Saturday, January 26, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/26/19)

Well we survived the snowstorm of last weekend! We definitely got a lot of snow but luckily we had nowhere to be so we just sort of hung out. Which was wonderful, of course, and I was super glad it was a 3 day weekend (Michael had Monday off). Tuesday my dad came by to see James. Wednesday I worked. Thursday I went to my beloved Studio Bakery (seriously, if you live in the Akron/Canton area GO THERE. I have insanely high baked good standards and their stuff never fails to astound me. Their chocolate caramel tart that I got this trip is one of the most delicious things I've ever had. Their macarons are the best. much yumminess.) Later, my cousin and her daughter (who is 10 months older than James--the same age gap as between her and I) came over and they had so much fun playing together! It was too cute. Friday we just hung out and James gave me an awesome nap (since we switched to one nap last week a good chunk of stress has been spent over how long he's been sleeping for that nap) so that was great. This weekend I have to work but not for long so I'm still planning on enjoying my time with my boys!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

UPDATED Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings--with Slow Cooker Method

5 years ago I hit publish on a blog post for a recipe I was pretty lukewarm on. As evidenced by the fact that I didn't make it again for 5 years. These days I'm constantly searching for something new to make for dinner thanks to the fact that I eat a ton (thanks breastfeeding) and so does Michael and now little James. So I unearthed the chicken and dumplings recipe I'd made so many years ago. And decided to try making it in the slow cooker. And it was awesome. Michael loved it, I loved it, James loved it.

So now the internet should love it too, right? It's creamy dreamy comfort food: perfect to warm you up on these cold January evenings. And using a slow cooker makes it even simpler to make.

Check out the original post here:

Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings-Slow Cooker Method
Makes 6 servings.
  • 8 cups (64 oz) chicken stock/broth (or 8 cups water + 8 tbsp. bouillon)
  • Approximately 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • pepper, salt, dried basil, garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
  • Put chicken, broth, and seasonings in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred. 
  • Skim any fat/scum off of the liquid and discard, along with the bay leaves.
  • Turn heat to high.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and baking soda. Stir in melted butter and buttermilk. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about about 1/8" thickness. Cut out 2 in. shapes (or just tear them off).
  • Plop dumplings into crockpot and put on the lid, cooking for 20 minutes on high. Stir occasionally.
  • Add shredded chicken and stir until combined. Serve warm!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/19/19)

Well it's been a snowy week (finally!) James was so excited about it and had a bunch of fun playing in it last weekend. We went to brunch then just had snow fun on Sunday, then the rest of the week was spent working on things at home and running errands, etc. We also started trying out a 1 nap schedule for James, so that's been a bit of an adventure. This weekend we plan to just hunker down ans enjoy our snowy time together <3.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Baby Must-Haves (7-12 Months)

It has been QUITE AWHILE since I shared with you some of my recommendations for things for babies! So here we are, it's time! I will say from the get-go, I haven't recommended a ton of toys because, frankly, I don't think kids need a ton of toys and there's so dang many and they're usually pretty pleased with most things. So yeah. You do you. But everything on this list has been a total hit/really works for us so I hope they're helpful for you too! (Disclaimer-there are some Amazon affiliate links which, if you click on them and purchase anything, I get a small commission from at no extra cost to you!)

  1. Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
    Our favorite sippy cup (and the fave of pretty much every other parent/kid I've met). It's just super easy to use and pretty much spill free and great. James has been using it since he was about 6 months old and figured out how it worked within a few days.
  2. Kid Basix by New Wave Safe Sippy 2
    Our other favorite sippy! It has capabilities to be used as a spouted sippy or with a straw (we usually use the straw for variety's sake) and it has another travel attachment so nothing can come out. Thusly it is what we use when we go out. 
  3. Tommee Tippee Easi Roll Drip Catcher Baby Bib
    Fave bib: it catches  (most of) the million and ten things that get dropped when James eats and is easy to clean (yay!)
  4. Baby Loves Science books by Ruth Spiro
    THE BEST book series for babies!! Michael and I (and, most importantly, James) love love love them. They're so cute and fun and informative.
  5. Baby University books by Chris Ferrie
    More awesome ways to teach science to your baby-every one starts with "This is a ball" (which, since James loves anything with a ball, means they're off to a strong start) and then they proceed to explain super intense concepts in a way that a baby can understand. Mostly. Admittedly I still can't wrap my head around general relativity. 
  6. Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether
    James is just now starting to get the hang of actually using this as a toothbrush but he's always loved chewing on it so it's the perfect intro to teeth brushing for your little!
  7. Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream
    James has mild eczema and generally dry skin (sorry buddy, inherited from me) and this lotion helps so much.
  8. Honest Diaper Rash Cream
    I love that there's nothing gunky or bad or dangerous in this and James loves that it actually works when he's got some discomfort in the diaper area lol. And it hasn't messed with our cloth diapers (bonus)!
  9. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone - Award Winning Durable Wooden Musical Pounding Toy for Toddlers
    This was our only non-book Christmas gift for James and he adores it. It's the first toy he plays with every day and he is consistently amused by it. There are balls that he loves to throw and roll around and play with. There's a musical/xylophone component (music is always a fave). A wooden mallet is of course great to a toddler. And he's learning his colors from it (I'll ask him to go get me the red ball, then the blue, etc.) So-big fans.
  10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car
    James got this for his 1st birthday from Michael's dad and it's been fun times ever since! James loves to push it around, be pushed on it, and bounce on it (hopefully he eventually figures out how to ride it on his own). I love the music. Seriously. There's a particular song I love to groove to, lol. In the scheme of kid's toys, it's actually pretty fun and not annoying. And James has fun with it. What more can you ask for?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/12/19)

First of all-I intended to have a post for you guys this week but I was going to write said post on Tuesday night to post on Wednesday aaaad...the power went out. So I couldn't. Then we were worried James would get cold in the night so we ended up camping out on the floor by his crib until the power came back on (from about 1am-3:30am). It was miserable and we were exhausted (except for James who had no idea we were there *phew*). End of story is...I didn't get around to the post. 

But next week! Maybe...probably!

Anyway. Back to what's going on outside of blog-land. Last weekend we had so much fun with our friends when they came over (and made homemade pizza! Yum!). Sunday we went to church and Michael's mom tagged along, then his dad and stepmom brought dinner over later. So James was pleased with all the grandparent love. Monday we just hung out. Tuesday Jeanne (Michael's stepmom) came over and hung out a bit which was nice, and then we had the aforementioned power outage in the evening. Wednesday I was just worn out and it was kind of a blah day. Thursday we had dinner out with Michael's dad and stepmom which was fun (James loves going out). Friday we ran some errands. Today I work for the first time in a couple weeks but otherwise it's pretty chill!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/5/19)

Happy first Something Saturday of 2019! How did your new year's go? Ours was the chillest-it was in fact just a normal night and I went to bed at 11 lol.

But let's back up. Last week James had his first play date with the son of a former coworker of Michael's and it went well, the little guy was very sweet and it was fun! My cousin Emily (who used to live in NY when I did but now lives in Boston) came over to visit which was so nice (we usually only get to see her once a year). New Year's Eve, as I said, was uneventful. New Year's day we just spent time together and Michael's mom came over and Michael got us all dinner from Twenty/20 Taphouse. Wednesday James and I just hung out and went grocery shopping (he actually had so much fun and whilst shopping I kept getting in his face and saying "I love you!" and then he started responding and saying it back! It's more like "A ya ya" but trust me, it's clearly I love you. So we did that back and forth like nonstop because when your baby starts saying I love you, wouldn't you do the same?? Of course he'll rarely, if ever, say it now *sigh*. Thursday my friend Jenna came over and met James and that was super fun. Friday we didn't do much, except I did get my driver's license renewed. And now it's Saturday! Our friends Amanda (the amazing photographer who has done James' last two portrait sessions) and Brian are coming over for dinner and hanging out, which is always fun so yay!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Best of 2018 on Instagram

It's 2019! And I'm so excited to see what this year is going to hold. But today I want to take a look back at 2018. It was a big year, the best year yet. My first full year of being a mom, watching James grow up has been the most amazing thing ever. Other good stuff happened too but James was definitely the highlight of my 2018 (and I'm sure 2019 will be no different <3).

 I started sleep training James at the beginning of the year (you could say my 2018 resolution was sleep lol) and it went great. I miss staring at my adorable tiny baby burrito!

 My brother got to meet his first nephew (and godson)!

 The tiny little sir got baptized.

 I was on a billboard!

 Had our first date night post baby at Gervasi.

 The joys of babies as displayed by us and our cousins + their new baby.

 My first new dessert post-baby: {Gluten-free} Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

 I got back into the swing of wedding season with Perfectly Planned!

 My best friend got married and I got to be her matron of honor!

 This cutie was in a commercial with his mommy and daddy.

 As always...I love Table 6

 We went on our first vacation with Michael's family to Conneaut Lake, PA.

 I got to work the coolest wedding (the groom's name was Tyler Rex! T REX!)

 The yummiest of brunches was had at Twisted Citrus

 I found a favorite bakery! (Studio Bakery if you're in the Canton, OH area!)

 James turned 1 (*sob*)!

And we had the best Christmas ever.

2019, you have a lot to live up to! Let's do this!
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