Category Archives: Food

The Amazing Grape Cutter

This may seem weird how excited I am about this little tool, but I love it! I was wandering through the store when I saw my new favorite gadget. It jumped into my cart so quickly!

First, my kids love fruit. In any form. They adore grapes, but they are such a pain in the you-know-what to cut into pieces they won't choke on (stupid grapes). This thing is great. It quarters the grapes so quickly that I won't dread buying grapes anymore. I took a bunch off the stems and then cut a huge pile in a minute or so! This is a bowl after they had eaten most of them.

I am planning to use this a ton in the future as Alex starts eating solid food. You could cut up all sorts of things into little bites quickly! Now, go to amazon and buy one for yourself right away!


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I broke down and bought myself a SodaStream. I really don't like drinking water, but have come to like sparkling water. A friend of mine has one and raves about how much she loves it and uses it all the time. I must say, I'm hooked. I have started drinking more water than I normally do and it's just plain fun to make it!

If you're on the fence, I say go for it! I haven't tried the drink mixes that come with it because they are packed full of sugar. I have definitely found a new gadget I love, and I'm looking forward to trying some flavor conditions of my own with it!

(Also, I got the “Jet” and found the best price through Target with free shipping and 5% off with my redcard.)


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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

My mom came to visit us during her spring break from work. One of the fun things we did (that I had been wanting to do) was go to Chateau Ste. Michelle. It is only about 15 minutes from my house and since we had a nice morning, we went to visit and take a tour.

The grounds were beautiful. They have a small area with grape vines near the entrance (which I didn't take a picture of), but their vineyards are in another part of Washington.

The tour was quick (took about 30 minutes), informative and fun. This location bottles Riesling. The machines weren't running the day we were there, but it was still really neat to see.

There were lots of boards/displays to read (which I didn't spend much time doing because the kids were with…and because I usually just look at the pictures).

There were many barrels of wine being stored. It's amazing to think of the amount of wine they can store inside them.

They also do a concert series at the winery in the summer. There was a big sign of the artists that played in 2014.

After the tour, they lead you into a big room for the wine tasting. We got to try three different wines: Chardonnay, a summer blend and Merlot. Yum!

Then you can go into another room for a paid sampling or browse the gift shop and wine shop. I was going to buy some wine, but decided I would wait for now. I'd love to go back and do a more thorough wine tasting when I don't have three kids with me and then I will buy some!

The kids were all really good and I think they even had fun. Maddie was even listening because she was able to tell Chuck about it later. They offered crackers to the kids and grape juice. So if you take kids with you, that might be fun for them. The winery also has a couple of peacocks on the grounds. We did see them from a distance as we left, but weren't close enough to get a picture of them.

Overall, it was a lot of fun and a fun morning outing to do. I don't think I would go alone with the kids because well, wine sampling with your kids was a little awkward. But if you bring a friend with, it wasn't nearly as weird. 🙂 I will definitely be back, though. And I think I'll make plans to check out the other winery across the street, too!

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Crockpot Fajita Soup

I had a request or the recipe. Since I changed so much, I figured I should do a post to show how I made it.

I have to say that I'm not usually very good about finding a recipe and modifying it. Especially the first time. Usually, I would try a meal following the directions and then change it up the second time. I guess I was feeling daring.

HERE is the original recipe I found on Pinterest.

These are the changes I made:

  1. Eliminated the chicken. I decided to make this a vegetarian meal.
  2. Instead of adding two cans of cream of chicken soup, I made my own “cream of anything” soup mix that I also found on Pinterest. I used vegetable bouillon for the mix. Then added the recommended amounts of mix and water for two cans worth.
  3. Used vegetable broth instead of water.
  4. Added a can of pinto beans.
  5. Added a bag of frozen peppers and onions.
The meal was really good and so very simple to make. I'm already counting down the days until I can make it again! This is definitely going to be a staple in my rotation of meals and I think you should try it, too.



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Annibirthary 2014

Last week, Chuck and I celebrated our 10th anniversary! And on the same day, I turned 34. It was a big day last week. We spent our day in a pretty unconventional way for an anniversary…packing/decluttering our house. (But we did take our early anniversary trip a couple months ago to NYC.)

We did have a few visitors. My friend, Nicole, and her daughter came by in the morning to play. The girls love her daughter and they play really well together. Her daughter is the same age as Dannie and she is due with a boy a few weeks after our boy is born. Nicole brought some pizza for lunch. My dad also stopped by to bring me my birthday potatoes. Yep. That’s what I wanted….twice baked potatoes. He gave me lots of them and they are delicious! He also brought a fruit bouquet. It was a yummy lunch!


And my mom came by to bring some lovely flowers, dinner (Chinese food), a couple cards and then stayed through nap time to help us clean out some things and helped Chuck move some furniture around the house that I can’t help with. It was such a helpful and wonderful gift.

I was also a super spoiled girl! My sweet hubby got me a new iPad. I got an iPad right after Maddie was born and the girls have pretty much taken it over. So as a birthday/anniversary/new baby is coming gift, he surprised me with a new one! I was so excited. My case came for it yesterday, so now I feel like I can use it more without the fear of breaking it every time I touch it. Smile

I was also lucky enough to have two birthday dinners with some girlfriends. I have some wonderful people in my life and I am so thankful for all of them!

It was a wonderful year and I am so excited for all the big things that are to come for our family this year!


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Num Num Num

Dannie loves eating. I took a quick video of her eating lunch last week. She wanted the banana I was eating and kept saying “num num num”. She was cracking me up.

Dannie is such a ham in front of the camera. I am sure she is going to be our comedian!
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Mexican Stuffed Peppers

The other night we made these Mexican Stuffed Peppers. They were really easy and really tasty. We had them for dinner, I had them for lunch and then we had some with dinner tonight. And we still have a couple left (I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow!).

First you cook the onions and quinoa.


While the onion/quinoa cooks, add the enchilada sauce to a pan, cut and prep the peppers and prep your other ingredients.



Then mix everything together.


Then stuff the peppers with your tasty stuffing mix.



Then add cheese, cover and put into the oven to bake.


After they are done, uncover and enjoy!



Chuck thought they needed a little more spice, but I thought they were perfect. I would love to make this for dinner for people that like Mexican food. I know we will be making these again!


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Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

I’ve been in a bit of an eating rut and decided to look up some new recipes to get me motivated. When I found this, it was FREEZING outside (today we got up to 40*!!!!!) and I was hankering for some soup. 

Here is the recipe I found and used.

It was really easy to make. First you chop up the onions (I added carrots and celery, so I chopped those up, too).


Then you chop up the mushrooms. I used two portabellas and one package of baby bellas. We had a second container, but that looked like WAY too many mushrooms. I was already freaking out at the amount I was adding.


Then you add the butter and vegetables to the pan and cook until tender, add the garlic and cook for a little bit, then add the mushrooms and let them all cook together a little.


Then you add the rice, seasoning packets (we used Uncle Bens mushroom flavor wild/brown rice packages) and broth and let it simmer.


Then add the cream, stir around until it gets heated through and then eat up!


It wasn’t as soupy as I was expecting, but it was really good. Chuck said he preferred it this way. I ate mine with some crackers because I was still thinking of it as soup. I will say I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. The recipe made a ton of food, so we ate it for dinner, I had it for lunch for two days, Chuck had some with lunch one day and we still have a bag we froze in the freezer.

Overall, we will definitely make this again. I am glad I started looking for some new recipes. Next up to try is a stuffed pepper recipe. And Chuck found a sloppy joe recipe that doesn’t use meat!


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My Little Baker

Maddie loves to bake. Muffins, cookies, heck, she just likes to help out in the kitchen. She gets giddy to set or clear the table for meals.

Maddie loves making muffins. And since I am lazy, I buy muffins that I need to add only water to. She likes to stir, put the batter into the tray, eat the batter and then devour the muffins.


At Christmas, she did a great job cutting out cookies and decorating them.


And one night when Maddie was sick, Chuck made Ninja bread Men with her. She didn’t have a voice, but she was sweet as could be! And there’s something about dads doing activities with their daughters that just melt my heart!


I was dubbed the icer and Maddie was the sprinkler. She took her job very seriously!


So if there’s something to bake, stir, mix, pour, or decorate….Maddie is your girl!


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One night at dinner we were laughing at Dannie. She was sitting there with loads of cheese hanging out of her mouth.




Maddie thought it was funny, too and tried to make cheese hang out of her mouth.


She wasn’t very successful, but she was really cute trying.



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