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Friday, January 29, 2016

Mini chocolate cake donut muffins

For some reason every Saturday morning I crave donuts. I eat relatively healthy during the week and try to workout a little bit each day but all bets are off on Saturdays. Whoever wakes up with the kiddos usually makes a big fun breakfast or goes out to get donuts, Kolaches, or breakfast tacos. Jon and I both favor those chocolate cake donuts and when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I was up for the challenge of making them. They don't require frying so they're automatically healthy right? Hehe. They were out of this world delicious and made such a fun little treat in the morning and after dinner for dessert.

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Stir butter and sugar in a bowl until combined.
2. Add egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until mixed
3. Add dry ingredients and stir until completely smooth
4. Scoop batter into a greased mini muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
5. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin
6. Meanwhile, stir glaze ingredients until smooth
7. Dip each muffin into the glaze, covering completely
8. Let the glaze dry for 20 minutes or until it hardens.
9. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lucy 9 months

Oye. Taking pictures of this lady bean was quite interesting. My mom was over and we got some cute ones and I realized we didn't have the sticker on, ack! She does NOT want to sit still and is crawling now! Life is going to get crazy! I can't believe our Lucy girl is 9 months old. She is oozing with joy and such a light in our lives. She has started to develop such a cute and sassy personality. We couldn't get her out of church last week because she was waving at everyone. She is a social butterfly and sweet as can be. Below you will find a few of the 100 photos I took, even some non smiling ones... gasp. We love this little girl so much it hurts!

  • 17lbs 5oz (35th %), 27.25" (35th%), head 45.4cm (88th %)
  • Lady had her first fever this week, boo. She was still a super happy girl but just more calm and cuddly which was shocking because she literally never stops moving. We had her well check this afternoon and doctor thought it was viral. She has slept a lot over the past 2 days and is now officially fever free!
  • Her well check was great, she was happy and very curious. She had a heel prick and is not anemic. I hope the next time we go is her 12 month well check, fingers crossed. 
  • Lucy is officially crawling! She had been doing 3-4 crawls for about 2 weeks and now is on the move. For the most part she stays contained where she is supposed to be but I know that will change soon. She crawls to get her toys and towards Ford, me, Jon, Ernie, etc. 
  • A big month for food! She is finally getting it! She eats 3 meals a day and snacks when Ford gets them. Her favorites are purred carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin, applesauce, grilled cheese, cheese cubes, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, meat loaf, French fries (don't judge), cheerios, yogurt melts, puffs.
  • No teeth yet but I do see progress on the two bottom teeth. I am in no rush for her to get teeth, girlfriend bit me last week and DANG, that hurt. 
  • In the past 2 weeks I've noticed how much more table food she's eating and how much less she is nursing. She is only nursing 4 times a day and gets a formula bottle every other day. She had been taking 6oz but this past week only 4oz and I think that is definitely because she's eating real food. She can hold her own bottle now, big girl! She also drinks a sippy cup full of water throughout the day. I plan on giving her whole milk in a month or so, just like Ford. 
  • She loves her Iron supplement and gets excited when I give it to her in the mornings...unlike Ford who I had to give up and stop giving it to him because it was like herding cats. 
  • Her hair is getting so thick and long, it is really sweet. I am using more hair clips vs. headbands to keep her bangs out of her eyes. I can't wait for her first pony tail!
  • She's wearing 9 month clothes and still has the tiniest feet ever (wearing newborn or size 1 shoes).
  • Cloth diapered during the day, size 3 disposable at night
  • Bedtime at 7p  and sleeps 12 hours.. She takes two naps, morning around 830a and 130pm. She's a pretty good napper but has learned to stand in her crib so once she does that, shes awake. 
  • Waving, clapping, saying bye bye. She is so social! We usually go grocery shopping on Tuesdays when Ford is in preschool and no less than 10 people come up and talk to her when we are there. She loves attention and loves being noticed/talked to/center of attention. 
  • She loves to zoom around in her little walker, it took her about a day to figure out. She doesn't go in her exersaucer or jumperoo much anymore and prefers standing at her activity table. She loves all sorts of balls, especially these two small basketballs we have upstairs. 
  • She loves saying "da da" and will call Jon when she sees him. She has found her voice this month and lots of baby babble. She is especially loud and talkative in the car in her car seat. 
  • She gets SO excited coming down the stairs when she wakes up or after her naps and we look at all of the pictures on our gallery wall. She squeals and clenches her body when we talk about everyone.
  • She does the same thing when she sees the bath and that we are going to put her in it. Girlfriend loves baths! 
  • Lucy is still gaga over Ford and happiness comes over her whole body when she sees him. She loves playing peek a boo with him and when he tickles her. 
  • Crawls over to things and stands up and can go back to sitting down. 
  • She hates laying on her back when we change her diaper... she HAS to be holding something or else she goes insane squirming and screaming.
  • She is showing a lot of sass this month... if Ford takes a toy or she needs another bite, she angrily lets you know. Miss Independent 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Random Monday For Ya

Hello, is this thing on? Man I have fallen off the blogging wagon. Last week I kept meaning to write a few posts but life got in the way and now I can't even remember what I was going to write. I thought I was on a roll, posting 3 recipes in a row, and then the momentum was gone. Jon was gone the whole week, we've had a million birthday parties, we have family coming in town this week, I'm starting a new bible study, our 5 year wedding anniversary is next week....phew. I've been doing little DIY projects around the house, baking more in the kitchen, and cranking out tons of embroidery projects (I'm realizing I sound like an 80 year old woman, I love it). The weather has been gorgeous so we've been outside a lot, no Jonas down in Texas (side note, how do you Northerners do it... I am in a bad mood if it is 45 degrees and the sun isn't shining). Each weekend from now until March is booked up... with fun things though! I know I will be blogging later this week because Lucy girl turns 9 months on Wednesday... hold the phone. I absolutely love the stage she's in but can't lie, I am sad about the baby phase being over. I told Jon I can see why Michelle Duggar has 19. I literally come to tears at the thought of not having a baby in the house. But then I remember that each stage is sweet and special and I am sure once all of my kids are potty trained and not waking up at 6am, baby hood will be a sweet and distant memory. Expect lots of sappy posts the next 3 months about my girly turning 1. I am really glad I have these feelings though because it shows me that we for sure aren't done having babes. Okay enough sap and random thought, here are some pictures over the past few weeks.

My boy has been extra cuddly and extra funny these days. He woke up from his nap last week a little emo (not surprising) and I was trying to talk to him and ask questions and he said "Mama I not want to talk, just sing" and started humming in such a melancholy way. Hilarious.

Ernie hasn't made an appearance on the blog lately because he is driving us absolutely nuts. I won't even go there. Anyway, Lucy loves him and his wet, nasty toys. I think most of the reason she started crawling was to get to him!

Love dressing my little lady up for church.... but lately she's been puling out her bows and headbands. Sigh

Sunny days with this bundle of joy. Literally never stops smiling. She is the best!

I have been hating our dark yellow kitchen for a couple of months and decided to paint it last week. I painted it Olympic Faint Flicker, the same color as Lucy's room, and love how bright it feels. We also bought a new round table and ordered chairs that will be here soon. 

Seriously could not be more in love with this handsome boy. All of the sudden he looks so old and grown up...a  million heart eyes for him! Shirt is Nicky and Stella

Do I even need to caption this? She's such a little lady!

Speaking of cuties, my nephew Toddy is 4 months old and Lucy size. I cannot wait to squeeze him in just a few weeks! I gifted him this adorable set from Baby Soy for Christmas (I had to add the monogram because... #monogramallthings). Baby Soy's tagline is "Luxury of Softness" and boy is their stuff soft. I have a few Baby Soy outfits for Lucy and the kimono style makes for an actual outfit, not just a plain onesie. All of their products are made from organic cotton and bamboo, making them safe and cozy on your little one's skin. Baby Soy is all about recycling, reducing, and reusing. Shop Baby Soy now. 

Lucy clenches up her whole body and squeals every time I undress her and walk her to the bath. Girlfriend loves water! She was at my parents last week and my dad said anytime he showed her the pool, she would get so excited and hyperventilate. This summer is going to be fun! And chaotic with 2 toddlers. But here is my silly girl (always with her tongue out) before the bath. 

My blue eyed Ford. Lately it seems like every day brings a new cut or scrape, he is such a little boy now. 

Twins much?

It is one of my greatest joys to watch Ford interact with his friends. We are past the stage where the kids just play next to each other but he actually plays with his friends. It is adorable and melts this mamas heart. This is is lifelong bud, friends since birth, and just 8 days apart. Ford has also had a funny sense of humor lately. He makes up words and songs and gets himself cracking up. He is going to be a little jokester. 

Ford is a jumping bean. He will just stand there and jump and hop, he never stops moving! We went to Rolly Pollies gym last week and he had the time of his life on a full length trampoline!

Thanks for letting me dump my random thoughts on you today!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

I am on a recipe posting roll! I also am on a cooking roll. For some reason I am really enjoying being in my kitchen right now, cooking and baking, and I am not complaining about it. Sometimes cooking can be a chore and I get bored of what we're eating but so far 2016 has brought yummy new recipes and lots of good eats. Tuesday I signed up to bring not one but two baby meals to two of my good friends who live in our neighborhood. I try to think outside of the box for baby meals considering the new parents will probably get a lot of the same thing (casseroles and Italian), I knew my girlfriends liked Chinese food and I had made this sweet and sour chicken before so I thought it would be a unique meal to bring. Oh man it is good y'all. I served it with homemade fried rice (recipe here) and it was enjoyed by all! I prepped a few things in advance so it wasn't a ton of work all in one setting.

2-3lbs raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (think of the size of pieces when you're ordering Chinese food)
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper
2. Pour cornstarch into large bowl and coat raw chicken in it
3. Dip coated chicken pieces into the beaten egg
4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in large skillet and pan sear chicken pieces until they are lightly browned, NOT cooked through (about 5 minutes, stirring and flipping the whole time)
5. Mix together sweet and sour sauce ingredients
6. Place chicken into greased 9x13 in baking dish
7. Top with sweet and sour sauce and mix evenly
8. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour, turning, stirring, and coating the chicken every 15 minutes
9. Serve with fried rice and enjoy!

original recipe

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

Okay so I know I start out every meatloaf post with this same thought... call me old fashioned but I love meatloaf! It is delicious, so stinking easy, and fun to add different ingredients to mix it up. Now please don't judge the recipe by the pictures below because they look more like weird brown meat lumps but Jon and I couldn't have shoveled these in fast enough. Chunks of real cheddar cheese melted inside the meatloaf and hints of sweet BBQ sauce. Come on y'all. Make these mini BBQ cheddar meatloaves asap. Even Lucy gobbled these up, now that's saying something!

1 onion, chopped
1 olive oil
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 egg, whisked
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp BBQ sauce, divided
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

1. Saute onion in oil and season with salt
2. Meanwhile, mix ground meat, egg, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp BBQ sauce and bread crumbs.
3. Fold in the cheddar cheese cubes
4. Form 4 small loaves with meat and place onto a foil lined jelly roll pan
5. Coat each loaf with remaining BBQ sauce (I used a BBQ sauce brush)
6. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes

Friday, January 8, 2016

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It's *kind of* cold here in Texas which means it's soup season y'all. It's also new baby season around here. I can name at least 10 of my friends who have had babies in the past 6 weeks which means I've been making a lot of meals for new parents. I love taking soup for baby meals because I can make it healthy and hearty. I made this chicken noodle soup this week, a double batch, one for me and one for a baby meal, and I never want it to end. I used Reames noodles that my grandma makes at Thanksgiving dinner and I'm kicking myself for not using them in a soup sooner. They are delicious and to die for. I made this soup up as I went and boy is it good. 

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
6 cups chicken broth, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 bag Reames noodles (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste

Reames Noodles can be found in your freezer section, by the potatoes and frozen veggies at my store. Here is a picture for reference. 

1. Pour 2 cups chicken broth, onions, carrots, and celery into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes until the veggies are soft. 
2. Add additional 4 cups of broth, chicken, and noodles and simmer another 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.
3. Season with parsley, salt, and pepper.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Year In Review

2016 is here! 6 days into the New Year and things are going pretty smoothly. I was dreading the 4th when Jon would return to work after a good chunk of time off... I know I am not the only mama who felt this way. As much as I love the holiday season, I've also loved getting back into the swing of things. Ford went back to school yesterday and we are excited to resume regular outings and playdates. On top of Christmas, Disney, and New Years, we were actually pretty productive over the break, I love that! So 2015. What a year! Our family expanded in April and I never thought having 2 children would be so much fun. The transition has been wonderful and I thank God for that everyday. 2015 we watched Ford grow from a baby to a potty trained, incredibly smart, and wonderful big brother. Having a baby didn't slow us down. We launched our very own missional community group, traveled quite a bit, and watched my moms group thrive and grow. I've been reading my bible every morning of 2016 thus far and pray that I continue to have the desire to do so. I told Jon that this is kind of the first year in a while that I don't know what is next and I am embracing it... and loving it. I've always been a planner and known what was next and although we have an idea of what our year could hold, we are really excited to watch The Lord write our story for 2016. We want it to be His year. I compiled a list of some of my favorite/monumental blog posts of 2015, enjoy!

I opened up on my decision to choose a repeat C section
I learned how to use my embroidery machine
We had Ford's 18 month photos taken

Jon and I celebrated 4 years of marriage
Jon and I took a baby-less baby moon to Cancun
My mom and sister threw me a baby "sprinkle"

I went on a girls trip to Phoenix with my "blogging tribe"
We took maternity photos

I shared Lucy's finished nursery
I talked about surviving (a very sick) pregnancy with a toddler
I shared my prayers for Lucy's birth
Lucy Joy was born

I wrote down the details of Lucy's birth
I raved about my favorite baby products for #2
I shared photos of Ford meeting Lucy for the first time in the hospital
We took newborn photos when Lucy was 6 days new
My grandma came to stay with us for a week and we celebrated Mother's Day with 4 generations
We took our first little getaway as a family of 4 to the lake for Memorial Day

We potty trained Ford
I wrote a post on how much I loved my scheduled C section
Lucy and I tagged along to New Orleans with Jon for a business trip
We celebrated Jon on Father's Day

We had a fun 4th of July
I wrote a post about the not so glamorous parts of a C section

We had an awesome vacation to Colorado
Ford turned 2! We had a fun non party celebration for him
I took a road trip to Dallas with the kiddos to visit my sister

Ford started Mother's Day Out Preschool 2 days a week
My sister had her son, Todd Lucas, and we spent a few days in Dallas for his birth

I was a part of a photoshoot for #MOMBOD
I turned 27 and we visited family in Chicago to celebrate
Ford loved our neighborhoods Trunk or Treat
Lucy celebrated her 1/2 birthday!
Lucy tried her first food
The girls in our community group and I hosted a Pumpkin Gospel party
We had so much fun celebrating Halloween with our friends and neighbors

We took family photos
I ordered our Christmas cards from Tiny Prints and am still obsessed with them
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family here in Austin

Cousin Christmas jammies... need I say more?
We had a wonderful Christmas celebration
We went to Disney World

Monday, January 4, 2016


Well we did it and came back in one piece. The days leading up to our Disney World trip I was thinking we were half crazy but YOLO was my motto the entire time. So why did we choose Disney? Jon's new company takes Christmas through New Years off which is such a special treat and he also had a companion pass on Southwest in 2015 that expired in the New Year. Free time and free flights we decided to take a short trip as a family of 4. One thing that helped us narrow down where we wanted to go was that it is a direct flight from Austin to Orlando (if you have ever flown with kids you know how important this is!). We used points to fly their, used points to stay at the Dolphin Hotel on Disney property, and the kids tickets into Disney were free because they are both under 3. Boom. Jon had never been to Disney and I thought it would be a fun way to ease our way into the Disney scene. The kids are young and we knew it would be a tad crazy so we went in with low expectations. It's also the busiest time of year that people visit Disney so we didn't want to stress about riding certain rides, staying til dark, etc. So I've had a few people ask me if I would do it again. Well... I can't go back in time so there is that, but I don't know. To be honest it was a lot of work and we were so tired. Disney in general is exhausting but our sweet babes are so well sleep trained that going off schedule was a bit of a doozy. We thought we'd be able to swing no naps for Ford but dude is NOT ready for that. Poor Lucy was such a trooper girl and semi napped on the go. It was hot. Way too hot for December and the humidity was disgusting... making baby wearing and carrying quite...wet. Now I consider myself to be pretty in shape but something about pushing a stroller around a crowd of people at Disney made me feel so out of shape! My feet were killing me by the first afternoon (despite wearing my good workout shoes) and I had shin splints our second day. Whew I am tired thinking about it. But it was wonderful. It was magical y'all. Jon and I are at the point in life where we love to make memories as parents together. Sure Ford doesn't know the difference between Disney World and the Chick Fila play scape but it was such an incredible thing to watch him experience Disney. We switched off riding rides with him and got to ride a few as family. He wasn't so keen on meeting any characters (I expected that) but was in awe of it all. Lots of days in parenting blend together but these days I will remember forever. Ford would giggle and dance and wave to Mickey during the shows and there were many times I was close to tears just watching him have fun. Now that is something I will never forget.

So what else about Disney? I don't think we will go back until all of our children outgrow naps (and we want more than Ford and Lucy so who knows when that will be) and I have already planned it out in my head. Next time I'd love to rent a house close by and drive to the park each day. We stayed at the Disney Dolphin but waiting for the shuttles and packing in like sardines wasn't ideal. It would have been so nice to hop in our own car and drive ourselves back. I didn't realize how HUGE the property is. Magic Kingdom was a good 10-15 minute drive from our hotel. We took a shuttle from the airport which was not the greatest set up because we had to wait at 10pm and didn't get to our hotel until 11pm but it did save us about $100 (and we didn't bring the kids carseats because the shuttle didn't allow them so that saved us two giant bags). So back to my dream trip. I'd rent a house via Air BNB or Homeaway and make sure it had a pool. We'd do 2 days at Disney then take a whole day off to relax and veg by the pool and then we'd do 2 more days at Disney so we could hit all of the parks. One thing that completely shocked us about Disney World was how good the food was. And I am not talking "Oh it was bearable"... it was GOOD! Delicious! We ate on the go because the sit down dining was booked and I didn't want to have to work around a reservation in case the kids needed to nap. We ate burgers, Mickey shaped soft pretzels, pizzas, nachos, and the most delicious homemade peanut butter cups at Magic Kingdom (Jon and I both said, wow this is expensive tasting chocolate!). One thing we were told ahead of time was to pack our own snacks which was key. I packed protein bars, pouches, apples, dried fruit, and a few salty things that kept us full between meals. Our hotel gave us water bottles each day so we brought those but also asked for cups of ice water around the park. Disney World is totally made for children and babies because they have baby care centers in each park. They are nice and air conditioned and equipped with rocking chairs, bottle warmers, diapers, changing tables. Lucy actually napped on me at the baby care center in Animal Kingdom for an hour while Ford and Jon played with the toys they had there. It was so nice to get out of the heat and crowds! It was funny how many kids we saw totally PASSED out in their strollers in the funniest positions. That was not the Hart littles nor will it ever be. I actually said I want to start an Instagram account to show funny Disney sleeping pictures.

A stroller is key and I am so glad we have a nice one. You can rent them at Disney but they look uncomfortable and hard to maneuver. Initially I was nervous having to leave our stroller while on rides but they have specific closed off areas for stroller parking with security to watch (my stroller was expensive yall!). We also brought a big backpack for snacks, diapers, waters, toys. Before we went I bought a few little Mickey/Disney items to give to Ford while we were there so he didn't ask for souvenirs and although he never asked, he loved carrying them around. Fast passes are amazing and I was able to change them from the Disney App on my phone. We split up for the rides Lucy couldn't ride so Ford got to ride so many! You can also view maps and wait times for every ride from the app... gosh I love technology. If you know Ford personally, you'd know he is quite emotional so it wasn't surprising that he was scared of quite a few things while we were there. I guess I forgot that all Disney movies have a villian and he was absolutely freaked out on Buzz Light Year and Little Mermaid. Poor guy! His favorite rides were the ones that go round and round like Dumbo, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, and the Triceratops at Animal Kingdom. He loved the Lion King show and was only interested in about half of the Nemo show and I think all of our favorite was the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. We decided 2 days was enough for us and didn't make it to Hollywood Studios or Epcot which is OK since those are geared for older kids/adults. We didn't quite make it to the parades at night but enjoyed watching the fireworks from our hotel. We had 1 room for our family and I was thinking what a disaster it would be with 2 pack and plays but it was pretty large and we were all so exhausted at night that we all went right to sleep and even slept in! So Disney with 2 under 2.... it was chaotic, exhausting, crazy, and so much fun. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have! You can email me here.

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