Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Recipe: {Almost} Naked Salmon Burger with Sriracha Mayo

I have THE best recipe for you guys today.  Seriously, the spicy arugula, crunchy ciabatta bread, flavorful salmon burger, spicy sriracha mayo, and creamy avocado all together in one single bite....yum!!  This may be my favorite new recipe to make.

Recipe adapted from here

  • 3 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 Fresh ciabatta rolls cut in half
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 7 tbsp panko 
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1lb wild salmon fillet 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 4 oz. avocado

  1. Combine mayonnaise and sriracha, set aside.
  2. Remove the skin from the salmon, and cut about a 4 oz piece off. Place in a food processor or chopper to finely chop. This will help hold the burgers together.  With a knife finely chop the remaining salmon.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the salmon with the bell peppers, panko and garlic.
  4. In a small bowl, combine egg, soy sauce, lemon juice, and salt; add to salmon mixture, tossing gently to combine. Form mixture into 4 patties and refrigerate at least one hour, this will help the burgers become firm and hold together during cooking. 
  5. Lightly coat a grill pan or skillet with olive oil. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the patties 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  6. Place half of ciabatta roll on each plate.  Top with argula, salmon burger, 1 tbsp of mayo, and then avocado slices 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

40 Weeks In...40 Weeks Out

Do you notice a new look AND name around here?  Well, I LOVE the new name, design, and everything!  A huge thanks to Erin for taking my ideas and turning them into my new blog.

Welcome to this Mama's Happy Hour!!

technically taken 38 weeks in and 39 weeks out

I think it is truly amazing what the female body can do.  After carrying and delivering a child, I will forever be indebted to my body...seriously!

I keep saying it, but it is amazing what a {almost} year difference can make.  To think back to when this picture was taken, it was just Derek and I and our little pup.  We had all of our time to ourselves and were planning for our first child.  We just wanted her to come as soon as possible and yet we had no idea what to expect when she got here.  For all you soon-to-be mothers out there- have no worries.   All of us first time moms start in the same boat (believe me, we had 0 experience with children) and you just learn.  Plus, every single child is different, so even if you do have experience, your own child will like and require a whole set of different things.  So, relax and just know that you will do great.

Ok, I'm going to be completely honest with you....I played a complete mind game with myself when I was pregnant and it was all centered around weight.  Looking back on it now, I wished I would have given myself a break and just went with it.  I didn't know it at the time, but your body knows exactly what it is doing.

In the beginning, I gained 0 weight.  I didn't have any morning sickness (luckily!) so I did not have an excuse.  I just was not putting on any extra weight.  During this time, I worried that my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing.  All I could think was, how come the weight is not coming.  Then, I started rapidly gaining, except I had no pregnant belly to show for it.  Instead, EVERYTHING expanded (from my rib cage, to my butt and thighs) but I had nothing to show for my weight gain.  I knew that it was all worth it but at the time it was extremely hard for me to deal with.

By 20 weeks, I had gained 20 pounds (I gained TEN in one month).  But, my midwife assured me that every single body is different and it was doing what it needed to do to support a baby.  This did not make me feel ANY better.  When I finally had a pregnant stomach, I was so incredibly happy.  I had 2 short months to dress that stomach; and, I loved every second.  Towards the end, I did not gain much at all (not even an extra pound the last two weeks).  People commented the entire time how small I was, and I agree, my stomach was.  However, I gained about 38 pounds overall and I knew it had to be somewhere!

I know now that if I ever get pregnant again, I will just stop stressing and enjoy it.  As long as you are eating well and not too indulgent (hey, every pregnant girl needs that Dairy Queen blizzard), your body is doing what it needs to do.  And every single body is different.  And no matter what, you are making a freaking baby so you are a rockstar.  The end :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Charlotte- 9 Months!

All 9 month clothing.  Although, pjs are starting to fit pretty snug!

The last month marked the addition of TWO (first) new teeth!  This also coincided with hanging out with the neighbor kids on the 4th of July.  We are not sure if it was her first cold or if it was related to teething, but for about 4 days, Charlie had a runny nose.  It went away and didn't seem to affect her other than that symptom.  We kinda think it was teething related but thankful it was not long duration or hard on Charlie.  We still deal with eczema on her cheeks and behind her knees.  Hoping this is slowly go away soon!

We eliminated 2 whole bottles this month, yay!  She is still having the same amount of milk throughout the day, just in sippy cups.  This took about a week for the transition to be a success.  We still do 3 "meals" a day of baby food and 2 snack times with finger foods.  Hoping to phase out the purees this month and go all finger foods next month.  Vegetables continue to be Charlie's favorite and all proteins are her least favorite.

Same old same old here.  We were worried about vacation with her schedule not being exactly normal and not sleeping in her crib.  But, she slept like normal!  She's usually asleep by 7:30pm and we get her up at 7:30am.

This month she dropped her evening cat nap...except when we were on vacation.  She decided that week that she needed the extra sleep.  Once we got home, it was back to normal and she's up from 3:00-6:40. This is such a fun stretch for it allows Derek and I to go on long walks with her, run errands, go out to eat, zoo, etc. without worrying about naps!

This girl knows how to whine like the best of them ;).  Basically, this is the only way she knows how to talk to us...cry/whine when wanting to be picked up, cry/whine when she wants something but cannot reach it, you get the idea.  However, I have to say that most of the time she is absolutely great!  We did have to take her out of the restaurant twice while on vacation.  Usually, she is the best baby out in restaurants.  However, she started this yelling thing.  Derek and I didn't know how to handle it.  I think it was all the attention she was getting and also still needing her evening cat nap.  Whatever the case, she is back to being a great little eater-outer.

Baby Gear
Flashcards, puzzles, anything that makes noises, and again anything that's not "baby gear"

Music/dancing, walking around things, standing, water bottles, drinking water, being tossed in the air/held upside down, walks, being outside

When I walk into the room and do not immediately go to her and pick her up, being spoon fed (likes to feed herself), sleeping in a room with any light (we had to put the pack n' play in the bathroom on vacation!)

This month brought on the teeth (finally!).  And two at a time.  Charlie started crawling so much faster this month, going up the stairs faster (hello baby gate), walking around things with ease, standing by herself, and even taking a few steps!  She can now stand all by herself starting from a position on the ground (instead of pulling herself up with assistance and letting go).  Starting on vacation, she would take one step all by herself and then fall.  We know it won't be long until this little girl is running around by herself.

Charlie has also started talking up a storm.  She can say mama, dada, ruff, and cat.  Our walks usually involve me saying "Charlie, what does a dog say" and she will say "ruff", "Charlie, can you say mama" and she will then repeat "mama."  You get the idea.  It is so fun to have her repeat us!

Other Thoughts
Charlie, your dad and I have enjoyed you so much this month.  You were a great little traveler.  We love taking you places and especially out to eat.  You are the perfect little travel companion.  We had the best time with you at the ocean.  We love seeing you grow each and every day.  It is so much fun that you are starting to interact with us more and more.  We are looking forward to what the next month will bring!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's Stopping You?

You know when I mentioned here that I'm on a journey to becoming healthier?  Well, it's time for YOU to start yours!  Today is the perfect day to start the classroom cleanse challenge and kick off the fall with a bang.  The best part is putting the most pure ingredients in your body and getting healthy.  Whether you are looking to lose extra pounds, gain natural energy, or even put on some muscle, nutritional cleansing can help everybody!

Did I mention the winner gets $250?!  Plus, the programs have a 30-day money back guarantee.  So, what's stoping you?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Vacation Recap

Finally- a vacation blog post!  First, I want to thank you all for your sweet comments, emails, thoughts & prayers that you sent our way about Brutus.  We appreciate each and every one.  As you can imagine, our vacation was thrown for a tail spin when we received news of Brutus.  However, leading up to that point, we had a serious great time.  So, every memory will only be in reference to the first 6 days.  And I'm going to try and get everything into one post, so please bear with me.

Let's start off with Charlotte's first plane ride.  Planning for a trip with a baby involves way more work on the front end than the actual traveling part.  Derek and I were feeling pretty confident with our preparation but still nervous for the plane ride.  (I am NO expert, but feel free to contact me if you are traveling with a baby soon)  It was a nonstop flight to Jacksonville, so I had scheduled the flight on the way there and on the way back during her nap time.  We didn't know if this would be a good idea or not.  On the way there, she took a ton of entertaining.  We were frantically pulling out snacks and new toys every second to avoid any fussiness.  On the way back, she ended up falling asleep.  That equaled one happy mommy and daddy!  Overall, she was fantastic and we received a lot of compliments on her good behavior.  Let me tell you- I think making the goody bags for the passengers around us hooked them immediately ;)

This was the view from the porch of the house we rented for the week.  As you can imagine, we spent all of our free time out here.  We loved to be steps away from the ocean.  Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets (and even rainbows) were our view every single day!  We even got to see dolphins in the evening.

Before I go any further, I have to totally talk up Amelia Island.  It was the first time for all of us, and we will definitely be going back.  It is a small island, only about 13 miles long.  So getting around would only take 5-10 minutes.  The island has everything you could need and not very touristy.  The perfect combination in our eyes.

The food scene on the island is definitely something to brag about.  We were highly impressed with every single restaurant we went to.  We mainly ate at restaurants found in their adorable downtown.  The evening of my birthday we went to a restaurant at the Ritz.  We had (arguably) the best dining experience.  We did their chef's tasting menu.  It was so much fun to not know what food they would be bringing out.  We majorly connected with our waiter and enjoyed his presence so much throughout the night.  He made our night extra special by offering us extra pours from the wines we loved the most and finishing up Derek's meal with a taste of his favorite bourbon.  SUCH a memorable experience!

Golfing, fishing, shopping, boogie boarding out in the ocean, laying out, taking walks on the beach, visiting the national park/19th century Fort, playing Uno and Heads Up, and cooking dinners together are just a few of the activities we all got to do during the week.

Overall, this trip was exactly what we hoped it would be: a trip for Charlotte to experience the ocean and to be with family.  We cannot wait to take her here every year and have it be something she looks forward to.  The time here was so memorable and we cannot wait to go back!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In Memory of Our Brutie Man

As I write this, I literally cannot find the words.  I have been paralyzed every single time I come to write this tribute.  I mean, look around, this entire blog IS Brutus.  I feel like I'm unable to express how thankful we were to have Brutus in our lives and now heartbroken because he is gone and we were unable to say goodbye.  I'm going to miss everything about him and our routines.  But most importantly, I'm sad Charlie will not get to grow up with him.  We know he would have been the most perfect big brother.

Brutus, you came into our lives at the most perfect time.  You completed our family by making it a family of three.  We had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into when picking you up on Valentine's Day weekend.  I always knew I wanted a yorkie, and Brutus, there could have not been a better pick than you.

Derek and I always talk about the first night leaving you.  We went to watch a UFC fight at BWW's and had to leave early because we missed you so much.  That is the only fight we've ever left early.  Between learning how to give you independence and discipline, we owe all our parenting learnings to you.

One thing we learned quickly was your love for running.  You were absolutely amazing to watch.  Derek was upset from the very beginning that such a little dog could beat him.  He even put on his cleats and we had an official race.  You won every single time.

One of the things people noticed and commented about you was your stance.  You were the most proud dog anybody has ever seen.  In fact, anybody that got to know you, fell in love with you.  Both of your grandparents ended up getting a yorkie because of you.

We loved that you were the perfect dog for us.  Mr. Cuddly with me and oh-so-playful with Derek.  Exactly what we both wanted out of a dog.  You were the best and always wanted to please us.  You'll never know how much love and joy you brought into our lives.  We were so incredibly lucky to have you in our family for the last 4 1/2 years.  You will be missed more than you will ever know.  We love you!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charlotte- 8 Months!

Still in 6-12/ 6-9 / 9 month (pjs)

Pretty much the same here this month too.  All in all, really healthy, thank goodness!  We still deal with the eczema on the face.  However, it never bothers her.  It really seems to be triggered by certain foods.

We had our first big scare with an allergic reaction to eggs.  I'll definitely be taking the advice of the pediatrician of when to reintroduce eggs.

4 bottles/day and 3 solid food meals.  This month she had weeks where she ate like a champ, and others where she did not want any solid foods.  She has worked a lot on feeding herself with the puffs.  She is great at pinching, just sometimes misses her mouth.  It's pretty cute to see her little hands trying to do this!  She also mastered the sippy cup this month.  We will be working on eliminating at least one bottle next month, eek!

Still on the same schedule this month of 3 naps and sleeping 12-12.5 hours.  She is showing signs of eliminating her final nap which is fine by us.  We are looking forward to having a longer stretch with her in the afternoons to run errands/go to the park, etc!

This month she was a super happy girl!  There were weeks of whining when I would leave the room.  It seemed like whenever she spent a good amount of time with Derek, the whining would not be as prevalent because she would be happy just hanging out with her Dad!

Baby Gear
Everything NOT baby related...remote control, cell phone, Brutus' toys, Brutus' water dishes, etc

Music, standing, walking around things, being held/close to people, walks

Being in the room by "herself" (aka if I walk away even a little bit, she will start to get noisy!)

Things were pretty constant this month including schedule and growth.  However, Charlie is on the move and not stopping!  She started going up the stairs (hello baby gate) and wants to stand/walk around things all the time.  She is interested in every thing she is not supposed to have.  She has also started saying words including, Mama, up, and bub.  Of course, these aren't directed at anything in particular but it makes my heart happy hearing mamamama come out of her mouth!  Waving and clapping are also something she is doing all the time (hence all the blurry pictures)!

Other Thoughts
Charlie, you are so much fun to be around.  You seriously crack me up.  Your Dad and I love spending time with you.  You discover new things to do each day.  You love to pull yourself up on about anything and everything.  You have routinely crawled over to the entertainment stand, pulled yourself up, and decided to turn up the volume on the receiver.  One of us has to grab the remote and turn it down in between you turning the knob so we don't get blown out with noise.  We absolutely love taking you places.  You are so good at restaurants.  We make sure to have plenty of food as it keeps you the most entertained.  Our most favorite thing this month was seeing you play with Brutus.  You would grab one of his toys and you guys would play tug of war.  If he would "win", and start running away, you would start to chase him.  We've tried to warn you that there is no way you will catch him :)  We are looking forward to what the next month will bring!