Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's No Place Like Potbellys

My husband and I get the immense pleasure of getting to eat at Potbelly Sandwich Shop only once or twice a year. We only go the one in The Woodlands, and this past weekend, on our way to Houston, we stopped in for the greatest sandwich on planet Earth:

The Italian with everything on in. Oh. My. Gosh. this sandwich is good! And I mean best-sandwich-I've-ever-had-in-my-entire-life good! When my husband's parents lived in The Woodlands, my favorite part of the visit was sneaking off to Potbellys.

We were so excited that we got to take our son for his first Potbellys experience! He was very well-behaved (probably because he wasn't in his carseat in our stuffy SUV listening to Momma and Dada trying desperately to calm him down)!

Gosh I wish we had a Potbellys in Little Rock!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sprinkles and All Things Sweet

One of my best friends, Laura, is obsessed with cupcakes. She is one of the cutest, sweetest, and most put-together people that I know, so of course she would love cupcakes and of course she took me to try a couple of her favorite cupcake spots when I came to visit her in Houston this past weekend.

First on the agenda?

She took me to Sweet! What an adorable little place located in Houston's CityCentre! Laura ordered a vanilla cupcake...

And, as the girl who has wanted a carrot cake every April 8th for the past twenty-three years, I immensely enjoyed my carrot cupcake...

Really, though, Sweet gave us the opportunity to leave our sweet hubbies at home and do some much-needed catching up!

The next day, I was super excited to experience Sprinkles. The bestie has raved about Sprinkles for as long as I can remember, so I had pretty high expectations! First of all, like Sweet, Sprinkles was the cutest little cupcake store I had ever seen!

Because we were hitting up Sprinkles before pigging out on a Tex-Mex lunch, we decided to split a cupcake (a decision I'm now regretting, as I could have probably eaten four cupcakes!). So, on a wonderful recommendation from Laura, we split a vanilla cupcake.

Yum. That is all I have to say about my cupcake experiences this weekend. If you are ever in Houston, you absolutely must go to Sweet and Sprinkles! Yay for cupcakes, besties, and calories that come in cute, little packages. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So-Gal's Recipe: Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

This lasagna is so good. We had some friends over last night, and all I'm saying is that when it came time to wash the dishes after they left, there wasn't much washing to do. :)

You will need:
  • 1 (10 oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 cup of matchstick carrots
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages of refrigerated Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • 4 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Uncooked lasagna noodles
1. Drain spinach well. Stir together spinach, chicken, next 5 ingredients, and 3 cups of Italian cheese in a large bowl.
2. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into a crock pot. Arrange noodles over mixture (you'll have to break some of them to do this). Repeat twice. Top with mixture and 1 cup of cheese.
3. Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 hours. Uncover and cook on low 30 minutes.

As a disclaimer, this picture is not one that I took of my own lasagna. Mine wasn't this pretty, but it was most definitely yummier. Need proof? We ate it too quickly for this chef to take a picture. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wye, Oh My!

Today, we (me, my son, my hubby, and my sis) went to Wye Mountain's annual daffodil festival. As usual, Wye Mountain covered in daffodils was a beautiful sight.

I was so excited to get lots of good pictures, especially since it was overcast (which is the best weather for taking pictures). Well, this overcast was more of a barely-masking-the-sun-thus-making-you-squint-in-every-freaking-direction sort of thing. Thus, not the best pictures I've ever taken, and my son is closing his eyes in nearly all of them.

But, aside from photography complaints, it was an exciting outing. And we all got to snuggle with little one for pictures, which is all we really wanted to do anyway. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Just because we're all sick over here, doesn't mean that we're not celebrating St. Patrick's Day! The hubby and I are both wearing green, and my son is wearing his lucky Irish shirt. As I've said before, anything Irish is a big deal in our household. Although my husband was born in the Middle East, his parents are both from Ireland, so my hubby is truly Irish.

For my son's first St. Patrick's Day, I got him a card and a little gift!

His very first sippy cup!

And how cute does he look in his little Irish shirt? My baby isn't getting any pinches today (wink, wink!).

Later today, I'm going to give him one of my St. Patrick's Day cupcakes to eat. So, happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget to wear green! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

How adorable are these cupcakes!? I made them today, because I was worried I wouldn't have the energy to make them tomorrow. My husband is a true Irishman and my son is 50% Irish, so St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in our household!

What you will need:
  • White cake mix
  • White icing
  • Green food coloring
  • Green writable icing (with tips)
1. Make cake mix and add lots of food coloring to mix. Green is one of the hardest colors to get to show up, so you need to do at least 15 drops.
2. Spoon mixture into cupcake pans, and bake as directed.
3. Now you have cute, green cupcakes...

4. Mix the white icing and green food coloring, until you get a green that you're happy with. Then, spread the icing!
Now, you can use the green writable icing to make shamrocks, leprechauns, or to write out "Happy St. Patrick's Day," like I did! :)

Three Fevers and A Desperate Wish For Seven O'Clock

This cartoon pretty much sums it up. Except that Mommy isn't relaxing on the couch, Daddy is studying for a medical school exam, and there definitely isn't enough time to make hot tea and succumb to the general feeling of feverish ickiness that I've been experiencing for the last forty-eight hours.

Ugh. That word sums up the last two days. This morning, I woke up with a fever and the room spinning, and I prayed desperately for God to help me get through the day. I think that the past two days have quite possibly (as in "without a doubt") been my hardest "mom" days yet. I can deal with chaos, I can deal with crazy, but when Momma feels this sick, it's hard to deal with anything--much less a demanding eight-and-a-half-month old.

Here's to hoping that seven o'clock gets here quickly, so I can tuck little one in and do a little relaxing. ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

So-Gal's Recipe: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This recipe is stop-the-bus-get-out-and-slap-yo-grandma good. If you're like me and one of your favorite things in the world is to receive praise for your cooking, this is a recipe you can't go wrong with. It's easy, it's yummy, and it's definitely not healthy! My three favorite things about Southern food! :)

You will need:
  • Chicken tenderloins
  • 3 cups of buttermilk (you can use more)
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. of pepper
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (you can use more)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Optional (I always use them, you don't have to): Chicken fajita seasoning, seasoned salt, and Cajun seasoning (adds a little kick)
1. Combine chicken and buttermilk in a large nonmetal bowl (or dish); cover and chill for 8-12 hours. Drain chicken, discarding buttermilk.
2. Preheat over to 350.
3. In a large freezer Ziploc bag, add your spices and flour. Place 6 pieces of chicken in at a time and shake, shake, shake until they're good and coated
4. In skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1/4 inch (note: this is a lot of oil). Fry chicken pieces, in 2 batches, in hot oil 5 minutes each side. Place chicken on a wire rack in a jelly roll pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until done.

He knows good fried chicken when he sees it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Video: Clap, Clap, Clap!

Random Thoughts

1. Having a sick baby is no fun.

2. Trying to force antibiotics down sick baby's throat is definitely no fun.

3. Arkansas drivers: If you are making a left-hand turn at a light, and the light is green, but the light is also green for oncoming traffic and you see someone making a right-hand turn who doesn't have a yield sign...YOU yield. Really not sure how grown adults don't know this. I've seen nearly two accidents because of this in the past week alone.

4. Don't think I'm weird, but I've started sleepwalking. Yeah. Not sure what's causing that. Last week, I walked out into the living room, and talked to my husband about why he was in the driveway. Last night, I walked around the bedroom taking the pillowcases off the pillows and sprinkling them around the room, as well as my wedding rings (yes, that led to a freak-out moment this morning...Did my rings fall off in Walmart!?).

5. People in Canada are viewing my blog. A lot.

6. Real Housewives of Orange County comes on that means today is an innately awesome day. Also, no matter what you say, RHOC are the best housewives. The end.

7. Thank goodness for wonderful friends, fun lunch dates, and random, sweet notes. God really does look out for me when I need it the most. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Shoes

I can distinctly remember the day: It was a beautiful, sunny day in August when my mom took my sister and I shopping. She bought both of us the same outfit that we went crazy for. It was a poofy gold skirt with a sleeveless cream top. To. Die. For. My 18 year-old self, and my sister's 15 year-old self knew that.

"Mom," I said, "I don't have any shoes to go with this." My sister echoed my sentiments.

So, my mom took us to Dillard's to get shoes that would match our new, cute outfits. It didn't take us long to find them. There they were: the gold BCBG shoes that we knew we couldn't live without. It was like they were specifically designed for the outfit.

"They're perfect!" Then, I did something that I had never done before--exemplified fiscal responsibility. "Why don't we get one pair and then just share them?" I'm sure that at the time my mom was secretly in shock over my comment, but we did just that. We bought one pair of shoes.

Thus ensues the six-year shoe battle of the sisters.

We went back and forth stealing and hiding those shoes for years. I would hide them under my bed, then my sister would hide them under a quilt in the linen closet. Back and forth, back and forth. The best, though, was when I left for college--in Texas. Perfect solution! I hid the shoes in my bag, and there they were, safe and sound in my dorm room. Or so I thought. My sister nabbed them on a visit. Darn.

Today, my sister came over to the house to play with my son. While she was over, I remembered something.

"Oh! I have a bunch of clothes that I'm about to give away. Do you want to look through them?"

I was in the middle of going through all my clothes, when she spotted them.

"The BCBG shoes!"

I laughed. "Do you want them?" I asked. (What on earth am I going to do with a pair of 4" heels? Unless they're barf-proof, can be put on in less than five seconds, and are good for chasing down a child that is headed toward an electrical socket, I'm not interested.)

She looked them over, looked at me, busted out laughing, and said, "Nope."

So, the years of fighting back and forth over these shoes, and what do we have to show for it? Neither one of us want this pair of perfect shoes that have been barely worn and frequently hid. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Tonight, I was doing the usual bajillion things before putting the little one to bed. I had just pulled him out of the tub, put some pajamas on him, and set him in his crib so that I could go refill his humidifier before making a bottle and rocking him to sleep. Well, I came back in from filling the humidifier, and this was what I found...

I nearly dropped the humidifier I was so shocked! I have seen him pull up to his knees tons of times, and his feet several times--but never in his crib! I'm still not sure how he even managed to reach up that high! Needless to say, my husband decided it was time to lower the crib even further, just to be on the safe side and protect our little climber. :)

I really cannot believe how quickly he is growing up! It seems like this was just yesterday...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What A Day

I am beyond exhausted as I'm sitting down to write this blog post. I'm writing this one because I need to get it off my chest and move on. I know I'm being such a drama queen, but nonetheless...

This afternoon, about thirty minutes before I needed to leave for class, I had asked my husband to watch the little one so that I could prep and get my backpack and everything together. (That's right. I'm a grown woman, and I have a backpack.)

I had just sat down to my computer in the playroom, when I heard it: the loudest, most awful-sounding thud that a mother can ever hear. I knew before my husband ever yelled at me that it was bad.

"He caught the corner of the door!" I could hear the fear and panic in my husband's voice.

I literally threw my chair backwards and flew out into the hallway. My son was in my husband's arm. He was crying so hard that I was afraid he would have a breath-holding spell (he's never had one, but it's one of my big fears).

I grabbed my son and held him close to my chest.

"You have to look at it! Look at him!"

For the first time in my life, I understood that fear of "I didn't want to look." In fact, to be honest, I was amazed he was conscious. Of course, I had only heard the thud, but still I was amazed.

I pulled him away from my chest to inspect his head, and burst into sobs. I never cry, but I was pretty sure this was bad. He had a one-and-a-half inch indentation in his head. I was crying so hard that I can't remember a time I've cried that hard.

I ran to the phone to call my parents. My dad is a neonatologist and my mom is a nurse practitioner. I nearly always call them first.

I sobbed to my mom, and she said, "I think he's fine, but I'll let you talk to your dad."

My dad agreed, but offered to come over. My response was, "Yes. Now."

During the time it took for my dad to come over, I seriously considered getting into the car and driving to the emergency room. It started to swell--not very badly. At least the ghastly indentation was gone.

My dad, true to form, came in all smiles, scooped the little one up (who, by this time, was babbling on and on with his usual "Hey-yeah's" and "Dada's"), looked him over, and said, "He's fine. This happens all the time with babies. He's just going to have a big bruise."

And again, I collapsed in tears. Beyond relieved.

Needless to say, this afternoon was terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad. But I am so grateful that my precious, perfect son is okay. Also, on a side note, in case you're wondering, baby craniums are really strong.