Friday, February 22, 2013

Kaiya LOVES sweet potatoes

Update: Kaiya loves sweet potatoes.

The evidence:

She insisted on feeding herself.

Hmmm, the sweet potatoes are all gone...

So, I'll just eat the plastic.

All gone!

We love our sweet potato loving little girl. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

V-Day Perfection

Last Thursday, Joshua and I celebrated our
3rd Valentine's Day together!
It's hard to believe that it has been that long since our
first V-Day together.

I remember our first Valentine's Day like it was yesterday.
Joshua and I had been dating for about 3 weeks 
and I was SO excited to share Valentine's Day with him!
I remember being anxious ALL day.

We had all these plans for a picnic 
on the overlook looking down on Provo valley.
How romantic, right?!

Unfortunately, we had a miscommunication between Joshua
and his sister about who was going to have the car and when

We were carless...on Valentine's Day!

So, we made the best of it, and went to...*drumroll, please*

So, maybe it wasn't as romantic as a picnic overlooking the valley
but I was there with an amazing guy who 
was trying his best to make the most of an unfortunate situation.
(he still makes the most of every situation)

Eventually, we did get the car 
and we did drive to the overlook.
We sat and talked and talked and talked.
We talked about everything.

And it was then that I knew he wanted to marry me. :)
He didn't say it directly, but I knew.
(kind of a scary thought at first for me,
 but I warmed up to the idea quickly)

This year, our Valentine's was much different
than our first Valentine's Day together.
1. We are now married.
2. We have a baby.
3. We don't have the stamina to stay up as late!
(That's what having a baby does to you :) )

 To celebrate Valentine's Day, we got some special BYU treats:
 BYU brownies (famous for being super fudgey and delicious) and
BYU Creamery ice cream (famous for super creamy, addictive ice cream)

Joshua made me heart-shaped Banana Nutella French Toast.
He has an amazing French Toast recipe! To die for!


The picture doesn't even do it justice...whatsoever...
This French Toast doesn't even need syrup.
It's that good!
And after eating French Toast in heart shapes,
Joshua is not sure he can go back to plain, bread-shaped 
French Toast! Haha! What a cutie.

The pa'an here is to DIE for!

Speaking of my cutie...
Here he is when we went to Banana Leaf for our "real"
Valentine's Day dinner on Friday night.
He had to work on Thursday night.

This restaurant was one I had been dying to go to
for awhile, so he chose to go here!
What a sweetheart.

And the food was AMAZING!
Provo friends, this is a must-go-to restaurant!
Just look at that plate!

Hope you all had a wonderful V-Day!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clean Eating

So, I've noticed a ton of hype recently with "clean eating."
I wasn't sure what it was, so I did what most people do these days
and Googled it!

According to The Gracious Pantry,
clean eating has everything to do with eating food in its most natural state.
The way God made it.

Photo from The Gracious Pantry

I really like that!
And the more I think about it,
the more it makes sense.

Of course my body will be happier and healthier
if I feed it with natural, good-for-you foods
that my body already naturally knows how to process!

Here are some of my favorite clean eating tips:

1. Never eat anything that has ingredients you can't pronounce 
or have never heard of in your life 
(which really makes sense when you 
realize you don't want to 
eat something that sounds like it came 
from a science experiment).

2. Don't buy a food if there are more than 6 ingredients listed
(especially if they include those mystery ingredients we 
talked about earlier!)

3. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies!
Well, I'm pretty good at the fruits part, 
but I could definitely eat more veggies!

4. Eat whole grains and avoid refined grains.
Whole grains have way more fiber and other nutrients
that are lost in the refining process.

I am just starting my research into clean eating
and already I'm a believer.

I would really like to incorporate clean eating 
into my life, but...

It seems SO expensive! 

So, for you health nuts out there who know way 
more about clean eating than I do,
could you give me any tips for 
incorporating clean eating on a budget.

Sometimes I feel like it is so hard to eat healthy
because all the healthy foods are expensive!
(And people wonder why America has weight issues?)

Anyways, have a wonderful (and healthy) day!
And again, feel free to give me any
of your clean eating tips if you have any! :)


Friday, February 15, 2013

What am I thinking???!

So, a little thought has been planted and growing in my mind for the past few of days.

No, this can't be happening! I think to myself. 
Why am I thinking about this now?! 

Because now doesn't seem like the best time to be thinking about switching my major...

To what you may ask?

Photo from Google Images.


That's right. I'm thinking about trying to get into that program at BYU where
over a hundred other people apply and most of them qualify
but only 64 or so are accepted.

What am I thinking?

Well, I'm thinking about how I really enjoy my current major,
but how I have no idea what I would do with it after graduation if I ever 
needed to help support my family.

I'm also thinking about how nursing was the first major I was in,
how I studied and prayed and passed all those prerequisites for the program,
and how hard I worked...only to switch my major because I was afraid
I wouldn't have time for nursing school after getting married.

Except now I'm not only married, I'm also a mother.
And I'm still thinking about applying for nursing school?

And I don't know if I'd be accepted or anything,
but I'm thinking, "why not try?"
It'd be three more years of school,
but I'd love it.

I don't know. There are so many thoughts racing through my mind at the moment.
I'm just trying to sort them all out and make a decision.

What do you think? 

Probably that I'm crazy, but I think I could actually do this.
I would need heaven's help and angels around me on a daily basis,
but I think I could do it.

Anyways, that's what's going on in my little brain at the moment.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hidden Chocolates

As I'm sure all of you are aware,
Valentine's Day is coming up in just a couple days!

I love Valentine's Day and always have.

I remember growing up and looking forward to Valentine's Day morning.
Every year, my parents placed a Valentine's card and some kind of chocolate heart
or box of chocolates somewhere in my room to find in the morning.

This made me feel so loved and so special--like I was their favorite child.
(Even though they did this for my brother and sister too!)
I know that I want to establish a tradition like this with my kids.
I know they will look forward to it every year just as much as I did.

I would also like to add to that tradition by doing a special Valentine's Day breakfast
or something like that. Or maybe a special treat or note in their lunches...
I don't really know yet, but I sure am excited to see their joy and excitement
when that time comes. :)

Anyways, what I really want to write about in this post is my sweet husband.

He has always been so kind and loving and forgiving towards me,
even when I am in a really bad mood! (Trust me, it happens.)

A couple weeks ago, I was eating a little container of my favorite Greek yogurt (Wild Cherry flavor)
when all of a sudden, my spoon hit what I thought was a giant cherry pit!
Holy cow! I thought. Did I win something?!

Well, it turns out that Joshua, being the sweet, sneaky man he is,
snuck a Hershey Bliss dark chocolate into my yogurt!
(He knows I have an obsession with dark chocolate...)

After I squealed with excitement, he informed me that every day
up until Valentine's day, he would hide a chocolate somewhere in the house for me to find.

It really doesn't get better than that.

So every day for the past couple of weeks, I have been on guard for that chocolate!
And not only has he hidden Hershey Bliss dark chocolates,
but he also hides Ghirardelli Mint-filled chocolates and Raspberry-filled chocolates!

So...I've been in chocolate heaven for the past couple weeks.

I am so so SO grateful for a husband who knows me.
Really, truly knows me and what I enjoy.
I enjoy chocolate and surprises and he combined those things perfectly
into this hidden chocolate hunt.

Joshua, I love you. Thanks for being my husband.
Thanks for all the hard work you do for our family.

We love you!


Boogers and Bananas

Okay, so I just had to share this story that my husband told me today...

Me: Joshua, what's that in the sink? (as I look into the sink to find a plate filled with gray, mushy looking stuff--it looked pretty gross)

Joshua: Bananas. I kind of let Kaiya go at it.

Me: Wow, that looks pretty gross.

Joshua: Yeah, what was really gross was when she tried to stuff her mouth with banana with a closed fist and ended up wiping her nose and trailing snot from her nose to her fist. Pretty much, she was eating a nice mixture of boogers and bananas.

Me: (Disgusted look on face)

Joshua: She liked it!

I love hearing the exciting/gross adventures Joshua has with Kaiya while I'm not home! :D

Friday, February 8, 2013

National Fettuccine Alfredo Day! (yesterday)

So, I am going to admit that I had to look up how to spell "fettuccine" before writing this post.
And I realized that I wrote it wrong at least 5 times yesterday.
Oh well.

The important thing is that it was National Fettuccine Day yesterday!
And I just have to wonder, who comes up with these awesome food holidays?!
And why don't we pay special homage to days such as these
when a food of extreme, creamy goodness is celebrated?!

Okay, so maybe it's not that important to cancel school for fettuccine alfredo...
but a girl can dream, right?

Anyways, in honor of National Fettuccine Alfredo Day (I am going to be a pro at spelling fettuccine after this post), I made some fettuccine alfredo for dinner of course!

I am, however, trying to be a bit healthier and avoid all the fat and extra calories (although they do taste so good!), sooooo I found a healthier recipe for fettuccine alfredo that still leaves you with
a nice, rich, creamy, delicious sauce, but leaves out a lot of the extra fat and calories.
The only thing I would have changed is the amount of salt I added to the sauce--it needed WAY more. Tasting the sauce alone made it seem there was enough salt,
but when it is mixed with the pasta, the flavor is diluted a bit.
So don't be afraid to make the sauce a bit saltier. ;) It'll be worth it.

We sprinkled parmesan cheese over our pasta to add a slightly saltier flavor. You can also add steamed broccoli to this dish (like in the original recipe) and it is SO good.

(No arteries or diets were harmed in the making of this alfredo) ;)

Joshua loved it. And Kaiya loved watching us eat it...

I got the recipe from a site called Budget Bytes. Have you heard of it? This girl is amazing! She makes delicious, penny-friendly meals and breaks down the cost of everything
(ingredients, price per entire meal, price per serving, etc.)
in EVERY recipe she posts.

It's great!

And it provides me with great information as I choose meals that are delicious and affordable for my family.

P.S. Today is Molasses Bar Day! But I probably won't be making any of those. :)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Time to play catch-up!

Oh my, where to start?

Life is so busy right now.
Who would have thought that going to school, working,
 AND being a wife and mother would be so time-consuming?

Oh wait, I remember...that's what I signed up for!
And as crazy as my days usually are,
they are often extremely rewarding as well.

I also know that all of this is temporary.
I won't be in school my whole life.
Or working my whole life (hopefully).

So, even though it is temporary, I am trying to find the "joy in the journey."

So many people go through life saying,
"Someday,  when I reach this such-and-such part of my life,
I will be happy."

But then they're never happy right now.

Not to say that I haven't ever had these thoughts,
but I am trying so hard to be happy now.
If I always find a reason to be happy now, I'll be happy always.
And that sounds pretty good to me!

Anyways... with life being so crazy,
I have failed to write about several happenings in the McG family.


Kaiya takes over our bed...the little stinker!
But she's too cute and peaceful to move to her bassinet.
(Please excuse the mess!)

Second, I made these last week...

Vegetarian Quesadillas!!!

Ever since one of my friends introduced me to these, they have been a favorite.

I'll have to share the recipe sometime. ;) Basically, it's yellow squash, sweet corn, black beans, garlic, cilantro, and dried basil and oregano all sauteed together and placed on a tortilla with a generous amount of mozzarella.

Sooo ooey gooey good. Anyways, it's a favorite.


Joshua and I made Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies yesterday using this recipe.

They were soooo good!

I don't know if I can even adequately describe their soft, fluffy, sugary goodness!
I am a fan of soft sugar cookies and these fit that description perfectly.
Just thinking about these is making me salivate...

Well, here are just a few things that the little McG family has been up to.
And there has been so much in between.

We are definitely getting psyched for Valentine's Day!
Do you have any plans with your sweetheart? Roommates? Ben & Jerry's? (Haha, just kidding!)


Monday, February 4, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza

Makes me salivate just thinking about it! Oh. my. goodness.
This pizza was sooo good. It had to be from the wonderful aroma emanating from the kitchen.
Nothing that smells that good could taste bad, right?!

I really like pizza, but I don't always like how gross and greasy it can be sometimes.
So, this pizza was perfect for me because it is so good and so healthy!
It is loaded with veggies (caramelized onions and roasted butternut squash) and flavor.
No meat required.
Did I mention the feta, mozzarella, garlic, and rosemary?
(Are you salivating yet?)

Anyways, biting into this deliciousness made me feel like I was eating
a gourmet pizza from California Pizza Kitchen.
Except it's cheaper.
And I get a whole pizza!
Yeah, it's an all-around win-win situation.

Well, here it is!

We added a little spinach and tomato side salad to top off the meal.

Yum!!! Look good to you? You can find the recipe I used here.

By the way, while I was busy making this delicious pizza,
Kaiya was having an adventure of her own...

Well, hope you have a fabulous day, night, whatever time it is!

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