Thursday, April 18, 2013

just one of those days

Today was just one of those days.
Some people just have bad attitudes toward life.
Some people just want to create conflict with anyone and/or everyone because they are having conflict of their own within themselves and their lives.
 Sometimes you work with people like that.
And sometimes you end up dreading the time spent with them during those work hours.
Like I said, today was one of those days.
Now, rewind back to this morning:
{before the stress}
Peyton and I woke up on time, did our usual Thursday morning routine,
brushed our teeth, grabbed a pecan twirl for the drive, and were on our way to Gigi's house.
We pulled up the driveway, parked, spotted "Figaro/Sylvester/Rooster" {my parent's neighbor's cat who is constantly at their house}, and we got out of the car.
The first thing Peyton did was grab these two rocks from my parent's gravel driveway. She said "Oooh, Momma, these are pretty! You need to take them to work with you!"
So, I put them in my pocket, gave her plenty of hugs and kisses, dropped her off with Gigi, and was on my way to work.
Fast forward back to the horrendous end of my work day:
Normally, I'm not even there late Thursday nights.
But tonight I was covering for a co-worker until 5pm so she could watch her daughter run at her track meet and come back.
I'm not gonna lie, as soon as she came back and I saw her, I ran to hug her.
I was so happy to see her.
I've never been so ready to go home.
I went to the back office to clean out my pockets for the day
and this is what I found:
I cried.
Those two little rocks had been in my pocket all day.
{I had totally forgotten about them.}
In that moment, it was just what I needed.
I needed that little reminder. That "Hey Momma, I love you."
It's like she knew that I was gonna need that today.
Bless my little baby. She reminded me what's important in life.
Family. Love. Happiness.
Moral of the story: Don't let those unhappy people get you down.
{It's just unfortunate when you have to work with them.}
*PS- I know there are much worse things in life to be upset about. But today, I just needed to vent.*

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Carrot Cake Poke Cake {SPD}

I made this cake for Easter this year. Let me tell you, it was SO good!

I actually forgot until about 10pm on Saturday night that I was supposed to make this baby and let it sit overnight. Oops.
So, I ended up staying awake wayyy past my bedtime to create this masterpiece...
but oooh boy was it worth it!

Isn't she a beaut?!
Original recipe found here.

  • The 9x13 Carrot Cake recipe of your choice, baked and cooled {I used a box mix}
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 10.6 oz Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting {Cream Cheese flavor if your store carries it, mine didn't}
  • 6 oz (half a tub) of whipped cream cheese (must be whipped)
  • Approx. 1/2 cup caramel sundae sauce {I forgot this at the store, so I perused Pinterest really quick and came
  • across this recipe. Luckily, I had all of the ingredients, so I mixed that up really quick.} 
  • Approx. 1 cup chopped pecans {sprinkle on as much or as little as you'd like}

  • Directions:
    1. Leave the cake in the dish it was baked in -- this is not a free standing cake. {Notice: I baked my cake in a smaller glass 9x13 dish and it ended up being too small and so I transferred it -after it was cool- to the larger red dish you see in the picture.}
    2. Poke approximately 20-25 holes {I just poked 'til my heart was content}, spread evenly, over the top of the cake with the bottom of wooden spoon.
    3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top, trying to fill the holes as much as possible.
    4. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the cool whip, the cool whip frosting, and the whipped cream cheese until smooth. Spread over top of the cake.
    5. Pour the caramel sauce over top of the cake, and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
    6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, really overnight is best. {overnight is definately best}
    7. Cut into whatever size piece your tummy desires and enjoy!
    Linking up with Ms. Stephanie today:


    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    Easter {a belated post}

    Remember how back when I started this blogging venture I said that I knew that I would be lacking time to be consistent with posts?
    Well... here's a few snapshots from out Easter Sunday {only about 9 days late}.
    -In my defense, that was a VERY busy weekend for us, given the fact that we also celebrated Peyton's birthday within that same 2-day time slot.-
    opening her Easter basket. balloons were leftovers from the party the day before.
    ps- this girl would probably never wear pants if she didn't have to. goob.

    After opening her Easter basket {at a ridiculously early time of 7:30am} and my 3 hour nap {I told you it was an exhausting weekend} we headed down to my Grammy's house for some delicious Easter dinner.
    yes, Pey & I matched our outfits on purpose :)
    While we were there:  Peyton played with my Mom and Aunt Carly's old doll house; she hammed it up with those bunny ears; and for dessert we had Grammy's famous apple pie, my first attempt at an Overnight Carrot Cake {recipe to soon follow}, and Carmen's chocolate ice cream milkshakes. YUM!
    It was the perfect way to relax and enjoy time together as a family after our busy Saturday.
    Although Easter Sunday wasn't the warmest Easter we've had, I still can't believe how this week the weather has gone from chilly to oh-my-gosh-I'm-roasting! It's like we're bypassing "spring" weather altogether. But hey, I'm as ready for the warmth as the next person. Plus, with temps above fah-reezing, that means we get to do this more often:
    {enjoying time together with my little one while out of the deck}
    life is good.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    yes, soup for you!

    For our 1 year anniversary of being a moved-in-together-and-paying-bills-together-grown-up couple, my Aunt and Uncle gave me & Nick a gift card to the Olive Garden. Our "anniversary" was the last day of 2012... and we just now used the gift card. oops.

    Nick & I hardly eat there. Like, we had only eaten there once together in the whole 3+ years we've been dating. But last Thursday, we decided to give it another shot {and to take my Dad along with us for the ride!}.

    There were a few disappointments:
    { 1- they told me I couldn't have the Peach Sangria because they were out of peaches... but when they brought my Berry Sangria, there were NO BERRIES to be found either. 2- they tried serving my Braised Beef & Tortelloni without any of the "demi-glaze" that is supposed to be on it. 3- the beef & tortelloni doesn't actually get a demi-glaze, it is supposed to be in a basil-marsala sauce. Not cool, OG. Not cool. }

    But the one thing that we all agreed on was that Dad's Chicken & Gnocchi soup was to.die.for.

    In fact, he scarfed down one bowl of that deliciousness and then asked our waitress to bring another {unlimited soup, people!}. We all shared the second bowl and our taste buds were in heaven.
    So good!

    Well, he liked it so much that he went back a second time that weekend with my sister, just for the soup!
    Enter that Sunday night when Dad and Jen were coming up to visit and have dinner. I told them I would make something with the spaghetti squash I had chillin' on the counter. Then, last minute, I changed my mind and decided I would surprise the Dadda with a homemade version of this yummy soup!

    Ps- that is a crescent roll in the top right corner. I only just realized how *odd* it looks
    now as I added it to this post. It's too late now to edit this picture again.
    We'll just have to deal with the strangely shaped
    baked goods... Moving on...

    This recipe was super simple. I borrowed the recipe from here, but then adapted to what I had in the house {and to our tastebuds}. Here's how you make it:

    • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cooked & diced
    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • 4 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 quart half and half
    • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup carrots, shredded
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped {I used a 10 oz package of chopped spinach}
    • 1 tsp dried thyme {or as much as your tastebuds desire.}
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 16 ounce package gnocchi {I didn't use the gnocchi because I was in a time crunch and to be honest, I didn't miss it one bit! The soup was delish enough sans gnocchi.}

    - In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in the butter and olive oil.
    - When the onion is clear, add the flour and form a roux.
    - Stir and cook a minute.
    - Add the half and half.
    - Meanwhile in another pan, cook the gnocchi. {Can obv. skip this step if you're skipping the gnocchi.}
    - Add the chicken to the stockpot.
    - Stir often and when it gets thicker, add the chicken broth, gnocchi, spinach and seasonings.
    - Cover and heat through.
    *it may take a while for the soup to get thicker after adding the broth. trust me, it's worth the wait!*
    - Eat straight from the stockpot with spoon  Enjoy!


    Monday, April 1, 2013

    Peyton's {Fourth} Birthday!

    This past weekend was so intense. Like, really intense.
    I have never had such a crazy time trying to plan one of Peyton's birthday parties.
    Then again, I haven't attempted a full-on, Pinterest-inspired, ocean-themed party before.
    Ps- can we just take a moment and acknowledge the fact that my BABY really isn't a baby anymore! Gah. I can't believe four whole years have gone by already.
    {Cheesin' before we went out for dinner on her actual birthday.}
    Okay, back to the party:
    I was literally shaking the whole morning/day from the adrenaline pumping through my veins while running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to prepare all of the food and set up everything. {I really do need better time-management skills.}
    I couldn't have pulled off that day if it wasn't for the help from Nick {extraspecially him}, my sister, and my Momma. Thank you, guys.

    1- The food spread included:  Goldfish bread sandwiches with tuna salad, ham/swiss and turkey/american  ;  Broccoli  Coral Salad  Watergate Salad {dyed blue}  Ocean Fluff  ;  a Goldfish Bar  ;  and assorted chicken.
    2- There were Hot Dogs Octopus & Beans
    3- "Sea Punch" {which had blue ice cubes with swedish fish frozen in them}, Sea Salt chips, Barbecue chips {because who can pass up Martin's Barb-B-Q Waffle Chips?? Not this girl.}, and blue jello with a swedish fish Fish Bowls.
    4- Lots of balloons, gifts, and handmade {read: Pey-made} fish/shark/ocean creature decorations.
    5- A close up of the Deviled Fish Eggs.
    6- The beautiful sea turtle carved by my sister that held the fruit salad.
    7- Another shot of the feast we had going on.
    Then, she opened presents:
    & of course she made out like a bandit, per usual. {Tons of cute new clothes for spring/summer!}
    After which we moved on to...
    ** Sidenote: This whole "ocean" theme came about back in January when my sister and dad went to Curacao. Papa Ron and Jenna travel a lot {lucky turds} and are always going somewhere tropical and coming back with thousands of pictures from their underwater adventures with snorkeling and scuba diving. One night, while they were in Curacao, Peyton said to me "Momma, I want a Papa Ron diver on my cake!" Thus, we went all out with the underwater/ocean theme. And you can bet your bottom dollar that there was a Papa Ron diver on top of that cake! {along with her most favorite sea animal - a hammerhead shark.} The little ocean figures that decked out her cake even came from Dad & Jen's Curacao trip. :) **

    Overall, it was such a wonderful day and I could really tell that Peyton loved every minute of it. She has grown into such a sassy, hilarious, brilliant, independent, beautiful, inspiring, wonderful, and loving little lady. I am so blessed to be her mother and to be a part of her life.

    I love you, babygirl.