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Butternut Squash, Chicken & Mushroom Quinoa Dinner

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I like to combine my food all together although most of my family hates when things are mixed. We use those recycle plates that are awesome for kids to learn proportions and categories of food, but when you make a dish that has lots of veggies, meat and quinoa it makes things a little difficult. However, when you put everything inside a squash, something remarkable happens - everyone eats it! If I could only eat squash for the rest of my life, I would. I love it best with toasted pine nuts and goat cheese.

This was super simple to make too. Everything was done in under 30 minutes - with only one kid disaster in the next room. Make it and impress your in-laws this fall or maybe have a date night in with the hubs. Seriously, you can substitute any of the veggies for your own faves. It's flavorful, satisfying and healthy too!

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa 
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs (skinless)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 24 oz mushrooms (baby bella)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 c Parmesan
  • 1 butternut squash (cut in half)
1. Butternut squash in the oven dish, cut in half with 1/2in of water. Bake for 30 mins at 400.

2. Bring 2 cups chicken stock to a gentle boil and add the quinoa. Be sure to follow your quinoa box instructions as some take different times. After water boils, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and let cook for 12 minutes. I would keep looking, because it has a tendency t burn if there is not enough liquid. Set aside and let cook out of the pan. Fluff with fork.
3. Heat oil on the pan. Cook your chicken with S & P. (You can cut the pieces ahead of time, but I like to keep it whole for whole flavors and cut before serving).
4. Remove chicken to plate let sit, add the mushrooms, S & P. Brown mushrooms for 3 mins and garlic. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. 
5. Bring everything back to the pan. Add the herbs and cheese.
 Serve inside the butternut squash. Sprinkle with more cheese!

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Fall Mini Style

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Blues Mini Style


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Fall Update

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This Fall will be different because I will not be pregnant. (I say that and I think I just jinxed myself). Last fall it was our first fall back in michigan, aaron working at the sausage company and everett only in school three days a week. This fall we have five half days of school, karate, and soccer. It is so much better with us on a schedule. I try to wake up before the kids, but they all seem to still wake each other up. One morning everyone was awake but me and they were all in the bathroom with Aaron brushing their teeth.

Everett has had a great first start to his school. He wanted to dress himself (buttons and everything), go through the drop off line (yes for not getting out of my PJ's) and put on his backpack. I feel this shift that has really been bittersweet. I think he was desperate for some structure all summer that I failed to be consistent at. I see him not as a little toddler, but a boy. He tells jokes, has explanations for things and really has a knack for independent play. The things I have seen him do during quiet time are priceless. He is constantly asking why, begins every sentence with "hey mom/hey mommy". Sometimes his imaginative play sometimes gets him lost in the real world which has been a little hard to parent, but we are working on it. He's already showing signs of reading which BLOWS my mind. This year guys, might be my favorite age yet!

Eleanor still is into pretty much everything and really drives me to my breaking point most days. This week alone she went into the refrigerator grab three sticks of butter and proceed to eat it. We don't eat butter in the house besides in baked goods or on the pan for eggs. I am not sure what possessed her to eat it, but she has done it three times since then. She liked it apparently. While I was having a moment with Everett in his room buttoning his own shirt, she found some nail polish and began painting her toes feet. #idoitmyself ALL DAY LONG! She is starting to have a lot more full sentences and losing some of the baby talk. It's hard for her to find things to do when everett is at school. She really has no desire to play with me, color, paint but she does like cleaning the kitchen, mopping, pouring her own milk in the cereal bowl and obviously cooking butter.

Amelia is moving like crazy, pulling herself up, eating all the left over crumbs on the floor (I even saw her put her mouth on the floor to clean up spilled smoothie) and pushing chairs to walk. We found her this wagon, which has been the most fun around these parts. The big kids will push her in it around the house. She started to make this noise when she is annoyed or wants something. She really has started to show her personality. She is funny it seems and already knows when she is doing something she shouldn't (like climbing the stairs). Nothing makes me more happy than seeing her light up with Aaron, "da da". She has lots of anxiety and stranger danger with anyone else. If I am in a room with a bunch of people she still cries and wants me. She communicates by screaming. Not just long loud screams, but high pitch short squeals. The kind that rattles your brain. In church it is quite the scene with it too. I suspect she will be following in her siblings foot steps and be walking in a month. Pray for me.

I have welcomed fall with opened arms (not really, I have no free arms). BUT I am so excited for fall harvest foods, football (go Blue), sweaters, booties, blankets, and hopefully an out door bonfire.

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Shared Toddler Room

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I've been trying to get this posted for awhile. Here is the girls shared room. Eleanor is the oldest in this room at 22 months where Amelia sleeps in the crib at 7 months. We finally made the switch during the month of May. It was necessary since Amelia was starting to do that get up on your hands and knee/crawl thing. She totally outgrew the babyhome but I would have liked to see her in it for another six months. Bittersweet moment. Also known as Parenthood.

Paint // Bed: Craigslist find//  Crib // X Marks the Spot Bookshelf // Dresser: It was my sister's //  Dresser Hardware // Floral Garland // Sun Burst Mirror // White Celing Light // Table Lamp // Peacock Print // Letters // Peacock Quilt // Chair circa 2011 // Stacking Dolls // Doll

Trying to get them to sleep is quite the event and I do drape over some black out curtains because this room is just too bright for sleep. Anyone have any helpful hints/tips for getting two under two to bed at the same time?


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Vinyasa Flow

"Take your brain to the point where it thinks "OH MY GOODNESS!" and then Breathe!"

This was shouted during our edgy chair pose during a vinyasa class last week. It made me laugh in that moment. This picture above is not a chair pose, but it can be edgy. Hip opening sometimes, if held long enough, can really change the connective tissues in your body. Sometimes you even can have an emotional response -  crying.

What are some other moments in the day where you can find yourself living on the edge. (Not necessarily in a dangerous place). My place is usually where I am not needing to control everything. We don’t have to leap in headfirst, going for all or nothing. We can simply take a small step, supported by the knowledge that everyone feels fear in stepping beyond the illusion of comfort. Not having control of everything gives me anxiety (fear). Building physical strength during these postures that build heat give me the mental strength for handling situations off my mat that are out of my control.  (like eleanor taking the butter out of the fridge and eating it like a popsicle.)

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Fall Tops under $60

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

While I wish I was like Shalice Noel as far as style goes, I am far from that. It's just not practical for me to put on heels everyday. I am constantly inspired by her style even when she had everything thrifted. To take some ideas from her NYFW I have composed a little list of easy to find, affordable tops that will make you feel pretty and can work for mom days into date nights.

                                                                    Gap Peasant Blouse

Eyelet Flowy Top (many colors)       

                                                              Lace Sleeve Top (colors)

                                                Printedruffle cami 

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Montessori at Home

Friday, September 9, 2016

We have been given the opportunity to send Everett to the Montessori preschool. The feeling when we enter the room is incredibly calming. The colors are all natural and the children seem to know what work they want to concentrate with right away. Everett has been so happy trying this new school. I am not sure if it's the school or Everett ready to play with kids and be in the classroom setting, but either way we are ecstatic.

When we went this week for his meet and greet of the teachers and classroom we had the whole peacock party! It's amazing what kids do when they see baskets, trays and little carpets. It's instinctive for them to grab an activity and go to work. There was some hesitation on Everett's part, but Eleanor dove right in to the first pink thing she could find .... (bow full of pink erasers). When she did this it gave Everett the confidence to pick out this geometric puzzle. I watched his level of concentration (tongue on his lip jus like dad), his frustration in his brows (just like mom) decide what the puzzle needed to look like. Of course me, the art student says "I think you can make different shapes within the square, there's no wrong way to do it." Then his teacher comes by and guides him in a manner that was so incredibly patient and helpful it warmed my heart.

 Now I realize this is the first day of school and it won't always be rainbows and butterflies, but we've come a significantly long way from the teacher who wrote his name on the board for not listening during circle time. (He doesn't even know how to spell his name!) Needless to say, all the baskets, the pouring, the corner for reading inspires me to create our play space at home similar to this. I picked up this book from amazon and I am hopeful there can be similar approach to things at home as they are in school. I'm afraid there might be two extremes and it's probably better for everyone to have some consistencies.

This is our current playroom situation.

Remember little mouse from Eleanor's Birthday? Still a favorite for everyone!

 The smaller barn is by far one of the cutest toys we have in my opinion and it's a great price of $35. All of little cottonwood's wooden toys are great for that natural looking play toys. Amelia thinks they are tasty.

Changes I would like to see: 
  • 1. Remove the bright turquoise baskets. Change Baskets (goodwill has so many)
  • 2. Create bookshelves with spice racks (books facing out). This frees up one of the shelves.
  • 3. Put some of the paw patrol in Everett's room
  • 4. Music toys in a basket.
  • 5. Find a place for the suitcase
  • 6. Puzzles out?
What are some ways you make your play-space livable?


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