Friday, April 26, 2013

Next Book Club Selection - The Great Gatsby

At book club a few weeks ago, we made our next book club selection The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The girls wanted to choose a classic and with the upcoming movie coming out on May 10th, this book seemed like a good pick.

The last time I read this book I was in high school and I don't remember enjoying it much. Since that has been about 10 years ago, I am willing to give this book another chance. I also love reading a book and then following it up with the movie. Our book club girls have planned a girl's night out to go see the movie on May 11th, which gives me extra incentive to read the book in time. I plan to start reading the book this weekend and will be posting a recap in a few weeks. Happy Reading!

Book Recap - 'The Timekeeper' by Mitch Albom

I finally found some time to finish last month's book club selection, The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom

I have been so stretched on time lately, that finding time for reading has been pretty non existent. Overall, I would give this book a B... it was okay at best. I have enjoyed this author's other books and thought I would enjoy this one more. The overall concept in the book about time and how precious it is was enjoyable to read, but the various story lines were difficult to stay interested in. The most important lesson I learned from this book is that you cannot control the amount of time you have on this earth and you better make the best of it. I have already begun to learn this lesson with Olivia and have realized just how precious the moments are with her and doing my best to live in the moment. I hope I have decades of time with all of my loved ones and will be here for many years to come, but God will decide the timetable for all of us and in the meantime, we shall live in the present and enjoy the moments!

Chicken and Rice Stoup

I have been under the weather the past few days with having my wisdom teeth out yesterday and a cold for the past few days. My mom is visiting for an extended weekend and made this delicious recipe today for me. There is nothing better when you don't feel good than having your momma make you some soup and take care of you! This Chicken and Rice Stoup is from Rachael Ray's magazine, called EveryDay with Rachael Ray

This soup (or stoup as Rachael calls it) is the perfect comfort food for treating a cold and easy to eat considering I just had my wisdom teeth out. I can see myself making batches of this soup during the fall and winter seasons and for my little Olivia when she is older and has the sniffles. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cloth Diapers

We made the plunge a few months ago and tried cloth diapers for Olivia. So far so good! My mother in law set us up with a trial at the local baby store and we were able to try ten different styles of cloth diapers for three weeks. After the trial, it was clear which brand and style of diaper we liked and wanted to use. We currently have a set of a dozen cloth diapers made by bumGenius in two different styles, the all in one and the one size diapers.
these all in one diapers are super easy to put on Olivia

these one size diapers fit Olivia great and will expand as she grows
The quality of this brand is excellent and they fit Olivia's little bum so nice! We use the cloth diapers part time on the days Olivia is home with either Michael or myself and I wash a load after a day or two of use. The washing of the diapers is my least favorite part, but it saves money and isn't too bad with a great washing machine like ours. I have found a few resources (listed below) with great tips on cloth diapering and maintaining the diapers long term. Our hope is to use this set of a dozen cloth diapers for the next 18 months or so and then possibly again with the next baby. I hope by using them part time, we can save some money and do our part to help the planet at the same time. Here are a few links and resources if you are interested in cloth diapering your little one...
  • How To Strip Cloth Diapers - a great instructional on stripping the diapers from the cleaning/detergent residue and getting them brand new clean.
  • Cloth Diaper Routine - this mom of six gives a step by step routine of how she does cloth diapers for her kids. I have learned some great tips from her! 
  • Colorado Baby - this is the store that we bought the diapers from and the owner has been a huge help in answering my questions and helping me get used to the cloth diaper routine.
Using cloth diapers is a total learning process and I have found some great tips that work for me. The Colorado Baby store sells some liners that you lay in the cloth diaper to catch solids and they easily flush in the toilet. I also use a waterproof zipper bag that hangs on the side of the changing table to hold wet diapers till it is time to wash. It is best if you double wash the diapers (or use a prewash setting on hot) and then I line dry the diapers to help preserve the velcro. 

All in all, it has been a good experience for us and I hope to continue to cloth diaper part time. And because I have a hard time posting without pictures of Olivia, here are a few pics in her pink cloth diaper :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

5 Months Old

Our sweet little girl is 5 months old today and getting so big! She sits up on her own, has started eating rice cereal, loves playing on her play mat and in her bouncy seat, and is snugly and cuddly most days. Olivia is still not a great sleeper and seems to only want to cat nap during the day and sleep off and on throughout the night. We have tried the crib, bassinet, and even co-sleeping and some nights work better than others. I am hoping to transition her to the crib in the next month and hope and pray she will start sleeping through the night. Here are a few pictures of our sweet little 5 month old...

To my sweet daughter... I love you so much I think my heart might burst. You have turned into the most sweet, loving, and happy baby. I love the days we get to spend together and I just wish you would stay little. I look forward to our many days of snuggles, walks in your stroller, and soon to be crawling. You are my world! Love you sugar!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Club Menu - Appetizers and Wine

This week has been insane... like crazy insane! And of top of my crazy schedule, I am hosting book club this month. I don't know why I thought it was a good idea to host book club with a 5 month old and a house covered in baby clothes, play mats, and toys in every shade of pink?!! I have exactly one day to pull my house together and pull off a delicious menu. I decided to keep it simple and just make two appetizers this time and offer wine and limeade for our beverage options. The two recipes listed below are from my Appetizer Board on Pinterest and seem pretty easy and quick to pull together. In  addition to these appetizers, I am going to serve hummus and pita chips... delicious and easy!

these cucumber feta cheese bites are gonna be perfect for snacking
this garlic feta cheese dip has all of my favorite ingredients and perfect for pita chips
I am only about half way through the current book club selection and I doubt I will finish by tomorrow. It has been a great book so far, so I plan to finish it soon and will post a review when I do. Even though the week is crazy, I am still looking forward to getting together with my girlfriends and have a good time!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

I have been meaning to post this recipe for months and just now getting around to it. This recipe for crock pot cream cheese chicken chili is so so so good... you have to make it! 

This is one of the easiest chili recipes I have found... you just through everything in the crock pot and let it cook for the day. This recipe goes perfect with cornbread and is great for a crowd or lots of leftovers. I always make a double batch because we just can't get enough of it. Enjoy!