Thursday, March 26, 2015

Who doesn't love free stuff?

   Really, who doesn't love free stuff? Whenever I go to a fair or public event, I'm always scanning the booths looking for pens and other random freebies. About a month ago I was watching "Good Day Sacramento" and there was a company "Swaggable" that was doing a segment where if you went to their site you could get free baby products in exchange for writing a review. Sounded simple enough, try product and write review. I thought I could handle that and went online and signed up.       
 And lo and behold, about two weeks later my first product showed up. I got a sample of Babytime's playful baby wash. I won't bore you with my review but you can check it out if you'd like.
  Doing the reviews are fun and don't take up a great deal of time. I was going to give Shane a bath, so why not try out a new body wash. Currently we are trying some baby crackers. He liked the first pack, but I'm going to wait and see how he feels about the second pack.
  Swaggable has lots of different products that they are testing. You can do snacks, beverages, kids products, cosmetics & beauty, health & wellness, and even pet supplies. I urge you to check it out.

This wasn't a sponsored post, I'm just sharing with my fellow friends who also like free stuff.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Supper Planning Sunday's

   I've always been a planner. I love making lists and have a large collection of notepads and post-it's. One of the tasks I do weekly is figuring out our meals for the week. Generally, I do our grocery shopping on Sunday's. So on Sunday afternoons I take stock of what we've got in the fridge and I set to work. I have a large collection of cookbooks, a binder of recipes I've printed from the Internet or torn out of magazines, and of course my Pinterest boards. I'll do a scan of the weekly grocery ad, check for coupons, and get my list going.
   I've found that if I plan out our meals then I have less of those "I don't know what to make, let's just get takeout" nights. Jarrod has come to rely on knowing "what's for dinner" each day. Especially on taco night, he thinks about it all day at work. He loves himself some tacos. 
   To keep me accountable on our dinners, I created a chalkboard that we have up on the wall in the kitchen. It's nothing fancy, just a little board that I bought at Michael's that I decorated with some chalk pens. 

Here's what we are having this week.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crack Bread

I love carbs. Rice, pasta, bread, cupcakes, pizza. I love it all. And when you can pair bread with my other love, cheese, then forget about it. I'm hooked. Like an addict. So when I saw this recipe on  Brown Eyed Baker I knew I had to test it out.

In college, when I wanted to be fancy and feel like an adult, I would attempt to make something that looked like a "home cooked" dinner. And given my limited culinary abilities at the time, it was most likely frozen ravioli with some jarred pasta sauce over the top. But I wouldn't skimp when it came to the bread. I would make this spread that I'd slather between slits cut in a round of sourdough bread. This bread was so epic that Jarrod still talks about it. There are many memories of college that are hazy, but he remembers this bread clear as day. I've tried over the years to recreate it, but alas it never tasted quite right and I gave up. Until now.

This spread is so simple, yet so delicious. You will eat it, and want more. And you will go back for seconds and thirds. You will find yourself planning what you should have for dinner so that you can make this bread again.

It's hard to resist. I dare you. Crack is whack, but crack bread is wonderful. 

Crack Bread
1 Baguette of Sourdough bread, halved lengthwise (I think ciabatta would be lovely as well)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together butter, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper until all ingredients are well incorporated.
    •  This recipe makes a generous amount of spread, so if you have leftovers, wrap it in saran wrap and store in the fridge. I had enough leftover to make a second batch of bread a couple days later.
  • Spread the garlic mixture over the halves of bread. I find to get the loaf to fit better in the oven, to cut the bread into two or three sections.
  • Wrap each section of bread in foil and bake on a cookie sheet for ten minutes. After ten minutes, unwrap the foil and placing the halves on the baking sheet spread side up and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool slightly, slice and devour.
(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekend Warriors

This winter has been unusually warm with no rain. This past weekend was no expection. On Saturday it was 80 degrees. Madness I tell you, simply madness. We decided to flee the heat and head for the hills. We loaded up the truck with our hiking gear and headed up to Auburn. 

Shane had never been hiking before. Sure we take lots of bike rides, go jogging, and general roaming around in the carrier but putting him in the hiking pack for an extended period of time? Were we asking too much of the little guy? Nope. In typical Shane fashion, with a giggle and a big smile we were off to explore the Auburn State Recrecation Area. 

Not wanting to push our luck, we kept the hike short. We had a great time. The flowers were starting to bloom and there were lots of butterflies. Shane loved hearing all the birds. Hopefully we can take more little family hikes like this and work our way up to his daddy's old stomping grounds of Yosemite.

Hiking is fun. So much fun, you just flop over and take a nap. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wow, I'm really doing this. Wish me luck.

I'm Andrea and I do stuff. All kinds of stuff. I bake, crochet, run (not very fast or well ), play the flute, geek out over Disney related anything, quilt/sew, travel and take lots of pictures on my iPhone (I have 1362 of them right now). I use cloth diapers with my son, and I love it. I have been accused of being obsessed with it. I like to read books and watch TV. Take that back, I love TV. I watch a long list of reality shows. I keep up on celebrity gossip. I have quite an arsenal of random facts. I really enjoy wearing yoga pants.

I'm married to a wonderful guy who lets me be me. He goes along with my crazy hair brained schemes. He's my total opposite, but also  just like me. We think the same, which is incredibly frightening and awesome. I am very lucky that he loves the San Francisco Giants and Disney. Things would be really awkward if he didn't.

I'm also a mom to an incredibly handsome little guy who amazes me with his strength despite the
medical obstacles he's faced. He has crazy hair. And a fluffy butt. More on that to come.

Photo Credit: Snapshot Sisters

People have been telling me for awhile now that I should start a blog, have an Etsy shop, open a bakery, become an event planner.... the list goes on and on. I just like doing stuff. I like to do things for people. If something I can create will that brighten their day, then I want to do it.

As Walt Disney said "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you". 2014 was a very challenging year for me. So many things happened both personally and professionally that tested my strength. But with the support of friends and family I made it through.

I'm going to do stuff. And it will be awesome.