Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NaBloPoMo | Day 24: easy living

The one thing I really want to capitalize on during this particular chapter of our lives is simple living. We're enjoying a relatively quiet period of Hubs' work, living somewhere with more beautiful weather than we'll probably have ever again, and generally trying to instill the importance of family time in the girls. This means that on weekends we try to keep things from getting overbooked and make plenty of time to spend together just hanging out. I think it's good for all of us and the girls both love playing in our yard so much--and it's so nice to HAVE a yard after nearly 4 years without one!

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

NaBloPoMo | Day 23: meal plan monday - thanksgiving

My in-laws are in town for Thanksgiving and originally Hubs wanted to go someplace for dinner on Wednesday and make "Thanksgiving sandwiches" on Thursday. However, after discussing the things that would go on the sandwiches, plus desired sides, we're just doing a regular Thanksgiving meal on a (very slightly) smaller scale. In case you're still in the market for ideas, I've shared our menu below!

Oven-roasted turkey breast
Cranberry sauce
Potato Casserole Au Gratin (recipe below!)
Dutch Apple Pumpkin Pie (my favorite pie!)

I'm sharing with you the BEST potato casserole recipe! Some people think you can make a version with hashbrowns and cheese, but it's not even remotely an adequate substitute. This recipe is worth every bit of work that goes into it. It's been a twice-a-year recipe in my family for years and it's the main dish everyone looks forward to every holiday season.

Potato Casserole Au Gratin

6 medium potatoes
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
1 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. half and half
1 ¼ tsp. salt, divided
Dash pepper
½ c. finely chopped celery
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
¼ c. chopped pimiento, drained
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
½ c. butter, melted
8 oz. sour cream

½ c. corn flake crumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs

- Boil potatoes with skin on until almost tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and let cool.

- Melt ¼ c. butter in saucepan.  Stir in flour.  Slowly add chicken broth and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and is bubbly.  Stir in cream, ¼ tsp. salt and pepper.  Remove from heat, cover and let cool.

- Peel and grate potatoes.  Combine with celery, onion, pimiento, cheese, melted butter and remaining salt.  Stir in sour cream.  Fold sauce into grated potato mixture.  Turn into 13x9 dish.  Sprinkle with corn flakes or Ritz cracker crumbs.  Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NaBloPoMo | Day 22: Carry the Future

from Carry the Future's FB page
"We approached this family holding a large bundle of blankets and we assumed there was a baby wrapped inside. We gasped as they unwrapped this precious little one only week old. We dug through our bags to find an ergo, which we were saving for an extra special family. I definitely had to hold back the tears on this one. It felt amazing to know this bundle was safe on momma's chest where they both could feel comforted." -Suzanne S. Volunteer Athens Phase 2

With all the terrible in the world, it's easy to feel helpless. If you are looking for a small, easy, and meaningful way to help, consider donating a baby carrier to Carry The Future. They are personally meeting refugees overseas and fitting them with carriers, so holding their children is one less worry they have to manage. My tiny girl gets heavy on a trip to the store, I can't imagine what these parents endure crossing land and sea to give their children the possibility of a better life.

Carry The Future, for safety purposes, only has time to fit parents with structured carriers (the "backpack" type) or mei tais. These are super cheap, and if you have Amazon prime you can purchase and mail one for only $18-25.

For $18 - a "backpack" 
type - http://amzn.to/1I49nIa
For $25 - a "mei tai" type - http://amzn.to/1I49p2D

Donations can be mailed to:
C/O CarryTheFuture
121 W. Lexington Drive
Suite L 106D
Glendale CA 91203

You can also sponsor a Operation Refugee Child relief package HERE for only $15.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

NaBloPoMo | Day 21: baby sleep

Or lack thereof.
Missing shoe post-grocery shopping.
It's been a rough two weeks or so in our house sleep-wise. Bug, our formerly through-the-night sleeper minus the occasional teething patch, has been having the hardest time staying asleep. Once she wakes up enough to get mad about it she, unfortunately, can't get herself back to sleep. If you try to walk away she gets so upset you can't leave her to "cry it out." So, she's been ending up between Hubs and I tossing and turning for hours until she finally gives in to exhaustion. On top of that, naps have been a big challenge too lately. Everyone is tired, so please pass on all your baby sleep magic tips, tricks, or vibes!

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

NaBloPoMo | Day 20

Hubs had three bonus days off this week thanks to an awesome score on his most recent PT test. Most of that time was spent prepping the house for my in-laws' arrival this weekend, but yesterday we decided to actually head out for a little lunch date. We wanted to try something new and were both missing Japanese food, so we stopped by an Asian fusion restaurant in town. 

I ordered the yakisoba and Hubs ordered a pork cutlet bowl, then we split an order of gyoza. The ambience of the place was nice, the prices were good for the quality of food, and it helped satisfy our cravings a tiny bit (though nothing can replace the real deal of our favorite places back in Japan!). I'm sure we'll end up there a few more times before we leave here, mostly because we are both craving a good bowl of ramen!

NaBloPoMo November 2015
Content Then There Was We | Design Poppiness Designs