Posted in Friday Favorites, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? We had a good one! We’ve had state standardized testing this week that both the kids and I have survived, Hayden has had two baseball games, and Hadley has had dance a couple of nights this week. The best part was that they had a couple of free afternoons to play outside with neighborhood kids. Life felt really “normal.” It was nice for them to run around and not be distracted by electronics or have to go to other activities.

I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

I’m keeping it pretty simple with three faves from the week.

A favorite has been seeing the kids do what they love. Dance for Hadley and baseball for Hayden. While these activities are going on most weeks, it’s just been nice to see how Hadley’s confidence has developed with each competition, and Hayden has been having fun with baseball. They won an extra inning nail biter last night!

I tried out a new “recipe” after seeing Amy’s breakfast burrito post and then these “carb savvy” tortillas at Trader Joes. On Tuesday night, it was just me for dinner, so I sauteed some peppers and then added in eggs to scramble. I put that on the tortilla with some black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, and guac. It was an easy and delish dinner.

Another favorite was the book I finished. The Wife Upstairs was so good…and the Jane Eyre references made it even better #Englishteachernerd 😉

Also, Hayden loved the first Theodore Boone book by John Grisham, so I picked up books 2 and 3 at the library when I returned The Wife Upstairs. A favorite is definitely that the library is back open for business! It was nice to go in and pick up these books myself! (and another favorite will always be that Hayden loves to read!)

Also, speaking of books. Hayden said his class finished Where the Red Fern Grows. He said the whole class was crying at the end! I didn’t read that book until the 7th grade. I think I may read it again…even though I’m sure I will cry at the end too.

Other Faves:

Other faves from the week include:

  • the weather being pretty nice and the kids being able to play outside quite a bit with their friends.
  • Teacher Appreciation Week!
  • I sat in on 15 AP research presentations, and the seniors did such an amazing job. The future is bright, y’all!

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hayden told me to spell, “I Cup,” so he’s officially ready for middle school with his immaturity level 🤣 #ididntfallforit

Favorite Mom Meme:

Where is the lie?! 😆

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

This memory from 2015 popped up in my Facebook Memories. Sweet Hadley earned the game ball. She was on the same team as Hayden for three years, and it was always so fun to watch them play together.

Weekly Recap:

Somehow I did it again…I had a full week of posting!

Monday is our monthly Not Just a Mom link up. The topic is: concerts you’ve been to/want to go to.

With Mother’s Day this weekend, I know it can be a bittersweet day. I have so much for which to be thankful, but I know what it’s like to feel sad on Mother’s Day.

I hope you have a great weekend! We have a few things on the agenda, but I know one thing I’m not doing this weekend….cooking!…and maybe I can convince someone else to start the laundry?!

Take care,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Yay! We made it to the weekend.

This week was a good one, but the weather sure has been soggy the past couple of days! After two later nights with ball games, it was nice to have no scheduled activities on Wednesday night. Then, baseball practice was canceled because of rain last night, but Hadley still had a couple of afternoon and evening activities.

Also, it’s Derby week, so Travis has been busy with work (and fun) while anxiously awaiting Saturday and the fastest two minutes in sports!

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

This week, I’m sharing some favorites from each day!

Sunday:

On Sunday, Hadley had a very early call time for her dance competition. Her team did awesome, and both dances earned gold stars!

The only good thing about at 7:00 arrival time for competition was that meant we were finished in time for brunch. We ate with some of Trav’s family at The Cafe, and the food was really good.

After brunch, we took a few minutes to wander around the farmer’s market/street fair that was right outside.

I purchased this new front door mat, and I love it. Plus, the jockey silk is my favorite color!

I purchased the doormat at a cute booth that had a quick craft opportunity. The owner had plain blocks and a jockey silk stencil, and Hadley (and her cousins) each made one of these cute little decorations.

Monday:

On Monday, Hayden had a baseball game, and I was so excited for these leftovers. I’d made Shay’s Beef and Rice Skillet Supper on Sunday, and the leftovers were even better!

Tuesday:

On Tuesday, my favorite part of the day was watching Hayden play baseball even though the game didn’t end up until really late due to extra innings!

Also, another week and more Trader Joe’s flowers 😂 Peonies are my favorite, so I always snatch them up when I go to Trader Joe’s.

Wednesday:

Honestly, the highlight of Wednesday was having zero activities in the evening. I was in my pjs by 7:00!

Also, I picked up these personalized cups in preparation for a little get together to celebrate Hayden and Hadley in a couple of weeks.

their first day of kindergarten!

Thursday:

Thursday was such a soggy day, but I was able to meet some friends for drinks and dinner on the covered patio of a favorite restaurant while Hadley was at dance!

Other Faves:

Some other favorites from the week include UK Women’s Volleyball winning the National Championship! This has been quite the headline all week. Every fall, we usually go to one or two UK volleyball games because they are always so fun to watch! Of course, we couldn’t go last fall, but we had fun watching their televised match on Saturday night.

C/o UK Athletics

I will say, this exciting news has also been uplifting after hearing the the somber news of the unexpected passing of UK Men’s Basketball player Terrence Clarke. The Lexington community has definitely felt the highs and lows this week.

This is kind of a random favorite, but last Saturday night I forgot to bring my sound machine (and my melatonin!) to Louisville. #doublewhammy I knew I needed some quiet noise to fall asleep, so I downloaded this app, and it was a great substitution for my regular sound machine. What I liked about it was that you can combine noises and then save the noises to your “favorites.” So, I combined white noise with the ocean, and it was just perfect, and now I have it saved for future use if needed.

While picking up my peonies on a quick Trader Joe’s run, I also picked up these Everything but the Bagel potato chips. I’d never seen them before, and I really like them! The good news is that neither of my kids like them, so they won’t be hogging them! 😂

Favorite Mom Meme(s):

I love this meme. It’s so true!

I feel this meme deeply. Something usually has to give!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

I love this pic from April 2013. To be honest, I took it after a very difficult week. The most difficult week of my life. I remember taking this photo and counting my blessings (times 2).

Another favorite from this week in 2013…Hadley without a care in the world looking at horses. It’s rare for her to be still, and here she is taking it all in!

Weekly Recap:

I had another full week of posts! Here they are:

What are you up to this weekend? Saturday is Derby Day, y’all, which is the biggest day of the year around here! Believe it or not, we don’t have any baseball games this weekend, but Hadley does have one final dance competition.

I hope you have a great weekend! I hope to have a post for Monday, but I will have to see how the weekend shakes out.

Take care,

Posted in Uncategorized

Deserted Island…

Hello and Happy Monday.

I’m keeping it pretty short and sweet today as I’m trying to get back in the groove after getting home from vacation. I’m a procrastinator when it comes to unpacking, and of course, we had no food in our house, so I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday trying to get those things accomplished. Now, my Monday “to do” list includes all the things I didn’t want to tackle before going to Florida like scheduling appointments, finishing up school stuff…the list goes on and on.

Anyway, I saw this post on Facebook and then Trista posted it on her Instagram page. I thought the questions would be fun to answer.

You Live on a Deserted Island with…

One book:

Where the Crawdads Sing – I don’t think a book has made me look stop, reflect, and think about life from the perspective of a character since To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn’t want it to end.

My runner up books would be: Bread and Wine, Tuesdays with Morrie, and TKAM.

One kind of food:

Pasta! #givemeallthecarbs

My runner up food would be: Mexican

One TV series:

Golden Girls #duh

My runner up series would be: Friends or Designing Women

Also…

I saw a friend share this on Facebook and thought it was so interesting.

I want to be Pastel Nights, but I have a feeling I’m more Mint Stone.

So…what about you? If you were on a deserted island, what would your choices be?

I hope you have a great week!

Posted in Uncategorized

Favorite Blogs

After starting a blog, I realized there are many people who may not read any blogs…ever…so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

The first two blogs are ones that I have been reading for years…and I’m not sure how I stumbled upon either one…but I love them both.

Mix and Match Mama is one of my favorite blogs to read. The author is Shay Shull, and her brother Sean was one of the Bachelors on ABC. She’s the mom to four kids, two of whom are adopted. Her posts on adoption have really opened my eyes to that aspect of parenting. She’s certainly an inspiration as she shares her stories about all of her kids! Also, she has several cookbooks. Her cookbook Simmers is something I use at least once a week! I always thought using the crockpot was only for pot roasts (which isn’t a fave food of mine), but she has SO MANY wonderful recipes. Some of the recipes I’ve probably made fifty times! The King Ranch Joe (chicken recipe w/ corn bread), Chicken Tortilla Soup, Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes, and Beef Enchilada Tacos are all family favorites in my house.

The Kids in the Kitchen cookbook is fun. We don’t use it often, but I usually let the kids choose a recipe or two to try ….usually a dessert, and we will make that on a Sunday afternoon. The Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Baked Pizza Pasta Casserole, and S’mores Pie have all been a hit! (**You can find both cookbooks on Amazon.)

Also, on Mondays, she always includes multiple recipes for “Meal Planning Monday.” I usually get my groceries on Sunday, so I usually get a few ideas for the next week which is awesome because when the next weekend rolls around, I already have at least one dinner idea!

Besides cooking, she shares about her family, what she wears (which has led to my love of Nordstrom), books she’s read (I get so many ideas from her!), and about the awesome vacations she and her family go on. (She also owns the Mix and Match Travel Agency.) She posts daily (M-F) which I love, and she’s one of the first blogs I read every day.

Another blog I’ve been reading forrrrevvver is BevCooks.com. Bev Weidner is hilarious! Like laugh out loud funny. She’s a Kansas City based blogger. She posts a couple of recipes throughout the week, and there isn’t one that I’ve made that I didn’t love. Then, on Friday, she always posts a “Friday Flotsam” with random pics and thoughts (and questions!) that always have me smiling.

She has also been on the Food Network show The Kitchen cooking various recipes and has an online Food Network show called Mom Wins with quick and easy tips and recipes your kids would love.

Speaking of kids, she’s the mom to boy/girl twins and started her blog before having the kids and struggling with infertility. I connected with her on that level but also the fact that she keeps it real…all of the time…the good, the bad, and the ugly of life.

Lastly, her Instagram stories are awesome. She’s just so funny and light hearted that it’s easy to connect with her. Recently, she’s started a “book club” where she reads books and shares about them with the viewers. I’ve gotten many recipe and book ideas from her along with a good chuckle or two!

Momfessionals is another blog I love reading. Andrea is the author and mom to three kids and full time middle school math teacher. I believe she started her blog years ago as a way to keep family members up to date with her growing family, but she shares so many other aspects of her life like educational toys and games, recipes, and teacher resources.

She is so artistic and will occasionally post some of her drawings as printables for kids to color. At Christmas time, she had a whole village with various houses and buildings…they were absolutely incredible and a fun way to give your kids something to do as well as let them be creative as well.

She spends so much time with her kids. I can tell that she’s a very hands on mom but sets clear boundaries for her kids while also letting each one of her kids be individuals, and she definitely embraces that. One of her recent posts was about her driving three hours round trip to pick up a bearded dragon for her son!

Other blogs that I love to read but don’t read as often are:

Living with Landyn, Kristy Wicks, Cotton Stem, and A Little Bit of Everything

I know everyone is super busy but these blogs have added to my life–whether it’s a recipe, a parenting hack, a book idea, or looking at life in a different way, and I hope my blog can be a source like that as well.

One last thing–I started an Instagram acct for this blog– @showmeandsweettea To be honest, it may all be too much to juggle–Facebook, Instagram, blog, (and school is about to start!) etc…but I figure it can be a public acct and a way to let you know when I’ve created a new post.

Happy reading!

Posted in Meals and Recipes, Uncategorized

Monday Meals: Pasta Dinner x 2

Happy Monday! The weekend seemed to fly by! The sun was shining all weekend, and it felt like a taste of spring!

Last Monday, I made both of these pasta meals for my family. I had picked up the gnocchi a few weeks ago and needed to use it. Since I was uncertain if the kids would like it, I decided to make them bow tie pasta with Alfredo sauce because I knew they loved it. A couple of months ago, I bought jarred Alfredo on a whim and made this quick pasta (the second recipe) and they scarfed it down. Believe it or not, but I think it’s the first time they’d had Alfredo sauce! They thought I was the best mom ever. haha

That being said, I’m no short order cook; the kids eat what I make them for dinner…like it or not. But, I knew these were quick dishes, and they would provide leftovers for Tuesday night, so went ahead and made both.

Gnocchi and Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of gnocchi
  • Trader Joe’s Three Cheese Pasta Sauce (or any marinara sauce)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • Shaved Parm (or grated)

Instructions:

  • Bring pot of water to boil, add a heavy pinch of salt, and follow instructions for cooking the gnocchi. (Only a few minutes in the boiling water)
  • Brown the sausage in a skillet. (I browned it all and used 3/4 of it for the gnocchi recipe and the other 1/4 for the Alfredo recipe)
  • Once the sausage is browned, drain any grease.
  • Add in sauce and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add cooked gnocchi into the sauce and stir to incorporate ingredients.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with Parm.
  • Enjoy!

Chicken, Bacon, Sausage in Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Farfalle (bow tie) pasta (or any shaped pasta)
  • Jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • 4-5 slices bacon (Short cut: microwave bacon)
  • Chicken (Short cut: Perdue Carved Chicken Breast strips)
  • Cooked Italian Sausage (if desired)
  • Grated Parm (or shaved Parm—I just know my kids love grated parm)

Instructions:

  • Bring pot of water to boil, add heavy pinch of salt, and cook according to directions.
  • Cook the bacon in the microwave according to directions and then chop into small pieces.
  • Cut the chicken strips into desired bite size and set aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, heat up Alfredo Sauce.
  • Add in chicken and warm it for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in cooked pasta and bacon. (and sausage if you’d like–that wasn’t a part of my original plan–but since I had the leftover sausage from meal 1, I decided to use that 1/4 lb because I knew the kids would like it)
  • Stir to incorporate ingredients.
  • Serve in a bowl and top with Parm.
  • Enjoy!
  • Also, last time I made this, I added frozen peas to it when I incorporated the pasta into the sauce–my kids love peas!

I could have added chopped parsley to both for a finishing touch, but I’m not a professional! haha

Also, side note: The Perdue Chicken Breasts (or similar brand) are something I use often. I add the chicken to my bagged salads for lunch or dinner, I cut the chicken strips into bite size pieces to use for chicken quesadillas, and obviously I also use the chicken in pasta dishes as well.

As a busy working mom with two busy kids, I do still like to make dinner as often as possible…but I also like to make something my family will enjoy as quickly as possible!

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Have a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea