Thursday, January 29, 2015

To a wonderful 4 years!

Four years ago today I married my best friend!

Here are some additional photos for the big day!
My Preparations - Part 1
My Preparations - Part 2
So I just realized that I NEVER posed photos from our reception! I'll do that tonight!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gibson at 10 Months

What a month it has been for my little guy!

This Month Gibson...
  • Visited cousins in Savannah. He is a champ in the car and he can transition to sleeping in new places nicely!
  • Got a new top tooth in! We now have FOUR teeth! What a big boy and he uses them all the time to chomp down on grub!
  • Can transition from sitting to pulling, halfway, up. Gibson will army crawl to the coffee table, sit, and pull up to his knees. He tried to get all the way up on both feet but we are not there yet.
  • Likes to gum on his blanket... this is an odd one for me... no matter how many teething toys I give the guy he likes to chew on his clothes or his blanket.
  • LOVES bath time. he is finally come into his own with bath time... still not a fan of his big brother pouring water all over his head but he holds his own now... He likes to try to "swim"
  • Drank water from a sippy cup for the first time.
  • Continues to be a super star eater. His favorites are berries and mashed potatoes
  • Gained a POUND! Huge accomplishment for the little guy and we are now in the 10th percentile and weigh as much as the "average" 6 month old! WAHOOO
  • Can wave! Matt was super disappointment to miss this as it happened for the first time in Savannah... at least I was able to send him a little video!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorite Things Friday

It has been a while since I did a good old fashioned Favorite Things Friday... Here are a few things that have been catching my eye lately. Tons of inspiration out there!

Hunter has been come obsessed with play kitchens. When we went down to Savannah last weekend he played with his cousin's kitchen for HOURS! So I've decided that we will also make the investment... Can you believe that this is an IKEA kitchen that has been jazzed up??? YES PLEASE I want one for myself!

At first I was thinking that this DIY butterfly artwork would look cute in Emma's room but now I'm thinking that it would be a nice addition to any bookcase. Love that it adds another design layer.

We have a whole Peg board wall in our Laundry room and I HATE IT!!! But this functional Peg board is making me rethink my distain!

This list of activities for kiddos during these winter months. I cannot wait to make these mini heart pizzas with Hunter. He is becoming such a little helper and I know that he will have a blast making these!

Hunter is obsessed with JUICE... we are meanies though and don't give him the sugary "fruit" juice that you would find in a grocery store... Home boy only gets actual fruit and veggie juice/smoothies. Love this easy "green juice" as Hunter calls it...

I'm so envious of This family's ability to get Sh*t done around their house... This new modern cube light has stolen my heart!

and... speaking of modern lighting!!! Look at this DIY Light!!!

Round up of free printable calendars for 2015... because everyone LOVES to stay organized!

Prepare to be Stocked!

This weekend I will be hosting a Freezer Stock-up Party!

Two of my good girl friends will be coming over and we will be doing all of the prep work to make some yummy freezer meals. I decided that we would make some items from two of the cookbooks that I am currently drooling over...

Sheet Pan Suppers

Make it Ahead By: Ina Garten

A few weeks ago I put together a google document with some options and asked the girls to pick there favorite 4... I combined their lists and came up with the game plan to make 6 different dishes. Some will be large enough to either have as one big meal or two smaller ones so I figured that we would all walk away with having 6-12 dishes for our freezer.

I'm looking forward to making...
  1. Herb Pork Tenderloins Wrapped in Prosciutto (Make it Ahead)
  2. Pastitsio... a Greek lasagna (Make it Ahead)
  3. Leek & Artichoke Bread pudding (Make it Ahead)
  4. Chicken w/ Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw (Sheet Pan Suppers)
  5. Ham & Leek Empanadas (Make it Ahead)
  6. Honey-orange Shrimp w/ Baby Bok Choy (Sheet Pan Suppers)
This should be an adventure and I cannot wait to share some pictures and stories next week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I HEART: Plated

As I mentioned two weeks ago, I’m obsessed with Plated.
** sorry in advance for an insanely long post... I just couldn't cut anything out...
A little Bit of Background...
Plated helps busy (and hungry) people all over the country create chef-inspired meals with in-season ingredients, all delivered right to their doors. Simply visit the website and select from seven dishes (they change weekly) and on the delivery date of your choice (Tuesday or Friday)you’ll receive a delivery of a majority of the ingredients you need (perfectly portioned out), plus the recipes to make each dish a reality in 20-40 minutes.

Empty pantries will never be a problem, since Plated only assumes you have milk, eggs, salt, pepper, oil and butter. Aside from those few staple ingredients, they’ll send everything you need, including spices.
These ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible, and they arrive in the correct portions for each recipe.

Almost all the ingredients sent to you are sourced locally. When it comes to fish, Plated uses 100 percent sustainable and domestic seafood from Sea to Table. They also care about what goes into their meats, which is why they exclusively source antibiotic and hormone-free, with an emphasis on working with local, family-owned farms.

A typical plate has between 600 and 800 calories, and is low in unsaturated fat—making each quick meal far healthier than takeout.

The culinary experts at Plated take all the fuss out of food preparation. They’ll send you step-by-step recipes.

My Experience
I get insanely excited on delivery day and when I see this box on my doorstep I literally do a happy dance which involves me jumping up and down screaming "It's Here!! It's Here!!"
P.S. - It is worth noting that the boxes are made from 100% recycled content (and 100% recyclable) and the ice gel packs that keep your food cold are non-toxic and non-hazardous. Clip the corner, discard the gel and recycle the plastic.
When the box is opened you first see the recipe cards. These cards are also available on-line under your "Order History" (I love that I don't have to save every card but that I can easily just look on-line to recreate these yummy meals in the future.)
Here are some photos from the meals I've cooked
There has only been one instance when I have been disappointed by the produce received and that was when my beets were TINY Baby Beets and not like the normal size pictured. I e-mailed plated to voice my dissatisfaction and they IMMEDIATLY made it right by providing me with a $12.00 credit. (equivalent of one free plate). I was beyond happy with their response time and customer service,
Pricing Info:
$12 per plate (a plate only serves one person)... with a minimum of 4 plates per order. Plated also offers two "Chef's Table" meals each week and these are at a premium market price. Free shipping for orders over $50.
How we Order:
We are currently signed up for automatic shipments of 6 plates (3 meals with 2 plates of each) every other week. As the kids get older we will need to either up our shipment or supplement with additional proteins that we purchase separately (buy and extra chicken breast or salmon fillet and cook with the plated meal). BUT... for now with just Emma eating larger portions were are okay only ordering two plates of each meal... they send enough that it easily covers her dinner too.
I'm obsessive about going on the plated website to customize our order to EXACTLY the meals that I want delivered (if you forget though they will just pick your meals for you). I probably go on the website once a day (again aware that is obsessive)... Things don't even change on a daily basis but I go on anyway... I'm a freak. AND I get super excited each time a new menu is released. I sit in bed pouring over each detail to Matt... just because I'm sure he REALLY wants to know what we will be eating two weeks from now...
Coming up:
We will get a delivery next week and I'M OBSESSED with this meal... Chef's Table: Strip Steak, Potato Tian, and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts.

We decided to upgrade to a Chef's Table meal because Matt's Mom will be in town so I wanted to do a nicer meal for her and we did 4 plates because there will be 4 adults... at $24 a plate it isn't cheap but I figure it is less than we would pay for a nice dinner out at a restaurant in D.C.... and the $15 bottle of wine that I serve with dinner will only cost $15 and not the $50 that I would pay in a restaurant...
My mouth waters reading the description...
"Our exceptional New York strip takes a classic French preparation with a bordelaise reduction of red wine, fresh tarragon and shallots. The strip steak is served with potato tian, a rustic French technique for producing slow-roasted, thinly-sliced vegetables from a shallow earthenware dish. For a hint of sweetness, the accompanying Brussels sprouts are caramelized and crunchy from browning in the oven, rounding out this savory, rich meal."
I also love that they detail exactly what they will send you and exactly what you will need on their menu.

I think that this helps customers make informed decisions when ordering.  

I'm also looking forward to this beauty...

I would HIGHLY recommend giving plated a try... Fair warning though it is addictive! The three people that I have turned on to the service are now all almost as obsessed as I am!

But really give it a try! If you click this Plated link we can both get two FREE plates! or do one of the other many promotions that they have going on! JUST TRY IT!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Savannah Recap

I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and the fact that it coincided with the start of a new job so I turned it into a FOUR day weekend! I took the kiddos to Savannah to visit with family and friends. Matt, sadly, was not able to join us so my parents decided to accompany me to help with the driving! They are the BEST!

My weekend was full of cooking and catching up... which is really the best! All of the cousins had a blast together and I was able to try out some new recipes in my new Sheet Pan Suppers cookbook.

Savannah is such a beautiful place and my Dad took some great photos

Here are some other photos from the weekend. 

And this is what going out to lunch with 5 kiddos looks like

I also got to meet this little cutie... Miss Emma Claire!

Emma and Claire... Meet Emma Claire

The kids were even good in the car