Turning 30 and all that jazz

Well, the day finally came and went. I am thirty! I had the thought, “Wow! in 10 years I am going to be 40!” Gosh, that is a lot of life lived. It all seems so neat to me. I had a little birthday party, Midnight in Paris themed. I made all sorts of French goodies and we dressed in our favorite time periods. We all had a lot of fun. On my actual birthday, I wore a tutu and enjoyed the day!

closeupoffoodtable DSC_1007 DSC_1058xo, nikki :)



A week of dinners

Switching up our diet has been a little bit of an adjustment. Today when we went grocery shopping the kids kept asking for stuff and I had to tell them, “We can’t eat that anymore.” Each of us have different areas of our new diet that are hard for us: Danny doesn’t really care for the all vegetarian meals, the kids can’t stand the beans and I have trouble with fish.

Here is my new weekly dinner schedule:

-Monday: beans and rice

-Tuesday: vegetarian pasta

-Wednesday: date night

-Thursday: leftovers or sandwiches because we have cg

-Friday: fish

-Saturday: meat

-Sunday: eggs

I am holding this schedule loosely and it may not happen on the assigned day, but the point is to have a plan!!

How we did: Eh. The dinner that I loved, everyone hated. The dinner Bentley and I liked, Danny and Marseille didn’t like. The family LOVED the salmon, I only gagged once. All of us really enjoy the cod, so we will eventually get the hang of it!! Thankfully, I enjoy baking because I am now making all our bread too. I made whole wheat bread last week but it was a little too sweet and it made 3 loaves of bread! So today, I made pita. The pita recipe that I use, you can refrigerate the dough and use it as you need it. I made 8 pita this morning and will save the next 8 for later in the week because fresh pita is the best!! A lot of people make all there stuff from scratch but for some reason, I feel like this is a big deal to me. I guess because I am no longer giving myself the option to buy a loaf of bread. Either I make it or we don’t have it. Oh well, maybe I’ll have nice arm muscles from kneading this dough!

We are consuming a lot more veggies and fruit. I cut back a little on the nuts for the kids but they love them so much it’s hard to deny them the fat!  So here is to another week!!

xo, nikki :)

NYC in pictures

xo, nikki :)

Valentine’s Day 2013

This Valentine’s Day was the best one that I have ever had! Even the kids had fun! We celebrated Valentine’s Day Eve as a family. We had gyros to begin Danny and I’s GYRO’s 14 dates of Valentine’s (not sure what I am talking about check it out here at the Romantic Vineyard) I recently found a gyro kit at Aldi, it’s pretty authentic and everyone likes it, so it’s a winner. Anyway, we had the Valentine’s Day Eve because Danny and I were going to have a Date Night In on Valentine’s but I wanted the kids to have a special dinner with us too.

On Valentine’s Day, the kids had heart shaped toast, fruit and some leftover popcorn (they get excited about leftover popcorn) for breakfast. For lunch, the kids had heart shaped pb and honey sandwich bites and veggie straws and some fruit.

Together the kids and I made Valentine’s cards for each other with glitter… it went better than expected! The kids also helped me decorate the table for Daddy and Mommy’s date. Marseille thought it was really exciting, she actually prayed that we would have a “good date at the table.” Before they took their nap, we made rice crispy treats for dessert. That turned into a science lesson about states of matter: solids, liquids and gas (which the kids thought was hilarious… we’re in trouble!).

During their nap, I set up a special table for them. I even put flowers and candles for their fancy dinner. After setting up their table, I finished the prepping for our at home date. That involved picking out my clothes, since we were having a themed dinner.

Around 5:30pm, I fed the kiddos. They ate Sausage, Peppers and Onions with pasta and a heart-y salad. They loved the rolls and the rice crispy treats.  While they were eating, Bentley said, “This is the best day that I have ever had! The fancy dinner was a success!

After Danny came home and got cleaned up, we exchanged some small gifts and got Bentley and Marseille ready for bed. (On a side note, and to point out God’s grace in my life, just as Danny walked through the door, Marseille had an accident in the bathroom. Rather than, like last week, get angry that cleaning pee off the floor was not in my plans and it was going to waste time, I took a deep breath, prayed, and told myself it was not a big deal and that we would still eat tonight. So, quickly, I cleaned her and the mess up and that was that! Thank you, Lord for grace!)

After the kids went to bed, Danny and I fixed our dinner of filet mignon and scallops, with roasted asparagus, heart-y salad and rolls. We quickly got dressed up for the Phantom of the Opera themed night. The soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera serenaded us as ate our delicious meal! It was a great night!

Hope you had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved ones too!

xo, nikki :)

The Year of the Snake

Sunday was Chinese New Year! Did you celebrate? Growing up my family would always try to celebrate it but somehow we would miss it.

I wanted to hang up decorations and the like but since we had Bentley’s party the day before it wasn’t possible. We didn’t get to watch Kung Fu Panda either. But we did have was a Kung Fu Panda dinner.


We ate:

Po’s Secret Ingredient Soup (Clear Soup)

Crane’s Egg Rolls (Shrimp Egg Rolls)

Master Shifu’s Dumplings (Pork Dumplings)

Tigress’ Universe Carrots (Raw Carrots)

Mantis and Viper’s Chicken Fried Rice (A “kitchen sink” recipe using leftovers from the fridge)

Monkey’s Secret Stash of Almond Cookies (I added some almond meal to enhance the almond flavor)

The kids quote this part of the movie like crazy!

Don’t tell Monkey! Source: google image search

The Fried Rice and the Almond Cookies were homemade, while the other foods were store bought! There was just not enough time to make it all!! The kids’ favorites were the clear soup, dumplings and cookies… I’m sure you could have guess the last one ;)

xo, nikki :)

A New Challenge

In light of Valentine’s Day, my friends at The Romantic Vineyard are having a challenge!

Check out the challenge here:

I was definitely up for it because this is an area that I really lacked in last year. As my ideas for the date nights expanded past the challenge, I decided to make another blog devoted to the date nights.

So, let me introduce you to: Romance on a Shoestring.

On this blog, I will be explaining my ideas, sharing photos, recipes and my sources. I want to inspire creative in home dates that don’t seem cheesy because of trying to save money.

Feel free to check it out!

xo, nikki :)

PS- Don’t worry, I won’t let this new blog take me away from posting regularly on this blog!

DIY love

Here are some projects that I have done since the new year. It has been refreshing!

What can I say? I love to do crafts.

Unfortunately, like a true “artist”, I always choose to do them at crazy times and in crazy places. Like the clock, on a whim, I took it down and did most of the work on my dresser. Weird. I know. Despite that, it was completed and I didn’t break it! Believe me, it crossed my mind more than once.

Thankfully, the next project was planned. The diaper strap and wipe case were for a friend’s baby shower. At first, Danny thought it was for me. A diaper case… he forgot that Marseille was potty training! I was grateful for a quick sewing project because it reminds me how much I love sewing.

The message board and chalkboard were nifty things that I saw on Pinterest last year and decided that I just needed to do them. A little Nike action. Just do it. I’m glad that I did because we have been using and enjoying them.

Lastly, I received the pasta machine that I have been drooling over for Christmas. I had been waiting for a good opportunity and it came, so I seize it! Can I tell you that I absolutely LOVE making pasta?! I do, it’s so relaxing and fun. The family LOVED eating it, so it was well worth it!!

Here’s to DIY!

xo, nikki :)