Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mr Blue Eyes Turns 1!

I can hardly believe that 365 days ago we welcomed our first child into this world. He has brought so much love into our lives that I never thought imaginable. Being his mother has been one of the greatest and hardest jobs I've had the privlege of undertaking and I feel so blessed that he chose me. 

He was only a month when I wrote this, and it still remains true today... 
As with every new mother, there are so many things I want for our sweet boy. I want him to always know the feeling of being loved. Learn to give and receive it. Always see the good in people. Learn to love life's quiet moments. Love the beach. Love the mountains. Find what makes his heart tick. Never miss a sunset. Catch a few sunrises. See beauty in the simple. Explore. Learn. Develop. Never give up on his innocence. And as the quote says: "Respond to every call that excites your spirit".

You are the light of our lives and bring so much happiness to our hearts. Your smile is contagious and your deep blue eyes are a window into your tender soul. I know you are going to do beautiful things in the years to come and I thank god I'm lucky enough to have a front row seat as your mother. 
Happiest of birthdays sweet pea!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Coffee Talk

If we were sitting across from each other sipping a hot cup a joe I'd probably be telling you this...

...first I'd become that mother and spend the majority of our time gushing about my sweet son. I meannn look how sweet he is with Santa! It's just so heartwarming. I will literally treasure this picture forever!

...also, remember I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought George would start walking soon? Well, hello! We have a walker. I use that term lightly, but he's definitely walking across our living room. Yay for George!

... this was my scene Sunday morning. Perfect reading spot! I started China Rich Girlfriend over the weekend and have already finished it and I'm on to the 3rd book in this series, Rich People Problems. Highly recommend these books. So easy to binge read them too!

...speaking of books - I ordered the 2 books above from Amazon Prime and wouldn't you know it took longer then the free 2-day shipping. Why am I paying for Amazon Prime again?

...anyone else excited for the return of Vanderpump Rules??

...George was supposed to be napping recently and I looked at the monitor and found this sneaky little cutie reading!

...made 2 keepers for dinner recently that I must share - Baked Ziti and Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Both from the Pioneer Woman and as usual make a tonnnnn.

...currently burning this Yankee Candle. The scent combo may seem strange but don't let it fool you!! It smells so good!

...I've come up with the best company for mothers... drum roll please... a highchair detailing service. They would come to your house and detail your dirty macaroni and cheese filled highchair back to its original pristine form. Yay? Nay? How do you mothers keep them looking so clean? Especially the straps!

That's it for today! See you back here soon :)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

O. M. G.... it's Ree!

...as in Ree Drummond... as in the Pioneer Woman! Mr. B and I (and George) got to meet her last night at her signing for her new cookbook! How fun! Of course she was just like she is on TV - super bubbly and nice.

the line!!!

our celeb moment! a total professional - signing books while taking pics and still looking cute
I can't end this post without sharing two of my favorite recipes from Ree (first name basis ya know!) First up is her lasagna. This is definitely my go to recipe and it makes a tonnnn. She calls it her best ever lasagna and I think she's right!

I think I've talked about my second favorite recipe of hers before - French Breakfast Puffs. She calls them French Puffs but really they are a cinnamony donuty little pocket of goodness. I will note that she makes her in a standard muffin tin, but I think they're better using a mini muffin tin.

Plus there are tons of new and yummy recipes in her Come and Get It! Cookbook! Now, what's for dinner???

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thankful and 32!

Happy Tuesday everyone and a happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you had a fantastic holiday filled with lots of family and yummy food. We certainly did! We spent the week at the beach which I love during the off season where you can't see anyone for miles and miles, and the weather was perfection!

beautiful sunrise for Thanksgiving

my lil turkey!

Thanksgiving mimosas with mom

full heart


sweet cousins

....and.... happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my 32nd birthday and Mr. B made me my favorite cake - yellow cake with chocolate icing, a classic!

My birthday wish is another year full of new family memories, laughter and lots of love!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday's Confessions

Happy Friday everyone! Did your week fly by like mine? Thank goodness, right?! I'm here today with my Friday confessions and as always I'm linking up with the ladies below!

one | Let's just say I listened to Christmas music pretty much all day yesterday. I'm already there, aren't you? There's finally a little chill in the air which has really gotten me in the holiday spirit! What are your favorite Christmas pandora stations? I love the Eddie Higgins Trio Holiday Radio station!

two | Speaking of Christmas I pulled the plug on our holiday cards this morning. Ahead of the game, go me!

three | I don't want to be that Mom that thinks her child is the smartest in the class, butttt George is sooo close to walking I can just feel it! He has taken a step, but I just know it's going to happen any day now. Let me just live in my happy place, ok?

four | Mr. B got me the new Pioneer Woman cookbook and a ticket to go see her and have the book signed at our local bookstore. I seriously can't wait to meet her! There are so many great sections of this cookbook like sheet pan dinners and dinners under 40 and 20 minutes.

five | Am I the only one who doesn't understand Aldi??? I finally went after hearing my sister rave about it and I just wasn't that impressed. I couldn't find everything I needed and the pricing wasn't as great as I had heard? I may give it one more try, but to be honest all of the locations are really out of the way so it's not a sustainable way to grocery shop. And speaking of Aldi... I was talking to my sister on the phone this morning about it and looked on Instagram after we got off and wouldn't you know there was a sponsored ad for Aldi. I mean really? Is it anymore obvious that our apps are listening to us?

Monday, November 6, 2017


Happy Monday everyone! I'm just getting my week started with a cozy cup of hot joe. Actually it started at 5:45am when my littlest friend decided it was time to wake up! How was your weekend friends? Did you make the most of Daylight Savings?? We mostly had a low key weekend with a special ending. Friday basically consisted of falling alseep on the couch while watching reruns of Modern Family which if you really want to know is my most favorite way to spend a Friday evening. Saturday morning we visited our favorite coffee shop which we hadn't done while doing our Whole 30. It was nice to have a family coffee run! The rest of Saturday was spent in the kitchen for me and watching football for Mr. B. I was busy whipping up yummy foods for our sweet George's Dedication which happened Sunday at Mr. B's hometown church. It was so special to do it there and I know Mr. B was so proud! I'd say George did pretty good, but it was definitely a struggle to keep him quiet the whole service!

And because you know I love a good menu here's what we had for lunch...
Chicken Salad - the only chicken salad recipe you need!
Ham Rolls
Mixed Green Salad - Strawberries, Blue Cheese, Spiced Pecans, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Deviled Eggs
Vivian Howard's Cheese Ball - a must holiday appetizer!!
Carrot Cake - another amazing recipe!

Chicken Salad from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook
2 - 3 pounds chicken, shredded or chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 scallions, diced
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup mayo
Mix it all up and enjoy! Add more mayo and lemon juice as needed.

A beautiful ending to a special day for our family

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fast Five

Here's your fast five for Friday before we're all off skipping through fields and smelling roses for the weekend... And as always I'm linking up with the ladies below!

I'm a self proclaimed robe-aholic and I have no problem admitting it. I love my robe, but I really need a new one and need your suggestions! Do you have a favorite? I've been in search of the same robe that's at our local spa which you can get in their gift shop for a pretty penny.

Where has the time gone?? Below is 3 months vs 10 months. We went from having a little baby to a boy. It's crazy! And he's so handsome and sweet with those gorgeous blue eyes. I just can't get enough!

Patiently waiting for my Erin Condren 2018 planner to come in! Took the plunge and I'm going back to your basic paper planner next year and I hope it sticks. I used to loveeee a planner! I went with the Deluxe Monthly Planner because I really just need a streamlined version.

Ya'll I've been loving this Maybelline Brightening Concealer. It's the perfect blend of creaminess and coverage and the price doesn't hurt!

Do you moms out there follow Cat & Nat on Facebook or Instagram?? Their Mom Truth videos are hilarious! I think their childhood friends that reconnected after having children and then all the goodness was born between them. Go check them out and get your laugh on!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Whole 30 Final Wrap Up

If you read yesterday we finished the Whole 30! So, yay to us! Now on to what really matters - the non-scale victories. First, let me say that I pulled out the scale and it actually didn't even work so there's that. No real firm idea on results, but we're ok with that! 

Non-Scale Victories | glowing skin, flatter stomach, leaner appearance, clothes and wedding rings fitting better, less bloating, feeling confident, fewer seasonal allergies, no acid reflex, no heartburn, less joint and muscle pain, happier, more outgoing, fewer mood swings, fewer sugar and carb cravings, healthier relationship with food, practicing mindful eating, started listening to body, sleeping like a champ, awake refreshed, tons of energy, maximized food budget, less food waste. 

You're probably thinking "Anna come one! That's a really long list!" And you're right it is. Check here for the full list of potential non-scale victories.

Now onto the food! Below were are favorite recipes from the last 30 days. Even if you're not doing Whole 30 these are great weeknight dinner options.

one | Loaded Sweet Potatoes Fries
I talked about this a lot and made it several times. It's so good! The spice mix is actually the best part. Run and make this now!

All day Errrr day!! Like I couldn't get enough of this. It seriously takes like a better version of your Starbucks latte. So yummy!

three | Meatloaf
Honestly, this meatloaf may be my go to recipe now. The flavor is so much better than any I've had in the past!

Great option for a "sweet" treat!

This trend has been going on for awhile and I'm very late to the party. This is delicious and definitely covers the asian/take out chinese cravings!

That pretty much sums up our Whole 30! Can't believe we did it. We're already talking about next Whole 30.... whodathunkit!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Whole 30 Week 4 Recap

That's right folks - we finished the Whole 30! No cheating or corner cutting. Followed all the rules to the best of our knowledge. I'm so proud of us for completing this journey together. I really and truly never thought we'd finished it all the way through like we have. I actually think typing this weekly recap has kept me accountable, so thank you! 

For all those who think they can't - you can! We had our own obstacles that challenged us as well. For one, Mr. B leaves for work before the sun comes up and he's never in his office during lunch time so that alone was a challenge to figure out how we were going to make that work. We decided on these mini frittatas for breakfast that he could just grab and reheat when he had a minute. He also committed to reheating leftovers for lunch which meant he didn't always eat lunch at a normal hour. Also, we had 3 out of town birthday parties over our 30 days. That's 3 cupcakes for 3 of our favorite littles that we had to pass up and it really didn't hurt that badly! I can't remember the last time I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner at home for 30 days straight. Doing the Whole 30 = dishes plain and simple.

So, let's get into it! I've tried to link up compliant brands and recipes where applicable.

Day 22
Breakfast: Mini Frittata, coffee with almond milk
Lunch: Leftover Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Dinner: Meatballs and homemade sauce

Day 23
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, Whole 30 Latte
Lunch: Leftover kebabs and collards
Dinner: Pan seared pork chops, sauteed spinach and sweet potato fries

Day 24
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and avocado
Lunch: Chiptole salad - lettuce, carnitas, pico, guac
Dinner: Egg roll in a bowl

Egg roll in a bowl

Day 25
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and avocado
Lunch: Chopt Classic Cobb Salad (no bacon or cheese) with Tessemae's ranch dressing
Dinner: Burgers with roasted asparagus

Day 26
Breakfast: Hard boiled eggs, coffee with almond milk and cinnamon
Lunch: Leftover collards and Larabar
Dinner: Grilled steaks and Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Day 27
Breakfast: Leftover herbed sweet potato salad with egg, avocado and bacon, coffee with almond milk and cinnamon
Lunch: Burgers
Dinner: Mr. B's BBQ and sweet potato fries

Day 28
Breakfast: Larabar
Lunch: Egg roll in a bowl
Dinner: Meatloaf and roasted asparagus
Snack: Chili Lime Nuts

Chili Lime Nuts

Day 29

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, chicken sausage and latte
Lunch: Leftover egg roll in a bowl
Dinner: Leftover meatloaf and baked sweet potato

Day 30
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avocado, coffee and almond milk with cinnamon
Lunch: Leftover egg roll in a bowl
Dinner: BBQ bowls (bbq, avocado, cilantro, red onion, cole slaw mix, chili mayo)

Final Thoughts!
-Our meal plan has not been perfect I know... lots of eggs, sweet potatoes, burgers, etc. and I'm ok with that. I felt completely overwhelmed week one with what to make. When you search Whole 30 recipes there are tons of great options, but I felt like we were only going to be successful and not completely blow our grocery budget if we just kept it simple. 

So, where do we go from here?? Check back later this week for our favorite recipes and our NSV's (non-scale victories)! Also, I have added a Whole 30 page on the blog that will be the keeper of our weekly recaps.