Taco Boats- Kids Cook Monday

Our family loves Mexican food! Sadly, there is a severe shortage of Mexican restaurants in Lancaster County, PA (go figure!) so we make it at home quite often. I love how versatile it can be…soft tacos, hard tacos, dips, casseroles, burritos, nachos, enchiladas…. Ok, time to get ahold of my Mexican loving self. Side note; Mexican restaurants are one of the things we are most looking forward to in our next hometown!

So, I wanted to make a kid friendly Mexican meal that was also meatless. We used a combo of black and refried pinto beans on some new, cool, “Fiesta Flats” I found in the grocery store.  They are flat-ish like a tostada, but curved up on the edges to keep your toppings in place. So cool! (It’s the little things in life, people.)

I warmed the corn shells (Fiesta Flats) in the oven on 350* for about 10 minutes and then my trusty sidekick Brady helped me load up our “Taco Boats.” You can use any combo of ingredients that you like, but here’s what we used…

Refried pinto beans
Black Beans
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Black Olives

Some corn, diced onion, or tomatoes would be great on these as well!


Ingredients (Not the bananas!!)

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Um, no, I wasn’t about to eat guac straight from the bowl.


Who am I kidding…this stuff is delicious!




Taco Boats!

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My lil’ taco lovin’ stinkers!

Cheesy Veggie Tortellini Bake- Kids Cook Monday

I’m always looking for ways to sneak veggies into our diet, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than with CHEESE! This was a recipe I adapted from Better Homes and Gardens. Their recipe called for making your own white sauce…and well, that sounded hard. So, I used my handy dandy jarred Alfredo sauce that I got on BOGO, and it was delish! While Brady was a big “help” cooking this meal, I did do a little prep before he came in the kitchen. I boiled a family sized package of cheese tortellini, drained them, and set them aside to cool off. I also did a quick saute on some asparagus, squash and mushrooms and let them cool off a bit. Here’s how the rest of the recipe went down…


1 large pkg. of cheese tortellini
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 yellow squash
1 small bunch of asparagus
pint of grape tomatoes
1 cup of mushrooms
1 pkg. mozzarella cheese

After preparing the tortellini, and sauteing all veggies (not tomatoes) set them aside to cool off. Then layer as follows- Tortellini, half of alfredo sauce, sautéed veggies, tomatoes, other half of alfredo sauce, and top with mozzerella cheese. Then bake at 350* for approximately 30 minutes (or until it’s bubbly on top.)

**Note: I let the pasta and veggies cool off because I had little toddler hands putting this meal together. If I were making this by myself, I would not have needed to let them cool before assembling the dish.


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Even though this was packed with veggies, when you eat it, all you can think is, Mmmmm….cheese….


FREE Gator Printable

March Madness is upon us and we are loving cheering on our Gators!!! Sweet 16, GATOR NATION! I thought I’d share this “Keep Calm and Chomp On” printable Chris made for me a while back. It’s perfect to print and frame for basketball or football season! (Or baseball, or track and field, or swimming…you get the point, Gators!) Just click on the “KEEP CALM” link below the image to save or print the PDF file. Go Gators!



“Not Green” Smoothies- Kids Cook Monday


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I set out to make some green smoothies with Brady today. We love smoothies around here, but I’ve never attempted a green one. They always kind of weirded me out to be honest, but I have been assured that they are super tasty! I had a big bag of spinach in my fridge so I thought, why not give it a try for a little St. Patty’s treat?!

Well…we made our smoothie. It tasted yummy. Brady had fun. BUT, it didn’t turn out green!! What did we do wrong?? I’m guessing we put in too many blueberries, but I assure you, there was tons of spinach in this thing. The good news was that you really cannot taste the spinach in the smoothie. How exciting that you can sneak  in so much veggie goodness into something that tastes like dessert! Thankfully, Brady was not disappointed that his smoothie did not turn out the green color I had promised him. He drank the whole thing and it was a success…but not green.

Here’s how we made our “not green” smoothies.


1 Banana
1 cup ice
1 cup juice (we used orange pineapple)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1 container of blueberry greek yogurt
Half a bag of fresh spinach leaves

Brady threw all the ingredients in the blender and then had the all important job of pushing the button to blend away!!!

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Even though our smoothies weren’t green, we had plenty St. Patty’s day fun today!

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Guest Room Printable

Creative juices were flowing in the Smith house last night! I’ve been searching for some sort of a cute, printable, gift tag that could be used to attach to a welcome basket for guests who stay in our guest room. I thought it would be fun to have a little something waiting for guests when they come to visit and I wanted a little tag to decorate it with that would match the colors of my guest room. Sadly, Pinterest failed me and I could not find exactly what I wanted. SOOO, my artsy hubby gave me a quick Adobe Illustrator tutorial and helped me make my own! We made one version with Gator colors to match our guest room in 8×10 that could be framed and another version that was 5×7 that could be printed, and cut apart to attach to a gift basket. Then we made both in another green and brown color scheme. I thought I’d share in case anyone else was interested in using these. Just click on the link below the version you like and print!

blessed outlined 8x10

            blessed outlined 8×10

blessed outlined 5x7

blessed outlined 5×7

blessed outlined 8x10 gbr

                 blessed outlined 8×10 gbr

blessed outlined 5x7 gbr

blessed outlined 5×7 gbr

Planning, Packing, and Parties. Oh My!

SO much going on this month and next!!! I’m currently sitting in my living room , with a glass of wine, Pandora playing, the fireplace on, and pretending like I have nothing else to do but blog. Meanwhile, my house is a mess, my hubby is out of town for work, and, oh yeah, we’re moving to North Carolina next month!

When Chris first mentioned the idea of putting his application in for a North Carolina (Raleigh area) sales position that opened up in his company, I was like, oh sure, right, you’re kidding… Then, the more we talked about what a great opportunity it would be to explore another new area of the country, get closer to family, and add a new experience to his resume, the more the adventurous (crazy) part of my brain got on board! Chris has always dreamed of living in North Carolina- to him, it’s the perfect place to live. After a super quick road trip with the kids to check out the Raleigh area, I was smitten too. Ever since we made the decision to “go” for the NC job, everything has fallen into place in a very God-orchestrated, whirlwind kind of way.

We listed our PA home last Thursday and it sold Saturday…to a young couple buying their first place- she’s a teacher! {LOVE!} They fell in love with the house that we fell in love with just less than 2 years ago. Now we have started the search for our next home in North Carolina. We plan on renting for a while until we can decide where exactly we want to be long-term and can find our forever home!


In the mean time, we are busy getting ready for lots of visitors. My mom will be coming up in a few weeks to help me with the boys, packing, and planning Nolan’s first birthday. Our besties, Jill and Andy, are coming up for a visit soon after that. Then, our brother and sister-in-law and niece are coming for a weekend. Everyone thinks they are coming to sight see and visit, but secretly I’ve got long hours of packing boxes planned for them. HAHA!

In April we’ll be celebrating our sweet lil’ Bubba’s first birthday. Holy moly. What a year it’s been! Nolan is the best thing that has happened to us in our short time in Pennsylvania, and while we have made some amazing memories and life-long friends, he’ll always be the my favorite part of our stint in the Northeast. Best. Souvenir. Ever.


In addition to party planning, packing, and visitors, we plan on using the rest of our time in PA re-visiting some our favorite spots in Lititz, eating at our favorite local restaurants, and spending time with our friends. When we first moved to Lititz I took Brady to a free trial Gymboree class. Not only did we end up joining Gymboree and having an absolute blast in the classes, but more importantly, I met another mom who graciously invited me to be a part of her weekly playgroup. I’m forever grateful for that chance meeting that turned into my weekly outlet that connected me to other mommies and gave Brady his first real group of friends! We sincerely hope we will keep in touch with these wonderful families that have been such a support to us during our short time in Pennsylvania.


Brady’s little friends!

Wish us luck in this new venture. We know it’ll be a crazy couple of months to pick up everything and start all over again, but it feels so right! Our kids are still young, so if we are ever going to get the chance to start a new life and see a new part of the country, this is the time to take it!

Kids Cook Monday- Snack Time!

Today we cooked up a healthy snack! Toddler world is consumed with constant demands for something…mostly snacks. Recently I’ve been in search for high fiber snacks for B to help with some of his tummy issues. I came across a recipe for Roasted Chick Peas and thought I’d tweak it and make it with Brady. These came out super crunchy and flavorful much like peanuts. Brady has always loved chick peas (garbanzo beans) whenever we get them at a salad bar so I knew he’d love these. Here’s how this super easy recipe came together.


1 can of garbanzo beans
1/4 teaspoon of:
seasoned salt
garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
about 1/4 cup Olive oil to coat beans

We simply rinsed, drained, and dried the beans. Then we tossed them in olive oil and the seasonings. Brady spread the beans out on a pan and I roasted them at 425* for about 30-40 minutes (giving them a toss every 15 minutes or so.) They should be golden brown and slightly crunchy. If you want, you can also toss the warm chick peas in a little more salt and sugar for some extra flavor when they come out of the oven!





These little treats come out nice and nutty and are the perfect sweet and salty snack!