Thursday, March 15, 2018

Creamy Broccoli Penne

The boys are not huge fans of veggies.  They mainly eat them in smoothies.  Now, smoothies are a great way to sneak them in, but I had a new trick up my sleeve.


I was looking at what I had available in the fridge... but it was looking a little sparse.  I had ingredients for salad but that was about it.  Then I remembered I had some broccoli in the freezer.  Bingo!  Time to experiment.

I threw the ingredients together that I thought would taste good and crossed my fingers.  I blended it, tasted it, and served it to the kiddos.  Wyatt loved it!  He ate his whole entire bowl.  Luke ate about 3 bites.  He said "yummy", but wouldn't eat more.  But at 2 years old, you really never know how much they are going to eat.

Wyatt ate the leftovers for his school lunch the next day, and I ate the rest of the tastiness that night.  It is definitely a recipe I feel good about eating and feeding to the kids.



Creamy Broccoli Penne

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 cups broccoli (I used frozen)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (and a little extra for topping, optional.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 box of penne pasta (I used Eat Banza, which is made with chickpeas!)


1.  In a medium pot (one that you have a lid for), add the olive oil and set to medium-high heat.  Throw in the onion, and then cook for about 5 minutes, until light golden brown.  Add the garlic, then  cook for about 1 minute.

2.  When the garlic has been cooking for about 1 minute, add the stock and broccoli.  Stir and cover for about 7 minutes (for frozen broccoli, if fresh you will need 4-5 minutes).

3.  While that's cooking you can boil your pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

3.  Pour the contents of the broccoli pan into a blender, then add butter, parmesan, and salt/pepper.  Blend to desired consistency.  If it is too thick for your taste, add a little more chicken stock.  TIP:  Make sure that you don't fully seal the lid, because the steam could cause the contents to fly out of the top.  I covered my blender with a dish cloth instead.

4.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and voila, you have a nutritious pasta dish!  Sprinkle on some extra parmesan for extra goodness.



I hope you enjoy this recipe!  This is a great way to get some green food in for St. Patrick's day.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Last Final Update

I promised you one last update! I know it has been way too long. I have some recipe posts in the works too if I can just get my booty in gear!  We had a really awesome 2017 filled with tons of memories, love and adventures.  Here are the month by month highlights...

January:
We had so much snow in Huntersville (if "so much" is 1 day, hehe)!  Almost 7 inches fell and the kids loved it.  Wyatt became a sledding expert, and Luke was just amazed by it all.  He was 13 months old and was not walking just yet.



February:
We became homeowners for the first time ever!  Yesterday was actually the one year anniversary of our closing date.  It was a very cool (and hectic) experience to build the house from the ground up.  The boys love the house and Wyatt still says to this day... I want to stay in this house forever.



March:
Luke started to get the hang of walking, just as it started warming up around here.  Warm weather = time to eat lots of ice cream.  Well... I mean eat ice cream outside, hehe.  The kids are pretty spoiled that they get to go to Kilwin's so often, or as Wyatt calls it, the "yellow ice cream store".


April:
Wyatt turned 4!  He started the morning with our birthday breakfast tradition... chocolate chip pancakes and bacon.  We had such a great day celebrating with friends and family.  My sweet and smart little boy gets bigger and bigger every single day.



May:
Strawberry Picking time!  It's so nice to have some great farms close to us.  We love to go to Patterson Farms, where they have farm animals, tractor rides, and a playground in addition to all those juicy strawberries.



June:
It was finally getting warm enough to enjoy the pool...well at least by my Floridian standards.  The kids loved frolicking in the water... until they were ready for a snack (which seemed like all the time).  I think this summer Wyatt will really be enjoying it now that he is getting really great at swimming.  He used to be terrified of the pool, but our weekly swimming lessons at Little Otter have really paid off.



July:
The perfect time to venture into the mountains, where it can be about 10-15 degrees cooler than Charlotte.  This year we had a great hike at Linville Falls, which is about 2 hours away from the Charlotte area.  It's a beautiful, shady hike to the falls, and you can bring a rowdy stroller like the BOB.



August:
We had our first real family vacation in Hilton Head!  It was awesome that my mom and sis were able   to join us for our summer break.  We did a lot of biking, eating and swimming.  The perfect vacation for little kids is the beach IMO.





September:
The sis and I had our first ever vacation together since the kids were born.  She had a work event in Cabo and I was more than willing to join her. We had 4 nights on the west coast of Mexico, with plenty of tequila and beautiful views.



October:
I'm pretty sure this is Wyatt and Luke's favorite month because there are pumpkin patches and candy involved.  Luke would be so excited to see the pumpkins and Halloween decorations.  Wyatt just couldn't wait to get his hands on some candy.  This was the first year that Luke could walk, and he really started getting the hang of trick or treating when he saw people were putting candy into his basket.





November:
Luke turned  two!  My last baby grew up just like that.  All the sudden he started talking and wanting to do everything Wyatt did.  He is my little mischievous and adventurous bundle of love.



December:
It seemed like a split second happened when we were celebrating Christmas for the first time in our house.  We celebrated so many years in different states (and even a different country), and it was amazing to be in OUR house.  The tree found the perfect spot, but I think we had WAY more than the perfect amount of presents.



Our year flew by in the blink of an eye.  I can't wait to share our family and food adventures this year...and donuts.  I think we will be eating our fair share of Duck Donuts for sure.



Friday, December 15, 2017

Final Update...Part 1

I thought I could get one last update on here, but there were WAY too many things I wanted to show you. So this will be part 1 of 2 Final...really final...updates.   Let me catch y'all up on what has happened since we signed our contract on our new home last year.  While we were waiting for our home to be built, there was lots of fun stuff going on!



Jay and I got to take an overnight trip to the Yadkin Valley area.  Who knew there were actually some decent wines in NC?!  Some of the wineries, like Raffaldini above, were so incredibly beautiful.



We pigged out on so much ice cream!  One of our favorites is Kilwin's in Birkdale Village.  Wyatt was so stressed out about swimming lessons when he first started going, that it was my bribe to do what his swim coach asked.  Now he's a swimming rock star.



We had more city exploring to do... a walk down the Charlotte Rail Trail was really cool.  You are side by side with the light rail, which the kids loved to see.  Plus you are always steps away from restaurants and shops.



Fall is such an awesome time here.  Being a Floridian, there is really only one season, summer.  While we were in Canada I really appreciated the fall colors and the beauty of each season.  Plus it doesn't hurt that there are fall festivals here every. single. weekend. in October.



With Fall Festivals come pumpkin picking!  We sure did get a big one last year.  Luckily the BOB came to the rescue.



It was Luke's first Halloween!  The little cutie was almost 1, and his first costume was a hand-me-down from his big bro.  Wyatt wanted them to be dogs since dogs were the "nicest and cutest".  Melts my heart.



We also got to do some adventuring in Grandfather Mountain.  It was way to dang cold that day!  But it is a beautiful area that has lots of trails and even a wildlife center where the kids loved to peek at all the animals.



Then Luke turned 1!  His first year really flew by.  It seemed like such a blur, which made me even more sad my youngest was growing up.



Christmas festivities began and we now had a new favorite activity... going to watch the singing bears at Birkdale Village, right across from Wyatt's fave ice cream.  I think Wyatt could have gone every day, but I might have gone crazy.



We saw Santa, and they both were perfect!  I was in shock.  Wyatt was so excited, and Luke was just so chill about the whole thing.



Christmas was awesome.  We had our family in town from across the pond, and made lots of memories.





We even got some snow!  Luckily I got the last sled at Costco, apparently once there is snow in the forecast here, sleds sell out in a hot minute.  Wyatt had a blast and Luke was... chill as usual.



In what I promise to be the final final update, I'll fill you in on our 2017!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Our Move to NC

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! We definitely had a great one over here. I will be putting up the recap soon! But first, let’s get on with that update I promised you….



We had so much fun in Tallahassee the last few months we were there. Wyatt turned the big 3!

Not a fan of "Happy Birthday", haha!


 Luke had his first sit up grocery shopping ride.



 Of course we had to have one last time at our favorite little sausage joint, Bradley’s Country Store.




 Our neighborhood playground was so nice in Tally! I really miss the long walks and the live oak trees.


 It was also so nice to be able to take a day trip to the beach. St. George Island is a beautiful place and was only 1 hour away.

Luke's first beach trip



 Unfortunately we knew we couldn’t stay in Tallahassee for long due to Jay’s work. We thought long and hard about the future of our family and where we wanted to be for us and his career. So we decided to make the move to Charlotte!

Wyatt actually enjoyed packing up his room

Luke turned 7 months old right before our move

 We opted to rent a house before we made the big decision to buy. The weekend before July 4, 2016, we made the road trip from Tallahassee to Charlotte. Surprisingly enough, both kids did really well! 



The start of our 10 hour road trip


the first hour in our first house in Huntersville

Our house is just north of Charlotte, in the awesome town of Huntersville. There are tons of families, lots of things to do, and my number 1 priority… Publix. No joke, I wanted to be within 10 minutes of a Publix when we moved. A Florida girl has to have one in her life.

First double cart ride!  At our Publix in Huntersville

Our summer was fun, we got to explore our new city and some of the beautiful places around it. Even though we don’t have the beach close by, it sure is nice to have the mountains.  We love going to Blowing Rock and stopping at Blowing Rock Brewery.  It's a great little town with shopping and a playground in the center of the action.

Blowing Rock Brewery amazing beer and food in the mountains


Back at home, we spend lots of time at Discovery Place Kids! It’s so nice to have a children’s museum so close to us... only a 10 minute drive away!






Another one of our favorites is Jetton Park. It has a beautiful (and stroller friendly!) trail along the shore of Lake Norman, plus a great playground.





Another good perk of living in Charlotte is all the breweries!  There are still so many I want to try out.



When we got settled in, we began our search for a home. We looked in many different neighborhoods but couldn’t find our ideal layout. So we ended up going the new construction route. After looking at almost all the new construction builders in our area, we finally found the right combination of lot and layout. I couldn't believe that after years of traveling, we were settling down and truly making our home.

on our lot!

Next up: the last update post.  Hope y'all are having a fun Black Friday!  Whether that means shopping, decorating, or relaxing...