Top Picks to Get Summer Started

It’s getting to feel like summer (FINALLY!!!!) here in Chicago. And the weather has sparked my inner shopping bug, DIY’er and fashionista. Here are some summer picks that have caught my eye!

Aztec Maxi Skirt by 3 Brunettes Boutique

The F World Cuff” from Stella Valle – Seriously, if money was no object this cuff would be on my wrist pronto.

DIY Rainbow Whole Fruit Ice Pops recipe from 84th & 3rd

Monogrammed, Chevron Duffle Bag by Blue Suede Stitches – perfect for all our stuff between soccer and ballet classes!

Unique, Summer Design Koozies by Sew Wonderfully Jamie over on Etsy.com

 

(Photo credit)

 

A Mini Meatloaf Recipe for the Man-Boy In Your Life

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You remember Chaz from Wedding Crashers? If the image of Will Ferrell strutting it in his bathrobe doesn’t come to mind perhaps his signature line will.

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My husband loves that movie and what he loves even more is this recipe I have for goat-cheese and prosciutto stuffed meatloaf. The meatloaves are individually sized so you can increase or reduce this recipe based on how many people you’re cooking for. This dish is super easy, and take it for me as I have never cooked a “full” meatloaf in my life – crazy I know (how do I refer to myself as a homemaker and never cooked a traditional meatloaf. But somehow I carry on.)

 

So for the hungry, hungry man in your life OR if you really want to impress people with a different dish, here are the ingredients you’ll need.

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Ingredients for Meatloaf Mixture:

1 1/2 cups of spinach (about 2 handfuls)

1 tbsp of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 lb of ground turkey

2/3 cup of marinara sauce (heat up the remainder of sauce on stove top for the finished meatloaf)

1 cup of bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 – 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning

1/2 – 1 tbsp of oregano

1/2 tbsp of garlic powder

1 tbsp of onion flakes

1 tsp of basil

1/4 tsp of ground pepper

Ingredients for Stuffing:

1 cup of ricotta cheese

4  oz. of goat cheese

1/8 tsp of ground pepper

1/2 tbsp of basil

1/2 tbsp of parsley

pinch of salt

3-4 slices of mozzarella

3 – 4 slices of prosciutto

Directions:

1. Heat up pan with olive oil and saute minced garlic in pan for a couple minutes. Place fresh spinach in pan and wilt down the greens (takes usually about 5 minutes). In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

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2. Chop up spinach and place in large mixing bowl.

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3. Combine additional ingredients for meatloaf mixture – ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, onion flakes, basil and ground pepper. Kneed mixture together with hands and shape into 3-4 “mini” meatloaves. 

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4. In separate mixing bowl, place ricotta and goat cheese in together and breakdown to mix with a fork. This will help smooth out and mix the cheeses together. Then add in ground pepper, basil, parsley and salt.

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5. Take your slices of mozzarella, spread cheese mixture over entire slice of mozzarella and then roll up.

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6. Spread out a single slice of prosciutto, and then roll the prosciutto over the “cheese roll”.

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7. While holding individual meatloaf dig out in the middle an area for the prosciutto/cheese roll to sit in. Then place prosciutto/cheese roll in center and fold over sides of meatloaf to close up the loaf. Once all “mini” loaves are complete place in a 9×13 pan.

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8. Place in oven which should now be at 400 degrees. Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes. I usually bake for 40 to get a crispier crust. Then I drizzle some of the leftover marinara sauce over the meatloaf.

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Bon Appetit! Or as I say in my house, “Nom! Nom! Nom!”

(Photo Credit)

The Time I Cried In The Middle of the Grocery Store, Also Known As Wednesday

The quote “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”Although the original context of that quote doesn’t relate to my situation, the words never rang more true than this week as I was trying to manage grocery shopping, my million worries about the house/life/family/etc., trying to ensure all my coupons were aligned to my purchases and, oh, lest I forget my lovely but bordering “three-anger” daughter.

I love her to pieces (as most moms do for their children) but this week I have felt I am constantly disciplining her and her refusing to listen (It’s literally like arguing with yourself). It then all boiled up as she did the exact opposite of what how you are to behave in a public place throughout the entire store. As we rounded the corner into the laundry aisle I asked her once again to walk next to me so she wouldn’t block the aisle. Instead of just moving she stomped off, shot me the ultimate of side-eyes, and declared “NO!” for all to see.

Awesome, ParentingFAIL.

Or at least that’s how I felt.

As the final straw broke my inner camel’s back I tried to bury my head into my coat and cry it out. I didn’t want my daughter to see as that would only upset her more but being a human being, I also didn’t want anyone else to see and suffer the embarrassment. So underneath my hat and coat I let out the ugly cry as silently as I could. It wasn’t pretty.

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And that is when a stranger approached me to see if everything was okay. This guy didn’t know me and probably had errands to do but took 5 minutes to let me cry on his shoulder and assured me that I was wrong in labeling myself a “mean mom”. Sometimes we are all so busy in life and we just keep going that it’s hard to recognize when we need each other, even if we don’t know one another. But the times we are able to are probably more significant than we give credit to. After he left I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I was able to comfort my daughter and start a new right next to the Tide. We moved on and completed our trip with minimal hiccups. Don’t get me wrong, in typical 3-year-old fashion my daughter still acted up. But the difference was I able to handle it improved dramatically because someone just took a few minutes out of their (just as) busy day to help me out.

I hope my thank you was enough to let that man how much he was appreciated and perhaps someday he will find this post (you never know). I hope to be a brief source of kindness for someone else who needs it someday as well. Most of all I hope I most moms, including myself, realize that it’s okay to lean on others and accept that it’s okay to feel down about your parenting but that doesn’t actually there is something wrong with it.

(Photo credit)

Case of the Mondays Playlist – 2.24.14

It’s just been one of those weeks lately, and nothing brings my spirits up like Pitch Perfect. Seriously, if you don’t like this movie I think you need to get your head examined. I wasn’t sure about it either until a friend mentioned her love for the double-P and now I’m hooked having viewed it in the double digits. This movie, and its soundtrack, is so good I permanently have it in my DVR because searching for the DVD takes too much time, people! Ha!

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But here are some of the songs from the movie that I love and rock out to in the comfort of wherever I am alone because I’m sure my singing voice is like how someone once described Robert Patterson’s musical talents, i.e. a screeching cat.

Bright Lights Bigger City / Magic mashup – by The Treblemakers

Just the Way You Are / Just a Dream mashup – by the Bellas

Price Tag / Don’t You Forget About Me / Give Me Everything mashup – by the Bellas

Don’t Stop the Music – by the Treblemakers

(Photo Credit)

 

Top Picks to Warm Up Your Day

Since most of the us are under a blanket of frost, snow and ice this week, we thought we would share products that would help any gal bring a smile to her face.

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The Miss Molly Legwarmers from Grace & Lace

Gold & Teal Flower Necklace by Ally+Zoe – on sale at Zulily.com

Thermal Pajamas from Pajamagram.com

Wonderbag for your next chili or slow-cooker recipe this winter! (according to HuffPost Taste, for every Wonderbag purchased via Amazon in the U.S. (for $50), a Wonderbag will be donated to a family in need in Africa.)

Earmuffs with headphones at Amazon.com

Stay warm out there!

(Photo credit)

Case of the Mondays Playlist – 1.6.13 – Songs of the Holidays

Since I wasn’t blogging over the holidays I wanted to get a post out there about songs that are my favorite to listen to during November and December. I got the new Kelly Clarkson “Wrapped Up in Red” CD with Christmas songs and let’s just say it was a rock concert practically everyday leading up to Santa’s visit. BAM! But here are some favorites of mine that even the Grinch would jam out to up on Mt. Crumpit. Oh, don’t give me that look!

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Holiday – by Vampire Weekend (not truly a Christmas song, but played in enough commercials during holiday season that I’m qualifying it!)

Underneath the Tree – by Kelly Clarkson

Christmas Time is Here – by Vince Guaraldi (you’ll recognize it from A Charlie Brown Christmas, a song I love so much that I got this CD a couple years ago as a present)

Run Rudolph Run – by Chuck Berry

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – by Andy Williams

Christmas in Hollis – by Run DMC

Also, here’s a sample of my dance moves at the annual holiday party. I know what you’re thinking – I’ve. got. skills.

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