9.17.2014

Santa Fe Zuchhini + Squash Boats

Here in California, it still feels like summer.
We are in the middle of a heat wave....it has been in the 90's for over a week and this warm weather will continue through this weekend.
As much as I am ready for Fall (so over the hot weather!!) the hot weather we get in September helps my garden continue to grow. We still have tons of tomatoes, zucchini and squash!
So, even though I am counting down the days until Fall is officially here, I am enjoying the extended crop that my garden is producing.
This has been my best year for zucchini and squash ever, so I have loved trying out new recipes that use zucchini & squash.
In July, I posted Italian Zucchini & Squash Boats {HERE}
I decided to take a new approach to them and give them a Mexican flare.
I think I like them better than my original recipe!
Here is what you need:
- 1 lb of Ground Turkey (I use Jennie-O Lean)
- Packet of Taco Seasoning
- Can of Black Beans, drained
- Can of Corn, drained
- 2 cups of Salsa
- 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
- Zucchini & Squash

Directions:
Brown your Ground Turkey
After your have cooked the meat, add the taco seasoning (and water) according to the taco seasoning directions.
Drain your corn & black beans:
Add the corn, black beans & 2 cups of salsa to the mixture:
Let simmer for 15-20 minutes
While your sauce is simmering, it's time to cut up your zucchini & squash.
  Slice them the long way, like so:
 Then scoop out the insides:
 Lay them on a cookie sheet (I also use parchment paper or my Silpat) and scoop the mixture into each zuchhini or squash:
I use a cookie sheet that has edges so they don't roll off!
Sprinkle your cheese on top:
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.
These were SO full of flavor!!! This is now going to be a go-to meal for us.
They are super healthy & packed with flavor. Delicious!
Enjoy!

9.15.2014

10 on 10 :: September 2014

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month! 

 
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
ten on ten button

All of these pics were taken on the 10th, but I haven't had a chance to post yet since I left for Atlanta on the night of the 10th. 
I am home now & able to post, so better late than never, right?
The 10th was a crazy busy day....here is what I did!
My day started off with taking Mucinex. I have been battling a sinus infection/cold for the the past 10 days. Gotta love going back to school....catching all those germs!
Part of my Sharpie collection at school. I may or may not have a sharpie addiction.
 Getting my Sub Plans organized. I am missing 2 days of school, so that means lots and lots of prep for my sub!
 Picked up the kids & then was finally able to eat lunch at 1:00pm! One of my favorite lunches is quessadillias. I really love salsa, can't you tell?
When you are leaving on a trip for 4 days, laundry is a must. I didn't want to be even MORE behind on laundry when I got back!
Luke doesn't say many words, but he sure does know what he wants. His newest obsession is getting the milk out of the fridge, screaming more and handing us the carton when he wants more to drink.
 We are doing a little house remodel with our fireplace/dining room/conversation area. Slowly but surely it is coming along. So much dust in my house....so much.
 Packing for my trip!
 We had Back to School Night for the girls tonight. Here is a peek inside Kate's desk. We got to leave her 3 stars & a wish for her to see the next day when she opened her desk.
11:00 pm...my last photo of my 10 on 10...from the airport as I was boarding my Red Eye flight to Atlanta!
 So, there you have it! My 10 on 10 from September 10th...just a few days late :)
I had a great time in Atlanta at the Rodan + Fields Convention...I will share more later....I am still recovering from 4 days of non-stop learning & FUN!

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Don't forget to enter my $100 Visa Giftcard Giveaway {HERE}

9.09.2014

Claire's Mermaid Swim Party

Today is Claire's 6th Birthday! 
I can't believe she is 6. That seems so old! 
Claire requested a Mermaid Swim Party for her 6th birthday.
I totally loved the idea and had so much fun designing the invite.
Claire was very specific...this was not a "Little Mermaid" Party.
It was a Mermaid Party with a Mermaid that looked like her and pink had to be one of the colors.
This is what I came up with:
{Invite will be available in my Etsy Shop when I re-open this Fall}

Decorations:
Last year, for her Tangled Birthday Party, I strung yellow crepe paper throughout our house to look like Tangled's hair. Claire really loved that, so for this party, I decided to hang blue & aqua crepe paper throughout the downstairs to look like an Ocean. I loved how it turned out...and it was so easy! This was one of my favorite parts of the party!






Seriously. I was obsessed with making this "Ocean". Best $5 I have ever spent on crepe paper :)

Other decorations I had were some balloons around the pool fence. 
Claire loves balloons & it was a swim party, so balloons around the pool fence worked out perfectly.
Food:
The party was from 2:00-4:00, so I didn't need to serve a meal. 
I had a variety of snacks for the girls (and the mom's that stayed)
I let Claire pick the menu & all the snack items.
I made coordinating Food Labels that matched the invite!
Pink Goldfish, found at Target :)
Claire wanted Pirates Booty because she loves it and because "mermaids hide from Pirates"
Claire wanted Watermelon (her favorite) but I could not find any watermelon in our town. Summer must be officially over since watermelon isn't in season anymore. We made Fruit Kabobs instead.
And, of course I have to have a Dessert/Sweets Table at my parties. I toned it down for this party...there wasn't TOO many sweets ;)
The backdrop of the sweets table was this ombre tissue tassel banner:
Loved this tassel banner!
  Napkins & Plates (I had a bunch of starfish that I laid out on tables/platters/etc)
I made Sugar Cookie Fruit Puffs (but called them "shells")
 
I used just a raspberry since that looks like a sea shell and I added a bit of blue food dye to the mixture to make them look like the ocean:
I put some Brown Sugar on the platter to make it look like sand & added a starfish.
I loved how they turned out! And, I made the cupcake toppers that matched the food labels & the invitation.
I had some of Claire's favorite candies, which also have a Sea Theme.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Fondant Toppers:
And.....the cake. The amazing cake that my mother in law made:
She made it look like the mermaid I had on the invite/food labels/cupcake toppers which looks like Claire. She did an amazing job with the cake (as usual!)
I set up the Beverage Station outside near the pool:
Claire saw these juice boxes at Trader Joes & had to have them for her party :)
Activities:
It was a Mermaid Swim Party, so I didn't really have many activites planned. 
The main activity was swimming. I'm not going to lie.....It was a little crazy having a swim party with 14 girls who are 6 years old. For the first 20 minutes all of them were in the pool at the same time, that is  A LOT of girls to keep track of in the water.
Kevin was on life guard duty. A few of the mom's stayed, but it was mostly a drop off party.
Note to self: Next time I throw a swim party without parents, invite less than 10 kids.
Luckily, all the girls could swim, but that is still a lot to keep track of.  
(And, I purposely scheduled the party for Luke's nap time, I didn't want to have to deal with him during the swim party. That would have been WAY too hard.)
I also set up a Coloring Station so that if the girls took a break from swimming they would have something to do.
 We set the table up in the shade since it was 90 degrees the day of her party (perfect for a swim party!)
I printed out some Mermaid Coloring Page that I found online.
Favors:
My go-to favor is a cookie! I give these out for almost every party/shower that I host.
I get them at a local Bakery and I always describe/sketch out what I want and she always does them perfectly! 
Claire wanted Seahorses, Starfish & Shells. Loved how they turned out!
The Seahorse was my favorite :)
It was such a fun afternoon celebrating Claire that ended with cake!
 
I'm pretty sure she loved her party :)


I wasn't sure I was going to pull this party off.
Claire's birthday always sneaks up on me because it is right during the Back to School craziness.
And, it was just a couple weeks ago that I had Luke's 2nd Birthday Party!
So, I was majorly slacking with planning her party. I had a lot of ideas in my head that I wanted to do.
I came down with a sinus infection last week, so I had no energy to do the party prep I normally do the week before the party. We are also doing a little remodel in our house, so part of the downstairs is under construction.
Needless to say, it's been a crazy few weeks leading up to her party, butI stayed up until 3am the night before the party getting things cleaned and done for it. Good thing I am a night owl & good thing I love throwing parties.
It was actually therapeutic for me staying up late the night before getting things created & made for the party! Procrastinators unite! :)
The party was fun & I was happy with how it came out.
The most important thing was Claire had fun & felt loved!

Happy 6th Birthday, Claire Bear!

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Claire's Parties throughout the years:
5th Birthday - Claire's Tangled Party
4th Birthday - Claire's Candy Shoppe Party
3rd Birthday - Claire's Cowgirl Party
2nd Birthday - Claire's Ladybug Party
1st Birthday - Claire's Ice Cream Party

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