) Swiss. Top with other slice of bread.

4. Butter/Olive Oil both sides of the bread and place on griddle or skillet.

5. Cook until bread is nice and brown and cheese is melted--about 4-5 minutes per side--don't rush it :) You can use a heavy pan or skillet if you need to weigh down the panini (optional).

6. Cut in half and serve with soup or a nice side salad. One of these salads would work well :)


XO ~ Casey

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seven on Sunday: Week 20

Happy Sunday!!! Sunday is the day where I recap our week in 7 (sometimes more!) pictures. Enjoy!!!!

Day 1: Sunday--The annual Rooney pumpkin patch trip! Unfortunately, like so many years, it was blazing hot. In this pic we are all squinting and dripping with sweat. Gotta love fall in the Bay Area!

Day 2: Monday--It was Columbus Day, but the kids had school. Buddy came out of his classroom wearing this hat with the names of Columbus' ships on it. In the car he asked, "So was SANTA actually on the Santa Maria?" Crazy kid.

Day 3: Tuesday--I finally got all the pics of my kiddos up on my bulletin board at school. It always takes me awhile to know which kids I'm seeing and to take all of their pictures! But it's finally done!

Day 4: Wednesday--It FINALLY rained here!!!! Sarah insisted on wearing her favorite jacket in the morning, even though it wasn't really raining yet. Sure enough, while we were doing errands, we were in a downpour! She was prepared :) We got home and lit the pumpkin spice candle and enjoyed the awesome fall weather. BTW, can we guess what her favorite color is???!!

Day 5: Thursday--The kids had the day off school, so we did a different pumpkin patch. The weather was MUCH nicer than Pumpkin Patch Round 1 (above) !! We also shopped for Halloween costumes and stopped at In and Out. Perfect day off!!! :)

Day 6: Friday--Today was parent-teacher-student conference day. I seriously could not be prouder of my kiddos. Brookey works her BUTT off for every A on that progress report (as well as the 89.9% B+ in English!! WTH??!!). All jokes aside, she's come a long way and knows the value of hard work. Buddy is doing awesome in Kinder--no surprises there. We knew the "work" would not be a problem for him. His teacher's "constructive criticism" of him was "He's kind of a perfectionist and needs to work on controlling his emotions when he can't get things perfect." =SIGH= Scott is taking FULL responsibility for that one!!! I'm also blaming Scott's dad, Pops Rooney!! They are like 3 peas in a pod! Again, all jokes aside, if that's the worse thing about him, I'm pretty happy :) Heck, I live with a perfectionist and it's turned out OK :) I guess now I live with two perfectionists! LOL!

Day 7: Saturday--Fresno Fun!!! Dim Sum and noodles on Saturday morning. Sarah ate us all under the table!! I don't know where it all goes, but this girl can EAT!

Fall Fun Round 10... in Fresno this time! :)

Enjoy your week!!

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Sausage and Spinach Tortellini

This is the perfect fall meal to cozy up to as the weather gets a little chillier. I love how there is everything in one big pot--pasta, veggies, protein. SO yummy :) I love buying tortellini at Costco because it freezes and keeps well. It's also super versatile--you can have them with any kind of pasta sauce or you can throw them in a big pot of soup to make a simple vegetable soup into a full meal.

Spinach and Sausage Tortellini
 1 package of pre-made tortellini
1 package of Italian Turkey Sausage (or you can use about 1lb of any sausage you like)
2-3cans of fire roasted tomatoes (depends how "saucy" you want it)
4 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 cups (or about one package) of fresh, baby spinach (found in the produce aisle)
1/2 cup of half and half (optional)

1. If you are using Italian Turkey Sausage, remove sausage from casings. Brown sausage in a large skillet with a little olive oil, breaking apart sausage as it cooks. When sausage is browned, remove and drain on paper towels.

2. Add garlic to skillet and cook quickly (about 30 seconds); add tomatoes and simmer a few minutes.

3. In the meantime, cook tortellini according to package directions; drain.

4. Add sausage back into sauce. Stir in baby spinach and cook for a few minutes until it wilts (at first it seems like a TON of spinach, but it will cook down quickly). Season sauce with salt and pepper if needed.

5. Stir in half and half, if using, and heat through. Stir in cooked tortellini and toss to coat. Enjoy with plenty of red wine :)

It's just a bowl full of comfort :)

XO ~ Casey

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Seven of Sunday: Week 19

Day 1: Sunday-- Well, I was feeling super-duper under the weather on Sunday, and had to miss a great party :( Scott took the kiddos and I stayed at home and sat on the coach with my new favorite app: Stylebook. SO MUCH FUN!!!! I'm kind of addicted :)

Day 2: Monday-- I ordered 2 scarf hangers and they came in the mail, which got me in the organizing mood! Sooooo Sarah and I cleaned out my closet (4 giant bags to Goodwill!) and organized my 41 scarves. I know, I kind of have a problem....oh, and the 41 doesn't include the one being modeled by Sarah :)

Day 3: Tuesday--Buddy's Kindergarten picture. It speaks a thousand words :) That's my kid..and he's sporting his "make me smile one more second and I'm gonna break off on you" smile. I just love him!!! Brookey was at camp during pictures, so she had to make hers up later.

Day 4: Wednesday--Sarah and I love to bake on my days off. Scott and Buddy requested my oatmeal cookies (family FAVE!!!) with butterscotch chips. Seriously to die for. Especially with coffee!!

Day 5: Thursday--Selfies in the car waiting for school to start :)

 Day 6: Friday--Eating her breakfast with sunglasses on...on the only cloudy morning this week. Whatever--i just go with it :)

Day 7: Saturday--The Rockin' Rangers...or is it the Rockin' Rebels? I dunno, but Buddy loves soccer and continues to be a goal-scoring machine! It was a tough loss for Brookey's team this week (ouch!).

Have a super week!!

XO ~ Casey

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Friday Funday: Fashion Favorites!


It's Friday!!!! I'm loving doing these "favorites" posts and I hope you're enjoying them as well! Today I'm listing a few of my "fashion" favorites! I use the word "fashion" loosely because that word is really no where in my vocabulary...BUT these are items that I like to wear :)

#1 ~ These T-shirts!!! If I had to wear one thing every day, it would be jeans and one of these t-shirts. They are really the best tees ever! I have my share of Target and J Crew tees that I love, but I feel like these can be dressed up a little and have something a little more special about them. The fabric drapes well and although they are "oversized" they still have a great shape. LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!

Stem High/Low Tunic Tee

Here's an epic family pic with me wearing the tee...note that pretty much no one is looking at the camera or has their eyes open....

#2: Ok, I went on a month long search for the "perfect" jeans...tried all brands $$$ to cheap. I ended up with a pair of AG's, Kut from the Cloth favorite pair in my closet right now??!!! Old Navy Skinny Boyfriends!! I was shocked at how much I liked these because Old Navy has not been good to me in the past. But I wear these jeans every chance I get. Please bury me in these jeans and the T shirt above. Thanks :)

Old Navy Skinny Boyfriend Jeans

#3: Denim Jacket. Another item I wear too much because it's chilly here in the morning almost every day of the year. I reach for this jacket all the time and I love wearing it to work because the distressing gives a little "edge" to my mostly conservative Catholic School Teacher outfits! LOL! It's light with a little stretch and just feels "buttery"...can I use that word to describe a jacket??!!

Kut from the Cloth Distressed Denim Jacket
(on super sale at Macys!)

#4: Something about fall and plaid just makes me happy :) I'm stockpiling plaid scarves in hopes that the weather will allow me to wear them sometime SOON!! This one is my favorite finds from...CHARLOTTE RUSSE! Hello! Have not shopped there in....NEVER! But I stumbled upon this scarf for five bucks and it seems to go with all fall colors....mustard, olive, cream, black...etc, etc.  I love it!!

Charlotte Russe Lightweight Plaid Scarf

Have a great weekend!!!

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Recipe Wednesday: Salads Part 2

Back in July,  I gave the recipes for two of my favorite "entree" salads--salads that you can have as a meal. The salads today are two of my all-time favorite green salads. I make these two salads ALL. THE. TIME. If I can't think of a good side dish (or I'm too lazy to make one), I always turn to these salads.

Side Salad #1: Cafe Green Salad--this recipe is from Melissa D'Aribian on Food Network.  Of course, I modified it a little :) The dressing is homemade, delicious and of course, EASY!!

Cafe Green Salad

Several large handfuls of mixed greens

Dressing (double if you are using lots of mixed greens):

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 splash of soy sauce
1 pinch of sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. To make dressing, whisk together first 4 ingredients. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk well until the olive oil is combined.

2. Pour dressing over greens and serve immediately.

Side Salad #2: Arugula Salad--This salad is hardly even a recipe! We use this salad as a condiment, too-- We'll top burgers or sandwiches with it or have it alongside a "heavy" meal like steak and potatoes. It's the perfect light complement! You can also stir it into a pasta salad to add a hint of freshness.

Arugula Salad

Several handfuls of baby arugula (get the washed, prepackaged kind)


Juice of one lemon
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (i just eyeball it)
 1. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over arugula and season well with sea salt and lots of fresh ground pepper.

Seriously, I should call this a 30 second side dish! SOOOO easy!

This is one way we eat this salad...with grilled steak and garlic fries! Might be my all-time favorite summertime meal!

 XO ~


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