Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A combination that can't be beat.
One of our favorite meals, sausage and peppers, rolled into the most delicious pasta dish. 
This one is really easy too, guys. A perfect weeknight dinner!

You'll need:
(removed from the casings or start with the ground if they sell it at your grocer)
julienne cut red peppers, green peppers and onion
pasta of choice (this time I used fresh spinach fettuccine)
vodka sauce

How to:
get water on the stove and bring to a boil
brown sausage 
add onions until soft
add peppers until soft
add sauce (as little or much as you like)
boil pasta to al dente
 (if you buy fresh pasta it only takes a few minutes)
drain pasta and finish cooking in sauce

While pasta is typically not the first thing that comes to mind when it's 80 degrees outside, sometimes you just need a no brainer meal that's easy to throw together after a long day. It re-heats well, and is perfect to take to work for lunch, too!


Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
Will Rogers

You made it half way through the week! See you soon with a thairapy update, and a new Italian sausage pasta recipe.

My Kid Dresses Better Than I Do

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I had a revelation recently. My kid dresses better than I do. Her clothes are so cute, and I don't think it's simply because they're tiny. Really, I always try to pick out "fashionable" outfits for her. Is this ridiculous? I mean, I even put a head band on her when she's home with the nanny all day. A bit extreme maybe?

Now, I like to think that I try to be trendy and fashionable, but most of the time I default for something comfortable, or an "old favorite." My "uniform" is a sleeveless top, cardigan, and straight leg pants. I did mix it up a bit this season, and bought some colored pants from LOFT, and I really do love them. They were a good find, and give me some variety from my typical black or grey pant with some color.

I remember when my sister and I were younger, and my mom would take us shopping. She never bought herself anything. We would always tell her "but mom, you deserve it" or "you never buy yourself anything." She would always just brush it off, and we'd continue on the spree to fill our closets with new goodies. I never understood that until now. She really is a great mom, and while I always felt that she deserved more than what she would ever do for herself, I hope to be just like her one day.

Yes, I might focus more on making sure Noelle looks cute, but I'm ok with that. She deserves it, and one day she'll teach her daughter the same thing, just like my momma taught me.

Weekend in Review

Monday, June 24, 2013

A few photos, a few words, to sum up our weekend.

Snuggles before bed on a Friday. Perfect.


Nap on Saturday afternoon. She fought it to play with Aunt Brittany all morning!

Mom and dad's night out.


Early morning walk along the lake with a girlfriend. 

Our weekend trip to target, and Nono's first time in the cart. she had a blast!

How was your weekend?
I have more stories to share from the weekend, but that will have to wait for another day.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer is here, and it's time to start mixing some salads into our weeknight menu! We used to make big chicken salads with tons of delicious veggies all of the time, and somehow it has been missing for a while now. We menu planned last weekend, for the week, to ensure that we wouldn't let the lazieness take over after a long day of work, and order take-out.

We decided to make a chicken caesar salad, and it would be one of my nights to cook. What does this mean? Well, since I do not know how to grill, the chicken was getting cooked one of two ways: 1. in the oven, or 2. on the stove top. A few weeks ago we learned that our smoke detectors are quite sensitive, and since hubs wasn't home yet, stove top cooking was out of the question. I just couldn't risk them going off while I was trying to cook after Noelle went to sleep. I pulled out my trusty chicken tender recipe and got to cooking!

The salad was so delicious! The crispy chicken was an awesome compliment to the caesar salad. We'll definitely be making this more often. What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

{Not} Wednesday Wisdom

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Noelle's Eighth Month

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Noelle is now eight months. Wow. This month went by incredibly fast, and was super busy for our family.

At the end of seven months we moved. Thus the majority of this past month has been spent getting settled in the new digs. We're still not there yet, but it's getting closer. The husband started a new job, and for the first time in our relationship (most of it at least) we finally have weekend nights together. To celebrate, we're going on our first date since February this Saturday night. I can't wait! We took a trip to the cottage for Memorial Day, and Noelle got to meet all the kiddos who will become her Higgins friends. And, we took Noelle to her first Chicago street festival - Rib Fest.

eating. croissants. 

drinking. holding my own bottles.

chores. laundry with momma.

street fest season. rib fest.

standing and playing.

teething on everything.

just being our happy girl.

Noelle is changing every day. It's almost hard to keep up with everything new. She's going to be talking, and running around this place in no time. Happy eighth month, big girl!

Weekend in Review

Monday, June 17, 2013

 A few photos, a few words, to sum up our weekend.

Friday Night

helping mom order pizza. yum - credit cards - not pizza ... yet.

crawling backwards and getting stuck under the couch...three times.
ordering off eating the menu (don't worry, we sanitized it first).
having so much fun at Yolk with Uncle Jeremy from Michigan.
pancake coma on the l.
baby's first wrap dress. had to get a picture (ok, lots) of that.
over sized patio chairs are perfect for Noelle 
We had a really nice weekend. It was relatively low key, but most importantly,
the first weekend since 2008 that the hubs didn't work Friday or Saturday night. 
This is huge people, and so appropriate for his first Father's Day.
Mom and dad had two (weekend) nights together.
We had a great family day on Sunday. I couldn't ask for more.


Friday, June 14, 2013

My whole life I've wished I had different hair, and earlier this week, like a strike of lightning, I decided to just accept it. I'll back up, and start somewhere near the beginning.

My hair genes should be curly. My mom has curly hair, my dad has curly hair, and my sister got a beautiful combination and has wavy hair. Me, not so lucky. Pin straight. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be able to have voluminous hair that will curl. Nope, no volume here. Regardless of how many volume maximizing hair products I use, it's flat.

Through the elementary and middle school years there were a lot of perms. Without fail, after a couple of weeks, my beautiful curly locks had hung themselves straight. Bless my mom for getting me all those perms even though she knew it would never stick.

Thank goodness photos were not digital then!

Then, I think in seventh grade, The Rachel was introduced to the world. Off to the salon we went for a new hair cut that was meant for straight hair. The problem though with The Rachel is that you actually have to be able to do your hair. Well, some seventh grade teeny boppers might have the patience and skill to do this, not me (and let's be clear, I still don't). So, it grew out and that was that.

Let me repeat, thank goodness photos were not digital then!

Fast forward to my twenties, and I eventually learned how to use a straightener to curl my hair, kinda. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, and it's not a quick process so most of the time I simply do not have the patience. So, I conceded to my hair being what it was, and just learned to live with having poker straight hair. I even cut my long hair up to my chin (and then some once) a few times to try and find a "better" style than long straight hair.

That's about as curly as it gets folks. That probably took me an hour.

But, there's always a silver lining, right? Our water heater went out on Sunday, and was replaced on Tuesday. Why am I telling you this? Because thanks to my long, straight, no fuss hair, I can go days without washing it, and it never looks any different! No product needed means no product to try and wash out in ice cold, no water heater, water. Woo hoo! Finally a reason to thank my lucky stars for my hair.

This is my hair hours after a shower, no blow dryer, or any sort of hair products were used.

I always wished that Noelle would get Dave's curly hair (yes, even hubby has curly hair!), but from where I'm standing, it's lookin' pretty darn straight. One day I'll explain to her why this is a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"And, the trouble is, if you don't risk anything,
you risk even more."
Erica Jong

The hubs and I were talking the other day, and I told him that I felt the last month was probably one of the hardest throughout our entire relationship. Risks were taken, decisions were made, and things are working out. Even if things weren't working out (yet), and the risks were challenging us still, we'd continue to put one foot in front of the other until they did. 

Take risks, and make the hard choices.
Choose to be happy with the decisions you've made and "carry on."

Life is good, ya'll. Happy Wednesday!

Weekend in Review

Monday, June 10, 2013

Well, we really kicked off summer in the city this weekend. 

We started the weekend with coffee and croissants from our corner coffee shop.
I think it is my favorite part of our new little neighborhood.
Their croissants have been voted some of the best in Chicago.
Noelle agreed too! She saved the bit on her lip for a snack for later. 

We followed up our morning with some chores,
and headed to North Center for Chicago's annual Rib Fest. This was Noelle's first festival.
She was a champ, and we can't wait to take her to more this summer!

On Sunday we played around the house until it was time to go to some friends' engagement BBQ. 
Noelle practiced her standing skills - she loves standing - and modeled one of her new headbands, before an outfit change for the party.

There were lots of firsts this weekend. Much more family time than we're used to, Noelle's first fest, and her first BBQ.
I'd say it was a fantastic weekend. A repeat next weekend, and for the hubs' first father's day no less?! Yes, please!