Ten on Tuesday

Down to the wire, but here I am for Ten on Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start!

1. Van and I didn’t really dress up for Easter, but Rylie had a pretty little dress on! She mostly just liked chewing on the layers! The pictures I took weren’t all that great, but here are a few!

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2. I did some shopping at CVS the other day and came out with my best savings yet. I paid just $1.12 for all of this! Win!

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3.We thoroughly enjoyed having Friday off last week. We got quite a few things done around the house, including painting the half bathroom. Here’s a little before picture. Afters are coming SOON! We just have a few little things to finish and another room will be complete! Goodbye lovely (ugly!) yellow!

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4. You know what word I don’t like? Caf. Like instead of saying cafe or cafeteria. I heard someone say it today and it just makes me cringe! That’s all.

5. The sweet baby and I had a little photo shoot the other day. We were given the cutest little hat with a big flower and I wanted to make sure I took some pictures of her wearing it while it still fits! These are a few of my favorites!

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6. Would you just look at these little toesies? I just love them!

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7. I made a delicious vegetarian breakfast casserole and hot corn dip to take to church on Sunday. I’m definitely going to have to share the recipes, especially for the breakfast casserole! Yumm-o!

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8. I’ve noticed lately that I sure post a lot of vegetarian recipes on here. That’s odd because I’m not a vegetarian! I always seem to take pictures of the food I make that doesn’t have meat…I wonder if I do that subconsciously?!

9. When Brittany was here we had Banana Bread Pancakes for breakfast one day. They’re surprisingly not bad for you! Once you add the sweetened up syrup, well that might be a different story! Whole wheat flour, bananas and some other good stuff – so very delicious!

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10. And finally, congratulations to one of my best friends Jess and her fiance James on their recent engagement!!

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Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

A couple of weeks ago we decided to have a menu of meat-free dinners. It was chilly outside and chili sounded good, so we went on the search for a good vegetarian chili. This is one of the first recipes I came across and after reading the ingredient list, my search was over! It was the first time we had ever made quinoa and Van wasn’t so sure about it. He’s not crazy about the look of it when cooked, but I thought it added the perfect amount of texture and protein to the dish. You can probably make it without the quinoa, but I’d highly recommend keeping it in. I especially liked this recipe because it didn’t have to cook for several hours. Once all of the vegetables cook for a few minutes, it just simmers for 30 minutes, and voila! Dinner’s ready! Leftovers are delicious the next day as well.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili - A Little Bit of Me

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa (Mine came pre-rinsed, but if your package doesn’t say that, you’ll want to rinse it)
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, cornbread, etc.

Directions:
1. Combine the water and quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers and zucchini. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add all canned ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season with chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper. Simmer the chili on low for about 30 minutes. Add toppings and serve!

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Original recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Friday Favorites

Fridays are always sweet, but vacation Fridays are even better! Thankfully Van and I both have the day off today and we have several things on our agenda. I started off the morning by sleeping in (hallelujah!) and then we picked up some project essentials at Lowe’s and did our monthly shopping at BJ’s. Van and Rylie girl took naps when we got home and the rest of the day’s fun is about to begin! Spring cleaning and projects here we come! We’re excited to spend the evening with friends tonight celebrating Good Friday and will continue our spring cleaning and project fun tomorrow as well. If I’m not back before then, Happy Easter to you and your family!

Click the blue links below to be taken to the source.

Favorite Easter Eats: Bacon and Cheese Easter Bread. Say what?! With Easter in its name, it seems to be a pretty clear sign that we should make it this weekend!

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Favorite Sip: Copycat Caribou Coffee Sparkling Peach Black Tea. This looks so tasty and refreshing…and you can’t beat the savings by making it at home!

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Favorite Bag: This Navy Chevron Harper Tote from Pottery Barn Kids is too cute! I got their catalog this past week and was drooling over every.single.page! So much cute stuff!

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Favorite Baby Beach Accessory: Again from PB Kids, these Diaper Covers and Reversible Sun Hats are too sweet! Rylie NEEDS these for our upcoming trip to Arizona!

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Favorite Shareable Sweet: Martha’s Cinnamon-Bun Bites. I guess all things can be shareable, but this treat is just begging to be taken to a morning get-together!

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Favorite Discovery: Printstagram! Can’t wait to print some of my Instagram photos from here!

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Favorite Home Accessory: I’m loving this Wooden Floral Wall Clock from Say Hello Shop. They also have it in a white plastic, but the price tag is a good bit higher. Check out the many other cute things from this shop!

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Well some organizing projects are calling my name so that’s it for this edition of Friday Favorites!

Ten on Thursday

Well this week has just slipped right through my fingers! It hasn’t been an exceptionally busy week, but Monday and Tuesday just left no time for blogging, so today we have Ten on Thursday! Not quite as fun and catchy as Ten on Tuesday, but it will have to work this week. Last weekend was a lot of fun and I have quite a few pictures to share as a result. Enjoy!

1. My friend Brittany came to visit for the weekend! We went to Elon together and are sisters in Alpha Chi. She works on the west coast for Elon now and I’m so glad she was able to spend the weekend with us while she was in the area for work. We loved having her here and can’t wait until her next visit!

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2. In addition to the adorable outfit that Brittany brought for Rylie, she also got her an adorable outfit when we went shopping at Target! We didn’t notice at the time, but thanks to a lady in line at the checkout, we found that it matched what she was wearing exactly! We knew we liked those colors together for some reason…too funny!

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3. We also went to Tonya’s baby shower on Saturday and saw a lot of friends that we hadn’t seen in awhile. Such fun celebrating Tonya and Travis and the upcoming arrival of baby Preston! We can’t wait to meet him! (Thanks to Meredith Parnell for these great pictures!)

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4. Rylie has somewhat figured out how to suck her thumb recently. The way she keeps her whole hand open while doing it is so sweet!

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5. We practiced rolling over while Brittany was here and I just love these pictures we took! The light combined with a naked baby was just perfect!

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6. Last week we went to Rylie’s first Pancake Dinner at the Boys and Girls Club. It was my first time too for that matter! It is quite a popular event and we were excited to find Mark, Amy and Landon there at the same time! Landon enjoyed stuffing his face with his first taste of pancakes and Rylie just enjoyed her paci and being held by Mark and Amy.

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7. My mom The Easter Bunny is seriously the best! Who knew that he reads blogs and saw my post a few weeks ago?! I LOVE my new Fossil wallet and Rylie is so excited about her Vera Bradley Baby paci holder and bibs! Ok maybe I’m more excited than she is, but it’s all good.

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8. I love putting old and new pictures of Rylie side by side to see how she’s changed. I can’t believe how different she looks in the picture taken last week on the right compared to the one taken during her first week on the left!

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9. It’s not too often that Rylie naps without her paci, but I’m glad that I caught this moment the other day. Maybe you’re tired of sleeping baby pictures, but I just can’t get enough of them!

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10. A friend of mine recently told me about Origami Owl jewelry. The name is a little odd, but I LOVE their Living Locket necklaces! I’m thinking this would be perfect for Mother’s Day! Hey Van! Let’s talk preferences 🙂

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Hopefully today is the last day of work for the week for you and you’re able to enjoy a long weekend with your family! We’re excited to have the day off tomorrow and are looking forward to doing a lot of things around the house, including some painting!

Rylie – 3 Months

Three months? Are you serious?! Rylie is developing such a little personality and we just love it! If you smile at her, you’re almost guaranteed a smile in return and probably even some baby babble too! We love this precious girl so much and are so blessed to have spent the last three months with her. I think I took even more pictures this time around because she just kept smiling and making cute faces. I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites, so at the bottom I included a little gallery with several more pictures that were taken.  I’m finding that I end up with quite a few more blurry pictures as the month’s go on. I have a feeling that before long it will be pretty difficult to get her to stay put for these pictures!

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And a cutie headband from Makenna for good measure…

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And just look at how she has changed each month! Still pretty little, but growing FAST!

Months 1-3Here are just a few more of my favorites!

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And here are two videos of some 3 month baby babble! Please excuse my obnoxious Mommy voice!

Friday Favorites

Oh Friday! I’m so happy you’re here! Even with a full work day ahead, I am so very thankful that the end of the week has arrived. We made it through my first week back at the office, thankfully with tears only on Monday. I think I cried enough on Monday for each day of the week though! Van ended up keeping Rylie on Wednesday and even brought her to have lunch with me. That was definitely the highlight of my day! Leaving Rylie for the day definitely makes coming home even sweeter and I just can’t seem to hold her enough once I get there. I’m so thankful that she is a cuddly baby because I need that, especially right now!

Enjoy my favorite finds from this week and have a great weekend, dear friend! We are looking forward to a very fun weekend filled with lots of friends and I can’t wait!

Click the blue links to visit the sources!

Favorite Freebie: Printable Post-it Notes! While maybe a little time consuming, this is such a cute idea! And hello! It’s FREE!

Printable Post it notes

Favorite Baby Craft: These felt hair bows are super cute and felt is super cheap so this crafty project looks like a winner! Rylie needs just a litttttle more hair to wear them though!

Felt Bows

Favorite Easter Decor: I don’t know what it is about these hanging tulips, but I love them! Our door is in need of some spring color and this might just be the ticket!

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Favorite Healthy Treat: No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars. These would be a great snack to take to work. And I love that fact that you don’t have to bake them!

No Bake Granola Bars

Favorite Morning (or anytime!) Sweet: Cinnamon Sugar Donuts. I need to make these, eat one and then immediately give the rest away! They look too delicious!

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Favorite Tip: How to pick peppers! Did you know that the ones with four bumps are female peppers and have way more seeds than peppers with three bumps (the males)? I always wondered why there are sometimes lots of seeds and other times hardly any!

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Favorite Baby Style: Rompers! I can’t get enough! Here are a few cuties that I love:

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Favorite 3 Month Old: Oh wait, is this my child? I finally took her three-month pictures this week. I’ll be sharing more of them tomorrow!

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A Daily Dose of Cuteness

After taking a quick glance at the extensive collection of photos that I have taken of Rylie, I thought it would be fun to put them all together in a photo-a-day format. I’ll be updating it weekly so be sure to check out the ever-increasing cuteness of our sweet baby and watch as she grows! Click the link or the image below to view the pictures. There is also a tab at the top of my blog that will allow you to get there easily.

A Daily Dose of Cuteness
A Daily Dose of Cuteness

Ten on Tuesday

Well the week of my return to the office is finally here and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. Before Rylie woke up, I was thanking God for not being a train wreck and about how thankful I was for the strength He had given me. And then all of a sudden the tears started flowing. I guess I had only really thought about being at work and being away from Rylie…not actually LEAVING her. Once those thoughts set in, it was over! The rest of the morning continued to be incredibly difficult, but thankfully I had gotten everything together the night before so we weren’t rushing around like crazy people trying to get out the door.

When we got to the sitter’s, I walked around the car and looked at Rylie in her car seat through the window and the tears flowed even harder. She was as happy as could be and had no clue that I was about to leave her. It broke my heart to think of what would go through her mind when she realized that her Mommy wasn’t there later. And then when I got inside the tears just kept coming and I could barely even talk. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even tell our friend half of the stuff I intended to! But the very worst thing was actually walking out that door. It felt like I was giving my baby away and I just couldn’t handle it. I knew that I would see her later in the afternoon, but in the moment it felt like I was just leaving her and walking away. My heart was broken.

I was thankful for my long commute so that I had some time to process and somewhat pull myself together. I heard this song on the radio at just the perfect time. This part was a great reminder:

My God is strong and mighty
My God is faithful
My hope is in the Lord
For He is able

Of course the song brought more tears to my eyes, but they were good tears this time because I KNOW that my God is faithful and that He will get me through this.

When I got to work I was thankful for the fact that I get to work earlier than my co-workers! However, once they arrived and asked how I was doing, the tears just came right back. Nope. Not ready to talk about it yet! I had also brought a picture of Rylie to put on my desk, but had to put it away for the day because I just couldn’t look at her without crying. As the morning went on though, it got better and I even came back to my desk at one point to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk from Van and Rylie.

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The rest of the day went well and I was able to hold it together until I got home. Seeing Van holding our sweet girl looking out the window at me just melted my heart and I couldn’t wait to get Rylie in my arms. It was SO good to be home and I’m so thankful to be working from home today. What a blessing!! I’m happy to get that first day over with, but I have a feeling that the rest of the week won’t be much easier. With the Lord’s strength, I will make it through though.

In other news, here are some other things going on lately!

1. I went to another big consignment sale on Saturday with my mother in-law and oh my goodness did we come out with some great finds! I actually ended up with way more stuff (and spent even less) than last weekend! I have so many favorites, but this little Gymboree bathing suit set (for $2 by the way) just might be at the top of the list!

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2. Rylie got an exersaucer for Christmas and Van put it together this past weekend. She has some growing to do before she can really play, but it was fun to watch her look at the toys on it! We have put her in it a few other times since then and she seems to be warming up to it. She usually keeps her hands down or clenched at first, but with Daddy’s urging she is slowing touching the toys now! She looks slightly terrified in this picture…

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3. I’m not sure how many of you use Google Reader (for keeping up with blogs), but I was bummed to learn that Google is getting rid of it this summer! I’m looking for another Reader and have heard good things about BlogLovin and Feedly. Does anyone use either or have any other suggestions? One of the things I liked about Google Reader is that you didn’t see the ads that are on a lot of blogs. But that’s likely part of the reason they’re getting rid of it! Advertisers WANT you to see their ads. Who knew?!

4. Last night we decided that we needed a sweet treat so we made these super easy and delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup. I was too excited to take a picture, but everything was mixed in the cup and it turned out deliciously! It was great to enjoy a cookie and not  have several dozen sitting around tempting us. I want to try the Brownie in a Cup next!

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5. I also made those Brownies with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting that I mentioned on Saturday. They didn’t turn out nearly as pretty, but the taste? Oh yes. Don’t tell, but I used a boxed brownie mix to save time and they were still amazing. You can’t really go wrong with brownies and peanut butter, can you?

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6. I’m realizing that I talk a lot about sweet things here. Maybe if I cut them out I could lose a few pounds. I usually only make stuff to take places, but who wants to cut out the sweets? I surely don’t!

7. While I was out on maternity leave, my team moved to a new building that was completely renovated. The space is really bright, clean and open. I can even see out the window at all hours of the day! One of the perks is that we have a pellet ice machine! It’s really close to my desk, which is fabulous! That made me happy-ish yesterday!

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8. It’s a fact that Rylie isn’t the biggest fan of accessories, especially on her head. But she’s getting better! She didn’t even get upset when I put this little hat on her the other day. It matches a sweet seersucker dress and I can’t wait for her to wear it!

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9. Toting around our stuff yesterday was made easier with this super cute bag from my friend Makenna! Of course I love the little cupcake keychain and the fact that it says ‘The Lamberts’!

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10. We’re going to the Pancake Dinner at the Boys & Girls’ Club on Thursday. If you live in the area, you should join us!

Friday Favorites (On Saturday!)

So it turns out that the combination of going back to work and sticking with my commitment of staying off of social media after 4 pm doesn’t work very well for blogging! But I have several favorites from this week to share with you so here are my Friday Favorites…on Saturday!

Favorite Organizing Solution: I don’t really wear belts…like ever…but I love this clever way of keeping them organized using a paper towel holder!

Organized Belts

Favorite ‘Mom Posts’: I have recently taken an interest in a few Mommy Blogs and really loved Blue Eyed Bride’s Bringing Faith to Life about how to do that while managing time as a mom and Thoughts from a Perfect Mother by Kelly’s Corner about how your thoughts about other moms/kids really change once you actually have kids of your own!

Favorite Update: DIY Jute Lamp Shade. I already have an ugly old lamp shade, I just need the jute!

DIY Jute Lamp Shade

Favorite Sweet Treat: Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting. I’m making these to take to church tomorrow. End of story!

Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting

Favorite Find: SheInside. Whoa! This website has tons of awesome jewelry (and other fun things) for really great prices! Here are just a few of my favorites:

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Necklace 2

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Favorite Sip: Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream. Why didn’t I think of that?!

BaileysFavorite Re-purposed Project: Tire Ottoman. Looks like I have a thing for jute today! She has all kinds of other great re-purposing projects on her blog too!

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That’s it for this week! I hope your weekend is lovely so far!

Look Who’s “Talking” and Rolling Over!

Rylie has figured out that she can make all kinds of sounds and has been very “talkative” lately! We are just loving it and have so much fun having little conversations with her.

She can roll over from her tummy to her back now too! Yesterday, she was even doing it on command!

I demand that you stop growing right now, Rylie Kay!