Family Room


Its been almost a year since we got our new Ikea section and we still love it! In this past year, I only washed the cushion slip covers twice. This is why I love gray slip covers so much! They hide all the stains, and believe me, we are not careful around this sofa, we watch TV, eat snacks and have drinks.

I ended up getting a new rug for this space. The rug I got last year was a pain to keep clean. You could see every stain and crumb on it, it drove me crazy. This is why I love jute rugs, they hide crumbs and little messes- a must have with little kids. 

I picked up a few new pillow covers from h&m (gotta love H&M prices) to freshen up the space for spring/summer and got a new palm plant for the corner. I love how bright and summery this space look now. 






-love this candle from h&m-



Thanks for visiting, 





Favorites in our Outdoor Space


It has been warming up here in the NW, and the fact that sun is here to stay for a while makes us very happy! We have a few little trips planned this summer, but I think the majority of the time will be spent in our back yard. From splashing in the kiddie pool, barbecuing our dinner, to camping out with  our friends.


We spend alot of time in our backyard. The  patio roof we had built two years ago was a great investment for our home.  Not only does add architectural interest to the the back to the house, but it is also practical. We get full sun back here in the afternoon, before we had the cover, we avoided being out here in the hot sun, now we have some shade and spend alot of time lounging out here.



One of the most common questions I get, is where our patio furniture is from. We chose the Woodbury pieces from the Hampton Bay line at Home Depot. We bought the Hampton Bay table set and the 3 piece patio set. I have washed and dried the chair dining cushions, and they were clean and good as new. The  slip covers on the 3 piece seating set are another story. Even though the slip covers come off to wash and air dry, they are  a bit difficult to put them back on. It is a good thing that the covers are under the patio and I don't have to do it very often. 







I may be a little weird, but I get excited for new household items like vacuums, or anything that makes my life a tiny bit easier ;). Its no secret that I like a clean house, so now that we are outside, I like it to be clean out here to, especially the patio area: the place we all come to relax and spend time together. 

Last Day of School



My little Em has finished 2nd grade! I can't believe that this school year has gone by so fast, perhaps it is because I am not the one going to school :). I remember that school would drag on and on when I was a child, I would count the days until summer break. 

I pulled up Emily's first day of school picture to see if she has grown/changed much. I only see a subtle change, her face has matured a tiny bit, although she is wearing the same frames , her prescription decreased, and she got a little taller.


Emily loved school and was sad to sad goodbye to her teacher and friends. She found out who her teacher will be next year and toured her new classroom. She will even have some friends with her next year. Emily has been saying only good things to her little brother Nico about school, and now he is excited about going to kindergarten next year. 

Next school year (which is only 2 1/2 months away) I will have two kids in school! How is that possible?! I will only have one kido at home with me. My husband asked me the other day,  what I am going to do with all my free time (ahem) I had to shoot him a glare. What does he think I do with all of my time, sit on the couch and eat cookies all day? Us moms don't get a break, there is always something to do:  clean, cook, run errands, pick up kids,  help with homework, bath time, and more cleaning. I told him that I will do exactly what I do right now, my job ;)

Now that we are on break, we can sleep in, play outside and soak in the sun. 

Happy summer you all :)




Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs




Now that summer is just around the corner, so is grilling season. I gave my grill a good cleaning after the long, wet winter and am so excited for all the barbecues we are going to have with our family and friends. 
This chicken is amazing! We all love it- even the kidos.  I make a few skewers for them without "vegetables", but the rest are loaded up with chicken, bell peppers, red onions and pineapple. Grilled pineapple is so good, especially when it is coated in this marinade. It caramels beautifully, I seriously would just eat skewers of grilled vegetables. 

You can print the recipe HERE
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1  tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and  pepper
  • 1  lb boneless, skinless chicken breast ( I use 2 chicken breast for our family of 5)
    • *chopped into cubes
  • 3 cups  fresh cubed pineapple 
  • 1 large green or red peppers, diced into cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced into  pieces

Directions:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. Stir in 3/4 tsp pepper and season with salt if desired. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Soak wooden skewer sticks in water for 1 hour

  • Preheat a grill over medium heat to 400 degrees. 
  • Thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used. Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill about 7 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side and allow to grill about 7 minutes longer. The chicken should be beautifully brown and caramelized. 

Thanks for visiting, 

Poppy Seed Muffins


There are two things I bake every week. Muffins and cookies. Muffins are quick and easy to make and they are something we can grab for a quick breakfast or as a snack.
 I have been alternating between my blueberry and strawberry muffins every week, which we all love, but I wanted to find a recipe for the perfect poppy seed muffin.   I have a tried a few and was always disappointed until I found this one. These muffins are delicious, moist and full of flavor. 

Recipe makes 24 muffins 
( I always freeze half, to have later)

Click to print recipe HERE


Ingredients


3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 TB poppy seeds
1 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
sliced almonds



Directions

  1. Beat together the wet ingredients: eggs, vegetable oil, milk and almond extract.

  1. Add the dry ingredients: sugar, salt, baking powder, flour and mix together. 

  2. Line muffin tins with muffins liners. Fill 3/4 full and sprinkle with sliced almonds. 
      Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown a toothpick inserted in 
      the enter should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. 


  1. Thanks for visiting, 



Pasta with Chicken & Sundried Tomatoes




I like making pasta dishes for dinner, because they are fast, easy and filling, plus my picky kids love eating almost any kind of pasta.  This pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese is so so so good ( I am not exaggerating) I will be putting  this recipe into my monthly menu rotation.  

The chicken breast is sauteed with garlic and sun dried tomatoes, and a creamy sauce is made in the same pot with half & half and asiago cheese. You can use a ziti or a penne pasta, both are perfect for the creamy sauce. You can also use a gluten free pasta if you prefer.

Ingredients
  • 1 8oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (sliced)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt/pepper 
  • paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half 
  • 1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Instructions
  1. In a large non stick skillet, heat 2 TB of olive oil, and add the jar of sliced sun dried tomatoes and minced garlic.  
  2. Sauté for about 3 minutes, add chopped chicken breast to the sun-dried tomatoes and oil - season the chicken in the skillet with approximately 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp paprika. Sauté chicken until golden brown.
  3. To the same skillet, with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, add 1 1/2 cup of half and half and bring to boil. Add grated Asiago cheese and stir to melt the cheese. Reduce the heat from boil to simmer and continue stirring to make sure all cheese melts.  Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce. Add spinach, toss everything together. 

Enjoy!


Thanks for visiting,