Tool Time Tuesday- Tea!

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I am a tea addict. Now, more than ever, since I have been fighting a cold for almost a week! The Breville electric kettle is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It boils water in minutes and is much quicker than a tea kettle on the stove. I just fill it with water, flip the switch, then it automatically notifies me with a ‘ding’ and then shuts off once it reaches a boil. I buy loose-leaf tea from Teavana quite frequently (breaks the bank). The pink Teavana perfectea maker on the right was one of my favorite Christmas gifts. You just put your tea in there, pour in boiling water and let it steep for however long you like your tea to steep. Then simply set it on a mug (any size will work), and it strains out the tea-leaves to give you the perfect glass of tea. If you don’t have any of the teaware, Teavana has a great starter kit on the link above. The video below shows you how it the perfectea maker works.

Chat you all soon!

xoxo,
Jamie

Super Bowl Party

Who out there is hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday? I know we are and we are so looking forward to having our friends over for some good food, fun and of course, football. Being from Denver I am sad to see that the Broncos didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, but I always love the commercials.

If you need help prepping for the perfect party supplies, check out Party City! They have so many great options to help ‘football up’ your gathering. Here are some fun items I picked out for our party:

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You’ll notice I only bought Super Bowl specific cups, whereas everything else is just football related. I did that because if there are leftover plates or napkins I don’t have to throw them out, but could use them for any football game get-together come fall. 

If you are having trouble fixing up a menu or need more fun ideas for your Super Bowl party, get some ‘Pinspiration’ on my Pinterest board titled ‘Entertaining.’ Chat you all soon!

Xoxo,

Jamie

Love Pink

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Camera man is off today- so it resulted in a selfie of my outfit 🙂 I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I wanted my outfit to bring some brightness to my day while still being comfortable. If you can’t tell by my closet and other posts, pink is my favorite color which is why I love this sweatshirt.  It also comes in a variety of fun, vibrant colors. You will start noticing that I wear Vans and Converse a LOT (as does my four-month old). And these pants I wear maybe a little too much (my husband calls them my ‘uniform’ haha). I love to workout in them and they are also great loungewear!

 

To Be a Stay-at-Home Mama, or Not to Be. That is the Question.

Now, not all of my followers are mamas but I wanted to write on this topic because it was honestly a big struggle for me, and I believe it to be a struggle for many other moms out there. This specific blog post could also be relevant in other parts of your life even if you aren’t a mom 🙂 I decided to post on this topic because being a stay-at-home mom is really what prompted me to start my blog and give me the time to do it.

My entire pregnancy I was constantly asked if I would be returning to work. It’s kind of funny that this is one of the first things people ask when they find out you are pregnant (which can be pretty early, for me it was around 14 weeks). How am I supposed to know what I am going to want to do months from now? It reminded me of being a high school graduate and every person asking, ‘what are you going to major in, what do you want to do with your life?’. Well, sometimes you just don’t know and only time will tell what your decision will be.

I would casually brush off the question each and every time it was asked with a simple ‘I’m not sure yet’ because honestly, I had no idea how I would feel once our little nugget arrived. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, you will probably get quite a bit of unsolicited advice. Just remember that the people giving advice haven’t sat down with you during countless hours of making spreadsheets to see if you can survive off one salary, or looked into how much childcare would cost, or heard you discuss the ramifications of not being in corporate America for a while, or what it would be like to be at home every day without much adult interaction, or any of the other million thoughts you have when thinking about what you will do after having this baby. Crazy pregnancy hormones also don’t help much with decisions. These comments and opinions I was receiving from family, friends, and colleagues had me at war with myself on what I wanted to do. I was getting so many different opinions on this topic and what other people thought I should do that I couldn’t even see my own clear vision of what I truly wanted to do. I had to step back from all these opinions and think about what I wanted my future to look like. No matter how much thought I put into this decision, nothing was clear until my daughter arrived into this world and changed my life for the better. Being able to spend those first 3 months of maternity leave with her were the best months of my life, and that’s when it came to me that my life was going to look a lot different because I was not going to return to work. I went in to notify my place of employment that I would not be returning and as I said goodbye to her and walked out the door, that feeling of leaving her to go into the office every day helped solidify and make me even more confident in my decision.  For any moms out there struggling with this very decision… trust me! You will know what is right for you once you have your baby.

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The funny thing about becoming a mom is that your decision of what you want when it comes to work is a lose-lose situation. If you go back to work, you are judged by the stay-at-home moms; if you stay-at-home, you are judged by the working moms; if you are part-time, you aren’t a working mom or a stay-at-home mom so you feel like you don’t fit in anywhere. I have heard so many judgements made on each mom- Working moms aren’t moms if they aren’t spending every second with their baby, whereas stay at home moms are lazy and taking the easy way out, but if you are part-time, you are part-time at all aspects of your life. When you pause for a second and come to the realization that no matter what you do in this situation there will be someone who judges you, you may finally be able to listen to your own heart and make the right choice. I think all moms could take a lesson from what my dad always says, ‘Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.’ Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on you for one second. It doesn’t matter what your friend Sally or your colleague Sue decide to do- it has no impact on you. Moms need to be supportive of other moms, even if they do it different than you. After all, we are all moms! Decisions are not right or wrong. Your decision is right for you, but not necessarily right for everyone.  Each person is doing what is right for them and there is no room for judging some else’s decision.

My biggest piece of advice that I can offer you is to do what suits you and what is best for you and your family and don’t look back. Listen to your heart. I have learned that no matter what decisions you make in life, there will always be someone who judges. Be confident in the decisions you make and know that ‘the right decisions are always the hardest to make. But they must be made in order to live the life you deserve’ -Trent Shelton.

Sunday Sweats

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I am always looking for an outfit that is casual and comfy, yet cute. Sunday’s tend to be my day for errands and I don’t always feel like getting super done up, but also don’t want to look like I’m homeless- boy is that a fine line. Leggings are definitely a go-to for me. I am still working to get my pre-baby body back so majority of my jeans are super tight and uncomfortable whereas my leggings… they always fit 🙂 This specific pair of leggings has a wide waist-band and fit so well! They run true to size and are also sold at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack- I wear a small in Hue leggings.

Non-hooded sweatshirts are my jam right now, or ‘funnel-necks’ as they call them. They are sold all over the place, but if you want to shop my look for the sweatshirt you can do so. It is baggy enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to be feminine. You could also pair this outfit with a cute vest if its a bit chillier out, or if you just want a different look.

If you are digging the leopard print shoes, you can find them at a variety of places but unfortunately they are no longer selling them at Zappos, which is where I found them.

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German Pancakes

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I wanted to share an easy breakfast recipe that is a go-to for my husband and I on weekends. This is typically a recipe I can make when I don’t have many groceries in our house because the ingredients consist of basics that most everyone has in their house at all times. As a kid, this was the coolest recipe to make because the sides of the dish build up so big, so this could be a fun one to make if you have kids.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a pie dish and place in oven until it melts.
  2. Lightly beat the 6 eggs in a bowl, and then add in salt, flour, and milk until combined and smooth consistency.
  3. Remove pie dish from the oven once butter is melted and gently pour the mixture into the center of the dish so that the butter is pushed to the sides of the pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove from oven, cut it into individual slices.
  5. Top with syrup, fruit, and/or powdered sugar!

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Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4-6 Servings

You have got to try this very easy tomatillo chicken enchilada recipe. Whether you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner, or if any of you join a meal train and need a dish that is easy for someone to reheat, this is it.  The nice thing about it is that it’s very easy to make in a disposable pan if you are making it for someone other than yourself. I double the recipe if I am making it for someone else so I have enough to make a pan for my family as well. I took a recipe from Marcela Valladolid’s Food Network recipe for the tomatillo sauce and tweaked it a bit to my liking.

Ingredients:

  • 9 tomatillos (husked and rinsed, as they are sticky)
  • 1 serrano chili (seeded for less heat)
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded for less heat)
  • 1/2  white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, I just cut the top off of an entire bunch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 container shredded chicken
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cheese

Instructions:

  1. Combine tomatillos, serrano, jalapeno, white onion, and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Cover the pan and cook until the tomatillos turn to an olive-green color (about 8-10 minutes). Pour the contents from the saucepan into a blender and blend until smooth and sauce-like. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mash the black beans in a mixing bowl to a spread-able consistency.
  3. Put 1/3 cup of the tomatillo sauce into the bottom of your pan.
  4. Heat a griddle on medium heat to warm up the tortillas enough to be able to roll them without tearing.
  5. Distribute the chicken and black beans into the 12 tortillas with a dab of the tomatillo sauce and a pinch of cheese in each tortilla.
  6. Line the pan with the stuffed tortillas and cover with the remainder of tomatillo sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Dish up and top your enchiladas with cilantro, avocado, Mexican Crema, or salsa and enjoy!

 

 

Extra Bedroom Transformation

Do you have extremely small closet space in your home? My husband and I have the tiniest closets in our house and it just won’t suffice for the excessive amount of clothes and shoes I have accumulated over the years. Thanks to my hubby, we were able to inexpensively transform our spare bedroom into a fun pink closet.  The rug, the light fixture, and all of the shelving units are from Ikea. Unfortunately, Ikea no longer sells this rug but I found the rug here through a different site. This specific brand of closet organization allows you to mix and match to really make the closet specific to your needs (for example, adding drawers or hanging organizers, etc). The jewelry tower is from WayFair, however, they no longer sell this specific one. If you are anything like me, you probably need more jewelry space and this jewelry organizer allows for more space. The papasan chair was just a fun addition from World Market, but they also had a fabulous pink chair there too (unfortunately it was too big for the size of my room, but it might work for you!). Happy organizing! 😀

Healthy Breakfast Acai Bowl

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Today I wanted to share a new recipe I found to make delicious and healthy acai bowls. There are so many cute Acai bowl restaurants in the Denver metro area and I said if only I could made the purple smoothie part I could make my own for way cheaper!  The bowls at restaurants are pricey and for me, I would love to have an acai bowl multiple times per week.  I found an incredibly tasty recipe to make these bowls yourself on the Food Network and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new tasty yet healthy breakfast option. This says it makes one breakfast bowl, but I think that it is the perfect recipe for two bowls.

I had no idea what the acai packets were that they referred to in the recipe, and after searching multiple stores, I found them at Whole Foods.  Below is what the individual packets look like:

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I topped mine with whatever fruit is in season.  Mangos are delicious right now and they pair well with coconut flake toppings, apples, bananas, or pears.  Feel free to mix it up and use your favorite fruits on the top! The granola I used for mine was homemade by my sister and it was amazing!  I am going to try to get that recipe from her and post it soon 🙂

Happy healthy eating!

A Winter Must-Have Outfit

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This hat and sweater dress combo is definitely one that your closet needs for this winter! You will notice I am pictured here with heels to dress it up a bit, but for an everyday outfit, it looks just as great with boots or flats.

You can find this sweater dress on sale right now at MadeWell for $79.99! The back of the sweater has very cute buttons lining the center. The hat unfortunately sold out, but I have seen this style just about everywhere.  It is just a black wool floppy hat and I found this one at Nordstrom for $20.  I found a very similar hat at Nordstrom, which I think is just as cute (if not cuter) with fun detail on it as well. These black leggings are one of my closet staples.  I used to wear Express leggings which are good too, but the Hue Leggings which you can find at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack were a Christmas gift a year ago from my mom and no matter how worn they get, they are never the slightest bit see-through!

Here I accessorized with a necklace from Express and Alex and Ani Bracelets, however, I think you could pair this outfit with gold or rose gold too.

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