Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Supper || Delicious & Easy Tom Kha Gai Soup

You guys, this is the most delicious and easiest soup ever! I have a serious love affair with Tom Kha Gai (Thai coconut soup), like serious.  I've been dying to make it at home and my husband hates soup.  With a passion.  The other night, he had gone to work so I whipped this up and it was delicious!  My sister came over and both babies devoured it as well.  Definitely a keeper!  I strayed from the authentic way slightly to make it a little more hearty and the result was seriously yummy.

Ingredients:

1 carton of Swanson Thai Infused Broth
1 carton of low sodium chicken stock (I always use organic)
2 cans of coconut milk (not light style)
1-2 cups of carrots (cut matchstick style)
Carton of mushrooms
Shredded chicken
1 package of Ramen noodles (noodles only, not season packet)
Lime wedges

Directions:
- Combine the Thai broth and chicken stock and heat over medium high heat.
- Add carrots and mushrooms
- Cook until carrots have softened, add shredded chicken and Ramen noodles. (I broke the noodles up slightly)
- Add two cans of coconut milk and stir until combined.
- Heat through until warm and bubbly

Serve with lime wedges.   The squirt of lime really brightens it up!

Easy, right?!  If you prefer not to use the Thai broth, you can use vegetable broth or chicken stock and add your own Thai ingredients (lemongrass, lime, ginger, etc) You could also throw this in the crockpot on low for a few hours, adding the mushrooms and coconut milk towards the last half hour or so. It is so good! Let me know if you try it!

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Shopping at Target with a Toddler || The Good, the Bad, and the Festive

I love Target and find myself there way too often.  My sister and I always say that shopping with a toddler is literally so funny/exhausting because it is so chaotic and it's basically a game of keeping-toddler-happy-with-snacks-drinks-dollar-spot-toys-while-buying-nothing-on-your-list. Do you all feel like that??

This morning, I decided to take Olivia to Target to look at all of the fun Christmas items popping up, while of course doing some grocery and essentials shopping.  Normally, Olivia loves shopping and it makes me so happy to share fun shopping days with her.  I thought it might be fun to see if any of you have the same Target experience as me;)...

Step One:  Decide to take your toddler to Target before naptime {insert monkey covering eyes emoji here}.  Prep her with a big breakfast and get her excited to go with you!



Step Two:  Prep your diaper bag with all of the essentials to make your shopping trip go smoothly...Cheerios, goldfish, raisins, snack trap with different goldfish, granola bar, water, mini book, light up toy, wine...

Step Three:  Put excited {now overtired} toddler in the car where she proceeds to stiffen her body into a straight line so you can now not put her in the car.  We've forgotten Penelope {beloved stuffed bunny}.  Get Penelope.  Put toddler into her carseat where she stiffens herself again and flips around, now hanging over passenger seat demanding the bag of pretzels she sees on the floor.  Note to self:  bring pretzels into the house.  Give toddler a pretzel for each hand, buckle and proceed to drive down the street.

Step Four:  Forget your Target list.  Try to remember what you needed.  Peanut butter?  Mayo?  Lettuce?  No, maybe it was paper towels?  What food do we even eat? Peanut butter.  Don't forget the peanut butter.

Step Five:  Sing along with your toddler to Christmas songs while trying to get to Target before a nap happens.

Step Six:  Arrive in Target parking lot after approximately 20 minutes of driving and singing.  Toddler is asleep.



Step Seven:  Sit in the Target parking lot for approximately 37 minutes while your toddler sleeps.  Check Instagram, email, Target statement.  Note to self:  lay off the pointless "that is adorable!" things

Step Eight:  "Hi Mommy" is whispered from the back seat.  Ah, your toddler is awake and happy.  Load her into a cart, complete with cart saver {ew, cart germs}, snack trap, and water. Attach Penelope with toy leash to cart saver.  And we're off...

Step Nine:  Use cart wipe.  Head to dollar spot.  Gets me everytime.  Ok, we need the pack of jumbo Elmo crayons, one or eight gold polka dot notebooks, gold chevron ribbon, Sofia the First coloring book, felt Santa bucket and chalkboard gift bag,  Realize you've already spent 12 minutes in the dollar spot.



Step Ten:  Head towards baby aisle.  What did I need?  Wipes? Diapers?  Ooh, look...new Tommee Tippee cups.  Add to cart.  Go back for wipes. Spot adorable dress for Christmas card picture.  Think to yourself if you have anything to coordinate.  "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,"  as toddler is pointing to food pouches.  Grab one from your diaper bag and hope Target employees realize you did indeed bring your own.

Step Eleven:  Toddler squirts organic sweet potato and apple pouch down the front of her jacket.  Take out wipes, wipe her down, take away pouch as toddler screams because you took pouch away.  Give pouch back, "Mommy do."

Step Twelve:  Why am I here?? What did I need?

Step Thirteen:  Cruise past toy aisles, trying to find the 50% off toy from Cartwheel today.  Explain to toddler that we can't have that right now.

Step Fourteen:  Head to Christmas aisle.  Take a picture of your child in front of Christmas display.  Have a stranger come up and offer to take a picture of you and your child.  Sure, why not?  I'm only standing in the middle of Target with people looking at me, because why would I take a picture in front of a fake tree at Target?  Thank stranger and head to Christmas music aisle.




Step Fifteen:  Play Christmas music sample CD while toddler dances in cart and give her an adorable ornament to play with.





Step Sixteen:  Head to the food, that you're actually here to buy.  No, we can't eat those crackers now. Break out the different goldfish and mix with Cheerios, just incase.


Step Seventeen:  Zip through food aisles because toddler is getting tired and hungry and ready to get out of cart.  Sit down please. Sure, you can hold the can of beans.

Step Eighteen:  Make your way to the frozen fruit section.  Maneuver your cart so your toddler doesn't see you putting it into the cart.  Toddler sees the fruit.  Quickly try to distract, finding the toys in your diaper bag.  Nope.  Calm toddler who is now crying.  Explain that you can't open the frozen fruit right now. Yup, because she totally understands that.

Step Nineteen: You're now running down the aisles.  "We're almost done."  "We're going to go home soon."  "You're being such a good girl"


Step Twenty:  Head to check out.  Give toddler the box of crayons you found in the dollar spot.  Put all of your items on the checkout, open your Cartwheel app.  Think to yourself, why is the cashier laughing?  Look at toddler.  Contain yourself when the tip of the orange crayon is missing and see your toddler happily chewing away.  Swipe your toddler's mouth and find a teeny tiny piece of orange crayon, the rest is packed into her molars.  Smile at the teen cashier and joke that you don't need to feed her lunch now.  Teen politely laughs.  Mom fail.  Scan cartwheel that you actually remembered to use, swipe card, get receipt and book it to the car.

After our shopping trip, my sister and Brynn met up with us to grab some pizza.  After Olivia flipped her entire plate of freshly cut pizza, I kind of lost it.  A few minutes later, the girls were feeding each other pieces of pizza and I was saying how sweet it was.  My sister proceeds to say, "you were hangry, weren't you?'  Yes, I was hangry.  Hungry and angry.  Pizza solves all sometimes, right?!

Overall, a successful trip.  I seriously love my little shopper so much.  Now, those of you without toddlers may as yourself, why?  Why would you do that more than once?  I too ask myself that at times.  Then by next week, it's let's go to Target, so fun!

Final step:  Drive home while toddler happily sings in the back seat.  Peanut butter.  I forgot the peanut butter...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Jamie! Please keep an eye out for an email from The Birds Nest! Thank you all so much for entering!  Be sure to check out new Shop Features coming soon!

*Winner must claim prize within 24 hours*

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We Painted || DIY Christmas Ornaments for Toddlers

I can feel Christmas is the air!  I'm so excited for the holidays this year and everyday it's getting more and more festive around here.  On Sunday, I went to church solo while my hubby stayed home with Olivia.  When I got back, I found that he had made Christmas ornaments with her!  It just warms my heart to see that... A) He found a baby safe recipe B) He thought about this little project on his own C) She loved it D) He cleaned up.  Santa will be good to him this year :)


The biggest one is her handprint...love. He used this recipe here, which was basically a mix of cornstarch, baking soda, and water.  I love how bright white and sturdy the ornaments came out.  After the ornaments were cooked and cooled, we painted them using Crayola washable paint.  We babysit my niece, Brynn, on Mondays so she joined in too!  Brynn was definitely into it more, while Olivia was slightly concerned about getting messy.  She is my child.

To prep them, we put my hubby's old t-shirts on them to avoid a painted clothes mess and set up their Ikea Latt table with newspapers to cover the surface.  Perfect sized table that we use for everything! {Look under the DIY tab to see more pictures of customizing the table} Step #1...do not eat the ornaments before we can race to get the paint open.







We also kept construction paper nearby, for those who grew tired of painting ornaments ;)


Overall, they came out so cute!! Both girls were proud to show off their ornaments when they were finished.  We wrote their initials and year on the back so we can keep them as a keepsake through the years.  


Let me know if you try this!  It was an easy, festive craft that can be enjoyed by all! What festive projects have you done lately?  Are you planning a special holiday craft with your little ones?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recipe || Easy Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel


I love muffins.  Any kind, any size, flavor, you name it. I was searching on Pinterest for an easy banana muffin recipe to use up some bananas I had hanging around...Ok, I'm lying.  I threatened told my hubby that the browning bananas were off limits!  Those babies were going to good use.  Anyway, I found this recipe and it was super easy and yummy!  I adapted it slightly, using less butter for the streusel and it worked out perfectly.  Also, I think whipping the bananas really worked so much better than just squishing them with a fork.

Here is the recipe from Katrina's Kitchen:


INGREDIENTS:

Muffins:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 ripe bananas
Streusel:
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (optional)


DIRECTIONS:

Muffins:
  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ F and lightly grease your muffin tin/baking cups with cooking spray.Muffins:
  2. Whip up bananas using the paddle attachment on your mixer for 3 – 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. It should end up being about 2 1/2 cups of banana fluff. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of the mixer (there is no need to wash off the paddle or bowl from the bananas). Add eggs one at a time and then incorporate the whipped bananas until well blended. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredientsto the wet. Spoon batter into prepared cups.
Streusel:
  1. Melt butter in the bottom of a medium microwave-safe bowl. Add the dry ingredients on top. IMPORTANT: Incorporate the dry ingredients with your FINGERS until the mixture is moist and crumbly. If you try to use a spoon it will congeal into one huge ball of goo.
  2. Drop the crumb topping onto the muffins and bake.
6 jumbo muffins: 20 – 25 minutes
12 standard muffins: 15 – 18 minutes


I ended up making about 18 standard sized muffins.  Olivia loved them, minus when I broke apart the muffin so she could eat smaller bites.  Toddlers...gotta love their emotions ;)


All was well in the world once she was able to get another whole muffin and could eat both ;) Just snacking and reading books, her favorite activity!


Let me know if you make these!  They're so yummy and perfect for breakfast or a snack on the go.

*Don't forget to enter our current Shop Feature Giveaway here! Winner receives a $15 shop credit to Stamps and Charms!  Perfect for an initial necklace, charm bracelet, Grandmother necklace and more.

*The Birds Nest has a brand new Instagram to follow:  @thebirdsnestblog

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shop Feature || Stamps and Charms

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to share our featured shop with you.  Stamps and Charms is an Etsy shop featuring hand stamped jewelry, which you can completely customize and personalize to make a truly special gift.  The shop owner, Emiko, is so sweet and provides great customer service!  Shipping is very fast as well, for those of you looking for holiday gifts;)  Emiko made me a beautiful cuff bracelet, with a very special message about being a mom.  One thing I absolutely love about it was that it can be sized to your wrist.  I have very small wrists and I always find that bracelets fall off because they are so big, and this cuff was perfect!  I also love how delicate and stylish it looks, hand stamped jewelry is so sweet.




Stamps and Charms has a huge variety of jewelry to choose from.  From necklaces, bracelets, and keychains to Christmas ornaments, there's something for everyone.



How adorable are those keychains?  What a cute gift for newlyweds, right?




With the holidays around the corner, these are so cute for a baby's first Christmas or if you give an ornament each year.  Everything is completely customizable!



Another type of jewelry that you really don't see too often are stylish medical bracelets.  This is so cute for a little one (or adult) who has an allergy or medical condition...what a great way to allow others to know in case of an emergency, while being stylish, right?!  


Lastly, if you're like me and give your pets a Christmas stocking, these would be a great little gift under the tree!


Be sure to check out Stamps and Charms here on Etsy to see more!  Emiko was so generous and offered to give one lucky winner a $15 shop credit to her shop!  Perfect to shop for gifts or a little something for yourself!  Winner will be chosen and announced Thursday morning.  The lucky recipient will have 24 hours to respond and claim their shop credit.  Good luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Winner Is...


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations to Madison!  So excited for you! Please check for an email from me shortly.  If prize is not claimed within 24 hours another winner will be chosen. Thank you so much to all who entered! A very special thank you to Keri from GuguBerry for this giveaway!  Be sure to check out GuguBerry for new holiday items being added!