A weekend in review: ‘You’re boring’

Sometimes I feel as if my weekends are more exhausting than my weekdays… and this past weekend was no exception.

I always try to cram as much as possible into the 48 or so hours a week that I get to exclusively dedicate to my family and my house… while also getting a chance to socialize a bit. I think most working moms would agree that something usually falls to the wayside. That something for me happens to be my social life. But more on that later.

Since the husband went out on Thursday night after work with a few of his work buddies, we made a deal that he would stay home with the babe and let me do a few hours of shopping…BY MYSELF. It was as glorious as it sounds. I got to Target and picked up a few things, including a Christmas gift for the baby and a ½ Birthday gift too (we celebrated 6 months of cuteness on Sunday). Then I hit up the mall and perused through the department stores, got my eyebrows done and took my time in Baby Gap. Ahhhhhh.

As usual, we had nearly every hour booked so Saturday morning rolled around and we were out the door before 9 a.m. to get our flu shots – which inevitably means we’ll get the ONE strain of flu that the shot doesn’t protect you against.

Nonetheless, the waiting room was filled with people who were complaining of flu-like symptoms, so get your flu shots people. There’s a reason why doctors recommend it and since I don’t have a Ph.D in medicine, I’ll shut up and listen (even though my arm STILL hurts).

After that I squeezed in some laundry and house cleaning before we were out the door to the pumpkin patch.  Here’s a couple photos from our adventure.

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The weather was less than perfect, but we tried to make the best of it. I think the little one was a bit overwhelmed by all of the sights and sounds…that or she was just unimpressed.

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My little cutie is wearing a custom-made onesie and leg warmers from this Etsy shop. Her name is embroidered on the onesie, but I whited it out for privacy purposes.

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(ps. I LOVE Etsy. If you’re not familiar, just go to Etsy.com and search for something you want. It’s there and it’s most likely handmade. I plan on doing an Etsy post later, stay tuned.)

The little one’s adorable cousins had a lot of fun and we had some awesome apple cider, so all and all it was a good day.

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As I mentioned earlier in the week, we made dinner reservations for our anniversary. After getting home from the pumpkin patch, I got myself cleaned up, fed the baby dinner and did a little more cleaning around the house before rushing out the door.

We ate at a restaurant that claims to be the best seafood restaurant in Pittsburgh. It was delicious; don’t get me wrong… but the best? Probably not. It’s called Penn Avenue Fish Company and they have two locations – one in downtown Pittsburgh, the other in the Strip District. I’m in no way a “foodie,” but I love food. Mine was delicious (lobster risotto) and my husband’s was good too (Chilean sea bass). But for the price we would have rather visited a restaurant with better atmosphere. The downtown location is small, loud and dark. But, at any rate, the food was good. We usually go to a restaurant called Joseph Tambellini’s in Hyland Park. If you want a fantastic meal and awesome atmosphere, go here. We’re sorry we didn’t go to our ol’ faithful and promise to be back for Valentine’s Day Mr. Tambellini!

We didn’t get any photos of us together on our night out, but here’s one he snapped of me while waiting for our check.

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(In full disclosure, we “unplugged” for the entire meal…but of course checked our phones when we were done. Sometimes I despise my addiction to social media.)

Following dinner we planned on getting a drink at a nearby bar. But here’s where my body decided otherwise. I was exhausted. We walked to a Starbucks a couple of blocks away to get me jolt of caffeine, which helped for a little while. But one drink into our after-dinner cocktails, I had it.  This resulted in a disgruntled husband who called me “boring.” But if fitting all of the aforementioned activities into one day makes me “boring” – then consider me guilty.

Sunday was just as crazy – in a nutshell, I did my usual Sunday morning routine: Peruse Pinterest for recipes, meal plan, coupon clip, make grocery list, grocery shop. After that we had family photos/baby’s 6 month birthday pics scheduled with a photographer at a beautiful park near our home. We brought the gentle giant to be included in some of the photos…and both the babe and the fur-babe were amazing. Rooney – who is usually freaked by the little one – let her sit in between his legs for a few photos. I cannot wait to see them!

Afterward I did MORE cleaning/laundry and then prepped dinner for Monday. I know it’s going to be a busy day, which includes shots for my little pumpkin. (It never gets easier, does it?).

We tired.

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Friday Recipe Roundup

There is nothing more annoying than receiving a text from my husband during the work day with the words: “What’s for dinner?”

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So in order to rid this annoyance from my life, I recently started meal planning. I post the menu in our kitchen so he has no questions about that night’s dinner.

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(I just got this awesome chalkboard for $20 at a craft show. I had intentions of making my own, but couldn’t resist just buying it. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own chalkboard)

My goal is always to cook 4 meals during the week (Monday-Thursday) and one meal on the weekend, usually on Sundays.

I hope to do a weekly roundup of what I’ve made each week: the good, the bad and the ugly. I am in NO WAY a cook. In fact, I’m pretty bad at it. But thanks to Pinterest (follow me here) I’ve been able to make a few decent meals… when I don’t screw up and forget an ingredient or fail to read the instructions all the way through.

My hope is to make this a regular Friday post and since this is the first one (and I skewed off the menu a bit this week) This is a general recap of some of the meals I’ve made over the past few weeks. Happy cooking.

Chicken parm casserole: This one was simple and quick. I didn’t screw it up, but would add more croutons next time.

http://ourpinterestingsummer.com/2012/06/16/chicken-parmesan-casserole-holy-crap/

chick parm casserole

Crock pot corn chowder: I’ll be using this recipe for years and year to come. I prepped it the night before and let it cook all day while at work. I (of course) didn’t follow the directions properly and added the half/half in at the beginning. While the cream didn’t break, it did thin out. So I added a handful of flour and a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese. The portion size is large, so if you’re not interested in making a lot I would cut the ingredients in half. I just froze the leftovers and used it for another meal a week later. I paired the soup up with turkey meatloaf the first time and baked chicken the second time.

http://www.diypinterest.com/crockpot-corn-chowder/

corn chowder

 

Crock pot cheese tortellini: We both were not fans of this one. Since the recipe calls for tomatoes and we both hate tomatoes, I omitted them. Big mistake. The tomatoes (that are required for this specific recipe) add seasoning. So without them I was left with a tasteless tortellini in a thin sauce. Not to mention the cook time is only 4 hours on low. I thought it would be OK on low for 8+ hours while at work. I was wrong.

http://littlefellows.blogspot.com/2011/11/best-crockpot-meal-ive-tried-yet.html

cheese tortellini

Oven tacos: LOVE. Simply LOVE. This recipe is the perfect change-up for your taco night.

http://mommyimhungry.blogspot.com/2012/11/oven-tacos.html

oven tacos

Monte Crisco sammys: These are little more time consuming than I prefer for a weeknight meal, so I made them on Sunday, paired with French onion soup (below). While delicious, they were very filling. Do not make too many. I was able to feed the husband, my brother, husband’s best friend, sis-in-law and myself with 4 sandwiches sliced in half – throwing away 1 of the halves.

http://www.simply-gourmet.com/2011/07/28-monte-cristo-sandwiches.html

monte crisco sammys

French Onion soup: This soup is another one I’ll be making a lot in the future. It takes a little more prep than the corn chowder, but it’s well worth it.

http://diethood.com/2012/11/02/slow-cooker-french-onion-soup/

french onion soup

Cheesy chicken rollups: These are my go to meal when I can’t think of anything else to make. I sometimes even crave them. My 15-year-old niece made this meal when she came to visit me this past summer. It’s very easy and tasty.

http://www.plainchicken.com/2009/08/chicken-rollups-2.html

cheesy chicken rollups

Crock pot pork chops: No link for this one, but it’s easy. Throw a couple pork chops in the crock pot on low for 8 or so hours with this Campbell’s sauce (this is a new item, so look for coupons). They turned out delicious and I paired the chops up with baked potato and a pasta side.

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Chipotle chicken and rice: Another simple recipe using this Campbell’s skillet sauce. It’s filling, it’s delicious, it’s different. The recipe is right on the package.

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FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/shannonwaldo/boards/

Cotton

My husband and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Monday.

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We both agreed that going out on a Monday night is 1. Stupid (for us) 2. Next to impossible. We always try to celebrate our special occasions with a delicious seafood meal. So instead of rushing home from work after picking up the baby from my mom’s house, getting ready and lugging all of us out the door (leaving our poor Goldendoodle home alone at night after being alone all day), we decided to wait until Saturday. We even got a sitter lined up so we can enjoy some alone adult time.

After scrolling through my old wedding photos online and reminiscing a bit, I kind of forgot about the significance of the day.  I went through the motions and worked a busy day and rushed home so I could enjoy the rest of my night with B, the babe and the goldendoodle. I knew he had something for me (and I honestly thought he bought me a new iPhone because I’ve been bitching about mine for a long time now). But what I got was SO much better.

Cotton.

I actually didn’t put much thought in to what I was going to get him, he said he wanted new golf shoes and that’s what he was going to get. Until the Pittsburgh Pirates made it to the playoffs and game 4 of the NLDS was at home. He managed to find tickets for himself and left work early the day of the game. I told him since it was a pretty pricey event, that the ticket/night out with friends was his gift from me. Even though they lost, he still had a great time and thanked me profusely for the spontaneous splurge. He’s been a Pirates fan his whole life, and honestly nothing makes him happier (well, beside his family) than sports. It was the perfect gift for him.

So I didn’t know that, traditionally, you are supposed to give cotton as a second anniversary gift. But B did. He knew that because he took the time to look it up online. That act alone was enough of a gift for me… but who doesn’t love a little gift here and there? (I do! I do!). When I saw the package I didn’t know what to expect. It clearly wasn’t an iPhone. I was truly surprised when I pulled out a long, pastel pink, cozy bath robe – made of, you guessed it, cotton. Stuffed in the pockets were my favorite slipper socks and a gift certificate for a massage.

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He said he thought a bath robe was perfect because “I like to be comfortable and warm.” Plus, he said, he was sick of seeing me an old, beat up robe I have had since college. I had a hard time holding back the tears because he put so much thought into the gift, ensuring that the robe was made of 100% cotton. He also said he tried finding cotton slippers for me, but knew I liked fuzzy socks better. And even though they weren’t cotton, he bought them for me.

This man continues to prove his love for me day in and day out. He makes me my coffee every morning and brings the piping hot cup back to our bedroom when I’m getting ready for work. He steadfastly stood by my side through 36 hours of labor, holding my hand and gently wiping the sweat from my forehead. During my emergency c-section he showed no fear and told me that he was proud of me. This is the man that, after surgery, held me up in the shower when I couldn’t stand and dressed me when I couldn’t lift my legs. This man affectionately asks me every day, “Shan, do you love me?” and sends me texts throughout the day to let me know he’s thinking of me. This same man looks at a daughter with love so deep that it takes my breath away. He doesn’t flinch at changing a poopy diaper and tells our little girl how beautiful she is every. single. day. He still holds my hand and kisses me goodnight and tells me he loves me every day.

I knew I loved him on October 14, 2011. I just never knew how much more I could love someone I already love.

Baby approved of the robe too.

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