the little things

I’m changing the title of my Friday “Yay!” posts to “the little things”. After all, it is the little things that make life so big and as time goes on, I am learning more and more to cherish those small moments because often enough, it’s what matters the most.

Quick getaway to San Juan!

Quick getaway to San Juan!

Warm and cozy socks

Warm and cozy socks

Finally getting around to organizing my arm candy

Finally getting around to organizing my arm candy

Excited to start this new holiday tradition

Excited to start this new holiday tradition

a sweet new treat for dry chapped lips

a sweet new treat for dry chapped lips

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving should be honored everyday.

No, I don’t mean the gluttony of it all but merely spending time with loved ones and showing gratitude.

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Isn’t that reason enough?

Yay!

Bowling with the boys

Bowling with the boys

A good reminder

A good reminder

a little bit of everything

a little bit of everything

Making friends outside of Evolution

Making friends outside of Evolution

How comforting tea can be!

How comforting tea can be!

Pomegranates – without the mess!

I love pomegranates. And at this time of year, they are in full abundance. I love adding them to salads for that unexpected pop of sweetness but most of all I love eating those juicy gems all on their own.

I have fond memories of de-seeding poms with my mom when I was younger. She’d cut them in halves while I wriggled them out from their hiding places. My mom would always make me wear one of my dad’s old shirts and fully cover my working space to avoid a downright bloody mess. While this method proved fruitful (pun intended) it wasn’t exactly the cleanest and most efficient way.

I have witnessed people whack their pomegranates over a bowl with a rolling pin to remove the seeds but no matter how deep the bowl was, juice inevitably splashed.

The method I most prefer is doing it underwater. While, yes, I had suggested to my mom in my youth to just eat them in the bathtub, but that is not what I mean here.

Simply quarter your pomegranate and coerce those gems out inside a large and deep bowl of warm water. Since this is done underwater, any juice that squirts out with be contained in the water. The seeds will drop to the bottom and the pith will float to the top. All that’s left to do is skim the pith and drain the water and you will be left with ruby seeds without the mess!

I trust this method so much that I didn't even have to change out of my favorite white tee.

I trust this method so much that I didn’t even change out of my favorite white tee.

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Yessiree ~ My Monkey is Three!

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Although we didn’t have an actual big birthday blow-out, we did celebrate often and in many ways, which meant lots of family, friends, food, outings and most important of all, cake!

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Easy to get him to eat healthy with toy soldier food piks

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Like mother like son - ready for cake!

Like mother like son – ready for cake!

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"Can we do that again?"

“Can we do that again?”

Five Cheese Enchiladas

Due to birthday parties and family get-togethers, I haven’t had too many opportunities to cook at home  lately. Craving something other than party food, I decided to whip up a batch of my incredibly simple but insanely good five cheese enchiladas. Usually five cheese recipes have me visiting several markets searching for just the right ones, but with this recipe, you only need to purchase two.

For my Five Cheese Enchiladas you will need:

  • 1/2 red pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup four cheese blend
  • 1/2 tsp of blended chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 8 corn tortillas
Four cheese mexican blend and cream cheese - both low in fat!

Four cheese mexican blend and cream cheese – both low in fat!

Just a little add a ton of flavor. I like to blend all the peppers and sauce and then store in the freezer to use when needed.

Just a little adds a ton of flavor. I like to blend all the peppers and sauce together and then store in the freezer to use when needed.

Saute onions, peppers and corn (feel free to add anything else you usually like in your enchiladas) until soft.

Add blended chipotle pepper sauce, shredded cheese and cream cheese. Mix well and set aside. This can be made in advance and placed in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare dinner.

Filling

Enchilada filling

Warm each corn tortilla on a dry skillet.

Pour enchilada sauce into a dish and dip tortilla into sauce. Make sure you coat both sides.

Add one tablespoon of filling onto center of tortilla and roll. Place onto baking dish.

Repeat 7 times, dipping, coating, filling, and rolling.

Pour any remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins and if you like, broil at low for 5 mins.

IMG_20121130_082351Serve with rice, beans and/or salad and ENJOY!

**I’ve been told these taste better than the cheese enchiladas served at restaurants!! You’re welcome!!

Yay!

Kicking off summer in Texas!

Kicking off summer in Texas!

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Ranunculus – one of my favorites!

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Love my strong coffee!

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Guilty Pleasures – gossip mags and a bowlful of carbs!

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Yay to blogging again!

Something 4 My Monkey ~ A few favorites

Most of my girlfriends have babies on the brain. Either they have one (or three) or are talking about getting one soon. We’re constantly picking each others’ brains on must have items for infants and toddlers. Every year there seems to be more and more choices which only leads to more confusion. But one thing’s for sure, every mom has their all time favorites; things that they were so grateful to have bought and really filled a purpose for their little ones.

Here’s mine:

spread_Am6PAO.xxxlargeFrom Left to Right:

Boon High Chair – At about 3 1/2 months, my son had already outgrown his Bumbo. His chunky thighs kept getting stuck whenever I would take him out of it. I realized it was time bring out the big guns and splurged on this high chair. Now, even at 2 1/2 years, he still enjoys using this.

Melissa and Doug Trunki – To say that my monkey is obsessed with this suitcase would be an understatement. If you are looking for something that can store quite a bit, continue your search. I bought this for the fun factor. He loves to pull this along as we are walking to our gate at the airport and when he gets tired, it functions as a seat which he can scoot on. Super cute and fun.

BabyBjorn Travel Crib – We took this everywhere and it helped our sleep trained little one to continue having a good night’s rest.

Beaba Multiportion Freezer Tray – I was in love with the Beaba babycook until I was honest with myself and admitted it was nothing more than a glorified mini food processor. Yes, it also had a steaming component but I hated cleaning out that vessel so I never really used it. I was, however, really glad to invest in several of these freezer trays because it was so easy to use. Even though we’ve moved passed pureed foods, I still enjoy using these trays for healthy ice pops.

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine – Great for travel when you need white noise to lull your babe to sleep. Also plays other sounds, provides a nightlight and can be plugged into your mp3 player.

Rain or Shine Kids Woobee Plush Blanket – A stroller foot-muff is necessary when living in NYC but when visiting places with temperamental weather, I much prefer this blanket. So much easier than a foot-muff  to use and remove. Keeps my little guy nice and warm and most importantly, dry. I used this during an unexpected snowstorm and my monkey stayed completely dry. Impressive!

Original Sprout bath products – Safe enough for babies but one whiff and you’ll want to use it too. The smell is incredible!

Jellycat Bashful Monkey – My little one’s best friend. Wherever he goes, Monkey goes too.

Tiny Love Take Along Mobile – My sister urged me to get this right after I gave birth. I really didn’t think it was necessary. Boy, was I wrong. It completely calmed and entertained my baby when he was in his car seat. I especially loved using it when dining out. Because of this mobile he was content to stay in his seat.

Neosporin Wound Cleanser for Kids – Perfect to have on hand when you can’t get your kid’s ouchies washed up at a sink.

Take and Toss Straw Cups – No fancy toddler bottles for us. He went straight from his baby bottles to these and prefers to use them over all the cool travel bottles I have wasted money on.

HALO Sleepsack – My monkey disliked being swaddled so we moved onto this fairly quickly. Kept him nice and warm when we were too nervous to keep a blanket in the crib.

Boon Pod Bath Toy Scoop – A great place to store bath toys and I love the fact that my little guy can scoop everything up himself. Helps him to keep his tub nice and tidy. Now if only I can get him to clean up his bedroom.

Taking time to heal

I took a break from writing on my blog mainly due to the passing of my mother in law in October. She fought a long and arduous battle with ALS for close to 5 years. When she was diagnosed I was just a newlywed, fresh from relocating from TX to NYC and had only lived with my husband for a few short months. We then decided it was best to live with her since she would become too weak to be on her own and at that moment, I ceased being her daughter in law and became her primary caregiver. Although we saw each other day in and day out, I never really felt I got to know her for her disease made it difficult to communicate. But I am reminded everyday of what an amazing woman she was because I see what an amazing son she raised. He is a true testament to all her hard work, love and devotion. She raised a gentleman with the biggest heart and now becoming a mother to a son of my own, I regret the missed opportunities I had to ask her for advice on a role she took on exceptionally well.

A case of the Mondays…

Not a phrase I’m crazy about but I definitely feel that way today. But sometimes all it takes to turn things around is a little giggle. Here’s a few things I stumbled across on pinterest that managed to lift my mood a bit.

 

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