Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday!
one. On our way home from breakfast last weekend Caroline made a very serious request to stop at Home Depot. I thought Matt was going to abruptly pull the truck over to give her a hug. Without hesitation he said "YES, baby girl, we will absolutely go to Home Depot!" And so we went to wander the exciting aisles of sprinkler timers, mosquito sprays, plants and more. While Matt loaded up on 18 bags of mulch the peanut gallery supervised from the cart over a box of raisins. 
two. If you live in the South you know how evil mosquitoes can be during the summer months. I swear I used to spend half of our outside time chasing my kiddos with a bottle of bug spray. So when my friend Lisa introduced me to the Thermacell, a magical mosquito repellent device, our outdoor world changed! While stocking up on Thermacell refills during our aforementioned Home Depot run I came across a new Thermacell product - the Patio Lantern! Oh, happy day! We now use the lantern for outside play and use our smaller thermacell for wagon rides, picnics, park dates, etc. 
three. A few weeks ago Matt took my watch to the jewelry store to get the battery replaced and when he returned home he had the best and sweetest surprise - a beautiful cross necklace that I haven't taken off since he gave it to me!
Matt has been known to surprise me with jewelry "just because!" from time to time. How did I get so lucky?
Also, the fam caught me mid-selfie and wanted in on the action.
four. Recently we restocked Caroline's hair bow collection. And since baby girl has outgrown her bows we went up an inch in bow size. So Caroline's new summer outfit is a diaper and 5" solid bow. And because her hair is slooooooooowly  coming in we clip her bows to elastic headbands. You can find a full hair bow post here.
five. I received 4 more promo codes to give my friends a FREE box of HelloFresh meals! I'd be happy to send the first FOUR people to leave their email address in the comments a free week of HelloFresh to try!  

Also, my favorite recent HelloFresh recipe - Summertime Pork Schnitzel! I've always loved shake & bake but this recipe takes it to a whole new delicious level but still keeps the prep under 10 minutes! So good. You can find the print recipe here.


Not one of the first 4 to comment but still want to try HelloFresh? Use promo code MG8GKD for $40 off your first box! That means you can try out HelloFresh for $29 and then cancel after your box arrives or keep on going.
Wishing you a weekend that looks this happy!
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Wanna join April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche

Over the weekend I made a new quiche that is definitely worth sharing with my fellow breakfast lovers (or breakfast for dinner lovers). Full disclosure, this recipe takes 3 hours and 10 minutes to get on your breakfast table. Most of the time is spent baking in the oven but you should definitely keep that in mind when preparing for an early morning breakfast.
TIP #1: The recipe comes from Southern Living which automatically makes it reliably delicious meal in my book. However, in reading the reviews I noticed a lot of cooks had issues with the springform pan. A lot of people ended up with their quiche at the bottom of their oven - yikes. So to completely eliminate that risk I slightly adapted the recipe by using a pie crust. 
TIP #2: The use of a pie crust allows for lots of leftover ingredients so keeping the bake time in mind I served the leftover cheese grits for breakfast and saved the quiche for lunch to avoid any hungry toddler meltdowns. You could probably makes two quiches with the ingredients if you're using pie crusts. 


Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche

Ingredients
    6 thick bacon slices
    2 1/4 cups milk
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
    6 large eggs
    2 1/2 cups half-and-half
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup sliced green onions (leave out if freezing)
    1 pre-made frozen pie crust (optional)

Instructions
 
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon; drain and crumble. Transfer 2 tsp. bacon drippings to a saucepan.

2. Bring drippings, milk, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in grits, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; cook, whisking constantly, 15 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheese; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 1 egg; spread in a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray or directly into a pie crust.

3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set and browned. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese over warm grits, spreading to edges. Let stand 15 minutes.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Combine half-and-half, cream, onions, and remaining 5 eggs, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pour over grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lightly browned and just set. Let stand 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of quiche; remove sides of pan.
Print recipe for Bacon & Cheddar Grits Quiche.

Also, I thought the video was super helpful to watch:
I always struggle to come up with meals for dropping off on porches of families in need, new parents, housewarming gifts, etc. that isn't pasta or a casserole. Quiche is so versatile and can be enjoyed for breakfast with a biscuit or dinner with an arugula side salad. It can be made ahead of time, is easily frozen for later and can be made as healthy or indulgent as you want.
 
Happy cooking!
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Friday, July 22, 2016

Five on Friday {& Giveaways}!

Happy Friday! Our house is finally on the mend from sickness, kind of. Last week Thomas had the absolute worst case of hand-food-mouth which kept him (and me) home and miserable from Thursday until Monday. Oh, and I had a sinus infection too. But he and I are finally all better... although Matt is starting to show the same early symptoms of my sinus infection. Ah, the fun life of being a daycare family! But don't feel bad for me because this week has got progressively more awesome by the day...
one. Wednesday I got to sneak away to Asheville (one of my very favorite cities) for a work event at the Grove Park Inn! I did have to work but I got to do it from an outdoor terrace overlooking the mountains. With cocktails. And delicious meals. And without an early wake up call in the form of banging on the wall. Oh, and I may have enjoyed a massage in an outdoor pagoda overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.
A huge thank you to Levana for providing me with this monitor to review.
two. When Thomas came along we moved Caroline's monitor to his room and figured we didn't need a second monitor for her room since we was sleeping through the night consistently. What a mistake. Since she hit two there have been SO many nights we wonder what the heck she is doing in there after we put her to bed but are too afraid to peek inside her room in fear of having to start the 40 minute bedtime routine all over. Thanks to Levana we can now intercept her pj stripping, observe her throwing all of the contents of her crib overboard and laugh at her conversations with her animals and dolls.

Here are the top 5 reasons we love the Levana - Alexa LCD Video Monitor:
  1. The screen is HUGE and the image quality is super sharp during both day and night.
  2. The range is 500 feet so we can easily watch the kiddos from the backyard after they go to sleep.
  3. The two way communication allows us to fire off a warning before going in to Caroline's room. Sometimes this works. Sometimes she just laughs at us. But it's nice to have the feature.
  4. Time and temperature! Our other monitor has temperature but not the time which is the most annoying thing in the world. 
  5. Customizable feeding and nap timer. This isn't a feature we need but I could totally see it being perfect for those early months when feeding and nap schedules are so important.
three. Today is the last day to enter my Instagram giveaway - $100 to Kate Hudson's new "athleisure" line - Fabletics! Tag a friend on my Instagram post to win! Also, for anyone local to Charlotte, the Fabletics grand opening at South Park Mall is this Saturday, July 22 from 11 am - 2 pm  Everything will be 20% off and there will be free champagne! Event details here!
four. What our meal planning looks like when I skip a HelloFresh delivery. Fail.
Piñatagram: An 11”x 8” piñata that arrives naked (outside of a box) with a custom message and is filled with sweets to make someone’s day--smiles guaranteed. $19.99 plus shipping. Note: Shipping takes 3-7 days.
five. I have some more really fun giveaway news! A few weeks ago I posted about the Piñatagram I sent my sister to congratulate her on her promotion and apparently many of you loved the (non-sponsored) gift idea as much as me! Well, Piñatagram noticed and their Chief Piñata Officer contacted me with an offer to give away (1) free Piñatagram to (3) readers! Pretty cool, right?! Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below. The contest will end Tuesday and the winner will be announced back here on Wednesday. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not a winner but still want to send a Piñatagram? We have a little something for ya! Enter promo code NORTHCAROLINAFREESHIP at checkout for free shipping on one Piñatagram!

One last PSA - My #NSale shopping has been super lame and nothing really to showcase on the blog. However, while stocking up on new bras last weekend Caroline pointed out to me that there is a huge Hanky Panky sale - 4 for $54! So if you hate spending full price and need to add to your collection, I highly recommend checking Nordys! Time to stock up! There are 10 color options available!
Wanna join April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our three blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!
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