Pursuit of Pink

Friday, February 27, 2015

High Five For Friday

Happy Weekend lovelies! You made it another week and I hope this week had a bit less snow for you than last week.

I love my Friday posts because it gives me an opportunity to stop and remember the fun times and good times from my week.

1.) Baby K decided that our ottoman, which also doubles as a storage bin for our living room blankets, was better suited as a play area for her. She played in the thing all week long and had a blast. Sometimes she would pretend it was her bed and would say "night night" as she laid down. So stinkin' cute.

2.) I've been reading through the Daily Devotional Jesus Calling with the women of our church and had a nice little reminder over the weekend to pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is a verse with few words, but the words are so powerful and so true.

3.) Recently, Baby K has gotten into the habit of wanting to climb into our bed to watch the ipad. If I'm not laying in the bed with her, I will surround her with pillows so she doesn't fall out. I caught a glimpse of her as I was getting ready and just had to capture it with a photo.

4.) We got more snow...again. But this time it was so pretty because it actually stuck to the trees.

5.) Did you see yesterday's post announcing the new weekly (Thursday) link up hosted by me and For Lauren and Lauren?
That's right! A Weekly Link Up!!!! We want to connect with other bloggers and invite you to join us. The beauty of this link up is that you can blog about anything and be included:

  • a favorite outfit
  • a bible verse
  • a baby item
  • an iphone app
  • a person
  • a quote
  • a recipe
  • anything that you couldn't live without that week, we want to hear about it
Mark your calendars for every Thursday and come link up with us. You can link up here at Pursuit of Pink or over on For Lauren and Lauren. And if you aren't a blogger, this is a great opportunity for you to find even more awesome blogs to follow. #yourewelcome

***Grab the button below and help us spread the word!!! We can't wait to have you join us - we kick things off NEXT WEEK, on Thursday, March 5.***

I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget, September Farm, Meet @ the Barre and Style Elixir.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Couldn't Live Without...

This has been quite the crazy week! Monday started off with what I thought would be a quick trip to get my oil change...three hours later and three stops later and I finally got it completed! Plus throw in one crazy trip to the grocery store where I made the mistake of not putting Baby K in the grocery cart because I only need three things - note to self: always put Baby K in the grocery cart. Then Tuesday and Wednesday I worked at the theatre and had A LOT to accomplish. My to do list kept growing by the hour. Not to mention that all this week I've been packing (yes it takes me several days) so me and Baby K can go stay with my sister and her family for a long weekend. Add in my daily house cleaning and cooking dinner, working my Rodan + Fields business and spending lots of time in the car while I drive an hour to and from work and there you have it. My crazy week (and yes I know it could have been worse).

Through all of this I realized that I couldn't have survived the week with a smile on my face without my playlist. My playlist keeps me sane, gives me a chance to let off some steam and helps me to relax. I change the songs on my playlist from time to time, but the genre and general feel of my playlist always remains the same...teeny bopper music!

That's right friends. This week I couldn't live without a playlist full of the same music that my 15 year old niece likes. And I am not ashamed to admit that. It is music that puts me in a good mood and makes me shake my thang. I turn on my playlist and I'm instantly happy.

Here are the top songs on my playlist right now:
1.) Uptown Funk, Marc Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
2.) Blank Space, Taylor Swift
3.) Somebody That I Used To Know, Pentatonix
4.) All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor
5.) Bang Bang, Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
6.) Sugar, Maroon 5
7.) Anything Could Happen, Ellie Goulding
8.) Shake It Off, Taylor Swift

And thanks to my fabulous husband Tolar, I have an awesome instrument that turns my car into my own personal DJ which blasts my iphone playlist through my speakers. He got me a BlueTooth Transmitter for Christmas and I LOVE IT. Here is the one he bought for me and we have been really happy with it. The GOgroove Flexsmart is super easy for me to use and the sound is great. I never knew something like this existed until my husband bought it for me and now I hope I don't ever have to live without it. So I guess you could say I couldn't live without two things: my playlist and my bluetooth transmitter (I need to come up with a fun name for it!).

So what songs are on your playlist? Any songs you can recommend for a teeny bopper music loving girl like myself?

I have something really exciting to tell you all. My friend Katie (from the blog For Lauren and Lauren) and I are turning this here "I Couldn't Live Without..." post into a weekly link up!

That's right! A Weekly Link Up!!!! We want to connect with other bloggers and invite you to join us. The beauty of this link up is that you can blog about anything and be included:

  • a favorite outfit
  • a bible verse
  • a baby item
  • an iphone app
  • a person
  • a quote
  • a recipe
  • anything that you couldn't live without that week, we want to hear about it

I have always participated in link ups because it has been a terrific way for me to find and meet other bloggers. And now we are so excited to have the opportunity to meet even more bloggers and connect with you all!!!

Katie and I have daughters that are just a couple weeks apart and we really connected with each other during our pregnancies. It has been awesome to experience similar situations as our daughters grow and to exchange stories of triumphs and failures with each other. Every single blog post that Katie writes about motherhood, I feel like I could have written it myself. And that is one thing I love about blogging, finding people who you can relate to and who know what you are going through. So why don't you join us and make some new friends too?

Mark your calendars for every Thursday and come link up with us. You can link up here at Pursuit of Pink or over on For Lauren and Lauren. And if you aren't a blogger, this is a great opportunity for you to find even more awesome blogs to follow. #yourewelcome

***Grab the button below and help us spread the word!!! We can't wait to have you join us - we kick things off NEXT WEEK, on Thursday, March 5.***

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Easy Dinner for the Weeknight Rush

I have quite possibly the easiest meal you will ever need to make on those nights when you are short on time, but don't want to order takeout. In our family, eating a yummy dinner not from a paper bag is very important to us (though we do love take out every once in awhile!). Since moving to Dublin, I have made cooking dinner a huge priority. This is one place where I severely lacked as a wife when we lived in Alexandria, but now that I have more time dinner is cooked by me almost every single night.

Even with more time, I'm still busy and there are still plenty of nights where I need something fast! Enter this yummy pork chops and rice recipe. My mother is the brains behind this recipe, so she gets all the credit.

Now I'm not claiming this is the healthiest dinner on the block, but it is homemade and it is fast! Take what you can get!!!

Pork Chops and Rice

1 TB oil
Pork Chops (I prefer the thin, boneless chops)
2 cans Chicken and Rice Soup
About 3/4 cups additional rice (I prefer brown rice)

1.) Coat the bottom of a pan with oil. Place pork chops in the pan and brown on both sides (cook about 4 minutes on each side).

2.) Once pork chops have been browned, pour 2 cans Chicken and Rice Soup over top.

3.) Add additional rice and about half a can of water (I pour water into the can to get out any remaining rice).

4.) Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

That's it! Easy peasy right? What I love about this is the prep time only takes about 10 minutes and then you can walk away until it's finished. This is such a comfort food meal in our family! I will sometimes add broccoli straight to the pan while it is simmering. Or I'll serve a salad or another vegetable on the side. Every time I make this dinner, I wonder why I haven't made it more often. It is so good and so easy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Great Zulily Deals

Have you ever heard of Zulily? I wish I had used this site before I got pregnant with Baby K. Prior to getting pregnant, I had heard of it briefly but thought the site only featured products for pregnant ladies and babies, so I stayed away. Until my sister's friend Rebecca told me all about it. And man, oh man, why didn't I check it out sooner?

You can save on so many things, it is so much more than babies and maternity wear. Read that again - it is so much more than babies and maternity wear (don't make the same mistake I did!). 

They have home decor, shoes, men's and women's clothing, girls' and boys' clothing, health, beauty and yes even babies and maternity. And the savings that you get from shopping with Zulily are incredible.

I'm all about a deal; shopping a sale is the only way I like to shop! I've bought accessories, shape wear, baby clothes, baby feeding items and several clothing pieces all from Zulily at majorly discounted prices. And a lot of what they carry are popular name brand items.

Here are some of my favorite things available on the site right now:

Under Armour for Women (they have in boys, girls and men too!)

Mom Invented, Mom Approved (up to 50% off) I love this car seat foot rest for when we turn Baby K around in a few months.

Organization Favorites (up to 55% off) These stackable trays are gorgeous!

Studio Oh! (up to 40% off) They have some adorable stationery and other paper goods at great prices.

So hustle over there and get to shopping. But a word of advice, check out the site when you have a good amount of time. Because you aren't going to want to stop!

(And I'm really excited about an announcement I have coming up on Thursday. My friend Katie, who blogs over at For Lauren and Lauren, and I are cooking up something good - be sure to come back on Thursday for details!)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dashing Dish Clean Eating Cook Book

I was given a complimentary copy of Dashing Dish for review purposes. ALL opinions are my own.

I think I might be in love. If love equals lots of tasty recipes that are easy to make and so good for you all rolled into one amazing clean eating cook book. Then yep, I'm head over heels in love!

Allow me to introduce you to Dashing Dish. I've been a fan for several years and definitely recommend that you check out the site. Dashing Dish is a popular cooking and healthy lifestyle website created by Katie Farrell. Katie takes yummy foods that everyone loves and puts a healthy spin on them. I've tried several of her recipes in the past (especially her protein shakes) and have always like everything I made. So when I heard that she was creating a cook book I couldn't wait to get my hands on one.

The Dashing Dish Clean Eating cook book does not disappoint; it is chock full of amazing and tasty recipes. As soon as I received the book, I flipped through the recipes and my mouth was watering reading over everything. I've never loved so many recipes in a single cook book before and I want to make virtually every thing! From Carrot Cake Pancakes to Baked Mac and Cheese to a Cake Batter Protein Shake and Pizza Stuffed Chicken Breasts, I'm telling you she has some incredible dishes for you to try.

I love that Katie has come up with healthy alternatives to all of my favorite foods. So now I can still eat the foods that I love and not have to feel guilty afterwards. In fact, I'm fueling my body with tons of protein. Every recipe is a clean eating recipe full of healthy and wholesome ingredients. And since Tolar and I recently finished a clean eating challenge and have started to incorporate some of those choices into our lifestyle, this cook book arrived at the perfect time. Before I go even further you might be wondering one simple thing...

What is Clean Eating?
-Replacing processed foods with whole foods / consuming foods in their natural state or as close to their natural state as possible
-Choosing unrefined over refined foods
-Less Sugar and Salt in your diet
-Increasing Water Intake (I try to drink 80 ounces of water a day)
-Eating 5-6 small meals a day

Some people might think that clean eating means that you cannot have yummy and tasty meals. Well, after taking our challenge I found that to be extremely false. In fact, I fell in love with so many things during our clean eating challenge that I still make them now. And the recipes in Katie's book are absolutely satisfying and oh so yummy. Over the weekend I made the Dashing Dish Three-Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake and we absolutely LOVED it. Even Baby K gobbled it down. The dish was incredibly tasty, full of flavor and tasted like something I would order in a restaurant. And the best part??? It only has 154 calories per 1 cup serving!!! Can you believe that??? The sauce was so creamy and was made with healthy ingredients. I can honestly say that had I not told Tolar it was a Dashing Dish clean eating recipe, he would never have known it was actually good for him.

I was incredibly impressed with how easy it was to make the Three-Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake as well. All I had to do was combine everything into one bowl and bake. Simple, easy, tasty - yes, yes yes!!! This dish immediately got added to our menu planning rotation. In fact, I really want to make it again next week I loved it so much.

There are so many great dishes that I can't wait to try. Next up, I'm making her Warm Cheesy Spinach Dip, Cheesy Broccoli Bites (there seems to be a theme with my taste buds) and Spaghetti Squash Alfredo.

Tolar and I could not be happier with this cook book and are very excited to be able to add so many healthy and delicious recipes to our life. Our mission to a create a healthier lifestyle is taking shape and we don't have to sacrifice taste to do so.

You can order your very own copy of the Dashing Dish cook book on Amazon. Happy cooking!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Continuing The Weekend

Well we had 4 and a half snow days around here. It has been quite awesome having Tolar home all week. I've enjoyed having extra daytime help with Baby K and she LOVES all of the extra playtime she gets with her Daddy. And since he's been home all week, it doesn't feel like the weekend is starting anew, because it feels like its been a weekend all week long. And I am NOT complaining about that.

But to recap, here are some of the best moments from our week:

1.) My parents took Baby K down to visit my sister and her family, leaving Tolar and I to enjoy Valentine's weekend just the two of us. It was awesome to refresh and recharge and spend some quality time together. We had an awesome Valentine's Day where we slept in, got frozen yogurt, saw a movie in the middle of the day (just because we could) and attempted to have a fancy dinner out. But the snow started pouring, causing us to cancel our dinner reservations and order in pizza. Even though I got dressed up for no reason and dinner was cancelled, I still had an awesome night with my Valentine.

2.) Baby K had a blast playing with her cousin. My nephew and K are 10 months apart and they just adore each other. I love to watch them interact and have so much fun together.

3.) With all of the snow, we decided to introduce K to the joys of sledding. She had a blast. Check out yesterday's post for tons of pictures from our snow days.

4.) Like father, like daughter. This picture just makes me smile.

5.) Being cooped up in the house for a week made me want to eat everything! Luckily we didn't have many snack foods in the house so I was pretty good - until yesterday. I really wanted some peanut butter cookies so I gave in and made some. And they were amazing!

So how was your week? Did you get a lot of snow where you live?

I'm linking up with September Farm, Bright on a Budget, Meet @ the Barre and Style Elixir.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow Days

Since we moved to Southwest Virginia, I have been desperately seeking some snow. I knew that we had a good chance of getting a fair amount of snow accumulation and with Tolar back in school I knew he would get some days off. In D.C. I RARELY (like one whole day off during Snowmageddon 2010) got snow days off from the theatre so I was really excited to have an opportunity for the three of us to get some snow days together. Baby K has never had an opportunity to play in the snow as she was too little to walk last winter.

Nothing in January around here and I was starting to give up hope. But hello February, we got some snow! So far this week, Tolar has had four days off from school. I worked from home yesterday, but we have still had a lot of time to relax and play together and introduce Baby K to the joys of playing in the snow. And did my child find joy in the snow!!!! SHE LOVED IT! In fact, she didn't want to come inside. She cried a lot when we came inside and begged us (pweese, pweese, pweese) to go back out. Poor child didn't understand that we would go back out, we just needed to warm up and for her face to quit being so red!

Fun was had by all. We went sledding at both our house and my parent's house, Baby K got to swing, my parents had us over for a yummy pancake dinner and we had more than enough time to cuddle and watch Netflix. I love that snow causes us to stop and slow down, to put our to do lists away and just have fun!

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