Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Stacy!!!!

Happy Birthday to my dearest friend, Stacy!
Here we are on the NJ side of the Hudson River during my visit last November.

Hmmm...where should I begin? How can I possibly describe this amazing person in just one post? I'll just speak from the heart and hope it turns out well.

This dear friend of mine is the kind of friend everyone hopes to find. She is so kindhearted and is very sympathetic to those around her. Anytime she is able to, she will lend a hand and more to help someone. I have witnessed her give what she really doesn't even have to give at the time, not worrying about how she will be able to make due. (This is about her but I just wanted to add that her hubby is the same way & that makes them all the more special as a couple.) She knows how to make a person feel comfortable and is great at listening & giving advice. She is also a great example to me of how to be a good wife and loving mother.

She and I have a special kind of friendship, a "treasure to be cherished" is how we'd describe it. Over the years, we have shared many, many laughs, tears, embarrassing moments, and even our deepest secrets with one another. I don't deserve a friend so special but I am ever so grateful to have her in my life. She is always there to lift up my spirits and encourage me when I'm feeling down. She has definitely saved me thousands of dollars with all the free 'therapy sessions' she's given me over the years. Lol

We can go weeks without speaking and now that we live miles away from each other, months without seeing each other. Yet, when we get an opportunity to do one or the other, it's as if we'd just been together yesterday. 

I remember when we first met, she asked me to be in her quinceanera (a Hispanic celebration for young women when they reach 15 years old) and I just thought she was the sweetest girl. It wasn't until I was planning my wedding that our friendship really began to grow. She had married shortly before I did so with that, we had something in common. We were two young girls entering into a new chapter in our lives. We had the fortune of being neighbors for almost two years which gave our friendship an opportunity to grow even more.

One of our favorite outings when she lived nearby was to hit our local QuickTrip for a drink and go grocery shopping late at night. Sometimes, we'd just drive around for a while, only to end up parked outside my house for hours on end chatting about random topics some meaningful and some just plain silly.

We were there when we each married, we were there for the births of one each others'  children, and we've been there for countless other events whether big or small. Our husbands and children are close too which makes it all the more wonderful. So many cherished memories over the years, I only hope we're able to add to them in the years to come.

Stacy, on this special day my birthday wish for you is that you know and feel loved by your family and friends. I'm sure your family has something special for you and you'll have a day filled with sweet little smiles, lots of hugs & kisses, and the gift of being surrounded loved ones. I hope that this new year is filled with many blessings from above. I'm so sorry I can't be there in person to celebrate with you but I'm working really hard to get there as soon as I can for a visit so we can have our day of fun in the big city. Love you! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Delicious Chicken Bowl

My family and I love eating 'bowl meals' of all kinds. This is one of our faves and is so simple and quick to make.

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked white rice (or brown)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 zucchini squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of baby carrots 
  • 1 1/2 cups of broccoli
  • 4 eggs
Serving Size: 4-5

1. Season chicken on both sides with your favorite rub recipe or a store bought rub. We used McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb this time.

2. Cook chicken and slice into cubes when finished. We sometimes grill the chicken outside but this time I used the waterless cooking method and cooked it stove top.
(I just have to add that if you're in the market for new pans, I highly recommend surgical stainless steel cookware.  They can run for over a $1000 (or so I've heard) but my mother-in-law was able to get an incredible deal on Amazon. These were a gift from her last Christmas and  they have become my new best friends in the kitchen.)

3.  While chicken is cooking: Chop all the veggies. (If adding carrots and potatoes, boil them until fork tender after chopping.)

4.  Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and add onion and bell pepper to pan. Cook until onion begins to soften. Add all other veggies and cook for about 5-7 minutes.

5.  Add eggs, chicken and rice and cook until eggs are done.

And here is this yummy dish in a bowl and ready to eat:
We like to add soy sauce in our bowl, but this is optional.

You can pretty much add or remove any ingredients to your liking.
Some other ingredients we like to use are:
*brussel sprouts
*Yellow squash
*green beans
*red bell pepper
*green onion

Thanks for stopping by. If you have a favorite 'bowl meal', please share your recipe. 
I'd love to try it. :)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sinuses, Allegeries, Infections....Oh My!

To say I've had my plate full lately is an understatement. For the past month, I had-and still have-a very bad sinus infection. It started with massive daily headaches and last Friday I began feeling very dizzy and nauseous. Oh, and I had lots of pressure in my ears. By Monday, I'd had enough why the heck did I wait so long so I went to get checked out and get some meds. I never knew sinus infections could be so horrendous. Meds have been helping a lot but I still feel the symptoms from time to time throughout the day.
On Tuesday night, my daughter told me that her legs were itching and that they had been since Sunday night. Since she had gone a few days without mentioning it, I assumed it wasn't that bad. I had her soak in an oatmeal bath and then lathered her up with Eucerin lotion. She slept well through the night. Yesterday, I see that it is spreading more and more on her legs, even to the bottom of her feet! It didn't look quite like chicken pox but since it went to the bottom of her feet, I thought maybe it was so I took her in to get checked out. Turns out it's just a bad insect bite infection. They gave me a prescription for over-the-counter hydrocortizone and tell me to use that and also continue to give her the oatmeal baths.
Tuesday and Wednesday my son had allergies which made for one fussy boy. His eyes were burning throughout the day and he was overly sensitive to anything and everything around him.
As I write this I think, "Well aren't we just a big group of whiners." Lol It sounds like it but believe me, we had reason. None of us felt too great, each with our own personal issue. Oh dear, another thought just came to mind: MY POOR HUSBAND! He's had to endure these days attending to us, running errands for me, and being patient with us. I think he deserves an award, I'll have to get on top of that ASAP.
On the upside, I was able to read quite a bit during my time in bed. And as if I wasn't already hooked on pinterest, I was able to add lots of pins to my boards. I even made some cute little yarns dolls for the kids (my sons' is a "yarn man", he told me) from a pin I was inspired by. I can't promise that I'll post about that tonight, but I will def try to soon.
I should also add that as of today, we're all better for the most part and in this very moment, kids are running around pretending they're a prince and princess in a castle. They notified me that they decided I'm the queen and even put a crown on me. Yay! That works for me. :)

I feel like I'm cheating you guys if I don't post any pics, so I'll leave you with this sweet one of my kiddos with two of my besties' children on a lovely summer evening.