Honey Mustard Cobb Salad

This salad was THE BOMB

Like, seriously, seriously so good. 

In fact, just the chicken marinade alone is worth making.

I used this recipe here as my base and made a few adjustments of my own.

Overall, the recipe is really easy, the salad is filling, and everyone loved it! 

Ingredients for marinade and dressing:
-1/3c of honey
-4 tbsp of whole grain mustard
-3 tbsp of dijon mustard  
-4 tbsp of olive oil
-2 tbsp of lemon juice
-1 tsp of garlic
salt & pepper

for salad:
-1lb of diced chicken breasts
-1 bag of chopped romaine
-diced tomatos (half container)
-shredded carrots (half container)
-diced celery (4-5 stalks)
-2-3 crumbled hard boiled eggs 
-1/2 sliced red onion 
-2 diced avocados

1. Whisk all marinade/dressing ingredients. Use 1/3 of it to brush on to chicken as a marinade. **If you have time, which I didn't, let the chicken chill in a bag with the marinade in the fridge for 2 hours 
2. Pan fry the chicken on a non-stick pan. My chicken breasts took 7 minutes on each side and then I let them cool for about 10 minutes. 
3. Combine salad ingredients, top with sliced chicken, and toss with salad dressing. 


For Leo's dinner we decided not to use the chicken because of the honey, but he had all of the sides for a yummy and healthy dinner for himself!


Weekend Recap

On a Tuesday...but this weekend didn't exactly go according to my grand plan.

Backing up to Thursday, we kicked off the weekend a little early with a surprise party! My cousin's husband passed all three of his CPA exams and so she threw a little shindig to celebrate!


I love Sonny McClean's in Santa Monica. It's a normal bar....which is pretty rare to find here in LA...and reminds me of Chicago and Iowa every time I go inside.

Friday night we stayed in, I made meatballs and pasta, the weather was cool and we opened wine and watched the Cubs game. 

Saturday morning, even though we stayed up too late, my cousin and I hit up an early yoga class. 

Joel and his brother Andrew went to the cubs game, so that left Leo and I solo for most of the day. 


My girlfriend Anne came into LA from Seattle, and her only  requirement for the weekend was that we hit up Au Fudge (owned by Jessica Biel)

The restaurant is adorable...they decorated it so well and it's truly a genius concept. They have on site "Au Pairs" that will hang with your kids (ages +2) while you sit, have dinner, and enjoy the bar. During the week, they also have parent and me classes and a little coffee shop area.

In full disclosure, the food was ok and the drinks were too. They also featured pureed carrot for $7, which I thought was insanity. 

Anne came back to the house and we had a few glasses of wine with Joel. That night, I knew I was feeling off, but I tried to brush it off blaming yoga, or lack of sleep from the night before. When Anne left, I took my temperature (99 degrees), and figured I just needed a good night sleep.

I got much sicker through the night, achey, cold, and feeling like crap. When I woke up, half dead, my temperature had climbed to 102.4, and I felt like I had strep again. I went to the minute clinic the moment it opened, had a swab test that came back negative, and was told to let the virus run in its course.

I literally stayed in bed sleeping all day Sunday. Thankfully Joel was able to take Anne to a brewery for a fun lunch date - but I was so sad that I missed the whole day with her. 

Joel worked from home on Monday which was amazing, and I'm glad to report that I'm on the up & up, right before we have more visitors arriving for the long weekend! 

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~Buddha:


5 ::: Things I'm obssesing about

::: 1 :::

LectroFan - White Noise Machine, 20 Sleep Therapy Sound Options and 7 Unique Sleep Settings, White

We had been using a Dohm sound machine since Leo was born, and I really liked it. It was easy, and sounded like a loud fan. As Leo got older, he became more and more sensitive to noises. Roscoe would bark and his nap would be over. My cousin Erin recommended the Lectrofan, and literally sweared that it was as loud as a jet engine. And damn, the thing basically is. It's more of a speaker than a fan, but gets SO loud. I would highly, highly recommend it if you are looking for a noise machine that can get aggressively loud.

::: 2 ::: 
Heather McDonald's Podcast the Juicy Scoop

Image result for the juicy scoop podcast
Ok, back with another podcast recommendation. I've been listening to this podcast during my workouts this week, and its basically like Bravo and UsWeekly had a podcast baby. She's pretty funny, interviews all of the housewives, and has some pretty hilarious stories.

::: 3 ::: 
Charles and Charles Chardonnay

Image result for charles and charles chardonnay
I really like Charles Smith Wines (The Velvet Devil, Chateau Smith, Rose), but I just tried this Chard, and it's good. $10 bucks, sold at Trader's, buttery enough but not insane - everything that I need in a weekday white wine! 

::: 4 ::: 
Image result for therapy ecards
I started seeing a therapist for the first time in my life early this summer. I've always dealt with anxiety, and have taken medicine at times to help with it, but I really wanted to stop the cycle and get over a lot of my irrational and obsessive worries. It's been really, really helpful and the only thing I regret is that I didn't find the right therapist earlier in life. 

::: 5 ::: 
Birthday Party Prep  
Image result for red gingham birthday party
Leo's birthday party is in full swing! I sent out his darrrrling invites this week and picked up a few fun decorations to make it special! We are hosting his party at a nearby pizza restaurant that is sort of everyone's favorite kid-friendly go-to spot. We booked the patio and their manager told me I could bring in whatever I wanted to gussy it up! I'm on the hunt for a few more things, but overall plan to keep is simple, classic, and fun! More posts to come!


Leo - Month 11

Weight: Not sure, probably around 19.5lbs

Nicknames: Leeman, Lee-Lee, Forest Boy, Weeward, Wee-whoa
Clothes: I'm still trying to get one more wear out of your 9 month clothes, but they're getting short and tight. You were a size 2 shoe and a size 3 diaper.
Sleep:  Now that you are out of the Merlin suit, you sleep with a lovey and are the cutest sleeper ever. I sneak in most nights because I can't even help myself. A lot of nights you will sleep with your butt in the air, and you always have your hip-hip snuggled in really close, ideally touching your sweet cheeks. It slays me.

Schedule: Not much changed this month
up at 6:30...with an 8oz bottle
6:30-9am play
8:15am breakfast
9-10:30am - nap
10:30am - 8oz bottle
10:45-2pm play
1:00 pm lunch 
2:15-3:30/4pm nap
4pm snack
6:00pm dinner
6:30 pm bath
7:00 pm 8oz bottle and bed

Health: Very healthy baby!
Crying: If Dad or I walk away from you, you will cry bloody murder! Sometimes, you'll get over it, and other times you are downright mad at us! You've been a little whiney/clingy this month but overall, I would say that the crying has reduced quite a bit.
Feeding:  You are still a rockstar eater! It's hard to find foods you don't like, and we try and give you as much variety as we can. Surprisingly, you do not like watermelon and spicy food, but everything else you seem to love. You eat most of your foods all by yourself, and a lot of times don't like it when we try and feed you.

Likes: You love swimming in the pool, you love your cousin Carter, you LOVE Roscoe, you love your daddy, you love standing and "walking", you love eating, and you love your hip-hip. 
Dislikes: You don't like to be left alone, you don't love hats, and you don't like hearing the word "No".
Milestones:  This has been one of your "explosion" months, I would say. You've been army crawling like a champ all month, but just this past week started to get up on all fours and do a classic crawl. You point at everything. You wave hi. You started to say mama, you give kisses (even to your mom lately!!!), and you understand the word "No". 

I think you might be trying to say "moooo" when I ask what the cow says, but that's debatable, you stand up on your own for 2-3 seconds, walk assisted, and learned to pull to stand in your crib!
Places You’ve Gone: We've been local all month, besides a day trip to Newport Beach to visit with family.

Visitors: You met your Dad's Uncle Denny and cousin Karli this month, and we spent a lot of time with Uncle Andrew, Aunt Corie, and Sulley while Uncle Jake and Aunt Lauren came in from Iowa for a visit.

Postpartum: I'm still saying "I just had a baby", but I think I'm going to have to stop saying that here soon!

Roscoe: No one makes you happier, you light up whenever you see him, think he's just the bees knees, and even started fetching with him which is just precious!!!!


Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers w. Cauliflower Rice

I'm really not a fan of cauliflower, but this recipe is easy, flavorful, and you most definitely don't taste cauliflower.

I had originally found the recipe here, and made a few minor tweaks. I used this recipe was I was loosley following Whole 30, and continue to make it because I like all crock pot meals and we try and keep low carb during the week.

Sausage and In Peppers Sausage and peppers has always been one of my favorite Italian comfort foods, and also rather easy to make. I had been pondering writing some new stuffed pepper recipes due to their easy, and decided to spin the common recipe to merge my love for two different recipes. This is another one that is an easy way to feed the whole family with 10 minutes of prep time, or simply get 3 or 4 meals cooked ahead of time for yourself.  This is a picture before cooking in the crock....:

5 Bell Peppers - that's the max that fit in my crock pot, but this makes for a lot of extra filling, so if you can fit more, you may want to
1lb of hot italian sausage - I bought links and then squeezed the meat out of the casing
Riced Cauliflower - Thank to TJs for doing the hard work for me
1 white onion
1 can of tomato paste
1 tsp of garlic
I use a heavy hand with all the seasonings and don't measure, but I would venture to say a tablespoon or two of the following: salt, pepper, thyme, oregano,


1. Gut your peppers, chop your onion, and then mix all of the white stuff and herbs.

2.  Mix *by hand* the sausage, tomato paste, and cauliflower mix

3. Stuff the peppers 

4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. The second time I cooked them, I had them in the crock pot for 8 hours vs. 6 and Joel and I both thought they were better that way. 

5. Once they're cooked, they lose a lot of crunch. They would be served well with a cold, crunchy side salad with a creamy dressing, since the peppers can pack quite a bit of heat.



Weekend Recap

 I really love Friday's because the morning starts out so well with swim lessons. It's absolutely our most enjoyable activity of the week and seems to kick off the weekend in the right direction.

Joel had a birthday lunch at work, and then afterwards, my bestie Shelby and her son Tucker, and another work friend came by to hang with us. We hung out with the two cute boys, spilled two cups of milk, drank two bottles of wine, and then finally decided to order two pizzas.


I snuck in while Joel put Leo down for nap and captured this sweet gem of a picture.   

Saturday morning I got up early to try and work off the pizza (this weekend was not good for the diet!). 
After yoga and a coffee, I ran home to the boys, had a quick breakfast, put Leo down for a nap, showered and snuck back out for a much needed mani/pedi.

That afternoon we took Leo to the park. He's too small to enjoy most of it, but the kid LOVES the swing. 


Saturday night we decided to celebrate Joel's birthday. The only thing he wanted to do was go to his favorite wine bar, order a solid bottle of wine, and buy a few bottles to take home. 


Pretty easy to deliver!  

We got to Ester's before 5pm and were able to secure a pretty great table.  We had our own mini living room - with better food, wine, and service. 

In order to buy time from Leo, we decided to give him his snack there. We ordered a bottle of wine and a cheese plate, and while we ate, so did Leo. 

We love Ester's, and go a lot, so the staff is pretty amazing to us. Everyone was fawning over Leo, kept avocado coming out of the kitchen, and let him run all over the place! 

I think going out with a baby is made a lot easier when you go to a place you feel 100% comfortable in. Ester's in particular has a patio that offers a nice distraction, and an unfussy atmosphere that doesn't make me anxious to take a baby to. 

For our dinner, Joel and I had the steak tartare which was mind blowing and then headed home. Leo have us over two hours of sweetness, so we knew we were pressing our luck.

Sunday morning - Joel's actual birthday - he wanted to run his age in kilometers with his running group. They set out to do 29k, and Leo and I decided to do a short hike before meeting the group with bagels, mimosas, cupcakes, and tons of other goodies. 

It was a gorgeous morning - they had polo practice right behind all of the picnic tables - so it was a really, really fun morning with great company. 

When we got home, we had another mimosa, made brunch and then opened a few birthday presents.

Joel requested red chicken curry for his birthday dinner, so we made that, and cheersed to a new and amazing year!