Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

 Happy Hump Day! Happy Wednesday!  Happy Two-Days-Til-Football-Season!

I'm LOVING this sweet girl and her fashionista tendencies.  She has her new purse on (which she always wears around her neck like this), a pair of sunglasses I got at an event, and my shoes.  We are in big trouble when the teenage years hit.
 I'm LOVING a full fridge just after a big run to the store.  I know I am so blessed to be able to have all of these choices right in my very own house.  It also means lots of cooking is going on here this week!
 I'm LOVING that Katie has been rather arsty this week! She is really enjoying coloring in her Smurfs coloring book and doing her Hello Kitty paint with water.  I am hoping this means we are stepping out of this intensive Elmo phase!
 I'm LOVING Facebook shopping.  There are lots of moms that have started boutique type clothing stores with their own Facebook page.  There are also moms that have pages where they are trying to sell the clothes their kids have outgrown.  Lastly, I have recently loved finding a page where you can find people that are looking for/trying to sell clothes with certain monograms and names/letters.  So far, I have found a lady that has a little girl with Katie's same initials who is a couple of years older - YAY! That means I can buy monogrammed things from her for less.  And this cute outfit came from another mom who has a Katie!
 I'm LOVING that we found the little mini Pillow Pets yesterday.  And of all places, we found them at Office Depot!  Katie picked this little ladybug - it is so cute!  On the way home, we talked about what to name her.  I suggsested names like Lady, Dotty, Dots, etc.  When we got home, she held her up proudly and said PRISSY!  So, Katie has named her first stuffed animal.  And goodness gracious - Prissy?! Again, we are in big trouble...
 I'm LOVING my new decoration in my dome.  I may be putting fall type things out a little early, but I just love this little pumpkin I found at Hobby Lobby!
 I'm LOVING these placemats I found for Katie!  Hoping it means learning while making less of a mess at the dinner table!
 I'm LOVING that we got free dinner last night!  A new restaurant is opening and they opened their doors for folks to have dinner on them in order to train their staff.  You had to have a special postcard to have reservations, and it was really hectic, but it was FREE!  And it was yummy!  I wish I had known that I could have ordered multiple pizzas to bring home...oh well!  And Katie loved that they give little pieces of dough to the kids to play with while they wait!

What are YOU loving today?? Link up {HeRe}!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fabulous Facelift!

....Or at least I think so! What do you think? I found this cute template and I'm quite pleased!  I do wish I could add a picture to the header and maybe choose a different, more fun font for the blog title.  I emailed the website where I found the template, so hopefully they can offer some suggestions.  But for now, I think it'll do!! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Potty Outtakes

As I mentioned previously, we attempted the start of potty training last week. After that experience (which actually was not horrible), and reading a few books, I think we are going to have to go about things a little differently. I have been so busy with work that it has been hard for me to devote a lot of time to just the potty training. So I think it is going to take blocking out a few days and really working on it. I have a few books about potty training in a day and another book about a three day potty training method. I think I will take a look through all of these and see what I think will have the best outcome since I do think I know Katie best :)

But I wanted to do a little recap of our efforts last week. We started with the necessities...a potty chair, big pile of clean panties, cup full of juice (special treat to make her drink more), and her potty treat jar...

And we started things outside (which I think when we really buckle down, we will not be outside at all). Let the hydration begin!
And then potty time. Hoping an Elmo potty book (with sound effects and all) would help inspire her!

Helping her big Elmo take a picture with her Elmo camera. And I will point out that I think when we attempt this again, we won't "camp out" on the potty. We will sit and if there isn't any action in the first few seconds, we will continue about activities. In real life, she isn't going to just sit on the potty for 20 minutes on end to try to pee.

After reading a book, she decided she would frame her face! So silly.

And Sadie was pretty curious about what we were up to.

So, after doing a little reading and seeing how it went last week, I think we will leave the potty chair in the bathroom (a very normal location) and try to go cold turkey with the diapers to panties transition. This requires having me right there with her, and if she starts to pee, rushing her to the toilet. I also need to go through these other books as well - I know one of them suggested having a doll that can drink and pee, so we have that ready to go too. Another suggested having at least 20 pairs of clean panties on standby (knowing we'd be having some accidents and need changes of panties), so I think we are set there now (after purchasing some Hello Kitty ones at Target today). The thing I hate is cleaning up all the pee accidents on the floor. If anyone has any suggestions on what to include in my "tool belt for cleanup", please do share! I will hopefully have a potty trained child sometime VERY soon!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Foodie Fridays

It's that time again! That's right, it's time for....

And I still haven't had a chance to redo the colors in that logo - will try to work on that this weekend. I love turquoise, but it's just not doing it for me on that logo!

This week, I made a pretty delicious meal (if I do say so myself)! Tuesday night we had Crockpot Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken, Coconut Rice, Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake with Nutella Banana Bread for dessert. And yum. That's really all I can say about it! And it was so easy too - plus, it made the house smell delicious throughout the afternoon, so by dinnertime, I could hardly contain myself!

I always love trying new recipes - especially when they turn out so yummy! And it makes it more fun to have the neighbors come over and enjoy it with us. There is a Publix grocery store in our neighborhood and I love going in there when they are offering samples of meals to try. They also sell their little cookbooks with probably 50+ cards of various recipes - I bought one, and they are only $4.99! I may be offering this as a giveaway sometime soon in honor of my Foodie Fridays, so stay tuned for that. I promise you won't be disappointed!

In taking photos of my yummy creations, one thing I have discovered is that I am definitely not so talented in the "food styling" department. My dishes never look as pretty as the ones pictured in cookbooks. But I guess the real thing that matters is how they taste. And I highly recommend these recipes!

There are a couple of things I would change though - in the Crockpot Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken, I would maybe use a little less soy sauce. That may be more of a personal taste though - it seemed like the soy taste outweighed the teriyaki taste. And with the coconut rice, I would not put as much coconut as it called for - the rice was pretty sweet. Although the combination of those two dishes created perfect harmony to my taste buds! And I also added a little Cavender's green seasoning - I think it was the perfect addition!

Happy Cooking! And Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! These last few weeks sure feel like they've flown by! Whew!

Here's what I'm LOVING today! ...

I'm LOVING the ballerina party idea featured at THIS BLOG! I especially love these tutus she made for all of the kids that attended.
I'm LOVING this bucket hat that I bought from Zulily for Miss Priss - she loves to wear hats when she's playing at home. I wonder if I can get her to wear hats as part of an outfit??

I'm LOVING that Zulily had Madame Alexander dolls! My grandmother gave me several of these when I was little. I ordered this one for Katie to start a small collection for her. These dolls are collectible type things and are so expensive, so I was glad to get a great deal on this one!

I'm LOVING Nutella! It is dangerous to even have it in the house...I can eat it on just about everything. I made a Nutella Banana Bread yesterday, so I had to buy it...darn! ;) Come back on Foody Friday to see that recipe!

I'm LOVING this sweet girl. She is so much fun. And it is amazing the things she is doing these days. I really need to do a post so I can remember the funny things she's been doing and saying! And I have to say - I'm LOVING her outfit too! Flit & Flitter makes some of THE cutest things!

What are YOU loving today??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Potty Tales

Well, last night I decided I would give potty training a try today. We got up this morning and got ready. Then we had to head to the store to pick up some things for dinner tonight (and I still have to go back because I forgot one thing - hate that)! When we got home, I gave Katie a bunch of juice/water (so that she would soon have the urge to pee pee) and put some Elmo panties on her. We headed outside so she could play and I had her sit on the potty every few minutes to try to pee pee! We tried for an hour and there was no pee - in the panties OR potty! She got tired of being outside and wanted to go in, so inside we went. I was trying to keep it outside in hopes of if there was an accident, it would be no biggy outside. Well, when we came inside, I kept helping her sit on the potty to try. When she would get off the potty, I put on these training pants instead (like panties on the inside but waterproof). Well, the minute I put that on her, she peed in the first pair. Bring on round two...she peed in that one as well (even after sitting on the potty for minutes at a time). After putting on her fourth pair of panties, she finally went pee pee in the potty - a big one! She was SO proud! And then she was playing and went pee on the floor. I put her diaper on her so she could eat lunch and then let her sit on the potty afterwards - another pee pee!! She was so excited! And so was momma! I'd say 2 pees in the potty and 3 wet pairs of panties is a-okay for the first go at potty training. And I changed our treat system. We are now doing one treat for sitting on the potty and trying, two treats for a pee pee, and will do three treats for a poop. I guess I need to just keep at it as best I can. I welcome ANY suggestions, advice, books to read, etc! Help a momma out! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dentist Day

This morning we headed out to Katie's second dentist appointment! And she did SO great! This visit was more of a "real visit" - they cleaned her teeth, flossed, and did a fluoride treatment! And then her dentist came and did a once over - and she cooperated every step of the way! I was wondering how it would go, but she did great. And she loved getting a new toothbrush! Here are a few pictures of our QUICK visit - they had us in and out in 20 minutes! Wow!

{she did GREAT with the teeth cleaning! it did help that they have TVs on the ceiling and she was watching Sesame Street....}
{applying the fluoride!}

{showing off her clean pearly whites!}

{after she was finished, she got to put a sticker on the wall with her name on it and today's date - I think that is a cute idea! she also loved getting a toy out of the toy bin since she was so good.}

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One Word...A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

This past Wednesday, we headed out to dinner and then to the Maroon 5 and Train concert. It was a blast! We met some friends downtown and ate dinner and then walked across the street to the concert. The opening act, Gavin DeGraw, had to cancel because of injuries he sustained after some guys attacked him. So we didn't show up for the opening act - we had never heard of them! We actually got there for the very end, and I must say I'm glad we didn't sit through it. So we got there, got settled, and were ready. The first act to perform was Maroon 5. I loved every minute of it - I think there were only 2 songs I didn't recognize! Adam Levine is amazing. I'm pretty sure I will be a faithful viewer of The Voice this next season...he is easy on the eyes (minus all the tattoos)! He sounds the exact same in person as on the radio edit, which I am way impressed by! And Train was next - again, amazing! It's neat to be reminded of all the hits these groups have had over the years. And what a very fun concert. I was tempted to check and see where they were playing this weekend and try to see them again!

Tanja & me! We've been friends since fun!
Me with the Hubs

Maroon 5!!

Tanja and I bought matching t-shirts. I think that's the first time I've ever bought a shirt at a concert. I think it is so cute - and it is super soft too!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Foodie Fridays

Hooray for FRIDAY!! And I made a fun little graphic for the series - you like? I'm thinking I need to change the turquoise to maybe coral or dark pink/reddish. We will see what I can come up with! Anyways, it is that time again! And today's feature is a Publix recipe, Green Chile Chicken Over Asparagus. And it was a definite success. It had a bit of a kick (thanks to the creole seasoning and green chiles), but it was amazing. I also served caesar salad with it! The recipe is just below...
1 lb fresh asparagus spears
4 boneless, skinless chicken filets (2 lbs)
1 tbsp zesty creole seasoning
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp + 3/4 cup water, divided
3/4 cup plain Green (or regular) yogurt
1 (1.25-oz) packet broccoli soup mix (found in the produce section of my store)
1/4 cup diced green chiles (in a can) STEPS:
1. Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Coat both sides of chicken with creole seasoning. Place oil in pan, then add chicken; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Arrange asparagus spears over chicken. Add 2 tbsp water and cover; cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees and asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus to serving plates; top with chicken.
3. Whisk together 3/4 cup water, yogurt, and dry soup mix in small saucepan; bring just to a boil on medium. Reduce heat to low and stir in green chiles; simmer 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
And for dessert, we had pineapple skewers drizzled with caramel sauce. It was delicious! You just get chunks of pineapple, put 4-5 on a skewer, and drizzle with caramel sauce. It's that easy! And it tastes so good! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big, Big Elmo

On Tuesday, a locally owned toy store had an Elmo Meet & Greet!! I love that they send out their calendar of activities at the beginning of each month - so many fun things! That was the first time we had been to this store, and it was amazing! I could stay in there for hours! Katie was excited about the idea of seeing Elmo, but she did want to even get close to him! This was how her visit started.

We met some friends there and they played with some of the toys out in the store. Then they went together to say hi to Elmo again. I suggested Katie show the blocks that she had been playing with (and that she had put in a shower caddy for tweens) to Elmo. She LOVED bonding over the blocks with Elmo!
And then they became BFF. Katie was giving him high fives and booms. And she can't stop talking about the "big, big, big Elmo". Those have been the first words out of her mouth in the mornings. We will definitely be going to see Elmo whenever he is back at the store!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy, happy Wednesday, y'all!! I think it is going to be a good day. Miss Priss and I are going to spend some time at the pool - it has been way too long since we've done that! Now, it's time to talk about what I'm loving today!

I'm loving that I finally have a four generation picture scheduled! I've been wanting to do that for over a year and I'm so excited! I had bought a Groupon and I decided a four generation session would be just perfect!

I'm loving Pinterest. I only spent about 10 minutes on there yesterday and could immediately tell I would be in big trouble! I love it! Wanna follow me? Find me ... acoulter11!

I'm loving these two. They are pretty wonderful.

I'm loving how much Katie is loving her swim lessons! Today will be the second to last lesson - she has learned so much!
I'm loving this hand towel hanging in our kitchen!

I'm loving these new fabrics I bought yesterday! I am also SUPER excited that a friend is letting me borrow a sewing machine! She is bringing it over tomorrow night to teach me the basics on it :) I can't WAIT to play with it!

I'm loving that I finally put a picture in that frame! I think I won it about a year and a half ago and I just put a picture in it this past weekend. I've got to do better about that!

I'm loving the new Very Hungry Caterpillar collection at PBK!! Seeing this bathroom makes me want to re-do Katie's bathroom....I just LOVE it!
I'm LOVING that we are headed to a concert tonight! That isn't something we do very often, and I cannot wait! We are going to see Train and Maroon 5! I especially love Maroon 5's latest song, "Moves Like Jagger" - so fun!

What are YOU loving today? Care to share? Link up HERE!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekend of Firsts

Whew! What a big weekend we had! It was jam-packed with fun activities for sure. I think I still am catching up on sleep! I wanted to highlight some of the fun firsts othat ths weekend had for us!

{Katie chewed her first gum on Friday! It looked just like one of those pink gumballs in that picture. We ate lunch with some friends and she wanted a ball out of the jar just like everyone else. She held it for abount 10 minutes. I kept checking on her to make sure it was still in her hand. And on one of my checks, I noticed a pink stained hand and something huge in her mouth. I pulled into the nearest gas station and grabbed the hunk of chewing gum out. She had been actually chewing it just like anyone else would! She was not too thrilled about me taking it from her. I wonder if she would have kept chewing it or tried to swallow it. Hm. Regardless, I'm glad I caught it just in time!}
{Katie's first ride! We went to the local fair on Friday night and met some friends there. They had lots of kiddie rides and we put Katie on one with our friends' kids. Don't they all look adorabloe? I especially love that Katie loved her pigtails! Katie did great on this ride - likely because she was with her friends. We tried to put her on one with doggies and she went around once and started screaming. She also went on the humongous slide with Brad - ya know, the one that is like 2 or 3 stories tall? She sat in Brad's lap and loved every second of it.}

{First football game of the season! Brad and I went to the first Titans preseason game with a bunch of friends. We had amazing seats - 4th rows away from actually sitting on the bench with the players. Pretty awesome. Also helps that they won!}
{My mom and I went to see The Help on Sunday night. I say this is a first because I could most definitely go see it a second and maybe even a third time. Loved it. Makes me want to read the book again!}

{And I just threw this in there for fun - there aren't too many pictures of me with my momma on here! There also aren't very many pictures at ALL where my mom's eyes are all the way open. What are we gonna do with her??}