Monday, April 28, 2014

Stuffed Cabbage

I have always wanted to try Stuffed Cabbage for dinner. I love cabbage (coleslaw especially!), and this recipe looked pretty good. Being a new mom with a 6 month old means I like the quicker recipes now... the ones where I can get dinner prepped and finished within an hour or less. While this recipe is definitely a bit time consuming, the end result is worth the work and wait! Layla decided to have a screaming tantrum (probably that pesky tooth that just broke through her gum!) while I was getting this made, so I did skip a couple things. All in all, it came out very scrumptious, and I will be making them again. I think there are so many ways you could make this. It's pretty versatile. It reminded me of stuffed peppers, minus the extra steps. I may add some sort of small veggie to the filling next time. We sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the top as we were plating. Kyle and I use Parmesan cheese on just about everything. ;-)

Try this out some night when you have a little extra time. It does take 2 hours to bake, so you could even prepare this ahead, refrigerate, then stick it in the oven the next day.

Photo and recipe not mine.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Baby Happenings

I have not been good at all with blogging. I am not going to blame it on life, because it will always be busy! I just actually haven't felt up to doing much, let alone blogging. Hah. ;)

I figured I would write a little about my growing daughter. I remember last year fondly, around this time of year, being so excited to have a baby growing in my belly. I couldn't feel her move yet, but I knew she was there and that alone was exciting! Now I have this little girl in my home who never ceases to amaze me! I think of the verse about being "fearfully and wonderfully made". God made us all so unique, and one of my favorite parts about being a mother is seeing every little detail that he made in my child. Her personality, her facial expressions, her features (love those eyes and eyelashes!), her sin nature, her dependence on me, etc.

Layla will be 6 months next week. I am so excited we are almost to the 1/2 year mark! We started solids a few weeks ago, and it has gone pretty well so far. Some days we skip solids all together, but she is getting familiar with different tastes and textures. Her menus have consisted of avocado, sweet potatoes, pears and bananas. We are going to try out carrots soon!

Her hand coordination has improved so much over the last month. She has purpose when she reaches for things, and a lot more control over what she does with those hands. Everything that she can grab usually goes to her mouth. Haha. She has her first tooth and the other one is on the way! She is not a happy teether, but she is definitely not on the bad end of it either. Just mostly fussy and clingy.

We tried sitting her up on the floor herself this week, and she is able to stay up for the most part with a nursing pillow behind her. She loves the jumpy seat at my parent's house, and because of that she will jump any time you stand her up.

Life with a baby is lots of fun... there can be some really bad days too, but for the most part it is pretty great. We are looking forward to summer with more time spent outside, and trips to the seaside.
My two loves. They are both so adorable!

Sleeping beauty. Wish she was always this peaceful! :P

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lost in the World of Motherhood

I took a look at my last post and realized it has been a month and a half since then. Whew, where does time go? I wish it would hide out in my pocket or something, so I could save it for when I really needed it. Which is like, all the time! :)

I'll admit it, I have been lost away in this place called Motherhood. And to be honest, I do love it. I love being a mommy. The new things that come along with a growing baby can be quite challenging at times, but then you just get past the bump in the road and keep going until the next one comes up.

My little girl is just amazing. I love her to pieces. She makes me smile every morning I go to get her from her crib. I know she can hear my footsteps when I walk into her room... then I take a peek at her and she realizes it's me, and out comes a big smile from her little mouth. Ahh, that is what makes it all worth it, friends! Layla is 5 months old. Can you believe that? Seems like not too long ago I was gigantically pregnant and on "couch-rest", and now I have a beautiful daughter who shares every moment of the day with me. I do enjoy having a little girl, and I know it will only get more and more fun as she gets older. We do everything together. Where I go, she goes. What I do, she does. I think she just might be the mini-me someday. The poor girl. ;)

So while I have been occupied with mommy things, we have also been on a new diet, which takes a little more thought and time each day. About a month ago, we decided to try the Paleo diet. No refined sugars, grains, dairy, gluten, etc. The nice thing about this diet is that you can tailor it to what your body responds best to. So while we may not be 100% Paleo in our eating, we follow the main principle. And that is to cut out a lot of refined, processed, boxed foods and eat more fresh, raw foods. I personally have noticed a huge difference in the way I feel. My skin is finally clearing up and healing (part of that is from using coconut oil on my face), I have lost weight, and I feel less lethargic during the day. Finding enough food to fill us up that isn't a grain, gluten, dairy or full of sugar was hard at first. But we are getting it down now. We bought RAW Meal Replacement powder to make shakes in the morning. That fills us up for quite a while and is extremely good for us. It's plant based and full of live enzymes. We do "cheat" a bit on the weekends, but I feel that is perfectly okay as long as it's not a binge fest. When I say cheat, I mean, we eat some gluten, grains and dairy... we don't eat desserts all weekend or stuff our face with chips. Hehe. Layla will also be practicing the Paleo diet with us until she is a bit older. I'm waiting to introduce grains to her, and am sticking with veggies and fruit. I plan to make all her baby food homemade.

Today is Saturday, and that means we are together as a family. I look forward to this day every week. Hope you all enjoy your weekend! Here's to hoping for some nice, spring weather. :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken

Okay, this recipe is all that. I'm talking - easy, few ingredients and soo delicious! My husband asks me to make this all the time now. Even the most picky eaters, and even those who hate mayo love this chicken. I just don't tell them what is in it! ;) What I especially love about this recipe is that you throw it together, stick it in the oven and leave it in there for a while. I usually pair it with brown rice (or my newest fave, brown rice medley from Trader Joes!) and let that steam while the chicken bakes. It all works out quite well and I don't have to put much effort into it. Any veggie side will do with this, though I usually like to add something green to a dish like this. So, green beans, broccoli, salad, peas, etc.

Here is the link to this fabulous dish. Make it tonight! I'm almost sure you will have all the ingredients on hand. :)

PS: I usually use boneless chicken thighs, because those are my favorite!

I'm Still Here...

Wow, has life been busy. I have also been way too tired to get on here and catch up. So, I guess I will have to update in a nutshell... but we'll see. I tend to be long winded sometimes. :)

Sickness finally hit Layla. I was kind of expecting it at some point, sadly. I try to be flexible and let people hold her and play with her... that means germs are obviously spreading. And I do take her everywhere with me when I shop and such, so it was kind of bound to happen eventually. She's still so little and hasn't had a chance to build her immune system, so she caught the cold that's been going around. At first it was a dry cough, then it developed into a wet cough and congestion. The congestion is what really made me nervous. She would cough and gag and choke on the mucous and I felt so bad! I took her to the doctor on Monday just to be on the safe side. We ended up seeing a different pediatrician since Dr. Maalouli wasn't in. She basically said that Layla sounded fine and was holding her own. She gave me some suggestions and warned me of some things that might happen... like that she might throw up a ton of mucous at some point. And the doctor was right. Layla screamed for ten minutes before she threw up a bunch of gunk. The poor girl. :( She was so tired from that that she clonked out not a minute later on my shoulder. She is finally getting over it, though she still has a rattly cough now and then. I think everything is just trying to make its way out.

The good thing about Layla's cold is that it will make her stronger. I hated seeing her struggling all week, but thankfully it didn't last too long and her immune system is that much stronger from it. Surprisingly, she slept the best those few bad days while she was sick. She actually slept through the night! Now we are back to our usual schedule of waking up 1-3 times during the early morning hours. Sigh. I am exhausted and ready for some solid sleep. O.o

Last Saturday, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came to visit us for a few days. It was so nice to have them here for more than a day, and it was also helpful to have them around while Layla wasn't feeling well.

Kyle just sent out his application to the Maine State Police on Tuesday. Now we begin the waiting game, once again, and see what happens this year. I will be so thankful when he is hired, so we can get through a year without wondering if we will be moving or not.

Last Friday was our Celebration of Love Banquet at church. It was a nice evening. Needless to say, Kyle and I never got to celebrate Valentine's Day together, though he did buy me flowers and a card. :) There was just too much going on this year to do anything special.

Last Friday I also rearranged my living room and dining room... all alone, in a few hours, right before my company came. Haha. I don't know if it was hormones or just sick and tired of the set-up, I just wanted it totally redone. So I completely switched rooms. I am liking the new set-up and am still working on organizing. I feel so much better now that that is done! Silly me.

I am so glad it is Friday. I know I don't work out in the world, but when Friday comes I am so happy I get to see my husband for the next two days! He is working lots of overtime lately, and it seems like I hardly see him before he clonks out at night. Now let's see how much cleaning and organizing I can get done before the weekend sets in... ;)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Catching Up

It's starting to look like winter again today. The snow is falling, and I am fighting to keep myself from falling asleep! I have already gotten my grocery shopping done for the week, and now the house is in desperate need to be tidied after the weekend. I always find my house falls apart on the weekends...

Layla turns 3 months old today! She is celebrating by taking a nap after being lugged through Trader Joes and out into the cold. :) There are so many daily developments that I lose track. I am not sure how much she has gained over this past month, but we will find out soon at her 4 month appointment. She loves to smile now, and is even smiling at strangers or people that she doesn't know. When we prop her up on a pillow or lay her on our knees, she is always trying to pull herself forward to sit up. She is getting very strong! Those little arms and feet are usually going crazy and sometimes I think it surprises her. She has that very ungraceful arm flailing that usually tends to whack me in the face from time to time. Pretty soon here, we are going to have one energetic baby crawling around the house! She is a lot of fun to be with and has made us laugh often. Definitely seeing more attitude as she learns more... that is usually scolded by a "no, no, no"! She knows how to cry/scream for attention until she is picked up. I'm hoping that we can get over that, because she is such a good girl otherwise.

Layla's pediatrician recommended I put her on Vitamin D drops because of the huge lack we have in this part of the world. Actually, everyone should be taking it, but we don't or we forget. I had forgotten to pick some D drops up for her in my trips to the store, so I stopped by Vitamin Shoppe on Saturday (after our trip to Starbucks!) to see what they had. The Enfamil brand is full of junk, so I wanted to see if they had other options. I did find some, but then I noticed they had DHA for babies. I was checking it out and saw that is contained Vitamin D in it as well and was the same price as the regular D drops! It is made from 100% wild Arctic cod and does not contain any "junk" or flavoring. I've heard cod liver oil is so good for you, so I am hoping this helps with her development and health.

She doesn't seem too happy right now, so I guess I will be off. I have been working on projects and recipes lately, but haven't had a chance to blog them. Hopefully I will catch up soon!

Enjoy the snow! :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I am normally not a breakfast cook. There aren't many mornings in a year when I get up to make a full breakfast. My idea of breakfast is yogurt and a granola bar or instant oatmeal or fruit... very occasionally scrambled eggs and toast! If you are having guests overnight (which was the case for me and my sister last weekend) and don't have time to get a huge meal together, this is a great option for breakfast. Add some coffee and cereal or fruit and you have a delightful (not to mention light) breakfast!

My mother has a recipe for sour cream coffee cake somewhere, I believe. I'm not sure if this is exactly like it, but it turned out delicious. Very moist, and not too sweet. It makes a 9x13 pan, so you can either serve it right away or freeze some. I should have stuck some in my freezer, but I wasn't too smart at the time. ;)

I got the recipe from Ali at gimme some oven and I love all her recipes. I follow her on Pinterest and quite frequently see something that looks great. I followed the recipe exactly. Five stars for this! Next time I may try to make a more crumbly topping just for fun.