Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

First VoxBox Review

I received my first Influenster VoxBox a few weeks ago with three full sized hair products to sample and review. If you are not familiar with Influenster, it is a social media website that allows users to rate and review products. They also send VoxBox occasionally to users to allow them to try out full sized products for free!



I was supposed to write about this product weeks ago but the week I got my box was the week Laura had four days of the stomach bug and then I got a double ear infection which ended up with a perforated eardrum in my left ear and temporary hearing loss. I wasn't doing much of anything that week. I'm lucky we were fed and clothed most days. Thank you Trader Joe's for frozen meals and Kali for keeping the kids one morning.

I was sent the Dessange Paris California Blonde Shampoo, California Blonde Conditioner and Brass Color Correcting Cream. These products are specifically designed to protect, nourish and blonde hair. By the way, if you thought I was a natural blonde, you'd be wrong.

I have about four different bottle of shampoo in my shower currently because I am always hunting for the perfect shampoo that doesn't weigh down my baby fine and very thin hair. I have't had highlights in probably five or six months so I'm not sure how well this worked to protect my color since it has already faded and grown out some over the last few months. It didn't weigh my hair down or feel greasy even when I use the conditioner. Colored blonde hair can turn brassy over time or if not done properly in a salon and I like the results with the color correcting cream. It made my color look better and my hair super shiny and soft.


*I received free products to test and review, however all opinions are solely my own. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This Week's Menu

Here's my tentative dinner menu plan for this week. I say tentative because something always seems to come up or I forget to start a crockpot meal and I suddenly realized it's 3pm. For instance, today's meal was supposed to be Buffalo Chicken Salad and I made Egg Roll in a Bowl instead. I will link up to recipes from online and I plan to slowly create a recipe page here on my blog.

Monday- Buffalo Chicken Salad  Egg Roll in a Bowl - this was pretty good. I think David liked it better than I did and the kids didn't eat much of it. Next time I will serve it with fried brown rice. It certainly is a frugal and healthy meal. I only used half a pound of ground turkey in it.

Tuesday -I prepped these while making last nights dinner. Veggie and ground turkey stuffed red pepper with cheese. Red bell pepper loaded with sautéd shredded carrots, spinach and kale blend and red cabbage. Green salsa from Trader Joe's and half a pound of ground turkey sprinkled with cheese on top. I added white beans to a few of the peppers for the kids and David and a lower carb version sans beans for me.

Wednesday- Buffalo Chicken Salad. I eat the buffalo chicken out of the crockpot and burn my mouth because I am obsessed with spicy Buffalo Chicken flavors. It's not David's favorite but I made it up to him with steaks last week.

Thursday- Company over- Maple Pork Tenderloin on the grill from Danielle Walker's newest cookbook- Against All Grain Meals Made Simple Pork loin marinaded with maple syrup, olive oil, garlic and dijon mustard.

Friday- Bean and ground beef chili. I cheat and use canned beans. David loves the "chili magic" starter beans so that's what I buy.

Saturday-  Easy Peasy Grilled Chicken. I have started making this once a week. I am a picky eater and generally don't like eating a recipe more than once or twice a month but this one is a winner and the kids like it (with ketchup of course). Chicken thighs marinaded in soy sauce, honey and splash of olive oil. Sides- steamed veggies and sweet potatoes. If I have time/energy I like to make a little sauce in the Magic Bullet of mayo, soy sauce, honey and Sriracha sauce. The soy sauce makes the mayo clumpy if you try to simply mix it in a bowl instead of blending it.

Sunday- Company over- Hamburgers and sweet potato fries. I splurged since we are having a family from church over for dinner and bought the frozen pre-made sweet potato fries.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Photos

I have been wanting a few pictures of all four of us together especially now I no longer have braces (!) so yesterday evening we loaded up the minivan and headed down to a park near our house.  It was about an hour before sunset and I was pretty happy with how well I timed it because the lighting was fantastic. My camera remote didn't seem to work more than two feet away so we were stuck using the self timer "hurry up and get in the picture" method. Daniel wasn't too keen on David holding him so it took several attempts with the self timer to get one good photo. 













Sunday, March 15, 2015

Paleo Brownie Cookies

Recipes courtesy of Heather at Home To Heather Blog
These are delicious and super easy to make. I've gained a few pounds after weaning Daniel and have been back on a relatively strict low carb diet but these were my one bit of carbs and sugar this entire week.  They also only have coconut flour instead of almond flour which is significantly cheaper.
Paleo Brownie Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl stir coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together with a fork, breaking up any lumps.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash the banana, add the eggs, honey and vanilla and stir well with a fork.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop batter by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet prepared with parchment paper.
  6. Bake 12-15 min until bottoms of cookies have slightly browned.

Jan's Spicy Chicken

Here's a simple, freezer friendly recipe my Aunt Jan sent to me that we have enjoyed several times now.

Sriracha Chicken

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs - about a 1.25 pounds
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 T Sriracha sauce (adjust or leave out for kids)
  • 2 T lime juice 
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (could use more if you like cumin flavor)
  •  3 T honey (I have reduced this for our low carb diet, the original recipe calls for 1/3 cup brown sugar)
Directions 
  1. Mix together last five ingredients and toss chicken in marinade.
  2. Wrap with bacon, you can secure with toothpicks but it's not really necessary 
  3. Allow to marinade if you're well prepared and thinking ahead. If not, through them in the oven now! 
  4. Bake 350 for 25-35 until chicken is 165 degrees and then broil 5-6 minutes to crips bacon. 
*Alternatively, this is great grilled for about 6 minutes per side, medium heat. Keep an eye on the fire because the fatty thighs tend to flare up the grill fire. I speak from experience. 

* This can be prepared and placed in a 9x13 or similarly sized pan and frozen for an easy meal. Allow 24 hours to defrost in fridge. We had this a few weeks ago when I was knocked out sick and I was so thankful to have a meal ready to go. 

*I will sometimes toss a few pieces meat in the marinade without the Sriracha for the kids to eat, then add the Sriracha after I have prepared a few pieces of meat for them. Or just bake them plain chicken, they always want ketchup anyways! 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

This Week in Pictures

      It was a somewhat slow and dragged out week here at home with the kids taking turns at having colds. This kept us from our usual morning trip to the gym so we enjoyed some long walks with the stroller instead. We meet Daddy at the "work park" for lunch one day and enjoyed story time at our neighborhood library.  David treated me to a delightful Valentine's day starting with getting up early to fix me chocolate covered strawberries and coffee served in bed! Dinner was at Cafe Ensley and the main course consisted of wild caught Salmon and two of my favorite veggies; sautéed brussel sprouts and asparugus with amble servings of bread and olive oil. 

Sorry of the terrible formatting, blogger is not friendly when it comes to adjusting the layouts.                                         

                                                  
Daniel's first drink out of a water fountain

  
Overcast day at the Missions

 I love wearing L's backpack

Applesauce is my favorite snack! 



Enjoying some beautiful weather 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Lens!

I am so excited because I finally saved up and bought a prime lens for my camera. It came this afternoon and I had to take the kids outside for pictures as soon as I could get the new lens on.  It's a 50mm Nikkor with f/stop at 1.8g which allows me to take pictures inside without a flash and gives fantastic depth of field for portraits. I'm looking forward to taking better portraits and capturing pictures indoors.

My secret ambition is to be a semi-professional photography one day. In the mean time, I may be calling you to beg you to let me take family pictures for you because I can only take so many pictures of my kids, as cute as they may be.





The camera came with a lollipop in the shipping box



Entranced by the school bus

Still working on the lolly


I have never seen a dog with such beautiful chocolate brown eyes