Thursday, February 13, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes {Recipe}

I needed to come up with a recipe that:
1 – Hid a fruit or vegetable in there
2 – Used apples since we had so many after we went apple picking!

So, I figured I’d make some apple cinnamon pancakes for the girls. They love pancakes and it was something sweeter, so how could they resist?

You'll need:
A few apples
Pancake mix
Vanilla extract (optional)
Tablespoon sugar (optional)

First, I peeled the skin off of the apples, and cut them into smaller pieces.
I stuck them into my food processor to get the apples super small.  Another alternative is just putting some applesauce in there (I've done that too).
I use pre-made pancake mix (it's easier and makes yummy pancakes) so I mix that with water to make the amount I want. Add your apples or applesauce next.  Then add some cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sugar to your liking.  I'm not much on measuring, but don't worry - you really can't mess this up!
You can even add chunks of banana or chocolate chips into the pancakes to make things even more fun :)
Place on the griddle and enjoy! My girls ate these right up - I think they each had 3.  I hope you like them as much as we did!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Girls' Play Room Inspiration

I’ve been itching to make-over the girls playroom.  It’s one of the last rooms upstairs that needs to be done and with a third girl on the way, I know there will just be more “stuff” in our future!  Right now we pretty much have everything neatly organized along each of the walls, rug, and a small table in the middle of the room. 
I still want good storage for everything, but I also want some fun focal areas.  Like a dress-up area, baby area, dollhouse area, school area, kitchen area, and music area.  All of that in one little room!  I want a fun color on the wall and want to definitely include a chalk/magnetic board that we will frame in. 
Hadleigh's already put her order in for a pink room, but I'm not sold. We have the slanted ceilings and then white wains-coating covering the walls themselves.  We will keep the wains-coating, but want color above...yellow maybe?  She would love this:
Here are a few pictures I've added to my "Girls Playroom" board on Pinterest:

What does your playroom/area look like?

Do you have any other fun ideas?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Boursin Cheese Pasta w/ Mushrooms & Spinach {Recipe}

I made a really good and easy recipe the other night for dinner.  It’s not too cheesy and not too garlicky for all of you who are wondering after reading the ingredients.  I stumbled across the recipe and of course I can’t remember where the heck I found it.  I ended up wanting something more to add to it, so that’s when I added in the spinach and pasta.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

You’ll need:
Pasta – I used Angel Hair
Boursin Cheese – Garlic & Herb (I actually picked up Alouette Cheese spread instead)
Button Mushrooms – about 12 ounces
Fresh Spinach
Heavy Whipping Cream

- Boil your pasta
- Sauté the Mushrooms (I cut them in half vertically) & Spinach in butter, and then set aside.
- In the same pan melt the cheese spread and add ¾-1 cup of the cream.  Add salt & pepper.  Then mix in your mushrooms and spinach.
- Spread over pasta


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Fresh Beat Band & Christmas Lights

We had a few exciting things planned back in December for the girls.  Earlier in 2013, we had purchased tickets for Hadleigh to see The Fresh Beat Band.  Originally, Daniel and I had planned on only taking Hadleigh, but when we found out Hayden would be free we decided to take her.  She loves music as well, and seems to be a little more outgoing than Hadleigh was at her age, so we knew she would enjoy it. 
Traffic was a little worse than we thought, but we made it in time!  I had packed drinks and a snack for the girls, but we got popcorn to snack on before the show started.  The girls were a little shy when the concert started, but they loosened up and started dancing.  I had purchased tickets in the balcony, but first row.  I thought it was a better move, so nothing was blocking Hadleigh’s view to anything.  Next time, I will go for a floor seat.  All the action happens down there – the beach balls being thrown around, confetti in the air, and even the guys from the band coming out into the audience to see the kids. 
Overall we had a great time!  Daniel and I really enjoyed watching all the kids in general.  It was so cute seeing how excited they got over the band.  And on top of that, how much they all danced!

We also took the girls to see the tacky light tour in Richmond. Nene, Baba, and Steve went with us to enjoy the tackiness. J  We didn't do the official tour, but we used Google to map the way for us.  Last year we stuck with the houses in Hanover, but this year we decided to go see the houses on the West End of Richmond.  A lot of people get the Richmond Trolley, or a big van, or a limo to drive them around to each house – which looks so fun!  Pack some adult beverages and enjoy the company and the tacky lights…maybe next year!  This year our little family tacky light tour worked out great.  Hadleigh and Hayden loved seeing all of the lights!  We got out and walked around a few of the really tacky houses (houses that were worthy enough to get everyone out of the van), so I was able to get a couple pictures.  

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Late Holiday Re-Cap

Yep. It's February and I'm finally posting about our holidays. Whoops! I haven't even posted about Thanksgiving!  This might be a long one, so bear with me.  

Thanksgiving was a bit different this year since my parents went down to Charleston, SC to visit my sister and her family.  We ate with my parents the Sunday before, but had lasagna instead of the traditional foods.  It was delicious!
  On Thanksgiving, we celebrated with Daniel’s family for lunch.  The girls had fun playing with their cousins and we enjoyed lots and lots of food!  I actually missed going Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister more than not being with them for Thanksgiving – is that bad?  Daniel, the girls and I came home after lunch and vegged out. Perfect ending to a Thanksgiving Day J
We didn't get any professional pictures done this fall, so it was up to me to get a picture of the girls for our Christmas cards.  It was quite last minute, and crazy enough, the first picture I took was the best one!  I got them into their Christmas dresses (which were adorable by the way) and had them sit in front of the tree for some pictures. It was nothing over the top – very simple.  We’ll see how next year goes with trying to get a picture of THREE in front of the Christmas tree!
Christmas Eve – While Daniel and I love Christmas, it is so exhausting for our family.  Having both families in the same city is wonderful, but it has us running around a lot in two days.  We wouldn’t trade it for anything! Nice naps are definitely needed after the Christmas craziness!  We started out Christmas Eve by cleaning the house. Horrible idea.  We were rushed and in bad moods during the entire thing. It was noted not to do that again!  We finally got everyone ready and out the door for Daniel’s family celebration.  We started at his aunt & uncles where we eat, visit, and open gifts.  The girls loved running around with their cousin Linsay, who is a couple years older than Hadleigh.  The adults have a few gift exchanges and Grandma & Pop are always very generous.  
This is what happens when Hadleigh and her Uncle Steve play with the camera! Good photo skills Hadleigh! 
We then head back to Nene & Baba’s house (Daniel’s parents) for just our immediate family celebration.  We were all spoiled!  The girls even got a Benz, which they have since been able to enjoy a few times. 
We had to wake the girls up on Christmas morning, can you believe it?!  Well, I guess Hayden is too young to get excited, but I figured Hadleigh would be up. Once we woke them up, we immediately headed downstairs to see what Santa had brought.  The girls must have been really good! 
 Hayden loved her baby care center and Hadleigh loved the medical cart and all the girly things. Santa brought Hadleigh a bike, which she still isn't too fond of. She says “It’s too big”.  Hopefully, she will like it once the weather starts warming up.  She needs to learn to ride a bike!  
After the girls played for a little bit, we headed to my parents’ house.  We celebrate with breakfast & presents.  It was nice because my sister was in town, so the girls got to play with their cousins Erik & Jaxson.  We all got spoiled again – we are so grateful for our families and how generous they are.  Hayden’s favorite things were anything baby doll or jewelry and Hadleigh’s favorite was anything Belle from Beauty and the Beast. We got the boys a green machine and were pretty excited to give it to them.  
They weren't able to open it and ride it until they got back home, but they ride it a lot!  We then headed home to get ready and head back to Nene & Baba’s for Daniel’s other side of the family get-together.  Yummy food, great company, and more presents for the girls! They even got to try out their Benz in the driveway.  The girls were exhausted, so we didn't stay as late as usual, but we still had a great time.  
 Yes, Hadleigh insisted on wearing her Belle dress Christmas day (pick your battles)
We celebrated with my mom’s side of the family a few days after Christmas, so we had a small recovery period. J  There are lots of kids for the girls to play with, so they were running around having a great time.  All the kids open gifts first, and then the adults play “Bad Santa” (it’s our version of white elephant). Some of the gifts were good, some re-gifts, some funny, and some average – all across the board! It’s fun though, and a way for the adults to have a little gift to take home. We headed home that night with only one child – Hadleigh wanted to stay and play with Erik & Jaxson for the night.
Christmas is definitely one of my favorite times of year!  As we get older and now that we have kids it’s even more special for us.  Hopefully next year, we will have some family coming to our house – you know, since we will have THREE kids to load up J I’ll try to milk that…we shall see if it works!
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