Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: The End is Near!

Happy Friday everyone! As always linking up with some of our favorite bloggers to wrap up the end of the week, and oh my do I have a lot of favorites for this week! It's been a fun week, and we've had a lot of exciting things going on. So without further delay, this week's favorites...

ONE
Snow! We had our first snow (and quite possibly our only) of the winter, and the kids LOVED it! We only received about an inch or so, but they acted like it was two feet deep. 


They threw snow balls forever, rolled in it, played chase, and simply had a blast. They were so sad when it melted a few hours later. 


Seeing their excitement, we might just have to follow suit with Carrie Beth's family and start incorporating ski trips into our vacation plans. 

TWO
While we were "snowed in" I was able to catch up on a lot of projects and get some reading done. I finished our book club book, and can't wait to discuss that with you guys next week.


It was so nice to just relax a little bit. Now if I can just catch up on my Bachelor watching, I would be one happy relaxed mommy. :) 

THREE
Speaking of relaxed I saw this funny chart somewhere in my Internet travels this week, and thought it was hilarious. 


If this rings true, Carrie Beth and I should be some of the most relaxed people you meet. 

FOUR
And at the mention of baby, one of my favorites this week is finally figuring out a plan! The end is near!! I have grown super uncomfortable over the last few weeks, and The Cutes have been taking full advantage of a slower mommy. We did an ultrasound earlier in the week, and have another scheduled on Monday. My guess is baby will make her appearance before then, but if not we now have an official eviction date. 

{Maternity tunic top available HERE}
Bring on baby!

FIVE
And knowing baby is on her way in less than a week, we definitely amped up the whole nursery decorating business. Choosing a paint color was the turning point and then everything else fell into place from there over the weekend. 


I will share all the details soon, but I love what we ended up with and am so excited to finally have a place for her to call her own in our home. 


It's definitely still a work in progress, but it's been fun to put everything together and put out some of her sweet shower gifts. I can't wait to see her precious little face!



SIX
In honor of all things baby, and the fact that sometime soon my feet will be on major display for a room full of strangers to see, I planned a little girly outing with L.C. to have a mommy/daughter mani and pedi. We will have our toes done in this fun pink color

I let her pick it out at the store and she was so excited! Usually we do her mani/pedi in Piggy Paint, but she was so excited when I told her we would match for baby 3.0. I was nervous letting her pick out the color, but she went straight for a pink. That's my girl! 

SEVEN
Cute's birthday definitely tops my favorites for the week! He is such a fun little boy and always keeps us laughing. He seems so tiny still and I can't imagine what it will even feel like to hold another newborn again. 


Little Cute picked out these Ninja Turtle pjs for him for his birthday, complete with mask, and no joke he has worn them almost every single day since his birthday. Good thing I am doing laundry all day every day or else this would be a major issue each night when he requests his "Ninja footies". 

EIGHT
While on the subject of pjs, I have been lounging in these quite a bit lately. 


I can't get over how cozy they are! So much so that I decided to order this set for when I am in the hospital. They are that soft and comfortable!! 
And as an added bonus it comes with a matching gown for baby! Swoon!! 

And that's a wrap for favorites this week! Happy weekend everyone and hopefully the next time you hear from me, baby 3.0 will be here - EEK!

What were some of your week's favorites? 
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kitchen Confessions: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Last week when the talk of the town was the snow we might get, I was in the serious mood for some soup.  I started searching Pinterest and came up with a few different recipes I wanted to try.  One of those was a broccoli cheddar soup recipe.  I'm usually a dump all the ingredients in the crockpot kind of girl and anything that requires sautéing and simmering makes me a little nervous because I think it will take too much time.  However, I couldn't find a broccoli cheese soup recipe that sounded good from a crockpot so I decided to make the real thing.  Like not take out, not pre-made from Costco, the real-deal homemade.  As we waited for the snow to arrive the girls and I got to work chopping broccoli, sautéing onions, and simmering our hearts out.


And you know what???  It was TOTALLY worth it. The final product was SO good.  Like I almost threw out my shoulder patting myself on the back kind of good. The kids loved it (minus Boo-Boo who doesn't eat anything), we loved it, and everyone went back for seconds.  I promise this is worth the time and effort! (And it honestly didn't take that long!)  My only regret is that it didn't make more.  I might even double the recipe next time so that we can have leftovers.



Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Ingredients:
-1 tablespoon melted butter
-1/2 medium chopped onion
-1/4 cup melted butter
-1/4 cup flour
-2 cups half and half cream
-2 cups chicken stock
-3 cups chopped fresh broccoli
-1 cup matchstick carrots
-8 oz. extra sharp cheddar block, shredded
-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Saute onion in 1 tablespoon of butter, set aside.
2. Cook the 1/4 cup melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Stir constantly and add the half and half.
3. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the broccoli, carrots and reserved onions.  Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.
5.  Add salt and pepper and shredded cheese.  Stir to allow cheese to melt.
6. Garnish with shredded cheese.
7. Enjoy!



Original recipe found HERE.  I only made a few adjustments...left out nutmeg (because I didn't have any on hand) and didn't simmer after step #3 for quite as long.  
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cute Turns FIVE!

I can't believe my tiny little Cute is now five! I've been able to ease into this birthday over the last few weeks since we've spread out the celebrations, but on Monday it became official - I am the mom of a five year old.



I feel like his entry into the world happened just yesterday, and it is looking like he will be my tiniest baby, coming in at just over five pounds (Seriously, he was so small!!!), but life since then has moved at warp speed, and I am continuously amazed at what an amazing little human being my son is turning into. Sorry people...at just over 38 weeks pregnant, I am allowed to sound a little emotional right???


With baby 3.0's arrival kind of up in the air, we thought it best to celebrate his birthday a little earlier than normal, so we planned a small birthday party for him a few weeks ago.  He chose the theme of robots and we allowed him to choose ten friends to invite to a local trampoline park.


The party location was perfect because I didn't have to do anything. From food to entertainment to cake they took care of it all. It was the perfect scenario for our situation, and even though I felt a little guilty over not doing anything for the party, it was also quite liberating to just sit back and enjoy for once.


Once I saw that I wasn't going to go into labor, or have to go to the hospital, I decided to at least take charge of the goody bags. We did a fun little robot theme for them, with lots of yummy treats/snacks and voila - done!


It was tons of fun watching Cute and all of his friends bounce together, play dodge ball, and just enjoy being five.


Little Cute was just as excited it was his birthday as he was, and did not slow down one bit. That broken arm thing didn't even phase her as she bounced and climbed her way over the whole hour and a half we were there.


Fast forward to Cute's actual birthday on Monday and we decided to bring in five with a bang. We still had our normal routine to do, but we made sure to make the day feel special along the way. Cute wanted to bring a treat to school in the form of Ninja Turtles. So we coordinated with his teacher and did a little mini birthday celebration and extra playground time for his birthday.

After school, we did a quick rest and then asked Cute where he wanted to have his birthday dinner. I swear L.C. did some sort of voodoo magic on him because he didn't hesitate for even an iota of a second before exclaiming, "Chuck E. Cheese!". Lord help me. 


We made our way to the Chuck, and I said a little prayer to little baby Jesus asking that my water did not break in the overstimulating mouse decorated arcade my children are in love with. Trust me when I said the fear was real.


Thankfully, we survived, and baby stayed in place.  Seeing as Monday evenings are apparently quite slow for Chuck E. it was actually quite enjoyable, and we had the whole place to ourselves at one point. The kids were in heaven and Cute was so excited to play "every single game in the whole wide world".

(And yes, I look that swollen and that tired in real life.)
I am so glad our fun little guy was able to have such a special birthday. In his mind he is already planning another party next week, but I have a feeling we will be having a whole different kind of birthday party here next week. ;)

FUN THINGS ABOUT CUTE AT FIVE
- He LOVES to be a helper. He will do just about any job you give him, and has learned to love chores. Future wife, you can thank me later. 

- He is a social butterfly and thinks everyone is his friend. And should be invited to our house. To spend the night. Occasionally this is awkward. Like for example, when he asks the postman. Who politely declined the invite. 

- Has become a picky eater. Or really just a normal kid. Loves pizza, steak, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, and has a deep love for french fries. Ketchup is also apparently its own food group.

- Is a master negotiator. Everything is negotiable. Everything. 
He gets this from his father.

- Is total boy and loves all things super hero, Ninja Turtles, and Spiderman. Captain America supersedes all. 

- Is great at math and can already do some simple problems, but has no desire to learn anything that has to do with letters. For all the reasoning in the world, he doesn't understand why he can't just be known as "P". 

- Will have you read to him all day long. And when you aren't reading to him, he has a million questions to ask you. Love his curiosity. 

- Even though we've been potty trained a long time, we still cannot seem to master the whole "I need to flush and put the seat down" trick. I hear this is a boy thing, but sometimes I am not amused by the "surprises" I get left occasionally. 

- Is super sweet and gives probably a million kisses a day. Seriously, millions! I will never ever complain about that! Never ever! 


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P.S. If anyone is interested in the Robot party printables, let me know. It didn't seem like a popular theme when I was looking it up, but I would be happy to share what I created. Just leave us a message or a comment and I will be happy to add the links. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Best of San Francisco

Hi Friends!  Today instead of sharing something with all of you I'm hoping y'all can share something with me.  The Mr. and I are going to be taking a little trip to San Francisco soon and I can't wait to go!  I've never been to this iconic city, but I know there are so many great things to do and see.  

Image Source

We're planning to do wine country one day and then we'll have another day and a half to see the city before some of our more scheduled events begin.  Everyone I talk to who has traveled to San Francisco say they LOVE this city.  I've been trying to read and get some suggestions online, but if any of you have specific things you would recommend, I would love to hear them! Maybe your favorite tourist attractions, places to eat, things to see, etc.  Leave them in the comments or email me at themagnoliamamas@gmail.com.  Thanks in advance!!!

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Sensory Snow Play

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a fabulous snow weekend! We had so much fun playing in what little snow we had. In my opinion it was just enough - now bring on summer! ;)

With cold weather temps and constant rain (possibly snow and ice) during the winter months, sometimes outdoor play is impossible to do for very long, if at all, with little ones. Add up multiple days of only indoor play, and I've learned that can be a recipe for disaster to both our moods and my home.

Today, I am sharing on Savvy Sassy Moms a super fun (and super easy) sanity saving activity that allows for hours of fun.


This sensory snow is great for active little hands and minds that need constant stimulation, as well as provide mommy and daddy with a much needed break from the inevitable stir crazy atmosphere that is bound to happen when you are trapped within the four walls of your home.


Check out the recipe for snow fun HERE

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  For a short week this sure did seem like a long one.  Today we are linking up with some of our favorite bloggers for Friday Favorites.  I have a nice variety of random favorites to share with y'all today.

~One~
Up first, I wanted to share one of my kids' favorite Christmas gifts...the VTech Smart Watch.  I got them each one for Christmas (along with an Apple Watch for the Mr.) and had them all open their gifs at the same time.


They were all SO excited and the kids have LOVED having their watches.  They are so cool and do so many fun things.  First and foremost, they tell time in both digital and analog and there are multiple backgrounds and screens the kids can choose from.  The watches also take pictures and videos, act as a pedometer, a calculator, have several games built in, and help teach time.    My kids absolutely love them and I think these would be great for birthday gifts, too!


~Two~
Another one of my favorites are holiday decorations!  After pulling down and putting away all of the Christmas decorations my house was feeling kind of bare.  I don't have a ton of Valentine's Day things, but I do like putting out a few things to help the kids think about hearts and love!  





~Three~
I love reading and one of my favorite things is to walk in on my kids reading without them being forced to do it! Recently at school they started a program that encourages kids to read, read, read.  If they record 6 hours of reading at home in the next month or so they get a free ticket to Six Flags.  Well that is all it took to encourage my girls to start reading more at home. They have become so excited about reading as much as they can and they have discovered some really great books in the process!


~Four~ 
My hair is naturally wavy, but not in a good way.  I blow dry it straight, but then the waves always end up showing through and I'll have weird bumps or frizz.  Well a couple of weeks ago I was about of my regular shampoo/conditioner so I ended up picking up this Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner.  Let me just tell y'all, this is my new FAVORITE shampoo and conditioner.  My hair has been so smooth and straight since using it, even in this rainy and humid weather.  





~Five~ 
My favorite part of the day is when I get to snuggle on the couch with this little guy each morning.  Especially on days he wakes up extra early, he loves cuddling on the couch with me, getting cozy under an blanket, and watching some of his favorite cartoons before school.  I love this time of day because the house is quiet, everyone else is gone, and it's just the two of us.  


Our afternoons, when he gets home from school, but before we pick up the girls from the bus stop are pretty fun, too!  



~Six~ 
One of my favorite weather forecasts is the chance of SNOW!!!  The meteorologist are saying it might start snowing here tonight and my kids are beyond excited. I love the anticipation of snow and we are all keeping our fingers crossed we get to see a little.  Schools are dismissing two hours early this afternoon in order to get everyone home safely before it starts.  They all learned their lesson after the fiasco that happened a few years ago.  I guarantee my kids will be wearing their PJ's inside out and flushing ice cubes down the toilet tonight to see if our superstitions help us see snow.  


I hope everyone has a great weekend!  If we do end up getting snow you can bet I will be spending my weekend curled up by a fire, watching movies with my kids, and enjoying the downtime at home.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kitchen Confessions: Pepperoni Roll-up Appetizer

This past weekend we were invited to a fun dinner party with some of Mr. Cute's co-workers. The hostess asked everyone to bring an appetizer to share. With a quick look at my favorite cookbook (a.k.a Pinterest), I found this easy recipe for Pepperoni Roll-ups and it did not disappoint!


With Super Bowl parties just around the corner it would be the perfect yummy snack to bring and share with guests.

Ingredients:
- Mozzarella Sticks
- Can of crescent rolls
- 1 pkg of pre-sliced pepperoni (small or medium sized)
- 1 jar of marinara sauce

Instructions: 
1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2: Slice mozzarella sticks in half


3: Place pepperoni on crescent roll, and then place mozzarella stick on top.


4: Roll crescent until formed, and place roll on cookie sheet. Repeat until all rolls are complete.
5: Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until edges of crescent are beginning to brown.


6: Serve with marinara sauce and enjoy!


What are some of your favorite easy appetizer recipes? 

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