Chicken Spaghetti

So this week I made easy chicken spaghetti. Growing up in a house where Cinnamon Toast was basic cooking skills, I had never heard of chicken spaghetti.  When I did hear of it, I assumed it was chicken in spaghetti instead of beef. I guess I was wrong or this recipe just does a different spin.

Ease: 4/5. It says it is easy and I guess it is. Cook noodles, cook chicken and veggies.  My problem was that the broth/flour/milk never thickened so when I put it in the baking dish, I had to keep the liquid out.

Husbands rating: 4/5

Changes: I forgot to add garlic.  I also did not add parsley.

Recipe: You can find it here

Picture: I should have taken it after it came out of the oven.

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Family Vacation to East TN

Last Thursday my family of three hopped on an airport and headed to Tennessee for a family vacation. In the past, it has just been my mom, sisters and I but this time we opened it up to the whole family. So my sisters, my mom, my aunt, my cousins and the kids all came.  We had about 18 people there (my family is pretty small, we were only missing 2 people). My son finally got to meet his cousins too.

Thursday:

This was our arrival date. We were staying in Rogersville, TN which is in the middle of nowhere.  The reason we were staying there: we found a canoe/floating place that allowed toddlers.  We also had to stay at a hotel that was dog friendly so Rogersville was our destination.  There is nothing much in the town but we made do.  My family was the only one flying because we live the farthest away. We flew into Nashville and then drove. For lunch we stopped in Knoxville and ate at Smoky Mountain Brewery.  We loved the beers and loved that they had a kids menu and crayons. We also enjoyed the food too.  We ended up buying two 6-mix/match-packs to go. We made it to the hotel at about 2 and my mom, one sister, aunt and uncle were there at about 3:30. Soon others arrived but the last group got in at about 7:50. We ate dinner but a lot of restaurants in town close at 8 or 9.  We did not want fast food.  We ate at a place called O’Henrys which the hotel staff recommended.  I liked it and very kid friendly but my family did not.

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Nashville Airport

Friday:

The hotel we stayed at had free breakfast so we all just ate once we woke up.  My son was the youngest at 2 and the oldest of the grandkids is 21.  Most were high school range. The weather looked rainy our whole weekend but we were not going to let that stop us. We had made reservations at River Place on the Clinch to float down the river.  We were going to do the 3 mile route.  We decided to postpone by one hour to give the weather a chance to clear. It ended up raining on us for about 30 minutes and then cleared to be a beautiful day.  We were on the river for about 5 hours.  We packed lunches, played in the water and just relaxed. It was perfect.  The place was very laid back too.

That night, I had to go pick-up a packet for a race I was doing the next day.  Packet pick-up was one hour away in Johnson City at the Yee-Haw Brewery.  Only my family went on this side excursion.  Yee-Haw brewery was an awesome place.  They had old school games like Skee Ball, good beer and a restaurant attached to it called White Duck Taco Shop. Service was fast too.  My husband and I really enjoyed ourselves.  They also had a free concert across the railroad tracks too so we went to that for a little bit.

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Came back to see the Maid tucked in Monkey

Saturday: 

We woke up early to get to my race in Johnson City.  My mom came to my hotel room to watch my little guy.  I did the Tweetsie Trail Half Marathon and 10k.  I decided to only do the 10K as I was on vacation. The race is small but really put together, I will do more of a recap later.  After my race, we made it back to the hotel at about 9:30 and my son was eating in the lobby. My family decided to go hike that day after lunch. We did fast food for lunch which my car ate at Pal’s because we have never heard of that before. We recommend it. We hiked at Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport.  The trail we originally wanted to go on was closed so we did the Devil’s Backbone. We hiked about half mile to a photo-op spot and turned around. That night we went to Rogersville City Park and had a BBQ.

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Good Milkshake

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Monsters climbing Devils Backbone

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Finished our hike

Sunday: 

One of my cousins and her family were leaving because they had to work on Monday.  We took some family photos before they left. After they left, my sisters began calling different places and we ended up renting a pontoon boat and wave runner for 6 hours.  The place is called H20 Sports in Dandridge and we were on Lake Douglas.  My family had some much fun boating, playing in the water and playing on the wave runner.  My son loved the boat ride and loved swimming in the water.  It was a great day for it too. We decided to eat a Mexican Grill called Toros before we headed back to Nashville.  Our flight was at 5:30 in the morning and we had a hotel room that night in Nashville.  We left right from the restaurant because it was one hour closer than going back to Rogersville to say goodbye.  It is always hard leaving family though.

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Smoky Mountains over Lake Douglas

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Swimming in Lake Douglas

Last Thoughts:

  • My son slept in bed with us and man, that was too much freedom.  Hopefully he will mature some before our next trip in late August.
  • Thankfully he got right back on his regular sleeping schedule.
  • We have decided to do this every year.  So I am planning next year.  We thought it might be easier to do the same weekend every year so people will know in advance.
  • The flight back was so smooth as my son slept the whole time.  The way there?  Not so much.  He was very upset that he had to have his own seat and seatbelt. Luckily he did eventually sleep.

 

Southwestern Pasta Salad

This week I made my husband a Southwestern Pasta Salad.  I decided since it is very hot now, keep it simple and light.  My husband is on restricted workouts but also wanted something that wasn’t too unhealthy. Plus, it is vegetarian for people out there who do not like meat.  You can use this as a main meal or as a side for maybe a BBQ.

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Ease: 5/5. Cook pasta, blend stuff and done.

Husbands rating: 5/5. He loved it!

Changes: I didn’t use cilantro or cherry tomatoes. I also left out the apple cider vinegar. The reasons: my husband is not a fan of tomatoes and I didn’t want to buy the vinegar/cilantro when we will not use it.

Recipe: You can find it here.

Picture:

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Got any recipes for me to try?  Let me know.

June Stitch Fix

Yesterday I received my Stitch Fix. I kept the same stylists I have had but had no requests this time.  For those who do now know how Stitch Fix works, here you go:

Here is how Stitch Fix works for the new people:

1. Fill out your Style Profile. This gives detail on your style, sizes, budget and anything else like a link to your pinterest board.

2. Once you have “ordered” your box, they will send you 5 items from a personal stylists.  It is a $20 styling fee which is applied as a credit toward anything you keep.

3. Try everything on. They send you Style Cards with recommendations on how to wear your outfit.  You have three days to decide what you do and do not want.

4. Buy what you like and return the rest. If you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire purchase.  Don’t like something, they send you a pre-paid mailing bag to drop in the mailbox.  It is free shipping.

So here is what I got:

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My Style Card

Dear John Finnegan Roll Cuff Short ($58), American Able Bev Keyhole Knit Top ($32) and Bay to Baubles Mellie Station Necklace ($34)

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So the shorts are super comfy.  They feel like really soft worn in shorts. I am pretty sure I am going to keep them because I could wear these all summer long. Plus I like that they are a little longer. Not sure about the wash of them but all my other jean shorts are the same wash so something different might be great.

The shirt fits but because of the cut, it is pretty open and if I bend over, you can see everything.  Right now it is in the maybe pile.  The necklace is in the maybe pile too. It is cute but I am not sure how much I will wear it.  I have a closer up of the necklace.

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Market & Spruce Tysta Knit Dress ($64)

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Sorry the pic is blurry but of course my photographer didn’t have time to take good quality pictures. Anyway, that is okay because this dress was a big NO.  First, it shows everything.  So if you look at where my thigh is, you see a huge line. That line is fabric for the wrap. So if you can see that…you can see everything! Also, it makes me look pregnant, which I am not.

My last item was the Renee C Galia Cami Blouse ($40).  I did not take a picture of it because it was damaged.  It had a hole in it.  This was the first time I have ever been given a damaged article and this was my 23rd fix.

Interested in trying Stitch Fix?  Go here.

Camping Tips with a Toddler (& a dog)

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Before I begin, let me preface by saying I am not a camper.  I am also not an expert and what works for us might not work for all.  These are just some tips I have used that helps us.

So my husband is a camper.  He always has been.  He loves to camp and would go by himself because I wouldn’t go with him.  Now that we have a kid, we have gone by ourselves, with friends who do not have kids, and with other families.  I am trying to learn to enjoy and love it but I don’t like being uncomfortable and I do not sleep while I camp. I am also not a packer.  Meaning, I pack light.  I have never been one of those moms who has everything and the kitchen sink with them(I would love to be that mom, it just is not me).  So very minimalist packer with a toddler?  Can it been done?  Yes.

Here are my tips and must haves:

-Toys that are only played with during camp trips. So we have a blow-up beach ball that only comes out during camping trips so it is special and fun to play with.

-Snacks

-Easy to make food. We like Mountain House Foods.

-Water bottle for each person. We personally love the Kid Camelbak bottle for our son like this one.

-Self-Inflating Air Mat for me. I cannot find my exact one but there are tons on Amazon.

-Sunscreen

-Headlamps/flashlight/lantern.  I suggest one light per person.

-If you have 3 people, get a 6 person tent.  Then you have enough room for your gear and the people.

-Fun toys for night like Glow in the dark Balloons, or glow sticks.

-Take a toddler led hike and let them explore.

-Always pack an extra outfit just in case they have too much fun in the woods.

-I try to pick a campsite with some shade and water hookup just for emergency water.

-Trail map so that you can plan your exploration.

-Check to see if they have a Park program. Like maybe they have a Jr. Park Ranger program or maybe a Ranger is showing animal tracks. If you go to the National Parks, they have a Passport book to collect stamps from each park.

-Bring a bag for wet clothes (if you go camping at a lake or beach).

-Bring trash bags.

-You might have to go to sleep early, as in when your kid goes so that they actually sleep.

Everything I pack for me and my son fits in one little duffel bag.  We each have our own sleeping bag and we pack a cooler for milk, extra water and adult beverages. We also take our dog so we make sure to bring him an inflatable bowl and some food.

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I feel like I am missing a lot and I most likely am. That also explains my camping habits too.

Kidbox Summer 17

Last month, I ordered a summer box for my son at Kidbox. He needs more summer clothes because summer last about 10 months here and it was well into the high 80s. We go through shorts and t-shirts like crazy and have been since January. My son needed more 2T since that is the size he is in or about to be in(depending on brand).

Here is how it works:

  1. Go to the website and fill out a style survey. They ask for things such as colors to avoid, what do you need more of, what will they not wear, their style.
  2. They only ship out 5 times a year but you can skip a season if you would like.
  3. Review the box. You have 7 days before you are billed. If you keep everything, it is $98. If you keep only a few pieces, they offer it at a discount.
  4. Ship back what you do not want.
  5. If you kept it all, pick a charity you want Kidbox to donate clothes to.

While it is not the cheapest, it is easy which is good during the school year.  We normally shop at Target, Carter’s and Gymboree for him and usually on sale but this introduces us to different brands and styles.

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Description Card

So it comes with a return label for size exchanges or things you do not like. It also comes with a card telling you everything you go, how much it originally cost and what it would cost you if bought separate. Sorry for crayon scribbles but my son was coloring. It also comes with crayons because the box is white and looks like a coloring sheet and a sheet of stickers. All the information comes in a clear zip bag which we now use to hold wet kid swimsuits while camping.

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What we got

So the items we got going left to right are (I am putting their discount price):

Art + Aden Boys Short Sleeve Henley Tee in white $20

This is white shirt with blue sleeves.  The tee is soft and cute but looks short for my boy who is pretty tall but a stick (trust me, I feed him).

7 for All Mankind Boys 2pc Set with Jeans and Tee in grey $42

This is the ombre shirt and jeans.  I love this outfit!  I cannot wait for him to wear it this fall when it cools to the 70s. This was my favorite thing in the box.

Penguin Graphic Teein blue $14

Blue T-shirt with the penguin.  I love the colors as my son has blue eyes so I know they will brighten them up.

U.S. Polo Assn. Boys Drawstring Roll Up Pant in brown $18

As a family of campers/hikers/outdoors people, these will be perfect for when it is warm in the day but chilly at night.

Penguin Short Sleeve Henley in blue $18

Another blue top of bring out the color of my sons eyes. We have a wedding to go to this summer so it will be a nice top for the wedding. I think this was my husbands favorite item.

Losan Denim shorts $35

Not crazy about denim shorts for boys/men but it was cheaper to keep it then send it back.

So retail for everything would have $205, and with their prices $147 but since I kept everything it was only $98.  Not too bad.

If interested, go here.

Workouts Lately

Now that my life has settled some, I can give a longer update. One of my biggest problems is my mind is bigger than the time of day.  Basically, I have all these grand schemes but I always run out of time because I over schedule myself. One thing I always try to find time for is a workout each day because I go crazy without one. So during the week, I do a short workout right when I wake up.  They usually last about 10 minutes, maybe shorter, maybe longer. I switch it up each day.  Some of them include Fabletics, Emily Skye, and Blogilates. I find working out right when I wake up gives me some energy through the day. Otherwise I workout at night expect on the weekends.  Here is a schedule I have found for me that works:

Sunday- Recovery 3 mile run, yoga (I like Yoga with Adrienne on youtube)

Monday- Crossfit

Tuesday- Sprint work or sometimes just a 3 miler depending on my schedule

Wednesday- Crossfit

Thursday- 3 mile run with friends

Saturday- Long run

Changes for the summer though include a Body Pump class on Fridays and a run after crossfit on Wednesdays.  Since it is summer, I also walk my dog during the mornings and take my son on walks with friends.

My son is in the stroller on Thursdays and Sundays.  On Saturdays I try to get finished with my run by 9 so my husband can go to crossfit.  He also goes on Tuesdays/Thursday while I watch my son.  We can never go together.

Some other things I have done the past months:

Crossfit related:

I completed in the Open but the scaled division.  I did a lot better than I thought and realized I can be a lot stronger than I thought.  I also did the Murph over Memorial Day.  For those who do not know, the Murph is 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and then another mile run.  I broke up the workout by 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats 20 times.  I did it a lot faster than I thought I could.  I used a band for pull-ups and went on my knee for push-ups. I also have a new favorite pair of crossfit shorts called Fleos.  They are short, which worried me, but they are really comfy and I can finally squat without restriction and they keep me covered. You can find them here

Running related: 

I completed a Half Marathon in April with my best friend.  We did it more relaxed since it was pretty warm.  We also didn’t train for it.  I did though, place 1st in age group at a small local 5k.  I was not expecting it because I did it as a catch up on girl talk run with my friend as we were both under the weather. I did sign up for Houston Marathon again so we will see how training goes this year.

Just a note, I do not get paid for anything I recommend, like the shorts, nor do I get free stuff.  I just wanted to talk about it.

Posts coming up soon, another Kidbox review, Camping with toddler tips, and some more travel blogs once I actually travel.

Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese

This is my last week of school so once I breathe, I can do some posts I have been planning like camping trips with a toddler, workout updates and so on.  For this week I made my husband Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese.

Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese

Ease: 4/5. Pretty easy. Cook pasta, brown meat, chop and wait.

Husbands rating: 3/5. He said it was too garlicy for his taste.

Changes: So the recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, I only used 1 and it was still pretty garlicy, but the clove I used was pretty big. I also didn’t use tomatoes so technically it is not a Sloppy Joe but my husband is not huge into tomatoes. I also used a couple different cheeses.

Recipe: You can find it here.

Picture:

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