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!
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!


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

    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)

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!


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!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Toddler Talk

Cataloging a few funny things heard around our house lately...
While recapping how she got her shiner...
Mommy: What happened to your eye at school?
Caroline: I bumped my head in the wall.
Mommy: Does it hurt?
Caroline: Yeaaaaaaahhh.
Mommy: Do you need me to kiss your boo boo?
Caroline: No, I need a bitamin.
Running to find me in the kitchen...
Caroline: Mooooooooommmyyyyyy!!!
Mommy: Yes?
Caroline: Thomas naughty in bafroom.
Thomas: (giggling and shredding a roll of toilet paper)

After stealing my chapstick out of my purse...
Mommy: NO! We do NOT color the floor with mommy's chapstick!
Caroline: (starts rubbing chapstick on lips instead)
Mommy: Please go put that back in mommy's purse.
Caroline: (turns and walks towards purse...drags chapstick along the wall on the way)

While helping me pour brownie mix into the mixer...
Caroline: Ew. Mommy. Dirt! 

Mommy: Can you color a thank you card?
Caroline: YES!
Left unattended for 5 minutes with markers...
After letting the kiddos stay up late to open Thomas' last birthday present - a firetruck.
Caroline: Oh! Caroline's!
Thomas: (excitedly reaching for firetruck fresh out of the package)
Caroline: NO! Mommy! Thomas go night night!!!

Previous Toddler Talk (CGM at 16 mo)


Friday, July 15, 2016

Five on Friday {Giveaway}!

Happy Friday!
Photo by Taylor Stading Photography
one. I obviously have a full birthday post coming soon. But in the meantime I have to share the cutest picture of little Tom Tom from his party last weekend! His seersucker overall Jon Jon is on super sale at Smocked Auctions. And my fabulous friend Sara added his name and popsicles!
two. This week we made one of my favorite HelloFresh meals yet - Seared Steak & Nectarine Salad. This is one of those recipe cards I definitely saved to make again and again. The prep time is truly 5 minutes, there are minimal ingredients and the total time from opening the box to diving in was actually 25 minutes. I loved the steak but am excited to make it again with chicken, pork chops, etc. You can make it yourself too! Download the recipe PDF here.

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.
As previously seen on SnapChat
three. Thank you all for your suggestions in regards to Caroline's newest nighttime "phase." As much as I loved and laughed at the duct tape suggestions it unfortunately did not pass the approval process in our house so we tried footless backwards jammies and it actually worked. So now I am on the hunt for a sale on footless, zip-up, onesie pajamas that Caroline can't wiggle out of. Let me know if you know of any sales going on so I can stock up!
four. I am always on the hunt for new beauty products and earlier this summer I scooped up a few items from Pixi by Petra. Between the pretty green packaging and solid reviews for sensitive skin I figured they were worth the shot (not a sponsored review by the way). First, my favorite part about the products as a whole is how moisturizing and lightweight they are. I've been using them for a few months now and love the calming and hydrating ingredients - camomile, rose water, green tea, etc.

The H20 Skin Tint foundation is a moisture replenishing face gel with the perfect amount of color to hide flaws and blemishes yet also gives you a light summer glow.

The H20 Skin Drink may be my favorite product. It really is a thirsty skin relief drink for your face! This product is my favorite one because I have the driest skin ever and can never find products that keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. But this one does! I use this product first as a primer before applying my makeup.

Lastly, I use the translucent Finishing Powder to seal my makeup! 

I would love to know if there are any other Pixi products you've tried and love! I'm slowing building my collection!
five. GIVEAWAY! I'm sure by now you've seen LuLaRoe popping up in your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Last year I received my first pair of buttery soft, flattering leggings as a mastectomy recovery gift which I lived in them for months. I own a lot of leggings (to Matt's dismay), mostly from Target, Gap and small boutiques but most of them start to wear a bit after a few washes. However, the LLR leggings live up to the hype - they are super great quality (thick but not warm), come in a forgiving (hello stretchy!) one size fits all, can be dressed up or down and are available in a collection of plain or fun colorful patterns. I literally never want to take these leggings off. Caroline agrees and loves her LLR leggings too...
Buuuuuuut LLR doesn't stop at leggings! There is an entire clothing line of dresses, skirts, tunics and more. I also have the Julia Dress which basically feels like I'm wearing the softest pajamas ever yet manage to look office-ready.  The Julia Dress is a knee length, fitted dress which is usually not a flattering style for me but I was impressed with how it fit. I also love that I can bunch of the dress in areas I want to hide (ex: post baby belly pooch). Also, the quality of this dress is similar to most of my local boutique dresses and wash really well.
Want to make a purchase or learn more about LLR? Check out Becca's Facebook and/or Instagram for all sorts of amazing LLR products! She is always offering new items! 

GIVEAWAY: 4 Pairs of LuLaRoe Leggings!

Now for the part you've been waiting for...a GIVEAWAY! Because Becca is so generous and excited to spread the LLR love by helping you start your collection, she is giving away (1) pair of LuLaRoe Leggings to (4) Carolina Charm readers! Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends Tuesday night. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter and notified by email on Wednesday! Good luck!

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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