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I’ve moved! Please update your bookmarks!
See you there!
First off, can you believe it’s August already? My birthday is in two weeks! Yay!
So yesterday I told you guys all about what I received in my Foodie Penpal box last month. I love getting my boxes in the mail and almost immediately text my manager to share. I got her into the Foodie Penpal movement a couple months ago and so far she’s loved it.
However, she has a “sensitive” palate. What I mean is…she’s boring. (Love ya, Kristy!) She doesn’t like Mexican. She doesn’t like Asian. Food can’t be too spicy, have tomatoes, or be unfamiliar. I honestly don’t know what she eats every day.
In one of her foodie boxes, she got a bunch of Hawaiian products. You all should know what my reaction was. My ears perked up, my eyes started twinkling, and my fingers itched to get ahold of her products. Then she said the words I was dying to hear, “Bethany, would you like to have the items I won’t use?”
Uh…YEAH! I really love Hawaii so much.
When she brought the items in, I dug through the bag. Two things caught my eye: Kona coffee bars and Hawaiian Pride marinades and sauces. Well, the Kona bars lasted all of two days. (Two bars=two days. Gone.)
The sauces, however, got put in the panty and forgotten. I usually go through my pantry every month or two and make a list of things I need to use. I knew I would get back to it eventually.
Last night, I was trying to decide what I wanted to make for dinner when my eyes landed on something I’d purchased at Trader Joe’s a couple weeks back.
Confession: I had no idea what Bool Kogi was until I saw it on the Jon & Kate + 8 “Korean Dinner” episode. What can I say? Guilty pleasure. Don’t judge.
When I spotted the meat, I knew I wanted to make some sort of rice to go with it. I sifted through my pantry and found Kim Chee Fried Rice sauce out of the Foodie Penpal box from Kristy. Perfect accompaniment!
I quickly cooked some jasmine rice, scrambled some eggs, and put the dish together. Then, I threw the bool kogi on the grill to cook (took less than 5 minutes because the meat is so thin).
Both of these items were so easy to make and seriously so good! Jeff even commented “add this to the make again list!” If you’re looking for an easy, delicious meal, consider these items! The only thing I would do differently would be to add some veggies (which I was low on).
*I would also remember to take pictures of the finished dish. What can I say? I was hungry!*
You may have noticed I didn’t blog on Wednesday. I could blame it on laziness. I could blame it on lack of time. I could blame it on getting ready for the Fourth of July. Want to know the real reason?
I’m suffering from Writer’s Block.
I have several ideas for blog posts, but no pictures to go with them. I posted my Meal Plan the other day and figured I’d get several great blog posts from the meals I cooked, but this week many of the meals I’ve made have been recipes I’ve already talked about on the blog. Crazy, right?
In all honesty, I have been pretty busy lately. I didn’t even take pictures of Jake on Independence Day! I had to work, so I wasn’t home with him for a lot of it, but still.
So, dear friends, if you’ll bear with me, I will be back to my old self in a few days!
Last Monday, Memorial Day, was Jeff’s 30th birthday! Jake was up at 6:30a as is his norm. We made breakfast for Daddy consisting of french toast and our favorite Dorothy Lane bacon. So delicious. After, I asked him what he wanted to do today. He said “work outside for a bit, find new shoes, and sign in to work (what? on your birthday?).” So I took care of the little guy while he did his chores. Throughout the day I prepared food for the dinner we were having with his family.
This included a new recipe for Lemonade Punch from Pinterest. It was OK, but I think I’ve decided I don’t like punch very much. I told my sister-in-law I would have much preferred regular lemonade to the punch. I did make fun lemon ice cubes to go in it though!
I also made sauteed peppers and onions (so yum!) and marinated chicken for the fajitas I had planned. Later in the day I put out all the toppings which included sour cream, DLM salsa, limes for the
beer fajitas, guacamole, cheese, and my Corn and Black Bean Salsa.
It was such a hot weekend last weekend that I had picked up a little baby pool at work. I thought it would be fun to have something little that Jake could splash around in for this summer. I grabbed some Little Swimmers too. I just couldn’t wait to get the pool blown up and filled. I took advantage of one of his naps to accomplish this task. It was so hot out that the water was nice and warm within a few hours.
Jeff and I took Jake outside to dip his feet in the pool. We didn’t want to go “swimming” yet because we had planned to do that at the party and I didn’t want his trunks to be wet for later that evening. Of course 15 minutes before everyone was due over, the heavens opened and rain came pouring down (while I was outside cooking the chicken, mind you. Thank goodness for our Grillzebo!).
That didn’t stop my niece from going for a quick dip. Jeff sat by in his chair to “supervise”.
After dinner, swimming, and presents, we indulged in a little Cold Stone ice cream cake. It was soooo good. My mother-in-law was kind enough to pick up the cake for me as I had not planned well and forgot Cold Stone would be closed on Memorial Day (which was the day I had planned on getting it). Thanks, T! We decided on the Chocolate Chipper. That chocolate ganache on top is to die for!
I told Jeff that, gasp, I may actually like the Cold Stone cake better than the DQ cakes I have loved for years! Maybe… I’m still not a fan of the cake in the Cold Stone cake, but the ice cream and the ganache is delightful!
I think Jeff’s birthday was a success and even though we didn’t do something big and outlandish like he wanted, he still had a good time.
And since I haven’t posted a video on here in a while, he’s a short pic of Jake and Jeff playing I took earlier this week.
A while ago, I was reading a post on Joanna’s blog about her being a Foodie Penpal. What? What is this? Further investigation was a must. Turns out, every month a blogger (Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean) organizes a swap between foodies. Basically, you sign up and on the 5th of the month she sends out a list that tells you who your foodie penpal is. Someone else on the list receives your name so you not only give a box, but you get a box in return. The fun part is your giving penpal isn’t the same person as the receiving one!
After you receive your name, you are then required to purchase foodie items totaling around $15 and mail out the box no later than the 15th. Then, on the last day of the month, you blog about it (if you have a blog). It seemed like a ton of fun, so I immediately signed up.
On the 5th, I received an email from Lindsay with a spreadsheet telling us whom we got. My penpal’s name was Anne so I emailed her to see if she had any food allergies, likes, dislikes, etc. I received a similar email from my other penpal, Lauren. After a few communicative emails back and forth between these ladies, I was set. I, like the true procrastinator I am, waited until the last possible minute to go pick up the items I wanted to send (though I had been thinking about them for a while). I got them in the mail in time, but it was really down to the wire!
A few days after, I received a package in the mail. I was on my way to work when I looked at the front porch and saw my box sitting on the stoop. I threw my car in park and ran, giddy like a school girl, up the walk. I threw my box in the car with me and took it to work. I couldn’t wait to open it. Once at work, my manager (who is a food lover too) and I tore it open. Tons of goodies spilled out. After looking at everything, I loaded it all back up in the box. I wanted to spend a little more time inspecting later at home.
The first thing I noticed was vegan jerky. Now, I love real jerky, but vegan jerky? Not so sure about that. I read the note Lauren enclosed and she said she basically just threw it in for fun! She was too scared to try it herself. One of my coworkers and I attempted it, but neither of us were fans. I forgot to include it in the picture above, but this is what it looked like:
The next thing I tried was the apple chips. Notice the big notch in the side of the bag? These were yummy! I wish they were a bit crunchier, but the flavor was great.
I also popped in the gummy vitamin. A little known fact about me is that I used to not be able to swallow pills. I took liquid Tylenol for the longest time because I couldn’t gag anything else down. I’m cured now, but taking gummy vitamins is a nice option. Plus, it’s fun! I still have a hard time remembering to take pills, so having them in gummy form might make it a little easier to remember (because who doesn’t like a gummy?). I might have to pick some of these little gems up!
A few days later, I took one of the Justin’s Almond Butters to work with me as an add in to my oatmeal. (Yes, I am a food blogger which means I must love oatmeal!) I have had Justin’s several times in the past and loved how convenient these little packs were. She included both the traditional and chocolate flavors. Delicious!
Finally, the other day I was craving chocolate. I didn’t think I had any but decided to look in the pantry just in case. Low and behold, I saw the Orange Peel Chocolate bar she gave me. Yay! Lauren saves the day!
I haven’t tried everything in the box, but what I have tried I’ve liked for the most part. I’m looking forward to the teas and local honey, but I haven’t been in the mood for tea lately. Maybe later this week when our 70º cold front comes through! Thanks for the great loot, Lauren!
I will say she was a sweetheart for remembering baby Jacob. He will be starting solids soon and I’m sure will love the pouches she tucked in! What a lovely girl!
If you are interested in participating in the Foodie Penpal box swap, click here and sign up. You don’t have to be a blogger to join! It’s fun and a great way to make new friends from around the country.
…is basically synonymous with my name. I’m not quite sure why, but I drag my feet to get most everything done. You know how I started painting the Peanut’s nursery when I was pregnant? Well…it’s still pretty bare of decorations. To be fair, I did hang something I made on the walls (only to then have it sort of come apart resulting in my taking it down again).
I am also quite forgetful. I am the queen of lists simply because if I don’t write it down, I don’t remember it! In fact, I have a list just for blogging. Well, sort of. I typically create a blog post title and then click “Save Draft” so I remember to go back to it later. Remember the Pantry Staples post I did last week? Well, I drafted it about…oh…five months ago while my mom was visiting right after I had Jake. Crazy, I know.
Anyhow…last week, Joanna from midwesternbite.com nominated me for the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. What an honor! I love blogging (when I find the time) because it gives me a chance to tell my story and be a little creative. It also helps make friends (hi, Joanna and Katie!). Let’s face it…any new mom needs other new mom friends to compare notes with!
With that, let’s delve into the rules a bit, shall we? Since the lovely folks over at the Food Stories Award website broke it down so eloquently, I’m going to copy and paste:
Here’s how it works:
1. The nominee should visit the award site (
) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way our judges will know who is being considered for the monthly award).
2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting on their own blog & including a link to their blog.
3. The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site (
) in their blog post.
4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
5. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their stories and nominate them for the award. Include these nominees in your blog post.
6. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (
OK. Step one, completed. Step two: thank fellow blogger.
Step three, completed. Step four…a random fact. Well, I’ve shared a couple already (read: procrastinator and queen of forgetting stuff) but here’s a bonus fact-I am scared of mayonnaise. OK, not really, but the thought of eating it makes me a little queasy, even though my favorite salad dressing is Thousand Island, which is chock full of the stuff. I’m getting better about eating it, but I try not to think about it while I’m doing so. It’s easier if it’s hidden and not front and center as in Chicken Salad…
Step 5…nominate five other people. Fun!
Katie @ Healthy Heddleston: Katie was one of the first blends (blog friends) I made and, even though we’ve never met in person, I feel like I know her since she and I have a lot in common, including our love of Hawaii! I’m only slightly jealous she got to live there for six weeks while she was doing a rotation. Only slightly, mind you. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. She and I also had little boys within a few months of each other, so comparing notes is always fun.
Abby @ Sugar and Spice: Abby is the wife of one of my college friends. She is a mom to 1.5 kids (her little boy is still cooking) and a great resource for anything creative. Just look at this post on her daughter’s first birthday! If you need something monogrammed or personalized, she will know exactly where to send you. She also introduced me to mixbook.com!
Jamie @ Food in Real Life: Jamie is another mom blogger I started following when I was pregnant. (In fact, all these ladies are mom bloggers! How about that!?) She had a little boy too, so it’s fun to see the similarities and differences between them.
Gretchen @ Real Life Motherhood of 4: Wow, talk about mom bloggers! Gretchen has four babies and seems to do it all! I met her at a MeetUp event a few months ago. She’s a lovely person! I just recently started following her blog. One thing I will say about her is she is awesome at multitasking! Not only does she take care of four little ones, she cooks, organizes meetups, plans birthday parties and still manages to blog more often than I do! I bow down!
Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life: Brittany is one of my favorite daily bloggers. She (of course) is a new mommy to a sweet baby girl. Some bloggers can seem a bit stuck up and have a “look at me, my life is perfect” attitude but Brittany doesn’t come across that way. She still has struggles, still deals with challenges, basically is still a real person. Joanna and I were talking one day and both agreed she seems like someone we’d hang out with. Too bad she lives a few states away!
OK, that’s done. What else? Oh yeah. Step 6. That’s done too! Perfect! Now, to tackle the laundry, dishes, and that blogging list…
I’m sentimental. I’m nostalgic. Heck, I’m a mom. So when I saw this picture on pinterest, I knew I had to recreate it.
Basically, you pick any dates that are important to you and your family and fill them in first in numerical form and then in word form. For us, I picked my birthday, Jeff’s birthday, our engagement, our anniversary, and Jake’s birthday.
If I had it to do over again, I might have changed our engagement to the day we met. In fact, I might redo it. I created this a few weeks ago and was just waiting for Walgreens to have another free 8×10 day. Luckily, Mother’s Day provided that opportunity!
I’m know Photoshop relatively well, so it took no time to put this together. The hardest thing for me was finding a font I liked for the dates! I ended up using McGarey for the dates and Snell Roundhand for the words. I still like the original fonts better, but I like mine too.
Now all I have to do is frame and hang it!
Hello, lovely readers. You may have noticed I’ve been absent for the past few weeks. I could say I’ve been out galavanting, on a whirlwind trip across the world, or spending time cuddling my little bundle of goodness.
That’s partly true but the real truth is that…gasp…I’m having a hard time juggling everything. Between work, Jake, Jeff, and all the chores that need to be done, blogging has fallen by the wayside. Even cooking has taken a major hit lately, which you all know I love to do.
I find my eyelids drooping around 7:30p, right after Jake is tucked away in bed. Of course, I then have to clean bottles, prepare bottles, clean the kitchen, do laundry, oh and find some time to relax!
So basically I’m taking a step back. I pretty much already have as I haven’t posted a new blog post in weeks. I just wanted to let you guys know I’m ok, but I’m exhausted. I hope to pop up sporadically once in a while with a neat tip, a baby Jake update, or a yummy recipe, but by no means will it be every day or even every week. Think of my posts as RAEs: random acts of entertainment.
I’m hoping my break is short and sweet, but I’m not going to rush things either. I’m going to spend time focusing on my men. I’m stopping to smell the roses. And they are starting to smell very sweet.