Quick Dinner Ideas

I've sort of rotated through all of my summer meals - and was getting bored of a lot of the same salads and dinners, so last week I made two different dinners that I thought I'd share. Both were quick, easy, and low carb.

Buffalo Meatballs over a Cobb Salad 
(because calling it a Buffalo Meatball Salad makes me gag).

1 lb turkey
4 diced green onions
1/2 breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan
touch of salt
touch of pepper
touch of garlic powder
touch of caynee pepper

Roll into balls, place into slower cooked for 6 hours on low and cover with Reds Buffalo Sauce

Arugula, shredded carrots, diced cherry tomatoes, 1-2 hard boiled eggs, crumbled blue cheese - top with creamy blue cheese dressing

This below is not my recipe, but a really good SkinnyTaste staple - and one that I think most kids would really like too.

I served mine with a salad I made with everything I had at home, and tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

What you need for the chicken: 
  • chicken breasts
  •  kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano and basil)
  • 6 tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon of diced garlic
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
What I did:
  1. Mix herbs, garlic and mustard in a bowl.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese on a plate
  3.  Dip chicken in the mustard-herb mixture then dredge each in the bread crumb-cheese mixture.
  4. Place chicken in the pan and brown each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. Bake in at 400 oven for 5 to 8 minutes
 Serve with a salad! 


Catching Up

How this is the last week of summer is TOTALLY beyond me - but a tiny little part of me is ready for the fall and the routine that it brings.

These last few weeks, we've packed in A TON. I'm going to bounce around from good, bad, interesting, and boring, but when Leo starts back at school, I am really hoping to get into a more routine posting mode. I've said this at least 18 times in the last year, so who knows if it'll stick, but that's the goal.

To pick up from the last catch up sesh here:

::: We decided to scrap potty training for a bit. It was not progressing, I don't feel like Leo was emotionally ready, and I put way too much pressure on him to have it "mastered" before school, and that was just silly on my part. We will try and again when HE is ready. 

::: Speaking of back to school, last week the elementary schools in our neighborhood started back up. For the last 12 years, our neighborhood has hosted a driveway breakfast party for all of the kids in the hood. Tons of moms and kids showed up, had breakfast, took pictures, and then all took the bus together. It was nearly the cutest thing I've ever seen. 


::: We also celebrated Joel's 31st birthday! On the day of his actual birthday, we hit up the last beach concert of the season and had tons of snacks, cookie cakes, beer and just enjoyed the perfect evening. 



::: We leave for Steamboat tomorrow and I wanted some kind of sneaker-y shoe that I could wear with jeans. I found these Dr Scholls shoes at Tj.maxx and they were exactly what I was envisioning for about half the price. They're crazy comfortable and I think I will get a ton of use out of them this fall.
Image result for gray doctor scholls madison sneaker

 ::: My good friend Sara came to CL for the day with her little baby Emma. She is on maternity leave for the next few months so we had a fun day just hanging together - we literally folded my laundry while working our way through a bottle of champagne ;) 


20 minutes after this picture was taken, Emma started to cry. Sara thought that she must have dropped her pacifier on the ground during our walk.....but no - sweet and silent Drew had ripped it from her hands and was happily sucking on it! It was too funny. 


:::  I inherited some of my Grandma's furniture - and this table is the most recent addition. The top needs to be refinished, and I need to find a bench for it - but I love having it at home with me now. 


 ::: We had a back-to-school BBQ at our friends house which was so much fun. All of our kids are the same age, and just watching them play together is beyond heartwarming. 


All of August, a few of us have been having happy hour play dates on Thursday which has been really, really fun for everyone. 

::: At least once a week, a group of friends and our kids have been walking around Crystal Lake. I think it's about 4 miles....so it takes us about 90 minutes to do it - but it has been SO fun. People think we're hilarious, literally beep and wave at us, but it's literally the only way us mom's get to talk because the kids are all strapped in! 

After a walk last week, we went to our friends mom's house and Leo got to catch his first ever fish!! 

and he was scared out of his mind when it came flapping out! hahaha


::: My mom helped to host a baby shower for a family friend over this past weekend - which kept me out of the house all day on Saturday. The shower was beautiful, the mom-to-be looked spectacular, and it was really relaxing to just sit with friends outside enjoying the day. 


Image may contain: 8 people, including Nellie Tyrrell, Tess Tyrrell Shields, Mary Holz, Nikki Murphy, Bailey Murphy and Meryl Anne, people smiling, people standing, wedding, tree and outdoor



Drew - Month 8

Weight: Your last weight check was at 6 months, and while I don't think you've gotten tons bigger, my guess would be about 15lbs?
Clothes: Still rocking mostly 3-6 months and 6 months...although now in Gap clothes you are in 6-12 months. You are wearing a size 3 diaper now too. 
Nicknames: Drewbie - and it's almost what Leo calls you primarily which we find to be the cutest thing ever.
Sleep:  Same as last month - you're a great sleeper. I would say you pretty much do 7pm-7am. Naps are all over the place but I sort of don't care. You started waking up closer to 6am this month, and we decided to up your last bedtime bottle to 9oz, and you went right back to sleeping in until 7:30ish.

Schedule: Our mornings are still a little all over the place. It'll be interesting to see how you line up with Leo's school schedule, but for this past month its looked like:
7am - Bottle #1
8:00am - breakfast
  9:30- nap
11am- Bottle #2
10:30-1:00pm - play/cat naps/lunch while we are out and about
  2pm-Bottle #3
2:30pm-4:30pm -Nap
4:45pm- Feed/play/bath
5:45pm- Dinner
6:30pm-Bottle #4
7pm - Bed
Health:  We are SO thankful for your perfect health. 
The only thing that affected us (again) this month, was your intolerance to oats. I had been avoiding oatmeal but a fruit and veggie pouch that we gave you had oat flour in it, and you had the same violent reaction to it.  

I'm hesitant to introduce grains to you, but we did try quinoa and quinoa flour and you've done great with it - which I'm SO relieved about. Rice is next!
 Crying:  You are the easiest, sweetest, happiest baby I've ever been around. Honestly.
Feeding: New foods this month have also included eggs and greek yogurt - both of which you love! All fruits and veggies gone really well too - and we've really started to prefer the brand "BeechNut", which I never served to Leo.

Likes: Dog food bowls, cords, and shoes.
Dislikes: Oatmeal.
Milestones:  You are sitting and pulling to stand as well. You are small but mighty! You've been having a lot of fun with your little activity table and could stand and play with it for 20 minutes.
You also started clapping this month when we sing "If your happy and you know it". You love to dance and wiggle - as soon as any song comes on, and I'm PRETTY positive you're saying mama. 

You are scooting for majority of the time - and you're fast! - but you will also get up on all fours and classic crawl for a few a seconds too.
Places You’ve Gone: You took your first trip this month - back to Los Angeles, California. It was so fun to introduce you to all of our friends and family there, and you were a great little traveler. You were a champ with the airplane ride, and were a happy clam the entire time we were away. We leave next week for your next trip to Colorado so you're a busy little traveler lately!
Postpartum: Ending breastfeeding has gotten me an inch or two closer to pre-pregnancy life. Still about 7 pounds to go.
Leo: You light up when you see him, love playing with him, and even put up with him constantly grabbing whatever you're holding. 

And today is extra special, because you share your 8 month birthday, with your daddy's 31st birthday.

You have your dad wrapped around your finger, and we all love the BOTH of you SO much.



 ::: Schools in our area are back to school THIS week! How is that possible?!?! And I got Leo's supply list for school this year, which shocked me silly a bit. He will be going 3x/week from 8-10:30 and then I'm planning on having him do a "stay and play" program once a week once we get comfortable with the school routine. 

Back To School Party The Night Before - First Day of School Traditions - Photos

::: Leo and Drew have both LOVED getting on the boat this summer. Leo could ride around on it for hours, and every time we go on Drew fall instantly asleep. 


::: My cousin, Luke is a budding photographer and took family photos for us this past weekend. We did as best as we could with two small babies, and actually got a few amazing keepers in the 40 minutes we were out posing. I can't wait to see the whole roll.

::: During the summer, our park district puts on lots of adorable community events. We've gotten to a lot of the beach concerts that they host on Tuesdays, but this past Friday they had a kids night - and the weather and evening couldn't have been more ideal. They had games and music for kids, and then they put on the movie Coco at dusk. 


We ended up leaving around 8:45, right around when the movie started, but it was such a fun night out.


::: I've had some bad luck with a lot of my favorite things this summer - and it honestly is taking a lot of strength to not just cry about it. I lost my favorite sunglasses over the 4th of July weekend, my blue Tiffany heart came off of my charm bracelet, and my L & D necklace broke after no more than two months wearing it.  

::: Potty training hasn't been easy for us. We've got peeing down - and we're pretty much accident free - but going #2 hasn't happened on the potty yet (we're about 10 days in). I bought a mini potty, made the smoothie in "Oh Crap", did another soft "bootcamp" day, changed my language, tried the play-doh trick, have gone naked, have stopped taking about, all of that jazz, and doing it on the potty is just really, really intimidating for our little guy. And it's really, really, really frustrating and exhausting for me. 

::: There is something about the fall that has me wanting to "fluff" my house a bit. I was just thinking how long its been since I had a great Home Goods trip! Off topic, but truthful! ;)  

::: We are heading to Steamboat in about two weeks for our first family vacation! We are all SO excited - but it's going to take some adjusting from all of us since we're new to moving this big of crew. The sheer amount of stuff we have to take is starting to make me break out in hives - but I know it will be worth it. We're renting an awesome townhouse - and I know having house-like amenities will make the trip SO much easier.  

Steamboat Springs, CO


Reading, Watching, Listening, Cooking and Doing

Image result for peach tree bluff 

I just finished the first book of the Peach Tree Bluff series, and loved every page of it. It's easy, heartwarming, and summer-y. Overall, my perfect kind of read. 

My neighborhood started a summer book/wine club, and we had so much fun....we decided to continue it through the school year. I'm hosting September, and we voted to read this book, so it'll be my next read. 

Image result for the night the lights went out 

I'm really liking Very Cavallari.

Image result for very cavallari 

She is a cool chick - and she has a way about her that makes you want whatever she is doing. Honestly, she makes coffee look cool. I will say - the exception to that rule is her husband. He is a total dud. 

Image result for bachelor in paradise 2018

I'm also happy to see Bachelor in Paradise back in action, I'm obsessed with this season of Younger, and I'm also loving Counting On - no joke.....it's honestly more entertaining for me than the housewives lately. 


I'm still listening to Podcasts when I get the chance too. I like them in the morning while I'm getting ready, while I'm running errands in the car, or when I'm doing things around the house.  I'm not following any this month that I've loved, besides the one's I've shared in the past - so please share if you have any that you've enjoyed. 

We have been doing a lot of Jack Johnson's station on Pandora, and Leo has really been into music lately and constantly requesting the Children's Disney channel, so that's been hitting the speakers often too! 


I've been cooking a lot lately, but dinner time is our most chaotic time, so I haven't been getting around to snapping pictures of what we've been eating. During the work week, I try to get in as many salads as I can - and my most recent favorite dinner was Natalie's Greek Turkey Burgers over an Argula salad. They make quite a bit - are really hearty - and make for great leftovers the next day. 


This entire summer I've had the opportunity to play in a tennis drill in the mornings from 9-10 and it has literally been my absolute favorite thing of this entire summer. My game has gotten a lot better, I have so much fun out on the court, and I honestly didn't realize how much I had missed having a competitive sport in my life!! I think I'm going to keep at it this school year and play in a drill with some of the women I've played with this summer which excites me as well.  

We've also been DOING summer right. Lots of walks, beach visits, library time, play dates, happy hours.....we've really been living it up and it's been so much fun.





Prayers for Charlotte

One of my first blog friends, April, is currently navigating the unimaginable. As I sit from a distance, with a broken heart, I felt like sharing their story  was one of the few tangible things I could do. 


My friend April shared some devastating news about her daughter, Charlotte. Earlier this week Charlotte was diagnosed with Leukodstrophy, a rare, incurable and terminal disease. As you can imagine, her family is paralyzed with grief as they determine next steps and love on their sweet baby girl. Many of you have followed April for a long time and have reached out asking for ways to help. At this time, the most impactful way to help the Robson family is to pray for them. And if you feel inclined, you can donate to their GoFundMe fundraiser to help them with uncovered medical expenses, meals and other needs. Additionally, you can send gifts from the family Amazon wish list.
*edit (8/3/18): To improve the organization of collections, a GoFundMe account has been set up in lieu of the previous PayPal account.

Lastly, we all have questions and want to express our concern for sweet Charlotte, but at this time, the family has respectfully asked for privacy during this difficult time.


Five on Friday

::: 1 :::

Well, we bit the bullet and got some new wheels. We ended up going with a VW 3 row Tiguan. Our dealership didn't have the Atlas we wanted, so we decided to lease this car for three years. 

So far I really like it. The trunk has plenty of space, and there is a third row with two seats if we want them. It's tight in the back, but will be fine for short rides no doubt. 

::: 2 ::: 

At Drew's 6mth appointment, we got the all clear to put her in the bike trailer - so I'm bound and determined to get her to like the helmet. We've been trying to get on the bike after dinner, even though her first trip was NOT her favorite thing.
::: 3 ::: 


If you follow me on instagram, you've probably seen that I've had Leo in swim lessons quite a bit this summer. We have been having private lessons 2-3 times a week, and the amount of improvement I've seen over the last 8 weeks has been INSANE. I'm trying to convince his teacher to keep coming to my parents pool until they close the pool for the winter, because I'm convinced she is the magic in this equation. We are around water A LOT (my parents live on the lake and have a pool), so I really want to make sure we don't take any backwards steps in all of the progress we've made over the summer.
::: 4 :::
 Image result for Staniac blush tint amazon
One of my best friends (Jenna), recommended this cheek stain. I'm pretty sure it's a dupe for Benefit's Benetint....but I bought it on Amazon and it is SO good. It's $15, and Jenna said her bottle has lasted her a year. I'm SO bad at makeup, but this one is fool proof. 

::: 5 :::


 I know we still have a month left of summer before school starts again, but I'm just not ready to see it leave. This summer has been one of the best summers of my life - and I just want to soak every last bit out of it we can over the next month. I'm on hyper-speed trying to get as many beach days, bike rides, walks around the lake, beach concerts, splash pad visits, etc. etc. etc. as we can!