Thursday, December 30, 2010

The love of my life

Did I mention that I am absolutely in love with this here boy?

Thanks to my best friend being super nice to us and taking pity after I whined for days about not having seen him in a while, we got to meet up on Christmas Eve for a little bit.

We got to watch this little goober open his presents and let us spoil him just a tiny itty bitty bit.

It was amazing to see our friends too! It's super hard to be over 2 hours apart from your best buds, especially when they have this little treasure.

I guess that things are just going to get harder with babies in the picture since visiting isn't as easy as it once used to be.

There's no way I could throw an extra pair of underwear, a tooth brush, and a sweatshirt and head over to the Boston area to hang out anymore.  Now it's more like packing a suitcase full of bottles, onesies, and whatever else the cute little monsters require.

But that's alright because if you're super stubborn like me and my besties, we'll make it work.

That's what we bought an SUV for anyways, right?

I mean, who can resist these scrumptious little fingers and toes?

And once Addi is born, we'll have to make the trips even more frequent.

Cuz, you know, she has to get to know her future hubs real well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Four things

Do you ever read someone's blog and think that you're friends?  Especially if they reply to your comments?  It must be a true friendship.  Anyways, Jessica over at How Sweet It Is posted this.  Challenge accepted! (Yes, I know it wasn't a challenge.  Can't you just play along this once?)

1. Four TV shows that I watch:
  • 16 and Pregnant
  • Teen Mom/Teen Mom 2
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • 30 Rock

2. Four things that I’m passionate about:
  • Cleaning
  • Food 
  • Family
  • Friends

3. Four words/phrases I use a lot:
  • "Man it out" (There's a story behind this. It's not long nor funny)
  • "Nobooooooody loooooves me" (you have to sing it and pout at the same's not easy but I'm really good at it)
  • "Wicked"
  • "Thingy" (this could be a remote, a spatula, some sort of a tool, a computer part...the list goes on; however, you are expected to know exactly what I am referring to)

4. Four things I’ve learned from the past:
  • Travis farts.  A lot.  I didn't know dogs could be that gross.
  • Dirty dishes don't clean themselves.  But husbands do.  (An important note here is that you first have to cook an intricate meal first).
  • Marriage isn't easy.  It's not hard either.  But it's not easy.  I'm just sayin'.
  • I get really really irritated when I'm hungry.  If I'm snappy, I'd suggest feeding me.

5. Four places I would like to go:
  • Paris
  • Venice
  • Moscow (again and again)
  • California

6. Four things I did yesterday:
  • Went to BJ's, Home Depot, TJ Maxxx
  • Went to my dr's appointment and heard Peanut's heartbeat
  • Had a prenatal massage (thanks to my thoughtful husband)
  • Walked on the treadmill

7. Four things I am looking forward to:
  • Becoming a mommy
  • Meeting Peanut
  • Having my body back
  • Drinking champagne

8. Four things I love about winter:
  • The holidays
  • Snow
  • Cozy nights by the fire
  • Being cold

Your turn!  
PS- If you accept this challenge, post a link in the comments so I could check it out!

Most amazing and super easy pot roast in a slow cooker

I have this recipe to make Pot Roast in the slow cooker.  It is the easiest least time-consuming recipe that requires the minimum amount of ingredients.  The result?  A pot roast that falls off your fork and tastes so good that you'll be licking your chomps for days after.  If you have chomps to lick.

What you'll need:
  • A good cut of beef chuck for the roast itself; this recipe calls for about 2 2.5-pound chucks, but I usually just make one 2-3 pound piece.  Make sure that it is marbled and has lots of fat.  The better the cut, the more delicious the roast.
  • 1 packet dry salad dressing - Italian
  • 1 packet dry salad dressing - Ranch
  • 1 packet dry Brown Gravy
  • 1/2 cup of water

I know what you're thinking.  That's it?  And yes. That's it.  There's literally nothing to it and it comes out amazing.  I have witnesses to prove it.

Put the roast in the slow cooker.  In a bowl, mix the salad dressing, gravy and water.  Then poor over the meat.

Set your slow cooker for 8 hours on a low setting and enjoy the afternoon.

Unfortunately, there are no "ready" pictures because someone, *cough* Jon *cough* dug in pretty much the second the timer went off.

I suggest serving it with delicious, cheese mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.  That's what we had for our last Christmas with just the two of us.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Amazon Gift Card Winners

Ladies and gentlemen (on seocnd thought, do any guys actually read this?), it's time we pick the winners of the Amazon Gift Card.  Provided to you by moi.

monkeetrouble said...
I am already a google follower and on my Christmas wish list is a new camera

Rachel R. said...
Already a GFC follower (Rachel R.). I want a cover for my Kindle! 


As usual, you gots 48 hours to claim your prizes (I'll send you an e-mail if you put an e-mail down with your entry).


Progressive Dinner

Jon's family has some of the coolest traditions around the Holidays.  I love being part of them!  One of the best ones, in my opinion, is the Progressive dinner.  But it only works when everyone lives in close proximity.

Basically, everyone picks a course to serve (salad, appetizer, dinner, dessert) and we all drive from house to house to look at the decorations and enjoy family and good food.  It combines my favorite things in this world - Holiday decorations, family, and good food.  I can't get enough.

One of the houses has a little farm with geese, chickens, cows, and goats.  They are so fun (although really loud).

These guys are still babies.

And here are some grown up chickens. 

This is Eli, one of Jon's cousins.  I often steal his monies.  I don't think he likes that.  I also give him wet willies.  He definitely doesn't like that.

Jon and his cousin decided to go skating in their shoes.

Which really meant that they got shoe-fulls of slush.

The end.

One of the family photos.  I love these guys.  I don't know why I didn't get a picture at every house (possibly because I was too busy eating delicious food).

Jon and his brother with Bella, attempting to take a family picture in front of the tree.

Jon's sister couldn't make it but here are the four of us in front of the tree.  4.5 really if you count Peanut.

And what kind of a photo-op would this be if Jon didn't make a face.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fantasy of lights

One of the things that I love the most about the holidays is everyone's decorations.  I love driving by people's houses and looking at their bright lights and pretty displays.  This year, Jon and I took it a step further and went to check out the Fantasy of Lights in New Haven, CT.  Every year around the holidays the Easter Seals Goodwill industries put on an amazing holiday display.

You can enjoy these from the warmth of your car while listening to holiday music.

My pictures don't do them justice.  But if you have kids or just love the holiday light displays, you should definitely check it out.  The display is up from November 18th through December 31st at the Lighthouse Point Park (2 Lighthouse Road, New Haven, CT) and I'm sure there are similar displays in the area near you!

The fee is a suggested donation of $10 per car - and it's all for charity!

So if you're sitting around with nothing to do and your kids are begging to be entertained, look up a holiday display near you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Belly Update - 37 Weeks

Merry Christmas everyone (who celebrates Christmas)!

Jon and I made out like bandits this year and I have about a gazillion pictures and recipes to post for you, but I'll start with a Belly update.  Today marks 37 weeks or official "full-term" for P-nizzle.

Not too much has changed since Week 36 except I, somehow, keep growing!  Honestly, at this point I didn't think it would be possible, but now that I look at the pictures, belly continues to get bigger and bigger.  It's a miracle I don't fall over when I walk!

On a slightly different note, all my "buddies" on the What To Expect discussion board that are due in January seem to be going into labor or having their babies!  I'm a little jealous since I'm dying to meet our little Peanut.

Anyone want to start taking bets on when Peanut will be here?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Belly review

 Don't forget to enter the current giveaway: 2 Amazon Gift Cards!

I was browsing through my external hard drive (something everyone should have), and I ended up looking through all the Belly pics.  And what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't make you look through them with me?

4 weeks
8 weeks
14 weeks
16 weeks
20 weeks
24 weeks
26 weeks
28 weeks
34 weeks
36 weeks
Got any belly pics to share?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spinach manicotti in creamy tomato sauce

I love manicotti.  The end.

Just kidding. It's only the beginning.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Salt and pepper
  • Manicotti shells (the recipe calls for 8 from an 8 oz package)
  • 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 container (15 ounce) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 package (10 ounce) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells for about 7 minutes.  

On a side note, no matter how nicely these are packaged, there are always some broken ones.

Why does that always happen to me?

I guess it's a good thing you don't use all of them.  Although the broken ones still taste good.  I promise.

Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Hahaha.  Why am I so immature?

Also, I accidentally put the whole cup in.  Then I had to scoop half a cup back out.  Perhaps I should learn how to read directions.  Although I never do.

Anyways, stir in the spinach and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Now here's a cool little trick.  Transfer the filling to a large zip-top plastic bag.  Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner.  With scissors, snip a 3/4 inch opening in corner.

Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell.

Except that didn't work for me.  I ended up using my fingers.  These shells are an indication of what my hands looked like.

I guess I'm just a hands-on kinda gal.  Anyways, arrange them in a glass baking dish.  In another bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and cream.

Okay, so that's not 2 tablespoons.  But I like cream.  What can I say?

Top the whole thing with that other half cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake until sauce in center is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots (about 30 minutes).


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