Five on Friday

Friday, January 31, 2014

This week happened to be the week that I hate every semester : the first week of school. While I don't actually go to school anymore, I do work at a school and the first week back of every new semester means I work long days and nights. And I barely get to see my baby or my husband. And I HATE that. Thankfully this week went by fast and it is now Friday! This week's Five on Friday post is dedicated to the things that have helped me get through this week!


ONE.
Homemade Hazelnut Mocha.

I'm not really sure if I should call it that or not, but that is my invented title. I've been really into hot chocolate lately after my boss told me about Swiss Miss k-cups. He gave me one to try and I loved it and I went to look for my own. But at $12.99 for 12 k-cups, that is a little out of my preferred price range, so I bought the regular packets of hot cocoa and just use the Keurig for fast hot water. I decided that working 10+ hour days everyday and getting home at 9:30pm, going to bed by 11pm, and waking up at 5am deserved a little extra kick so I added one of my hazelnut coffee k cups. They are actually meant to be brewed over ice but if you skip the ice, they can be used for hot coffee too. I also might have added about 20 marshmallows. Hey, it was that kind of week and it was DELICIOUS.

TWO.
Link Ups.

On Wednesday I participated in the first "It's the Little Things" link up hosted by Jess from Sadie Sky Boutique and Ashley from Words About Waverly. It was so much fun to reflect back on the fun day off I had with Mason last week. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary but it was special because it was just a Mommy/Mason day.

THREE.
Pictures.

How did she know??
Yesterday while I was at work, I had a free second (literally, second) to check my phone and I saw a text from Mason's daycare provider, Luz. I opened it and was surprised to see a picture! It was just what I needed. I seriously LOVE when she sends me pictures of Mason during the day. He always looks so happy which in turn, makes me SO happy. I feel sad that I have to be at work all day so at least I know he is having fun.
PS When did my BABY become the big boy at daycare?? insert crying mom here.

FOUR.
Hand Holding.

This kid. He is the sweetest. Sweetest! I don't know what we did and, not to toot our own horn, but we must be doing something right. While sometimes I feel like Mason might have started the terrible twos early, other times I think he is just the sweetest kid on the planet. He holds our hand/finger and gives the biggest, best hugs EVER.
While we were walking into daycare the other day, Mason grabbed my hand when we were walking. He does this often, and every time, it melts my heart. 

FIVE.
Bloglovin'

I thought I had "claimed" my blog on bloglovin' but I think somewhere in the changing of the name, it didn't quite switch over properly so I need to claim it again it seems.

But! While I'm doing that, if you don't follow already, click the link below to follow me on bloglovin'! 

Linking up with The Good LifeCarolina CharmA. Liz Adventures, and Hello Happiness.






[Recipe] Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili

Thursday, January 30, 2014

In my Little Things Link Up post yesterday, I mentioned that I made chili last Friday. 
I did. 
Me. 
I actually cooked!

For those of you who know me, know this is a big deal. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I have been wanting to try new recipes. I've been searching online on different foodie blogger websites and have found some great things...that Seth makes. But this was one thing that I found that I knew I could do. So, since I had the day off and Seth was at work, I decided to surprise him by making dinner.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili
(recipe found here)


Ingredients :
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped (I used a shallot)
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can baked beans
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped small
2 tablespoons chili powder (I left this out)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (I left this out)

Toppings :
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped avocado
tortilla chips
green onions

Instructions :
(Before I started, I prepped my crock pot. I like to use a liner because it makes clean up SUPER EASY!)

Add ground turkey and shallot to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season liberally with salt and pepper then cook until no longer pink, breaking turkey up as it cooks. 

Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds then add to a 6 quart crock pot. 


Add remaining ingredients, except toppings, into crock pot then cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender. 









Serve with toppings. May need to add more chicken broth when reheating.


This was seriously SO GOOD.
I highly recommend it.
Enjoy!

[It's the Little Things Link Up] Day off with Mason

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be able to be home all day with Mason. (Unlucky for me, I had to work on Saturday, which is why I had Friday off, but I like not to focus on the negative!) This is a rare occurrence since I normally work Monday through Friday every week. So, focusing on the positive, lucky for me, I got to spend the whole day with my little man and I could not have had a better day.

I wanted to link up today with Ashley from Words About Waverly and Jess from Sadie Sky Boutique to tell you a little bit about my day and why, even though it may not have been anything special or out of the ordinary, it was the best day. And for those of you that follow me on Instagram [@lizbir], you may have already gotten a sneak peak at this post!


The day started off like any other day off with daddy leaving for work and Mason and I watching Mickey and eating breakfast. I tried to do some dishes while Mason watched some cartoons, but he was more interested in what I was doing and came over to open and close the dishwasher...about a hundred times.  Of course, this made the dishes take ten times longer than usual, but he was having so much fun that I didn't want to stop him.

I had been wanting to get Mason some new toddler bibs for daycare since he had still been using his cloth ones from when he was a baby and the upgrade was long overdue. Once I knew Babies R Us was open, I packed a snack, a water cup, and Mason and we headed to the store. He was such a good boy while I picked up some bibs and looked around a little that I thought we could run a couple more errands before nap time. So, we paid, hopped back in the car, and drove to Trader Joe's. I noticed Mason was being quiet, I just thought he was playing, but when I parked at Trader Joe's I noticed he was sleeping.
My sweet baby was so tired. I figured he would be good to go after a couple minute power nap so I proceeded with my shopping trip. I picked him up out of his car seat and fully expected him to be awake but he put his head down on my shoulder and slept the whole time I shopped at Trader Joe's!


I figured since he was sleeping, I could run one more errand and went next door to French's to buy some challah bread. Since he was such a good boy all morning, I thought I would buy him a cookie too (so spoiled being with mommy all day!). I fully intended on only buying Mason a cookie but when the lady said "just one?" I caved and got myself one too. Boy am I glad I did because it was one of the BEST cookies I had ever had. Clearly, Mason enjoyed his too!


We headed home and I fed Mason some lunch and then put him down for a nap. I started prep for a slow cooker chili recipe that I had found online and ate lunch myself. For those of you that know me, know that I never cook. So this was a big deal that I was making dinner! I bake. But I never cook. It's not that I can't (well I think I can!), but Seth is such a good cook that he is the chef in the family and I am the baker.

Once Mason woke up, I thought we would try our hand at an art project. I had been wanting to make Valentine's cards for certain special people for Valentine's Day and I thought it would be fun to have Mason finger paint. Before I tell you what happened, I should first say, my kid is the CLEANEST boy I know. Seriously. We thought he would smash his cake at his first birthday party, but he wanted none of it. So Seth smashed his hand in the cake and what happened? TEARS! Tears.
Poor kid was traumatized by being dirty.

So, what happened when I tried to have him finger paint? Luckily, no tears, but he wanted none of it. He started whining and complaining and rubbing all the paint on his hands into his hair.

So, it was off to the bath for us! And I say us because... I definitely got a bath too with Mr. Wild Man Splasher.


We got dressed and headed to the grocery store to get a couple more things for dinner. When we came home, I got him out of the car and put him down while I grabbed the bags and he was off. This is our new thing. Ever since Mason started walking a couple months ago, he loves to walk. LOVES. He also loves to explore which is the cutest thing ever. So I put the bags inside and we went on a walk. He was in heaven. I could barely close the door and we were off!


And he stopped to smell the ... bushes.

Daddy came home shortly after we got back from our walk and we all had dinner. The day was just another ordinary Friday but since I rarely, if ever get a Friday at home alone with Mason, it made it extra special.

It's the little things that matter the most.


[BOY MOMS] Andrea from Hand and the Heart

Monday, January 27, 2014


Hey there! I'm Andrea and I write over at Hand and the Heart. I'm so excited to be part of this series because there is nothing I love talking about more than my son! We welcomed Benjamin Ray into our lives in September 2012, and even though we had a really rough beginning, he has been keeping us on our toes ever since. I didn't know how badly this small boy with deep brown eyes and perfect dimples would undo me.


When we found out we were expecting a boy, I was (not so secretly) very excited about it. I dreamt all the time about who he would be...what his laughter would sound like...what his hands would feel like wrapped around mine...what color his hair would be. I just knew I would love being a 'boy mom'. I spent all of my time growing up out in the barn with my horses getting dirty, or hiking and camping with my family. The great outdoors, wilderness, dirt, rocks, exploration...I can do that!


But being a boy mom is so much more than that. 

Being a boy mom is holding his hand and being his first love. 
It's helping him admire his daddy. 
Having a son is striking a balance between letting him be a wild, young boy and preparing him to be a good man.  
It's teaching him that a man is strong, but that he doesn't have to be tough all the time. 
Being a boy mom is making sure he always knows how much you love him.




Now my son is only 16 months old, but oh do I have adventures in store for us! Almost every day of his life on earth we have gone outside to throw rocks, watch the birds, dig in the dirt, look at worms, and splash in the sea. Everyday I hug him, kiss him, and tell him how much I love and adore him. Every day we wait excitedly for his daddy to come home. Every day I am grateful for him. I can't think of a greater or more important calling in life than to be Ben's mama.
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If you would like to share a post about you and your son, email me at elizabethrose84@gmail.com .
I would love to feature you! You don't have to have a blog to participate!


[BOY MOMS] Emily from Dear Owen

Friday, January 24, 2014

Welcome to a Special Friday Feature of Boy Moms!
I had asked Emily from Dear Owen if she would like to contribute to the Boy Mom series about a week ago knowing that she was due was #2 in about 3 weeks, a little girl! I wanted to feature her today since I knew baby girl could come anytime, but surprise! She came before Emily's post got to be posted! A huge congratulations to Emily and her family on their new addition!
Here's why Emily has loved being a boy mom for the past 22 months before Claire's arrival....


Hi, there! I'm Emily, I'm a wife and Momma to one sweet toddler with a baby girl on the way! I am a Speech Language Pathologist turned (mostly) Stay at Home Mommy.  I share about our little life, our house projects, and my love for speech and language development on my blog Dear Owen. I'm excited to be here on Chasin' Mason today to share all about why I love being a #boymom!

Although my days of being an exclusive Boy Mom are nearing the end I have to say the last 22 months have been nothing short of life changing.

On March 26, 2012 our sweet little Owen was born.  From the moment I laid eyes on him and held him in my arms my life was forever changed. He has taught me what is truly important in the world. He has taught me about Grace, how to receive it and how to give it. And he's taught me that love truly is all you need. 




A few things I love specifically about being a boy mom-

All the cuddles. I'm sure all Momma's would say this but I have to say my little guy sure knows how to cuddle and show love. I've always heard boys are crazy about their Momma's and although we certainly have our days the good days most definitely out way the bad.

  

Watching him explore and discover new things. From cars, to trucks, trains to buses. My guy loves all things that go. I remember last Valentine's  Day when Owen started to really make "vroom vroom" noises and "play" with his cars. This was so much fun to see. He also loves bugs, worms, and his latest new discovery spider webs. So although those are all things I'm not crazy about (um.. hello, spiders?! Eek) I love watching him run with pure joy and excitement to show me his newest discovery!





Watching him imitate his Papa. Owen does anything and everything just like his Dad. Lucky for me, my hubby is very handy. He always has a project going on and nowadays, he also always has a little helper. He loves all his Papa's tools and had to have his very own tool set for Christmas. He tries to wear his shoes, puts on his hats and LOVES his Papa's Jeep! Seeing the two of them together, melts my heart.


And lastly teaching him new things. I love teaching him new words and concepts. Seeing him catch on and say new little phrases like, "good grief" always make me smile. He always surprises me with how fast he learns new things.  I love teaching him about Jesus and sharing with him about how loved he is. Watching him fold his little hands to pray and say "Amen" makes me the happiest. 



Being a Mom is the biggest blessing I've ever had and being a #Boymom is something I will never forget. 



Thanks so much Liz for having me. It was really fun reflecting on all these special moments, especially right before we welcome baby girl into the world.

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Thank you for sharing, Emily! And congratulations on your sweet baby girl's arrival!



If you would like to share a post about you and your son, email me at elizabethrose84@gmail.com .
I would love to feature you! You don't have to have a blog to participate!





Citrus Lane box.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I had been hearing about these Citrus Lane boxes from a bunch of mommy blogs that I read and I was intrigued. It seemed like such an amazing idea to get a box delivered each month of new, fun, age appropriate toys/food/items for Mason. I'd been wanting to order one for months and figured that Christmas was the perfect time. So I did it! And Mason's first box arrived the middle of last week...just in time for his 18 month birthday. So, I saved it until Saturday and he got to open the box for his "birthday".




Each box is slightly different in it's contents, but our box had this shape sorter from Plan Toysthis monkey lunch box from Skip Hopthese Mr. Men and Little Miss Ouchies bandaids for boys, and some Dapple toy and surface wipes (except in a travel package, not a container).


Mason already had a lunch box, but this one is pretty dang cute so I may switch to this one soon.


I think he was a little confused as to what the shape sorter was at first but now that he kind of understands it, I think it will make a great toy for the car. No pieces to lose!


I've used the wipes and they're great! I cleaned Mason's hands after snack time as well as cleaned a toy he threw on the ground in the grocery store parking lot and they worked great!

We can't wait to see what arrives next month!

If you're interested in getting a Citrus Lane box for yourself, click here for a discount. You get a discount on your first box, and I get a credit to my account. Win, win :)

Disclaimer : This post is not sponsored. I am just sharing my love for Citrus Lane. All opinions are my own.


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Exciting news! Check back tomorrow for a special edition of Boy Moms with sweet momma Emily from Dear Owen! She has been a boy mom for the past 22 months and actually JUST became a boy/girl mom yesterday! She had planned on sharing her love for her boy before sweet baby Claire decided to make an early appearance so check back tomorrow to see what she loves about being a boy mom!


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