Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dinner This Week

It's been awhile since I've posted some recipes, and also unfortunately been awhile since I've been intentional about cooking somewhat healthy meals for my family, so I thought I'd share two tried and true ones I plan on making this week for dinner.

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin 
(seriously one of my fave recipes ever, and one of those rare dishes I make that all 3 kids actually really like)

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

***Serving with***

(Pioneer Woman) Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries

Recipe HERE.

Crockpot Orange Chicken

4-5 Chicken Breasts
3/4 C Smucker's Sweet Orange Marmalade
3/4 C BBQ Sauce
2 T soy sauce

Cook chicken for 3 hours on high in the crock pot, drain juices, mix together ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook for another 30 min on high. 

I plan on serving this with rice and broccoli. 

I know you're shocked that both dishes are crock pot ones. Is there another way to make dinner with three little ones?

And depending on my energy level this week, maybe whipping up some toddler muffins and energy bites for the kiddos. 

We also celebrated our almost THREE year olds' birthday this weekend with family and friends (their actual birthday is this Tuesday). It was a crazy fun time. Pictures coming soon!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you, Maggie for giving me this super sweet award!

From what I gather, this is an award given to bloggers with under 200 followers that is meant to help spread the word about newer, interesting blogs (and make a girl feel really special).

Seeing as how I'm fairly certain my last "official" award was last bestowed upon me back during my collegiate volleyball days, it was super fun to receive this!

So here's what I do next:

Step 1: Acknowledge my Liebster Award giver: Maggie-thank you!! I'm truly honored that such a fantastic, intelligent writer/blogger like yourself enjoys reading my rants. If you aren't already, you really need to start following her blog. It's a great mix of posts on motherhood, adoption, DIY, her love of good know, all that stuff we moms love. I'm thankful to have met her through one of my dearest friends.

Step 2: State 11 random facts about yourself:

1. Disclaimer: I am terrible at coming up with random facts about myself and this will probably end up looking more like a resumé than a random list. I'm a first born (first random fact), and such an overthinker/accomplishment oriented person. I am also probably what you would refer to as a recovering Type A personality. Thank you for not judging.

2. I had three kids in 21 months. And my stomach fo sho looks like it (read: many many many stretch marks).

2. I have two sisters and all of our middle names are 'Kay'. All of our names also start with 'S', so until two of us got married, we all had the exact same initials. Way to be original, mom!

3. I was an English teacher for three years before staying home with my (then) twin babies.

4. Because of #3, I'm what you would refer to as a "grammar snob." This goes way beyond the annoyances of getting their/there/they're mixed up. I just can't help myself.

5. I am a serious night owl. If I could pick one superpower, it would be that I would not require sleep. I absolutely relish the silence of my house at night when I'm the only one awake (like as I type this). :)

6. I love beverages. They really are about 75% of the meal, in my opinion. I need coffee every morning, a glass of red wine if I'm eating steak, white wine if it's pasta, and some type of carbonation if I'm eating pizza or a cheeseburger. I would probably forfeit any of the above dishes if said beverage requirements were not met.

7. I hate drains in all forms. Shower drains, pool drains, kitchen sink drains. I will not, under almost any circumstance touch them with my hands or feet. Ever.

8. I was the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade spelling bee champion. I'm fairly certain this is where my obsession interest with grammar/writing originated. Oh, and maybe where my competitive streak first emerged?

9.  In college while interning for an advertising agency, I was asked (at the last minute) to model for a plastic surgery ad. I'm still assuming I was supposed to be the "before" example? I also was in a crazy hilarious car commercial several years for the same agency (again, at the last minute). My two and, thus far, only moments of fame.

10. My dream job is to be a professional organizer/interior decorator/author. I would take any one of those, but if we're dreaming big, all three.

11. My favorite movie of all time is Little Women. And I cannot wait to watch it someday with my girls.

Step 3: Answer nominator's 11 given questions

1. What is your go-to dance move? 

This made me laugh, Maggie! Ummm, running man?

2. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall? 


3. If you were one of the 7 Dwarfs, what would your name be?

Busy? Bossy?

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Since you already know I'm a grammar snob, that probably answers this question. ;)

5. Gold or Silver?


6. What is your favorite book?

Ooh man, so hard to pick just one! The Giver, The Giving Tree, Blue Like Jazz to name a few.

7. What is the greatest marriage advice you ever received?

Two things I remember our awesome pastor who married us saying were: 1. Sex is not everything in a marriage, but it is the barometer that will always be able to measure how good/bad your marriage is at any particular point. And, 2. Never bring your parents into your marital problems. I agree with both wholeheartedly after 5 years of marriage!

8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Italy (ever since reading Eat, Pray, Love).

9. What is your favorite quote/verse/saying? 

Impossible to pick one, but one that has been on repeat in my head for the last year or so is "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor" - a very appropriate one for all moms.

10. Where do you picture yourself in 20 years?

If I'm dreaming big again, traveling all kinds of incredible places while all three of our kids are on scholarship in great schools, since they will all be in college at once. You know, living the sweet life as empty nesters (which is both a devastating and thrilling thought)!

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you again, Maggie! I'll be coming up with my list of award winners over the next week. Stay tuned!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Name Trick

So today I stumbled upon a GENIUS tactic for remembering someone's name.

I am awful with names. In fact, I don't think I have ever met anyone who could say that they were awesome at remembering people's names. A face I would not forget, but name? It might take 3 run-ins with you before I remember it for good. It's not that I don't care, but I've been caught in more than one scenario where I feel like a total jerk because this is the third time I've talked to someone and I can'

Today the Katie (as in Couric) show did a whole show on alzheimer's disease. Given that my great grandmother died from it, and my grandmother suffered from dementia for years before she passed away, I'm always intrigued to hear more about this terrible disease. The psychology major in me is also continually fascinated by how our crazy brains work. Oh, and my dear, sweet husband has alluded to the fact that my repeated forgetting of people's names might be an indicator of early onset. Whatever.

So here's the trick.

When you meet someone, look for the most noticeable feature on their face/head. One that you notice first. Let's use my handsome little boy for an example.

So for this sweet little pumpkin, we'll choose his luscious lips since everyone seems to notice his kisser before anything else. 

Next, you think of an association for their name. Most likely a celebrity or maybe a family member or close friend with the same name. This is not where we came up with his name, but a few weeks after we had decided on it, Kyle mentioned Brooke Burke while talking about our soon-to-be son (shocking he would think to make this particular celebrity connection). 

I mean she's OK looking, I guess. 

So the next step is to mentally place this familiar connection on whatever facial feature you noticed first. So if I had fancy photo editing software, I would place a miniature Brooke Burke on my little sweetie pie's lips. 

And complete Burke's future adolescent fantasy. Wait, eeew no. Must never visualize my precious, innocent boy as a yucky teenager who wants to kiss girls. 

I'm excited to try this trick the next time I meet someone new. My only hesitation is that I will totally weird out my new acquaintance while intensely staring them down to find a noticeable feature and think of a celebrity connection. On the other hand, it might also ensure that I make good eye contact and seem genuinely interested to meet them, which of course I am.

Even if I don't remember their name the next 3 times I see them. ;)