Saturday, January 31, 2015

Seven on Sunday: Week 5

Day 1: Sunday--Brookey sang at Mass to kick of Catholic Schools Week. Out of the 300 kids at the school, this is all they could get to sing! And half of them didn't even sing! #catholicsdontsing

Day 2: Monday--And this my friends, is what you call a tantrum. Full on, hurled herself to the floor. It was so weak and so funny I had to take a pic!!

Day 3: Tuesday--They were THRILLED to get to wear their PJs to school!

Day 4: Wednesday--Red, White and Blue "National Appreciation Day" at school! These colors aren't fashionable to Sarah--she's pink all the way!! And Brooke...the girl always needs a little leopard in life!! #chipofftheblock

...and I had a lunch date at the park with Little Miss Pink

Day 5: Thursday-- They had a "Guess the Saint" contest at school and Brooke was one of the Saints. Yeah, I had NOOO clue who she was, either!! She was supposed to look super poor. LOL!

Day 6: Friday--Sarah LOVES the Sound of Music. LOVES IT! She sings and dances to all the songs and will actually SIT for a long period of time and watch it. Here she's dancing to the song when Maria and the Captain are dancing in the favorite scene of the movie :) And BTW--can you guess what her favorite outfit is??! Yes, this one. Pink, pink, pink and more pink!

Day 7: Saturday--Super fun night with friends but of course forgot to take a pic! So at 11pm, I forced Scott to take a pic! Best pic ever! Ha! #reallife

Have a great week!!

XO~ Casey

Friday, January 30, 2015

Foodie Friday: Superbowl Food

Unless the 49ers are playing, the Superbowl is just another excuse to for me to make dip and gorge myself with food (and beer!) all day. LOL! And let's face it, the Niners aren't going to anywhere, anytime soon, sooooo "bottoms up!"

Good 'ol Sloppy Joes are a staple around this house. They are fast and easy AND they are best served with a side of french everyone is happy around here! A few months ago I read a recipe that put BBQ sauce in a sloppy joe and I was intrigued. I am a BBQ sauce LOVER. Some people eat sirracha or ketchup with everything--I eat everything with BBQ sauce :) Probably has something to do with working at the rib joint Tony Roma's for years in high school!

These little BBQ Sloppy Joe sliders are the perfect food for game day! Serve them up on soft Hawaiian rolls, make a great dip and pour plenty of beverages...instant party! Go Seahawks!

BBQ Sloppy Joe Sliders Superbowl Food

BBQ Sloppy Joe Sliders 
(makes about 8-10 sliders)

1lb ground beef
14 oz. can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced 
1 1/2 cups your fave BBQ sauce ( you might want to do more or less depending on how saucy you want it)
Grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Sweet Hawaiian rolls

1. In a large skillet, brown beef until almost done. Add onions and cook together with beef until onions are slightly soft.

2. Add tomatoes and BBQ sauce, stir to combine. Simmer on low heat, uncovered for about 5-7 minutes until all flavors are combined. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon meat mixture onto rolls and top with cheddar cheese, if you like!

Here is my regular version of Sloppy Joes, too (scroll all the way to the bottom)!And don't forget to make one of my favorite dips for your Superbowl Party!!

Swiss and Bacon Dip

Swiss and Bacon Dip Superbowl Recipes

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip Superbowl Recipe
Party on!!!

XO ~ Casey

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday ~ Getting Dressed, Mom Style

 Welcome to Wardrobe Wednesday--a brand new feature on the blog! As you know, I love food and cooking--thus I have Foodie Friday where I share my favorite recipes. I also love my family (duh!)--which is what Seven on Sunday is all about. Well, I also love clothes and playing with new outfits. I also like helping others feel good about themselves....soooo....Wardrobe Wednesday is born!

A little background, I didn't always love getting dressed every morning or shopping for clothes. Spending roughly 26 months pregnant, along with recovery time doesn't really lend itself to going into a dressing room and trying to squeeze my "mama-hips" into skinny jeans. Much less finding the time to even DRIVE my Mama Hips to the store!

After Sarah was born, I finally decided no matter what size I was (or wanted to be!) I wanted to focus on getting out the door every morning looking pulled together. I've spent the last year or so putting together a wardrobe that I feel helps me feel put together...not super trendy, not chic, not "fashion forward"--just casual, classic and most of all, comfortable!!

I also have to give credit where credit is due. Alison Lumbatis from the blog Get Your Pretty On and her Style Challenges have helped me immensely. She's truly the queen of comfortable, effortless style!

So now, instead of throwing on ill-fitting jeans or yoga pants and tennis shoes, I "get dressed" every single day.  I get up earlier than my kids, shower and put on something that I actually feel good about wearing outside the house (even if I'm not going anywhere!). There's just something about the one step of "getting dressed" that can change your whole outlook on the day....well, MOST days :) We all have these...

Now, this "getting dressed" business is WAY different than "dressing up." That's a whole other animal I haven't mastered yet. My goal is to just to be a comfy, put-together mom. If you want to know what that looks like, take a look at these celeb moms:

Everyone one of them looks totally pulled together, classic, yet very casual and comfortable (ok, sorry I had to repeat Jessica Alba because she's truly the casual, classic mom-fashion icon!!). Nothing fancy. Each one is also wearing one or more of my Casual-Classic Wardrobe Staples.

Casual Classic Wardrobe Staples for Moms

1. Awesome, great fitting jeans: Jeans are so personal and every one of us has a different body type and jeans fit differently on everyone. That being said, take the time to find jeans that fit you. That flatter your figure. That make you feel good. That don't sag in the butt. I think many women feel they can't wear "skinny jeans" because they aren't "skinny." Definitely not true! In fact, you'll look way more frumpy wearing baggy or ill-fitting jeans that a more fitted version.

If you really want my insider secret, look for jeans that have some Rayon in them. Yes, RAYON! These jeans have a "stretch" and a softness than you may not have experienced with jeans! My current favorite jeans are from Wit and Wisdom and are 54% rayon and only 24% cotton vs. Gap Always Skinny that are 93% cotton and no rayon! The difference is phenomenal!!Also, jeans with rayon stretch and fit to your body without stretching OUT. If you've owned jeans with spandex or lots of cotton in them, you know what I'm talking about #saggybutt

Wit and Wisdom Stretch Skinny Jeans

2. Striped Tee: For some reason, stripes always look pulled-together. Jeans and a plain t-shirt is boring, but add a striped tee and you're instantly more "dressed." :)

LL Bean Striped Tee

3. Scarves: Ok, as you know I am a scarf ADDICT. I have a problem. However, you don't have to have a million scarves. One with multiple colors and a few plain scarves can take your wardrobe a long way! The websites Jane and Groodealz always have amazing deals on cute scarves (I may or may not have a few hundred from there!)

Floral Striped Infinity Scarf

4. Neutral-colored flats: I swear by my nude flats and wear them constantly, but cognac or even leopard flats are a great COMFORTABLE alternative to athletic shoes or flip flops! Canvas flats like TOMS are also cute and sporty :)

Lucky Brand Nude Flats

TOMS Classic Canvas Slip On
5. Layering tees: Jeans, multi colored scarf, layering t-shirt, flats = instant outfit. Comfortable and takes zero effort. I like to have multiple colors to mix and match with scarves.

J Crew Factory Layering Tee

6. A long necklace or pendant: This might never cross your mind about being a "wardrobe staple" but I can't believe how much a simple, casual necklace can transform an outfit. Another lesson I learned from Get Your Pretty On! Do you know the long length elongates your body???!! Try it :) You can find them anywhere--from Target to Nordstrom to Charming Charlie's. Look for one that hits about at your belly button.

Baublebar Gold Tassel Necklace

So there you have it, the first Wardrobe Wednesday--Getting Dressed, Mom Style! Being a mom is hard work, you don't need to get "dressed up" everyday but "getting dressed" goes much further than just looking decent if a neighbor stops by. Getting dressed is for YOU. I think you'll feel so much better taking a few minutes everyday just for you :)

I'm linking up with a few great blogs: Get Your Pretty On, The Pleated Poppy.
Musings of a HousewifeA Little Bit of Everything, Grace and Love & Momfessionals.

XO ~ Casey

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Seven on Sunday: Week 4

Happy Sunday!! The Seven on Sunday icon got a little refresh, but it's still the same Seven on Sunday that you're used to-- seven (or more!!) pics that recap our week. Check back on Wednesday, too for the first official Wardrobe Wednesday feature! :) Have a great one! ~ XO

Day 1: Sunday-- Serious growth spurt going on over here. This is a typical breakfast for Will--cereal, fruit, 2-5 slices of bacon and Ovaltine. Then he likes to "work out." He's chest pressing with my mini-weights!! LOL! Oh, and if you're wondering what a breast feeding pillow is doing in my house, don't fear. Sarah uses it for her baby dolls :)

Day 2: Monday--So remember last week I said Brooke and Will do "karate" fighting every night? Well, this night, they added Sarah into the game. They dressed her up as a "Ninja Warrior" (these are their words, not mine) and put her into battle. She loved it, of course because it meant she could join in a "big kid" game.

Day 3: Tuesday--My first sick day off work! Seriously case of the winter cold that will NEVER end! I went to the store to get some chicken soup but the thought of Progresso canned soup made me want to vomit. So I got some chicken stock and whipped up my moms chicken rice soup in literally a matter of minutes! Yumm..just like Mama use to make :)

 Day 4: Wednesday--Guess who LOVES leftover chicken rice soup??!!

Day 5: Thursday--Sooooo...i'm sitting at work in my office (right by the playground) and I hear a blood curling scream and crying during recess time. My mother's intuition said it wasn't my kid, so I kept working. Weeellllll....#epicfail because I walk outside 5 minutes later and Will and one of his friends are sitting on the bench bawling! Will had an ice pack on his lip!! Apparently, Will and one of his best friends were rough housing and low and behold, my kid has a bloody lip. The teacher sent home this note, which I thought was pretty funny. It makes it sound like this monster kid beat up my kid, but 1) The kid who "kicked" him is a super nice kid 2) Both he and Will were playing rough and someone was bound to get hurt anyway. 3) The teacher told them several times to take it easy 4) Will was more upset about having to sit on the bench and have his mom find out than he was about his busted lip. Sigh. #boyproblems

Day 6: Friday--Sarah and I had a fun day testing out Valentine's Day recipes. Here's a preview! Yuuummm!!!

Day 7: Saturday--Family lunch date at Ike's in Walnut Creek. Omg, best sandwich I've ever had! Probably the most expensive, too. I was skeptical, but it was this crunchy chicken, layered with avocado, veggies, honey and garlic aioli...all on Dutch Crunch. Might sound super weird, but somehow it worked beautifully! Sarah passed out on the way home with her "coughing rag" in her mouth!

Have a great week! Don't forget to check back on Wednesday for the first Wardrobe Wednesday!!!

XO ~ Casey

Friday, January 23, 2015

Recipe Wednesday: Stew with Red Wine & Bacon

Stew with Red Wine and BACON? Do I really need to say more?

It's pretty much forbidden in my house and bust out the soups and stews until the temps drop below about 60 degrees. So these cozy, one-pot dishes are pretty much reserved for December, January and February around here. Since "winter" has finally hit in Northern California (kinda, sorta), I am ready for some full-on cozy, comfort food! This is my go-to one-pot, slow cooker dish. One of of the main ingredients is WINE, sooooooo does anything else need to be said? Make it. Now!

A little background because I have to give credit where credit is due...this is my sweet friend Maureen's recipe. Maureen was my teacher's aide back when I taught an elementary school special ed class. At the time, she had 3 kids in high school and I had 2 little-little "babies." She was always SOOOOOO amazing and supportive with both work and "personal stuff." If I had to call in sick because my kids were sick, she always just took over the class and I never had to worry about anything. She saw me cry and supported me countless times in the four years we worked together in that crazy, crazy job. She was always my biggest cheerleader and she is one of the reasons (although she doesn't know this) that I started attending church.

Anyway--enough of the sappy stuff. Maureen is an amazing cook, so she was always making and sharing something delicious! This is her grandmother's stew recipe that she shared with me years ago and it's still on my recipe repertoire all the time in the winter!

Stew with Red Wine and Bacon Recipe
Stew with Red Wine & Bacon
5-6 slices of bacon, diced
1lb stew meat (you can buy it already cut into chunks)
3-4 carrots cut into chunks
1 medium onion, sliced
4-5 small red potatoes cut into chunks (you can use any kind of potatoes)
1 tablespoon of flour
1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste
About a 1/2 to 3/4 bottle or more of good red wine (the bolder the better--i like using a in the red kind, not White Zin- LOL!)
1 cup of beef stock (store bought)
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika

1. In a large skillet cook bacon pieces into almost done and most of the fat has rendered out.

2. Meanwhile, toss the meat lightly in flour and salt/pepper and about a tablespoon of smoked paprika.

**If you are short on time, skip to Lazy Girl's Note below** :)

3. If there is a large amount of grease from the bacon, drain a little out (but not all of it!). In the skillet with the bacon grease, add meat and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the meat is browned on the outside (DOES NOT have to be cooked through!)

4. Remove meat and toss it in the crockpot.

**Lazy Girl's Note: You can skip browning the meat and just throw it into the crockpot if you are really pressed for time. However, I always take the extra 10 minutes or so because all of that amazing bacon grease is just sitting there, waiting to be used!!!

5. To the crockpot, add veggies,  reserved bacon, tomato paste, beef stock and wine. Give it and good stir. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or HIGH 5-6 hours until meat is super tender. While it's cooking, if it seems to need more liquid, add more wine (or beef stock).

I always serve this up with some nice, crusty bread to soak up all the wonderful juices. It's soooooooooooo good!

XO ~ Casey

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Seven on Sunday: Week 3

A pretty typical week for us...nothing too crazy to report!! :)

Day 1: Sunday ~ I have to say, since soccer ended and the holidays are past us, the weekends have been pretty quiet around here. On Sunday I pretty much did nothing....took a nap, went for a jog, Target run, watched a Harry Potter movie with the family...yep, that's pretty much it! I felt this way the whole day:

Day 2: Monday ~ College Football Championship!!! Not sure if the Ducks were supposed to buck the Bucks or if the Bucks were supposed to buck the Ducks--all I know is this seven layer dip happened and I ate WAY too much!!!

Day 3: Tuesday ~ I downloaded this book on Kindle for a little carpool line reading and it's SOOOO GOOD! I love it. It's an easy read and has a religious slant to it, so it's perfect. The book goes back and forth on big parenting things such as keeping a healthy spiritual life to smaller things we can do such as "be silly with your kids." Each chapter has nice stories and practical advice. LOVE LOVE this book!

Day 4: Wednesday ~ Since Sarah enjoyed the library story time so much last week, we went back. She loves the stories, but mostly she loves checking out all the other kids. They have a playtime with a zillion toys afterwards, too that she really looks forward to...see how happy she is??!! These are the faces I get when I say, "Sarah, smile!!!" :)

Day 5: Thursday ~ Today was just a crazy day at work. The whole week I've just felt "off"--it's one of those "teacher days" where you feel like you're a complete and utter failure. (Have I not taught them ANYTHING??! How do they not know this??!!) LOL! Working on lesson plans and hoping next week will be better!!

Day 6: Friday ~ Sarah and I made a trek to Nordie's to pick up these jeans. O.M.G. I have never experienced jeans like these. They literally feel like pajamas...pajama jeans! Not that I would know what Pajama Jeans feel like, but just sayin' :)  They literally hug your a completely good way :) You might have to pry these jeans off my dead body. They are by Wit and Wisdom.

We also had a totally impromptu dinner in Napa with good friends!

Two girls and ice cream....what's better??

Pizza in Napa? EVERYONE is happy!!!!

Day 7: Saturday ~ We had a little family day and had lunch and did a little shopping over in Marin. It was such a beautiful day!

I didn't have any coins for the kids to throw in the little fountain, so they went and picked out the coins already in there. Lovely :) Also, notice there is no water in the fountain!! LOL!! Still drought conditions here in CA!!!

Have a great week!!!

XO ~ Casey

Friday, January 16, 2015

Foodie Friday: The Best Salsa EVER!

I can't even count the number of times I have made this salsa. It's a hit at parties, pot lucks and we eat it at home on a very regular basis. I will make a full recipe of it on the weekend and we'll eat it all week on different foods during the week--with chips, over eggs, with quesidillas....really, you could put it over anything and it would make it delicious!

It's a Pioneer Woman recipe and she might be from Oklahoma, but the girl knows her Tex-Mex :)

The Best Salsa EVER
(this makes a FULL food processor of salsa--just half it if you don't need so much)

2 10 oz. cans of Rotel (or diced tomatoes with green chilis)
1 28oz can of whole tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 of a small onion, roughly chopped
1 whole jalapeno, roughly chopped (take out seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
1/4 teaspoon (or just a pinch) of cumin
Pinch of sugar
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in food processor; pulse about 10 times until combined but not totally smooth (i'm picky about the consistency of my salsa but you can process it however you like!!)

2) Add in lime juice and salt to taste; pulse a few more times to mix the flavors.

3) Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least an hour (up to several days!) to allow the flavors to marry.

XO ~ Casey

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