IMG_5517

My family and I try to have a lot of little celebrations all summer long because let’s face it, we live in Minnesota and we need to celebrate every second that snow isn’t covering the ground. Summer doesn’t last long and little celebrations help us savor these precious days when the sun is warm, babies are slathered in sunscreen and the kiddie pool is filled to the brim.

Being parents of two, our summers sure aren’t what they used to be.

But I wouldn’t trade those days for what we have now for anything. I’m so glad we had that time in our twenties and early thirties to be carefree but I love what we have now with our little ones even more. Life is a different kind of fun. The splash pad and zoo and playdates kind of fun. Little ones love being outdoors so in the summer that’s where we spend our time. When evening rolls around we are tired and happy. We celebrate another wonderful weekend coming to a close by opening a bottle of wine on Sunday evening  and taking an extra hour to make a really good dinner.

IMG_5523

For our Sunday dinner, I decided to make shredded turkey tacos with queso fresco, farmers’ market tomatoes, queso fresco, cilantro and lettuce. It was HOT on Sunday and I didn’t want to be working in the kitchen with the oven or stove on so I made the turkey in the crockpot, which was easy and makes a very flavorful, moist, shredded turkey.

We paired the tacos with Middle Sister Wines Pinot Grigio. In the summer I switch exclusively to white wine, because it’s hot and I like my beverages chilled. Pinot Grigio paired well with these turkey tacos, especially with their spicy flavor against the crisp and light notes of the wine.

IMG_5526

I was hoping my sister Katie and her husband Drew would join us for dinner, but they had other plans. So yes Erik and I drank the whole bottle to ourselves. After the girls went to bed, of course.

A little about Middle Sister Wines

- Did you know that birth order is commonly believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development? WE DID!!! And that is why we have dedicated a wine to the sister in the middle – the one who always seems to have a personality of her own, and steals the show. Not everyone has a wine named especially just for her…some people are just born lucky! Enjoy these sassy wines with your favorite family meals.
- Crafted by award-winning winemaker Nancy Walker (a middle sister herself), the portfolio includes a wide variety of delicious red, white and sparkling wines from California and Argentina.
- The Middle Sister brand is based on a series of quirky “middle sister” characters who each claim their own varietal and personality. – The various sisters are engaging and entertaining.
- Middle Sister just received a brand makeover and now features “Drops of Wisdom” which are a dose of inspiration right on the front label.

I’ve talked about my sister A LOT on the blog over the years. She and I are really close. I basically tell her everything. She lives a mile down the road from me. I am so grateful to have a sister. It makes me so happy that my girls have each other. Of course, when we were younger, we weren’t always the best of friends. She is 5 years younger than me and I always found her to be quite annoying. She was always stealing my diary and spying on my boyfriend and I (in high school). We actually didn’t become friends until we were well into our twenties. That’s just how it goes with sisters.

We are also both middle sisters. We have an older brother and a younger brother. Judging from the description of the middle sister above, I’m not sure it really describes either my sister or I, but definitely not my sister. Maybe me a little bit.

IMG_5529

Katie is notorious for buying wine based on how cute the label is, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she has picked up a bottle of Middle Sister Wines in the past. And this Drama Queen Pinot Grigio couldn’t be more relevant because when Katie was younger she demanded that everyone call her Queenie. No I’m not joking.

IMG_5530

A bottle of wine that would entice gals like my sister who purchase based on how cute the label is

IMG_5535

I was pretty proud of myself with this dinner. It was really freaking good. And now we have leftovers for days.

IMG_5559

Queso fresco brings tacos to a whole other level. Just trust me.

IMG_5574Are you hungry yet? And probably thirsty, too.

IMG_5575Middle Sister Wine can be found at many liquor stores as well as in most Targets (where alcohol is sold). As if you needed another reason to love Target, right? You can also go to their website and type in your zip code and find a retailer near you.

shredded turkey tacos with queso fresco and radishes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package turkey breast tenderloin (I used Jennie-O, came with 2 breasts)
  • 1 bottle of beer (any kind, I used Corona Light, you can also use 2 cups of chicken broth)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning 1 bunch of radishes, sliced
  • 1-2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch of radishes, sliced
  • 1 package of queso fresco, (you will only need about ⅓ of it), crumbled
  • 1 bag of shredded lettuce
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 1 package of corn tortillas
  • Optional: sour cream, hot sauce, salsa
Instructions
  1. Add the turkey breast tenderloin, bottle of beer (or chicken stock) and packet of taco seasoning to the crockpot. Stir to incorporate. Turn to low, cover and cook for about 5 hours, or until tender and done (should shred easily with a fork.)
  2. Transfer turkey to a large bowl and shred with two forks
  3. Warm the corn tortillas for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave.
  4. Assemble the tacos with the turkey, lettuce, radishes, queso fresco, tomatoes and cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 comments

IMG_5037

Well, all I can say is OOPS. I am posting Rosie’s 5 month post a whole month late. She actually turns 6 months on Friday. Oh my gosh, how could it be?! But despite my major lack of posting, I fortunately captured the photos on time, so Rosie had just turned 5 months in these photos and was more adorable than ever.

IMG_5033

Months 4 to 5 actually weren’t too eventful in terms of milestones for Rosie. She continued to have bottle issues, but luckily there was improvement over the month. These 4ish weeks were spent with my mom (Grandma Connie) while Erik and I were at work, and she worked hard to get Rosie more comfortable with bottles everyday. She also held Rosie for almost all naps because Rosie continued to not be a huge fan of the crib. Needless to say she was quite spoiled by Grandma (though I don’t really think you can truly spoil a baby). I love that she was held for her naps and loved so much by grandma.

IMG_5034

Rosie continued to be just a happy girl. She smiled all the time this month. She became so much more interactive and vocal. Always squealing and many giggles. Her love of big sister Juliet was so apparent and nothing makes me happier.

Some highlights of this month included:

- Cabin weekend with my family over Memorial Weekend, lazy boat rides and tons of attention from family

- Rosie’s first festival at Grand Old Day in St. Paul. We had a lovely breakfast at one of my favorite cafes and then watched a parade and walked around on a hot day. Rosie slept in the Becco the whole time.

- A fun Rock the Barn event at a nature center by our home. We watched big sister dance the evening away to live music as the sun set. It was a gorgeous evening and a sweet memory with my two girls.

Breastfeeding is still a favorite of both Rosie and mine. As is bedsharing….it works well for us and allows me to get decent sleep. I’m not looking forward to having to do the crib transition at all.

Speaking of sleep…I am happy to report that my total sleep deprivation that I experienced between months 3 and 4 got so much better the next month. Either I was actually sleeping better at night or my body just adjusted. I think it was a blend of both.

My last monthly post for Rosie definitely outlined some challenges. I hadn’t acclimated back into work. I was tired as hell. I was very unkind to myself and had really unrealistic expectations of how quickly I needed to be back up to speed and operating at 100% once I went back to work. But the truth was it took me longer then 6 or 7 or even 8 weeks to feel really and truly back into the swing of things at work. I realize that now.

Things are great at work now, mostly. It feels good working and being productive and my job is pretty great. It’s busy though, and it is hard balancing a demanding job with two kiddos. I still get tired. But I drink a second coffee in the afternoons and it helps (but I’ve never needed that second cup until having a second baby). I can’t wait to get home to my kiddos. And I do miss them a lot while I’m away. The days when I have to work after the girls go to bed are hard. But I can’t complain much, my work/life balance is actually pretty good.

More than anything though, I know how blessed I am to have my Rosie-girl. I love her so damn much. Happy 5 months my sweet darling.

I’ll be back to update on Rosie’s 6 month soon!

0 comments

IMG_5073

My family celebrated Father’s Day a week early this year. Everyone was available which isn’t always the case for holidays so we decided to go for it.

Erik and I had all my siblings, their spouses, kids and my parents over for appetizers and dessert. I wanted to do a “dads’ favorite things” theme so we had each family bring an appetizer that represents a dad’s favorite food.

Let’s cut to the chase, the food! Oh wow the food was awesome at our gathering. My family and I are huge fans of appetizers so we went heavy on the apps and also had dessert. No main course needed.

On the menu:

Mini BLTs (represents Erik, dad to Juliet and Rosie)

Mini egg rolls and pot stickers (represents my dad)

Mango and black bean salsa with tortilla chips (represents my brother Ron, dad to Chloe)

Chicken wings (represents my brother Joel, soon-to-be dad in about 3 weeks!)

Cold Stone Creamery’s Tall, Dark and Delicious round ice cream cake (represents Erik)

IMG_5068

Erik loves ice cream cake. His favorite dessert is a toss up between cheese cake and ice cream cake. And this cake from Cold Stone is as delicious as it looks.

This was a large round cake and it is called the Tall, Dark & Delicious cake. It had layers of devil’s food cake, sweet cream ice cream with brownies and chocolate ice cream with Oreo cookies with white frosting and fudge ganache.

Seriously so good.

IMG_5086

I found this Dad art project idea on Pinterest and Juliet loved it. We taped the word Dad on a big white piece of paper and let Juliet go to town with paints. Once it dried we tore the tape off. Easy peasy. I printed a bunch of my recent favorite Instagram photos of the girls and Erik and hung them up with clothes pins.

IMG_5094

Not all the food fit on my foyer table, but here is a glimpse of our delicious spread. The centerpiece was definitely the cake.

IMG_5102

I’ve made these mini BLTs so many times. They are easy and always a favorite. Erik could eat, like, 20 of them.

IMG_5107

Take breakfast biscuits and bake for 10 minutes, add a slide of roma tomato, lettuce, one piece of bacon and a tiny bit of mayo.

IMG_5114

IMG_5149

I love that this cake is part cake and part ice cream. It’s the best of both worlds. Oh and the chocolate ganache on top was amazing. I called and ordered the cake over the phone a couple days in advance, you can also order online at ColdStoneCakes.com. They typically also have cakes in the freezer that you an pick-up same day, too.

IMG_5166

Erik and his Rosie.

IMG_5191

Let’s just say it’s not easy getting a decent photo of both girls.

IMG_5137

Let’s cut this cake! I’m so glad we have leftovers.

IMG_5140

My lil’ bro is about to become a dad so we give him some practice with Rosie.

I love entertaining and celebrating holidays with my family and adding personal touches to make them extra special. The dads in my life definitely deserve a little something to show how I appreciate them.

Erik is a truly awesome daddy to our girls. And he’s a good husband. Have I ever mentioned that he cleans our house? As in, he cleans and I don’t. I hate cleaning. I stink at it. He likes it and is good at it. And it’s just one of those things he does and never complains. He also makes breakfast for us every Saturday and Sunday morning. And reads Juliet’s books every night. As much as we can be, we are pretty balanced and 50/50 when it comes to our kiddos and our home.

And I can’t say enough good things about my dad. He’s always been a supportive dad. He always made me and my siblings feel like we could do anything we put our minds to. And he’s an awesome grandpa. Juliet calls him Baba Wally and she loves him dearly.

What are you doing this weekend for the dads in your life?

For more ice cream goodness be sure to check out Cold Stone’s Instagram.

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Cold Stone Creamery. As always, all opinions are my own (but since this post is in part about ice cream it also includes the opinion of my 3 year old and husband!).

5 comments

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetCabin breakfasts usually aren’t too fancy, but they are big…and very satisfying.

Over Memorial Day weekend my entire family and I went to a cabin up north. It was 4 days of perfect weather, awesome family time, peaceful pontoon riding, and wonderful food.

And there was coffee. Lots of coffee.

More than a few of my family members and I are a bit sleep deprived. Erik and I have a 4 month old. My sister-in-law wakes up with my 3 year old niece at least once a night and my other sister-in-law is 9 months pregnant. So none of us are getting the best sleep. And we’re tired. Especially me. I’m tired. But I think I’ve mentioned that quite a few times lately.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Our home away from home for the weekend.

The cabin was beautiful, as you can see, and easily slept all 12 of us comfortably. We divvied up meals and Erik and I took a breakfast and dinner.

IMG_4957

Typically I’d want to make some type of quiche or egg bake, but Erik is our breakfast cook on the weekends and he wanted to make a huge, but simple breakfast that included:

- Fried eggs

- Hash browns

- Bacon

- Sausage

- Pancakes

- Coffee

We ended up also having donuts because my sister-in-law (the pregnant one) brought a bunch. She and I share similar cravings when pregnant. Sweets, sweets and more sweets.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

This cabin was the real deal. All wood and rustic.

We kept our breakfast casual and everyone helped themselves as the food was ready. Us coffee-lovers eagerly poured our first mugs of coffee like fiends. I swear we chugged coffee all weekend. I brought Lavazza and it was so good. When you need coffee…like really need it just to get through the day awake, having the best kind is such a special treat.

This is my second post as part of my partnership with Lavazza (earlier this year I had my good friend over and we had a delicious quiche and enjoyed Lavazza coffee while hanging out with newborn Rosie). As a reminder, Lavazza coffee is the number 1 coffee brand in Italy and it tastes damn good. There is this amazing little crepe place called La Belle Crepe (they also serve pho and bahn mi, strange combination but the chef/owner is French and everything he serves is super authentic) in Minneapolis near my office and they serve Lavazza coffee. The fact that he only serves Lavazza speaks to its authenticity. If you are ever in Minneapolis definitely check La Belle Crepe out.

IMG_4962

I so appreciated my parents over our cabin weekend, they helped out a lot with my girls at the cabin which was wonderful and gave me a few nice breaks.

IMG_4955

My lil’ bro. He’s not so little anymore and about to become a dad in about a month.

IMG_4953

Gimme coffee. And lots of it.

IMG_4948

My girls and grandma hanging out in pajamas. Cabin days are lazy days.

IMG_4941

I brought a lot of coffee because I knew my family and I would need it. We went through one and a half of these in 4 days.

IMG_4934

My mom and dad enjoying a cup of coffee at sunset.

IMG_4909

Erik and Rosie enjoying a lazy afternoon.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

The sunsets at the cabin were pretty epic.

And there you have it. A little glimpse into our perfect cabin weekend.

Be sure to check out Lavazza, they make it easy to shop their products from drip coffee, espresso, K-Cups and equipment. If you spend $50 or more shipping is free.

Disclosure: this post has been sponsored by Lavazza, I am participating in a year-long partnership with them called the Lavazza Passionista Network. Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with Eat Drink Pretty. All opinions in this post are my own.

3 comments

IMG_4865

So I blinked and another month went by. Actually more than a month. Rosie turned 4 months on May 10. I’m just getting around to blogging about it now after a month hiatus from posting. It wasn’t intentional to take that much time away from the blog but holy crap the last 6 weeks have just absolutely flown by. And not really in a good way. Being back to work and being so busy makes time go by so fast. I try to stop and take everything in and enjoy these sweet baby moments with my girl. But the time keeps racing by.

The past month or so has been a bit stressful, if I’m being honest. Going back to work this time around might be even harder than the first. Going back right away I totally felt like “I got this”.  I had done the whole back to work after baby thing once before and I knew I’d be ok. And it was ok. It wasn’t awesome, but it was ok. I missed my baby of course…but what I wasn’t expecting was the awful mom brain that took over and the total sleep deprivation that I experienced (well and still have). I would be sitting in meetings and looking around willing myself to concentrate on what my colleagues were saying and my mind just felt foggy. It was hard to pay attention. And then I would think to myself, “what’s going on? Am I stupid? Why does it seem like everyone else is getting it and I have no clue what is going on?” Man, I was tired. Well and I still am. I think I’ve said that twice now. Yup, I’m damn tired.

IMG_4869

But Rosie…oh my sweet Rosie…she is just so wonderful. She is my little dream baby and I don’t for one second take for granted how lucky I am to have her. She smiles so much, like 1,000 times a day. She smiles for photos. It’s so fun. She coos and squeals and makes me so happy. She loves breastfeeding. She smiles so big for her big sister, Juliet. Seeing those two together literally make my life.

One huge challenge we unfortunately have is that Rosie doesn’t take a bottle. Ok, so she sometimes takes a bottle. But at the most we are talking 3ish ounces a day. We waste a lot of precious breastmilk around here and my mom (who takes care of her everyday) works with her all day long on the bottle. Sometimes it can take upwards of two hours to get Rosie to drink a couple ounces. I get the play by play via text while I’m at work and my heart races and my anxiety is through the roof. Why won’t she just eat?! She must be hungry! I worry all day long about my girl. I’m so thankful for every minute that my mom takes care of her. Because she’s the kind of grandma that has all the patience in the world and is loving and sweet to my baby and holds her for naps. Rosie also is not a great napper and definitely not a big fan of the crib.

So yeah…the not drinking bottles and not napping well are a bit challenging. It’s not all roses with Rosie. She makes up for not eating during the day while I’m at work by waking up a lot at night to eat. And or course I will feed her 1,000 times a night if she wants to because I worry about her not gaining enough weight. She was a good weight at her 4 month appointment though so she seems to still be gaining weight despite barely eating all day.  She eats most of her calories at night (this explains my total sleep deprivation).

But honestly, I get home from work and feed her right away and see her big smile and all those challenges go right out the window and I am seriously in baby bliss with her.

IMG_4872

I mean…look at her, she is just so adorable and yummy. I love her so.

IMG_4878

Rosie is still in our room at night, mostly in bed right beside me. It makes it easier to feed her all night long. I think she’ll probably be in our room for a while longer. By 5 months Juliet was already sleeping well in her crib. Each baby really is so different.

I’ve posted a bunch of times about Rosie’s bottle issues on Instagram and have gotten some good ideas. But trust me we’ve tried so many things. Different bottles and nipples. Different positions. Sleeping and awake. Distracted and cuddled close. Fresh milk and frozen milk (it’s not a lipase issue, I’ve tasted it). When she’s hungry and when she’s not too hungry. The one thing we try to be consistent with is to stop trying with the bottle as soon as she seems upset. Usually she just plays with the nipple and chews on it. She doesn’t get too upset or frantic about being given a bottle (like I’ve heard some babies do) but she rarely will latch and drink. And I want her to soo badly. I want her belly to be nice and full and happy while I’m at work. Plus I have like 600 ounces of frozen milk for her in my freezer that just keeps building up. So yeah…we are working through some big challenges here. But enough of that.

Other fun things about Rosie’s 4th month include:

- Giggles and laughing (the sweetest sound!)

- More hair and it still sticks straight up and we love it so much

- Grabbing and holding toys

- Loving bath time with her big sister

I know this post has been a bit all over the board. I know I’ve shared some challenges we’ve had but most importantly over everything, I love this girl so, so much. And I love having two kiddos. Two girls. My girls. How did I ever get so lucky?

Happy 4 months my sweet Rosie-girl! Now please take a bottle :)

4 comments

Rosie 3 month - compressed

I am so behind on Rosie’s 3 month update. She turned 3 months on April 10th, which was also the week I went back to work. So needless to say, things were a bit busy, emotional and I was just tired. Sooooo tired that week. Thank goodness for coffee.

Going back to work has been pretty good. Rosie is with my mom full time until the summer, so that brings me so much peace of mind knowing that she is with grandma. My mom watched Juliet when I went back to work, too. I’m so thankful.

Rosie’s third month was really great all around. But especially when it came to sleep. Pretty much right after she turned 2 months, Rosie started sleeping amazing. Like through the night amazing. There were many nights that she would sleep from 8 or 9 until 6 the next morning. She is still in our room, sleeping in the co-sleeper and our bed and I would wake up every few hours and stare at her and wonder, how is she not waking up to eat?! Once I became comfortable that she actually just is a rockstar sleeper I would relax and sleep, too. Those were glorious nights and I didn’t take them for granted. She’s regressed a bit now that I’ve gone back to work, so she’s waking up a couple times throughout the night, which honestly isn’t a big deal. Juliet never slept through the night until she was 14 months, so that is more what I was expecting. I think Rosie will go back to sleeping a bit better once she is used to the new routine with me being back to work.

Rosie has gone through most of the normal 3 month milestones. I looked back at Juliet’s 3 month update and they are very similar. Rosie’s head control has gotten pretty good. She still has some work to do but she doesn’t like tummy time so we don’t push it. Her hair continues to grow straight up with the front still being more bald than the rest. Juliet and Rosie’s 3 month hair style are similar and I couldn’t love it more.

Rosie 3 months - compressed 2

I made the mistake of taking her photos when she was tired so she was giving up absolutely no smiles.

That last month of maternity leave with Rosie was really wonderful. I just love maternity leave with my babies so much. Lounging on the couch, breastfeeding every 30 minutes if she wanted to….the occasional lunch with girlfriends and their babies. So many cuddles. Taking naps. Being lazy together. Typing this right now is making me tear up a bit because I miss my time with her so much. I told Erik this evening that Mondays are really hard, I miss her the most on Mondays. I realized that in the past 2 weeks that I’ve been back to work, I’ve spent 90 hours less with her than the previous two weeks. So much time. Uh, just breathe……

I’ve done the whole going back to work thing once before, so it’s not like this is the first time for me. But it’s still hard. Plus, it doesn’t help that my brain feels fuzzy and I’m definitely not quite operating at 100% at work yet. I’ll get there. This will be the new normal, but it’ll take a few more weeks I think.

Rosie 3 months - compressed 3

My Rosie is just so sweet. That’s really how I would describe her in one simple word. Sweet. So, so very sweet. She is such an easy going little baby. She smiles all the time. I can usually capture smiles on camera so easily. She smiles when I kiss her on the cheek. She smiles when she breastfeeds. She smiles when she sleeps. She smiles at her sister and daddy. And now that she’s with grandma all day, she gets a lot of smiles too.

I love my Rosie girl’s smiles so much.

Rosie 3 months compressed 3

See? I told you she was tired.

My sweet, special Rosalyn, you have made me one happy momma. I have 2 little girls! How did I ever get so lucky?! I appreciate each moment with both daughters. Erik and I always talked about having 2 kiddos and then we planned on being done. If anything though, having such an easy, happy and sweet baby has made me want more and more babies. This terrifies Erik a bit. I don’t really know if we will have any more kiddos, but I sure do love the baby phase. I am like…addicted to my Rosie and her sweetness. And I know it just keeps getting better and better. She is so interactive already, smiling and cooing and laughing and playing. It’s so fun being with her. I could go on. But really the bottom line is..holy shit I love this girl.

Happy 3 months Rosie.

4 comments