Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Bit of FALL

FALL has arrived!
Well....... so they say. It's still hot here, but I've jumped in full force to my FAVORITE season. My house smells like pumpkin spice and I've bought a new welcome mat (top right) for twelve bucks at Target. Oh how I LOVE Target.
There's just something about this time of year that makes me happy. My anniversary, Tommy's Birthday, Halloween, hot cider, pumpkins, chilly nights, acorn squash, mackintosh apples, carmel apples, pumpkin pancakes, and don't let me forget about Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte! I hear this year Starbucks has come out with a "S'mores" latte. Gotta try that! Tommy is enjoying pumpkin yogurt, (see top left) and I'm putting together a Fall wreath made of pussy willows (see bottom center) to go with my newly painted red door.
We are loving a much less humid Farmers Market full of pumpkins and gourds and Tommy even has his own Farmers Market basket (see lower left) which I bought on Amazon. Isn't it the most adorable thing you've ever seen?! I'm making stuffed spaghetti squash tonight (see top center) and the recipe is HERE.
Tommy has his first cold of the season, but we're not letting that get us down. Our neighborhood park just put in a shiny new swing set just in time for swinging through the FALL season. Tommy took his first turn on the big boy swing and is hooked! Our house is STILL on the market, but so is our dream house, so hopefully FALL will be the magical season where it all "Falls" into place!
Happy FALL everyone!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Toddler Pasta

Hi friends, this one's for all you moms out there! 
As you all know, when you have a toddler you are constantly in search of creative ways to get them to eat  healthy foods, and when the meal doesn't have to include applesauce or yogurt, it's a total bonus. I have no idea why, but I threw this pasta together one night while Mike was out of town, and Tommy LOVES it! It's easy, nutritious and most of all colorful. Colorful is HUGE with kids! Mike likes it too, so it's basically great for the whole family. What more could a mom ask for right? 

For (1) toddler serving, you will need.....

~1/3 cup of colorful vegetable pasta (I use Trader Joe's Vegetable Radiatore)
~1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes (Use organic. Tomatoes are FULL of pesticides)
~Handful of chic peas
~1 slice of American cheese (I use Horizon Organic)

Boil salted water in a small saucepan. Add pasta and cook until "al dente." Drain pasta, but keep it in the sauce pan, and right away add the slice of cheese right on top until it melts, which takes about 10 seconds. Add tomatoes, and chic peas and stir it all together and serve. Seriously, it's that easy!  Add whatever you like. You can add peas, corn, black beans, anything!
Hope your kids enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom

I haven't done a Wednesday Wisdom in such and long time, and who doesn't love a good quote right?
 I could scroll through Pinterest reading quotes all day long; and Facebook and Instagram have exploded with them, to the extent that it really takes a special one to catch my eye.

Tonight I found this quote and it really spoke to me and reminded me to stay focused. In this social media world we live in we are constantly telling everyone what they're doing, seeing, eating, and wearing, and it's easy to not walk the walk, and just talk the talk.
Everyone is always working towards something. What are YOU working towards? Do YOU have a goal? Do YOU have a passion? 
Well get going! It's YOU who YOU need to impress and it's YOU who you don't want to let down. So go and make it happen.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Life, Labor Day and LINKS

I know, I know it's been a while hasn't it? But, you know what's nice? When I haven't done a post in a while, people actually ask me about it! They say they miss it, and that feels good, so here ya go, and thank you to those for reading. ( :
Life is good. Still waiting to sell our house, and buy our next dream house, but that's life right? Mike just had a Birthday, and we celebrated with ice cream cake decorated with "Hula girls," gifts of course pancakes, because that's his fav, and Mike and I even went on a dinner date which was nice.
Tommy had his first music class last week and is as busy as ever.  Other than that, we've been hanging with good friends and enjoying the final days of the summer which I am happy to see go because it's been a HOT one in Florida! What are you all up to this Labor Day? I think we'll lay low. I plan on checking out some of those Labor Day sales (online of course) and will probably have our own little barbecue at Chez Andrew. Hope everyone has a nice long Labor Day weekend. Stay safe!

Links to my favorite Labor Day Sales:






Friday, August 14, 2015

Weekend and LINKS

What are your plans for the weekend? Mike is in Chicago doing a show, so my buddy Tommy and I are flying solo. If it doesn't rain I hope to take him to the pool because it closes soon. Is summer really almost over? Also, we have someone interested in our house (crossing my fingers) who wants to see it again (third time) this weekend, so I'll be spending my time cleaning and adding nice little touches here and there so it shows well. You know, fresh flowers, fluffy towels and plumped pillows! Hoping to catch up on some very overdue phone calls too. Enjoy the weekend and these links from around the web.  

~Really love this necklace by Kendra Scott, and this one. Aqua please!

~Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving already, and loving this idea for less clean up.

~How cool are these Peel and stick wood panels?

Made these "monster balls" last week and Tommy AND Michael loved them, plus no cooking in the summer is a bonus!

~See, Coffee is a good thing.

~You've been peeling an orange wrong! Check it out!

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Guy

It's been a while (sorry Tommy) since I've done a post on my Tommy Boy, T-slice, T, Sweet T, Tito, Tom, Thomas you name it. He has a lot of names.
He's 2, almost 3, well 32 months and 10 days but who's counting? All I know is time is flying by way too fast, and I'm in love with this guy. He's quite the character and there is never, and I mean NEVER a dull moment. He constantly tells me to be careful or "Careful Mom!" as he puts it. I guess I'm just wild and crazy because that's a favorite. Another favorite is,"I can't take it!" Then there's,"I'm naughty." After which he takes HIMSELF to the timeout step. Guess the timeouts aren't' really working. ( :
I am in awe of the things that come out of his mouth. He's very polite and says,"Scuse me Mom!" after every burp and," Ut oh, waaaah happened" whenever he does something naughty. He proudly comes and tells me about all his mishaps, and I make sure not to act too angry because I don't want him to ever feel like he can't talk to me about these things right?
He's a smart one too. Knows ALL his ABC's (upper and lower), colors, numbers, shapes, Yadda yadda yadda. I have nothing to compare it to, so to me he's quite a genius. Music is very obviously his passion, but he's also a natural born athlete, so we'll see what happens with that combo. He learned to swim this summer and is quite a fish, and he loves the ladies.. He'll walk up to a woman at the pool and say,"Hi, how ya doing? I'm Tommy." They laugh. I melt!

Dancing and singing are favorite pastimes.  He belts it out like his dad and applauds for himself which is great because confidence is half the battle right? And whether it be Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Old McDonald Had a Farm, DO NOT join in. He has to be the only singer which can only mean one thing. He needs a solo career. Done.

His favorite word and favorite response to most questions is,"ACHOO!" No idea. Elmo must have said it at some point. That's how we pretty much explain everything we can't explain, including the reason he speaks in third person. Tommy wants a cookie, Tommy go outside, Tommy wants to get up. Tommy eat, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy!

I could go on and on, so if you've gotten this far, thanks for reading. I love to document all this stuff, because like I said time is flying and I don't want to forget a thing! I just love this kid!
Have a great week peeps.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Ladies Who Lunch

My mom (aka "Mom Mom") came to visit us last week, and instead of doing our typical dinners out, we decided to be the "Ladies who lunch." So, everyday we'd skip out of the house while Tommy napped, and try a new place that we'd never been to. It was great! We could chat and catch up while eating delicious food uninterrupted by a two year old! So are you ready for some mouthwatering pics? Hope so!

First up was Rusteak in College Park. We started with the Peach Sangria and shrimp fritters. So good! Then Mom had the Par Burger, and I had the Blackened Mahi Tacos. Delish!
We both gave this place ✮✮✮✮✮!

Next up? The Coop in Winter Park. This Southern inspired fast casual dining experience was a hit! I went for the chicken and waffles while mom had the fried chicken. We both can't wait to go back. From the casual atmosphere filled with large farm tables, to the wide selection of southern favorites and the absolutely adorable name, we give it ✮✮✮✮✮.

Day three we headed toThe Outpost in College Park. Unfortunately we didn't have a good experience here. We started with the mussels which got an A+ for presentation, but not for taste. Too fishy! I had the Grilled Meatloaf Melt and mom had the Southern BLT. We were both underwhelmed. We'll give this ✮✮ because of the cute atmosphere, and adorable corn shaped corn bread. But not for the food. 

Day 4 we headed to a French restaurant in Winter Park called Chez Vincent. We both started with Bloody Mary's and then decided to order some mussels again hoping to have better luck, and we did! They were perfection. I had the Beef Bourguigon Crepe and mom had the chicken Crepe. Again, perfection. We finished with the Upside Down Apple Pie. We also gave this place ✮✮✮✮✮.

Next on our list was Pig Floyds. Mike went to this place and really liked it so we thought we'd give it a try. Mom had the Pulled Pork Sandwich and I had the Butter Chicken Tacos. We gave it ✮✮✮. I think I need to go back and order something else, because it was good but not great in our opinion.

On moms final day I took her to The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park. I had been but I thought she'd like it. There is a reason you have to have a reservation for this place. It's consistently good! We started with the Deviled Eggs, and for our main dish I had the Shrimp Tacos and mom had the Pub Burger (she's kind of a burger gal)! We both enjoyed it and gave it ✮✮✮✮ stars. Many people would think I'm crazy to give this place 4 stars, but while good I'm just never as impressed as everyone else.

So there you have it. I would highly recommend our Ladies who lunch idea, and I can't wait to do it again. If you are in the Orlando area, check out some of our 5 star picks.
Have a great day everyone.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Afterlife

Do you believe in the afterlife? 
I'm not particularly religious, but I've always believed in Heaven. I've always believed there had to be something beyond our lives on earth, yet I've known several people, family members included who believe that once you die, that's's over. 
I always feel a bit sad when someone tells me that. Sad that they don't believe they have anything to look forward to and sad that they don't believe they'll be reunited with loved ones from the past. But to each his own right? I've always been a believer. I even visited a medium when my daughter died, but that's another story and another blog!
When we lost Cali, I received these three books from friends. The first was Heaven is for Real which was left on our doorstep from sweet friends on the one year anniversary of Cali's death. I didn't actually read it right away, but when I finally picked it up I couldn't put it down. I mean.... how can you not believe a small child when he discribes his journey to heaven? 
Next I read Waking Up In Heaven which was written by a woman and equally fascinating, and last week I finally got around to reading Proof of Heaven
As much as I was a believer before I read any of these books, Proof of Heaven really sealed the deal for me. The Author Eben Alexander, M.D. was a neurosurgeon and non believer until a deadly form of meningitis sent him on a journey to Heaven. Proof of Heaven is written from a scientfic point of view which is both interesting and intriguing. 
All three of these books have brought me much needed peace and I would highly recommend picking one up if you are grieving someone you've lost, or if you know someone who is grieving. And even if you aren't grieving, you should pick one up. 

What do you think? Do you believe in the afterlife? 
I'd love to hear your stories.
Have a nice weekend friends. ( :

Friday, July 10, 2015

Family Dinner + LINKS

What are you up to this weekend?
Michael has a recording session here at the house, so I'll be keeping Tommy busy by hopefully getting in lots of pool time. Yesterday a big FOR SALE sign went up in our front yard. Yup! The time has come to sell our house, and it's exciting and scary at the same time. We love "Chez Andrew" but have grown out of this house, so we're crossing our fingers for a successful sale and hoping to find our next dream house at the same time.

Now for the picture above. Dinner is an important meal in our house. We sit down every night (6pm sharp) to enjoy a meal together while catching up on our day and teaching Tommy manners at the same time. Not many people sit and enjoy a meal together anymore, and it's something I hope to continue as a family as long as I possibly can. While setting the table the other night something made me smile and I just had to grab my camera. It's a pretty typical meal really. We try to be healthy, and Tommy eats whatever WE eat minus the apple sauce of course, but what made me smile is the Vaudeville straw hat hiding behind the candle. See it? I don't know who put it there. Michael? Tommy? It could be either! Only at the Andrews, where vaudeville is alive and well! 
Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the links!

+ I am currently reading THIS and I cannot put it down! As a "Girls Next Door" watcher, I had to know what really went down in the Playboy Mansion. Crazy I tell ya!

+ Now that we're selling our house I'm going to try THIS. Don't know if it works, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

+ I wish they had THESE when I had an apartment in NY. Would have been a ncie quick fix for the kitchen. Cool right?!

+ I am ALWAYS looking for something new to do with ground turkey. I made THIS the other night and it was SO GOOD!!!!

+ Doing a little shopping this weekend? Nordstom is having a sale! See HERE.

Daily Gratitude: Today I am thankful for the rain. It's doing wonders for my flowers and grass!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CUTEST Father's Day Gift EVER

Attention Mothers with sons! Are you ready for the cutest Father's Day gift EVER?!!!!
Now, I realize Father's Day is long gone, but you should pick one of these up now, and put it away for next year, because every year it sells out!
I'm talking about Harry's 'Father and Son Shave Set.' You can currently only buy it HERE, so jump on it now.
I wanted to get this set for Michael last year, but it was sold out, and this year, it was sold out again, but I managed to get my hands on one this year on eBay. Thank God for eBay!
 Anyway, Tommy was in HEAVEN shaving with his Dad and now that's all he wants to do. Not to mention that Michael thinks Harry's razor gave him the closest shave he's ever had. See all Harry's products HERE. The shipping is FREE, and the razors are cheaper than store bought razors so in the future we'll order our razors from Harry's. It's a win, win!
Check it out!

Daily Gratitude: Today I am thankful for the BEST husband and son I could ask for.