Balsamic chicken

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Today I'm sharing one of our favorite weeknight dinners. It is super easy and healthy. Pictures aren't the prettiest but yummy meals don't always look pretty, right? I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken and figured you may be too. We serve this over rice and it is so yummy!

Balsamic Chicken

-Raw chicken breasts (we usually use 6 for leftovers)
-A few handfuls of spinach
-Cherry tomatoes
-1 cup mozzarella cheese
-1/2 balsamic vinegar
-Salt and pepper to taste

-Preheat oven to 350*
-Cover the bottom of a baking dish with a few handfuls of spinach
-Place raw chicken breasts on top of spinach
-Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste
-Cut tomatoes in half and place on chicken
-Sprinkle cheese on top
-Pour balsamic vinegar evenly overtop
-Cook in oven for about 25 minutes or until chicken is done
-Serve over rice

Grab the button below and link up to Annie , Natalie and Owen on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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Recent Reads

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I have been struggling to get through books lately. Life has been so busy that I crash right when I get in bed. However I am always looking for new good book recs so if you've read any good ones recently, let me know in the comments!


By Mary Kay Andrews

An entertaining book about Riley Griggs and her summer weekend trips to their beach house. Her life turns upside down when her husband goes missing and she realizes he is not who she thought he was. She and her island friends attempt to investigate the scandals and secrets of her life and marriage. Such a great read! I give this book 5/5 stars.

By Amy Silverstein

At 24 years old she was a law student with a new boyfriend and her world changed in an instant when she was diagnosed with heart failure. This book is written about her journey through a heart transplant and all the treatments associated with it. I enjoyed this book but if you are not at all interested in medicine or medical terminology, you may want to skip this one. I give this book 3/5 stars.

By Ashlee Gadd

Calling all mamas! This is a must read! A super easy read that reminds you that you aren't alone in this crazy journey known as motherhood. Filled with essays about body image, identity, infertility and sleeplessness, you will find yourself laughing (and even crying) while reading this book. Do yourself a favor and purchase it now! I give this book 5/5 stars. I highly recommend! 

How to make baby food pouches

Thursday, February 15, 2018

When I was pregnant I saw so many posts about making baby food purees. I decided I would attempt to make Vivian's baby food and so far I have made all of it (besides finger foods of course). I have truly enjoyed making her food and she loves it too! You can ready about how I make her pureed baby food here. Not only do I know exactly what is in the foods she is eating but it also saves money. Now I know this won't last forever... it is time consuming and I likely won't have time once we have another little but for now I love doing it. We started purees when she was about 5.5 months old and as she got older I started to mix things. About 2 months ago I started making pouches so that we could pack them when we leave home and also because it's so much easier to mix lots of different fruits and veggies.

Step 1:
You will need to purchase this Infantino Squeeze Station. It also comes with 10 pouches. I knew I'd need a lot more than that so I also purchased this pack of extra pouches.

Step 2:
Wash, peel and chop your fruits and veggies. I use all organic fruits and veggies but use whatever your prefer. For this batch of patches I did butternut squash, carrots, apples and spinach. I had no idea how to cook butternut squash before I started making baby food but now I feel like a pro. Peel the outside of it then cut the 2 ends off. Cut it in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds just like you would a pumpkin. Then chop into cubes.

Step 3:
Steam or boil your fruits and veggies. I use this steamer insert and steam the fruits/veggies over a pot of boiling water. Steam until they are easily pierced with a fork, usually about 20 minutes.

Step 4:
Combine equal parts of desired fruits and veggies into blender. I usually always throw a few handfuls of spinach in because you can't taste it so might as well right? Then I put some of the boiling water from the steaming pot into the blender to wilt the spinach. Blend until pureed. Keep adding water until at desired consistency. You want it pretty thin, almost the consistency of applesauce.

Step 5:
Label your pouches. I always write the date as well as the contents on them.

Step 6:
Set up your squeeze station with pouches, fill your tubes, and press into the pouches. So easy! Then put the cap on and into the freezer they go. I pull a few out at a time and let them thaw in the fridge. They are good in the fridge for about 3 days.

So lets do the math and see what I saved. The actual pouches from Amazon cost $0.30 each. I made 23 pouches so that's $6.90 spent on the actual pouches. I paid $17.86 for all the organic fruit and vegetables for this batch. That's $24.76 total, or $1.07 for each pouch. In stores, organic pouches cost $1.69 each so I am saving $0.62 on each pouch, or a total savings of $14.26 on this batch of pouches! So yes, you do have to spend $20 to buy the squeeze station but you basically make up for it after making one batch.

Some of the combinations I have made:
-Butternut squash, carrots, apples and spinach
-Mango, butternut squash, spinach
-Apples and pears
-Sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach
-Peas, spinach, pears

You can mix anything! Get creative! If your little one isn't crazy about veggies, throw in a little bit of apples or pears to make the veggies sweet. A little bit of fruit goes a long way and I guarantee they will love it! Happy cooking :)

Grab the button below and link up to Annie, Natalie and Owen on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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Weekending a day late...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We had such a busy and productive weekend. We started off the weekend with a huge basketball win against Duke on Thursday night. We are Tarheels through and through and Vivi has no choice but to attend UNC for college ;)

Friday we spent the day running errands and getting things done for our move. Did I tell y'all we bought a house?! We weren't planning to move until the fall but we couldn't pass this house up... more to come on this later. Needless to say we are scrambling to get our house ready to hopefully go on the market Friday. A sneak peak at our new house!

Friday night my whole family went to a local burger spot which is right in the middle of ECU campus. Vivi loved staring at all the college students drinking beer ha!

Saturday was spent doing projects around our house... new pinestraw, pressure washing the outside, painting over spots on walls, packing boxes, etc. etc. It's crazy how stressful it is to get your house prepared to show. We also pulled the trigger on a new sectional couch. I am so excited about it but my wallet, not so much. Why is furniture so dang expensive??

Saturday night we took a break and met my dad for drinks and dinner. Vivi was a doll which made it so much more relaxing. If you're a parent you definitely understand that dinners out can be hit or miss with kids.

Sunday we drove to my in-laws for the day to celebrate my FIL's birthday. They live on a farm and Vivi absolutely loves the horse and donkey. They look and sound exactly like her farm book and she acts like such a ham when she sees them, it's adorable!

I hope everyone is having a great week! One day closer to Friday!

Thoughts for Thursday: tips for flying with a baby

Thursday, February 8, 2018

By no means am I an expert at traveling with a little one but we have 8 flights under our belt so I am going to share what works for us in hopes that it might help someone who is preparing to fly with a baby in the near future!


The first time Vivi flew she was 6 months and the second time she was 10 months. I think every age has it's challenges but overall I think 10 months was a little easier. I was terrified that since she was on the verge of walking that she would be squirming to get down and walk the entire time but thankfully she didn't!

5 tips for flying with a baby:

1. First and foremost, be prepared with your "big guns". Stock up on surprises and treats and decide before the flight the order in which you will pull things out and use as your "big guns" if things are going to hell. We always buy a few new small toys like this toy smart phonethese toy keys, and this mini piano toy. We always bring plenty of snacks and endless puffs and yogurt melts. My child doesn't really watch tv yet but she is obsessed with this youtube video. When the toys and snacks weren't cutting it, we whipped out the iPad and paid $5 for internet and got about 20 minutes of silence out of this video. The best $5 ever spent. And when ALL else fails, you give your 10 month old a dum dum (guilty).

2. Pack bags inside of bags. I always make sure my carry-on is super organized with separate small bags for pacis, snacks, diapers/wipes, etc. It is so much easier to have things separated than scrambling through your bag and trying to find what you're looking for while your child is screaming.

3. Give a bottle right at takeoff. It has always worked out pretty well for us that takeoff is around the time that she usually eats so right when we start rolling down the tarmac it's bottle time. This 1) helps their ears as you ascend and 2) will hopefully make your little one sleepy. Thankfully Vivi has fallen asleep after her bottle on almost every flight. Sometimes for only 30 minutes or so but anything is better than nothing.

4. If you have to bring a carseat for your destination, check it at the desk when you check in. We bought this carseat travel bag to protect our carseat then checked it before the flight so it was one less thing we had to worry about and haul through the airport. All baby things you check are free, including carseat, stroller, etc. We usually like to have our stroller for the airport but then we check that at the gate and pick it up right outside the plane after we land. I would be cautious about checking a nice stroller because it will get beat up.

5. Realize your child crying and acting a fool bothers you much more than it bothers anyone else. For the most part, everyone is usually very friendly and understanding as long as you are doing your best to console your child. On our last flight the gate wasn't ready for us so we sat on the runway for about 30 minutes after a 3 hour flight. It was 9pm and Vivi was losing her mind. The ladies in front of us were so sweet and played peek-a-boo with her and tried to help console her. Remember: you will never see these people again!

Grab the button below and link up to Annie , Natalie and Owen on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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All things PINK!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Happy Monday! We had the most boring, low key weekend and I took zero pictures. I was on call all day Saturday and in trauma surgery from 6am-6pm. Sunday was so cold and rainy that we avoided the weather and the flu by watching church online then had a Super Bowl dinner at my mom's house.

Since I have no exciting weekend recap today, I'm sticking with the Valentine's theme and sharing all the blush colored things I've been eyeing lately. I am not a huge pink fan but I have been absolutely loving it lately. It's so "in" and is the perfect way to add a feminine touch to an otherwise neutral space or outfit.

Velvet is all the rage right now and this velvet pillow is no exception.

This silk pillow adds the perfect amount of texture to a couch or chair.

You can never have too many tennis shoes and these blush nikes would make my everyday "mom attire" much cuter.

I am a huge fan of Bobbi Brown lipstick and this pink lip color is the perfect shade of pink.

These espadrille wedges are SO fun and have me itching for spring and summer!

This Tory Burch tote is to die for. I am a fan of everything TB and this bag would be perfect to transition into spring.

These Kendra Scott earrings are gorgeous and such a fun statement piece.

I am in dire need of a new phone case and this one is so pretty.

I love a pretty throw blanket over the back of a couch or chair and this one is cozy AND pretty!

This pink rug would be beautiful in a neutral room or a baby girl's nursery.

Valentine's style for baby girl

Friday, February 2, 2018

Y'all know I love any excuse to dress my baby in adorable clothes. I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I bought new clothes for myself... I spend all my money on her now! With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I have been eyeing festive outfits to put her in over the next few weeks. And most of these outfits would be so cute even after Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I am on call tomorrow so I will be in surgery all day. Who has fun Super Bowl plans?!

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