Friday, February 28, 2014

Birthday Love From Daddy's Girl

Dear Daddy, 
I hear it's a very special day! You turn "the BIG 3-0" today and Mommy says it's a big deal. I hope you have the best day, you sure deserve it. Thank you for everything you do for our little family and for always being here for us. Mommy says we are two of the luckiest ladies. Even though I'm only a few months new I know this is true. Come home soon so we can play. I promise to give you extra giggles and smiles. Maybe I'll even sleep through the night. Happy Birthday Daddy! 

Ella Rose
PS- The X's are kisses and the O's are hugs.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Happy #BloggerBliss Wednesday! Today I'm linking up with Heather and Meg to rave about some awesomeness I've discovered this past month. Who doesn't love a "favorite things" post? What's more fun - reading them OR writing them? For me, it's a tie. I guess I'm a little late jumping on a few of these bandwagons. Better late than never! 

Frozen - "Do you want to build a snow mannnnnn?" Adorable movie, amazing soundtrack...I'm a little obsessed
Folgers Black Silk K Cups - This has been my new favorite since I've finally started drinking coffee again! It's been the only way to semi-function this week. 
HMDX - Burst Portable Rechargeable Speaker - All I needed was a tiny little speaker to get me through test prep at work. This will come in handy over the next few months while we get ready for FCAT. So far it's been a nice addition to our testing cave castle!
Butternut Squash - My new "go-to" side dish has been roasted butternut squash (cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, spread on a little butter, roast at 425 degrees for an hour). I wasn't sure how to link you all to this so I went with a wiki page! Read up! Now we all know some fun facts about this delicious winter squash that is also known as cucurbita moschata. 
Jordana Fabuliner - I've been on the lookout for a good cheapo black eyeliner. This is it!
Naked 3 Palette - You could create so many simple looks with these basic shades. Love the color payoff (that's right, I've been watching youtube tutorials so I know the lingo)!
Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo - This is what I use on the days I don't wash my hair. Out of all the dry shampoos I've tried, this one works and smells the best (in my opinion)!
Rimmell Stay Matte Foundation - I'm not one for foundation in general, but some days I need a little something to even out my complexion. Let's just say I've been reaching for it more and more lately. I'm a fan of the consistency...and the coverage...and the price!
Krave Cereal - I may have a problem. Krave is a very fitting name..."Krack" may have worked a little better though. This morning I opened a new box. It's not long for this world. I eat them dry out of a ziploc bag like a child. 
This compilation of favorites was all a little random, I'm aware. I hope you enjoyed it anyway! 
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Go Away Germs!

Oh NO! Ella is feeling under the weather! If you follow my updates you may already know that our peanut is experiencing her first sickness. Of course this is not a "first" I was looking forward to. Such an "unfun" (is that even a word?) milestone! Here is a quick update on my little trooper...

After running a fever basically all weekend (it never got higher than 100.6), she needed to be seen. Her cough if anything was getting worse, and last night was rough. She woke up often, and even when she was sleeping she was very restless. Since her nursery doubles as a guest room, I've been sleeping in there for the past three nights. At 1:00 I nursed her for a bit and noticed a little rash around her mouth. I freaked out and Googled it, I was convinced she had scarlet fever. It's been determined that Google is not a mother's friend!  

Stephen was able to go into work late and take her to the Pediatrician this morning. My poor girl has bronchitis (I guess I'm not a doctor), yuck! They gave her a nebulizer treatment in the office, and prescribed her some meds. 

It seems as though she is starting to feel a bit better! The good news is that she is no longer running a fever. Her appetite seems alright even though she is spitting up a little more than usual. She is a little playful which is a relief. Of course she is a little on the mushy side...not my usual happy girl. 

I hate seeing her this way. Like I said yesterday...we knew it would happen at some point.  I know I'm being a typical nervous mom, and everyone goes through this...but man it is so heart breaking! I can not WAIT for these icky germs to go away and for my girl to be back to her normal self! Ahhh, I just love her so much! Hopefully we see a big improvement tomorrow!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's cooking this week?

For this week, I decided to go through my recipe archives and make a few favorites. Sometimes I get so hung up on trying new recipes that I forget I have an entire rotation of pre-approved meals!  
Tonight: Mom's "Bowl Tipping"' Chicken Soup
Monday: Grilled Chicken with Roasted Winter Veggies
Tuesday: Apple Turkey Picadillo
Wednesday: Butternut Squash Spinach Salad with Chicken (never had a chance to make it last week)
Thursday: Loaded Veggie Pizza
Friday: Pressed Chicken Fajita Burgers

Our poor baby is sick. We knew it would happen at some point AND that it wouldn't be fun...but you can never really prepare for this sort of thing. Ella is all congested, coughing, and has a very low fever. We have been in communication with the Pediatrician and she may want to see her tomorrow if the fever continues. It was down to 98.9 this morning, so I'm hoping this yucky sickness is working its way out. She has been sleeping well through the night, I've been sleeping in there with her (bonus feature of having a nursery/guest room). Overall she seems okay. Obviously she is not entirely herself but she still plays with her toys and rolls around on the floor when we put her on her mat. It just breaks my heart especially when she cries...she lost her voice a bit so it sounds like a sad little whimper. Baby Girl is napping right now, fingers crossed that she feels much better when she gets up. Stephen and I are feeling a little off too. Maybe the whole family has been infected with some sort of bug, OR we are just having sympathy pains for the peanut. Whatever it is, this isn't the most fun weekend...we'll have to make up for it next week! Chicken Soup sounds PERF for tonight! 

Hopefully you are all having a better weekend than we are over here!!!!

Don't forget Heather's BLISS link-up on Wednesday! I'll be participating and sharing some of my favorite things with you all Fo' Sho'!
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Boys Behind The Blog {Link-up #9}

Hey there! Round NINE...say whatttt?!? This has been a full term pregnancy worth of link-ups! NO, I am not pregnant again (dear lord that would be cray)'s just how my mind works now I guess.  Is that weird? Probably.

Mal and I have a little extra incentive for your guy to play along this month. Before I get into the details, let's hear from my guy!
1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
Anywhere? Like Mars? Ok, clearly not Mars.
Inspired by underwater hotels in tropical locales, I would have a home built underwater near the Great Barrier Reef. Have you ever seen some of those places? Absolutely amazing.

2. Sand or snow?
I enjoy visiting the snow, but living near the sand.

3. What Winter Olympic sport would you rock at?
Skeleton. Definitely skeleton.

4. You're cooking a romantic dinner- what is your go-to dish?
I feel like this is the kind of question that can be used against me at a future time. I can’t say I have any one specialty; I would be more apt to try something different each time. Most people would be afraid of messing up by not having a go-to, but I think that would just make a good story for later if anything did go wrong.

5. Fill in the blank: This year, I gave Stephanie a new eye shadow palette for Valentine's Day. She lost her Naked palette (left it in a hotel room as far as we have surmised) sometime last year and was devastated. She “casually” mentioned that there was a new one coming out a few months back, and I held onto that info. She was very surprised.
Ok, it's me again...YES I was surprised with my gift, he's the best! 
Is your boy being resistant to answering these five questions? Bribe him with a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card! Think of what he could use that for?!?! Maybe he could put it towards a Naked 3 pallet for his amazing lady? Just an idea fellas...! Ha! Enter the rafflecopter below before midnight on the 28th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now don't forget to grab a button, and link up with us (this is basically the most important part)!
Never The Same Spice Twice
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Heather @ From Here to There - {Guest Post}

Today I have a fun guest post by my 'Savory' sponsor Heather over at From Here to There! Make sure you check out her cute blog AND join her on the 26th for her new favorite things link-up...BLISS!
Hey y'all!  I know when I read guests posts, I want them to be one of three things: (1) humorous -  I don't find myself to be really funny - so that's out of the question (2) informative - either a recipe or a tutorial - and I don't have either of those today or (3) an introduction - which is what you're about to get!  I enjoy reading a few facts about other bloggers when they guest post so I can determine if I would enjoy reading their blog and keeping up with their life.  Hopefully, you'll get a quick glimpse into who I am and what I'm about and fingers crossed, you'll decide we should be friends!  If you come to that conclusion, hop over to my blog, From Here to There, and say hey so I can come check out your blog too!

Here are 9 facts about me:

{1} I did the Disney College Program
By far, this is one of the most interesting things about me.  People usually squeal and freak out over it - so I figured it was a good place to start.  I lived at Disney for 7-8 months, lived with 7 other girls, and worked at the Boardwalk Resort as a Housekeeper.  For the most part, it was less than glamorous, but I'm a Disney fanatic now.  If you are too, chances are, we'd be great friends!

{2} I love Reese's
Not a lot of explanation here.  I will say that blogging and my love of Reese's has brought on excessive benefits.  Let's just say, I haven't bought my own Reese's in about 3 years now.  They are always included in swap gifts, friend gifts, and anything else that comes with blogging.  I'm usually stashed up.

{3} I attempt to be fit
I can't say that I'm always fit or that I enjoy working out.  I enjoy the benefits of working out, but sometimes I don't have all the motivation in the world.  My workout of choice is running; however, I do my best to dabble in other forms.  I've done 3 half-marathons (2 of which were at Disney - The Disney Wine & Dine, The Disney Princess) and I've done 1 triathlon.  This May I'll be doing a 50 mile Bike Ride.  I've also done a Beach 5K.  I'm not great at being adventurous, so I have to force myself or else I'd lead a pretty dull life.

{4} I'm raising money for Diabetes
I mentioned that 50 mile Bike Ride above.  I'm doing that race in honor of my childhood best friend.  She has lived with diabetes since we were kids and it has always been close to my heart.  I grew up knowing how to give her shots if needed, test her blood sugar if needed, and how to respond during an emergency.  This may not be your thing, but if it is - You can donate here.  My minimum to raise is $200, but my goal is $1000.  As you can see, I have a ways to go!  Any donation is appreciated!

{5}I'm hosting a new fun link-up
If you like link-ups, I'm fairly certain you'll like this one.  It's simple.  Once a month, share some of your favorite things!  They don't have to be products - although I wouldn't complain about learning of a new product I should be using!  They can be favorite people or favorite moments from the past month.  If it brought you "Bliss" then you have a reason to link-up!  The first link-up with be February 26th!

{6} I'm a vegetarian
This is recent.  I've watched the documentary Vegucated and read the book Main Street Vegan. They both were very informative.  If you've thought about going vegetarian or vegan, you should watch and read those!  I'm not a vegan - haven't made that plunge yet, but I became a vegetarian on January 1st of this year and so far so good!

{7} I live with my parents
Crazy, right?  I moved back home in August and began searching for a job.  I went unemployed for about 4 months, working odds and ends here and there.  I finally landed a job in January and it's been great so far!  I do plan on moving out in a few months, but right now... I'm accepting my place and moving forward with life.  It's not ideal, but it's not worst case scenario either - I'm extremely blessed to have parents that allow me to live at home, rent free!

{8} My goal is contentment
I have struggled with being content where God places me for a long time.  I finally accepted my placement and chose "contentment" as my word of the year!  If you struggle with finding contentment - then we can relate!

{9} I have a main squeeze
Lastly, I know most people enjoy seeing that "significant other".  Nick and I have been together for about 6 years now.  He's a Mechanical Engineering student and we are as different as night and day, but he's my main squeeze!  I don't understand him half of the time, but I love our differences and how they balance us out.

If you think we'd be friends, I would LOVE for you to stop by my blog and say hi, tell me a few facts about you, and strike up a new blogging friendship!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mediterranean Chicken Pizza

Oh man, this is a good one! My apologies for the blurry pic! Why does it only have cheese on half? The fun half was Hubby's. Unfortunately I'm watching the dairy consumption (I've since started cheating a bit here and there). We make a lot of pizza in our house. I love the endless possibilities. This particular creation was too good not to share with you all. We've made it a second time as a flat bread (just split the dough in half, roll it out thin and cook for less time). Both ways were delicious...I didn't even miss the cheese, no joke!
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 red onion - sliced
3 cups of fresh spinach (could also use a package of frozen)
1/2 cup of roasted red peppers - sliced
1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts - chopped
1/4 cup of kalamata olives - halved
Pizza dough
1-2 cups of pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, stir often until cooked throughout. Lower heat to medium, add red onion and garlic - cook for 2-3 minutes. 
2. Add spinach, stir often until wilted, then add roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives. Stir thoroughly so veggies are all combined - add salt and pepper to taste. Turn down heat. 
3. Roll out pizza dough, add desired amount of sauce, top with chicken/veggie mixture and then as much mozzarella and parmesan cheese as you wish! Cook pizza according the the directions for the dough. 
Mmmmmm, so tasty!
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

What's cooking this week?

How is it Sunday again already?! Here I am, planning another yummy week of dinners!  
Tonight: Chicken Parmesan
Monday: Crock Pot Lentil Soup
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches
Wednesday: Pulled Pork
Thursday: Butternut Squash Spinach Salad with Chicken

Reunited and it feels so goooooood....
I started introducing a little bit of dairy back into my diet this past week. So far, it's going well! I may just have to have it for dinner tonight. What good is "parmless" chicken parm?! Ella seems to be doing fine with the small amounts I've had here and there. Regardless, I'm being careful not to go overboard with it.

So far it's been a fabulous weekend. We took Ella for her first visit to a local park, then met up with some friends in Orlando for a yummy dinner at Yellow Dog Eats. If you are in Orlando, you MUST check this place out! Their pulled pork is unbelievable! I had the pulled pork tacos (shocking, I know)...they were "phenom". I might have to try to recreate them at home somehow. Today we are doing the Sunday usual - including but not limited to the following exciting activities:
-Making more homemade babyfood (squash)
-Putting Ella's clothes that don't fit in a storage bin (sad face)
-Going to the store to finish shopping for Hubby's 30th (might put this off until next week)
-Cleaning and rearranging some furniture (need to free up space for our little roller)

Hope you're all having a great weekend!
Don't forget to enter to win a pretty "Little Headband"!
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Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sweetest Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!
Hubby and I are very excited about celebrating with our little sweetie! I'll be counting down the minutes until I can come home tonight (after I chaperone the Valentine's Day dance) and kiss those chunky cheeks. It won't be unlike every other night, but still! These photos from our quick Valentine's photo sesh yesterday were just too cute not to share!
Ella even brought some Valentines in for her friends at "school" today!
(I just had to!)
Hope it's a great day with the ones you love!
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Little Headband Shop - Review & Giveaway

Brace yourself for the cuteness! I've got a fun little giveaway today brought to us by my girl Amy! Is it obvious that I have an obsession with headbands for my little lady? Duh! I'd love to share with you all a new favorite shop of mine called The Little Headband Shop. Not only are these headbands "totes adorbs", but Amy is the sweetest! She sent me this gorgeous vintage floral shabby headband for Ella, I'm in love with it. Not only is it pretty, it fits her so well too. I know sizing sometimes can be an issue but it was spot on for her age. It stays on all day yet doesn't leave indents in her head...score! Ella certainly attracts some extra attention when she rocks this headband. 
Aren't these the prettiest?! Drool....I'm pretty sure Ella NEEDS them all! They would be oh so perfect for a photo "sesh"! Use the code "BEMINE" for free shipping on all orders placed before midnight on Valentines Day!
Make sure you enter to win the giveaway below! Amy is giving away this teal and grey floral beauty to a lucky winner! Be sure to check out Amy's shop and Facebook page and send some love her way! 
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ella's Five Month Update

Here we are again already! It's time for another update on Miss Ella Rose! Just like last month, I'm late on this by a little over a week. Where do I begin? Things in the "Sko" home have been downright FUN! This kid is amazing...I'm only slightly biased. Seems like each month is more exciting than the last, and this past month brought a lot of new developments!
I know I said last month she had finally become a happy smiley baby...but somehow she has gotten even happier and smilier! What a JOY! No joke, she lights up the room with her big huge smile and beautiful eyes. My heart could explode I am so full of love for this girl! 
Ella is growing to be so strong and it's happening so fast. She is constantly exploring the world around her, feeling different textures and of course putting anything and everything in her mouth. I love how playful she is now! She has the kung-fu grip and she will grab your hair...or her newest thing is to grab at your cheeks. Now she rolls from front to back and back to front. Even though she has been doing it for a bit now it shocks me how quickly she flips herself over. Her jumparoo is becoming her new favorite activity. I'm not sure who is more entertained by it (it's probably me). She is also making new sounds, lately it's been sounding like she is saying "Bob". Again...I'm very entertained!

Teething is about as fun as (insert extremely "un-fun" example here) and we hate it. We have tried the Hyland's Teething Tablets and they seem to help a bit. Like I said, everything seems to make their way into her mouth so we keep Sophie the giraffe, and Coco the monkey close by - along with several other teethers! 

She eats solids now once a day around dinnertime! We started with a week of just oatmeal, then we introduced sweet potatoes for a week, followed by apples and then pears. She seems to like the sweet potatoes and pears best. The apples are a little tart and takes her a while to adjust to the taste. Overall, she seems to LOVE sitting and eating with us at the table. Such a big girl!
In addition to introducing her to solids, the biggest change this past month has been to her sleep routine. I'm not a fan of using the word "routine" because it will probably change again tomorrow. It's different in the sense that I no longer nurse her to sleep. Up until about 4 and a half months I was nursing her in our room and then transferring her to her room once she fell asleep. Now she gets a bottle (half breast milk, half formula) around 9 and we put her down right after. It's been working beautifully for about three weeks now. I've been afraid to admit it, hopefully I don't jinx it now! She has been sleeping through the night about 90% of the time! Because of the fact that I am missing out on nursing her one (or more) times in the middle of the night, my milk supply seems to be decreasing. I've been drinking my Milkmaid Tea and I heard that eating oatmeal helps. Any other tips? As far as naps go, she still takes her longest nap in the morning (about 3 hours) and then another one (about an hour) right before dinner. She loves snoozing in her glider with Kermie...

I think I covered all of the basics. Everyday has been incredible watching her grow and discover the world around her! It's already apparent that this next month is going to be another good one!
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

What's cooking this week?

The meal plan for next week is set AND I've triple checked the shopping list to make sure I didn't forget anything. If you read my post from yesterday, you know why it is extra important I don't mess this up!  No joke, I set the fire alarm off last night while roasting potatoes! What is my deal?! It's a pretty safe week, nothing too adventurous...I should be able to handle it!
Tonight: Sunday Sauce
Monday: Crock Pot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Tuesday: Tacos!!!
Wednesday: Cucumber Avocado Subs
Thursday: Mediterranean Chicken Pizza

I haven't made Sunday Sauce in a LONG time! Ever since I eliminated dairy from my diet I've been avoiding most pasta. Sauce just doesn't seem nearly as fun without parmesan cheese! The Pediatrician gave me the green light a while back to start introducing dairy back into my diet bit by bit. I've been SO scared to rock the boat...but I'm thinking this may be a good trial run. I'll only try adding the tiniest bit. We'll see how it goes.

Another cozy movie day JUST like yesterday seems perfect! We all have stuffy noses, it's cold out (for Florida), and we have another busy week to rest up if I need justification!
Besides, who wouldn't want to snuggle this little cutie all weekend long?!
Happy Sunday!
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

These Are My Confessions

Confession time! Despite what some of you may think...I do mess up in the meal department from time to time! There have been some nights here and there where I've said to Hubs "they can't all be winners". I've been known to do the following:
-Leave ingredients off of my shopping list
-Over or undercook (usually over)
-Use too much or too little seasoning
-Let "eyeballing" get the best of me
-Misjudge and mistakenly cook for a small army
-Get carried away when adding my own flair
-Not leave myself enough time and end up eating dinner at 8
-Try a recipe that is a total DUD

Who's with me? Beuller...? This past week happened to be one of those imperfect weeks. I forgot the beef broth for the French Dip Sandwiches AND I forgot the tomato sauce for the Picadillo! In addition to forgetting ingredients - I completely messed up the Spicy Shrimp Soup somehow. Spice doesn't normally get to me but this soup was SO spicy that Hubs and I could barely tolerate it. We tried crumbling tortillas in it in the hopes they would tone down the spice a bit - to no avail. Basically we ended up having tortillas for dinner with a side of fire soup!

After searching Pinterest cooking fails for the past 20 minutes, I feel much better about my week of food related disasters! Here is one that made me literally LOL:
Incidentally, I read this awesome article that was shared on HelloGiggles the other day:

I'm sure we can all relate to some of them. No joke, I've made all of these mistakes more often than I'd like to admit. It happens...just order a pizza and better luck next time! I'm going to be extra careful when I make the list tomorrow for the upcoming week. I need to redeem myself! Luckily I've never made anything that tasted like feet. At least I hope not!!!
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