My Favorite Recipe Pins from 2015

I not joking when I say that I use Pinterest to meal plan, and I promise you after years of doing so it has really revolutionized how I cook.

(see also - I don't repeat a recipe very often)

Some recipes need to be repeated though, and those are the ones I'm sharing with you today. The recipes in this list are Pinterest finds from the blogosphere that I've made countless times and they've been a hit with the family.


So without further rambling, scroll, pin, and try these recipes yourself.






















And my all time favorite recipe find from Pinterest this year...


Influenster Slimfast Voxbox

I recently received a Slimfast Advanced Nutrition Voxbox from Influenster to try out their products complimentary, here's what I thought! 


First off I received a bottle of vanilla high protein Slimfast, Cinnamon Bun Drizzled Crisps, Sour Cream and Onion baked chips, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Meal Replacement Bar.

continue reading...

Meal Pinning Monday

Friday officially begins two months of straight up Whole30, which is technically a Whole60. I haven't decided yet if I'm just going to start reintroduction in February or if I'm holding out until March. We shall see. 

 

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Nana's Pot Roast (leftovers)

Tuesday - Tamale Pie

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Irish Nachos

Friday - Pork Chops & Cabbage

Saturday - Beefy Ratatoullie

Sunday - Tandoori Chicken

Twas the Week Before Whole30?

Twas the week before Whole30 and all through the house,
all the creatures were stirring, quite possibly even a mouse. 

The stockings were hung by the A.C. with care, 
in hopes that Saint Nicholas wouldn't melt before he got there. 


The children were nestled all snug in their beds, 
while visions of peanut butter balls danced in their heads. 

And mama in her nursing tank. and papa in his cap, 
had just settled in for supposedly a long winters nap. 

Where out on the car port arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. 


Away to the laundry room I flew like a flash, 
I threw open the door and turned on the light. 

The moon, on the breast of the new winters dew, 
gave a luster to midday of objects below. 

When what to my wandering eye should appear,
but a Cater with a spoon dipped deep in the Blue Bell. 

I knew in a moment it must be my ole Mike, 
more rabid than eagles he gobbled his prize. 

"Oh Cookies n' Cream, oh Chocolate and Vanilla!
Oh Pistachio Almond and Great Divide we do have!
Let's enjoy them all before New Year's does come!" 

As dry leaves before that wild hurricane fly,
he gobbled his ice cream knowing soon he'd surely cry.

Fore for nearly a month, if not possibly longer,
the baby weight I shall lose before 30 comes knocking.

No more chocolate, or candies, or cookies, or pie.
No bread, or waffles, or Micky D fries. 

Only meat and veggies that are spiralized.
But the pants need to fit and we all need to be healthy.
So Whole30 it is, like it or not.
January is coming...

and I've kinda run out of rhymes. 


(I know I've been blog absent, but upload speed around these parts is not described with adjectives meaning quick.)

9 Months Old

Since I've almost got a 10 month old it's high time I get this post up! 



Weight: 19 lbs 6 oz

Length/Height: 27.5


Eyes: more hazel, they go between blue to green/brown depending on what he's wearing


Hair: Brown like Mama's! Jeremy even commented today that it was my hair color, then he asked the baby if he was going to have blonde streaks in the front. (I've got natural streaks that would probably look like a skunk spot on a short haired person)


Clothes: 9-12 months

Diapers: I moved him to size 4, more wiggle room.

Likes: Food, the baby loves to eat. He also is loving the Christmas tree and lights. His sense of humor is starting to develop, he does what he can to get our attention and make up smile...then he laughs. He's even fake laughing to get Jeremy to laugh at him and makes the kissy face at me to get my attention. 


Dislikes: I feel like this one changes from day to day, but if he hasn't seen me in a bit he gets irritated when other people want to hold him. Guess that's just the side effect of having to go to a sitter, he misses Mama. 


Eating: He loves meat! He cried when he ran out of brisket the other day.  


Sleeping: Not bad, he goes down for naps well. He's on the verge of tooth 3 so some nights he wakes up and wants to nurse and then goes back down. 


Milestones: Harrison is pulling up a lot more and pushing himself up to sitting more often without the assistance of my leg or the Boppy. 


If I had to describe our ninth month in one word, it would be: Fun! He's at the interactive point where we wants us to laugh at him and he likes to play more. I think every month just gets a little better. 

Mommy notes: After the doctor visit this week we found out the fluid he had on his ears is gone! I was also happy to hear that army crawling is crawling regardless of what everyone says. He doesn't have to get on all fours to crawl, so less stress for this mama!




The Outtakes

The best part of any holiday photo shoot is clearly the outtakes. 

I think you'll agree after seeing these. 



"Have y'all tried grass? This stuff is amazing!"


"No really, the grass is good."


That limp wrist can only mean one thing, he was in the middle of signing "all done". No my child can't wave bye or blow kisses like other babies, but he will straight up tell you "all done" all evening long.


Double fist-ing the grass. 


Joshua trying to convince Harrison to look in the right direction, and take a break from grass eating for a second. 


Out of focus, and it genuinely sums up how everyone really feels about me around Thanksgiving when I get my camera out.



Hair was stuck to my lip gloss. 


Laura never missed a chance to get a bad photo of me. I'm just thankful for SD cards and digital cameras because if it were left to the old film cameras we use to have that girl would use up every photo on nonsense and I'd never have a good pic. 


Most awkward dog hold award this holiday goes to Jeremy. No one holds a dog like that. 

Hence the problem with staging your own photos, I can't control what that man does with his elbows. I have to take several pics and then correct his every move. He also tends to go all sorority girl on me and tries to lean in, I can't tell you how many times I say "stand up straight". Unless we are posing with our hands on our knees everyone needs to stand up straight. 

Ellie looks like she has had her fair share of 9 years of Christmas pictures. Poor dog. 


That face just says to me that I'm going to have trouble on my hands once he can talk and walk. 

And then there were the stand in photos, these are always good and I really considered using one of them on the back of our card this year. Laura has a really dry personality as you can see. 




It's really a blessing that we aren't in the 1800's trying to take photos. We'd be a blurry mess of nonsense and stuck with the least perfect family "honest we love each other" Christmas card every year. 

Meal Pinning Monday

It's the week before Christmas break, that's either a good or bad thing depending on how you swing it. 

1) We are off work for two whole weeks and I can pretend I'm a stay at home mom who isn't exhausted from pumping and nursing all night and has time for errands and housework on days other than Saturday. 

2) Those children are going to be crazy and to quote my teacher friend --- "I looked at the clock and it said 2:40, 45 minutes later I looked again and it said 2:45." That perfectly describes how slow every day goes with children who wonder why I forgot to move the elf and want the break to have started 45 minutes ago. 

It's some how fun and painful at the same time. At least I now have air conditioning in my classroom. It's not snowing or even remotely cold here, it was a humid 75-80 for days in my room; and let me just throw in that humid hot sweat isn't something that smells good on a grade that doesn't consistently wear deodorant. 

It's been a little ripe in there every day. 

It also didn't help that I even forgot to wear deodorant one day. Truly it is a wonder the principal never came in and sprayed air freshener at us. 

 


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Pioneer Woman Drip Beef & Fries

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - eating out

Saturday - Leftover Drip Beef again (it makes a bunch)

Sunday - Breakfast Pizza & Orange Julius's

Monday - Tuscan Pork Chops

Breakfast - Paleo Bowl

Lunch - Chicken Salad Pita (I love Jospeh's brand)

After that I'm dinner every night free until the next week, or at least until Mom and I decide what we are cooking the week of Christmas. 

Christmas Pictures 2015

Our Christmas cards have been sent, and I didn't send very many. Mainly just to relatives and a few friends. 

However, I thought I'd share our Christmas photos here. 

I've been waiting to do a red and white Christmas Tree Farm theme for ages and was insanely happy that Jeremy obliged. I think they are the best we've taken so far. 


Let me also add that I take my own photos, I initially set up the shot with everyone in it except myself and get the settings correct and do a few test shots. Then I take my stand in, my sister, out and show her what I want. She then takes the several photos and the rest is history. 

The photos I'm not in though, I take them myself. I really should invest in a tripod so she doesn't have to follow me every year. The bonus though is that when I take pics I also take a few of her and my nephew, guess you could call that her payment. 


Getting a nearly 6 year old to pose, not too bad. Convincing a 9 month old to quit eating pine straw, impossible.


Joshua kept trying to tell Harrison to look at the camera and I kept trying to convince him to just watch me and I'd take photos until the baby agreed with us. That led to a lot of photos of someone looking somewhere else. I got a few great ones of Joshua by himself and completely forget to get the baby.


The sleigh pics were by far my favorite, not because of how they turned out, but because of how funny it was to try and take them.

We had Josh sit and keep a handle on Harrison, all the while the baby was furiously slapping him in the face. The phrase "just smile anyway and don't let go of him" was tossed out a few times.

That led to the photo above. Joshua was cracking up because my wiggle worm of a slapper was attacking him and Harrison was just all over the place. If you know my sister, you'll know the offspring she produced, they aren't the picture taking kind. So to get a real smile out of Joshua was a shocker.


My crazy child trying to figure out what his crazy aunt was doing while his big cousin tried to keep from dropping him.


These two might just be my favorite pictures I've taken of Joshua and Laura ever.


Since I'm sitting here looking at a picture of my sister in her pajamas at a tree farm with full makeup on let me throw this one out there, she never wears a drop of makeup. I also think the tree farm owners must have thought we were pretty crazy wearing pajamas with full hair and makeup.

I go to bed like that though, you just never know who you'll meet.
(I kid.)
(But really I should probably wear full makeup just in case I ever get whisked away at night, it would be a shame for a fireman to find me in a stained nursing tank with a top-knot in men's boxers.) 

Meal Pinning Monday

I'm not gonna lie, last night I walked towards the computer and did a total turn around for the bedroom. 

There's no shame in my blog game. 

 

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Lemon Butter Chicken (never got to it)

Tuesday - Lomo Saltado

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Chicken Bacon Ranch Skillet

Friday - Crockpot Meatballs with Hot Tomato Oil & Mashed Potatoes

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - Pasta with Sausage & Trader Joe's Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce

Weekend Wrap Up

Can I just say that holiday's with a baby are so much more fun than holiday's just the two of us. Mainly because we can go do all the holiday stuff I normally want to do without any protest from Jeremy! 

He doesn't disagree if it's for Harrison. 

First stop was salt dough ornaments, I'm not entirely happy with how they've dried, so I'll probably be making some cornstarch/baking soda ones. 

Let me know if anyone of you have a successful recipe. 


Pumping on the go has continued to be interesting. 

This week led me outside of my typical closet and into the bathroom at the school board during a writing meeting. 

Normally I would protest a bathroom situation more than I did, but I just wasn't in the mood to have to beg someone to let me pump in a private place, a good 40 people saw me pumping. 

We were are currently living just isn't that breastfeeding friendly so it puts a strain on pumping in public. I could care less about how people feel about me nursing in public though, if you can bottle feed your baby I can dang sure breastfeed. 

I swear why is our "developed" country so underdeveloped on it's opinions of women nursing? I grew up seeing it (and can't name but maybe one bottle fed baby I ever saw growing up) and I am not lying when I say that last month I gave a baby a bottle in the nursery and it was my first time to ever give a formula bottle. I've only given my child 1 bottle when we were trying to teach him to use one for the sitter and it was pumped milk. It just felt so strange to shake a bottle. 


Tree is up, lights are on, fall banner is still on the mantel, but we have a tree skirt and that's good enough for me. 

I've kind of purged the meaningless Christmas decorations I had when Jeremy and I were engaged in favor of making room for a tree that can be filled with ornaments I love and ones that our children will make. 


I made protein waffles last weekend in an attempt to just eat waffles. Gotta say they aren't as good as I remember. I think I've been ruined with my Paleo friendly waffles over the years. 

There's just nothing better than 1 banana and 2 eggs pretending to be a waffle with some spinach in there for the vitamins. 


Clearly packing to come home from Thanksgiving brought up the "we will eventually need a mini van" conversation. 

However the only thing that will force that is if when we have our next child it turns out to be twins. Otherwise we are just shoving everything into my tiny Focus until we are out of all of our debt except the house. 

Speaking of debt, if you've got student loans coming out of your ears consider doing a consolidation.  I don't know why it's suddenly a thing again because we tried to do this to mine in 2011 and they wouldn't let us. It mainly just puts them all into one payment, which is great because without that I have several student loans. It probably took  11/2 hours on the phone for each of them, but now it's going to be way more manageable to get them paid off before we are dead. 

Lactation Mug Cookie

I've got a recipe for you today, and let's not even pretend it's healthy.

It works though, and that's what counts.

I typically eat one of these two days in a row and my supply is back up where I like it (which is basically 8 ounces at 2:30 AM, that's how I gauge my production.)

..........................................

It's Christmas, and I know you've seen a ton of those Chocolate No Bake Oatmeal Cookies on Pinterest. Heck, I just tend to see them this time of year in general. 

That's where this recipe idea came from, I took what is in one of those cookies and made it super easy to make, higher in brewer's yeast that my Paleo Lactation Cookies, and a single serving so you only make it when you need it. 


Lactation Mug Cookie

serves 1
Ingredients::
2 spoons of butter (I used Brummel & Brown to cut calories)
1/2 heaping spoon of Brewer's Yeast
3 spoon of sugar (I used regular and I've used coconut palm)
3 spoons of milk (nondairy, dairy, whatever you have)
1 heaping spoon of cocoa powder
1 heaping spoon of peanut butter
1/4 cup (ish) of Old Fashion Rolled Oats

Directions::
Combine butter, Brewer's Yeast, milk, and cocoa powder in a coffee mug and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well and then add in peanut butter. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir well and then add in oatmeal. Stir to combine, adjusting the amount of oatmeal to suit your preference. 

Notes - 
* I say spoon instead of teaspoon or tablespoon because I think I'm using somewhere in the middle. I just use the smaller dinner spoon at our house. It's more about proportions than exact measurements with this, 2 to 1 to 3 of whatever size spoon you use. So long as you put that many of whatever size you're using.

*Adjust the Brewer's Yeast to your liking, I'd add as much as you can stand to eat and not gag, it's bitter stuff. 

*You could also add in flax seed meal, that's another great food for breastfeeding. 

If you've got any other ideas for ways to get your milk supply up, or want me to come up with a recipe for it just let me know. I've been having fun adding Brewer's Yeast to everything.