Monday, December 16, 2013

Domestic Me- Dad's Chili

Please contain your enthusiasm as I try to illustrate my achievements in the kitchen.

It has been so freaking cold and snowy here already I can tell it's going to be a long winter. When the season rolls around nothing sounds better for dinner than something warm and filling. I make a lot of soups nov-mar.

This recipe is from my dad who has made this chili....for as long as I can remember. I changed out the ground beef for ground chicken and you honestly can't tell the difference. We also accidentally got pinto beans at the store one time and haven't looked back since.

1 lb lean ground meat

1 yellow onion

1 large can tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste + 1 small can of water

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown meat and onion then drain. Add in all other ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure to have lots of shredded cheddar on hand to top the chili with- we like ours extra cheesy!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday Weekend

I am officially a year older and can now say, 30 isn't too bad :)

We kept the celebration on my actual bday pretty low key and had plans for dinner and a play with one of our friends that weekend.....

Little did I know, Mark and Jaime had been conspiring to surprise me on Saturday night at The Rookwood with my friends and family. What a great night it was and so, so thoughtful. I had such a fun time! One thing about getting older is that it takes a heck of a lot longer to recover from a night out than it used to. Sunday....woof!

Earlier in the week, St. nick visited Tanner.

We have had a ton of snow already this year. I think it snowed this much last winter total. Tanner loves watching it out the window (and playing in it outside).



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Turkey Day


Looks like we have no eyebrows? Sweet

Already cramming it in.

Surprisingly, Tanner wasn't interested in dinner- at all. I offered him every dish we had (which was a lot) and refused. No worries though, he managed to eat pumpkin and pecan pie + about a pound of whipped cream.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Many reasons to be thankful


I am definitely guilty of whining and complaining about really small, trivial things (just ask my family!). The last year has brought a lot of change and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Almost all for the good. I try to take time at the end of the day to mentally note all of the things I'm grateful for.


My sweet baby boy who has been so much fun lately.

This is us riding the train at the Festival of Lights last wknd. Obsessed with trains right now.

A family that is supportive and helpful with Tanner and our house. Especially Mark, who works hard during the day and then comes home to do even more work on the house. Oh, and deal with my antics on the daily.....

Friends that have been around for many years

Our home

Other things that are immensely valuable:

Living in a country that is safe, secure, and allows for many freedoms

Never experiencing hunger and always having a hot meal

Our health!



Friday, November 22, 2013

What do you do all day?

This is the question people ask me about being a stay at home mom. Whenever someone brings it up I never know exactly what to say. Maybe because it's hard to put into words or our days vary so much, I'm not sure

I am so grateful to be able to spend this time with Tanner- he is such a wild and funny guy and already has so much personality. He is sweet, loving, and just my pride and joy, truly. I love that I have been able to witness his big milestones and really grow into a tiny little person.


I wanted to to record what a day in the life looks like at this stage, so I can remember when he gets older. There are so many days when I look back and think 'why didn't I get more done?' Reality is, it takes exponentially longer to do anything because I'm constantly telling tanner no, don't do that, don't climb up there, chasing him to get dressed, etc. I think that's one of the most surprising things- just how long it takes to complete a simple task. Anyways, here it is.......


5-5:30: Tanner wakes up. I usually give it a few minutes before I go in and get him.

5:30-6: Turn on Sesame Street, make coffee and our breakfasts. He usually plays with some toys or a puzzle while I'm getting everything ready and Mark heads out the door for the gym around this time. Breakfast for Tanner consists of a waffle and banana or oatmeal with fruit. I have the same breakfast that I've eaten for the last 6 or 7 years: Fiber One with almond milk and fruit. Hello, old lady status.

6:30-8: After breakfast we usually play upstairs for a bit or read books and then get ready for our walk.

8-9: Walk at the park or around the neighborhood. I like to get some exercise in early on so I can run errands, have play dates, etc without having that hanging over my head.

9-11: Play dates, park, grocery, etc. We have to get out of the house every day. I'm trying to get in as much outdoor time as possible right now!

11-11:30: Lunchtime and reading before his nap. Tanner usually has some berries or apple slices with turkey or chicken and some crackers or part of a bagel. I always eat an apple with Skinny Pop or some pretzels and then I have a snack later in the afternoon.

11:30/12-2/3: If I'm lucky, Tanner will sleep for 3 hours. SO awesome! When he's napping I usually do the laundry, pick up the mess from the morning, pay any bills we have/make dr appts, etc, clean the house, and then get food ready for dinner. I also watch tv, read online, or do something to relax for a little bit.

2:30/3-4: Tanner wakes up, I make him a snack, and then we usually play outside for a bit. He loves running down our hill and just crash landing at the end. Gives me anxiety but he loves it and just laughs and laughs.

4-5:30/6: This is the hardest part of the day for me. I'm pretty tired and just waiting for Mark to get home from work. We typically play downstairs and I turn on Sesame Street or Dinosaur Train as a distraction. If he's not feeling it, I change the channel to the Food Network. Not sure if I should be proud or concerned that one of Tanner's favorite things to say is 'Ina'- clearly he's had a lot of exposure to Barefoot Contessa.

6: Dinner. Tanner has whatever we are having (most of the time a protein and some veggies)- he is a great eater for his age. No surprise he's always in the 90% for height and 70% for weight :)

6:30-7:30: Mark usually plays with Tanner for awhile after dinner. They only get a little over an hour each day to hang out together, so I let him take the reins while I clean up everything from dinner. Sometimes we'll take him over to my parents for a change of scenery.

7:30-8: Bath and bedtime. Tanner loves the bath, mainly draining the water and turning the faucet on and off. I can tell he is going to love the swim club next summer. I usually read a few books to him and then he's ready for bed. He points to his crib and I lay him in there with 2 pacis, 3 stuffed animals and his blankie, ha. I love watching him sleep on the monitor- he's so peaceful.

After he goes to bed, I clean up any toys left out from the day and turn on Bravo. It really doesn't matter what's on- I just like to sit down and decompress for a few minutes. I try to go to bed by 10 but some of my shows are on a little later and we all know I love me some Andy Cohen. So, inevitably it's a bit later most nights.

I'm exhausted after writing all that!

We have plans tonight to go to the Festival of Lights at our Zoo. I'm excited for Tanner to see it, so hopefully the weather cooperates!



Friday, November 15, 2013

Downstairs: Before & After

Our new house is a split-level floor plan, or 'raised ranch', as it was advertised. When we moved in, the downstairs was nothing more than a glorified basement. Technically, it was considered finished but we knew it was going to have to be completely overhauled. The walls were covered in faux wood paneling and had no insulation behind them- that was not going to work for us if we intended on spending time down there, especially in the cooler months.

Faux wood, track lighting, old carpet, dark molding.......

Off came the paneling and in went insulation, drywall (both done by my dad and Mark!), new carpet, can lights, fixtures and lots of paint.


*brace yourself for blurry iPhone pics.....

The space feels so warm and cozy now. Tanner and I spend lots of time down here during the day.
Downstairs is also where the 4th bedroom is located. This is perfect for our out of town guests- they have their own bathroom right across the hall and an entire living area all to themselves.
This might be one of my favorite rooms in the house. Almost everything holds sentimental value. The furniture is mine from when I was growing up, the blue chest (formerly white and black) was in our entry in Charleston, we received the painting of Fountain Square above as a wedding gift, the red toile box was my Granny's, and the book the lamp sits on was one of my texts I used in one of my Art History classes from college.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Everyone has flaws



Even Duchess Kate.

I was so excited when I stumbled upon this photo from one of my favorite websites, Betches Love This. Just awesome. Hilarious commentary on pop culture and all of my favorite reality shows.

Anyways, I love that you can see a few wrinkles and stray gray hairs. I think everyone agrees Kate Middleton is pretty close to perfect and let me say, she still looks damn good in that shot. But it's nice to see that even she, a classic beauty and icon, shows some signs of aging like all the rest of us.

This is particularly relevant as I'm turning 30 in less than a month. Officially out of my 20's and starting a whole new decade. Yikes. 30 seems so serious. I know one thing I need to get real about is a beauty routine. Any by get real, I mean actually establish one. Right now, I simply wash my face and put on sunscreen every day. That's it. Pitiful, I know.


My sister is the first one to push new anti-wrinkle products on me. My sister, who is 4 years younger. This RoC wrinkle cream is her newest find.

Maybe I'll seek professional advice once the big 3-0 arrives. Until then, I'm going to relish the last few days of my twenties.

PS Woke up to find a snow covered backyard this morning. I'm definitely not ready for winter!


Monday, November 4, 2013


Celebrated a best friend's 30th birthday

Had a successful night of trick-or-treating

Went to a reception with all my gal pals