Saturday, December 17, 2011

What a difference a year makes.

 As you guys know, I've got rainbows gushing out of me over the fact that the husband is home for this year's holidays! So thankful!

So, we both... together... at the same time... took our tiny squeeze to see Santa last weekend! It was so much better than taking taking Jake solo last year and telling Gary over the phone about it :-)

Last year, Jake and I met up with one of my very favorite people, Angie, and her kiddos for a Santa date and it was completely and totally amazeballs! It was the first time he met Santa and he kicked aces! I remember wanting to cry seeing his face absolutely light up when he saw the tree and all the pretties at the Santa set-up. Total bliss. Do kids just make the holidays incredible or what??


I had a bit of nerves that Jake might go all stranger danger on Santa because he's been very aware when he doesn't know someone lately. As in, if a total stranger starts talking to him when we're out, as they often do, he looks up at me with this expression as if to ask, "MOM. What is up with this person? They cool?" Not a terrible trait to possess, but I reallllly didn't want to be the parents who have the screaming kid, leaving all other Santa-see'ers to ask for deafness for Christmas.

We weren't :-)



Friday, December 9, 2011

Triple Eff!

Food and Fashion Friday!

Happy Friday, love bugs!!

Here are the deets: I've been asked a lot about specifics on recipes that I don't provide links for, since they weren't found electronically, and the such, so here's my answer! The amazing Becca from here and here is going to give the bliggity-blog a face lift in the not too distant future, which will include a "Recipes" button near the top of the page. So, I'll make sure to go back through all the foody posts and get the recipes in there for ya! Even the recipes I got from my cookbooks and magazines will be typed up in there so I hope you enjoy! :-) I know it's easy to fall into a routine with cooking so I hope that'll make it easier to try new things!

First things first, OH. EM. GEE. it has been cold as genitalia here. The other night it got down to -4. This California girl finds that completely inappropro. So, we've been staying inside leaving me with only one blog-worthy ensemble:

Hi, I'm Samantha ::: Hi, Samantha ::: And, I have an obsession with boots + leggings + skirts

Otherwise, it's been a whole lot of jammies and only-cute-around-the-house clothing, and gym-wear. Sad day. But, listen, I'VE NEVER BEEN IN NEGATIVE TEMPERATURES. Oh, and Pee Ess, me and Brooke have decided when you go to the gym when it's all stupidcold out extra calories should be burned just for the magnificence that is you walking outside your warm casa.

That's legit.

Speaking of burning calories....FOOD!

Herb Cheese Twists:
This is from one of my cookbooks, so I'll be giving specifics on this recipe :-)

I made these because we eat a lot of leftovers in this house. I go grocery shopping twice a month and get ingredients for 4 meals each shopping trip. The meals really stretch so I try to add a little something the second time we have it so it doesn't get too boring. knowwhatimean??

You need one can of refrigerated biscuits, but, since I don't buy biscuits, I made some really quickly.

I haven't been able to find my biscuit cutters since the move (not that I've been risking life and limb to do so...) so I used one of our glasses :-)

Pat each biscuit into a 5 x 2 rectangle (or get it as close as you really has no bearing on anything) and add a teaspoon of a parmesan mixture (2 tblsp's melted butter, 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley flakes and dried basil leaves. Couple things: I doubled the mixture because I doubled the amount of biscuits and 2) I used 2 teaspoons oregano rather than the parsley and basil because that's what I had. And, I love oregano) to each biscuit.

Spread the parmesan mixture, then cut each biscuit in half and twist 3-4 times. Place on lightly-greased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes at 400*

These are very, VERY good. My only suggestion is to double the parmesan mixture. I doubled it because I had double the biscuits, but, next time, I'll double it again because I'd want the twists to taste more of the parmesan mixture instead of a more biscuit:parmesan mixture ratio.

Yankee Pot Roast!

As I mentioned earlier, IT'S FREEZING HERE. So, I knew this was the perfect meal for cold weather. A nice, belly-filler. Not to mention, I'm surrounded by testosterone, so this is now dubbed "The man's meal"

You need one beef chuck pot roast, 2.5 lbs. Trim the fat and cut into serving size pieces, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cut up 3 baking potatoes, one medium onion-sliced, and 2 large carrots. The recipe also calls for 2 ribs celery, but I think celery is the antichrist so I leave that out. Toss into your slow cooker and season with oregano. Don't be afraid to be a little generous. Oregano isn't terribly overpowering.

Top with your cut-up roast. Then, pour 1/2 c beef broth over everything. Cook on low 8-9 hours, until beef is fork-tender.

Doesn't photograph especially well, but this roast made the house smell amazing!! Who cares if it's the black sheep of meals as long as it tastes great?!

Pizza Pie Meatloaf

This meal to me: "it's on like Donkey Kong"

It's so ridiculously flavorful I almost couldn't handle it. Fo sho. It's just so different and that's what I love; I love branching out and trying new stuff. Especially when it works out like this!

2 lbs ground beef, 1/2 c mozzarella, 1/2 c unseasoned dry breadcrumbs (I used a flavored breadcrumb and the food police didn't show up), 1/2 c tomato sauce (I used a pasta sauce I had on hand because I had forgotten tomato. No biggie), 1/4 c parmesan, 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tblsp oregano.

Stir with fork until blended.

Place meat mixture into round pizza pan, or pie plate like I did. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center and internal temp reads 160*. Drain fat.

Top with 1/2 c tomato (or pasta!) sauce, 1 c mozzarella, then 1 1/3 c french fried onions.

The meatloaf comes out stupidgood. The flavors are just outta this world!

I chose to pair it with green beans (I couldn't believe that was the first thing Jake reached for!) and alfredo pasta. Here's the alfredo sauce I make. But, be careful. Once you make this sauce you never go back to pre-made sauces. Evah.

Cinnamon rolls and homemade glaze!

These may have been Pinterest-inspired, but no matter where the desire arose it was embedded into my soul LIKE WHOA. I could not not make them. And, once I released the words, "I should make cinnamon rolls" like a flock of doves into the universe Gary needed them in his life. He's so deprived.

I've never worked with yeast; it scares me. All this rising and doubling business made me nervous for whatever reason. But, then I realized that's lame as Justin Bieber and headed to the kitchen.

I mixed the flour and yeast in my KitchenAid's mixer bowl because it was going to end up there anywho.

Milk, sugar, butter, salt
Remember to check the link for the specifics!

Combine the milk mixture with the flour/yeast mixture and add eggs.

Mix in the remaining flour. Have your husband do it, or otherwise capable man. That biatch is tough!

Shape into a ball on a lightly-floured surface.

I put it into a bowl, which had been lightly-greased with shortening, and covered with saran wrap. I'm not sure if that's exactly the correct way to do it, but it worked for me!

I forgot to include the picture of dividing the ball in two and allowing to rest, so just use that imagination!

Roll out each ball of dough and cover with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter.

Do not
be on a diet the day you make this.

After you roll the flattened brown sugar-cinnamon-butter dough into a log, cut up and place in your baking pan! PRETTY! The four rejects you see in there are the ends of the two logs.

Bake, remember to adjust for your altitude--mine took way longer than the recipe said, and immediately remove from your pan because they'll keep cooking from the heat of the pan itself.


I didn't use the icing suggestions under the cinnamon roll recipe link because I wanted it to be specific measurements so that they turned out perfectly! Other than that, choose whatever your little heart desires :-)

Then? pull out your old sweats and EAT.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Remember this post about the boy waking up at night and me, actually, enjoying it? Well, I meant every single word. Really, I did. But, it went on a few nights and on day 3 my patience was starting to wear thin. I knew he wasn't doing it on purpose, and I knew he wanted his sleep just as badly as we did, which is what made it easier for my patience to last during 3 days of sicky-boy and 3 nights of interrupted sleep.

On that third day, he had woken up multiple times during the night crying. But, he'd always put himself back to sleep. Poor kid was going through something. He was fighting it hardcore. But, unfortunately, he couldn't fight it quietly and we began our day at 5:30 AM.

I was sad. Totes.

But, ya's true that there's always a silver lining:

White roses are my very favorite :-)

My hubster? He's THEE MAN.

And, even though once we were up Jake was just fine, I kept busy because the lack of sleep could allow for things to become irritable real quick. Hence my latest triumph, from-scratch cinnamon rolls with homemade glaze!!---->

They'll be in the blog on Friday, loves :-)

As I made these cinnamon rolls, my little boy was running around in his feety jammies, playing with his cars, coming over for some love, all the while sounding Darth Vader-esque due to his labored breathing. Sickies aside, he sported that big smile and dimples and gave it the ol' college try!

So we rode the frick out of that.

We tentatively laid the boy down for nap at 10. A 10 am nap! Ludicrous. Ludicrous, I say! But, the silver lining kept on comin'....he was down for 3 hours and 45 minutes! I know. And, can I just say we deserved every single minute? Because it felt completely earned.

As the day wore on, we began realizing that, aside from the ungodly hour with which we began the day, this day was kicking all kinds of aces! So, post-nap we broke out the bathtub paints because that's how families party.

All it is, shaving cream and food coloring! Could not be easier!

I'm willing to bet there's nothing that can't be remedied by bathtub paints.

And, this little guy felt so much better the rest of the day :-)

And, that night he slept so incredibly soundly I, literally, don't think he even changed position the entire night. My little boy was back to normal.

Like a boss.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Now that we're settled and the husband is back from training, I've been looking for a gym. Going to gym, with all my ladies and the amazing instructors, in Kentucky for so long was going to be a hard act to follow. I willed Colorado to bring it so I could feel as at home and as worked as I love to feel at the gym.

The Coloradoites brought it. Fo sho.

These people? Serious about their fitness. And, I freakin' love it. That I know of, they have 4 major gyms on post, a 24 hour fitness about 8.5 minutes from our house, and numerous Bally's all over town. I was in gym-Heaven. It was a gym-orgy. GYM. GYM. GYM.

24 hour fitness was going to be $40/month. Not too terrible, & only $5 more a month than in KY, especially with how amazeballs their facility is, but I called a gym on post just for funsies. FREE.

That's right, party people. FUH-REE! So, we checked out all the gyms on post and people actually use them! Like, A LOT of people. Whodathunkit?! Although maybe differing in their layout, they all have enormous basketball courts, racquetball courts, big cardio room, numerous weight rooms, free classes, and two levels. OH MY!

Anyway, so I gym-it-up on post. Moral of that story.

Today, I was uber looking forward to my evening workout. Jake is feeling much better since this post about him really liking breathing and kindasorta upset about not being able to, but he's still a bit of a snot-face. Literally. Snot. on. his. face. But, it's clear. So, bueno, right? Anyway, we grocery shopped and it took me an hour and a half. It was one of those trips where you needed a little bit of everything and your shopping cart overflows and you consider leaving your full-cart in the middle of the aisle and leaving the establishment and picking up take-out on your way, all the while convincing yourself it's reasonable to eat out for every meal every day.

Ya know, like that.

So, we get home, unload thirty-two hundred bags, need to dry the nighttime doublers for Jake's diapers, and have 25 pounds of laundry to fold. Ya know, the uje. Except it's not in any way, shape, or form. As Gary says, I needed to empty my cup before it overflowed. I wasn't going crazy or anything, but it was definitely nice to know that I was going to be able to do something other than the necessities later that evening.

Ya know that feeling of being in a new place (aka, the gym)? Where you swear that everyone there are lifelong friends and you're the only person who doesn't know everyone else? Yep, me a little. I have this Scrubs moment where it feels like I walk in and there's this flashing, neon sign that visually yells "I'M NEW HERE!!!", much like the thought bubbles above the heads of cartoon characters---if you needed further specifications.

I get to the cardio room and, as I'm about to be spurred further into getting my sweat on by some Outkast ('Hey Ya' still does it for me. Don't judge), Journey, and one Mr. Justin Timberlake, I think how fab' it is to be out, that I have 4 different TVs to choose from, and I kind of sink into this amazing workout.

I come home, made it just in time to see the boy put to bed.

As I go to wash my face, feeling all fab' and very un-overflowed, and that great soreness that follows a thorough, self-inflicted ass-kicking, I see a booger on my forehead. Next to a small, but noticeable on my fair skin, clump of mascara.

If that doesn't scream, "I have a two year old!", I don't know what will.

Embarrassment could have set in. Until I realized: being out > boogers on your forehead.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Night owls.

We don't play outside too much lately because it's so freakin' chilly here! But, yesterday we did because we needed to get outside the casa; it was a decision that resonated throughout the rest of the night.

You guys have probably heard a time or two how we're sleepers in this house. When sleep issues arise, it might as well be armageddon because WHISKEY. TANGO FOXTROT. where'd our sleep go?!?

(maybe not that dramatic, but the alternative's no fun to talk about)

So, when Jake began waking up throughout last night it was a total shock. Until I opened the door to his room just enough to Grinch-slither my way in & saw him crying in his crib. He had a bit of a runny nose from playing outside and it freaked him out that he had trouble breathing.

I picked my giant boy out of his crib, cuddled him into my nook, and rocked him in the rocking chair. I wiped his nose and watched as his little eyes lost sight of me as he fell back asleep. There I sat, for some of the best minutes of my day, watching my boy, draped across me, sleeping soundly as if he were an ittybitty infant again. And, I felt the tears well up in my eyes.

My boy. He may be working on becoming a giant (91st percentile!), just like his daddy, but, I swear, I'll scoop that boy up and lay him across me when he's 10, and for as many years as he'll allow me.

So, last night, our 3 different wake-ups before our final early-morning wake-up, wasn't so bad. I got to have that moment; the moment that reminds you exactly what life is all about.

He'll always be my baby <3

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We deal in pumpkin, yo.

With how many pumpkin-inspired eats I've made lately you could swear I've lost a bet, or am supporting some sort of habit. I'm not. Swearsies.

But, GAH! I can't help but to want to flavor everything, within reason obviously, pumpkin. So, like a crack addict needing a fix, I took to google because google be my biatch.

First up? Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!

Since I got all these recipes online, I can actually link 'em up to you lovies, so no need for specifics, right? Anywho, mix the dry ingredients.

And, the wet

That's what she said.

Combine the two sets of ingredients, add chocolate chips----always a little more than the recipe says ;-) DUH.

Make sure to grease the muffin tins well; these came out so smoothly!

Gary, "These are slap yo' mama good!"

We're pretty gangsta for being so.....Irish

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

Gary's adjective for these: life-changing.

He's right.

I needed to make another batch of waffles for my boys' breakfasts, so of course they had to be pumpkin! Although, the recipe I usually use needs to be doubled, this recipe got just as many without being doubled; maybe I'm just overdoing it on the original? But, they both taste awesomesauce, so run to the kitchen!

I just quarter them and store them in my loves, aka Pyrex containers, and they stay good!

Pumpkin scones!
Cutting in butter is the bane of my existence.

Combine wet with the dry ingredients...

Shape into a disc and cut into 6 equal wedges

They turned out enormously!

Gary just grunted at how good these were ;-)

And, lastly, pumpkin fudge!

You guys, can I just blow your minds a little bit? This recipe calls for evaporated milk, but I didn't have any so I took my own advice and put it in my google box! I made evaporated milk! Here, you can do it, too :-)

Leave on the counter to allow to cool

Cut into teenytiny pieces because whoa mama these fudge squares will satisfy even the most insane sweet tooth!

Good thing we have willpower, right?