Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Day Round Up: For Kids

Valentine's Day is coming up and I love to make holidays extra special for Olivia.    This year I'm planning pink, red, and heart shaped balloons and fun breakfast of heart shaped pancakes and fruit for her to wake up to! I've also filled her bookshelves with Valentine's Day themed books for her to enjoy all month long. 

She loves to help in the kitchen and I know she'll love to make & eat chocolate covered pretzels! Re-Play plates are our favorite and I can't wait to get her some flat plates in bright pink ;) 

Target always has fun dollar spot finds and these window clings are perfect for her to stick and re-stick (twenty times a day).  I also love that "xoxo" cute to hang in your little one's room or playroom.  

Crafts are one of our favorite things to do and it's so important to develop their fine motor skills.  Cutting & gluing are great for them to learn at an early age! This bee craft is simple and fun to get in the Valentine's Day spirit ;)  She's super excited to make Valentine's for our family and friends so we'll be making plenty of these.  

Lastly, there are so many cute Valentine's Day books out there.  We normally buy ours on Amazon and also check them out at our local library.  Some of our favorites are: Happy Valentine's Day Mouse,  Ollie's Valentine,  The Biggest Valentine EverClifford's First Valentine's Day, and What is Love, Biscuit?.  

What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day books?  Do you have a favorite craft to do with your little ones? I'd love to hear! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pizza Party: Toddler Style

Is there anything sweeter than a toddler pizza party?  On Friday, my sister, mom and niece Brynn came over for a little homemade pizza party.  The girls were so excited to make their own pizzas and although it was messy and they ate more toppings than they used (ahem Olivia) it turned out to be such a fun night.  We used Naan bread, which I looove, and it was the perfect size for individual pizzas.  I whipped up a quick batch of homemade pizza sauce (crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano, and sugar) and chopped up some fun toppings.  Olivia is currently obsessed with pepperoni, which she asks for for breakfast some olives and pepperoni were the winning toppings for her.  Afterwards, we had a yummy dessert that my sister made - Fastest Fudge Cake and the girls shared a purple bath together.  

Do you homemade pizza night in your house?  I definitely think this will be a regular occurrence in our house! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pregnancy Progress: Weeks 17 - 28

I literally can't believe I'm 28 weeks already!  I've always heard that it flies by with your second but wow! Olivia's big girl room is coming together nicely and I can't wait to show the reveal. I'm half excited and half I-really-hope-she-sleeps-so-I-can.   She's been in her crib since day one and while it's bittersweet I can't wait to see her in her big girl bed.  The baby's room is at a stand still until Olivia's is done, so that'll be our next project.  I'm so excited to design her nursery and can't wait to show you some fun collaborations coming up. 

Moving on, here is a recap of weeks 17-28.  Lately, I've been so busy around here I haven't been able to update you and blog consistently so my goal is to get back into it more frequently ;) I love looking back at updates when I was pregnant with Olivia so it's such a sweet way to document this time.  

It's really fun to see the progression of my little baby bump! Sometimes I have little helpers (my niece Brynn was in the last picture) and sometimes it's mass chaos with toddlers running around so it's always fun to remember these picture days ;) Also, can you tell which weeks my hubby has taken the picture? He's a one snap-it looks fine kind of picture taker so most weeks my sister and I take each others updates. My sister and I still have our due date ONE day apart so I can't wait to see when each baby will be born. 

Some days I almost forget there's a little one growing in there because I'm so busy with Livvy and other days it's pretty undeniable when I'm feeling like nothing fits and I'm borderline narcoleptic ;) We have a name picked out that I can't wait to share when she is born.  Follow along on Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) to see more weekly updates! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Favorite Recipes || Fresh Cod with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Hi friends! I wanted to share a new recipe that I tried last night for dinner and it was SO delicious.  Cod is one of my favorite types of seafood and even Olivia likes it so it's a win! This recipe could not be easier and its a great, healthy (ok without the cream) meal that tastes like it came directly from a restaurant. 

Here's what you'll need:

Fresh cod (enough for your family)
12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained
1 garlic clove
Basil (I used frozen cubes)
1 1/4 cups of cream or half & half
Two carrots
1/2 red onion
Fresh parsley
Salt + pepper

I used my Dutch oven, but anything oven safe would work. 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut veggies into matchstick pieces and set aside.

2.  Roughly chop roasted red peppers and sauté with garlic, basil and olive oil until warmed through.  Puree the mixture and return to the Dutch oven.  Add cream and veggies and stir together.  Layer the cod over the mixture and put in the oven.

3.  Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until fish is flaky and cooked through.

I served ours over jasmine rice and it would certainly work over pasta or egg noodles.  Even alone with some crusty yummy!  

What are some of your favorite fish recipes?  I love to try new ones! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tales from the Crib

Every morning, Olivia hangs out in her crib with her stuffed animals and baby dolls.  She'll read to them or have little conversations, and I love listening to her over the monitor.  Sometimes this can go on for close to half and hour and others, she's calling for us instantly.  Boy, was she on a roll this morning!

(IG @thebirdsnestblog)

She loves to talk to her baby sister and frequently gives my belly kisses, talks to her, and exclaims "she's so cutie tootie!" I think she'll be the best big sister!  This morning started out with her saying "Baby is going to say Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, and me tell her it's ok baby."  Then she proceeded to ask her baby doll some important questions... "You have an "O" for Olivia, Baby Jesus?"  "Oh, oh, oh, ok, ok me hear you."  

One of her newest favorite songs is Shut Up and Dance.  Her version this morning was "Ho, Ho, Ho shut up and dance with me!!" She also has killer dance moves to go along with her songs ;)  

Once she decided she was awake and ready to start the day, she looked into the camera and said "Mommy, you listen to me!  I want to go to Mama's (Grandma's) house!  You listen to me right now! Mommy, you listening to me?!" She is so stinkin funny! A few weeks ago, she looked right into the camera and told me "Mommy, me speaking English!?  Come get me!"  I can't help but crack up! 

I just think this age is so funny...perfect little humans that are so hilarious! Do you have any funny stories to share? I'd love to hear ;) 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Party Details - Our Gender Reveal with Freshly Picked

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!

We are SO excited for another little girl.  I was hoping Olivia would have a sister and we're over the moon that she will.  We've chosen a name for the baby and Olivia says it in probably the cutest way possible!  She's been talking to her so much lately, saying good morning, I love you, what are you doing in's so adorable! It makes me so excited for the baby to be here and to be a family of four.  

Freshly Picked was a HUGE part of our gender reveal and I couldn't be more thankful for their hard work!  At our 16 week ultrasound, we were able to find out whether the baby was a boy or girl and asked that our ultrasound tech keep it a secret from us.  She wrote it down on a card and sealed the envelope and I typed up an email before our appointment and she was able to type boy or girl on the line and sent it on its way to Freshly Picked.  From there, Rachel (FP) put the moccs in a box and sent them our way!  For a boy, I had chose "Prince George" and for a girl, I chose "Neon Pink".  I wanted bright, bold colors to ensure we knew exactly what it was when we opened the box ;) My friend Masha knew what the baby was too and was so good at keeping our secret! She was able to get the tracking number for the moccs and updated me when I was freaking out. When the moccs arrived, I had our neighbor open the box and put them in a special box I had chosen for the party.  I couldn't risk opening the mailing box just incase I was able to see through the FP bag! t ;) 

For the party prep, Olivia and I got to work making chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn, Nilla wafers, cupcakes and pink/boy water bottles.  She loved "helping" and I was sure to save the ones she made to the side...just incase little nibbles occurred here and there ;) I made everything but the cupcakes the day before so I wasn't running around like a nut before the party.  

By the time everyone arrived, I was able to put all of the treats out and enjoy myself.  Around 7pm we started FaceTiming family and friends who could not be with us and I was getting so anxious.  I felt like I knew it in my heart that the baby was a girl, but then I was second guessing was all exciting leading up to it! We had Olivia open the box and pull out the FP canvas bag and sure enough, she pulled out bright pink moccs!  It was really fun to have everyone vote right before and seeing their guesses, "team girl" was winning for sure.  

Overall, we had such a fun night and its so nice to know there is another little girl on the way!  Now to start planning her nursery ;) Hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse into our gender reveal party!  Did you have one too?  What are your favorite details of gender reveals that you've seen?  I'd love to hear! XO

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Yummy Thanksgiving Sides

I looooove Thanksgiving!  I can't wait for all of the yummy food, and of course seeing our family.  Thanksgiving has always been at my parent's house and we gather together with all of our cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends.  As the family is growing, it's been so much easier to serve everything buffet style.  There's turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, creamed onions,  cranberry sauce, green bean many yummy dishes!! (I almost just drooled #preggoproblems)  Last year, I made green bean casserole and used this recipe for fresh cranberry sauce.  This year I've been looking for something equally yummy and I'll pass off the green bean casserole for my sister to make.

{Photo via: Damn Delicious}

This slow cooker creamed corn sounds SO good!  I love that it can be made in the slow cooker then transferred to Thanksgiving dinner.  It's gotten great reviews and let's face it, anything from Damn Delicious is, well, delicious!

{Photo via: The Local Vegan}

I'm also going to make these brussel sprouts with cranberries, pecans, and balsamic drizzle.  I've made a version in the past, but adding the balsamic drizzle will undoubtedly make this a delicious side.  Also, perfect to take as a side dish because you'll be roasting them at home...leaving the brussel sprout aroma there when you leave instead of at your host's house ;)

What are some of your favorite sides?!  I would love for you to share!

P.S. - Check back on Tuesday for a fun giveaway!!

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