Friday, August 31, 2012


Sorry haven't been very active posting this month -- been super busy with our big move to suburbia. My FIL got a new pastor job at a church in the western suburbs and is moving into the house next to his church and graciously offered us his house in Glenview for a temp period (we will likely be living there 6-12 months). We are extremely blessed and very excited to be given this opportunity - we will be saving money on rent and parking each month, have much more space (4 bedrooms plus a den and finished basement), and little Landon can finally have his very own yard to play in :) Glenview is also a super nice suburb with a cute town center, near the lake, lots of parks, a very safe community, and only about 20 miles from downtown. So pretty awesome and pretty perfect timing. Only pitfalls? Moving his family out and getting rid of 20 years of lots and lots of stuff collected throughout 4 kids and 2 dogs, and cleaning up many many years of memories. It was a lot of work but everything is finally out of the house (minus the garage - working progress) and the house has been professionally deep cleaned after 4 maids and 9 hours of rigorous cleaning. We will officially begin our descent into suburbia early this Sunday morning. In the meantime, I've been taking trips up north almost daily frequenting the Goodwill drop off, town dumpsters and Home Depot, and I've been a very busy bee stripping wallpaper and packing up our city life.
I have lots of really cool home decor ideas and renovation projects that I am super excited to share with you. Landon his first big boy bedroom set coming from my parents in 6-8 weeks and can't wait to post pictures when the walls are painted and everything is decorated. It's been a busy month but will have many, many more exciting things to share with you come September, so sit tight!
& in case you are feeling sorry for yourself, this is what my life has been looking like for the past 2 weeks:

Although I do have a pretty cute little helper ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Landon Lately

Squeaky clean
the cool kids on the playground
video chats with the east coast
going down the twisty slide all by himself..nbd
helping dad fix the dvd player that he broke
This doesn't always happen...but when it does I make sure to have evidence O;)Zzzz
power wheeling
boxes, bubble wrap, twizzlers. Ready to move to suburbia :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

chocolate chip banana bread

Well it's almost fall, which means lots of tasty bread making & baking for this lil momma. First up is this chocolate chip banana bread, modified from Danilo Alfaro at's recipe. This bread came out sooo good and so quick to make. And if you're anything like me, you probably always have an bunch of old mushy bananas lying around somewhere ;)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

Makes one regular sized (9''x5''x3'') loaf of bread

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I mixed half white chocolate and half chocolate)
2 big dollops of Nutella
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 large, very ripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup butter or shortening
Sidenote: I would have also added 1/2 cup of walnuts had I not noticed they expired a year ago. But they would have been a great add in!


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

3. Heat butter or substitute in microwave for about 40 seconds or until melted. Set it aside at room temperature to cool, but don't let it solidify again.

4. Peel the bananas. Using a potato masher, mash the bananas in a separate mixing bowl.

5. Add the vanilla extract to the mashed bananas.

6. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add the beaten egg to the banana/vanilla mixture.

7. Grease and flour a 9" × 5" × 3" baking pan.

8. Pour a tiny bit of the melted butter into the egg-banana-vanilla mixture and stir it in. Keep repeating, adding a slightly larger amount of the liquid butter each time until it is all incorporated.

IMPORTANT: Do not add hot melted butter to the egg-banana mixture as the heat from the butter will cook the egg and we don't want fried eggs in our bread!

9. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix no more than ten seconds. The batter will be visibly lumpy but that's good! It's extremely important not to overmix the batter, or the resulting bread will be too hard.

10. Once the liquid and dry ingredients have been combined, mix in Nutella and chocolate chips.

11. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake immediately.

NOTE: The dry and wet ingredients, respectively, can be mixed in advance, but as soon as the wet and dry ingredients have been combined with each other, the liquid will activate the baking powder and the batter must be baked right away.

12. Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

13. Once the pan is cool enough to touch, carefully invert the pan and the loaf should drop right out. Let cool at room temperature & enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Lots has been going on over here lately, and I can't divulge too much right now but basically... my head is spinning. Lots of good things, lots of bad things. Life has been brutal and beautiful. Brutiful. Isn't that always the case? Been feeling very overwhelmed and a lot of anxiety with the many changes we're currently going through, and trying to figure out a way to keep moving forward in a positive, happy, peaceful, and more simplified life, amidst all the crazy bullets life has thrown at us. We went to church on Sunday for the first time in a couple of months and {of course} I was shaken straight through to my bones. I was filled with so much clarity, knowledge, positivity, faith, love, and insight all at once, and left with a truly indescribable feeling. The message called "Inexpensive Happiness," delivered by Dr. Henry Cloud, which you can view HERE.
I realized I need to change my entire software of thinking. With every thought that comes into my mind and with my every reaction to even the most trivial instance, and especially now as we're venturing through some huge decisions and events and changes. I need to keep God first in my life as my guide and not as a last resort. I need to rid all the fear in my life that consumes and debilitates. I need to not collapse when one thing goes wrong. I started a meditation routine this morning, and I am already starting to feel a little better.
One day at a time, my monkeys.   <--Watch the video and you'll get it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I still don't eat meat so I have never actually tried this, but it seems like almost every party I've been to this summer someone made it and it's always a HUGE hit. Last night we had some friends over so I decided to try making it and it came out amazing and it was completely devoured within minutes. Below are the very simple step by step instructions.

What You Will Need:
- 1 rotisserie chicken (or 2 chicken breasts cooked/boiled)
- 1 Cup hot sauce (Frank's hot sauce or any kind will do)
- 2 (8 oz) packets cream cheese (softened. Reduced fat if you like)
- 1 Cup bleu cheese dressing (or ranch, or half ranch & half bleu cheese)
- 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
- bleu cheese crumbles

1. Mix together cream cheese and salad dressing.
2. Shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and mix together in bowl with the hot sauce.
3. Layer the cream cheese/dressing mixture along the bottom of a baking dish, and layer the chicken/hot sauce on top.
4. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese across top of chicken and add in bleu cheese crumbles in the center.
5. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to bubble.
6. Serve with tortilla chips & celery and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

lolla videos

As promised, here are a few videos from lollapalooza from on Sunday. I am still mad at myself for forgetting my flip video. And even more mad at myself for discovering that my iphone storage was full and stopped recording half way through Lionheart. But for the last two I snagged Chris' iphone and hopped up on his shoulders to get complete unobstructed videos of my faaaavorite songs, "Little Talks" by Of Monsters & Men and "Shake it Out" by Florence & the Machine. They are a little shaky because I couldn't contain myself from rocking out. Enjoy!!

Of Monsters & Men, Mountain Song
Of Monsters & Men, Lionheart
(This one is only about 30 seconds from the beginning but its still awesome, loving the crowd's energy)
Little Talks! <3
& it's hard to dance with the devil on your back so Shake it Out <33
{Sorry I got a little crazy at about the 4 minute mark}

Monday, August 6, 2012

lolla 2012

We went to Lollapalooza yesterday and I am still coming down from my high....had such an amazing time and got to see some of my favorite artists, Of Monsters & Men and Florence & the Machine, as well as other amazing performances by Justice, Jack White, Kaskade, Gaslight Anthem, & Zeds Dead. Landon even came with us for the day shows and can't wait to bring him back every other year, we had such a fun time with him. Buttt we had an even better time rocking out all night with Landon at the sitter's ;) I took two videos on top of Chris' shoulders of my absolute favorite songs -- Little Talks (Of Monsters) and "Shake it Out" (Florence). Both were ahh-mazing. The videos really do not even do them any justice but every time I re-watch them I still get goosebumps. {Will post soon} But for now here's a few pics for ya! :)
Of Monsters & Men :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Toddler Meals

I started this ever growing post back when Landon was a wee one. Now that Blair is starting to eat more solids and joining us in her high chair at mealtimes, I decided to pick this back up again. Of course not all meals are always this healthy and creative, and many nights we do chicken nuggets and pizza, and many morning we just do apples and bananas and cereal. But here are some more elaborate meals we enjoy around here:
Wearing course # 1, whole wheat spaghetti with homemade sauce. Course 2, kale chips (recipe)
quinoa, broccoli, evoo, salt & pepper, grated parmesan cheese
Greek yogurt, organic pumpkin flax granola, fresh blueberries
Scrambled eggs, tomato, avacado, garlic, onion, & parsley 
organic cheddar cheese & multi grain crackers
Lots of open faced & regular sandwiches. ^ whole wheat cracked bread with cream cheese, cucumbers, & scallions.  
whole wheat grain bread with peanut butter & plantains
always been a big fan of corn on the cob {buttered, not salted}
potato gnocchi, onion, tomato, evoo, salt & pepper, parmesan cheese, fresh basil
Quinoa, onions, corn, black beans, tomatos
lots of fresh fruit
avacado, cucumber, corn, tomato, scallions, swiss cheese, cilantro
whole wheat penne, organic tomato sauce & paste, chopped veggies (summer squash, green pepper, mushroom, & tomato), evoo, salt & pepper, & parsley
roasted pine nut hummus, carrots, green beans, honey wheat pretzels
whole wheat spaghetti, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, red onion, feta cheese, evoo, salt & pepper
spaghetti squash, red onion, corn, peas, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, evoo, salt & pepper. This looks like a complete mish mash (because it was) but it was DE-lish. Suggestion - Add some fresh shredded parm
roasted garlic & olive oil cous cous with chopped zucchini, summer squash, & red onion
farfalle, grape tomatoes, spinach, onion, garlic, evoo, grated parmesan
 Van's whole wheat & gluten-free blueberry waffles with fresh blackberries, strawberries, & cinnamon
Homemade loaded mac 'n cheese: pasta shells, evoo, brocolli, grape tomatoes, green pepper, spinach, with fresh grated mozzarella & parmesan cheese
What Landon drinks and his supplements: probiotics (supposed to help with his eczema), freshly squeezed OJ, 2% organic milk, organic coconut oil (also to help with his eczema) & gummy vites to grow big & strong :)

Will be coming back here every so often to add updates. Some other staple snacks he enjoys include pirates booty, go-gurt, raisins, graham crackers, & his all time favorite guilty pleasure: goldfish

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...