Monday, August 1, 2016

Movies Watched in May 2016

  • Paper Towns

  • I treated myself to Captain America (but my co-worker came along to make it more enjoyable).  I caught Jurassic World and Paper Towns on cable. 

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Movies Watched in April 2016

  • Ant Man
  • Tomorrowland

  • I've been making the most of the Starz app and watching all the new movies. Not much for a movie month. It's because we're so behind on our TV on the DVR, that's what we've been concentrating on. Spoiler, next month is even more pathetic (and May has just started, but I don't see any time to watch anything). Still, Ant Man was so much better than I expected, and Tomorrowland had George Clooney. It wasn't bad, but I thought the message was a little heavy-handed. Still, I thought the cast was great at the very least.

    Kentucky Derby Time

    We did some easy, fast cooking for the party - all repeat food.  However, I had grand plans to make these Butter Cake Cookies. Nobody ever eats cake, but who can resist a cookie?  Turns out, I ran out of time, but I made them the next day.  They are absolutely delicious!

    Kentucky Butter Cake Cookies Serves: 24 cookies


    •1 cup butter, room temperature
    •1 cup granulated sugar
    •2 eggs
    •1 teaspoon vanilla
    •2 teaspoons baking powder
    •½ tsp salt
    •3 cups all purpose flour

    •¼ cup butter
    •½ cup granulated sugar
    •1 tablespoon water
    •1 teaspoon vanilla
    •optional ~ powdered sugar to dust

    1.Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C
    2.Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Set aside.
    3.In the bowl of the stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 1 minute until mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, scraping sides as necessary.
    4.Add in baking powder and salt, continuing to mix and finally the flour. Mix until dough just comes together.
    5.Using a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop drop the dough onto the lined baking sheet. Alternately you can roll the dough into balls if you want a thicker cookie. 6.Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Don't over-bake.

    1.While the cookies are baking combine all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Do not bring to a boil.
    2.Allow the glaze to cool slightly (about 5 minutes) to thicken.
    3.When the cookies are done spoon one teaspoon of the glaze onto each cookie while they're warm. If the glaze gets too thick just heat it up a bit more.
    4.Dust with powdered sugar after the glaze has set if desired.

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Books Read in April 2016

      I really enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See.  I got to hear the author speak last month, and that was highly enjoyable.  He's such a good speaker, one of the few authors who was just so vibrant yet spent very little time talking about himself or his book(s).  He was generous with Q&A and so very smart and intelligent without making you feel stupid because you weren't as smart as he was.

      I enjoyed the always-enjoyable Jill Shalvis and Julia Quinn.  Plus, I found a whole cache of Jaci Burton books.  I read these two plus a third in May and still have a novella before I'm all caught up.  I'm reading the novella out of order, but I do love making progress on books hanging out in my e-reader.  Decent month even if I had more I wanted to get to.

      Tuesday, May 3, 2016

      April 2016 Weekend Update

      April starts a very busy time for us. The first weekend, Little Miss had hockey. After we changed and went to Fairfax for family pictures. No shock, but Captain cried the entire time until the photographer gave him a baseball. He stopped crying, but he was never happy. On Sunday, Little Miss had her swimming lesson and a birthday party for a friend. They were supposed to go bowling, but the bowling alley lost power so it was at his house.

      The second weekend was the Masters.  Husband prearranged a day out of golfing and then watching the Masters at a friend's house.  While he was out, Sister-in-Law and the nephews came over and played.  On Sunday, I took the kids to the library.  They had a blast, but the library didn't have anything we wanted.  We put some items on hold though.
      The third weekend, I went out of town for my sister's bachelorette party.  On Friday, we went to her final dress fitting and then drove down to Charlottesville.  We went to a goat farm where we got some goat kisses and ate goat cheese.  We hit up the breweries, distilleries, and wineries.  We had a shuttle take us around, and at one place, the bartender drove us home.  It was a nice, relaxing time.  We capped it off with brunch downtown and a nice walk during the unseasonably warm afternoon.  Back home, Little Miss had hockey and soccer.  She scored her first goal in hockey practice.  Husband sent me a video and, in the background, Captain was shouting her name.  It was so precious. 
      The following weekend, we celebrated Captain's second birthday.  I made cupcakes with Where the Wild Things Are cupcake toppers and some cupcakes were little boats.  The big kids watched a movie while the little kids literally ran around in circles.  Captain missed his morning nap so he was slightly cranky and over sensitive, but I think he had fun.  He very much enjoyed the pizza at least.  Right after the party, I showered and drove to the Marine Corps Heritage Museum for the awards gala.  It was a really great event.  I had missed it previously because I had a baby and Captain's first birthday party, but I planned accordingly this year.
      Last weekend, I hung out with friends.  It's been so long that we were just celebrating their birthdays - which were in March and the beginning of April.  We had a lovely lunch and caught up.  One just got a new puppy so it was nice to meet her.

      Friday, April 29, 2016

      Two is the New One

      A photo posted by @princessapr on
      Captain is 2. I blinked and it happened. He's still my little guy though. He's getting more clear with his speech. He still loves cars, trucks, buses, balls. He loves to sing and dance. He's scared of heights and the toilet (or being on the toilet). He likes almost every food. He used to not care for carrots, but he eats them now. He loves pizza, but he also loves fruit and veggies. He loves guacamole. He's no longer afraid of grass. He loves wearing shorts. He loves being a big boy and independent, but when he's tired, he gives good snuggles. He loves morning cuddles with Daddy, but when he falls or doesn't feel well, he loves Mommy cuddles.

      I don't have any of his statistics. I need to make his 2 year appointment except I've been bad about doing some follow up appointments which he needs before his pediatrician visit. So, very soon, he'll be back with the ear doctor for a hearing test and the eye doctor to check his eyes. Probably next year, he'll need to visit the cardiologist again, but he's fine. That will probably close the loop on checking all the internal organs unless something presents itself at potty training which I don't expect. He still needs to get his cosmetic surgery, but I keep putting it off. It'll be best to do it before he goes to school though so maybe next year.

      He's on the tiny side, but he's not too small. He fits into some 24 months things and 2T if I roll up the pant legs, but he's outgrown much of the 18 month clothes. His waist is on the smaller side, but I feel like it's much bigger than Little Miss's who still has a ridiculously small waist. We have to get his hair cut soon, but I need a cocktail before I can tackle that. He's a good boy about getting dressed up and tolerates the bow ties and vests, but he won't wear a fedora for me. He hates wearing hats in general, but I'll see what I can do before the summer weather hits. Maybe if I can get one that fasten under his chin, he'll put up with it.

      He doesn't sit long enough to be interested in tv, but he watches for a little in the morning. He LOVES Little Einsteins. He loves it when they go super fast. He also loves The Bubble Guppies, but he's not as interactive with that. I think he only likes the annoying theme song. He seems indifferent to Mickey, but I saw him singing to a commercial today.

      He really loves ducks and puppies.

      He doesn't sleep with anything in his crib and has no comfort item. He likes to be covered when he's put into the crib, but he'll throw it over before he falls asleep. He turns down any stuffed animals or books, but he does like when Little Miss reads to him before bedtime which works for both of them. Despite Husband being afraid he'd be too used to sleeping in my bed, he loves the crib and actually doesn't like to sleep with others. Little Miss loved her crib, but she also loved napping with me. He only naps in his crib (but will do well in the pack and play, too). He will fight sleep if we're busy or out and about whereas Little Miss would nap when it was naptime wherever we were.

      Now that he isn't afraid of grass, I hope to get him outside, but the weekends have been so gloomy or busy. At the very least, I'm hoping to get his water table cleaned or out on our back patio so we can play with bubbles. We'll see. Eventually, it'll happen.

      Thursday, April 14, 2016

      March 2016 Weekend Update

      March was busy! The first weekend was hockey - super early. Then, later that day, we had Sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party #1. The shower was a lot of fun - presents, good food, mimosas! That night, the girls all went out at Reston Town Center and drank and danced. We shut the place down. Sunday was a sleepy day - literally.

      A photo posted by @princessapr on
      The next weekend, Husband took Little Miss to hockey while I stayed home with Captain. After, I got a pedicure with a friend before book club. On Sunday, Little Miss had her swimming lesson. It's always great to hang out with friends. Plus, I can't remember the last time I had a pedicure so that was heavenly. 

      The third week of March, we hung out with Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law. It was the beginning of Spring Break. We had corned beef and cabbage. The kids played. It was relaxing, and we got home at a decent hour. It's so nice to see the cousins growing up together and playing well with each other. 

      On Monday, Husband brought Little Miss to NYC to watch the Rangers play during her Spring Break. Captain and I stayed home together, and we traded selfies.
      The last weekend was Easter. We saw Zootopia on Saturday and went to Sister's house for Easter brunch. We had a ton of Korean food which was delicious. The kids had Easter Egg hunts. Captain missed his naps so he was super cranky, but he loved finding eggs and playing with the dog. He peed right through his little outfit right after we got there, but that's life with a toddler for you.
      A photo posted by @princessapr on

      Monday, April 11, 2016

      Books Read in March 2016

        I read The Japanese Lover for book club. I liked it overall, but there was a lot going on spanning a lot of time. I finished out Sarah MacLean's backlist with The Rogue Not Taken. I read a freebie, Alpha. I also read debut author, Anne A. Wilson. I liked Hover a lot, but I didn't expect it to be more Women's Fiction with a current of romance. I thought it would be more literary fiction. Still, it did a great job with the opening suspense. It was a solid debut.

        Friday, April 8, 2016

        Movies Watched in March 2016

      1. Zootopia
      2. Step Up

      3. These were no Spotlight and Room. I really liked Zootopia. Little Miss did not. She had nightmares for over a week. It put a hold on watching any movie in our household. I didn't find it scary, but she doesn't like it when animals and people are mean to each other. Maybe when she's older... I caught Step Up streaming because I've never seen it and wanted something to pass the time. It worked.

        Thursday, March 24, 2016


        Separately, Little Miss has been having conversations with Husband and me.  Husband asked if she would like see the New York Rangers again.  She said yes.  He said maybe next time they can bring Captain and me to the game.  She said that it sounded like fun except I may be home with the baby.  

        Two days later, we were playing a word game but used names.  (A is for April, B is for Bob, C is for Cortney...)  We got to T and she named her future brother.  For those interesting, his name will be Turtle.  No lie.  It is funny that this imaginary third baby is a boy when she so much wanted a sister last time.

        I told her no more babies.  She told me she knew plenty of people who had three (or more) kids.  I told her that's fine, but we are not.  She countered with "you don't know that."  

        I have no idea where this is coming from.  In the meantime, I don't know where she thinks this imaginary baby will sleep.  

        Monday, March 21, 2016

        The Terrible Twos

        This will be the first of many Terrible Two posts, I'm sure. Captain has embraced the Terrible Twos like you wouldn't believe. He isn't an epic tantrum thrower, but he will fall to the floor and cry at the drop of a hat. He has a bit of a temper. He's branching out to hitting (more like swatting). We're trying to combat the bratty behavior in addition to teaching him manners. It's a work in progress. Below is video of what happened when we asked him to say "Please". (He has since said "Please" and "Thank you", but it's definitely far from automatic.)

        A video posted by @princessapr on

        Saturday, March 12, 2016


        For my sister's bachelorette party, I'm making jello shots and pretending I'm at least 10 years younger than I actually am! 

        I'm making these.  I've made the lemon drop ones, and they were tasty if a bit tart (they are probably better with the lemon sugar, but I didn't do that).  I have the cosmo and margarita ones in the fridge right now.  I plan on making the bellini ones later tonight.  If I have time, I'll make some more.  I'll determine which ones based on a scientific process of taste testing.

        They taste a bit more grown up than the artificially-flavored true jello shots.  They're really just cocktails with a little unflavored gelatin.  So, unless you don't like gelatin, I definitely recommend these!

        (I liked the site up above, but here it is if you'd rather cut and paste -

        Friday, March 11, 2016


        I am making these for Sister's bridal shower. They are so moist and really delicious.  I haven't had luck with the butter cream, but I'm hoping tonight is the night. 

        Bubbly Champagne Cupcakes 
        16-24 cupcakes, depending on size 


        For the Cupcakes: 

        • 1 box white cake mix 
        • 3 large egg whites 
        • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
        • 1 1/4 cups champagne 
        • 1 teaspoon almond extract 
        For the Frosting: 

        • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 
        • 4 cups powdered sugar 
        • 6 tablespoons champagne 
        For the Decorations: 

        • white sixlets 
        • white gumballs 
        • white pearl sugar sprinkles 
        • disco dust 
        Preheat oven to 350 °F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In an electric mixer, combine cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs, and almond extract. Beat on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top (and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). For buttercream frosting, cream softened butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating after each addition. add champagne and beat for 2 minutes on medium, until light and fluffy. If you want a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar. If you want a looser frosting, add more champagne. Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and decorate with piped frosting bubbles and candy bubbles. Top with a shimmer of disco dust!

        I am not making them with gumballs, but I have everything else.  The cupcake are delicious.  I am going to be better and wait until the butter completely softens to make a better butter cream. 

        Thursday, March 10, 2016

        Kid Update

        I promise to be better at updating!  Truthfully, it's more for me.  I use this blog a lot to see what we did the year before.

        Let's see, I'll update with Little Miss.  Below is the photo I took of the three of us while watching the Oscars.  Little Miss is doing great in school.  We just came from her parent/teacher conference.  She is being taught to her level which is well into the third grade.  Her teachers love her.  She's motivated, applying her lessons across the board, listens well, and is very social.  She doesn't get caught up in classroom drama and loves to help other children learn.

        Little Miss may not be a future hockey player, but she is loving the fact that she gets to play this year and wear pads.  She's motivated enough to get up at 6AM.  She's been doing well with her swimming, and I believe she'll be swimming by this summer.  Plus, this is the most we've used our indoor pool since we've moved her a zillion years ago.

        A photo posted by @princessapr on

        Captain is coming into his own.  He adds new words to his vocabulary everyday (finally).  He could still be a little clearer when he talks, but he's getting there.  He loves singing and dancing.  He has gotten way into Frozen and Little Einsteins and, as we found out last night, Bubble Guppies.  He can climb up a step stool - but can't climb down.  He is not a great sleeper, but he will.  I think his rough phase is over at least.  

        He still has some issues with constipation, but we are careful with his diet.  Plus, if needed, he gets a laxative with his juice.  Otherwise, he's a great eater and has gotten really good at using utensils and feeding himself.  He loves playing with big kids because he really only has big kids around him.  He plays with the big nephew and some of Little Miss's friends.  He spends most of his time trying to use the computer or our phones or a tablet.  He's obsessed with electronics (only because he's not allowed to touch them), but he also loves Brown Bear, Brown Bear and cars and trains and music.  
        A video posted by @princessapr on

        Movies Watched in February 2016

      4. Spotlight
      5. Room

      6. In our last ditch effort to watch any of the Oscar movies excluding the annual Disney/Pixar movie, we rented Spotlight and Rent. They were both really well done though I do not recommend watching them back to back. At all. So much molestation and assault (though none directly on the camera). Both evoked a lot of feels.

        Tuesday, March 8, 2016


        I haven't gone to the movies lately or even seen any.  That said, we do Family Movie Sunday.  I've been busy so I haven't seen as many as the rest of the family, but we did see The Lion King last weekend.  We have a list of movies we all created of movies Little Miss should see.  We have movies like The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, The Incredible Journey, and many others.

        If you have any suggestions, let me know!

        Sunday, March 6, 2016

        Books Read in February 2016

          February became the month I glommed onto Sarah MacLean.  It's been a long time since I've read a historical romance novel.  It was a good reintroduction to the subgenre.  Plus, you can never go wrong with J.D. Robb.  This one was a dark one, but it was a good, solid read.  

          Friday, March 4, 2016

          February 2016 Weekend Update

          This year has been flying!  The first weekend in Februray, Little Miss had hockey and swimming on Saturday and Sunday.

          The second weekend, we went to my parents' mountain house.  It was frigid cold.  Sister, Brother-in-Law, and we went on a double date for Valentine's Day.  It's our annual date night.  The next day, we went ice skating and to the pool.  I had not been ice skating in a very long time.  It was evident the minute I got on the ice.  We planned to stay until Monday, but a bad snow storm was coming so we all drove home after dinner on Sunday.

          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          The third weekend, Little Miss had hockey and swimming again, but on Sunday, I met a friend for a Sangria and Paella-making class.  It was a lot of fun and full of food and sangria.  I had a lot of sangria.  I was also so full that I didn't even eat dinner that night.  I'm looking forward to trying to make some!
          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          The last weekend in February, Little Miss had hockey which now starts at 7AM which is rough on us all (though I stayed home with Captain so it wasn't as bad for me).  Then, we hosted a playdate in the afternoon.  Little Miss had a lot of fun with her friend.  We baked brownies for the boys and then went to the game room for some pool, ping pong, and Golden Tee.  On Sunday, it was the Oscars and swimming.  Little Miss got all ready so she could watch the pretty dresses and the first awards.  (The selfie on this post is from when we all watched the Grammys.  Captain slept through the Oscars so no family selfie for that).  I had a gift card so we did take out instead of our usual "cook way too much food" for Oscar Sunday.
          A photo posted by @princessapr on
          It was a super fast month.  I hope one of these months this year doesn't fly by!  

          January 2016 Weekend Update

          Let's see. I have to get better or I'll soon be doing seasonal weekend updates. Well, we actually went out for New Year's Eve while the kids were at the In-Laws' apartment. On New Year's Day, we had a family dinner with the In-Laws and Sister-in-Law, Brother-in-Law and the nephews to ring in the new year. It was a nice quiet intro to 2016. 

          The following weekend, Little Miss had hockey. The next day, the bridal party met for brunch to nail down details for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. It also helped us all be on the same page plus have some yummy food.

          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          The third weekend, Husband was gone for his annual trip to Las Vegas.  We had hockey on Saturday and then Little Miss started swimming class on Sunday.  A co-worker of mine used to teach swimming so I asked if she would teach Little Miss.  She's done amazing in such a short time.  She really loves my co-worker and works hard to impress her.  That weekend was a long weekend so, on Monday, we went to Sister's house to hang out, and then Husband came home!

          The fourth weekend had a blizzard!  I was let out of work early on Thursday and worked from home on Friday.  Then, Saturday and Sunday were wild.  The wind was crazy so Captain was very unhappy (as you can see below).  Plus, the floor was wet, and he took a bad header.  The next day, we took a walk around the neighborhood where it was already starting to clear, and he liked that.  Little Miss wasn't feeling well so she stayed in bed.  This worked out ok because they had no school the entire following week.  All of her activities were obviously cancelled that weekend.

          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          The last weekend in January, we had hockey and then we went out to dinner with the In-Laws to celebrate their birthdays.  Brother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law, and the nephews also met us out.  Captain was a big pain in the neck during dinner.  All came back to our place after for some dessert.  The next day, Little Miss had swimming, and I had lunch with book club at a super delicious Vietnamese restaurant.  

          Books Read in January 2016

          1. Stripped Down: A Blacktop Cowboys novella by Lorelei James (NOTE: This is part of the Blacktop Cowboys series. The order of which can be found here.)
          2. Angel by Victoria Dahl (NOTE: This isn't part of a series, but it's the prequel to Harlot.)
          3. The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
          4. Off the Clock by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of the Pleasure Principle series, the order of which can be found here.)
          It was a mediocre month for books. I read a handful of quick ones (on the naughtier side) and the book club book. I didn't love the book club book, but I liked that it was a true story. It did make me think occasionally, and I really didn't know much about St. Thomas so that was interesting. I didn't read a lot in December, but I loved both books. That should count for something.

          Thursday, January 21, 2016

          Books Read in December 2015

          1. A Lucky Life Interrupted by Tom Brokaw
          2. My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis (NOTE: This is part of Cedar Ridge series. You can find more information here.)
          I didn't read a lot in December, but I loved both books. That should count for something.

          Monday, January 18, 2016

          December 2015 Weekend Update

          December, as always was a busy month!  The first week of December, I saw Tom Brokaw speak which was great.  He's such a great speaker, so impartial and just so humble and gracious.  He's been through and has seen so much.

          That first Friday, I took Little Miss out of school to go see ICE at the National Harbor.  It was a blast.  We rode the Capital Wheel and had dinner and did a little shopping.  It was a lot of fun with my big girl.  The next day, we were up early to choose our Christmas tree.  Then, I went to Frederick, MD to tour some old houses with book club.  It was a lot of fun.

          The second weekend, I met my sister in Reston to celebrate her birthday.  It was fun complete with tacos and margaritas.  On Saturday, Little Miss had a birthday party while Captain and I grabbed some Japanese food.  Then, we went to brother-in-law's to celebrate Hanukkah.  It was a lot of fun to catch up with him.  Plus, the kids love him, his wife, his father, and his dog.  On Sunday, I brought the kids to meet Santa.  Captain, who cries in most pictures, did not cry on Santa's lap.  I guess that's good.
          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          The third weekend, Little Miss and Captain spent the night with the in-laws while Husband and I made hundreds of pierogi.  They came out very well if I do say so myself.  That was pretty much the entire weekend.  
          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          We went to church on Christmas Eve.  Captain had some issues with sitting that long, but he was quiet.  I only had to remove him for the very end.  Little Miss was more bored than he was, but she made it through.  After, we had the in-laws, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and the nephews over for dinner.  We feasted on pierogis and Polish foods and desserts.

          On Christmas, Little Miss literally received everything she asked Santa for.  Santa thanks Amazon Prime for all those deliveries.  Husband received some nice surprises as did I.  I mostly just needed a new iPod which I received.  Captain got a few books and cars and trains - all the hits.
          The day after Christmas, we drove to Maryland to be with my family.  It was mild, rainy weather so it was all inside activities.  We played board games, watched movies, opened more presents.  The kids went ice skating and went to the inside pool.  It was fun.  Captain started to have some issues sleeping, but he was a trooper.
          We left on Tuesday after Christmas.  I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off which I rarely do.  I haven't had that much time off ever.  Because the rain broke up, we went to Zoolights.  It was fun though it's unfortunate we didn't have more time there.  The lines were long and crazy.  Captain was not a fan of the carousel.  He does not like rides as much as Little Miss.  
           New Year's Eve, the kids spent at the in-laws as we had plans!  We went to a friend's house.  We played board games - where Husband and I showed our amazing team work skills at Trivia Pursuit - and had some beverages while we ate and watched football.  It was a decent year in 2015.  I have high hopes for 2016!
          A photo posted by @princessapr on
          My resolution for 2016 is to be better at this whole blogging thing.  I've let it slide.  Though I think the monthly update posts are better suited for me, I can still be better about posting.  I'm much better at keeping up Instagram honestly.  I mean, annually, my resolution is to try to just simply say "thank you" when complimented.  I feel I try to downplay or rationalize every kind word people say instead of just giving thanks.  I'm still horrible at it, but I'm trying.

          A photo posted by @princessapr on

          Friday, January 15, 2016

          Movies Watched in November 2015

          1. Fantasia 2000
          2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
          3. The Peanuts Movie
          4. If I Stay
          5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 

          6. I watched some streaming on Netflix, but Little Miss and I went to see the Peanuts movie, and I saw Mockingjay with a friend. Decent movies but none were amazing.

            Tuesday, January 12, 2016

            Books Read in November 2015

            1. Yours All Along by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of Loving on the Edge series. You can find more information here.)
            2. Nothing Between Us by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of Loving on the Edge series. You can find more information here.)
            3. Call On Me by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of Loving on the Edge series. You can find more information here.)
            4. Break Me Down by Roni Loren (NOTE: This is part of Loving on the Edge series. You can find more information here.)
            5. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (NOTE: This is part of Don Tillman series which is really just two books. You can find more information here.)
            6. Guarding Sophie by Julie Brannagh (NOTE: This is part of Love and Football series. You can find more information here.)
            Super quick reads. I had a hard time with The Rosie Effect after really loving The Rosie Project, but it had a satisfying ending. As always, Julie Brannagh always provides quality entertainment. I can't wait for her next one!

            Wednesday, December 30, 2015

            New Food

            I feel like it's cheating to call this a new food. It's a new recipe. It's from Pinterest, but it's a simple roasted rosemary chicken breast with potatoes and string beans. It's super easy and tasty. You can find the recipe here

            Author: Little Spice Jar 
            Prep time: 10 mins 
            Cook time: 30 mins 
            Total time: 40 mins 
            Serves: 4 servings 


            • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts 
            • 3 tablespoons butter, melted 
            • 1¼ teaspoon salt, divided 
            • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
            • 4 teaspoons garlic, minced, divided 
            • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped, divided 
            • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 
            • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
            • 1 lb. red potatoes, halved or quartered 
            • ½ lb. green beans 
            Position a baking rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450ºF. 
            Line a sturdy baking sheet with heavy duty foil. 
            In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and lemon zest. 
            Gently loosen the skin of the chicken breast and using a brush, brush the skin and the meat with the butter. 
            Place chicken breasts on one side of the prepared baking sheet. 
            In a bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Toss the halved or quartered potatoes until the olive oil nicely coats them all. Lay the potatoes on the other side of the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. 
            If at any point the chicken begins to brown too much during roasting, use a piece of foil to tent ONLY the chicken. 
            After 20 minutes, check the chicken for doneness, if the juices are running clear, or the internal temperature is at 170 degrees, remove the chicken to a plate, and loosely cover with foil. 
            Toss the green beans in with the potatoes and allow the olive oil to coat the beans. Continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Depending on the size of the chicken breast, you may or may not need to remove. 

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            Tuesday, December 22, 2015


            We've been busy just like every single other family during the holiday season, but here's a quick update.

            We managed to put up a tree and decorate it.  We purchased presents for everyone (and then purchased a few more).  We did cooking and baking.  

            Captain is teething and getting those wretched canine teeth in.  It's resulting in either a cold or congestion.  He is also badly constipated this week so the combination is rough.  He hasn't slept and has been an emotional mess.  Last night was better than nights before so I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  His vocabulary is finally increasing.  He can say mama, dada, baba (for drink), his sister's name, bus, car, ball, girl, and now he says cracker, thanks, and good.  He's slow to talk but so was Little Miss.  Because of the age difference, it's like having a first child all over again.  He doesn't have to talk because there's no need to - he has 3 people catering to his every need.

            Little Miss is wise beyond her years.  She enjoys mindless YouTube videos and reading Harry Potter with me.  She's doing extraordinary in school.  She hasn't mastered third grade level work yet, but she's never gives up.  She's well above her grade level in both math and language arts.  She speaks Spanish and sign language at home.  She's learning coding on her school iPad.  She knows pretty much what I knew in middle school.  She's incredibly helpful around the house.  If anything, her only fault is not being a good eater, but she eats.

            Status quo with Husband.  He freelances from home.  I, however, got promoted this year which is exciting.  I love where I work, and it's nice to receive encouragement back.  

            Here's to a happy and healthy 2016!