Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sometimes my FB friends scare me.

Wow. First of all I've clearly dropped the ball on keeping up with my blog. Since the last time I bothered to post something Miss E has turned 1, the holidays have come and gone and I am a mere 3 days away from what I consider to be the scariest birthday of my life. Football is also coming to an end for another season. My Cowboys outdid themselves this year with another epic season of mediocrity. Oh well, there's always next year.

Speaking of football, I have a genuine curiosity about something. What the eff is up with all of the Tim Tebow hate? Last night as we watched the game I was honestly horrified by the things that I was reading on facebook and made me question some people's morals and character.

What exactly is so offensive about this kid? I understand he is, at best, an inconsistent quarterback who maybe happened to get lucky with how far his team went into the playoffs. Are people mad that the media loves him and that ESPN can't go an entire hour without talking about him? Or are you truly offended by his choice to be so committed to his faith?

I'll admit it - the last time I was at church was probably Christmas Eve...2010. So I'm not into the kid because he is extremely outspoken about his love for God and God's place in his life. I root for Tim Tebow because others don't. When he first started for Denver the media was all over what a terrible quarterback he is, which immediately put me onto Team Tebow.

 I love a good underdog. I love to see someone rise above the critics and do well for himself. I love a guy who my 8 year old brother can imitate when he scores a touchdown in his flag football league and it doesn't make me cringe. I love a guy who is an awesome role model for little kids like my brother. Maybe this is what turns Bryce from a Cowboys fan to a Denver fan (I certainly hope not but as long as he doesn't start cheering for the Giants it's ok). At least he's not jumping around the living room cheering for Big Ben, a fine young man accused not once but twice of sexual assault.

I understand Facebook is a platform to speak your mind. I just wish people didn't have to use it to be downright nasty for no reason. It's just a game folks. And regardless of what the media says, Tim Tebow is just another human being. Cut the kid some slack, will ya? Or at the very least keep the vitriolic statements to yourself. Didn't your mothers teach you that if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pop quiz hot shot

I am ashamed that we are halfway into the new year and this is the first time I am getting a chance to actually sit down and post something new. Those of you close to me know how it's been crazier than normal in my life but things have finally slowed down a little (for now). This morning I was thinking of posting this as my Facebook status update but felt there was just too much to share to actually give the story justice. I also intend to attempt to start blogging about my participation in the Biggest Loser competition we are running at work (we are already in a week and I'm down 5 pounds!). I'm trying to avoid anything nuts like the South Beach diet (which has worked before but I love carbs) or doing some sort of weird cleanse that involves hot sauce or something like that.

Anyway, Emily is going to be 11 months this month. 11 months! Just thinking about my baby girl turning a year old a month from now makes me want to cry. She is the most wonderful, happy, spectacular little girl. More than I could have ever hoped for. We do, however, continue to struggle a bit with bedtime. Thus bringing me to my story.

Two nights ago we were up in the rocker, bathed by the glow of the Disney channel on mute (some parents use an actual night light, we use the tv). For some inexplicable reason, Emily really settles down when I sing to her. I have it on my to do list to get her ears checked because no person who hears properly truly wants to hear me sing. Just ask anyone who has ever been in a vehicle with me. Emily's favorite song for me to sing happens to be The Wheels on the Bus. I never learned all the different verses and I usually begin to repeat them or make up my own new ones. I've put dogs, horses and pigs on that bus in an effort to keep Emily from crying and to have her eyelids finally flutter closed.

After a particularly difficult struggle and way too many times singing "the wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish" I heard myself singing "the bomb on the bus goes tick, tick, tick". What!? Why on earth would something so horrific ever leave my lips, especially while trying to soothe my child? And in true Kyle fashion, instead of actually being horrified, I started giggling uncontrollably. Realizing I couldn't just let the bomb sit ticking on the bus, because with my luck this single night would lead to Emily's refusal to ever get on the school bus and months of therapy, I quickly inserted Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock into my story to save the day. I also am a fan of Dennis Hopper so he made a cameo in the song as well.

After a few more verses Emily fell asleep and I got over my giggling fit about incorporating the plot of Speed into her nighttime lullaby. Hopefully I haven't damaged the poor kid too much. I guess the moral of the story is never underestimate the power of a movie you've seen one too many times.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baked Chicken Parmesan

This is the best (and easiest) chicken parmesan I have ever made. I'm thinking it had something to do with the pasta sauce I used because I've cooked it this way before and never has it been quite as amazing. I know it's a sin to used jarred sauce but I'm not Italian so I'm thinking there is an exception for me. Either way if you are a sauce maker feel free to sub your own.

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes


1 lb thin sliced chicken breast

1 jar Bertolli Olive Oil and Garlic pasta sauce

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or grease with butter. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and garlic powder. Microwave 45 seconds just to blend the two. In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs and parm cheese. Dip chicken in olive oil & garlic then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place chicken in baking dish. Bake 15 minutes, flip chicken and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cover chicken with pasta sauce and shredded cheese. Cook another 5 minutes. Serve with veggies or a side of pasta.

James claims this was quite possibly the best chicken parm he has ever had. He even compared it to his favorite chicken parm at the Olive Garden which in my book is one of the highest compliments I can receive from my husband.

James rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Did you ever notice that people at the grocery seem to temporarily lose their minds the minute they walk through those automatic doors? It's like there is some sort of sensor that causes the common sense to go flying right out of their brains.

I don't know about you, but I do not have time in my day to idly wander the aisles of Shoprite. The morning (or night before) my planned trip to the local Shoprite I write out a list of all of the things we need. This keeps me from buying unnecessary crap and ensures I don't have to wander up and down every aisle racking my brain for whether we need tuna or peanut butter. But despite my list, I always end up spending way more time in Shoprite than I deem necessary. One of these days I am going to snap and have a minor fit on one of the following people:

The person who drives their car at 5mph looking for the closest spot to the store. Listen my friend, stop being lazy and just put your car in a spot already. Even Giselle could probably use the walk now and again so take right foot, put on gas and go.

The couple who stands in the middle of the aisle arguing over whether or not to buy the $2.50 box of Princess and the Frog fruit snacks. The aisles at my Shoprite are so small that two carts can barely pass each other without you planting your cart on one side of the aisle and your husband planting himself on the other side waving the box of fruit snacks at you like a maniac. I know we are in a recession but it is $2.50! Put them in the cart and stop blocking my access to the oatmeal for Pete's sake. This is also why I do my grocery shopping solo. Maybe you should consider this next time lady.

The women who haven't seen each other in "over a year" (their exact words) who proceed to position their carts at the back of the spaghetti aisle. So while they make trivial conversation and pretend to give a crap about what the other person is saying I am stuck waiting for you to notice me impatiently tapping my foot. Take the reunion to the local Applebees and catch up over apple martinis. Shoprite is not the place to discuss what little Johnny and little Susie have been up to. No one cares.

The woman who stands in front of the yogurt display, trying to figure out which is the cheapest brand. It is yogurt! Most of them are under $1 a piece! Grab a handful and go. And seriously, you appear to be around 50. Price be damned. I'm 28 and I don't care what's on sale. It's Dannon Lite and Fit in my house or its nothing. Also, don't give me the stink eye when I blatantly walk in front of you, grab my yogurts and peace out back to my cart. You may have all day to figure out how to save a quarter but I don't have the desire to spend my entire day in the Spotswood Shoprite. Maybe if you had a life you wouldn't either.

And please don't even get me started on the lack of manners the fine patrons of Shoprite seem to possess. I swear the last time I was there I must have said "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" at least half a dozen times. Do you think a nicety was tossed in my direction even once? You can bet that's a big fat no.

I implore you, please do not treat your grocery shopping as a leisurely stroll through the park. Make a list. Move through the aisles with purpose. And for the love of god don't use the self checkout if you can't figure out how to scan your items.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Tilapia

I am a huge fan of tilapia. It is both good for you and doesn't taste too fishy (I don't do salmon or many other fish). Our favorite tilapia recipe is delicious but chock full of calories. I found this recipe on my go-to site,, however, the original recipe called for it to be baked in the oven and mine is on the fritz so I altered it to cook on the stovetop.

There are a few things to love about this dish. #1, it was super easy. From start to finish it took me under 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. #2, it was fairly inexpensive to make. Tilapia filets were $6 and the bag of steamed veggies I served on the side were on sale for $1.66. Everything else I already had on hand (another plus for this recipe). #3, I love that the only bad thing here is the cream cheese and it's only 4 ounces so it's not that tragic. The total calorie count is 210 per filet.

And the best part? James said this is a definite "make again" and gives the dish 4.5 out of 5 stars. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Servings: 4
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 4 minutes

4 tilapia filets
lemon pepper seasoning
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 tablespoon dried dill weed
lemon juice to taste
vegetable oil or olive oil
minched or powdered garlic (optional)

In a skillet over medium heat, pour enough vegetable or olive oil in the skillet to coat the bottom. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic (or a dusting of powdered garlic) if desired. Season tilapia filets on each side with a sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning (old bay seasoning would work too). Place filets in warm skillet and cook 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with fork.

While fish cooks, melt cream cheese in microwave. Add dill weed. Add lemon juice until mixture is of desired texture (I wanted mine slightly thick but others might like it thinner). You might want to start with a small amount of lemon and taste test the cheese mixture as you go.

Once filets are cooked place on plate and spread with cheese sauce. Serve immediately.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Favorite 4 Letter Word

ETSY. If you don't know it, you might want to stop reading. Now. Otherwise I can't be held responsible for how the following post might affect your wallet.

There are a lot of things I said I'd never do with my child. I'd never let her sleep in my room (too late). I'd never sleep on the couch with her (been doing it for months). You can see where I am going with this. My point is that until you have a child you have no idea what you will do. Which brings us to ETSY.

Headbands: They are a personal choice every mommy has to make for herself. And personally? I loathe headbands. Especially on bald babies or babies with little to no hair. I understand you just want the world to know your baby is a girl. That I totally get. But the bows and flowers that are the size of your kid's head or bigger? Just not my style. My kid is not a Giudice. But plenty of people love them and more power to you. I'm not here to judge.

So I once said my child would NEVER wear a headband. And in true Kyle fashion I was rather vocal about it. To a lot of people. But then Emily came out rocking a full head of hair. And before I knew what was happening, I was putting bows in her hair. Little ones. And I'll be damned-she looked cute! My need for cute bows and clips became an obsession. Enter me sitting at home on maternity leave harboring a growing love of this new website I had found. Naptime became dangerous. is a magical website where you can find pretty much anything under the sun that one could make by hand. Sometimes the choices are overwhelming. I dare you to go to their site and search "crochet infant hat". After you pick your jaw up off of the floor at how many people make and sell said hats, check out how much these bad boys are. And there are sellers who offer free shipping!

One of the things I absolutely love about Etsy is that I am supporting small businesses, stay at home mom's, etc...most of whom are located right here in the good old USA. So not only is Emily rocking a totally cute handmade hat, it wasn't made by some poor kid in a Chinese sweatshop working for 25 cents an hour. That's just little old me, doing my part to stimulate our crappy economy. It's a good way to justify why our 4 month old needs at least a dozen Christmas bows and clips, no?

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit

For the first three months of Emily's life I did something I always swore up and down I'd never do. I slept on the couch with her on my chest. Spare me the lectures because I am 100% aware of how terrible that is. But you try to deal with a baby who refuses to sleep unless held and then come talk to me. Everyone told me swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. Well guess what? Emily does not like to be swaddled. She would either cry the minute you swaddled her or she pull a Houdini and rip her arms out of that blanket in 2.5 seconds flat. So I began to swaddle her from the armpits down and left her little arms free to flail about. Except when she would flail her arms about it would startle her and wake her up. I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably be sleeping on the couch with her until she was 18 and moving away to college. Cody was in all his glory and more than once I found his furry little head up near my pillow. At least one of us was getting to enjoy my side of the bed.

The pediatrician had said Emily's sleep issues might not be resolved until she was 6 months old. I could handle a few weeks of sleeping on the couch but 6 months? No way, Jose. So off to the trusty world wide interweb I went. In the beginning of my pregnancy I began frequenting and desperately hoped the mom's there would have the answer to all of my sleep issues.

I should have known my fellow mommies would have the answers. After a few days of searching buzz began to grow over this new product that promised to change my life-Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit. It is designed for babies who are too big to be swaddled and would keep them from moving their limbs and startling themselves. I sifted through various posts of women attesting to how wonderful this little suit was. When I saw someone mention it was only $39.95 I jumped on and ordered one of those bad boys. Even if it didn't work it wasn't like I was spending hundreds of dollars. I crossed my fingers and hoped this was the answer to all of my problems.

When the suit came in the mail I did a little dance of joy, ripped the package open and immediately stuffed Emily into it. As soon as I saw her staring up at me I started cracking up. She totally looked like Randy from A Christmas Story in it ("I can't put my arms down!"). Even if the thing didn't work I could at least snap a few photos to show her reason #254 why she will eventually need a therapist.

Laugh if you want. Make fun of me for putting my baby something so ridiculous looking. But I will have the last laugh because this sucker actually works! Not only does it keep her snug but it also keeps her warm, eliminating the need for the dreaded blanket in the crib. My girl went from wailing the minute we put her down to sleeping soundly for upwards of 10 hours at night in this thing. $40 well spent!

So if you are looking for the perfect baby shower gift I highly recommend you pick one up for the mommy to be. People might give you the side eye when she opens it but trust me she will be calling you after the baby is born to thank you.