DIY Monthly Baby Update Chalkboard and Photos

I am a new mama!

My husband, Tom, and I survived the first month of parenthood, and we could not be more in love with our son, Ben!

I decided I wanted to do something special to track each month of his first year. There are so many creative ideas out there, and since I love the look of a chalkboard, I decided to go with that. This is my DIY Monthly Baby Update Chalkboard and Photos. Continue reading “DIY Monthly Baby Update Chalkboard and Photos”

Santa Barbara, California Day Trip

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 In late November I took a little Mother/Daughter getaway trip with my mom, sisters and baby niece. We had such a relaxing trip to Santa Barbara and Solvang, California. We were in Santa Barbara for the day and then made our way to Solvang about 45 minutes away where we stayed. I’ll be sharing Solvang photos and details in another post.

Santa Barbara is always a beautiful place to visit, and I had not been back for almost three years since my wedding. My wedding post is here if you’d like to see some photos!

Continue reading “Santa Barbara, California Day Trip”

Shrimp Nachos with Roasted Jalapeños and Corn

shrimp-nachos-42Nachos are one of my favorite dishes to order when we go out! I love all the cheese and toppings, but usually I don’t see nachos with shrimp on the menu. These shrimp nachos with easy pan roasted jalapeños and corn  and tons of guacamole are just the best thing ever to me right now!

Shrimp is so quick to cook. Pair that with your favorite store bought salsa and GOODFOODS Tableside® Chunky Guacamole, and you have a mouth-watering easy appetizer perfect for the holidays. Or do you want to just make this your dinner one night? I’m not judging!

shrimp-nachos-48 Continue reading “Shrimp Nachos with Roasted Jalapeños and Corn”

Quick & Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes

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Baking has always been a love of mine. I remember a couple of years ago, the first time I made buttery homemade pie crust using the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe, I was so proud of myself! Also, I remember when I was a girl and made my first cake using Betty Crocker™ boxed cake mix… I was also so proud of myself! Sometimes I love to try new recipes and make everything from scratch, and sometimes store bought baking mix is just as good and can save you money too.

Making cookies around the holidays is something that I love to do. Cookies are treats that I love sharing at family parties as well as at work, and today I have two new super easy cookie recipes using Betty Crocker™ cookie mixes from Walmart.  Continue reading “Quick & Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes”

Our Wedding Day

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Today is my three-year wedding anniversary! It’s been three years since I walked down the aisle to Andrea Bocelli’s “Somos Novios” and said I do to the kindest and most loving husband I could have ever hoped for.  Tommy, this is for you.

As I type this and look at our photos from that day I am flooded with memories, and I’m feeling a little emotional. If I had to pick a favorite part of my entire wedding day, I would say that it was the ceremony. Specifically, because we wrote letters to one other as vows, and they were read during the ceremony. We both cried like babies. We couldn’t hold in the happiness we felt, the relief that our day was finally here, the emotion behind the words we had written and the love that we felt from our friends and family members who were there to join us in our union.

wedding-day-22 Continue reading “Our Wedding Day”

Easy Lemon Quinoa Salad

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 Since I am not much of a meat eater, I am always looking for ways to add more protein into my diet. This Easy Lemon Quinoa Salad is by far my favorite way to eat quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein, and pairing it with crisp vegetables and bright lemon juice makes it so flavorful and easy to eat.IMG_7005

Over the summer I made this salad several times, but I never got around to sharing the recipe! Even though it is fall now, that has not kept me from enjoying this healthy salad, and I want you to be able to make my Easy Lemon Quinoa Salad too!

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 My husband Tommy has never been a quinoa fan, but he really liked this salad. The avocado is so creamy, and it goes perfectly with the crisp vegetables and lemon juice. The combination of all of the ingredients sold him on it, and I’m glad because it is such a great source of plant-based protein.

 

 So even though I am looking forward to my hearty fall and winter dishes, I just had to share this fresh, Easy Lemon Quinoa Salad with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Easy Lemon Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 Minutes to prep/cook and 30 Minutes to Chill
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 ½ Cups Uncooked White Quinoa
3 Cups Water
¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Can of Corn (15 ounce) or 1 ½ Cups Frozen Corn Kernels, thawed
1 Whole English Cucumber, diced small
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 1-2 Fresh Lemons (depending on tartness desired)
¼ Teaspoon of Sea Salt, add more to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 Large Hass Avocado

Instructions:
1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer under water. Combine rinsed quinoa with 3 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon sea salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let it cool for 10 minutes.
2. While quinoa is cooking move on to the rest of the recipe. Combine corn, cucumber, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice (begin with juice of one lemon), sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl and toss all ingredients together.
3. Add cooked quinoa into the large bowl with the other ingredients, and toss together to combine. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow salad to cool and ingredients to combine. When ready to serve top with diced avocado.

Notes:
• I love the salad with the juice of two whole lemons. I suggest that you only begin with one in case two lemons are too tart for your taste. You can always add more later if desired.
• Do not mix in avocado if you will be saving the salad or using leftovers. Add fresh diced avocado to each dish before eating to avoid avocado browning.

Cheerios, our Cereal con Cariño and Quick Family Breakfast Story

My siblings and I grew up with two hard working parents, and as much as we loved my mom’s Mexican cooking of homemade flour tortillas or spicy chilaquiles with lots of melty cheese, that just wasn’t always possible for breakfast.

A lot of mornings our go to breakfast was cereal, and a family favorite has always been Cheerios. My parents showed us love and care because they made sure we always had a good breakfast. We always had cereal there, ready to go for a quick and satisfying meal.

honey-nut-cherrios-23 Continue reading “Cheerios, our Cereal con Cariño and Quick Family Breakfast Story”