Monthly Archives: February 2016

Easy Cheesy Baked Chicken

Here is the easiest chicken recipe I’ve ever made! All you need is:

  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Mix mayonnaise, cheese and hot sauce in a bowl. Spread on both sides of chicken. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.

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Looking Forward To Nice Weather

Lately I’ve had really bad cabin fever. I feel sick of all the indoor activities my children and I have been doing for months and I just want to frolic outside in some sunshine!

Last summer, Lucille was so little!

Last summer, Lucille was so little!

I think it’s particularly bad due to the lack of summer fun we had last year. The beginning of summer was nice, though I was so large I was not very comfortable in the heat. But we had fun regardless. Then most of summer I was recovering from a c-section and Lennon was so new I didn’t want him in the sun or around germs too much.

To make up for it, this year I’m making the most of summer. And spring. And fall! But since I’m still stuck inside for now, I figured I’d make a bucket list for the upcoming season. Some of these things I’m hoping to do many times. So here is our family Fun in the Sun 2016 Bucket list:

  1. Take the kids to the drive in movie theater
  2. Take the kids to the zoo
  3. Visit my dad’s side of the family (they live 4 hours away)
  4. Have a picnic at Letchworth state park
  5. Take the kids to a concert
  6. Use our kiddie inflatable pool
  7. Take the kids on a walk to the library
  8. Go to Honeoye lake with the kids
  9. Take an out of state family vacation (leaning towards Wisconsin, I have an aunt and uncle there)
  10. Have a bonfire in our backyard



Parmesan Perch

My experimentation with seafood continues. This time: perch! I’ve never cooked with perch before and couldn’t remember if I’d ever eaten it. I liked it, but I admit it was fishier than I expected. For a milder fish taste I think this recipe would work equally well with tilapia.

I got my “base recipe” from Betty Crocker, and then made modifications. Here is all I used:

  • 1 pound of perch (divided into 4 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon of lemon rosemary seasoning
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

To make it simply:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, lemon rosemary seasoning and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Spread the melted butter onto the perch and then cover the perch in breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Put perch on baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

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Hope you like it!


BBQ Garlic Salmon

Another easy seafood success, my hubby loved this one. All you need is:

  • 10 oz salmon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of bbq sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic

Preheat the oven to 450. Poke salmon filets with a fork a few times and then lightly salt and pepper them. Mix melted butter with bbq sauce and spread over the salmon. Top with garlic. Bake for about half an hour.

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Meat and Potato Bake

I got this recipe from food.com, and as always made my own modifications. For the original recipe, click here. For my version all you need is:

  • 1 lb turkey burger
  • 2/3 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • 14.75 ounce can of creamed corn
  • 2 cups of four cheese mashed potatoes

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the 1st 6 ingredients and pat into a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with creamed corn and mashed potatoes. Cook 20 more minutes.


16 Month Age Gap: Months 3-6

These past 3 months have brought many new joys and many new struggles into our lives. (To read about my journey up to this point click here for my pregnancy recap and here for Lennon’s first 3 months.)Let’s get the struggles out of the way first…

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Jealousy Crept In

That’s right. My biggest joy in raising 2 babies so close in age was that Lucille was not at a jealous age. Well, at about 19 months old Lucille got a terrible cold. In fact, Mommy, Daddy, Lucille and Lennon all got terrible colds. The babies needed extra snuggles and as I’m usually the only one home with them, it was hard to distribute snuggles in the desired amount.

When I would go to pick Lennon up, Lucille would start to scream, she didn’t use words just shrieked at the top of her lungs, and sometimes even hit me! Though I didn’t like this behavior, I understand that kids tend to not act like themselves when sick. Unfortunately, once the cold symptoms were gone, this behavior didn’t leave with them. When Lucille wanted my attention and she saw me going towards the baby, she would freak out. Sometimes, even if she was playing independently she would get upset when she noticed me approaching him.

Though this behavior broke my heart, it could have been much worse. She thankfully never took these frustrations out on the baby and still acted only lovingly to him directly. (Don’t ask me why, it seems strange.) And though this phase lasted longer than I would have liked, it has proven to be a phase. The past couple weeks she has been understanding of the time mommy spends with Lennon once again.

Let The Playing Begin

Now that Lennon isn’t quite the newborn he used to be, Lucille has decided he is the perfect playmate. But she lacks the ability to determine what games and toys are appropriate for him. This is how Lennon almost got his eye gouged out by a play fork. Toys not safe for Lennon are not currently in Lucille’s possession.

Over all this is an exciting development. Lucille is very good at sharing, she even shares her baby dolls with Lennon, which warms my heart. She tries feeding him her toy food, which he finds hilarious.

Even without toys, they play together excellently. Lucille loves to tickle him, and Lennon loves to poke at her. And the cutest part of all is they seem to have their own language. Lennon will jabber at her and she will jabber nonsense right back at him. And they’ll laugh!

Sleeping Arrangements

Now that Lennon is a bit older I really wanted him to learn to put himself to sleep. Lucille will not allow this! If I put Lennon in his swing or crib to relax Lucille gets terribly distraught. When she hears him talk to himself she seems to think he’s upset and cries until I get him. Even if he is actually asleep and not talking, she gets upset not knowing where he is. I have to show her that he’s asleep to calm her down. If he’s awake, he must be in the same room as us!

Eager To Help

Occasionally Lucille still tries to help in ways that she cannot. But for the most part she understands her limitations. Sometimes when he’s fussy she’ll shout “I got him!” But she just goes to play with him and make him happy rather than trying to pick him up like she used to.

Besides entertaining Lennon, Lucille now helps me by bringing me things. Most commonly when Lennon projectile pukes all over and moving will spread the mess, I’m very grateful when she brings me wipes and a burp cloth.

Raising my 2 under 2 has continued to be exhausting, but overall these past 3 months have been more joyful than I could have ever imagined. They are both growing and changing so much every day and I’m glad they can experience everything together. And more than anything I’m so grateful I get to watch these developments.


Cleaning Our Fake Leather Sectional

When Lucille got the stomach bug she covered every bit of our sectional with vomit. We cleaned it the best we could during her illness, but once she was healthy again, I could still smell it. So I turned to Top Cleaning Secrets to figure out how to best clean my couch. Click here and follow their steps if you’re dealing with real leather. Mine is more of a “bomber jacket” material so I skipped some steps.

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First we vacuumed the sectional more carefully and thoroughly than every before.

Then I mixed 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water and cleaned each area. I used a towel to “dry” each section before I moved onto the next. The areas were still damp but i soaked it up as best I could.

Then we left the house for a few hours as our whole living room smelled like an Easter egg! When we came back you could still smell the vinegar but only slightly. (I’ll take that smell over the previous smell any day.) By the next day the scent was gone.

I will be doing this to my sectional once a month from now on. Because let’s face it, when you have kids, every surface should probably be deep cleaned once a month! You never know what’s getting on there…


Burger and Fry Casserole

Since having Lennon I haven’t been able to eat beef and likely won’t be able to until I’m done breastfeeding. It makes him very gassy and fussy! So I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker and made it with turkey burger (& a couple other changes) to get my burger fix! I cooked this in my deep cast iron skillet, if you don’t have one though you can just use a frying pan and then a casserole dish. All the ingredients you need are:

  • 1 lb of Turkey burger
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 14 ounces of frozen fries (I used steak cut)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees while you:

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  1. Brown turkey burger and onion.
  2. Stir in flour and tomatoes and cook another couple minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in Dijon mustard. Top with cheese.
  4. Place fries over the burger mixture in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes.

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Hope you love it!



The Scary Thing About Baby #2

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If you’re a mother you know that when you meet your first baby your heart grows bigger than you ever imagined was possible. This little baby becomes your whole world, means more to you than anything ever has. You truly feel as though you could explode with love. It’s such an overwhelming feeling you feel as though it must be a once in a lifetime thing, you’ll never be able to feel a love like this ever again.

And then it’s time for baby #2. And you know you shouldn’t be worried that you won’t love #2 the same. Everyone says they worried but once the baby came, they loved him or her just as much. You believe them, but you also just don’t understand how it’s possible.

Then it happens. Your heart feels as though it’ll burst all over again because you’re so in love. And then it gets better. You see these 2 kids, your whole world, love each other! And that’s really the best feeling in the world!

So what’s the scary part? Besides being responsible for 2 little lives… Now that you’ve realized you can feel this love repeatedly and witnessed the love that you’re adding to their lives… you want to do it again and again.

Seriously, I feel as if I’ve been dreaming about baby #3 since we brought Lennon home. Even after my hardest, most exhausting days with just my 2 kids, I fall asleep thankful to have them and looking forward to the day I give them a little brother or sister.

Maybe it’s because we’ve always wanted 3 kids and now that we’re 2/3 of the way there it’s natural to think about being the “complete family” we’ve talked about for years. But if I’m being honest I’m scared I’m addicted to this feeling. And even though logically I still want 3…  I’m afraid it’ll be hard to accept that once #3 arrives. (Not that #3 will arrive anytime soon.)

Or maybe I’m just insane and the only one who feels this way…




Tomato Garlic Tilapia

After 6 days of the stomach bug, it was nice to make a real meal again! Tilapia seemed the perfect, light comfort food for our newly healthy tummies. I make this meal in foil packets for each serving, so below are ingredients and instructions for a single serving. Obviously multiply by however many people you wish to feed. 🙂

  • 3 oz tilapia filet
  • 1/2 tsp of butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 a chopped tomato
  • Pepper and old bay seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Place tilapia on tinfoil and top with all other ingredients. Wrap tinfoil around the tilapia and cook for about 20 minutes.

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And yes I had mine with a side of onion rings. Because they cook at the same temperature. 😉