8.20.2014

mid-week inspiration

It is Wednesday, middle of the week. You are halfway from last week and halfway to this weekend. Sometimes Wednesdays leave me feeling stuck. To overcome that nasty feeling, here is some inspiration to get you through the day and the remainder of the week! 
Here's hoping Friday comes soon!





8.19.2014

"sponsored" , Greek + Steak = Delicious Summer Salad

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Beef Checkoff. I received products to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Did I ever tell you that I was a vegetarian briefly? Yup, I decided to try being a vegetarian for the heck of it, no other reason then let's go for it. It didn't last too long, why because I am a beef eater at heart. When I was younger, my mom would ask what I would want for my birthday meal and I would request steak, always steak. So you see why being a vegetarian wasn't going to last a long time. 

I recently had some friends over for an easy to prepare and easy to make Greek beef salad (this is the recipe I used). During the summer time, I like to eat light, definitely not a meal that leaves me feeling heavy. With the combination of salad, some fresh veggies and delicious top sirloin steak, you have a perfect summer meal that won't leave you feeling ugh as well as 10 essential nutrients your body needs. especially iron and protein. I received a party kit that included a meat thermometer and a oven mitt, both which came in handy to help me prepare my dinner.

For this delicious salad, you have to marinate the top sirloin steak at least 6 hours if not overnight so plan accordingly.
To make the marinade for 1 pound of steak, combine 2/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. (I used 1.5 lbs of steak so I made one portion of this marinade and then half of it). In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together then save half of it. Pour half of the marinade in a food safe bag and put the top sirloin steak inside to allow it to marinade in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook the steak. Save the other half of the marinade which will be your dressing for the salad.


To cook the steak, take it out of the bag and throw away that marinade. Broil the steak, about 2 to 3 inches away from the broiler, for 17 to 18 minutes for medium rare. I was provided a meat thermometer, which came to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. When the steak is done, I removed it from the oven with a Beef Its What for Dinner oven mitt. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices. 
You can grill the steak for 16-18 minutes if you like using these instructions. 

In a large bowl, add the chopped up lettuce and pour the reserved half of the marinade then toss.
Top the salad with the steak, kalamata olives, feta cheese and roasted red peppers.
To complement the dinner, I served hummus with pita wedges and a cantaloupe and blueberry salad. 




Helping us eat this delicious Greek steak salad was our friends, the Hunts and Jessi, a college student. The Hunts have two children and their youngest, Judson is only four days older than Caleb! The results of this Greek steak salad? Delicious! Very tasting! Can't stop eating it are just a few comments I received and the dinner was well received that we didn't have any leftover beef for lunch the next day If we had some leftover steak, I would have created a gyro with the pita, a smear of hummus, a few slices of steak topped with lettuce and feta cheese. 



So next time you are wondering what to make for dinner remember Beef, It's What for Dinner by trying this great Greek salad. 

8.18.2014

its ok...

It is ok that...
I murdered a cockroach in our kitchen sink last night. I found it on its back in the sink so I murdered it by turning on the faucet. Buh-bye cockroach! This is like the 4th cockroach we have found in the house, I am getting pretty grossed out by it. My biggest fear? I am going to wake up to one on my face or on Caleb.

My husband ate pumpkin pie on August 14th. It was a free 8 inch pumpkin pie added to my Ralphs club card. I mean hello a whole, free pie?? Not missing the chance to snatch that sucker up.

Sometimes it takes a few days to fold and put clean clothes away. I know, I know but hey when you have a cute kid to hang out with, laundry isn't all that important.

Every night after dinner usually around 8pm I start craving chocolate. I don't know why, I just do and my solution to that problem? I don't have chocolate in the house so I don't indulge in my craving. What does that mean though? That I pretty much have to eat anything sugary to help stop that craving. It is a vicious cycle. 

If we had the extra money, I would pay a cleaning service to come clean my house once a week or bi-monthly. Call me lazy if you want. I like a clean house but at the end of the day, I am just so tired to try and do anything on my own. 

This new stage of parenting, introducing foods to Caleb freaks me out. It just does, enough said. Veggies, fruit then protein it is in that order. Maybe I will document it on this blog, Adventures into Eating or something like that...

I think my baby is the cutest, happiest baby in the world especially after his second time in the pool yesterday. Some friends of ours were having a pool party in their backyard so that was our afternoon fun. Caleb was splashing, kicking, just loving being in the water. We might have a future fish on our hands.







8.15.2014

motherhood called

So Wednesday night I was all set to sit down and write a blog post for yesterday. Then motherhood called. A little man known as Caleb who had his 6 months shots earlier on Wednesday came down with a runny nose and a slight fever and he just didn't want to go to bed. Who could blame him either? It is a pain when your nose is runny, you can't breathe properly and you just feel yucky. 
So motherhood required cuddling, comforting and kisses and I obliged. 

Yesterday then required a few naps especially a two and a half hour nap, along with lemon and lavender essential oils. The lemon was to bring down his fever and lavender to stop his runny nose.
 Lastly, when feeling sick on the inside, you dress to impress on the outside and mom snaps a few photos. 




I may not know a whole lot about motherhood but I do know a few things, when your kid needs cuddling you cuddle and oh Target makes great diapers that whole all the poop in, Pampers and Huggies not even close.

8.13.2014

al fresco dining...

Almost halfway through August and the summer is slowly coming to an end, Sean's athletes come back on Friday so that means early morning practices. As the summer winds down slowly (doesn't that sound depressing), I want to reminisce on one of the best parts of summer, al fresco dining.








I'm feeling so inspired I think I need to make the next few evenings al fresco dining!

8.12.2014

mandatory fun

Every year before the start of the school year, the athletic department of the school Sean works at has a mandatory fun evening. Yup, you read that right, mandatory fun. The mandatory fun evening consists of pizza and then we sign up to bring side dishes and desserts. Does it surprise you that Sean knows me well enough to sign us up for dessert every single year? After the pizza dinner the members of the athletic department, head coaches and assistants play a game of softball with a wiffle ball so call that what you will. 

So I made these chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars on Saturday because we were having some friends over for lunch on Sunday and I thought I would have enough to bring to the mandatory fun evening later tonight. Clearly, I underestimate our friends and my husband and their eating abilities. I made a second batch of these bars last night because I can't bring like only 6 bars.
I admit even I like these bars and I am not a big fan of chocolate and peanut butter. I heard that thud, it was your jaw dropping to the floor. Anyways moving on to these delicious bars and a few extra miles of running this week is in order for me :-)

To make these bars you need: 3/4 cup butter, room temperature, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 cup flour, 2 cups rolled oats. For the chocolate frosting, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons milk, 2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla. 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixer, cream the butter, then add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. 


Add the eggs one at a time and mix in between each egg addition. 

Add the vanilla extract and lastly the peanut butter. 

Now you add in the dry ingredients, the rolled oats, flour and baking soda. 



In a greased 9X13 pan, press the dough evenly then bake for 17-21 minutes. 


Allow the bars to cool completely then spread a thin layer of peanut butter. 

Then make the chocolate frosting. In a sauce pan, melt the butter with the cocoa and milk.

 Heat until boiling. Stir for 2 minutes then remove from heat and add in the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract. 


Spread the chocolate frosting on top of the peanut butter. The chocolate will harden as it cools. Once the chocolate is cooled, then cut into squares and then try and not eat the entire pan in 2 days. I double dog dare you!


8.11.2014

first time in the nursery? check!

Yesterday was a big milestone, leaving Caleb at the church nursery so his father and I could go back to the sanctuary instead of sitting in the overflow room, which happens to be right next to the nursing room. I didn't check up on him, I stayed in my sit and enjoyed listening to a full message at church again. My heart and my soul needed it. Yes, I missed my baby but he needs me to hear the message so I can teach him about God and His love for us. 

Even though I didn't check on him, Sean did and he told him he was just smiling and laughing and then I relaxed a bit more during the remainder of the service. There is nothing like a husband knowing his wife needed reassurance that their baby was happy and getting a few photos from a fellow mom who was in the nursery. 

Remember my post on community? This is our community, these are the people we see each Sunday, who watch my child during church, who love on him and pray for him as I do the same for their children. 




It is this community that I have come to love, genuinely feel apart of and do life with on a daily basis, not just a once a week on Sunday only. It is this community that we can let our guard down, tell others what is really happening in our life and share what is truly on our hearts. 
I'm thankful for the mom who remembered what it was like to leave your child for the first time in the nursery and for the husband who checked up on their son to provide reassurance for his wife.
p.s. overload of Caleb photo lately hashtag sorry not sorry, I just love my kid.