BBQ Chicken Meatballs

Last night I went to bed craving BBQ chicken pizza. As I slept I dreamt of making these meatballs. No this is not a joke. This is actually what I dream about people!! So tonight I went to the store grabbing what I thought I might need. Totally improvised and voila! Dinner was served. Glad my family loved it because I definitely didn’t have a back up plan. Here is how I made them

Meatball Ingredients :

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper

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BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • a splash of liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin

Pre Heat your oven to 400

Add all BBQ sauce ingredients to a small pot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer while you prepare and cook the meat balls.

Mix all meatball ingredients in a bowl. Form into balls and place to the side. Heat some butter and olive oil in a skillet. Once thats hot, add meatballs and brown evenly all around. Remove them from the skillet and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 min until cooked through.

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Once they were done I just spooned some of the bbq sauce over the top and served them with a side of corn and arugula with a mustard vinaigrette (Appel vinegar, honey, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper).

These were really easy to make and everyone loved them. Hope you guys do too!

My Favorite Things: Summer Edition

Hey guys! Just a quick little post to share some things that I have found within the past few weeks that I am certain are going to be my staples throughout the summer.
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products

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What first drew me to these products was the packaging. Walking down the aisles of target, I was searching for a more “green” alternative to the usual harsh, chemical filled cleaning products that I had in my home. This packaging was  very inviting to me. Colorful and clean and of course the fragrance selection sounded promising (we all know I am a sucker for floral scents) I started off by just purchasing one item, the all purpose cleaner, and from that moment on I have been hooked. This stuff kicks some serious, raising 3 boys and a husband that works in a garage, butt! Aside from how amazing they work and smell, I am all for what is this company is about. The products do not contain ammonia, chlorine bleach, petroleum distillates, phthalates,  or phosphates. The liquids are concentrated biodegradable formulas and are also cruelty free! The formulas are derived from plant based ingredients to produce a safe and effective cleaning experience. Now, Lets get back to the scent! Because of these products, cleaning has become somewhat of an aroma therapeutic experience. I find myself spraying down my counters way more often than necessary just to fill it with the scents of basil, honeysuckle, peony (my 3 favorites) or whichever sent I desire at the time. The smell isn’t overpowering in my option and it really does put me in a good mood. I mean, who doesn’t want a product that was inspired by the scent of Mrs. Meyers , a homemaker and mother of 9, garden??? The woman obviously knew a few things after raining 9 children. I think I trust her! They also make hand soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, soy candles and a multitude of other great products. This brand is sold at target or you can check out the website http://www.mrsmeyers.com/product/

Sun Bum sunscreen

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With this massive heat wave my kids have been spending a lot of time outside in their kiddy pool or at splash pads! I ran out of sunscreen and wanted to try something new. I remembered seeing a post awhile back from The girls of  Target does it again about Sun Bum sunscreen. They are not a huge corporation but a small company in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This company gives back!!! They started a non-profit organization called “protect the groms” to educate our youth about how to protect themselves from the dangers of harsh sun exposure. They are also the official sun care product of Surfers for autism which is something that is very close to my heart. It doesn’t end there. They are involved with Boarding for Breast Cancer, Pipeline to a Cure and also The skin Cancer Foundation. I think its safe to say that I am stoked on this product. It smells amazing, The lotion is easy to apply. It isn’t too thick which I hate in most sunscreens. Their products are:

  • paraben free
  • oil, PABA free
  • gluten free
  • hypoallergenic
  • 100% vegan
  • cruelty free
  • non-comedogenic
  • retinyl palmitate free
  • propylene glycol free

I purchased mine at target  or you can view their other products and shop from the website http://shop.trustthebum.com

Mesh Totes by Mossimo

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I dont have too much to say about these as they are pretty self explanatory. What I will tell you is that they are only $10 (currently on sale for $7) at target and I can pretty much fit my entire life into them. They come everywhere with us! oh and they are super easy to clean. http://www.target.com/p/women-s-mesh-beach-tote-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-51073496

Smoothie Bowls!!!!

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These are so fun to make and even more delicious to eat. The flavor combinations and topping options are endless. Here is how I make one of our favorites. I use my nutribullet for these. It makes the perfect amount for what I need to feed myself and my kids but of course a blender can be used.

Ingredients:

  • Organic frozen mixed berries
  • Organic frozen mango
  • Organic frozen pinapple
  • Strawberry flavored kefir. Yogurt would work just as well.
  • fresh apple juice
  • a tablespoon or so of coconut oil

For toppings I usually use chia seeds, granola. I like to use the Hemp and Greens granola from living intentions http://www.livingintentions.com/store/products/superfood-cereal/hemp-greens.html , and  coconut flakes if i have them.

Summer Soundtrack??

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And just in case you guys were wondering what type of music has been filling my life with those chill summer vibes lately, the answer to that is simple. Xavier Rudd. We have been listening to his genius musical stylings for the past month. Just him and nothing else. This man will have you wanting to reconnect with mother earth. he is an acoustic style folk rock singer/songwriter with some definite reggae influences. He is a surfer from Australia and yes he plays the didgeridoo. His voice, his lyrics, his message all melt my heart. I often find myself stumbling upon music, be it a song, and album, a singer or a band, that just speaks to a certain mood or time period. This man is just that. He is filling my soul right now (and possibly until the end of time) Yes! I am a bit obsessed and the fact that he is coming to town at the beginning of july makes me a very happy chick. Check out his music!!!

 

The Camping Blog

It was my husbands birthday this week and as always, a camping trip is number one on his list of things to do. Its a really good thing I enjoy camping! I like it even more since moving to utah. It is just so beautiful here.

Camping with my husband usually goes as follows: He picks a general area and then we just drive. No exact destination planned. We drive until we find something that looks appealing to us. Years ago, this was a totally different experience. We used to be pretty legit campers in that we would just pull off any random dirt road and camp without the “luxuries” of a designated campground. No bathrooms. No tables. No cement fire pits or grills. Just us and nature. My oldest son got to experience this which has turned him into a pretty bad A camper!

Now that we have 3 kids, one that is only 2.5 months old, I was not as excited to rough it! So when we stumbled upon Lodgepole Campground on our drive through Uinta National forest, I was, shall we say, a very happy camper! The second we entered I could tell that this place was well kept and clean. The cleanest campground I have ever seen. It was gorgeous. Each site had a paved area with a fire pit, a grill, a table and a paved parking space. Many campgrounds I have been to cram each site on top of the other so you feel like you have zero privacy. This place was spaced out with each site having plenty of room and there were restrooms every few sites so you didn’t have to walk a mile to go the bathroom (these bathrooms also had working toilets!! REAL TOILETS!! AND A SINK! major bonus!!). The bathrooms were just as clean as everything else. Not to mention that your surroundings are just absolutely breathtaking.

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I had some reservations about camping with our newborn but I was prepared and packed everything that I thought I could possibly need (we were only staying one night). I also had to pack for my toddler. My 12 year old thankfully now packs for himself. Here are my lists for the babes:

Newborn camping needs

  • More diapers than I would ever use
  • More wipes than I would ever use
  • A million blankets (lightweight and heavy) really just 2 of each
  • Multiple outfits (long and short sleeved onesie, pants, jackets, one piece pajamas, socks)
  • boppy
  • pacifiers
  • bottles
  • 2 hats. one for nighttime and one sun hat
  • burp cloths

Toddler needs

  • Diapers
  • a few clothing options (t shirt, long sleeves, fleece pants, shorts, bathing suit in case we camp near water,warm pajamas, hats, multiple pairs of socks, sneakers and sandals, jacket)
  • pillow from home
  • favorite blanket
  • pacifiers
  • cups

Other things I always bring

  • benedryl!! (my oldest once fell into a bush within 5 minutes of us getting to camp and immediately started itching and his skin bubbled., I now always bring this with us)
  • first aid kit
  • plenty of water
  • towels

Once we saw the place we selected our site and immediately set up camp. I placed blankets out on the table to serve as my changing table and also set up a little sitting area in my trunk in case i wanted to bring the baby in from the open air.

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My husband set up our tent and the older boys helped him collect wood for the fire

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When the set up was done, we took a walk to check out the rest of the campground and some of the hiking trails.

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Once the sun went down we settled in, ate dinner, made s’mores and sat around the fire until it was time to head into our tent, snuggle into our sleeping bags and go to sleep.

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It got pretty cold in the middle of the night. Lucky for me, my husband knows what he is doing when it comes to purchasing camping gear and bought each of us a mummy sleeping bag. They are so warm and you can actually tighten them all the way around your head if you need to.  They are the most amazing sleeping bags on earth! I slept with the baby snuggled next to me in mine. http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/store/details/Suisse+Sport-summit-0-5-degree-mummy-bag/0720131131279/_/A-4509881?#.V1nrcrRH2Rs

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The next day, before heading home, we traveled about 5 miles up the road to Strawberry Lake! There is also a little river that runs through this town. So worth the extra few minutes in the car. I definitely want to come back and check out the area more. There was the cutest little lodge with a restaurant and a mercantile store. The water was crystal blue and people were out on their boats. I felt like I was in another world.

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I have to say, this was the best camping experience we have ever had. I think its safe to say that my husband enjoyed his birthday and I am always happy to get my kids out into nature, away from tv and electronics!! It so fun watch them invent ways to entertain themselves with what they have in their surroundings. They both found little round pieces of plastic that they raced down a hill for hours! I can’t wait to go again. This may end up being our go to camp ground from now on.

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Bringing home baby number 3!

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Bowie Fox aka Baby Bo Blue!! Born March 18, 2016.

This little guy has the sweetest personality. He has such a gentle spirit, the deepest blue eyes and the biggest smile (which made an appearance very early on). We are so in love. He completes our family and our hearts are so full.

Okay, so I planned on writing this months ago.Two and a half months ago to be exact. I thought I would come home from the hospital, figure out my new routine as a mom of 3 and that would be that! Well, thats not at all how it went down. It seems that I was not ready. I thought I was ready guys! I figured I had it all figured out. I had done this twice before. Easy! Oh man was I wrong. Yes. I knew how to care for a newborn. There are the usual things that I had prepared for. Lack of sleep, late night feedings, early morning feedings…. pretty much breastfeeding for what seemed like my entire day. No problem! I figured my toddler would go through some emotional and behavioral changes while adjusting to the new kid in town and perhaps my pre teen would as well. All of these things happened but it seemed as though we were blessed with a miracle baby. He was so mellow! He barely ever cried. He ate every 2 hours, pooped and slept in between.

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Days went by. People visited (not that I clearly remember any of this because I was walking around in a constant fog) Husband went back to work. Visitors left. This is around the time that everything turned upside down. My toddler at this point was refusing to sleep in his own bed. He now preferred the couch. He also started throwing some major tantrums and did not like the fact that he had to share mommy during nap time. I also started noticing that Bowie was crying a lot more than usual. My first son was colicky and my second had acid reflux so I figured it must be one of the 2. Before I was able to get him into the doctor, I experienced one of the scariest days of my life. During one of Bowies screaming fits, all of a sudden, he arched his back in a way I had never seen and stayed that way. His eyes crossed and they stayed that way. This lasted for what seemed like an eternity and being as exhausted as I was I really did not have the emotional strength to deal. I called my husband and made him come home from work because at this point, I was sure the baby had had a seizure. His body eventually relaxed ( I, on the other hand, did not) When we got him in to the doctor he diagnosed him with 1. acid reflux and 2. He said that Bowie had something called Sandifer Syndrome. I had never heard of this before but I was told that it occurs in less than 1% of babies. This condition from what I understand, is a reaction to the Acid reflux. The baby will spasm in a response to the pain they are experiencing. From what I have read there isn’t too much known as to why some babies react this way and others do not. All I know is that I was happy that we were able to diagnose him as quickly as we did and that it wasn’t something much more serious. We were given medicine for the acid reflux which in turn, stopped that spasms from occurring.

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I know so many moms have it way worse and there are kids who suffer with some horrific things. We are truly blessed. Within a day or two he was back to smiling and resting peacefully without being in any pain. His big brothers were no longer afraid to hold him although I still can’t get my oldest to change a diaper. 🙂

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Things are still crazy but in a much more normal way lol. Life with 3 boys is going to be insane, thats not going to change, but I have managed to figure out somewhat of a routine. The other boys have accepted their new little brother and are great helpers. Cove (2yrs) loves holding Bowie’s bottle, burping him, and is so proud of himself when he can make his baby smile.Jordan (12yrs) is always ready to  hold the babe. He is as patient as a pre teen can be with 2 little brothers.

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I am so in love with my family! I have the coolest kids on earth and love watching each of them develop their own personalities.