Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trick of the Trade Tuesday–Baby Names

First off…no, I don’t have an announcement.

Baby names…they’re so tricky, aren’t they?

They can’t remind you of that awful bully from school…

or that clinically insane patient of yours…

and it can’t be a complete failure in the name song (so long Tucker)

BOTH parents have to approve…

it has to be a name you won’t mind repeating over and over and over and over and over…

it has to “jive” with your last name (so long Nicholas)

it SHOULD fit with your previous kids’ names (Hmm…Cooper, Allison and Beauford?? Maybe Winking smile)

maybe you consider it’s meaning (So long Calvin – Meaning: Bald (Latin). I don’t know, perhaps it might be fitting?? Love you hun!)

watch those initials lest they be taunted down the road (sorry Patrick Michael Sanders…at least you brought a chuckle to our small group, if it’s any consolation, mine isn’t far off: Becky J Nicholas, hehe)

some family names are just out…wouldn’t it be awkward if you named your kid after your sibling’s kid? (Shane, like ya, but no longer an option for our family)

See? Super tricky, right?? Well let me clue you in on a little secret that contributed to both our kiddos names.

*************MOVIE CREDITS************

Yes, as in…

See Allison up near the top there?

It’s no secret that my husband and I love to watch movies together. You could say it’s one of our favorite past times.

Our son’s name, we totally agreed on after seeing it in movie credits. We obviously chatted over many others, but kept coming back to Cooper. Don’t ask me which movie. I have no idea at this point, don’t even think it was from a Bradley Cooper movie (although I do know that it was Cooper as a last name, not a first, but I still love it!).

But knowing how crucial picking the right name is, if I’ve got the time, I’ll scan credits as I watch them in hopes of catching the right name. I may or may not even have a running list of names I like in my phone. I know, potentially laughable if we don’t have anymore kids. hehe

But hey, you could even do it for dog names!

So…there’s a reason for you to watch the credits…plenty of VERY “unique” names, if that’s what you’re looking for. Tolga, Ferdi and Mach just 3 from the credit page up above.

Good luck with your own baby name ideas!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Plannin’ Monday

********DINNER MENU***********

Monday: Buffalo Pasta (carryover from last week…#hadnachosonsunday #momoftheyearaward #somuchforeatinghealthyin2014)

Tuesday: Good Greens Winter Soup (I always add store bought meatballs…and it’s better than it looks, I promise!)

Wednesday: Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad (I cheat and buy candied walnuts instead of making them)

Thursday: Middle Eastern Burgers (sorry, no pic…and if you read the recipe, I use pomegranate jelly. Sounds weird, but it tastes delish!)

Friday: Chicken Kabobs (an easy go-to in our household)


Saturday: Chicken & Gravy

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Sunday: Fiesta Chicken Bake (couldn’t find it, so here it is below)

Fiesta Chicken Bake

6 chicken legs (thigh-drumstick pieces) (3-3 ½ lbs. total)

½ c. chopped onion (1 medium)

1 T cooking oil

1 14 ½-oz. can tomatoes, cut up

1 8 ¾-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained

1 4-oz. can diced green chili peppers, drained

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. pepper

Several dashes hot pepper sauce

½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 T sliced pitted ripe olives

Rice (optional)


Skin chicken. Rinse; pat dry. Arrange chicken in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Bake in a 375◦ oven for 30 minutes. Drain fat.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a saucepan, cook onion in hot cooking oil until onion is tender but not brown. Stir in undrained tomatoes, drained corn, chili peppers, chili powder, paprika, cumin, pepper and hot sauce.

Pour sauce over chicken. Bake in 375◦ oven for 20-30 minutes more, basting occasionally with sauce. Sprinkle chicken with cheese and olives.

********BREAKFAST MENU***********

Monday: Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins (Also, a prime example of me on the path to becoming a “rock star”. Previously, I would’ve gone to make these and FREAKED OUT because I didn’t have enough yogurt and no flax seed. When I made them yesterday, I improvised and added some cream to equal the amount of yogurt and omitted the flax seeds. These are DELICIOUS and even my picky eater daughter GOBBLED them up!)

Tuesday: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (made this for the first time…could take it or leave it. Son liked it, daughter nearly puked, I tolerated it)

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Wednesday: Pumpkin Waffles (and I actually have apple cider from a recipe last week, so I may even make the apple cider syrup – YUM!)

Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup Recipe

Thursday: Bagel & Mango

Friday: Cereal

Saturday: Cream Cheese Sweet Bread

Cream Cheese-Filled Sweet Bread Recipe www.PositivelySplendid.com

Sunday: Scrambled Eggs & Bacon (if I can get the hubs to make it…otherwise, cereal Winking smile)

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What I Wore–Changing at the gym

So my going to the gym isn’t ENTIRELY cliché seeing as it’s January, because I had been going last year as well (just maybe not very often in December Winking smile).

Occasionally I’ll bring clothes to change into after my workout. But between diapers, snacks for my daughter, my water bottle, etc., bringing a bag or backpack with the necessities to do so feels like I’m going out of town. Anyone with me?

So…I tried something to lighten my load a bit today. I don’t know about any of you ladies with Cinderella-sized feet, but I wear anywhere from a 9 1/2 – 10 1/2 shoe.

My shoes simply do not fit nicely in a backpack.

So today, I wore my running shoes out to the car, and then put my boots on. Here are pictures with both “looks”. My daughter directed the photo shoot. hehe














(and perhaps encouragement to all of you who are also STILL FINDING PINE NEEDLES THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE!!!)



(and proof that there is still hope for me being a homeowner. Look, new plants in the barrels!! Yay!)

Sweater – Lauren Conrad

Jeans – I.N.C.

Boot cuffs – RobynLeeINC (etsy)

Boots – DSW

Running Shoes – Asics Gel-Nimbus

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Plannin’ Monday–First of 2014

Alright, if you follow my blog and have been missing it, you have a good friend of mine to thank. She’s been missing it…so here’s to you, you know who you are. Here’s my menu plan for the week…

I did breakfasts, too, but didn’t have time to post yet. MAYBE…no guarantees. Enjoy these for now! YUM!

Monday:  Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing 

Tuesday: Cheddar Chicken

Cheddar Chicken

Wednesday: French Dip Sandwiches

Shredded French Dip Recipe

Thursday: Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Friday: Buffalo Pasta (Sorry, can’t remember where I got the recipe…and no pic to accompany)

Saturday: YOYO (leftovers or Papa Murphy’s)

Sunday: Asian Turkey Meatballs w/ Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce