Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chipotle Beef Tacos

The week after we returned home from the hospital, my sweet friend Lisa brought over WAY too much food to help us out as we adjusted to being a family of three. One of the meals she brought was chipotle beef taco meat with all the fixings. As soon as we ate it, I texted Lisa and asked for the recipe. It was so good. Since then, I have tweaked it and changed some things up! This meal has been added to our bi-weekly rotation and we look forward to it every time. After being asked for the recipe by my parents, in-laws, and a couple friends, I thought it was time to make it public and share with the blogging world (or whoever still reads this little blog o' mine.)

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder (or just regular chili powder) 
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can Pinto Beans, drained 
  • 1 Zucchini, diced 
  • Salt, to taste 

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (I use my cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, onion, salt, and chili powder.

2. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.

3. Add the rotel, beans, and zucchini, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is just tender, about 6 minutes.

4. Serve with your favorite taco ingredients. We like ours on soft flour tortillas with avocado, cheese, and sour cream!

Just a tip: This meat freezes really well. If you want more to freeze, double the batch and put half in ziploc bags and lay flat to freeze!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Peyton Eve: Six Months

Well... that was the fastest 182 days of my life.

Six short months ago, we were meeting sweet Peyton for the first time. 26 weeks ago, our squishy little babe looked like this:

Now, we have an energetic, spunky little girl who continues to grow, change, and learn new things daily. This month was chocked-full of new and fun firsts for our little P-nut. (yes, the nicknames are out of control, but I just can't help myself. Haha) 

Peyton is still very comfortably wearing her 3-6 and 6 month clothes and in size 2 diapers. The other day, I accidentally opened up our saved stash of size 1 diapers and put one on Peyton. Ya'll, I literally thought my child had grown 5 lbs. overnight. There was no way the size 2 diaper I put on her the night before that overlapped in the front all of a sudden left gaps over her little baby thighs. #tiredmomprobz

Speaking of being tired, Peyton got her first cold this month and her first bout of diaper rash, causing her to wake up in the middle of the night again for a couple of weeks. I know I've been pretty lucky with my child sleeping 12 hours through the night from early on, but I definitely struggled these past few weeks right along with P. It's crazy how easy it is to forget what it's like to not sleep through the night. Luckily, that stage seems to have passed and we are all once again sleeping through the night. 

Peyton at SIX months:

Weight: 14 lbs. 8 oz. (20th Percentile)
Birth: 6 lbs. 10 oz.
Height: 26.5 inches (75th Percentile
Birth: 19 inches 
Head: 17 inches (76th Percentile)
Birth: 13.25 inches 

Peyton had her six-month well visit at the pediatrician's office this morning. She is healthy as can be thankfully and growing right on track! Dr. Strauss gave us the go-ahead to really start giving her food other than breastmilk, which is exciting and stressful at the same time. He recommended staying away from rice cereals and oatmeals and focusing more on fruits and vegetables to get her going. I bought a sweet potato and some avocados at the grocery store after the appointment that I think she will be testing out very soon! 

Oh haiii bunny! 
Peyton Loves: 
Sitting up 
Bouncing in her activity jumper 
Being outside 
Smacking her lips
Putting EVERYTHING into her mouth
Bath time

Peyton Hates: 
Being left alone 
Taking her late afternoon nap
Spending extended periods of time on her tummy...especially when toys are out of her reach. She still isn't attempting to crawl at this point either.

Overall, her loves still definitely outweigh her hates, and for that we're grateful! 

What's new this month:

1. I mentioned it earlier, but Peyton got her first cold this month. She was super stuffy and had a hard time sleeping for a couple of weeks, which was so sad and pathetic! Through the course of the cold, P developed a little cough, which only lasted for a couple of days. She did decide that she liked making the coughing noise though and continued to "fake cough" for a couple of weeks after, which was pretty funny once we realized it was in fact fake. 

2. P is getting SUPER close to rolling from back to front. I know she can do it, but the motivation is rarely there since she doesn't particularly like being on her tummy. If I put a toy just out of reach over her shoulder when she is on her back, she will turn her whole body and kick her back leg over to reach for the toy, eventually ending up on her tummy. Once she grabs the toy though, she is usually back on her back pretty quickly. 

3. On her 6-month birthday, I to antsy and decided to try to give homegirl something other than milk. We had a couple of bananas left over from the week, so I mashed a third of one up and mixed in some breast milk to make it more of a liquid consistency. She totally wasn't sure about it at first and just moved it around in her mouth, but swallowed some of it eventually and lit up with a huge grin. It was adorable. She only took a few spoonfuls though before deciding she was done and just wanted to play with the spoon. I think I'm going to introduce brown rice cereal next, followed by avocados and sweet potatoes (one at a time of course.) 

4. Peyton experienced her first snow! Our area got a little dusting this past month, which was kind of pathetic compared to the snow we've experienced the past few winters in New England. Peyton LOVED watching the snow fall out the window from her activity jumper so much that I had to take her outside to experience up close for a couple minutes. It was adorable and she seemed to really enjoy being outside "playing" in the snow. 

5. Peyton is a big girl now and can sit in the front of the shopping cart. She LOVES being able to look around and it has made grocery shopping so much easier and enjoyable! I love not having to put her car seat in the shopping cart and stuff our groceries around her. And she is much more content sitting up. On that note, she also sits in high chairs now at restaurants, which has been way better than trying to find a spot to put her car seat or stroller! Yay for our big girl! 

Thanks for the best 26 weeks of our lives so far, baby girl! We love you! 

6 month Photo Dump: 

P's first Valentine's Day 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Our New Englanders In Town

This past week, Rachel and Chris flew in for their winter break to spend some time with us. We had a blast showing them around town and making up for lost time. This was Rach's second visit to Georgia. She first came to visit when Peyton was just a few weeks old and I had all these big plans for her time her. However, sleep got the better of me that trip and we mostly spent our time together snuggling the baby and hanging out on the couch. Whoops. This time, however, we were all better rested and ready to take on the city together!

Our friends flew in Monday evening, so I headed to the airport to get them while Ryan finished up at the office. We all met back at the house and spent our first night together catching up over bowls of chili I had made in the crock pot.

Tuesday happened to be Ryan's birthday. While Ryan worked (boo), the four of us went out to lunch at Chick-fil-a. It was Chris's first time and I'm pretty sure he walked away a fan. After lunch, we drove around Kennesaw checking out the area surrounding our potentially new house. (**Side note: Ryan and I went house hunting for the first time two weeks ago after receiving a message from our landlords stating that they were looking to sell their house. We weren't expecting to actually like anything enough to consider putting an offer down. But, we did, and we ended up putting an offer on the house a couple of days ago.) Later that evening, Chris, Rachel, Peyton, and I met Ryan and Jake at the Butcher and Bottle in Canton for Ryan's birthday dinner.

On Wednesday, Ryan had to work again, so the four of us decided to walk around the outlet mall after Peyton's nap. We ate lunch at Taqueria Tsunami before Rachel decided Peyton NEEDED her first Kate Spade item and got her  her very own key chain. We're raising a princess over here, ya'll!
Wednesday evening, we ordered take-out from La Parilla and spent the night playing Exploding Kittens. This is seriously my new favorite game. It's SO fun and hilarious too! We drank too much and stayed up too late, but we had a blast and definitely made some good memories. Luckily, Ryan took Thursday off, so he didn't have to go into work hung over!

 Thursday,  we met Ryan's parents and our realtor back over at the house we were interested in to check it out and do another walk-through before putting an offer in. Afterwards, we drove into Atlanta to grab lunch and walk around Ponce City Market before doing a brewery tour at Sweetwater. It was a beautiful day, so we decided to walk the beltline for a little while. Around 4, we were pretty much done at the market but still had an hour and a half to kill before the brewery tours started, so we decided to just head back towards Canton and stop at Reformation Brewery instead. We love this brewery and have been a handful of times with Peyton. #bestparentsever

We hung out at the brewery until they closed, ordering pizza from Papa John's to go with our beers! We couldn't finish our tickets in time, so we traded them in for a six pack of Stark and a 22 oz bottle of Cadence! Win! Back at the house, we put Peyton to bed and played a couple more rounds of Exploding Kittens before calling it a night.

The kind of crazy stuff that happens when you drink too much. Sorry P for reenacting your birth six months later! 
Friday morning, I sadly drove our friends back to the airport and said our goodbyes. This was such a wonderful trip and we feel so blessed to have found them in Boston, even if Chris didn't want to meet us for pizzer and beahs on our first double date. We love you guys and are looking forward to our trip up in April!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Philly Cheesesteaks

Lately, I've been getting requests for some new and trusted recipes. Apparently, the baby posts aren't enough for you people?! I kid. Anyways.... I like to try a couple new recipes every week, but to fill in the gaps I have a list of go-to's that are always in the rotation. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some of my favorites for ya'll to maybe test out yourselves!

When Ryan and I lived in New Jersey, we frequented a couple of Philly cheesesteak spots around town. Ever since then, we've tried to find a place that makes cheesesteaks as good as the originals, but have struck out every time! A couple months ago, we decided to try our hand at homemade cheesesteaks just for the fun of it. While I'm not sure anything could ever truly compare to the little local convenience store cheesesteaks in Cinnaminson, these turned out to be a pretty good alternative!


  • 1 lb. Ribeye Steaks
  • 1 pkg. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Onion, sliced thin 
  • 2 Hoagie Rolls 
  • 2 tbsp. Butter 
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste 


 1. Slice or cube the steaks into very thin pieces. Normally, I slice. This time I was feeling lazy, so I took the easy route and cubed.

2. Place a tbsp. of butter in the pan and melt. Add mushrooms and onions (and peppers if you'd like) and cook until onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Set onion/mushroom mixture aside and put the remaining tbsp. of butter in the pan. Add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring around. Don't overcook! Again, add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the mushroom mixture back into the pan and stir everything up. Separate into quarters in the pan. Place sliced cheese on top of each quarter and melt for about 1 minute.

5. Transfer each quarter into a hoagie roll. Wrap the hoagie rolls up tightly with tin foil and place in the oven at 275 degrees for 5-10 minutes.