Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's a GIRL!!!

Needless to say, the past few days have been a whirlwind of EXCITEMENT!  On Thursday morning, Stephen and I went for an ultrasound and found out that "Baby Sko"is in fact "Baby GIRL Sko"!!!  We are just over the moon with excitement, everything is starting to feel so real!  We told most of our family and friends that day, but since we were driving down south to see some family Thursday night...we kept it a surprise for them and had a little late-night cupcake gender reveal party.  I had this in the back of my mind as a potential idea for the past week, but just didn't want to get my hopes up too much in case baby didn't cooperate at the ultrasound in the morning.  Well, all of the pieces fell right into place...and my plan went perfectly!  Here is the video of our little party that night...priceless!!!
My Aunt Sherry works in the Publix bakery, and she made the cupcakes....they were beyond anything I ever could have imagined!!!!  She rocks!  
Check out the pink filling...
Obviously, this was the greatest way to kick off the weekend!  We are having a blast celebrating with the family.  I feel like hubby and I are on cloud 9...it's just surreal!  We just can not wait to meet our sweet little girl!  It's incredible how loved she already is!  Baby Girl's kicks and flips have been getting more and more noticeable too...pretty soon Stephen will be able to feel them!  Ahhh, so exciting....loving EVERY second.  

Anyway, all of this is the reason I've been slightly M.I.A. these past couple of days.  We won't be driving home until late Sunday night.  Looks like I'll be late on my "What's cooking this week" post...that is if I even plan anything at all.  We'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!!! XOXO!!!

**Don't forget to check out my awesome Ad options!!!  Use the promo code "HelloSpring" to get a special 50% off of all spots!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shrimp Scampi Over Spring Veggie Risotto

Mmmmm.....shrimp.....Mmmm.....risotto.....
I have an extra special recipe for you all today, it is a "two for one" kind of deal!!!  Who doesn't love risotto?  I bet you didn't know it was so easy to make at home!  It takes time since you need to constantly stir it, but I would still consider it simple!  Top it off with some yummy shrimp, and you've got yourself a delicious meal!  I served it with a salad on the side, my favorite!  Here are the recipes...

Spring Veggie Risotto
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup minced onion
2-3 cloves of garlic - minced
salt & pepper (to taste)
1 cup of peas
1 15 oz can of artichoke hearts - chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6-7 cups of Chicken Stock or Broth
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tbsp. of chopped parsley

Directions:
1. Bring your stock or broth to a simmer over low heat.  
2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat -add the onion. Cook until translucent for about five minutes, add the garlic, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  
3.  Turn the heat up to medium high and stir in the rice - keep stirring for about 2-3 minutes.   Add the wine & lemon juice, and stir until it has been absorbed. Turn the heat back down to medium.   
4.  Start to add the stock about 1-2 ladlefuls at a time (should just cover the rice).  Cook, stirring often until the rice has absorbed the stock- then add more broth.  Continue this process until the rice is tender.  Add the peas and chopped artichoke hearts when you are down to the last few ladle-fuls.  The entire process should take about 25-30 minutes.  You may or may not need to use all of the stock (I used all 7 cups).  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with shrimp scampi (recipe below), and parsley - serve!

Shrimp Scampi
Ingredients:
1 lb. of shrimp (I used the small uncooked frozen shrimp with the tail off)
3 tbsp. of butter
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic - minced 
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tbsp. of lemon juice
pepper (to taste)

Directions:
1.  In a large pan over medium heat - melt butter, and heat olive oil.  
2.  Add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes then add shrimp.
3.  Add white wine, and lemon juice - stirring often until the liquid begins to reduce, and shrimp turns pink.  Add pepper to taste.

I hope you enjoy this one....it was one of our favorites! :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's a 10 - Giveaway!!!

I absolutely adore It's a 10 hair products!  It's the main reason I don't look like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket when I leave my house every day (I'm serious)!  Thanks so much to Ashlee from ABpetite for putting this together....now make sure you all enter because this stuff is incredible!!!  
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Hey gals you are in for a fun giveaway! Have any of you tried the It's a 10 hair products? Well me and my fellow friends here have and we are obsessed. They are fantastic! So if you haven't tried them you defiantly should enter to win the giveaway... and if you have tried them and love them you should enter to win the giveaway. Thats the only option really cause we promise you will love this stuff!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hello Spring - 50% off Ad Spots!!!


Can you believe it is already Spring!?!?  I know in most places is still doesn't feel like it (not even here in Florida), but before we know it we will ALL be soaking up some sunshine!  Spring is time to get things in order, freshen things up, organize, clean...you know, all of that fun stuff.  I'm doing a little "spring cleaning" around here and offering a special 50% off promo code off of all Ad spots!  
Just use the promo code "HelloSpring"!

I would LOVE to have you on my sidebar for the month of April!  Check out my super affordable Ad options...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spicy B.L.T.

My mouth is still tingling as I'm posting this!  I'm not one who usually has an issue with spiciness....but this definitely had a bite..in a GOOD way.   I could never have a B.L.T. without any "C"...and I am obsessed with this 3 pepper colby jack cheese!  YUM!  In fact, I had no intentions on posting this, because let's face it...everyone knows how to make a BLT.  But, I just had to share this twist for you all...enjoy!
Ingredients:
(depends on how many sandwiches you're making, so I didn't get specific....I thought you could all handle this)
Multi-grain Toast
Three Pepper Colby Jack Cheese
Bacon
Lettuce
Tomato
Onion
Light Mayo
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder

Directions:
1.  Spread a generous amount of light mayo on one side of toast - then layer cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion. 
2.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Top with another slice of cheese, and other piece of toast.
3.  Slice on the diagonal - you KNOW it somehow tastes better this way!  
4.  Pour yourself a big glass of water, then enjoy!!! :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's cooking this week?

I'm especially looking forward to cooking this week for two reasons:
1.  I haven't actually cooked in a while since taking last week off!
2.  I'm home this week, so I can get a little "fancy"!

Here is what I'm planning:
Tonight: Lemon Shrimp over Sweet Pea Risotto 
Monday: Avocado Turkey Burgers with Cilantro Corn on the Cob
Tuesday: Pulled Pork
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas

I'm only planning through Wednesday because we leave to go down south when hubby gets home from work on Thursday.  
Can. Not. WAIT!
Despite the fact that I'm only cooking for four nights, our grocery list is a big one...probably because it's been a while since we have stocked the fridge.  We are heading to Publix nice and early, looks like it is going to get really stormy soon.  I'm not thrilled about  the gloomy start to my break, but we are making the best of it and having a movie day.  Here are a few of my favorite pics from last weekend when Mom and Dad Sko were in town...
Enjoying Lake Sumter
Standing in the EXACT spot in front of the Haunted Mansion where Stephen proposed  almost 3 years ago!
St. Paddy's day in the square!
I hope you all have a wonderful upcoming week!  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I SO needed a BREAK!

{via}
I'm sure many of you that work in education are feeling the same level of joy that I am at this particular moment!  It was definitely time for a VERY MUCH needed break!  Luckily I am off for the next 10 days...and the best part is that I don't have too much planned.  
Here is my Spring Break 2013 to-do list:
-RELAX!!!
-Go to the gym
-Work on my tan
-Read
-Catch up on all things blog related - (reading my favorite blogs, and scheduling my own posts)
-Cook some yummy things
-Work stuff - (possible retention list, grade recovery schedule changes, prepare for FCAT test administrator training)
-Family time down in South Florida 
-Go to the beach

Honestly, I don't even mind the fact that I had to take some work home with me...as long as I can do it in my own time from the comfort of my couch, or sitting poolside!  Baby Sko is going to love all of this relaxation time...I can't wait to be able to just sit still and feel my little fishy swimming around in my belly.  I'm already in love!!!!  

Do any of you have big plans for the break???

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Avocado Ripeness

Yup, I definitely just checked to be sure "ripeness" is a word...it just seemed like something I would make up (it checked out)!  A while back I came across this image on Pinterest, and since Baby Sko is the size of an avocado this week...I thought it would be the perfect time to share it with you all!  It must be a pretty large avocado, because baby sure is growing FAST all of a sudden!!!  

I just LOVE avocados, and thought this was extremely helpful!  I'm not a fan of making that judgement call on whether or not something is ripe enough, so this is definitely a handy chart for me!  Usually I try to buy them at the light to medium green stage, then I do the trick where I put them in a brown paper bag for a day or two so they ripen faster.  Okay, I'm thinking now that I need some avocados on the menu somehow next week...already thinking ahead!  
{via}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Party like it's 1990...and enter to win an $80 Target gift card!!!

Giveaway time!!! 
Thanks so much to Annie from Annie One Can Cook for putting this together...and of course Happy HAPPY Birthday to her!
I'm psyched to be a part of her special Birthday Giveaway!  :)

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Kristine, Melanie, Christina, Dara, Stephanie, Dara, Tessa & Annie are ready to party like it's 1990--are you?!

Annie (Annie One Can Cook), Melanie (Van Wynsberg Nest), Stephanie (Never the Same Spice Twice), Dara (Not in Jersey), Dana (Lil Family Blog), Tessa (Tessacotton), Kristine (Heart Shaped Sweat) & Christina (Juggling Real Food and Real Life)

All of the lovely ladies listed above have pitched in for an $80 gift card to Target! That's an adorable new wardrobe! Or new home decor! Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is ANYTHING cooking this week? (& 5 Favorites!)

Has anyone noticed I've been slacking on my usual Sunday routine?  The in-laws are in town, and we have been having such a great weekend with them that I haven't even thought about food...for the week.  Alright fine, I've been thinking plenty about food...just not about what I need to be making for the rest of the week.  Mom and Dad Sko will be in town until Tuesday, then I suppose I will figure something out for hubby and I for dinner.  I guess in a way I am taking the week off in the meal planning department.  Instead, I though I would just share 5 of my favorite past recipes!  YUM! 
Mmmmmm.....all of that inspires me to get back into the kitchen.  However, I'm going to enjoy this little "break" while it lasts!  I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!  :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Caprese Chicken Panini

In my opinion, you just CAN'T go wrong when it comes to fresh mozzarella and tomato!  I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!  I have made this panini before without the chicken, and it is still a favorite of mine!  This is the first time I tried adding a little mayo to my pesto...it was great, but also okay if you leave it out of course!  
Mmmm...wish I still had some of this left!

Ingredients:
Panini:
4 Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts
4 Ciabatta Rolls 
Fresh Mozzarella - 4 slices (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 large tomato - sliced
roasted red peppers - about 1 cup sliced
balsamic vinegar - for drizzling

Pesto Aioli:
1 cup of packed basil leaves
1 tbsp. of toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of light mayo

Directions:
1.  Prepare Pesto Aioli by pulsing all ingredients in a food processor until smooth (add extra olive oil if needed).
2.  Spread aioli on each side of the ciabatta.  On bottom slice of ciabatta assemble panini with chicken, a slice of mozzarella, a slice of tomato, and some roasted red pepper.  Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, then top with other side of the ciabatta.
3.  Cook the panini on a panini press until golden brown, and cheese inside just starts to melt.  

***I added a slice of prosciutto to hubby's...he LOVED it!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

What does a girl gotta do to get a little "Bloglovin"?

Unless you have been living under a rock (no offense), you might have noticed something is up in the blog world!  Okay, let's be honest...I was a little late to this party!
My first clue was the e-mails that kept pouring in about followers on Bloglovin!  At first I am thinking "sweet...random good day for me in the followers department".  Then I started thinking "did I sign up for some sort of giveaway that I can't remember about - where people had to follow me on Bloglovin"?  By around 3:30 yesterday I was thinking "Okay, something is definitely up"!
Don't you all love how intuitive I am?!?
Maybe I don't live under a rock, but I certainly work under one...because I feel I'm the last person on earth to find out about this!  I'm still not sure how I feel about no more Google Reader (I'm guessing this means GFC too...clarification please, I'm hearing mixed things)!  I suppose life will go on, but in the meantime let's make the transition!  I'm planning to finish making the switch tonight!  Personally, I LOVE Bloglovin...if you are new to it, I'm sure you will love it too!  Give it a chance!
Have a great Friday friends! :)  
Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Holy Eyebrows!!! (Guest Post)

You all just HAVE to meet Annie, from Annie One Can Cook!  She is cute, funny, AND she can cook!  Basically, she rocks - and so does her blog!  I'm hooked, and so happy to have her on my sidebar this month!  I'm also very excited to have her guest posting here today! :) 
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Hi All!
I'm Annie from over at Annie One Can Cook, a cooking and lifestyle blog that covers everything from food to weddings to life as a newlywed (my blog is "the funniest, sweetest and most entertaining blog on the net" -Carol, Annie's Mom). It's such an honor to be posting here at Never the Same Spice Twice! Today, I'd like to talk to y'all about eye brows and achieving that perfect shape/arch for your face.

I've been told that I am blessed to have such full and dark eyebrows (I have never looked at it this way--if I don't tweeze my unibrow everyday, I'm mistaken for Anthony Davis--sooo blessed!). My brother has the same dark/bushy eyebrows that I do so I guess it's just one of those fun, genetic things (thanks, dad..). Anyway, I have never really known how to groom my brows. I had bangs once (for 21 years) so I didn't have to worry about grooming them quite as often.
The 'brow sibs (Christmas 2007).
It's 2010--full bangs are still cool..
And then my boyfriend (now husband) came back from Afghanistan and I decided to lose the bangs.. and the brows..
They don't look too bad here, but standby for the next pic.
Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup.
Kudos to whoever get the reference.
I have a heart shaped face with varying features (wide nose, oval eyes, wide smile/full lips) and I quickly learned that thin eyebrows DO NOT mesh with my face and I needed to let those bad boys grow. I did some research to determine what my 'perfect' shape is and I'd like to share those resources with you!


Without further ado, I'd like to show you how I'm sporting the brows today.
Oh, I have a new trick to hiding them--I wear glasses now!
As I was writing this post, I started thinking about how random eyebrows even are--it's just some weird hair that chills on your face. Crazy stuff.. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post and that I can help you or somebody you love from making the same mistakes I have (ha).

Well that does it for me! Please swing by Annie One Can Cook sometime to say hi! A huge thanks to the fabulous Stephanie for letting me stop by today and share my brow story!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mustard Chicken Packets


This yummy awesomeness was inspired by one of Ryan's creations on Sustenance Reinvented!
This beauty right here...
Mustard Chicken with Roasted Onions, Cherry Peppers, and peppercorns.
I couldn't get my version to come out as pretty, but I'm sure it was just as tasty!  I did however, tweak a few ingredients, and cooked it in packets!  Try it, I'm sure you will LOVE...and if you haven't liked Ryan's page yet CLICK HERE! :)

Ingredients:
Tear off 4 15x12 sheets of tin foil
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 cup of whole grain or course mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
2 Tbsp. of white wine
1 large onion sliced
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup of grape tomatoes -halved
1 cup of sliced roasted red peppers
1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2-3 cups of cooked whole wheat cous cous or brown rice (*optional)

Directions:
(*Preheat oven to 400 degrees)
1.  In a small bowl whisk mustard and white wine.
2.  In a larger bowl mix sliced onions, garlic, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix thoroughly, so everything is evenly coated.
3.  Fold foil in half widthwise, and open back up.  On one half of foil (dull side up), place chicken, 1/4 veggies, and 1/4 of mustard/wine mixture on top.  Fold foil back over in half, and carefully seal all of the edges off.  I did this by making a series of (sloppy) mini folds, working my way all the way around.  Make sure the packets are nice and tight so none of the steam escapes.  Place foil packets on a baking sheet.
Should look like this...okay I didn't really fold it...more like rolled it up
4.  Cook the packets for 30 minutes, let rest for 5 minutes before carefully opening.  
5.  Serve contents of packet over whole wheat cous cous or brown rice (*optional)

Super easy!!!  Let me know how you like it!  :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What's cooking this week?

Yesterday, I VERY carefully walked/jogged a 5k with hubby.  This is my 3rd year doing the "Scope it Out 5k" in honor of my friend Jen's Aunt Debby who passed away from Colon Cancer.  I just couldn't sit this one out, it is too special!  I feel so proud that I did it too!  The doctor said it would be fine as long as I was only doing it for fun, and not competing to win.  I'm thinking..."when am I ever competing to win these things"?  I started off jogging at a very slow and steady pace, and then walked as soon as I started feeling like I was losing my breath.  I continued this pattern for the entire 3.1 miles.  I didn't start jogging again each time until I felt I completely caught my breath.  It was the most relaxing 5k I have ever done, it was great not to feel  all the pressure I usually put on myself!  This strategy seemed to work great too because I finished in 39 minutes and 57 seconds!  Not too shabby....so happy I did it!  :)  
Some of my favorite instagramed moments...
Hanging with the Vrags pre-race!
Post race with a few lovely ladies!
Hubby and I feeling very accomplished!
A few of my favorite boys!
Well as careful as I was, obviously I am super sore today!  We sat around watching movies yesterday (Wreck It Ralph = my new favorite).  Actually, I am sitting in bed watching it again right now...so stinkin cute!!!   I'm thinking it is going to be a very similar lazy scene in our home today, although I will be getting up to stir the sauce every once in a while.  That is all, we are saving all of the big plans for next weekend when Mom and Dad Sko come to visit!!!  I have an easy week planned as far as recipes go...

Tonight:  Sunday Sauce (making a double batch, so I can make a tray of baked ziti for the in-laws later in the week)
Monday:  Chicken Caprese Panini
Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday 

I hope you are all having an amazing weekend!!!

*Also, don't forget I'm still offering a special 30% off of all advertising spots with the promo code "NTSST"!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

$300 (Yes, THREE Hundred) Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

First, let me start by saying I LOVE NORDSTROM

They are the perfect mix of simplicity and class. So, this month I have teamed up with Marquis @ Simply Clarke and other amazing bloggers to GIVEAWAY a $300 Nordstom Gift Card to one lucky winner!

This will be great for Easter Dress shopping or accessories, a new handbag or new shoes. You could even get a ton of little things like make-up, Toms, or an iPhone case, etc. So many amazing possibilities! Take a look at what you could get: 



Marquis @ Simply Clarke / Hallie @ Life: Oceanside 
Danielle @ Taking Notes Coast to Coast / Victoria @ Marine Wifey / Jenna @ Life is Sweet
Rebekah @ All That Glitters / Alli @ Allena Mistral / Myrna @ Undecided Mamas


RULES
1// Giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS 
2// Winner will be notified via email on Friday 3/22/13 or Saturday 3/23/13. You will have 48 hours from the timestamp on the email to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.
3// WINNER WILL BE VERIFIED!!!
4// View the Terms & Conditions listed on the Rafflecopter below


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Caramelized Onion & Fennel Pizza

Have I ever mentioned how awesome I think that Kristin from W/ Milk & Sugar is?!?  
I'm pretty sure I have, but it certainly can't hurt to talk about it again!  She posted this pizza recipe a while back, and I knew I just had to try it as soon as I felt brave enough to try fennel.  That is one ingredient I didn't know for sure whether or not I would like.  The smell of it raw just doesn't do it for me (black licorice...no thanks).  But when you cook it...ohhhh man, it is a whole different story.  I'm glad that I was finally feeling adventurous enough a week ago to try this!  It's good stuff!  I had no clue how to even cut fennel, but thanks to the magic of youtube....and of course Kristin's delicious recipe...this meal came together, and I WILL be making it again!
(I even have another recipe using fennel coming soon....
there were 2 bulbs in the pack, I promised hubby I wouldn't let it go to waste.)
for a pizza recipe that will blow your mind!
*The only thing I did differently was...
-I left out the goat cheese because it is a "no-no" on my preggo food list
-I sautéed the fennel and onion with a little bit of sliced red bell pepper
Enjoy!
Thanks again Kristin!!! :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Our Beautiful Wedding Day

This past weekend, hubby and I were able to relive every moment from that perfect day back in April when we said "I Do"!  After watching this video well over TEN times (I seriously lost track), I feel so lucky to have these wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.  Take a moment to take a peek at the day I married my best friend, you will feel like you were there, so excited to be able to share this with all of you!  :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kate Spade Giveaway...this is BIG!

In my opinion, Kaitlyn from Wifessionals is a GODDESS for putting this one together.  I am absolutely obsessed with bags, so happy to be in on this giveaway with all of these lovelies...I wish you all good luck! XOXO
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{via}
Spring is in the air...
Which means it's time to ditch the drab colored handbag you've been toting all winter.
And what better purse to replace it than a brand new Kate Spade handbag?!

Best of all, we are letting YOU pick which bag you want.
You can choose any handbag you want (:
{up to $300}

This month I'm teaming up with Breanna and 18 other amazing bloggers:
1// Kaitlyn  2// Breanna  3// Melissa  4// Brooke  5// Mallory
6// Clara  7// Jana  8// Ashley  9// Holly  10// Jennifer
11// Samantha  12// Sybil  13// Tookies  14// Laura  15// Stephanie
16// Andrea  17// Marquis  18// Robin  19// Lourdes  20// Lisette
These are some of the sweetest girls I have met - go check them out!

All you have to do is use the Rafflecopter below!
This giveaway will run from Monday, March 4 - Thursday, March 7, 11:59pm EST.
It is open to US Residents only.
All entries will be verified. If you did not complete a task which you said you did, a new winner will be chosen.
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What's cooking this week?

Good morning...well, almost afternoon, I'm moving SLOW today!  I've been doing this thing where I wake up super early, then fall back asleep around 9:30 again.  What's the deal with that?  I hate getting a late start on the day!  Well at least my meal planning is done for the week.  Here is what's coming up...
Tonight:  Mustard Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Tomatoes (inspired by Sustenance Reinvented)
Monday:  Japanese Scallion Rice Bowl w/ edamame
Tuesday:  Tilapia with Fennel, Onion, and Tomatoes
Wednesday:  Penne alla Vodka
Thursday:  Mango Chicken

Honestly, I haven't been feeling too great!  It seems like I have been feeling worse since starting the 2nd trimester - I've had headaches on and off throughout the day, and lots of nausea later at night (like after 9).  Sleeping has been tough, I need one of those fancy pregnancy pillows.  Right now I am sleeping with 4 pillows...they are dominating my bed.  When I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom...it is a process to get repositioned!  Any suggestions/recommendations are appreciated!!!  Hoping this all improves soon, I've heard such wonderful things about the 2nd trimester...waiting on that "burst of energy" still!  :)

Thursday was hubby's birthday, we went to the doctor and got to hear the sweet little sound of peanut's heartbeat again!  Afterwards we went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Red Sauce.  Stephen loved his birthday presents....as you can tell, I really ran with the whole "new dad" theme. 
The majority of this weekend has been spent watching our wedding video over, and over, and OVER again.  I am obsessed with it, and will be sharing it for you all one day this week.  So check back soon! 

***Did you remember to enter to win a $20 gift card to Whole Foods or Fresh Market?!?!  
Ryan's giveaway ends at midnight tonight...so don't forget to get those entries in!  :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tuscan Bean Soup

How good is soup?  Seriously?!?  I could never get tired of it.  Ever!  
This recipe makes a BUNCH, so you will have leftovers.  Please don't make me tell you how many servings, it's just not my thing.  I had 2 bowls of this for my dinner, hubby had 1 big bowl and a steak - we both had lunch the next day as well.  Good stuff, perfect for a cold winter night....although I can't quite remember what that is like...kidding!  
Ingredients:
1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion - chopped
4 cloves of garlic - minced
3 carrots - peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery - diced
1 small potato - peeled and diced into small cubes
1 14 oz can of cannellini beans - drained, rinsed *and pureed*
1 14 oz can of cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of kidney beans - drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
2 32 oz containers of chicken broth
1 tbsp - chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp - fresh thyme
salt & pepper
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
4 cups of kale - stems removed and chopped

Directions:
1.  Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat, sauté onions until transparent, add garlic - cook for about a minute, then add the rest of the veggies.  
2.  Cook veggies stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.  
3.  Add beans (pureed + the other 2 cans), diced tomatoes,  chicken broth, herbs, season genersouly with salt and pepper - bring to a boil. 
4.  Lower heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes - stirring every so often.  
5.  Add parmesan cheese, wilt kale - allow to cook for 10 more minutes until kale has softened.  
6.  Top with additional parmesan cheese, and serve! :)

***Make sure you enter to win Ryan's giveaway for a chance to win a $20 gift card to Whole Foods or Fresh Market!!! You have 2 days left!

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