Jul 28, 2014

Coming Soon...

Yup!! I'm currently growing another little human! This one's due February 7, or if it's anything like its big sister, it'll be a Valentine's Day baby.

Keeping this secret off of social media has been ridiculously hard. There's been so much I've wanted to share with you (like the time I had to have Flaming Hot Cheetos and managed to walk into Target and only buy that one item. Or the other time that I had to have broccoli with lemon, so I practically woke up Julia up from a nap just so I could go buy some broccoli and a lemon. Stuff like that), but I'll have to tell you about all of that another time. My plate is pretty full this week, but I'm finally starting to feel better (hallelujah!!!) and my energy levels are starting to rise—thank goodness.

I just couldn't keep this a secret any longer. More to come soon, I promise! 

Jul 24, 2014

Blueberry Cinnamon Pie

You know how some people have a love language for gifts, touch, words, quality time, or service? Well, I'm pretty sure the love language in this house is pie. We love it and it makes us happy. We don't eat it too often (mostly for special occasions), but that just makes it even more special when we do get to enjoy pie.

The week before my husband left he bought blueberries to make our favorite blueberry pie. Only one thing led to another and he didn't get around to making it. (Let's just put the blame on the military for throwing a bone in that plan.) The morning of his departure, I saw the blueberries sitting there on the counter and I got pretty sad. Sad that he was leaving and sad that we wouldn't share our pie after all. So I decided right then and there, while he was scurrying around the house to pack his last-minute items, that I would make a pie.

Now, pie making is not my area of expertise—it's where my husband excels. He makes the most delicious, tender crusts all by hand and puts extra love and care into the filling. Love is essential when cooking and baking, by the way. But me? Besides making him lemon meringue pies (one came out in the form of soup) for his birthday occasionally, I stay away from pie-making.

But I needed that blueberry pie, and I especially needed it on that particular day. So I got out the cookbook, flipped to the flour-infused page for pies, got out a bowl and measuring cups, and started making a pie. I didn't get all fancy with the crust—Pillsbury is a-okay in my book (I convinced my husband to buy it during our last shopping trip, because I didn't want his hands tied up for too long making the crust/pie), so that eliminated one of my pie-baking fears.

When it came time for the filling, my husband let me in on his secret ingredient—the most delicious thing that sets his blueberry pie apart from any other I've ever tasted: cinnamon. He doesn't just add a dash or two. Nope, he adds heaps of it—maybe 2 Tablespoons heaping or more. And it makes it taste amazing. "Basically," he said, "When you think you've added enough, add a lot more." Done and done.

We decided to leave the house around 10:30 am that morning, and the pie was scheduled to come out of the oven at 10:15 am. Once I did the math and realized he wouldn't be able to enjoy any of it, I was crushed. He loves pie and had I made it earlier in the morning or even the night before, he could've taken some with him. Unfortunately (or fortunately in my case), there wasn't enough time for it to cool, so we left the house with the pie still bubbling thickly on the counter.

By the time I came home a few hours later, the pie had cooled and left a nice aroma in the air—a welcome treat when coming back to an empty house. In all honesty, I forgot about the pie that night (actually, it's because I gorged myself on delivery pizza and didn't have room for a single bite of dessert), but it called to me the next morning. I promptly took a fork out of the drawer and dug in for breakfast. No need for plates since that sucker was all mine!

The pie lasted a little more than a week and each bite tasted better than the last. I'm 100 percent positive that's the first time I've ever eaten an entire pie by myself (nope, I didn't even give a bite to Julia—what a horrible mom I am). 

Here's the recipe, by the way, so you can indulge in this yourself:

Blueberry Cinnamon Pie
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

2 pie crusts
5 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 (heaping) tablespoons, cinnamon
melted butter or milk (optional) 
cinnamon sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Place first pie crust in your pie plate; trim pie crust, if needed, to the edge of the plate. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stir the berries until everything is completely coated. Mash a few berries to get their juices flowing. Dump blueberries into the pie plate. Transfer remaining crust and cover berries, cutting out shapes or slits for air to flow through. (Optional: brush crust with milk or melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.) Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbling and the top is golden. Wait for it to cool before you eat it. Seriously, wait. Otherwise you'll burn your mouth and then you'll be sad.

Jul 21, 2014

Want, Need, MUST Have {July}

You guys, I just typed "May" in the title, and when I realized it's actually past the middle of July, I kinda freaked out that I lost my mind. I'm glad I fixed it—talk about embarrassing!

This month's must-have post is a bit smaller than usual, but still awesome, nonetheless. My sponsors love traveling and their kids, which are two things right up my alley. Every girl needs an awesome travel piece and every mom needs a Sophie in her life (am I right or am I right?)!

1. A Vera Bradley rolling suitcase! With all the trips planned, this thing is just the ticket to my packing woes! It's got wheels and it's stylish! {Megan from History and Hockey Sticks}

2. I saw this dress floating around Pinterest and now it's all I can think about. It looks incredibly flattering and I love the colors. Totally smitten with it. {Me}

3. I NEED Sophie the Giraffe. I got confused and ordered the double ring Sophie and it is just not the same! And maybe a nipple shield-teething and nursing is NO JOKE! I have never had bleeding nipples before! {Alyson from Port and Starboard Monogram}

What are you crushing on and must-have this month?

Want to be part of this must-have feature next month? 

Jul 18, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz!

This morning I actually got up a little early and had grand plans to blog about surviving our first week alone, including cute pictures of the little one. (Thanks a million for all your comments and emails regarding my husband's deployment. It means a heck of a lot to me!) But instead of blogging, I decided to make blueberry mint lemonade instead. Best decision ever, because it's DELICIOUS and will be perfect in the sweltering Georgia heat. We're currently experiencing a "cool front" right now, but the humidity should be back tomorrow. At least I'll have some tasty lemonade to get me through the afternoon slump.

Anywho, I'm excited about today's post, because I've been wanting to participate in this for awhile, but I always drop the ball and forget about it. Erin over at Two Thirds Hazel put together a little blogging quiz that was fun to fill out. I actually started working on it on my computer, but got frustrated figuring out font sizes and stuff, so I just printed it out, used my own chicken scratch, and then scanned it back in. With that said, I apologize if you can't understand my writing; I can barely decipher it these days. I should really write more. (Note to self: send some real letters and work on your penmanship.)

Speaking of chicken scratch, here ya go! (I'm pretty sure it'll enlarge if you click on it. Also, shoot, the scanner cut off some of the words on the right. My bad. They should say "seriously," "apart," and "the".)

Want to fill out your own quiz? Download it here and play along over at Two Thirds Hazel!