September 2014Back Home Again: September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Salsa Verde Chicken Chili

As I wrote about yesterday, I made a huge batch of salsa verde this weekend. Instead of freezing it or making salsa verde chicken, I decided to do something a little different and make white chicken chili with salsa verde as my base.

While Alan thought it was a little too spicy, I thought it was yumtastic! The best part was that I threw everything in the crock pot so it was cooking during the whole garbage disposal debacle and ready by dinner.

Salsa Verde Chicken Chili

Salsa verde (tomatillos, habanero pepper, onion, lime juice, garlic and cilantro - saute until tomatillos and onion are soft, then puree with an immersion blender) I used the entire batch I made, which was at least two cups
1 can of white beans I prefer cannellini, but all I had was Great Northern, which work just as well
2 chicken breasts
spaghetti noodles It isn't chili without spaghetti noodles according to Alan, so I added a handful to make it no longer soup-like

Place chicken in crock pot and top with beans and salsa verde. Cook on low for four hours, then remove chicken and shred. Add spaghetti noodles and shredded chicken back into crock pot and cook until noodles are soft. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Recap

I had a great post all planned for today and then all hell broke loose yesterday so I didn't get it written. 

Do you want the good or the bad first?

Let's start with the good :-)

Friday night we had one of our sort of monthly dinners with friends of ours. We had these awesome chicken enchiladas (Rachel I want the recipe!), cheese dip and key lime cheesecake. The kids all had a blast playing with each other and afterwards we roasted marshmallows in the fire pit (I ganked this photo off my friend's FB page...thanks Sarah!). 

Saturday morning we went out to the CSA to get our veggie share and it was full of beautiful greens, tomatoes, tomatillos, zucchini, green beans and herbs. Ewan also went out onto the field at his soccer game and tried to kick the ball with Alan - a major improvement! 

After a lunch stop at Chipotle, we went to the fall craft show. I bought tons of stuff last year and this time around we only left with an Olaf pillow for Ewan, ordered a Minnie pillow for Cecily and a really cute Halloween lamp for me. Even though we didn't spend nearly as much, it was still a lot of fun to see all of the crafts.

I spent Saturday night preparing food with our CSA share and this is where the trouble started. I was making salsa verde and was throwing bits of tomatillos I wasn't using into the garbage disposal. Well something got caught down in there and clogged our sink and dishwasher. Oops! Unfortunately, in Alan's haste and anger at me for clogging it (which was warranted), he soaked the counter removing dishes and soaked my phone, which in turn has destroyed the battery. It still works, but won't hold a charge. We're not sure if the problem is just the battery or the phone itself. Unfortunately, I can't upgrade until after Christmas, so we're not sure what we're going to do. He's currently on the phone to see if it qualifies for a replacement through insurance or if it would just be best to reactive my old phone. It's super old, but if it gets me through until Christmas, I can deal. 

Wish us luck! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Trails and Tales

One evening earlier this week, I took Ewan to Trails and Tales, which is a preschool program at Wesselman Woods, the local nature preserve. One of my biggest pet peeves about Evansville is that almost all of the kids' programs are during the day, during the week so I'm never able to take my kids to things since I work. So when Alan saw that there was a preschool program starting this fall in the evening you better believe we jumped on the chance to take Ewan. 

This week was all about trees. While there he had story time, made several crafts, got to touch a bug and pretended to be a tree.

Probably his favorite thing was smashing a leaf with a mallet!

I see friends' photos on Facebook all the time of things that they got to do with their kids since they stay home and I get really upset and jealous a lot since those activities are almost never available when I can attend. I'm so excited that I finally got to take him to something like this. I know that as a working mom, it's not something that we'll get to do all the time, but I think it's so good for my kids to get to do things like this and give them experiences outside of their normal routine.

Here's to a jam packed weekend filled with fun family activities!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

#DropYourPants for #Underwareness with Depend

This post is sponsored by Depend. Many thanks for encouraging people to #DropYourPants for #Underwareness!

I honestly can't believe I'm writing about this on my blog, but in the spirit of being candid...I suffer from bladder leakage.

Looking back, I have dealt with this since middle school, but I never really realized that that's what it was until I was pregnant with Ewan. I remember going to a jazz band competition when I was a freshman in high school and going over to talk to the 8th graders from my middle school and one of them telling me to go away because I always smell like pee.

Can we say embarrassing?

As I got older, I learned to go to the bathroom the second I got the urge and to make sure I stayed there a little longer than necessary to help make sure I didn't "leak" even though that didn't always work.

Then I got pregnant with Ewan and seemed to have a problem every time I coughed, sneezed, laughed or even bent over. After he was born, it got better until I was pregnant with Cecily and it started all over again. After she was born? Forget it. It wasn't a little leak, it was more like a flood anytime I moved the wrong way. I wound up wearing pads as bladder leakage protection for about two months and it even got to the point where my ob and I discussed surgery to help. While it has gotten better since then, I still have issues on occasion.

Definitely not something you want to be dealing with at the age of 32!

So you can imagine how excited I am that Depend will donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for:
  • Every pant drop, photo and video shared Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and
  • Every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants
I know that there is such a stigma about young people having to deal with this, but Depend actually provides a variety of bladder leakage protection that can help you regain your freedom and get your life back. 

Silouette for Women Briefs

Depend Real Fit for Men and Silhouette for Women briefs: Look, fit and feel like real underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit - this is just one of them. 

If you're anything like me, you probably love free samples. Well, you can do just that by visiting the Depend landing page and clicking on the "Get a Sample" button located at the top right-hand side of the screen. Then, select your sample and wait for it to arrive!

Are you going to join me and #DropYourPants for #Underwareness?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Montreal Highlights

This is really just a photo dump and teaser of our trip to Montreal last week until I get a chance to go through everything and write a proper post. You know how they say you should never leave on vacation with a messy house? Yeah...ours is a disaster and it's going to take me a bit to get caught up!

Anyways...I hope you enjoy the photos! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Home Style Beef Stew and a Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Red Gold Tomatoes

As you may have figured out by now, I'm sort of an unofficial ambassador of Red Gold Tomatoes. I love their product and as long as they keep asking me to post about them, I will. Heck, since they're an Indiana company, I probably would post about them at some point anyway. But, I digress...

Red Gold is hosting yet another awesome giveaway currently running until October 8 on their Facebook page. The Red Gold 2-a-day-Crock-Pot Give-a-way promotion is giving away a Red Gold crock pot to two winners everyday, for a total of 44 crock pots over three weeks. I don't know about you, but I personally would love a new crock pot. I use both of mine so much that they're getting to the point where they need to be replaced. Red Gold is also sharing their crock pot recipes featuring their yummy tomatoes.

Since I have a ton of veggies from our CSA, I decided to make Red Gold's beef stew recipe in the crockpot. It was amazing! I'm the only one who eats soup in my house but everyone else loved it too. I figured I would have enough to freeze for later, but it was surprisingly gone. 

Aren't our soup mugs I painted cute? :-) 

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the changing leaves, the cooler weather, pumpkins, Halloween, bonfires and the food! I always make a several large batches of soup and chili every fall and freeze them to eat all winter long. 

Probably my favorite thing about it is that I was able to customize the recipe to be able to use what I had on hand - and it still turned out fantastic!

You can find more yummy slow cooker Red Gold recipes here. Don't forget to enter their Red Gold 2-a-day-Crock-Pot Give-a-way contest to win your own crock pot!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Life Lately

I know it's been kind of quiet around here this month.

Sorry about that.

I honestly haven't really had a whole lot to say. We got back from our Montreal trip this morning and it was amazing! So expect a post all about it soon.

We're also seriously following Dave Ramsey to get our credit card debt paid off. I've been calling Alan the budget Nazi actually...I know that the next few months will suck but the end result will be worth it.

I have been feeling pretty isolated lately and joined a MOPS group a few weeks ago with some other moms from church. I really enjoyed the first meeting and our second one is tonight. I'm really looking forward to it and I hope it's as good as the first one.

I've also become addicted to Tupperware much to Alan's disproval ;-) It's just so handy!

That's really about all that's new with me lately...what's new in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 15, 2014

That Time Ewan Tried to Play Soccer

So we signed Ewan up to play in several soccer games over the next few weeks through his preschool. He was so excited to go get his soccer ball and shin guards and couldn't wait to get there to play.

And this is as close as he got to playing. Once he saw all the people he totally freaked out and wanted nothing to do with it.

I was like this as a kid too, and I remember my mom getting so mad at me. I always said I would never be that way, but I will admit that I was irritated. He said that he was "just watching" this time and that he'll play the next time....I hope so! He asked us to sign him up for basketball this fall and he has 10 "games" coming up starting at the end of September. I really hope he'll participate so we didn't waste that money. 

If your kid does this, how do you help them get over their shyness? You would think that I would know what to do since I was the same way, but nope.

At least Cecily had fun though!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Inverted Cabbage Roll

Up until the last couple of weeks, we have been getting crazy amounts of cabbage in our CSA. Unfortunately, neither Alan nor I really like cabbage all the much. I was actually giving some of our cabbage to a co-worker because we just can't handle how much we were getting. 

However, I finally found a recipe that we both liked and that used a lot of cabbage. Inverted cabbage rolls! It's like a cabbage roll but without the wrapping. Genius.

Inverted Cabbage Roll

1 lb sausage
1/2 or 1 head of cabbage, depending on size
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
garlic, salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Cook sausage, then cook veggies til soft, add in tomatoes and spices


Super, super easy.

Hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Monday, September 8, 2014

#GiveThanksGiveBack Sign Ups Are Live!

Grab button for Re•solve
<div class="Re•solve Thanks" style="width: 350px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Re" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

Are you ready to meet other bloggers near you while helping others in the process? Registration to lead a #givethanksgiveback event in your area are officially open!

If you are willing to plan a get together for good, simply complete this form.
Bekah will be in touch with you shortly.

Friday, September 5, 2014

#GiveThanksGiveBack This Fall!

My friend Bekah over at re-solve has a really great idea as we're going into fall. I'm definitely planning on doing what I can to get in on it and I hope you do too! So, without further ado, I'm letting Bekah take over the blog today to tell you all about it.

I've been dreaming big lately- about how nice it would be to see the blogging community in the community. So, I'm thrilled to present this nationwide blog meet up with a purpose: #givethanksgiveback. Here’s how it works:

I’m looking for (at least) one blogger per state to step up as a leader – your job will be to plan a charitable blog meet up for the month of November – run a canned food drive, serve lunch at a soup kitchen, serve others wherever you feel passionate about giving back! Each leader will display a master post in October linking to each state’s event info. All throughout the month, bloggers can access the information and sign up for November’s event. All are welcome to link up about their experiences after their event.

Grab button for Re•solve
<div class="Re•solve Thanks" style="width: 350px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Re" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

Here is the timeline:

Sept 8-13 – Sign ups for state leaders.
Oct 3 – Leaders must have November event scheduled and turned in for the master listing.
Oct 6 – All leaders post master listing to their blogs and post about their specific event between now and 10/10.
November – Meet up and give back by Thanksgiving! Blog about it and link up. Link up will be live 11/1-12/7.

I hope you're as excited as I am! Come back Monday if you're ready to take charge. Or, come back on 10/6 to find an event near you so you can also #givethanksgiveback!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Starting Over Yet Again

I know I have said this a bajillion times this year, but I really am starting over with taking back my health. 

I have to.

I'm not going to show you the photo I took to play "guess that rash" with a moms group I'm in, but I have broken out in these crazy yeast rashes on my legs and on my foot. If you've been with me awhile, then you know that I have had mysterious rashes for almost a year now. I thought that those rashes were from some sort of food intolerance but after about six months I finally figured out that it was ringworm. 

I finally got that taken care of and gone and then I develop toenail fungus that I have been battling all summer. About a month ago, it was finally gone...and then I develop athlete's foot on the same foot that had the fungus... I think that it wasn't totally gone yet and because I had to walk around all day with wet shoes and socks it had the perfect environment to go crazy in, which it did and has spread not only over my toe, but now all over my foot...

...and as of the last two weeks, I have developed a crazy yeast rash on the back of my knee...which has now spread to my other knee. I am horribly, horribly itchy and super grouchy because of it.

I seriously cannot win with this. I honestly am at a loss as to what to do to rid myself of this mess. I have suspected known that I have systemic yeast for awhile now and thought that by eating paleo I was taking care of it. 

Obviously not. 

So, here I am starting over, yet again. I have been on the candida diet for four days now and am aggressively treating everything inside and out. Detox flu is so much better than living with this awfulness. 

This is going to have to be a lifelong thing for me. And that really really sucks if you want me to be totally honest. You have no idea how much I would like to eat sweets and crap food every now and then. Especially because my husband isn't totally on board and I have a lot of family members that think I'm nuts so I get to sit there while everyone else can eat whatever they want.

But I want it gone. For good!

Are you part of the #2014BloggerChallenge?

August Recap and September Goals

First of is it SEPTEMBER already?! This summer and year in general have completely flown by and it's so crazy that cooler days and nights are quickly approaching (well, who am I kidding, this summer has been a weird one and we've had some fall-like days and nights all summer long!).

My August goal was to take a step back and enjoy the rest of summer and I have done just that. I'm not gonna lie, it's been really really nice not blogging as much and just living life. I do intend to get back into it, but I'm definitely not going to be stressing anymore if I don't get a post up everyday or even on the day I had intended.

So, that being said. My goals for September are as follows:

  • Have fun in Montreal. I cannot wait for our anniversary trip. We haven't taken a trip together without kids and not for work in several years. It will be epic!
  • Kick my yeast issues in the butt. There will be a post to come about this, but I have been having serious yeast issues ever since I came back from a work trip in Kentucky a few weeks ago. I am so over it!
  • Cleaning out our yard as fall continues to make its arrival.
  • Figure out Cecily's birthday decorations and send out invitations. Last year I had her birthday planned out in July! This year, I have explored Pinterest some, but nothing concrete except for her invitations...ahem...Alan... :-)
Link up with us and share your monthly goals below! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rallying to Improve Birth

Labor Day has become a big day for the Improving Birth Movement; you might have seen photos of women with signs about what improving birth means to them on Facebook. All over the nation women are holding a Rally to Improve Birth - to advocate for evidence based maternity care. While I'm not able to attend my local rally (here's a link to a photo of me in the newspaper at the August ICAN meeting), I wanted to tell you how improving birth has affected me personally.

You can read Ewan and Cecily's full birth stories here and here, but the short version is that because of the cascade of interventions and failure to wait on behalf of the hospital staff, Ewan was born via c-section, I saw him for about a minute or two right after he was born and then didn't see him again until 3-4 hours later. I ultimately wound up with ptsd and ppd from the trauma of it all. I missed his first bath, his first photos, and what hurts probably most of all, I wasn't the first to hold him. With Cecily, I had a vbac. I was the first to hold her and she didn't leave my side except for the hearing screen, and we were outside the nursery watching.

I have no photos like the one above, which was taken immediately after Cecily was born. If I want to be completely honest, I don't really remember the first photo taken of me and Ewan. However, I remember every second of Cecily's birth.

What I do remember is feeling like a failure, like not only could I not birth my baby but I also couldn't feed him. I remember just bawling my eyes out and telling him I was so sorry that I failed him. That is my major memory of Ewan's birth, which is awful.

Almost four years later and I still get upset about how I was treated during labor and afterwards. I still want to kick myself for not finding the courage to switch providers the further along I got in my pregnancy because I just had this gut feeling that I didn't want to birth at that hospital or with those ob's. However, I am so thankful that I finally did find the courage to switch providers while pregnant with Cecily. It was the best decision I could have ever made. I went from a provider who doesn't "allow" vbac's to one who is very vbac supportive and actually practices evidence based care. It. Was. Amazing.

I guess if I were to make a sign for the rally, it would say: "I'm improving birth because no one has the right to dictate how I birth my baby."

How are you Improving Birth?
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